H.I. No. 56: Guns, Germs, and Steel

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"Guns, Germs, and Steel"
Hello Internet episode
Episode 56 on the podcast YouTube channel
Episode no.56
Presented by
Original release dateJanuary 29, 2016 (2016-January-29)
Running time02:01:36
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"H.I. #56: Guns, Germs, and Steel" is the 56th episode of Hello Internet, released on January 29, 2016.[1]

Official Description[edit | edit source]

Brady & Grey discuss: Brady goes to the doctor (or doesn't), Corporate Compensation Corner massage edition, arguments about Guns, Germs and Steel and a theory of history, breaking news about the New Zealand flag referendum, and thoughts on Making a Murderer.

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Show Notes[edit | edit source]

Discuss this episode on the reddit

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond

Brady and Grey discuss Getting Things Done

What a pulse is

Grey: Americapox

/r/badhistory on Guns, Germs, and Steel

Moneyball, by Michael Lewis

Foundation, by Isaac Asimov

Triumph of the City, by Edward Glaeser

New Zealand flag referendum results

Zealand flag referendum voting breakdown

Making a Murder first episode on YouTube

Other[edit | edit source]

Fan Art
Look at that posh glass you're drinking water from. You are posh's cushions man. Look at you, you look like a millionaire. Why? Because I'm drinking water out of a one glass. Yeah. This is what millionaire's do, Brady. They drink water out of wine glasses. In Myanmar, look at me with my 20% bigger Pepsi's ready to go. You sound impatient and we haven't even started. It's all in your mind, Brady. I have nothing but an infinite well of patience for you, my friend. Inferno well of patience. You are quite a patient guy, I'll give you that. Yeah. For you. For you. No, I think you are a more patient person than me in general. You have to be gentle with me today because I have been very sick for the last week and a half. Sick with what? Somewhat appropriate because I think we're going to be talking about plagues and poxes later on. I am very full of plague and poxes today. This will give you some ideas to the gravity of how sick I've been. I went to the doctor. See, this only means something because I know you and I know that you seem to have some sort of stubbornness about going to the doctor when you're sick, which I don't understand. That's called being a man. Is it called being a man or is it called being dumb? I go to the doctor when I'm sick. If I think I need to go to the doctor, I don't understand this reluctance to go to the doctor. This is the nub there. You said it when I need to go to the doctor. When does one need to go to the doctor? This is the million dollar question. Okay, what is your level then for you need to go to the doctor? Close to death. Okay, that seems cutting it too close, Brady. I think 99% of the time when you go to the doctor, they just say, I'll go away and come back in a week if you're still sick. That happens to me all the time. Then I go away for a week and in a week or so I get better. So I never go back. I hate going to the doctor because I know that it's going to tell me, okay, yeah, you're a bit sick but come back in a week. It drives me crazy. Yeah, I understand that because most of the time you just have some sort of normal cold. Like if I have what feels like a normal cold, I won't go to the doctor. But if it's much beyond a normal cold or if it lasts longer than it seems like a normal cold should, then you go to the doctor. I will agree. You don't go to the doctor if you wake up and you go, oh, I'm a little sniffily today. Let me see what the doc has to say about this. You don't need to have your marker be near death to be the, when do you need to go to the doctor phase? How's this though? I went to the GP and I went into the room and she said, okay, what's wrong? And I had a few other little things, you know, ongoing things that I thought, oh, this is a chance to bring them up things. I hadn't gone to the doctor about but I thought, oh, I'll kill a few birds with one stone here. Right. So I sat down and said, oh, I've got a few things for you actually. And she said, well, you've got less than 10 minutes and I'm already running like, how's that for care? What if I was dying? This is how triage works, Brady. Depending on what you go in there with, they might decide that you need to be escalated up to the next level. Yeah. But yeah, you need to go to the doctor. You never know what it is. You know, it might be, you might think you just have a regular flu, but then you go to the doctor and you find out, oh, you might have, you might have died from meningitis. That's the kind of scare mongering that makes people go to the doctor too much. I'm not scare mongering. This isn't scare mongering and this is also, this is for the, for the triage thing, right? You have a quick meeting with the doctor and they're there just trying to determine, oh, is it something more serious or less serious? And, and it should be 80% of the time that it's something less serious, or even 90% of the time that it's something less serious. It would be quite remarkable if everyone who went into the doctor had the most serious thing that they possibly could. The doctor is a filter and the vast majority of the time it should come back saying, oh, it's not a big deal. You're fine, but you're there to catch the freak occurrences that could kill you. Yeah, this is good advice people. Follow Grae's advice, not Brady's advice. Yes, this is from someone who works in a school, like in, to had students die of meningitis. Like, you think it's a flu and it's not. Bam, dead. So, go to the doctor. Don't be a Brady. I really wanted antibiotics because basically, I was told to get antibiotics. Go to the doctor and get antibiotics. So that was my whole, and they hate giving you. They hate prescribed antibiotics. That's the best thing. Brady, you do everything in a way that's infuriating. So, like, you don't want to go to the doctor. But when you do, you're the guy who's going to bully the doctor into giving you antibiotics. You only take antibiotics if the doctor thinks that you should. You don't bully the doctor into this. I basically said, if you don't give me antibiotics today, I'm probably going to get divorced. And she laughed and said, I've never heard that one before. And then prescribed me the antibiotics. I don't want them. I don't care. I was just trying to grease the wheels. Are you taking the antibiotics then? I am. So, you don't even think you need them when you're taking antibiotics. No, I do need them. You're part of the problem, Brady. No, I do need them. I do need them. I've been sick for too long. Do you think the doctor would have given them to you if you hadn't turned down the Brady charm? I would not say she was charmed by me. I think she gave them because she thought I needed them. She looked at me and looked at my throat and said I was sick. And I told her, you know, I told her the story. But another habit of mine though that will probably infuriate you is whenever I go to the doctor and get prescribed, whatever I'm, is needed. I almost feel like that's job done and I've accomplished what needed to be accomplished. And I quite often don't like the actual process of then taking all the medicine and doing all the things the doctor said. It's almost like walking out of the doctor being told, yes, you're sick. And this is what you've got to do. Almost feels like the cure, like, okay, that's dealt with. And the actual sitting there and taking all those pills for a week and a half is like a bit of a grind and I usually get a bit bored by it. I can also understand a little bit that feeling because it's a bit like if you bring your car into the auto shop when you pick up your car, like, okay, great, everything's done. They don't prescribe you a course of activity to do with your car over the course of two weeks. Exactly. I can understand that feeling. Like, haven't I been serviced so that I am now fixed? Isn't this what this is? Exactly. But that's not what it is. You have to take the pills. And the numbers of people who follow through on taking their antibiotics course through to the end is always appallingly low. Is this a common problem, is it? Non-compliance rates for medication taking are just astoundingly high. It's a miracle they get anything done with these drugs. But you're going to finish your course of antibiotics, Brady. Should do I need to pass to you about it? Oh, finish him. I'm glad it wasn't anything major and you found out that it doesn't keep you up at night wondering if you're going to die of a exotic disease. Thank you. Thank you for caring. I do care, Brady. You do. Whenever I'm sick, you do get a little bit mumsy. That is slanderous. That is slanderous, sir. You're very mothering when I'm sick. Well, I don't want to put any strain on you that would cause you to be ill for a further amount of time. My wife is currently at home from work. From exactly this thing of overstraining herself at work when she wasn't fully well and going in and I'm like, no, no, no, you need to stay home until you're better. And so that's how I feel about you, Brady. No, no, no, we don't have to do the podcast until you're better. The people can wait. But you are, of course, as you like to say, heart is nails and you just want to soldier on through no matter what. Have we gotten you follow up from the last episode? I can't remember what was in the last episode. Was it a good episode? I can't remember. I think what we talked about was whatever we talked about on the previous podcast. Okay. It looks like we have no follow-up of substance then. Yeah. What we have to dive into is you apparently have another breath-taking installment of corporate compensation corner. Well, I'm going to blame you for this. We have delayed corporate compensation corner for so long now that I've built up so much possible material that I don't really know where to start. I can't imagine why anyone would ever delay corporate compensation corner. I know we should put out flash podcasts whenever one happens. Like an instant, like we go straight to press. I'll tell you the one I'm looking at for bullet points here. I'll tell you the one that's drawing my intent straight away. Corporate compensation corner, massage edition. Okay. It was a while ago now, but we had a little holiday down in Devinway. We were staying in a nice place. And it was one of these, and we went to one of these beauty treatment spa type places that we quite like going to as a couple. You have nice food and then they sit in a jacuzzi and stuff like that. And then you have... Do you get cucumbers on your eyes, breeding? Cucumber on your eyes? That kind of thing. We went for this sort of new age-y type massage thing. And it was really funny because it was one of those things where they like, you do a questionnaire and they decide what your energies are and what all these sort of things. And it's like, it seems like a load of rubbish. Although I feel it out of the questionnaire and then I sat down with my massage woman and she said, oh, okay, I see your questionnaire and this is what I know about you. And I was like, she was psychic. She said all these things about me, like, about how I work and how I live. And I'm like, yeah, that's a lot. Very specific things or just, you know, broadly applicable to a lot of people. You work in a chair a lot of the time to find yourself sitting down. Oh yeah, sitting down a lot. She wasn't claiming to be a psychic. It's not like she was saying, you know, you're going to meet a tall, dark stranger and stuff. I didn't say she was claiming it, but you seem impressed. And I'm imagining that she was just saying things that were broadly applicable to the group of people who are likely to get a massage. So I went in and I thought it was going to be a little bit of a dead massage because it was all about like pouring oil on your forehead and all this sort of stuff. Like, where I just want to be, you know, I just want to, my back rubbed and my legs rubbed and make all those knots go away from sitting at my computer all day. But it was, it was one where they like poured all this oil all over your face and your hair and stuff like that. I actually quite enjoyed it. It was quite nice. And about two or three minutes before the end of the massage, the fire alarm went off. No. And we had to be like evacuated and it was freezing, freezing cold. And I'm covered in oil. I've got some oil all over my face and it's dripping in my eyes and all through my hair. Like it's like, it's like honey coming off me. I've just got... I'm like a greased up piggy. I've got a, I've got a robot and we all get taken outside onto this freezing cold deck. Everyone's staying in the place like a hundred people. And my hair's all over the place because she's been like rubbing my hair so it's all standing up and oily. And then they do a roll call and they're calling out our names. And there's me, the freak in the corner, Aaron Brady. Here. So here's where we come to corporate compensation corner. The therapist then says basically, well, there was only like one or two minutes left anyway. There's no point putting you back on the table to then say, okay, we're done. But we feel really bad about it and we'll line you up with the manager to talk to the manager or whoever was in charge. We get taken off to this side room. I still got oil over myself. The woman says, we're really sorry. But then the genius of it was, it was all put back on me. She says, what can we do to make it up to? What do you want? Oh, no, that's that's bull. That's ridiculous now. And what do you do? What do you do? What would you have said? What would you have said? The battle for hearts and minds is already lost at this moment. I've put it back on you because the social pressure there is for you to be a reasonable understanding person. Right? If they want to win the hearts and minds and have you be like, oh man, you can't believe how great this place