H.I. No. 9: Kids in a Box

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"Kids in a Box"
Hello Internet episode
Episode 9 on the podcast YouTube channel
Episode no.9
Presented by
Original release dateApril 16, 2014 (2014-04-16)
Running time1:32:03
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"H.I. #9: Kids in a Box" is the ninth episode of Hello Internet, released on April 16, 2014.[1]

Official Description[edit | edit source]

Grey and Brady discuss a Yahoo competitor to YouTube, traveling to Everest together, the importance of dream interpretation for a healthy mental life, a complete review of The Desolation of Smaug, the action-packed super bowl, what is it that schools really do and much, much more.

Show Notes[edit | edit source]


Other[edit | edit source]

Fan Art

Did the group of individuals you prefer outperform the group of individuals you do not prefer? Shall we commence episode number nine? Yes, episode number nine. Let's do this. This is this is the last time we will ever do a podcast in single digits. Yes, that is right. Do you remember when you turned 10? I don't remember it very well, but I remember thinking it was a big deal. I don't think I have any genuine memories from before high school. So no, I don't remember turning 10 years old. I remember seeing pictures of when I turned 10 years old, but I don't have any memories in my own head of such an event. Do you have memories from before you were 10 years old, like just in life of things that happened? I don't think so, no. I mean, not real ones. You know how it is. Your parents tell you about stuff that happened when you were a little kid and so it feels like a memory, but I'm not sure any of those memories that I think I have are actually real memories. I have a few. Do you? Yeah. Are you going to be one of those people who tells me you have memories from being in the cradle? A little tiny baby Brady. I have two, I have three or four memories and they're mostly pretty big incidents, like one when I broke my arm and one when I'm going on a plane and there's a few things I remember, but the one thing that's really remember, one thing that's really strange I should say is I have two dreams from when I was really young that I still remember really vividly. Yeah, but I'm not going to talk about them because I just suddenly occurred to me how boring it is to people talk about their dreams. Oh, I think, yeah. It is very boring hearing people talk about their dreams. It's even boring talking about your own dreams whenever you tell someone else about your dreams. Always like halfway through the story, you realise you're becoming bored by the story and it's like, gosh how boring must this be for the other person? This is one of these things where perhaps I shouldn't be so quick to judge, but I judge people very harshly if they're the kind of people who want to tell you about their dreams. I have no patience for this. Absolutely zero. And I feel like it is a poor indicator of a person's ability to project themselves into the mind of another human being if they think it's interesting to tell you about their dreams. Like dreams are not interesting to anybody. My own dreams aren't even interesting to me. They're just, you know, it's like, do I lose points for starting to talk about it and then gain points for realising at the last minute and aborting? Yeah, you were really close to losing some points, right? But you were nose diving there, but you pulled up at the last possible second. So you're still okay in my book. But man, I've known people who, I mean, it's like hours later, you're at work. It's lunchtime, you know, this person's dream occurred hours and hours ago and they're like, oh, I had a really interesting dream last night. Let me tell you about it. I was out shopping and I was with my brother, but he wasn't really my brother. You know, he was also Robin Williams. It's like, oh god, stop it. Like it's not, it's not real. Like this means nothing to anybody. It doesn't even mean anything to you. It's, ah, oh god. Sorry. If you wake up, if you have like a dream that has made an impression on you temporarily, do you tell your wife about it? My wife actually thinks this is very funny and it actually just happened this morning where right when I wake up, sometimes I will make a comment about the kind of feeling of like, oh god, I had just really busy dreams last night. And that is as far as I will go and she will ask me, oh, what did you dream about? And I was like, I can't, I can't even tell you. Like it's just who cares, right? It just, all that matters is I woke up and I still have this kind of, ah, not like a great night, the rest last night feeling, but that's the end of it. You know, the details of the dreams are just totally irrelevant to anyone. Well, that's not talking about dreams then. What have you got to follow up for us? New countries are here. Yes, yes, we have a bunch of new countries. I didn't do it last time, but just yesterday I tallied up all of the new countries. So these are countries from which we've had reviews. Okay, yeah. So this is, so what we're, this is episode nine. So since episode seven, we have gotten at least one review in all of the following countries. So here's a list. It is Bulgaria, Egypt, Estonia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Macedonia, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru and the Philippines. Okay. Which ones in that list have you actually been to? I have been to Estonia and that is the only one on the list that I have been to. What about you? Yeah, that's quite an exclusive list, isn't it? I've been to Egypt and I've obviously been to Nepal. It's one of my favorite countries in the world. Welcome to people from all of those countries, especially Nepal, my, quite possibly my favorite country in the world, and home to half of Mount Everest, my favorite mountain in the world. Why is it your favorite country in the world? Because it's got like so many huge mountains and like, it's always sounds a bit cliche when you say the people are really nice, but the people are really nice. And it's just like, I don't know, it's just, it's cool looking. It's got cool stuff. I've had, I've had really good times there. So I want to go there again. I want to, I've been to Everest Basecamp twice and I want to go three times. So I'm going to do it again. I love it. Do you want to come? Would you come with me? Do Everest Basecamp? I would not. You wouldn't. No, I would not do that. Well, didn't the last time, or the airplane you took there last time, like, the exploded months after you were there. The airplane I took the first time from Kathmandu to Lukla where you start the trek to Everest. That same plane a while later crashed on that same flight. And yeah, it killed everyone on board, unfortunately. I was watching it on the news and they had footage of the wreckage. It was so terrible. And then I saw like serial number on the plane. And I was like, hang on. And I got at my holiday photos. And there's me standing next to the same plane waving. And I was like, laugh can be funny, hey? Yeah. So there's not a, isn't like a ringing endorsement for me to go, because it's one of those terrifying little planes. I remember you showed me, you showed me these questions. But you know, you don't get, you don't get to, you don't get to see and do the cool things in life without, you know. Yeah, but I've, I have read into thin air. But for, for listeners, I'd say John Krakauer book, it's, it's about an expedition to Mount Everest that went terribly, terribly wrong. Yeah, but they were like going up Mount Everest. I'm not, I'm not saying we should go up Mount Everest. I'm just saying we'll go to Basecamp. Yeah, but you're just, you're, your inches closer to danger in that kind of situation, right? Like, being at Basecamp, you're already so far away from civilization. It's just, into thin air, I thought was an interesting book, partly because I think it's, it's an interesting chronicle of how things go wrong in that they're not necessarily any major things that need to happen before you have a real problem on your hands. It's just the accumulation of a lot of little errors, each of which on their own wouldn't necessarily be devastating. And so I feel like even being at a place like Basecamp is just the, the safety margin between you and death who waits around every corner to catch you is just so much smaller than being in a more urban area, perhaps, let's say. All right. We'll all find someone else to go with it. I'm sure you will. I'm sure there are many people who would love to go, but that, that is, that is not me. What else you got on the follow-up list? What else? I saw in our ever excellent Reddit discussion thread, somebody made a little infographic, which showed your productive output versus my productive output. And then it showed that since my previous video, the video on Jury Nellification, that since I had published that, you had published, I believe, 347 videos and also started nine new channels. I got that right from the infographic, I think is what you had done. So you are quite a beast when it comes to YouTube productivity. You do exaggerate, and mock me as always. Not by much though. But I did notice that someone made that little graphic where they just showed little thumbnails of all the videos I had uploaded since your previous video. And obviously it was amusing to see so many videos. But the worst thing was they left out a whole bunch. I think they missed out two whole channels. There was a whole bunch of videos not on that list. So do you know what the actual number was at the time of his 40? Something maybe? I don't know. I don't know what it was. But whatever it was, it has come to an end because hallelujah, you put out a new video. Yes, yes. Very exciting, I guess. I'm asking for your sake. I have watched it and know exactly what it is, of course. I put out the video. It is our Hong Kong and Macau countries. I think at the time we're recording this on Sunday and I put it up on Wednesday, I think. But yes, there were many funny comments left both on Reddit and on YouTube, which I did scan over for people. We're marking about hallelujah, right? There's a video and gather the children around. It's a rare occurrence. People are very funny on the internet. I always think there's a great. But yes, the long time of no video is over. Much to my great relief. That had just been that had been too long and I was getting very anxious about it. So I'm happy to have it done. But you're honest with me here. Because I remember a few podcasts ago, you told us about your whole procedure about putting up a new video. After it's all gone out, you have this kind of video game time. Compute it. Sorry, computer game, whatever the young