105: Atomic Notes


00:00:00   So here we are on a completely non-regularly scheduled recording time.

00:00:05   Yep, no schedule.

00:00:06   Well, you say that.

00:00:07   There was, I wish I had the audio of our last recording session

00:00:13   where you said to me, "What if we record every second Tuesday now?"

00:00:18   Because as you said at the time, you've never heard me so happy, right?

00:00:25   Like it was kind of like a moment where it was like almost unbelievable to me to hear you suggest that we set a time on our calendar that we could, as I think I said at the time, put a repeating rule on.

00:00:39   I mean, yes, you did sound like the happiest boy in the world.

00:00:43   And you were so happy.

00:00:45   I found it surprising and not really quite what I was expecting.

00:00:49   because if I know when we're recording,

00:00:54   I know when the show's coming out

00:00:56   and I can answer questions that I get

00:00:59   and deal with administrative stuff

00:01:01   that I need to deal with without either A,

00:01:03   just randomly guessing or B,

00:01:06   needing to pin you down for a minute to ask you, right?

00:01:09   So like knowing is great, but nevertheless,

00:01:13   our schedule was immediately broken the first time.

00:01:17   [Laughter]

00:01:19   We didn't even get to one of these scheduled recordings.

00:01:25   [Laughter]

00:01:26   Well, I mean, yeah, you are correct that I was trying to do is solve the problem of let's have something...

00:01:33   Here, Myke, let me describe to you what the advantage of schedules are.

00:01:37   Please, please, I need to know, it's so useful.

00:01:41   [Laughter]

00:01:43   It occurred to me that numerous times over the past many years,

00:01:47   it's like, oh, it might be useful to have like a default recording day.

00:01:50   That is the thing is really what I was thinking of is,

00:01:54   let's have a day that if we don't say anything,

00:01:59   we just know is the day that is the recording day.

00:02:03   That's what I was aiming for.

00:02:05   And that is the real genuine relief for me of knowing roughly when I can plan to,

00:02:13   Because there are times, many times, where we'll have a date that we were going to do

00:02:17   and we move it for some reason, like we did this one.

00:02:21   And then the day before, I'm like, "Is he remembered?"

00:02:25   Because history has proven that there are many times where we had a day, we moved a

00:02:35   day because you've got something happening, and then you forget.

00:02:38   Yeah, I think you have also developed a pretty good radar for when is Grey very busy with

00:02:45   some self-contained project?

00:02:48   As like, when is he extremely likely to have completely forgotten that the outside world

00:02:53   exists?

00:02:54   Like, I think you've gotten a good sense for that over the years.

00:02:56   So you're not wrong.

00:02:57   Honestly, the last couple of weeks have been like a real good, like, you know, from the

00:03:02   the time before you put out the Gray Was Wrong video to now,

00:03:07   I can sense when you're off the radar a little bit, right?

00:03:12   And at that time, it's like, fine.

00:03:15   I know if something's urgent, I can flag you down,

00:03:18   but otherwise I'm just gonna batch up my questions

00:03:21   and we'll deal with them later on, right?

00:03:22   - Yeah, exactly.

00:03:23   - And so when that happens,

00:03:26   I know that there is a strong likelihood

00:03:29   that if I can tell that you're still in that mode,

00:03:33   I need to like really triple confirm with you

00:03:37   that you know we're recording.

00:03:39   - Yes, yes, yeah, you're not wrong, you're not wrong at all.

00:03:42   But yeah, so I was just been trying to do a bunch of,

00:03:45   much more longer term planning

00:03:47   and just thinking things through and I was like,

00:03:48   "Oh, hey, what I would like for Cortex is just some,"

00:03:52   like you said it exactly correctly, I was trying to think,

00:03:55   "I want a repeating rule for this

00:03:56   "that can just be the default

00:03:58   if we don't say anything else.

00:04:00   But then you are correct that we agreed on that

00:04:03   and probably not, but two days later,

00:04:05   like my whole life exploded and I was like,

00:04:08   well, I'm gonna be shockingly busy until this thing is done.

00:04:12   So it didn't even occur to me when I was like,

00:04:14   we gotta move back that Cortex recording date,

00:04:16   like this isn't happening.

00:04:17   And I think the first thing you said to me is like,

00:04:19   oh, you've already broken the schedule

00:04:21   that you promised me instantly. - We didn't get to one.

00:04:24   We didn't even get to one.

00:04:27   I'm so sorry, Myke.

00:04:29   - But look, I had notice.

00:04:30   All I ever wanted was notice.

00:04:32   You just mentioned something.

00:04:34   I want to come back to the scheduling thing a little bit

00:04:36   'cause you are doing some interesting stuff

00:04:38   with scheduling at the moment in your life,

00:04:40   which is very fascinating to me.

00:04:42   You just put up a video called Weekend Wednesday.

00:04:44   You've completely upended what a week looks like.

00:04:50   So yes, you are doing some interesting things.

00:04:52   - Yeah, well, you're also breaking the timeline here, Myke,

00:04:54   because I haven't put it up yet.

00:04:55   We're recording before it goes up.

00:04:57   - I know, but we've specifically said we're gonna wait,

00:05:00   although you've made that promise

00:05:02   that you've made to me again a million times,

00:05:04   where it's, I have a video that's coming out.

00:05:07   Definitely coming out Tuesday.

00:05:09   - Yeah, no, 100%, it's coming out Tuesday, Myke.

00:05:12   - I believe that you believe it.

00:05:14   - Right. - Right?

00:05:15   Which is why when I just had to tell someone

00:05:17   when the episode was coming out,

00:05:18   I said, "Most likely Wednesday."

00:05:21   Because it could be Thursday,

00:05:22   because the video might not come out on Tuesday,

00:05:25   because that's also like a thing that's happened many times

00:05:28   and I'm not criticizing, right?

00:05:30   But all I'm trying to prove in this discussion here is

00:05:34   we're a good team because I know how you work, right?

00:05:38   - It's very kind of you, yes.

00:05:40   That's excellent.

00:05:42   - I mean, but it's, you know,

00:05:44   people work in different ways.

00:05:45   Like, Cortex is a thing that you do,

00:05:49   but you have a much more time consuming thing that you do.

00:05:52   Podcasts are the thing that I do.

00:05:53   Like, it's all different, right?

00:05:55   Like, you know, this could easily be the other way around,

00:05:59   but it's not.

00:06:00   Like, this is just the way that it is,

00:06:01   and I'm more flexible in my schedule than yours can be,

00:06:06   because there are like much more dependencies.

00:06:09   So like, anyway.

00:06:10   But there was something you mentioned around,

00:06:12   you were saying about like looking at your schedule

00:06:14   and thinking about things.

00:06:16   It pointed to something that I've been acutely aware of

00:06:19   right now, and that I'm referring to as being pandemic busy,

00:06:23   that I think could become a real problem.

00:06:26   - What do you mean by pandemic busy?

00:06:28   - Right, so I think a lot of people right now,

00:06:31   because their lives have changed so much,

00:06:33   they have different demands on their time,

00:06:35   they're using their time in different ways,

00:06:39   that people are starting to fill this time with stuff.

00:06:43   Maybe they have a new project

00:06:44   that they wanna work on, a side project,

00:06:47   or they are taking on more responsibilities in their life

00:06:50   in some way, whether it's with work

00:06:52   or different family responsibilities

00:06:54   or social responsibilities,

00:06:56   that I'm worried that when life returns to normal,

00:07:01   people are gonna be really overwhelmed

00:07:03   because they've taken on so many things during the pandemic

00:07:08   that their normal lives would not allow them to do.

00:07:12   And I'm worried that this is gonna become a problem

00:07:17   for people afterwards.

00:07:20   I'm also really worried about the ergonomics concern I have about people,

00:07:25   which is that like people working from home now,

00:07:27   we spoke about this before not considering their ergonomics,

00:07:29   think that they're totally fine because it didn't start hurting immediately.

00:07:33   But it doesn't, it takes months to like,

00:07:36   so like I feel like now we're in like the points like six months, right?

00:07:39   Now we're in the time when people's bodies are going to start breaking if they

00:07:43   weren't paying attention. That's like a whole other thing.

00:07:45   But this is this new thing that I'm worried about.

00:07:47   That's a good point. Yeah. For sure.

00:07:49   There's a lot of really wonky home office setups where you're like,

00:07:52   "Oh yeah, this stool and this card table is perfectly acceptable for me to work on."

00:07:57   And then six months later, you're like, "Why is my back hurt so much?"

00:08:00   Exactly. Or like, "Oh, I can just like stare down at my laptop the whole time.

00:08:04   I don't need to elevate and get an external keyboard.

00:08:06   Like that's not something I need."

00:08:07   It's like, "No, that's something you definitely need."

00:08:09   Okay. So, yeah.

00:08:10   So pandemic busy, what I thought you meant by this is like,

00:08:13   "Oh, people are just filling up their time with make work, you know,

00:08:16   because they've got nothing to do."

00:08:17   But so, so this is, it's actually a good point.

00:08:20   So what's that rule?

00:08:22   Like, you know, work expands to fill the time that you have or something like, it

00:08:26   feels like this is a variation on people always have a certain number of projects

00:08:32   or obligations in their life.

00:08:34   And so like you, so you think people are filling back up to whatever their

00:08:39   personal level of like, this is the optimal number of projects that I want to work on.

00:08:43   They're filling up to whatever that is without considering the fact that they're

00:08:47   You're gonna need a lot more slack in the system when, if, real life returns back and

00:08:54   comes in with like, "Oh hey, remember commutes?

00:08:57   Remember all the office stuff that you have to deal with?

00:09:00   Remember social obligations?"

00:09:02   So that's what you're concerned about, it's like people are loading up and it's gonna

00:09:05   be like system shock later.

00:09:07   It's a really interesting point.

00:09:10   That's a really interesting point.

00:09:11   - This goes into my personal theory,

00:09:13   which like where I am right now in my life

00:09:16   is believing things will go back to normal,

00:09:19   but it's going to be a long time, right?

00:09:21   Like that's where I am right now, right?

00:09:23   Where it's like, I believe there will be

00:09:25   a restored sense of normality in our future,

00:09:28   but it's still a way away.

00:09:30   Like it's still at least a year away, right?

00:09:33   Like that's kind of where I am right now.

00:09:36   And you know, like we can argue the specifics,

00:09:39   but basically the idea of like,

00:09:41   we don't think about lockdowns anymore, right?

00:09:44   It's like a thing in our lives.

00:09:45   And you know, like we start thinking about like,

00:09:48   oh, we should work in offices.

00:09:49   Now there is a whole other question,

00:09:51   which I do want to get into more at some point in the future

00:09:54   where I believe the office work is just going to change

00:09:56   because of the economics of it,

00:09:58   not because of the disease, right?

00:10:00   Not because of the virus, right?

00:10:01   So like there's a lot of companies now that are like,

00:10:04   holy (beep) we're saving millions.

00:10:07   - Right.

00:10:07   how do we have these offices, right?

00:10:09   And so like, I don't believe all corporate real estate

00:10:12   will go away, but I think significant chunks of it will.

00:10:16   'Cause there are always jobs

00:10:17   that people work better in person,

00:10:18   or there are always situations where like,

00:10:20   there are people that can't work comfortably at home.

00:10:22   It's not easy for them.

00:10:24   Like they don't like it and it's good to have options.

00:10:27   But I can imagine a situation where lots of big companies

00:10:30   have maybe 50% of the office space that they had before.

00:10:33   So like that's like a thing

00:10:35   that I think there will be changes,

00:10:37   but the idea of like the way people live their lives,

00:10:40   like I think it will return to a sense of normality,

00:10:43   but we're still a way away from it,

00:10:45   which is why this thing is concerning to me

00:10:47   of like we still got a long time to go.

00:10:49   People don't wanna be bored.

00:10:51   People don't wanna be sitting around doing nothing.

00:10:53   And or people see this as a time of like,

00:10:55   look at this extra time I have.

00:10:57   I have this project that I've always wanted to do.

00:10:59   I've now saved two hours of my day every single day

00:11:02   through not needing to commute.

00:11:04   I can finally do that thing.

00:11:06   and then they get used to that thing being in their life

00:11:08   and then they need those two hours back.

00:11:10   Like it's just like a,

00:11:12   and this isn't me saying like don't do the thing, right?

00:11:15   Because obviously we care like deeply on this show

00:11:18   about people having projects, right?

00:11:20   But I think it's something that we need to keep in mind.

00:11:25   It started for me because for many reasons,

00:11:28   some that we'll go into during this episode,

00:11:30   I am in a very busy time right now.

00:11:33   And it's just been a thing where I've thought, huh, I feel busy again.

00:11:37   Why?

00:11:39   And so like, I've come to the conclusion that the stuff that I'm working on is

00:11:43   short term and I would have just felt more busy and then I currently do, but

00:11:47   it's about, I'm trying to not fall into the trap of I have a bit of extra time free.

00:11:53   It's time to start a new podcast.

00:11:54   Uh, okay.

00:11:55   Yeah.

