H.I. No. 90: Pumpkin Pressure

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"Pumpkin Pressure"
Hello Internet episode
Episode 90 on the podcast YouTube channel
Episode no.90
Presented by
Original release dateOctober 19, 2017 (2017-10-19)
Running time1:55:19
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"H.I. #90: Pumpkin Pressure" is the 90th episode of Hello Internet, released on October 19, 2017.[1]

Official Description[edit | edit source]

Grey and Brady discuss: emoji revisited and the plurals of words, spoilers revisited, the 280 character upper class, Twitter Halloween, SpaceX Adelaide action, the drama over Brady's lego set resolved... or maybe not, Brady in Las Vegas during the shooting and advertising during tragedy, the (fiction of) the 2017 Nobel prize in physics.

Show Notes[edit | edit source]


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Fan Art
When we were suggesting the title of the last episode, I suggested a swarm of emojis or something like that. And you changed my plural emojis to the other plural of emojis, that being emoji. But I think I said emojis during the podcast. So obviously a couple of pedants got onto me and said, oh, actually, technically the plural of emojis is emoji. Is that what they sounded like? That's what they sounded like in my head. Of course. Obviously, I went investigating about the plural of emoji and I've read various articles. And I've come to the conclusion that there is no conclusion. You obviously believe the plural of emojis should be emoji. Well, I'm mistaken in thinking that it's a Japanese word. Is that where it comes from? That is correct. But we're not speaking Japanese, of course. We're using it in the English language. But I think when we were talking, I bet I said emojis. I think in regular context, it's very easy to say emojis. I think that's perfectly fine. But perhaps when you are sitting down, you're putting on your formal wear to write a formal title for a podcast. I think like a title, you want to make sure everything is buttoned up all tight. You have your capitalization all correct. You have all of your punctuation in the right place. Everything is formatted properly. It feels like then you should go with emoji as the plural because that feels like the most formal version of it. And maybe emojis is perfectly fine, but is a little bit of a laid-back conversational tone. Okay. Do you agree with that? I hear your argument, but I don't agree. I think the plural of emoji should be and will become emojis, despite the fact that it's not in Japanese. Not all words co-opted from other languages also co-opt those rules. Some do, some don't. There's a really good article I read in the Atlantic and they pointed out sushi, which is pluralized to sushi. But tsunami is pluralized to tsunamis. My wife says sushi's when she's talking about plural. Like this is a tray full of sushi's. Oh, I've never heard that. I wouldn't say that. So I was the most friendly enough, I wouldn't do that to sushi. But I would say there have been three tsunamis in the last two years. So there's no rule, even with the Japanese words that we co-opt. Sometimes we follow the Japanese rule, sometimes we don't. And I think in the case of emoji and emojis, I think the S is required for clarity. And I think over time that's the way it has to go. But hey, you know, I'm just one guy. If you said there were three tsunami in the last year, it would feel ridiculously pretentious. Yeah. But I think saying this is a plate full of sushi's is adorable. That's also a clear winner here in this book. This is also the problem with the eye plural. Like, isn't this isn't the whole eye plural part of this thing where English just decided to bar a bunch of rules from Latin that don't make any sense? Like, isn't that the whole where the whole like cacti thing comes from? I have some vague memory that like the eye plural is a ridiculous import into the language in the first place. It does sound good on some words though. I'm still a big fan of ambi-ly as the plural of ambi-lyses. So way better plural than what we're stuck with. Really? Yeah. But you wouldn't use it like you wouldn't say to me, oh my goodness, four ambi-ly I just went past. What's going on? I might. The circumstance it rarely presents itself, but it's going to be a golden moment when I can use ambi-ly just in a conversational tone someday. The problem is like, obviously you would say it to be funny. Right. And it would make people laugh. Right. But normally when you're talking about incidents that involve multiple ambi-lyses, that is not a time to be funny. That seems like it's the time that you need to be funny the most. What is humor, Brady? If not the thing that we use to defend ourselves from the horrors of the world. Right. When there's a bunch of ambi-ly going down the street, that's the best time to use the word ambi-ly. All right. Oh, look. Here are all these ambi-ly. They're cleaning up after the tsunami. How many tsunami? The many tsunami. We have numerous ambi-ly on standby in case there are several tsunami that cause great danger to all those people over there eating their sushi. So have you had any follow-up from the emoji gate? I'm saying emoji gate, like there was some controversy last episode. I can't even remember why we were discussing emoji, no? I'm a big fan of the gate suffix. It's applicable under many circumstances. Oh, it was the bees, wasn't that? That's right. It was bee gate. Yeah, we were talking about the bee emojis and how the page full of bee emoji is ridiculous and they don't look very good. Although just today I do have some follow-up from our emoji discussion, but I was looking up several emoji pages for this. And one of the other ones I came across as another animal contender for I think a very bad page of emoji is the frog. If you take a look at the frog page on emoji pdia, I think that is a strong contender for also weird emoji that don't represent the frog very well. And there, guys, a big spike in the frog emoji pdia statistics. That's how I look. Actually, between the recording of last episode and it actually going live, I was fortunate enough to actually have lunch with Jeremy who runs emoji pdia. So I was able to give him a heads up that he needed to batten down the servers for the bee page before the episode went live. So he was all over that at emoji pdia headquarters. I don't agree with you, Gray. I think generally the standard of the frog emojis is higher than the standard of the bee emojis. But don't you think they're just weird? It's like a bunch of weird salamanders. That's what I'm looking at here. I just, they make me feel uncomfortable. I think they're weird. And the Apple one, I never really thought about it. But the Apple one, I realize all of my Apple emoji life. I thought that was a snake face emoji. I never realized that that was the frog face emoji. It's a whole other animal. I don't know, Gray. Now that you say snake, I kind of see it. But if you sent me a text saying, oh, I'm a goodness Brady, I was just out walking in the forest and I stepped on a, and then you sent me that emoji. I would immediately know that you'd stepped on a frog. So I think it does its job. I think the sentence is leader. You toward the idea that you stepped on a snake. I think there's contacts around there that make it very clear that it's stepped on a snake. A snake is not a snake if you don't see it's long body. Like no one would represent a snake with just the forward flush face of a snake. Unless it had a big forked tongue. Snakes are all about long bodies. I was just saying I look at all of those and my first thought is frog. I'm not saying they're perfect and I'm not saying they couldn't be better. But I think they're acceptable as frogs. Yeah, I'll give them a barely acceptable but I just think a lot of them are weird. There's one I like. I like the messenger one. It speaks to me somehow. No, no. That messenger frog looks like a creepy frog that's watching you when he shouldn't be. But you think it looks a bit voyeuristic? Yeah, it does. That messenger frog feels like he's watching you in the bathroom. Messenger frog feels like I don't like it. That smile, there's creepy eyes and his looking to the side like that. Like, oh, hey, I don't like that messenger frog emoji one tiny bit. I've just got this picture in my head. If you like pulling your trousers up and then looking up at the window and then that frogs just like I got a BDR as right up against the glass. Yeah, that's what I would expect. So it puts a sticker out like that on the window of a bathroom. And what it's doing with its mouth also makes it look kind of a little bit slasier. That's an uncomfortable emoji. But I was wandering down this garden path of emoji because the main feedback from last time is I was describing the kind of things that I like in emoji. What I thought would be good design elements. And the universal feedback was that the emoji that I should like best are the old Google emoji. So this is a story I was vaguely aware of when it happened but because I don't use Google stuff, I wasn't really on top of it. But Google changed their emoji this year. And so here is the list of images of the old Google emoji, which is the Android 7.1 version of emoji. Okay. And then I will also send you Android 8.0 version of emoji. So this is the first iteration of their new emoji. All right. So I'm looking at 7.1 first. Right. I don't like their faces because they're not round. They're like these stone, lozen sort of domes. Don't approve of that. I think those are adorable. I really like the little gumdrop faces. Not having it. They've got to be round. Yeah. I'm scrolling down looking at it. There are other more general stuff, you know. And they're okay. Okay. So that's 7.1. Yeah. And now let's have a look at these other ones. 8.0. Hmm. Ah, see, they've gone to the round faces. That's good. See, obviously the people have spoken. And they've gone to the round faces. I've already forgotten the ones before. But my first instinct is that the new ones are better. Hmm. I'll give you, there's what I think is an illustrative example of the change in style, which is if you go to the turtle emoji page on a mojapedia. And you go down to Google and you click on it. You can see the old versions of what the turtle looked like. I mean, you are cherry picking here, but I'll do it. I am cherry picking, but I think there's a thing that I want to illustrate here that is showing the design difference. Okay. Because I think the new Google emojis I really don't like. And I don't like them for a couple of specific reasons. But it might not be obvious when you're looking at all of them in a bunch. All right. So I've gone to the turtle on the Google emoji. And I'm looking at the current one, which I'm not a fan of. Right. And I've called up the old ones. And I've got the previous one I get is 5.0. That's correct. Yeah. That's the one that looks. So I'm looking at 4.3, which is black and white, and I'm talking about. It's an old timey turtle is what that one is. Yeah. Yeah. 4.4 and 5.0. This tells me what you like. You know, you're obviously like uber cuteness in your emojis. I think if you're going to go for emoji, it helps to make them cute. Yeah. I mean, I think the 4.4, 5.0 ones, the ones before, I don't like the new one, but I think the previous ones don't look professional. I think they look like they were made by an amateur. Hmm. That's interesting. You say that. I'm looking at the new Google emoji versus the old Google emoji. And there's one key feature here, which I think really ruins the new Google emoji, which is the same kind of thing I would not tolerate on a flag. And it's Google's intense love of gradients. Hmm. Every one of these emojis has a gradient. They're not using solid colors. Hmm. Even the people want, like they're not using solid colors. Everything is a fade color from the top down to the bottom. But I think the gradients look like mid 90s web garbage. You've got to go with the flat design or nothing. Like having these gradients is absolutely terrible. Yeah. So I've got to say, I'm a big fan of the old Google emojis that have passed into the dustbin of history. I think they're really cute. I think they have a consistent design. And I think the new version of the Google emojis, I don't like them at all. I think the gradients are ugly. And they're stuck in a weird half-land between having dimension and being flat. So thumbs down. Also across the kind of turtle suite of emojis across all platforms, they can't seem to decide between a turtle and a tortoise. I mean, the apple turtle is clearly a tortoise. I always forget which way is the what with this one. Which one does it tortoises the one on land? That's the tortoise. The tortoise is the big land one. Tortises the big land one. Do you think that we need to specify a difference between these? I think in most people's minds, it kind of melts together. Like are you going to be petition for crocodile versus an alligator emoji? Well, being in Australia, and I probably will. I don't know which one is actually in, is it alligator? I mean, it does say here that the turtle emoji is also known as the tortoise and looks similar to one. So they're even acknowledging themselves at this ambiguity here. Are you team crocodile or team alligator? Like which animal do you prefer to those two? They have got crocodile emoji. Have a look at the emoji pdf page for this animal. I have sent it to you on InstaMessage. As an Australian, how do you feel about the representation of this creature on the various emojis? All right. So you've sent me the page for the crocodile? Also known as the alligator. Well, no, not also known as the alligator. It says it right there on the emoji pdf page. Also known as alligator. Croc. So the apple crocodile is way too elaborate. It's like a piece of art, like a children's book about animals. Like it's really detailed. It's not even emojis, as far as I'm concerned. I really think on all of these pages, the apple ones really stand out as being very different and being maybe overly detailed. They've kind of lost the spirit of what emojis are about. The Google one, the crocodile looks like it's a bit wacky. It doesn't look like the brightest crocodile. It's like, hello. Is there any meat coming away? Yeah, it's like he's had a cold fix, right? That's what that crocodile's had. It's in the Samsung. That's what made me laugh out loud so hard on this page. Is that what Samsung? You're