people call them these days. For various reasons, mostly my fault. The recording of this podcast has been delayed a few times. And I did have a window to record it in the evening after you put that video out. And I messaged you and said, do you want to do it Wednesday night or whatever it was? And you were like, I can't. I have like another commitment. So I thought, you must be going out to dinner or something or have some business meeting. And then I saw on Twitter, you making some comments or showing some picture that you were basically playing your computer game. So you basically fobbed me off and didn't work or record the podcast so you could play computer games. Okay, so this is the problem of following me on Twitter. I did take my traditional day off the day after to basically mess around in open TTD for those who care about such things. But I did have an actual engagement in the evening. So I spent most of the day blowing off all work, but I did not spend the evening just like, I don't feel like recording this podcast. I had other stuff to do. And you were only available in the evening time. So that did not work out. Sorry. I don't feel quite so spiraled. I thought I might try a video of an experiment on this podcast. Yeah. Obviously it's it's only live to you and I so it will lose some of its impact. But I thought it might be a fun thing to do anyway. I thought I might put my next video live right now. Oh yeah. So we're recording this on a Sunday evening, which I don't know if that's an optimal time to put a YouTube video live. I would suspect not. I would suspect not as well. But you're going to do it anyway. But I'm going to do it anyway. And part of that reason is I'm a bit worried about this video anyway. So I don't mind if it gets kind of a bit lost in the noise. So because and I'm prepared to be judged by you here because I've already been judged by others who mock my occasional overly long videos. But this one is 26 and a half minutes long. That is pretty long. Which channel are we talking about? It's a number file video. Number file. It's got a bit of a story behind it. A guy who came round to record it, Simon Pampena, who's a maths guy who's in a few of my videos. Basically he said, I've got this really cool idea and really excited about doing it. Actually what I'll do is I'll put it live and then I'll tell you the story. Yeah, it's going to save that. It's going to take a while. I'll put it up now. I'll see you actually shows up on your number file. I've got the web page open. No, it's all right. Let's just do this first. So I put it live. Okay, there we go. So basically he came round epic circles. I see it. Oh my goodness. Is it that quick? That's it's I hit refresh. It's up epic circles. That's amazing. Yeah, I had no idea. I see it right away. Great. It's up immediately. There's already three views. I wasn't even the first. Amazing. So anyway, he came around and he said, I've got this really good idea and it's really involved and it took all day to film. My arms were falling off and holding the camera and I was like, is this are you joking? Is this ever going to end? And he was like, yeah, yeah, it's it's okay. Trust me in that. And then I was just realizing this film was just getting completely out of control. So anyway, I've ended up with this video that's truly epic. Hence I've called epic circles, but it is really interesting. And he's kind of halfway through to explain what he was doing. I had to explain a whole new concept about circle inversion and this became this huge mess. But the one good thing about it was it did result in the most beautiful final product piece of paper that we've ever had in number file. We always write on these scraps of paper. Yes. And the piece of paper at the end of this video is a masterpiece because for this video to work, he couldn't just explain the concepts he had to actually draw all these diagrams and circles like perfectly accurately on the paper with like compasses and rulers and things. So it's a it's a masterpiece piece of paper, but the videos a bit long. So I've kind of buried it on a Sunday night so the people who because I guess if people watch videos at work, they're not going to want to watch a 26 minute video. I think if they're at work, they probably want to watch a 26 minute video. I think you're looking at that the entirely wrong way. See, I would have thought maybe I thought this maybe this is more of a Sunday night video than than a while I'm having my sandwich lunch break video. Well, I could say it from from my own demographics looking at the information I have of access to. There is no doubt about it that my videos are basically their watch times correspond to the United States work week. So people are watching like between nine and five on on the work days. That's the whole YouTube economy is based on people at work taking some time off perhaps let's say. I've got a CGP gray first on my video. I had to leave a comment. Yeah. It's live, right? This is very exciting. So I thought I would like traditional YouTube comment. And the other and the other thing is someone's written a comment here saying, you know, amazing as always, which is very flattering. But they can only have watched the first minute of the video and it's 26 minutes long. So I'm not entirely convinced they do think the video is amazing. I think they're just they just like you. Does that mean everyone else who says something nice about my videos hasn't really watched them? Oh, look at you. You're going to start down that the existential, existential black hole here of wondering if your work is any good. Now I'm pretty sure it's not. Anyway, you're so hard on yourself. But anyway, thank you for thank you for your first comment. And we'll come back at the very end and we'll see if anyone who actually has watched the 26 minutes has had anything to say about my way too long video. I don't know how you could just release a video while you're while you're just doing something else. I would be very nervous. I have to have to have the whole schedule clear for the first maybe hour or so after a video because I want to make sure there's nothing wrong or yeah or anything that if it's just anything that I would absolutely have to change. I mean, that's only it's only happened once or twice where I've taken down a video and then uploaded something that's changed immediately afterward. But I would be I would be just waiting to find out if there was just something wrong or in the video. But you're very calm and I guess you have so many. It doesn't you're not concerned, I guess. Well, no, I'm keeping my left eye on it because if someone says, I'm a goodness, I can't believe you just said pies 4.13. I probably will have to take the video down. But I'm gone with it. Anyway, thank you for indulging me there. And thank you for your first comment. Did you ever say, what do you think about people writing first on videos like just for the sake of having the first comment? Do you have a view on this? I just think it's like internet culture. I think it's just sort of funny. I don't know. I'm not sure how serious those commenters are. It's just a funny bit of internet culture. People want to say first. And of course, there's always the funny thing about particularly unpopular videos. People simultaneously trying to say first, see you end up with 30 comments, all that say first. And then they start arguing with each other. I'm a big fan of internet culture. I like all those kinds of things. So I don't mind it all. I just think it's kind of funny and do like it. I made a whole vlog about saying how I like it. I think it's I'm for it. And I think it's just human nature to want to be first. Yeah. But it is interesting how different different communities can be. So the first thing is totally absent from Reddit. You know, you'll never see people leave a first comment on a Reddit discussion. It's just interesting to see how different places can be kind of culturally different. But yeah, someone's already angry at me for having left the first comment on your video. So there we go. That's the advantage of knowing when it was going live. Hello, internet. This episode is brought to you by Squarespace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website portfolio or online store. Squarespace has been around for 10 years and they're constantly improving their platform with new features, new designs, and even better support. They have beautiful designs for you to start with and they have a ton of style options so you can create a unique website for you or your business. They released 20 new customizable templates this past year and every design automatically includes a mobile experience that matches the overall style of your website so your content looks great on every device every time. And Squarespace is easy to use with simple drag and drop tools. 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And that is really what I appreciate that there's a hugely professional team of people working to make sure that your site is always up and available and always looks great on whatever new device has come out. So for me, it's just a huge relief to have all of those burdens lifted from my shoulders because I used to write all my websites by hand and it's just it's so great to not have to do that and to have something that just basically looks better than I could have ever made it in the first place. So again, a very heartfelt recommendation from me to you to use Squarespace. It's just an amazing service. So Squarespace is good for everyone, whether you need a simple website solution or you're a developer and want to get into the code, there are so many options and it starts at just eight dollars a month and includes a free domain name if you sign up for a year. So start a trial today with no credit card required and begin to build your website and when you decide to sign up for Squarespace, which you will, make sure to use the offer code Hello Internet all one word to get 10% off and to show your support for this podcast. Once again, that's Hello Internet all one word to get 10% off at Squarespace who we thank again for their support. Squarespace, everything you need to create an exceptional website. Someone on the internet sent me a little story which I just thought was worth a mention. That is Yahoo, possibly starting up a YouTube competitor, which of course is something near and dear to both of our hearts. And the new story is basically about several famous unnamed YouTubers who have been approached by Yahoo to try and bring them over to whatever this new service is that Yahoo may be launching soon. And someone sent that along to me and wanted to know if I was one of the people who had been approached by Yahoo. And I have to say, I'm disappointed