00:11:56   Yeah.

00:11:56   Yeah.

00:11:56   Cause I mean, at least from what I know about your upcoming schedule, it does

00:12:00   strike me that like, oh yes, this is just a busy time as there are busy times.

00:12:04   So you don't think that there's anything in your personal life right now that you

00:12:08   would identify as like, oh no, this is a pandemic busy project.

00:12:11   No.

00:12:12   Okay.

00:12:12   There's like some social things have changed, but I think that they will just

00:12:17   get replaced, but it's just a case of like looking around at the people in my life

00:12:22   and looking at people like I see online and stuff and it's like, it's just been

00:12:28   And like a little sexist term that's just been bubbling around in my brain a little

00:12:31   bit that I think I want to return to at some point in the future, but I wanted to like

00:12:37   float it by you to see if it like held.

00:12:40   I keep hearing people say like 'oh because of the pandemic I'm like trying out this new

00:12:44   hobby or whatever' which is awesome, great use of your time, but my concern is that there

00:12:50   will then be a sense of overwhelm later.

00:12:52   later.

00:12:53   Yeah, I think you might be right.

00:12:55   I'm just sort of mentally filing through all the cards in my head for the projects and things.

00:13:01   I don't feel like there's anything for me that really sticks out as that,

00:13:05   but the idea still feels pretty valid though. Like, "Oh, this is totally going to be a thing."

00:13:09   Because, so like you were saying, I think it was in your Q&A video that you just put up / are going to put up.

00:13:16   Have will put up.

00:13:17   Have will. That you had a bunch of stuff on your calendar, right, which obviously got cleared off.

00:13:22   but it's not like you're now not doing anything.

00:13:26   - Yeah, yeah.

00:13:27   - Right, so you are filling it with other things,

00:13:31   and then there's just the question of,

00:13:32   is this the less or more,

00:13:34   or could I potentially go through this time

00:13:37   and have come up with a really great idea

00:13:39   that later on means way more work

00:13:43   when I can go back to doing those projects again?

00:13:46   - No, I mean, part of why I originally suggested,

00:13:48   like, oh, let's have a default Cortex recording day,

00:13:51   Even if it gets moved and talking about projects is I was aware suddenly of, oh, I need to really seriously sit down and plan and think about the order of a bunch of things that I was thinking I was going to work on.

00:14:06   Like we've been long enough that I've recognized, oh, a bunch of these projects.

00:14:12   They're not temporarily on hold and I'll get to them in a month.

00:14:15   It's more like, okay, assume these projects simply cannot be done or cannot be finished.

00:14:21   And if that's the case, you need to rethink in a really vague way,

00:14:27   what does the rest of the year of videos look like?

00:14:29   Like, which topics are you going to do or that kind of thing.

00:14:31   So that's why I was in like a scheduling mood and thinking about it.

00:14:35   It doesn't strike me as pandemic busy because this is always a thing that I do.

00:14:39   And again, this is not like any target that I try to stick to.

00:14:44   It's just the vague concept of what are the next four to six most probable main videos that are coming up?

00:14:52   It's just a useful thing to think about.

00:14:55   But you could see, I guess, if somebody thought like you,

00:14:58   like enough, that someone worked like you enough,

00:15:01   that they could be planning out their next six videos and then the travel starts again.

00:15:05   So the four projects that they were working on before are now also in the hopper.

00:15:09   Yes, exactly.

00:15:10   The only thing that makes it different for me is that because of the way I structure my whole life,

00:15:15   I'm able to then just push back and rearrange all of those projects.

00:15:20   But yes, most people in most working situations,

00:15:23   projects come with more clear and direct external dependencies and obligations.

00:15:29   And so yes, I can totally see that you can very easily work yourself into way too many obligations

00:15:37   that just cannot possibly fit into a normal person's life

00:15:41   once a normal person's life returns.

00:15:44   So, yeah. I think it's a really valid concept,

00:15:46   and I think you're right to...

00:15:48   I don't know, maybe this feels like the real danger zone time for this,

00:15:52   of people having pandemic projects and taking on more right now,

00:15:56   and then also real life returning maybe at some point on the horizon.

00:16:01   Yeah, I think it's interesting.

00:16:02   Because I don't know about you, but like, I feel like this is life now.

00:16:07   Yeah, yeah, I do.

00:16:08   I feel like I've adapted.

00:16:11   And it doesn't mean that I'm taking my eye off the ball.

00:16:15   What it means is like, we have our flow now, right?

00:16:18   Like we know how we operate in life.

00:16:22   And so I think it's the time it could for a lot of people where they were like,

00:16:26   "All right, this is what I'm used to for now.

00:16:30   So what changes?"

00:16:31   where maybe people were spending time reassessing.

00:16:35   I like your weekend Wednesday idea, by the way.

00:16:39   I wished it was something that I could easily implement,

00:16:41   but I have a lot of scheduled projects on Wednesdays.

00:16:44   Right, yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:16:45   Then I don't need to move.

00:16:46   But similarly, though, I do always

00:16:48   try to keep Thursday or Friday in a week pretty open

00:16:55   so I can have a backup weekend day.

00:17:00   that happened this very week, so I kept pretty much most of yesterday free because we're

00:17:07   working today.

00:17:08   Which is a Saturday.

00:17:09   B: Yeah, I mean the weekend Wednesday thing for me is directly related to quarantine,

00:17:15   and the evolution of the thought starts with a conversation you and I had at the very beginning

00:17:20   of this whole thing where you were talking about taking the weekend really seriously.

00:17:25   This was part of the whole like, "What day is it?

00:17:28   What month is it?

00:17:29   I have no idea."

00:17:30   Right?

00:17:31   Like you lose sense of time.

00:17:32   "Do I need a giant sign in my house that says Saturday?"

00:17:34   Right?

00:17:35   I thought that was a really good point about take the weekends seriously.

00:17:40   This is now a vital thing and it's also something I think just generally over the past many

00:17:46   years of my working in my life, I've never really taken the weekends seriously.

00:17:51   You know, this is always the problem of being a self-employed person is, you know, you can

00:17:55   And you can just very easily end up always working or half working, which is even worse.

00:18:02   So I totally like, I was like, oh yeah, you're 100% right.

00:18:06   Keeping psychological distance between days on and days off is a thousand times more important

00:18:12   now in the same way that like, exercise is mandatory.

00:18:15   It doesn't matter what you think about it.

00:18:17   Like you have to do this now.

00:18:19   But it started this thought process because I've always like, whoever came up with the

00:18:25   seven day week is the worst number. The seven day week is like incredibly frustrating. It's

00:18:30   a prime number. It doesn't divide easily. I don't like it. Two thumbs down to the inventor

00:18:35   of the seven day week. I found myself like taking the weekend seriously but getting increasingly

00:18:40   annoyed by the amount of time is just wrong. And I've tried to come up with various schemes

00:18:46   for, could I have a 12 day week that overlaps with the seven day week?

00:18:51   You see, this is the thing that you are not allowed to keep doing.

00:18:55   Well, I'll just change time.

00:18:58   I'll live on a different time zone.

00:19:01   You can't just keep trying to do these things.

00:19:05   What do you mean?

00:19:07   I live on a different time zone and my week lasts 12 and a half days.

00:19:12   Well, okay. The problem is that the external world exists.

00:19:17   Yes.

00:19:17   And so you can have these great patterns where you have some very old calendars do this kind of thing

00:19:22   where it's like, "Oh, we have three cycles. There's a three-day cycle and a nine-day cycle and a 12-day cycle."

00:19:27   And different combinations of the cycles mean different things.

00:19:30   And it's like, "Oh, look at this. I think you could actually design something that works pretty well for actual human time."

00:19:36   So it's like, "But guess what? Seven's a prime number, so f*ck you."

00:19:40   Like, nothing you can possibly invent is ever gonna line up with the 7-day schedule on any kind of scale.

00:19:48   You know, it's just like, it just mathematically doesn't work no matter how much you try.

00:19:52   Although I've tried many times to somehow defeat prime numbers, like I don't know what I was thinking.

00:19:58   But yeah, so while I was taking the weekend really seriously, I just kept thinking that

00:20:02   everything about this traditional work week doesn't work, but is there something that I can fix?

00:20:08   And for me at least, realizing that I find I rarely really need the two days in a row off,

00:20:16   and that the two days off are sort of, they're ineffective being back to back.

00:20:22   And so I thought, "Okay, weekend Wednesday is going to be a weekend day,

00:20:26   and I'm going to take that work day and put it on Saturday, so that I have two days of work,

00:20:31   one day off, three days of work, one day off, and just repeat that cycle over and over again."

00:20:37   And I have to say, it's- it has been- I've been doing it basically the whole quarantine,

00:20:42   and I love it.

00:20:44   Like I just- I find it is perfect as much as can be done within the constraints of a

00:20:50   seven day week.

00:20:52   This little pattern I think is about as optimal, at least for me, as I can possibly make it.

00:20:58   And so, uh, yeah, that's why I made like this little light grey video where I want to like

00:21:02   propagandize this concept.

00:21:04   And like, obviously, this is not going to work for 99.9% of people on the planet.

00:21:08   But I think there are enough people

00:21:10   who, if they're able to have some control over their schedule,

00:21:13   might benefit from trying something like this out.

00:21:16   You know, because again, there's not

00:21:18   there's not an infinite number of different types of people.

00:21:20   I think this could really work for some self-employed people or for some students.

00:21:25   And yeah, I've just absolutely loved this new schedule and I think

00:21:29   this is going to last for the rest of my life.

00:21:32   I suspect, well beyond quarantine at least.

00:21:34   - So what day did you, you removed Saturday, right?

00:21:37   - Yeah, so Saturday is a work day.

00:21:38   - Right, okay. - That's what happened.

00:21:41   - I think the thing that I liked about it the most,

00:21:43   which is a very good point of like, if you work Saturday,

00:21:47   that is like a day when you can put in things

00:21:51   where you don't wanna be disrupted.

00:21:54   - Yeah. - Because nobody else

00:21:55   is working, so they'll leave you alone.

00:21:57   - Yeah, yeah, and I mean, a little bit of this

00:22:01   comes out from back when I was being a teacher,

00:22:04   like you have these days where you're supposed to put in

00:22:06   like a certain amount of time before the school year starts up

00:22:09   and I would always try to strategize about like,

00:22:11   I want to go in on the days when no one else is there

00:22:14   and you can get 10,000 times more done

00:22:16   when no one else is around.

00:22:18   And I also find like even for me,

00:22:21   it's been useful to have a day where it's just like

00:22:25   the possibility of the outside world interrupting you

00:22:28   is much lower, like with work-related stuff,

00:22:32   if you make Saturday a work day.

00:22:35   And yeah, it's been really, really great.

00:22:40   And I find that the cycle feels just about right.

00:22:45   I don't have the feeling,

00:22:48   like I did when I was taking the weekend seriously,

00:22:51   but still doing five days in a row of real work,

00:22:56   feeling like Thursday afternoon to Friday felt like really unoptimal time. Like, I'm

00:23:04   still working, but I'm working at a lower percent efficiency than otherwise. And so

00:23:10   I think like having a weekend Wednesday day as a break day really feels like it keeps

00:23:16   the efficiency up much higher for all of the other work days. Although, again, because

00:23:21   I haven't actually put that video up yet and we're recording ahead of time, this is one

00:23:25   of those videos that I'm a little worried about how is this going to be received. I

00:23:29   don't know if everybody's going to totally hate this.

00:23:31   Look at you. You can change your work.

00:23:36   This is totally like, "Well, that's great for CGP Grey." Obviously, there's no big company

00:23:44   in the world that would ever do it because too many people would hate it. But again,

00:23:47   I'm thinking of some of the teams of people that I know in YouTube and Educationland where

00:23:55   they're like small teams of people? I could totally see a small team of people trying

00:23:59   it out and thinking like, "Oh, this actually works."

00:24:03   Flexible time exists. Yeah, flexible time exists.

00:24:06   It's a thing that lots of companies do. Yeah, and even the people that I work with

00:24:11   are very happy to have some concept of like, "When is he around? When is he not around?"

00:24:17   So even here, I don't enforce a schedule on anybody, but just knowing what days is

00:24:23   gray working or what days is gray not working. Even within like with that or even within

00:24:30   my own like personal life just with my family, I'm surprised at how everybody is thrilled

00:24:34   to know like what days is he on and what days is he off.

00:24:38   Yeah imagine if it was possible to like share a bit of a schedule with people.

00:24:43   What are you trying to get at? It can make them happier. Collaborate and

00:24:47   work with them. What are you trying to get at here? I don't

00:24:51   understand the point you're trying to make.

00:24:53   structure.

00:24:58   This episode of Cortex is brought to you by Setapp.

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00:26:26   Cortexmerch.com

00:26:30   We have a limited quantity available now of what I'm referring to in my mind as the doomed

00:26:35   reprint of the theme system journal.

00:26:37   Oh, it's very serious sounding.

00:26:38   Well, this order was placed in... November?

00:26:41   November?

00:26:43   - Oh God, what, no, that can't be true.

