The Talk Show

61: My_Feedback.ppt


00:00:00   It's called being recorded this calls being recorded my guest today is mr. Edward Snowden. I

00:00:06   Leak I'll leak I'm known to leak sometimes living publish it

00:00:17   Open always wins. I

00:00:20   You know what? I think is the saddest part of that whole saga is

00:00:24   Is to find out that the NSA who's supposed to be like the coolest spooks in the world

00:00:29   that they communicate with the shittiest looking PowerPoint decks. You know, like

00:00:36   when you see people making fun of PowerPoint and they exaggerate what a

00:00:42   bad PowerPoint deck looks like, that's what all these NSA stuff looks like.

00:00:46   Yeah, it's in our bubble so surrounded by good presentations and advice on good

00:00:54   presentations and obsessing over making better and better looking presentations.

00:00:58   I sometimes think that that's you know that bubble goes further than I think and then I go somewhere and I see what people are still doing

00:01:06   with

00:01:08   PowerPoint or you know keynote slideshows and it's it's incredibly dispiriting especially you know

00:01:14   And you know I say intact but really in business too. It's it's it's appalling what people put up on a screen

00:01:19   I had to sit through one a few weeks ago that I I really felt at a certain point

00:01:23   Like they were testing me like they were waiting

00:01:28   And you know that there's a you've probably done this in businesses where there's a deck that you have to adhere to

00:01:33   So it's got to have this certain look, you know

00:01:35   It's all going to go into the same deck

00:01:37   and

00:01:37   It was a huge graph of year-over-year change that each department had to use and then you had to have in bullets below that everything

00:01:44   You were gonna do in the next year

00:01:46   Generally speaking the worse the graph was the more bullets people had jammed into there to compensate for what was gonna happen next year

00:01:53   And what was that rule about like never have more than I think this number goes down over time so many words on a slide

00:01:59   And I mean it there had to be like a hundred words on this slide and they were all there like 16 points

00:02:05   It was completely unreadable

00:02:08   But yeah, you're right. I mean a good spook should have a good deck. No question. It's to me

00:02:14   I'm not even an expert. I mean, I'm not that I think the best talks that I give the last few years

00:02:19   I don't I are the ones where I don't have any slides at all anymore

00:02:22   Like, I think I'm actually better without any deck.

00:02:26   I'm certainly not an expert speaker.

00:02:29   But my rule of thumb is just that if you're going to put it up on a screen, it's like

00:02:36   credits in a movie.

00:02:37   You can't expect people to read more on a screen during a talk than they would be able

00:02:43   to read on screen in a TV show or movie.

00:02:47   You can't put sentences up there.

00:02:49   It doesn't make any sense.

00:02:50   Yeah. I think if you're, just speaking from a tiny bit of experience, I mean if

00:02:55   you're giving the same talk a lot and you've gotten really comfortable with

00:02:59   your slides to where you don't have to look, you know, use the note screen if you

00:03:03   can get it. I mean, God, that's huge. If I don't get a note screen,

00:03:08   I'm very inclined to say I'm not going to do slides because I don't like looking

00:03:10   over my shoulder like as though that's guiding me to know what comes next. But I

00:03:15   think if you can do that and pull it off and then but also not have it become

00:03:18   stale that's great. My feeling on whatever goes on the screen, I had a post about this

00:03:23   on 43 folders a million years ago, I think of it almost like the chorus in like Shakespeare

00:03:29   or like a Greek play. Or better put maybe it's like the word on Stephen Colbert. Like

00:03:35   I want there to be a... If you can avoid it, don't say what's on the screen. Obviously

00:03:43   don't read your slides. But an easy tip is, first of all, I guess, step zero, know what's

00:03:51   on the slide without having to look at it. Don't use it to guide what it is that you're

00:03:54   saying. But then, it should be something that provides context or contrast for what you're

00:03:59   saying. I don't think it should be what you're saying, because what's the point? But I think

00:04:06   that's what people do, because that's what everybody else does. I used to think this

00:04:09   is because people were dumb. I think it's because of the culture. And I've said this

00:04:12   and we had a whole back to work episode about this, the culture of presentations.

00:04:17   I spoke at Pixar one time and I couldn't believe the set up there.

00:04:20   I thought it was going to be something from NASA, you know, and I'd be able to go around

00:04:25   in a flying chair or something.

00:04:26   I had to stand in this one spotlight with a stick mic off the stand.

00:04:31   I did get notes of you, but I like to walk around.

00:04:34   Anyway, I'm with you.

00:04:36   I watched Cable's presentation at XOXO, XO-SO as I like to call it.

00:04:42   Like Andy said in his waxy.org post, I think it's a good example of how to do slides.

00:04:46   If you're just going to have words, have giant, giant words that underscore what you're saying

00:04:51   or contrast with what you're saying or provide a placeholder.

00:04:55   If you are doing something that's very complex and technical or financial or something, you

00:04:58   know, placeholders will let you know, "Okay, we're on, this is the third of my five points

00:05:02   can be helpful."

00:05:04   But you know, people are going to sit there and read what's on there way more than they're

00:05:08   are going to listen to you.

00:05:10   And it should tantalize them to listen rather than

00:05:12   tantalize them to want to read more.

00:05:16   Cable@XOXO-- I'm going to put that--

00:05:17   I don't know.

00:05:18   What do they call them?

00:05:19   Show Notes.

00:05:19   Show Notes, yeah.

00:05:20   I don't even know if I've linked that at Darren Farboy yet.

00:05:23   I should if not.

00:05:24   It's almost heartbreakingly good.

00:05:26   And it's amazing because he hardly ever speaks in public.

00:05:30   He spoke at the C4 conference like four years ago.

00:05:33   He went like four years between giving presentations

00:05:36   and delivered that.

00:05:38   So polished.

00:05:39   And I think the comparison to the Colbert, the word segment,

00:05:43   is so great.

00:05:44   If you can do that, if you can work that out

00:05:46   where what you're saying, you've got your own back channel

00:05:49   behind you, it's so delightful to watch.

00:05:54   When there's even just one or two in your deck,

00:05:56   if you can have like a little joke behind you

00:06:00   that you don't acknowledge in your remarks what you're saying,

00:06:06   It's just a pure delight for the audience.

00:06:08   And it really-- I also think it really helps emphasize,

00:06:14   why am I here sitting in this room watching this guy tell me

00:06:18   this instead of just reading it?

00:06:20   It's an experience instead of just--

00:06:22   Just give it to me in bullets.

00:06:23   And this is evidenced by how many places I've

00:06:27   prepared to do a talk, and then I get that dreaded email

00:06:29   a week or two before the talk where they say,

00:06:31   send us your dick, because they're

00:06:33   going to distribute the dick to the audience, which I always

00:06:35   feel like it's like handing a script to somebody when they're walking into the

00:06:37   movie theater. It's like, you know, the thing is you could read this but it's

00:06:42   really, I would be really failing fundamentally as a presenter if you were

00:06:46   more interested in flipping through a three-ring binder while I'm talking.

00:06:49   Right, you get a little binder and as you walk into the movie theater and then

00:06:53   you just flip to the last page it just says, "It's a sled!"

00:07:00   Yeah, you know, I guess you could think of it, there's that terrible word, but it means

00:07:06   something.

00:07:07   It's a sled and he has fond memories of his childhood.

00:07:10   But you think about how, you know, if I were to say to you, think about how many of the

00:07:18   great sayings or cliches are, you know, like, co-ons, like little riddles, or you say, like,

00:07:26   the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location.

00:07:29   It's silly and it's a cliché, but you remember that because it's very clever.

00:07:32   And it underscores the idea, let me clarify this, it underscores the idea that location

00:07:36   is important in real estate.

00:07:37   And it's catchy.

00:07:41   And I think what happens is when you get a higher level of engagement, when you give

00:07:44   people something, I want to say a puzzle, that's putting it too strongly, but when you

00:07:49   give people something where they have to reconcile two pieces of data, I think they get more

00:07:55   engaged.

00:07:56   Now the conventional wisdom, which is totally understandable, the conventional wisdom as

00:07:58   As they say, again, to paraphrase that, "Tell them what you're going to tell them, tell

00:08:03   them, and then tell them what you told them."

00:08:05   That's not a bad approach for speaking, but you can do it in a nuanced way.

00:08:09   The trouble is when people are getting started or even at the intermediate level, they do

00:08:14   really still use their slides as their own notes a lot of the time.

00:08:19   For example, I'm not saying I'm great at this, but I'm probably in presenting best known

00:08:27   for the inbox zero talk I did at Google a few years ago which people, some people have seen.

00:08:32   And you know, that was the first presentation I ever did where I was

00:08:35   happy with how the slides turned out and I was relatively happy with my

00:08:38   performance.

00:08:39   And it contains a lot of these little things and I think that's part of what makes it successful.

00:08:42   When I'm in the middle of saying a line about how you need a mature system

00:08:46   for email that you don't have to think about,

00:08:48   and up comes a slide of a roll of toilet paper in a bathroom.

00:08:51   Now that's maybe not going to be funny to people or they're not going to get that.

00:08:55   But talk about a mature system. Could there be next to like coffee, making coffee?

00:09:00   Is there any more mature system than wiping your ass? Like if you had to think

00:09:03   about that all the time you wouldn't want to poop as much.

00:09:05   And that delta makes people think. When I say to somebody if you start living in

00:09:08   your inbox you're entering a world of pain,

00:09:10   I throw up a slide of Walter Sobchak pointing a gun from the Big Lebowski.

00:09:14   You get a laugh. You know, you don't want to be clever to a fault,

00:09:19   but you know, I'm guessing that the NSA is a very...

00:09:23   I'm guessing the information is very dense in their presentations.

00:09:27   You know, there's a lot of-- did you ever read Gar Reynolds' book,

00:09:30   Presentations, then?

00:09:32   No, I don't-- oh, no, I did.

00:09:33   I did.

00:09:34   Yeah, terrific book, terrible title.

00:09:38   Features Inbox Zero in there, wonderfully enough.

00:09:40   That was very nice of Gar to put that in there.

00:09:42   But I think that book is so good for people

00:09:44   who have reached at least an intermediate level, because it really shows you

00:09:47   that you're putting on a show.

00:09:50   When you think about--

00:09:51   I think people start with the idea that I have to make a slide deck and then talk to the slides, whatever that means.

00:09:56   You know, but if you get this idea that, well, there's your preparation, there's your performance preparation,

00:10:01   yes, there is a, I would call it a multimedia component, because you can do video, you can do all kinds of stuff, you can have sounds, whatever.

00:10:07   Put it up there. But then, like, if you have, like, a lot of dense technical information, for the love of God, have a PDF that you distribute after.

00:10:16   And say, "Listen, just so you know, I'm going to cover what I think are the most important deltas in this.

00:10:20   I want to show you some important contrasts and comparisons. You can get all of the data in this XLS format here.

00:10:27   I'm going to give it to you, whatever."

00:10:28   But, you know, nobody's going to sit there and read all the data in a table,

00:10:32   unless it's just to try and contradict you.

00:10:36   Do you know what I mean? But I guess at the NSA, you know, I don't know. They had diagrams.

00:10:41   It just it what strikes me and I you know, I can't say that I'm following this stuff

00:10:46   All the Snowden NSA stuff super closely, you know, I'm not hyper obsessed with it, but I'm you know following along and

00:10:53   I've looked at some of the decks that have come out and the thing that strikes me is that

00:10:59   there's no reason for it to be in the form of a PowerPoint deck period like

00:11:04   Presumably it represents some sort of

00:11:09   You know at some point somebody was in there

00:11:11   Giving it as a presentation to fellow colleagues, I guess but it doesn't even look like that

00:11:19   I don't even know like maybe that's just instead of actually writing memos and

00:11:24   Describing stuff. It's it's almost as though

00:11:27   discourse in in bureaucracies like that has devolved from like

00:11:32   proper sentences and paragraphs to to

00:11:35   You know

00:11:37   This gibberish, you know, it's like a pseudo English. It's it's like something out of

00:11:42   What were the little people in in HG Wells time machine called more locks

00:11:49   Yeah, the more locks. So like in in HG Wells vision of the future. It's the underclass the people, you know, the the

00:11:55   The more locks under the ground who you know

00:11:59   Have sort of devolved but like in reality. It's it's like the white-collar world of

00:12:06   people with good jobs, you know, working at like tops, you know, I'm sure, you know, a lot of big

00:12:13   corporations it's the same way. People who wear like nice clothes and suits and ties who communicate

00:12:18   in less than full sentences. Right. Well, every, I think every industry has jargon. You know, we

00:12:25   have jargon. We say things. I heard, I was listening to a podcast in the shower and I, you know, as soon

00:12:29   as I hear the word chamfer, all I can, all I can do is I can just see Johnny Ive in his too tight

00:12:34   t-shirt saying the word chamfer for the rest of my life whenever I that that's

00:12:37   jargon for me like that will always be like an Apple jargon word even though it

00:12:40   had it had a meaning before right but I I mean this isn't this is an imperfect

00:12:46   analogy but the way that you and I write in markdown and pass files through text

00:12:53   I think that's kind of I kind of feel like PowerPoint and PowerPoint thinking

00:12:59   PowerPoint presentation PowerPoint culture I'm not trying I'm not really

00:13:02   not trying to be dismissive. This is just an observation from being around businesses.

