H.I. No. 59: Consumed by Donkey Kong

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"Consumed by Donkey Kong"
Hello Internet episode
Episode no.59
Presented by
Original release dateMarch 23, 2016 (2016-03-23)
Running time2:07:10
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"H.I. #59: Consumed by Donkey Kong" is the 59th episode of Hello Internet, released on March 23, 2016.[1]

Official Description[edit | edit source]

Brady and Grey discuss: copyright and the Parliament, the inevitable and unavoidable Guns, Germs, and Steel follow-up, further travels of Brady, bi-something weigh in, and video games.

Show Notes[edit | edit source]

Fan Art
You have this thing listed under follow up. I don't think it's follow up at all. It's a new topic, but you just want to talk about it. This is how you steal the show all the time. You put everything you want to talk about. You listed as follow up, even if it's not remotely follow up. Wow. Yeah, I know you're trick. I know what you're up to. It wasn't really a trick. I thought it kind of was follow up. There's nothing about it that's follow up. The listeners will know. Listeners will know now. This is my hairdresser story. And the reason I wanted to tell you was I thought it had two components that would appear to you. Because if there are two things that sort of have some level of appeal to you, one is being horrified by social situations. Is that appealing? I don't think that's appealing. I don't know. It always gets a response from you at least. I think it's so hard to get responses from Brady. You are a natural winder-upper. You in your brain equate getting a response from someone to appealing to them. That's just the way you do it. But it's just so hard to get you to engage with my stories unless it's something that you're really into. It is not true. It's very hard to get you to engage. And I think this has two things that engage you. One is you are engaged by horrifying social situations. And the other thing that engages you is my ineptitude. And this story has both of them in space. I'm looking forward to this story. But I do just want to get it on record. That's when we're doing the podcast. I know you don't believe me. And I always cut it because you sometimes yell at me about how I don't respond fast enough to you. The reason I find these podcasts so draining to do is that whenever you're talking, I am spending the whole time consciously thinking about, is there a question that I can ask Brady? What can I say to Brady at the end of this story? So it's draining. It's exhausting because I am spending 100% of my attention fixated on you, thinking about what to say and how to engage with this conversation. That should just come naturally. That should just be natural. It should be natural. It should be natural if you're a Brady, but not if you're a Gray. If you're a Gray, it's not natural. That's why it's always so frustrating. It's always so frustrating. When you criticize me for not engaging your stories, it's like, man, I am never more focused on human conversation than I am during the three hours in which we record one of these episodes. You've got me at my peak social. This is the best I can do. And I do it for you, Brady. Don't focus too much because it puts too much pressure on the story now. It's like, oh, now I know that you're sort of listening with this double attention and thinking your questions. And suddenly there's a lot of pressure on the story. And the story is not that good. It's no different than any other time that we ever record the podcast. So now, tell me there's amazing, amazing story. I'm really looking forward to it. I drove down into the center of my town because I wanted to get the car cleaned, give it the big shabang. Now, I don't know whether I should call that valeting or valetting because that seems to be something that people... It's a valet. So it's valetting. Well, that's what I thought. But more and more often, I'm hearing it called people calling it valeting, which I think is wrong, of course. Of course it's wrong. Isn't it a French word? They don't regard consonants at the end of their words. So I took the car down to this place where there are these guys who wash up. They've got like this... What would you call it? Not like tent, like a little marquee type thing that people can drive in underneath so that they're sheltered in case it rains. And they'll sit there and they'll spray your car and then they'll open the doors and they'll get inside and vacuum it and polish everything and make your car lovely. I take it there reasonably often. And because I was going to go and get my hair cut and I had some errands to run, I leave it with them, leave the cut, leave the keys in the ignition, and I say, guys, take care of it for me. So I parked it just outside. They'd say it like that so seriously. There was really... It was like believing a baby with them. Guys, take care of this. We discuss which option I want and I went for the £20 option. I was going to say, yeah, the way you communicate to them, how much they should take care of it is with money. That's how you communicate this. Yes. So I want the £20 option and I couldn't park it right in in the little zone because they were doing another car. So I parked behind that car and I left. I went to the post office, went to the bank, did my jobs, and then I went to the hairdresser. I picked a bad time, schools were out and I picked up the wrong time of day a time that I don't normally like to go and the place was packed. I had to sit there and wait forever for my turn. And I could have said I'll come back another day but I really needed to get my hair cut. So I had to wait a day out and I must have waited an hour and a half and then finally got my hair cut. And he was slow too. He was a slow one. You were in a half, Jesus. And here comes the situation. At the end of the hair cut, I thought I thought you did a pretty good job, albeit slow. At the end of the hair cut, he says, can I take a photo? What? And I thought maybe he was a trainee or this was one of the best haircuts he'd ever done. I don't know but he wanted to take a photo of it. And I was kind of like, yeah, I guess. And then I said, what for? And he said, oh, I want to put it on Instagram. No, no. And I thought, what would great do if the hairdresser said, can I take a photo of your, your, put it on Instagram? That's a really awkward situation. Okay, here's a question. Was he using social dominance on you? Like were you still sitting down or were you still bibbed up? I was, I was sitting down. I was still having my big coat on. I was very vulnerable. Oh, no. I was, I was in a position of weakness. Like an interrogation room. Yeah, it was, it was a really awkward situation. But I know this is becoming a big thing in the, in the young people's hairdresser community, because it's a really, the my nephew was showing me the Instagram of his hairdresser. And everyone who gets the hair cut by him has an Instagram down and they do these special poses and things like that. So it's becoming a really big thing in the, in the trendy, cool hairdresser community. And this hairdresser I go to is quite a, quite a trendy, cool place for young people. They're really big on Instagramming all the haircuts afterwards. Oh, no, no. That's, that's, I gave it a no. I did. I found the strength and I gave him, I gave him a thanks, but no thanks. How was it received? Quiet and awkwardly. I did, I did think, oh my goodness, Gray would have hated that. Are you ever going to go back to this person? Yeah, I'll go back. No, you can't go. When it comes to hairdresses, I am such a creature of habit. That's why I sat there for an hour and a half instead of going to one of the four or five other ones on the street because this is where I get my hair cut. Four or five other ones, you mean in that tiny town where you live? There's no, there's not four or five hairdressers on the street. There is the, they're, they're totally is. No, there's, you have like three shops on the street. There's like a corner store. There's a corner store. There's a corner store. A car wash, three charity shops and 19 hairdressers. What a strange local economy. Anyway, I got out of there, awkward situation over. Go to the car wash, ready to be apologetic for having left my car there for two, two and a half hours. I get there, my car hasn't moved. I'm like, what's going on? I walk up to the guy saying, what's going on? Are they looking at me going, oh, there you are, there you are. Turns out out of just have it and reflex, I didn't leave my case in the ignition and I took them with me and my car had been sitting there blocking the entrance to their little car wash my key thing for the last two and a half hours. What an effective afternoon of errands you had. It was terrible. I felt so bad. I felt so bad about it. That Instagram thing though, man, that's horrifying. This is Instagram, it doesn't sound like anything good is coming up as far as I can tell. It's a real big thing in the hairdressing community, at least in the West of England. Nope, nope, nope, nope. No, it's not happening. No, that share is not going to happen. Not going to happen. Not ever. I made some reference to sort of like, with my job, I'd rather not have like hairdresser pictures posted of me and then he thought I was some kind of spy or did something like to do the security and I'd still correct him. What's he do? Okay, so he started to make up a story to justify why you got it. Yeah, I did. I made some. I made some. I sort of said something like, with my work, it's like, it's something I'd rather not be doing. It's very hard not to do, but I find the trick in those situations, if you're going to have to say no, is don't justify, right? You just say no. And then there's going to be an awkward silence, but the first person to break the awkward silence loses. And so you don't want to be the loser. Well, no, I still got my way, but I mean, I don't think he would find that hard. You're double hard when it comes to that stuff. But yeah, but if the other person plays the, it sounds like this guy, he was trying to manipulate you again. You were in a vulnerable position. That's when he decides to ask. He probably knows the tricks. So he, you know, I'm just imagining in this situation that he would have also tried to beat the awkward silence. And sometimes that can go on for a while. You know, it's like a staring contest between gorillas. I don't think either. I looked that good or the haircut was that good that he was going to really lobby for it. But maybe, maybe it was a once in a generation haircut. And I don't even realize it. And I just look amazing right now. I didn't notice on the video chat before we started. I'm sorry. I really am finding myself wishing that the story had gone the other way, mainly because I would enjoy nothing more than putting a link to your photograph on Instagram of your haircut in the show notes. I would really quite enjoy that. This will be fun forever at this little picture here. Now having to miss out on it didn't happen. You want to give us a selfie with the show notes? The reason I really needed to get it cut was because I was doing some objectivity videos the next day. So you can, you can do me an even bigger favor and just post one of those. It's way less funny if I'm just pimping objectivity. I mean, I guess I'll do it. Yeah. Link to objectivity in the show notes people. It's not nearly as funny. It's like, it's not really what I want from you, Brady. You're not giving me what I want. Charlie Brooker who I think you and I are both big fans of. We quite like some of the things he does. He was just having a bit of a gripe because some recent stuff that came up in the parliament or re-came up in the parliament. And that is the fact there. And I think this is crazy. That satirical television shows are not allowed to use footage from inside the UK parliament. And this has been hamstrunging Charlie Brooker who makes satirical TV shows for quite some time because when he wants to poke fun at the politicians, they have banned all TV shows like him from using the footage of proceedings in parliament. It can be used on the news. It can be used in various other shows. But if you're poking fun at them, banned. I don't understand how such a law could get passed by the people in the parliament. Yeah. I find that just astounding. That the people in parliament would pass such a narrowly self-serving law. It's confusing to me. I don't get it. I think it's almost so self-serving that I'm surprised they had the audacity to do it. They had the balls to do it. Yeah. For comparison for Americans, you know, like this, this stuff Charlie Brooker does. It's a bit like if Congress passed a law saying that the daily show was not allowed to use footage from inside of Congress. Like, see span footage is available to everybody unless you're making fun of C-SPAN footage. When the daily show itself, poke fun at the UK and uses footage from the UK parliament, those episodes are banned from being broadcast in the UK. Copyright and intellectual property. It comes up on this show so much and it's a thing that I've been following for years because it really does have this bizarre impact on everything. Like, the way that we decide intellectual property works has huge unexpected ramifications in all kinds of areas. And like, this is just another example. Like, really, really united kingdom, you are going to ban the import of satirical shows from overseas because they include footage from parliament. It's so weird. And it also feels a little bit like you guys know that like, this stuff exists on the internet, right? Like, people can still can still view the programs. I don't know, I don't know what you're trying to do here, except just preventing local producers from being able to make stuff. Like, you're just, I mean, I mean, they are a strict, they're making it harder to say because it is harder to find that stuff. The thing that I have some sympathy, for example, with Britain being a bit more draconian than other countries like the US with televising proceedings in court rooms and things like that, I have some sympathy with not televising everything and broadcasting everything or protecting people from being humiliated when they're doing normal things. But not the, but not the MPs, not the people in the parliament that they're the one group that we should be allowed to mock and satirize. Yeah, I completely agree with you there as well. I think, as we discussed on our making a murder episode, the US goes crazy far in what it allows to be broadcast. Like, I don't think that there should be broadcasts inside of court rooms. Like, that seems antithetical to justice. But yeah, I completely agree. It's like, oh, public servants engaged in public debate. Like, you can't use this footage to make fun of people. Like, that's bizarre. And what I really want to know, right? So we have just seen these tweets from Charlie Brooker. What I want to know is, how does this affect a YouTube channel like, oh, I always forget his name. Is it Mixed Tape Boy? Is that the one? Oh, cassette boy. cassette boy, thank you. I can see his little pirate bay kind of logo there. But cassette boy is this guy who does these amazing mashups of political footage. And it just, I cannot imagine how many hours of work he goes through to like, recut politicians speeches so that they're saying completely opposite things. Like, I trust me people. I've seen this stuff done before. The cassette boy does it amazingly, amazingly well. But so