112: Activation Energy


00:00:00   I know you're always happy to know that I have a new recording set up this time too.

00:00:03   Always, always, always switching it up for Cortex.

00:00:07   Just don't tell me.

00:00:08   [Laughter]

00:00:09   We record maybe 12, 14 times a year.

00:00:13   [Laughter]

00:00:14   How many different arrangements do you need?

00:00:17   I don't know, look I--

00:00:18   Are you going for like 12 different arrangements a year?

00:00:21   [Laughter]

00:00:22   No, Myke, that'd be ridiculous.

00:00:24   I just change things when I think it might be an improvement.

00:00:27   And so now what I have is,

00:00:31   remember I was using the splitter before

00:00:33   and you were like, "Oh, I didn't even know

00:00:34   that was possible."

00:00:35   That kind of got into my head of like,

00:00:37   "Oh, maybe the splitter is a bad idea, I don't know."

00:00:39   So since I have two of those things

00:00:43   you plug microphones into,

00:00:45   I thought, "Well, let me get one of my old microphones."

00:00:47   And so now I have two microphones on the desk.

00:00:50   - You doing a press conference?

00:00:52   - No, I'm not doing a press conference.

00:00:55   I've got two microphones on the desk.

00:00:58   One is going to the Rode L1,

00:01:01   which is going into the computer,

00:01:02   which is what you're hearing me on.

00:01:04   But the second one is going into my Zoom F6,

00:01:08   which is just on the desk

00:01:10   and isn't connected to anything else.

00:01:12   And so we have a completely physically separated system

00:01:17   of microphone and recorder.

00:01:18   - This is the most ludicrous of your arrangements,

00:01:23   but my favorite.

00:01:24   Oh, okay, see? So you don't mind when I keep changing this stuff, right?

00:01:27   You change things to make it better over time.

00:01:29   So you like this one? This one you're finally okay with?

00:01:32   Well, because you've not introduced anything that could potentially harm the main recording.

00:01:38   Like, I really didn't like the XLR splitter because it will make an effect.

00:01:43   Because as we said last time, you were splitting the analog signal.

00:01:47   I don't like when you change, you know, when you brought in your incredibly complicated field recording

00:01:53   sound assistant set up which you're using right now, the Zoom F6.

00:01:57   Yeah, I'm using it right now though. Love it. Great piece of equipment that Zoom F6.

00:02:02   I just continue to be confident that you don't know how to use it.

00:02:06   Like, that's outrageous.

00:02:09   Oh, slander.

00:02:11   That's completely outrageous. It's completely outrageous that I wouldn't

00:02:16   know all the numerous menu button options and things to flip and switch.

00:02:22   And I certainly wasn't not recording in 32-bit last time when I thought I was, like that wasn't happening.

00:02:28   So yeah, I was like, there's no problem with this thing and I love it.

00:02:31   But I like that these are now- that your two systems are completely isolated from each other

00:02:36   and I assume better than when you used to just put a microphone somewhere in the room,

00:02:41   which was the thing that you used to do, right?

00:02:42   It's like, oh, this is number one over there.

00:02:45   So do you have two arms, like microphone arms?

00:02:48   Well now you're zeroing in on the thing that you like less,

00:02:50   But no, I don't have two microphone boom arms. That would be ridiculous.

00:02:54   One of the microphones is just laying on the desk.

00:02:56   No, that would be absurd, Myke. Two microphone boom arms.

00:03:04   So I have one microphone boom arm for the main microphone.

00:03:07   The second microphone is using my old handy dandy

00:03:12   Stephen Hackett recommended microphone stand that's on the desk.

00:03:15   The travel stand.

00:03:17   It's a microphone stand that happens to be useful for traveling, but it's also perfectly fine for just having on the desk.

00:03:24   I agree with this, because so many things have gone wrong where I want that audio, that I'll take it.

00:03:30   [Laughter]

00:03:33   So that one's on the desk.

00:03:34   I've used the standing desk to elevate it so that it's roughly on level with the main microphone.

00:03:40   It is a little further back, but I think it would be fine, you know.

00:03:43   It will be totally fine.

00:03:44   I know you like that right on top of the microphone sound.

00:03:47   That's your favorite.

00:03:47   - Radio sound.

00:03:49   - Yeah, so it's like, I don't know,

00:03:52   eight inches further behind where the main microphone is,

00:03:55   but I think that's good enough for a backup recording.

00:03:57   So anyway, see, I thought you'd like this.

00:04:00   - It is absurd to me how much time we spend talking

00:04:03   about the hardware.

00:04:05   It's like, how many minutes, how many hours have we spent

00:04:09   in the last two years just talking about

00:04:12   how you're recording.

00:04:14   - But you gotta keep the levels levels, Myke.

00:04:16   Like that's, you know, if the levels aren't leveled,

00:04:18   you got a real problem.

00:04:20   Levels levels.

00:04:21   - Yeah, while we were talking about just behind the curtain

00:04:25   setting up for the show.

00:04:26   - No, we don't need to talk about all the behind the scenes

00:04:29   stuff. - No, we can talk about this.

00:04:30   - Not everything needs to be brought up, no, no.

00:04:33   - Two things, I think we're recording a day late

00:04:35   and maybe earliest in the day

00:04:37   that we've ever recorded the show, I think.

00:04:40   - Yeah, no, we've never started a recording at 10 a.m.

00:04:45   - Yeah, this is new.

00:04:47   - This is super early for you too,

00:04:48   'cause your whole schedule has shifted to America time.

00:04:50   This is like a 5 a.m. podcast recording for you.

00:04:53   - I would still be like booting up at this time.

00:04:57   I had to wake up specifically early today

00:05:01   to make sure that I was caffeinated before we sat down.

00:05:04   This is purely because you didn't look at your calendar

00:05:06   for the schedule that you set.

00:05:08   That's why we're in this mess.

00:05:10   Yes, I 100% accept responsibility for this.

00:05:14   This is totally my fault.

00:05:16   We're also recording this early

00:05:18   because I hadn't looked at my calendar

00:05:20   basically for the month of June,

00:05:23   or sorry, basically for the month of January.

00:05:25   - No, Grey, I'm keeping that in.

00:05:26   - The first week of February.

00:05:28   - I'm keeping that flub in

00:05:29   'cause you just perfectly explained

00:05:32   the situation that we're in.

00:05:34   You think it's June and it's February.

00:05:38   It's not even January.

00:05:40   (both laughing)

00:05:42   - Look, I have no sense of time anymore.

00:05:44   - I think that's evident.

00:05:46   - Yeah, I live in a dimension without time, right?

00:05:49   And as far as I know,

00:05:51   I have lived in this dimension for eternity

00:05:53   and will continue to live in this dimension for eternity.

00:05:57   So it is really not an exaggeration to say like,

00:06:01   oh, I sort of forgot to look at my calendar

00:06:03   for like six weeks and then missed our recording.

00:06:08   So yes, I completely accept responsibility

00:06:10   for this situation.

00:06:11   And we're recording this early

00:06:13   because the only other time that we thought might work

00:06:16   would be Valentine's Day,

00:06:18   which causes other problems as a recording day.

00:06:22   - This is actually quite funny to me.

00:06:23   So first off, Grace said, "What about next week?"

00:06:25   And I said that I would prefer not to do it next week.

00:06:29   And then the next day that you gave me was Valentine's Day.

00:06:32   And I was like, I actually could make that work

00:06:36   because we are doing something for Valentine's Day,

00:06:38   but we're doing it the day before,

00:06:40   'cause we have ordered this meal kit thing.

00:06:43   So it's coming on Saturday,

00:06:44   so we're gonna do our kind of Valentine's thing

00:06:46   on Saturday, right?

00:06:48   And I was like, I mean, sure, you recommended it.

00:06:51   I was like, I can actually make it work.

00:06:53   And then you're like, let me go check,

00:06:55   and you were gone for a really long time,

00:06:56   like a really long time.

00:06:58   And during this, I was talking to Adina,

00:07:02   and I was like, oh, Grey's gonna,

00:07:04   "We're not doing it today, you might do Valentine's Day."

00:07:06   And she went, "Really?"

00:07:08   (laughing)

00:07:10   And I was like, "Yeah, that doesn't seem right.

00:07:13   "I've been talking to Mrs. Grey,

00:07:15   "and I'd be very surprised if Valentine's Day is a thing."

00:07:19   And then you came back with like three days, other days,

00:07:23   and I was like, "Ah, I knew it."

00:07:24   'Cause your initial thing was let's do next week,

00:07:26   and then we ended up doing it the next day,

00:07:28   which means Valentine's Day was a no-go.

00:07:31   (laughing)

00:07:33   Yes, I think your wife knew some things about my Valentine's Day that I was not aware of.

00:07:38   Correct. Yeah, I think that's the case.

00:07:41   [Laughter]

00:07:45   So here we are.

00:07:46   Anyway, here we are.

00:07:49   The only way that this ever came to light is,

00:07:51   I had like a sense that you didn't know we were recording.

00:07:54   Sometimes I can feel it, right?

00:07:55   Like it's just like in the air.

00:07:57   And then like, I haven't heard from him.

00:08:00   and he hasn't made any amendments to the show notes yet.

00:08:03   So I don't think Grey knows we're recording today.

00:08:06   So I sent you a text message to alert you,

00:08:10   but I understand you had some issues

00:08:12   with even that message.

00:08:13   - I don't, okay, okay.

00:08:16   You're gonna get me started on like a whole thing with this.

00:08:19   Okay, so, listeners, you may be aware

00:08:23   that I try to keep my phone in a very locked down situation.

00:08:29   But yeah, so yesterday when Vike was trying to like, let me know that we had a, we had a podcast coming up.

00:08:35   What happens for me is that I have downtime set from 8 PM until 3 PM every day.

00:08:42   That's the way it works of like, okay, I want the outside world not to be able to bother me outside those times.

00:08:48   And so 3 PM rolls around and you'll notice Vike, like when I was messaging you, it was, it was very shortly after three.

00:08:56   - Yeah. - The timer goes off.

00:08:58   And so why is it that I know that you sent me a message

00:09:01   so quickly?

00:09:01   It's because, oh, the little alert badge, right,

00:09:04   shows up now on the dock of my phone.

00:09:06   It says like, "Oh, you have one message."

00:09:09   So I open it up and I can see in the little sidebar there,

00:09:12   it says, "You have one message from Myke."

00:09:15   And so I'm like, "Oh, I wonder what Myke has to say today.

00:09:18   I wonder what's up."

00:09:19   Was literally my thought.

00:09:20   Like I didn't even know it was Thursday,

00:09:22   like I didn't cross my mind for a second

00:09:24   that like there was a recording that was coming.

00:09:27   So I go to tap on your message

00:09:29   and I don't get to see your message.

00:09:33   Instead, I see this screen that tells me,

00:09:37   "Communication limit.

00:09:39   Myke Hurley is not in your contacts.

00:09:41   Your screen time settings only allow you

00:09:44   to communicate with contacts."

00:09:46   Then there's a button at the bottom that says,

00:09:48   "Add Myke Hurley to contacts."

00:09:49   - You sent me a screenshot of this.

00:09:51   And I think my response to you was,

00:09:53   What a way to find out I'm not in your contacts.

00:09:55   Now I'm going to just naturally assume I am in your contacts because you have a

00:10:00   contact image for me at the top of the message, which is my little, uh,

00:10:04   mic.live character, which I thought was funny because I can imagine like, cause

00:10:09   your iMessage is your CGP Grey logo.

00:10:13   And so I like to believe that just all of your friends, you just, you know them

00:10:17   by their logos, not their faces.

00:10:18   It's like a purely logo based contact system.

00:10:21   That actually is true for everyone I know who has a logo who's in my iMessage.

00:10:26   I just used their logo. I didn't really think about that, but it's like,

00:10:29   "Yeah, why wouldn't you put people's logos as their image?"

00:10:32   I understand it. I have a picture of you instead.

00:10:35   But there's just something funny to me there, which I'm assuming you're getting to, is

00:10:38   clearly I'm in your contacts?

00:10:40   Yeah. Also, I just want to be clear before we begin here.

