Hello Internet

H.I. #90: Pumpkin Pressure

 

  when we were suggesting the title of the

  last episode I suggested a swarm of

  emojis or something like that and then

  you changed my plural emojis to the

  other plural of emojis that being emoji

  mm-hmm yeah but I think I said emojis

  during the podcast so obviously a couple

  of parents got on to me and said

  logically technically the plural of

  emojis is emojis is that what this

  sounded like that's what they sounded

  like in my head of course so 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 emoji should be emoji well

  am I mistaken to thinking that it's a

  Japanese word that 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

  right 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 you know nothing 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 mmm 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 sushis oh I've never

  heard that I wouldn't say that

  so I suppose funnily enough I wouldn't

  take that to sushi but I would say there

  have been three tsunamis in the last two

  years hmm

  so there's no rule even with the

  Japanese words that we co-opted

  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

  hmm 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 I would feel ridiculously

  pretentious yeah but I think saying this

  is a plate full of sushis is adorable

  that's also a clear winner here in this

  book this is also the problem with the

  ipler alike isn't this isn't the whole I

  plural part of this thing where English

  just decided to borrow 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 I 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

  ambu lie as the plural of ambiences it's

  a 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 for ambulators went past what's

  going on I might in the circumstance it

  rarely presents itself but it's going to

  be a golden moment when I can use Ambu

  lie just in a conversational tone some

  day 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

  ambulances 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 there's a bunch of ambu like

  down the street that's the best time to

  use the word Ambu like here are all

  these Ambu lie they're cleaning up after

  the tsunami we have numerous ambulance

  standby in case there are several

  tsunami that cause great danger to all

  those people over there eating their

  sushis 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 now I'm a big

  fan of the gate suffix it's applicable

  under many many circumstances what was

  the BAE's wasn't it that's right it was

  be gay yeah we were talking about the be

  emojis

  and how the page full of B 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 pedia I think that is a strong

  contender for also weird emoji that

  don't represent the Frog very well and

  they guys a big spike in the Frog a

  major PDA statistics that's a look

  actually between that the recording of

  last episode and it actually going live

  I was fortunate enough to actually have

  lunch with Jeremy who runs mojo pedia so

  I was able to give him a heads up that

  he needed to batten down the servers for

  the B page before the episode went live

  so he was all over that at emoji PD

  headquarters I don't agree with you grey

  I think generally the standard of the

  frog emojis is higher than the standard

  of the be emojis but don't you think

  they're just we're is 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

  all of my Apple emoji life I thought

  that was a snake face emoji I never

  realized that that was the Frog face

  emoji is it's a whole other animal

  I don't know great now that you say

  snake I kind of see it but if they sent

  me a text saying oh my goodness Brody I

  was just out walking in the forest and I

  stepped on her and then you sent me

  their emoji I would immediately know

  that you'd stepped on a frog so I think

  it does its job I think that sentence is

  leading you toward the idea that you

  stepped on a snake I think there's this

  context around there

  there's making it clear that I stepped

  on this a snake is not a snake if you

  don't say 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 mmm

  snakes are all about long bodies

  obviously saying I look at all of those

  and my first thought is frog hmm 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

  what you think it looks a bit

  voyeuristic yeah it does that messenger

  frog it feels like he's watching you in

  the bathroom that's a good frog feels

  like I don't like it that smile

  those 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 that frogs

  just like a beady eyes right up against

  the glass yeah it's what I would expect

  if some puts a sticker 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 sleazier that's an

  uncomfortable emoji mm-hmm 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 alright so I'm looking

  at 7.1 first right

  I don't like they're happy their faces

  because they're not round they're like

  these stone laws and sort of domes don't

  approve of that I think those are

  adorable I really like the little

  gumdrop faces not have enough they've

  got to be round yeah hmm I'm scrolling

  down looking at there are other more

  general stuff you know and they're okay

  okay so that's seven point one yeah

  and now let's have a look at these other

  ones

  8.00 I say that go on to the round faces

  that's good say sub viously the people

  have spoken but I've gotten 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 a

  an illustrative example of the change in

  style which is if you go to the turtle

  emoji page on a mojo pedia 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 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 coded up the

  old ones and I've got the previous one I

  get is 5.0 that's correct yeah that's

  the route so I'm looking at 4.3 which is

  black and white and not even worth

  talking about so the old timey turtle is

  what that one is yeah yeah 4.4 and 5.9

  this tells me what you like you know you

  obviously like uber cuteness and your

  emojis I think you're gonna go for emoji

  it helps to make them cute yeah I mean I

  think the four point four or five point

  Oh 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 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 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 tortoise

  is the one on land that's the tortoise

  the tortoise is the big land one

  tortoise is 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 Perdition for a

  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 on

  that the turtle emoji is also known as

  the tortoise and looks similar to one so

  they're even acknowledging themselves

  that there's ambiguity here au au team

  crocodile or team alligator but which

  animal do you prefer out of those two

  they have got a crocodile emoji have a

  look at the emoji pedia page for this

  animal I have sent it to you on instant

  message as an Australian how do you feel

  about the representation of this

  creature on the various emojis alright

  say you've sent me the page for the

  crocodile mm-hmm also known as the

  alligator

  well no not also known as the alligator

  it says it right there on the emoji

  pedia page also known as alligator croc

  so the Apple crocodile is way too

  elaborate it's like a piece of Earth and

  like a children's book about animals

  like it's really detailed and like it's

  not even a emoji as far as I'm concerned

  I really think that all 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 mmm