00:13:06   I think that has become the way people communicate with each other, even in non-presentational

00:13:12   environments. I was on Let's Make Mistakes a couple months ago, and Jessie said she had

00:13:19   a client at one point. Jessie Char, co-host of the show, said that she had a client at

00:13:24   one point who would communicate by sending a blank email with an attached PowerPoint.

00:13:30   Yeah.

00:13:31   Just something, you know.

00:13:32   See, that's exactly what I'm talking about.

00:13:34   Yeah, mycomment.ppt. And you open that up, and it's a bunch of purple and yellow in

00:13:40   Moorlach speak.

00:13:42   Right.

00:13:43   Look, make logo bigger. C attached. But, you know, it's, you know, every, this is the

00:13:51   problem with, you know, buzzwords or that certain kind of jargon is something that has

00:13:59   a certain meaning, it becomes something we say so much.

00:14:03   There's all kinds of--

00:14:04   it's become a tired joke for me to talk about opening the kimono

00:14:07   and drilling down and all that kind of stuff.

00:14:09   But if you haven't been around that,

00:14:10   that actually is still a way that people talk.

00:14:13   When I go into companies, again, I feel like I'm being tested.

00:14:16   I'm arrogant enough to believe that they

00:14:18   know how asinine I find that to be.

00:14:21   When you have a perfectly--

00:14:23   I don't mean to be all like E.B. White or William Strong.

00:14:26   But if you've got a suitable English word for something,

00:14:30   say the word that means what you want to say.

00:14:32   People make fun of me because I say costly

00:14:34   instead of expensive.

00:14:35   I don't say costly instead of expensive.

00:14:36   Costly and expensive mean two different things.

00:14:39   Costly means it costs a lot of money.

00:14:41   Expensive means it costs a lot of money

00:14:43   and maybe more than it should and may not be worth it.

00:14:47   These words mean things, right?

00:14:48   And so it's easy in a culture to slide into a place

00:14:53   where words come out of your mouth so easily.

00:14:56   They have a certain kind of meaning, but it's a flabby meaning.

00:14:59   But it is what's acceptable. You know,

00:15:03   there are certain words that have a lot of gravitas to them.

00:15:08   And then there are,

00:15:08   there's this whole huge superclass of words that are, that are real,

00:15:12   real flabby. And it's okay if we use those a lot,

00:15:16   cause that's how we talk to each other.

00:15:17   Just like we always wear the same kind of suit to work.

00:15:19   And I think that becomes comfortable to people.

00:15:20   Yeah. Whenever I want to get real depressed about the state of

00:15:24   discourse and language. I just reread

00:15:29   Politics in the English Language.

00:15:33   Is that Orwell? Yeah, Orwell.

00:15:36   You can really get depressed.

00:15:41   Well, there are two things that I... Because there was a guy who explained

00:15:45   everything that was wrong with the way politicians communicate

00:15:48   what, 60, 70 years ago? Here it is, spell it all out, easily fixed,

00:15:53   and it's got nothing but worse in every way since then.

00:15:58   I think a lot of people would like to write that off as being an artifact of the time,

00:16:01   something something Nazi, but--or Stalin. I think he's probably more--maybe more referring to Stalin.

00:16:07   But--but the--I think some people want to roll their eyes at that because they say,

00:16:10   "Oh, well, just because I speak in bureaucrates doesn't--doesn't make me Stalin."

00:16:14   But he makes a really good point, which is that when you get--

00:16:18   when you become imprecise about your public discourse,

00:16:22   I don't know. I'll say this. There are two things that I...

00:16:27   I don't want to say make myself reread, but I find myself rereading and

00:16:32   make me feel ashamed of how I write and really how I speak.

00:16:36   And you can guess what the two things are. That the

00:16:39   politics...what's it called? What's the name of the essay? I think it's Politics and the English Language, I believe.

00:16:43   Right. And the other one is, we've talked about before, is On Writing Well by

00:16:46   William Zinsser.

00:16:47   When I pick up that book, that book changed my life.

00:16:51   And to me, it's something to aspire to.

00:16:54   When I'm really trying to write something, like, write something that I really want to live for a while,

00:17:00   it's tough in the age of blogging, because, you know, 80% there is way more there than most people's there.

00:17:10   But, you know, if it's something that I really want to last, I try to exercise the restraint that Williams-Zinser counsels.

00:17:17   And when you do that, your writing completely changes, and you realize the imprecision to

00:17:22   what you've been writing and saying. When you realize that something, blah, blah, ten pages

00:17:27   could really be a page and a half long, it'll be fundamentally different than what you started

00:17:31   out writing, and it will say something very specific, with very specific words that mean things.

00:17:40   Zinjards on writing well certainly isn't obscure

00:17:43   You know, it's it's a you know, pretty well-known guide but I'm and I'm not the first to say what's the following but and and I'm a

00:17:51   huge fan of

00:17:53   The elements of style the EB white and strunken white if you you know if you will

00:17:58   but I think a lot of I've seen a lot of people who've said a lot of people who I respect who say that they're

00:18:04   their relative positions in the cannon of

00:18:08   You know read if you only read one thing read this should be the other way that Zinzur's on writing. Well is is

00:18:15   It more profound

00:18:18   You know, I and I think they go well together

00:18:22   I was gonna say I mean

00:18:23   I think it's I think there's a really simple way to put this a very plain way to put it

00:18:28   I will omit needless words

00:18:30   Every

00:18:32   maybe junior high but I'll say every high school student should read the elements of style and

00:18:37   Then be asked to demonstrate how they can put that you know into place in their writing, right?

00:18:43   I think that should be part of it

00:18:44   I think you should read elements of style in high school and I think the summer before you start college

00:18:49   You really should read on writing

00:18:52   Well, I think on writing well is is gonna make more sense if you've written a little bit in high school

00:18:57   I don't know if I would hand that to every high school student because they haven't had enough experience but on writing

00:19:01   Well, I think functions best as a real splash of cold water

00:19:05   You know, again, I'm projecting. It was handed to me by, I think I told you the story before, but everybody always loved my writing.

00:19:12   Blah, blah, blah. I can be real purple. I was the features editor in high school and I'm smart and talented.

00:19:18   And it wasn't until my second year of college that the physics teacher, when I was taking physics for poets, told me how poor my writing was.

00:19:26   was. I was like, "Are you kidding me? Are you kidding? Okay, sure. Guy from Hungary

00:19:32   who's teaching me Baker and Einstein, yeah, you know lots about writing." And he was

00:19:37   absolutely right. He sent me to the writing tutor. Right, me, the writing guy. He sent

00:19:41   me to the writing tutor. And she kicked my ass seven ways from Sunday. She made me go

00:19:47   back and read. She handed me a copy of, well, she pointed me to the bookstore and said,

00:19:52   "You're going to go buy this book on writing well and you're going to read it and that's

00:19:55   That's what we're going to work on.

00:19:58   I've said this before, but I ignore that at my peril.

00:20:00   I forget that at my peril.

00:20:01   I can't think of a better book.

00:20:03   For somebody who has the basic tools and knows how to functionally hammer some nails, this

00:20:08   is going to change the way you do your carpentry.

00:20:11   I think that's actually his analogy in the book.

00:20:12   He says it's like making furniture when you write.

00:20:16   That's a great book.

00:20:20   Somehow I got well out of college before I'd ever been exposed to it though.

00:20:26   Like whereas Elements of Style...

00:20:27   I don't think it's that well known outside of nerdy writing circles.

00:20:30   Yeah, see I, you know, like I said, it's not, I wouldn't call it obscure, but it just doesn't

00:20:34   have that ubiquity that the Elements of Style has.

00:20:38   And I still think deserves, but somehow I feel like, I feel like Zinzor should be on

00:20:42   the same pedestal.

00:20:43   You know, I'm gonna say this one time, man.

00:20:46   You know, when people piss and moan, people who sit around and regard themselves as great

00:20:50   writers piss and moan about all the problems with Strunk and White. I kind of feel like

00:20:54   that's criticizing CPR classes because you haven't become a medical student. It's like,

00:20:59   you know, you could do a lot worse in this world than reading the elements of style.

00:21:04   And you know, even if you just go to the... You know, you could even skip the sections

00:21:11   on there versus there and stuff like that. But reading the section that includes Ominous

00:21:16   words that section that's what was it matters to stop matters of them you know

00:21:21   the section I mean if everybody read that through and just you know it's a

00:21:25   great starting point you may not be able to do open-heart surgery but you might

00:21:29   be able to save your dad from dying on a plane that's all I'm saying yeah I think

00:21:32   it's frustrating it's a silly kind of backlash it's one of those inside

00:21:35   baseball things to me where it's like you know you know you know you consider

00:21:39   yourself someone who knows enough about writing that you can be a real smartass

00:21:42   about a book that's helped that many people to at least know how to put

00:21:45   together a sentence and there are so many people that cannot put together a

00:21:48   sentence that it's appalling it's sickening it's PowerPoint I blame

00:21:55   PowerPoint yeah well and it's funny and I know that people I know that it's a

00:22:00   frequent whipping boy I mean blah blah blah you know complain about PowerPoint

00:22:05   is you know overdone but I do think I do think there's some sort of there's a

00:22:13   profound way that it's it's not just that it's abused it's that it is somehow

00:22:21   it's like shaping it's the funnel through it's all thoughts have to go you

00:22:29   know like you said if somebody commute literally communicates it would know

00:22:32   hyperbole with with just emailing a PPT then everything that they communicate is

00:22:39   going squeezed through that funnel and it's it is you might think well it's so

00:22:45   rich because you've got color and fonts and you can drag stuff around on a page

00:22:49   and you know and I think you and I you know clearly are both of the sort where

00:22:54   really the better medium for communicating is plain unstyled text

00:22:59   just a string of characters and punctuation marks carefully arranged to

00:23:05   express your thoughts, you know, which is no color. It's really just literally just

00:23:10   a string of characters. It is, you know, no more than what you could have produced

00:23:15   on it on a typewriter except that you have the... But it's like showing up naked,

00:23:19   man. I mean, all of your flaws are laid bare when you have to write a clear

00:23:25   sentence. There's a band I like called Sloan, and they have a line in one of

00:23:31   songs about Consolidated, but they say something like, "It's not the band I hate, it's their

00:23:37   fans." And I think, you know, this is going to sound reductive, but I think if you take

00:23:43   any noun that everybody looks at as a problem, just try adding the words "the culture of"

00:23:49   in front of that noun, and I think things become a lot clearer. You know, I was just

00:23:55   listening to ATP and they were talking about, you know, enterprise software. Sir Kusta had

00:23:59   had a great grand gignol rant about enterprise software.

00:24:03   And Marco kept talking about people in IT organizations

00:24:07   that hate Macs--

00:24:08   capital M, capital A, capital Z. And I

00:24:11   think they don't hate Macs.

00:24:12   I think they hate the culture of Macs.

00:24:14   I think they hate the culture of Apple.

00:24:16   It isn't that people hate consolidated.

00:24:18   They hate the culture of consolidated.

00:24:20   And I have to say for myself, there's

00:24:21   nothing wrong with the binary that we call PowerPoint.

00:24:25   It's the problem of the culture of PowerPoint.

00:24:27   the fact that it's become so ingrained is that you know it's it's easier to beat

00:24:31   up on an application than it is to have some nuance about why that's problematic

00:24:36   and the problematic part is that it's you know it if that's you know it's like

00:24:42   the hammer and nail problem right I mean that's not the perfect medium for

00:24:45   everything but you will never get your ass kicked for handing somebody a

00:24:48   PowerPoint in certain environments right whereas if you have to write three

00:24:53   sentences that explain why your numbers aren't where they should be for the last

00:24:57   fiscal year, there's a lot more room for people to criticize, I think.

00:25:03   It doesn't fit in, you know, it's culture, I mean, you know, it's like hegemony, right?

00:25:08   If you can tell what it is, that's not the thing.

00:25:11   It's the thing that's in the air that we don't have to talk about and that we can't name

00:25:15   and that we can't touch with our hands that that's really the thing.

00:25:17   That's what makes offices complicated.

00:25:19   It's what makes relationships and families complicated.

00:25:22   And I think it's what makes that PowerPoint culture so

00:25:26   frustrating.

00:25:27   But I feel like a crazy person, though.

00:25:29   When I go to those things--

00:25:30   and I'm like you.

00:25:31   I throw out my slides all the time.

00:25:32   If I have the slightest indication

00:25:34   that there's going to be any weird technical glitch,

00:25:37   they would say the story about one time--

00:25:39   I think I told you this--

00:25:40   one time I went to do a talk somewhere.

00:25:42   Nice people.

00:25:43   Let me stipulate, super nice people.

00:25:45   And they said, I said, get your deck.

00:25:47   And I was like, yep, got my deck.

00:25:48   It's here on my Mac.

00:25:49   And it's like, oh, no, no, no, no, no.

00:25:51   anything that's here.

00:25:52   Go ahead and output all of that to a PDF.

00:25:55   Put it on this thumb drive.

00:25:57   And then here's your clicker.

00:26:00   Was this O'Reilly?

00:26:01   [LAUGHTER]

00:26:04   They gave me an Emacs controller,

00:26:05   and I had to use chords.

00:26:08   I had that experience speaking at an O'Reilly conference.

00:26:11   Well, this was unusual.

00:26:12   Now, I've been in places where I had my beautiful deck.

00:26:15   I spent a lot of time.

00:26:17   I had great subtle transitions.