adorable, little squashed crocodile, stegosaurus dinosaur emoji. It's so wrong. It's adorable. It is really truly past the merlin point of looking at us. Yes, it is. I'm going to give it that. The Microsoft one is weird. It's like a piece of concept art. Yeah, it's like an Aztec drawing with a very heavy stroke weight. LG look like they just repurposed their cucumber emoji. HTC just weren't trying hard enough. Facebook started playing with the hues and forgot to press Undo. Messenger just looks nasty. The Twitter one is super cute, although I would probably struggle to guess what it is. I also like the Twitter crocodile emoji also has the advantage of looking like he doesn't have a care in the world. Right? Like he's just strutting along being a crocodile. Yeah. Whatever man, he has got a certain aloofness about him. Yeah, I like him a lot. This is great podcast for the way. Just talking about all this imagery. The emoji decks one is nasty. The Mozilla one looks like it's from an Atari 2600 game. The emoji one one looks like it's got a mountain range going along its back. The question that I was having for you though is as an Australian, how would you feel about using this emoji to represent the creature in your native homeland? Does that Google one who's drank the Vix feel like he expresses what it is to be an Australian crocodile? I don't know. As an Australian, the only time we ever talk about crocodiles is not normally in fun. It's normally another tourist who's just been eaten. So I can't see how I would use a wacky crocodile. You don't talk about crocodiles in times of liberty. I can't imagine how I would use a crocodile emoji ever. I can't imagine sending a message to my friend in Australia going, oh hey, hey mate, sorry to hear about your uncle Rob being eaten by the emoji crocodile. Crocodiles are serious business down in Australia. Crocodiles are serious business anywhere. You don't mess with crocodiles, are you? Well, when I googled crocodile, the very first thing that comes up is a news article from just a few days ago, the title of which I love, death of Queensland's largest crocodile in 30 years could spark violent power grab. You don't want a power grab happening in the waterways of Queensland. Anyway, that's the emoji. I'm going to give the old Android one big thumbs up, new Android one thumbs down. It's ugly and I don't like it. That's my emoji follow up. Samsung crocodile emoji made my day. It's so bad. It's great. I love it. You go Samsung crocodile. You go man. We talk about spoilers a lot and we try to avoid spoilers or warn people of spoilers. And I think this is good practice. If you are straining into territory where you are about to spoil a TV show or a movie, you are out to people to warn them you're about to do it. Of course. It's only civilized. But I do not think it is civilized in a single tweet to write spoiler alert, colon, can't believe Darth Vader was really a woman. Like in the same sentence, that is not sufficient spoiler alert. Like just writing spoiler alert and then immediately spoiling in the same sentence is very poor form and you may as well have not even written spoiler alert. Because I don't think many people are capable of seeing those first two words. Not even knowing what you're about to spoil. I don't think you can tweet about things without spoiling. I can't see how you could do it. Unless you said spoiler alert in five minutes, I'm going to tweet something that ruins the new Star Wars movie. But even then, if the first thing people see is your next tweet, you've spoiled. Yeah. People who are doing spoiler alert colon and then the actual spoiler. That is, ungentlemly. I have a suspicion that those are people who don't get the use of spoiler alert as a joke. Yeah. Which is like a conversational thing when you say spoiler alert and then you say a thing that completely isn't a spoiler. Yeah. You're teaching a history lesson in the UK and you're talking about the Germans trying to invade the British mainland. And as the history teacher, you say spoiler alert, they didn't. Yeah. Right? It's like, that's a joke. It's not a spoiler because you're speaking English. I think that's maybe people do not get in the use of it as a joke versus not as a joke. Yeah. They think they've done a public service by putting spoiler alert on the. Unless there's some thing that goes on in the Twitter community, I'm not aware of where people filter out tweets with the words spoiler alert on them. That's putting too much of a burden on the end user. That doesn't work at all. No, that's no good. Yeah. You can't have the spoil right next to the spoiler alert. That's not how eyes read. Like, we read by taking in a bunch of words it wants. You just have to accept you cannot spoil on Twitter. That is not a medium where you can put spoilers. There's no way to effectively do it. Unless you link to something spoiler alert, here's my thoughts on the new style or movie. And then you like have like a link to somewhere else. Okay. But don't put it in the twig. That's just you don't know what you're doing. Even if you have those new spacious 280 character tweets, there's not enough space in a single tweet to not spoil what you've said. Have you got them? No, I don't have them yet, Brady. Do you have the new expanded tweets? No, I don't. I've seen other people I know with them, like, jurrating and all those characters. Like, like someone making it rain in Vegas with like $20 views. I swear to God, I have this weird feeling. I've seen some people they have all the space to use their 280 characters. And there's something about it that makes it feel like watching the monopoly man just burn money in front of you. Like, how you bastard. And I look at you with all your words. And I'm here like a popper eating my gruel. I'm able to express my thoughts as largely and as freely as you. It makes me feel like the proletariat should revolt. I have such a visceral reaction to seeing them in my timeline and it makes no sense whatsoever. Do you know the few people I've seen using them though? I feel like they're padding. Every time I read a 280 character tweet, I read the first part and then I read them saying, like, another sentence after that. And I'm like, you didn't need that. You're just padding out the tweet now. I agree. When I saw Twitter announce this as a thing that there's like, oh, we're going to double the size of tweets. I don't want to be this guy, but I did have the feeling of like, I don't think you understand your company. Like, I don't think you understand what's great about Twitter. And at least so far what I have seen with the double sized tweets doesn't encourage me to think, oh, wow, I really feel like I was missing out on the expanded thoughts of the people that I follow and who get retweeted in my timeline. Like, hey, guess what? 140 characters. Yeah, sometimes it's annoying, but it's a feature. It's not a problem. It instills a discipline on the tweeters that is in everyone's best interests. I totally agree. I find it's such a bizarre decision on Twitter's side. And I don't know. Did you read their blog post where they explained their reasoning for this? I didn't. Can you summarize it for me? So they actually had an interesting point. So they talked about Twitter in various different languages. And they made the point that, okay, so it's 140 characters, but a character is a very different thing in different languages. For example, Japanese. And how you are able to express many more thoughts in 140 characters of Japanese than you can in English. And that English is actually one of the languages that's, if you line them all up in this concept of how much can you express with this number of characters? English is on the end of it's much harder to express the same number of thoughts. It's character hungry. I think this is a really interesting idea. And I remember a long time ago doing like an information theory class. I think it was like Russian was one of the worst. It was like very hard to express thoughts in a small number of characters with Russian. It's like it gobbles up the most number of letters that you need to use. So anyway, so they did this little analysis and they were able to show that in English and a few other languages, that something like 10% of the tweets hit the absolute maximum character limit. So presumably people are trying to squeeze it in as best as they can. And I know I do this all the time. Like I write out some garbage on Twitter and then I see the little indicators like you are 300 characters over the limits. And it's like, okay, well, gotta start pruning it back. And like you get down to the core of whatever it is you're trying to say. And you're like, oh, curse you one extra character. I can't get rid of it. It's like, oh, well, I guess I need to get rid of that double space. So their argument was because English was hitting this limit, it means that they should expand it compared to other languages. That's stupid. I 100% agree. Like, okay, why do you think that's stupid? Because the number was crafted with English in mind. Well, I know it was crafted because of text messages, but it was it was text messages in America. Like that's where it came from. Yeah, it has always been the restriction. If anything, they should have just cut down on the Japanese version. Or just accepted that the Japanese people have the luxury of writing novels in a tweet, whereas we don't. Yeah, it's funny because I was thinking the exact thing is like, oh, sounds like you need to to cut down on those Japanese over there. Like, luxuriating in their super long tweets. Like, well, you need to show them a few things and crank it down. So 10% of their tweets hit the maximum length, which I presume would mean that tweets in Japan, you only get 10 characters. I'm sure is what it must be. There's a thing I think that often happens when someone's explaining a thing where it's like, you've told me some facts about the world, but I don't see how those drive you to the conclusion. They're like, oh, because they hit the limit. It's like, everyone already knows that in Twitter, you hit the limit all the time. We've been doing this for 10 years on Twitter. Like, why now? Why do we have to change this now? So anyway, I'm just ranting because I feel I feel two things about this. One, I feel it's a super dumb decision. And two, I feel weirdly resentful of this top hat wearing monocled overclass of people who have the expanded tweets right now when I don't. Do you think there's a reason they're not telling us? Like a real reason that involves money, obviously. I don't know. I have no idea why Twitter would want to do this. I mean, people sort of joke that, oh, it's the easiest thing they could do. But I actually imagine this is probably a pretty big technical change when you have a software code base for a decade that's based around a hard coded limit. Like, I imagine this is actually quite expensive in terms of manpower for them to do. I don't know. And this is one of these things. I just can't conceive of a reason, except maybe they think the new users find the 140 characters too restrictive and that new users want more space. This is their path to growth. I don't know. But I mean, I'm trying to think what the threats are to Twitter at the moment. I'm going to obviously, they're worried about all these other platforms that people will go to instead. But I can't think of another social media platform I use where I think, the luxury of all these characters. I mean, I can write longer posts on Facebook. But other than that, I mean, other things like Instagram and Snapchat and things like that. I mean, I hardly use text. And if I do, it's never more than four or five words. So I wouldn't have thought people's ability to luxuriate in text elsewhere is the biggest threat to Twitter. Yeah, I don't get it. I think it's a strange move. And in all seriousness, from my timeline, I have yet to see a tweet that I think oh yes, this was enhanced by the length, as opposed to simply being oh, now there's more in my timeline, which is less well thought about, which is actually quite an accomplishment for Twitter because if there's one social network that has the reputation for like, you just quickly say a thing and tweet it and never think about it, it's like it sure is Twitter. And it's like, oh no, now they're giving people even more room to just be like, ratatatatatatat, type out some stuff, boom enter and off it goes. I genuinely think this is a, this is a really bad decision for Twitter. I think they should stick with the 140. You know, when I was a newspaper journalist, I would write stories every day, obviously. And your biggest fear was your story not getting into the paper at all. Your second biggest fear was it being cut down to what we would call a brief, where it would be cut down to one or two sentences. The main reason you didn't like that is because you wouldn't get your name on the story, because you don't have bylines on briefs. But also, yeah, but also you didn't like the fact that your day's work had been condensed to just two sentences in a list of briefs. Right, your article's not getting respect. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So anyway, later on in my career for about a year or two, I had a job where I was this sort of night chief of staff person. I was like a more of a boss person as an intermediate between all the reporters who I was kind of overseeing in the evening and all the sub editors who were putting the newspaper together at night. And one of my main jobs would be after the reporters had gone home, the sub editors would come to me and say, see this story here, which Freddie Bloggs has written. And he's written, you know, 30 centimeters of copy, because everything's in centimeters. He's written 30 centimeters. We want it as a brief. So I would have to take the story and cut it down to two sentences. So I was obviously ruining Freddie Bloggs' day. But you know what? It was a really, really pleasurable exercise for me. It was one of the most fun things about my night, taking a story and crafting it, distilling it down to the two sentences. Like it was sort of like preparing me for Twitter. You know, because sometimes I didn't like all the things I had to do in that job in the evening or it could be quite boring. But that was one of the things I really enjoyed. Having spent years having it done to me, when it was my job to actually do it to my colleagues, I always found it a very pleasurable challenge. Did you enjoy it more for the challenge of the cutting down or did you enjoy it more for the power of finally being able to do to others what had been done to you? I did feel a little bit sympathy for the reporters because I'd been there. And it wasn't like a power trip. It was more just like a puzzle. It was more like solving a crossword or something like that. It was like how can you take all of this information and make it fit into this new size that you've been given? Because I'd be told, you know, sometimes it would be, here's a 35 centimeter story. I've only got 12 centimeters of space on the page. So can you cut 35 centimeters down to 12 centimeters? And you'd see the number on the screen as to how big that story now was. So you were constantly pruning it. Like Twitter, it was like Twitter, you know, 20 years before. I was seeing this number coming down. I was having to cut this number down and down and down until it fit the whole. And while we're talking about Twitter, Brady, while we're complaining about Twitter, I also have to say that we're now entering a Twitter season that I really don't like. And it's Twitter Halloween. Oh, yeah. Second only to April, Thursday, it's the worst time to be on Twitter. Yes, except Twitter Halloween. Lasts all month. It does. And it's a month full of people coming up with dumb, spooky, pun-based names for themselves. And I just saw the first one rolled by today. And I thought, oh, no. I forget about it until it shows up. But I just, I feel like I'm going around here and I'm stomping on everyone's fun. But I just, I don't know why it bothers me so much. But everybody on Twitter changing their name to a spooky name. Like don't give a Halloween is great. Halloween, one of the top holidays, obviously. Don't agree, but you're wrong. I'm sorry. You're American. American succession with Halloween will never make sense to me. Yeah, that's because we do it great. And the UK does it terribly. But we're okay. We're moving right along. Because we're like normal people that realize it's ridiculous. No, it's fantastic and you're wrong. But again, the UK does it just terribly. Every year, UK Halloween super disappointment. That's how you don't know how to do it. But anyway, the Twitter names, I am not looking forward to a whole month of this where everybody feels like they need to change their Twitter names to something spooky. What should I be? Brady's scaram? Or... Yeah, I mean, that would be just as good as most of the things that I see. I don't know why. There's something... What's yours? Is it CGP grave? I don't know. I don't know. Like I'm not doing it. I'm not doing any kind of Twitter name. The most I do is I'll change the color of my icons. Oh, that's right. You change it to orange, don't you? Like a pumpkin. Yeah. You sell out. Who am I selling out to? The Halloween Corporation? You're selling out to the pumpkin pressure of Halloween. The pumpkin pressure? No, but that because Halloween is great, right? That changes the colors because it's fantastic. Can we just have a moment's silence for the excellence of pumpkin pressure as a name for the pressure to enjoy Halloween festivities? Why does it need a moment of silence, Brady? It's just like recognition, you know? I think that's quite good. And it's this came to me. It's very good, Brady. It's a very good name. And you're very good at coming up with names. Don't succumb to the pumpkin pressure, people of changing your icon orange or changing your name to something stupid. People don't change your Twitter names. I just realized now, like, why does it bother me so much? And part of the reason is because I have to like refigure out who the people are in my Twitter timeline. Like I hate it enough when people just change their profile picture, which I always think is a real dangerous move when you're on Twitter. And you decide, like, I'm going to change the picture. It's like, okay, well, I have no idea who you are, possibly forever from now on, but for weeks at least. But changing the name too is the same thing where it's like, oh, okay, I have to like, revisually realize who you are. And if you've changed your icon at the same time, it's like a month of confusion. So thumbs down on Twitter Halloween names. I've just come up with an even better name for you to change yours too, though. What? RIP Gray. It is pretty good. It is pretty good. That is good. I'll give you that. That might be the best one I've ever heard. That's pretty good. RIP Gray. Yeah. I'll change it right after the show. With a little grave emoji. Everyone's going to think you've died. And that's how, like, whoever you gave access to your Twitter account after you're passing to Senator to announce it to the world. RIP Gray and Pumpkin Pressure in the space of minutes. I'm on fire, great. We all bow down before you, Brady. My creative juices are flowing. They're flowing. You need to take advantage of this. Is there anything else you need named while I'm here? No, no, I'm good. I'm good on names. Thank you. Let's move on there. This episode of Hello Internet is brought to you in part by Harries. 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They'll give you their trial shave set for free when you sign up at harries.com slash hi. All you need to do is pay for shipping. That's a free trial set from Harries, a $13 value when you sign up. And your free trial set includes a weighted ergonomic razor handle, five precision engineered blades with a lubricating strip and trimmer blade, rich lathering shave gel and a travel blade cover. If you have a bit of shave that needs to be taken care of, how could you say no to this? Once again, go to harries.com slash hi right now and sign up. That's harries.com slash hi. Thanks to Harries for supporting the show. Well, let's talk about something that has been named interestingly. As we move on to a few topics that come up from time to time here on Hello Internet. And that is Elon Musk and SpaceX. Well, I certainly heard that there was some action in Adelaide after the last podcast. Exactly. I think Elon Musk's endless quest to win me over. He's taken the dramatic step of making his next big announcements in Adelaide, just a stone's throw from the mighty black star. This is where he has announced to the world his latest incarnation of his publicity, seeking announcements of things that he may do in years of the future, where he has announced his plan for Mars. I'm going to go to Mars one day, basically. He's the summary. Do you think he makes a lot of announcements before there are things? Well, I don't really follow Elon Musk announcements. I don't really follow SpaceX. So when you say there's an announcement about SpaceX going to Mars, like if there's one thing I learned from the feedback the first time we brought up SpaceX, it's that this is clearly the whole purpose of the company. So presumably this is information that has already been known for a while. So yeah, it's revised ambitions for how he's going to do it and stuff. And he's got some sexy new animations made. Everybody loves some sexy animations, though. I mean, I'm not anti-Elon Musk right, but I do think he spends a lot of time announcing things. And maybe this is the way you have to be in business, but he's a bit of a publicity seeker. One of the reasons he's also connected with Adelaide, he's quite like he does see opportunities to maximize that publicity. For example, the other reason he was in Adelaide, I mean, he was there because there was this international, astronomical congress was held in Adelaide. So that's why he was there doing the Mars, but he was also there in Adelaide because a little while back, Adelaide had some problems with its power supply. And there were some blackouts and there were some infrastructure problems. I won't bore you with the details. But he then saw the opportunity and said, I'll build you a giant battery in 100 days. And if I don't build it in 100 days, it's free. So he saw this as he's in to swoop in while they were struggling and say, this is finally my chance to get someone to adopt my battery technology. So he's quite good at, like, and good on him. He didn't do anything wrong, but he's quite good at getting attention. And I feel like all these announcements about Mars and stuff are what he does to get attention. And all these people, let's say, this is the aim of the company. Fair enough, but don't get too drawn in by the hype. Like, you know, sometimes your big announcement is what you do to keep your other businesses chugging along. Do you think that's what's going on that it's direction to keeping the other businesses going? I think it keeps the other businesses in the spotlight and does the other sides of the business some good to have these like marquee plans. I'm sure he would love to send people to Mars and he is a space fan. He wasn't like a, you know, an Apollo fan and stuff, but I do think people get a bit carried away with this stuff. I mean, politicians do the same thing. Just this week, the vice president of the US was talking about boots on the moon and stuff like that. It's like a classic diversion. The thing with governmental announcements that's much easier to draw of line at is, like, oh, okay, boots on the moon, you say, can you show me the line in the next budget that is directly related to those boots on the moon? Because if you cannot show me that line in the budget, then this is clearly just all talk, right? Whereas with private corporations, like exactly where they're distributing their, like, it's much more opaque. You can't necessarily see. But yes, like, I remember several presidential administrations ago, lots of talk about, like, returning to the moon and going to Mars and it's like, where's your okay's budget for this? Like, nowhere? Oh, okay. All right. Well, I won't be holding my breath on this anytime soon then. The one thing I will say that was like, I don't mind there being someone in the world who is taking on the role of crazy billionaire with interesting ideas. Right? Putting aside the practicality of things, because many of these things, I don't have any real a sense of it. A good example, this is the Hyperloop, which was the first one of these, like, wacky ideas that came to my attention a while back. It was like the super fast ground transit thing. And I think I had filed under my brain as like crazy idea that will never go anywhere. But it seems like that's actually a thing that's really like there's the Hyperloop construction beginning and there's tests on it. It seems like that might actually go somewhere. I don't know. But I don't mind there being someone in the world who is just throwing out crazy ideas and has resources to maybe just try stuff. And almost like the venture capital model of crazy ideas, like, oh, let's just try a bunch of stuff and let's see if things work or see if things don't. And you don't necessarily expect that everything will pan out all the way. I don't mind going for it. As opposed to the bold ambitions of Twitter to double the length of things people can say. It's a great 10-year engineering project. I'm very glad we've done that. I tell you what, and he's making the announcement Adelaide and he has to get points for that. It's pretty exciting. Because now, if he does get to Mars, I'm going to say it started in Adelaide. Oh, that's what you're going to say. And I've been having a look because he's also announced that these new rockets that he's going to use to get to Mars could be used for other things like transporting people from New York to Shanghai and 40 minutes and stuff like that. And he's released a little video animation of what that's going to look like. And I've been looking at this new rocket, which has been named the BFR. They don't say exactly what the F stands for. So it could be big Falcon rocket or it could be big FN rocket, which is what people think. It's the subtext because he likes these cheeky names. My thinking immediately goes to Doom and the BFG in Doom. So yeah, that's the way I would assume this runs. Right. I have to say because Tesla and Musk and all these people and SpaceX, they're good at making stuff look good. It's just cool. But I think this new rocket's kind of ugly. So this is the video that you sent me earlier. This is the Earth to Earth animation. That's what you're talking about. Yeah, that's the video I sent you. There's a YouTube video of what it would look like going from New York to Shanghai and the rocket. And if you Google like BFR rocket, you'll see lots of pictures of it and stuff like that as well. I didn't realize that supposed to be the actual rocket. I thought this was just a concept animation of a rocket, but I didn't realize that with the actual model of it. He's been putting out all sorts of pictures of the rocket in action on his Instagram. You can watch it like launching and how it all works and stuff. If you do BFR rocket. I did Google for BFR rocket and Wikipedia is playing the Who knows what it stands for game in the first line of their description. The BFR which either stands for and then they list the two options. I like that Wikipedia playing both sides of the field. I mean, it looks like a big chunky rocket. It reminds me of the A380, the Airbus, the new big double-decker Airbus. Like you've got your 747, which is just the proportions of a 747. I just beautiful. It's just a beautiful looking plane. And when you compare it to the A380, the Airbus looks like just a big chunky fatso. And I feel like this BFR is like the A380 of rockets. I'm sure it's probably more effective and better and can hold more people and does the job better, but it just doesn't look as beautiful. The proportions aren't right. It doesn't make whatever the golden rocket ratio is. I'm laughing here, Brady, because I really appreciate these little moments with you, because this is one of these things where I look at it and you know what I see? I see a picture of a rocket. And because I'm not very familiar with rockets, I feel like this looks like all the rockets I've ever seen. Really, it looks sort of the same. I absolutely adore that in your analogy to explain the rockets, you immediately jump to another field where I feel like the planes all look the same to me. You're like, oh yes, the Boeing 747 versus the A bus. And I'm like, yes, some planes are bigger than others. Like I am just not familiar enough with models of airplanes or rockets to be able to visually distinguish them from each other. So if you Google 747 versus A380 and go to just the image results, you'll see lots of comparisons between a 747 and A380. 