was and the customer service was amazing. It's their job to step up and to schedule you another whole replacement one that the company just eats the cost or whatever. Like, that's what they should do if they want to be like, oh, we're a great place to come for a vacation. But when they say, oh, how can we make this up to you? I feel deflated even thinking about this question in theory. It's just, you know what? You know what, you can't. It's just over. I just don't even care, you know? Keep your money and enjoy your low review. Like, that's how we'll make it up to each other here. Oh, yeah. I didn't think of going and reviewing them. The thing with the massage, right? Is like, even if they only have two minutes left, the whole point of something like that is that you're coming out of it, a relaxed and new Brady, right? At the end of this experience. Yeah. I can't imagine if, let's say, for the rest of their massage is that the person has an hour long massage and everything goes perfectly fine. And in the last second of the massage, you bang a symbol above their head, right? Right? Really loud. And you go, oh, but we only ruined one second of your experience. It's like, that's not how it works, right? It's not the actual amount of time. It's the disruption relative to the expectation. Exactly. This episode of Hello Internet is brought to you by Squarespace. Squarespace is the easy way to create your own website. Back in the day, I used to make my own website by hand and host them myself. And boy, was that a pain in the butt. Because of podcast ads, actually, a few years ago, I decided to give Squarespace a try and I moved CGPGray.com over to it. And I am so glad that I did. With Squarespace, making your own website is just so easy. You don't have to worry about all of the kind of nonsense that you have to worry about if you are hosting it yourself. You don't have to worry about managing a server. You don't have to worry about sudden spikes in traffic. Nothing. Squarespace just handles it all. It's super easy. With Squarespace and using their templates, you get sites that look professionally designed, regardless of your skill level. There's no coding required. There are intuitive, easy to use tools. And Squarespace has state-of-the-art technology powering your site to ensure security and stability. Squarespace is trusted by millions of people and some of the most respected brands in the world, including Hello Internet, which is hosted on Squarespace. Squarespace starts at just $8 a month. And you get a free domain if you sign up for a year. Start your free trial today with no credit card required at squarespace.com. And when you decide to sign up for Squarespace, make sure to use the offer code Hello to get 10% off your first purchase. Squarespace. Build it beautiful. I wanted to talk a little bit about a book called Guns, Germs, and Steel. It's a book that I think is an interesting book, but there's also a lot of arguments that take place around the book. In some ways, I almost think the meta argument about it is more interesting than the actual book itself. What's the spoiler situation here? Is this one of these things where people should pause the podcast and read the whole book now? Or because sometimes people do that? Are we going to be like spoiler-tastic? Is this one of those cases? Or do you think people should keep listening? Well, my thought is this is a bit like a World War II situation. Can there be spoilers? I don't think there can really be spoilers for most nonfiction situation. Which is essentially kind of a history book. If we get to this second topic, we will discuss the possibility of spoilers in a nonfiction situation. But in general, I think a book that is about a topic can't be like a spoiler. Yeah. Okay. So if someone wants to stop and go read Guns, Germs, and Steel now, you can pause the podcast if you so like. It is a long book and it is a, I find, at times, a really detailed book. But you know, you go for it, man, if you really want to. But we'll talk about it. We'll talk about what's in the book now. So I think if you haven't read it, you can still enjoy the conversation because we will try to sum it up as we go along a little bit. I agree with that. I agree. This shouldn't, you should not be spoiler-worried. I'm listening to an Annabruj version and looking at the scroll bar here, it looks like I am nearly halfway through it. I'm not qualified to talk about it as a whole, but I've listened to a fair old chunk of it. So how have you been finding it, reading? This is not the harrowing experience that getting things done was where I actually went so far as to get my money back for that one, because that was how much I felt. My dislike for that book and the way it was written. This has not been the case. And I would go so far as to say, I feel like quite interesting. I think the guy reading the book, who's not the author, does a very good job. And I think some of the topics are interesting, but it is not without criticism. If I have to say I have never heard someone say the terms hunter-gatherer and food production so many times in such a short space of time, like to the point where I'm like, say hunter-gatherer one more time, say hunter-gatherer one more time. I dare you. Because it does get very repetitive at times, and it made me wish that maybe the author could have expanded his vocabulary just for the sake of variety, because it does get very repetitive at times. Before I talk about the content, because I think that's what you really want to talk about, but just more about the actual book itself, just to sort of forewarn people, it's very list-tastic. And there always seems to be lists within lists, like he'll say, sir, you're probably wondering, you know, why cows eat grass? Well, there are seven reasons for that. Let me tell you them. Number one, number two, number three, number four, number five, number six, and number seven. And as I'll talk about later in chapter 34, there are another nine reasons that they eat green grass. And while I will go into that later, let me tell you those nine reasons. And so there's things to be lists breaking out of lists, and there's a lot of that going on, which I can see really appealing to you actually, because we all know you like lists. And at times you do find yourself thinking, oh my goodness, I cannot believe I'm listening to so much talk about weak crops, flex, and how pulses are high in protein. I don't think I'm going to know exactly what a pulse is. I can kind of guess, but at times it seems like, oh my God, he's talking about the most boring things ever. But I think, despite the repetitiveness and the list, it's actually quite well written. It's kept at a real layman's level, which I think is probably quite easy, because it's talking about pretty basic stuff, like, you know, herding cows and sailing to other countries. I can see why I think it would appeal to you. By the way, I know that you have criticisms of the writing of the books. I'm not saying you think it's a masterpiece of literature, but I can see why it would appeal to you, because I mean, I joke around about getting things done and how it's like, productivity porn, and I think you're quite, you know, you love organization and productivity and stuff, so getting things done would appeal to you. And in some ways, the whole thing about this book I call it productivity mega-born, because this isn't just about people being productive. This is about the productivity and organization of the whole planet. So I can just see you going, oh my God, this is amazing, I can't believe it. They're not just talking about organizing a workday. They're talking about how whole populations are organized and why the world's so for you, I can see why this is like right in the sweet spot. But next time you tell me, you think it's funny that I can sit and watch a game of darts. I will pull out this book and say, let me talk to you a little bit about flex and pulses. I think that is grossly unfair comparison. Everyone's interested in different things. So anyway, so as a read, it is, as a book, it is sometimes a book where you think, well, this is like, this is pretty amazing and pretty tedious. But I think it is well written despite the repetitiveness. And I think it is very approachable and it's very well argued. It's actually like a conversation with you where even when sometimes you think you're wrong, because your arguments are so well thought out and they've been pre-planned, like they're very well fortressed and your arguments are very, like you have answers to most questions. Like even when I think you're wrong, you're very hard to argue with because you're so well prepared for the battle. And that's what this book is like. Even though I think some of the things are wrong, it is very strategically well done. And it becomes hard to say exactly why you think it's wrong. Yeah, he's a bit overly prepared at points. I think it's an interesting book by no means. By no means. Do I think that everything in it is right? But he definitely comes to the table with a bunch of stuff. And I think it's later in the book, but the section that always stuck with me was there's a point at which he goes through every example of how human writing has ever come into existence, like every society that has ever come up with writing. And I remember the first time I read the book, like I believe you, man, like I am just giving up. Okay, like I believe your theory about human writing. Please don't make me read one more. Like I've read enough about knots versus uniform versus writing versus, you know, when does it come up on its own? When is it distributed through other people? Like, just let me just move on to the next thing. That's probably an advantage of an audiobook, isn't it? Because sometimes when it's there on the page and you can see what's coming and you see what's gone before, those sections can seem quite tedious. But when you're listening and you've sort of forgotten what he's already said, and you don't know what he's going to say next, you can be in the middle of one of those kind of patches of quicksand and not know it until it's too late. So in some ways an audiobook kind of spares you the the worst of that because you kind of just live it rather than see it coming. So in closing, before we talk about the content, I don't know if I'll finish it, but I feel quite comfortable recommending it. Like I would say if this is something you're interested in, go ahead. It did win the pull-it surprise, didn't it as well. So it's not like I'm, it's not like we've pulled one out of left field here for people. This is like this book's bit of a big deal. I have been fascinated for years about the kind of meta argument that takes place on the internet about this book. And we were talking on this to message before a little bit. And I said that like this is the book that launched a thousand arguments, like a thousand argument threads across the internet. Like people just argue about this book all the time in a way that I find very interesting. So here's what I would say is the like the thumbnail overview of the argument in Guns, Derms and Steel. And Guns, Derms and Steel is arguably vastly oversimplifying all of human society. And now I am going to vastly oversimplify the very argument itself. The book is setting out to answer how is it that Europeans ended up conquering the whole world and Europeans ended up with all of the stuff that allowed them to conquer the whole world. All right, like why did the Europeans have ships? Why did the Europeans have guns? Why did they have all of this technology and then why were they the ones who were able to spread all over the world? And like why is it that when the Europeans arrived in North America that they weren't faced with American Indians at the same level of technological progress? Ships didn't meet in the Atlantic where where human societies had had developed at the same rates. And right, they bump into each other in the middle of the Atlantic. Oh my, oh my, how are you? How are you? Like that's not the way it went down. Like the guy who believes in an alternative universe and people's a rocket to fly there. And then when he does it, he crashes into a rocket coming the other way. Right, yeah. That's that's not the way human society that's not the way human society was. Yeah, he could have just written chapter one because someone had to be first the end. Right, that's so like that is a totally legitimate answer. Yeah, right. It's like, you know, of course someone's going to be first. How could someone not be first? It would be quite remarkable if someone wasn't first. If everybody was exactly the same. Yeah. And I like that that would be that would be astounding, which we can also then relate this the same conversation to space-faring civilizations, right? It's the it's like it's like the Star Trek universe of where everybody every alien race is about the same level of technology. Like that is shockingly unlikely. So it's someone has to be way ahead of somebody else. Yeah. So what he lays out in the book is he's he is talking about the starting point of like 10,000 BC when roughly speaking humans had spread to everywhere they were going to be on the face of the earth. And they were all at roughly the same level of technology of basic stone tools. Hmm. And then says, okay, his argument is fundamentally that when you have people everywhere, some environments are more beneficial to human thriving than others. Right. Some places are just going to be better for people to live. I mean, I have this guy Jared Diamond. I have two nicknames for him, Mr. Hindsight and Mr. Obvious. And I think that first argument is hit wearing his Mr. Obvious hat. Yeah. Well, see, like when I read this book, it's going to sound done, but like, you know, I went through history classes in high school and it was remarkable to me that there was no overarching description of things. Like history class was like this big long list of stuff that happened. And one of the things that you can't help but notice is like, man, the