like, does this ban on programs that are poking fun at parliament? Does it include internet producers within the UK? Because cassette boy is located within the UK. Like, this to me seems like it's the kind of thing that might just blow up into a bit of a stri-zana effect problem if you're also going to try to ban it on the internet. It's, yeah, this copyright stuff is just, is just ridiculous. I'll have to rewatch a bit of cassette boy stuff. But in my head, most of the stuff he uses is from like press conferences and outside the parliament. So I wonder if he does use parliamentry footage, I'll, I can't remember now. Yeah, I agree with he most of the stuff I've seen is outside of it, but it's still the idea that like, could he use something from within parliament? I don't know. I'm not sure they can be shamed. I'm reading this this article about it. And it points out that after one of John Stuart's daily show is was censored so it could be shown on channel four here in the UK. Like, they actually had to censor scenes of the Prime Minister talking at the dispatch box. Stuart then did another episode like asking about it. Apparently, his quote was why the people's parliament, the most basic expression of British democracy is too fragile to withstand a gentle parody, a good-natured kick to the clotted creams. But you know, if people like John Stuart are putting them under the spotlight and they're still not budging, then they're probably not going to budge. It does just feel like, oh parliament, our feelings are so sensitive. You can't make fun of them at all despite the fact that we are public servants, right? It's like, it's just, it's intrinsically, it's intrinsically laughable. Maybe we need a new video from the from the new reborn flame throwing CGP Gray. Don't drag me into this. Don't drag me into this. After you finish torching the phone, brothers, maybe it's time to turn that laser focus to the British parliament. See if you can shame them into a back down. I'll see if I can get divinely inspired for that voice again. This episode of Hello Internet is brought to you by Harry's. Go to harries.com and use the promo code H.I. to save five dollars off your first purchase. Harry's offers high quality razors and blades for a fraction of the price of the big brands. Harry's was started by two guys who wanted a better product without paying an arm and a leg so they make their own blades in their own factory. These are high quality, high performing German razor blades crafted by shaving experts. This gives you a better shave that respects your face and your wallet. Now Harry's blades are about half the price of the usual brands that you're going to find in a store plus you don't have to go to this store. You don't have to wait around for some guy to unlock the anti shoplifting case. They just ship directly to your house. No outdoors required. That's just the best. The starter set is an amazing deal for $15. You get a razor, moisturizing, shave cream, or gel and three razor blades. When you need more blades, they're just two bucks each or less. With harries, you get the convenience and ease of ordering online. You get high quality blades. Sent to you in great packaging with nice, classy designs. You get the shaving cream and you get their excellent customer service at half the price of the big brands. So get started today with a set that includes a handle, three blades and shaving cream for just $15 shipped to your door. Go to harries.com and use the promo code HI to get $5 off your first purchase. Thanks to harries for supporting the show. Cycry, is it time? Is it finally time? Yes, I guess we'll do it. You know what I feel like. Okay, people, she's bringing up guns terms and steel, right? That's why that's why Brady's poking at me here. I have this feeling like I'm in school again and there's some assignment that I'm supposed to do and it's really late. I keep going, I'll hand it in next week. I'll hand it in next week. But then at the same time when you don't hand it in every week, there's some expectation that it's going to be something really good that you're handing in. But now I feel like, okay, fine, fine. I'm just going to hand in this homework assignment and it's just going to be over and we're just going to do this. So we're going to talk about guns, germs and steel. But it's not going to be long people. It's not going to be long. We're just going to go over a few things and then it's going to be done and it's going to be over. All right. So by way of background, if you're new to the podcast, we did an episode recently where we reviewed the book Guns, Guns, Germs and still Gray has made two widely viewed videos, which is loosely based on some of the things in the book. We talked in the podcast about some views and opinions about things in the book and Gray did warn at the time that this was a book full of ideas that divided opinion and turned out to be true and looking at the subreddit dedicated to our discussion. It certainly attracted many opinions, many long, detailed comments arguing for and against various positions. I have to say because I hadn't finished the book and don't feel particularly passionate about it, I kind of dodged this bullet and it has mainly been Gray's opinions who've been coming in for scrutiny. So we've been saying, so we've been thinking, do we address some of these? Does Gray answer back to some of them? And now as you chance, Gray, of the million things that were said, are there any that you wish to address or speak back to? Okay. So this to me is again, just like the first conversation, it's a little bit hard to know even where to start because there's just so many particular things that people want to argue over. And I always find the particulars just exhausting. And again, I'll put some links in the show notes later. But again, you will see in some of the conversations that I have had, I am often saying how I agree with these constraints. And it brings me back to this thing that I said at the very beginning, which is that I find the the the conversation around guns, germs and steel, the reason that it creates a big argument, almost much more interesting than the particulars of the argument itself. It's like it causes this division. And I have just been increasingly interested in the way conversations on the internet unfold. And I think this is just to me a perfect example of a thing that I have seen many times where people are talking past each other. And it's very hard to get at the root of what is the fundamental disagreement. And so like with the last video that I just put up, which was the America pox part two, right? Some some people want to argue about like were these animals really easier to domesticate than these animals? Like how do we know? We can't know unless we go back in time, right? Like you want to get into this specifics of it. And I'm always interested in the much more higher level argument. Like I don't really care if Jared Diamond got some detail about ancient llamas and their breeding seasons correct. Like it just it doesn't interest me. I am interested in the bigger picture of where they're easier animals to domesticate in some places than others where they randomly distributed across the earth. If so, that's an interesting phenomenon. Like I'm not like I just don't care about the details of this exact animal and if Jared Diamond got it right or not. And that infuriates some people, but I always just want to reiterate at this point, like don't forget this part internet. I am always willing to just grant the historians that they are correct and that Jared Diamond is wrong on the particulars. I just granted it doesn't mean that I'm not like I don't care what is right. I'm just saying that I think there is this bigger picture to draw from the book that is separate from like Jared Diamond and who he is and what exactly he gets right and what exactly he misses. Like I just think there's this this bigger picture to be drawn from it. I've been thinking a little bit about why in sites, well I haven't been thinking about it. I've just been thinking about it while you've been talking for the last minute. That's fine. So that counts. That counts as thinking about it. I've been trying to think about why in sites so much passion. And I mean the obvious thing to think is that it insights passion because people feel there's something racial going on here because of you know this book is about why continent X you know dominated over continent Y and people could I can see how people would associate that with race. But it doesn't really seem like racism much of an issue in the book and he always emphasizes that it's not. I think it must be more like nationalistic people just feel like a bit of pride in their country and don't like to hear things about where they're from belittled. And I can give you a really good example of that because this is something I always feel when we talked about guns, germs and steel. And I realize how ridiculous this is. Like it's double ridiculous. But I remember when when reading about and when you talked about why Australia was a country that was never going to or had very very little chance of becoming the dominant the source of dominance. And it was never going to be Australians who took over the world. And I remember every time I heard that feeling like a little bit of resentment and like patriotism and thinking that's not true. Australia's awesome and we Australians can do anything. Completely ignoring the fact I am a white European who actually my team did win. It was the white Europeans who came and took over Australia. And still when people when people talk down about Australia and say it hasn't got the resources and it couldn't have taken over, I'm thinking yeah we could Australians are awesome. Who's the we in that sense exactly. And that that that disconnect and that lack of ability to look at the bigger picture even in the back of my brain when I know it's ridiculous. I think that's what's going on. I think people take things in the book personally when really this is just stuff that happened a long long time ago. It had nothing to do with any of us really. And it's just an interesting discussion in how we ended up where we did. But I don't think a lot of it is massively relevant anymore. Maybe it is some people think it is. But I think that I think this is kind of it's an interesting it's an interesting history to find out how we got here. But to me it's not that many steps removed from how did the solar system form like I'd love to know you know how did the universe start. I'd love to know but it doesn't make a difference to when I go and get my hair cut tomorrow. Right. And I think I think the world has gotten to a point now where how come country X dominated over country Y or continent X dominated country Y thousand years ago 10,000 years ago however many thousand years ago. It feels like it doesn't matter much anymore. Yeah. This is this is part of the conversation we didn't get to in our first discussion of Guns, Dreams and Steel. But I completely agree that one of the things about Guns, Dreams and Steel that I find frustrating when people are arguing against it is that they bring it into a modern context. And I think that this is a theory that applies up to the moment that you have civilizations from different continents meeting each other. But at that moment like Guns, Dreams and Steel suddenly becomes very irrelevant. Right. It's it's just a question of what is more likely to get you a civilization that can cross oceans. But once once you have people crossing oceans and you have transcontinental trade routes, then the geography of the people matters much less. Like it's a it's a dial that gets turned down over time. But I think geography matters much more in the beginning when every single advantage that you can possibly get really matters because it's going to compound over time. But then once the whole world is connected, this doesn't this doesn't have such an effect anymore. So yeah, I agree. I don't think it's relevant at all to modern times, which is partly why I said last time in the discussion like when you asked, oh does it does it matter if this is right or wrong? And my answer is like in a modern world, no, it doesn't matter. Right. Because if it's right, it doesn't have any predictive power for the next hundred years. But I think people still feel like you're dising their continent. Like I felt about Australia, even though it's not my continent, even though I'm the European guy. Yeah, but I'm the American here, right. Yeah. And I think that's what people think. They feel like you're dising their animals or you're dising their continent and saying that their continent wasn't good enough. Yeah. Your marsupials are sh** man. They're sh**. You can't even tame a kangaroo. Yeah. Even if you could tame a kangaroo, is it going to pull a plow? No, because it's worthless. Worthless worthless kangaroos. I know. And I'm like, a star Australia is awesome. Oh, well, I'm not actually super sure how much it is that people get defensive about their own content that that never occurred to me before because I just, I don't have that feeling at all. It never would have occurred to me to feel defensive about North and South America being terrible continents either. But anyway, a couple of the points that I do just want to touch on really quickly is that I will put the links in the show notes. There is a long conversation between me and another Reddit user. Milosh is his Reddit name. I think this is probably a great example for anybody who really wants to dig into the details of me having an argument with someone else. And this argument follows a, what I feel like is a very well-worn pattern for arguments that I have had about this book with many people from many different backgrounds. There is some back and forth here. But what I think is the interesting thing is that I'm trying to get at what I think is this fundamental difference. Do people think that there is any predictability in history, pre-transcontinental civilizations, or not? And many historians seem to take the position that there isn't any predictability. And it's interesting because they will immediately go to free will. And they'll say, oh, you're disregarding the notion of free will. Now again, on the record here, I don't believe in free will. I think it is a fairytale that people tell themselves. But in the context of a discussion of history, I'm always happy like, look, let's not argue about free will because we'll be here forever. I will just happily grant to you that free will exists and let's take the whole conversation forward from there. But so many historians are of the view that because free will exists, you can't make these generalizations that guns, germs, and steel wants to make. That Eurasia was more likely than other places to take over the world. And I think that you can make those generalizations even if free will exist. And I think that that is at bottom level, like the fundamental disagreement that is taking place here and trying to read through the many, many different threads of people who've been arguing about this and people who've written some articles about this. Like, yes, everyone, I have read all of the articles I have read just about everything about this. I think like that is the bottom route level of this is like a question of human agency. And my view is even if we grant the existence of free will and human agency that humans are allowed to make their own decisions, that it seems crazy to me that some people will