  Google won the crocodile looks like it's

  a bit he's a bit wacky it doesn't like

  lip brushes crocodiles like yeah it's

  like it's like he's had a cold Vic's

  right that's what that crocodiles have

  the sense that's what made me laugh out

  loud so hard on this page Samsung your

  adorable little squashed crocodile

  Stegosaurus dinosaur emoji is so wrong

  it's adorable past a Marilyn point yes

  it is I'm gonna give it that the

  Microsoft one is weird it's like a piece

  of concept art yeah it's like a Aztec

  drawing with a very heavy stroke weight

  LG looked like they just repurposed

  their cucumber emoji HTC just weren't

  trying hard enough

  Facebook started playing with the Hughes

  and forgot to press undo messenger just

  looked 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

  he's just threading along being a

  crocodile yeah whatever man he has got a

  certain aloofness net yeah I like him a

  lot this is great podcast fodder by the

  way just talking about all this imagery

  the emoji Dex 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 okay 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 alright know as an

  Australian the only time we ever talk

  about crocodiles is not normally in like

  fun it's normally like another tourist

  has just been eaten mm-hmm so I can't

  see how I would use a wacky crocodile

  mmm-hmm like you don't talk about

  crocodiles in times of levity I can't

  imagine how I would use a crocodile

  emoji ever like I can't imagine sending

  a message to my friends in Australia

  going oh hey hey mate sorry to hear

  about your uncle Rob of being eaten by

  the emoji crocodile crocodiles are

  serious business down in Australia

  crocodiles are serious business anywhere

  misses crocodiles are huh 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

  gonna give that old Android one big

  thumbs up new Android one thumbs down

  it's ugly and I don't like it

  that's my mode you 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

  straying into territory where you are

  about to spoil the TV show or a movie

  you owe it 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 the runs

  spoiler alert : 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 say is you're next

  week you've spoiled yeah people who are

  doing spoiler alert : and then the

  actual spoiler

  that is ungentlemanly and 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 when you say spoiler

  alert and then you say a thing that

  completely isn't a spoiler yeah you're

  teaching you're teaching a history

  lesson in the UK and you're talking

  about the Germans trying to invade the

  British mainland yeah 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 did not getting 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 word

  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 I

  like we read by taking in a bunch of

  words yeah at once 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 Star Wars

  movie and then you like have like a link

  to somewhere else okay mm-hmm but don't

  put it in the toy that's just you gonna

  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

  luxuriating and all those characters

  like like someone making it rain in

  Vegas with like $20 bills I swear to god

  I have this weird feeling I've seen some

  people they have all that all this space

  to use their 280 characters and that

  there's something about it that makes it

  feel like watching the monopoly man just

  burn money in front of you like oh you

  bastard oh look at you with all your

  words and I'm here like a popper eating

  my gruel unable 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

  time line 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 it 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

  between now I agree when I saw Twitter

  announced this as a thing that there's

  like oh we're gonna 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 I

  don't think you understand

  what's great about Twitter and at least

  so far what I have seen with the double

  sized wheats

  it 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

  timelines 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 explain 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 a hundred and

  forty 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 yeah and that

  English which 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 like I

  think this is a really interesting idea

  and I remember a long time ago do me

  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 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 seen a little little indicator

  it's like you are 300 characters over

  the limit it's like okay well gotta

  start pruning it back right like you get

  down to the core of whatever it is

  you're trying to say yeah you're like ah

  Kersey you one extra character I can't

  get rid of it's like oh well I guess I

  need to get rid of that double spaced

  yeah so their argument was because

  English was hitting this limit it means

  that they should expand it compared to

  other languages

  that's stupid 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 but it was it was text messages in

  America like that 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 it's funny because I

  was thinking the exact same thing is

  like ah sounds like you need to cut down

  on those Japanese over there like

  luxuriating in their super long tweets

  like you need to show them a few things

  and crank it down so 10% of their tweets

  hit the maximum length yeah which I

  presume would mean that tweets in Japan

  you only get ten characters so I'm sure

  is what it must be yeah there's a thing

  I think that often happens when

  someone's explaining a thing worse 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 limits 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 us

  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 - I

  feel weirdly resentful of this top hat

  wearing monocled over class 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 I

  eeeh 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 so I I don't know and this is this

  is one of these things like I just I

  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 you know I don't know but I

  mean I'm trying to think what the

  threats are to Twitter at the moment I'm

  gonna receive their you know they're

  worried about all these other platforms

  that people will go to instead mmm but

  I'm not 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 and 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 how you just quickly

  say a thing and tweet it and never think

  about it it's like it sure is Twitter

  it's like oh no now they're giving

  people even more room to just be like

  rat-a-tat tat-tat-tat

  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 the brief

  where 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

  by lines on briefs but also oh yeah yeah

  but also you don't like the fact that

  your day's work had been condensed to

  just two sentences in a list of briefs

  now your articles not getting respect

  yes 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 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 those

  saboteurs would come to me and say see

  this story here which Freddie blogs has

  written and he's written you know thirty

  centimeters of copy because everything's

  in centimeters

  he's written thirty 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 blogs as 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