00:26:44   That cannot be true.

00:26:46   - I had the order in before Lunar New Year.

00:26:49   That was the goal.

00:26:52   I put this order in, I believe, at the end of 2019.

00:26:57   - Did 2019 even happen?

00:27:00   Was 2019 real?

00:27:01   I just feel so long ago, okay.

00:27:03   - At that point, I really couldn't remember

00:27:06   what year was last year.

00:27:08   I really could not remember that.

00:27:10   So I put this order in in either maybe like December

00:27:13   or maybe January of this year,

00:27:15   but the idea was to beat Luna New Year.

00:27:17   And for anybody that doesn't remember,

00:27:21   coronavirus hit in China during Luna New Year,

00:27:24   like that was when it spread,

00:27:26   because that was people coming together,

00:27:29   and that was that, right?

00:27:30   So it is kind of like when I look back on it now

00:27:33   with hindsight, it's like not a funny haha,

00:27:37   but like a funny thing.

00:27:38   Like I was very aware, more aware of coronavirus

00:27:41   than most people because our notebooks were delayed.

00:27:44   - Right.

00:27:45   - But I never thought, right, like nobody did,

00:27:48   I never thought that this would happen, you know?

00:27:52   I have no concept of it, of something like this.

00:27:54   It was just like, oh, maybe it'll be like swine flu,

00:27:57   I guess, no.

00:27:59   Anyway, so this reprint is the order that has been

00:28:03   in the works for the best part of eight months.

00:28:05   - Fuck.

00:28:06   And the other thing is, I cannot find the energy

00:28:10   to actually talk about all of this,

00:28:12   but it wasn't just this.

00:28:14   There were also multiple issues with this reprint.

00:28:19   This was the one where, Gray, you may remember this,

00:28:22   where they, I think I told you about it.

00:28:23   I don't know if I've told this story on the show,

00:28:25   where I was sent a box of samples, of 50 samples,

00:28:30   and only three arrived.

00:28:31   -Oh, right, yeah.

00:28:32   -And then two days later, the rest arrived

00:28:34   because the box was damaged.

00:28:36   But it's like, there's just been,

00:28:37   this entire reprint has been a comedy of errors,

00:28:40   but they are available now.

00:28:42   You can go to cortexmerch.com.

00:28:43   We still have a small amount left.

00:28:45   So if you do want one, get one.

00:28:48   And I will say, just like we are working

00:28:50   on the second edition, this will most likely be

00:28:53   the last reprint of the current version of the book.

00:28:58   So the second version of the book,

00:29:00   the structure is the same,

00:29:01   but there are some features that we're adding,

00:29:04   and I'm changing some stuff about the way it's printed

00:29:07   to make the process more manageable, I'll say.

00:29:12   But I'll talk about that later on.

00:29:14   But yeah, so you can get them now at cortexmerch.com.

00:29:18   - If you want a journal, get a journal right now.

00:29:21   (laughs)

00:29:24   - I remember how hard it was to get them printed

00:29:26   the first time and I'm basically restarting the process.

00:29:29   - Yeah, look, we all know, oh look,

00:29:32   Cortex Journal is going through a chip transition,

00:29:34   you know, so should I get the next one

00:29:36   or should I get the now one?

00:29:37   Get the now one.

00:29:38   - Get the now one.

00:29:39   - Like I'm telling you that right now, man.

00:29:41   You want a journal, you better buy it right now.

00:29:43   - If you are using one and coming towards the end of it,

00:29:46   or if you think you might be interested,

00:29:48   you should buy one of these,

00:29:50   because there will be more hopefully this year,

00:29:54   but like who the (beep) knows, right?

00:29:58   It's difficult to deal with.

00:29:59   - Yeah, we're working on it,

00:30:01   but it's hard to make promises,

00:30:06   it's hard to have estimates.

00:30:08   - Considering the amount of these that we have sold

00:30:11   and the amount of times that we've had them for sale,

00:30:15   it would seem like maybe this is like a little thing

00:30:20   that we work on.

00:30:21   I'm not kidding, I spend time every single day

00:30:26   on this project, right?

00:30:28   every day I'm doing something on this project.

00:30:31   - Yeah.

00:30:32   - It is, this is a very hard business to run.

00:30:36   - Yeah, I mean, we said a year ago, like,

00:30:38   oh, you can totally understand now

00:30:40   how anybody who manufactures a physical product,

00:30:43   it takes so much longer than you think.

00:30:45   And this has been a real lesson in that of,

00:30:48   you think, oh, why can't they just make another,

00:30:51   it's like, oh, no, no.

00:30:53   When you start talking about supply chains and factories

00:30:56   and all the rest of it, it's so hard.

00:30:57   - It's not as easy as just you wanting to do it.

00:31:00   - Yeah.

00:31:01   - Right?

00:31:02   But like, you know, basically the work that I'm putting in

00:31:04   now is from having spent a lot of time learning

00:31:07   over the last year and a bit, right?

00:31:10   And so I feel like I'm in so much of a better place now

00:31:13   than I was a year ago, in trying to understand

00:31:15   how to make this stuff work.

00:31:17   And I feel like I'm taking what I've learned

00:31:20   and putting it into the second edition,

00:31:22   but the plan being of making this a more,

00:31:26   Sustainable isn't the word, but like a running,

00:31:29   constantly running product, which it hasn't been.

00:31:33   - Yeah, the way I describe it is,

00:31:34   you're trying to smooth out the variance.

00:31:36   I love, like, we don't want big shipments occasionally.

00:31:41   Like, we wanna be able to figure out

00:31:42   how to make this more of a regular thing.

00:31:44   That's the main goal. - It's like if somebody goes

00:31:46   to cortexmerch.com on July 29th to buy a journal,

00:31:50   I just want there to be one for them, right?

00:31:53   - It's such a simple thing. (laughs)

00:31:54   - That's the plan.

00:31:55   Because then, once we finally get that done,

00:31:58   I can turn my attention to other projects

00:32:01   that I've wanted to work on for two years, right?

00:32:04   That are related to the Cortex brand company,

00:32:07   but the entire output of the Cortex brand company

00:32:11   is just soaked up by the theme system journal.

00:32:15   One day.

00:32:16   - So anyway, cortexmerch.com.

00:32:19   - So I have been on a bit of a quest

00:32:24   real-time collaboration. So my mind has been taken up by note-taking, but I noticed that

00:32:31   you'd put something in our document about note-taking as well.

00:32:34   Oh, okay. You know, listeners, I've just been through a big thing. Like, we're recording,

00:32:41   I guess it's a little more than two weeks after I put up that whole like "CGP Grey was wrong" video,

00:32:46   where I was partly like re-evaluating my entire process of working.

00:32:51   Yeah, if I can give it a one sentence summary.

00:32:54   Let's just say there was an error in the research process of a video

00:32:58   and then you made what I think is a very good video about your process,

00:33:03   which people can find in the show notes.

00:33:05   I'll put a link to it if they haven't seen it already.

00:33:07   So it's been like, it's been quite a two weeks is what it's been.

00:33:12   Or it's three weeks now actually.

00:33:13   And so as part of like the internal post-mortem of that project,

00:33:20   It's funny, I realized at one point, like, so I basically, um, like I took a week off of all writing projects.

00:33:27   I decided, "Okay, after this, what I can't do is I can't just..."

00:33:33   You know, "Oh, well, that was an interesting, terrible experience, like, let me just dive right into whatever the next video is going to be."

00:33:39   I felt like, "Okay, now I need to take some time off here, and now that the correction has been made, and like, all of that has been done,

00:33:47   I need to like just sort of think about the actual process, what it's going to look like

00:33:54   going forward or be able to think without a time constraint on like what might I want

00:34:00   to change or you know, how my things be different.

00:34:02   And it was funny at some point I realized, oh, I'm doing the thing that I think people

00:34:08   think I spend all of my time doing, which is thinking about productivity, right?

00:34:13   Like,

00:34:14   And trying new apps and systems.

00:34:16   - Yeah, and trying new apps and systems,

00:34:18   and it just struck me three days into the project

00:34:21   as a really funny thing.

00:34:22   - This is the phenomenon,

00:34:24   this is a long, I'm going a long way around here,

00:34:26   all right, to make a point.

00:34:27   - No, no, go.

00:34:28   - This is the phenomenon that people talk about

00:34:31   that causes FOMO with Instagram influencers.

00:34:34   - What do you mean?

00:34:35   - Where you as a consumer only see what they show you.

00:34:40   - Right, right.

00:34:41   - So what an influencer shows you.

00:34:42   So it looks like they're traveling all the time

00:34:46   because they just show you

00:34:47   that they're traveling all the time.

00:34:49   Well, for me and you, with productivity tools,

00:34:52   we always tell the cortexans we have every tool that we use,

00:34:56   but that doesn't mean all we do is try new tools, right?

00:35:01   So every time we do it, we tell you about it,

00:35:04   so it feels like we do it a lot.

00:35:05   - Yeah, it is a very funny selection effect that,

00:35:11   I mean, it's easily got to be 99% of the things

00:35:16   that I ever try or think about relating to productivity

00:35:19   are discussed on the show, right?

00:35:22   - But I'm not spending 99% of all time.

00:35:26   - Yeah, it's just funny.

00:35:28   And I think this is also unlike the influencer effect,

00:35:31   which is just a pure selection effect.

00:35:33   I also just think like the topic of work

00:35:36   is always endlessly interesting to me.

00:35:38   Like I always, when I meet new people,

00:35:39   I do always love to ask them like,

00:35:41   "Oh, how do you work and how does it go?"

00:35:43   Because people are just so wildly different.

00:35:47   Like, one big slider that people end on different parts of

00:35:52   is the, like, how much do you need scaffolding

00:35:55   to assist you with your work

00:35:57   versus how much are you like Nike

00:36:00   and you can just do it, right?

00:36:01   And I think that there's often, like, a lot of confusion

00:36:06   between those two groups, like, not understanding each other.

00:36:09   And so I think the people who are more

00:36:11   on the just do it end of the spectrum,

00:36:13   then get like doubly frustrated with,

00:36:16   this person talks about productivity all the time,

00:36:19   you know, and it's just like,

00:36:21   there's like an additional layer here

00:36:23   on top of the selection effect.

00:36:25   But it also just like really made me smile

00:36:28   when the thought popped into my head.

00:36:29   I was like, oh, here I am, I'm reading a bunch of stuff

00:36:33   on particularly note-taking was what was my main focus.

00:36:37   But I was like, I just realized like,

00:36:38   I am the picture right now of what people think I am.

00:36:42   I'm like, I've got two iPads in front of me.

00:36:45   I'm taking notes on one of those iPads.

00:36:48   I've got a whole bunch of index cards spread

00:36:50   across my kitchen table and there's pens.

00:36:53   It was just a funny moment to become self-aware.

00:36:57   Oh, this is the thing.

00:36:58   - You were all like, gray prime.

00:37:01   - Yeah, exactly.

00:37:02   It was like, I am the idea in people's heads of what I am.

00:37:06   It's just like, okay, this is silly.

00:37:08   But yeah, I have to say, like, it was a really interesting...

00:37:11   I'm sort of coming to the end of that time now and booting back up the writing project.

00:37:16   So I'm not 100% settled on it.

00:37:18   So this is still a little bit of, like, thoughts and progress on a thing.

00:37:21   But one of the areas that I just sort of recognized as, like, what really needs rethinking

00:37:28   is how do I take notes, right?

00:37:32   Like, so when I'm working on a project,

00:37:34   how do I organize the information related to that project?

00:37:39   - Right.

00:37:41   - And this is, we've always talked about it,

00:37:42   the section of the show with the best show art

00:37:46   of any of them ever core, right, is for years,

00:37:50   I've used Evernote as the place that is like

00:37:55   all of my notes, and so for all topics,

00:37:59   anything that I think is interesting,

00:38:00   like I just save webpages and PDFs and books

00:38:04   like everything goes into Evernote and like all of it is tagged with what is vaguely the

00:38:09   topic that it's related to.

00:38:11   And I've just like I realized I've never really thought about that system since I first started

00:38:18   doing it you know nine years ago or whatever.

00:38:22   I've just never mentally reevaluated it.

00:38:25   What do you mean?

00:38:26   I mean we've spoken about you wanting to leave Evernote a bunch of times.

00:38:29   Okay so no so so here here's what I mean by like not reevaluating it.

00:38:33   So people are like, "Hey, have you heard the good news about Microsoft OneNote?

00:38:37   I don't know if you've ever heard of a thing called Dev and Think, but this exists."

00:38:42   That's a totally different sort of question of, are you frustrated with Evernote?

00:38:46   Are there problems with the app that you don't like?

00:38:48   That kind of thing.

00:38:49   Ah, so that was always more the application not being suited to the process.

00:38:55   But what you weren't considering was the process.

00:38:59   How do I save a piece of information?

00:39:01   Where is it stored?

00:39:02   How is it tagged?

00:39:03   What are these pieces of information?