argue against the idea that human decisions are constrained by environments. You cannot, like, I said, there's an example that I'm always trying to use. And I think the conversation I'm going to link to is a good example of what kind of happens where I want someone to answer a very specific question that I have. So here is this thing that I wrote in the discussion, right? I said, do you agree with what I view as the counterclaims? Like, do you agree with my poor trail of your argument that all continents are equally as likely to produce empire building civilizations? I like that seems to be the counter argument. If you are saying that there's no predictability, you are saying that someone living in the aboriginal desert, right, or in Antarctic ice sheets that those people are just as likely to be able to come up with empires as someone else. And it is so interesting to me that in all of these conversations, no matter how many back and forths I have, I can never get someone to directly answer that question. All I will, all I will ever get back is people saying, but you can't do a historical what if historical what if questions are meaningless. So we can't have this discussion. That's not a thing that we can say or they'll say, oh, you are trying to make a statistical argument, but we only have a sample size of one earth. So we can't make any statistical arguments. And that this this is the back and forth that happens where I feel like, okay, we're here at this disagreement is our fundamental level. And it is crazy making to me because I feel like for the love of God, right, like if you have a tribe of people living 10,000 years ago at what will be dead horse Alaska at the very northern part of that state, there's no way that those people are going to be able to build an empire like civilization. There's just nothing there for them. They're not going to have agriculture. They're not going to be able to develop advanced technology. They're not going to conquer the world. It just seems it just seems to me like you can't argue against that. And if you like if you historian will grant me this one case that people living on a sheet of ice are slightly like even ever so slightly less likely to take over the world than you have granted what I see is the only thing I need to make the rest of this argument. There is some statistical money-balling of history that you can do on a grand scale over long periods of time. But I I'm trying very hard here not to misrepresent the other side, but this is the argument that I come up against where people will not grant that or they will just avoid answering that one part of it. And that is what I think is the fundamental disagreement. Well, yeah, it's because they know how much ammunition they'll be giving you if they answer it honestly. Yeah, and that's why I like sometimes I feel like there's like a bizarre, I don't know how to put it put it, but like I feel like they don't want to address this for like for some other reason. Yeah, so it's funny that you mentioned the the the race stuff before because as well when these conversations happen inevitably, I've had many of these arguments many times not under my own name on the internet. That's why I love anonymity on the internet. It's like I could be CGP Gray and argue on some random forum about guns terms and steel like nobody knows it's me. Never never everyone's going to be saying CGP Gray Ghosts say on every single forum about. You never know you never know if it's me. But but so this this one thing comes up all the time, which is that the person I'm arguing against when I feel like we're digging down to this moment where I'm saying like do you think aborigines are as likely to take over the world nothing to do with them being aborigines but doing to the fact that they were in the middle of a desert right with terrible animals and no resources accessible at 10,000 years ago BC level technologies. Then there comes a moment where someone is saying something like why are you measuring success as people taking over the world. And so this exact thing happened in this conversation where the person I'm arguing against says why is conquering the world the measure of of a historical success like shouldn't we be impressed with how people are able to live in incredibly different circumstances in various parts of the world. And it's like that to me seems like I I don't think you're intentionally diverting the conversation but I think this is like memetic evolution. This is a thing that comes up all of the time because it ends up turning the conversation into something else where it's like I mean that yeah that's that's not what the book's about that's why I'm not discussing that. Yeah the book's not about the book's not about 10,000 years ago who was the happiest. Yeah the book's about or most successful. It was about who went and took over the place and killed other people. That is precisely how I feel but there's there's like this weird thing where the conversations do get derailed in this in this way where someone else is like why are you saying Europeans are so great and it's like that is the reverse of the conversation that we're having like we're having the exact opposite conversation and I will refuse to be drawn into this because again I don't think it's a diversion but I think like this is just an evolution of how these conversations go like I think there's a meme inside your head in my head that's having some other argument and it's taking this little moment to like blossom into the world by jumping into the conversations. Deep stuff Greg you think about this pretty deeply don't you? Well again I just really think that this encapsulates a kind of thing that I see in lots of other arguments because the other the other point here is that it is very interesting to see in particularly the bad history subreddit when people start talking about my argument and again I'll link to other threads about this but it is this idea of the infuriating totems that I mentioned in the this video will make you angry thing where it is it has been very interesting over the past few weeks to see how things that I have said on the podcast have mutated into the most infuriating versions of themselves that they could possibly be and so for like for two examples people represent my argument as absolute determinism that I am saying that if you knew enough about the world you could predict everything that was going to happen throughout all of history and it's like I'm not making that argument Jared Diamond's not making that argument nobody's making that argument like that's a crazy argument to make that is the argument that people want to argue against and it is also just infuriating like it's incredibly wrong and then the other one that I think has been very very interesting to see has actually come out of this podcast so when we discussed Guns of Germs and Steel last time I made the remark at the end about how I I overly endorsed Guns of Germs and Steel as the history book to rule all history books at the end as a way to like troll people who were clearly going to be getting irritated by the video as they were watching it all the way through the end and that would be like the final capper that would set them off but that has turned into and I've tried to fight against it but I know like this is just a losing battle I have seen people say CGP Gray doesn't believe anything in Guns Germs and Steel and he made that whole video just to piss off historians right this isn't about me like this isn't just I'm saying this is an interesting pattern that I see in the world that happens with conversations right where suddenly people are arguing against like this this infuriating totem version of me it's like boy I would hate that guy too right like if someone who had built a career as a person who is making educational videos then intentionally made something that was false just to screw around with a community that he doesn't like so much like wow what a dick that guy would be right like I would totally agree with that so the thing that I want to mention here which is like the broader point is especially after having done this podcast and seeing this happen to myself like with conversations like language that we discussed a long time ago and a bunch of other things basically I have come to the point and I think everyone should keep this in mind that if you have only heard about another person's opinions from someone who doesn't like that person you need to be extremely suspicious of that yes that is true but I think it's less obvious than you think it is yeah right it's less obvious than you think it is and I have definitely found a bunch of very interesting cases where like I have intentionally done a thing over the past year much more than I ever used to which is when I keep hearing about how awful someone is I'm like oh let me let me go actually try to figure out a little bit about their viewpoint on topic X or whatever it is sometimes there's still just awful people but many times I had been surprised and go oh okay wow like this person I thought was awful I thought it because I wasn't even aware of it but I had only ever heard of their views in these like vastly distorted ways yeah and it's like oh okay yeah I thought that this person this imaginary totemic version of this person was absolutely awful but it's like it is just this cartoonish version of their actual views like and that is really interesting to to see firsthand and again like the guns terms steel thing like again I'm not trying to dismiss all arguments against it as as this totemic thing there's plenty plenty to to criticize legitimately I just think this is to me an interesting example of this phenomenon in action and it's very interesting for it to be happening to myself over a topic that again as we said at the beginning like it doesn't really matter that much of gun's germs and steel is right or wrong so like this is all like a fun intellectual game in some ways which I'm sure someone will take out of context but it's just I think it's very interesting to see how conversations unfold and if you really really want to see a back and forth in more detail with many thousands of words I will link to a couple of things in the show notes for you to go take a look at for conversations you have this great interest in arguments and debate and the spread of hate and all the sort of stuff you know you've made a video about it and you've been talking about it now it's like it interests you a lot intellectually no matter what the debate is about and I sometimes wonder whether or not that comes from just who you are and what your mind is like or it comes from the fact that I feel like you have a very internet-y existence you know you have this sort of very redity and internet existence and and that is kind of the hotbed for this kind of place this is where this stuff is at its most overt and wild and I wonder whether that feeds into that and has made you more interested in it or you're just naturally into that sort of stuff because you know you're a guy who likes debating an intellectual discourse or whether or not you spend so much time on redder and watch so much people throwing crap at each other that you now have become very interested in the process of crap throwing yeah well the internet definitely takes crap throwing to 11 right like there's no there's no disagreement with that and I think that the internet has an effect of magnifying certain features of arguments so that they are more obvious right it's more clear I'm not exactly sure when this started but I mean I can definitely say that one of the most interesting things that comes out of seeing a lot of arguments on the internet is this recognizing of patterns right and recognizing how oh this conversation is is like these participants think that they're having this conversation but actually they are an instantiation of this pattern that occurs all the time looking at it like a level above like that it becomes I don't know it becomes different than seeing two people having an argument it becomes I'm seeing this pattern spread through the world and I think one of the best ways to do this is is actually like like so like I read it like change my view which has a lot of people just arguing and debating about whatever pick a topic on there like look at what people are discussing and pick something that you just don't have any interest in that you don't like you haven't decided what side you're on and when you watch people argue with thing that you are not a part of it becomes much more clear like oh there's some kind of meta structure here there's something that is not specific to this argument that is still happening and that is where it is most clear where you can see this thing where people argue past each other when you don't have a dog in the fight it becomes much more obvious when like oh person on side a you're arguing against an imaginary version of person on side b and person on side b you're doing the same thing like you two are not actually arguing against each other right or you can have the case where which I feel is a bit like the guns germs and steel thing where it's like I am a person who is conceding 99% of the ground in this argument but the other person constantly thinks that we have much more of a disagreement than we actually do and and it's I think it basically long story short I think you're right I think that being on the internet and being a very internetty person magnifies a certain interest that I have in this already and it's definitely something that has been has been growing over the past year argue about it in the comments people if you lost all your episodes of hello internet from your computer tomorrow well that'd be okay you could download them again from the hello internet website or perhaps somewhere like iTunes but what if all your personal data disappeared tomorrow your photos private information that novel you've been working on for the last eight years where would you go what would you do maybe and I stress maybe you remembered to back them up to external hard drive but that was six months ago now wasn't it was eight months ago when did you last back that up or maybe the burglars who took your computer also took your hard drives now what well never fear backblazes here and because you sign up for backblazes your computer was silently backing up all your files every day to the backblaze servers and there it sits safely along with the 150 petabytes of other data backed up by 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from here on the podcast and as always our thanks to backblaze for supporting the show so as we record what I should be doing right now is packing didn't this happen before when you were supposed to be packing but somehow we're recording a show with me instead I am going on a holiday briefly to India oh and then and then the main the main body of the holiday is in Bhutan which is a place I have never been to before and I'm very excited about visiting Bhutan yeah quick quick quick you must have a you must vaguely know where is you always get it vaguely right like Bhutan's near Indonesia no I wouldn't say that problem is I know they have the dragon flag like that's the thing that leaps into my head but I have nowhere idea in the world I'm confusing them with I'm confusing it with Brunei that's what I'm thinking of sorry entire nations of Brunei and Bhutan sorry to all the Tim and Tim and Ethan live there I can't speak for Brunei but I would be very surprised if we have many