102: Lockdown Productivity


00:00:00   So how you doing?

00:00:01   Myke, nothing in my world is different from the last time we spoke.

00:00:06   Everything is the same. So let's just go straight into the show.

00:00:10   Alright, so we said that we were going to talk about your Spaceship You video.

00:00:13   I was initially, I think at the end of the last episode, I referenced it as like,

00:00:18   "Oh, we're going to talk a lot about working from home," right?

00:00:22   Yeah, this is Cortex-102.

00:00:25   And I think in your initial pitch of we're over a hundred and four podcast numbers that are easy for you to remember when referencing stuff for people in the future.

00:00:36   101 was like productivity 101 and then if we're following the college numbering structure, this would be course 102, working from home, I think was the was the rough idea.

00:00:47   But the more I thought about it and the more that, because I've watched the video,

00:00:52   I watched the director's commentary that you put out for your Patreon subscribers.

00:00:56   And I kind of realized that this idea and the time that we're in

00:01:02   right now, it's more than just working from home.

00:01:05   It's bringing your work to home, but doing everything at home.

00:01:11   And that's slightly different.

00:01:14   So like, working from home will be a part of this episode, but it's also gonna have

00:01:20   some quarantine working from home, which is a different thing.

00:01:24   It's like an extra level.

00:01:26   It's like level two of working from home.

00:01:29   Because not only are you working from home, you also can't then go out afterwards.

00:01:34   You just go to another part of the home.

00:01:37   It's a very different beast.

00:01:39   Yeah, it's working from home/working from home arrest.

00:01:44   That's a little bit what it's like.

00:01:46   Right, right. It's a house arrest type deal.

00:01:48   Yeah.

00:01:49   Okay. I hadn't thought of it in those terms yet.

00:01:51   I'm kind of pleased that you went with the spaceship metaphor rather than the prisoner metaphor for the video.

00:01:57   Yeah, no, the spaceship metaphor is much better for a whole variety of reasons.

00:02:01   Yeah.

00:02:02   No, I get what you mean that in the situation of doing everything from home is like a level of difficulty above

00:02:10   simply a conversation about working from home.

00:02:15   But one necessarily contains the other.

00:02:17   And also the whole like circumstances around working from home right now

00:02:22   is typically different to the before time of working from home

00:02:26   which was that most people would choose it.

00:02:29   and it was like, I have this great thing now, I've always wanted to work from home

00:02:34   and stay in my pajamas and do my work. And so it was like, for a lot of people, like a success

00:02:41   or a badge of honor or like a reward, but now it's like, you gotta do it whether you wanna do it or

00:02:48   not. And there are people that do and there are people that don't and there are people that think

00:02:52   that they can't, right, or people that actually can't. And it's a very different way of being

00:02:58   put into this environment for a lot of people with no time to prepare.

00:03:03   Yeah, I also think, because there are great challenges of working from home, which are

00:03:09   non-obvious before you actually do it, for sure there has been a proportion of people

00:03:15   who were always thinking, "God, I would just love to work from home," who are now going,

00:03:20   "Nope!"

00:03:21   I have been disabused of my fanciful idea about what it would be like to work at home

00:03:29   and it's a time when you can recognize how helpful a lot of the structures in the world

00:03:36   are that you may otherwise just take for granted.

00:03:39   You're like, "Oh, working from home, it's going to be just like working in the office

00:03:44   except minus all the annoying parts."

00:03:46   It's like, "Oh no, that's not what it's like."

00:03:49   about a different set of annoying parts? You can have that instead. So I actually think

00:03:53   in, you know, looking at this in real time, like people listening in real time in May

00:03:58   of 2020, this is probably a good time to do this episode, to have this discussion, because

00:04:05   most people that have started working from home, the shine will have worn off by now.

00:04:10   Yeah, for sure. So this is a good time to maybe you think you understand or have understood

00:04:16   like the way that this is working for you, maybe we can help add some stuff in to make

00:04:21   it a little bit more easy and more manageable. So SpaceshipU is the concept behind this video.

00:04:28   Can you give a recap of the overall idea of what this concept means?

00:04:34   Yeah, I think the way I would put it is if there's anything that I feel like I know

00:04:41   about being productive and working is this important concept of the separation of spaces

00:04:51   and to associate doing different activities in different areas.

00:04:57   This for me is something that over the course of my life has been an idea that maybe is

00:05:00   like the most persistent idea that has stuck with me in all the various iterations of how

00:05:06   I work is always trying to be very strict about you do work in this area and you relax

00:05:12   in this area and to separate those things out. So this has been a real background idea

00:05:19   that I think once I talk about it in terms of Spaceship You, it becomes obvious like,

00:05:24   "Oh, I've been discussing this idea in various different ways for years," is kind

00:05:29   of like coming back to the same concept.

00:05:31   Like going to the library to write.

00:05:33   Yes, exactly.

00:05:34   And the thing with SpaceshipU is there's now this great framing device, which is a global pandemic,

00:05:46   which I think really highlights the need for structure in a person's life in ways that may not have been obvious before.

00:05:58   And so I think that this is really this key concept of either working from home or just being in a self-isolation situation

00:06:09   that there's this really key meta skill which is creating structure for yourself.

00:06:16   And that can mean a lot of different things,

00:06:19   But I think that one of the easiest ways to get started with this concept is with as much

00:06:27   physical separation of the

00:06:30   spaces that you possibly can do.

00:06:33   And so, I think the four starter spaces that I have for if you're in an environment is like,

00:06:38   you need a place to sleep,

00:06:40   you need a place to work,

00:06:42   you need a place to exercise,

00:06:44   and you need a place to relax.

00:06:46   And as much as you can distinguish those spaces from each other, you should do that.

00:06:52   And so I think that's the overall idea of what's going on with Spaceship U.

00:06:56   But you present it in a really nice way of like showing the isolation as being in space.

00:07:02   Like it's just like a really clever way to create something softer than what's actually happening.

00:07:07   I'm being a little delicate.

00:07:10   And I think it was the right way to do it.

00:07:12   I remember when you told me about this idea and

00:07:15   Like I really pressed on you that I thought it was a good one to pursue

00:07:19   Right because the framing device is so much better than if you just presented this video

00:07:24   Even like the yearly themes

00:07:27   Video that you did where you're like I have this idea that I think will be useful to you in the situation that we're in

00:07:32   Go around your home and do this stuff

00:07:34   It's way too real but showing it in this

00:07:39   fictionalized world of like we're all going up in space because the world isn't habitable anymore, right?

00:07:45   And we're gonna take care of it and then you can come back.

00:07:47   It's a way nicer way to get this message across to me in

00:07:51   an entertaining way rather than in a way where I have to face my reality while watching it.

00:07:57   Right. You're just floating in a little spaceship. Yeah, you're not locked down in your home.

00:08:02   Yeah. They're two fundamentally different things.

00:08:05   And it allows for a nice like metaphorical separation for when you are trying to put these things into effect at home anyway

00:08:12   You know like it helps you think like oh, I'm just priming the physical part of the core, right?

00:08:19   Like that's what I'm doing right now and it's just nice. I think those I think humans like that type of stuff

00:08:25   No

00:08:25   I I agree with that and it also sort of goes to the theme video that I made where there's a question of resonance

00:08:31   And I think it's easier for these ideas to sometimes resonate with people in a particular form.

00:08:38   And in talking to people, I could see that the spaceship idea was resonant with a lot of people.

00:08:44   I'm like, "Oh, okay, good. This is on the right track."

00:08:47   But part of the reason I was able to make the video so quickly is because it is also an idea

00:08:51   that I've been trying to write and work on in various forms.

00:08:56   Like, spoiler alert, you know, these aren't just good ideas for the pandemic.

00:09:01   This is, you know, Spaceship U is life.

00:09:03   But I'd never quite found the right way to pitch it.

00:09:08   And so yeah, like the pandemic provided both the idea

00:09:13   of the spaceship, which had never really crossed

00:09:15   my mind before, and it is a nice framing device.

00:09:18   I do have it in the back of my mind that maybe

00:09:20   at some point in the future, I'd like to do like a,

00:09:22   like a Spaceship U version two, if there's a way to do it

00:09:26   and remove the framing of the pandemic, but you know,

00:09:29   know, that'll be like at some point in the future maybe.

00:09:32   - Yeah, I mean, well, 'cause that is the second part of it.

00:09:34   That is almost the yearly themes idea part of it,

00:09:37   of like, these are just good ideas

00:09:39   that you can put into effect in your life always.

00:09:43   - Yeah, yeah, and I'm really happy with the way it came out.

00:09:45   I had this little bit of a conflict of,

00:09:48   because I don't really like to do videos

00:09:50   that are contemporary, I just had this little bit

00:09:54   of a conflict of like, oh man, this is an idea

00:09:56   I've been mulling over for like a decade,

00:09:58   and I don't entirely want to spend it on a contemporary video,

00:10:03   but I'm glad I did.

00:10:04   Like, I'm glad I did this, and if I want to do a version two that more generalizes it,

00:10:10   that's always an option, but I'm glad I did it this way.

00:10:13   And it's been very positively received, so I've been pleased with the way it came out.

00:10:18   But, you know, like, I think if this show has proved anything,

00:10:21   the two of us always have various ideas about being productive.

00:10:25   like, you know, you can incorporate these into another thing later on, right?

00:10:29   Like they're not burned by being used here.

00:10:32   But I think it was good to put this out there for now.

00:10:37   This idea of there are like these four things, you've got to be physical,

00:10:40   you've got to have somewhere to work, you've got to have somewhere to sleep,

00:10:44   you've got to have somewhere to relax and that these spaces need to be defined in

00:10:48   some way. It's really good. Like it is a very powerful message.

00:10:53   But I actually want to jump ahead a little bit in what I prepared for today to

00:10:57   talk about some of the practicalities of creating these spaces at home.

00:11:01   Cause I know like I've been,

00:11:03   I've been reading some of the feedback to the video and stuff.

00:11:05   And I think that's something that a lot of people have struggled with,

00:11:08   which is like, I live in a one bedroom apartment or I have children,

00:11:13   you know, like there were like various reasons why I can't split up my home.

00:11:18   Like I have one computer, how can, and it's fixed to a desk.

00:11:21   like how am I supposed to do this?

00:11:24   And I thought that maybe here we have a lot more time

00:11:27   to expand than you do in the videos, right?

00:11:30   So maybe we could dig into some of these practical things

00:11:34   a little bit, so kind of the idea of if you wanna do this,

00:11:39   how do you split up your living environment

00:11:42   to give you these four things?

00:11:45   So let's imagine, maybe we could do some scenarios here,

00:11:49   Let's imagine someone who lives with other people, they live in a flat share, they have

00:11:54   just a bedroom.

00:11:55   They maybe have a desk, a small desk, which their laptop lives on, and that's all that

00:12:01   they have.

00:12:02   Like a laptop, a desk, a chair, and a bed.

00:12:04   Like how would you start thinking about, or even is there a way that you can start thinking

00:12:09   about somebody being able to divide up those sections in their living space?