00:10:43   I'm not remotely trying to blame screen time for,

00:10:46   "Oh, I forgot that there was a podcast episode."

00:10:48   That was totally my fault.

00:10:49   - This is point two now.

00:10:51   - This is point two in why is Grey's life so hard?

00:10:55   And this like,

00:10:57   I was thinking like back years ago

00:11:03   to whenever it was that Apple introduced

00:11:05   their whole screen time downtime system.

00:11:08   And they're like, "Oh, we've got something great for you."

00:11:11   And I'm very certain that whenever we recorded

00:11:14   whatever that cortex was, I was quite cautious about this.

00:11:18   even though everyone who listens to the show is like,

00:11:21   "Oh, Gray must be so happy.

00:11:22   Like Apple's finally giving him what he wants."

00:11:25   And my thought has always been like,

00:11:26   this stuff is hard to do.

00:11:29   There's lots of weird edge cases.

00:11:32   You can run into all sorts of unexpected problems

00:11:34   when you try to block parts of the system.

00:11:37   I doubt that anybody's thinking about this

00:11:39   as in like in the way that I would want them to think about.

00:11:42   All of that is true.

00:11:44   But what is also true is that it kills me

00:11:48   how much of a buggy mess the whole screen time downtime system in Apple is.

00:11:56   And this is one that started popping up in the last year, which I find infuriating.

00:12:02   And it's like, okay, Apple, when the downtime timer ends, and so now I should be able to use

00:12:09   everything on my phone, just randomly decides some days that I'm literally not allowed to talk

00:12:16   to anyone, right?

00:12:17   And it puts up this message, which is like,

00:12:20   oh, this person's not in your contacts.

00:12:22   It doesn't matter if it's you,

00:12:24   it doesn't matter if it's my wife, right?

00:12:27   It's like, no, this person's not in your contacts.

00:12:29   You can't talk to them.

00:12:30   Your parents never heard of them.

00:12:32   It's incredible.

00:12:34   And it's just a bug.

00:12:35   Like it's totally a bug.

00:12:37   And what I love is you can see in this screenshot,

00:12:39   it's a bug because I have your custom contact photo

00:12:43   set at the top, right?

00:12:44   And so if I press that button on the bottom, which says, add mic to your

00:12:49   contacts, nothing happens because I'm already there already in my contacts.

00:12:53   And so I can press that button a hundred times, nothing at all happens.

00:12:59   And so the only way I could talk to you on my phone to get this message was to

00:13:06   completely disable the entire, not just downtime system, but screen time

00:13:14   system, which means every setting that I've ever done has to be completely reset in order

00:13:22   to just see what did Myke send me today, I wonder what he has to talk to me about, I

00:13:28   have no idea. I cannot begin to tell you what an enormous hassle that means to have to turn

00:13:34   off and back on again screen time if you also want to block some apps. It is an incredible

00:13:43   pain in the ass. So I'm constantly, constantly frustrated with this system and I'm doubly

00:13:50   frustrated because of all of the bugs in it. I feel like, does anyone at Apple use this?

00:13:58   I can't understand what's occurring. My best guess is that it's, you know, since it's mainly

00:14:05   designed for parents, it's like some parents use it and I guess they just don't care like

00:14:13   if their kids' phone becomes totally unusable sometimes because of weird bugs. One of the

00:14:18   other ones that I sent to you was you and I, we needed to do a little call about Cortex

00:14:25   brand, we had some haha business conversations to have.

00:14:28   I said it's one of my favourite memes, that one doesn't get used enough.

00:14:31   great. Haha business. That'll never die." So we had to do haha business. I was out in

00:14:36   the park and I was like, "Oh, let me use Siri. Let me give Myke a call." That's what

00:14:42   I'm saying. "Siri, call my friend Myke." And Siri goes, "Sorry, Gray. I can't make

00:14:49   calls to Myke Hurley during downtime." Oh, that's interesting because one, downtime

00:14:53   isn't on right now. That's an intriguing piece of information to tell me.

00:14:59   Thanks for letting me know that. It's not connected to now.

00:15:04   On top of this, you know, someone who's listening who might have set up one of these systems

00:15:08   is thinking, "Oh, great! Don't you know there's a setting that you can flip which says allow

00:15:13   all contacts during downtime?" or like, "You can add in approved people to be able to discuss

00:15:17   things at certain times?" Yeah, I know those buttons are there. I don't think they're connected

00:15:21   to anything. I literally think they are connected to nothing. They just don't work. They don't

00:15:27   do anything at all. They seem to change absolutely nothing about the way that the phone actually

00:15:31   works. There's one more of these, just to give you the my final like trifecta of things

00:15:38   that really infuriate me. So I'm gonna I'm gonna send another one to you. So, you know,

00:15:42   Myke, I like to track my time. And last year, I was trying to think, okay, I always want

00:15:49   like a consistent way to be able to track my time. And I thought, oh, you know what,

00:15:54   Let me do this with shortcuts.

00:15:56   I'm going to set up shortcuts for all of my timers.

00:15:59   So I can tell Siri, you know, hey, track reading or track writing or track whatever.

00:16:04   And so I can just say it and it's great little timer runs nice and consistent, you know,

00:16:09   turn it into something that you never have to think about.

00:16:12   Cool.

00:16:13   It's great.

00:16:14   I spent a lot of time getting a ton of timers set up all works super nice, no problems.

00:16:20   And then, I don't know, a couple months ago, for no reason, Siri starts telling me this.

00:16:26   What do you see there, Myke?

00:16:28   Sorry, I can't do that because screen time is on.

00:16:31   This just started happening for no reason, that Siri refuses now to take any voice commands

00:16:38   that are connected to a shortcut.

00:16:40   But when screen time is on, what an interesting sentence that is.

00:16:45   Not downtime, not the thing that doesn't allow you to use parts of your phone.

00:16:50   I just realized what that meant.

00:16:52   I can't do it when screen time is on.

00:16:55   But here's the thing, that is a bug.

00:16:57   That little warning there is incorrect

00:17:01   because Siri will work when screen time is on,

00:17:04   just not when downtime is on.

00:17:07   So this again is another piece of evidence of like,

00:17:09   no one's looking at this.

00:17:11   No one's reading this, no one's proofreading

00:17:14   even the messages that are coming up which are wrong.

00:17:16   And also, as soon as the first time I saw that

00:17:19   I saw that I was like, "Okay, cool. No problem."

00:17:22   I'm sure they must have added a setting somewhere where I can go to say,

00:17:27   "Allow shortcuts access to via Siri during downtime."

00:17:32   No, there's no option for that. There's nothing anywhere.

00:17:35   I have been increasingly going crazy over the last year

00:17:40   with all of the downtime and screen time stuff

00:17:43   because I think they just keep adding more and more stuff

00:17:47   and it is getting buggier and buggier and it was never solid to begin with.

00:17:52   And again, to anyone listening at Apple, I always feel like,

00:17:57   "Please, I'm just asking for like the world's most basic thing.

00:18:02   I don't want to see some kinds of alerts in the morning,

00:18:07   but I do want to see other kinds."

00:18:10   I do not feel like I'm asking for something crazy, but like, I don't know.

00:18:14   the bugs are getting so bad that I might have to just completely revert this entire system and not

00:18:22   use it anymore because often enough when the thing that happened yesterday which is "I can't talk to

00:18:28   you until I turn off screen time" happens that means when I re-enable screen time I have to

00:18:37   manually tap one by one every f*cking app on my phone and watch to be approved to use.

00:18:47   Except the three that I don't. There's no like approve all and do it in reverse.

00:18:54   And let me tell you, there's all sorts of things that you never even think of as apps that you have

00:18:59   to approve both on the watch and on the phone. You don't even think of the camera as an app,

00:19:05   But it's an app. There's tons of stuff like that.

00:19:08   The goal for you, right, just to refresh people here for why you want to use the downtime system,

00:19:14   which it's connected to screen time. They're all like, it's all one big thing. And downtime is where

00:19:19   it basically means that during times that you set, there are certain types of apps that you

00:19:25   can't use. And also you can control who's getting in your way and like notifications being hidden

00:19:31   and stuff like that, which is like, anyone that listens to the show knows, that's why

00:19:36   it sounds so perfect for you, right? Because this is exactly what you want, but it just

00:19:40   flat out doesn't work right.

00:19:42   Yeah, I mean like, in theory, the story that Apple sells is exactly the solution to my

00:19:48   problem. Hey, your phone can be basically silent in the morning except for like the

00:19:54   timer alerts that you want or the OmniFocus alerts that you want, and you can also approve

00:19:59   your parents and your wife to get in touch with you if they need to in the morning, but

00:20:03   nobody else can bother you. That's what they tell you is supposed to be accomplishable

00:20:07   with this system, but it's totally not. It is a lie, and I just wonder how many people

00:20:13   on the face of the earth have even tried to make it work the way that it's supposed to.

00:20:17   It's just... it is by far one of the worst working systems in the Apple ecosystem, and

00:20:26   I've had to learn like not to do this on any device except for my phone, because if you

00:20:35   introduce the existence of other devices, it becomes even worse.

00:20:40   So I think one of my favorite ones is I discovered like, oh, if I want downtime on my phone,

00:20:46   but I also turn on like, oh, yeah, synchronize with other devices, it will block on my computer,

00:20:53   website on the whole of the internet and you cannot whitelist sites forever, you can only

00:21:02   whitelist a site for that day.

00:21:06   And it also blocks subdomains differently, so you can be on one website and have to approve

00:21:12   its four subdomains every day if you wanted to say like, "Be doing some researching on

00:21:18   the internet while also not getting iMessages."

00:21:20   Okay, can't share on any device either.

00:21:24   Like it's incredibly frustrating.

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00:22:45   there. That's a no brainer. LinkedIn Jobs also makes it super easy to promote your openings

00:22:49   to the right people. That's what I would want, to meet people where they are to get

00:22:53   the right hire. When your business is ready to make that next hire, find the right person

00:22:59   with LinkedIn Jobs.

00:23:00   And now you can post a job for free. Just go to LinkedIn.com/Cortex. Once again, that's

00:23:06   linkedin.com/cortex to post a job for free. Terms and conditions apply. Our thanks to

00:23:11   linkedin jobs for their support of this show and relay FM. I think the problem here is this whole

00:23:19   system serves two purposes. One purpose is parental controls and that's probably working

00:23:26   fine enough because the bugs, I mean that's what the kids are taking advantage of so they're not

00:23:32   complaining, right? Kids aren't going to their parents and being like,

00:23:36   "Oh, this isn't working." That's exactly what they want to happen is that it's not

00:23:39   working. Probably most of the time the parents don't know. But also a lot of the

00:23:44   downtime stuff, that's probably not used. I would expect too much. I don't know,

00:23:47   maybe it's just like certain blocking of apps. But this whole system was

00:23:51   introduced as a like political statement type thing. There was like one year where

00:23:56   both Android and iOS were like, "Hey, we're helping people with their devices now, not

00:24:02   to use them and they both did it the same year, it was like a couple of weeks apart

00:24:06   because leading up to that there have been a lot of conversations and a lot of reports

00:24:10   written about like, "Oh man, I wish I could remember the phrase that was being used."

00:24:14   Like, "digital wellbeing" I think was the phrase and that was actually what Google called

00:24:18   their system and it was this idea of like addiction to devices and all this kind of

00:24:24   needing like limits and all that kind of stuff like as adults as well which I still agree

00:24:29   with as like a principle. But Apple implemented this system I think to say that they've done it

00:24:35   and then hasn't really seemed to do much with it since. They've brought it to other devices,

00:24:43   to varying levels of competency, but A) it's not really evolved in any of the ways that it could.

00:24:50   Oh yeah there's a lot of potential.

00:24:51   And B) they seem to not be addressing the fundamental problems of it either.

00:24:57   I think you're right, I didn't think about this as a sort of political PR move that has

00:25:03   then been mostly abandoned, but that does align with my experience.

00:25:08   Like, you know, suddenly Siri shortcuts not being accessible through voice, that totally

00:25:13   feels like, oh, someone's kid somewhere figured out a workaround, you know, to get

00:25:18   on the internet using Siri voice and shortcuts, and so they just closed that loophole.