  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 done to me

  when it was my job to actually do it to

  my colleagues I always found 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 hmm 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 like

  constantly pruning up like Twitter it

  was like Twitter you know 20 years

  before you know I was seeing this number

  coming down I was having to cut this

  number down and down and down until it

  fit the hole and while we're talking

  about Twitter Brady

  while we're complaining about Twitter

  yeah I also have to say that we're now

  entering a Twitter season that I really

  don't like hmm and it's Twitter

  Halloween oh yeah

  second only to April Fool's Day is the

  worst time to be a 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 I just saw the

  first one roll by today and I thought oh

  no I forget about it

  until it shows up but I just I feel like

  I 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 yeah like don't care

  Halloween is great Halloween one of the

  top holidays obviously don't agree but

  all right well you're wrong I'm sorry

  your American Americans obsession with

  Halloween will never make sense to me

  that's because we do it great and the UK

  does it terribly but book it like normal

  people that realize it's ridiculous no

  it's fantastic

  and you're wrong but again the UK

  doesn't just terribly every year UK

  Halloween super disappointment that's

  hot 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

  scaramouche as good as most of the

  things that I see I don't know what

  there's something what's yours is it's a

  GP grave I don't know I don't know I

  like I'm not doing 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 do you change

  it to orange don't you like a pumpkin

  yeah you sell out who is selling out to

  the Halloween corporation so you're

  selling out the pumpkin pressure of

  hello ain't the pumpkin Patrick no but

  that because Halloween is great right I

  change the colors because it's it's

  fantastic moment silence for the

  excellence of pumpkin pressure as a name

  for the

  enjoy Halloween festivities why does it

  need a moment of silence Brady oh just

  like recognition you know I think that's

  quite good and as this came to me it's

  very good ready 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 names or

  something stupid people don't change

  your Twitter names I just realize now

  like why does it bother me so much and

  part of the reason is because I have

  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

  I'm gonna 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 to it's the same

  thing where it's like okay I have to

  like revisit 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 to you though what our IP

  gray it is pretty good that is pretty

  good that is good I'll give you that

  that's that might be the best one I've

  ever heard that's pretty good I'll

  change it right after the show with a

  little grave emoji everyone's gonna

  think you've died like whoever you gave

  access to your Twitter account after

  your passing decided to announce it to

  the world r.i.p 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 items thank you let's move on there

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  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 in hello Internet

  and that is Elon Musk and SpaceX well I

  certainly heard that there was some

  action and a delayed after the last

  podcasts 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 stamp this is where he has

  announced to the world his latest

  incarnation of his publicity-seeking

  announcements of things they may do in

  years of the future where he has

  announced

  he's planned for Mars I'm gonna go to

  Mars one day basically is the summary do

  you fight he makes a lot of

  announcements before they're a thing

  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 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 oh

  yeah it's it's revised ambitions for how

  it's gonna do it and stuff and you know

  and he's got some sexy new animations

  made so 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 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 Astronautical Congress was

  held in Adelaide mmm-hmm

  so that's why he was there doing the

  mass but he was also there in Adelaide

  because a little while back Adelaide had

  some problems with its power supply

  mm-hm and there were some blackouts and

  there was some infrastructure problems I

  won't bore you with the details but he

  then you know he saw the opportunity and

  said I'll build you a giant battery in a

  hundred days and if I don't build it in

  a hundred days it's free so he like he

  saw this as he's in to swoop in while

  that was struggling and say this is

  finally my chance to get someone to

  adopt my battery technology so he's

  quite good at like you know and good on

  him you know good on him lead him to

  anything wrong but but he's quite good

  at getting attention and I feel like all

  these announcements about Mars and stuff

  what he does to get attention and all

  these people that say this is that aim

  of the company a 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 and

  good to have these like marquee plans

  hmm I'm sure he would love to send

  people to Mars and he is a space fan he

  wasn't like 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 a it's like a classic diversion the

  thing with governmental announcements

  that's much easier to draw off line at

  is like okay boots on the moon you say

  can you show me the line in the next

  budgets 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

  fight 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 like Oh where's your budget for

  this like nowhere oh okay all right well

  I won't be holding my breath on this

  anytime soon then yeah 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 all right like