00:12:14   - Yeah, well, it's an interesting thing

00:12:16   because with this part of it,

00:12:20   how do you adapt this to you in particular?

00:12:23   There's a variety of things that are possible

00:12:25   and you have to be looking for

00:12:28   what are the things that work for you.

00:12:31   And so, it's funny that you have this as the first one

00:12:34   because I was thinking about when I lived in London

00:12:38   and I was newly married,

00:12:40   My wife and I shared a single room in a flat share.

00:12:44   Right.

00:12:45   And it was like the two of us in one bedroom.

00:12:48   And then there were, uh, some flatmates who had their own bedrooms.

00:12:52   I wonder what it's like to be CGP Grey's flatmate.

00:12:54   Perfectly fine.

00:12:57   You know, but, but it's like, I think that's probably the most, I guess maybe

00:13:06   aside from college and sharing a dorm room,

00:13:11   maybe that was the most space constrained

00:13:14   I've ever been in a living situation.

00:13:16   - I've started you out on hard mode here.

00:13:19   - Oh yeah, yeah. - I have particularly

00:13:20   chosen hard mode, 'cause I know that this is a thing

00:13:23   that a lot of our listeners will be dealing with

00:13:25   if they live in big cities or if they're young.

00:13:28   - Yeah, and so when I was writing this,

00:13:31   I had in mind some of these kind of situations in life,

00:13:35   or when I lived in a studio apartment or all the rest of it.

00:13:38   So in this scenario, if you're living in a flat share,

00:13:43   it is very probable that you do have a laptop, right?

00:13:48   Like you probably don't have a big desktop computer.

00:13:51   - Yeah, I'm assuming laptop is probably the thing

00:13:55   for most people here.

00:13:57   - And so how can you divide stuff?

00:14:00   I think the biggest place to start

00:14:02   is the recreation work division there.

00:14:07   And on a computer, the thing that I would totally do

00:14:10   is to have two different accounts on that computer

00:14:13   to separate out the work from recreation.

00:14:18   And so the way I used to do this

00:14:22   is one of the accounts on my computer

00:14:24   was everything is installed on this account.

00:14:27   It was the kind of default account.

00:14:30   And I had a separate account then

00:14:31   that was for just writing.

00:14:34   So that's the way I divided those two.

00:14:37   - Different desktop backgrounds.

00:14:38   - Yeah, so you have two accounts,

00:14:40   you can change what programs are available to you

00:14:43   in each of those accounts.

00:14:45   Yeah, you wanna have different desktop backgrounds,

00:14:48   for sure, that's something you wanna do.

00:14:50   So it like visually looks as different as possible.

00:14:55   I would probably say though, that for most people,

00:14:58   if you're gonna do two accounts,

00:15:00   You probably actually want to more clearly separate out like the recreation.

00:15:06   So like the video game part of it.

00:15:08   So if you got steam installed on your computer, I would probably say like if I don't know

00:15:13   something about someone's work, you want to quarantine that part of it and you know, have

00:15:19   the other account for sort of everything.

00:15:21   The work account should be where everything is.

00:15:25   Yeah.

00:15:26   And the recreation account can be where the games and stuff are.

00:15:29   I think that is kind of counter to the way that we usually talk about things.

00:15:33   We both, when we're looking at work stuff, try and pare it down.

00:15:37   But again, like these situations are different.

00:15:39   This is a very particular type of thing.

00:15:42   Unless you're in a situation where you know that you have like one mission critical activity

00:15:49   that is really high value and you want to cordon that off, I think the problem that

00:15:53   most people are going to deal with is the reverse problem of especially in a lockdown

00:16:00   situation that like recreation just kind of spreads everywhere and it's it's really easy

00:16:06   to just start looking at YouTube or to like you know oh I'm just gonna take a quick 20

00:16:14   minute factorial break which is like something that no human on earth has ever accomplished

00:16:18   and you're trying to isolate that stuff.

00:16:22   Again, this will depend differently on like different operating systems.

00:16:26   But the nice thing about having separate accounts is you can also do things like

00:16:29   having the websites blocked on one account but not the other.

00:16:32   Like there's a lot of ways to play around with this.

00:16:34   But for beginners starting for sure,

00:16:37   pick out all the entertainment recreation stuff and put that into an account

00:16:42   and make it live there, have a different desktop background,

00:16:46   anything else that you can change about the way that account looks, you should totally do it,

00:16:50   so that it seems as different as possible. And then, this is the dumbest thing in the world,

00:16:55   but I did this when I lived in a studio and I just had one desk and a laptop, is sitting at that desk

00:17:03   facing the wall, that was work mode, and then I would just move the chair around to the edge of

00:17:10   the desk so that my I was like looking at the room that was like recreation mode and these things can

00:17:16   be really dumb like that but I have really found that if you are consistent about it

00:17:23   it trains your brain into this mode you're what you're trying to do at first is to just

00:17:30   introduce these little moments of hesitation and I think that's a way that you start training up your

00:17:37   brain. So, like, obviously you can flip over to the recreation account to watch YouTube

00:17:43   at any moment, but it doesn't hurt to put up as many barriers as possible. And I also

00:17:49   really like getting it in your mind that it's perfectly fine if you feel like, "I can't

00:17:56   do work now, I want to take a break," but you're training yourself to be intentional

00:18:00   about it. So you say, "Okay, I'm gonna do that, and I'm clearly deciding because I'm

00:18:06   I'm just moving the chair 90 degrees around the desk and I'm like, I've decided to do

00:18:12   that. And I'm not lying to myself sitting here at this computer, you know, looking at

00:18:17   the work account.

00:18:18   Yeah, I'm deciding to log out and log in. Like that, even that is like, yes, if you

00:18:23   have the ability to make some physical movement, that is really great. Like that's the key.

00:18:28   But if all you can do is change your account, great. Like add some friction in, as you say,

00:18:34   so that it's to stop you.

00:18:36   But it is just that when you do it,

00:18:38   you know you've done it.

00:18:40   For me, honestly, using the iPad

00:18:43   is one of the big benefits for me.

00:18:46   I have different work that I do on my iMac and on my iPad.

00:18:50   And so when I'm sitting down on my iPad,

00:18:52   it's like, right, I know what mode I'm in right now.

00:18:55   I know the types of work that I'm gonna be doing here.

00:18:58   When I sit down at my Mac,

00:19:00   I know what I'm doing here as well.

00:19:02   It's very rare for me to do non-recording

00:19:06   or editing on my iMac.

00:19:08   I just record and edit here.

00:19:10   I don't sit and go through all my email.

00:19:12   I don't sit and write my show notes, right?

00:19:14   Like I don't deal with social media type stuff.

00:19:16   Like all of that is done on my iPad.

00:19:19   So I have the distinction there from devices.

00:19:22   So I just wanted to throw this in there

00:19:24   as like if you have an iPad,

00:19:26   a lot of people have an iPad,

00:19:28   now might be a really good time

00:19:31   to get to know iPadOS.

00:19:32   - Yeah, I'll back that.

00:19:36   And again, this is where long-time listeners of the show

00:19:39   will know, many years ago we were talking

00:19:41   about the multi-pad lifestyle.

00:19:43   And this is part of the reason why

00:19:45   I was such a proponent of this.

00:19:47   It's great to have multiple devices,

00:19:50   because iOS, just by the mere fact

00:19:54   that it works differently than your computer does,

00:19:57   is another way that differentiates

00:19:59   these spaces from each other. And like, I think that's that's a really good way to have

00:20:06   this distinction between two different things like, oh, your brain associates over time.

00:20:12   iOS is for email and for administration or however you decide to divide that up and then

00:20:18   like, oh, Mac OS on this account that feels this way for this other kind of activity.

00:20:23   And if you don't want to work on your iPad, your iPad is a really great tool to do all

00:20:28   of the relaxation stuff on.

00:20:30   Yeah, yeah, I think iPad for most people leans more towards the chillaxing side of the spectrum

00:20:38   which is great to the working side of the spectrum.

00:20:41   Those devices are way better, right, like at watching video and like, right, and like

00:20:46   social media than Macs are, like that's just the thing about it. If that's all you

00:20:50   want to use it for then go for it, but if all you have is like a MacBook Air, like that's

00:20:55   awesome too. You just got to set them up and set them up right and observe that and pay

00:21:00   attention to that. This is one of those things where it's easy to watch the video and be

00:21:05   like, "Well, I don't have the space." We're already in conceptual town because we're in

00:21:08   a spaceship, right? So think of it conceptually. So like for me, I don't have enough space

00:21:16   in my home to define a fixed exercise point. I could give up my office, but my office is

00:21:24   more important for me than the exercise area. What I do have though is a yoga mat. And the

00:21:30   yoga mat goes on the ground, the exercise happens on the yoga mat. So when the yoga

00:21:36   mat's down, exercise is occurring. It happens in the big green rectangle of this yoga mat.

00:21:43   Yeah, you are creating a new space. The yoga mat is like a magic carpet that you're exercising

00:21:49   on top of. And that is the space in which this occurs.

00:21:52   Honestly, the video has been very helpful to me to be more active.

00:21:56   That's the thing I've taken away from it, because really that was the one that I

00:22:00   needed the most help with for myself.

00:22:01   The rest of it I've mostly worked out, but it has really locked into me.

00:22:05   Like you saying about like exercise is non-optional.

00:22:09   Whilst I hate to hear that so much, I have taken it on board and I'm exercising

00:22:16   more now than I was before.

00:22:18   Yeah.

00:22:18   That's a message that is part of my own realizing the seriousness of the situation.

00:22:23   Exercise is non-optional.

00:22:27   It has had the same effect on me of re-contextualizing exercise in my brain

00:22:32   and realizing how necessary it is.

00:22:35   I don't have my own dedicated space for exercise.

00:22:39   I do the same thing where I am borrowing some of my wife's space for exercise.

00:22:43   It's always a little bit like, "Oh, are you going to use it?"

00:22:45   Like, "No. Okay, great."

00:22:47   it's the same thing about like, okay, it doesn't need to be, oh, I have a home gym and this home

00:22:53   gym is a physically separate room that has floor-to-ceiling mirrors on it so I can check

00:22:58   my form as I'm working out. Like that doesn't need to be what it is. I also think exercise is a great

00:23:05   place to talk about the kind of psychological separation that can happen between spaces.

00:23:12   So many people will have an exercise playlist.

00:23:17   Like, this is the playlist I'm listening to to pump myself up to exercise.

00:23:22   And one of the really key things about doing something like that is,

00:23:29   if you decide, "I'm gonna have an exercise playlist."

00:23:32   This is now becoming part of the, like, the virtual space that is the exercise room.

00:23:37   Is this playlist?

00:23:40   You have to pick songs that you're perfectly fine with not listening to under other circumstances.

00:23:49   So if you have an exercise playlist, don't listen to those songs when you're not exercising.

00:23:55   And I do the same thing with my work playlist. Like the songs that I listen to on

00:24:02   repeat when I'm working, those songs are now forever removed from just the general rotation

00:24:09   of music consumption.