00:25:23   But I did it poorly because it's got nothing to do with screen time.

00:25:26   Yeah, and it's like it doesn't have anything to do with anything, but someone just quickly

00:25:30   hard-coded it in like, "Oh yeah, don't let Siri interact with shortcuts during any

00:25:36   kind of downtime or screen time," right, which is just to like fix this fast and don't

00:25:41   think about how it interacts with anything.

00:25:42   So yeah, your theory I think sounds right.

00:25:46   I just sort of forgot that it was part of the year of like, "Oh hey, look, all us

00:25:52   big tech companies we're trying to help you manage your own life." And it's like

00:25:57   "Oh that didn't work out very well." As a typical rule no company can be

00:26:03   trusted to solve the problem it has caused. Yes, yeah. Because it just doesn't

00:26:08   align with the incentives in the same way. I'm sure there are people inside of

00:26:13   Apple that really believe in this system. Yeah. Like and really want it to exist.

00:26:17   I'm sure there are people that work on it at least some of the time but stopping people using their devices is

00:26:24   in

00:26:26   Complete conflict with Apple as a company, right?

00:26:30   You know so like you it's not going to get a lot of time

00:26:36   Neither is it ever gonna be on by default right all this downtime stuff like during the setup of your phone

00:26:41   It's like okay tell us how many hours a day you're allowed to use this thing

00:26:45   Like, you're never gonna see that because they need you to be engaged and loving your

00:26:50   phone.

00:26:51   They don't want you going, "Oh, phone, you're stopping me going on Twitter again."

00:26:54   Because that reduces your satisfaction with the product.

00:26:57   So it's like it's in complete opposition to the entire rest of the business.

00:27:03   Whether they believe in it or not is not the issue here.

00:27:06   It's the fact that like it's never gonna get put into prominence because it's going to

00:27:11   reduce people's satisfaction with the phones.

00:27:14   Yeah, and I think there are very few people who are trying to use this system in the way

00:27:19   that I am of like, "Oh, but Apple actually really want to use your devices quite intensely

00:27:24   and I'm just trying to tweak it."

00:27:27   I am totally not the normal use case.

00:27:29   No, but you are the intended use case.

00:27:31   You are trying to use downtime exactly what it's for.

00:27:35   You're making use of every feature that they offer, but it's just not working for you.

00:27:41   I think a very good argument, a very good argument could be made that the way you try and set your phone up is how we should all have them set up in a way that works for us, right?

00:27:51   Whether it's like, for a lot of people, and I should probably fall into this camp, it would be in the reverse that like, it would get to a certain time in the evening and it all shuts off.

00:28:01   Right? You do it in the morning mostly, right? But like, there is a very good argument to be made.

00:28:08   Because you want to like wind down the day? Is that what you'd be trying to achieve?

00:28:12   Yeah.

00:28:12   Okay.

00:28:13   So I'm not still checking Twitter at 1.30 in the morning.

00:28:16   So this system, the underpinnings of this system, that's all really good stuff, right?

00:28:22   Mhm.

00:28:23   You know, limit my usage of these apps, limit them during certain times,

00:28:28   only allow certain people to contact me at certain times,

00:28:30   and do all of this automatically every day on a schedule that I set.

00:28:34   It's all really good stuff, but it seems to just fall apart all the time.

00:28:40   It's also frustrating because I was trying to think like, okay, instead of just being mad,

00:28:45   like, what are some of the things that could be possible?

00:28:48   And I think I feel like I would want two changes to just ignore like this whole system of like,

00:28:56   okay, I'm not a child here, you know, I don't need to use this like I'm a child,

00:29:01   I'm just trying to manage notifications.

00:29:02   It's like, "Okay, Apple, could you give me two things?"

00:29:05   One, I would like real notification settings on the watch

00:29:10   instead of just this option of like,

00:29:12   you can mirror the phone or not mirror the phone,

00:29:14   which I still can't believe is in place.

00:29:16   Like you still don't have fine grained control

00:29:18   over notifications on the watch.

00:29:19   It's just like a yes or no option.

00:29:22   The second thing that I would really love

00:29:24   is allow notifications to be changed by shortcuts.

00:29:30   changed by shortcuts.

00:29:33   It's like, I would like to be able to run a shortcut,

00:29:36   which then changes notification settings for apps, right?

00:29:41   Like that is, I feel like, come on Apple,

00:29:45   this is the power you, like let the people

00:29:47   who are really picky and who care about this stuff

00:29:50   use shortcuts for this sort of thing.

00:29:53   Like we can now have shortcuts run

00:29:55   at an arbitrary time in the day.

00:29:57   I think that would really go a long way to accomplishing a lot of the stuff that, you know,

00:30:05   someone trying to use their device without getting distracted in a professional manner

00:30:10   might want to set up in like a picky way. I feel like that would be my number one thing, like,

00:30:15   let me just forget this entire system that I hate and doesn't work very well. Just add notification

00:30:22   preferences as a changeable item in shortcuts. That would be my big request to try to fix this.

00:30:29   But I am not optimistic about that because I do think you really, you know, you make the point

00:30:36   that it's like it's not in these companies' interests to spend a lot of time on this sort of thing.

00:30:42   I have no doubt that there are many people inside of these companies, Google and Apple,

00:30:49   that believe in this and want this thing to work but somewhere up the chain it's going to fall down

00:30:54   and it's not going to be made a priority and i think it's pretty clear for apple specifically

00:31:00   here that it's not made a priority because i mean the last time we spoke about this i think in detail

00:31:06   was probably when we did our screen crimes episode in 2019 right nothing's changed

00:31:14   except it's getting worse in some places.

00:31:18   - Yeah, nothing's changed except this Jenga tower

00:31:21   has gotten a little taller and a little shakier.

00:31:23   (laughing)

00:31:25   That's basically what's occurred.

00:31:27   Although I'll actually add an asterisk into this,

00:31:30   which is, I mean, I'm sure you've noticed this as well,

00:31:34   but one of the other things around annoyances

00:31:36   about trying to manage notifications

00:31:38   and managing your own attention is,

00:31:39   since a year ago, like Apple sure has increased

00:31:44   the number of notifications that Apple sends me.

00:31:47   - Oh, they love it, don't they?

00:31:49   Oh, check out this new thing we're doing.

00:31:51   - Yeah, and there's nowhere that the setting exists for,

00:31:56   no, I don't need a notification to let me know

00:31:59   that there's a free trial for your Fitness Plus.

00:32:02   Like, you know, oh, no Apple, you'll be shocked to hear

00:32:06   that I'm not interested in buying a subscription

00:32:09   to Apple News, not interested, thanks.

00:32:11   but there's nowhere on the phone that I can shut these things off.

00:32:16   Just the other day, the DJI app on my phone put up just a blatant ad.

00:32:20   "Oh hey, there's a new product, like you can now buy this thing."

00:32:23   And my understanding, maybe you can correct me if I'm wrong about this,

00:32:26   but I thought that was against Apple's App Store policy?

00:32:30   - Used to be, but nobody followed it, and then they changed the rule.

00:32:33   So it's not against the rules anymore.

00:32:34   - Did they change the rule?

00:32:36   Oh, interesting, I didn't know that.

00:32:38   - Because no one was following the rule,

00:32:40   And so they changed the rule and then in changing the rule,

00:32:43   they could do as many as they wanted as well.

00:32:47   So I think it was like,

00:32:48   well, if no one's gonna follow this,

00:32:49   we might as well take the rule away

00:32:51   and then there's no rule that we need to follow.

00:32:53   - Okay, that makes sense.

00:32:56   And is also very motivated reasoning that makes me sad.

00:33:00   And again, just makes me feel like,

00:33:02   oh, I'm gonna be some kind of digital Amish person.

00:33:06   That's where this is just going

00:33:07   because I know it's such a small thing, but I feel very sensitive to those couple of notifications

00:33:14   from Apple about, "Hey, sign up for this or sign up for that." I don't think the number of these

00:33:19   is going to go down as a function of time. It's only going to go up as a function of time. And,

00:33:26   you know, there's just with no way to control it. It, I don't know, it makes me sad and it makes

00:33:34   makes me really frustrated.

00:33:35   - The rules say that you have to,

00:33:37   the apps have to provide you with an explicit opt out,

00:33:40   but nobody does.

00:33:42   - Oh yeah, no, I don't think there's an opt out

00:33:44   in that DJI for sure.

00:33:46   - No, 'cause they'll just say it's not an ad.

00:33:48   We're just letting our customers know

00:33:49   about something they care about.

00:33:50   (laughing)

00:33:53   - An ad, oh no.

00:33:54   - Everyone wants new drones.

00:33:56   Come on.

00:33:57   I mean, is it the little one, the Mavic 2?

00:33:59   'Cause it does look super cool.

00:34:03   - No, I think it was the,

00:34:04   there's a new version of their pocket camera.

00:34:07   I think that's what it was.

00:34:08   - Oh, okay.

00:34:09   Right.

00:34:10   - I mean, to be fair,

00:34:11   I do really like their pocket camera

00:34:12   and I will totally buy one,

00:34:13   but like not because they sent me a notification

00:34:15   on my phone, right?

00:34:16   It's like, it's infuriating.

00:34:18   - It's fascinating company, DJI.

00:34:20   I continue to be fascinated by them

00:34:22   because I can't remember in modern history,

00:34:26   a technology company that has so dominated an industry.

00:34:30   - Yeah, yeah, for sure.

00:34:30   incredibly dominated an industry. They are drones. Like in every other drone it

00:34:38   seems almost pointless to buy because every time a competitor comes up with

00:34:42   something they just obliterate them. Like I remember the GoPro drone. It's like, "Oh

00:34:47   look how cool this is." And then they released their first small one.

00:34:50   I think it was the Mavic. And it was so good and there were some problems with

00:34:54   the GoPro one. GoPro just abandoned the project because it's like, "Well we can't

00:34:58   beat that. Yeah. Fascinating company. But like similarly they do those, what is it like,

00:35:03   the Osmo Pocket I think is the one that you like, right? Where it's got a little screen on it,

00:35:09   it's like a little camera of a screen on it and it's got like a gimbal on it and stuff.

00:35:13   Yeah, I don't know if I've ever talked about it but like that little Osmo Pocket is my

00:35:18   favorite camera? Like that I guess is probably the best way to put it. It's an amazing little

00:35:24   thing and I've been kind of curious about when they're coming out with the second one.

00:35:27   Well then it was right for you, that push notification.

00:35:30   Yeah.

00:35:31   [Laughter]

00:35:32   They knew!

00:35:33   [Laughter]

00:35:34   Yeah, but see, the thing is, I'm actually, I'm the kind of person who sets up a Google alert for that

00:35:39   so that I just don't have to check on it.

00:35:41   Just, you know, let me know Google alerts, thanks.

00:35:43   I don't need to know on my phone at 9.30 in the morning that there's a new pocket camera that's out.

00:35:50   They're an interesting company and they're totally dominating, and if I was GoPro I would be terrified for my life.

00:35:55   Yeah.

00:35:55   I think GoPro currently has an edge in the action camera, but only just.

00:36:02   DJI have only just made their first one, right?

00:36:07   I think they're on version one of their action camera, and it seems like it's pretty good.

00:36:12   I don't think GoPro's long for this world at this point, which is such a shame because,

00:36:17   you know, it's such a strong brand.

00:36:21   GoPro became, like, just it meant a thing like Hoover, right?

00:36:25   It's like GoPro is the little cameras, but they seem to have just lost that ground completely.

00:36:31   Yeah, when the DJI Action Camera came out, it was definitely better than what GoPro had on offer for their next two generations.

00:36:38   The GoPro 9 is out recently, which I would say is better than the DJI Action Camera.

00:36:47   I think it's significantly better for a bunch of reasons.

00:36:49   But at this point, DJI's Action Camera is like two years old.

00:36:54   I don't think they've been doing nothing in the last two years.

00:36:58   So like, you know, if I was GoPro, I'd just be like,

00:37:03   "Please let their next action camera be terrible."