that I was not approached by Yahoo. I thought, oh, that's kind of, you know, I'm here, right? Let me know Yahoo could, I'd be willing to listen to offers from Yahoo to see if they wanted me to post videos on their new service as well. Oh, as well. Instead of, I'm sure they would, I'm sure their approach is going to involve instead of rather than as well. Well, now see that's a deal breaker. Yahoo, who I'm not negotiating with now. But yeah, of course, I would not do it instead of I think. While I would be very happy to see YouTube have a little bit more competition on the internet because I think competition is good for everybody, I would not exclusively switch to Yahoo unless, unless there was a pile of money that was just comically, astronomically large, which I don't think it would probably be part of their deal. But anyway, I'm sure it would be part of their deal for the right people. I mean, that's how you, that's what you've got to do. That's like the house of cards Netflix trick, isn't it? You're the only place to get something that's so good. And you've got to spend money to make money. I guess, I guess. So I think you're trying to convince Yahoo that that's what they should do. They should try to spend huge amounts of money to make people exclusive. Well, I think if the only place I could watch your videos was Yahoo, I would still be watching some videos on Yahoo. Interesting. I don't, I don't think that that exclusivity deal could ever possibly work out. But if I thought it was just interesting to see and I would be totally, I would be totally open to posting my videos on an additional place. I used to, if you think this, are you saying to me that you think this poaching of YouTube stars by Yahoo, if it's true, does not involve them transferring their exclusivity from YouTube to Yahoo. Of course, that's what it would be. Surely. Yeah, you think so. I guess maybe you're right. What's the point otherwise? If you can just watch the same content, why not just, you know, they need to make people migrate and the only way to force people to migrate. Okay, so here is the, I'll put the link to the story in the show notes. But the summary of it is again from like not at all named sources, which is always one of the reasons why I'm not super thrilled with the news. But anyway, supposedly Yahoo is trying to tempt big YouTubers over with higher advertising rates on their own competitor as opposed to YouTube's advertising rates. So I think, you know, maybe it wouldn't, it doesn't necessarily have to be exclusive if Yahoo could actually follow through on that deal and actually have higher advertising rates for content producers. There would be incentive for people to dual posts on both services. And then maybe, so there's like when I post a video on on my website on cgpgreat.com, not on YouTube, I have to embed that video from YouTube. But if I was uploading on Yahoo and YouTube, I would have to pick which one of those two services do I want to embed the video from. This is true. I'm not going to have both of them or for example, when I say on Twitter, oh, there's a brand new CGP great video. And I include a link. I'm not going to link to both Yahoo and YouTube. I say now. I think they could just try to convince people to be there. And then maybe demonstrate, look, we can get you more dollars per thousand views. You've clearly thought this through more than me and you are wise and smarter than me as always. And you've proven it yet again. We're just speculating here. We know what might Yahoo. It obviously hasn't occurred to you in the slightest that I may be one of the people they've approached. And from your laugh, I think that ends that conversation right there. No, we should know what not. I just assumed that you would have told me. I feel like you wouldn't, you wouldn't hold a secret like that for me, would you? Oh, you sneaky man. Well, I might tell you, I'm not sure I would tell the whole podcasting well, but maybe they had me sign a nondesclosure for almost something like that, you know? Maybe. I feel like they haven't approached me. I haven't approached me. I haven't even heard of it. I'm the last person I'll approach, especially after that 26 and a half minute video I put up today. They've probably crossed me off at least now. Well, let's see. Maybe that'll be your most popular video ever. You never know. See if there's any new comments on that video. Hang on. Because of course, you know, I approve comments now after you know this from previous discussions. So, yeah, so do you know this? So, so still think that's a terrible decision. But it has its problems, but I'm going with it for now. There's many, many problems. Yeah, well, yeah, on you remember the things, you know, you haven't, you haven't got like people in your videos being harassed and having comments made about there. Yes, no, but, but, but, but, but, but, yes, but my opinion is that you should just, if you're going to have to do this, you shouldn't just have the comments at all. Like the, approving the comments is just, just a huge burden of labor that you're adding onto yourself there. That's that's, I would just shut down the comments instead of promising to moderate the whole discussion. So, someone's commented on your comment saying, you are awesome CGP. So, why is it people are saying you're awesome on one of my videos? This doesn't seem right. I'm deleting that one. Yeah, that's not really, I'm not really deleting that. Yeah, you can say that, but that's fine. You know, we'll go back later and see if it's still there. I'm sure it won't be. I'm sure you will have taken it down. No, no, of course it's there. So, anyway, uh, Yahoo, we will wait and see. Yeah, I will be, I will be curious to see that. Obviously, I'm very grateful to YouTube for allowing me to turn this into a professional living, but I always think more competition is, is better than less competition in in all areas like this. And I think it's it's pretty fair to say that YouTube has just no comparable competition out there on the internet. There's Vimeo, but Vimeo is such a different creature. It's not like, yeah, it's not like YouTube at all. It's different. Yeah, it's it's completely, it's completely different. There's no advertising on Vimeo. That's for one. So, like this, this whole business model of hours couldn't exist on Vimeo. Which makes it a, it makes it a very different kind of creature. And in some ways better, in some ways worse. But yeah, so I, I would, I would welcome more competition in the internet space. It's always better. So, I've had a few things going on. Oh, yeah. I was, I had a few sort of negative moanie things and a few positive things because you know, I'm always mine for the being too much of a winger. Yeah, but this is, no, this is going to be like we discussed last time where there's going to be Brady's airplane crash corner. And then the moanie section is Brady's paper cuts. I think we've done anything crash corner already. Haven't we said? Yes, so now we're onto Brady's paper cuts is the part where you moan about something small. This is because I know you're a fan of kind of Lord of the Rings, Hobbit-y type stuff. I watched the desolation of small smog, smog, however you say it. The latest Hobbit film last night. I was pretty unimpressed with the first Hobbit film. But I had heard this one was better and they were kind of you know pulling it from the fire a bit. I begged to differ. Oh, yeah. I was pretty unimpressed by the film. I nearly turned it off. Was I just, did I just catch it at the wrong time? Or is this one also dull as dishwasher, dishwasher repetitive? Is there something wrong with me? Was it a good film? I didn't see it. And I was sure you would have said that you'd love that stuff. Well, I was super into the original Lord of the Rings movies coming out and I still really like those. No, they were great. I love them. Although I owe it even at the time I thought like man they were just a couple years too early with the CGI technology. Like they made them when the CGI was was totally passable but I even remember thinking at the time like this is this is not going to look so great in 10 years time. I think the CGI in these Hobbit films is worse. That's impressive then I guess. I haven't seen the Hobbit ones and I just I feel like I had no interest as soon as I discovered that it was I can't even is it two or is it three movies? Three. Oh God. Yeah. I feel like that that was the single piece of information that was that just ruled it out in my brain. The Hobbit could be a good two-hour movie. It is not a trilogy. Yeah well I think maybe that is the problem. Anyway I was going to have been of a rant. I was hoping that you'd say oh no it's great and be really nerdy about them but it sounds like it sounds like there's nothing to be had there so basically the some total of my comment that is I saw a movie last night that I didn't like very much. Let me tell you about my dream I had afterwards. Brady's paper cut corner. That's a movie. It wasn't very good. Thumbs down. You've got to you know you've got to throw a few of these things out there in the hope that something catches. Let me give you some let me give you my happy corner. Yeah. Today there was some excellent news. Liverpool my preferred football team defeated Manchester City. Oh yeah. Three goals to two in a very important game. Uh huh. This was good. Good. Good. Anything you want to ask me about Adder? Well three to two. I do know that when I told you earlier off there that I was watching football today you said oh that's good did your team get the snitch? Yeah. This is like my feeling on the sport. Yeah. As I wanted to ask question but I've already forgot it's like Liverpool versus someone else. It's so it slides out of my brain just so. Is there any sport you will watch? Do you ever watch a sport? Do you watch the Super Bowl? No I do not watch that. Is there any sport? Can I can I tell you something about American football? Yeah. American football I think has to be the most boring televised sport in existence. Have you have you watched an American football game? Yeah. I mean I always watch the Super Bowl. But I don't usually watch other games but occasionally well. I want to see if I can put up. I had a I had a when I was a kid I had a childhood friend who watched football all the time and so it was just sort of on and I remember thinking they must spend 80% of their time just it seems to me standing around like people to it's like they're not doing anything the amount of time they spend actually running on the field seems implausibly short compared to how long it's on TV and I don't know if I can if I can find it here but a couple weeks ago I found some infographic where someone actually broke down the amount of time that the