00:24:11   And if you do this with the exercise playlist

00:24:14   and you do this with a working playlist,

00:24:16   I think those are two prime areas

00:24:18   where again you can create this sense

00:24:22   of now this is a different space.

00:24:25   Oh, because this- I'm at the gym

00:24:27   and the gym music is playing

00:24:29   and the only place that I ever hear the gym music

00:24:31   is in my gym.

00:24:33   Like, oh, I'm here working.

00:24:34   My face is looking at the blank wall of my home

00:24:38   But I have the working playlist on and like this is what I do now.

00:24:43   This is like different acoustic environment.

00:24:45   I do think like a key thing that people sometimes miss with this

00:24:49   is it's not just about associating music with a place.

00:24:53   It's about removing that association from other places.

00:24:58   Like you cannot listen to that music in different circumstances.

00:25:01   - Anybody that's ever set one of their favorite pop songs

00:25:04   as their alarm knows what you're talking about, right?

00:25:07   Yes, that's a great example.

00:25:08   Like, "Oh, I have this song. I would love to hear it when I wake up."

00:25:11   Yeah, that lasts for a couple of weeks.

00:25:14   And then you never want to hear that song again.

00:25:17   Yeah, yeah, no, for sure, for sure.

00:25:19   I forget, I can't remember the name of it, but I still have like

00:25:22   the opening bars of this one Sigur Rós song,

00:25:25   which was my alarm when I was going to work as a teacher.

00:25:29   I still can't hear the first couple bars of that

00:25:32   without having this like, "*GASP*", like I'm drowning feeling.

00:25:35   It's terrible.

00:25:36   [LAUGHTER]

00:25:37   Yeah, but it's a great example of how I think there's like, your brain has these hooks

00:25:43   that are just there waiting to be used.

00:25:46   And if you just pay a little bit of attention, you can take these things which are like,

00:25:51   "Oh, isn't it funny that I feel like I'm drowning every time I hear the song that was my wake-up alarm?"

00:25:56   And be like, "Can we turn this to be useful instead of just like an accidental thing that occurs?"

00:26:01   occurs. And then you get the satisfactory feeling that you are in control of your own brain.

00:26:08   Yeah. Because you've realized you've got one up on it, right?

00:26:12   Yeah. Oh, for sure. For sure. Like the number of times that I don't feel like writing at first,

00:26:20   you know, now having done this for years, if I'm feeling particularly resistant, there's a couple

00:26:26   of the songs that are especially burned into my brain as like this is writing music and if I put

00:26:32   those on and just kind of sit in front of the computer and wait it's like well more times than

00:26:39   not like typing is gonna start because this is just what this music is for it's for physically

00:26:45   moving your hands on on the keyboard. One of mine that I've recently started doing which is kind of

00:26:49   follow up from a few episodes ago where I said that I was using like noise cancelling a lot more

00:26:55   right, just to just create space in the home. And I was like, oh, I should try pairing this with the

00:27:00   app Dark Noise that we spoke about in the State of the Apps episode. They have a sound in there,

00:27:05   I think it's called "beach," and it's just the sound of waves crashing. And I've been using it

00:27:10   when I am struggling to get some writing done, right? So I will just put that on,

00:27:16   and then it's like a simple sound. It's not music, and I can just do it. So I've been really enjoying

00:27:22   using that app because also it's got some fun stuff in it like coffee shop noises.

00:27:26   Yeah. So it's like I'm outside, right? Uh, so yeah, more than just cause like the white noise,

00:27:33   brown noise, those, I hate that. Can't stand it. Yeah. I don't, I don't use any of the pure

00:27:37   sounds either. I don't like them. Yeah. I really hate like white noise in a white noise machine.

00:27:43   I just want background sounds. So I've been using that a lot for, for trying to help me get

00:27:49   through tasks that I've been struggling with.

00:27:51   Mm-hmm.

00:27:52   It's funny that you mention that because there's also like a time way that you can do these kind of

00:27:58   associations that are not physical differences, but they're psychological differences and

00:28:03   my wife and I have gotten into the habit on the weekends like,

00:28:07   "Oh, weekend often is like sitting around and reading, you know, just relaxing kind of time."

00:28:12   And I just happened to do it a few times to put on this foresty woods background kind of noise

00:28:19   while we're reading in the afternoon.

00:28:21   And it's like, man, three weekends in a row of doing that

00:28:24   and now that is the, oh, this is the sound

00:28:26   when we're reading sound, you know.

00:28:28   And it's just interesting how fast your brain

00:28:30   is willing to associate with that.

00:28:33   And now it's very clearly like, oh no,

00:28:34   this soundscape is just for the weekends.

00:28:37   That's what this soundscape is.

00:28:39   I know it's Sunday because it sounds like the forest.

00:28:42   And like, yeah, it just works really well.

00:28:44   - I'm just gonna say, I don't know if we're gonna talk

00:28:46   about this later or not, but like Animal Crossing

00:28:48   has been real great for me still with like,

00:28:50   I know where I am in the week,

00:28:52   I know where I am in the day,

00:28:53   like having something which helps you with that,

00:28:55   it's adding structure in the same way

00:28:58   that like I do all of my show prep

00:29:00   as my first task of the day.

00:29:03   I only do it in the mornings,

00:29:05   it will all be done by 12, after 12,

00:29:08   I don't do prep for shows anymore.

00:29:10   I will do other work because that is the work

00:29:13   that takes the most from me.

00:29:15   it's the work I have to work on the hardest.

00:29:17   So I do it first, I do it because it could take

00:29:21   middle longest, I also need the most caffeine, right?

00:29:24   Like you said, that is when I would do that.

00:29:26   Like that is sitting down, writing out lines,

00:29:28   doing research, all that stuff.

00:29:29   That is my first task of the day, every day, always,

00:29:33   before I start doing anything else.

00:29:35   But that is me adding structure in, right?

00:29:38   Like all of these things, all of this,

00:29:40   the whole thing, right, Spaceship U, structure.

00:29:44   You've got to put structure in your life,

00:29:46   and you can do it in so many ways.

00:29:48   You can do it by tricking your brain with music.

00:29:51   You can do it by saying,

00:29:52   I will only do these tasks in the morning.

00:29:54   Like you only write in the mornings, right?

00:29:57   - Yeah.

00:29:58   - Right, so you like write morning time is writing time.

00:30:00   Or like forest sounds means reading time.

00:30:03   It's Sunday, right?

00:30:04   - Yeah.

00:30:05   - And then it's like, oh that yoga mat,

00:30:07   that's where the workouts happen.

00:30:09   They don't happen anywhere else.

00:30:10   That soft thing in the corner,

00:30:11   that's where sleeping happens.

00:30:13   Nothing else happens there, right?

00:30:14   Like this side of the desk, this is where work is.

00:30:17   This side of the desk, I got the window, I can relax.

00:30:20   Finding structure is so important

00:30:25   and it's always been important for working at home

00:30:27   but it's even more important when home is all there is.

00:30:31   - There are a bunch of meta skills in life

00:30:34   that are really key in accomplishing

00:30:38   whatever it is you wanna do.

00:30:40   One of those incredibly important meta skills

00:30:42   It's just like time management, being aware of how you're spending your time.

00:30:46   And one of those other skills is this self structure and it can express itself in a lot

00:30:52   of ways.

00:30:53   And I think part of the lockdown situation is that many people are like forced to become

00:31:03   aware in a very visceral way how much work the structure of the external world was doing

00:31:12   in getting them to do what they need to do when that's been removed. And so it's like,

00:31:18   you can just suddenly realize like, oh God, I have to create some structure here. Otherwise,

00:31:24   I'm just gonna drift forever. One of the ones I'll mention, which it doesn't work great for me now,

00:31:30   but I did use to do it in the beginning is also just clothing. So, you know, you have like

00:31:37   shirts that you would wear when you're working or when you're not working. Like some people really

00:31:42   like to do this. If like they'll have a work shirt and I did do this in the beginning. I eventually

00:31:48   found like I didn't really need to after a while but for some people this is another way to do this

00:31:54   of like I have put on the work shirt or one of my comments that was "Oh that's genius" was someone

00:32:00   said they have a work necklace and so they're like when I put this necklace on like this is work time

00:32:05   and then I take the necklace off and it is not work time. I thought like oh that's that's another

00:32:09   great kind of token to do this but even as I say like oh I don't really use the clothing one

00:32:15   anymore there is a little way in which again it kind of snuck into my life now which is have a

00:32:21   pair of slippers that I've made this decision about like only wearing the slippers on the

00:32:26   weekend and so again it it weirdly gives the weekend a particular feeling of like oh it's

00:32:31   obviously sunday because i'm wearing the slippers and there's the forest sound like how sunday does

00:32:37   this feel maximum sunday that's how it feels various levels of pajamas

00:32:42   yeah you have your casual pajamas and you have your formal pajamas and you know what that's not

00:32:50   even a joke like that's perfectly fine if you have casual and formal pajamas like yeah your brain will

00:32:54   just start latching onto it.

00:32:56   Maybe it's just t-shirts and basketball shorts in the week and silk on the weekends.

00:33:00   You do you, right?

00:33:01   Whatever makes you comfortable.

00:33:03   I want to go back to some other practical things.

00:33:07   I know I've seen this one a lot.

00:33:09   I have children.

00:33:10   How can I follow any of this?

00:33:13   Children are chaos balls in your house.

00:33:16   Kids make it harder and there's nothing that people with children like more than hearing

00:33:21   advice from someone who doesn't have children. So I'm not really gonna have a lot of specific

00:33:28   tips to say here except that you can't tell me that even with children it wouldn't be

00:33:34   a good idea to have a dedicated workspace in your house.

00:33:38   Because I assume people that have children that have to work from home now are still

00:33:44   expected to work, right? Yeah.

00:33:46   I know it's significantly more difficult

00:33:49   because you also have to be a teacher, I guess,

00:33:52   in a lot of instances, but I'm assuming at the same time

00:33:57   that your work is expecting you to work.

00:33:59   So maybe you're working at weird hours,

00:34:02   and if that's the case, maybe you need more of this stuff

00:34:06   of like putting on this T-shirt means that it's work time

00:34:10   or this music because you will be working at times

00:34:13   that you're not used to normally working at.

00:34:15   because you haven't been able to work at all

00:34:18   when the children are awake, right?

00:34:20   So you've got to work when they're asleep.

00:34:22   So maybe you need more structure that way.

00:34:24   But like it is, this stuff is more difficult

00:34:28   than for some or the other.

00:34:30   But that's why like what I wanted to explore

00:34:32   is that you don't have to lift this wholesale, right?

00:34:36   Like there is a type of person that does need to do

00:34:39   literally everything that you've told them

00:34:41   in the exact order that you've told them.

00:34:44   but not everybody does and not everybody can,

00:34:47   but there are definitely parts of it

00:34:49   that anybody can use even a little bit.

00:34:53   - Yeah, yeah, and like having a different space for work,

00:34:56   especially when those children eating

00:35:00   perhaps depends on the work,

00:35:01   like you might wanna do that.