00:26:19   there are a bullet bullets you know bullet bills

00:26:22   cuz I don't want the whole thing to just show up you know the whole nine if you

00:26:26   if you can go in and it's not that hard if you're a real pro presenter it's a

00:26:30   good idea to have a PDF ready anytime anyway

00:26:33   get ready for this so I've been led to believe I could just use my

00:26:36   laptop no problem so I'm gonna get my note screen I'm gonna have all this I'm

00:26:40   a diva

00:26:41   but the beauty part is I give that to them on

00:26:44   the thumb drive and the clicker that they give me is not a clicker that's

00:26:47   connected

00:26:48   to a PC somewhere, it's a clicker that turns a light on in the basement that lets this

00:26:55   person know to go to the next slide.

00:27:01   So even setting aside latency, like what if I accidentally hit it twice?

00:27:04   What does he do?

00:27:05   And so I'm sitting there in a bar the night before the presentation sounding like the

00:27:09   biggest diva in the world.

00:27:10   I was like, "Well, how would I let you know if I wanted to go back a slide?

00:27:13   Like what if something happened that I wanted to, what if I want to jump somewhere else?"

00:27:17   you know I I you know III

00:27:21   I sound like a crazy person because that's out that what I was saying was

00:27:25   not okay in that culture was okay in that culture

00:27:29   is we've got this it's like as with enterprise software

00:27:32   we have this system that's gonna work and not break but not be great

00:27:36   but it's not gonna break and if you just if you you know if you were dying a

00:27:39   roster wouldn't have this problem

00:27:41   it he he he he he he he he he

00:27:44   Have you done that? Have you showed up and like you show up with your Macbook Pro and you're ready to plug in?

00:27:49   Like maybe there's not a DVI or something. Have you run into situations where you had to scramble?

00:27:54   You've been doing more speaking the last few years.

00:27:56   Yeah, but then I've kind of tapered off because I find it so stressful. I only spoke twice this calendar year.

00:28:02   I did web stock and then I did OOL and I gave the same talk more or less at both.

00:28:08   at web stock with slides and then it all without and I think the at all it went better now

00:28:15   Maybe that's because I gave it a second time. You know, maybe that was what it was but

00:28:18   No, but the last few years though. I've been going to places that are so

00:28:23   Designery rather than nerdy that they're really ready for your Mac your MacBook. You were that a web stock

00:28:32   I mean like I had some glitches with mine just probably I'm cursed

00:28:37   But but that was a pretty sweet setup. They had they that was two years ago three years ago something like that

00:28:42   Yeah, they haven't had me back. I think I think the crying really put him off

00:28:45   Not been invited back no they they they upgraded this year though because if you remember three years ago

00:28:52   They had a four by three display which threw me off because I always default I always always assume

00:28:59   widescreen 16 to 9 and this year they had a 16 to 9

00:29:03   Pretty good setup, but yeah, but at places I've gone are more ready for you. We just assume you're gonna show up with a

00:29:10   MacBook as long as I'm shooting fish in a barrel

00:29:13   I'll just say that when I do show up somewhere and I because I don't want to be thinking about the slides

00:29:19   I want to be thinking about the room

00:29:21   I mean it sounds corny, but I really I want to look at every face out there and see who's on my side

00:29:26   Who's not on my side?

00:29:28   Who's getting ready to cry who's getting ready to throw something like I want to be watching

00:29:32   the tone of the room and I will change what I'm saying. It's just my nature. It is my nature to

00:29:37   adapt to what I'm saying, to what people... I mean, I'm really in the gosh darn room when that's happening.

00:29:44   So I'm very inclined to just throw stuff out.

00:29:46   But here's the thing as with the culture of PowerPoint. If you show up somewhere and you are...

00:29:52   It's been framed that you are a speaker or a presenter and you don't have slides,

00:29:56   It's like not giving a German cake after a meal that people lose it you lose

00:30:02   You lose all credibility, you know, Jim kudol never has slides. I believe and I think we talked about this

00:30:08   We were at there I don't you know, he and he speaks semi-frequently and I don't you know, and he's a graphic designer

00:30:15   He he's a good graphic designer really good. He's never given a talk with slides

00:30:20   He just he just has like, you know

00:30:23   a couple of like index cards in his hand and and just talks and it's you know it

00:30:27   I do think for some people it is it throws you off in a couple of minutes

00:30:31   but I've seen he's a great speaker but it you know it it keys you in well I

00:30:36   mean you know it's it's like anything I mean you know if you're good at what you

00:30:41   do and you have something interesting to say and you've rehearsed it enough that

00:30:45   that you know how it ends then you should use whatever works for you you

00:30:49   know it but but I I don't know it's like ski poles or something like I I just

00:30:55   think that I think that again in this culture and I'm again I'm probably

00:30:58   reductive but in that culture it is so normal and it's it's so okay to have

00:31:04   basically done a second draft outline that you then turn into graphics and

00:31:12   that's super weak in my opinion you know I don't think you know when I listen to

00:31:17   podcast or when I watch a movie or whatever like I don't want to see the

00:31:21   scaffolding you know there may be a structure to it and sometimes that's

00:31:25   important if you say the three things that need to change about our company to

00:31:28   stay alive then you better have three things but I you know the other book

00:31:33   that I always recommend to people I learned about this from Matt Howey years

00:31:36   ago and I think if you were struggling at all with with presentations or you're

00:31:40   getting started you could do a lot worse than this book this is a book that has

00:31:43   started to suck over the last few years as it's a Microsoft press book called

00:31:48   Beyond Bullet Points and unfortunately over the years it's become more about

00:31:55   PowerPoint but the basic premise of it is strong if you can find an old copy

00:31:59   get it but the basic premise is that you're telling a story in three acts

00:32:02   you're telling us and it basically walks you through it gives you a Microsoft

00:32:05   Word document that you fill out and you write the headline has to fit in one

00:32:09   You write the headline for what each slide is. Like, where are we? Who is the main character?

00:32:14   You tell a story. There are three acts that can have scenes inside the act, depending on how long you're speaking.

00:32:19   And then you bring it back around to what your solution is and so forth.

00:32:22   Anyway, it's an exercise. It's one of those paper prototype things where I think anybody who wants to get better at presenting should make themselves walk through that.

00:32:30   Right? And if you walk through that and you can't tell that story in those headlines, then you may not know what your story is yet.

00:32:38   And throw then throw it away

00:32:39   But but now you know what it is you're trying to say you know the three big points that you want to make and you can

00:32:44   Amplify that however you want whether that's the graphics or shooting a flare gun whatever it is

00:32:49   You know your story now, and and you can speak with authority I?

00:32:53   Think it's a good point too

00:32:56   You said that you like to you do you always like to check out the room before you speak all possible?

00:33:02   Yeah, I like and it's yeah and again

00:33:05   I don't I mean I'm a writer and then occasionally I speak I am NOT

00:33:09   I'm trying to get better at it and you've gotten way better at it. I I do you know I almost never

00:33:17   try to

00:33:19   Say things like that. It's always uncomfortable for me to admit if I'm good at something, but you don't look

00:33:24   I've got you look like you're about to pee yourself anymore. That's a yeah improvement

00:33:28   You used to look really scared when you talk through through a lot of hard work and thinking about you know

00:33:33   and painfully watching, you know, when they publish the videos of my talks and thinking

00:33:38   about what exactly I'm doing wrong. But a big part of it for me, definitely, is seeing

00:33:45   the room first and then kind of imagining what it's going to be like when it's filled

00:33:49   with the people who are there to speak, you know, to see me. And so, for example, that

00:33:53   was why I didn't use slides at OOL last year. So OOL in Dublin last year had a great, or

00:34:01   year I guess it was. I had a great, great room right in the center city Dublin. Big

00:34:07   round room. You could see it would be used for multi-purposes but they had a stage and

00:34:14   they had a big screen for the day-to-day, the daily presentations. I was the closing

00:34:21   keynote and I was going to speak right before dinner. There was like a 90-minute break for

00:34:30   a cocktail hour or something between the day's sessions and then when I would come on for

00:34:35   the keynote. And I was gonna speak for the keynote or this closing keynote and then when

00:34:39   I'm done, waiters are coming out with food. You know, it's the moment, you know, I drop

00:34:46   the mic. And the organizers of the conference, Paul and Dermot, good guys, really good guys.

00:34:55   I mean everybody who speaks there, you know, has nothing but great words to say about them.

00:34:59   They told me I could have whatever I wanted.

00:35:01   If I want the screen, I could have the screen.

00:35:04   But I could kind of see that they didn't want it.

00:35:07   I was like, well, you guys don't want the screen, right?

00:35:09   Because they wanted to in that when the conference goers were out having cocktails in between

00:35:14   the day's sessions and the evening keynote, there were people in the building who were

00:35:18   going to reconfigure the room from--

00:35:20   Right.

00:35:21   And they might be milling around while you're talking and stuff like that?

00:35:23   Well, they were going to-- they made it-- they redid the room so it would look like

00:35:27   a nice dinner.

00:35:28   nice dinner, you know, and it wasn't, you know, just day to day. And that they thought,

00:35:31   you know, I said, "You think the room will look better for dinner if there's no big honking

00:35:35   screen up there?" And they said, "Yeah, more or less." And I said, "Okay, no screen," you

00:35:39   know. But it totally changed my idea of what the room was going to be like because, you

00:35:43   know.

00:35:44   Yeah. Anybody who thinks that it doesn't make a difference to walk through the room hasn't

00:35:48   done this enough because it's sometimes really quite surprising because you think about one

00:35:54   thinks about it from one's own, you know, whatever you've done before. So if all you've

00:35:59   ever done is speak at universities, you're used to the idea of walking into an auditorium

00:36:03   where there's a bunch of fixed seats where everybody's facing you. But I, how, I mean,

00:36:10   or even for example, if I know I'm speaking at a hotel ballroom, I have a pretty good

00:36:13   idea what that's going to look like. It's probably going to be a bunch of round tables

00:36:16   where people with pads sit in and around circular tables. But it can sometimes be really, if

00:36:23   If I find out, for example, I think I'm going to go into something like, let's say, a ballroom,

00:36:27   but it turns out that I'm in a breakout room where it's going to be one big table and,

00:36:31   whoa, it's actually 15 people rather than 80 in my head or whatever.

00:36:36   Walking through that should really change the way you think about what you're doing.

00:36:42   In the same way that if you were serving a meal, finding out the number of people who

00:36:46   are coming should have a really big impact on what you decide to do.

00:36:51   much you can count on the room being with you. Things like, will the lights be on or

00:36:55   off? Will it be after lunch? I always ask people to try and book me sometime in the

00:36:58   morning. It really sucks to come on right after lunch because people are usually pretty

00:37:03   sleepy. It sucks to be, if you're not careful about it, it sucks to be the last one. Do

00:37:06   you remember at Webstock, my crying talk was actually quite short by my standards. With

00:37:12   the very important exception of sexual intercourse, I've never done anything for less than 90

00:37:17   Like everything I do will be 90 minute phone call 90 minutes meeting 90 minutes at least but in that instance

00:37:24   I knew that it was the last talk

00:37:25   I knew that people wanted to go drink and be gonna be done and so

00:37:29   And luckily what I had to say could be said in that amount of time

00:37:33   But all those environmental factors boy believe me when I say that all of those things matter like for example

00:37:39   We both kind of bombed at Macworld. You know what we both bombed at Macworld that year

00:37:44   we spoke together. Kind of, don't you think? I mean, by our own standards, neither of us

00:37:49   did that great at that talk.

00:37:52   Which one was that? I spoke at Macworld a few times.

00:37:54   I think you were doing Kubrick. I was doing How to Do Creativity.

00:37:58   Oh, yeah. Yeah.

00:37:59   Okay, but now, in my head, I was going to go into a room full of Mac enthusiasts who

00:38:04   love me. And what I walked into was the single biggest auditorium I have ever been in in

00:38:11   my entire life and there were I can't even say how many people were there except to say the seats

00:38:16   were about three to five percent full in a giant auditorium people were spread all over the place

00:38:21   on their computers and it's one of the worst receptions I've ever gotten from an audience I

00:38:26   was there I was completely unprepared for how that was going to go and it had not it was no no there

00:38:32   was nothing wrong with the audience it was just the wrong audience for the room like the same

00:38:37   exact thing if the room had actually only held, I don't know, 125 people.

00:38:43   100%.

00:38:43   Would it, you know, it, 125 people in a room that holds 125 people is a great audience,

00:38:50   and I've spoken at a lot of conferences that are, you know, roughly that size.

00:38:54   Mm-hmm.

00:38:54   125 people in a room that holds a thousand people?

00:38:58   It really, seriously, John, I think it would have, might have held a thousand people. It was,

00:39:01   it was like a small stadium.

00:39:03   It was massive, yeah.