747 versus A380. Okay, so the A380 is the one with the big forehead. Like it has a big forehead above the cockpit. Yeah, you can't tell me you look at those and think one's more beautiful than the other. I would say the one is more beautiful than the other. The 747 is more beautiful than the other, but isn't the A380? It seems like it's way bigger. Like it looks like it's hauling twice as many people, right? It holds more people. Yeah, and it's way better technology. And it's a great plane, the A380, and it's great to fly on. It just doesn't look that good. And that's what I'm saying about this new BFR rocket. I'm sure there are reasons for it, and it'll do the job better, and I hold more people. But I just don't think it looks cool. Everybody's going to be saying, oh, it's the A380 of rockets. That's what they're going to be saying. I think so. I think they will. You're planning on taking one of these 30-minute flights from London to New York anytime soon? I tell you, well, that's the other thing I wanted to talk about. Because goodness knows I would love to spend less time sitting in planes. Yeah. So the idea of being able to do a long flight quickly is very appealing to me. If there was a way to get to New York in 30 minutes, I would go to New York just for an afternoon and return, like without a doubt that is a thing that I would do. But here is the problem, and this is something we foreshadowed in the last episode. When you watch that animation of what the flight would be like, and they kind of recreate it, when the rocket is landing in Shanghai, unlike a platform in the water with the Shanghai skyline behind, and it comes down and does that reverse rocket land, does your mind not immediately go to that montage of rocket crashes that you watched not two weeks ago, and you're imagining yourself on there as yet another SpaceX rocket explodes on impact on a landing pad in the water, suddenly being in that rocket is a lot less appealing. All right, place your bets, people. When is Hello Internet going to be covering rocket crash corner? When is the first edition of rocket crash corner going to happen on Hello Internet? It's going to happen someday, passenger, earth to earth, rocket crash corner. So at some point it's going to happen. I'm not sure it's going to happen soon, but it'll happen someday. You said that you would love to do it right. There's a million asterisks on that, but yeah. Yeah, I was going to say, if it was cheap, would you do one of the early ones on a SpaceX rocket? When is it going to get to a point where you would feel safe? Well, this for me is actually much less about safety. I don't know the details of what they're planning here, but this idea of 30 to 60 minute transport anywhere on earth, this is the thing that I've been hearing about for years and years, because the idea is low-worth orbit transportation. Like this has been known as the way to try to solve this problem. It's just not technologically possible. My bigger concern and the thing I've often thought would stop me from using this is just simply the time that you have to spend under acceleration. Like you're spending a 30 minute trip and a very large portion of it is going to be under acceleration. I just find that so deeply uncomfortable that that might be for me the stumbling block, even if it was very safe and affordable. I'd be there with like a clipboard, I'm like, okay, so exactly how much acceleration for exactly how long that's what I would need to know before I'd step on one of these things. I mean, they're not going to make it intolerable, because otherwise it won't happen. But we know from like astronauts who do suborbital flights, the approximate duration, what are you going to be looking at? Like, I don't know, five, ten minutes, and then five, ten minutes at the other end. Ooh. Yeah, 20 minutes under acceleration on a 30 minute flight. I don't know. It's a bit of a 30 minute flight. Yeah, I know. It's okay. But it's deeply uncomfortable. I do not like the taking off in an airplane on the runway. I find uncomfortable enough for 20 seconds, right? If you're asking that you're going to multiply that by a factor of whatever it is, 20 or 30, I don't know. Like, I might try it once, and I might deeply, deeply regret it. What's that big sigh of, are there for it, for it? I don't know. I can sometimes be a bit insensitive, so I won't be. But I think you're being a worse... Okay, you can say that. It's perfectly fine for you to say that. But it's like, that's just the way it is. That is actually my primary concern. That's interesting. I never occurred to me, like being scared of being blown up worries me. Never occurred to me that just like the acceleration would be that bigger problem for potential customers. Well, it depends on how much acceleration that it is. But yeah, I've mentioned before on the show, like I have gone on the baby-est of baby carnival rides and found it's such a deeply unpleasant experience. So that's why it would be concerning. Yeah. But assuming that that's not an issue through magic somehow, I wouldn't want to be on the first one. Maybe this is based on nothing. But I would suspect that in the modern era, the level of safety required to make this kind of thing even feasible is much higher than in the past. Right? That just human expectations of safety are so cranked up in the modern world that this would not be like even flying an aircraft in the 70s. It would already be at aircraft level safety today. So that'd be kind of my guess. Like this would start off as very safe. It wouldn't start off as the risky venture for someone who really needs to get to New York quickly. You know, you think it'll be like bungee jumping or something? I don't know what the safety record for bungee jumping is. It's probably pretty good too. I don't know. It depends where you do it. I've never felt the need to look into it. Too much acceleration. Okay, Lego. So in the last episode, we discussed the speaking of beautiful rockets, the Saturn V rocket that I got as a Lego thing. And I still haven't taken it out of the box. And I was talking about buying another box. So I could have one in mint condition in the box, one that I built. I didn't want to throw away the boxes and all this sort of stuff. Which of course, you sum amusement. Yeah, I think you were toying with the idea of something like five boxes and three built sets. At the end. That was the conclusion we were coming to for how to handle this dilemma. So I obviously heard from multiple listeners who wanted to share their experience with me, those who had bought it and assembled it. And numerous people sent me photos of their assembled rocket on the mantle piece and things like that. Which I appreciate. I even heard from one or two people that have bought two, one to build, and one to keep as their mint condition. But my favorite message came from a listener called Andreas, who said the following. After listening to the latest episode of Hello Internet, I couldn't help but smile and sympathize with your problem concerning the Lego Saturn V. And that's because I too wanted to keep one in mint condition and ordered multiple Saturn Vs. And I was so thrilled and excited when the set was announced. I'm also a huge fan of the early Nassira that I got a little overzealous. And I ordered not two, but four sets. One to display the whole stack, one to show, all separated out in flight, and another one to keep in mint condition. And then I figured one is none. So I ended up with four sets. Gaze into your future here, Brady. Unfortunately, I ordered too late for the first batch to be delivered. So I had to wait for a month for the shipment. During that time, I slowly came to the conclusion that four is maybe a little excessive. And cancelled two of the sets. Just to receive the answer from Lego that my sets have shipped that exact day. So I had to return two of the sets because I couldn't cancel them anymore. So for a handful of days, I had four, sat in five sets in my flat. It is now only two. One is assembled and one is safely stored. And I still have the empty box of the assembled one. You're completely right. The box is too gorgeous to be thrown away. And Dreus then goes on to highly recommend I actually build one because he thinks I would enjoy the build and said various other bits. But I thought after hearing from Andreus, I didn't sound quite so crazy. Or maybe we just both sound crazy together. Yeah, you sound crazy together. But what are you going to do here, Brady? What's the conclusion of this story? I still haven't moved. I still haven't constructed my set and I still haven't bought a spare. So I still just have one unconstrapted set back in the UK. So you have the box on display somewhere in your office? It's not on permanent display. But it isn't a physician where it can be seen. Right. I understand. It's not on permanent display because if you put it on permanent display, then you would be making a decision about not assembling it. Yeah, there's certain finality. So it has a kind of just lying around. I'm going to get to this shortly look like it has a certain casualness. Right. Casually prominent in your office. That's what Lake O'Box is. Yeah. All right, well, I wait with baited breath to find out what happens with this Lego set. Will you assemble it? Will you get a second one? Who knows? Who knows? This has had me thinking a lot about Lego though. And it's actually I grew up calling it Lego. What did you call it when you were growing up? But now everyone in the UK calls it Lego, which is probably correct. So now I have to call it Lego. So I have transitioned from Lego to Lego. Are you saying it like, I'm having a hard time hearing this, like L-A-Y, like Lego? Yeah. Yeah, Australians tend to say it like that Lego. Now it's got to run with Lego because you got to say Lego my Lego. I don't even know what that means Lego my Lego. This is an American TV commercial. So yeah, it's got to rhyme with Lego. So it's Lego. What's an Lego? And it goes like a round waffle. Right, and you would make a delicious round waffle in the morning, and then your sibling would come along in a TV commercial and grab it. And you would say Lego my Lego. Right, that's what you would say. It was not a commercial for Legos. Actually, it was a commercial for Legos. Okay. But anyway, these words must rhyme. So Lego is the way I would say it. Okay. So I was a really big Lego fan. Oh, yeah. As a young boy. And I had boxes and boxes of it. And I used to love making like spaceships and huge space battle cruises. Or I'd make like moon bases where there would be buildings everywhere and spaceships landed everywhere. And like I was really into it. But I tell you what I was never into. And that was following the instructions, like getting like a Lego with instructions to make a thing. And like follow the instruction step by step. And then there was the thing. That seemed like the most boring thing in the world to do. But it seems to me that over the years, Lego has just evolved more and more towards these super specialized builds with super specialized pieces. And you just have to make the thing they want you to make. Like a piece of IKEA furniture. And there's so little room for like creativity and free styling. And for me, that's what Lego was all about. Like I would just get a box of Lego that, you know, for some new spaceship or something. And I'll rip open the box and just take all the pieces and just throw them into the collective. Oh, look, there's more new great pieces that I can use. It would never even occur to me really to make the thing that Lego were telling me to make. Because like, where's the fun in that? That's not creative. That's just like doing what you're told. Yeah. So you were just a master builder making your own things just out of your imagination. Yeah. I mean, I'm not saying I was good at it. But that's what I enjoyed. And I would make all sorts of crazy things. I eventually got into this thing where I got really into kind of these Rubes Goldberg style marble runs that I would make out of Lego from like the top of my bedroom down to the bottom where the marbles would like roll down all these things I made out of Lego. But it seems like the sets now are so specialised and the pieces are so specialised. Even if you were a youngster like me, it would be really hard to do that. I kind of imagined taking all those set and five white paneled pieces and being able to make other things with them. Well, I remember as a kid having a real feeling of, I was a big fan of the Medieval Lego sets. I love the Medieval Lego and I enjoyed the pirate sets as well. There's something really pleasurable about having all these little pirate treasure chests filled with tiny Lego gold coins. Like I really enjoyed that. Like, oh, look at this. I have all of this treasure as a child. I have no control over the world. But like, I have all of this imaginary Lego treasure. Yeah. I remember having a feeling like I was willing to give Lego some leeway with, okay, I bought this new castle set. And of course, there needs to be a specialised drawbridge and gate piece, right? Because it's a castle you need to have a gate. Yeah. And yeah, okay. I want some heraldry on here as well. There needs to be some flags. Like, okay. But I knew as a kid that there was some threshold in my mind of specialised pieces that were a piece too far and that somehow felt like, I don't know Lego. It feels like you're being lazy here or you're being unimaginative about how you could do this with the standard blocks. Yeah. Like, that always seemed to me the thing about Lego that is great is you have a bunch of standard blocks. And from these blocks, you have created a thing. When you start getting too many specialised blocks, it becomes more like a ship in a bottle. Like, oh, this is just the thing that you're going to make and all of the pieces are specialised. It sounds like you're on the same page as me here, go. Well, it is a thing that I wonder because I haven't assembled any sets as an adult. But I am aware when I see Lego sets in the store that they do seem very merchandise-based and they also seem incredibly reliant on the special pieces. So I'm not a fan of those special pieces. The difference between us as children, however, is that, God, did I live for those instruction manuals? I loved those instruction manuals so much. And I loved building the sets. You know what's great about those instruction manuals? No words. Right? Just pictures. They show you where the blocks go. There's something that my brain really liked about just the 3D representation of these things in instruction manual format, like rotating around this three-dimensional object that you're building. I really love that. I did disassemble those things and I had like a bin with subdividers to put all the Lego pieces in. But I just found that I was never really creative enough to build my own stuff. So I did like building the sets as a kid and I did like playing with those. And I liked the idea that I could sit down and be a master builder and just create something out of Lego. But I just, I didn't have that within me. But I still felt like I don't like it when there's too many specialized pieces. It feels like a kind of cheating. So the fewer specialized pieces in a Lego set, the better as far as I'm concerned. I feel like we're not on the same page, but I don't quite understand if you're just an instruction's guy, you're not doing the freestyle. I don't see why that specialized piece has bothered you so much. They feel like they are against the spirit of Lego. Lego is like an instantiation of complexity from simplicity. But if you're starting with a bunch of complex pieces, it feels like the pleasure of producing the final thing has been reduced. It's like, oh, I'm just assembling a whole bunch of regular pieces. But it's just more magic if you have a box of things that are very similar looking. And then when you construct it at the end, you have a castle. Like, that's way better. I like that much, much more. The magic of having saved them as atoms. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, that's what it is. These undifferentiated atoms have become a thing, as opposed to like, oh, I'm assembly each one of these specialized atoms in just the right spot. Like, oh, what's the point? I can already see what the thing is. It doesn't even matter. Hello, Internet. Today's episode is sponsored by Audible. With an unmatched selection of audiobooks, original shows, news, comedy, and more, you can get a free audiobook with a 30-day trial at audible.com slash Hello, Internet. As you know, Audible is where I get my audiobooks, and they have a lot of great features that I just love. Aside from the enormous catalog of just about everything, there's also syncing between your Kindle and your Audible account. So if you're listening to an audiobook, you can also read it on your Kindle. And as Amazon has just come out with a new Kindle with Audible integration, I am very, very interested in that. Now, Audible also likes us to recommend you a book. And right now, I'm making my way through the Expans series by James S.A. Quarry. It's a science fiction series set across the Solar System and is, in my opinion, a great example of world building. And one of the key plot elements repeatedly in the series is acceleration. Acceleration is a big deal when you're trying to travel across the Solar System, which if anything in these books becomes a reality, is something I will probably never do. I'll remain an Earther on Terraforma. But if you're looking for a fun sci-fi series that has some good world building in it, I am recommending the Expans by James S.A. Quarry. And you can get the series on Audible along with their original audio shows, news, comedy, and so much more. Just go to audible.com slash Hello Internet. Browse there ginormous selection of audio, download a free title, and start listening on any of your devices. It's that easy. Once again, thanks to Audible for all the audio books I listen from them, and thanks to Audible for supporting the show. Gray, I am currently in California in the spiritual home of Number File. I thought you liked it when I say it, Brady. You know I was going to say it. I was waiting to say it, but then you said it before I go. You missed your opportunity. I'm sorry. I did. So I'm at MSRI, the Math Institute. Out there in San Francisco. Yeah, yeah. But before that, people who follow me on social media may be aware. I was in Las Vegas. And at the time of recording, where a few days after this terrible tragedy that happened in Las Vegas, where the guy up in the casino, the Mandalay Bay casino, shot a whole bunch of people. I think at the moment, like 58 people died in this like worst shooting in modern times of America. I was just terrible thing. And I was in Las Vegas when that happened, which was quite interesting because I was very close to it. I was one block away from it when it happened, but I wasn't aware that it was happening. So I suddenly started getting all these text messages from my friends. Oh, you and Las Vegas are all right. But also like all the people who listen to Hello Internet on Twitter started messaging me. Asking me if I was all right, which is quite a weird situation to be in. It is a weird situation to be in because I got the same thing, where I was like, I'm sitting around on Twitter and then I get messages asking me if you're okay. And I was like, why? Why wouldn't maybe? I'm sure he's fine. What's going on? It is a strange modern phenomenon to find out about these things in this indirect way. Yeah. It's like living in a city like London. There's always things that happen in it. It is sort of weird to just be sitting at home, minding my own business and to get a text message from a friend or a family member going, are you okay? And I'm like, why? Yeah, I'm just sitting here. What's going on? I'm like, oh, didn't you know? It's like, nope. Didn't know. Cities are big places. The weird thing was as well, when these big tragedies happen, I always feel like a bit of a recoil from people who try to make that about themselves somehow, you know, when it's got nothing to do with them. And I did feel like it had nothing to do with me, except that I was close to it. So I was a bit reluctant to go on Twitter and say, it's okay, everyone. I'm all right. You know, I felt I would look stupid doing that. But it eventually got to a point where I was getting so many of these messages that I was, I think even my wife said, I maybe you should just at least tweet something so that this stops. So I did end up tweeting saying, yeah, I'm in Las Vegas, but I'm all right. So you're in a 100% no-win situation there. I can completely understand you are feeling like, oh, I feel silly or like I'm turning a tragedy about me by publicly saying to a large group of people, like, don't worry everybody. I know many people have died, but I am okay. Yeah. It's a no-win situation because also if you say nothing, you also know that there's a non-trivial number of people who are going to be increasingly concerned as time goes on that you are okay. Maybe the best solution in these moments is just to tweet something unrelated. And I'd be like, oh, I'm really enjoying my hot dog here. At the Luxor hotel with a picture of a hot dog. Maybe that's the way to try to handle it. That would seem really insensitive though. No. Like, you know, when you're right next to something terrible, that's happened because just to give you some perspective is to what was happening. I was in the MGM grand, which is right nearby. Yeah, it's like almost across the street, isn't it? Yeah. So when it happened, I eventually, you couldn't actually see it from my hotel room, but there was a window right next to my hotel room that you could see like the whole scene from. So I went and stood next to the window to have a look because there were like so many police cars and it was such an amazing, amazing sight. So I was just looking out of general curiosity and I was standing next to these two people who were also watching. And eventually I spoke to them after a minute or two and it turns out they had just been down there and like had been standing next to people who had died. And I was like, oh my goodness, really? You would, you know, they were like, just in shock. And then I went down to like the lobby of the hotel to meet my friends just because, you know, we couldn't sleep because you know, it was such a thing, such a big thing. And like the hotel lobby of the MGM was full of people, you know, with blankets who'd been there with their cowboy hats on and their boots still and they were all crying and hugging each other. So although it had nothing to do with me and like, you know, I don't consider myself part of it anyway, it was very much around me. It was a very big thing. So to have tweeted anything would have seemed like equally inappropriate. So anyway, that's what happened. It's this terrible thing. And I don't think you and I have much to say about the incident. It was a terrible incident or even all the political stuff. But there are things that have happened at the time and since that do kind of relate to you and I and our world that I was curious to talk about. See what you thought. And this mainly is to do with advertising. Videos. Which is something we talk about a lot. Right. Right. We're not going to retweet any pictures of hot dogs here. But how does this relate to YouTube? Which I think is a totally fair question. Yeah. And not just YouTube, by the way, but just video in general. Yeah. So I think we're talking about it with like the distance of it having happened a little while ago and now and with all the caveats that we realize there's a much bigger picture to do this. But you and I probably aren't the experts or the people to talk about those bigger pictures. But I was curious about how it touched on sort of the world that we work in. Because when this first happened, those are all hunger for information and news about it. So I was like going online and watching reports and videos and things as they came to light on things like the BBC website. And the first thing that struck me was that all these videos are, I was watching for just, you know, for information. All of them had these like unskippable ads. So I'd be watching an unskippable ad for some commercial product. Right. And then I'd be watching some video of a crazy gunman shooting people from a casino, which had just been taken from video from someone's, you know, Twitter or social media so they just taken the video and re-upload it. And the ad seemed inappropriate. It seemed inappropriate to be running an ad before that video. Am I being silly or naive or before we talk about YouTube and stuff like that? Because I want to get to that in a minute. Just like I'm just talking about news organizations like your CNNs and your BBCs and all these people. Running pre-row unskippable ads before a video that is essentially just a re-upload of some poor person's video they took at the same of this horrific incident. Yeah. Well, I mean, there's a bunch of different levels here. But they take the top level one, right, which is you're watching the video on a website and there's a pre-roll ad against it. Yeah. I feel like this comes up every time there's any kind of tragedy, this tension between the, like the advertisers and the video material that they're being shown against. Hmm. And I understand why that happens. But there's also a part of me which feels like I don't understand why particularly with news. So like you're watching this on like a real news website. Yeah. And you're seeing an advertisement. I sort of don't understand the pushback there because okay, you're on a website and you're watching a pre-roll. Okay, but if you were sitting down at home and you're putting the news on TV and say, well, there's commercial breaks during the news. There's commercials that happen there. I understand that it's slightly more different in time as in the anchor doesn't come onto the desk and say horrible breaking footage from the latest tragedy around the world. But first the message from, right? And then they would like they would seem more crass. I feel like there's not enough of a difference here that I understand where the upset comes from particularly when you're talking about news. Because presumably the people who sponsor on news websites understand that the news is going to cover the tragedies of the world. That's what the news is therefore. I don't think a sponsor can rightly say, oh, we're totally surprised that you put our ad against the latest incidents of terrorism somewhere in the world because the sponsor is advertising on the news. Like they know if there's some terrorism. Let me be, like one thing clear, this is not criticism of the sponsors in any way. This is a criticism of the decision made by the people who are the media organization. And I also want to say, I realize there are lines here, like you said, there are ads during the news. And where that line is is very difficult for me to get my head around it. It's almost just like, I know it when I see it. Because there are various gradations to this. But I just feel like when I click the thing to say, you know, here's some footage of the incident taken by Fred Bloggs who happened to be there and I click it. And then the first thing that happens when I click it is to have an ad thrown in my face. Right. That feels wrong. And to come back to the analogy you were using with an ad break in the TV news. And I do think you'd have to be careful with ad breaks on TV news too during particular incidents. But when they throw to an ad, like I think that you have to be careful the way you do that too. Like if they said, because this is the equivalent of what happens with the pre-roll to me. If Wolf Blitzer on CNN said, we've just got amazing footage from the scene that really shows you what happened. And we'll show it to you after these messages. That would seem wrong and really inappropriate. If they've got it, they said, we've just got it. And here it is. We're going to show it to you. That's what they should do. Not, but first of all, you have to watch this ad. And that's what's happening with the pre-roll ad. You have committed to look at something. They've offered you something. You've said, oh, yes, I want to see this thing. I've pressed the button to see it. Okay. First of all, you have to take this little bit of medicine. And most of the time, that's fine. That's how advertising works on the internet. It's how you and I make a living. Right. But exploiting this material that they haven't even created most of the time. Yeah. Well, that's a whole separate issue. Yeah. During the incident, like, you know, a week later, okay, things are different. But during the incident, I don't