00:35:04   You might wanna make sure that you're able to get done

00:35:06   what needs to be done.

00:35:07   But yeah, kids make it harder for sure.

00:35:10   Flatmates make it harder for sure.

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00:38:07   Can we talk about Creation Station?

00:38:09   Okay.

00:38:10   Creation Station.

00:38:11   I know from the way you say it, you're saying it, Myke.

00:38:15   Like you're getting right at the heart of something with this video for me.

00:38:20   Didn't like that.

00:38:21   I didn't like Creation Station.

00:38:22   Okay.

00:38:23   Why didn't you like Creation Station?

00:38:24   I think it was unnecessarily abstract as a phrase to use.

00:38:29   Like it could have just been called workstation.

00:38:32   'Cause like I've noticed throughout this entire episode,

00:38:34   you've been referring to it as work.

00:38:36   - Yeah, 'cause it is work.

00:38:37   - Yeah. - It's totally work.

00:38:38   - So why did you call it creation station?

00:38:40   So this being the idea of like you have your place

00:38:45   where you're sleeping, you have your place

00:38:47   where you're exercising, your place where you're relaxing,

00:38:50   and then the place where you're doing the other stuff,

00:38:52   which you called Creation Station.

00:38:54   - Creation Station. (laughs)

00:38:56   - Which sounds really lovely, right?

00:38:58   It rolls off the tongue,

00:39:00   but I think doesn't actually sum up, in my mind,

00:39:04   what is being done here.

00:39:05   - Yeah, no, it's very, you know,

00:39:07   conjunction, junction, what's your function?

00:39:08   I get it.

00:39:10   For the behind-the-scenes part of it,

00:39:11   this is where, for the video,

00:39:14   mostly, once we get past the first minute,

00:39:18   and if you ignore the last 10 seconds,

00:39:21   the pandemic framing is basically completely absent.

00:39:24   It's like, "Pandemic?

00:39:26   Oh, I never heard of it.

00:39:27   This is just a great way to live."

00:39:29   That's sort of what the "Spaceship U" video is like

00:39:31   in the middle part of it.

00:39:33   But this is the one place where

00:39:37   if I was making a "Spaceship U" version too

00:39:41   that didn't have the pandemic background,

00:39:43   I'd be much more likely to call it the workstation.

00:39:46   - Right.

00:39:47   - But the reason I called it the creation station

00:39:49   is because I did want to emphasize the point that this is not just about work. Because if you say

00:40:02   the word work, most people are going to associate that with a job. And then like, I know that

00:40:10   there's going to be a lot of people who are watching this that are either students or who

00:40:14   are unemployed, or employed, but unable to do their jobs, right? Like,

00:40:19   the furloughing, right?

00:40:20   Yeah, people who are on furlough.

00:40:22   And so I'm being a little facetious, like I know why you didn't call it that.

00:40:26   Yeah, but it's like, but you're also hitting on the one, you know, whenever you make something,

00:40:30   there's this funny difference between the audience and the creator where the audience watches a thing

00:40:37   and sort of comes always to the conclusion that the creator was completely confident in every

00:40:46   single part of this in every single sentence, right? And it's like, no, no, the person who

00:40:52   created it can be uncertain with some parts of it as well. And this is one of those moments

00:40:57   where I'm like, no, it's totally legit. Like, why didn't you call it the workstation? It's

00:41:01   a thing I went back and forth with a lot. But because of the context in which the video

00:41:07   is being made, I did want to go broader, even if I agree that it's probably too broad. But

00:41:15   But I just figured there's like a way higher proportion of people who are watching this

00:41:19   video at this time are not going to have a clear job that they can perform.

00:41:27   So like I wanted to have it be broader here.

00:41:31   And then this is also the part where whenever I look at the final videos I can see all of

00:41:36   these little pieces that are left over from different versions of the script.

00:41:41   And this is one of these places where I originally wanted to have a much broader discussion about

00:41:47   what does creation mean?

00:41:50   And very quickly realized, like, don't get into this, man, right?

00:41:53   Like, it's too much.

00:41:55   It's too much of a diversion.

00:41:56   You're gonna have to make a decision that's not completely comfortable either way.

00:42:00   Like you don't want to call it the workstation.

00:42:03   Creation Station is the next best name, but including too much of a description about

00:42:07   what exactly you mean by this is too much.

00:42:10   So it's got to go and you're kind of left with this in between place.

00:42:13   Do you want to talk about that here though?

00:42:15   I mean, we have the time, right?

00:42:16   Like that's the beauty of the show is right.

00:42:18   Like, yeah, let's get into this part of it.

00:42:21   So I mean, let's talk about what humans do for each other, Myke, which is hopefully create

00:42:28   things that they themselves or other people value.

00:42:34   And that that's sort of the idea of the creation station here is what you want to kind of have

00:42:42   is like a like a compass point that directs you to like, what activities should I do?

00:42:48   And I think particularly like, when you're younger, it can often seem like, what should

00:42:57   I do?

00:42:58   I don't I don't know what I should do.

00:42:59   Everything is boring and awful, right?

00:43:02   And a useful compass point is just this idea of, hey, the world's a really big place.

00:43:09   Not everybody can be an expert in everything.

00:43:13   And the way that the modern world works is people learn skills.

00:43:19   And then you feel like we all trade these skills with each other.

00:43:23   And so you want to be looking at things that you can learn to do, which are valuable to

00:43:30   other people.

00:43:31   This is what we generally call work in the world.

00:43:34   It's like, you have a skill that another person doesn't have, and the two of you trade with

00:43:40   each other.

00:43:41   And so at Creation Station, one of the things you can think of if like you're sort of drifting

00:43:47   is just kind of thinking about, even in the vaguest possible ways, what things pique your

00:43:54   interest just a little bit that might also be useful to other people.

00:44:00   And like, that's a good thing to investigate as,

00:44:04   "Let me explore this."

00:44:06   You know, "Oh, I like spreadsheets.

00:44:08   Let me learn about pivot tables."

00:44:11   You know, or "Cooking catches my interest.

00:44:13   Like, let me explore this as a skill."

00:44:16   And it's a place to get started with that stuff.

00:44:20   If that's not necessarily obvious to you,

00:44:23   you can also start out with like,

00:44:25   humans can create things that they themselves value.

00:44:29   So like, what do you do that you enjoy?

00:44:33   Right, like, you're tending your garden.

00:44:35   And no one else in the whole world sees the garden but you,

00:44:38   but it makes you happy.

00:44:40   Like, that is creating a kind of value in the world,

00:44:43   even if it's just a value for yourself.

00:44:46   So that's why I wanted to go a little bit broad with Creation Station,

00:44:49   because this idea of value,

00:44:52   it is generally applicable, but it's much more applicable in this time,

00:44:57   because like you have way more leeway here about what it is that you want to do.

00:45:02   There's also there's also a part of it which again, it wouldn't really fit in the video,

00:45:06   but I think it's also useful.

00:45:08   So for people who are working remotely at jobs, maybe they don't love, it can be sometimes

00:45:16   helpful to understand that this is still part of like the creation of value.

00:45:24   of you don't love this job, you are still creating something, you know, whether it's

00:45:31   like organized emails, right, or replies in a knowledge base, right, or whatever it is

00:45:40   that is of value to your employer.

00:45:42   And like that's the reason that they pay you because the thing that you're doing is creating

00:45:46   value to them.

00:45:48   And I just think from reading comments online, a common situation can be that sometimes people

00:45:54   will feel like a job that they don't like can seem extra sort of why in a time like

00:46:03   this when they're home on their own.

00:46:07   And so I just think it's useful to point that out.

00:46:10   Like this is part of creation.

00:46:13   Like this is part of the tapestry of the world.

00:46:16   There is a really strong "we're all in this together" vibe at the moment. Everyone

00:46:23   is in the same boat here, right? Around the world. We're all in this. So anything that

00:46:31   you are doing, no matter what it is, is adding some value back into society at the moment.

00:46:40   If you are tech support for an energy company, you're helping other people who have problems

00:46:48   with their energy right now, which means a lot more to people than it typically would

00:46:53   have otherwise.

00:46:55   So not necessarily we all need to start putting flowers in our hair and value our jobs, but

00:47:03   it's at least a more helpful framing device as to why you do what you do even if you don't

00:47:08   like it.

00:47:09   a little paragraph that got cut where it was something like if you're able to work digitally

00:47:14   on the spaceship no matter what you're doing it's another hand on the like on the wheel like

00:47:19   keeping things turning right like something along those lines of like we gotta keep this wheel of

00:47:26   the economy needs to spin and everyone who can do anything no matter what it is is an additional

00:47:34   turning force on this wheel and and like that is that is part of this concept of like the

00:47:39   creation of something that is valued like an additional positive force on something

00:47:45   that needs to keep moving.

00:47:47   Because if you're a if you're doing something right now it means something to someone.

00:47:51   Yeah.

00:47:52   Otherwise it wouldn't be happening.

00:47:53   Yeah.

00:47:54   And if you're not then you are in a interesting position of being able to find something else

00:48:02   of interest to do.

00:48:04   A hobby that you've always wanted to undertake.

00:48:07   Like you have the world given excuse right now to do it.

00:48:13   That is the gift that you have, right?

00:48:17   You may have a bit more time in your life to learn to cook, to read that book, to write a book, right?

00:48:26   Whatever. This is a time in which you can do it, right?

00:48:30   And I know that's why Creation Station is named Creation Station.

00:48:33   But I think the word creation now is too heavily tied into being a content creator for a lot of

00:48:39   people. Yeah, I can see that.

00:48:41   And I think that's where maybe a lot of people get stuck up, because creation now seems like

00:48:47   a barrier, like it's this big thing that you have to do.

00:48:50   That's why the real name of the station is, open parentheses, the, close parentheses, creation,

00:48:59   open parentheses, of value, close parentheses, station.

00:49:03   Right? Like, that's the name of the station.

00:49:05   - Right.

00:49:06   - It's very awkward though.

00:49:07   Perhaps like the closest second call that I came to was like crafting station?

00:49:16   - That's worse.

00:49:17   - Yeah, that's why I didn't pick it.

00:49:18   - Yeah, yeah, that's worse.

00:49:19   This is Minecraft.

00:49:21   - Yeah, yeah, crafting is gonna make people think of Animal Crossing.

00:49:25   Is this where I'm supposed to play Animal Crossing?

00:49:27   like no this is not where you're supposed to play Animal Crossing.

00:49:30   Well you know I guess it depends if you're a streamer.

00:49:32   Well no but see that's that's like this is actually I think an an interesting point here

00:49:38   is when you talk about like things you value there is a little bit of of like bleed over into

00:49:45   like the recreation part like what is the what is the difference between the two of these

00:49:50   and so part of part of why I like Creation Station and talking about like making things of value is

00:49:57   because like if you're just watching a movie right you're sitting there and you're watching a movie

00:50:01   you can enjoy that that is recreation but if you are not doing anything with having watched that

00:50:09   movie you are not able to create something that any other human would value right but if you like

00:50:16   talk about that movie in an entertaining way on a podcast like look now you have created

00:50:21   entertainment then it's the same thing with video games like there's a huge difference between

00:50:26   I am playing a video game on my own and I am enjoying it.