00:39:04   Well, and you know, and this is something I learned from Jesse Thorne and I've really I've blanched at this for a long time

00:39:11   but Jesse when Jesse would book shows for

00:39:13   Monsters of podcasting which was when we did have occasional shows with you look nice today and Jordan Jesse go

00:39:19   He did this thing that drove me bananas

00:39:21   Which was he would not book us anywhere that we could not very easily sell out to capacity and beyond

00:39:28   Which I thought was very conservative

00:39:30   It seems silly to me to go into some fire trap in the mission with like 40 seats in it

00:39:35   But he said something that has really stuck with me

00:39:37   He said something along these lines at a comedy show in particular the having one seat open

00:39:43   The difference between having one seat open and having every seat full and people standing up

00:39:49   It's all the difference in the world and he's kind of right

00:39:51   I mean, you know if you're in that room with 125 people and it's 120 there's much more

00:39:58   sense of community, but you know, there's people never do a

00:40:02   Collective energy it's all contained

00:40:03   Keeping the hat on and the other thing in the case of that macworld one where where it was

00:40:09   You know, maybe a hundred hundred or so people in a room with maybe close to a thousand seats

00:40:14   It's also natural for people to spread out

00:40:16   you know if you're coming in to see us speak and

00:40:21   You see this sparse seating. You're just going to you know, somehow I think you're most people's natural inclination

00:40:27   is to find a place roughly equidistant from other people. That's a

00:40:33   phenomenon, that's a known phenomenon in elevators, turns out. It's true, like you

00:40:36   will always have equidistance from people when it's possible and then you

00:40:39   will move accordingly, like when you're on a bus, same thing. I think the right

00:40:43   thing to have done in that situation would have been to just acknowledge it,

00:40:47   just start by saying instead of pretending, which is what I did, and just

00:40:51   pretend that there wasn't this elephant in a room of all these empty seats, best

00:40:56   thing to do would have been to say, "Look, I don't know what's going on here, but

00:40:59   everybody, everybody stand up, come to the front, fill in the seats, and

00:41:04   just stand in front of where I am, and if there's only a hundred of you, fill in

00:41:08   the hundred seats closest to this microphone." I remember, I post, to your

00:41:13   point, I remember posting a photo of you because there was, it was set up for like

00:41:19   like a Jonestown type thing. I mean, it was this improbably large room, which is

00:41:25   great. I mean, I think it's just the room that they used for this stuff. It wasn't like

00:41:29   they thought Merlin and John were going to pack the room. It was just that's the room

00:41:32   they had. But they also had, like, do you remember the setup? Like, dealing with the

00:41:37   guys backstage, and there was a huge stage, there was a podium, and then there was a ginormous

00:41:43   screen. Do you remember how big--and I took a photo of you looking a little bit like Big

00:41:47   Brother on this thing, and I remember putting on a flicker or something. But that was part

00:41:50   of it, was it made everything feel small. Now, go back to Jesse Thorne's Firetrap and

00:41:55   the mission and you know if you'd had that saying if you'd been in that room

00:41:59   with that number of people you would have felt looser probably yeah you would

00:42:02   oh my god it's a sellout but like everybody here is here because they want

00:42:06   to be here and they're not checking their email you know in the in the 95th

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00:44:35   You wear polarized sunglasses?

00:44:37   - No, I'm not a big sunglasses guy.

00:44:39   - I like sunglasses, but I don't like polarized ones.

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00:44:49   'cause every time I get one of the new iDevices,

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00:47:05   Warby Parker for sponsoring the show. Good sponsor. Really cool outfit. Our pal

00:47:12   Sandy did a video for him a while back. God, it's like a million years ago now.

00:47:16   Yeah. He's a big shot now. He's such a big shot and he's got his his his radar for like cool

00:47:26   interesting things is you know it's like the clients he attracts are just insane so like I

00:47:32   didn't even know this just just yesterday just yesterday this thing came out I think it came out

00:47:36   yesterday at least I only noticed it yesterday is this thing coin have you seen this yeah I saw

00:47:40   the video yeah I mean I had no idea but everybody was talking about it yesterday I had no idea that

00:47:46   that he had anything to do with it. It's just people like, you know, on Twitter, like, you

00:47:50   gotta go check out this coin. So I go and look. And then there it is. It's Adam doing

00:47:55   the damn video. And the thing is the coolest looking thing I've ever seen. It's, you get

00:47:59   like a little electronic credit card and you just put all of your other credit cards into

00:48:04   it and you have like a magic credit card that is like every credit card.

00:48:09   Yeah, I mean, to say the obvious, I mean, it's reached a point where Adam has become

00:48:16   a filter. He's become both a filter and a platform, where it sounds so strange to say,

00:48:24   but if he accepts your gig, that's almost like a kind of benediction. And then he has

00:48:29   such a following because of his reputation for these things that you're going to get

00:48:34   a lot of attention for your product because Adam did it. I mean, I don't think there's

00:48:38   that many traditional advertising firms that can say that.

00:48:42   It's crazy. I'd almost gotten to the point where I'm suspicious of a new product that

00:48:48   doesn't come with one of Adam's videos.

00:48:50   It's probably smart. I mean, you have so many options, Sean.

00:48:54   Hmm.

00:48:55   Hmm.

00:48:57   I read your iPad review.

00:49:02   Published just before we went on air. What did you think?

00:49:05   I thought it was good and I read it quickly because we had to record your program.

00:49:09   But I feel like it's... I don't really need a new iPad.

00:49:14   My wife and I both have the first generation iPad minis.

00:49:20   And we probably shouldn't talk about computers because who cares.

00:49:23   But I will just say I'm one of those people.

00:49:29   I sound like you now.

00:49:31   where like when I go back to like picking up my iPad 2,

00:49:36   it feels like I'm holding a chalkboard.

00:49:38   It's so heavy, it's so large.

00:49:41   It's fun to read comics on just 'cause it's bigger,

00:49:44   but it's not retina.

00:49:45   I cannot imagine going back from the form factor,

00:49:49   the general form factor of the iPad Mini,

00:49:51   but the iPad Air Sign is so compelling,

00:49:53   but you put it in stark terms in your review.

00:49:55   It sounds like you basically said these are,

00:49:57   it's just really is just a matter of size.

00:50:00   Yeah, and I did want to speak to you a little bit about that.

00:50:04   And I wanted to ask you, because I know you've always been into comics, but it seems like

00:50:08   you've gotten even deeper, like almost...

00:50:12   Yeah, problematically, yeah.

00:50:13   Problematically into comics.

00:50:16   How do you read them? You mostly... you're like a go-to-your-neighborhood

00:50:20   comic shop and buy the paper.

00:50:23   Both and/or all is the thing. I would...

00:50:27   I'm as I've matured boy. That's an unfortunate word as I've spent more time with this

00:50:32   I'm realizing I don't need nearly as many hard copies as I've gotten I mean I've got boxes and boxes of comics

00:50:37   I've only been at this for like a year or two. I don't really need all that

00:50:40   I'm not a collector in that sense. It's silly for me to have all of these copies of comics

00:50:46   I really love reading them on comic soli and just so you know

00:50:49   I mean not anybody cares, but in the Marvel world anyway

00:50:54   $2.99, buy a comic for $2.99 at the store, which is a bunch of the titles, you know,

00:51:00   you get the hard copy. If you buy one of the like marquee titles and it's $3.99,

00:51:05   you get a free digital copy from Comixology. It's that simple. It's $2.99,

00:51:10   you don't get a digital copy. $3.99, you get a digital copy. By the same token, if you buy a collection in trade paperback

00:51:16   format, you get the trade paperback. With a lot of them, if you buy a hardcover,

00:51:20   you get a code to get the entire hardcover edition.

00:51:24   in comicsology. So that's, I am increasingly, I guess if there's anything that's been holding me back in part,

00:51:31   yeah, there's the sentimentality of I like having, I still love going to the comic store.

00:51:35   It's just a matter of, like, I don't need as many comics every week as I buy right now.

00:51:39   I'll still go to the comic store every week.

00:51:41   But no, I'm very intrigued, and I have to say comics are the reason that I would even think about this.

00:51:47   I'm so happy with my iPad Mini.

00:51:50   But it's not Retina. I've never owned a Retina iPad.

00:51:54   But I mean, you're looking at a grand.

00:51:57   For like, if I buy an iPad Air, I'm going to want to buy the big one with the LTE or

00:52:06   whatever.

00:52:07   Yeah.

00:52:08   So, but I mean, what am I looking at for, is it generally like just $100 difference

00:52:12   at each level?

00:52:13   Like if I want a 64 gig mini with LTE, what is that going to be like, five, 600?

00:52:17   Something like that.

00:52:18   that but whatever it is it's $100 less than the exact same specs in the the air

00:52:25   model you make it sound so much faster it is incredibly faster I do I do I think

00:52:31   that there is it's there's a raw rot you know you know God oh you know we we love

00:52:42   Apple so much and Apple can do no wrong in their magic company and you know

00:52:45   there's there's there's that that level of fandom that people who praise Apple

00:52:52   consistently can be accused of and I you know I don't want to fall into that but

00:52:57   it's something about the the a7 chip has me thinking that we're we're missing

00:53:05   something profound that they're achieving here where we none of us have

00:53:12   ever bought and liked iPhones and iPads just because of performance. You know, it's, you

00:53:19   know, and even Macs traditionally, you know, in the old days before they switched to the

00:53:23   Intel chips, they were...

00:53:24   Certainly not.

00:53:25   Right. It's a factor and, you know, you certainly want it to be fast, but it's the overall experience

00:53:32   that's worthwhile. And, you know, like the iPhone in the last few years has never topped

00:53:38   the benchmarks. It's a balance between performance and battery life and the size and, you know,

00:53:45   does it get hot in your hand and something, stuff like that. But you look at the benchmarks

00:53:51   and you go to sites like Anantech where they test all these things and the A7 devices,

00:53:57   the new iPhone 5S and both of the new iPads are faster than all of the other devices.

00:54:04   And they're still – and it's not like, "Oh, now that they're faster, now benchmarks

00:54:09   are the reason to buy Apple products."

00:54:11   It's still the overall experience that matters, but there's something really profound about

00:54:15   the fact that Apple is both still achieving the sort of balance between power and energy

00:54:23   consumption that they always have to get long battery life.

00:54:27   It's also funny because –

00:54:29   But the other guys can't match them just on pure performance.

00:54:33   Now, two things that are new.

00:54:35   Yeah, that is new.

00:54:36   The other thing that's new is, at least in my mind,

00:54:39   Apple were the ones that were always famous for asinine battery estimates.

00:54:43   When Steve would get up there and say that something was going to last,

00:54:46   your Mac was going to last for five, six hours or whatever,

00:54:49   I mean, there just aren't enough asterisks in the world

00:54:51   for what you would have to do to get that performance.

00:54:53   Whereas you say you went and put the Avengers on at full screen brightness

00:54:57   and lost 33% and 34%, I believe you said, power.

00:55:02   I mean, that's a new world.

00:55:04   That must be said.

00:55:05   I mean, these are mobile devices.

00:55:08   And you don't want to just flip that thing on and find out

00:55:11   that it's been grinding on some background process that

00:55:14   brings you down 30 points.

00:55:15   And now your backpack is hot, and you don't know why.

00:55:19   Yeah, I think part of that-- and I think you're right to even mention Steve Jobs

00:55:22   by name.

00:55:22   And I think part of it is that reality distortion field

00:55:28   that he had around him.

00:55:29   Part of it, he had himself in it.

00:55:31   and I think that he always was dissatisfied by laptop battery life.

00:55:37   You know, that this... it used to be... I always found that you could get, in the old days,

00:55:44   I don't know, a good two hours out of it.

00:55:48   Two to three hours when I had my Wall Street or, no, Lombard? I never remember which I had.

00:55:53   But let's just say...

00:55:54   And let's say when they were called "PowerBucks", right?

00:55:56   I'll tell you this it had two it had two big holes in it that could be used for optical drives or batteries

00:56:03   And I had two batteries

00:56:05   I would I would take out the option drive and put in both batteries when I travel because you needed them if you wanted to

00:56:09   Do anything I remember buying Rushmore and like if I want to watch Rushmore on the plane

00:56:14   I had to take out one of the batteries put in the optical drive and then be ready to pause partway through to change

00:56:18   The battery yeah, I remember yeah

00:56:21   And I remember a lot of my time that I fly has always been coast to coast

00:56:25   you know going out to California for you know conferences and stuff and I

00:56:31   remember it used to be that you you know there was no where no where no way that

00:56:36   you could go the whole flight on on a power book you know you'd have plenty of

00:56:40   time if you'd had some work to do and you wanted to you know you didn't have

00:56:43   Wi-Fi on the thing but if I was like writing a slide deck or or like you said

00:56:47   just using it to watch a movie you were gonna get one movie out of that thing I

00:56:51   I mean that was it and maybe sometimes I also remember

00:56:55   purposefully picking

00:56:57   Our movies that were under two hours because if you picked one it was over two hours you risked

00:57:02   You know running out of time not because the flight wasn't long enough

00:57:05   But because the battery didn't last and yet like you said they were sold

00:57:09   You know, they would say four hours of battery life, you know, and it was you know, turn the brightness turn the screen off

00:57:15   Turn the turn off Wi-Fi turn on the Bluetooth do not play any video

00:57:20   It's funny how what podcast no exactly no you don't move them don't move the mouse

00:57:24   Don't do anything that makes that hard drive spin up, right?

00:57:27   And yet on the other side

00:57:31   I feel like it's come all the way around where they the whole concept of the iPad and I I've I

00:57:36   I mean, I can't prove it. But I mean I've spoken to enough people at Apple that yeah, this was sort of a baseline is

00:57:42   There's always been a floor of 10 hours of real-world use battery life

00:57:49   then that starts with the first iPad from 2010 that that was a minimum you

00:57:57   know that real 10 hours of battery life had to have and everyone since has also

00:58:02   had that the mini the retina ones I mean that's why the retina ones got thicker

00:58:09   and heavier you know from the iPad 2 but it was that no matter what we're not

00:58:13   gonna we're not gonna go below 10 hours of real battery life I think you get I

00:58:18   I think you can easily get more than 10 hours of battery life.