Super Bowl takes yeah including advertising and the pauses and and whatever it was I think it's something like correct me if I'm wrong but I think the Super Bowl is broadcast for seven hours in that amount of time there's three minutes of running on the field and smashing into each other it's just unbelievable that anyone can sit through can sit through that I don't I don't understand this so I do not watch the Super Bowl and there I don't I just don't watch sports I mean I know I sort of tease you about I don't mean to bemoan people who follow sports like everybody's into their own things and and I'm into stuff that is just would be shockingly boring for other people so like this is what makes the world an interesting place is different people have different interests but I just I can't say I have a lot of interest in any sports I'm trying to think what I know I know when I was a very little kid my father is not also a into sports kind of guy but when I was a little kid my father took me to Yankee Stadium in New York oh yeah we could go watch the baseball game oh I'm a big Yankee fan I I would go to Yankee Stadium all the time I love it yeah so so we went you know we did the the the you know the thing you go you get like hot dog and you sit in the stadium and you watch this and we left after a couple of innings because we were both just very bored but my father felt that it was his responsibility you know as a dad in New York to take me to at least one baseball game but we both were just bored to death because it's just so slow um why are we even friends grey well I think are we I feel like we're friends it's okay to have very different friends because you don't you don't want me to watch sports with you I think that would be a problem if if you want to be a huge problem anyway come to man it's different with me no but you know I'm always happy to talk to you we're also we're also work colleagues that's that's the thing this is like a internet water cooler yeah we're doing with the podcast I'm talking about business but I had one other great triumph today yeah I hung a mirror on the wall a great big heavy mirror I am unspeakably bad at DIY around the house and this was the third big mirror that I had to hang and the first two had ended up not straight and these were like these were like high stakes mirrors where like you have to screw holes into walls before you hang the mirror so there's no like fine tuning afterwards with you know leaning at sideways on the wire this was like you get it right or you die and I died twice but today like this was this I was at the end of my tether and I was like okay I'll try one more and then if it doesn't work I'm never doing it again and I hung it and it's straight and it's a thing of beauty and I don't know it just made me feel good like I hung the mirror and I just looked at it triumphantly and then sat down watch the football watch my team win it was a real I had a moment I had a moment and then I sent you the picture of like the mirror and the tv in the same shot to you saying look how good my life is and then you sent you sent some win-g text I know that all what happened that is no that is not at all what happened that's what happened though I'm gonna pull this up here what actually happened here oh actually you did sort of say that I think I was so distracted by the picture that's it you did say watching sport in a house containing objects bliss smiley face yeah and then here is the picture that is a very big mirror that you had to hang up that is a big one but there are there are a lot of things in this picture one of which I have to ask this is a picture of Brady's house by the way next to the tv that has the sports game on it you have a phone that is an old-style rotary phone yeah and I am I am suspicious as to whether or not this is a functioning phone because it's an odd place in the house to have a phone well let me let me let me put your mind at ease it is a functioning phone unfortunately because we don't use the landline and we don't really want a landline in the house but it's just occasionally you need them like like people require them like like we weren't able to get a mortgage without having a landline people still have landlines I can't complain about this for a minute yeah yeah I know I know the exact same experience we have just moved and I run into this same thing and I got I got into an argument with BT British telecom because I was trying to get something sorted out with our with our internet connection and and they were like oh well we're gonna we're gonna call you on on your landline phone to continue this conversation so I don't I don't have a landline phone yeah I don't have a phone in my house and I ended up getting this argument with the BT person as I felt like what is this 1950 like you have my cell phone number in like that's why you're called like you accepted this phone call you know it's me it's just infuriating that they're like oh we have to talk on the landline phone I don't have a landline phone I don't want a landline phone I don't want a machine in my house that just randomly rings that was that was supposed to be positive corner there with my mirror and it just turned into like another old man moan about companies but I think so yeah yeah that's that's just that's just your fundamental personality breeders you're just a winger why I think I think I think you kind of dragged that one down the winging line I was I just wanted you to say good good stuff on the mirror are you good at DIY I'm sorry that's what I want to ask you are you good handy man around the house you've just moved house haven't you I have I have just moved house I'm sorry that I did not compliment you on your mirror it's it's very well hung your mirror there you go happy now yeah I don't often find the occasion for DIY stuff so because I guess you don't hang pictures and things do you just have these sort of stark white walls and we had some pictures in our in our old place and there's a couple that that come up now but I mean I can I can put a tiny nail in the wall you do put pictures on the wall in your house we had a we had a few pictures on the wall like printed on photographic paper like yeah yeah there there are a couple pictures that we have we got like pictures my wife took and we printed out and put it on the walls not not a whole lot but just just some you know I don't require walls to be totally barren I think pictures are fine but yeah I because I'm renting most of the DIY stuff the landlord wouldn't even want you to do on your own you can't crack out the drill and really make a mess of things like I do yeah so I I would say that in my adult life I have not had a great deal of experience in being able to flex my DIY muscles because I live in places that I do not own someone else owns them and they want you to call if there's something that that needs fixing because the last thing they want is a tenant who has I guess electrocuted himself to death in their apartment because he was trying to fix something with the wiring or install a new light bulb or something else so yeah I think I think not I feel like you seem to see every activity that you can perform physically as like you just attach a death risk to it like like were you coming to my Everest no I could die were you drill a hole in the wall no I could die like it's it's I thought maybe I was the morbid one here but I think I'm not so sure now well first of all I would not say that I could die right if you listen to our previous discussion I talk about the increasing probability of death right I would prefer to keep that small right so so so even in activity like sitting in a chair all day and never exercising that increases probability of of death in in an insidious non visible way so yeah you counter that by exercise or by walking around so it's it's it's not that I think of all physical activities as as death inducing no you also think of non physical activities as death in Jason yes that's right everything is death in Jason well everything comes with some probability of of death increase or death decrease and you have to you have to weigh those concerns you know like like going to the gym you can dive a heart attack on the treadmill but statistically speaking if you're on the if you're in the gym and you're exercising or that is you are moving death further away than you are bringing him closer if you are in the gym even though you can be the the unlucky heart attack lottery winner on the treadmill in the gym how ironic that you chose the treadmill was for the analogy of making death get further away or why do you when you're standing still yes that's a good point yeah it's so anyway yeah changing changing let's change the topic to the topic of the day oh we can do you have to play a sound effect here or do we just do it I guess we can we can just do it I'm still not sure about these about topics and and running out of things to say but I guess because we don't really have a topic we just have a topic that if we ran out of stuff to say talk about and last time we'd never even did the topic yeah that's true but I think this time we need to like you know we need we need to we need to move on from from winging about our lives and winge about something on a grand asco yeah so yes I guess you're right and so I there was there was something that I did sort of want to talk about which I which I guess could be the topic and I have some notes here it might be a little a little scatterbrained so as always I will rely on you to ask some questions to help you through this but because in in our our previous podcasts we've kind of touched on the the world of education and listeners will know that I I was a teacher and I and I felt like I kept putting off some thoughts about education for for a future episode and so I think this is this is maybe the time to talk about it and I want to phrase this this topic as what do schools really do or or or what is the purpose that schools serve in society okay and that that is very distinct from the question of what do we want schools to do you know or what schools should do so that I feel like I don't want to talk about ideal schools I want to so what to bring up what I think is perhaps a very grim view of what schools actually do in society so so rather than like what are schools for it's a bit more like what are schools achieving or what are they or not achieving yeah yeah what yeah yeah achieving might be an interesting way to put it what do schools contribute um contribute isn't overly optimistic word I think okay um okay so so I I already have the tone here that this this is going to be something along the lines of you thinking that schools are not doing a brilliant thing for society well I what I would say is