00:50:30   It's like, great! That is recreation, which we all need.

00:50:33   But it is not creating anything that another human can conceivably value

00:50:39   unless you switch it into this, "Oh, I'm broadcasting it."

00:50:42   Right? And I'm hopefully talking about it in a way that people find interesting.

00:50:46   So that's why I think Creation Station, like when you're focusing on learning skills,

00:50:52   what I was trying to say before with this idea of the compass is like,

00:50:55   Like, there should be some potential outward direction of these things.

00:51:02   It doesn't even need to be extremely obvious, but that just like some sort of outward projection

00:51:09   that another person could conceivably value some version of this in the future.

00:51:15   And that's what distinguishes some activities from recreation, which is much more just internal

00:51:22   than the working station, which is more externally directed.

00:51:26   it.

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00:52:32   Alright, now, no one's listening anymore, it's just me and you.

00:52:36   Oh, okay.

00:52:37   Just the two of us.

00:52:38   Can I stop the recording?

00:52:39   No.

00:52:40   Oh, okay.

00:52:41   Just in case we want to check this back later on.

00:52:43   Oh, okay.

00:52:44   Just for funsies.

00:52:45   But no one's here anymore, it's just me and you.

00:52:47   Okay, so we're chilling out.

00:52:48   We're just hanging out.

00:52:49   Okay, cool.

00:52:50   Yeah, you can move your desk, do whatever nonsense it is you like to do.

00:52:51   Great, thank you.

00:52:52   I'll touch the microphone.

00:52:53   Yeah, thanks.

00:52:54   Yeah, yeah, this is just me and you time.

00:52:56   I'll eat my yogurt.

00:52:57   So we've explained, I think, the idea behind all of this, right?

00:53:00   you know because it's just me and you here.

00:53:02   Yeah, it's like why are you recapping what just happened before the ad break? I don't

00:53:06   know.

00:53:07   You know how I talk by now, this is what I do. How are you really doing with all of this?

00:53:11   How are you like honestly faring with this separation?

00:53:15   Okay, so I have a really hard time talking about this, which is why I'm glad it's just

00:53:21   the two of us.

00:53:22   Just with, it doesn't matter because it's just me and you now, so it's fine.

00:53:26   Right, I mean the fact that you keep emphasizing it makes me a little bit suspicious.

00:53:29   Again, this is how I always talk.

00:53:31   I mean, in fairness, you do always talk a little bit, you know, like you're broadcasting

00:53:37   because that's just your cadence now.

00:53:39   Well, this, and also, like, especially when we're having these conversations,

00:53:43   because I'm in this area.

00:53:47   Right.

00:53:48   I've got the microphone in front of me, the headphones on,

00:53:50   and I'm looking at the levels moving on the USB interface.

00:53:54   Yeah, that's true.

00:53:55   You do have a very difficult time separating out your socializing space from your working space.

00:54:02   Like you're in a bad place there.

00:54:04   The Zoom call socializing thing is like, it doesn't work so well for me right now because I only like to use my proper microphone.

00:54:11   Yeah.

00:54:12   It's my, it's a thought of my own doing really.

00:54:15   Yeah, no, it totally is.

00:54:16   It's actually, normally I would do any FaceTime calls that I would do on my podcasting equipment as well.

00:54:23   just like, so it sounds better for the other person and it's all ready to go.

00:54:26   But I realized very quickly into the lockdown when catching up with family and

00:54:31   friends, it was like, I can't do this.

00:54:33   I can't do this in this room because I'm like,

00:54:36   I'm being way more strict about these barriers.

00:54:39   And I genuinely felt like it was kind of messing with my brain of,

00:54:43   Oh, I'm taking my office super seriously,

00:54:47   like more seriously than I ever have in my entire life.

00:54:51   It's like a sanctified environment.

00:54:53   But it's also where I could like kick back and put my feet up on the table

00:54:57   and just chit chat with a friend.

00:54:59   So like these two things don't line up.

00:55:01   I think I've only really been sitting at the iMac for the zoom calls where there

00:55:05   is also some element of professional to them.

00:55:08   So like I might be hanging out with a friend, but we're also like colleagues.

00:55:13   Right.

00:55:13   Right.

00:55:14   But I have been doing more like there's no pretense of work here on the sofa in

00:55:20   the living room, like for family and friends.

00:55:22   You've seen this.

00:55:23   We did this.

00:55:23   Yeah, yeah, and that's that's exactly what I made a decision really early on was oh no, wait a minute

00:55:31   I'm changing this. I'm doing all of my FaceTime calls on the iPad on the couch. Like I'm just I'm redefining this

00:55:37   I'm taking it out of this area. Like if I'm if I'm doing a podcast I'll do it on the equipment

00:55:43   And if I'm not doing a podcast, I'm gonna do it on the iPad on my couch. But again, like we're just

00:55:49   Socializing between the two of us and staying on the equipment and recording for convenience factors. Yeah. Well, this is after the show

00:55:56   Yeah, we're already here. Yeah. Yeah, but so the so the thing that's that I have a hard time

00:56:00   talking about and that is

00:56:03   extraordinarily poorly received by some people is that

00:56:09   I'm doing great

00:56:12   like

00:56:13   Okay, it's the honest truth. That's difficult to talk about is

00:56:18   My theme, like, Year of Clarity, couldn't more perfectly be aligned for this sort of situation.

00:56:26   Yeah, in that regard you really lucked out with a theme this year, didn't you?

00:56:30   Yeah, you drew the short stick on that one.

00:56:32   Oh boy, did I!

00:56:34   But for me, it's it has been perfect and

00:56:37   lined up with a bunch of changes that I wanted to make in life anyway, and so I feel like I've taken

00:56:47   you know, for a variety of reasons this situation extremely seriously and

00:56:51   that also means like that's part of the reason the whole video came out is because it's like, okay

00:56:57   I need to set up these spaces. I need to treat exercise like it's mandatory medicine

00:57:03   There's just no question about this at all. I'm being very strict about like if I'm in my office, I'm working and

00:57:09   Yeah, it's it's I've been trying to think about how to articulate it, but the truth is

00:57:16   is right now in this little spaceship.

00:57:20   I just feel like I'm doing really well.

00:57:23   And I also have a lot of markers that are objective markers

00:57:26   that are tracking with that.

00:57:28   Without a doubt, I'm in the best physical shape of my life.

00:57:31   And I've got several really interesting,

00:57:35   really engaging video projects

00:57:37   that are in the works in parallel.

00:57:40   And my wife and I have been spending

00:57:43   great quality time together.

00:57:45   The only place that's a real downside

00:57:49   is that we don't have any access to private outdoor space.

00:57:54   And because of my wife's health,

00:57:57   we're still being very cautious about going outside.

00:58:01   And so that is the only thing

00:58:03   if I could make something be different

00:58:06   to improve the situation.

00:58:08   We should have escaped to the countryside years ago

00:58:11   so that we could go outside for walks.

00:58:13   So, you know, my wife and I have been inside without leaving the house since the start of this.

00:58:22   With only for me a couple of rare exceptions for necessary errands and things.

00:58:27   So that's the only part where I feel like if I could change something I would change that.

00:58:32   Otherwise, I don't know, like, I feel really great and there's something psychologically very different about

00:58:38   a calendar that literally has no items scheduled in the future at all

00:58:44   versus a calendar where, oh, there's a conference two months from now. Like, it creates a real

00:58:51   feeling of space and freedom and is quite a different way to have spent my time over the

00:58:57   last couple of months than the original plan. But yeah, it like, that's a difficult thing to

00:59:05   talk about because it makes some people really upset if you say like, "Oh, this lockdown

00:59:13   has been great for me personally. I mean, yes, it's a global economic and personal disaster,

00:59:18   and you know, it may very well be a personal disaster for me at some point in the future,

00:59:24   but like right now, this is fantastic." So yeah, it's just a weird situation to

00:59:31   be in but that's the truth of it is I feel like it's it's been an incredibly clarifying and

00:59:38   focusing time for me and this and this is also where after saying all that it always makes me

00:59:45   dread then being like how are you doing before before we get to that there's like something I

00:59:52   think I've been thinking about recently like you mentioned about like escaping to the country

00:59:57   Do you think you would be more likely to move out of London now than before?

01:00:01   Yeah, yeah for sure.

01:00:03   I'm thinking it now, like I want a house next, not an apartment.

01:00:07   Like this has always been something I wanted anyway, right?

01:00:10   I want to be able to move into a house.

01:00:12   And so we haven't made any kind of moves on that.

01:00:17   We would always have been at least a year or two before we would even have ever thought

01:00:21   about moving anyway.

01:00:23   But I am now more like thinking a garden would be nice right now.

01:00:28   And I'm also now thinking right now in my life my proximity to London is not really that helpful.

01:00:37   Right? Like I could be as far away from the center again and definitely know I would still have

01:00:45   access to all the modern conveniences. Like there are lots of towns in England which would provide

01:00:52   me what I want mostly for the time that I'm in right now. It would add frustrations for

01:00:59   travel, but maybe I don't do as much of that in the future anyway. So I am personally thinking

01:01:06   maybe we move further out now than we were expecting before, because priorities might

01:01:12   start to change. And it's just not something that I'd really considered. I was always like,

01:01:16   "We will stay in an apartment until we can afford a home in and around the area of London

01:01:22   we were already in.

01:01:23   Right, yes, yes, I see what you mean.

01:01:25   But now it might be like, "Eh, no, maybe we just move like another 30 minutes further

01:01:30   out and buy a home."

01:01:32   Yeah.

01:01:33   Right?

01:01:34   Rather than an apartment.

01:01:35   One of the things that's really been on my mind is that we don't have a car.

01:01:39   I've never cared about that before.

01:01:42   It's never mattered.

01:01:43   I'm so f***ing annoyed that I didn't learn to drive.

01:01:46   Because I've been talking about it for years, right?

01:01:49   and just was like, "Ah, whatever, like, the studio will make me get the car, right?"

01:01:55   Yeah.

01:01:56   If I would have learned to drive before now, my life would have been so much easier.

01:02:00   Yes, yeah, of course.

01:02:02   So annoying.

01:02:03   Yeah, not having a car in a situation where, I mean, especially a month ago, where it's

01:02:10   more like, "So is it the apocalypse?"

01:02:13   Right, like you want a car, you want options, and this is one time where I'm really aware

01:02:19   of like, "Ooh, we don't have options. We're in this apartment and, you know, my

01:02:25   wife hasn't left the front door of our apartment and I haven't gone farther than the garbage

01:02:31   cans on the street, you know, in two months." And I'm very aware of that because my parents

01:02:37   are quarantining, but they also have a car so they can just go for nice country drives,

01:02:42   right? And like, the car is a mobile part of the bubble.