00:58:21   I mean, I don't-- it's almost hard to measure it as a reviewer,

00:58:24   like trying to give--

00:58:25   I don't even know how to make the thing run down.

00:58:28   Well, those benchmarks are good at seeing

00:58:29   how well it did at the benchmark.

00:58:31   But I think anybody can tell you that that's your experience.

00:58:35   Sir Q's has talked about this, I think,

00:58:36   on the episode with you.

00:58:37   You guys talked about this with his Mavericks review

00:58:40   and how hard it is to replicate things exactly over and over.

00:58:43   And especially if you're doing something with battery stuff,

00:58:45   we have to run it all the way down and back up

00:58:47   and how difficult all that can be.

00:58:48   I mean, I'll just tell you what comes straight to mind for me,

00:58:51   is in our inside baseball discussions over the years,

00:58:55   we've talked a lot about things.

00:58:56   Like you turned me on to the Mophie juice pack.

00:58:58   And when I had my 3G, I want to say--

00:59:02   3GS, probably.

00:59:03   God, terrible at naming things.

00:59:05   I want to say the 3GS, which is a swell phone.

00:59:07   I mean, I really needed that thing.

00:59:11   And I used it until it died.

00:59:12   I used it until the USB port stopped working.

00:59:19   And the thing is, with the 4S, I ended up

00:59:22   buying that new one with a different form factor, which

00:59:24   is not nearly as good.

00:59:26   You know the one where it's got little cap stays on,

00:59:28   and it's real crummy compared to the old one.

00:59:33   I would like to circle back to my crashy 5S.

00:59:36   But having said that, the 5S, I have no problem less than all

00:59:40   day long with the 5S now.

00:59:41   It crashes?

00:59:42   Oh my god.

00:59:45   I get a lot of really unexplainable behavior

00:59:48   on my 5S.

00:59:50   Yeah, you don't.

00:59:51   No.

00:59:52   I don't think so.

00:59:53   But yes.

00:59:54   Oh, well, you mean like--

00:59:57   I get things where I will do something-- see,

01:00:00   I don't even want to say that I do something,

01:00:02   because it's hard to know what causes something to happen.

01:00:05   But it could be-- I feel like I've

01:00:06   gotten a lot doing stuff with Instacast, which

01:00:08   I think is actually in pretty sore need of an update

01:00:11   point but I'll be doing something that feels pretty trivial it'll be but it

01:00:15   will be doing some change and it'll just bloop it'll just go out and up comes the

01:00:21   out of white apple I just get that that's just the thing I get a couple

01:00:25   times a week see I a couple times a week I would complain about I've seen it a

01:00:30   handful of times didn't it didn't have that very much at all with the 4s ever

01:00:34   and it's a weird thing where it doesn't seem to be a full reboot either well I've

01:00:39   I've heard about the half-crashes people are talking about.

01:00:42   Yeah.

01:00:42   Yeah, I've gotten ones where it seems to just...

01:00:46   Boy, are you ready for this? Get ready for me to reveal how dumb I am.

01:00:49   It doesn't feel like it's something very low in the stack that crashed.

01:00:53   It feels like maybe the interface crashed.

01:00:55   Yeah.

01:00:55   But it didn't go all the way down.

01:00:57   I think that that's probably the springboard.

01:00:59   Okay.

01:01:00   That's the home screen.

01:01:02   It's like when you're... click click.

01:01:04   Something like that. I don't even know.

01:01:05   You know, it used to be that Springboard, which is the name that nobody really needs

01:01:10   to know it, you have to be like a nerd.

01:01:12   But it's the app that runs the home screen.

01:01:15   But all the apps, whenever you'd launch an app, were always a child process of Springboard.

01:01:21   And in Mac OS X terms, I think it's closest to the...

01:01:23   It's like a finder crash.

01:01:24   No, it's like the Windows Server.

01:01:26   Okay.

01:01:27   Oh, gosh, yeah.

01:01:28   Like if you ever go into Activity...

01:01:29   Huge.

01:01:30   I mean, don't do this, you have anything open.

01:01:31   If you go into Activity Monitor and find Windows Server and then force quit it, everything

01:01:35   goes away. But I could be wrong about this and I'll bet our pal Guy English is probably

01:01:42   going to email me as soon as he hears the show and explain to me how I'm...

01:01:46   This is purely... I'm giving this to you purely anecdotally. But you know what?

01:01:48   But there is some process that could crash and it wouldn't bring the... Like you said,

01:01:53   it's not the whole stack. It's not the whole system.

01:01:55   Well, it could be something in iOS 7. Who knows where it is? I have every confidence

01:01:59   that it will be fixed.

01:02:00   But you see it a couple of times a week. See, I don't see it a couple of times a week.

01:02:02   Well, I don't keep track of it, but there are a lot of times where I'll do something that seems pretty trivial.

01:02:07   Like I'm not talking about like trying to do something, you know,

01:02:11   computational as far as I know. It usually is making some change in state. Like I'm...

01:02:16   I bring it up and I'm gonna do something again with like, you know, maybe fast-forwarding or something like that or...

01:02:21   Anyway, that's a thistle. But I agree with you about the battery thing and it's...

01:02:30   Don't know it's funny how fast things change it is really funny how fast we've gone from like flash has to be on everything

01:02:37   to now like I I I mean, I just I I can't imagine what I I

01:02:42   Just have to say that like for a normal person walking around

01:02:46   I think it makes a huge difference to not have to recharge at 4 in the afternoon

01:02:49   Yeah, I think so, too. The only time I ever even come close with my iPhone 5s is

01:02:55   If I'm out of the house like somewhere

01:03:00   And I'm using it a lot. I'm you on the phone a lot and on LTE

01:03:05   And then it can you can still I can still run it down in a day if I'm yeah well and also

01:03:10   I mean, it's um I take a lot of precautions when I when I change my environment

01:03:16   I take a lot of precautions. I you know up the security if it sounds silly, but I mean I think it's worth it

01:03:21   I think people treat this stuff way too lightly

01:03:24   It's when I learned like I haven't talked about it a lot, but I can talk about it now

01:03:30   I learned a bit long time ago that you didn't have a passcode on your phone and

01:03:33   A long time ago. I didn't and I believe you know you know what it might have been raising you about your me.com

01:03:41   Password that I think you and Sandy I used to raise you guys about those

01:03:44   I can't believe I found out now that the touch ID exists

01:03:47   I'm finding out how many people have never ever had a passcode on their phone. Have you always had a passcode?

01:03:52   I think I did. I think so. It must have been your me.com password. I watched you do something on

01:03:58   once and I like my head was spinning at how easily you put in your password. Because I have to sit

01:04:04   down and like maybe I'm just old I have to sit down and concentrate with mine. It's like but

01:04:09   anyway now that can be said a lot of people are admitting that they've never had that and I just

01:04:13   I don't understand people who do that. I may have gone the first year or so without a password. This

01:04:18   This is a long time ago.

01:04:19   I didn't know what to do.

01:04:21   I never had a smartphone before.

01:04:23   Really?

01:04:24   No.

01:04:25   You didn't have a Palm?

01:04:27   I had not a phone, though.

01:04:29   I had a Palm Pilot back in the 1840s.

01:04:35   I had so many Palm Pilots.

01:04:37   I had like four or five.

01:04:38   I loved them.

01:04:38   That VX, the Palm VX, man, that thing was amazing.

01:04:43   I've used the passcode as long as I can remember on my iPhone,

01:04:46   though.

01:04:46   And not because I got burned, but because I did, you know, it dawned on me eventually.

01:04:52   It's common sense.

01:04:54   You know, Steve Jobs apparently didn't use one, though.

01:04:58   That's the story. The backstory I read, I think this was on Quora.

01:05:04   So who knows? Take it with a grain of salt. Somebody could have just been some guy making shit up.

01:05:09   But it was somebody who said that they used to work at Apple and that, you know, that...

01:05:14   like the how did touch ID come to be and that the gist of it is it definitely

01:05:17   goes back to Steve Jobs where he wanted a really cool unlocking for the phone

01:05:27   that you had to have it lock so that you can see it you can see it in the keynote

01:05:30   he's so right every phone every phone ever smarter otherwise has had to

01:05:34   somewhat have some way to keep from accidentally turning on in your pocket

01:05:37   in your pocket this is the first time we've seen anything like this that

01:05:40   wasn't, you know, a physical switch or something like that. He was, you could

01:05:44   tell he was so proud of that that I can imagine him then not wanting a second

01:05:47   thing that he had to do. He was, he was, you know, it's one of those things where

01:05:51   as hindsight goes, you know, and, you know, the time passes since he's, since he's

01:05:56   dead, and, you know, we look at him with a little bit more detachment, you know, and

01:06:03   and it's not quite as raw just thinking about, "Oh man, I can't believe the guys,"

01:06:07   you know, that that that

01:06:09   You know as we fade into the acceptance stage of you know, the fact that the guy's dead

01:06:14   Certain things stand out to me rewatching his keynotes and one of them and I've always thought this but as time goes on

01:06:20   It's even more obvious. It's so easy to see what he really cared about

01:06:23   You everybody's talked about this and I see it too. I see it too. I've gone back

01:06:29   I watched the iPad one

01:06:30   I watched the iPhone one and you can just see him spend more time than is really necessary

01:06:34   Like making the things spring up and down or in that cool. Isn't that cool? Yeah, look at that. Look at that

01:06:39   And the other line he's genuinely excited that this thing is that the unlocking on the iPhone is

01:06:45   Absolutely one of those things like the slide to unlock is something that he spent way more time on

01:06:51   He spent like as much time on that as he did on like email. That's on using it as a phone. Yeah

01:06:56   and

01:07:01   adding a passcode ruined that.

01:07:04   You know, I mean, you know, typing the four-digit number,

01:07:08   you know, that didn't even get demoed. It was there from the original thing,

01:07:12   but he didn't demo it. And apparently he didn't use it on his own phone because

01:07:15   he didn't want,

01:07:16   you know, he actually cared about that experience enough. But there's a guy whose

01:07:20   actual iPhone,

01:07:21   you know, talk about a disaster if somebody had, you know, if he'd

01:07:24   lost it or somebody stole it or something like that. I mean, you know.

01:07:27   But also, I mean, this is going to sound so obvious, but let's look at the

01:07:31   bare facts. When he came out with an iPhone,

01:07:34   this is the first one of these things that a lot of people would have.

01:07:39   This is going to sound nuts, but in 2007

01:07:42   there were not that many people that were doing email on their phone.

01:07:46   There were, believe it or not, and this is going to sound crazy, audience,

01:07:50   there were not that many people who were looking at the World Wide Web on their

01:07:53   phone.

01:07:54   I'm stating the obvious. There were no applications for the iPhone

01:07:59   at the time. There was not that much stuff to steal off your iPhone.

01:08:02   There was not that much stuff where if you were already logged into

01:08:05   something you could get all this data.

01:08:07   Today, it's in the last two years when you look at the number of people,

01:08:11   I mean, even people who use

01:08:12   stupid Facebook or whatever, you're logged into all that stuff all the time.

01:08:17   Your apps, unless you're using something like I use GoodReader, Dropbox, these apps

01:08:21   well can in my case do prompt me for a password before it gives me access to that stuff. But

01:08:27   you're logged into everything all the time, much more so than on your Mac. It's all just

01:08:32   laid bare. So I can understand why at the time that wasn't a big deal and that would

01:08:35   be seen as just like a kind of feature for nerds probably.

01:08:38   Yeah.

01:08:39   Let me ask you this.

01:08:41   But I'm saying that from what I understand though is he, you know, right up till the

01:08:45   end never had one on his phone. And that the idea was, you know, and the problem that he

01:08:50   Commission and who knows this might be a perfect example of you know

01:08:53   Where he's going to be missed at Apple is that his dictate was?

01:08:58   Yeah, okay figure out a way to make this secure

01:09:01   But make it as cool as slide to unlock and that's that's a touch ID

01:09:06   It is which is it's fair to say supply constrained we think

01:09:10   That's kind of isn't that kind of doesn't that seem like the bottleneck is the availability right?

01:09:16   Why is it not on the new iPad or why why is it still taking so long to get you know?

01:09:20   I mean Marco says he was at the Apple store today and there's people lined up you know waiting for five S's hmm

01:09:26   I don't know if that alone is it but it

01:09:31   Contributes II well it could be because it must not be the the a7

01:09:36   System on a chip because the iPads have that too. You know and they're they're making those and the iPhone is still constrained

01:09:44   I don't know. I think yeah, and and I've been told that it was hard enough

01:09:49   to get it into one device this year and not just I think in terms of the parts

01:09:55   but in the engineering to get it integrated.

01:09:58   It feels like a squeaker to me. I mean I wouldn't want to sound contradictory.

01:10:02   I don't find it nearly as fast as you do.

01:10:03   I don't think it or as dependable as I would like.

01:10:08   I certainly use it. It's my primary way a lot of the time

01:10:11   but I really feels like about

01:10:14   20 percent of the time it even under what seems like pretty normal conditions

01:10:19   it doesn't get it, and I don't know why.

01:10:21   Do you think it was good enough to ship?

01:10:22   Yeah, mostly.

01:10:23   Yeah.

01:10:24   I mean, if you take the-- what's that engineering diagram?

01:10:29   But for our sake, we'll say a pie graph.

01:10:30   If you take a pie graph of all the people who own an iOS device, you take a pie graph

01:10:33   of all the people, subset that own an iPhone, subset that even know you can set a passcode,

01:10:40   and then the subset inside of that, I think it's definitely enough that-- especially with

01:10:44   the introduction of the iCloud sync.