00:39:05   Yeah, it's actually a little tricky to even articulate, but I guess what I would say is

00:39:11   this is like on all of my projects, I would just have a huge pile of like, here's all

00:39:19   the primary sources related to whatever this topic is, you know, so and I would work through

00:39:25   those things and like I would write a script based on them.

00:39:28   But okay, so here let me back up and talk about like the story of like Gray's history

00:39:37   with the concept of notes right and taking notes right so I've always thought that like

00:39:47   the way people think about notes in particularly like a school situation is that notes are

00:39:53   totally worthless has always been my experience like I don't understand why this happens. I have a

00:40:01   I have a particularly weird situation with this because I literally never took notes in school

00:40:07   because as we found out later I was not able to read the board for some reason I snuck through

00:40:13   the entire eye testing system and it was never noticed until I was well into high school that

00:40:19   that my vision was not good enough to actually see the board.

00:40:23   And so I always had the experience of...

00:40:26   Yeah, you sit in school and you know, you listen to the teacher and then you know, you

00:40:31   take the test based on like what you can remember or what's in the textbook.

00:40:36   What did you think the board was for then?

00:40:38   Okay, that's an excellent question, Myke.

00:40:44   I don't want to get off on like an entire side tangent of this, but I have in the past

00:40:49   year really become increasingly fascinated with this concept of how people cannot notice

00:40:56   the things in life that they don't notice, right? Or like how brains can be different

00:41:00   and you're just completely unaware of something. And so what did I think the board was for

00:41:07   is a fantastic question. And like the best answer I can give is I guess I thought that

00:41:15   this was like the teacher was working out things for themselves. Like, you know, when

00:41:20   you're doing a math problem, you have to write it down.

00:41:23   - It's their own reference material. - Yeah, like the board was for the teacher,

00:41:28   I guess, you know. But I think the deeper truth of it was, because I couldn't see the

00:41:37   board, I just didn't consider it, right? Like, it just wasn't really in my world. And there's

00:41:44   also happen to be a perfect storm of things because the way the New York State education

00:41:49   system works is that everything is based around a series of like extremely automated standardized

00:41:56   tests. You know, like everything is multiple choice, even physics tests, like they're all

00:42:01   multiple choice as much as can be humanly automated is. And so as a student, you have

00:42:06   a really clear target. There are these standardized tests, there's like books about how to pass

00:42:13   them, all of the classes are oriented towards that, there's very little human subjectivity,

00:42:20   and so the effect of like the particularities of individual teachers was greatly lessened

00:42:26   under that system. Which also means that like it doesn't matter so much if you're just preparing

00:42:32   for the English Regents exam or the Math Regents exam, like that's just a thing that you can

00:42:35   do and no one cares. None of the teachers cared about your notebooks, because like that

00:42:40   I was entirely like, "Hey kid, this is your problem.

00:42:42   All we care about is how well you're doing

00:42:44   on our practice standardized tests."

00:42:48   So that's also how on earth did I get through this

00:42:50   without being noticed.

00:42:51   - And also, I guess there's also elements

00:42:54   of random chance in it, because you had to always be

00:42:59   in every class far enough away from the board

00:43:04   that you could never read it.

00:43:05   - Okay, so I have the answer to this question,

00:43:08   which is that, at least in my high school,

00:43:10   you were always allowed to pick your seats.

00:43:12   That first day of class,

00:43:14   it was always my goal to sit in the back corner.

00:43:16   One of the two back corners was like,

00:43:17   that is my prime target,

00:43:18   and then as close as I can get to that

00:43:20   is what I was always aiming for.

00:43:22   So there wasn't the random chance of like,

00:43:24   oh, I'm in the front in some classes.

00:43:26   I was never in the front.

00:43:27   - It's like you sit in the front one day,

00:43:29   and it's like, whoa,

00:43:31   like all the formulations start passing

00:43:33   in front of your eyes.

00:43:34   What is this incredible source of information?

00:43:37   Well, again, I just think there's a way in which it's just not obvious to you if you don't know.

00:43:43   The other thing for me was like, I didn't know you could see people's faces right across the street.

00:43:49   So it never occurred to me that humans can identify other humans by their face at greater distances.

00:43:55   When I got glasses for the first time, I kind of equated it like going from standard definition to high definition.

00:44:01   There were just signs that I didn't read and I just figured you couldn't read them until you got a little bit closer.

00:44:08   Right, exactly.

00:44:09   My vision is not as bad as yours, clearly, but I can understand that a little bit, but there is just this...

00:44:16   I mean, it's kind of hilarious really that you're just like, "What bored?"

00:44:20   [Laughter]

00:44:23   What are you talking about?

00:44:24   Yeah, it just didn't exist in my world.

00:44:26   And I think this is like just one of several kinds of examples where like you have no reason

00:44:35   to notice a deficiency.

00:44:37   My like other example of this is colorblindness.

00:44:39   You know, like for people who are colorblind, once you have like a set of tests, this is

00:44:45   a very easy thing to identify, but people can go a long time without knowing that they're

00:44:50   colorblind because it just like, how does this concept enter your mind?

00:44:55   if it's not like brought out in an AB testing kind of situation you can just think like

00:45:02   oh other people are better at distinguishing these two things but like it just doesn't

00:45:06   really cross your mind right like why would it but yeah so in high school I was like oh

00:45:12   notes serve no purpose and even after I got my glasses you know I didn't like start taking

00:45:18   notes then I just thought like oh look at all the stuff the teachers writing on the

00:45:22   How academically interesting is that but you know, like I don't I'm not gonna start this now

00:45:27   Yeah

00:45:28   And then when I went into college as a general statement

00:45:31   Like all of my physics professors provided class notes because their their whole thing was like hey what we're doing here is really hard

00:45:39   Pay attention and think it through like don't waste your time writing notes in class. And so

00:45:46   That ended up being like my first

00:45:49   formal exposure to notes was like, "Don't bother, like, we're gonna give you notes,

00:45:54   you know, you're grown up now, we don't have to, we don't have to like do this pretend game."

00:45:58   When I became a teacher myself, I attempted to replicate creating class notes for my students

00:46:05   and then I was immediately told by the school like, "You can't just give,

00:46:09   you can't just give notes to your students." In the UK system, it's incredibly important that

00:46:15   all of the students are like little tiny mimeograph machines like they have to write down all of all

00:46:21   of the things that you say in class word for word and so my experience as a teacher was like

00:46:26   this whole note system is fraudulent I have to make kids write down notes so that the school

00:46:33   doesn't fire me because the school cares about when the inspectors come we have a bunch of

00:46:40   notebooks to demonstrate that learning has occurred to the inspectors because obviously

00:46:45   like no one can learn anything if you haven't had like written documentation of that having

00:46:51   occurred. So this is like a funny way of saying that like I have an entire lifetime of academic

00:46:59   experience that told me taking notes is a kind of nonsensical busywork and whenever

00:47:08   like looking at productivity materials like reading books or watching videos about like

00:47:12   how people are productive, I was always really puzzled at the parts where people are like

00:47:19   "oh I read a book and I take these you know these detailed notes on like what the book

00:47:25   was or like what are the important ideas" and I like I just always found that odd like

00:47:31   I don't understand what this is and I thought it was a kind of I don't know like a kind

00:47:37   of cargo-culting, like "oh this is a thing that you learned in school about how people

00:47:42   learn." You know, but you're learning when you read the book and then you remember the

00:47:47   things that are in the book, like then you know these notes aren't doing anything except

00:47:51   they're like just a repeated behavior. So all of this brings to like "oh what was I

00:47:56   doing when I'm making videos?" and the answer is like "oh I'm reading tons of stuff and

00:48:01   and I'm remembering things, and the key skill is like, be able to remember where the information

00:48:07   that you need is.

00:48:09   Like you can just be like, "Okay, yeah, I read this thing in this article, like let

00:48:13   me go back and check where that was."

00:48:15   Or like I'd read through books and I'd do highlights, and then I would import those

00:48:18   highlights and surrounding information into Evernote, and it's like, "Okay, great.

00:48:22   Now I've got a version of this book that instead of having to reread 300 pages, I've pulled

00:48:28   out like, "Here are the 20 key pages that are related to whatever it is that I'm working

00:48:33   on."

00:48:34   So there's a way in which like, I can reread this book in minutes, like not reread this

00:48:39   book over the course of days, right?

00:48:41   So like, this is kind of what Evernote was to me.

00:48:45   It was a really big pile of mostly primary sources with occasionally really brief, in

00:48:54   quotes "notes" at the top of these primary sources, which would be me just like very

00:49:00   briefly perhaps summarising like "oh what was the important thing in this one" or like

00:49:04   "this is the one that talks about that piece of information" like that's what that's whatever

00:49:08   note was for me. Does that make sense?

00:49:11   Yeah I mean I will say I don't think that when you're saying like the like notes part

00:49:16   like it's not notes like that's not thinking of sources right like that if I was doing

00:49:21   what you were doing that's what I would do.

00:49:23   Okay, but so I almost wish we were recording this episode like two weeks from now because

00:49:28   I think I could articulate some of this stuff better.

00:49:30   - Well that's what follow-ups for. - Yeah, but I think one of the key concepts

00:49:36   I've had here is like, partly, even writing little summaries to yourself is like not what

00:49:44   Evernote is for. Evernote really should be like a library of primary sources only. There

00:49:54   is a useful layer of what we can call notes that can exist on top of this. And like, and

00:50:03   that's what I've been exploring this past week is, okay, let me try to get out of my

00:50:08   head all of this like academic cruft that has built up in my head about like what notes

00:50:15   are and try to re like re approach this topic. So this would be as I'm trying to follow here.

00:50:22   The idea here is instead of attaching all of the notes to sources you have notes about

00:50:29   some projects topics certain things and if needed to you can say like oh I got it from

00:50:36   here and then later then you can go back to Evernote and you can find the source if you

00:50:40   need it, is that right?

00:50:41   LINDEN: Yeah, that's partly what I'm talking about, you know, because again, like one of

00:50:45   the things where it's like, why do I think notes were sort of weird?

00:50:48   Like I very rarely would make what people call like margin notes in books, because it

00:50:55   always seemed to me like, I don't know, it just seems sort of pointless, like I don't

00:51:01   understand what it is, and I do think that there is something pointless about them.

00:51:05   - Kinda hides the information.

00:51:06   - Yeah, so this is exactly it,

00:51:08   like it strikes me as a sort of busy work of like,

00:51:11   if you're writing this note,

00:51:13   shouldn't that note be in the project that you're working on

00:51:19   because otherwise, like,

00:51:20   how are you ever going to access that again?

00:51:23   - You have to read the book again.

00:51:24   - Exactly.

00:51:25   So this is where like my script,

00:51:27   my like quote script document,

00:51:30   often started with lots of like,

00:51:34   what would be margin notes in some sense, like just kind of got thrown into the script document.

00:51:38   It's like, okay, well this is the place where they go because I actually need to work with them.

00:51:41   So I guess what I'll say is like one of the places where I found useful information

00:51:47   to start and that got me kind of like thinking about it in the right way is...

00:51:54   I almost hesitate to mention it because you know again like we have...

00:51:57   There's like the notion nation.

00:51:59   - Notion nation represent.

00:52:01   There's the Rome heads, like there's all these different groups.

00:52:06   The Rome rovers? The Rome rovers?

00:52:08   Rome enthusiasts?

00:52:09   Yeah, something like that.

00:52:10   There's a better one in there somewhere. We can come up with that.

00:52:12   Yeah, somewhere it is.

00:52:13   Oh.

00:52:14   Rome riders, like you let us know what it is.

00:52:17   What about romanticists?

00:52:20   That's terrible. I rate that zero out of a thousand, that's awful.

00:52:25   Alright, I mean come on, you could have just gone ten.

00:52:27   10.

00:52:28   I don't know, maybe the romanticists really like that kind of terrible pun.

00:52:32   You just used it, it's now canon.

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00:54:00   So there's also a thing which is like trying to say like, oh, what are all these people

00:54:04   up to? Like this has become this popular genre and figuring things out. And so anyway, like

00:54:07   while wandering around the internet, I found another like really, really niche, like sub

00:54:15   sub-community of this kind of thing, which I'm going to call the Zettelzehleztze.

00:54:21   So I came across this note-taking system which is called Zettelkasten.

00:54:29   And I refuse Z-E-T-T-L-E-K-A-S-T-E-N.

00:54:40   Is this German?

00:54:41   Yeah it is.

00:54:42   It is German.

00:54:44   And some of the Zettel zealots will insist that you should say it in German, so it should

00:54:50   be "Tze Zettel", and it's like, no.

00:54:53   Hard passed.

00:54:54   I have this with Edina, it's like because of her surname, Niamh Tzu.

00:54:59   Yeah, that T-S sound.

00:55:01   She would say to me, "It's the 'z' sound in pizza, so it's 'zettelkasten', I guess.

00:55:08   Something like that."

00:55:09   And now every German just laughed at me.

00:55:12   I know the sound, like I have the same thing with Dutch where like there's sounds that

00:55:15   I can hear in it and like I can identify that sound but I just I cannot reproduce it properly.