01:02:45   You can drive. Why don't you just get a car?

01:02:47   I can't drive in the UK because I've lived here too long.

01:02:50   Right? I need to go through the whole...

01:02:51   Oh, you don't have a driving license?

01:02:52   Yeah, I don't have the driver's license.

01:02:54   And you can't do the swap because it's been too long?

01:02:56   Yeah, if you're going to be a resident, you have to go through the driver's license process.

01:03:01   If you're a tourist, you can do the like, "Oh, I can drive in the UK while I'm a tourist."

01:03:06   But if you live here, you can't just swap it over.

01:03:09   You have to actually go through the schools.

01:03:12   Is that because you're American?

01:03:14   I don't know if it's because you're an American, but I'm pretty sure it's just a general rule.

01:03:17   That's so annoying, man.

01:03:20   Because like you can have a... I'm sure someone can just deliver a car, right?

01:03:23   Like I don't know if you have to go to a showroom. I don't think you do.

01:03:27   Yeah.

01:03:27   Who cares about the rules, Grey? Just drive around.

01:03:30   Like what are they gonna...

01:03:32   Just go for it, man. There's no rules.

01:03:34   What's the worst that could happen?

01:03:35   Yeah.

01:03:35   Yeah, there's no rules in this new world.

01:03:38   But yeah, so I don't know.

01:03:39   It's just something that's been on my mind.

01:03:41   And the lack of outdoor space, like I said, is the only thing that I would change.

01:03:46   So it's been on my mind.

01:03:48   But I also think the reason that you're thinking the same thing is

01:03:52   this is the natural life cycle of urban areas and people's careers.

01:03:59   Right, and so...

01:04:02   The younger you are, the more advantage there is to moving to the biggest city you possibly can

01:04:09   at the start of your career.

01:04:11   Even if I know nothing about a human being, that is generically good advice.

01:04:16   You know.

01:04:17   Did you just graduate and you've decided that it's time to look for work?

01:04:22   Like, go to the biggest city that you reasonably can,

01:04:27   and it magnifies your potential in a whole bunch of different ways.

01:04:31   But then, as one's career goes on,

01:04:35   the advantage of being in that urban core,

01:04:39   There's like a decreasing marginal value of that.

01:04:42   And so I think this is why like you just generally have this cycle of cities suck in younger

01:04:48   people and then as people progress in their career they've extracted most of the advantages

01:04:55   they're going to have for an urban core and start to value different kinds of things.

01:05:00   Like I want more space in my house and like I'm willing to trade that against other different

01:05:04   resources.

01:05:05   So I think for you and me, we're both at that point and maybe this moment has just sharpened

01:05:13   that thinking a little bit.

01:05:15   It's like having lived in London has been tremendously advantageous to my teaching career

01:05:22   and my YouTube career in innumerable ways.

01:05:26   But is that still the case now?

01:05:29   Like yes it is still valuable, but not as valuable and as important and so I find myself

01:05:37   more willing to think about trading it off against other things that I would want.

01:05:42   So yeah I don't know it's just something that's been on my mind.

01:05:45   But how are you doing?

01:05:46   I would say that like I'm not doing as well as you.

01:05:51   I'm not doing badly, but like I'm in the middle but with various fluctuations on

01:05:59   that scale depending on the area that you're looking at.

01:06:02   What do you mean by that?

01:06:03   Well so like okay let's talk about exercise right?

01:06:06   Mm-hmm.

01:06:07   I'm doing more of it but I still f***ing hate it and everything I'm doing just hurts me.

01:06:16   Like I just, I don't know what it is about me, Gray,

01:06:20   but like, I'm not getting injured,

01:06:23   but just like, it doesn't matter what it is,

01:06:25   but my body just hates it.

01:06:27   - Yeah, what are you doing?

01:06:28   - Well, a mixture of either yoga or body weight exercises.

01:06:33   But like, if I do yoga, I hope for the rest of the day,

01:06:37   like, gee, it's just like, whatever.

01:06:40   This is the thing, I'm gonna see some,

01:06:41   I'm gonna go see a specialist

01:06:43   after all this is taken care of,

01:06:44   'cause this has always been a problem in my life.

01:06:48   And I'm not looking for a diagnosis on the podcast,

01:06:51   but there are various conditions

01:06:54   that can be conducive to this,

01:06:55   just joints and stuff like that, right?

01:06:57   Maybe I'm just not built for this, but whatever.

01:07:00   Anyway, so exercise is like, I'm doing it, but I hate it.

01:07:03   And I don't feel any benefit from it.

01:07:07   But that's just a part of my life

01:07:10   that's always been there anyway, but I'm still doing it.

01:07:12   For some elements to me, there isn't that much of a change.

01:07:15   I relax about as much as I did before,

01:07:18   sometimes more, sometimes less, but it's dictated by my week

01:07:21   because the amount of structured events that I'm doing

01:07:24   is still the same because I worked from home before,

01:07:27   I have worked from home for nearly six years,

01:07:30   and my life has this structure to it which hasn't changed.

01:07:33   - Yeah, I was gonna say, your podcast recording schedule

01:07:35   hasn't significantly changed. - No.

01:07:38   - Has it? No. - No, it hasn't at all.

01:07:40   I'm having more meetings than I've ever had before,

01:07:44   like appointments, like calls, whatever.

01:07:47   So I have more in my diary.

01:07:49   Plus, I am working harder right now

01:07:53   than I have worked in years,

01:07:55   because producing content

01:07:57   and trying to keep everything together

01:08:00   is taking more work than it usually does,

01:08:02   because things are different right now.

01:08:05   - You have the problem that all content trends

01:08:10   in one direction right now.

01:08:12   There's like a, there's a little bit of Corona flavor

01:08:15   in every topic, right?

01:08:17   - Yep, yep, yep, yep.

01:08:19   And so if you want to go down those routes, you can,

01:08:23   and that's one element of hard work,

01:08:26   or you can try and avoid it, and that's also hard work,

01:08:31   right, so like doing that, and then also just running,

01:08:34   running any business of any size,

01:08:39   just inherently more difficult right now.

01:08:42   - Yeah, I would say that's a trend I definitely notice

01:08:46   among my friends is people who run businesses

01:08:50   are having significantly more difficult time

01:08:53   than people who don't.

01:08:54   - And it's not even if anything's going wrong,

01:08:57   the fear of is there.

01:08:59   Everything's fine now, but what if it isn't in a month?

01:09:02   Right?

01:09:03   And it's just a lot to carry around with you,

01:09:05   especially when unlike most instances,

01:09:08   some of this stuff can be completely unrelated

01:09:11   to your own performance.

01:09:12   It's just a lot to carry around, right?

01:09:15   Like that just makes things difficult.

01:09:17   We've been talking about this a little bit

01:09:19   and we'll have more to share in the future,

01:09:21   like Relay FM, my company,

01:09:23   like we're taking this as a time

01:09:26   to change a bit about who we are

01:09:30   and where our focus as a company is.

01:09:33   That takes a lot of work to do, right?

01:09:35   Like if you have decided that you want to

01:09:38   adapt your business model to something a bit different.

01:09:41   Like, that's hard work, right?

01:09:44   So, I've got a lot going on,

01:09:48   which is adding a lot to everything, right?

01:09:51   Like, I'm not sleeping as well right now

01:09:55   because my brain doesn't stop working.

01:09:58   I don't really see it as a downside

01:10:00   because I have a lot of really great ideas

01:10:03   when I can't sleep at 2.30.

01:10:04   Like, my brain clarifies on things.

01:10:07   (laughing)

01:10:08   You know, I'm not trying to stay awake,

01:10:10   but like I'm just laying there,

01:10:11   and my brain's just going and going and going,

01:10:14   and then bang, there it is, I did it.

01:10:16   This is not normal for a lot of people.

01:10:18   A lot of people will tell you that this is a terrible time

01:10:20   to have ideas, but for me, it works.

01:10:24   You know, I hear a lot of people say

01:10:26   that they're struggling with a problem,

01:10:28   and they wake up the next morning, and they've solved it.

01:10:31   That doesn't happen to me.

01:10:32   What happens to me is before I fall asleep, it's solved.

01:10:35   Right, so like when I'm trying to get my brain to shut down,

01:10:39   that's sometimes where things pop out.

01:10:42   Like that's just the way that I am.

01:10:44   That's where I've been for years.

01:10:45   - That sounds terrible, but I'm glad it works for you.

01:10:48   - Look, I sometimes wish I could go to sleep,

01:10:50   but if I can't sleep, at least if I get some benefit

01:10:54   out of that, I'm happy, right?

01:10:56   I prefer this to just laying there and worrying.

01:10:59   It's not worry, it's like I'm coming up with ideas

01:11:03   that are happening to me then.

01:11:05   So yeah, it's like every day is a different feeling.

01:11:09   But on the whole, I'm just really busy right now.

01:11:16   And so that's tiring.

01:11:17   But I will say, I'm a man who loves travel, right?

01:11:20   I love to travel, I get to spend time

01:11:25   with people that I care about, I get to go to places,

01:11:28   I get to go to restaurants, which I enjoy

01:11:30   and experience new things.

01:11:33   But in a similar vein to you, the amount of quality time

01:11:37   that me and my wife Adina are getting to spend together

01:11:39   right now is unlike what we have had over the last few years.

01:11:44   And I am enjoying that, that we are getting to spend

01:11:49   this time together.

01:11:51   If I can't do that one thing, this is a really great thing

01:11:54   to replace it.

01:11:55   'Cause I, oh boy, I am missing traveling.

01:11:59   I know that it causes so much stress in our lives, right?

01:12:04   Like to go to America and spend a week and come back

01:12:08   and you've lost three weeks, right?

01:12:10   Like it's very disruptive, but I love it, right?

01:12:15   And so I'm missing that.

01:12:17   That is the main thing that I'm missing in my life right now

01:12:21   is getting able to do that stuff.

01:12:23   Everything else I can handle a lot better,

01:12:25   but I am missing that.

01:12:28   I'll sympathize with you on the travel in perhaps the weirdest and most unsympathetic way.

01:12:34   I do find myself thinking sometimes, "Oh, I'll be glad to travel again so that I can do a

01:12:40   great cation where I can go somewhere and just be completely alone and lock myself in a hotel room

01:12:46   for a week." No, but that's nice though. Like, one of the things that I would like about traveling

01:12:50   sometimes is I had time to just decompress. It became such a part of my life over the

01:12:58   last five years. It has been the biggest thing that I have noticed.

01:13:02   Yeah, your travel really has ramped up a lot since we first got to know each other. I feel

01:13:07   like you hardly did any travel at the beginning. It got to the point where I was like in America

01:13:12   basically every four to five weeks. Yeah, which is madness, is absolute madness.

01:13:17   have been a big shift and I know as time goes on I'm only gonna feel it more

01:13:23   that I've not been anywhere like you know I like to travel I'm like so happy

01:13:28   that we got in one great trip in January right where we went to LA we had a

01:13:35   wonderful time and we did a bunch of really fun things and I'm very happy we

01:13:41   got that trip it was like a trip of a lifetime for me it's something like I

01:13:44   I ticked off a bunch of boxes of things

01:13:46   I'd always wanted to do, and then that was it.

