99: Epi5ode Out of Time


00:00:00   This episode of Cortex is brought to you by Indeed.

00:00:02   - Okay, let's go.

00:00:04   Let's rock and roll.

00:00:05   Episode two.

00:00:06   So I don't need to do levels, levels for this episode

00:00:10   because we are recording this episode

00:00:13   directly after the previous episode.

00:00:16   - Yeah.

00:00:17   Well, we've taken a 45 minute break for refueling,

00:00:20   but we are straight back into it

00:00:22   because obviously this is now an episode out of time.

00:00:25   - Right.

00:00:26   - This is an episode out of time five.

00:00:28   - Okay.

00:00:29   I'd like to petition this one to be called "Episode" but replace "S" with a "5"

00:00:34   So it's "Episode" out of time, "Epi-5" you know?

00:00:38   "Epi-5-0" out of time?

00:00:40   Yeah, well you still say it as "Episode"

00:00:41   Why do you say it "Episode"?

00:00:42   I don't know if you are familiar with the Fast and Furious franchise?

00:00:46   You take one wild guess, Myke.

00:00:48   Okay, I'm...

00:00:49   Mmm...

00:00:50   You've definitely heard of it.

00:00:52   I'm a superfan.

00:00:53   I love- I've seen every single one.

00:00:55   Are you being serious?

00:00:56   And I love them.

00:00:57   Yeah, yeah.

00:00:58   and cars. Well they do now. What more could you want? Okay well that's... So but why do

00:01:05   you pronounce episode with a five as episode? Because this is a thing in these types of

00:01:11   movies where they start hiding the numbers inside of the name. It's not really hidden

00:01:17   though. Right but like as in it's not the episode at the time five the five is still

00:01:22   there but it's like put inside something else. Okay. Anyway I think they did this at some

00:01:26   point oh yeah too fast too furious okay they used the number two instead of the word two this is like

00:01:32   fan four stick the fantastic four movie with all of that stuff yes that is that's the thing that

00:01:37   i'm going for but in general i'm going for like fast and furious type naming with these okay sure

00:01:43   so i think maybe like the next one we like reboot the entire show because i think that's what happens

00:01:49   like at some point well i think fast five which is where we're at kind of now in the lore i guess i

00:01:54   I think this is when the rock joins.

00:01:56   No, Fast and Furious 6 is just Fast and Furious 6.

00:01:59   They don't try to hide it, right?

00:02:01   They're not like, Fix Sticks and Furious 6, right?

00:02:05   They don't do anything like that.

00:02:06   You'll be super upset to know then that because of coronavirus, they've pushed for F9 11 months.

00:02:13   Oh, okay.

00:02:14   It was supposed to come out in May this year, and it's now gonna come out in April 2021.

00:02:20   I don't understand.

00:02:21   I need continuing plot threads for Shaw and, you know, what's going on with him.

00:02:26   This is like, I, my mind is blown right now.

00:02:28   I genuinely am not sure if you're being serious or not.

00:02:32   Well, I don't know why I would ever, I don't know why I would mess with you on this kind

00:02:36   of thing.

00:02:37   Like that's not, that's not what I would do.

00:02:38   But anyway, like that seems ridiculous that they're pushing it back that much as a fantastic

00:02:42   head as we're called.

00:02:44   A fast head.

00:02:48   I demand.

00:02:49   The Fast and Furious community is up in arms.

00:02:52   I don't even understand, have they not finished filming?

00:02:55   No it's done.

00:02:56   It was coming out in May.

00:02:57   Oh, okay, so they haven't run across Gal Gadot's filming schedule?

00:03:02   No.

00:03:03   They've just decided to move it, because no one's going to the cinema right now.

00:03:08   Some of the movies have been moved to later in the year, so the new James Bond movie got

00:03:12   moved to November, right?

00:03:13   It was supposed to come out in April.

00:03:15   But it was kind of funny because in the announcement they're like, "We decided to just slightly

00:03:19   delay the movie.

00:03:20   It will now be coming out in 11 months."

00:03:23   Which seems like, you know, really obviously they know that for whatever reason, April/May

00:03:29   is the best time for a Fast and Furious movie to come out.

00:03:32   So they're not going to move it to the holidays because that's not obviously when they feel

00:03:35   these movies are good, so they're going to push it all the way back around again.

00:03:39   And they're probably just trying to avoid Marvel and stuff like that would be my expectation.

00:03:43   Right, right. Okay. Alright, that makes sense. I'm sitting here like a total dummy thinking

00:03:48   it was something with the production, but no, of course, it's the fact that we can't

00:03:52   have people in movie theaters because there's a pandemic. Because we're still recording

00:03:57   on the actual day that we recorded the last episode, it's a little bit of, as we were

00:04:02   discussing before that episode, still thinking we're just in the timeframe when people

00:04:07   act like the general population has gen has become concerned about this and so anything

00:04:13   could have happened by the time this episode comes out anything could have happened by

00:04:16   the time this comes out but also even for me my brain is is still not quite processing

00:04:21   why are you delaying your movie oh right because movie theaters are not a lot of thing don't

00:04:27   go to them but anyway episode out five wait episode out of time five no i've hidden the

00:04:33   - We're five in the wrong place.