UK is just dominating in this history game. They have empires right and it's like the UK and then it's the Dutch and the French and like this. This little cluster of places has taken over absolutely everywhere. And I'm not even really sure that when I was younger, like it occurred to me to wonder like, why was this the case? Like I don't even know. Some ways when you just grow up going through history class or you grow up learning about anything, you sometimes don't think to ask questions at all. It's just like, oh, of course, Europe took over the world because that's what they taught me in school. And like it never even occurred to me to think that something else could have been possible. But Jared Diamond poses the alternate question. Why isn't it that Africa conquered the new world and brought European slaves to the new world? It's like, oh, okay, yeah, that's an interesting question. Like why didn't that occur? Or for example, the thing that my video was focusing on, which was the question that really struck me, which again, obvious question never asked, which is why didn't the Europeans get sick from Native American diseases if the Native Americans got sick from European diseases? Like it just never occurred to me as a kid to ask that because you're always told the story in the context of like, and the Europeans came and the Native Americans got sick from their diseases like and we keep moving along. And you just don't think to ask these questions. That's why the book kind of struck me when I was a bit younger was like, oh, I didn't think to ask these questions. But so the bottom line of that argument is just some places are more beneficial to human societies and that once you start down the road of having more food and settling down and building cities that this process is a self-sustaining, self-feeding process that your cities get bigger. You have a higher population density. You can then develop more technology if you have citizens who are free from the burden of producing food. And this just spirals up and spirals up and spirals up and so that a relatively, even just a relatively minor advantage in the beginning can end up becoming something that makes the difference of like two centuries' worth of technological progress by the time societies meet. Do you think that's fair from what you've read so far? Yeah, I do. I think, yeah, basically he's saying, little bit of luck, little bit of fairy dust and luck at the start and you win the whole game. The example I often like to use is it says, though, the earth is a very unfairly designed board game. And your starting position gives you more or less advantage. And like Australia is the worst place in the world to start and Eurasia is probably the best place in the world to start. That's what the book's trying to say. Yeah, well, I mean, you just said it in five few sentences. But anyway, yeah, it wouldn't be a book otherwise, I guess. It wouldn't be a book otherwise. But this is why I think like that statement ends up becoming like this remarkably controversial thing. Like, do these huge arguments over guns, germs, and steel for what I agree with you as I think in many ways to me seems in retrospect like a fairly obvious kind of argument that just never occurred to me when I was younger. Like, of course, some places are better for humans to thrive than others. Like that's why Europeans ended up taking over because Europe was easy. I guess one of the things that comes across in the book that I hadn't thought about quite so much was if you told me that at the start, like, you know, that the dice were loaded or the board was rigged, I'd think, okay, yeah, but you know, this obviously weather is obvious, you know, obviously the climate, you know, what your climate is like is pretty important as someone who lives in England and sees all these rolling green hills, 24 days, 365 days a year, whatever. And then when I'm in Australia, I see barren desert. I look at I look and think, okay, well, you've got a head start here. The thing I guess I hadn't thought about quite so much was how loaded dice were when it comes to animals. The strongest thing I've seen in the book so far as he's saying, the best natural resource advantage that the Eurasians had was they got lucky with animals and everyone else got unlucky with animals. Right. That to me is probably one of the key features of the book is exactly this. Yeah, because you could say, oh, well, there's, but there's nice places everywhere in the world. I like it's not like Europe is just uniformly perfect farm where everywhere's got gold and everywhere's got oil and some people have diamonds and some people have this and some people have that, but he's basically saying animals and plants is where it was at and Europe got lucky. Yeah, so he runs through the things that make plant species and animal species susceptible to human use. In order to be domesticated, animals have to have a bunch of characteristics, which when this is where your list and lists, you know, begins because he goes through all of this stuff with plants and animals. Again, I think it's very interesting to go through all those details. It's far too much to go into for this podcast, but I mean, just just basically like you don't really think about it, but for domesticated animals, you need a couple things like broadly speaking, you need animals that are big enough to be useful. And so like if you domesticate chinchillas, they're not going to be pulling plows for you in a farm, right? You need a big animal. You need animals that are big, but also animals that are not unpredictable or violent, which is what is the big problem for Africa. Like Africa has tons of big animals. All of them are horrible to work with. And I'm like hippos, horrifically violent, way more dangerous than you think they are. Or he runs through all the examples about like zebra's versus horses. They look the same, but zebra's are bastards, right? And horses are great to work with because they have a bunch of inbuilt characteristics. I haven't got to this yet, Gray, because the point you're making obviously is you've got all these nightmare animals in places like Africa or a porosity of animals in other places. And then Europe's got all, you know, you do sell cows and you sheep and all your dream animals. So I get the point. Does he get less than later on in the book explain why Africa's full of bad ass animals and Europe's full of docile dummies? Or is that just luck? At one point in the book he talks about, and I think this is really interesting, is that if you go back lots of continents used to actually have many more large, docile animals. And there's some really just funny examples from Australia with like these mega marsupials, like big large mammals. And North America had the exact same thing of like big large mammals. But that when basically because humans developed their hunting skills, like as they went along, humans arrived in North America and Australia and the rest of the world like with really great hunting skills already. Right. So we're able to out hunt a lot of the local population. And so like like when when they arrive there, it's like, okay, great. Animals that have never ever seen humans that have no reason to avoid humans collide with a sudden immigration of into North America hunters with big pointy spears, which is why Africa's so full of bad ass animals because right. Because that ass is good survive. Exactly. Yeah. And so he goes through that there's basically around 10,000 BC. There's a huge number of megafauna extinctions everywhere that humans have just arrived with the exclusion of, right. Eurasia and Africa because humans were already there and animals had gotten used to them to some extent. Yeah. So that's the argument. It's like it's not even entirely luck. It's it's that humans caused the situation to be the case. But even if so here's one of these things like people love to argue with all the details in guns terms and steel. And like did humans cause the megafauna extinction or did humans not cause the megafauna extinction? To me, that's not even relevant. Like let's let's say that that part of the argument turns out to be false. Like people find out, oh, megafauna extinction didn't happen because of humans. Yeah. Okay. Well, it doesn't matter because you should still expect that somewhere on earth they're going to happen to be more plants and animals that are useful to humans than somewhere else. How could how could it be otherwise if you have a like a semi-random distribution of useful animals across the world? Yeah. But I mean, that applies to this whole book, Gray. I mean, this whole book is based on digging down into something that you probably don't need to dig down into anymore. But he does for the intellectual exercise of it. So you can't just say it's like saying the British Empire was great because they had but boats. Why do they have good boats? I don't know because they had good wood, for example. Why do they have good wood because they had a good climate? Why do they have a good climate? I know. We'll stop there. Well, no. What point do you stop? Why have you got a good climate? Oh, because you're further north. Why does further north? Like at some point, at what point do you stop asking? It's like a little kid that just says why to every single thing you tell them? That's what this book is like. And that's what his attitude to history is like. It's like the Europeans dominated the world. Why? Because they invaded the other countries. Why? Because they wanted to they wanted more land and wealth. Why? When they got there, why did they? Why? Like you just keep asking why? And if he keeps answering why all the time, eventually he's going to come unstuck, isn't he? Well, eventually you're going to come to a point that has to just be an assumption about the world. Yeah. Right. Which is we assume that there are animals, some of which are more or less useful to humans. Like, well, like this is a ground start assumption. And then like we can also assume that the distribution of these things is not going to be equal. It would be shockingly unlikely for it to be equal. And so that means some place has to be better for humans than some other place, like just by definition. And so yeah, you always have to come to some kind of fundamental little moment of it. I mean, going through the bits of the book I've encountered, I think sometimes it's guilty of simplifying things that I think are very, very complicated. And other times I think it's guilty of complicating things that I think are far more simple. I agree. But as someone who has read the whole book for a start and also has followed some of the arguments around it, what are the big bones of contention? Not the minutiae, like, you know, I disagree that that was how wheat was domesticated. But what are the big controversial topics here? What are the big things? Here is where I need to like show my hand a little bit about some of my thoughts. The way you, Brady, you want me to let me let people know what I think about a movie before we start talking about it. So again, I agree with you. There are many faults with the book. And the reason we're talking about it now is because I made this America pox video recently because I took a section of that of Guns, Germs and Steel, the section about why didn't the Europeans get sick from Native American diseases? And I made a little video about it because I think that's an interesting part. And also, this is, I have a very limited repertoire of questions to ask people at dinner parties to try to get interesting conversations going. And this is one of these little questions that I like to bring up. And I find almost universally that the person I'm sitting across from has the same reaction that I do of, oh, you know, I never thought about that. Why didn't the Europeans get sick? So I took that little section and I made the video about it. And people have been sending me all of these things about like, oh, it's a real shame that you didn't know about the criticisms of Guns, Germs and Steel before you made this video. But the thing is, I had read all of those criticisms. There is on Reddit like a series of very interesting articles where someone goes through the book chapter by chapter and points out all of what they view as like the contradictions or the things that diamond says that are clear that the person says are unclear and like goes through it step by step by step by step. And I had read all of those things. And I also agree with most of the criticisms of the book. Like, I'm not going to argue with a professional historian when they say like, oh, X historical event occurred and Jared Diamond like skimmed over it. Like, I'll take them at the word for that. Like, you're a professional historian. I have no reason to disagree with you. But the thing that I find interesting and valuable in Guns, Germs and Steel that I almost never see the critics argue against is the theory that the book presents. Guns, Germs and Steel to me gives a very simple but very basic theory of history. It's a theory that only operates on very long time scales and over continent-sized human divisions. But it is still nonetheless a theory because I think it makes, if not a testable prediction, it makes a question that you can ask about the world where you can say, look, if we were to rewind the clock and play history again, what would you expect would happen? And the Guns, Germs and Steel answer is that because Eurasia, the whole of Eurasia, is more susceptible to human technological flourishing, let's say you should expect 80% of the time that the first two colonial technology that happens in Eurasia. And maybe 10% of the time it happens in Africa and then 5% of the time it happens in North America and 1% of the time it happens in Australia. Not that it could never happen, but it is just extraordinarily unlikely. And so that to me is the interesting thing, it is this theory of history. And so in many ways, like I can I agree with tons of the criticism about the particulars in the book and tons of the