00:37:08   But I would actually expect like, it's probably gonna be way better than the GoPro 9

00:37:12   if history was anything to go by, so.

00:37:14   My favorite thing that DJI does is their mini drone,

00:37:19   because it weighs 249 grams.

00:37:22   Oh, it's that one, right? I haven't seen those, but I absolutely love that.

00:37:26   That's very like, I don't know, it borderlines on like malicious compliance of,

00:37:30   "Oh, what's the weight limit?"

00:37:32   Yeah, it kind of just feels very punk to me.

00:37:34   And if you don't know why that's funny, because if you have a drone that weighs 250 grams or more,

00:37:40   in a lot of places you have to register it.

00:37:42   So if you're under 250, you can fly it as a consumer however you want about registering it.

00:37:49   But the thing that I like the most is they print 249 grams on the side of the drone.

00:37:54   Oh, okay.

00:37:55   That's actually good though, like, because big problem with the drones is traveling with them.

00:37:59   So you can prove it.

00:38:00   That is both a like, great idea and also a little bit of a middle finger is kind of what it feels like.

00:38:07   And I like the in the- well, their marketing materials, they just talk about how easy it is to pack it because it's so light.

00:38:12   Like, they don't mention the fact that the reason it's 249 is because it means you can get around the registration list.

00:38:19   Drones are so cool. I wished I had a reason for one, you know?

00:38:22   Alright, so a couple of years ago we shared our screen time data with each other because for all

00:38:30   of its problems what is interesting about screen time is it's collecting information about what

00:38:35   you're doing on your devices. How much time is spent in apps on different websites, what you're

00:38:40   doing when you first pick up your phone, and how many notifications you get. And there can be

00:38:44   something kind of interesting in there because you know we believe as people we feel like we know

00:38:50   what we're doing on our devices but in practicality our devices know that better than we do.

00:38:56   Okay I didn't realize that you wanted to do the screen times screen god damn it no I'm doing it

00:39:00   again. Yeah you did it yourself I don't even have to set you up anymore.

00:39:03   I didn't realize that you wanted to do screen crimes today.

00:39:10   Well I just felt like the perfect leader right we just complained about it for half an hour

00:39:14   I get it, but I'm just gonna say what this means though is though I opened it up on my phone you realize I only have data

00:39:21   from 3 p.m. Yesterday

00:39:24   until now

00:39:26   Can you not look at last week?

00:39:28   No, the complete reset gets rid of the historical data. Oh my god

00:39:35   so I have like

00:39:38   16 hours worth of data for you

00:39:42   And eight of them are when I was asleep.

00:39:45   So here's the thing, Myke.

00:39:47   We have talked about screen crimes and screen time

00:39:49   for like an hour today.

00:39:51   Do you maybe wanna do it next time we talk

00:39:54   to actually go through what's happening on our phone?

00:39:57   I'm happy to take a look at your stuff,

00:39:59   but like I literally can't participate in this conversation

00:40:04   because I reset everything yesterday.

00:40:06   - That's just, that's completely ruined my outline

00:40:10   for the episode.

00:40:11   You know what, it's probably best actually that we do hold that then.

00:40:15   Okay, yep. Let's do it next time.

00:40:18   Oh my, so I don't know, maybe if the Cortex-ins want to play along at home, you can just check

00:40:25   your screen time data? Oh, that's just so annoying.

00:40:30   I hadn't realized that.

00:40:33   I'm so sorry.

00:40:34   That's so far, I guess we both hadn't realized it until you opened it.

00:40:36   I didn't realize it until now.

00:40:39   I looked at last week, nothing. Nothing exists.

00:40:44   Look, I'm in a dimension without time. Nothing existed as far as my phone is concerned until 3pm yesterday.

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00:42:43   So it's been snowy in London.

00:42:46   Yeah it's been great! We've actually had a whole week of snow.

00:42:49   It's been lovely. I've loved looking out the window and seeing the little snow coming down.

00:42:53   It seems like for some more than others though.

00:42:55   What do you mean, Myke?

00:42:57   I mean...

00:42:59   What are you talking about?

00:43:02   Some people have posted vlogs of their snow inactivity.

00:43:06   Oh yeah, actually I have seen a lot of London YouTubers actually.

00:43:09   They have posted going out in the snow videos.

00:43:12   Yeah, but there's one person particularly who seems to have had significantly more snow

00:43:20   than anybody else in London.

00:43:22   Almost like the snow we had a couple of years ago.

00:43:25   Huh, really?

00:43:26   It's weird that, right?

00:43:31   So you posted a vlog called London Snow Day on the day that it snowed and a lot of intrepid

00:43:41   detectives worked out. It was immediately obvious to me for two reasons. One, I know

00:43:47   there wasn't this much snow. And two, you're standing really close to a lot of people in

00:43:52   this video. So what's going on? What are you up to?

00:43:56   Yeah, so I actually posted it a couple days after the London snow day, but this is another

00:44:01   case of Grey's non-linear life and the order that things get posted in has very little

00:44:11   to do with the order in which they happened, which I think is sometimes useful for the

00:44:16   audience to keep in mind, you know, this is always the YouTube thing where it's like,

00:44:20   you post a video on something and someone goes "oh it's because of this that happened

00:44:24   a week ago" and it's like "no no, this was two years ago"

00:44:27   Yeah, but, like you can't expect to be different from people in this instance, right?

00:44:32   If you would have posted this video in June, I don't think people would go.

00:44:38   You must be posting this because it snowed three days ago.

00:44:41   Mmm, I don't know, maybe.

00:44:42   You post that and people's immediate thought is "Gray's gone out in the streets and has

00:44:47   recorded a video and is now posting it", right?

00:44:50   Because we know it's just snow, we see it says snow.

00:44:52   And that is what I did.

00:44:54   It just happened three years ago.

00:44:55   Like I went out and I filmed the snow and so yes, this video started three years ago,

00:45:01   which was the last time we had like an actual big snow and it was delightful.

00:45:07   There hadn't been a big snowstorm like this in a long time in London and I was like, I

00:45:10   am not going to miss this opportunity.

00:45:12   So I went out and went to film it.

00:45:14   But what happened of course is that I filmed all of this stuff and it's just like with

00:45:20   writing. The scripts start really big and the research is vast and it gets narrowed

00:45:25   down to like this tiny subsection of things. And it's the same thing with shooting stuff.

00:45:30   It's like, oh, I don't know what I'm going to use. Like, let me just go shoot a bunch

00:45:32   of things that I think are interesting. And three years ago, by the time I had started

00:45:37   to really get through the footage, it was basically the summertime. I was like, well,

00:45:41   nobody wants to watch a vlog about the winter in the summer. You know, this is a terrible

00:45:45   time to post it. So my plan was I'll just shelve this until next winter and what ended

00:45:54   up happening for the next two winters is that I had a little reminder for myself in January

00:46:01   to work on the snow vlog to try to get it ready for if there is snow so that I could

00:46:07   then post it when there was snow so it would be a nice alignment of events in the world

00:46:12   and content.

00:46:13   Easy peasy.

00:46:14   But we didn't get snow.

00:46:16   And I had this funny experience of wondering, I wonder if I'm ever going to be able to post

00:46:20   this video.

00:46:21   I wonder if it's ever going to snow again in London because we just kept missing the

00:46:26   snow.

00:46:27   So anyway, I would tinker with this each winter just in case there was going to be snow.

00:46:33   And then this year I was super annoyed because usually I try to tinker on the video in around

00:46:39   January like that's when I feel like I'm in the mood, but I just sort of put it off a little bit

00:46:45   And then out of the blue we had this snow day and I was not prepared like the video wasn't really finished

00:46:50   Over the past couple years. I'd always been a little frustrated with it because I thought it's just boring in the earlier edits

00:46:58   So anyway, this project was in Limbo land for a long time

00:47:01   But this year when it snowed I had this real sense of like this may be my last opportunity ever

00:47:08   And so I decided, I was like, "Okay, listen, Gray. You've got 48 hours to edit this vlog.

00:47:16   Whatever you have, you're gonna take this time, you're gonna get it in the best shape that you can,

00:47:22   and at the end of that 48 hours, you're gonna make an executive decision.

00:47:27   Is it good enough to post or is it trashed forever?"

00:47:30   And then you, like, either way, you'll be done with this project.

00:47:33   Like, this thing will be closed and you'll never have to think about it again.

00:47:37   So I spent two days like a crazy person just really trying to edit it down into something that was nice and tight.

00:47:43   And at the end of that time I thought, "Okay, it's not the world's most exciting video,

00:47:48   but I do think it's fun to publish for the core audience."

00:47:53   And I put it up.

00:47:55   I was also just really happy because this totally fits into the first season of my yearly theme,

00:48:03   which is like clear the decks of trying to get rid of like all of these half done projects that I have.

00:48:10   So this feels like a perfect start to this year's theme and like the start of this year's theme is like,

00:48:17   okay, make decisions about all these half done projects, like kill them or finish them,

00:48:22   but either way be done with them. So that's the story behind my my little video about the snow.

00:48:28   Had you seen that people were realizing and all the conversation was around that?

00:48:33   Like in Reddit and stuff?

00:48:35   Yeah, you know, I saw, I saw people wondering like, when was it, when was it posted?

00:48:39   There's specifically a shot in there.

00:48:41   It's of the construction, which I feel like anybody in London would know immediately.

00:48:45   Like,

00:48:46   That seemed to be what was really giving it away.

00:48:48   Like, well, I mean, the biggest one is, is going on the tube for me.

00:48:51   Like, can you see all the people on the tube?

00:48:53   And you even,

00:48:55   Oh yeah.

00:48:56   I enjoyed your editing in this, like the text edit,

00:48:58   like you put a little text up and it was all animated

00:49:00   really well, and I noticed specifically

00:49:03   that there was like a cough, cough sound on the train,

00:49:05   and you added that in, it was like a little cough, cough.

00:49:08   - So that was actually just a super weird moment,

00:49:11   because when I went to edit it this year,

00:49:15   that is something I had put in previous,

00:49:17   like the previous year, or maybe two years ago,

00:49:20   and it was just a surreal moment to see like,

00:49:23   "Oh, past me was grossed out by the fact that someone was coughing on the tube, like, right in front of me?"

00:49:28   And I was like, "That has a very different valence, like, looking at it now."

00:49:33   - Oh, yeah. - I'm like, "Oh God!"

00:49:34   - Right? It was like... - I think that's why, like, people wouldn't care,

00:49:38   even if they could tell when it was shot and when it was posted,

00:49:42   but I think the difference right now is, like,

00:49:44   I don't know if you're... if you get like this, but I'm definitely like this,

00:49:47   and I watch videos or I see pictures,

00:49:49   And I'm like hyper aware of things that seem out of place.

00:49:53   Like people being in the same place together or people being in places that

00:49:58   seem peculiar, right? Like I'm just very hyper aware of it.

00:50:01   You mean like when watching movies and stuff?

00:50:03   Yeah, but even like stuff that I see like YouTubers doing or whatever,

00:50:07   like I kind of just noticed like these people seem to be standing too close to

00:50:11   each other. Uh, there's no masks, right?

00:50:14   Like and sometimes I feel that even in watching like TV shows that were recorded

00:50:18   years ago, like I just have this like feeling of like, "Whoa, that's too much!" And so I think

00:50:22   that's why like people get a little bit hung up on it now because it feels so out of place.

00:50:28   B: Yeah, I'm gonna title that "Agorophobia by Proxy" and I'm really trying to like

00:50:35   fight this in my brain. Like, brain, don't think that, right? This is not helpful. Don't like

00:50:43   start building up in your head this idea.

00:50:47   It's like, "No, no, no, no, no, no.

00:50:48   Just watch the movie, man.

00:50:50   Just relax, just chill out."

00:50:52   And then the brain whispers again like,

00:50:54   "But they're very close to each other, those people."

00:50:57   - Can you imagine if it was you?

00:50:59   - Yeah, exactly.

00:51:01   The one that's the worst for me

00:51:02   is in movies when two people shake hands.

00:51:04   That's the one that I can't not think about every time.