  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 I

  was like the super fast ground transit

  thing and I think I had filed under my

  brain as a 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 like 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 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 you know the bold

  ambitions of Twitter to double the

  length of things people can say alright

  that's like okay well it's a great

  10-year engineering project I'm very

  glad we've done

  I'll tell you what and he's making the

  announcement a delight and he has to get

  points for that it's pretty exciting

  look because now if he does get to mass

  I'm gonna say it started in Adelaide oh

  that's a trigger 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 in 40 minutes and stuff like

  there 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

  that could be big Falcon rocket or it

  could be big effing rocket which is what

  people think is the subtext because he

  likes these cheeky names yeah my

  thinking immediately goes to doom and

  the BFG and do so yeah that's the way I

  would assume this runs yeah I have to

  say because like Tesla and you know musk

  and all these people and SpaceX they're

  good at making stuff look good you know

  just cool but I think this new rockets

  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 VFR rocket you'll see lots

  of pictures of it stuff like that as

  well I didn't realize that's supposed to

  be the actual rocket I thought this was

  just a concept animation of a rocket but

  I didn't realize that was 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 rocket I did Google for VFR rocket

  and Wikipedia is playing the who knows

  what it stands for game in the first

  line of their description mmm 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 you

  know the Airbus the new big

  double-decker Airbus like you've got

  your 747 which just the proportions of a

  747 are just beautiful it's just a

  beautiful looking plane and when you

  compare it to the a380 yeah it looks

  like just a big chunky fatso yeah

  and I feel like this bfr is like the

  a380 of 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 it 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 goes just

  to the image results you'll see lots of

  comparisons between a 747 and a380 747

  versus a380 okay so that 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 like 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 yeah how it's more people

  yeah and it's like way better technology

  and like it's a great play in 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 BFRO kit I'm sure

  you know there are reasons for it and

  it'll it'll do the job better and I hold

  some more people and 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'll tell you well

  that's the other thing I wanted to talk

  about because goodness knows I would

  love to spend less time in sitting in

  planes yeah so the idea of being able to

  do a long flight quickly that was very

  appealing to me if there was a way to

  get

  New York in 30 minutes I would go to New

  York just for an afternoon in return

  like without a doubt that is a thing

  that I would do but here is the problem

  and this is something we've foreshadowed

  in the last episode when you watch that

  animation of what the flight would be

  like they kind of recreate it when the

  rocket is landing in Shanghai on like a

  platform in the water with little

  shanghai skyline behind and it comes

  down and does that reverse and rocket

  land mm-hmm

  does your mind not immediately go to

  that montage of a rocket crashes that

  you're not doing 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 Rockets 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 it's some point it's going to

  happen I'm not sure it's gonna 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 gonna say if it

  was cheap would you do one of the early

  ones on a SpaceX rocket when's it gonna

  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 you know 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-earth

  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 it stop me from

  using this is it's just simply the time

  that you have to spend under

  acceleration like you're spending a

  30-minute trip in 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 good

  port I mean like okay so exactly how

  much acceleration for exactly how long

  that's what I would need to know before

  up on one of these things I mean they're

  not going to make it intolerable because

  otherwise they 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 yeah

  20 minutes under acceleration on a

  30-minute flight I don't know it's a

  pretty steady 30-minute floor 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 over there for free

  I can sometimes be a bit insensitive so

  I won't be but I think you're being a

  wuss okay you could you can say that

  it's perfectly fine for you to say that

  it's just the way it is that is actually

  my mind I'm very concerned that's

  interesting I never occurred to me like

  being scared of being blown up worries

  me but it never occurred to me that just

  like the acceleration would be that big

  a 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

  stuff baby carnival rides and found it's

  such a deeply unpleasant experience so

  that that's why it would be concerning

  yeah

  but assuming that that that's not an

  issue you know 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

  yeah 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 is he think 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 I think it'll be a

  lot bungee

  being or something uh I don't know what

  the safety record for bungee jumping is

  it's probably pretty good too I don't

  know I've never felt the need to look

  into it too much acceleration okay

  leggo so in the last episode we

  discussed the speaking of beautiful

  rockets the Saturn 5 rocket that I got

  as a lego thing and I haven't 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 and I didn't

  want to throw away the boxes and there

  was sort of stuff which caused you some

  amusement yeah I think you were toying

  with the idea of something like five

  boxes and three built sets yeah 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 border and assembled and

  numerous people sent me photos of their

  assembled rocket on the mantelpiece and

  things like that which I appreciated

  I even heard from one or two people that

  have bought to want to be able 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 certain vibes and I

  was so thrilled and excited when the set

  was announced I'm also a huge fan of the

  earliness era that I got a little

  overzealous and I ordered not two but

  four sets one to display the whole stack

  one to show or separate it 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 uh-huh

  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 canceled two of the sets

  just to receive the answer from Lego

  that my sets of shipped the exact day so

  I had to return two of the sets because

  I couldn't counsel them anymore so for a

  handful of days I had four seven five

  sets in my flat

  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 andreas 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 andreas I

  didn't sound quite so crazy or maybe we

  just both sound crazy together yeah you

  sound crazy together but what are you

  gonna do here Brady what was 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