know. It just felt wrong to me. I felt like I can't believe I'm watching this makeup ad. I can't believe I just said, oh, my goodness. Okay, I'll have a look at this terrible thing that happened. Click and I'm watching an ad for makeup for 20 seconds. It just seemed distasteful. I'm trying to run through because I was going to ask you, if I can, can you articulate what it is? This is like a multi-variate problem. And one of the variables that we can adjust up or down is proximity and time. Let me give you a more practical example from my life. So I make this periodic videos channel with Professor Polikov with all these chemistry videos. Right. And we have ads on them. Occasionally, when someone close to the professor or someone famous in the word of chemistry dies, he sometimes likes to do these kind of obituary videos where he reminisces about the person and tells you about their life and things like that. They're quite sensitive emotional moments for him because someone he knows has died. Sometimes he was close to that person. He wants to tell you a bit about them as a person. He reflects on the work they did as a chemist and stuff like that. I don't put ads on those videos because I don't want to be making a video about someone having just died. And I've got this gentleman who was friends with that person, giving his reminisces about it to start with an ad and for me to be seen to be making any money from it. Regardless of what I do with that money, it just seems wrong. Now later on because of the bulk way that you sometimes have to manage your videos, maybe ads do start getting served on those videos six months later or a year later. I don't know. Maybe there are some of them that do know have ads on them. But they certainly don't have ads on them when they're new and everyone's watching them. Yeah. Just so listeners are aware, that is definitely a thing that happens when you're managing YouTube videos. Sometimes you have to make bulk decisions. I know on my channel there's a couple of videos where I may have not had ads on originally, but because of bulk decisions over time, you just cannot possibly keep track of ways of which ones were. So it's a thing that happens. Yeah. So I have this in built into me. I know when it's inappropriate to be making a piece of media, a commercial money-making piece of material. And when it's not, I feel like I have that. Like I have this sense of right and wrong about it. And I felt like while this tragedy was still unfolding, people were still bleeding on the ground, they're serving up ads on this material. And you can't tell me they couldn't turn it off. And if they can't turn it off, that's even more disgraceful. Yeah. But it seemed inappropriate to me. It seemed wrong. So here's an interjection though about where I think this falls down a little bit as an analogy. So part of the difference at what I view here is, it's a clearer decision for you because the videos that you do not want to monetize are the anomalies in the content that you are producing. Number file, right, or periodic videos, or any of your channels, their normal content is not sensitive content. Right. Whereas a thing that is different with the news is they're in a position where it's a much harder judgment call because so much more of the material that they deal with is intrinsically sensitive. It is the nature of what the news covers that it's going to be a vastly higher percentage. I hear what you're saying, Greg, and that's a really fair point. But I don't completely agree. I think there is a line. And I think I can see how you could debate where that line is. What's the stuff we put on and what don't we? But this isn't anomaly. And this is the other side of that line. Like a guy up in a casino shooting down on people and massacring nearly 60 people is definitely the other side of that line where I think you would say no ads. And there's plenty of material being put out by these organisations every minute that is the side of the line where I do accept ads. I do see what you mean. They have more of this material and this decision would have to be made more often. But I think this was so far the other side of that line. And surely all news organisations are prepared for major incidents like this. Surely someone can have a big red button you press that says, all right, no ads for the next two hours while we gauge the appropriateness of this. And whether or not we should be seen to be exploiting this material. I think there's a way around it. A question then on that. So let's say that button exists in your metric of mental appropriateness here. Do you think that the television news should follow that as well? You might just say for an incident like this, black out on ads for the next several hours. The TV rolling news networks are like, I'm sorry, we're not going to sell soap anymore in between telling you about the state of the world. We're going to turn all of that off. Or is there something that is different about the online medium to you? Do you know what the reason I hesitate to answer that is because I don't actually know what their policies are. I have suspect they do have policies where they pull back on stuff like that. I don't know that they don't do that already. Normal TV stations that aren't news channels have policies of cutting into their programming when major incidents happen and don't run ads. Like instead of showing today's game show full of ads, we interrupt this programming to tell you that this terrible tragedy is happening. We're going to just cover this for the next few hours and they'll have no ads. I am aware that TV networks are willing to sacrifice advertising. I don't know what you see an ends of the world. I don't know what their policy is when something massive happens, whether they go into a no-add mode. I'm reluctant to answer your question because I don't know what the situation is anyway. I don't know that they don't do that. But what I'm asking is whether they do or whether they don't, do you think that they should? Yes, I do think that they should. I think when something like this is happening, you say, all right, no co-cats for the next four hours. I understand maybe for technical reasons they need breaks in programming, but I think they can go to bumpers and fillers and things that are not commercial transactions. You can put up something, a screensaver. I mean, they have these things. That's what I think. It just felt a bit wrong to me, but it is very difficult. You raise all the questions you raised are completely legitimate and I don't know where the boundaries are and how bad an incident does it have to be and how long do you not do ads for? I don't know the answers to those questions, but I just know I felt during this incident. I felt like there was some wrongness. They're all on the spectrum of things. Also, it's funny to find myself on the side of the argument, but the one other thing that I think is important to point out that is very easy to forget after the fact. I'm not saying that this was the case for this particular incident, but with many incidents, it's often not clear the scale of it for a while. It can be easy to retroactively say, oh, this should have been handled in this way or that way. But people forget very quickly. It's like, okay, but yes, once you know what the situation is, it's like people's brains completely forget the uncertainty time, where it's like, oh, shots fired and that's all we know, right? When I was standing at that window with those two people who'd been part of the incident and who'd seen people get shot, the official number was still two people dead. They even said like one of the guys who was there said, oh, apparently it's two people dead. I said, I reckon that's going to end up being higher from what I've heard. He said, yeah, it might be. He was there. Two people seemed feasible to him. Well, and also, I witness reports are worthless. I think that's also just a thing to point out that. I think sometimes we are very quick to retroactively condemn and forget how uncertain a situation was at the start. But that can also just add to delays or uncertainties about like, are we're going to demonetize all of this stuff? Like, you can't know straight away. Like, oh, yes, this is the worst disaster of this kind in American history. So maybe we should stop selling bubble gum. You can't know that immediately. So to transition it quickly to YouTube, I've since seen this other thing that was chugging along on Twitter, which I found interesting and wondered if you'd saw it and what you thought about it. And that was the super uber famous YouTube superstar Casey Neistat made a video about the incident where basically he was just appealing. He was trying to use his influence to get people to give money for victims of the tragedy just shooting. And basically, what he was saying was, I've started this GoFundMe page. Please give some money to it. It seemed like quite a heartfelt plea. And he also said, I'm running ad sense ads on this video. And the money I make from this video is going to go towards the money that we're raising for the victims. And then what happened was the video got demonetized by YouTube. Like, they overrode his monetization of the video. And he complained on Twitter about this. And they replied and said, we think your heart was in the right place. But we do have this policy of not allowing monetization of tragic events. No surprise there. YouTube thinks that some some deranged math videos are far to risk for monetization. So I think like a YouTube video that's explicitly about a tragedy, probably going to run afoul pretty fast of the YouTube gods of monetization. So some people have been quick to point out other videos they found on YouTube about the tragedy that do remain monetized. So I don't really want to get too caught up in those weeds of like the inadequacy of the demonetization because that's a whole other conversation. We don't need to get caught up in those weeds. But I do just want to put a little marker here for again, my constant drum beat that I think YouTube being in the game of having to classify content is an eternally losing position. They're always going to lose. And I still think YouTube is in a strong enough market position that they don't have to play this game. Like I think they could stop doing it. But it's like once you open that door, it never ends. And this is always going to be your problem. Let's pretend all the videos had been demonetized correctly. And there wasn't problems with their sieve. Right. And the casey-nice that video was demonetized by YouTube as it was. Do you think that is wrong? And he should be allowed to run ads on a video about the tragedy. More a general video. Not I mean, I know what he was doing was obviously a heart and the right place type thing. But do you think this is a bad policy of YouTube then to demonetize videos about tragedies? Well, I don't like this gigantic bowl of spaghetti that just feels to me like on the years over YouTube, it keeps getting more complicated and more arbitrary. It's a frustrating situation for everyone involved because I think people feel like they get caught out by these rules and categorizations. And the rules and categorizations are not enforced consistently. And they're impossible to be enforced consistently. The nature of advertising always has this issue where you don't have a two party interaction. You have a three party interaction. You have the creator, the advertiser, and the audience. Advertising and advertisements work because the creator is siphoning off a portion of the audience attention for the advertiser. Like that's how advertisements work on Hello Internet. We're gathering up all this audience attention. And we sell part of it off to advertisers. Like, and that's how the podcast makes money. But it always when you have a three party interaction, it's like one of the reasons why it comes up as a topic on the show a lot is because it does complicate things and like should he be able to monetize the videos. It's like, well, that depends on how the advertisers feel about it. And the answer is like the advertisers have almost certainly pressured YouTube to try to have this system to remove their their ads from sensitive stuff. And so since that system is in place, like I don't really think Casey Neistat has a leg to stand on about being angry about this or feeling like he got caught out by a thing. I am kind of surprised that he thought the video could be monetized. Before we go on with the point you're making because I want to discuss it more, but I can see why he didn't want to leave money on the table. Like he was like, I want to make as much money for this cause as possible. And if a Brazilian people are going to watch my video, I might as well make as much as I can out of it. But I am surprised by his decision to monetize the video. Like whether YouTube overrode him or not, I would not have recommended he did it. I think it was not the best decision. I'll agree with that. You know, I mean 40% of the money is going to YouTube anyway. And there's a bunch of people who are going to be making money selling, you know, face moisture on the back of a really horrible event. I think it was not an excellent decision anyway. This is like, this is a more clear cut case. But when I was mentioning before about there's being three parties. There's also this thing that gets a little bit complicated. Like you're diverting the sponsors money to a particular charity. And like maybe the sponsor might have something that they would want to say about that. You know, I can't imagine if a major news network said, we're going to cover this tragedy and we're going to run ads. And we're also going to take all of the money from these ads and devote it to a particular charity that is related to this thing. It's an interesting, interesting argument that I'm surprised you've made. I think it's a decent argument, but you don't think the money has become Casey's money after the transaction's taken place. Don't get me wrong. I think that the money is Casey's money, right? Or I think that the money is the news network's money. But nonetheless, I think there is a way in which you are roping in the sponsors to some extent to be part of this thing. Most of the time I don't think anybody would really care. But there is a way in which I feel like you're bringing them along for the ride. And again, it's just like, it's just more complicated than the simple thing of