this I think that that schools are not necessarily doing what people say they do right when you have a conversation about schools and people talk about education and education is is one of these topics that I think is uh it's it's interesting because everybody kind of has this experience right you are a kid and you grew up and and you go to school and everybody's experienced this sort of in the western world right that that school is a huge part of life and and so everyone kind of has a vested interest in this game right you're a parent and you send your kid to school and then you have memories of of what it was like for when you were at school and I think this is also why education and funding education and teachers and teachers unions like they're always very hot political topics because it's the kind of thing that everybody can get involved in because everybody has an experience of having gone to school and and what what they thought about it and they also seem to me like that people will always criticize schools in the education system etc in that political kind of way but they're also a bit of a sacred cow schools aren't they they're like like there is uniform agreement that they are schools are a good thing yes yes that that's why I mean it's it's a hot topic because it can be argued about from from both sides right schools can be can be revered or people can can hate their local school system or whatever it is but it's it's impossible I think to not have contention over schools because everybody experiences it in a very direct way yeah right whereas there's tons of topics and politics that people just have no interest or care in because they didn't spend you know 12 years of their life involved in this thing it can go I know this isn't what we're talking about but it just reminds me it can go lay it down too like for example like I don't have children but I have a tremendous interest in schools in my area because of how it affects the price of my house right right yes yes the ever if you ever popular getting into a good school district method of human relocation after child child time yeah it's like that yeah that has huge knock on effects for property markets yeah like if my local school suddenly takes a dive so does my house prices yes suddenly I care tremendously about what's going on at my local school yeah right all right that's that's exactly it you're not even you don't even have a kid in that school but it still does affect you so yeah yeah that's why everybody gets kind of tangled up tangled up in this in this system okay so tell me what you're thinking yeah so here's here's the starting point from that is schools are ostensibly about learning I mean like I don't know a more fundamental statement than that to say that schools are what we think of as where people go to learn yeah right that it couldn't be couldn't be more basic than that whether it's learn on that kind of academic level or just sort of a socialization type level yeah learn in the in the broadest sense of the word yeah right that's school where people it's good to learn and this is I sort of alluded it I sort of alluded to this in the previous podcast from my own time as a teacher but something that if you are paying attention if you are not sort of deluding yourself as a teacher you can very quickly pick up on the fact that at least from the academic side students are not learning a whole lot in school in terms of actual material that you are theoretically teaching you know so I would do say a year of physics and then I would say even after a single summer vacation if kids come back in the next year and you start asking them a bunch of physics questions almost all of that information is just completely gone I always think of summers as almost a time when like children are able to just shake their brain free of all of the things that have been trying to stuffed in them over over the course of an academic year and they come back to school right all fresh and empty right you know that's sometimes the way I can kind of feel as as a teacher it's like didn't we do all of this before shouldn't you have learned this and again I say that this is for for all subjects and yeah I've seen that's not because it sounds a bit familiar to your language bashing from a couple of podcasts so that's exactly I think it's like the same thing about all subjects now yeah I am putting I'm putting this is not language in particular I'm talking about for all subjects yeah and I've even seen some some interesting kind of like follow-up studies asking post high school graduates a year later you know the most basic questions from some of the subjects that they took and the you know the answers are just abysmal you know it's just no better than than the random member of the population you know how how much they actually remember from a course that they've they've been through so I think that's that's kind of an interesting thing to note right that schools are supposedly teaching kids all day long all kinds of stuff about the world and about literature and and about art and about science but they this information is just so rapidly lost or there's even a question about how much of it did kids ever learn in the first place which again if you are if you are a teacher you can definitely see that firsthand that it might even be optimistic to talk about this knowledge having been lost from some students because that's there's a presumption that it was ever there in the first place so I think that that's that's just this is kind of like a starting point is there is less learning than I think people kind of talk about when they talk about schools yeah I don't know man like if I if I I don't remember I can't remember a few ask me to tell you what I learned at school I can't remember all these equations I learned mathematics and I can't remember these language things and I can't remember things about Shakespeare but if I didn't go to school for all that time I don't think I'd be the same guy talking to you that I am now I think I think you're throwing away a lot of intangible stuff I think you're throwing away a bit of the kind of Mr. Miyagi component of school where the actual just the process of learning is it is teaches you a lot and makes you the person you become so even though I can't remember exactly a plus b I'm still like I still learned how to learn and I learned how to how to become a fully functioning smart human and I think just applying the simple test of do you remember Newton's equations that I that you would talk last year is I think that's oversimplifying learning and education right now I will granted that there are there are other things that are going on in school and I would actually there are things that that kids genuinely learn but I think a statement like had I not gone to school I would be a different person is is a truism right had you spent 12 years of your life doing anything else that statement would also be true right you do like it's such a big chunk of time okay I wouldn't be a different person I would be in fear I think I would be not as high functioning okay yes I think that that's a that's a better statement to say right okay and I think I think that there is there is something to that but so the question about learning I think kind of leans into what I wanted to to bring up about this which is if we if we start from the position that that schools maybe can't be about learning objective facts right which is something that you would agree to was well I can't be about teaching a whole bunch of kids specific facts that they remember later because they because they don't remember it later it's it's something else something else is kind of going on here yeah and and this is this would come up in my own classes I think I mentioned this before but kids would ask me you know whenever we ever going to use this you know we're I'm teaching them physics and I would just straight up say you're never gonna you're never gonna use this the answer is never but like in karate kid you know Daniel LaRusso was like when am I ever gonna need to paint the fence and Mr. Miyagi was like don't worry this will come in handy you know and then it did he had these things ingrained into him that made him like awesome in the final karate tournament isn't school like that it's like when am I gonna use Newton's equations well you might not use Newton's equations but trust me this will this will help you win the big fight at the end everything what is the big fight in the end in this analogy I'm not quite sure I'm just completely god is a karate kid now yeah no I I could see I could see but no okay so okay but so let me let me let me follow through on this right yeah so this would this would always lead to a little a little discussion sometimes in in classes which I was kind of happy to have yeah so I say like you never get on this and so they go well you know well what are we doing here right you know if you're are the teachers tell us stories about how we're gonna need this in the future or how it's gonna help us win the big fight you know it's eventually gonna be useful you know maybe not today but just and I would not take that position yeah and my position was that look the reason the reason you're here you know you're taking this class and your goal is to get good grades because those grades are signaling qualities about you to the outside world and like that is the core of what schools do from a societal perspective they're a sieve that's exactly it they're they're a kind of sieve and I think this is this is a it's like an unhappy way to look at schools but I do think that it is a relatively accurate way to look at schools but even more so that the sieve effect is is very interesting so in if this is comes up in economics sometimes and I want to look up his name because I just want to I just want to get it right some of this stuff is based on the some of what I'm gonna talk about today is from the work of an economist in particular called Brian Kaplan who is talking about what happens to kids in various stages of education and so the the key points here that are interesting is right okay so you look at this for America if you look at the earnings for example I know earnings are not everything but we're trying to get some kind of measure how much do high school graduates earn versus non high school graduates and it turns out that high school graduates earn about 50% more year than non high school graduates yeah right there's no surprise there right that's not like a shocking piece of information I don't think that if you go to high school you can get a better job um but the the really interesting thing in those statistics is that basically going to a little bit of high school or even going to most of high school