01:13:48   - Can I make an exercise suggestion for you, Myke?

01:13:50   - Yes.

01:13:51   - I know you won't like it, right?

01:13:53   I know you won't like it.

01:13:54   I'm gonna very strongly suggest

01:13:59   you get a set of adjustable dumbbells

01:14:02   so that you can do some actual weight training.

01:14:06   - Okay, okay.

01:14:08   - Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you'll like it.

01:14:11   I'm not saying that it won't hurt, like it'll, you know, you'll feel the burn.

01:14:17   But this is for anyone who's trying to exercise at home.

01:14:23   This is a place to start.

01:14:26   Even if, or especially if you think like, oh, lifting weights, it's not for me.

01:14:34   I'm just going to, I'm going to very strongly suggest it because it's,

01:14:40   It's an area where you can see relatively quick progress.

01:14:45   And in many ways you can start off on a much easier level

01:14:51   than trying to do some of the body weight exercises.

01:14:55   Like body weight exercises are totally fine

01:14:59   when you don't have other equipment.

01:15:01   But especially if like your fitness level

01:15:05   is not particularly high,

01:15:07   starting with weights I think is actually better

01:15:10   because you can do motions with like,

01:15:12   this is a two and a half pound weight

01:15:14   and I'm just lifting it and it feels like nothing

01:15:16   and you just slowly increase that over time.

01:15:19   So I'm gonna strongly suggest that you give it a try

01:15:22   and put it in your rotation.

01:15:23   'Cause I feel like for me it is the most sanity keeping

01:15:28   part of the physical routine.

01:15:30   And like I just happen to as the very end

01:15:34   of the year of order, we never got around to it,

01:15:36   I had it as like this follow up note for weeks and weeks.

01:15:39   But the very end of the year of order was I did get just like a very small set of dumbbells for the home

01:15:45   just so that I could like do a little bit of exercise if I didn't have time to go to the gym.

01:15:51   Like that by far and away is one of the best purchases and one of the most helpful

01:15:56   quarantine items that I have.

01:15:59   You may be resistant to it but I would give it a try.

01:16:01   It seems difficult to find adjustable dumbbells right now.

01:16:06   Look, here's the thing.

01:16:07   This is a long term situation here.

01:16:09   I would put in some orders and see what arrives.

01:16:12   Do you have any recommendations you can send me or shall I just find something?

01:16:17   I do have a recommendation.

01:16:19   Let me just get the name.

01:16:20   Can you feel how much I hate this?

01:16:21   Like coming through the microphone?

01:16:24   Oh, yeah, no, I can.

01:16:25   I can 100% feel how much you hate this.

01:16:28   OK, good.

01:16:28   I just want to make sure that you knew.

01:16:31   Look, I know.

01:16:34   Like, I totally know.

01:16:35   I'm just trying to like, trying to cast my mind back in time

01:16:39   would be one of the much more unexpected things

01:16:43   if I were to have a conversation with a younger self and be like,

01:16:46   "Hey man, you're gonna spend the next 10 years trying to figure out how to not hate exercise."

01:16:52   And the answer is going to end up being weightlifting.

01:16:56   And you, like, this is gonna be completely unexpected across every front,

01:17:01   but just save yourself a bunch of time and do this.

01:17:04   And also it seems to have a much higher hit rate

01:17:09   than I would expect with other people that I'm trying to like,

01:17:13   that I've tried to convince to do the same thing.

01:17:15   It's like if you can do it a little bit, it has,

01:17:17   it seems to have a much higher sticking rate

01:17:20   than other kinds of things.

01:17:21   Like running or whatever.

01:17:23   Okay, but so look,

01:17:24   here's the ones that I like and I think are really nice.

01:17:28   I'm gonna send them to you.

01:17:29   They're called Powerblock.

01:17:30   And just try to put in your order before the show goes up.

01:17:33   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:17:35   Yeah, my order will be in before the show notes go out to people, right?

01:17:39   [Laughter]

01:17:40   These are the kind where they're like, they're super compact and you can change the weights really easily.

01:17:44   There's a bunch of adjustable dumbbells, but if you can't get adjustable ones,

01:17:48   just get a little like light set of dumbbells.

01:17:50   Get something.

01:17:51   These are the ones that I really like and I strongly suggest you

01:17:55   and any of the listeners who are having a hard time with exercise, try this.

01:18:00   [Music]

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01:20:06   relay FM.

01:20:07   I mean the other way that you can exercise is in VR Myke. It's not quite the same as

01:20:11   weightlifting but you know, it can get you part of the way there.

01:20:14   I have some fun follow up. Mm hmm. I was able to get an oculus quest. Oh wow. Okay. Yeah.

01:20:19   They came into stock and I got one immediately. It's a completely different experience. If you think you've experienced VR you haven't until you've

01:20:26   experienced completely wireless VR.

01:20:28   Great, you two have heard the good news about no wires. This is everyone's response. It's more than no wires as well

01:20:36   It's like I don't have to turn the computer on. Mm-hmm

01:20:40   And it really helps you just because it's just it on the kitchen table

01:20:44   I just pick it up put it on and I can play a game. Yeah

01:20:47   I've been playing four games quite a bit that I wanted to talk about.

01:20:52   Mm-hmm.

01:20:53   One of them is like we spoke about Beat Saber before.

01:20:56   Mm-hmm.

01:20:56   One thing we didn't talk about is Beat Saber's 360 degree levels.

01:21:01   Well, we didn't talk about it because I didn't know that this wasn't a thing on the other headsets.

01:21:07   Well, okay.

01:21:07   So it didn't occur to me to bring it up.

01:21:08   I don't know if it's on the other headsets,

01:21:10   but when I played the game a bunch the first time, these levels didn't exist.

01:21:15   Mm-hmm.

01:21:16   it was just like straight on. But this completely changes the game in a bunch of really fun

01:21:21   ways that you're not just looking at like a conveyor belt coming straight at you, they

01:21:28   could be coming from any direction and you have to keep on top of that. That is a very

01:21:33   different way to play Beat Saber which is much more fun.

01:21:35   I think the optimal experience is the 90 degree one.

01:21:39   Oh yeah, but the 360 degree ones are fun, but like the 90 degree ones are, or 90 or

01:21:44   180 I think is another option like it's easier to play those. Yeah, I feel like they combine

01:21:49   Enough. Oh, you got to look around for where the blocks are coming from

01:21:53   You don't know without it being like it's gonna hit you from behind. All right, it's yeah 360 is like a completely different game

01:22:00   I found another game which is kind of similar, but I prefer it's called pistol whip

01:22:05   Which is a rhythm based shoot in game. Mm-hmm. And I think this game is fantastic

01:22:13   It's exhilarating and challenging.

01:22:16   How would you describe Pistol Whip?

01:22:18   You are moving forward and you're in like these living target ranges basically and human

01:22:26   shaped figures come at you and you have to shoot them.

01:22:30   But it has the aesthetic that many VR games have of like this is a simulation which is

01:22:36   way more comfortable feeling for a shooting game than this is real, right?

01:22:41   you feel different about the things that you're shooting I think. So I think that works really

01:22:45   nicely. I like that kind of idea. So still haven't tried Arizona Sunshine then anyway?

01:22:50   Not yet. Not yet. You keep... I will, but just not yet. I need all of the moons to align before

01:22:57   I try that game. I really like Pistol Whip because the songs are really good and the enemies are

01:23:04   coming at you in a way that you can shoot them in time to a rhythm, which is very fun. And

01:23:11   some of the levels surprise you in different ways.

01:23:15   It is a very fun rhythm-based shooting game. I think it's great.

01:23:20   Yeah, you recommended it to me. So I tried it and I didn't like it the first time,

01:23:25   but that's partly because I was having some motion sickness issues with it.

01:23:30   It takes a bit of getting used to because you are moving.

01:23:33   Not a lot of VR games move you, but this one moves you forward through the levels.

01:23:38   Yeah, well it's such an interesting way that the different systems try to handle the motion

01:23:44   and as I've been just trying out different games it's interesting to see what different things do.

01:23:50   But Pistol Whip was one of the very first ones that I had tried and I was like whoa I cannot deal

01:23:55   with this. But I revisited it because you had mentioned it again for some reason I can't remember why.

01:24:00   I just texted you and told you that it was incredible and you had to try it if you haven't.

01:24:04   Right, right. Okay. And so I gave it a second try and I liked it much better for a couple of reasons.

01:24:11   One of the reasons is I think it's a similar effect to like when I first started watching YouTube videos.

01:24:17   I couldn't deal with the vlog style of filming where like the way that the camera bounces and is kind of jerky.

01:24:25   At some point having just watched a bunch of vlog videos my brain just adapted to this.

01:24:31   And it's like, "Okay, I can watch this.

01:24:33   I can watch just a handheld camera in a way that I couldn't before,

01:24:37   and I just don't even notice it really."

01:24:39   And I think having done a bunch of the different VR games,

01:24:44   I came to Pistol Whip with the same experience of,

01:24:48   "Oh, my brain has learned a little bit better how to handle this."

01:24:51   - It's like getting sea legs.

01:24:53   - I genuinely think it's a good analogy.

01:24:56   - You got your VR legs.

01:24:57   - Yeah.

01:24:57   It's funny how much the video games' like, conceptual framing helps your brain.

01:25:03   So in Pistol Whip you are standing on a little platform, and it's the platform that's moving,

01:25:09   it's not you just flying forward in space.

01:25:12   And it's like, but something about just looking down and seeing the platform for a second,

01:25:16   it's like it lets your brain go, "Okay, it's fine. We're moving forward on a platform.

01:25:22   We're not just flying through space, and I don't need to freak out about what the heck is happening."

01:25:27   I also, if people are going to try Pistol Whip, I recommend, I didn't realize there are a million

01:25:32   settings for changing how stuff operates. I think you're about to recommend exactly

01:25:38   what I'm about to recommend, but carry on. Okay, so I'm going to recommend, you want to do dual

01:25:43   wielding. Yes!

01:25:44   Because it's much more fun. Much better.

01:25:46   And I'm going to recommend the Deadeye setting, which takes off like baby's first auto-aimer for

01:25:53   - Oh, interesting. - for hitting targets.

01:25:54   - Okay.

01:25:55   - Those are my two suggestions

01:25:56   because the first time I played it as well,

01:25:59   their aim assist was way too strong for me.

01:26:01   I felt like it was impossible to not hit the targets.

01:26:04   - Not enough of a challenge, huh?

01:26:06   - Yeah, I just, I'd like, it's not,

01:26:08   or I should rephrase that.

01:26:09   It's not that it wasn't enough of a challenge.

01:26:12   It was more like it's too obvious

01:26:14   that the system is really helping me out here.

01:26:17   - Right.

01:26:18   - So those are my suggestions.

01:26:19   Like, dual wielding, because dual wielding is fun,

01:26:22   and I would say turn on dead eye, which removes the aim assist.