listeners in Bhutan it's a bit of a forbidden kingdom and technology has only sort of just started coming to it so what are you talking about what do you mean technology's only just started coming to it what what what kind of apocalypse has happened there no it's just one of these really sort of you know forbidden sheltered places has reputation for that so would you mean by the word forbidden you always hear the word forbidden used when you do people talk about Bhutan because they like they don't let many people in and things like that it's like a forbidden kingdom the word for bidden shows up once on their Wikipedia page saying that proselytism is forbidden by a royal government decision in Bhutan well there you go that's the so they don't think that's backing up your case one match for for bidden nope they're famous for for bidden that for you forbidding proselytism here we go here's a blog here's a wall street journal blog where they say forbidden kingdom opens up a little bit like I don't care what you say I'm calling it forbidden because it sounds awesome I'm sorry Brady I didn't mean to try to take away your forbidden kingdom that you're going to visit in the mystery of the east and and one of the one of the things that really got me interested in going there there is a mountain there which is the highest mountain in the world that has not been summited and I can't say it it's like ganga pooonsome are you going to summit that mountain Brady I'm not going to summit it I just want to see it oh that's much less interesting obviously I'm not going to summit it because easily aren't you haven't you been up Mount Mount Everest haven't you gone there do you know why ganga poo's num has not been summited great obviously not I'll tell you why because it's forbidden it is not you are not no you are not allowed to climb the government of Bhutan has banned the climbing of mountains over 6,000 meters and ganga pooonsome is 7,570 meters high which is very high so that's that's not allowed to be climbed it is a forbidden mountain I would say it's prohibited that too but the prohibited kingdom doesn't sound quite as good as the forbidden kingdom not even close now so depending on the weather I hope to catch a glimpse of that mountain from a distance otherwise otherwise the clouds may forbid my viewing of it as well they may block your viewing of it so I'm hoping to get a look at it and I'm really looking forward to Bhutan I will report back to the Hello Internet nation upon my return but going there does involve me going to India twice I have to stop in India on the way and we're going to go and see the Taj Mahat because no other risk of ever saying it and then we have to stay in India when we come back and this brings me to one of my favorite topics Indian visas yes I hear that the Indian government's bureaucracy is amazing well last time I went to India I had a real moan on the podcast because I had to go all the way to Birmingham which is a city a few hours from where I am and fill out all these forms in person and since then India has introduced this electronic visa system and everyone tweeted me and emailed me and said oh Brady do you know this has come in you know what do you think about it and I couldn't tell people what I thought about it because I hadn't done it I have now done it and I have to take my hat off to the Indian government I didn't think it would be possible to replicate the terrible terrible terrible experience of visa application in person in the online format but they've done it oh really they they they have managed to transfer the heartache disappointment and impossibility of their visa system very effectively onto the internet that sounds amazing the only thing that's that's leaping into my head is on my list of games to play is a game called papers please and it is a game where you just look through documents as a government employee like it is a paperwork replicator and so I like this idea that someone in the Indian government is like it's really terrible to apply to our visas in person how can we capture the feeling of that and put it onto the internet they have they have captured the feeling and I you should add to your list of games to play applying for an Indian visa just for the fun of it that would be the only reason to go to India I'm going to ignore just the bad design and unintuitive layout and just the general unpleasantness of that because you know that's a matter of taste and maybe culturally Indian web pages are different and I need I need to deal with that I don't know I don't I don't think so but okay sure go ahead but having sort of arbitrary red asterix as next to the things that have to be filled out and not filled out and then changing your mind and saying you've got to go and fill that out even though it didn't have an asterix like you know whatever whatever yeah that's true that's just that's just a cultural difference but the level of detail they want to go to this country continues to amaze me and okay I guess I was able to recollect the intimate birth details of my parents eventually then being asked to list every city I've ever been to in India is when I've been there a few times now it's not it's not easy being asked the visa number and the address of the last place I stayed in when I was in India was also quite a challenge digging up that information but my my favorite was being required to list all the countries I have visited in the last 10 years no I know I know like I'm an old guy so I've traveled I travel a bit now but like that's a long list and I can't do it I travel as little as possible but I would have a hell of a hard time coming up with all of the places I have been in the last 10 years I was just at the bank the other day actually having quite a good bureaucratic experience for once but they needed to know the address of the house I lived in two houses ago oh that's say I can't do that either now this is within the past five years and I was like I have I got nothing right there's nothing in my head about this like can you give us the first letter of the postcode no I have I have no idea I just I text my wife whenever that happens I'll be in a bank saying what was the address of that place we lived in in Nottingham that third place like she she's amazing for that but I got no idea so anyway an excruciating amount of detail was required now I understand they're pretty they're pretty delicate about people that have connections with Pakistan and if they just said have you ever been to Pakistan or have you got any relatives who are from Pakistan I would understand there are there issues there but but this was this was this was an ordeal and it was worsened by the fact I had to apply for me and I was I volunteered to do my wife as well so I had to go through it twice but no I didn't have to go through it twice I didn't have to go through it twice because here's the other catch you can only do one entry and we are going into India on the way to Bhutan and then we're coming into India again on the way back like a week and a half later that requires a whole separate visa and you have to go through the whole multi-page website again and do a whole thing again but also you can only do it in this kind of window one month out from when you go so I filled out the form not knowing I was going to have this problem of having to do it twice I filled out the form you know filled out the thing went went through the whole separate thing you have to then do to pay the $60 to some other bank which never works and takes about eight goes to make work over a series of days but then I found out okay you've got your visa but that's only going to get you in once you now have to wait for the other window to open for your other visa to go into India when you're coming back they make it so hard to get into that country I'm pulling up a map here right hmm why are you going to India like you you're just stopping over on your way to Bhutan right why don't you just give India the middle finger and just just stop in Pakistan get a connecting flight in Pakistan right in for Rizlabad or something I don't know I've never been to Pakistan and I I can imagine applying for visas there is probably also not the world's easiest experience okay well fine well the next over its Afghanistan right I'm sure it's going to be easy right to get a connecting flight into Kabul right look I'm just I'm trying to help you here because okay fine let's go we'll go a little bit more west we can get it connecting flight out of Iran is that is that is that work for you can you get a connecting flight out of Iran this is not an easy part of the world to travel to is it but I have to I have to say my wife loves India and we both want to see the Taj Mahal so that is why we're going and I'm sure it will be lovely and all of these problems with the visa will be I will be long forgotten will they though I feel like this kind of stuff sticks in your craft for a long time I I have had problems with visas every time I've ever gone to India and some of them have involved mercy missions in the middle of the night to go and get some guy to unlock the embassy for me to to to sign some document well like on my long list of reasons never to go to India this is just another one don't say that because we have like we have lots of thisness in India and they're they're really good at emailing I'm sure they are good at emailing like sorry India I'm never going to your country like I have no interest in going your visa sounds like a real pain in the butt I swear like if I saw if I was like if I had some some even mild interest into going to India and I loaded up a visa page and I could see at the bottom of the page it said you know click next for page two that would be enough to totally defeat me be like african I'm not going to India I mean you know me Gray I'm always trying to get you to go places and do things that I've done because that's just what I do right always trying to get you to go to Nepal but I I'm not selling you an India yet I'm I'm that after that after the Nepal experience it's just I yeah yeah when we get our connecting flight through let's see yeah we get our connecting flight through Baghdad to Nepal Nepal is easy to get into the forbidden kingdom of Bhutan I can't tell you because the travel agent had to do those visas it is so forbidden that I couldn't even do the visa replication hmm that's how forbidden it is I don't even know what was involved I don't know whether they were paper bags exchanged in the dead of night or mysterious magic words have to be spoken but yeah I don't even know what it was required I've just got it or bribes peed bribes peed that's the thing but yeah so I'm not going to India and email Brady sometimes I defend bureaucracies because I think bureaucracy is a happy bad rap my favorite experience with the bureaucracy ever was when I was getting qualified to be a teacher here in the UK I am a foreigner I'm an immigrant in the UK and so at one point I was talking with my advisor and she was telling me oh we have to get you certified that you can speak English okay I am talking to you right now is this is this not good enough and she goes no everyone who is from outside the UK you have to bring to me a piece of paper that says that you are fluent in English and so I had to book an exam to go to this building to take a to take a test to prove that I could speak English and and what did I think was going to happen I thought I'm going to okay so I'm going to get into like a room with some dude and it's like oh ha ha we'll have a fun chuckle over this won't we right like can the American speak English who knows nope the only way that the test to see if I was conversant in English enough to teach in a UK school was entirely an on-screen computer test that was multiple choice I had to sit there for like an hour answering a bunch of questions in English and then they gave me a piece of paper which said congratulations you passed you can quote speak English and then I gave my advisor back at the university that piece of paper and in front of me she could take a little box on her form that said yes this person speaks English great that sounds like your dream come true you didn't have to interact with a person just a screen like you I would have thought you'd be quite grateful for that I lost a whole afternoon of my life Brady a whole afternoon of my life never never gotten back I couldn't I couldn't retrieve that afternoon but that to me was like the apex the apex of what a bureaucracy was because it wasn't even that like oh my advisor then has to pass off this piece of paper to someone else who doesn't know me is like no no just within her system she's not going to tick this box until she has the piece of paper even though she knows that I speak English like can you just pretend that you have the piece of paper is anyone ever going to check this no no we've got to you got to crank the gears of the machine to humanizing us all what sort of questions are we asked you remember much about the test I don't remember anything about it except a vague feeling of being slightly nervous like I was going to actually fail this test about can I speak English did you have to speak answers or would you just touch a screen like it would be which one of these words is cloud or something or did you have to say things I could have been totally mute there was nobody there I didn't have to speak anything I was just clicking buttons on a screen so to prove that you can speak English you didn't actually have to speak you could have had no tongue and passed that test that's that's entirely correct yes it was only mildly mildly less frustrating than the test I also had to take to prove that I could do grade school math my bachelor's in physics was apparently not accepted by the university either that was not okay even though I was also accepted into their program to become a physics teacher no I also as a foreigner had to take a test that proved that I could do multiplication up to and including numbers as large as 12 do you know I want to say I want to say the process you have to go through to become a school teacher in India please list your class schedule for all schools you have been to for the past 20 years have you not weighed yourself reading no okay Matt so like I let you slide last week but I think I need to have like a friend intervention here because how long has it been since you weighed yourself six months now it's it's been a long time yeah I mean yeah you can do an intervention I feel like maybe I need to do an intervention I knew and realized you know I feel like saying to you he's just not that into it just let me like if you truly love a biweekly way in you let it go and if it returns if it returns to you it was truly yours so you've got to let me go and if I start weighing myself again then I'm truly yours see here's the thing here's a thing Brady yeah I I know this about you right it is it is the very fact that I am putting this biweekly way in in here and I'm trying to to bring it up again and I'm trying to put you on the hook again I think that you being on the hook for your health I think this is a good thing for you I I want you on the hook but if you truly knew me you would know making me do a rigid thing every two weeks is not how I work I don't care if it's exactly every two weeks like like whatever I just don't want to let you try to have this just slide away like you have been doing from the very beginning since we have started this right it's like gotta let me free you've gotta let