is just totally worthless in terms of of earnings right so if you go to high school for three and a half years but you you know you miss out on some class in the final year you might as well have not gone to high school at all if you don't get that piece of paper if you don't get that degree it doesn't matter that you have done 99% of the work and and the interesting thing about that is this this is something called you know is called signaling in in economics which means like that piece of paper is acting as a stamp that says something about you as a person right you you made it through all of all of this this this series of hoops that we have put up for you um and and the piece of paper is is the thing that let's employers for example know that you have made it through all of these these hoops but you would expect that if school was preparing you for the real world and this is again in the broadest possible way social skills interacting with people just learning how to be a good person all of which you know also matters for for people's lives and and their working experiences you would expect to see more of an effect as as people go through high school that three years in that should if school is is teaching you something anything about your existence in the real world three years of high school should be much better than one year of high school so it would be staggered that sort of earnings figures would change yeah that they wouldn't be the step jump it would be yeah yeah and so from from the the the numbers uh that i saw blog i think um it was it was something like year one of high school uh increases your earnings 10% your two is like 5% your three does nothing and then the remaining chunk of it that gets you up to 50 happens only when you graduate and like there should be more of a linear progression with that and it's the same thing for colleges that the earnings difference for going to college was 80% versus not going to college right people who go to college earn 80% more and and i i agree with you gray here yeah yeah i agree that schools have this uh have this civic effect in society and that but i do think and you acknowledge this yourself we're talking about money here and when it comes to money and earnings and career opportunities uh education does have this this role this selective role and i know it gets really political after that and we talk about money and exclusive schools and there's a lot there's a lot that we could talk about and that's not what we are talking about but when it comes to some of the other things that can be measured like your ability to uh make a phone call to the bank to hang a mirror to get along in society to raise children to do a lot of the other things that don't involve putting money in your pocket i think there probably there would be a correlation between how much education you had and how well you do those things so i think saying that education is not contributing to people unless they you know make the next step or get through that next finishing tape is unfair and i do think that education enriches people in other ways that aren't just about money and career opportunities now there's there's a there's an interesting question in here let's i'll pick a worse example probably from the bunch that you just did raising children okay uh you know going to college makes you a better parent neither of which you and i you and i have done we should acknowledge right yeah we're good we i do not have children you do not have children so so let's let's talk about children shall we yeah let's let's pontificate so all the parents out there well yeah i've been to college so i'm going to be a better parent but so let's let's take that that that statement that question or yeah yeah right that that going to college makes you better parent there's there's a i didn't say going to college makes you a better parent i just said more years educated yeah yeah yeah well what you're saying is that school is the thing that makes you educated so it's it's the schooling that makes you a better parent that's that's sort of the position that you're saying there um okay well let's yeah all right is it all that you go with it um i think there are other things that could also contribute to how good a parent you probably will be like like how good your parents and other things that happen in your life but there are many things but do you think that more years of schooling would make you a better parent uh all things all other things being all other things being equal yeah i i think probably you you learn yeah i'll go with i'll go with yes okay so so that the very interesting thing there is is you're comment about all other things being equal yeah again i'm not i'm neither of us are saying that this this effect is true but we're just using it as a discussion point the question is do people who go to college have a better chance of being better parents or is it the college that makes them in this example better parents can i just say clarify what college means i'm sorry i'm thinking english is Australian here just just after high school like university level um okay well i think yeah i'm not really thinking about it say i already went to college for one year myself so and then i got a job and left so yeah but so you mean like six form college is that what you mean no no no i started doing a degree and then okay i got off of the job at a newspaper and they said we don't want you to have a degree we'd rather train us else so i said all right um that'll save me a few years but um uh i always said i'd go back and do it part time in that chance that i've ever happened okay okay i think why wait wait why won't you ever go back because i don't need the piece of paper right see this is exactly it right that's the only reason you won't go back because there's nothing in your life right now with the kind of career that you have that that piece of paper speaks to right that that piece of paper improves you don't need that signal to any employer you know or or any any person in that kind of position to prove that you're a certain kind of yes because i've because i've done the jobs and i i now can you rely on other things i'm i'm not disagreeing that that there is this exclusivity cive function this selectivity function to education but to take it to the other extreme if when i was five years old my parents said we're not going to send you to school Brady we're just going to let you play cricket in the backyard and swim in the pool i definitely would not have got that job at the newspaper so my education is is what gave me that uh luxury of towards the end being able to decide whether or not to finish my degree because i was already you know a person of you know i had abilities and i had knowledge and you know i had social skills that i had developed through my time at school and i don't know if there's some other if you think me just being sitting around at home and not being schooled either at a school at home schooled would have made no difference i probably will take issue with you hmm well this is also just totally anecdotally um but i i know people who were homeschooled and basically left to their own devices who who basically became educated people on their own and that's of course i don't understand that because it's anecdotes with anecdotes is not a not a good argument but i think there's a there's a question of like what kind of person are you certain kinds of people are inclined towards educating themselves so it's not entirely impossible but um to go back to what you're saying i i would say that um my view of what you learn in school the the earlier school starts the more important it is so like i see kids in primary school and i think maybe per hour those are some of the best times people ever spend in schools yeah because first of all you're learning how to tie your shoes right which is genuinely important like i use that every day i don't know what yeah i don't know what teacher taught me at a time my shoes but it that's been great yes the reading one i think is the best bang for the buck ever humans don't want to learn to read that's not a very natural thing you have to put them especially tiny humans in a in a constrained environment where you're just going to learn this you're not going to like it but we know we know we know better for you and also i think in primary school i think that is is very obvious if you ever hang around with primary school kids they're learning how to not be animals they're they're they're learning you can't bite someone when you're angry you know they're they're learning you can't just pee on the floor you know or like if you're gonna throw up you have to go to the bathroom they're they're learning just not to be tiny tiny animals i must take you for a night out and not in one time and you can watch where everyone has unlearned that but like i'd love that as a slogan for a school welcome to cgp grade primary school where we will teach you not to be an animal yes but that's i i think that that is what primary school is doing and it's you know you we're putting these little kids under all these constraints where their brains have to learn like you i mean so a natural for a little kid but it's to the well you know welcome to the world you are going to have to sit indoors in a room for long periods of time and you're not going to want to do it but we're going to get this started right away and that's that's kind of what primary school is and by the time you get to say secondary school or high school kids have gotten used to that they're they're they're familiar with this yeah the curve like the the the steepness of the curve changes yeah but you're still learning other things you're learning how to talk to girls or you're learning how to interact with adults because at that point you start having a different dynamic with your teachers and you or you start learning more subtle things about human interaction that's a bit less base than don't bite people yeah don't be on the floor but i think through school that stuff's always going on that socialization but i but also i'd probably at the education level that thing starts happening you learn how to rather than learning how to read and write you learn how to persuade or to make an argument so even though you don't remember the argument you made about hamlet you were learning how to make an argument in that essay that you were writing for your teacher that's what i mean about learning to learn learning to do things so even though you don't remember facts and figures that those things that you picked up at that time i think stick with you and make you what you add later on where there's an alternative to school well you go ahead and put one to me but i think school does serve