00:55:20   So anyway I'm gonna say Zettelkasten and there's like this community of like Zettel

00:55:25   zealots but there's there's some interesting stuff in here and like I don't want to get

00:55:29   into the whole thing.

00:55:30   Is this an app? I can't... it doesn't look like it's an app.

00:55:33   Oh Myke you're gonna make me get into the whole thing.

00:55:35   It's a system right?

00:55:37   It's a system, right?

00:55:38   It's a system.

00:55:39   And the best way I can sort of explain it is like with anything, I'm not really interested

00:55:45   in the system itself.

00:55:48   It's like, "Oh, there was a person who invented the system and he wrote a million books because

00:55:54   of it."

00:55:55   And it's like, "Okay, great."

00:55:56   Like all that lore, whatever.

00:55:57   Like I'm just here as like a value vampire to just extract whatever happens to be useful

00:56:02   to me from this system of yours, right?

00:56:05   And one of the key concepts that I've come across, which just like, it was never clear

00:56:11   in my mind, was this distinction between sources and notes.

00:56:19   And so this is what I'm getting at with like, with Evernote.

00:56:23   It's like, the moment you're writing anything in Evernote, like that's the wrong place for

00:56:29   it.

00:56:30   Evernote is where primary sources exist.

00:56:34   And your script is the place where, like, the script is the project.

00:56:40   That, you know, that should be like the words that you're going to record into a microphone

00:56:44   to turn into a video.

00:56:46   But there does additionally exist a category of useful writing, which we can call notes.

00:56:53   And the- one of the valuable ideas that I've extracted from the Zettelkasten system is-

00:57:02   It just fits in perfectly with stuff that I've done before of like, okay, you're thinking

00:57:07   of notes like when you were in school and you're supposed to have like a three ring

00:57:10   binder that tells you everything you ever wanted to never know about the English Civil

00:57:15   War, right?

00:57:16   Or whatever.

00:57:17   It's like, no, forget that.

00:57:18   Instead, what you want are like index cards.

00:57:22   Think of it in a physical way.

00:57:24   You've got a whole bunch of index cards and each index card is a note and each note should

00:57:30   be a single idea about this topic.

00:57:36   Or it should be a single summary of a primary source that exists elsewhere.

00:57:43   And these are your notes on the topic.

00:57:46   And coming across this I felt like, "Oh, this is a huge relief!"

00:57:50   Because it felt like two things.

00:57:52   One, it reminded me of forever ago coming across Getting Things Done, where it was really

00:58:00   important for someone to create this distinction of you have to-do lists, but there's two things

00:58:07   here.

00:58:08   There's projects and there's actions and like a lot of your problem around to-do lists is

00:58:13   that you're not drawing this distinction in your mind.

00:58:17   And I think like I'd never had this just pointed out in a clear way of like primary sources

00:58:25   and notes, and that notes exist as like atomic individual ideas.

00:58:34   You're not trying to like recreate a whole book with your notes.

00:58:38   You're trying to have like a stack of index cards with information about this topic that

00:58:42   you can look at.

00:58:44   And this has been incredibly helpful.

00:58:46   And it was also like, oh, this is perfect.

00:58:49   Because I realized like quite naturally, this is a thing that I've sort of done many times

00:58:55   when I'm stuck with a project, which is okay, stop looking at it on your computer, you know,

00:59:01   write out some of the basic ideas on index cards and like put them on a table in front

00:59:05   of you and sort of think about it for a while and like, you know, as we've discussed many

00:59:09   times being able to work with paper is often quite clarifying when you're having problems

00:59:15   in a digital system.

00:59:16   I think I'm struggling to understand a little bit.

00:59:19   Yes, please, here's the thing, please ask questions because it's also helpful to me

00:59:24   at this point to clarify because like a lot of this stuff is still not perfectly settled

00:59:28   in my mind but I feel like I'm on the right track with a really important reevaluation

00:59:35   of how the system works going forward that I haven't reevaluated in like a long time

00:59:40   in this way.

00:59:41   All right so I have two things I want to do.

00:59:44   One is I think I've found a summary of the method on Wikipedia but I'll leave that

00:59:47   for a minute.

00:59:48   No.

00:59:49   Right I'll leave that for a minute because I might not need to get to this.

00:59:51   We're gonna tell you right now, don't read anything about it. It won't help you.

00:59:55   Right, so then I'm trying to understand then what this new system is for you and

01:00:00   why Zettelkasten is involved at all. Because, alright, let's say you've read a

01:00:05   research paper and there are things in that research paper that you want to

01:00:10   remember. They're like notes that you want to take, right? Where do they go?

01:00:14   Don't worry about the app or whatever but like do you have a separate place

01:00:18   place right now that you'll put quotes and thoughts in?

01:00:21   So yeah, right now, since I'm still in the playing around with it phase, but let's talk

01:00:28   about the idea in the abstract, right?

01:00:30   So as you're reading through some primary source, when something that's interesting

01:00:34   comes along, one of the ideas is like, okay, by hand, write a summary of that on a little

01:00:42   index card.

01:00:44   And so it's like, okay, Liberty Island got bigger over time.

01:00:47   It's like, oh, okay, well, that's interesting.

01:00:48   Like, that's an interesting piece of information.

01:00:50   So like Liberty Island is three times larger than it was 200 years ago.

01:00:56   It's like a note on this topic.

01:00:58   And that can just live on an index card because this is like the smallest condensation of

01:01:06   a single idea.

01:01:07   And so it's like, okay, that just goes.

01:01:09   And as you keep reading through sources, it's like, oh, there was a Supreme Court case in

01:01:15   1800 about this dispute. Okay. So then you go and you read that Supreme Court case, you

01:01:21   find out like some piece of information and again like you'll write down a discrete fact

01:01:26   on on this. It's like no documentation exists for why the island got bigger.

01:01:32   I don't mean to be a d**n here, but like this is like how I studied history. Right. Which

01:01:39   was just like I had a notebook and what I did was write down facts, figures, and tiny

01:01:43   pieces of information when I was in school so I could pass the test. And I say that as in such

01:01:49   a way as like I don't want to make fun of you not being able to see the board.

01:01:52   No, no, like, I mean, man, like, don't, don't get me wrong. Like this, this is a,

01:02:00   that's why this is like such a weird topic for me because it's like, and it's also just been,

01:02:05   is why I mentioned at the beginning, like, how can you not notice a thing that you're missing? Right?

01:02:11   is it really is like every time, you know,

01:02:15   you ever watch, I'd ever watch a video

01:02:17   and someone's like, "Here's how I use, you know, Roam

01:02:20   and I'm gonna take a bunch of notes on a thing."

01:02:21   I was just like, "What are you even doing?

01:02:23   Like, I don't understand why you feel the need

01:02:26   to write all this stuff over again."

01:02:28   - This is so fascinating to me.

01:02:30   This is fascinating.

01:02:32   I can't get my head around how someone who does what you do

01:02:37   didn't really do this.

01:02:39   I guess you were more like highlighting things, right?

01:02:42   'Cause you always talk about the highlights

01:02:44   of the Kindle books, right?

01:02:47   - Yeah, so highlighting in Kindle books

01:02:49   and importing books into Kindle,

01:02:51   this is also one of the reasons why I was always like,

01:02:53   I cannot possibly leave Evernote.

01:02:55   - Because of all the, oh my God.

01:02:57   - Because of the highlights

01:02:58   and the ability to import books into Evernote.

01:03:00   - This is incredible, the scales are falling from my eyes.

01:03:03   Right now, I get it way more.

01:03:07   It always felt to me, and I'm sure now this is why people would always say,

01:03:11   "Why you should have moved to f***ing 1 note? What's wrong with you?"

01:03:14   It wasn't the system.

01:03:17   It was the actual application.

01:03:20   The data was there.

01:03:22   What else were you going to do?

01:03:23   Like, you couldn't move because you weren't moving notes.

01:03:28   You were moving massive pieces of information that had notes in them,

01:03:33   which were more like underlines of stuff

01:03:36   rather than you seeing a thing

01:03:39   and being like, "Right, I'll write that one down."

01:03:41   - Yeah, and again, like the thing,

01:03:43   again, it's like, there's just this way

01:03:47   in which I've never really thought about what I was doing.

01:03:50   But part of the reason why over the years

01:03:51   I've talked about highlights

01:03:53   is because of this key thing of like,

01:03:57   I need to be able to highlight the important things

01:04:00   because when I come back to whatever this is, I need to be able to reread this entire

01:04:05   book in 20 minutes, right? And that like, and that's what I need to be able to do, and

01:04:08   that's whatever it is.

01:04:09   - Right, but that's like the wrong thing. What you needed was, "Oh, I just gotta go to the

01:04:14   notes on this subject. I don't need to go back to the book."

01:04:18   - The other thing that I would say is like, what I was working with is a memory of primary

01:04:27   Like whenever I'm working on any project, it's like, okay, I've got a folder in Evernote,

01:04:32   you know, which is like, oh, here's all the primary sources about whatever this topic

01:04:35   is.

01:04:36   But I'm also able to remember very well like, oh, I read this thing in that thing.

01:04:40   Like let me go back and just double check whatever these numbers are.

01:04:42   Right, but this is one of those four systems because you're relying on your memory.

01:04:49   Oh, I know, right?

01:04:50   More than you needed to.

01:04:52   Because if you're having to remember where to go to find the information, the system's

01:04:59   wrong.

01:05:00   Because what you need is just the one place that all the information is on one topic,

01:05:06   rather than "here's a folder of 20 research papers, all I have to do is remember which

01:05:12   research paper to go to."

01:05:13   Right, yeah.

01:05:14   And it's also a way in which like, it's just very interesting like you see how you

01:05:19   work and I've just never thought about it and I've been doing this for years and just

01:05:23   kind of build it up.

01:05:24   I cannot believe it's taken us six years nearly to get to this. Like, because this is like

01:05:30   when, you know, obviously a big thing, but like I'm sure you can see how like it's fundamental,

01:05:34   right? Like this is this part of your system, whether it's the old way or the new ways is

01:05:40   like a fundamental part of the way that your research has done. And just for some reason

01:05:46   We have never understood with each other that this was a thing.

01:05:51   I had always just taken as read what you were doing and had never really thought that you

01:05:56   didn't like...

01:05:57   So like for me, right, I would have a note.

01:06:00   Let's imagine that I was making a video about the history of Nintendo.

01:06:05   I would have a note that was like the history of Nintendo and in that note would have subheadings

01:06:11   with like, here's something about the NES, here's something about the SNES and like all

01:06:15   all of the little pieces of information

01:06:18   that I would find out from watching videos,

01:06:20   reading articles, and I would just bring them in.

01:06:23   That's my system.

01:06:24   But if I was working on your system,

01:06:26   my assumption would be I would save all of that stuff

01:06:28   to a place and make inline notes in separate places

01:06:33   about those sources.

01:06:35   So if I was reading an article,

01:06:37   I would make notes on the article.

01:06:38   Or if I was reading a video,

01:06:40   maybe like notes in a comment like in the video,

01:06:42   maybe I'd save a link to it in Evernote or whatever.

01:06:45   But then when it comes to me to then write the script,

01:06:47   I have to be like, all right, so now I need to go back,

01:06:50   oh, I know there was something in the NES

01:06:51   and this one and this one.

01:06:53   But in the system that I always have had,

01:06:57   all of the NES stuff would be in one place, right?

01:06:59   Like I feel like if I'm following correctly,

01:07:02   that's kind of like the difference.

01:07:05   'Cause you were saying about taking a quote unquote

01:07:07   index card and putting in piece of information on it, right?

01:07:11   What are these index cards in a digital system?

01:07:14   Well, okay, so here's also part of the reason why I like,

01:07:17   like what are people doing with these notes?

01:07:18   I don't understand.

01:07:19   Is because even when you start talking about like,

01:07:22   oh, I'm gonna write an outline,

01:07:24   you know, we're talking about here's an A4 piece of paper

01:07:26   and it's gonna be filled with information about Nintendo.

01:07:28   You know, they were founded in, what is it?

01:07:30   It's always like 1897 or something, it's great.

01:07:32   They were a playing card company in 1897, you know, whatever.

01:07:36   That kind of stuff, that always feels to me like,

01:07:38   why aren't you just writing a script if you're doing this?

01:07:41   Like what is this thing that you're even doing here?

01:07:43   Or the reverse of it is, what is this ridiculous outline?

01:07:46   Like, you know, you put a timeline,

01:07:48   like have a list of dates on a piece of paper

01:07:50   with just the basic information about what happened when.

01:07:53   All of this extra stuff is superfluous

01:07:55   because you can just like quickly reread the book

01:07:58   on Nintendo and like revisit the primary source

01:08:01   and like make sure that you have everything correct.

01:08:04   - It's very time intensive.

01:08:05   - I think it's less so when you realize like, again,

01:08:10   why were some of the features of Evernote

01:08:13   really key important to me.