00:51:07   I can kind of let it go a little bit in just busy scenes,

00:51:12   But when I see two people shake hands, it's always like, "Ah!"

00:51:14   [laughs]

00:51:16   It's totally out of proportion, but, uh, yeah.

00:51:18   - Yeah, I wonder...

00:51:20   The handshaking is the one that I'm like,

00:51:22   "I don't know what's gonna happen to that."

00:51:24   'Cause I could also imagine that being one of the last things to fall

00:51:29   in the return to normal life,

00:51:32   because it was one of the first things that we were told to stop doing.

00:51:36   - Yeah, I mean, my- my bet is...

00:51:38   My sad bet is that handshakes aren't going anywhere.

00:51:40   No, we'll come back.

00:51:41   Yeah.

00:51:42   But I think it'll just take a while.

00:51:43   When you see something like, um, when people start focusing in on something in a video

00:51:49   that wasn't its intention, does it make you feel anything?

00:51:54   Like, do you feel like it's getting away from you?

00:51:57   Or are you kind of just like, you just let it go for whatever it's gonna do?

00:52:01   What do you mean?

00:52:03   Well like, you know, I have these kinds of things where I make a thing and I think it's

00:52:08   about this one thing and I really like it and then people seem to latch on to

00:52:12   something completely different right so we may have this big episode of the show

00:52:17   and we're like this is awesome we really like focused on this one thing and we're

00:52:22   really happy with it and like we hope people take something away from it but

00:52:25   then all they seem to care about is like this one side thing that is you know

00:52:32   could be funny or could or like could be frustrating or whatever right but people

00:52:38   just focus on that one thing instead and then all the conversation seems to

00:52:41   happen around that and you're like what about this other thing that I did don't

00:52:45   you like what I did for you and just focuses on that one thing instead and

00:52:50   like do you how does that kind of stuff make you feel it's fine there's like two

00:52:55   issues here I just recorded the audio for my 10-year Q&A yesterday morning I

00:53:00   want to talk about that in a minute actually yeah but like this is actually

00:53:03   one thing that I sort of touched on in that like really quickly is there's like this big

00:53:09   difference between your intentions as the creator and like the perception of the audience.

00:53:16   And I think you just you just have to know that that's part of the game is it always

00:53:23   happens. Like you think about the thing that you've made in a certain way, but you just

00:53:27   don't have any idea how people are going to receive it. That's just something you always

00:53:32   have to have in mind.

00:53:33   Yeah, like once you put something out into the world, you don't control it anymore.

00:53:37   It's not yours anymore.

00:53:38   You don't control people's reactions to it is the way I sort of think about it.

00:53:43   And there's like this weird English major type person debate about like, oh, is art

00:53:48   the artist?

00:53:49   They come down very firmly on like, art is not the artist.

00:53:51   A person makes a thing and then there's the thing and there's, then there's people's reactions

00:53:55   to the things and all of those are separate parts.

00:53:58   You can evaluate each of them individually.

00:54:00   But the other part of this is it's so easy for people to forget, but it's also that you

00:54:07   always have to remember, like, comments.

00:54:10   Whoever leaves comments, you are always looking at the two extremes of people who have watched

00:54:17   the thing, right?

00:54:20   Because there's activation energy to leaving a comment, right?

00:54:23   And so most people watch the thing and they don't leave a comment.

00:54:27   means that they will probably fine with it.

00:54:30   Yeah, or they liked it enough, but they didn't leave a comment or something mildly annoyed

00:54:35   them but they didn't leave a comment. They didn't get over that hump. I feel compelled

00:54:39   to comment on this thing because I hated it or I loved it. Like it's super interesting.

00:54:46   You can see, to like that snow video, if you go on YouTube, right, it's got 400,000 views

00:54:53   and has like a couple thousand comments.

00:54:55   That's a huge disparity.

00:54:57   - What is a normal kind of ratio for you?

00:55:00   Like what would you kind of expect to see?

00:55:02   Like obviously this one stuck out, but like--

00:55:04   - No, I'm actually not saying that this one sticks out.

00:55:07   I'm saying that this is actually pretty normal.

00:55:09   Like I think for almost any of the videos,

00:55:11   like if you look at the view numbers

00:55:13   versus the comment numbers,

00:55:15   it's always the case that you have a tiny number

00:55:18   of people who are commenting.

00:55:20   Again, I'm super happy with this video.

00:55:22   And if you look, the vast majority of them are people going like, "This video made me so happy!"

00:55:27   Like, "Oh, I love this. This is like delightful, wholesome content."

00:55:31   - Fortunately, actually, looking through some of your videos, this one has got way more comments than normal.

00:55:35   - Oh, like the ratio for views to comments?

00:55:38   Okay, but so that's also not surprising because when I think about a project like this,

00:55:43   I was looking at the analytics, you know, there's like some weird YouTube decisions you have to make

00:55:49   about like what the algorithm will do and how that might affect your channel.

00:55:52   And anytime you post something like this, it's always kind of a risk of like,

00:55:54   oh, am I destroying my whole career because the algorithm won't like me.

00:55:58   But I put up this video because I thought this is a video for the core audience.

00:56:05   And as I suspected, looking through the analytics behind the scenes on a normal

00:56:12   video like the main animated videos the viewers who are subscribers percentage is usually like

00:56:21   40% maybe 50% if it's particularly high but usually 40% is like my average number.

00:56:28   For that snow video it was 99% right 99% of the people who watched the snow video

00:56:38   were subscribers, which is the highest I've ever seen, and I'm very certain that that

00:56:45   1% were people who are subscribers but just didn't happen to be logged in, right? Like

00:56:49   I think basically no one who wasn't a subscriber saw that.

00:56:53   And I guess there is a point which is like the algorithm may have made that happen as

00:56:59   well right?

00:57:00   Oh for sure, for sure.

00:57:02   It's not promoting it outside if only subscribers had been watching it to a certain point, but

00:57:08   that also does still it still proves the point that you're making which is like this is very

00:57:13   clearly a subscriber's video so therefore subscribers watch it and therefore the algorithm

00:57:19   just pushes it yeah to subscribers or not at all which is probably more likely what happened and

00:57:24   people just saw it in their subscription list yeah so i know for sure that like people seeing it in

00:57:29   their subscription list is a trivial percentage of this like that that number is basically nothing

00:57:34   Almost all of the views come from YouTube putting it on the home screen when people just go to youtube.com

00:57:42   but it's putting it on the home screens of

00:57:45   The people who are subscribers, right? Right that so that's what's happening

00:57:50   I'm such an old man when it comes to YouTube viewing because you use the subscription list

00:57:53   I only look at my subscriptions and then I add things to my watch later queue and then that's how I watch them

00:57:59   Yeah, I mean, I think that is a better way to use YouTube

00:58:01   I think it's what I mean is what I came to the platform for originally, right?

00:58:05   Like, yeah, I look the home screen sometimes will show me something

00:58:10   that I do want to see, you know, like we just watched the West Wing

00:58:14   for the first time, which I absolutely adored.

00:58:17   It was fantastic.

00:58:18   And I searched out a video of like I was looking for something.

00:58:23   I can't remember what it was now, though, but it was related to the West Wing.

00:58:26   I think I watched a trailer for something.

00:58:28   And then because I'd done that, the homepage just started showing me things.

00:58:33   It was like, oh, here's a cast interview.

00:58:34   And I was like, great, I'll watch that.

00:58:35   So like, I do see things there, but I never start my YouTube experience on the homepage.

00:58:40   Like I am go straight to the subscriptions because that's everything that I want because

00:58:45   that's what I've chosen to see.

00:58:47   I think those people tend to be more vocal about using the subscription list, but they're

00:58:52   not even, you know, they're a minority of a minority of a minority of the user behavior

00:58:57   on YouTube. Like there's a reason that YouTube has, uh, de-emphasized the subscription list

00:59:02   over time. I just want to be clear here, it's very easy to always complain about the algorithm,

00:59:08   but what I'm not saying here is like, "Ah, this algorithm should have showed my video

00:59:11   about a snow day to more people." I actually think the algorithm was totally correct in

00:59:15   its assessment here. It did its job. I actually don't think this is a video that should have

00:59:21   been promoted to people who weren't subscribers. What I just think is interesting is like,

00:59:27   You know, we've talked about it before that you have these different levels of audience

00:59:32   members from like the super, super central hardcore audience members to the people who

00:59:38   barely know that you exist and are casual viewers.

00:59:41   You don't have like that kind of casual viewer in podcasting.

00:59:44   It's not quite the same, but you still have that like spectrum within podcasting, right?

00:59:49   And it's just interesting to see like, okay, so the really weird stuff where I just read

00:59:57   a public domain story.

00:59:59   That's the same thing, like the number of people who watch that are who are subscribers,

01:00:03   I think it was something like 95% or higher were subscribers, which also kind of makes

01:00:09   sense because there may be a small number of people who are listening to audio books

01:00:13   on YouTube.

01:00:14   So the algorithm might be trying a little bit like, oh, do these people like these?

01:00:18   And the answer is no, because I'm still not very good at doing this.

01:00:22   So again, it's not wrong there.

01:00:24   But it's like, oh, okay, that's like the really core central group is like the people who

01:00:30   will watch the weird experiments that I put up on the YouTube channel.

01:00:34   And then the next group out is like, okay, this vlog is nicely edited.

01:00:38   It's actually a video on a video platform.

01:00:42   So more people are interested in watching it.

01:00:45   But I think the algorithm is correct that like, this is not a video to just promote

01:00:50   widely to people who are watching videos about London because I think if you don't know who

01:00:56   I am and you don't know my YouTube channel, this is just like completely uninteresting.

01:01:00   Yeah, it's like not a good version of a video like this for people that just want a video

01:01:06   like this.

01:01:07   Yes.

01:01:08   got your personality in it and jokes and stuff that people that know who you are will enjoy it,

01:01:17   but if you don't know who you are, it's like, I don't understand why this is here.

01:01:22   Just as a very obvious style choice, why isn't this person in this video?

01:01:27   Does he not know how to frame shots?

01:01:29   Why does this person only show their shoulder? What's the point?

01:01:32   Did they not know how to turn the camera around properly?

01:01:34   What a moron.

01:01:36   Yeah, so it's like, it's very limited reach in that way.

01:01:41   But going back sort of to the original thing though, like thinking about how do people

01:01:45   react to something. So my bet was, okay, I think I'm making this video, I've gotten it into a place

01:01:51   that I like, I think it's a cute little thing for the more central part of the audience, so I'm going

01:01:58   to put it up. And then the algorithm is correctly like identifying that and also reaffirming like,

01:02:05   "Yeah, this is for a subsection of the audience, but it's not for everybody, so we're not going to

01:02:10   push it to everybody." So you have to think, "Okay, already CGP Grey subscribers are not

01:02:18   representative of the general population, and now you've taken a small subset of that population,

01:02:26   and they have watched this video, and then one one-thousandth of that small subset

01:02:34   has left comments on the video, right? So like you're way outside the range of what is a typical

01:02:41   person's response to this video. It's not to say that comments don't have value, but I do think

01:02:50   creators sometimes like go a little crazy not framing the comments in this way. And so like I

01:03:01   I look at those comments and again, if you go through them like number wise, I think

01:03:07   it may be one of the videos that has the purest number of positive comments of maybe anything

01:03:15   that I've ever made, but that's a side effect of like the huge level of selections that

01:03:22   have occurred.

01:03:23   Like, I think many people could watch that video and be like, "Oh, it was okay," but

01:03:30   not really want to leave a comment, but I do think for a certain kind of person it just

01:03:35   hit them at the right moment and they really loved it and they wanted to leave a comment.

01:03:40   And then- but that is also why there is a very small number of people who are like super

01:03:46   annoyed that I didn't put a warning at the beginning to be a huge Debbie Downer. This

01:03:52   was filmed before the pandemic, pre-COVID.

01:03:55   - It seemed interesting to me though,

01:03:57   because the makeup of those comments is like,

01:04:02   I feel like the majority of those that I saw are on Reddit.

01:04:06   - Oh yeah, there was totally a split there.

01:04:09   But can you tell me why, Myke?

01:04:10   Like why might the comments be different on Reddit?