details that Jared Diamond gets wrong because Jared Diamond is not a professional historian. He is, oh god, I should have looked it up before we started. He's an ecologist. He's like a bird expert at one point, isn't he? He's into birds. Yeah, he's worked in Papa New Guinea and he's cataloging birds. One of the other things that I personal criticism that irritates me about Jared Diamond is he seems to just totally love Papa New Guinea out of all proportion to what you would expect for any impartial outside of the book. Papa New Guinea is a very important place in this book. Yeah, and it irritates me. I did highlight it in the beginning of the book he even goes for like a little tangent about how like let me explain to you how Papa New Guinea's are more intelligent than average human beings. I was like, oh, come on, man. One of the fundamental feces of your book is that human intelligence is not different everywhere, but you're still going to take a little a little side moment about how Papa New Guinea is like an exception to the rule. But so that to me is the value of this book. And like I think that is very interesting. But this then trips in historians into an idea that like you cannot say geography is destiny. Like historians are very, very, very strongly against this idea. For reasons that I find difficult to understand. And every time I get into an argument or I see arguments that take place over the book, what usually happens is just just as so many of these things like different sides are arguing different things. Like I want to have a conversation about what is the current state of the theory of history? Like has much progress been made about the theory of history? But then a historian wants to argue with me about why was it Spain who was the first to Mesoamerica? And like why did Spain lose their lead to the United Kingdom? And my view is always okay, but that's too small. We want to talk about like continent levels here. Not particular, like this is not meant to tell you why a particular country came about. It's only here to give you an estimation of what is the likelihood that people on a particular continent will be the ones to colonize the world. That's my view of this book. Do you know what? I just can't help thinking. And I've thought this several times while I've been listening to the book. And I think it even more now listening to you talk like that. How is this different from two guys in the bar talking about sports? Like it sounds like two guys arguing over why one football team is better than the other. If we played the Super Bowl again with my team win this time, did it all come down to that one plan mistake or was that team always destined to win because they had these players? And it sounds like it sounds like sport. Like and if you want to rake over it and rake over the ashes of history and talk about why I did these people win and why did those people invade that? I know you can use this argument about how we learn lessons for the future, but I don't think there's a lot to be learned for the future about this kind of stuff anymore. I think we've moved on from it. It just seems like it seems like arguing about sport and I have no problem with that by the way because I really love arguing about sport. So I find it really fun that the history people will sit there and argue over why it was the Spanish that went to Mesoamerica and that sort of thing. Here's me going to try to reach and make a sports metaphor or just you just correct me gently if I'm wrong here. But I will talk about sports and a book that I haven't read, but I only know about which is Money Ball. Yes. So my understanding is that Money Ball is the description of how statistics was first used with baseball. Yeah. Not mistaken. Yes. For selecting the teams and thinking about the players not as individual people, but as machines with particular batting averages and particular situations. And so Money Ball was about being able to put together an effective team in a way that was surprising to existing coaches. Yeah. And in some way, like I always feel the argument with historians is a bit like this where it's almost like this is so overblown because he hasn't done the same thing. But Jared Diamond is a bit like the Money Ball for continents, right? He's looking at the stats and he's like Eurasia's an amazing continent. It doesn't mean Eurasia is going to win every time. So it gets like eight weather points and it gets five animal points and it gets right. But you can still score it. And like I can I can very easily imagine an alternate universe where we are instead living in a world where the Aborigines got lucky, right? And they and they were the first a colonial technology and they took over the whole world. Yeah. And in that world, they had some Einstein character that just came out of nowhere. Right. They had tremendous luck. Or actually what I think is a great counter example is I mean, man, if you look at if you look at the numbers for the black death, like what we think of as the plague, this plague that struck Europe in the 1300s, the black death is astounding. Like it's the worst plague. The estimates are at a minimum 30% at a maximum 60% of the population died in Europe in the 1300s. Let's just say it was 50% just for the choice of this conversation. It's amazing to me that Europe came back from that. Like that's a hell of a setback to have half your population die. And I can imagine a version of the world where it's like, okay, let's take the black death, but let's increase the virality 10% and the leafality 10%. Like a plague like that is something that's a random event. And it is not hard to imagine just by chance. There's an event that just knocks the destined continent way back, way back. In the same way that random events happen in sports, right? Like some guy twists his ankle on the stairs, walking into the sports arena. Like you can just have bad luck. But so there could very easily be an alternate universe version of America or alternate universe version of the world where the aborigines took over the world. And they're trying to write a history book going like, man, it's really quite interesting that like the aborigines took over the world when Australia is terrible. The thing that the thing I suspect though is in that alternate world, Jared Diamond would write a book in which it seemed inevitable that Australia aborigines would have taken over the world. Like I think when you're using hindsight, you can engineer almost anything. So I think in that world, it would also seem inevitable. The hindsight, the hindsight thing is a real problem, right? This is this is always the issue of talking about stuff that happened in the past. But I would almost feel like you'd be much more willing to try to come to a conclusion that like, oh, aborigines must just be smarter because they came over came like tremendous, tremendous terrible continent disadvantage, right? Whereas one of the fundamental points that Jared Diamond is trying to make in guns terms and steel is look, everybody is about the same intelligence or close enough to like it doesn't matter, right? And if you rewind the clock and you take all of the Africans and you put them in North America and you take all the North Americans and you put them in Europe and you take all the orientals and you put them in Africa, like you should end up with the same probabilities anyway, because it's the continent that is affecting the outcome. It's not the people like the people aren't any different. And I totally back him on that end, but it does mean that you can have situations where just the unexpected occurs because I don't think he is arguing, but I see people like arguing against this version in their mind of gun terms and steel that he is saying it is inevitable that some civilization in Eurasia was the one that took over the world. I don't think he makes that argument. I think he just talked about it was the most likely one and we're living in the most likely universe, but it could have happened in a different way. It's just extremely unlikely. Like Europe would have had to have the black death be more lethal or happen at a much more unfortunate point in their history, like if the black death happened in the 1500s. The people that argue against it who don't like this geography theory, because obviously the start of the book he makes are really with a big point about all humans are the same, like you know, one race isn't smarter than the others, etc. People who argue against his geography theory to put it really simply, do they say no, in fact it is the people who were different? Or what do they say the real reason is, like what's their alternative theory to the geography theory? Surely they don't come out and say Europeans are naturally smarter or do they say that? I don't they don't right? The historians are not arguing against that, but this is this is where I find it the most interesting and I am trying to make this as clear as I can in this podcast because I'm always talking about a thing easier than trying to write it out when you're just arguing with someone on the internet. I would really like in the Reddit for someone to who thinks who like a historian who thinks they can answer this question that Brady is asking that is my question as well, which is I don't argue against the particulars about events that Jared Diamond mentions in guns, terms and steel. I want a coherent alternate theory of history, that's what I am looking for, that's the argument that I want to have is like what is the alternate theory of history? And what I have seen so far and maybe I have not read widely enough or I've been looking in the wrong places, but on the rare occasions when I see people having the argument on this level, on the like let's not get down in the weeds, let's not argue over the details because often they don't even matter they're not relevant, not really interested in the Mesoamerican civil war and whether or not that was a factor in the conquistadors ability to conquer the continent, like I don't think that's really relevant either way, on the big picture version because what I normally see is people either saying there is no theory of history, that this whole project is fundamentally ridiculous, that you have to take history as it unfolds event by event by event. And I'm very sorry, I'm forgetting there is a technical name for this, but saying how like you have to look at the chain of all things. So like the example I often see is saying like oh, if a city is founded in a different location like that can then have a big effect on whether or not a country develops in a particular way. And then like that affects whether or not the country is powerful, which can affect the rest of the world events. And my view of that is like listen man, that's it's not a theory, that's just listing everything that has ever happened. And that's what I see most of the time from professional historians like I don't doubt that they are right about the list of things, but they just want to present a list of everything that has ever happened in all of human history. And I think that that's very different from the notion of a theory. Like one of the important or one of the things about a theory is that you don't expect it to be able to perfectly work for absolutely everything. Like I made a bad analogy when the video first came out, but I originally said like I was thinking that guns, germs and steel was a bit like the general relativity of the history world. I didn't mean that it's like as big and all of encompassing as theory as general relativity is, but I was trying to get out there is the idea that general relativity is a theory that works on the big scale, like on galaxy size things. But if you try to use general relativity to describe very small things, it just doesn't work. But that doesn't mean that the theory is wrong. It's just applicable under certain circumstance. You're sounding like Harry Souten now from the foundation series. A bit, a bit. Yeah, I will totally grant that. Although I think that the gun's germs and steel, that theory ends in 1492. As soon as civilizations interact, it is all null and void now. It's kind of over. But that's what I feel. I'm constantly trying to have this conversation with historians about what is your theory of history and they keep wanting to talk to me about the atoms. I agree with you about the atoms. We don't actually disagree, but I'm just I'm asking a different question. Hey, could be the problem with your question. I don't know if it is or not, but here's what could be a problem. The theory of relativity is not going to change because of something an atom does. It's a like, you know, atoms, atoms are atoms and the theory of relativity is this unbreakable, you know, it's a big deal and it's the rose and everything has to follow those rose. That's why it was a terrible analogy. Yeah, okay. Let me figure it away from it then. I won't bring it up again. Let me ask you this about the theory of history. That's why it was a terrible one for me to pick. Let me offer an alternate one, which might be better, which is a Guns, Gremes and Steel is like a geocentric version of the universe. It may be really wrong in very many ways, but it also to me looks like isn't this a starting point? Like shouldn't we be continuing to work on the theory of history and not necessarily just be like, ah, just garbage, just throw it away. Well, here's why maybe it is garbage. How susceptible is a theory of history to humans? How can one person break the theory? Because no one atom or person can break the theory of relativity. Like if you're strong, we'll have an amazing personality or do something brilliant, you're still not going to change the theory of relativity. Right. Is the theory of history? So, I mean, we're going straight into foundation territory here and I won't give spoilers away, but this is what happens with psycho history and in foundation, isn't it? Like can a person could one person break the theory? Because so many humans live and die every day, that if the