01:10:47   Because now they really are giving you enough rope to hang yourself. Up till now they have

01:10:50   not really made it that simple for you. Like, autofill was not on by default, was it? In

01:10:57   the past?

01:10:58   No.

01:10:59   It isn't like they've, you know, I think they've been somewhat circumspect about, you know,

01:11:05   giving you that amount of rope to hang yourself. But now they're really saying, "Hey, we want

01:11:08   you to use this iCloud keychain." And so I think now you have to put a code on it now,

01:11:13   right, if you use that?

01:11:14   No, and I actually got that wrong.

01:11:16   I was-- they make it seem like you do,

01:11:20   but there is a way that if you actually

01:11:22   read every word on the screen, that you

01:11:25   can turn on iCloud keychain syncing and not have a passcode.

01:11:30   You have to really pay attention to the small print

01:11:34   as you configure it.

01:11:36   And if you just go through that first run setup,

01:11:41   and then subsequently if you go into settings,

01:11:43   I think if you turn off the passcode but still have iCloud keychain syncing on, it gives

01:11:48   you a pretty dire warning like, "Are you sure this means anybody who picks up your phone

01:11:55   is going to have access to your keychain?"

01:11:56   But they'll let you do it.

01:11:58   Wow.

01:11:59   Do you have your phone nearby?

01:12:01   Yeah.

01:12:02   Okay.

01:12:03   Can you look at it for a second?

01:12:05   I've been looking at it this whole time.

01:12:06   Oh, good for you.

01:12:07   Maybe you can answer this.

01:12:09   Settings.

01:12:10   Okay.

01:12:11   General.

01:12:12   Touch ID and passcode.

01:12:15   And then enter your code.

01:12:17   And under require passcode,

01:12:20   do you have any choice except immediately on yours?

01:12:23   - One, two, three, four.

01:12:25   Okay, what?

01:12:26   - And when you click on--

01:12:28   - Require passload immediately.

01:12:30   - Do you have any other choices?

01:12:31   - No.

01:12:32   - Okay, this is part of the frustration,

01:12:34   is I'm forever having to touch ID now

01:12:37   because it's constantly making me log back in.

01:12:39   It seems, you know what, you know me,

01:12:41   I'm old, I don't think.

01:12:42   It seems like I stay logged in longer

01:12:45   if I've done the numerical.

01:12:46   But pretty much, it feels like every time I turn it off,

01:12:48   if I've used Touch ID,

01:12:50   well, I guess this would indicate that that's the case.

01:12:52   - Wait, I feel like you've just done

01:12:54   a magic trick on me, though.

01:12:55   I feel like that didn't used to be the case.

01:12:57   - I cursed you. (laughs)

01:12:58   - No, I feel like I had it,

01:13:00   I used to have an option there.

01:13:02   - It feels like you, it's, well,

01:13:04   I'm not, as you know, I'm not a technologist,

01:13:07   but it strikes me that if there's a bit there,

01:13:09   if there's a preference,

01:13:11   There should be something besides the single one that's checked.

01:13:14   Can you turn off immediately?

01:13:17   Simple passcode touch ID.

01:13:18   I'm clicking.

01:13:19   Now I'm looking on it on my iPad.

01:13:21   See, and that's, yeah.

01:13:22   Anyway, okay.

01:13:23   Maybe it's something that's a constraint of what auto lock is on.

01:13:26   I've got my, I have my auto lock on two minutes, but I recently changed it to five minutes.

01:13:32   Passcode lock.

01:13:33   On my iPad, I can change it to...

01:13:37   But that doesn't have touch ID.

01:13:39   Right.

01:13:40   So if you have touch ID, you have to lock immediately?

01:13:45   It wasn't like-- I think they've changed that in one of these system updates.

01:13:50   I'm sure one of your listeners will tell you.

01:13:52   Yeah, somebody explain this to me.

01:13:54   It's ironic though, because that actually does make it feel a little crazier now.

01:13:57   Because it used to be-- see, I've always counseled people in the past, hey, look, don't be a

01:14:00   dumb ass.

01:14:02   First of all, you strike me crazy.

01:14:03   I would go and visit my sister-in-law, and she has an iPad, and she uses it in the kitchen

01:14:07   for recipes.

01:14:08   And I don't even know you could do this.

01:14:10   I think she has it set to not auto--

01:14:14   what's the phrase?

01:14:15   It doesn't turn off.

01:14:17   We're having dinner.

01:14:18   And I come back 20 minutes later,

01:14:19   and it's still on at 100% brightness.

01:14:21   And I don't know.

01:14:22   I get all Syracuse-a where I'm like,

01:14:24   can I do some things to this to make this better for you?

01:14:28   First of all, if you turn this brightness down,

01:14:30   20% is still going to be-- it's like,

01:14:32   you ever watch Sandy use his phone,

01:14:33   and his entire face is illuminated?

01:14:35   He's got the brightness all the way up.

01:14:37   I want to help her with that.

01:14:40   And so what I would always say to people is, well,

01:14:42   how about this?

01:14:42   Like, why don't you have your--

01:14:44   I mean, because really, there's several things.

01:14:46   There's several factors in play here.

01:14:47   Why don't you at least have a passcode,

01:14:50   but then set it to the highest setting?

01:14:52   So at the very least, you know what I mean?

01:14:55   The four-hour setting.

01:14:57   Is that what it is?

01:14:58   I think so.

01:14:58   You're kidding.

01:14:59   But I would-- well, I would not do it that long.

01:15:01   But I mean, that way, if you have left it

01:15:03   in a restaurant or something, at least you've got a chance.

01:15:07   I do that with my iPad and then when I leave, if I try to think about it, like if I'm going

01:15:12   to travel, I'm getting on an airplane, then I change the iPad to, you know, like five

01:15:17   minutes.

01:15:18   I change everything to immediately.

01:15:19   If I know that I'm going somewhere, see this just shows you how often I don't leave my

01:15:23   block but I change everything to immediately.

01:15:28   Because I mean to me it's worth it.

01:15:29   It's weird.

01:15:30   I mean…

01:15:31   Do you hear my idea from a few shows ago?

01:15:32   I forget who it was on with.

01:15:33   I still want this.

01:15:34   I want it so that when I'm at home on the network,

01:15:38   the first time I verify the passcode,

01:15:42   then it'll stay unlocked until I leave

01:15:45   the house with the device.

01:15:46   - I think I did hear that.

01:15:48   I totally agree, but I'm reminded of WordPress.

01:15:52   And I think I still have, yeah, Fives,

01:15:55   I think is on WordPress still.

01:15:57   How it used to just drive me bananas

01:16:00   that even when it got really good

01:16:01   and they did that beautiful redesign a few years ago.

01:16:05   Really cleaned everything up.

01:16:06   It still drove me nuts that I couldn't

01:16:07   auto update the plugins.

01:16:09   And I actually, I asked Matt about this one time

01:16:12   at a conference and I didn't, you know,

01:16:15   get a satisfactory answer.

01:16:17   But my feeling is litigation,

01:16:19   litigiousness, responsibility, right?

01:16:20   Like if you had something, even like a cron

01:16:23   or in our case like a launch D running,

01:16:25   that would like, you know,

01:16:26   people do, don't people do this with their Linux installs?

01:16:30   I mean, can't you-- there are certain kinds of things

01:16:32   that you can automate.

01:16:33   Like today, we can automate app updates.

01:16:36   I wonder if app updates would be automated

01:16:38   if everything weren't sandboxed.

01:16:41   In this instance, this sounds afield,

01:16:43   but I wonder if they don't want to give you that much rope.

01:16:47   You know what I mean, where like--

01:16:50   it seems like something that would be extremely easy to do.

01:16:52   If I'm on a known Wi-Fi network, one of the ones

01:16:56   I've said to auto log in or whatever, if I'm on any of these Wi-Fi networks at the very

01:17:02   least or if I'm at the proximity near home or near work that you understand with this

01:17:07   phone, once I'm logged in, leave me logged in. That doesn't seem that difficult. Why

01:17:12   do you think they don't do it? I mean, they want you picking this thing up and putting

01:17:16   it down all day long.

01:17:18   I honestly don't know. And I thought maybe when I spoke about it on the show that maybe

01:17:23   somebody who'd listened and who knew what the hole in the argument that I'm missing.

01:17:28   That's what I feel. I just feel like there must be some use case I'm overlooking that

01:17:34   would make that a bad idea. I figured somebody would point it out to me, but nobody did,

01:17:38   so I don't know.

01:17:39   Well, you know, think about how reminders work with leaving and arriving. It seems like,

01:17:45   and with background updates, you know.

01:17:48   I don't know energy consumption by making you have the location awareness on I don't know well

01:17:54   I mean, it's no different than if you were like searching for a Wi-Fi network except in this case

01:17:58   You're it would be look it was looking for a boy

01:18:01   See I like to assume I know he doesn't I like to assume that John Sirakusa

01:18:05   Hears everything I say because it it's what keeps me from saying even stupider stuff

01:18:09   No, but it seems like it would be like you know at the event that we're looking for here is I have not been connected

01:18:17   to a known Wi-Fi network for n minutes.

01:18:20   Yeah. And at that point, so you know, at that point when you're off there even if

01:18:25   you say like five minutes so you allow for things like the

01:18:27   internet going down but even still, forget it, let's say you have to be

01:18:30   connected

01:18:31   but leave me logged in. I think that seems very sensible to me.

01:18:34   I want to take a break. I want to thank

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01:20:46   - A lot of people are changing their mail around.

01:20:49   It's definitely in the air.

01:20:51   - I'll still say this.

01:20:52   The first time, I remember a couple of weeks ago,

01:20:54   Moltz was on the show and we were talking, I don't know,

01:20:57   we somehow got talking about making our own liquor

01:20:58   in prison.

01:20:59   (laughing)

01:21:00   And I said,

01:21:02   - Somehow.

01:21:03   - And I said, there was a break in the conversation

01:21:07   And I said, and speaking of prison liquor,

01:21:10   let me tell you about mail route and just went from there.

01:21:13   And then at the end of the show, I really did. I just thought, I, boy,

01:21:16   I don't know about that, that I find that funny, but you know, they just,

01:21:21   you know, they're paying a lot of dough to sponsor the show. I don't know.

01:21:24   And then I got, I, but I didn't, I left it in, I didn't give any,

01:21:27   you never know. You, you really never know. Like what if,

01:21:31   not saying this is the case, but what if like their CMO,

01:21:37   like had both like a record and was a recovering alcoholic.

01:21:42   - Right.

01:21:44   - And maybe it was, what if they were also

01:21:45   a little bit of a paranoia like that might really

01:21:48   not come across well.

01:21:49   - But I got, I did, I got an email from them

01:21:52   and that they loved it and that they wanted me

01:21:53   to think of other funny things like that

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01:21:57   - Oh man.

01:21:57   - Shoo, shoo.

01:21:59   - That's a keeper John.

01:22:00   - You keep a sponsor who can take a prison liquor joke.

01:22:05   Pig like that, you don't need all at once.

01:22:07   That's a good one.

01:22:08   (laughing)

01:22:11   - What else do you wanna talk about?

01:22:13   - Oh gosh, I don't know.

01:22:14   We could talk more about iPads.

01:22:15   I don't know if we have time to do this game.

01:22:17   The scheduling couple.

01:22:19   That's a long one.

01:22:21   - You know what?

01:22:21   This is the thing.

01:22:22   I linked to it today on Daring Fireball.

01:22:24   This is on Friday the 15th as we record.

01:22:27   I don't know when the show's gonna air.

01:22:28   But it's a 30 by 30.

01:22:30   That's a little sub brand of ESPN.

01:22:32   short, a 12 minute short film about a husband and wife duo, the Stevensons, who for 20,

01:22:39   they don't do it anymore. They've apparently lost the gig, but for 25 years, they're the

01:22:45   ones who made the entire Major League Baseball schedule, which is, it's, there's 30 teams,

01:22:52   each team plays 162 games, but so I think it's like 2400 total games a year. And it's one of

01:23:02   of those things were in the back of my mind I've always known it must be a

01:23:04   complicated problem because there's things like maybe and and especially in

01:23:14   the era when that when they were setting the schedule there were a lot of teams

01:23:17   that shared a stadium with a football team and so once football season starts

01:23:21   in September you know the Phillies can't play on Sunday September 7th because the

01:23:28   Eagles are playing and I don't know can they play on Monday even because maybe

01:23:33   it takes more than a day to turn the field back to a baseball field and you

01:23:38   know the Pope is coming to Los Angeles and it's gonna be having the Pope one

01:23:42   yeah that was the best line in the video though who wins the Dodgers Dodgers and

01:23:48   the Pope both want Dodger Stadium on the same day and the Pope the Pope one what

01:23:55   You always know there's somebody who has to solve this problem and you never know who and then it was this it's this great little

01:24:01   Short film about here's the people who did it give them the given the punchline is that even though they were computer

01:24:08   People from back in the day they do it with paper

01:24:11   Yeah, they scheduled the entire thing with paper and and just because it gives me

01:24:15   Such my heart skips a beat when I think about any one of these factors think about think about the about travel

01:24:23   Think about as you say switching over between it being football and baseball think about having two teams that can't play on the same night

01:24:28   think about holidays

01:24:30   And the stuff they were throwing out like think about like should Cal Ripken be at home for the when he plays his record-breaking

01:24:36   Ironman game right, you know, right?