  unconstructed set back in the UK so you

  have the box on display somewhere in

  your office it's not permanent display

  it is in a position where it can be same

  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

  gonna get to this shortly look longer

  has a certain casualness right casually

  prominent in your office that's ones

  like a boxes yeah alright well I wait

  with bated 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're growing

  up but now everyone in the UK calls at

  Lego which is probably correct so now I

  have to call it Lego so I haven't

  transitioned from Lego - Lego are you

  thinking like I'm having a hard time

  hearing that's like la why like late

  Lego yeah yeah Australians tend to say

  it like that

  Lego now it's got a run with a go

  because you got to say leggo my eggo I

  don't even know what that means lik oh

  my okay this is an American TV

  commercial so yeah it's it's got a rhyme

  with a go so it's Lego what's an eggo

  and it goes like a round waffle alright

  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

  leggo my eggo right that's what you

  would say it was not a commercial for

  Legos actually there was a commercial

  for egg oh 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

  boy and I had boxes and boxes of it and

  I used to love making like spaceships

  and shoot space battle cruisers 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 instructions step by step

  and then there was the thing whoo 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

  beards with super specialized pieces and

  you just have to make the thing they

  want you to make like an a piece of Ikea

  furniture hmm and there's so little room

  for like creativity and freestyling 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 I 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 you were

  telling me to make because like where's

  the fun in that let's not create if

  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

  I would make all sorts of crazy things I

  eventually got into this thing where I

  got really into kind of these Rube

  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 specialized and

  the pieces are so specialized even if

  you were a youngster like me it would be

  really hard to do that I can't imagine

  taking all those set in 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 loved 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 a ball all of this treasure as a

  child I've no control over the world but

  like I have all this imaginary Lego

  treasure yeah I remember

  having a feeling like I was willing to

  give leggo some leeway with okay I

  bought this new castle set and of course

  there needs to be a specialized

  drawbridge and gate piece right because

  it's a castle you need to have a gate

  yeah and yeah okay I know I want some

  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 specialized

  pieces that were a piece too far and

  that somehow felt like mm I don't know

  let go it feels like you're being lazy

  here or you're being unimaginative

  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 specialized 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 specialized it sounds like

  you're on the same page just may here go

  well it is a thing that I that I wonder

  because I haven't assembled any sets as

  an adult but I'm 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 kaha did I live for

  those instruction manuals okay 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 3-dimensional object that

  you're building I really love that I did

  disassemble those things and I had like

  a bin with sub dividers to put all the

  LEGO pieces in but I just found 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

  instructions guy you're not doing the

  Freestyle I don't see why that

  specialized spaces bother you so much

  they feel like they are against the

  spirit of Lego Lego is like it 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 yeah

  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 a magic of having

  saying them as atoms yeah yeah exactly

  yeah that's what it is

  these undifferentiated atoms have become

  a thing as opposed to like I want Miceli

  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

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  supporting the show great I am currently

  in California in the spiritual home of

  numberphile 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 the

  new you said it before Mike you've

  missed your opportunity I'm sorry I did

  so I met MSRI then the master showed out

  there in San Francisco yeah yep but

  before that people who follow me on

  social media may be aware I was in Las

  Vegas

  mm-hm and at the time of recording we're

  a few days after this terrible tragedy

  that happened in Las Vegas where the guy

  up in that 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 or just terrible thing

  and I was in Las Vegas when that

  happened which is quite interesting

  because I was very close to her I was

  one block away from it when it happened

  but I wasn't aware that it was happening

  mm-hmm so I suddenly started getting all

  these text messages from my friends

  right oh you're in Las Vegas oh yeah

  right but also like older people who

  listen to hello internet on Twitter

  started messaging me asking me if I was

  alright which was quite a weird

  situation to be and it

  a weird situation to be in because I got

  the same thing where it's 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 like it is a

  strange modern phenomenon to find out

  about these things in this indirect way

  yeah is like living in a city like

  London no there's always things that

  happen and it's 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 hey

  are you okay and like why I'm just

  sitting here what's going on it's like

  Oh didn't you know it's like nope didn't

  know yeah cities are big places the

  weird thing was as well like when these

  big like tragedies happen I always feel

  like a bit of a recoil from people who

  like try to make that about themselves

  somehow you know when it's got nothing

  to do with him and I did feel like it

  had nothing to do with me cept that I

  was close to it so I was a bit reluctant

  to like go on Twitter and say it's okay

  everyone I'm alright you know yeah 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 oh maybe

  you should just at least tweet something

  so that this stops so I did end up

  tweeting saying yeah I'm in I'm in Las

  Vegas spam alright so you're in a 100%

  no-win situation there I can completely

  understand your feeling like oh I feel

  silly or like I'm turning at like 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 hotdog

  here at the Luxor Hotel remember the

  picture of a hot dog maybe that's the

  way to try to handle that would seem

  really insensitive though know when

  you're right next to something terrible

  that's happened because just to give you

  some perspective is still what was

  happening I was in the MGM Grand which

  is right near but 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 they 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 that they were

  like just in shock and then I went down

  to like the lobby of the hotel to make

  my friends just because you know we

  couldn't sleep because you know it was

  such a thing such a big thing and that

  the hotel lobby of the MGM was full of

  people you know with blankets had been

  there with their cowboy hats on and

  their boats still and they were all

  crying and hugging each other and 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 just

  terrible thing and I don't think you and

  I have much to say about the incident as

  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 and

  videos which is something we talk about

  a lot right right we're not gonna be

  tweeting pictures of hot dogs here but

  how does this relate to YouTube which I

  think yeah is a totally fair question

  yeah and not just YouTube by the way but

  it's video in general yeah so I think

  we're talking about it with like the

  distance of it having happened a little

  while ago now and with all the caveats

  that we realize there's a much bigger

  picture to 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 a 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 I was

  watching for just you know for

  information all of them had these like

  unskipable ads so I'd be watching an

  unskipable aired for

  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-uploaded 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 for that because