that purpose yeah so here here is here's again some of my my counterfeeling to this which is what the learning to learn argument i would say that when i when i have this discussion with people which obviously can get a heated discussion this is this is not you know it's not for you in particular but it's in general the people who argue learning to learn are people who generally had positive experiences in school they are the people who were academically successful they are the people who apply to and and got into universities it's an argument that comes from a particular section of the school age population or the educated population i'm not convinced necessarily that schools teach kids how to learn how to learn i think that's that's a it's a kind of personality trait in certain kinds of kids which can be brought out by schools it could be brought out by all kinds of other things as well but i think there it's it's it's wrong to say that the school is the thing that teaches that and part of this is just looking at you know dropout rates from schools yeah i know so high school dropout rates are you know roughly it's 10% of of kids who go to high school in america dropout it's relatively low but then when you look at kids who go to kids who apply to and are accepted to college you know 40% of them don't make it out with a bachelor's degree within six years right they withdraw and you're already talking about a relatively small portion of the population who goes to college anyway which is in the u.s. in the uk it's about 30% of the population 25 to 30% has college degrees and so i i just i feel like the learning to learn argument i just don't think is convincing i think this is like a personality trait and it's hard for me to argue that because i i sort of fit into you know you've sort of scotched any argument before i could make it by saying absolutely but let me i think maybe the best way for you to persuade me of what you're trying to get across here just give me an alternative give me an alternative that will give society all the things it needs that doesn't involve schools well no no i'm here this is this is why i want to bound this argument in the beginning i'm i am trying to make a sort of value neutral argument that this this is what schools do i don't even necessarily think it's bad because in some sense right that like so so flip it around we're talking about students and things but if you talk about employers employers need some kind of way to filter out people who who apply for a job then it will find a way to discriminate that's exactly it and you know like that's that's the harsh reality of life if you if you post a job and you get 200 job applications you need some way to filter those things down and if you're applying for if you're if you want a relatively let's let's okay let's say you you you have a job and you're looking for a smart person now you get a whole bunch of of of applications more likely than not the people who went to college and graduated college are probably smarter than the people who failed out of high school now that's not to say that everybody who failed out of high school isn't smart but it's it's like a it's like the death thing we were talking about before it's a statistics game you have you have to play the odds here and you're going to pick the college educated person I also think very interestingly that the the other thing that's kind of getting stamped on on to kids by like you have passed high school stamp you have passed college stamp isn't actually necessarily primarily intelligence I think it's it's largely a certain kind of conscientiousness that's really the the bar to pass with high school and with college but can you keep track of all of these assignments that we have given you right are you able to show up a certain amount of time but are you are you able to we're we're giving you assignments are you able to do enough of those assignments to the specifications that are required like I actually think that's kind of the primary thing that schools are really testing kids for it's a sort of it's like a 15-year stickability test yes this is exactly it right and that's this is one of the reasons like why why is school so long because your work life is long and boring right and we need to make sure that you are a person who has proven they are able to you know do a long and boring routine and you're able to make your way through it and get and get certified now again this is not to say that people don't learn any don't that people don't learn things in school that's that's not my argument like oh nothing is is learned but I think the primary purpose or the primary function of schools in a society is to act as a kind of filter that that or a kind of approval process for people entering the labor market and that's that's why there's such a high premium on graduating whereas attending some college is is almost as as worth as doing no college at all there's a little bit of a benefit but not a huge benefit when you're looking at the at the population as a whole so and I guess I mentioned this because I always really liked talking to students when I I could and I think a lot of kids asked me about universities and and jobs and I think it's because maybe I gave more direct answers than some other teachers gave sometimes and I would say that there was a certain there was a certain kind of kid particularly a certain kind of both conscientious kids and both very smart kids who it felt like they were able to deal with school a lot better if they kind of faced the true nature of it that like what you know what this is is a certification process you know we are certifying that at some point you were diligent enough to be able to get through some difficult classes we're not expecting you to remember this stuff later and and I just felt like some some kids really reacted very well to that of kind of understanding oh okay this is the game that's going on here are there kids that don't react well to that are there kids for whom that is bad information I what I would say is that the other reactions that I got were either just sort of a laughing kind of incredulity like oh he's being silly you know he's and I have to say if I was if I was talking to kids one on one it's a slightly different conversation that if I'm doing it in front of the whole class yeah you know but if I was talking to a group of kids I do it in kind of a I do it in kind of a funnier way so it can be played off as like oh maybe I'm not being entirely serious but you can see some kids were like oh I think he does really mean this yeah so I would say with either you'd get a kind of yeah just oh this is this is really funny or just a kind of indifference but yeah I thought that there were definitely kids who received this information well and and felt like school made more sense it was more understandable and it was it was more tolerable than this kind of implicit impression that kids have of like we're teaching you all of these things so that you know these things but you won't you won't know these things in a year yeah and I was I was always really upfront about that with with the kids because very funny kids will assume that because you are a teacher you know all the things and all the other subjects which is just always hilarious and the equivalent of home room at the start of the day when I'm just in charge of a bunch of kids and they're all frantically trying to do their homework at the last minute of course you know they're asking questions about whatever I was saying I don't know anything at all about that subject I don't remember this in the slightest and they'd be horrified you know oh you're a teacher you went to school you're supposed to be one of the best students say yeah but I don't remember that you know it didn't it doesn't matter what mattered was that I was able to do it at the time and get the certification that I have passed high school which makes me trustworthy enough to boss all you guys around yeah that's exactly it if you're all right if you're right about this why is school not portrayed this way why is it why has it got this other spin to it why why isn't school portrayed as this stickability test this conscientious test I mean I mean I think you're just asking this rhetorically you you know because this is not I think this is an accurate view of the world but this is not a view of the world that people want to have people don't want to think you know let's let's take some some some college graduate people don't want to think oh I I spent 16 years undergoing an endurance test right to prove that I was able to do it you want you want to think oh I went to college and I learned how to think and I and I learned all of these these other skills and that was like that's the explicitly stated what you think it makes the same mundane or because it doesn't make a pointless like people are really mad when they finish a marathon because they they showed this great feat of endurance why not be proud that you yeah yeah I think yeah the endurance the endurance one there is is is an interesting comparison yes I don't know to people value mental endurance less than physical endurance I would say maybe so maybe rightly so physical endurance just seems much more natively impressive but I also think this is the kind of thing where again thinking about my time as a teacher I would say that I was I was sometimes relatively unpopular in conversations with other teachers sort of in the staff room because you as a teacher you want to have this feeling of like oh I'm I'm teach I'm shaping the next generation I'm I'm inspiring a bunch of young minds right and they're all they're learning all these things for me when we when we did the podcast a couple of weeks ago about whether or not learning languages was a good thing or not you knew you were going to get some flak like you were you even you were braced for backlash yes do you think what you're saying here will upset people in the same way or do you think people will say he's talking sense of course the education system is just a sieve for selectivity so that institutions and all employers can discriminate later on that's that's a really good question that's a really good question and and I almost feel like I how could this topic be controversial in some ways I can I can be of both minds about this I can I can sort of feel like looking to your heart of hearts like this this was the experience that that I had I had as as a teacher is kind of you don't as a general policy I find there have been opinions that I or positions that I have come to in my life that I have not wanted to come to but I feel like have I have been forced into them through experience and then through reading up on on that kind of experience I