01:08:15   And like one of them is when you're highlighting PDF documents,

01:08:18   Evernote has an amazing feature,

01:08:20   which even in a PDF will like pull all of those highlights right to the front.

01:08:24   - Well, and also as well I assume the OCR is very helpful.

01:08:27   - Yeah, the OCR is incredibly helpful, yeah, for sure.

01:08:29   - Because if you are thinking to yourself,

01:08:32   "Oh, I need every piece of information about this part,

01:08:35   I know I've read it in some articles", you could just search for it.

01:08:38   - Yeah, yeah.

01:08:39   It's just very interesting.

01:08:41   And having made these videos and have experts look them over, like I have a really great

01:08:46   track record of the experts being like, "Yeah, this script is totally fine."

01:08:49   Right?

01:08:50   It's like, "Oh great, system works."

01:08:52   You know, like there's no indication of like, you need any change with this.

01:08:57   But anyway, so like just thinking about all of this, like, so one of the key things about

01:09:01   the Zettelkasten which really resonates with me is I totally just, I hate the concept of

01:09:08   like notes on a single piece of paper.

01:09:11   It's also why, like, the app that I use for writing my scripts is Ulysses.

01:09:16   Because one of the key features of Ulysses is they're like "no no no, we don't have a

01:09:19   piece of paper that you're writing a script on".

01:09:23   They call them sheets, I think, but it's the same thing where it's like, pages can be arbitrarily

01:09:28   long, they can break at any point.

01:09:31   You know, they can have page breaks, I mean.

01:09:33   And you can have little sections, right?

01:09:35   And so you can move the little sections around all the time.

01:09:38   And I'm fairly sure that like no one uses Ulysses the way I do, where borderline, you

01:09:45   know, every paragraph or two is broken up as a completely different little section,

01:09:50   because I'm very often like rearranging these things.

01:09:53   So this is why the concept of like, you want to be able to move the notes around is really

01:09:59   helpful to me, because very quickly in a project, it becomes super clear, like, oh, I don't

01:10:05   care about this part.

01:10:06   But if I've like written it on a piece of paper or it's like a heading on an outline,

01:10:09   it's sort of like stuck in place and you have to deal with it, right?

01:10:13   Whereas you know if I'm working on Who Owns the Statue of Liberty and what I have is like

01:10:18   a stack of "Oh here's 40 index cards of like your notes on this topic."

01:10:25   There's a way in which like you can sort them or arrange them in such a way that it makes

01:10:29   more sense.

01:10:30   Like okay these relate to each other, this I don't care about at all and I can like move

01:10:34   this around.

01:10:35   you're saying note, right? Like this is this is the nomenclature I really want to make

01:10:39   sure I'm getting correct. You mean like a singular piece of information?

01:10:44   Yes. Right. Because I think a lot of people, including me, think of a note as this page.

01:10:52   Yeah. So this is kind of why like when I was looking around and reading stuff like I immediately

01:10:57   sort of gravitated towards Zettelkasten because this is one of the key concepts. Like they

01:11:02   They talk about notes as being atomic.

01:11:05   So it's like, each note is an atomic piece of information.

01:11:10   You shouldn't be able to reduce it.

01:11:11   - Can I read from Wikipedia now?

01:11:13   Please let me read from Wikipedia.

01:11:14   I think it will help, I genuinely do.

01:11:16   - Okay, go ahead.

01:11:17   - Azatul Kastan consists of many individual notes

01:11:21   with ideas and other short pieces of information

01:11:24   that are taken down as they occur or are acquired.

01:11:27   The notes are numbered hierarchically

01:11:29   so that new notes may be inserted at the appropriate place

01:11:32   and contain metadata to allow the note taker to associate

01:11:36   the notes of each other.

01:11:37   For example, notes may contain tags

01:11:39   that describe key aspects of the note,

01:11:42   and they may reference other notes.

01:11:43   The numbering, metadata, format, and structure of the notes

01:11:46   is subject to variation depending

01:11:48   on the specific method employed.

01:11:50   I think that helps, because it's the idea, at least,

01:11:53   that I think I'm following, is that the reason

01:11:54   this system seemed to meet with you is that you've got

01:11:57   like this little piece of information and they're put into a system but they are free

01:12:03   to be moved around.

01:12:05   Yes.

01:12:06   But they are in like a hierarchy or they are associated with each other but not in such

01:12:13   a way of like here is an outline.

01:12:16   Yeah.

01:12:17   Right okay.

01:12:18   Yeah like one of the key things you know and this again is where like my feelings about

01:12:23   notes and outlines. So it's like, this seems like nonsense. Before you write a paper,

01:12:27   create an outline of the paper. Like, what are you going to write in each of these sections?

01:12:30   There's like, that is a bunch of nonsense. That's saying, before you write the paper,

01:12:34   you need to know what the paper is about. It's like, well, how am I supposed to do that before

01:12:38   I write it? You know, it's like, the outlines the hard part, like it's, this is not the easy

01:12:44   part to get you started. Like it's, you know, I always found that stuff just really frustrating.

01:12:48   And again, is why with so many of like the way this stuff is taught in school,

01:12:53   it just seemed to me like, "What is this charade everyone is playing? Like, I don't understand. Oh,

01:12:58   I can write an outline before I know all the things about the topic? Exactly how am I supposed

01:13:03   to do that?" This is also why like this system of like little notes that are just individual

01:13:08   pieces of information means it doesn't matter what order you come across these pieces of information,

01:13:14   You know, like, writing and research are nonlinear processes.

01:13:19   And by having individual atomic notes,

01:13:23   they can be created and found in any order.

01:13:26   It doesn't matter.

01:13:28   One of the other things that

01:13:30   I don't know if this is going to be helpful,

01:13:32   but since I'm still in this intermediate stage,

01:13:34   but I suspect it's going to be helpful,

01:13:37   is I have a strong feeling that

01:13:41   this will help also more clearly define

01:13:45   When am I writing versus when am I researching?

01:13:50   Right now in the video creation process and for always like those two phases have been very difficult

01:13:58   to even

01:14:00   Distinguish from each other quite often and so I suspect like I'll be able to draw a greater distinction between those two and that might be

01:14:08   useful. Like even in my own time tracking system, in theory I've always had two timers,

01:14:14   one which is called like, writing, and one which is called research. But I'm very aware

01:14:18   that I treat those two as totally indistinguishable from each other. Like very often I'm starting

01:14:23   the research timer and then it's like, "Oh, I've basically spent all this time writing,

01:14:28   or vice versa." And it's like, who cares? This is all the same sort of nonlinear, deeply

01:14:33   interconnected process.

01:14:34   It's not like when you write you no longer refer to the material.

01:14:38   Yeah, so yeah, and again like on my computer screen like this is also why like whenever

01:14:43   I'm writing I would almost always have Evernote open on the side and it's like oh yeah here's

01:14:49   that report that dude wrote about tumbleweeds a hundred years ago like I want to have that

01:14:52   on screen while I'm writing this section about tumbleweeds you know that kind of thing but

01:14:56   it also does make it like a bit more burdensome that I'm always like 100% looking at the primary

01:15:01   sources.

01:15:02   really what you need is this group of atomic notes and then you can pick out the ones that

01:15:10   are most necessary for the current part of the script that you're writing.

01:15:14   B: Yeah, it's like a layer of information that exists between the script and the primary

01:15:20   sources whereas I'm totally aware that I keep describing—I mean I'm sorry listeners,

01:15:27   I'm sure this must be infuriating as I explain to you like what you learned in grade school

01:15:31   a useful skill, right? It's like a house. [laughs]

01:15:33   CB; Yeah, it is. This is very surreal to be talking about, like, because it's... But

01:15:41   I guess it's kind of fascinating because it's like, how would you rediscover this type of

01:15:49   note-taking today? So, okay. So this new grey system, does it only include text?

01:15:57   What do you mean?

01:15:59   Well, like if you had an image.

01:16:02   Oh yeah.

01:16:03   So again, since I'm just playing around and it's still very fluid, I've been largely working

01:16:08   on actual paper because I think that's always the best way to think about something.

01:16:12   But I have found one of these apps to do this kind of thing and it's an app called Obsidian.

01:16:18   It's funny, it's actually someone's...

01:16:20   It's a very small team and it's their quarantine project.

01:16:23   Like it's the thing that they've been working on.

01:16:25   So it's it's still pretty early.

01:16:27   What was that sound?

01:16:31   This looks complicated.

01:16:32   Okay, so the reason this caught my attention and is also

01:16:36   It supports LaTeX!

01:16:39   Okay, right.

01:16:40   Okay.

01:16:41   Let me let me get there, Myke.

01:16:43   You've been found out.

01:16:45   So this is like a note app.

01:16:47   And I would say this is very much in the like Notion Rome family.

01:16:52   You know, this is another version of like different people are trying to approach this

01:16:56   sort of concept of these interconnected webs of information.

01:17:01   "This looks so complicated."

01:17:03   Yeah, but here's the thing.

01:17:04   A thing finally clicked for me, which was, you know, last time we were talking about

01:17:09   how like, oh, I was working in Notion and I was just trying to type and/or and then

01:17:13   like when I hit slash a whole world of opportunities opened up to me.

01:17:17   It's like, oh my God, I don't need to insert a kanban board in the middle of this sentence,

01:17:22   thanks guys, right? I think for all also reasons which may be much more clear now, I'd also

01:17:27   largely just totally dismissed the very notion of apps like Notion and Roam. I was like this is just

01:17:32   nonsense, this is just academic busy work for people who don't really need it. So it just so

01:17:38   happens like working with Obsidian and just playing around with it and seeing like okay what's the deal

01:17:42   you know of all of these various notes like the Zettel heads seem to really like this one in

01:17:48   in particular, so I was like "Oh, let me just play around with it."

01:17:50   And a thing finally clicked in my head, which is I realized "Oh, okay."

01:17:57   What all of these notes systems are doing is very similar to the thing that I used to

01:18:05   use in college, which was Org Mode on Emacs.

01:18:09   It's the same concept of like, when you're typing, at any point you can link to something

01:18:16   else or insert different kinds of information. And something about like the graphical user

01:18:23   interface of a thing like Notion makes it to me feel like really cumbersome and absurd.

01:18:29   But when I think about it as "Yeah, but you can do this whole thing just with an extremely

01:18:34   large number of text files on your computer," there's a way in which like, "Oh, it feels

01:18:40   much more simple to me." And I realize like, "Yes, when I used to use org mode on Emacs,

01:18:45   what this thing was. You can like link to any other text file or you can quickly include

01:18:50   some to-dos. You can include your LaTeX formatting if you want to. You can insert a calendar,

01:18:55   but it's all done via text files. And that's the thing that Obsidian is doing. It's similar

01:19:02   to Rome, it's similar to Notion. The key difference is that they're just doing it entirely through

01:19:08   Markdown files on your local drive.

01:19:13   And it's like "Oh, okay, cool, I get it.

01:19:14   I've been using Markdown to write my scripts for forever, so this is like no burden whatsoever

01:19:21   to then also do a bunch of notes in Markdown."

01:19:24   And it means that like the transition between those two is ridiculously simple if I want

01:19:29   information to go one way or the other.

01:19:31   But so this is like a digital version of doing the index cards, and this is where like, oh

01:19:39   yeah, if you have an image that you want to use, like, you can include it in just the

01:19:43   way Markdown formats including images, but ultimately it's all just, here's 300, you

01:19:48   know, .md files on your hard drive that are just text files.

01:19:53   And if you type double brackets, you can link from one to another, which is like the exact

01:19:56   same thing that Rome does.

01:19:58   Like if you're typing in Rome, you can open up two double brackets and you can link to

01:20:02   any other one of the notes anywhere in your in your system.

01:20:05   So does that answer your question of what happens if you have a picture?

01:20:09   M- Kind of.

01:20:11   I'm really lost looking at this Obsidian app.

01:20:13   C- I would not recommend Obsidian for you, Myke.

01:20:17   M- No.

01:20:18   M- Because I don't really understand, like, so you're creating...

01:20:24   Where are you making notes?

01:20:25   Well again, for me, I'm still doing this almost entirely with paper as I'm figuring out what's

01:20:29   useful.

01:20:30   I have played around with Obsidian, but again, just like we talk about when people are figuring

01:20:37   out their to-do systems, you don't want to prematurely optimise for the digital version,

01:20:44   because you're going to get too distracted by the features or lack of features of whatever

01:20:47   digital tool.

01:20:48   It's the same thing here, I just wanted to play around with Obsidian to see, let me understand

01:20:54   the concept of what this is in a digital form, which is you can have virtual index cards

01:21:01   with virtual strings connecting related ones together.

01:21:04   It's like, okay, cool, I understand that.

01:21:07   And that also helped me understand this is very much like, you know, I mean, the reason

01:21:13   I think you're feeling overwhelmed looking at it is it's very Linux-y, which is what

01:21:17   made me think like, oh yeah, this is just like org mode from a thousand years ago, you

01:21:22   so you can have this digital version.

01:21:24   But it's just like the basic ideas for any project.

01:21:28   You can have notes that are just individual pieces of information.