  I want to get to that in a minute

  just like I'm just talking about news

  organizations that you're CNN's and

  you're BBC's and all these people

  running pre-roll unskipable ads before a

  video that is essentially just a reload

  of some poor persons video they took at

  the scene of this horrific incident yeah

  well I mean there's a bunch of different

  levels here but take the top level one

  right which is you're watching the video

  on a website and there's an 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 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 you're watching

  a pre-roll okay but if you were sitting

  down at home and you're putting the news

  on TV and said well hmm 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 felt like they would seem more

  crass I feel like there's not enough of

  the 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 I

  they know if there's some terrorism

  it may be like one thing clear this is

  not criticism of the sponsors in any way

  hmm

  this is a criticism of the decision made

  by the people who were the media

  organization and I also want to say I

  realized that there are lines here like

  you said there were ads during the news

  and where that line is is very difficult

  for me to get my head around it's almost

  just like I know it when I say it

  mm-hmm because there are various

  gradations to this but I just feel like

  when I clicked 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 the

  analogy you were using with an ad break

  in the TV news and I do think you have

  to be careful with Ed bricks on TV news

  to during particular incidences 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 CN

  n 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 gonna 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 a 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 say 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 that's how that

  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

  well that's a whole separate issue yeah

  yeah during the incident like you know a

  week later okay things are different but

  during the incident

  no it just felt wrong to me I felt like

  I can't believe I'm watching this makeup

  aired 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 mm-hmm for

  20 seconds

  it just seemed distasteful I'm trying to

  run through I was gonna ask you if I can

  can you articulate what it is this is

  like a like a multivariate problem and

  one of the variables that we can adjust

  up or down is proximity in time let me

  give you a more practical example from

  my life so I make this periodic videos

  channel with Professor Pollak off with

  all these chemistry videos right and we

  have ads on them occasionally when

  someone close to the professor or

  someone famous in the world 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 and

  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 mm-hmm 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 killing his

  reminiscences 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 who 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 now 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 the listeners

  are aware that is definitely a thing

  that happens when you're managing

  YouTube videos is 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 always

  of which ones were so it's it's a thing

  that happens yeah so I have this inbuilt

  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

  like 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's 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

  they're 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

  judgement 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

  great like that's a really fair point

  but I don't completely agree I think

  there is a line and I think I could see

  how you could debate where that line is

  what's the stuff we put on and what

  don't we but this is an anomaly and this

  is the other side of that line like a

  guy up in a casino shooting down on

  people and like massacring nearly 60

  people like 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 organizations

  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 organizations are

  prepared for major incidents like this

  surely someone can have a big red button

  new breast that says all right no ads

  for the next two hours while we engaged

  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

  right so let's let's say that that

  button exists in your metric of mental

  appropriateness here do you think that

  the television news should follow that

  as well right to say for an incident

  like this blackout on ads for the next

  several hours the TV rolling news

  networks are like I'm sorry we're not

  gonna sell soap anymore in between

  telling you about the state of the world

  we're gonna 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 tragedies happen and we're

  gonna just cover this for the next few

  hours and they'll have no ads mm-hmm so

  I am aware that TV networks are willing

  to sacrifice advertising I don't know

  what you know you CNN's of the world I

  don't know what their policy is when

  something massive happens whether they

  go into a no ad mode so I'm reluctant to

  answer your question if I don't know

  what the situation is anyway I don't

  know that they don't do that yeah but

  what I'm asking is it but whether they

  do whether they don't do you think that

  they should yes I do think that they

  should okay I think I think when

  something like this is happening you say

  all right no Coke ads for the next four

  hours right I understand maybe for

  technical reasons they need breaks in

  programming but I think they we 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 so yeah yeah

  that's that's what I think it just felt

  a bit wrong to me but it is very

  difficult and you raise all the quest

  you raised a completely legitimate and

  like and I don't know where the

  boundaries are on 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 that and also

  it's funny to find myself on this 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 and 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 yeah

  it can be easy to do retro actively say

  like oh this should have been handled in

  this way or that way

  yeah 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 had seen

  people get shot mm-hmm the official

  number was still two people dead and

  they even said like the one of the guys

  who was there said eh apparently it's

  two people dead mm-hmm and I said I

  reckon that's gonna end up being higher

  from why I've heard and he said yeah it

  might be so he was there right and two

  people seemed feasible to him well and

  also eyewitness reports are worthless

  but I just I think that's also just a

  thing to point out that yeah I think

  sometimes we are very quick to

  retroactively Lee condemn and forget how

  uncertain a situation was at the start

  yeah but that can also just add to

  delays or uncertainties about like oh

  we're gonna demonetized stuff like you

  can't know straight away like oh yes

  this is 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

  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 Adsense 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

  demonetised

  by YouTube mhm 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 too

  risque for monetization so I think like

  a YouTube video that's explicitly about

  a tragedy probably gonna 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

  demagnetization because that's a whole

  other conversation we do we don't need

  to get caught up in those weeds but I do

  you just want to put a little marker

  here for again my constant drumbeat that

  I think YouTube being in the game of

  having to classify content is an

  eternally losing position yes 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 a problem let's

  pretend older videos had been

  demagnetized correctly and there wasn't

  problems with their sieve right and the

  Casey Neistat video was demonetized by

  YouTube as it was do you think that is

  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 in the right

  place type thing but do you think this

  is a bad policy of YouTube's then to D

  monetize 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 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 a but