didn't I didn't set out to find this out I feel like I was pushed into this by experience and so that's why I almost feel like it's it's in some ways it's remarkably uncontroversial it will upset a lot of itaches yeah it probably will but I will say again like I was a teacher I was I was one of you the thing that I was I was going to come back to back to earlier talking about the benefits of school is there's there's this term which is called warehousing and in this case schools are warehousing students right they're warehousing kids and what's the benefits you get from that again from a societal perspective it's not it like almost it doesn't have anything to do with what's happening to the kids in the box that you put them the enormous benefit to society is like state provided daycare for all children and what does that mean parents like their their labor is freed up right they could they can go to work and their kids are taken care of for a huge portion of the year and so this is like another kind of benefit that that school provides if you imagine a world without school where parents had to provide their own daycare for kids like they would just be terrible right you obviously you need to do something with kids all day long right once we pass child labor laws and you can't have them you know working in factories anymore which again is a good thing you need to have them go somewhere and school is is the place that they go so this is another kind of of effect that you get from schools is is being able to put the kids somewhere and we often tell ourselves that they're learning a whole bunch of stuff all day long in there because it's better than thinking of them as as in like a little box or it or you know in like a little prison which would be even a worse way to put it but school is horribly similar to prison sometimes can I just say to my sister who is a school teacher yeah I think she's brilliant I'm I'm sure she is because I don't know if I'm going to send it or in some ways I want to hear what she has to say in other ways um I will also I have to I have to defend myself here as well just for a little minute minute yeah which is that I I do know for many many a a parent teacher conferences parents were were very happy to have their kids in my classes I know people thinking I was some kind of awful unpopular grumpy teacher like my own experience was that parents were very happy if their kids were in in my physics class and I know kids who really liked being in my physics class so I wasn't a mean teacher this doesn't this doesn't stem from disliking being a teacher I I I really enjoyed the classroom time I thought that was great I tried to have lessons that were relatively fun of course you have these horrible constraints as a teacher about what you can and can't do but like that that part of of being in the classroom and teaching I really liked and I think as best as with as possible with a subject like physics I think I tried to make it as interesting as possible for the students who were there but that like I said that still doesn't change the fact that I don't expect any of the kids that I taught six years ago to necessarily remember anything that we did but I know that the kids did well on exams and then hopefully they went off to university and some of them have real jobs out in the in the real world now they're all right well I think you've you've put it out there and I actually like I said I actually really agree with when I was talking to Mrs. Number file and I said Gray wants to talk about what's the purpose of schools she said well I think it's learning and socialisation of young people the first thing I did think to myself was no I think it's also this kind of this selectivity process yeah so I do agree I do agree that schools serve this purpose of separating the wheat from the chef however fairly you think they do that or not which is a whole other subject oh man yeah I mean that's I think we get into issues of economics and class and all sorts of unfair things but yeah there's there's there's terribly unfair things there just with the with the one final thing about the the selectivity thing yeah you know how you mentioned about if the if the school in your neighbourhood really takes a dive you know it affects your your property values yeah yeah and everybody has this experience of sort of good schools and bad schools and right while while I I would definitely say that teachers do have an impact on whether a school is a good school or a bad school just leaving those terms undefined for the moment teachers definitely contribute to that in terms of like the emotional environment of the school and and all these kinds of things but I was also in in some of my schools sort of involved in the in the application process of students because I worked at private schools and so it was always always always felt so bad for them but it was like kids would come in and they'd have to sit these exams and we give them exams and math and English and you know in England they're coming in and they're I don't know about nine or they're 10 years old you know trying to apply for a school that they'll go to and they're just so small and I saw a poor thing coming in here taking this test and so like there's the human moment where you see these tiny people marching off to an exam that's going to change possibly the whole rest of their life you know depending on what what what secondary school or high school they get into so that's the one side of it then the other side of it was that I would have to mark a lot of these exams and that again was a very interesting thing to see because the schools are marking these exams and you can see just how I mean I would say like 90% of the academic results of a school are determined at this moment right how many of the how many kids do we get who got the best scores on these exams to come to our school right that that it's it's just the difference in papers between the best kids and the worst kids even at age nine is is kind of astounding and you know I just I just think when you talk about a good school and this is where like the inequality of the world really really comes into play a good school in terms of academics I mean it's got to be a 90% effect just on on the selection of the students they let in if you let in more academically inclined students you are going to have much better results you know five years down the line when they have to take their their their their exams and that again it's like boy you don't you don't want to see that like you want to think that that that a school can just take in a bunch of kids and like turn them all around and get them learn how to learn and they're going to be amazing results but schools were definitely competing very hard to get the kids who did the best on those exams and like there's a reason why schools private schools really want to get the top achievers that they can because those they just brings up the results and you can see that even at a very young age and again like this I don't I didn't want to believe this you know that like oh kids nine like what can their test scores possibly show about how they're going to do later on but I mean those even at that age like their their test scores are very predictive of how they're going to do five years later which is which is disappointing and also I think you know against should should not be the case if those kids are really learning how to learn in schools I think the goodness of the school is a enlarge part of a selection function it's not a what happens in the walls function at least again in terms of academics so you've seemed a bit reluctant to touch on this and maybe because it's such a big subject for another day but you've kind of portrayed schools I mean it's not I guess you haven't portrayed them negatively well you have portrayed them negatively but you would as you would say honestly but do you have like this alternative in mind like is this is this just the best we can do with you know these huge populations we have unlimited labor markets and things or have the is there like are you hinting at something better or well I think a better system is a conversation for a different time I would just say that some of the hesitation you probably hear especially with this last section is just that when you're a working teacher there is a enormous pressure within the school system to kind of not acknowledge differences between students you know so like you were just under a lot of pressure to never really discuss that like this girl is clearly smarter than this other kid right like it's it is the sort of the it's like teachers all know this but the management feeling or at least the line that that management often portrays is you are not helping that dumb kid enough like and some kids are just dumb right like I'm sorry world but it's true but it would also be a bit like if you know you heard a referee of a football match saying that oh gosh Synerzyne Sudan is such a bit much better footballer than Terry on re or something you'd be like well hang on you're supposed to be the one neutral person who doesn't think X is better than oh yeah yeah no yeah don't get me wrong I'm not necessarily saying that's a bad thing but I still I still feel some of this kind of lingering teacher hesitation to talk about things in a particular way and and so that's that's why like you you know if you in a in a as a working teacher if you ever in a meeting like suggested that someone was just not very bright you know it does not that does not go down well for your professional career you know you need to kind of toe the line that they're like oh you know maybe there's more ways that I could help the student you know perhaps by you know writing their answers for them on a piece of paper isn't like the best way to help them so that's I guess that that's part of that's part of the hesitation I feel is just is yeah is that lingering feeling of when I worked as a teacher and how to how to talk in meetings about what's going on in in classrooms but yeah I'm not I'm not suggesting right now any kind of alternative I'm just okay and again I I feel like this is in this is like a neutral assessment of schools but I yeah yeah let's be the judge of that yeah email Brady it was more interesting than I thought it was going to be I must say so thank you for sharing your honest views and and and severing your relationship with a few remaining former teachers who you were friends with yeah well at least according to my clock we've been recording for a one hour and 56 minutes so we'll see how much of this makes it through to the end

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. "H.I. #9: Kids in a Box". Hello Internet. Hello Internet. Retrieved 11 October 2017.