01:24:39   Holidays that just the travel part alone is bananas enough

01:24:44   but to do all of that and the watch watch how they really just did this with

01:24:50   Some paper and pen and some columns and rows

01:24:53   Was just staggering

01:24:56   And the result and they had they you know, they kept all that which is it, you know

01:25:01   It's a great reason. It makes me feel good about all the pack rat stuff. I've got stuff in my office

01:25:06   It if you didn't know what it was

01:25:09   I don't it would take I think it might take you a very long time to if somebody just plopped their paper in front of

01:25:15   You and they'd be like what what is this?

01:25:18   You would be like I don't know it looks like typical like a compulsive psycho like maybe this is BMS

01:25:24   Maybe it's the star number of stars that I could count or something. It looks really crazy

01:25:28   It's glasses of water. You've drunk in a day, but also the I mean obviously the thing that makes it wonderful

01:25:34   Is this this couple is so charming. There's there there they they obviously really love each other

01:25:39   They've been together forever great photo their kid wearing a Star Trek shirt

01:25:42   But the but did you one thing when they were talking I was reminded of those scenes in

01:25:47   when Harry met Sally when they cut away and show an old couple talking about

01:25:52   their relationship and they finish each other's sentences and stuff but they're

01:25:55   two very different people which I part first thing that grabbed me was like

01:25:58   she's kind of the brains and he's the heart like she's the one who has this

01:26:03   computational ability she's the puzzle solver and he's the architect and the

01:26:07   guy and the baseball fan who goes like well no you yeah I wouldn't let's not do

01:26:12   it that way let's do it this way because of these reasons which is sometimes a

01:26:16   little inscrutable to her. But part of what made them great was it wasn't as simple.

01:26:20   Any bonehead could write a really stupid computer program for doing this, but it's all of those

01:26:25   exceptions that make it difficult. And the exceptions are numerous. I started thinking

01:26:30   about how you would write a program like this, and it's really almost nothing but exceptions.

01:26:34   The basic scheduling part's a no-brainer. Anybody could do that. But it is the stuff

01:26:38   like the amount of travel in the stadium sharing. And then also they would go through all the

01:26:43   letters they get at the beginning of the season or we'll begin the scheduling

01:26:47   from places that are like well we want to be out of town during this event

01:26:52   right right when the whenever like you know when this religious convention

01:26:57   comes to town we want to be gone and stuff like that we don't want to be here

01:27:02   it's fascinating right and they had you know and and somebody would say they I

01:27:07   think the one example was that one team said, Hey, we haven't

01:27:13   had a homestand on July 4, in five years, you know, we want to

01:27:17   sell extra tickets to have a fireworks show, you know, and,

01:27:20   and, and the woman knew instance, she's like, wrong, two

01:27:24   years ago, you had a July 5 homestand, or July 4, homestand.

01:27:27   But they would just say stuff like that, like the clubs would

01:27:31   be, you know, they'll say anything.

01:27:33   Jay Haynes Yeah, that was, I mean, a lot of what grabbed me,

01:27:35   and I guess the whole purpose was their relationship,

01:27:37   but also just thinking about, on the face of it,

01:27:40   that should be in my wheelhouse

01:27:41   because it's about scheduling and paper.

01:27:42   But also it's about dealing with people and relationships.

01:27:47   And the fact that he said something interesting,

01:27:49   the husband said something along the lines of,

01:27:52   you know, nobody could go into a meeting with people

01:27:56   and think and talk at the same time.

01:27:58   So one of us thinks and the other one talks.

01:28:01   - Right. - And in that instance,

01:28:02   yeah, and she, because she is the one

01:28:04   with the head for figures. She's the one who could immediately pull up the data and hold

01:28:08   it in her hand to show that you had it July 4th, two years ago. You know? But he was—I

01:28:15   got the sense that he was the one who had more of the passion for the game, and so he

01:28:20   was able to introduce more thinking that would probably be agreeable to people because he

01:28:25   understood how baseball people think.

01:28:27   Yeah, I think so, more or less.

01:28:29   Yeah.

01:28:30   fascinating story and to me it's one of those things where it's like like who

01:28:36   else has a job like that I mean almost nobody in the world right I mean like

01:28:41   the NBA basketball schedule is a little similar they play 82 games a year you

01:28:49   know the NFL schedule football schedule is easy by comparison it's only on

01:28:53   Sundays and there's only 16 regular season games a year I know I'm not

01:28:57   saying now somewhere out there there's the guy who does the NFL season and you

01:29:01   know I'm sure it's a hard time. You can't even compare and then including things

01:29:05   like interleague play like think about oh by the way interleague play like

01:29:09   that's incredible to think about like the complexity at least in my mind that

01:29:12   I'm much closer to him than her in terms of the way I think about the world but

01:29:17   like that the number of I don't I guess I started thinking about you're the

01:29:21   programmer here not me but like when I've done a little bit of programming

01:29:24   the past. I mean, I would just think about how you would approach a problem like that

01:29:28   computationally. And in some ways, paper does seem better suited to it because it's all

01:29:33   about asking this right question. Because you could spend forever writing the program

01:29:37   for this. And if it doesn't take into account what's really important about all of this

01:29:41   stuff, then it's just going to become a whole slew of exceptions, it seems like.

01:29:46   Yeah, totally. I think that it's, you know, it's just interesting because it's to me,

01:29:53   you've always, I've always thought, "Boy, I bet that's a tough job, making that baseball

01:29:57   schedule." But you know there's going to be one. There's going to be a baseball schedule

01:30:02   every year. So, it's just easy enough to think, "Well, somehow it gets taken care of."

01:30:06   Yeah, well, I didn't get the sense of who they, I guess they work for Major League Baseball.

01:30:11   Right. And it was--

01:30:12   But they get input from these other people. So, part of it also is as a project management

01:30:16   I like thinking about like well who did they have to say yes and no to who did they have to like ultimately please and

01:30:21   What kind of stuff could they because certainly anybody could come up with the craziest things in the world like oh, you know

01:30:26   We have to be back the second night of this three night stand, you know

01:30:30   We're having you know baseball back giveaway night. And so we have to make sure it's not during rainy season

01:30:34   I mean, I'm sure if everybody had their druthers, they'd be asking all kinds of crazy stuff. Yeah, I

01:30:38   Wonder what other kind of jobs are out there that are like that that are like a one-off

01:30:44   Nobody else does anything like it sort of gig. I'm fascinated by jobs like that

01:30:49   The other thing we're not mentioning that's worth mentioning is that yes, they did this starting what 82 or something like this

01:30:53   They started doing this

01:30:55   and again with paper

01:30:57   But also it was it really was just the two of them working from their home

01:31:01   Yeah, are you getting this like you're we're talking about the scheduling of all of Major League how many games?

01:31:09   400 and some every how they say how many million people see a baseball game or books

01:31:13   You know some ridiculous number of million ridiculous right think about the revenue that's involved in that right huge amounts of money

01:31:20   It's uh, it's it there are it's I'm always interested to run into people

01:31:26   Who do something I don't say like that but but to meet people who?

01:31:34   Have established themselves in some kind of an industry where maybe and probably against all fate like they've ended up being the go-to person

01:31:41   For that kind of thing. I'm fascinated by jobs like that

01:31:43   Was another great part of the thing where the he said the the guy said that the one year

01:31:50   You know baseball starts the beginning of

01:31:54   April and I guess there was like a big East East Coast blizzard and you know, I don't know Baltimore Philly, New York

01:32:02   Boston all got hit by snow can't play baseball in the snow and all these teams were at home to open the season

01:32:08   New York and Philly and Baltimore and and he said like and everybody was like who's the idiot who put all these teams at home

01:32:15   On that, you know when we could you could get snow

01:32:17   And then that same year it was like all these great pennant races were the teams that were in contention

01:32:24   We're all just happened to be playing each other in the last games of the season and it was like who's the genius who put

01:32:30   this together. This is brilliant." When they would have had no idea about either

01:32:36   of those factors. Yeah. Yeah, it makes me feel kind of guilty, though, about how hard

01:32:43   it is for me to get anything scheduled. I mean, with the tools that I've got. I think

01:32:48   it's like watching a documentary about, you know, "We gotta put on 1978, fall NBC

01:32:51   schedule together!" And they have the cards up on the wall and stuff like that. This is

01:32:57   the ultimate tile game.

01:32:58   Amy has said, I think Jonas goes to the dentist like every six months and she said that it

01:33:05   feels as though our entire life revolves around taking Jonas to the dentist.

01:33:10   And it's just once every six months and it's just, it's like 30 minutes, you know, get

01:33:16   your tooth cleaned and you know, check for cavities.

01:33:19   But somehow doing that twice a year feels like an incredible, you know, when, you know,

01:33:26   I don't know, school's not out till three o'clock, I don't know.

01:33:29   I feel that way about all kinds of stuff now, especially as I get older and time goes a

01:33:32   lot faster.

01:33:33   Where I feel like I've always just paid the cable bill, or I've always just paid the electric,

01:33:41   the PG&E bill.

01:33:42   Are you kidding me?

01:33:44   How could I have gotten another one of these so fast?

01:33:46   But I think that's part of it with the dentist thing, is it not only feels like I can't believe

01:33:50   it's...

01:33:51   It is a combination of, I can't believe it's already time again because B, it really feels

01:33:56   like I just did this and this get that closer and closer together and then but

01:34:00   of course then you get stuff like oh my god like we just we just it's just like

01:34:03   it's like PBS or magazines we're like god forbid you go and give some money to

01:34:08   PBS because you're gonna be re upping constantly for the rest of your life you

01:34:13   know like we just joined you know the Exploratorium which is a cool museum

01:34:16   here in town and like we're already getting like notices for like don't want

01:34:20   it to expire you get those my wife's on the liberal sucker list she's getting

01:34:25   busted pallets and building bridges in Vietnam.

01:34:28   She gets it all, all the time.

01:34:31   What do we have?

01:34:32   We have the Police Touch Museum here in Philadelphia.

01:34:36   I think we've contributed.

01:34:37   That is so unfortunate.

01:34:41   Yeah, people chuckle.

01:34:43   Yeah, yeah.

01:34:46   It's a good sentiment.

01:34:47   I'm not quite sure what a better name would be.

01:34:49   I mean, the idea is that it is not-- take your kids,

01:34:52   and they're going to be able to touch stuff.

01:34:54   they're not going to be, you know, look at cool things and don't touch.

01:34:57   I think hands-on is more in parlance, but...

01:35:00   Hands-on museum?

01:35:01   Please, Please Touch has a nice scout leader feeling.

01:35:05   I think it's, I think, I think that it's probably one of those things. I don't know when the

01:35:09   Please Touch Museum was founded, but I'm guessing it's quite a while ago at a time when...

01:35:15   Oh, so it goes way back. Okay, that makes sense.

01:35:17   I think maybe we weren't as cognizant of that connotation of little children and the word

01:35:26   touch.

01:35:30   They probably would have come up with a new name if they just started.

01:35:32   You think more of Santa's welcoming lap.

01:35:36   What do you want, little boy?

01:35:39   My whole idea of Philadelphia is just upside down.

01:35:41   I always knew you guys were a crooked city.

01:35:43   Oh, definitely.

01:35:44   Is it really?

01:35:45   Is it really that bad?

01:35:46   Ah, is it any worse than any other big city?

01:35:49   I don't know.

01:35:50   I honestly don't know.

01:35:51   I guess the other way to look at it…

01:35:52   I think all big cities are…

01:35:53   Is there any big city that's not like that?

01:35:55   I mean, you would have said Canada.

01:35:57   You would have said Canada, right?

01:35:58   But now, I'm just saying.

01:36:00   Yeah.

01:36:01   Here's a story.

01:36:02   It just came out on the news.

01:36:03   It was just this week here, local news.

01:36:06   And I'm sure this sort of thing happens all the time.

01:36:08   It just caught my eye.

01:36:09   It was a city council meeting, right in the heart of center city Philadelphia, right in

01:36:16   right in the middle. Couldn't be better real estate. There's a...

01:36:19   there was a fire. There's a long story on this place right next to city hall. Back in... this is

01:36:26   like 1990 or 91. It was called One Meridian Plaza. Huge skyscraper. Big one. Terrible fire.