  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'd 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

  you 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

  bazillion people are gonna watch my

  video I may 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 yeah

  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

  percent of the money's going to YouTube

  anyway

  there's a bunch of people who are gonna

  be making money selling you know face

  moisturizer on the back of a really

  horrible event I think it was not not an

  excellent decision anyway this is like

  this is a more clear-cut case but when I

  was mentioned 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 like 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 transactions taking

  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

  networks 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 it's

  just more complicated than the simple

  thing of saying hey let's raise money

  for this thing there's a webpage where

  you you watching right now can just

  donate your money to this thing in

  whatever amount that you what gray like

  that line that you're drawing between

  the advertiser and the cause which i

  think is a completely legitimate line to

  draw is the exact reason the ad

  pocalypse 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 are 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 say well yes

  the money's Casey's money or the

  is the youtubers money but it's like

  sudden suddenly the advertisers they

  would care and this is again it's why

  like this whole ad pocalypse which we

  just like can never separate ourselves

  from that's why I I still think that the

  cleaner though obviously unworkable now

  solution is for YouTube to simply say

  it's like hey you can advertise on our

  system and you don't necessarily know

  what your ties you against the end like

  that that's just the way it works and

  we're not gonna get involved in this end

  this morass but that's not gonna 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

  some kind of special rule that allows

  them to use content that other people

  have created like if it is quote

  newsworthy like 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 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 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 cuz I've got

  another question about I wanted to put

  to you but the thing you've asked it now

  the answer to that question is I don't

  know 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 hmm I think there is an

  allowance for contemporaneous fair use

  it's an interesting distinction a true

  example that has been kicking around for

  many many years is the Sapru the 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

  the time and Zapruder 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 hmm 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 and other things it would have been

  a bit more show me the money

  hmm that's what I think but it's just me

  I'm not next to it yeah I just wonder

  about it because I was thinking about it

  because I know that there are at least

  in the u.s. I don't quite know the case

  in the UK but in the u.s. there are

  definitely rules about how when a person

  crosses some imaginary threshold called

  like the notable person threshold like

  there are lots of things that then

  they're able to be treated differently

  like in the public sphere in a way that

  if it was like a private citizen you

  would say like oh this is totally

  harassment or this like a ridiculous

  invasion of the privacy

  I was wondering like oh is that is there

  something like that for copyright where

  there's some threshold where is like

  well this is just too notable and the

  material is too relevant for it to have

  the normal protection so that 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 set a straight

  what's what yeah there always will be

  and the great irony of course is that

  machinery will 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 this 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 gonna put an ad right after this

  section that transition to something

  else so yeah that's just it there needs

  to be a little bit of space right we

  can't we can't have the doodle

  right now exactly and in a way is that

  not like a micro version 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 that

  you feel it you know we all feel that

  there is a respectful distance between

  big big human tragedy and making money a

  gray 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 waves

  and I stop you right there Brady by the

  Nobel Prizes the different ones the

  physics one the chemists I feel like the

  Nobel Prizes come up so many times in

  this podcast are they giving out at

  different times of the year no they do

  them all in like a batch they can also

  under salute a couple of weeks later but

  they have them day after day or

  consecutive days normally I thought

  there was no economics Nobel Prize yeah

  there is but it's done by a different

  mob so it's like the Nobel Prize that's

  not a Nobel Prize 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 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 as 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

  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 for us that's the real

  special child of the Nobel Prizes yeah

  sorry if there's any Tim's 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 once people are saying come on

  this is an old-fashioned rogue 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 hour these 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 like 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 Amy those are

  two good arguments Brady but there's

  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 is not going

  to be give 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 mm-hmm 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 James that's like a clear-cut

  question about whether whether or not

  like 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

  you know multinational collaboration of

  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 like the

  Constitution of the United States right

  has a mechanism to amend itself because

  a bunch of farmers 300 years ago they

  can't know the future but I came

  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 that'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 mmm I

  think most famously the

  Gates Foundation has this where whatever

  it is like Dave the Gates's 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 the 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 I feel kind of

  biased towards respecting the wishes of

  the original founder and not changing

  here's the slightly tricky bit grey I'm

  reading no bells will at the moment oh

  okay you pulled it up right okay great

  yeah and I'm aware that the Noble

  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 dispose to a person it shall go to

  the person who won part two the person

  who made the most important discovery or

  invention in the field of physics mhm

  one part of the person who 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 of

  his will then you are there are freed 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 monkeying around so that

  door isn't okay great so screw you know

  I'm a sure thing 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 monkeyed then more