01:26:27   But what was going to be your suggestion?

01:26:29   I was mostly going to say just you wield.

01:26:32   Yeah, because--

01:26:32   The dead eye, I turn on and off sometimes.

01:26:34   It depends on what I'm looking for in that moment

01:26:37   from the game.

01:26:38   Yeah, what you're in the mood for.

01:26:39   Yeah.

01:26:40   Do I want to be precise, or do I just want to move around,

01:26:43   you know?

01:26:43   Yeah.

01:26:44   I will say that the aesthetic in Pistol Whip

01:26:47   is great for people in the know.

01:26:49   It's very much like the opening scene of Lawnmower Man, which is right up my alley.

01:26:54   But it's also something I wish more of the VR developers would do is, guys, don't try

01:27:02   to make it look real.

01:27:04   I much prefer the games for the most part that lean into the vector style artwork.

01:27:11   Super hot really.

01:27:12   Yeah, super hot.

01:27:14   Pistol Whip is like a mixture of Superhot and Beat Saber to me.

01:27:18   That's kind of how it feels.

01:27:19   Yeah, that's a great way to describe it.

01:27:22   It's a really good cross between those two.

01:27:24   But I just, like, it's been interesting having tried a ton of games is I'm very aware of,

01:27:30   like, the more abstract stuff just works much better, and I'm not a big fan of most of the

01:27:37   games where they're trying to make it look super real.

01:27:40   It's like, "No, guys, lean into the limitations."

01:27:42   Except for Arizona Sunshine, right?

01:27:44   Yeah, I like Arizona Sunshine, but for the most part, like, guys, you don't need to make

01:27:48   a tree that you're trying to make look like a tree. I'm perfectly fine with a circular

01:27:53   triangular pyramid on top of a cylinder and you just color one green and one brown. Like

01:27:58   I can go with that.

01:27:59   I think these are the difference. This is like the main difference between VR gaming

01:28:04   and non VR gaming. Non VR gaming, the more real it looks, the more engaging it is. But

01:28:09   with VR gaming, you don't need visuals to make it engaging. Yeah. Like just make the

01:28:15   mechanics work because you just accept the world you're in immediately if the physics

01:28:21   are good and the mechanics work well. You just accept it. So it doesn't need to be

01:28:26   photorealistic for me to believe that I'm there.

01:28:28   Yes, yeah, that's exactly right. Like your brain, because they're objects, is just

01:28:33   willing to go along with it in a way that you don't need to be tricked that it looks

01:28:37   real. And I wish developers would spend less time trying to make stuff look real because

01:28:43   It's like it's still not quite there yet and it just doesn't it just doesn't need to be

01:28:47   But so that is also partly why I like the aesthetic for pistol whip is like they're not trying to make it look real

01:28:51   And it's totally fine

01:28:54   I was glad that you poked me again about that one

01:28:57   Because I did enjoy it much better after I think my brain was a little bit more used to the motion

01:29:02   Except the only thing I have to be careful about is every once in a while if I take a step backward

01:29:08   for some reason that that still throws my brain way off of like

01:29:12   what's what the hell is happening like if i take a step backwards like

01:29:16   something about the physics doesn't work so i i try to make sure it's like

01:29:20   forward only backward no that's interesting have you come across

01:29:27   audica no i haven't it is a rhythm game made by harmonix okay which is the

01:29:33   company that made rock band okay this is the most comprehensive best

01:29:38   made rhythm game I've come across on VR. Okay. Because it's made by like the rhythm game people.

01:29:45   It is complex. Like there is a lot of stuff going on. You have like sometimes you're shooting,

01:29:52   sometimes you're holding, sometimes you're hitting things out of the sky and you kind of have to,

01:29:57   like Rockband, there are like different shapes and you have to understand what you are supposed

01:30:04   to do based on the shape and they have real licensed music and it's fantastic.

01:30:10   okay I'll check it out. like it's just like mechanically it's done so well it's

01:30:16   like oh I feel really good when I'm getting this right just like when I used

01:30:20   to feel really good when I was getting rock band right. like in a way that beat

01:30:24   saber is satisfying when you are doing a good job but I don't really feel

01:30:30   accomplished but in Ortica I feel accomplished because I'll play a level

01:30:36   and I'll play it again and I'm better at it play it again and I'm better at it

01:30:39   and like it's that repetition of getting better and better that harmonics know

01:30:45   how to do really well hmm and it is really really excellent like if you've

01:30:51   played any type of rhythm game on VR and enjoyed it I really recommend this one

01:30:55   and I also found a pottery game I saw the pottery game in the store and I had

01:31:00   this moment of "I should probably tell Myke about that" but then I thought there's no

01:31:03   way he doesn't know already that there's a pottery game.

01:31:05   I just turned on my Oculus one day and I was like "oh my god it's a pottery game" and like

01:31:11   it's not pottery isn't right but it's like close in some ways and it's it's fun and weird

01:31:19   it's it's trying to be realistic in certain ways right like it's not trying to be like

01:31:24   a weird VR game. I enjoy it. Like I love it. I don't love it anywhere close to the way

01:31:30   that I love the other games that I've mentioned, but it was just like a really funny thing

01:31:34   to happen to me. I was like so excited when I saw it and I played it and I was like, you

01:31:38   know what? Pottery VR game, you're very calming. So I appreciate that about you.

01:31:44   I'm glad you do. There's all these interesting VR experiences that can be had and you know,

01:31:51   It's funny because when you mentioned before about how there's no substitute for travel,

01:31:56   I was thinking a little bit about the VR systems because I've genuinely found the Quest to

01:32:04   be a great tool for creating the experience of being in another space.

01:32:12   I really think it has been meaningfully helpful, especially without the ability to go outside

01:32:18   to be able to use the quest and I do have it kind of slotted into my schedule of like exercise

01:32:26   rotation because I think it is useful to do this on a regular basis. It's just it's very interesting

01:32:32   how your brain is willing to go along with it and ever since we did that demo years ago this is one

01:32:39   technology where I feel like I'm really excited to see the future of this and speaking of like

01:32:46   going back to the start of the show, but speaking of the physical distances in places, it's like,

01:32:50   man, I am gunning for the day that I can do work in a VR environment. Like for when the headsets

01:32:59   get light enough and comfortable enough and the resolution gets high enough so that text is sharp.

01:33:05   Even just in the quest, some of those loading environments where you're just picking, you know,

01:33:11   know what game you want to play but they put you in like oh you're in a little Japanese

01:33:16   house and and the lotus flowers are falling like it's so beautiful and I really have this

01:33:24   strong feeling of if I could I would totally write in this geodesic dome 100% I would do

01:33:33   that but the technology just isn't there yet.

01:33:37   But you know like when using these it's gonna get there right like you can feel it right

01:33:41   like it's close.

01:33:42   Yeah that's that's what I mean by I'm excited about this because it's like okay in a couple

01:33:47   generations if we can cut down the weight of the headset by half and if say the the

01:33:54   resolution can increase by double or four times like we can get there and it's going

01:33:59   to go there.

01:34:00   So like I find myself really quite excited for that of like I know and can see like I

01:34:05   I will use something like this as a working environment at some point in the future for

01:34:13   sure.

01:34:14   Like there is no doubt about that in my mind and I just like I look forward to that to

01:34:18   that becoming reality at some point.

01:34:20   What I will say is for me like it is a replacement for outside.

01:34:24   It's not a replacement for travel.

01:34:28   Right okay yeah that's a good way to put it.

01:34:31   I can feel that like, oh, I did a thing today.

01:34:34   Like that thing could have been going to the park.

01:34:37   It's not like I've been out of the country for 10 days.

01:34:40   Like it doesn't, it's not that level.

01:34:42   'Cause I don't think I could do VR for 10 days.

01:34:45   - Yeah, no, no, no.

01:34:46   I'm not saying I wanna take a great vacation in VR yet.

01:34:50   - Yeah, yeah you are.

01:34:50   You wanna do that.

01:34:52   Don't say you don't wanna do that, you do.

01:34:53   - That's more like 20 years from now, but yeah, for sure.

01:34:57   - And look, I know you've played Animal Crossing.

01:35:00   I watched the stream, it went exactly as I expected.

01:35:04   For some reason people think that I wanted you to play

01:35:07   when I explicitly said I didn't want you to play this game.

01:35:10   - I know, I know, I asked if I should try it

01:35:13   and you said yes, that's the way that went.

01:35:17   - Well, I didn't want you to play it

01:35:18   'cause I knew how you were gonna,

01:35:19   well, okay, maybe it was like I said you should try it

01:35:21   but I knew how it was gonna go.

01:35:23   Like I wasn't surprised about the fact

01:35:25   that you hated this game.

01:35:27   - Right.

01:35:28   - I knew you were gonna hate it.

01:35:29   Yeah, no, I mean we don't need to discuss it in detail.

01:35:32   The evidence is there for people.

01:35:35   I didn't expect to like the game, and I was correct.

01:35:39   - One could suggest that you went into it negatively.

01:35:43   One could suggest that you were not in the correct space

01:35:47   to play the game when you went at it, but you know.

01:35:50   - That is totally fair, but the thing is,

01:35:53   Animal Crossing annoyed me in all sorts of ways

01:35:55   that I wasn't expecting, right?

01:35:57   So I think even under the most ideal of circumstances, there is no way that I would like this game.

01:36:03   But it's like I had expectations to be annoyed and I was annoyed in ways that I was completely blindsided by.

01:36:09   This is not Animal Crossing specific. I think this is a kind of

01:36:12   Nintendo disease. Nintendo likes to take things slow sometimes, like in there. And all of the

01:36:19   Nintendo first party games, they're real chill about dialogue boxes and

01:36:26   You're selecting a racing track for Mario Kart and you know, hey guys

01:36:30   Don't you just want to watch this spinner spin for a while?

01:36:33   No, I don't like I want to pick a course and go I have a way to describe Nintendo

01:36:38   Nintendo's development it's painful charm. Yes. Yeah, that tends to be the way in the Nintendo makes their games

01:36:45   They're like that charming and they do things in the way that they do them, but sometimes it's really painful

01:36:49   Yeah, like with Animal Crossing. It's that everything runs in real time. I like that it runs in real time, but sometimes

01:36:55   It's like, "Oh, jeez. Tom, look, will you just destroy the bridge right now?

01:36:59   Why is it gonna take you a day to destroy the bridge, Tom?

01:37:02   Like, you've just got a thousand bells for this."

01:37:04   [laughter]

01:37:06   Yeah, like, so that is a Nintendo disease,

01:37:10   and I think Animal Crossing may be its most pure expression.

01:37:15   I am glad I at least played it for a little bit,

01:37:18   so I had a bit more of a first-hand experience of what this was.

01:37:23   But yeah, I very quickly realized like, you know what I don't want to do? I don't want to press A

01:37:27   20,000 times over the course of many hours to accomplish things. So I'm gonna bail on this, but I'm glad I tried it

01:37:36   I'm glad I tried it