saying, hey, let's raise money for this thing. There's a web page where you, you watching right now, can just donate your money to this thing in whatever amount that you want. But Gray, like that line that you're drawing between the advertiser and the quarters, which I think is a completely legitimate line to draw, is the exact reason the adpocalypse was manufactured. Because of the line being drawn between the advertiser and the dodgy material being uploaded by terrorist organizations on YouTube, it's exact same problem. Well, yeah. And I think if you mentally invert this, there's a much easier way to see like, oh, the advertisers seriously would care, where if Casey and I sat or any YouTuber said, oh, I'm uploading a video and all of the money from this video is going to the institution to kick puppies. It's like, well, yes, the money is Casey's money or the money is the YouTuber's money. But it's like, suddenly, the advertisers, they would care. And this is again, it's why this whole adpocalypse, which we just like can never separate ourselves from, that's why I still think that the cleaner, though obviously unworkable now solution is for YouTube to simply say is like, hey, you can advertise on our system and you don't necessarily know what you're advertising against the end. That's just the way it works. And we're not going to get involved in this and this morass. But that's not going to happen. There's a thing, however, that I don't really understand very well about the news coverage of these kind of events. Do you know if news organizations have some kind of special rule that allows them to use content that other people have created, like if it is quote, newsworthy, like, is there a way in which your regular guy walking down the street in Japan in the 1940s? And you're the one guy who films like the bombing of Hiroshima, right? And you put it up on YouTube because YouTube exists in the 1940s. Is there like a way that it's newsworthiness strips it in a sense of the copyright? Like, because this is a thing that I never quite understand when I see footage on the news. I've been thinking about this a lot, actually. And I want to talk about this again a bit later in the show if we come to another topic. I've got on the list because I've got another question about it. I wanted to put to you. But seeing you've asked it now, the answer to that question is, I don't know. I'm going to, I'm not a lawyer or an expert. But my belief and my strong, strong suspicion is there is a stripping of some of the protection because of the newsworthiness for contemporaneous news reporting. But I do think you would still have some protection later on if it was used in like, you know, documentaries and more commercial ventures. But I think while it's a new story, I think there is an allowance for contemporaneous fair use. Oh, it's an interesting distinction. A true example that has been kicking around for many, many years is the subruder film of the Kennedy assassination. Right. So there's been endless copyright battles over ownership and commercial exploitation of that film because it's the best film of that incident. But I would imagine, I don't know, but I would imagine if YouTube had been around at the time and the subruder had uploaded it, you know, for a week or two, everyone would have been using it. Who would not use it? You know, it would have been everywhere. Although cultural 1960s things aside, maybe it wouldn't have been used. But in the modern era, it would have been everywhere. And then a bit later when people started wanting to use it for their films and documentaries and other things, it would have been a bit more, show me the money. That's what I think. But it's just me. I'm not an expert. Yeah. I just wonder about it because I was thinking about it because I know that there are at least in the US, I don't quite know the case in the UK, but in the US there are definitely rules about how when a person crosses some imaginary threshold called the notable person threshold, like there are lots of things that then they're able to be treated differently in the public sphere in a way that if it was like a private citizen, you would say, oh, this is totally harassment. It's like a ridiculous invasion of the privacy. I was just wondering, is there something like that for copyright where there's some threshold where it's like, well, this is just too notable and the material is too relevant for it to have the normal protection. So there must be, there must be something that's like that. Yeah. But I don't know. I'm sure there'll be lots of copyright warriors in the subreddit who said a straight. That's what's what. Yeah, they're always will be. The great irony, of course, is that I'm assuming we'll be running ads on this podcast. Well, this is the funny thing, right? Which is there's ads on this show. How many levels of meta does it have to be before it feels like it's okay? Because we are clearly not actually talking about the event itself. Like we've sort of barely touched on the event itself. We're talking about the events around the event. Yeah. In the Brady mental metric of what isn't is not okay, is one level of meta good enough? Like it better be because we have some ads booked for the show, by the way. Like I said, great. I don't know where the line is. It's just like for me, it's just a feeling and I feel like we're okay in the podcast. So you go ahead. I'm not going to put an ad right after this section now. We're going to have to transition to something else. So that's just it. There needs to be a little bit of space, right? We can't we can't have the dude right now. Exactly. And in a way, is that not like a microversion of the macro of what I was talking about? There is a time. There is a time when it just feels wrong to be making money. And in like a podcast, maybe it's just another 10, 15 minutes. And when the event is actually happening and at CNN, maybe it's two or three hours. But there is it's there. We all feel it. You feel it. You know, we all feel it. There is a respectful distance between big, big human tragedy and making money. Great. Another kind of in the news type one that I wanted to quickly ask you about the Nobel Prize in physics was just recently awarded for 2017. And it was given for the gravitational wave. Can I stop you right there, Brady? Are the Nobel prizes the different ones, the physics one, the chemistry, I feel like the Nobel prizes come up so many times in this podcast. Are they given out at different times of the year? No, they do them all in like a batch. They're going to want to leave you to a couple of weeks later, but they have them day after day, all consecutive days normally. I thought there was no economic snow bell prize. Yeah, there is, but it's done by a different mob. So it's like the Nobel Prize. It's not a Nobel Prize. Oh, okay. All right. So the Nobel prizes are all done at the same time. It's just my perception of time is terrible. That's what it is. Yeah. Okay. I think that's it. I think it's your perception of time. Okay. Got it. Right. So they the physics one has been given for the gravitational wave discovery. And it was given jointly to three gentlemen who were involved with the organizations that made the discovery. Now, almost more than any other Nobel prize that's been given out, this has brought to a head what I think is a problem for the Nobel prize. And I don't know which side of the fence I'm on. And that is, is it right? Because there's a rule that Nobel prizes have to be given to people, individuals and no more than three. So they gave this one to people who were quite senior and quite important to do with this LIGO detector that made the discovery. But LIGO is this massive collaboration. There's these two huge facilities on different parts of America that made the discovery. Lots and lots of different people are involved. But just three people get the medal and the money. And as science becomes bigger and bigger and more collaborative, more and more people are starting to rumble about being unhappy about this Nobel prize rule. And they think, why don't just give it to an organization? Why not just say the Nobel prize goes to the LIGO collaboration? Why does it have to be given to people? Now, before you all jump up and down, I am aware that the Nobel Peace Prize does get given to organizations. But we're not talking about the Nobel Peace Prize because I think that's a very, very different kettle of fish to the other ones. And that's a dopey prize anyway. Let's be honest. Yeah. It's becoming more and more questionable every year that prize. That's a real special child of the Nobel prizes. Yeah. Sorry if there's any tims out there clutching a Nobel Peace Prize in their hands at this very moment, but that's clearly the worst one. Coming back to the science ones, people are saying, come on, this is an old-fashioned rule. Science has moved on. It's not like, you know, a lone genius burning the midnight oil coming up with an amazing discovery. It's the massive, massive, multinational thousands of people collaborations and just cherry picking one or two people is becoming nearly impossible. I'm wondering what you think about that because here are the two arguments in my mind. One is, of course, that's correct. It's time to move on and give the prizes to organizations. But the other argument and the one that I feel quite strongly is that the Nobel Prize, as much as being a prize for scientists, is like a massive PR exercise for science. And the giving it to people is like the Olympics and you get these heroes and amazing stories. And it's about personality and tales to be told and things like that. And if we just start making it like corporate awards, the Nobel prize goes to the LIGO collaboration. That means nothing like it doesn't speak to me. It doesn't seem quite as visceral a story. It's not as inspiring to me. And I think the Nobel Prize have a very important role in the world and for science in doing that. So what do you think? I mean, those are two good arguments, Brady. But there's another thing here, which is you're leaving out the wishes of poor Alfred Nobel. He set up this foundation, right? Yeah. He set up this foundation to promote goodness and science forever. And he set up the rules. Presumably Alfred Nobel set up the rules saying that it's going to be given to people. It's not going to be given organizations. Do you want to reach back in time and destroy the tradition and destroy the wishes of Alfred Nobel and the foundation that he set up? Like is that a thing that you would want to do? Or do you think that we should honor the intent of the founder here for all time? Like can this even be a thing that we could change? You said the word there yourself though, the intent. What was his intent versus the words of his will? Well, that's where you're getting into some like weasley lawyer stuff, I think, right? I think that like the words of the will are like, this is what we have. We have language to try to describe what it is that we want to do. Should the words of the foundation that the founder has set up be able to be changed? That's like a clear cut question about whether whether or not you can undo what the founder wanted. I mean, the argument against that is that so long ago he didn't foresee what science would become this kind of multinational collaboration and what would be necessary to advance science? Because he wanted to advance science. And he lived at a time when two or three people could advance science, just laboring away in their lab. Whereas there's not much science that can be advanced in that way anymore. I do agree with that times change, right? And you can't foresee the future. It's like the constitution of the United States, right? It has a mechanism to amend itself because a bunch of farmers 300 years ago, they can't know the future. But I can't slightly uncomfortable with the idea of setting precedences to say like, well, we know what the what the founder would have really wanted. I think it's a it's a door that's a little bit dangerous to open. And I think it's interesting because some foundations are set up with like a countdown clock. I think most famously the Gates Foundation has this where whatever it is like the Dave the Gates is die. There's a clock that counts down for something like 50 years. And at the end of that time, all of the money in the Gates Foundation has to have been spent. The reason that that is set up is precisely so that the foundation doesn't become a thing that that drifts too far away from its original intentions. That's a thing that can happen. But it's obviously not a thing that Alfred Nobel himself actually did. So I don't know, like I feel kind of biased towards respecting the wishes of the original founder and not changing. Here's the slightly tricky bit, Gray. I'm reading Nobel's will at the moment. Oh, real? Okay, you pulled it up, right? Okay, great. Yeah. And I'm aware that the Nobel foundation, like the prize people have a statute that says no more than three people can have the prize. But I can't actually find it in his will. And the will just always refers to a person. It shall go to the person who one part to the person who made the most important discovery or invention in the field of physics. One part to the person who has made the most important chemical discovery or improvement. He actually also, for the peace prize, there's literature as well. And for the peace prize, he also talks about the person who have done the most best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and holding and promotion of peace congresses. So if you actually go to the wording, if his will, then you are there afraid up somewhat, or you're more restricted to give it to one person each time. Well, it sounds like at the very least there's already been munking around. So that door is okay, Gray. So, all right, screw you Nobel. That's your position, right? Like we're going to do. I'm assuming I'm looking at the full will, but your position is if his will specifically said three, you have to stick with it. If you've already munkied, then more munking is permissible. Okay. Just to finish the discussion then, let's say that you are comfortable with munking. The genies out of the bottle, they've already changed the rules once. So now, real changes are allowed. Do you think you should recognize multi-collaborations and start giving the prize to institutions? Or do you still think the magic of the Nobel prize and the