01:04:12   - So I think there's two reasons.

01:04:15   One, it is a intended conversational platform.

01:04:19   So people ask questions and people communicate.

01:04:21   But the other, I think there is a high percentage

01:04:24   of Reddit users that love to solve a riddle.

01:04:27   - Oh yeah, totally.

01:04:28   - They have challenges and they wanna solve the challenge

01:04:32   and they wanna get to the answer.

01:04:34   'Cause I see this stuff a lot.

01:04:36   And it seems like it is a platform

01:04:39   which is over indexed in people that like to solve a riddle.

01:04:42   - Yeah, for sure.

01:04:43   And I think the platform has that property,

01:04:46   then my subreddit has that property squared.

01:04:50   But it's also, this is again, follow the logic.

01:04:53   It works the same way again.

01:04:55   How many comments are there on YouTube?

01:04:57   I don't know, like a couple thousand.

01:04:59   How many comments are there on Reddit?

01:05:01   There's a hundred.

01:05:02   And then if you also index by how many people posted twice

01:05:06   on Reddit, it's like, it's probably 50 people

01:05:09   leaving comments on Reddit.

01:05:11   And now you are like really extremely selecting

01:05:15   a small group.

01:05:16   And this always goes to like just this,

01:05:19   I think it's a generally good way to like think

01:05:21   about the world and try to understand things that the narrower you like draw a circle around

01:05:29   a group of people, the harder it is to make generalizations.

01:05:34   And my favorite example of this is always these dumb business books where they're

01:05:37   like, "Here's 10 stories of the 10 most successful CEOs in the Fortune 500 companies,"

01:05:44   right?

01:05:45   There's nothing to be learned from the extreme outliers.

01:05:49   Like you can't generalize what's a good way to run a business for like a normal person

01:05:55   from taking the top 0.00001% of people and being like, "Let's generalize this piece

01:06:01   of information."

01:06:02   But yeah, so I think like it's interesting and it's also expected that like comments

01:06:07   are different on different platforms.

01:06:10   I'm sure if you look like, "Oh, where is the, if this video is being discussed elsewhere,"

01:06:13   like you should expect the same thing, but like it's, it's going to be slightly different.

01:06:17   There's different things have different characters to them.

01:06:20   And so again, like, you sort of have to think about all of that, as like, I don't know how to put this.

01:06:27   Comments and feedback are useful, but you always have to keep this scaling in mind.

01:06:36   I don't know, like kind of like the way in school, you can grade on a curve, like you have to do a kind of statistical adjustment.

01:06:47   for how to think about those comments.

01:06:51   And the thing that I see is the worst thing

01:06:53   that happens to creators is the classic,

01:06:56   like everybody loves your video except that one guy, right?

01:07:00   And so someone makes a video that's hugely popular

01:07:02   and people love it,

01:07:03   but the only thing they can think about is like,

01:07:05   oh, this one person left a mean comment.

01:07:08   You know, and it's like, you can,

01:07:10   you've always got to scale that with,

01:07:12   what do you as the creator think about those comments?

01:07:17   Like, how do you judge it?

01:07:19   You know, do you think that commenter was correct

01:07:22   and this is something that you should change

01:07:23   or like, do you think that they weren't correct?

01:07:26   And I just, I always feel bad when I see people like

01:07:29   do the double problem of,

01:07:34   they think the commenter is incorrect

01:07:37   and they're also really bummed about it.

01:07:41   Again, with this video, the very few comments of people who were like, "There should have

01:07:44   been a COVID warning at the beginning of this video."

01:07:47   I don't agree.

01:07:49   And I make timeless content.

01:07:51   Only the core audience is watching this video anyway, who's like totally aware of my weird

01:07:56   style and the vast majority of comments are super happy about this.

01:08:02   Now those comments are scaled in a funny way because of the selection process, but this

01:08:09   video is targeted more towards that end of the spectrum anyway.

01:08:13   So this is kind of what I mean by like, you've got to scale it towards

01:08:18   what are you trying to achieve?

01:08:21   What information can be gained from the extremes while keeping in mind

01:08:29   that the extremes are on both ends.

01:08:32   The other thing that we've talked about before is there's almost no video that

01:08:36   I can post at this point where if you get like 100,000 people or a million people to

01:08:41   watch a thing where several people will say, "Oh, this is my favorite video ever, but

01:08:48   it's just a side effect of the number of people who are watching a thing."

01:08:52   And you can't really take that information on board and generalize it and be like, "Oh

01:08:57   my God, people really like this thing."

01:09:01   And I was like, "No, no, no. At a certain point, everything is going to be someone's favorite thing,

01:09:07   and everything is going to be the thing that they hate the most and finally leave over.

01:09:13   Like, it's just always going to happen, so you can't, you can't like, internalize that."

01:09:18   I don't know, I feel like that was a lot like.

01:09:19   [laughs]

01:09:20   It is a thing that is prevalent in making things, and I know that I still struggle

01:09:26   with the outlier negative ones, like I still struggle with those from time to time, which

01:09:32   I think is something that, you know, in talking to creative people I know is a problem for

01:09:37   a lot of people.

01:09:38   Yeah, it's very common.

01:09:39   Because when you are in a position where you're lucky enough to make stuff that people really

01:09:45   enjoy, you get more used to people saying like, "I really liked this thing, this is

01:09:51   great, like I really enjoyed it," or they'll want to talk to you about it and if they just

01:09:56   want to talk to you about it, it probably suggests that they enjoyed it, right?

01:10:00   They're just like, hey, you said this thing and I want to talk about it.

01:10:02   Like it's interesting.

01:10:04   Which means that you're less likely to see the negative stuff

01:10:08   like this is terrible, this person's stupid, like they don't know

01:10:11   what they're talking about.

01:10:12   So I know that I still on occasion

01:10:15   get more hung up on those than I would like.

01:10:18   And that's even after 10 years, I still fixate on them sometimes.

01:10:25   I'm definitely better.

01:10:26   Like the one thing that I have gotten way better at is trying to

01:10:30   debate people on these points.

01:10:32   You know, like that was like a thing that I used to do a lot and

01:10:36   it is very rare that I'll do it.

01:10:38   And if I ever do these days, it's, it's with a, an intention, which is more than

01:10:43   just trying to prove somebody wrong, you know, but it's definitely still something

01:10:47   that stings sometimes more than I want it to.

01:10:52   Yeah.

01:10:53   And I want to be clear, like, I think that is totally natural.

01:10:56   I think that is the normal way to be.

01:10:59   I don't know.

01:11:00   This is also one of these cases where in my own conversation with creators,

01:11:04   like I'm totally a weird outlier from discussions with colleagues.

01:11:09   Well, also I think there is a scale thing where I am better with audience sizes

01:11:16   in the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or whatever now.

01:11:22   So like I get that proportion, then when I was dealing with audience sizes of 1000 or whatever,

01:11:28   and you get your proportions there. But you're in the scale of audiences of millions,

01:11:34   and I think the larger you go up that scale, the more used to it you get. Because the amount of

01:11:43   negativity increases with that stuff, and so you're just more used to seeing it. I don't know.

01:11:49   I just think I know I've gotten better over time and I think it helps for you that some

01:11:54   of the scale that you deal with is larger than the scale I deal with, for example.

01:11:58   B: So I think it's been interesting, you know, working with you over these years and

01:12:02   you've totally gotten a lot better at trying to like contextualize comments, but I'm

01:12:09   gonna wildly disagree with you here that the scale helps because, again, I'm often just

01:12:14   shocked by colleagues who have channels much larger than mine who will get really derailed

01:12:24   by a handful of negative comments among 10,000 comments, right?

01:12:30   Like, but, and this is, this is what I mean by for anyone who's thinking about making

01:12:34   stuff on the internet, I think it's useful to hear this so that you can try to distance

01:12:43   yourself from it a little bit. I just think that human brains are, for good reasons, over-tuned

01:12:52   to be sensitive for negative comments. Like, I think there are, like, there's reasons that

01:13:01   that's the case, but like, you just have to understand that this is the way that your brain

01:13:05   works. That there's a dial in here, which in our past may not have been incorrectly set,

01:13:12   that a thousand good things does not outbalance one bad thing said by a person directly to you.

01:13:19   And I'll also mention something else here which has helped some people, but some people don't

01:13:27   get this, but I think one of the other weird things about reading comments that creators

01:13:32   have to be really careful about is when you read something, you read it in your own voice

01:13:40   in your head.

01:13:41   Oh, that's horrible.

01:13:43   Ohhhhh.

01:13:44   Why, okay, why is that horrible?

01:13:46   'Cause that's, I hate that thought.

01:13:48   I'd never thought of it that way before.

01:13:50   But I'm saying it to myself.

01:13:52   Yes, like, people don't realize this.

01:13:55   Okay, so you're having the reaction that I was hoping,

01:13:57   which is for some people this feels like a big realization when I say it.

01:14:00   Maybe it's, it also goes with that,

01:14:03   the thing that me and you were spoken about before,

01:14:05   that I read in my own voice.

01:14:07   Yeah, yeah.

01:14:07   Maybe people that don't read in their own voices maybe wouldn't experience it the same.

01:14:11   I don't know.

01:14:11   Yeah.

01:14:11   This, this is also why like some, some people just don't subvocalize, which is a

01:14:15   whole different thing, but, but yes, for people who read in their own voice, one of

01:14:19   the things that you just don't think about is you're reading the comments in your own

01:14:25   voice.

01:14:26   So there is a way in which it's a bit like you're thinking the thought that someone

01:14:33   else wrote down and you just kind of don't realize that or again, you don't scale it

01:14:40   properly.

01:14:41   Whereas if, for example, you were only allowed to read comments, if you also read them out

01:14:48   loud in a neutral voice, I think it would become much clearer very quickly like, "Oh,

01:14:58   Saying these bad things has a very different effect because it's like I'm saying them to

01:15:05   myself.

01:15:06   It's not like someone else is saying them to me, right?

01:15:09   I also just think that's something useful to keep in mind when you're going through

01:15:14   comments is you can't help but hear them in your own voice.

01:15:19   So again, you have to scale down how personally do I take this because I'm not thinking these

01:15:28   thoughts. These are the thoughts of someone else, but I can't not think them in my own

01:15:33   voice, which is my brain artificially scaling them up, so I kind of have to think about

01:15:38   it and turn this dial down when I read them.

01:15:41   "There's a funny thing happening to me right now where I'm like, 'Oh, this is a really

01:15:46   interesting good cortex conversation. I think people will hear this and they'll be like,

01:15:52   'Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me.' And then the Reddit thread is just all going

01:15:57   to be about something completely different.

01:15:59   Oh, oh yeah.

01:16:00   I can feel it happening right now that I'm like, I know that people are going to be talking

01:16:06   about this moment and like, oh man, Grace said that thing and it's like, it really resonates,

01:16:11   but everyone's going to be talking about like the cables that you use on your microphone.

01:16:15   Everyone's going to either be talking about levels, levels, or they're going to be talking

01:16:18   about how I don't know how to use downtime and I can accomplish everything that I want

01:16:22   to do if I just do whatever.

01:16:25   either way you could just switch to Android. That's all it's gonna take.

01:16:30   Right, yeah. But so, yeah. Again, this is what happens. Like, I think you and I, over the years,

01:16:36   many times we've had like, "Oh, what a great episode that was! This particular section was

01:16:40   fantastic!" And like, no one comments on that section and it's fine. That's just the way it

01:16:45   goes because you also have to keep in mind, like, when that happens, what I think is occurring

01:16:50   is that yes, many listeners, like I don't think we're wrong as creators when we think we've had a

01:16:57   good segment on the show, but what we can easily be wrong about is what puts people over the

01:17:05   activation energy to leave a comment. And you have to think of activation energy from two levels.

01:17:14   It's how motivated is the person, but there's also the ease of the comment.

01:17:21   And so easier comments have lower activation energy.

01:17:25   And so sometimes like the deeper or more complicated parts of a conversation

01:17:30   get commented on less because their activation energy is higher relative to

01:17:38   the, like the intensity that the person has to feel, right?