me go free but see I when when you say that all I hear is that you you just want to drink your diet Pepsi's unmalested that's that's what you want to do don't Pepsi's a good they've got no calories the thing the thing is the thing is I've got to want to do it I can't do it because you want me to do it it's got to come from within well of course of course how do we get you to want to do it from within how do we inspire you Brady I don't know but I don't think it's going to happen in the next 10 minutes so what are these points you want to cover the reason why I was brought up the biweekly way in this week is I thought and I just let it slide last week because I knew last week I wasn't even gonna try I mean I don't mind the biweekly way and but to me it's not a biweekly way and it's like health corner right but we call it but it's funny it's like a meta joke now right it's biweekly way although it does but it does pose the question the elephant in the room is is biweekly twice a week or four nightly we're not no we're not getting distracted right that's that's mimetic warfare right there you just were getting distracted you think guns jams and still controversial you try talking about whether something's biweekly or four nightly so okay so so here's why here's why I thought this would be a nice gentle point of reentry for the biweekly way and because last time I was very happy to be under 200 pounds but this time I am back over 200 pounds oh finally entirely through my own actions and my own fault I weighed myself this morning and I am 201 pounds my I was my low was 198 so I am up three pounds from my bottoming out there but so I thought this was this is a great time to again just reiterate reiterate my fundamental idea here that it's it's not about succeeding every single time that the skill is about getting back on the wagon and about yeah being able to constantly recommit yourself to the thing that you are trying to achieve and so when I saw that I was over 200 pounds I was a not entirely surprised for reasons that we will mention shortly but be I thought okay it's okay like this is not some failure I was I was genuinely hoping that after getting back down under 200 I thought like I will never be over 200 again but like then that to me is exactly the wrong kind of thing to think though right because then it's like oh there's only one way to fail here whereas the correct way to think about this stuff is like no no no you just like you didn't follow the system and now you just need to get back on with the system so that's that's the point here I thought it would be an excellent time to bring you back on board but maybe but maybe not so much I mean I mean what you say is true great and it's motivating to hear so you you are doing me good by saying I'm a motivational speaker I tell you what I tell you what a lot of people have taken inspiration from and like I'm not saying people should do this but I found it really touching how many people have really started health kicks because of those t-shirts you thought of the fit of trontitia so many people have like posted pictures or sent emails saying I've got one that's just made me decide to get really healthy and they're really they're doing well I felt a bit that way when I first got it to be honest like I started of wearing all the time and going for runs and I've stopped a bit just lightly but but it's funny how something so like little and trivial can be the thing that can give you a little a little kick my guess is it's partly the fact that they are people who are listening to the podcast as well right like in the podcast comes out on a somewhat regular basis so yes I do like seeing people getting their t-shirts but the the the messages that I have seen so far that I definitely like the best are people who have over a long-ish period of time lost some weight like I will never grow tired of those and I think maybe just the fact that this t-shirt is also connected to a podcast that they listen to on a regular basis like maybe that's just the thing that kind of puts someone over the edge you know whatever it is it's it's a good thing but you know you're here every two weeks you're here every two weeks braiding I'm here every two weeks I'm here by weekly yeah you're here by weekly that's right that's what you are or am I or am I here for not they no no no no we're not doing that we're not doing that I will have to confess when my problem is and why I am back over 200 pounds I will I will start by saying and having excuses right so I was doing animating for the last video that came out and animating has always been my danger zone because one I just don't get any sleep at all and then two I just eat garbage all the time while I'm animating and three I don't move so it's like three solid days of just the worst I could possibly be I was really proud of myself this time because I didn't stay up all night like I normally do and so ended up dragging out the animation over many more days I think it took me five days to animate it instead of just the usual two or three so like okay so like baby steps baby steps but I still didn't wasn't exercising and I was also just eating a bunch of garbage but chief among them was popcorn which is just that's that's just a black hole of danger for me like can't get near the popcorn because you will eat all of it in the world right like there's no amount of popcorn that is satiating how can that be bad I mean popcorn is just corn which is healthy because it's like you know vegetable and it's air it's air blown into corn that sounds like the healthiest food in the world okay listen listen this is gonna get a little personal so many years ago I when I listened to this American life before I had to give it up because I just found it too tedious and yeah I just couldn't deal with this American life but they did an episode which was about people who had food allergies but that who could but that couldn't give up the food so there'd be people who would like they would have something like shrimp that they just totally loved but they would have horrific allergic reactions to it so they would just epipen themselves while having shrimp right or they would just accept the fact that they were going to be deeply uncomfortable for a long time and I remember listening to that show and thinking how can anyone possibly be like that like what are these idiots doing eating these foods that in some case just totally endanger their lives shrimp and prawns is probably the food that would make me do that too so it's funny you chose that example but anyway yeah so here's here's a little here's a little lesson that I have learned from the low carb diet which is that under a certain point of carbs I have discovered that you can basically give yourself allergies to carbs after a long enough period of time I first discovered this with milk which I had a really bad reaction to after not drinking milk for a very long time but popcorn is the absolute worst and I haven't discussed it on the podcast before but I eventually picked up a pattern after say going to the Martian and Everest and Star Wars and a couple of movies at home sometimes and now this last binge of animating that if I have popcorn in the evening I better not have to go anywhere the next day and I'm going to stay real close to the house as an I'm never going to leave the house popcorn but it doesn't stop you eating it apparently this is not unusual for people who go on a really low carb diet and that the like the shells in popcorn that they they can give you really base basically like a horrific internal reaction in your intestines if you go on a really low carb diet but basically now it's a big site delicate like there's no I mean maybe there's no polite way to say it but it's like man it's a bad decision but nonetheless nonetheless I find myself in this situation where now I am one of those idiots who was on this American life a long time ago where it's like I'm looking at a bowl of popcorn and thinking well you know you're not just going to eat one of these you're gonna eat like three of these and then you know you know if you have anything scheduled for tomorrow for the whole day tomorrow you were just gonna have to cancel it right and like yeah okay I understand that and go right like we're just going right ahead with this and the and the following day while I am in great discomfort and in some time in some cases quite serious pain I'm still thinking worth it right it was totally worth it I'm gonna do this again I'm gonna pay this price I'll tell you uh I think you're the one that needs an intervention not me this episode of HelloInchNet is brought to you by Squarespace Squarespace is the simplest way for anyone to create a beautiful landing page website or online store start building your website today at squarespace.com with easy to use tools and templates Squarespace helps you capture every detail of what drives you Squarespace puts all the power you need in your hands and takes away all of the pain points like worrying about hosting and worrying about bandwidth I use Squarespace to run my websites and that right there was the big selling feature for me years ago when I 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Squarespace plans start at just eight dollars a month so begin your free trial today with no credit card required by going to Squarespace.com and when you decide to sign up for Squarespace make sure to use the offer code hi to get 10% off your first purchase and show your support for Hello Internet thanks to Squarespace for supporting the show I'd notice that you were video gaming on Twitch or whatever it's called the other day and everyone was everyone was telling me on Twitter Brady why aren't you there watching Gray play video games which I don't feel like I need to answer that question but but anyway what do you mean yeah I didn't you want to watch me play video games I mean I know I know it's a huge huge thing but and it makes me feel so old to say it but the fact that people sit and watch other people play games for hours is quite the thing and but it did make me contact you this week and say we should talk about video games or the first idea I had was I wanted to sort of get my head around why I feel like I've grown out of games and sort of and throw that issue around a bit because that's the main thing I want to talk about which I know is in interesting itself but then as I was thinking about it I felt like to give it some context we should probably talk a little bit about our sort of our history with with games and gaming like you know how it started for us and how we got to the point we're at now and sort of thinking about that over the last few hours today has just got me so excited about the nostalgia of games and my history with games that that's what I want to talk about but I know that's not what you want to talk about yeah well this is yeah this your relationship with video games I have a hard time I have hard time understanding and I have been quite surprised by your childlike giddiness as you've been sending me messages about your busy reminiscing over over past games so I'm not like I have a hard time understanding your relationship with video games at all so you need to explain to me are we calling them video games is that the right term is that is that like what old people call them or is that okay I'm saying video games talking to you I'm almost certainly just going to slip into games as as the conversation goes on all right how do you differentiate between board games this is a whole other conversation don't try to don't try to don't try to move up track here I just want to like just try to tell me what your relationship is because I don't understand at all because it seems to me like adult you this is going to be too strong of a word but adult you almost has some kind of disdain for games or like like it just it's a it's a funny thing when video games come up between us and I just don't know where you stand uh no that that is not a fair characterization I would say it is more indifference but an appreciation for how much I used to love it and the kind of almost uh confusions to why I don't anymore like like like I kind of almost want to get back into them like sometimes I see like a couple of the games you're playing you'll tell me about them or I see promotions for new games that are out and I think that looks really cool like I wish I had that when I was young I think I'd really enjoy playing that and yet I cannot I cannot get get it I can't get into it like I don't have the desire and I don't know where it went I used to love them and that's why I think I have this cliched view that young people are into games and you grow out of them right and I know people are going to say all the statistics show that the average gamer is 35 years old and that sort of stuff but I actually I'm not convinced by that and if it is true why is it so disconnected with the circles I move in does it say something about my friends and the world I move in yeah definitely does say something about your friends let's just get this out the way like immediately you and I know you're gonna argue against this but you are moving in above averagely successful circles the people that you are are talking to are compared to the average person much more successful in their fields right not even just financially successful but just successful in a in a broad sense right and I think that there's definitely going to be an anti correlation there between someone who is unusually successful and video game playing basically you're saying a lot of the people I spend time with just haven't got time to play games yeah pretty much right like if you are going to be successful in any sense of the word you need more time than the average person does to do stuff it's it's interesting because I in preparation for watching this video I I rewatched your video we mentioned recently the professors react to 2048 video just because I want I just wanted to kind of bring it bring it fresh in the mind and I wasn't surprised there that most of the professors as an example you could see that they just they weren't so interested notable exception professor Moriarty which I'm not surprised by but for the large extent like they just weren't interested in playing the games or they or one of them even said like oh it's just it feels like a like a waste of my mental efforts to to be playing this kind of game it's like news at 11 successful chemistry professors not so interested in video games it's just it seems like obviously this would be anti correlated I think a lot of people weren't like hearing that why well because it because the the flip side of it is saying if you're really into games unlike playing games you're not successful that's a kind of weird argument I'm just simply saying that that if you're a success that's not a second I know you say I say some weird things but that's not a weird thing to say I'm not saying it's true I don't think it's true but it's not a weird thing to say when you just said people who are really successful haven't got time for games isn't a fair leap to make to say well if you have got time for games you must not be a successful that's not like a stew it could be wrong but it's not stupid no yeah so I wasn't saying it's a it's a stupid argument I just think it's it's like the it's like basketball players are taller than the population on average that's not saying that only tall people are basketball players right like that that that's the that's the that's the converse