01:21:32   Those pieces of information, because they're on index cards,

01:21:37   are not constrained by your preconception of either, like,

01:21:42   what is the hierarchy or what is the order of these notes.

01:21:47   That can come out of it later when you realise,

01:21:50   "Oh, these three pieces of information are related" or like "These two pieces of information,

01:21:55   I thought they were interesting and important at the start but it turns out that they're

01:21:58   actually irrelevant so I can put them at the back of the list."

01:22:01   It's really just about the reordering layer.

01:22:07   And again, I think why this feels like it's a useful step for me is because it's- it feels

01:22:14   like this pre-script layer where it's much easier to think about some of the information

01:22:23   related to a topic without one, reviewing the primary sources even in their much compressed

01:22:31   form or two, writing the script where there's also this additional layer of what is the

01:22:40   style in which I'm saying this information, right? Because the script is not just a recitation

01:22:46   of facts, right? No one would watch the videos if I was just like, "Here, let me tell you

01:22:50   all the facts about the situation." That has a whole other, like, what is the style? How

01:22:56   is this being told? Like, what are the visuals going to be? Like, that's an additional thing

01:23:00   that I have to think about when doing that. So the notes layer feels like information

01:23:07   organization without the burden of style, and without the weight of the primary source.

01:23:17   Right?

01:23:18   That's the way I think this will work going forward.

01:23:21   I feel like Rome is a good option for you, from what I know about it.

01:23:29   Okay, why do you say that?

01:23:31   - Well, 'cause it is all about like,

01:23:33   singular pieces of information

01:23:36   that can very easily link together.

01:23:39   And from what I know of Roam,

01:23:43   it is available on the web on all devices.

01:23:48   My understanding is they are making apps for all platforms.

01:23:52   My concern would be with an app like Obsidian,

01:23:54   it's like Mac only,

01:23:56   which I don't know if that's the right method.

01:24:00   Oh yeah, 100% no iOS app for Obsidian is the hugest downside.

01:24:06   100%.

01:24:07   But again, this is why I'm not really invested in what is the digital tool at this stage.

01:24:13   Yeah, I want to come back to that though, like I really do.

01:24:16   But the thing is, I wanted to just play around with it, because there is a way in which it

01:24:21   can be briefly clarifying about like, what do people mean when they're talking about

01:24:25   linking notes?

01:24:26   Oh okay, this is what they mean.

01:24:27   that you had to start looking at some of these things

01:24:30   like Notion, Roam, Obsidian for you to be able to clarify

01:24:34   the basic system, right?

01:24:37   Like I can see that of like, all right,

01:24:39   you're like, all right, okay, so I'm not wild here.

01:24:41   It is a valid like way that people collect information,

01:24:46   right, and now you can go back to doing what you're doing

01:24:49   now of like making sure that this basic structure

01:24:54   makes sense to you.

01:24:56   This has been a trip.

01:24:57   (laughing)

01:25:00   Wow.

01:25:01   Well, you know.

01:25:03   You think you know someone.

01:25:04   (laughing)

01:25:06   Well, I mean, again, this is where I really mean

01:25:10   this thing of like my other drumbeat

01:25:12   from being just a person who makes things on the internet

01:25:15   is the deep, deep realization that human communication

01:25:19   is much harder than people think it is.

01:25:23   And one of the reasons is that human brains

01:25:26   much more different than people think they are, but they're also different in extremely

01:25:34   subtle and hard to notice ways.

01:25:37   And this can be one of these sorts of things where it's just like something that seems

01:25:41   obvious to everyone can be non obvious for someone else or just because the way like

01:25:47   one person's brain works like a thing that works for everyone doesn't work for them.

01:25:51   - Well, we have been talking about notes apps

01:25:54   for so many years, but never had we realized

01:25:58   that we were doing this process

01:26:01   in such vastly different ways.

01:26:03   - Yeah, yeah, it casts back on the,

01:26:05   every time you're talking about Evernote

01:26:07   or note-taking apps, you realize,

01:26:08   oh, there's something else here, right,

01:26:11   that makes this conversation make a lot more sense,

01:26:14   which is Gray thinks notes are a Potemkin village

01:26:19   of knowledge that schools require students create for inspectors and have no intrinsic

01:26:25   value whatsoever. And grown-ups who make notes are just repeating the behaviors from their

01:26:30   childhood without understanding why they're doing it. Right?

01:26:37   Just because you couldn't see the board. I still like I do still wonder like how on

01:26:41   earth I made it so long without being able to see the board.

01:26:44   Or realize it like that's the funny part to me right like it never came up it just never

01:26:48   I do wonder sometimes because I think perhaps if I'm trying to recreate like how did this situation even begin in the first place,

01:26:56   I do know like one of the most important gifts that my parents ever gave to me was when I was in middle school.

01:27:02   They gave me this like course on how to memorize stuff and I know we've talked about this sometimes.

01:27:08   And like I remember in middle school just really devouring this set of tricks of how to remember things.

01:27:16   And I've always just been aware of how that one thing got me through high school and college

01:27:24   is like, "Here's how to memorize things."

01:27:27   And so I also just wonder is like, is that a contributing factor to how I was able to

01:27:33   get by with no one noticing I couldn't read the board?

01:27:36   Is because I was like, "Oh yeah, no, I've got this hack for the school system that just

01:27:40   lets me pass these standardized tests."

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01:29:35   So do you remember last time we were talking about real-time collaboration applications?

01:29:40   You were looking for alternatives to Google Docs, that's what you were doing.

01:29:43   Yeah, because we were upset about no-dark mode and then I said to you, "Alright, let's

01:29:48   try out Word, look out for an invitation from me."

01:29:50   Oh yeah, well I haven't opened my email since then, but I assume that that invitation never

01:29:54   came.

01:29:55   It never got sent because Word didn't pass the initial testing for me.

01:30:00   Basically I spent a couple of days trying out lots of different applications, you know,

01:30:05   I tried Word, I tried Pages, I tried Notion for something like this, I tried Apple Notes.

01:30:13   Effectively, the problem is none of them are as instant as Google Docs.

01:30:18   I was just doing some simple testing with, I would have Word open on my iPad and Word

01:30:23   open on my Mac in the Mac app or in the web browser.

01:30:29   And the issue would be that it would update the information, but not immediately.

01:30:34   It would kind of like, you could basically watch the system do it.

01:30:38   Like you would start typing a bunch of stuff, you would stop, you would see like saving

01:30:43   and then a couple of seconds later it would appear in the other place.

01:30:46   And like that is not what I want.

01:30:48   And then, so I was doing these tests in between the time of like us recording and releasing

01:30:53   the episode.

01:30:54   And honestly by the time we'd released the episode I realized that both word pages and

01:30:59   everything else, none of them were as good as Google Docs.

01:31:01   Then I started hearing from all the core Texans who were like, "Please, please don't use

01:31:05   Word.

01:31:06   I have lost so much work through that collaboration system."

01:31:10   Because it's conflict, right?

01:31:11   Like this is the thing we were talking about.

01:31:13   It's like, it's conflict.

01:31:15   Also like, you know, there were people that were saying to me like, "Oh, Word has a dark

01:31:19   mode as well, but it doesn't have a dark mode.

01:31:23   Like the UI goes dark, but the page is still white."

01:31:27   And then there were people that would tell me, "Oh, all you have to do is change the

01:31:29   page to a black background and the text to white. No, that's not a dark mode. That's

01:31:33   not a dark mode, right? Like that's you making changes that you'll eventually like when you're

01:31:38   on an app system that has light mode and then it won't make any sense because the page is

01:31:43   black.

01:31:44   Yeah, I hate those pseudo dark modes so much. I was really pumped because Apple recently

01:31:49   released a dark mode for numbers, their spreadsheet program that I use so much. I was like, oh,

01:31:55   finally, like dark mode for spreadsheets. No, the spreadsheets are just as white as

01:31:58   they ever were.

01:31:59   So the UI Chrome is dark, which is, that's not,

01:32:02   you know, it's not helpful, like email apps are fine,

01:32:05   you know, like it just inverts the text color,

01:32:07   but it's not like everybody's getting emails

01:32:10   that are just white text, right?

01:32:11   'Cause that's no good.

01:32:12   So basically, there's a long version of this,

01:32:17   but I don't think it's worth necessarily going into

01:32:19   at this point.

01:32:20   The short version is, I've come to conclude

01:32:23   that real-time collaboration for me is more important

01:32:26   than the native OS features that I want.

01:32:28   - Right.

01:32:29   - Because the most important thing that goes

01:32:32   into these documents is the text,

01:32:33   and the text has to be correct for everyone.

01:32:36   And if it isn't, then what was the point

01:32:39   in even starting the document in the first place?

01:32:41   Like if real-time collaboration was not as important,

01:32:44   like if all I wanted was just to have

01:32:46   like the most native features,

01:32:48   I'd probably just use Apple Notes for everything.

01:32:51   Right, like that's the decision I kind of come to,

01:32:52   is like that's an application that's always gonna be

01:32:55   up to date with the system,

01:32:56   it has good hooks in with the system,

01:32:57   I love it. I use it for so much stuff. But the problem is like you have to wait

01:33:02   for people's stuff to get synced in. And then the other issue I was finding is

01:33:06   that all of the new pieces of software that people are creating like in the

01:33:11   vein of a Google Docs like a kind of a web-based solution, they want to be

01:33:14   everything. They want to be Docs and Sheets and Chat and Tasks and everything

01:33:20   and everything and everything and everything. And that's also not what I

01:33:24   I want. Like, I want a focused product. So I think I'm basically back in the place that

01:33:30   I end up being once every year or two. Google Docs is the best at what Google Docs does.

01:33:37   And I just have to hope that Google will update it to be what I want it to be.

01:33:41   I'm sorry that your journey into real-time collaboration apps was less of a march and

01:33:49   more of just a circle right back to where you started.

01:33:52   - It's been like two days.

01:33:53   (laughing)

01:33:54   It really, it really didn't take very long.

01:33:55   - At least it was a short circle then,

01:33:57   it wasn't a long circle. - That's true, that's true.

01:33:59   I didn't have to do a lot of work to come to this decision,

01:34:02   but I just, I've come to really rely

01:34:05   and value what Google Docs does,

01:34:08   and it's the best at what it does fundamentally.

01:34:14   (chiming)

01:34:14   So I mentioned that now was a busy time for me, right?

01:34:17   Like I've got a lot going on right now.

01:34:20   And the big project that I have on my horizon

01:34:24   is the Podcastathon, Podcastathon 2.

01:34:27   - Oh, Podcastathon 2.

01:34:29   - Yep.

01:34:29   - Electric Boogaloo.

01:34:30   - Indeed.

01:34:31   Listeners may remember that last year

01:34:33   we raised a ton of money.

01:34:36   It was an incredible thing

01:34:37   for St. Jude Children's Cancer Research Hospital.

01:34:40   And I'm gonna be talking a little bit more

01:34:42   about this on our next episode,

01:34:44   but we are fundraising again,

01:34:46   starting now and throughout September.

01:34:48   If you go to stju.org/relay, you can give money there.

01:34:52   It would be incredible for you to support the cause.

01:34:55   We had such an incredible showing last year.

01:34:57   We raised over $300,000, which was just

01:35:01   absolutely unbelievable, blew us all away.

01:35:04   And we want to do it again.

01:35:05   We want to raise that money again,

01:35:07   because it's difficult, right?

01:35:09   Everything's difficult for everyone right now.

01:35:12   But that doesn't mean that this is a thing

01:35:14   that we also can't continue to think about, and we should.

01:35:18   St. Jude is such an incredible place.

01:35:20   They do such incredible work.

01:35:22   The treatments that have been invented at St. Jude,

01:35:25   they've helped push the child cancer survival rate

01:35:28   from 20% to more than 80% in its 50 years of being around.

01:35:33   And so supporting this charity,

01:35:36   their mission is to make sure

01:35:38   that no child dies from cancer.

01:35:41   And I think they can do that, right?

01:35:43   They've done such incredible things over 50 years.

01:35:47   We want to continue to support their work.

01:35:50   So if you go to stjude.org/relay, you can donate.

01:35:54   Whatever you can will go a long way

01:35:57   to helping this wonderful institution

01:36:00   and the children that they take care of.

01:36:03   And this isn't a charity that is just an American charity.

01:36:07   They help people from all over the world.

01:36:09   And the research from St. Jude

01:36:12   has helped with medicine worldwide.

01:36:15   So it is a really, really incredible place.

01:36:17   It does incredible things.

01:36:19   So say I wanna talk more in detail about St. Jude

01:36:21   on our next episode, 'cause that is,

01:36:23   will be in September, and that is when

01:36:26   Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is.

01:36:28   But also in September is Podcastathon 2.

01:36:31   It's gonna be on September 18th,

01:36:34   from two to eight p.m. Eastern, twitch.tv/relayfm.

01:36:37   Again, I will talk about that more.

01:36:39   I will remind everybody in our next episode about that.

01:36:42   But the big thing, the big thing that's taking up

01:36:44   my time right now is that this is an all remote podcast.