01:17:42   So the person has to feel like four times more intense to leave a comment that's twice as complicated as saying, "Just do this."

01:17:51   So that's the other part of it as well.

01:17:54   Comments! There's a lot to 'em, Myke.

01:17:56   [BEEP]

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01:19:30   You referenced 10 years on YouTube. You have your 10 year Q&A. I just didn't want the episode

01:19:36   to go by without at least mentioning it. What is the date?

01:19:40   Uh, the 10 years has passed. It was January 31st.

01:19:42   Oh, my birthday.

01:19:43   Is it really?

01:19:44   Yeah.

01:19:45   Oh.

01:19:46   You knew that. You wish me happy birthday. I mean, what do you know? You don't know

01:19:48   when time is. You think it's June. June 31st is my birthday in your mind.

01:19:52   I think I just didn't make the connection because I knew there was no universe in which

01:19:56   I was going to put the Q&A up on the date. So I just didn't make the connection when

01:19:59   I messaged you for your birthday.

01:20:01   Yeah.

01:20:02   But yeah, it was, um, 31st, 10 years ago. So yeah, it's already passed.

01:20:06   How do you feel about 10 years?

01:20:08   - Uh, I don't know.

01:20:09   I mean, I think this is part of the problem.

01:20:11   Like, when I was trying to put together the Q&A,

01:20:14   I actually found it quite hard to select the questions.

01:20:19   Okay, so here's a little secret for doing Q&As.

01:20:23   You always think they're gonna be easier,

01:20:25   but they're not easier.

01:20:27   And part of the reason that they're not easier

01:20:29   is it's surprisingly hard

01:20:32   to select good questions from people.

01:20:35   What are a bunch of questions that can have interesting answers,

01:20:39   put them together so that they're not just a random sequence of things,

01:20:43   you know, try to like arrange them so that there's a nice little flow.

01:20:45   I always think Q&As are gonna be easy and then I'm always sad to learn every time.

01:20:50   Just like last time, it's harder than you thought, you idiot.

01:20:53   But this one was particularly hard.

01:20:55   And I think I'd summarize the reason for that being,

01:21:00   I guess I realized that a lot of people ask questions about long periods of time in ways

01:21:10   that I just don't think about it at all.

01:21:13   And so when you ask, "How does it feel to be doing YouTube for 10 years?"

01:21:18   I mean, the real answer is like, it doesn't feel like anything.

01:21:23   People in their questions expect, I don't know, have some amazing sense of accomplishment,

01:21:29   right?

01:21:30   or the one that really surprised me, which I even tried to write this into the Q&A but

01:21:34   it just didn't work. It's like I was astounded by the huge portion of questions which revolved

01:21:42   around regret in some form.

01:21:44   What would you do differently? That kind of thing.

01:21:46   Not even what would you do differently but like straight up what's the thing that you

01:21:49   regret the most. I was just totally surprised.

01:21:53   What's that about?

01:21:54   I don't know, but I think that is something about for most people maybe when they're thinking

01:22:01   over long periods of time in the past, regretful items stand large on the landscape and so

01:22:09   are easy to think about.

01:22:11   I think people that are interested in doing what you've done, they want to know what to

01:22:17   look out for, you know like just in general, like people just want to make sure they're

01:22:20   doing it right and they're not gonna mess up.

01:22:22   I don't think so because I'm not considering questions like people would ask, "What would

01:22:27   you do differently if you were starting today?"

01:22:30   I would not put that in the bin of, "This is a regretful question."

01:22:34   That's a more actionable question of, that's basically another way of asking, "If I was

01:22:38   starting now, what should I do?"

01:22:41   That's what that is.

01:22:42   So I don't think it's that.

01:22:43   I think it's something else.

01:22:45   And I just found it really surprising of just like the huge number of questions.

01:22:50   I basically had to just totally throw away because people are like, "What do you regret

01:22:54   over the last 10 years the most?"

01:22:56   I'm like, "I don't know, nothing?"

01:22:58   Like I don't, I don't think about it this way.

01:23:00   Like I'm sure there are things that I would have done differently, but I just, I don't know.

01:23:05   I, in some ways I think by like setting up, "Oh, I have a 10 year anniversary coming up."

01:23:10   In a surprise, probably to none of the hardcore listeners, it just again reminded me like,

01:23:16   "Oh, I don't care at all about the past."

01:23:17   Right?

01:23:18   Like the past just totally doesn't exist for me.

01:23:20   And so I just set myself up in a weird way to answer questions that almost all of them are like,

01:23:26   "I don't know how to answer this. What do I regret the most? Oh, I don't know. What would I do differently?"

01:23:31   Nothing. I'm pretty happy with the way it worked out. I don't know.

01:23:36   That's always the problem with this question is it's about who you're asking.

01:23:41   If the person you're asking considers themselves to be in a good place, they don't have regrets, really,

01:23:48   Because it's a little like platitude-esque, but you're only where you are because everything you've done before led to it.

01:23:56   So you can't change something from the past if you like where you are. So there aren't regrets.

01:24:04   Yeah, this sort of relates to… I once had a friend tell me what I thought was like a fantastic way to think about something.

01:24:10   So this friend used to be like a very envious person.

01:24:13   You know, it'd always be like, "Oh, you know, I want the success of that person.

01:24:18   I want the fame of that person."

01:24:20   And the framing in their mind changed one day to realize you can't just pick and choose

01:24:27   the best parts of other people's lives that you would want to add to your life.

01:24:33   That when you look at another person, what you have to think about is, would you trade

01:24:39   the entirety of your life for the entirety of their life.

01:24:44   And that for him, he realized, "Oh, there's no one on earth that he would do that for.

01:24:51   Would you give up everything that was your life in exchange for everything that's for

01:24:55   the other person's life?"

01:24:56   And I always thought, "Oh man, what a great way to think about that."

01:24:59   Like, I've never conceptualized that.

01:25:01   But I think that's very much like the way that I look at the past, which is, you know,

01:25:07   people ask these questions about what would you change, it's like, but if you change one thing,

01:25:11   you have to change literally everything that happened after that thing. And so there's like,

01:25:17   there's nothing in my past that I would change where I would also be willing to change everything

01:25:22   that occurred after that thing. So yeah, sorry, Myke. I have no feelings about what it is to be

01:25:29   running a YouTube channel for 10 years, and I didn't really think about that before I asked

01:25:34   people to submit me questions about what it's like to run a YouTube channel for 10 years.

01:25:39   (Laughter)

01:25:40   MATT: I mean, I didn't really expect you to give me too much of a different answer than the one

01:25:45   that you gave me to my question. Part of it is that I just went through this last year.

01:25:50   I marked my 10 years and marked it by doing nothing. You know, I spoke about it on the show,

01:26:00   Like it didn't really feel like it was the right time anyway, it was in April, right?

01:26:03   Like "celebrate me as you commiserate the state of your lives!"

01:26:07   It was a bad time to ask everyone to like, yeah, celebrate you for sure.

01:26:12   But at the same time, you get to a certain point and these things become both more frequent

01:26:20   and you know, like you've done these things a bunch of times, like you feel like "oh

01:26:23   one year, two years, five years!" that you just at a certain point it just keeps happening

01:26:28   provided you continue going.

01:26:31   Well, also, actually, the longer you get away from the start,

01:26:34   the more this has just been your life.

01:26:37   And so it's harder to reflect on it that way, I think.

01:26:41   Because it's like, all right, so I've done this for a third of my life now.

01:26:45   (laughing)

01:26:47   Like, I don't really have a concept anymore of me before this.

01:26:53   So it's hard to think about the fact

01:26:57   that something is happening here.

01:26:59   - Oh yeah, yeah, it is.

01:27:01   And I've written about this before,

01:27:03   but I'm very much a believer of this decade death,

01:27:07   that after 10 years, you're just not the same person

01:27:12   in a really meaningful way.

01:27:16   I don't think that is a metaphor.

01:27:18   I think that that is a true statement,

01:27:22   that you can be considered fundamentally

01:27:26   just a completely different person.

01:27:27   And I only went with 10 years because it sounds nice

01:27:32   to just have an even round number like a decade,

01:27:34   but I think the number is shorter than that.

01:27:36   You know, it may be different for different people,

01:27:38   but I think the reality is like a decade is,

01:27:42   this statement is true for everyone.

01:27:44   And it's, you know, it's probably true for 80% of people

01:27:48   after eight years and 50% of people

01:27:50   after five years or whatever.

01:27:52   you know, depending on the circumstances of your life and how much things have changed.

01:27:56   So yeah, there is this weird way in which you're totally right that

01:28:00   the closest I have to this is I feel like

01:28:02   on one hand, there is a way where it feels like

01:28:06   I have always done this thing

01:28:09   and I think that that is

01:28:11   literally true for the person who I am now.

01:28:15   My wife and I joke about this all the time that

01:28:17   we didn't get married.

01:28:19   Some pair of kids got married.

01:28:21   Woah.

01:28:23   And we live together because those kids got married.

01:28:27   And we both think that that's true. Like we really feel quite strongly that that again is

01:28:33   literally true.

01:28:35   I am a completely different person to the person that I was two or three years ago.

01:28:41   Right.

01:28:42   Completely different. Like really like so much has changed in my life and I have changed so much in

01:28:49   my life that I am effectively a different person now. I hadn't thought of it in those

01:28:56   specific terms, but it is. It's like, those people, we are not those people anymore. Interesting.

01:29:03   Yeah. Just like the comments scaling up and down, it's helpful to think about things

01:29:08   in certain ways. I think this is a useful idea to keep in mind. You're not forever

01:29:12   the person that you were, you're literally a different person after a certain period

01:29:17   of time and that can scale with just sheer number of years or that can scale with the

01:29:22   number of things that have happened, you know, whatever.

01:29:25   So yeah, there is the, on the one hand, there's the feeling just like with, "Oh, I didn't

01:29:30   get married.

01:29:31   Like, I've always been married.

01:29:33   The me who is now."

01:29:34   There's a feeling of, "Oh, I didn't start my YouTube career.

01:29:39   I've always done YouTube.

01:29:40   I came into this universe doing YouTube."

01:29:43   But there is, on the other hand, I do still have this odd feeling of YouTube is the new

01:29:51   thing.

01:29:52   It still does feel in my head like it's the new thing that I'm doing, even though when

01:29:58   I actually like look at the amount of time that I have spent in my life on various things,

01:30:03   there is no metric by which YouTube is the new thing, right?

01:30:07   like, oh, depending on how you want to count, you know, years as a teacher, it's like, I've

01:30:13   either just over or just under done twice as much time on YouTube as I ever did as a teacher.

01:30:19   Yeah, it's not the new thing, but there is some part of my brain that just feels that way. I mean,

01:30:25   I guess that's like the closest I can say to how does it feel after 10 years is building on

01:30:31   everything you've just said. It's like, oh, it feels eternal and it feels new, I guess.

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01:32:08   [BEEP]

01:32:08   You know, we started early today, which is obviously peculiar for us,

01:32:12   and I mentioned that I actually kind of changed my sleeping pattern for the day and last night

01:32:17   to make sure that I was awake in time for the episode today.

01:32:20   [laughter]

01:32:21   Because I've been, like, you know, for ages now, going to bed at 2.30 and waking up at like 9.30.

01:32:28   that's been my specifically ingrained pandemic sleeping schedule and I know

01:32:36   that last time you'd made reference to the fact that your sleep was all over

01:32:41   the place and I know some people were sending in some follow-up for you it's

01:32:46   like commiserating with you the things that they had tried and I just wondered

01:32:51   like a has your sleep schedule changed and B have you done anything to try and

01:32:55   change it.

01:32:56   Yeah, this has been a weird show in many ways, Myke.

01:33:02   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:33:03   I feel like, is this what happens when we record in the morning, that the show is all

01:33:07   over the place?

01:33:09   Because I'm looking at our show notes and this is one of these cases where, okay, we

01:33:14   are on point number three of reviewing things from last time.

01:33:22   [laughter]

01:33:24   It's been a weird show.

01:33:25   Well, we'll blame Apple.

01:33:27   Yeah, we'll blame Apple.

01:33:28   Because they ruined your screen time crimes.