argument here if you're talking about successful people I think you should find that on average most of their time is spent on the things that make them successful I think that I think that's I think that's what's going on here so what was your first experience of games I really want to know about your first experience where do you start with video games I really don't have any sense of this at all I'm a bit older than you I'm it probably started a bit earlier for me I was trying to think where it started for me and the first one I wrote down with those do you know those handheld donkey cong games that Nintendo used to make do you mean the LCD screen games yeah the two LCD screens so I had that donkey cong and then I also had donkey cong two of that and so I wrote that as the first one so that was that was the first that's my earliest sort of gaming memories but the thing I want to say about that and I found this really interesting was I had that donkey cong game where you had to you could clock the game by getting to what what 999 points and I remember spending hours and hours and days and days and weeks and weeks trying to get through that game and having like at one point having a high score of 970 or something and I choked right before the end and I was consumed by the game and then eventually it retired you know got put away in a drawer and I never played it again and I moved on and I remember one time about five or six years later getting it out and thinking for old times sake let's put the batteries back in it and have a go and I turned it on and played it and the first time I played it I clocked it to the end straight away and I've never I've never fully understood it was it because when you're older you just get better at things and was I just like better and smarter and more like was as a little kid was I just not capable of donkey cong was beyond you yeah it was what is that it was that was is that was at a really easy game and just when I was young like there was there was certain skills I didn't have and then when I was a bit older like a late teenager or something it was just like child's play like that that could be the only explanation couldn't it okay well so for our younger listeners who have no idea what you're talking about just just to set the stage here because I think this answers your question yeah the very first handheld video game consoles of any kind were like Gameboy sized things but they were dedicated to a single game and there was just a couple of LCD things on the screen that could light up or that would not light up so if you think of an old-fashioned calculator where when you look at the screen you can see that it can't draw arbitrary shapes it can only draw the couple of shapes that will then appear as numbers depending on what's illuminated on the screen yeah these games were so simple that they built an entire game out of that concept where there would be a little picture of a Donkey Kong that could light up or not and so it could only be in like three positions right and and every single place that you could possibly be on the board as a little Mario like the picture would light up or not and so I think Brady these games were so simple that yes adult you is just able to perceive it as the full system that it is and just crush it whereas a kid whereas a kid it was like I was the man moving around like I got lost in that and therefore but when I and maybe because I'd also seen more advanced games by that point it just seemed yeah it seemed like a from a primitive intelligence to me right there's a lot of you were just able to perceive it as the system of like okay there's only three spots that the that the guy in the bottom can be whenever the barrels in this location like it's not it's not a moving barrel it's a sequence of lights they didn't even that is over representing what it actually is so those things were just so so simple they were saying compared them to even anything remotely like a modern video game I did feel like a god all those years later when I took it out and just got straight to the end was that after you drove your car so and but then the first from there we were actually I think my parents were quite although my parents were into games they did like new gimmicks I think so we were quite early adopters when it came to the Atari 2600 cotton so which we used to plug into our huge wooden rank arena TV with its huge which took the four people to lift because it was so heavy I'm pretty sure that you had wood on it as well that all the Atari 2600 there was wood on the front yeah we did have that I had that early one I tell you what that TV though brings back fond memories it got to a point where whenever you switched it on you had to wait a good half an hour to 40 minutes until it became bright enough to be able to see things like like if there was a TV like the tube was so out and my parents didn't replace it if there was a show on in 40 minutes you wanted to watch you would turn the TV on now so that the picture would be bright enough by the time the show started that's pretty bad that's pretty bad and we went through this phase where I had this like yellow glow crawling across the screen that we could never figure out and it turns on we'd put it too close to like one of the speakers from our sound system magnetic shielding you have to have magnetic shielding for your speakers otherwise you're going to mess up your cathode ray tube I was so into the Atari games I mean it's starting from the really simple ones like outlaw was my earliest memory and basketball with those with just that square pixel bowl and two stickmen literally two stickmen that make your videos look like masterpieces right playing basketball and I tell you what I was amazing at that game I was amazing at basketball then space invaders and defender and yards revenge and all that but I remember when pole position came out on the Atari 2600 like that was such a leap in graphics like I thought this is amazing like games will never get better than this and if you google Atari 2600 pole position and watch a YouTube video of it being played and just think that there was a time when I played that game and I thought games won't get better than this graphics won't get better than this this is I can't believe they've done this it was extraordinary to me yeah I definitely played some some of this this is that racing game I was just googling it couldn't remember precisely what it is but yes I never I thought that was I thought I thought humanity had peaked with the making of that game and nothing would ever be better I mean just just comparison here people right like the whole game is 256 pixels by 256 pixels on the screen like I'm pretty sure I'm pretty sure that icons on my Mac are 256 pixels by 256 pixels at this point I was wrong because then eventually I got this game called pitfall two not the original pitfall I actually got pitfall two before pitfall and that that game was like it was like Tomb Raider to me I thought oh my goodness this is it's so complex it's so it's so incredibly layered and it's full of depth and adventures to be had I could spend a lifetime playing this game and never get to the end of it and of course I watched someone play it on YouTube a bit earlier today and it was like the simplest thing in the world it was it was again it was it was ridiculous but at the time it was this whole world I could get lost in how old are you when you're playing this Atari like what like what's the time frame here well it's the 80s so I guess I'm from you know either side of 10 okay I'm just I'm just trying to establish like okay so this is your early this is your early gaming because this is this is where you you are about five years older than me and my wife is about the same amount of age younger than me and it's it's interesting that there are so many things where that age difference doesn't matter but when you're talking about what were the experiences of 10 or 15 year old you it's like oh you're from different planets right that that that it's it's accelerated especially for people who are interested in technology when you rewind and you're going across like okay were you experiencing computing in 1980 or 85 or 90 like these these are light years apart and going through my own history of gaming like I had some of the the handheld stuff that you did that's why I know what you're talking about with the Donkey Kong game and I had a neighbor who had a Atari so I played some games on there and I'm sure that definitely that definitely helps solidify our friendship was like you have an Atari you play video games wow I'm gonna make sure I always go over to your house but from from me like my own personal gaming experience didn't really happen until 1990 when I got a Game Boy and it's like that was the first thing that I owned that was actually a general gaming platform and the like the difference between something like that and the Atari is just like it puts us at surprisingly far different in some way for what is the early experience of gaming it makes me feel ancient when I think of some of our young listeners who could look these up now and think oh my goodness right but moving to a computer was a really interesting thing for me the computer that my mum bought for me was an Amstrad CPC 6128 and the reason she got this was because that was the computer that they used at my school for computer lessons and that I was going to learn learn on so she thought it would make sense to have the same computer I don't know who she bought it from or where she got it but she bought it from some mysterious computer Jedi because the one we bought he had done so many hacks to it and had made so many things and he'd like he'd literally added buttons to it like like actual red buttons that did weird things that computers weren't supposed to do and my mum bought it with these two massive massive boxes full of discs and games like there must have been 200 maybe discs and most of them had multiple games I never got through finding out all the games he had on them but he also had all this software that did weird things and he gave us this instructions on to how to use one of these discs to fix your computer when weird things happened and it was all very straight my mum had no idea so it was just me discovering all this stuff as I put in disc after disc and finding new games and new things but there was this one disc this one bit of software that was like very powerful and magical because I remember one time I had this friend that was really into computers and he was really into this 6128 and I said to him oh you should come around and see my one day it's had got all these weird things built on it and I've got all this software that I don't understand and he came around and it was like I'd just shown him a map on the back of the Declaration of Independence like he couldn't believe what I'd shown him this is this powerful amazing piece of treasure and I was then banished from the room and he spent the next two days just copying everything and and taking all this stuff so I had I had countless countless computer games and I would I would some of them I would play for a few months and other ones I would look at for 10 minutes and never play again but I was really into games at that point because I had this ridiculous number of them the PC gaming thing is where for me it's hard to figure out precisely when this happened I was trying to look through pictures earlier today to like place my own history with games but I too know that like I had a variety of computers when I was young like I was lucky enough that it was in a family that that had that kind of thing and I also had like I don't even know where they came from like did my dad get them I have no idea but there was just tons of floppy disks with the same thing where like there's a bunch of games on here or there's just random programs on here that do stuff and having that computer was just like wow this is amazing there's an infinite world of stuff to explore in this box like it's just amazing and that was my first experiences with computer programming I'm like wow there's this system here that that I can talk to in this very basic way with with computer programming or there just these games that are these these machines to interact with it was all just like very very horizon broadening for the right kind of person like I think a lot of nerds in our broad age demographic had this experience of a computer being just something so fundamentally different from everything else in the world and just just really being the adults don't know what it is they they just have it they feel like oh our kids need this for the future but it's just a machine like oh here kid here is a here is a corner of the world in which you have autonomy where you can just interact with this virtual world and it will push back against you and it feels like okay you are as good as you can be here or as bad as you can be here like whatever you can figure out it's entirely you figuring out and for the right kind of kid like that is just incredibly rewarding and I know I was definitely that kind of kid I spent every free moment I possibly could on the computer just playing games or messing around trying to write a horrible Q basic programs because it just felt like an infinite universe where I have autonomy and it's just different from everything else in your life when you're a kid at that age I feel like I mean perhaps because I love sports so much and and I was in a place with a really nice climate and I did have a bit of balance and I didn't spend every waking hour on the computer but I did spend a disproportionate amount of time on the computer you know me now I mean I can't code my way out of a paper bag but I did go through there was a brief window when I almost could have become one of those people because I remember when we first started learning coding like really basic stuff in school like just basic you know 10 go to 20 type stuff right within like within a day or two that's it the computer teacher had taken me off the curriculum and while everyone else just went through the textbook and typed in stuff and did their lessons and tests I was allowed to just sit in a corner and just make programs I would just sit there and make code things and make games and make things and the teacher would just come along you know every few days and go well it's amazing how have you done that so I did get really into it for this brief period and then and then it didn't happen like then it didn't stick but I did stay with I did stay with games and obviously PlayStation PlayStation came along and and then the first Tomb Raider game was a real game changer for me too because the funny thing with that was I'd heard it was this really cool game and I went and rented it from a like the video store when you used to go and rent games but they didn't have the instructions and we had no idea how to play it and I remember really early in the game we were just in this room like moving Lara Croft around just walking into walls and having no idea what to do and we must have spent like a good two hours me and my mate thinking well this game's ridiculous it's the most boring game ever and then just while I was up against a wall I like pressed a button and suddenly Lara Croft in a bent down and pulled out one of those blocks to reveal to reveal a new passageway and the minute she pulled that block out the way I was like oh my goodness this is something really special and I got obsessed with the Tomb