geniuses and the stories of individuals is more valuable than correct recognition? Well, I mean, you're not going to like hearing this, Brady, but I'm not sure how valuable this story thing is. I think your brain is biased towards that. You always love the stories of the thing, and I find that very charming about you. But I just, I don't know how valuable that really is outside of the world of people who are involved in some way. I don't agree. I've met Nobel Prize. I've never seen any. I'm like, I love that. It's like so perfect. I don't agree. I've met Nobel Prize winner like, okay, perfect. Right? Like, here's so good. It's an intoxicating thing. Having a Nobel Prize when it goes to a school and talk to the kids and having a Nobel Prize winner in the room. They're like celebrities and people, I'm sorry, people are engaged by like celebrity and fame and money. You get a million dollars. You get a golden medal. People are engaged by that. They're not engaged by an organization with an acronym. They've never heard of. Okay. My argument is not everybody loves acronyms more than they love people. Yeah. I'm not convinced that a Nobel Prize winner giving a talk at an assembly at a random American high school actually has a lot of pull with the audience there. I guess they're ambassadors. Maybe choosing a school wasn't a good one. But like, they're ambassadors. Like labeling someone as a Nobel Prize winner is just automatically inspiring. That's what like, even fiction people do. President Bartlett in the West Wing was a Nobel Prize winner. And that comes up all the time in the show because it's like, it gives him a magic. It gives him, you know, something special. It's the same reason in sports that at the end of the Super Bowl, they also name an MVP. Because people want an individual hero to pin a medal on. That's like a special thing. We do it in sports. We do it in lots of fields of endeavor. Like, we want to put a medal on someone as the best because it speaks to ourselves. It speaks to us to have the best and the champions. And some people say, well, that's a mystery representation of science and that's destructive. And we should just, we should put tracence the way it really is. But I don't agree. I think it's like a little bit of gold dust sprinkled on science. And you're being too serious. If you think, this is wrong, it shouldn't have gone to those three people. It should have gone to a thousand people. Like, you're missing the point of the Nobel Prize. Like, the science is the science. The paper has been published. The science has been done and it's out there. And everyone's had this salary paid and everyone's got their warm glow from doing the science. The Nobel prize is not about apportioning proper recognition. The Nobel Prize is not decided scientifically. The Nobel Prize is something else. The Nobel Prize is like, showmanship. And I think that's what people need to realize. So in this telling of the story, the Nobel Prize is a fiction that is created around what is a curve. That's what it is. It's like, I think fiction is a naughty word. And I'm not going to accept fiction. But I will take showmanship. The Nobel Prize is not scientific. The Nobel Prize is a show. It's about golden medals and vast sums of money and meeting the king. And then traveling the world and telling people how wonderful science is and stuff. It's a show we put on. And it's based in fact, you don't just give it to whoever is the best public speaker. Right. Well, you have to, you have to, you have to be saying to have been some rigger in the decision. But this is what I'm wondering though. It's like, if like showmanship is the thing that you value, then we're starting to edge dangerously towards a like, okay. But then why are we sort of pretending like three and a maximum three number of people are the ones responsible for this great discovery? Because it's part of the show. That's exactly. It's almost like it's a fiction that they're the ones who are responsible for the thing. Those people spend the rest of their life saying how they were part of a big team. And they're already the, you know, the three winners this year have been bending over because they're wrecked with the guilt. The guilt of receiving this prize, this prize that is a lie. They're the ones who made the thing happen. Look fair enough, right? If people get their way and the Nobel Prize changes and starts being awarded to organizations and corporations and institutions, that's fine. And those people will be happy. But just be aware, the Nobel Prize will no longer be useful. It will fade into obscurity. And it will become like the West Somerset and your tourism business awards. Don't get me wrong. I think you're totally right about that. And the Nobel Prize does have a particular place in the cultural mindset. But I think this is actually a legitimate thing to discuss because I'm obviously, I'm using the word fiction to provoke you here, Brady, because it's fun. But yes, right? But I'm also using the word fiction because I do think that it provokes because there is an element of truth to it. There is something that I think when I hear about these things with the Nobel Prize and organizations that particularly with the arrow of time is only going to become more and more true that it is awarded to people who are a smaller and smaller portion of the people even overseeing the experiment that it does become more misrepresentative of the thing that has occurred over time. And it's like, well, does the Nobel Prize become a thing that is a boring award between an organization to another organization? It's like, well, yes, maybe that is what it becomes because that is the thing that is happening. The story around the award is the representation of reality that in order to make any progress, particularly in a field like physics, you need thousands and thousands of people. And you need billions of dollars and you need huge amounts of time because physics is a field that has progressed so far like you're just not going to make progress otherwise. That's a good point you make. And you can almost say it serves science interests for science to be depicted realistically. But I don't think that serves science interests because this is what happens. Say LIGO got this Nobel Prize. And then in five years time LIGO needs 10 billion dollars from the government to do the next thing they want to do. They need that money. If you walk into the room as the chief executive of LIGO and say to the president of the United States, so we really want this money. And he says, or she says, what have you done? What have you done to get this money? And they reply, oh, we won the Nobel Prize. LIGO won the Nobel Prize. It's like, oh, that's good. But you're not having, you know, you've already won the prize. We're not going to give you 10 billion dollars. But if an individual can walk into the room with the aura of being a Nobel Prize winner as a representative of LIGO and say, oh, look, that's Kip Thorn. He won the Nobel Prize. He has more clout. He's more of a celebrity as an individual Nobel Prize winner with a story and a medal and he met the king and he's traveled the world and he's law that everywhere he goes. He has more cache I believe as an individual advocating science than an organization will have that just has the prize sitting in its foyer back in wherever they're based. I think I think individuals are more powerful. I think they're more powerful advocates for science and they do more good. So I think it's in science as best interests to keep the Nobel Prize as it is. Right. To maintain that fiction. I totally agree with you that the person has more power. But what I think is occurring here is the person has more power because of the cultural inertia behind like updating the mental model of what the Nobel Prize is. Yes, that person has has more power because we still think of the Nobel Prize as this great person who has wrought a discovery from nature. Okay. Like tell me what you did to win that Nobel Prize. I was like, oh, well, I oversaw a staff of 2,000 people. It's like, okay, so I signed everyone's expenses. I'm going to say a thing is going to sound absolutely terrible and is almost certainly not true. But in some ways, a modern Nobel Prize is like an achievement in management award. I think it really is. You have to be able to oversee this thing. You have to be able to raise funds for it. You have to make sure this whole project that can take place smoothly over the course of decades. I understand your position that like an individual has more power as an ambassador. But when the nature of the thing has changed, I think you're increasingly treading on the history of the thing as that cultural power that the person is carrying with them that is no longer the case. I agree with you. That's what science has become. Science has become big management. But I don't agree that's what the Nobel Prize has become. And that's what the Nobel Prize is fighting not to become. This is the whole conflict. The Nobel Prize is fighting not to become management awards and to try and pluck out individuals to keep that. But why are they having that conflict in the first place? The reason the conflict is happening is because the Nobel Prize is not representing the reality of the situation. That's why the conflict exists. They haven't had a team of three people in 20 years to award the prize where like those three people represent the sum total of the effort that went into the prize itself. There is a way to split the difference here, which is also entirely unsatisfying, which is to divide the Nobel Prize among everybody whose name is on the paper. That's not giving it to an organization, but that is taking the Nobel Prize and shattering it into 2000 pieces. So then it's like everybody gets a tiny speck of dust of the Nobel Prize to put on their on their mantle piece. I think it would take away the utility of the Nobel Prize, but yeah. It may. Like if I had to make a decision about what to do with the Nobel Prize in physics, that's probably where I would draw my own line is I say like I don't think it makes sense to award it to an organization, but I might say everybody whose name is on the paper. Yeah, but I mean the Nobel Prize is not given for one paper. It's usually given for a quite a massive body of work. Okay, all right. Well, then we'll give it to the organization. Forget I'm not going to. This is too much. This is too much headache. This is too much administration. Fine. We'll just give it to the organization. The Nobel Prize is in a bad situation here though, because I do think that awarding it to the three, there's something about it that that feels deeply unfair in a way. What they should do and like kind of what maybe they kind of are doing, but people aren't saying is they need to not link it so heavily to one discovery. So give it to an individual, but for like a body of work, including that discovery, but also other stuff. So then it's more of an MVP, unless of a well done on winning the Super Bowl, you know, you found the Higgs boson. It's more you're the MVP. We think you're the awesome scientist of the year. Boom, you've got it. And among the things you did was was win the Super Bowl. Yeah, you've got to hear Brady. It is what it is. Nobel Prize in physics, lifetime achievement award. That's what it is. Right? Yeah. Congratulations. You won the Nobel Prize lifetime achievement award. That does lose the magic of some 18 year old thinking they can stumble over it with one great discovery. There is a whole penicillin type serendipity about the Nobel Prize that people like. You will sacrifice that, but it will get you around the organization problem. Yeah, but again, I think there's, I don't like the idea of selling that false dream to a kid. Be like, hey, you could win the Nobel Prize too if you just stumble upon a discovery. That is like guaranteed not to happen, particularly in a field like physics. I don't like getting people on board with a false representation of what could possibly happen down the line. That award that the Nobel Prize holds out is like, ooh, you two could win one if you just super clever. It's like, but that's not true in physics. It hasn't been true in forever. So I'm perfectly fine turning it into lifetime achievement award. That works for me for the Nobel Prize. Do you ever wonder why so many ads begin with a question? Have you ever noticed? There's often a second question after the first. I have, and if you have two, then you're the kind of inquisitive, bright person who should have their own website. And what better way to create a website than with Squarespace? Now I am 100% an advocate of Squarespace. I use it myself every day to run four of my own sites. 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And they also have the ability to buy a web domain built into the system if you don't have one already. People, the place to go is squarespace.com slash hello, and you can get started. There are templates there you can choose from, and then you can tweak them to your heart's content. Seriously, it's really simple. That address again, squarespace.com slash hello, squarespace.com all one word, you probably know that by now. And if you use that, they'll know you came from here, the slash hello there on the end. Oh, yeah. And you'll also get 10% off your first order, which is probably even more important. Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting the show. Hello, internet. Well, that's the end of the show. I like to spread out the ads as much as possible, but that section on Las Vegas, there was no good place to put the last ad except at the very end. So here we are together. Just listening to the end of the podcast. I know some people don't like it when the podcast just ends. So do you like this better? You know, it's coming. I'm telling you right now, shows over, you know, you can go home. I guess if we were a regular show, this is where there'd be some kind of wrap up. So, don't forget to like, comment and subscribe, I guess. Or wait, leave a review on iTunes. Yeah, that was a thing we used to do. Leave a review on iTunes. Or frankly, what matters way more is recommend us an overcast. So yeah, that's that's the end of the show. Like, comment, did subscribe, star, tell your friends. Okay, it's really ending now. Bye.

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. "H.I. #90: Pumpkin Pressure". Hello Internet. Hello Internet. Retrieved 19 October 2017.