theory of history is so fragile that a brilliant person, a brilliant aboriginally inventing a boat 200 years early in Australia or a brilliant person in North America cultivating a plant a thousand years earlier than expected could break the whole system. Then the theory of history probably isn't worth discussing very much because it's probably pretty likely to get broken. Or is the theory of history more robust than that? It's an interesting question. My thought is that it would be possible, maybe not for one person, but for, like I was saying before, a series of lucky events to bring you the unexpected outcome. Well, that's different. Of course, a series of lucky events, a comet landing on London a few hundred years ago would have changed history quite a lot. So, I mean, is it fragile or does it need a comet or a series of amazing coincidences? Because of course, yeah, that is unlikely. I would say it's much closer to the comet side of things. That's my feeling of it. It doesn't matter how many Einstein's in a row you get in Australia. You're limited by the resources of the world. The very fact that you're being born into Australia is just limiting the ability to express your intelligence anyway. Because what are you going to do? You're living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle in this situation. It's going to be very hard for you to single-handedly develop agriculture and move the rest of everybody else along the start of this path. It's just shockingly, shockingly difficult. You have to have incentives to stay put that are in the world. Otherwise, you're going to stay as a hunter-gatherer society. You're going to keep moving around because you're at a mathematics, you say you're at a local maximum. Jared Diamond does mention, I forget exactly where, but he mentions one place in Australia where that is more susceptible to development than others. It took humans a while to get there and by the time they got there, Europeans had already arrived. It's like, oh, it's Game Over. It's probably the afterlife. Yeah, I think it was the afterlife. I think that was right. There was a mighty black stump that called people new to it. Let me ask you this thing. Assuming that a theory of history is kind of valid and robust and worth coming up with. That's a fun thing to do and it's intellectually stimulating and humans should do intellectually stimulating things. But if it is created, how is it useful? Is it useful to us? Is it practically useful to us until we reach a point where we start colonising other planets or we start getting colonised by aliens and things like that? If we can crack the code and crack the theory and we feel absolutely confident it's right, surely this is just useless now anyway or is it practically useful to have this information? It's almost impossible for me to imagine a situation that it's useful. I think this is purely an intellectual exercise, which might be part of the reason why the fighting over it is just so enormous. I forget the details of it. The fighting is furious when the rewards are small. I think this is that kind of thing. I don't think there's an application of this. I get frustrated when in my view, someone, I don't even want to say nitpicking because that is demoting the work that people have done to, I think quite correctly criticise gun terms as to go across many axes. It is undoubtable that you can go through a chapter by chapter and say, this wasn't quite right or this wasn't quite right. But it still seems to me just to be missing the arguments. Let me just mention the biggest example where this comes across. It is like a criticism about whether or not diseases came from domesticated animals. This is the thing that I was mentioning in my video. Without a doubt, there is a huge amount of uncertainty about the origin of many diseases. People can quite rightly point out. It's difficult to say where a lot of the European plagues originated from. Did they come from domesticated animals? Maybe, maybe not. It seems like we know that the cow was a pretty bad animal to have around. Some diseases came from it, but did all of the plagues come from domesticated animals? I don't know. I'm not sure. You can go through and poke holes in that. My view with all the stuff is like, okay, but even if that's wrong, even if it didn't come from domesticated animals, nobody disagrees that you still can't have plagues if you don't have a big enough population. It doesn't even matter if that part of the book is wrong. I always feel like focus on the value to be extracted from this. I think there is something very interesting in this book, but I also think that it is just infuriating to many historians in a way that I find interesting. I have to confess that I shouldn't have done a pretty, but I did intentionally poke the historians a bit in my video because I knew they were going to be some people watching the America Pox video who were slowly having their blood boil as they realized what this video is about. And I could just imagine this person, the simmering is getting hotter and hotter and hotter as they're watching the video. He's going through gun of germs and steel. I can't believe it, which is why I could not help myself in the end of that video in the audible ad going, this is the history book to rule all history books. I just love the idea of someone just losing it at their computer screen. I can't believe that, not only has he done this whole thing, but he's recommending this above all history books. There is a perverse pleasure to be gained from that. This is the joy of trolling. This is the joy of trolling as the word is supposed to be used. I knew that someone was going to be wound up by that, and it's like I can definitely see that some people just popped at that, which is why I had to put that line in there, even though I'm not even sure I believe it. The only thing that could have potentially been a little bit funnier was if you recommended a book that was the exact opposite, made the exact opposite argument to what your video was just about. He hasn't even read that book, that book says the exact opposite. You could have made some heads explode doing that to you, but maybe that's good. That's too advanced, maybe. That's advanced trolling. No, no, no, that's good. I might do that for a future book. I have to keep that in mind. I have to keep that in mind. The thing that has come through from the book and from your video more than anything to me is that certainly Diamonds' argument is that the key to success is intensity, is bunching things together. For various reasons, one is it makes you hard as nails when you're around lots of people because you get sick and you get bad when you get immune. And it consolidates a lot of ideas and technology and intellectual progression. And I mean, this is something we still do today. This is why we have universities. This is why we have technology parks. This is why we do lots of things intensely. And basically, what Diamond then does is he tries to then go down another level and say, so why did the intensity happen in Europe? And then he comes to the conclusion that it's because it was easy to eat, basically, and the weather was good. Easy food made people bunch together, and when people bunch together, that tends to be best for people. Yeah. And it's not even just easy food. It's also just important to note that the part of the argument is also ease of food production because one of the things is that there were large cities in Mesoamerica, but they were still largely agrarian cities, even though they had huge populations. Those populations were largely involved in food production, whereas the differences in the European cities because you have draft animals, which allows you to start booting up other technology. You have large populations that are not involved in food production. You start getting this whole extra layer of people who can do other things. So you need time on your hands as well to think, well, what are we going to do today? Let's invent some stuff and then go and conquer the world. Yeah. Exactly. You know, you think about the kind of the golden age of science. And it's like, it's no accident that a number of people like Lord Kelvin, who made lots of contributions to science, they were all men of leisure. Like, we're all like really rich people who had time on their hands. And they existed at the right time when you could do tabletop science. And it's like, yeah, if you need tons of just spare, you need, you can't be working at the coal mine every day and then also be figuring out great things about science. Like, you need time to be able to do this. And that's a certain kind of leisure that is provided by efficiency in food production. As a slight side, side recommendation, I put it on my website, but a book that I really recommend to go along with guns terms and steel is book called Triumph of the City, which I think much more than diamond focuses on this idea that just let you're saying that like cities are a very interesting meta invention of humans that they have this exact intensifying effect that there are these really interesting economic effects that happen in cities that cities specialize in these ways where you end up with cities that have finance, specialties, or fashion specialties, or automotive specialties. And that this is a very interesting way that cities help progress technology along faster than you might otherwise expect if you just had people all over the place. So yeah, intensity definitely matters. How you feeling? You dealt with most of the things you wanted to deal with? Oh yeah, yeah. I mean, I'm just, you know, I have like a bazillion notes on this kind of thing that I always do. But I'm genuinely like, I really want to see the feedback on this episode. I am curious to see what people say. I'm curious to hear about alternate versions of the theory of history. I really like when people go and write war and peace in a Reddit comment and they write 400,000 lines about why they think the world evolved the way it did. You're going to sit there and read that. You don't even reply to my emails. No, I don't reply to your emails. Here's the thing with the super long Reddit comments, it depends, right? You can get a sense sometimes they're like, Oh, is this just a lunatic person? Or is it a person who's just not able to explain themselves very well? This is how stuff on the internet goes. But I am curious to see what people have to say about this. Like I think it is, it's a very interesting book. It's a very interesting book that that causes an argument about it. So those are, those are my final thoughts really. Is there anything else you want to add? Did you consider contacting Jared Diamond and seeing what he thought of your video? No, that didn't occur to me. Do you think I should have? I'd be curious to see what he thought. Why not? Would you like to know what he thought? Do you not care? I would be surprised if he didn't like it because it's reiteration of his theory. Yeah, that's true, I guess. I'd be shocked if he's like, Oh, your video is shit, man. Well, maybe he said I like your theory, but the animation was a bit shorty. Yeah, I wish me physics had done it. This episode of Hello Internet is brought to you by Hover. Hover is the best way to buy and manage domain names. Get 10% off your first purchase by going to hover.com and using the code bullseye. When you have a great idea, you want to secure a great domain for it. So when you think of that name, the first thing you should do, the first thing I would do, is make sure that you can grab a domain that has that name. 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If you do have domains trapped at some other horrible registrar, Hover offers a free valet transfer service, so you can skip the hassle of trying to move your domains over from where they are currently registered. Trust me people, if you've ever tried to move a domain from one place to another, just let a professional do it. It is so complicated and if you do it wrong, you can really mess yourself up. They have a bunch of other stuff. There's volume discounts. You can get emails with your domain name. I use them all the time and you should too. So once again, you can get 10% off your first purchase by going to Hover.com and using the code bullseye at checkout. Thanks to Hover for supporting the show. Something I cannot believe we haven't spoken about yet. I don't know if you know the results. The New Zealand flag referendum. This sort of happened around the time I disappeared from Twitter for a while. I think I was off Twitter long enough that whatever the thing was, die down. So I actually don't know the results. Well, would you like to be informed? Why don't you inform me? Do you have a link? I have a link. I'll send you the link in just a second before I send it to you, just to remind people listening. There were five, there were supposed to be four, but there were five candidates that all went head to head in New Zealand. And whichever one of these wins now goes off to later this year, the Super Bowl, where it goes against the existing New Zealand flag. So this is not yet a new New Zealand flag. What this is is the decider of who is going to be the contender to go up against the old faithful. Great. So we had five. It was supposed to be four, but as we all know, red peak got included at the last minute. Right. Because New Zealand announced the world that they will negotiate with terrorists basically. That's what they said. So we had red peak. We had the the psychedelic spirally caroo design that Gray favors. We had a pretty lame attempt at a silver fern, which was the one, which was the closest to what I think it should have been. So it's kind of my favorite one, even though I admitted it wasn't that great. But it was all the worse because it fell into the uncanny valley of what the black and silver fern should look like. Close, but not there. And so we were worse in my mind. And then we had bizarrely these two other flags that were sort of a hybrid of a fern and the existing