Raider games and I went I went through the first three or four Tomb Raider games and it was around that time that I started working as a journalist and I was still gaming in my spare time for a while for maybe the first three years as a journalist three or four years and then it then it happened then the drift started so how so how old are you at the point where you're trailing off from games early 20s okay I made a brief comeback for Uncharted that Drake's fortune like I I really like the look of that and I played that one all the way to the end and I liked that so that was that was after I'd moved to the UK so I must have bought a console when I was in the UK to yeah I did buy a console in the UK but I never got really really obsessed with it and I just haven't been able to get back into it since and I really want to like I look at I feel the desire but I haven't got whatever it takes to get there whatever that activation energy is to get back into games has gone like it's like I can't describe it it's like falling out of love maybe or I mean is apathy what you're trying to describe yeah I think maybe it's that you know and I love and I look at that I look at your truck simulator game and think that would really appeal to me because I always like games that involve roads and maps and I love sim city and all those sort of things and and all the designing games that I know you get into like designing your prisons and stuff I think I think that would be really cool because I used when I was a kid I used to love designing pretend houses or I like used to love designing pretend race tracks and things like that so I love the idea of designing and creating when it comes to that next step of going out and buying one or doing it I just think no and part of it does think you know that's probably for the best because I haven't got time but if I have spare time you know I don't want to I don't want to spend it playing games I know I know some people are going to say do you play games on your phone and I do have a few games on my phone and I occasionally will play one but even then I don't play for very long and people say well that means you're still a gamer but it doesn't really meet your gamer yeah I don't think so I don't think that like that's the that's the casual game world I was talking with my parents about video games last time I was I was in North Carolina for the summer they were discussing their circle of friends and it was like oh do you know anybody who plays video games and and they were all like oh no nobody nobody plays video games but there's the conversation went on with like you sure no one plays video games like oh yeah no nobody does the end result of this was though that in their circle nobody thought of themselves as playing video games but many people had casual games on their phone that they would play right but everybody seems to put this in a different category in their mind it's like oh I don't play video games I've just sunk thousands of hours into candy crush on my phone but I don't play video games right I have a few games on my phone but I definitely don't think that I'll I'll play it for one or two hours over the course of a week and then never open it again yeah yeah so I think what we're talking about here is something slightly above the level of like just a casual thing on your phone to play for a few moments when you're standing in line like that's a different kind of game and yeah I think those surveys that try to reach about like oh look everybody in the world plays video games it's like yeah but I don't think that's what people think about when they're talking about video games but yeah so you've just you've just lost love that's what's happened to you breathe out just lost it yeah and I and I wonder why either I wonder why I have or you haven't that's what I'd like to figure out because your will pass the point where I'd lost interest yeah even though you're even though you are just a babe yeah five whole years younger than you yeah but yeah I'm like a grown-ass man who still plays a ton of video games right and and I mean obviously you've created a job for yourself now where you can we have a lot of spare time but even when you were teaching and you had like what I would call like a normal hours job were you into your games then yeah teaching was the nadir of my video game playing by farm there was definitely a break the year that I was doing teacher training and my first year as a teacher where I don't think I played a single video game for that entire span because there just was no time available at all like those are those are brutal years for any new teacher and it just it just wasn't a possibility and then as my teaching career went on and as I got better at it and better at managing my own time and having materials from from the past years I did have more time to play games and it was something that I slowly started to get back into after a big break and in some ways I do wish that I could be like you right in some ways I wish that I could be apathetic about games in in on the one hand on the other hand kind of way like I wish I could be apathetic about sport like you are right right yeah there's definitely sometimes a feeling of like is this actually how I want to be spending time like that that thought does cross my mind and of course as I get older and as mortality looms larger on the horizon like you become more aware of that quite naturally but I also know that that games are a huge and enjoyable part of my life and that's why there was this break for two years when I didn't really play them by remember having a couple conversations with with my wife around the time that I was getting back into games about how like this is something that I deeply enjoy in a way that I enjoy know other kinds of things like this is a unique form of entertainment that is different for me and that is also highly meaningful and I was just amazed going back through some of the pictures that I happen to have of my younger life of trying to find like birthdays and Christmases and looking around and saying like oh look my parents got me video games at like every birthday and Christmas and just thinking about how like man I have such strong intense memories that are related to some of these games yeah I think just a very easy example as a game like missed which was kind of a classic in the 90s but where you explore this this island and there's some puzzles I normally hate puzzle games but this one just happened to catch my attention but I spent so many hours playing that game that when I think back on it every once in a while like in in the real world there are places that I go to and I think this is so missed like for example in London there is this footpath that goes under the Thames at Grennich and I cannot go there without thinking of that game missed because it looks like this is something right out of missed and that island I swear the part of my brain that remembers physical places that I used to spend a lot of time like my school when I was a kid or the house that I was growing up that island of missed is as physical in my mind as any of the other places that I have ever been like some games can give you a sense of place and I just think that that is valuable and interesting in a way that other life experiences are not so when I didn't have video games in my life I missed them and I'm very glad that I now have them back in my life even if I do have occasional fleeting moments of like is this how I want to spend my time but I think any time you're consuming any form of entertainment it's a very natural thought to have like I think that sometimes when I'm watching movies or anything like that the like the thought flits through your mind of like is this the best way to spend your limited hours on earth and it's like well yeah yeah I do really like doing this kind of stuff but I I I am sympathetic towards your apathy and in some ways find it admirable like you said in the way that you find my apathy towards sports admirable the funny thing is I'm I'm I'm slowly starting to feel it happened to me with sports well not as dramatic and I still really like especially really like cricket but I'm a bit less engaged by a few sports than I used to be and I watch a lot less of it than I used to and I think you're right I think it's time I think I just don't have time for all these things anymore um and like I could I could give them time I don't want to give them the time I would rather do either work or or other things um and I don't know so I think it's a bit of I think I would almost be copying out or almost humble bragging to say oh it's because I'm more successful now and I'm doing all these things and I haven't got time to play games and watch sport I think I think there is an element of choice in it you know I could I could put a few of these things on the back burner and play games or um or watch more sport if I wanted to but I don't want to I want to do the other things I'm more drawn to them yeah I mean that's this is this goes back to you know what I always feel about like human interest there's no explaining why people find things interesting or boring or when you look across a bunch of different humans things that one human finds incredibly interesting another human finds incredibly boring and there's there's no way to explain that the video game thing the reason this topic caught my attention when you brought it up talking about how you how you've lost interest in it is that I have observed a phenomenon in myself many times when I am playing games that I find interesting which is that there's a certain kind of game that I'm playing and for gamers it's usually something like a dungeon crawler or any kind of game with an RPG element to it where I will have been playing a game for maybe 10 hours and intensely intensely interested in continuing onward with the game and advancing a character and collecting more items in the game world and then suddenly and I mean within the space of five seconds I go from I could not be more interested in this game to complete and total apathy in the game it's like a switch just flips in my brain and I know oh okay I'm done with this game I will never play this game ever again I have just 100% totally lost interest in it and it's not because you finished it or like you know conquer it's just something happened nope it's yeah I have accomplished nothing or finished anything there's just some moment where it's like boom something in my brain has changed and I have no interest in it not disinterest just none and and of course this again is one of these things like it ties into my whole notions of of free will and things like this to me it's one of these moments where it seems so apparent like free will like of course I don't have it what on earth can explain that in the space of seconds I go from finding a thing incredibly interesting to finding it totally uninteresting like I would love to be able to be in an MRI machine when this happens because it's so sudden and so obvious I feel like there must be something that people can see and it's not like oh I've grown tired of it for the day it's just like no this game is dead to me now I just have no interest in playing it ever again have you seen the film is it closer it's got a Clive Island Jude Law Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts and it's like about relationships and the Natalie Portman character is like in love with this guy who like just does the wrong thing but I hear all the time and she just just just keeps going back to him and still loves him and then she just in the in two seconds one day she just clicks and falls out of love with him like just completely this it just all changes in like a heartbeat it's a really powerful scene in the film and that's what reminds me of what you just said like it's completely like it's like something just something just tipped whether there was like a you know was it a tipping point of something yeah I don't know what it is other than to say there's obviously something physical that's happened in my brain something about the like the dopamine reward cycle for this particular activity is just broken just broken immediately and irrevocably like it's just it's not coming back and that to me why like it's interesting the idea like you have lost interest in games over time as you have gotten maybe that's what happened to me great maybe that happened to me but on a on a macro level rather than a micro level yeah well that that's what I'm wondering right has this same process occurred in you just over a longer period of time well I like that I like the idea that something physical has broken like you're saying like some some reward process or some chemical thing that I used to get just stopped that would be a really a powerful explanation quite like that yeah but I mean obviously that has that that's the only explanation that there can be that there's something different in your brain I mean what other explanation can there be for you not having interest in it yeah it's just like loving your wife Brady right it's all because of something physical in your brain it can't be anything else like what an amazing explanation the structure of my brain versus the cause of my feelings I can't believe that oh come on I mean it's not but you're making it sound like you know one conveyor belt suddenly breaks and you lose interesting games I'm sure I'm sure the thing that makes one like games or lover person is an incredibly complex web of many many things and you couldn't put it down to this one thing breaking or changing so when I say one thing breaking I don't I don't mean that there's a single neuron that just broke with the there's some system in the brain which has changed and and again just just with the games like that is to me just the most transparent thing ever I think I cannot believe how my subjective experience of a thing can be so radically altered with nothing apparently being different the game hasn't changed I haven't changed I'm just sitting here doing the thing that I've been doing for the last two hours but the thing about the thing that makes yours your falling out of love with a game in like five seconds so compelling and harder to understand is that I imagine what you get from games or sport or whatever you're into is really really complicated like there's lots of there's like is there what I'm saying is there one thing that can break that would make you stop liking games immediately or do lots of things after break like like a plane can keep flying if if component A breaks or component B breaks or the left engine goes out or something but as if a certain number of things break the plane will fall out of the sky but there are also a few deal breakers like if the wings fall off the plane's going to crash no matter what so do you fall out of love with a game because the wings fell off like the one important thing you were getting from that game broke or did a few things all break at once like were you no longer interested by the storyline were you no longer getting a dopamine were you no longer you know I guess that's what I'm getting at because I feel like me falling out of love with games is more a widespread failure lots of things failed whereas you can't just enjoy a game and not like a game two seconds later because a whole bunch of things changed at once that would be too big a coincidence well again I you know your analogy is terribly confusing to me but I just I just know that this is the thing that happens all the time to