01:33:31   Right, right.

01:33:32   I can't blame Apple, it was entirely my fault.

01:33:34   [laughter]

01:33:36   If you had just checked your calendar, none of this would have happened.

01:33:39   Yes, that's true.

01:33:41   Before I say something like,

01:33:42   you're saying your pandemic schedule is 2.30 in the morning to 9.30 in the morning?

01:33:47   Wasn't that your normal schedule?

01:33:49   I don't understand. How is it different in the pandemic?

01:33:51   it wasn't as bad. When I was going to the studio, it was maybe an hour or so shifted

01:33:57   in the opposite direction, so I'd be up by like 8, 8.30.

01:34:01   And to bed at 1.30?

01:34:03   Yeah.

01:34:04   Oh, okay, okay. So you've just shifted an hour, that's what you've done.

01:34:07   But it has been worse than that too, you know, like going to bed at like 3.30 and stuff.

01:34:12   So I've been able to shift it a little bit, but at the moment it is an hour or so in the

01:34:18   wrong direction for me, I think.

01:34:21   So you want to bump it back an hour?

01:34:23   That ideally, yeah.

01:34:24   But at the moment I just don't have a reason.

01:34:27   Right.

01:34:28   Because time is meaningless.

01:34:31   I like that.

01:34:32   That's like an aspirational sleep schedule.

01:34:35   Oh, I'd like to move it back an hour.

01:34:38   Not for any practical reason, just for-

01:34:40   Well like right now there's no practical reason to do it.

01:34:43   Like when I'm going back to the studio again, I will want to be leaving earlier in the day

01:34:48   so I can get to the studio at the time that I would like to start working, right?

01:34:52   But right now I don't have a commute, so there's no point for me in trying to change it.

01:34:59   Ah right, okay, right, got it.

01:35:01   No matter what time I wake up, provided I'm awake for it, I'm most productive around like

01:35:09   10 30 to 12, 10 30 to 1.

01:35:12   So if I'm at home, I don't need to be up until like 9

01:35:17   9 30 to make that happen.

01:35:19   But if I'm going to the studio, I don't want to still be on the way.

01:35:25   But 10 to 30.

01:35:27   Right, right.

01:35:28   Okay, that makes sense.

01:35:29   That makes sense.

01:35:30   Sleep is rough.

01:35:31   Like I said last time, the variance in my sleep schedule was just has been all over the place in this pandemic.

01:35:37   I wish I was like you and it just got shifted an hour, but it really has been like too many

01:35:42   little extreme spikes in either staying up very late or waking up very late.

01:35:47   And as part of the like, get things in order for this year, I do feel like it's the most

01:35:52   foundational thing that I've been trying to tackle.

01:35:55   All joking aside, I really think that me trying to fix my sleep schedule is part of the reason

01:36:03   why I've especially had no sense of time in January and the start of February,

01:36:09   because I just found it brutally hard.

01:36:12   Let me just explain some of the constraints here.

01:36:14   So I like to work early in the morning.

01:36:16   The main reason for doing this is one, by getting up earlier, I get more, not just

01:36:22   work done, but the quality writing work done, and I feel happier when the afternoon

01:36:29   rolls around if I've gotten in like a nice writing or research or intense work morning,

01:36:34   it's like, okay, great, I feel good and I'm happy.

01:36:38   And I just know that if I sleep in late, it's like I'm way easier to miss my prime hours

01:36:44   and then it's just like, okay, this is a day where maybe I can get lower quality work done

01:36:50   but I'm just kind of bummed also and you have one of these days that are the worst where

01:36:56   You don't get a lot of work done, but you also don't relax.

01:36:59   You're just in this terrible zone of, "Oh, I wish I had gotten more done."

01:37:05   And so in the past, I've always been able just to brute force waking up at the right

01:37:12   time just with setting an alarm on my watch, like so the watch vibrates, and just like

01:37:19   get up and you're gonna have a few bad days, but you know, you can push through this and

01:37:26   can get back on your schedule, you know, after you come back from traveling or whatever.

01:37:29   But yeah, it's just not working this time around. And while people were very helpful with

01:37:35   suggestions, I forgot to iterate that I have a constraint here, which is that my wife sleeps

01:37:42   later than I do. Like, her schedule is a lot closer to your schedule. So what I'm not willing

01:37:48   to do is I'm not willing to have an alarm that will also wake her up in the morning.

01:37:56   Right.

01:37:56   Because it's just, it's just totally unfair to have someone like be pulled out of sleep,

01:38:03   you know, an hour and a half or two hours before they're going to get up.

01:38:07   Like, I just think that's awful.

01:38:08   And so, yes, I'm fully aware that there's like all of these fun, different kinds of

01:38:13   of alarms that people can have and we have one of these like sunset alarms that you know

01:38:19   that's what my wife uses to get up in the morning and it's great but I'm not going to

01:38:23   have the sun rise for both of us when I want to get up and then turn it off. I can't have

01:38:29   a too aggressive alarm. So yeah, I don't know, I've been really trying to focus on this,

01:38:35   trying to go to bed at reasonable times and trying to wake up at reasonable times but

01:38:40   it's just been much harder than I expected.

01:38:44   But there's a couple of things that have helped

01:38:48   in the last two weeks.

01:38:50   And one of them is, I think I've realized,

01:38:53   oh, part of my problem is that for whatever reason

01:38:57   during pandemic time, I think I've just been calculating

01:39:00   how much sleep I need wrong.

01:39:03   For the whole of my life,

01:39:06   as long as I've ever had sleep trackers,

01:39:09   I've been a very consistent seven hours basically on the dot kind of person, even if I can sleep

01:39:15   in later, like I just don't.

01:39:17   But I think one of the things that's that I'm realizing is for whatever reason, you

01:39:24   know, maybe it's the complete lack of stimulus in my environment for a year, who knows?

01:39:29   I think I need to add like another hour or 90 minutes on top of that.

01:39:34   And I think that's part of the reason why I've been just like blowing past my watch

01:39:38   alarm in the morning is, "Oh, this has changed."

01:39:43   Like something biologically in your brain has changed and you actually just need more

01:39:47   sleep now and you just weren't calculating it right.

01:39:50   So I think that's partly helped.

01:39:53   And then the other thing that I just totally forgot about existing was melatonin pills,

01:40:00   right, for going to sleep.

01:40:03   And so I've been using those in the last two weeks, helping myself get to sleep.

01:40:09   And it's been better.

01:40:11   It's still not great, but it's been better.

01:40:17   Why do you think you need this extra hour?

01:40:19   I don't know.

01:40:20   I have no idea.

01:40:21   I mean, like what drew you to this conclusion?

01:40:23   Looking at the data.

01:40:24   So like my phone does the sleep tracking stuff, you know, with my Apple watch.

01:40:29   And again, this is just one of these things where brains are weird and dumb and the sleep

01:40:35   tracking data very routinely was showing like, "Oh, you're blowing past your wake up time

01:40:40   by an hour to an hour and a half, at least every day."

01:40:45   It's like, okay, I think I'm just calculating this wrong.

01:40:49   Like for whatever reason, my body just wants to sleep longer and this is showing up in

01:40:54   the data.

01:40:55   anything that's ever happened in my life before, I can't rely on a lighter alarm to wake me up.

01:41:00   Some part of me wakes up just enough to turn off the alarm and that's it, you know? And it's like,

01:41:06   no consciousness ever happens here. Like, nighttime gray just turns off the alarm and

01:41:12   we're gonna keep going. So yeah, I just think it just came out of the data like, okay, I need

01:41:16   this longer sleep. Okay, accept that, move the sleep schedule earlier so that you still have

01:41:25   the like core working hours in the morning, but you're going to sleep in time to catch that wake-up time.

01:41:32   So that's what's been going on in the in the past six weeks to a month, but it has been just weirdly

01:41:38   brutal trying to move this schedule and I'm kind of mentally considering that, oh 2021, it didn't

01:41:47   start in January. We're just gonna write off like that doesn't really count. January was a transition

01:41:52   month, maybe 2021, Valentine's Day feels like a lovely start. That's when we're really going to

01:41:58   consider the year to begin is Valentine's Day. Why? What do you expect happening post Valentine's

01:42:06   Day? This is one of these cases where your expectations do not match reality.

01:42:10   Right. I was really thinking like, "Okay, in January,

01:42:13   I have a bunch of time to like get ahead of writing on a bunch of projects that I'm working

01:42:19   and I'm going to do this.

01:42:20   But if there's one thing that messing around with sleep effect, quality

01:42:24   of writing dramatically decreases.

01:42:27   And so I've, I've found myself working on other projects so that

01:42:32   I'm still moving stuff forward.

01:42:34   But it's like, man, I did not get a quarter of my dream amount

01:42:40   of writing done in January.

01:42:42   And I think it just totally relates to trying to iron out the sleep schedule.

01:42:46   So that's why I'm kind of like writing off that month.

01:42:50   Be like, "It doesn't, it doesn't count."

01:42:51   That was a transition month.

01:42:53   So with the melatonin pills and trying to move the schedule and elongate it, it's

01:43:00   like, "Oh, amount of writing has definitely gone up in the past two weeks."

01:43:03   It's still not where I want it to be, but I feel like it's getting better.

01:43:08   So I was just kind of thinking like, "Okay, Valentine's Day is, is the

01:43:11   actual mental start for the year."

01:43:14   That is also part of the reason why the snow video got made in the end because video editing

01:43:20   work is something I can definitely do if I'm still a little sleepy, right?

01:43:25   Yeah, it doesn't require the same mental energy for you.

01:43:28   It's way easier.

01:43:30   It's not less time-consuming.

01:43:32   In some weird ways, it's actually more time-consuming because I can't, for example, say, "I'm

01:43:39   We're gonna spend the next 48 hours, under normal circumstances, and spend all of that

01:43:43   time writing.

01:43:44   That can happen on an extremely rare, case-by-case basis, but that is totally possible with video

01:43:50   editing.

01:43:51   I'm just gonna watch this a hundred times and make changes each time that I think make

01:43:54   it a little better, and at some point it'll be good enough.

01:43:56   So okay, I don't know if I should say this now, or if I should say it on more text, just

01:44:03   the more text that's here.

01:44:05   But you know how we were talking about comments?

01:44:07   people say when you release videos? And there's totally this effect, which is when you do something

01:44:15   different or new, you will get many comments where people say, "Oh my god, I can't believe that this

01:44:22   is what this person is going to do forever now. Whatever has occurred right now is what will happen

01:44:28   for forever." Right? And so I've mostly gotten over that with my YouTube channel. I feel like

01:44:35   Like, people know the deal that sometimes I post random stuff.

01:44:38   But, but because of the sleep stuff, and because I wasn't doing a lot of writing,

01:44:42   I thought, "Okay, well, I've got a couple of other projects I want to try to clear the decks of."

01:44:48   And the other one is also a kind of vloggy video, which at this point is mostly done.

01:44:56   It was slowly dawning on me with horror.

01:44:58   Oh, it's very likely that the next video that really will be finished will be this vlog

01:45:06   and then I will have posted two vlogs in a row and I will have to deal with a hundred

01:45:12   million comments from people going "oh my god I can't believe CGP Grey has changed his

01:45:19   entire YouTube channel to be vlogs" right?

01:45:21   You're a vlogger now.

01:45:22   Yeah because once, twice, now you can draw a line right now this is like-

01:45:27   So it was a pattern.

01:45:28   This is a pattern.

01:45:30   Listen audience, this is not the future.

01:45:33   This is just what happens.

01:45:34   Sometimes you get two things that are the same that finish about the same time, but

01:45:38   it's like, it's not the plan.

01:45:41   So anyway, that's what's been going on with my sleep and like work and all the rest of

01:45:45   it.

01:45:46   I'm hoping next time we record that I will have it much more under control.

01:45:53   I do feel like I've made progress, but it's just taken a long time and it's been much slower than

01:45:59   I expected it would be. I don't know, I feel like from now it's just going to be like the

01:46:05   note-taking follow-up where I want to ask you and you say, "Don't ask me."

01:46:09   Have you heard the good word about Obsidian, Myke?