  monkeying is permissible okay just to

  finish the discussion then let's say

  that you are comfortable with monkeying

  the genies out of the bottle they've

  already changed the rules once so now

  rule 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 I mean you're not

  gonna like hearing this pretty but I'm

  not sure how valuable this story thing

  is I think your brain is biased towards

  that like you always loved 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 with

  a perfect it's an intoxicating thing

  having a Nobel Prize when I go 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 pole with

  the audience there I guess there are

  ambassadors that may be choosing a

  school wasn't a good one they're

  ambassadors like labeling someone as a

  Nobel Prize winner is just automatically

  inspiring that's what like even fiction

  people do it are the president bartlet

  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 a you know

  something special it's the same reason

  in sports that at the end of the Super

  Bowl they also named 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 is the best because it

  speaks to ourselves

  it speaks to us to have the best and the

  champions and some people will say well

  that's a misrepresentation of science

  and that's destructive and we should

  just we should put tre science 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 their salary paid and

  everyone's got their warm glow from

  doing the science the nobel prize is not

  about apportioning proper recognition

  the Sun 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

  has occurred that's what it is it's like

  I think fiction is a naughty word and

  I'm not gonna accept fiction but I will

  take showmanship no 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 it is the best public speaker

  right saying to have been some rigor in

  the decision but this is wow this is

  what I'm wondering that was like if like

  showmanship is the thing that you value

  then we're starting to edge dangerously

  towards a like okay but then what why

  are we sort of pretending like three and

  a maximum three number of people are the

  ones responsible for this great

  discovery okay that's part of the show

  then think that it's almost like it's a

  fiction that they're the ones who are

  responsible for them those people spend

  the rest of their life saying how they

  were part of a big team and they're

  already the pit you know the three

  winners this year have been been because

  they're racked with the guilt the guilt

  of receiving this prize this prize that

  is a lie they're the ones who made the

  thing look fair enough right if people

  get their way and the Nobel price

  changes and starts being a

  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 doing 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 this is actually a

  legitimate thing to discuss because

  obviously I'm using the word fiction to

  provoke you here Brady because it's fun

  but yes 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 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 by 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 serve science interests

  because this is what happens say like I

  got this Nobel price mm-hmm right 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 sir 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 replied oh we won the Nobel Prize

  like I 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 gonna give you ten billion dollars

  but if an individual can walk into the

  room with the aura of being a Nobel

  Prize winner as a representative of

  Largay and say oh look that's Kip Thorne

  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 travelled the world and he's

  law that everywhere he goes he has more

  cachet I believe as an individual

  advocating science than an organization

  will have that just has the price

  ceiling 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 like 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 and nursey behind the

  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 as I uh well I I

  oversaw a staff of 2,000 people like

  yeah okay so I signed everyone's

  expenses claim I'm gonna say a thing is

  gonna sound absolutely terrible and is

  almost certainly not true but it's in

  some ways a modern Nobel Prize is is

  like an achievement in management award

  I think it really is like 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 Prizes

  become and that's what the Nobel Prizes

  are fighting not to become this is the

  whole conference the Nobel Prize is

  fighting not to become management Awards

  right and to try and pluck out

  individuals but but like 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 we're

  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

  two thousand pieces all right so then

  it's like everybody gets a tiny speck of

  dust of the Nobel Prize to put on their

  on their mantelpiece 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 as 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 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 oh this is too much

  this is too much headache this is too

  much administration fine well just give

  it to the organization the Nobel Prize

  it's 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 have

  early 2-1 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 and

  less 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 isn't it

  Nobel Prize in Physics Lifetime

  Achievement Award that's yeah 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 like there is

  there is a whole you know 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 in a field like

  physics I don't like getting people on

  board with a with a false representation

  of what could possibly happen down the

  line that award that the Nobel Prize

  holds out is like whoo you too could win

  one if you just super clever I said 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 to 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 and seriously

  just three hours ago I persuaded a

  real-life friend of mine to use it to in

  fact I hope he uses that special URL if

  you're listening Sam

  it's squarespace.com slash hello and

  that will get you 10% off your first

  order

  if you're feeling creative trying to

  make your way in business or maybe you

  just have something you want to share

  with the world why not use the

  poor tools Squarespace to start your own

  website go on them what's your plan

  maybe a blog about plane crashes a

  podcast on beekeeping a shop selling

  limited-edition sneakers how about a

  photo gallery of hot Stoppers from cafes

  around Europe or maybe just even a

  little personal CV website to show the

  world what you're about get yourself

  noticed by the right person with

  Squarespace it'll look great feel

  professional and I promise it will be

  easy to make you can even set one up for

  free as a trial before committing to go

  live 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 /

  hello Squarespace all one word you

  probably know that by now

  and if you use that they'll know you

  came from here too / hello there on the

  end oh yeah and you'll also get 10% off

  your first order which is probably even

  more important now thanks to Squarespace

  for supporting the show hello internets

  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 podcasts 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 show's

  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 uh

  don't forget to Like comment and

  subscribe I guess or wait leave a review

  and 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

  commented subscribe star tell your

  friends okay it's really ending now bye