me when playing games like it's it is it is recurrent and frequent and that's why observing it is always interesting and sometimes I try to catch myself like what has happened and the answer is I have no idea that says to me you're getting one simple thing from gaming though like often in your enjoyment of those games there was just one very simple thing you were getting you know that the the biscuit for the dog and suddenly the biscuits ran out it wasn't like there was like all these things going on that were making you love the game like you weren't enjoying it on numerous levels because I can't imagine all those levels would fail at once that's why I think that the the kind of games that this happens to me and usually have mechanics that relate around exploring and collecting and crafting items they are almost always games where you don't get better at the game the character in the game improves and can do things better right so it's like oh you're fighting monsters you can fight monsters better because you have better swords not because you have learned a skill like that is the common factor in those and and the closest I have come to figuring this out is like at some point my brain just kind of sees through the mechanics a little bit too far into what the game is doing and then just totally loses interest that that's my that's my that's my basic guess but you know when you talk about losing interest in games one of the things that's interesting to me is I am always just impressed by the incredible wide variety of what games encompass in the modern world it's very easy to think of games as just a narrow subset of genre like basically a lot of people when they think of video games they think of like oh the triple A kind of games right you know big shoot them up central character focused kind of games but like the the universe of games is just so enormous that they are this expanse of various forms of entertainment some of which are remarkably ungame like and I put truck simulator in there as as a a thing which is like is this a game I don't think this is even a game at all like this is this is driving a truck across a virtual horizon like this to me feel fulfills a totally different need and form of entertainment than anything remotely game like would be and I think that's one of the very interesting things about modern games and so I wonder about you getting back into games like are there other kinds of of entertainment that you would enjoy that happen that can happen to be experienced in video games but is not necessarily like the games that you may have played when you were younger like I think of a game I really enjoyed a few years ago called year one which is also a thing that I would classify as barely a game it is it is much more of like an interactive story and most of the time games that market themselves as interactive stories are just disasters they're just terribly boring but this was one that I spent quite an enjoyable maybe hour and a half like it's very short time working through this little interactive story and exploring this world and it was it was much more like a movie like experience and it maybe broadly in the genre of horror but I really like that even though I'd be very hard pressed to say like was this a game I like I don't think it was even though it's kind of marketed as a game so I may be maybe there's stuff along the edges that you might you might like to play that's less game like than traditional games still at the end of the day I mean that was a short one but still at the end of the day that probably the biggest problem is time which makes me wonder do does your wife play games or do you play games with her or is this a completely separate activity for you from you know that time with her there's two different things that I'm doing here right so like I'm generally unproductive in the afternoons so if I am not editing a podcast or animating in the afternoons that's one of the times when I will sometimes play games sometimes I just read in the afternoons but sometimes I'll play games and then my wife isn't around anyway so it's like okay well whatever I just on my own here and that's usually when I'm playing more along the lines of what are like hardcore games like PC games that require my actual main computer to play yeah but the other time that I play games which is sort of more social is in the evenings if my wife is watching something let's just say she will sometimes select things that I would not want to give my full attention to if I was if I was forced to watch with 100% of my attention I might think we're quite torturous to watch but if I can dial it down to like 33% of my attention then suddenly it's an entertaining experience for the both of us right so I like to do a lot of more casual gaming like on the couch when I'm watching TV with my wife and that's a much more enjoyable experience because I can make snarky comments about whatever's on TV and make her laugh and like we're there kind of spending time together even though I am partly engaged in another activity but I would find it just intolerable to just sit there and devote 100% of my attention to the TV like I would never want to do that so it's like I think that works well for both of us yeah I mean it sounds like you've got a good a good compromise there and I think maybe that's another big factor for me is now that I'm married I'm working and then I'm not working I want to spend time with my wife which I which I didn't have when I was in my 20s and right of course yeah that's the other big thing yeah so and my wife's not yeah and my wife's not into games and we do like watching the exact same things so I think I think when I can the evening or one day together I kind of think we should do things together and we want to do the same thing and be engaged in the same thing and if I was sitting on a game while she was watching another show that would be that wouldn't go down well in in the herren household not not just that I think yeah I think I think saying you've got 33% of my attention might not go down well but but it's but it's more a case of we do watch the exact same things and we want to and we want to do that together so that little window where I could have game time and when I did have game time as a as a guy in my 20s is not there anymore as well so that's probably that's probably another big factor which exactly ties into time again as well but it's another reason that I have less time so when I was going through the photos to remind myself of the games I used to play when I was a kid all I could think of is man I sank hundreds and hundreds of hours into some of these games that I was looking at on on on photos and like you know it would come up and it was like man look at that first warcraft that you got kid like you don't know but you're going to spend 500 hours on that like just playing it over and over again like oh look there's total annihilation yep like there was your entire sophomore year of high school right like every free hour you had like you played that game and it's it's of course because like yes as a as a kid what did I have to do as as we discussed in our earlier podcast I blew off all my homework as much as I possibly could and so I spent all of my free time like messing around on the computer reading a book or playing a game the end like that I didn't have any other responsibilities in the world right so so you could definitely spend so much time in it whereas now I use a use a program called steam on my Mac to play all of my games and they do have a feature where they'll they'll tell you like oh how much how much you played various games like they'll let you know how many hours you put into a thing and I look at them sometimes it's like oh these are sad numbers right it's like how much time do you game how much time do you spend gaming a week I know it changes because of your production cycle but what would you if you had to put a number on it if we're if we're talking about something like a thing that I'm actually focused on to like afternoon gaming it's probably not more than a couple of hours a week at most and then the evening gaming is very hard the casual gaming maybe like four hours a week I'm just trying to ballpark it here but so I'm going to say maybe something like six hours a week on average are those evening games the same games you play in the afternoon or they're different games they're different games are they like phone games what are the games you're doing in the evening while you're watching a show with your wife yeah there there's stuff on my iPad and like they need to have a few requirements one of which is that the game can't take all of my attention because I need to say 33% of it right for the for the rest of the home environment and they also have to be possible straight away like I can't have a game that I can't immediately just put down and stop and so in some ways I have to intentionally pick games that are much less engaging than games I would otherwise play but it's like it's it's a nice compromise so what's an example because people are probably going to be wondering what's he talking about what's what's one of your evening games at the moment I have been playing through a game called crash lands at the moment which I can kind of recommend although that is definitely one of those RPG style games where I know like clocks ticking on that one I'm going to be playing it you know in the middle of watching devil wears product or something and just going to at some point immediately just put it down and be like oh I'm done with you game I'm just done oh I play a lot of what are called tower defense games so something like kingdom rush where you're just placing placing down little towers to defend yourself from invaders that are coming in like these are casual ish games there they're not anything that requires a huge amount of focus if you thought there was a game at the moment that had a hope of getting me back into gaming what would it be if you like if you had to if you had one go at it and you really cared about me getting back into it which I know you don't you couldn't care less but yeah if it was your mission what would the what would you use that's impossible you're setting for me just an absolute impossible task you know what you know what this is like it's almost like you're coming to me and you're saying I've fallen out of love with movies I haven't watched movies in 10 years if there was one movie you were going to give to me to sell me on movies what would you sell me on that's also a great question yeah but then I also I just don't have a really good sense of what kind of games you like like even just you know you're going through your history and talking about some Atari games and things like I don't know man like it's it would be impossible to pick something to try to get you sold on it just again just because like I was saying before there's just so many different genres like there are games I am convinced there are games for everyone out there right even people who don't think that they like games there's something for you you just don't know what it is games that to me seem horrifically boring my favorite example of this is that there are games where the whole game is someone someone shows you like a picture of a messy room and you have to find an object in that room and that's all the game is just like here's a picture of a room click on the object in the room I can't imagine anything that is more repulsive but like people love those games I forget what they're like object finding games or something like you couldn't pay me to play that but people love it I'll tell you a kind of game that I sink a lot of time into which I think I think you wouldn't like but you would appreciate and that is football management games or soccer management games to an American yeah I quite like those I thought you would like them because you don't actually play the game you don't play the softball you manage the team I thought you'd like cannot cannot stand those no those are I thought you'd like it because it's like work can you like work oriented games yeah see this is what you're like it was just so far apart on so many things this is different to sports video you did hear me you do we're listening to me that weren't you yeah don't play the sport yeah I know what you're talking about I can talk about they're like the management things now they're just the worst they're just the worst they're boring they're they're absolutely boring I do have to I do have to say that like as as a slight as a slight tangent here even though I give you a hard time about your darts you know your dumb sports that you like to watch video games have totally given me appreciation for like why people like sports on an intrinsic level like I can I can understand it so much better years later now when I when I I'm not in a school anymore like forces me to play sports so I feel this intense resentment toward it like now as an adult just playing video games like I can completely understand the whole sports thing both because you know with with certain kinds of video games pulling off maneuvers is incredibly satisfying when you have a game that you can get better at and you become more skilled at and it's like oh okay this is similar to when people are learning to play sports like it is satisfying to be able to pull off a maneuver well in a sport and the other thing which is you know you mentioned at the beginning that I was doing this this twitch live stream a couple days ago like just for fun and while I was on twitch I got sucked into watching this thing that I always think is just so funny but like e sports and when people are are commenting on other people playing video games but like in real sports announcer voices and I was just on twitch and I it happened to call catch my eye but I saw that I go some there was someone commenting on a starcraft game and like oh I used to I spent thousands of hours on starcraft like let me watch and I'm watching this thing and people are commenting on it's like okay again I understand why people watch sports and why people will say something like if you ever played soccer you'll like watching soccer so much better because I was watching these guys play starcraft and it was like yeah I got sucked into watching a starcraft game for 30 minutes because I could appreciate when they were pulling off hard moves or I could appreciate like what is going on even if those players were phenomenally much more better at the game than I could ever be if I dedicated my whole life to it so I do have so much more sympathy for sports because of games without it down but I'm still going to make fun of you for darts I'm never going to let that go and I'm going to make fun of you for pretending to drive a vehicle on the road in the in the real world when you could actually just do it it's so satisfying though it's so satisfying I could get into that one like I see the appeal that one but I won't I'll tell you though man that game is in no small part some some amount of self-medication because I really want to be doing is driving across America but this again like is is the responsibilities of adult life and adult time constraints I can't actually just ditch my whole life and go drive across America for six weeks so the best thing that I'm going to be able to do is to do it virtually

==Episode List==

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "H.I. #59: Consumed by Donkey Kong". Hello Internet. Hello Internet. Retrieved 12 October 2017.