01:36:34   Gutted the building. I mean, I got a, you know, I'm sure it's a great Wikipedia entry. It was a fire

01:36:41   that ruined a massive skyscraper. And then it's like the, you know, well you think, well

01:36:47   you're, you know, your insurance will take care of that. Well guess what? Insurance companies

01:36:52   don't like to replace entire massive skyscrapers. And so like for all of my college years,

01:36:59   when I was at Drexel here in Philly, that building, that burnt out husk of a skyscraper, remained

01:37:07   burnt out husk of a skyscraper just sitting there on prime real estate because you know legal hassles over

01:37:13   Whether the insurance really covered it. You can't redo it. You can't tear it down

01:37:17   It's just all right and it took forever and it's you know

01:37:21   And it's one of those things where I feel like maybe in you know in New York stuff just happened

01:37:24   Somebody would have just knocked the damn thing down and rebuild it, but it just out there. Anyway, it's

01:37:28   Eventually got taken care of part of that

01:37:32   Plot is now

01:37:36   big high-rise

01:37:38   Condominiums part of the Ritz-Carlton hotel. It's the the I don't know

01:37:42   That's why if you can want to live at the Ritz-Carlton. Yeah, we have that in San Francisco like residences. Yeah. Yeah

01:37:47   And the other part of it is a parking lot I

01:37:53   Mean not like a parking garage. It's just a parking lot and you know, and it's one of those things like in New York

01:38:00   There are no in Manhattan. There are no parking lots that take up real estate like that. It's you know, I

01:38:06   so there's a proposal to build a like the the Philadelphia W a W Hotel in

01:38:13   Philadelphia and it's you know if there were to be such a thing as a W in

01:38:17   Philadelphia it's exactly where it should be you know you don't have to know

01:38:20   fill it's at 15th and chestnut and if you don't know Philadelphia just imagine

01:38:26   you know where it's swanky W Hotel should go in a city and that's where it

01:38:29   should go and it's you would think well that's a no-brainer let's you know how

01:38:34   could it not be better for the city to have a nice hotel there than a parking

01:38:42   lot so anyway long story short guess who's opposed to the building of this

01:38:47   hotel is it another hotel chain a bunch of other hotels and it ends up I want to

01:38:55   keep the unique history and character of the neighborhood right and it's because

01:39:00   there's some kind of tax abatement thing and you know that this is not the right

01:39:05   time for the city to give a tax break to a new hotel except that every other

01:39:09   hotel whose representatives spoke out about it got the exact same sort of tax

01:39:14   abatement when they built their hotels or turned whatever building their hotel

01:39:19   used to be into a hotel. They all got the same deal. Everybody gets it and it

01:39:23   just seems crazy to me that it was and this is the thing is it was like a

01:39:26   four-hour city council meeting you know and it was contentious and yelling and

01:39:31   stuff like that and I just thought like I can't believe that that took four

01:39:35   hours for you to listen to other hotel people complain about a new hotel yeah I

01:39:41   couldn't I couldn't live like that I could have nothing to do with that sort

01:39:44   of I just couldn't how could you stand to do that I couldn't it would be

01:39:51   difficult I would I would have to jump up and scream I feel like I'm taking

01:39:54   crazy pills. I couldn't be here. I couldn't listen to that. We're all part of the same hypocrisy.

01:40:00   Yeah. I'm glad that I have a job that does not require going in front of city council.

01:40:06   I'm glad I don't really have a job. There's so many things about situations like that. You know,

01:40:11   think about the presentations. John, can you imagine the presentations that you have to look

01:40:15   at when you have a job? Can you even imagine people just call you and they say, "Oh, by the

01:40:22   the way, we're having a meeting. I went ahead and put it on your exchange

01:40:25   calendar for you. So you're gonna come, there's gonna be some presentations. What

01:40:30   are they gonna be about? We'll find out when you get there. Could you imagine if

01:40:33   somebody else could just put stuff on your calendar? Can you imagine if

01:40:37   somebody else could just put stuff on your calendar? Can you imagine

01:40:39   waking up, I mean like 11? You get up at 11, you look at your calendar and there's

01:40:44   stuff on there that you didn't put on there? It would feel haunted to me.

01:40:48   It would be like finding poop in my silverware drawer. I'd be like, who's been

01:40:52   in here. What is happening? What is happening? I don't understand how people do this. Anyway,

01:40:59   it's a good movie.

01:41:00   Really good movie.

01:41:01   Did you have anything you want to tell me about?

01:41:05   I do. I speak in a good presentations.

01:41:07   I got to tell you.

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01:43:12   you're coming there from this show. Great conference. I've been to several of their

01:43:19   conferences over the years and have never been anything less than impressed by everything,

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01:43:37   really can, this is true. An hour ago, you said something about those location, location,

01:43:46   location for real estate. People say you can't judge a book by its cover. That's actually

01:43:50   false. I think you can come pretty close to judging a lot of books by their cover. Good

01:43:57   book usually has a good cover. You know what you can do with conferences? You can judge

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01:44:06   think it's a sign that if you take the time to design a good badge, it's a sign that every

01:44:16   detail is planned out just as well.

01:44:18   It sounds like one of those Malcolm Gladwell things, like a blink kind of thing. It turns

01:44:22   out.

01:44:23   Did you read the new Malcolm Gladwell book?

01:44:24   I did not.

01:44:25   I know you're a big fan.

01:44:26   Oh brother, what a fan.

01:44:28   Let's save that for the next one.

01:44:31   No, I haven't. I haven't. I've been

01:44:35   from a certain remove. I've been reading, I wouldn't say enjoying, but I've been reading

01:44:40   the

01:44:42   accounts of other people who are starting to realize that he's a little...

01:44:46   He's a very gifted writer, you know, John? He's a very very gifted writer. Good storyteller.

01:44:52   He is a good writer. Sure. He is. That's the problem. Good head full of hair too. Oh,

01:45:03   you kidding me? Look at that guy. Canada. Again, Canada. Is he Canadian? I didn't know that. Oh,

01:45:09   yeah. You can't get hair like that down here. You kidding me? He's a gifted guy.

01:45:15   They shouldn't speak at the event apart. He does all kinds of consulting and speaking,

01:45:22   turns out. I think I remember reading somewhere where he is, I don't begrudge anybody,

01:45:31   you go out speaking. Speaking is hard stuff, you get paid, but he gets paid a lot to speak.

01:45:35   He's like up there with like Bill Clinton in terms of... No, he's like, he's a Clinton level

01:45:41   speaker. Yeah, it's a lot to get into, but he's a very good storyteller.

01:45:46   He can be a bit of a frustrating character, but he sure is a

01:45:52   good writer. Yeah, I think that I don't feel strongly either way about him. I

01:45:57   like his work. I don't go out of my way to buy his books. I've

01:46:01   read at least one of them. I forget which one. I do think that there's something to

01:46:06   the charge that he's perhaps falling into doing Malcolm Gladwell.

01:46:14   I'll say that the earlier you stop reading his books, the more you will continue to enjoy

01:46:21   the ones you've read. I think the credulity gets strained more and more with each new title.

01:46:29   Yeah.

01:46:29   Because you run out of things to, well not run out, but I mean you have to have a certain level

01:46:35   of, again, we should, this should be a separate show, but it's, you know, this is a long time

01:46:40   beef for me, so I shouldn't say anything. But I, he's a good writer, very good storyteller.

01:46:44   The 10,000 hours thing got me. That might, that's one that I, I didn't.

01:46:50   What about people who practice for 14,000 hours and still suck?

01:46:53   You know, it's... I don't know. To me, the 10,000 hours one came dangerously close to being a very,

01:47:08   very, very well done parody of a Malcolm Gladwell essay, you know, argument.

01:47:15   Yeah, totally. But you know, my problem is that, seriously, I do think he's a good writer. The

01:47:21   frustrating part is that when he says something, and I don't disagree with what he's saying,

01:47:28   and what he's saying makes a lot of sense, but if you ever asked him to show his math,

01:47:31   I think there would be a lot of problems. And the problem is if you're a science, if

01:47:35   you're ostensibly a science or social sciences writer, I think you have an obligation to

01:47:42   the source material. And I just, I'm not, my friends who are statisticians and scientists

01:47:46   have made it clear that he doesn't always do his math.

01:47:50   Yeah, and the 10,000 hours thing is just like my it just doesn't make sense to me

01:47:55   And it's like he holds up the Beatles as an example because they played a lot of you know played nightly gigs in some

01:48:01   Shithole bar in Germany or something like that, but every band plays nightly gigs and shithole bars all around the world

01:48:09   Yeah

01:48:10   You know what?

01:48:11   I mean like there was something about that and like the example of the Beatles and maybe I'm you know

01:48:15   I'm just telling you Merlin what you want to hear

01:48:18   But I don't know there was something about that where it made it sound like

01:48:20   Like the Beatles had this one weird thing that was different from everybody else

01:48:25   Which is that they played every night in a shitty bar, and it's like no he's got he's got a real

01:48:30   I think he has a reality distortion

01:48:32   Field that gives Steve a run for his money because when you're reading what he's writing you're like yes

01:48:38   Yes, you're pumping your fist, and he is the original turns out guy well

01:48:42   It turns out that ten thousand hours is a magic number well. Okay? Well. How did it turn out that way?

01:48:48   You take something that's conventional wisdom, it's this basic problem of somebody who has a bachelor's degree,

01:48:55   like having something they can bring up at a cocktail party that makes them seem like they've got a little more information than somebody else.

01:49:01   And it's this entire culture of needing to undo the conventional wisdom on things by showing you something surprisingly obvious that nobody else got.

01:49:13   And, you know, the people who do the actual grinding work that leads to important scientific

01:49:19   discoveries and social science discoveries, the grinding work behind that does not lead

01:49:24   to that many turns out things unless you really cherry pick from the information that's

01:49:29   available.

01:49:30   It just doesn't happen.

01:49:32   And the problem is now that's begun to poison the well.

01:49:34   There are a lot of places now where you've got to have turns out results.

01:49:37   You've got to write something, you've got to publish something that's going to show

01:49:40   up on some New York Times blog because that's where the attention is now. I don't know.

01:49:46   I don't know enough to say, but for years it's something that's needled me. I'm sorry

01:49:50   to have to explain my own joke, but with him and later with Jonah Lehrer and folks like

01:49:57   that, there's a guy on Morning Edition right now who has me ready to just shoot my radio.

01:50:06   He's got all kinds of surprising results from the field of social science every week.

01:50:11   And it's just crazy.

01:50:15   You think about what your area of expertise is, what your background is, and what you

01:50:18   know well, what you know is hard and difficult about a discipline.

01:50:22   I feel like there aren't anybody who comes up to say, anybody with the actual background

01:50:27   that I don't have in science and the social sciences, any of these natural sciences, any

01:50:30   of these things, the people who come up and say, "You know what?

01:50:33   This is really kind of oversimplified."

01:50:36   They get accused of having sour grapes because the great and wonderful, everybody's envious

01:50:41   of Malcolm Gladwell and his successes.

01:50:43   And then he starts kind of poo-pooing that stuff by saying that he's writing for a popular

01:50:49   audience and stuff like that.

01:50:51   But to me, if you're not getting the...

01:50:53   I am not a scientist.

01:50:55   I need somebody to get this stuff right for me.

01:50:57   You know what I mean?

01:50:58   And I feel like it's...

01:51:02   Something goes off and I get this radar that goes off that something's not completely right.

01:51:05   And I don't know. You don't get that.

01:51:10   I do get it.

01:51:11   You're a very critical reader, so I'm surprised that you're not... turns out you're not...

01:51:18   I don't know. It's...

01:51:21   I'm just gonna say this. I've made that joke so many times in the last probably three years,

01:51:26   but I'm just gonna say to everybody out there, start listening for the phrase "turns out"

01:51:30   when you hear somebody say something. Because that's something that is a real super lazy

01:51:34   way to act like somebody just saw something that you are going to be surprised because

01:51:38   you didn't see it first.

01:51:39   And then listen for how they show you what it turns out to be different from and have

01:51:43   them show their math.

01:51:44   And I…

01:51:45   Right.

01:51:46   There is something where there's a psychological appeal of a counterintuitive fact.

01:51:52   I am totally susceptible to that.

01:51:53   I always have been.

01:51:54   We all are.

01:51:55   Yeah.

01:51:56   Because everybody loves that.

01:51:57   know like it turns out that that the best way to get it to fall into a

01:52:03   depression is to win the lottery oh well that's delicious because it's the

01:52:07   opposite of what you thought you know whereas you know but I feel and I feel

01:52:13   like that that it's it's there's a certain it's like a very advanced way of

01:52:20   doing here's seven ways to lose seven pounds listicles seven hours yeah it's a

01:52:30   very advanced listicle or not that yeah because it just suckers you but I mean

01:52:37   it's it becomes it becomes a kind of like intellectual M&Ms though where

01:52:41   people really do get I think a little bit addicted to it because it is really

01:52:44   enjoyable to read about I think about all the stuff that got me really charged

01:52:48   up behind the scenes stuff over the years, reading the book of lists and things like

01:52:53   that, those sorts of books, always fascinated me. Learning things like rules of thumb and

01:52:57   things that, oh, you'd be surprised that this system that most people look at as being incredibly

01:53:02   complex and difficult and full of footnotes and asterisks can actually be 80% reduced

01:53:08   to this one rule of thumb. When you discover something like that, it is really illuminating

01:53:12   and you go, "Oh my gosh, maybe the world is not as complicated as it seems." Or maybe,

01:53:17   out it's complicated in ways we didn't expect. How the Beatles created the White

01:53:21   album using this one secret old trick. Right? And it's like in a little, you know,

01:53:28   box underneath the article that you just read on some website that runs to

01:53:31   "Tabool Ads." I wish you would have me back to talk about this when I'm better

01:53:38   prepared and I've eaten. I don't want to. I don't mean to sound short, I need to, I just need to

01:53:43   eat or I'm gonna get a headache. Oh no, I got you. And it's really good to talk to you.

01:53:45   Yeah, I finished these podcasts ready to pass out. Oh, I know I feel like it's hard work it is

01:53:52   Okay, like you soon best of your family. All right, you know, Mike my mom's dad my grandfather

01:53:57   You know what? He was what he was a coal miner

01:54:00   He died of black lung

01:54:04   I'm two generations apart from a man who whose parents spoke no English Ukrainian immigrants

01:54:11   He spent his entire working career in coal mines and then died at 72 of black lung

01:54:18   And I just told you and I actually wasn't being ironic. I just told you that what we just did was hard work. I take naps. I

01:54:24   Take naps. Yeah, I need a nap from my podcasting. Oh, okay. I'll talk to you soon, buddy. All right