01:36:48   I thought you're not all getting together in uh, in Memphis again.

01:36:52   No, not happening.

01:36:53   It's like last year we did everything in Memphis, Tennessee that, uh, uh, the St.

01:36:57   Jude campus.

01:36:58   They have these incredible production facilities there and I mean, I can't be

01:37:02   there.

01:37:03   So currently at the moment, a big project is getting mega studio set for this

01:37:11   event.

01:37:11   Oh, right.

01:37:12   you're gonna need filming as well, right?

01:37:15   - It's all video.

01:37:16   - You wanna look good on camera.

01:37:17   - So I have my one person production crew

01:37:21   of Adina right now and we are making it happen.

01:37:24   We're setting up sets, we're getting some lights,

01:37:27   we're getting tripods.

01:37:28   Yeah, there's a lot going on and it's a big project

01:37:34   for everyone right now because as well as coming up

01:37:37   with the content that we wanna put into the event,

01:37:39   it's like just the basics.

01:37:42   When we started the planning for Podcastathon 2,

01:37:45   it was like, all right, how can we make this bigger

01:37:47   and better and focus on the content?

01:37:49   So we started doing that, and now we have the sub-project

01:37:52   of, okay, now we need to rework all the logistics as well.

01:37:55   So. - Right.

01:37:56   - So it's a bigger project.

01:37:58   I mean, I'm really pleased this is the second one we've done

01:38:01   because if it was the first one,

01:38:02   it would have been infinitely harder

01:38:04   because now we've been able to learn from last year.

01:38:07   And I genuinely think that the remoteness of it

01:38:11   is not going to affect it.

01:38:14   The only difference is me and Steven

01:38:15   are not in the same place.

01:38:16   Because every guest we had last year--

01:38:19   well, not every, but many of the guests we had last year

01:38:22   were remote guests.

01:38:23   Yeah, it's really lucky that you were able to do with Steven

01:38:26   in person the first time.

01:38:28   That makes a huge difference for trying

01:38:29   to do it all remote the second time, for sure.

01:38:32   Yeah, so we've learned from it.

01:38:33   And we have an incredible team at St. Jude and Allsac

01:38:38   to help us put it on.

01:38:39   They've given us access to lots of incredible resources.

01:38:43   So I'm really excited about it,

01:38:45   but I'm also super nervous about it

01:38:47   'cause it's a big job for us

01:38:51   to get this studio ready for that.

01:38:55   It was never made for that.

01:38:57   So we're currently setting up sets, effectively,

01:39:01   like locations, like fixed locations in the studio.

01:39:04   - Wait, what do you mean, like sets and locations?

01:39:07   Are you gonna transition to,

01:39:08   oh, this is Myke by the fireside kind of set?

01:39:11   Like, is that what you mean? - Pretty much, yes.

01:39:13   So we're gonna have three locations in the studio.

01:39:16   Like one is like a relaxed location.

01:39:20   One is a behind the desk location.

01:39:22   And one is a secret location that I won't reveal just yet.

01:39:27   'Cause we're setting up something which is in scope,

01:39:31   maybe a little more than we should do.

01:39:33   But if we are able to execute it,

01:39:35   and I believe that we will,

01:39:37   will be incredibly fun.

01:39:39   So it's a big project and like I'm super happy

01:39:43   that I have Adina's time for this.

01:39:45   Like she's basically pushing everything

01:39:47   to decide to do this.

01:39:48   'Cause there's no way I could do this on my own.

01:39:51   Like even just like getting the basic equipment

01:39:54   that we need is a huge task because like you try

01:39:58   and find a good light right now.

01:40:00   - Yeah, I was gonna say, do you have those fancy like,

01:40:03   I don't know what they're called, the things that you use

01:40:05   to bounce the light off of so you can look, you know,

01:40:07   really great on the camera?

01:40:08   - Yeah, I don't think I've gone to that level.

01:40:10   - The bounce shields?

01:40:11   I don't know what they're called.

01:40:12   - Yeah, bounce shields, that's what they call it in the biz.

01:40:15   You know, like, just stuff like, and it's a great product,

01:40:18   like the Elgato Key Light,

01:40:20   all the streamers use these lights, they're fantastic.

01:40:23   I've been able to get a couple of them.

01:40:24   - Is this more of your RGB nonsense?

01:40:26   Is that what you're talking about here?

01:40:27   - No, it's just a pure light, there's no RGB on this one,

01:40:31   but it is something that all the game streamers use.

01:40:34   But yeah, it's like, this is an interesting task to tackle

01:40:38   because this is not my world.

01:40:41   But it's something that we are getting a handle of

01:40:47   during the fundraising process

01:40:49   between now and September 18th.

01:40:50   Like we're raising money all through September,

01:40:52   but obviously we want to have a lead up

01:40:55   to the podcast-a-thon.

01:40:56   Like we're going to be doing other Twitch streams

01:40:59   and this is all like testing of the setups, right?

01:41:02   so we can make sure that we have the basics ready

01:41:07   before we have to commit eight hours, you know?

01:41:09   - Right, yeah.

01:41:10   Yeah, that's not when you wanna find out

01:41:12   how difficult it is to switch between sets

01:41:14   is when you're trying to do something live for eight hours.

01:41:17   - Exactly.

01:41:18   Like, and so it's even like one thing

01:41:19   where I've already realized like,

01:41:20   "Oh, okay, I found a great tripod.

01:41:22   "I need two of these."

01:41:24   Right?

01:41:25   And so I've got this cart we bought from Ikea

01:41:29   that has a small tripod on it.

01:41:32   the laptop that I'm going to be using, the light and gear, right, that I need in, if

01:41:37   I'm going to, because then basically we're moving this cart around to the different parts

01:41:41   of the studio, right? So it's all in a fixed location. But what I've learned is for two

01:41:47   of the locations, it will be better if I can just pop the camera off and put it onto a

01:41:50   tripod which is on the ground rather than on the cart. So like this is the benefit of

01:41:55   of doing these smaller tests of trying to work out

01:42:00   what this environment will be good for.

01:42:03   And there's like two things which is like benefits.

01:42:06   One, I'm pleased we didn't have this place entirely furnished

01:42:09   because we would not have the space to do what we want to do.

01:42:12   -Right, right. Yeah.

01:42:12   You didn't know that, surprise,

01:42:14   you need to build three filming sets in Mega Studio.

01:42:18   -And two, it's helping us accelerate the furnishing process

01:42:23   because there's stuff that we need for this.

01:42:25   So yeah, this is a very interesting task to undertake,

01:42:30   but I am very excited about it

01:42:33   and I couldn't find a better cause to do it for.

01:42:36   Core Tech Sense, do us proud.

01:42:39   Go to stju.org/relay and donate now.

01:42:42   Get ready for the Podcastathon

01:42:43   and I'll be talking about it a little bit more next time.

01:42:47   So as is usual for us,

01:42:49   I had like a million more things

01:42:51   that I wanted to talk about today,

01:42:53   that we're gonna have to push to a later episode,

01:42:55   'cause I was not expecting what was your quote,

01:42:58   "mini-topic" in the episode of reassessing your note-taking

01:43:02   to be an absolute fundamental rebuild

01:43:04   of what it takes to make a note.

01:43:07   - Yeah, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to totally blow your plans.

01:43:10   I thought that was a nice,

01:43:11   that might be a nice pre-show thing. (laughs)

01:43:15   - Look, as I've said many times,

01:43:16   there's two great things about us having more.

01:43:19   I have work already done for next time.

01:43:21   And two, it gives us stuff to talk about

01:43:24   in more text as well.

01:43:25   - Yes, that's true.

01:43:27   - But before we go today, it's August.

01:43:30   And around these parts, August means text adventures.

01:43:33   - Text adventure time.

01:43:35   - And we have another one.

01:43:36   So on August 29th, the upgrade Cortex crossover

01:43:41   text adventure for this year will be published

01:43:43   for Relay FM members.

01:43:44   All Relay FM members get access to this.

01:43:47   So if you subscribe to more tax or you subscribe to another show, there is a

01:43:52   feed called relay FM crossover, which is where all of the bonus content is posted.

01:43:56   I'm going to put a link in the show notes.

01:43:57   So if you're a member and you don't have the crossover feed, you can just click

01:44:00   that and it will take you where you need to go to sign up for it.

01:44:03   But this is a great time.

01:44:04   If you're not a relay from member to try out more tax, because if you've got

01:44:09   to get more text.com, you can sign up for $5 a month and you will get more

01:44:14   and you will also get the crossover feed that includes the text adventure special

01:44:18   so you can give it a go and see what you're missing out by not getting more

01:44:22   text. It's gonna be a trailer at the end of this episode so you can hear the

01:44:26   theme of this year's text adventure so I'll play that for you. If you're not a

01:44:31   member you need to become one to get access to this. Go to get more text.com

01:44:35   you can sign up you'll be able to get the more text feed and the crossover

01:44:38   feed that will include the text adventure for you and don't forget more

01:44:42   More Tex is longer, ad-free episodes of Cortex.

01:44:46   So go check it out right now.

01:44:48   GetMoreTex.com.

01:44:50   GetMoreTex.com.

01:44:51   Myke, Gray, welcome to Z-War!

01:44:56   Uh-oh!

01:44:57   Oh no, it's a zombie!

01:45:00   Oh no!

01:45:02   You're at the hospital entrance.

01:45:11   the

01:45:21   my map. Okay, wait a second.

01:45:23   - Didn't last very long.

01:45:24   - You read the poorly spelled email you received

01:45:29   this morning from your sister.

01:45:31   Halp zombie apocalypse xoxo Francis.

01:45:36   - Looks like you're right, Myke.

01:45:38   It's zombie time.

01:45:40   The only real piece of information that we need

01:45:42   is what kind of zombies are we dealing with here?

01:45:45   Are they like zombie zombies

01:45:47   or are they 28 days later zombies?

01:45:50   If they're zombie zombies, zombie zombies aren't that big of a problem.

01:45:54   I'm hoping it's zombie zombies.

01:45:58   You have a fire extinguisher.

01:45:59   If we have to use this fire extinguisher to extinguish a fire, I'm going to be very disappointed.

01:46:05   It turns out this is just a lesson in fire safety this whole adventure.

01:46:09   I guess typical style, we check this floor, right?

01:46:12   Like, let's not leave the floor.

01:46:14   Myke, you and I, we're like a SWAT team here.

01:46:16   We're gonna cover our corners, and we're gonna take it floor by floor.

01:46:20   With a fire extinguisher, just like a good SWAT team.

01:46:24   The theater is filled with the shuffling bodies of zombified patients and staff members.

01:46:29   There are too many zombies here to fight.

01:46:31   Upon seeing you, they become agitated and start to close in.

01:46:35   Get out.

01:46:36   Close the door.

01:46:37   Close the door.

01:46:38   Don't dead.

01:46:39   Open inside.

01:46:40   Reference acknowledged.

01:46:41   Zombies begin to enter the kitchen.

01:46:44   We're f***ing this round.

01:46:45   We shouldn't have opened that door, huh?

01:46:46   The zombies attack you and bite you and kill you and you die.

01:46:49   The end.

01:46:50   Alright, okay.

01:46:51   Fine, fine, fine.

01:46:52   You open the heavy door and find a chef.

01:46:55   Say hello.

01:46:56   She says, "You didn't eat anything, did you?

01:46:59   The chief of staff told me to add vitamin Z to the meatloaf.

01:47:02   After that, everything just went to hell."

01:47:04   No, no.

01:47:06   I'm gonna turn the dial, okay?

01:47:09   But what I'm saying is that we need to do that right now.

01:47:11   You have no sense of exploration, Myke.

01:47:14   You guys may not remember the past text adventures,

01:47:16   but we've had this conversation before.

01:47:19   (laughter)

01:47:20   - Set dial to high.

01:47:22   - The machine hums and the zombie thrashes around,

01:47:25   but something goes wrong.

01:47:26   The machine starts to smoke and the electrodes catch fire.

01:47:29   The zombies eyes burst from their sockets

01:47:31   and the power goes out.

01:47:32   - Are we in darkness now?

01:47:33   - I can't see anything.

01:47:35   It's dark.

01:47:36   - Ah, I guess this is where we use the bullet on ourselves

01:47:40   and start over.

01:47:41   (laughter)

01:47:42   Or you could just, you know, load your save game.

01:47:44   [laughter]

01:47:46   You managed to escape Z-ward with your life,

01:47:50   but you'll never forgive yourself for the loss of your sister.

01:47:52   The end.

01:47:53   Boo!

01:47:55   Okay.

01:47:55   Okay, alright.

01:47:56   Reload save slot 2.

01:47:58   [laughter]

01:48:00   I think that's the most judged we've been by Xeolotron.

01:48:05   [laughter]

01:48:07   If you want this text adventure,

01:48:10   It's available for all relay FM members in the crossover feed.

01:48:14   You can become a member today at get more text.com.

01:48:17   This is the world's most ambitious text adventure crossover event.

01:48:30   It's not that ambitious, but still.