New Zealand flag. And the only difference between them was a very slight change to the not a slight change, a change to the color palette in the top left corner. So those I thought of as the committee design flags. Let's have a fern, let's have the star pattern and let's give people an option over the colors. Those are the committee options. Exactly. So Gray, first of all, before I tell you the numbers and how the voting went, I think you need to see the winner. Okay, so let's let's find out. Well, actually everyone in the world knows except me. I'm the only person to not know because of my weird semi-clustered life. I am not surprised. So the winner is the committee design flag with the black corner, not the red corner. So of those two that looked identical with the palette switch, one of those ones was the winner, the black variant. I tell you what is interesting. And this is the part that will get your juices flowing. And that is how the voting went. Okay. So I'm going to send you another link to the Wikipedia page, which should drop you down to where the the vote the tabular votes are. Here it comes. You've sent me the link of the votes broken down by preferences. And what's interesting, Gray, because obviously they kept distributing preferences until one flag got over 50% of the vote as we did. As all good flag referendum should. And what's interesting is that the eventual winner, which I will call black corner, was actually trailing red corner for the first two rounds. And on the third round, it was practically neck and neck. And then black corner one on the final the final iteration, the final distribution. So red corner was leading the vote right until the end. And as the as the preferences got distributed as the lower ones, Kauru came last, by the way, as those as they got distributed those preferences, it was only right at the end that that the black corner came and won. They basically had the vote that we wish we had. We didn't. We had a landslide, but New Zealand, despite choosing a dead flag, had a cracking election. These results are great. These are these are a great example of preferential voting in action. All right. So a couple of couple thoughts here. The first is, I am not surprised that my favorite design, the Kauru spiral came in last. I'm not surprised by that. I wouldn't have thought, oh, that's going to be a massive a massive winner for people. I am surprised that the red corner flag got the first preference votes like that that that was if this was a first pass the post election, that one would have won. Because to me, that one is unambiguously the worst. I think that one is awful. And every time I think I said in the last podcast, it just reminds me of like the National Baseball League in America. It's just it's terrible. I think it's absolutely terrible. And so I am almost appalled to see that it got 41 almost 42% of the vote on the first round. Like that's that is quite surprising to me. I would not have guessed like I'm not surprised Kauru is last, even though it was my most favorite one. I can't believe that that got off a one came very close to being the flag for the Super Bowl of flags. I mean, we'll link people to this table of votes. But I mean, it was really a two-horse race. Even red peak with its sort of ground swell of support came a distant, distant third. Yeah, it was really between the two committee designs and by far. I mean, the percentages are the first preference round. It was 40% for the black corner committee design 42% for the red corner committee design. And then red peak, the terrorist negotiation option was only at 8%. And then it was 5% and less than 4% after that. So yeah, it was a it was a two-horse race by a huge margin by huge margin. Lovely, lovely, lovely statistics and numbers there. Terrible flags. That's interesting. That's interesting. What we needed was the classy brilliant of our flags and the fantastic numbers of the New Zealand vote. Then you'd have a dream flag election. If we had to count 1.4 million votes and it went all the way through to the fourth iteration though, it would have taken us about 10 years to do it. Yeah, that's why we would have your nephew do it. So the final thing, Brady, if you were voting in the flag referendum, would you vote for the new flag over the New Zealand flag? If I was voting, I would... My gut says no. I would stick with what they have. But not strongly. I'm probably 60, 40 on that. I'm assuming you would change because you think change is crucial. No, I don't think change is crucial. I just think that the current New Zealand flag is terrible. I mean, I meant change is crucial in this case, not change is crucial at all times. Yeah, that's how that, you're making a blanket statement. Are you for or against change? No, I hardly think CGP Grey is Mr. Change is good as a holiday. But I think in this case, in this case, you seem to be of the mind that take what you can get basically to get rid of that flag. Yeah, I'm always in the opinion, just like with voting referendums, I'm looking at you, UK, you can change and then you can change again later if you want. You're never locked into something forever. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I would definitely vote for the silver, fern flag as its official name, black corner over the current New Zealand flag. However, I'll make a prediction now that the new flag loses in the Super Bowl, that the current New Zealand flag wins the head to head race. I don't really know either the temperature in New Zealand, well enough to know to make a prediction like that. But my, I'm over there with the dipstick every day, Brady. I'm reading the polls. I'm tracking all the numbers. You didn't even know what flag it was in two to ten minutes ago. I'm doing box pops on the street. You know, I want to, I want to know what the average man, what the average sheep thinks at this referendum. But what do you think? Like if, if this is, you know, this is Vegas and we're putting money on the table, like, what are you, what are you going to bet on? I feel like New Zealand can be quite progressive sometimes. I feel like they're the sort of country. You know, they've led the way a few times in sort of social change. So I can imagine them of the countries I know a bit about. I can imagine the media country that will take that attitude that you have. Come on, let's just change it and crack on. Let's get things changed. So I think, I think it's a, it's a better chance than if this was happening in Australia, for example, or the UK for heaven's sake. Yeah, but the UK doesn't need to change it's flag because it's great. I think, I think they might do it. I think they might do it. But when I said I don't really know the temperature over there, what I mean is I, I don't know how black corner being the winner went down. Like I don't know if it was like everyone thinking, well, that was the best option now that's move on. Or there's like still a lot of outrage. I don't know. So that could, that could be affecting things. Yeah, yeah, it could be, but that's, that's my prediction. We will see in, uh, what does it say? It says March here. 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This is the example of something that is nonfiction, but that I think definitely you can classify as having spoilers. I think it's actually interesting. Netflix did a promotion where they put the first episode up on YouTube, which I think is interesting, an interesting move. I'll try to find that link and I'll put it in the show notes. So if you want to just watch the first episode, you can see it for free on YouTube without having a Netflix account and you can just check it out and see if you're interested. You don't have to commit yourself to watching all 10 episodes. I think it would be interesting. I think it would be interesting to watch 10 or something. That's a good idea actually because at the end of that first episode I imagined would make one quite interested in engaging with what may come next. It's a perfect example of why I don't like to know anything. I just like to go into it cold because the ending of that first episode is quite the gut punch when you don't know what's coming. It was the same for me. I knew nothing going into this. Spoilers coming up. So do you want to give us the thumbnail overview for people who aren't continuing to listen without having watched it? What is making a murderer about? Making a murderer is the story of a guy called Stephen Avery who lives in Wisconsin. He is jailed for a rape. He spends many, many years in jail. How many was it? It was like some ridiculous memory. 18 years in jail. And then it turns out he was innocent of the crime. He's released. He sues the local police who do not hold this man in very high regard. And very short time later he is accused and charged with a murderer of a young woman called Teresa Holbach. And he claims he's been set up by the police because they're out to get him again. The police say that's ridiculous and he committed the murder. His nephew, who's a young man named Brendan Dassy, is then also co-charged with the murderer. It's claimed they together murdered this woman. And the series over eight episodes, basically first of all deals with the investigation and then the trial of these two men to find out, you know, did they or didn't they do it? I think it would be fair to say that this film has been made in a very sympathetic way with Stephen Avery, the accused. The filmmakers certainly leave you thinking most of the time that boy, this seems like maybe there's something dodgy going on here and there's been a travesty of justice. I would go so far as to say my instinct was that it was biased because it was sometimes so jaw-dropping how biased it seems and how much he seems to have been set up that that that I'm thinking this can't be real. This they must be leaving loads of stuff out. They have since been accused of leaving loads of stuff out. But whether that's the case or not, I don't know. Yeah, well, this is also this is also just like with Gunn Germans deal. You're always going to have to leave stuff out. You can't talk about everything in the world. Yeah. And so even doing a 10 episode documentary about a single murder trial, guess what? Unless you are just showing everybody everything that happened every minute of every day in the actual trial, you have to leave stuff out. And after I finished watching this, I did try to dig around a little bit and to see like what did the police department say about the things that had been left out in the trial. And I will agree with you that the documentary is very sympathetic to Stephen A. Avery. Perhaps to perhaps to a degree that almost does a disservice to itself. It's very much on his side. But I did try to look into it just a little bit and at least from what I could see from the police departments where they were saying, oh, the documentary makers left out these key things. I looked at them, I thought, I'm not impressed by that list. None of them are like a big smoking gun. Are they? None of the things the police have said since I've made you think, oh, well, if I knew that, of course he was guilty. But there's a few bity things that I do implicate him more. But nothing that, nothing like sensational. Yeah. And everything that, as a professional video maker, I feel like, yeah, obviously you'd cut that. Like, don't mention it. It doesn't have any relevant. It doesn't matter. It totally makes sense not to include every single piece of evidence. So the police department has come up with nothing from my perspective that I find like, oh, wow, it's amazing. I wouldn't go so far. I was to say nothing, but I would say nothing sensational. But there are a few things, there are a few things I think could probably could have been slotted into eight hours of television without slowing things down too much. But yeah, but everybody always thinks that, right? Like, everybody wants their, their additional thing included. But well, I'm not, I think I'm quite impartial, but you are impartial, Brady. That Brady, the impartial. I did like the series. I felt like it was a really good use of my time. Yeah, I have to say I really recommend it. I liked it quite a lot. The thing is just like with cereal, I have a hard time with these real crime things in no small part because I have a hell of a time keeping everybody straight. Like all of the humans involved in their relation to each other and like, who knew what when I, this doesn't fit very naturally into my brain. And I think that for someone like me who has a hard time following some of those details, it did a very good job of trying to constantly remind you who everybody is, what is their relationship to each other? Like showing the org chart of the police constantly up on the screen and highlighting this person's book to that person. You know, when, when was this and that? So I have to say I think it was very, very well made for a topic where even if it was just 10% worse, I would have been 50% more lost. Like they did a good job holding it together for me anyway. So I really liked it. I have to say I liked it much more than I thought I would. As always with these things, you sort of binge watch it all in a row yesterday. Yes. So also like all of the episodes like blurred together a little bit. But I also think if I had watched this over any length of time, I wouldn't have had a prayer of holding it all together in my head. So aside from finding it sort of entertaining and engaging to come away with any kind of new thoughts about yeah, criminal justice system and things like that. No, I mostly just found this man's false imprisonment like quite entertaining for me. Look, I don't know what you want me to say, but like in some ways, this is the kind of thing that just reaffirms many of my thoughts about the criminal justice system. Yeah. Like, you know, it's just, it reaffirms many of my thoughts about what people imagine themselves to be. Like, let's just let's just take what I think is the perhaps the most galling and clear of all of the things is not Stephen Avery, but talking about his cousin Brandon. Yes. Right. Who? Who is this kid who was interrogated by the police over this three and a half hour period without any legal defense present without his mother present. And from my perspective and I think if you see the video most people would agree is basically like not exactly bleed, but just tricked into a false confession. He's also you cannot overemphasize how much he is a guy who's not blessed with normal intelligence. Yeah. So it is like it is yeah, it's certainly probably the most jaw dropping part of the whole series isn't that the way and how he's thrown to the lion by his defense lawyer as well. Like at times his his first defense lawyer actually conspires against him to have this done to him as well, which is even more amazing. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, again, even even ignoring what seems just like criminal negligence on the part of his own lawyer. People will say things like, oh, but if they were innocent, why why would this person give a false confession? People just imagine themselves in ideal circumstances always. And so people think, oh, you know, we're having a dinner conversation here while I'm comfortable and having a glass of wine and say, oh, I would never give a false confession. It's like, okay, right. But let's actually put you in a high pressure situation. And the tapes of the police interviews are just brutal. When you hear the police just constantly saying the same things over and over again, like tell us why you killed or tell us why you killed or like building it up piece by piece. Are you sure you didn't go to his house? Are you sure you didn't go to his house? And people overestimate their own ability to withstand that kind of thing. I don't know, Gray. I don't 100% agree with you there. I think what was done to him was was wrong and like a travesty. And when you watch it, you just can't believe what you're seeing. But he wasn't like he wasn't being like water-bored or tied up upside down with bamboo shoots under his fingernails. Like he's sitting in a comfortable chair. He's being asked tough questions, but it is a murder investigation. And he does like he does admit to things. And the part of me that I mean, he should have had a lawyer and his parents should have been there. And the police were really wrong for that reason. But the part of me that was most amazed is that people will admit to a murder under those circumstances just so they can go home or go back to school. Like that there were people who were that. But this is exactly the unexpected human behavior. Everybody likes to think, oh, you know, I wouldn't I wouldn't give a false confession if I was just sitting on a couch. I wouldn't, Gray. Right. Yeah, of course, of course, you wouldn't, Gray. Of course. But the thing is we know that that is not the case. Like we know through science how remarkably easy it is to inject false memories into people. Remarkably easy. Like this is precisely the point. And I get frustrated when people just imagine that they're like, oh, an innocent person would never confess. Like we know that that's not the case. We absolutely know that that's not the case. I guess the thing that amazed me was how easy it was to do. But as you said, the kid is not a bright kid. Right. I mean, they said his IQ was like 65 or 70. Like he's a borderline retarded kid. And so, and then he admits to the murder and thinks that's great. Now I can go back to school and hand in my homework. Yeah. It's so clear he has no concept really of what's going on. I mean, there's a few points where his vocabulary is so limited that it's like he doesn't even know what he's agreeing to. He doesn't know if people are confirming or denying the thing that he is saying because he doesn't know words like confirm or deny. It's just awful to watch. And like, yes, a grown adult like Stephen Avery, right, his cousin, a grown adult is also interviewed under brutal circumstances and he does not elicit a false confession. So again, as with many things, there is a statistical outcome, right? But you can't say that like no one will ever give a false confession. Oh, no, I'm there. And when I was joking saying I wouldn't do it, I probably would do it if I was being water-bouldered and had bad boot shoots under my fingernails. But I bet we could get you to give a false confession under less circumstances than that. Probably for a kickcat, a diet Pepsi. Yeah, exactly. Right. The thing that, did I write it down? What did he say? Hold on. Okay, so there was a thing that just, it just broke my heart. So again, it's this, they're talking about Brendan, this kid giving this false confession. And his mom is asking him like, why did he give this confession? And he says, oh, I don't know, I don't know. And at one point, he says something like, they kept asking me these questions and I guessed the answers. I guessed because that's what I do with my homework. And the thing that broke my heart about that is I have totally done the same kind of false confession tactics with my own students under different circumstances, which is the like, are you sure you're done with this paper? Right? Which is basically saying like something wrong on this piece of paper. And like this, this is just what happens in schools of like, do you want to go with option A or option B? This, this kid who's not a bright kid has almost certainly grown up in an environment where this is what adults are doing just all the time around him. Right? We want you to say this thing. We don't want you to say this thing. And like, pick up from from what I'm putting down, like which way you should go with this kid. And you know, I like, I know I know I have done that with dumb kids in class where they're saying some stuff and you're just like, you're just trying to move along. And you're like, why don't what do you think about this option? And like, oh, that option sounds great. Like great. What the police did was so like, it wasn't even that subtle though. I mean, I can't think of the specific example, but it was almost along the lines of like, you know, to make something up, but to make it similar. Did you cut with what part of her body? Did you cut? And he would say, foot and they go, no, shin, no, knee, no, thigh. And he was like, guessing every single part of the body. And totally, he finally, he would say the one they wanted. And then they'd go, oh, so you did, you know, yeah, to ear. Right. After he named 19 other body parts. Yeah. But this is it. But this is exactly how false confessions get made. Right. As soon as you get the person to just agree a little bit like you, you planted that seed in their mind and then like, you start going over the whole thing. Like, let's, okay, let's take it from the beginning. So you said you did go to his house, right? You did step inside. You did go here. And now you're saying you did cut her in the knee. Right. And like, you just, and what happened next? Like, tell us what happened next. And you just keep badgering for some detailing to get that other detail. And then you start over again and be like, okay, let's go through it and make sure we have the story again. Like, and just for hours and hours and hours of this, people fold in ways that are unexpected. And so the, the, the Brendan thing is, is the absolute, the worst, the most appalling one that just makes me sad in so many ways that the police have an incentive to get a confession out of someone humans bend in this way that is remarkably unexpected. And because it is unexpected, juries are very hard to convince that false confessions exist. It's just like a perfect storm of awfulness in the judicial system. It was remarkable the way the two trials, like, attacked in completely different ways as well. It was almost like, are you allowed to do that? Like to say that the murder happened one way at one trial and then go to the other guys trial. And the exact same guy saying the murder happened in a completely different way. It's like, wow, I'm amazed. I'm amazed you can do that. Well, this to me, again, for people who are just listening to us talk about this now, like they ran two separate murder trials for these two different guys, Brendan and Stephen. And yes, they were. This state was presenting different theories about the murders at each, which just seems unbelievable. But it's a, it's a reminder of, oh, of course, the judicial system is this thing that is about procedure and it is about trying to convince people. And the thing that I really dislike about it is that this state has incentives to win. And because the state has an incentive to win, they participate in things that seem obviously counter to what you think is truth-seeking behavior. And it shouldn't be unexpected when you give people incentives to win that they want to win, that prosecutors have careers, that the chief of police has a reputation to uphold. Like, I don't know if there's a great way around it, but it's just, it is not unexpected. It's just sad to see it so laid out. Taking away, like, you know, professional pride and career progression and all those reasons that the state is incentivized to win, take all that away and pretend they were just all altruistic people who were serving us right, who didn't have their own careers to think about. Shouldn't they still be incentivized to win because the bad guys break the rules as well? Like, it's not like the bad guys go into court and are saying, okay, let's just find out the facts. Like, the bad guys are obstructing, are so like, are obstructing and doing the wrong thing so much that don't the good guys need like some kind of, like don't they need to fight back in the interests of justice if they just sat there passively and accepted everything? I mean, don't well, I'm not sure what you mean by the bad guys break the rules. Like, I don't think that the defense is allowed to break rules in court. Like, what do you mean by break the rules? No, it's like, it's like, um, if I rob a bank and then the police think I rob the bank and take me to court, it's not like we all hold up our hands and say, okay, there's no more good guys and bad guys. Let's just walk in a room and everyone tell the truth and then justice will be done. Like, once the trial starts, like the bad guys are still lying and they're twisting and they're tricking and they're being tactical. And if the prosecution wasn't allowed to be tactical, I'm not saying the prosecution should lie, but if the prosecution wasn't allowed to be tactical in return, wouldn't the prosecution be turning up to a gunfight with a knife? Like, wouldn't it be a case of like they need the full armory that is being used by the defense, including the use of tactics and strategy and like, you know, so this is this is the this is the thing, right? This is an interesting point that I think comes up when I argue with people about the judicial system sometimes is one, I always find it interesting how often everybody is tempted to frame it in these terms. There is the prosecutor and there is a criminal. Like, okay, well, we're already starting from a bad place, right? There is there is someone who is on the defense, who is suspected of this crime. Yeah, but we're supposed to presume that they are innocent. Yeah, right? But if you actually speak to people, nobody nobody works from that starting position. Like, everybody in their mind is imagining like, yeah, okay, we say that, but surely most of the time they're bad people. No, I wasn't really doing that. I can see why it sounds that way, but I wasn't really doing that. What I was doing was I'm not saying that you're doing that. No, no, no, I was posing, I was posing to you the hypothetical case where the person is guilty and they're going to get away with it. If we don't arm the prosecution with the same tools, we arm the defense with. Yeah, because you're also saying we shouldn't, you know, the prosecution shouldn't be so focused on winning. They should be focused on truth. But if they don't focus on winning, I think they, they don't use the tools of winning and that will allow the very occasional guilty person who gets charged with a crime to get away with it. In your scenario here, we're imagining that humans are just perfectly altruistic, right? And so presuming that the prosecution is convinced that the defendant is guilty, that provides them an incentive to want to win. Okay. That is separate, that is separate from their careers because nobody wants to see a murderer go free, right? That like there's not what anybody really wants. But the thing is like here's here's here's my fundamental problem with this. Everything in life is a dial, right? That you are turning up or you're turning down. And people always want to argue about where is the correct place to turn that dial. And I don't think this is a reasonable argument to have. I think you have to have an argument about look, we will never know the exact place to turn the dial. And so the question is, do we want to have it turn too high or too low? And my feeling with something like a judicial system is that you should have the dial turned too high in favor of the defendant because the consequence of being wrong is severe. It is deriving a person of their freedom of the only life they will ever get. And so if you are wrong, that is a tragedy. And now this is where it comes down to a personal assessment. But I think it is far, far worse to wrongfully in prison and innocent person than it is to let a guilty person go free. Now you can make an argument for the other side like this as like we were discussing before. Everything comes down to some fundamental assumption. But that is my feeling that an innocent conviction is vastly worse. And so I am willing to turn that dial quite high in defense of the advantage should be to a free man who was just pulled off the streets by the police. And then the police have to say, here is the evidence for why we think this person should be removed from society possibly until they die. The defense is arguing against police procedure. And people go like, oh, but they are trying to put a murderer away. You can't think about the particular situation. Let's say you are convinced Steven Avery is an absolute murderer. You convinced of it. Is your stance that the state should be allowed to decide when they don't want to follow procedures to put someone in prison? Like, we don't need to worry about how we handle the blood. We don't need to worry about people signing in and out of crime scenes. And we don't need to worry that people who were banned from being on the crime scene were actually on the crime scene. You can't give the prosecution that kind of power. That's crazy power. And this to me is like with the Steven Avery thing, it's astounding to see how they don't follow the rules. And my feeling is like, man, if I'm sitting on a jury, as we've discussed before, number one, my thought is, well, human testimony is almost worthless, including confessions. So almost anything that anybody says is like, I'm immediately just throwing it out. You say you're guilty, Brendan. I don't even care that you say it, right? Because I'm just not interested. What physical evidence do you have? And so the state had all of this physical evidence. They had a key that was found in the house. They had Steven Avery's blood in the car. They found her bones in a pit behind his house. It's like, oh, okay, wow, that's pretty, that's pretty, pretty damning physical evidence there, government. Did you follow all of the procedures for collecting this evidence? And then they go, oh, no, actually, there were some problems collecting it. It's like, okay, well, now all of this evidence is garbage. And now you have nothing. That's my view on it. If the state doesn't have to follow the procedures, that's crazy town. That is insanity. It's absolutely insanity. So regardless of what the filmmaker say, and I'm not entirely clear what the filmmaker say about this, but I think the purpose of the film was to convey that a miscarriage of justice has been done to Steven Avery and Brendan Dassy. But let's concentrate on Steven Avery from in a, and certainly a lot of other people who've watched it feel this way. We see all these petitions to the White House and people saying this needs to be pardoned and whatever. Did it work on you? Do you feel a miscarriage of justice has happened a second time to this man? I mean, look, we're just at the serial thing again. I know you and I are just a couple of guys. Yeah, we're a couple of guys. No, no, but my feeling is, it's astounding that this jury convicted him. It's astounding. And one of the other things, I don't know, you don't like Brady, but you know, I just, my, my thought on this is, it was just a case of, they show how the police department just was constantly before the trial talking about all of the gruesome details about Steven Avery and the confession and the murder and like how awful it was and the police chief gives this dramatic press conference about like, oh, hide your children behind your skirt while I discuss this. This horrible murder that is taken place. That was crazy. Like got away with that press conference before the trial. The American justice system never says to amaze me for things like the use of the media and trial by media. Yeah, it's astounding. And it's just an example of the police and the media together poisoning the minds of everyone who could potentially participate in this jury. It's amazing. It's amazing. And speaking of human biases, the way someone first hears something like Steven Avery is a murderer, you almost can't undo a first impression that somebody has. It's almost impossible. This is a thing called the backfire effect, which like it's astounding. Sometimes like if someone hears something that is wrong, you're very attempt to explain why it's wrong ends up convincing the person even more that their first impression was correct. I agree with you. Like I cannot believe whenever it happens that the media is allowed to just discuss accusations of anyone on any crime. Like I find that amazing. Yeah, because I mean, there's a little bit of, you know, of just desserts for the police commissioner in this case where he was using all of these press conferences to totally just poison the well for Steven Avery on the jury. And then to the end, like he is he's talking to some reporter who's gotten sex text messages that he's sent to people he's worked with. That was the special prosecutor, wasn't it? Yeah. And the reporter is like, oh, but if you have, there's nothing, if you haven't done anything, you have nothing to worry about, right? And he says to the reporter, he's like, oh, come on, you know full full well as I do that just the accusation will destroy someone. Yeah, it's like, yeah, you bastard. You're exactly right. Yeah. So I don't know, it's just in addition to what seemed to me to answer your question, a horrific miscarriage of justice. It is also just fit right into a lot of my preconceptions about like man, the way the media is allowed to report on criminal affairs are awful. And that's quite, that's not that doesn't, that doesn't happen in the UK and Australia and, you know, there are quite, there are very strict rules about reporting court cases in certainly the countries I've worked in as a journalist. That's why when I watch this, I'm like, it almost seems like a joke to me, like made up because the things they're doing, you just can't, he's couldn't do, the journalist would be in jail. I honestly think all of those journalists should be in jail. And the court TV, the court TV, it sounds to me how they're like, they're like sports commentators and pundits in there predicting what might happen next and who won that day's play. And do you think he's, do you think like, I just can't believe, I just can't believe it. It's just like sport, isn't it? It's like, like, they're gladiators or something. And that to me just feeds the whole problem of like everybody starts picking sides. And then all of a sudden you have once again what humans love to do is they divide themselves into tribes. And then it becomes more about sticking to your side as opposed to any kind of trying to sort out what is, what is really right. The media thing is just awful. And it's like the thing I keep thinking of is there's some kind of horrible cross between like whores and vultures because the way they flock around every person who's involved in this trial is just just despicable the way they're picking apart the emotional trauma of other people for their own benefit and careers. You still have an answer my question. What? Do you think he did it? Well, you asked if it was a miscarriage of justice, which I would say yes. Like there's no way he should have been convicted under those circumstances. Yeah. Um, if I have to put money on the table, I would say no, he didn't do it. Right. Much more so than with serial, I feel like I'm very aware of having watched a thing that is super favorable to this person. But my feeling is no, that this guy didn't do it. He got framed. So if that's true, isn't it amazing how audacious the police were to do this? And almost like it's like, how did you think you could get away with that? Well, they do get away with it. But how do you think you get away with that with all that attention? But pardon me, thinks it's probably some slight backwater, this manner to what county in Wisconsin. And they never realized it was going to become this big famous Netflix series and a big national story. Yeah. Well, this is, I mean, I hate to say it, but I think like small towns have particular horrors in them. And this, this kind of small town, you know, big hats kind of thing. And like it's just horrifying. I can see like, I think it's not, not surprising that this kind of corruption in the police department can happen. Something to point out though, which I think, I'm not sure how great this, the show tries to wrap it up with this, but the defense lawyer doesn't make the point, which I think is true, which is that I don't think that anybody in the police department is like, oh man, we can't wait to frame this guy. And we're going to get him. I think they are all just horrifically biased against this person. And they all felt like they were moving this along to make sure that they can put him in prison. Right? That, you know, we haven't spoken about it, but there are very many reasons why the like the family wasn't liked by the local community. There's, this guy wasn't plucked out of absolutely nowhere. You know, he got into trouble as a kid. So like there, there's more going on here. But my feeling is that this Teresa girl got murdered by somebody else who took advantage of the situation. See, I think that seems really unlikely, Grey. That seems like it seems pretty amazing to think I want to murder this. I think I can get away with the murder today because if I dispose of the body in this way at this person's house, this person who the police are already predisposed against is almost certainly going to go down. That seems really implausible to me that a third party did the murder and the third party framed Stephen Avery. I think the most likely scenarios are Avery did it. Or someone else did it and the police found evidence and moved the evidence into a place where it was made more obvious that Stephen Avery did it. Whether or not they thought he did it or not, they moved the evidence like that. I find it very hard to believe that a third party. So I think I could get away with the murder this week because I could frame Avery. Or they did a murder and then thought, now I'll put it on Avery. See, to me, that second scenario is seems more unlikely that the police find her dead and they move her into Stephen Avery. They find her dead. They think Stephen Avery did it because that was the last house he was at. They're thinking, we've got no evidence, we can't make this stick. Avery's clearly done it and he's going to get away with it again. We can't make this stick because so then they start moving a couple of things. Yeah, but they have to move a lot of things because they have to move her car and they have to move the remnants of her body. Like moving the car is a big deal. Like do the police find the car up the road? I don't know. That to me seems way harder than there's a huge celebrity. This is the other thing to be really clear about. He's not just some guy in the police who had run, and he's a huge known person in this area. The family are well known. I don't think it's crazy to think someone would think this is a great place to try to dump the body. And if it's found, they're not going to look too hard. My feeling is somebody else killed her. He was so well known, like that it's an obvious place to dump a body and think maybe they'll just not look very far past this guy if they find a body on his property and just think, oh, right, this guy, everybody already thinks it's kind of awful. He did it. When I watched something like this, I really like America. I work through all the time. Lots of my friends are Americans and Americans, you know, America's a cool place. But when I watch this documentary, I sometimes think, wow, man, America's weird, you know, only in America, as they say. And you sort of think, that's a crazy place. Do you look at American things like that now? You live in London and have lived here for a long time. Do you watch this? Do you feel like an outsider when you watch this? Or do you watch this and think, my country type is a bit weird sometimes? I don't know. I've lived outside of the US long enough that I have a lot of distance from it. It feels like an other place. But much less than the America thing, this to me just feels much more like a small town kind of place. That's what actually feels like the real difference. And it's like small towns, you know, everybody knows everybody else. And like the police department has a blood feud with some family because of a cousin who married into the police department. Oh, yeah. Forgot about that. This is how this whole thing kicks off. It's like one of the distant avaries who doesn't get along with the marries into the police department. It's like this is the problem with small places. It's like they're just they're insesituous in this way. It's like everybody's connected to everybody else. And that can be great when things go well, but it can be terrible when things go wrong. This to me is the flip side, like the dark side of a small community. And that's what I view as the real difference. I don't feel like, oh, it's America. It's more just like, oh, God, it's a small town. And these are all the things that are creepy and weird about small towns. And so that's that's how I feel about this. I remember really early on getting really excited though, because quite early in the show, they mentioned Shaboygan. I'd never heard of Shaboygan until during our postcard count. When you one of the first postcards you pulled out was from Shaboygan Wisconsin. I remember you made a little joke about it. And I was like, oh, never heard of that place. That's quite funny. And then really early on Shaboygan came up and I'm like, oh, I know where Shaboygan is. You look at you big man on campus. I'm sure there's some name for the effect where you've never heard of a word or a place before and then it starts popping up a few times that you'll know. There is. There is. There's totally a word for that. Well, I got that. There you go. All right, making a murder. Quite clever name for the show, isn't it? Because what does making a murder remain? That's a good name, isn't it? But did they? Is it just like making like the police make someone for the crime or did they make a murderer out of him by how he was treated earlier or did they make him into a murderer with fake evidence? It's got lots of meanings that title, isn't it? Yeah. The manufacturing murderer. That's the total.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "H.I. #56: Guns, Germs, and Steel". Hello Internet. Hello Internet. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 

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