00:04:35   - Epified ode out of time.

00:04:37   That's the episode that we're doing today.

00:04:40   - Cortexmerch.com.

00:04:42   - Cortexmerch.com.

00:04:45   - Oh, that was a good one.

00:04:47   I like that one.

00:04:48   We are doing merch for one specific reason,

00:04:51   and then we also had another good idea.

00:04:53   This is episode 99 of Cortex, which is--

00:04:57   - Can you believe it?

00:04:57   We've done so many of these.

00:04:59   - As I just said that, I couldn't believe it.

00:05:01   So our next episode is going to be episode 100.

00:05:04   So on sale right now at cortexmerch.com, a 100th episode commemorative t-shirt.

00:05:11   It is my favorite t-shirt design that we have ever come up with.

00:05:16   Our designer Simon completely knocked it out of the park.

00:05:18   It is a Cortex logo that looks like an app and it has an unread

00:05:23   badge of 100, which is so, so good.

00:05:26   It's perfect.

00:05:27   I have to say Simon always does great work.

00:05:30   But this one in particular, I think I have never had a shorter amount of time between

00:05:37   how long did it take my brain to visually process what I'm looking at for a t-shirt

00:05:41   design and how fast was I like double thumbs up.

00:05:44   I love this.

00:05:45   Like it's just instantly legible and I totally love it.

00:05:48   It's a, it's such a great idea for the commemorative 100 episode t-shirt.

00:05:54   It's absolutely perfect.

00:05:55   It's absolutely perfect.

00:05:56   We loved it so much that we're gonna offer this one in a couple of different things. So we're doing the regular t-shirt

00:06:03   We also have a cortex 100 episode commemorative t-pro, which is a mega special

00:06:08   Foil printed version. So the the unread badge the red unread badge is going to be printed in foil, right?

00:06:15   It is more of an expensive item. We've done this before we had a gold leaf

00:06:23   Just to be clear, if you have the gold Cortex shirts, it's not gold leaf.

00:06:30   It's just gold foil.

00:06:32   It's 24 karat gold.

00:06:36   I love wearing that one.

00:06:37   I have one of those and I like it very much.

00:06:39   But yeah, that is a more expensive version because it's getting much, much more complicated

00:06:44   printing method.

00:06:45   There's a reason Pro stuff is more expensive and this is because it's made with shiny red

00:06:50   gold foil.

00:06:52   That's amazing.

00:06:53   We're also doing stickers.

00:06:55   I don't think we've ever sold stickers before, but again, I like this artwork so much that

00:06:59   I thought it should live in a few different ways.

00:07:00   So you can get a two-pack of some stickers.

00:07:03   Those are limited though.

00:07:04   So the t-shirts we're doing, the typical pre-order that we do with t-shirts, so we'll make as

00:07:08   many as we sell, but we have a limited amount of the stickers.

00:07:12   So just as an FYI, so if you like the sticker, don't wait.

00:07:15   Get it.

00:07:16   And then we also have something that I'm very excited about.

00:07:18   It seemed inevitable at this point, a levels levels t-shirt.

00:07:22   Look at who's come around to Levels Levels.

00:07:24   That's you, Myke.

00:07:25   Levels Levels is amazing and it deserves to be a t-shirt.

00:07:29   - I don't think I ever had a problem with Levels Levels.

00:07:32   I think it was just surprising.

00:07:35   It was just the surprising thing to come across.

00:07:38   But I have standardized now that that is the way

00:07:40   that podcasters should greet each other.

00:07:42   So yeah, we have a Levels Levels t-shirt

00:07:44   in a variety of wonderful colors.

00:07:47   You can see all of these and buy all of these right now

00:07:49   at cortexmerch.com.

00:07:51   These are only available for two weeks.

00:07:53   We won't be reminding you again,

00:07:54   so if you wanna go get them, go get them.

00:07:57   The sale will be over of these shirts

00:07:59   before our 100th episode.

00:08:01   So maybe some of you might even,

00:08:03   they might be on the way to you

00:08:04   by the time our episode comes out, you know,

00:08:06   or you could just wait a little bit,

00:08:07   get your T-shirt, put your T-shirt on

00:08:09   and listen to episode 100,

00:08:11   which I can't believe we're approaching.

00:08:13   - I know, so many Cortex episodes, Myke.

00:08:16   The number is so, it's so high.

00:08:18   - The number is large.

00:08:19   I'm not even sure there's any other podcast that has a number as big as 100.

00:08:23   It's, it's just like a shocking.

00:08:24   I just recorded episode 400 of the pen addict.

00:08:27   Like two weeks ago.

00:08:29   Do you know though?

00:08:31   Great.

00:08:32   Like we are just a couple of months away from having worked

00:08:35   on this project for five years.

00:08:37   Really?

00:08:39   Yeah.

00:08:39   That's a long time.

00:08:40   June, 2015 was our first episode.

00:08:43   Oh my God.

00:08:45   That was a different man back then.

00:08:48   We both were.

00:08:49   Yeah, who were the people who started this show? We don't even know them anymore.

00:08:53   Nope.

00:08:54   They're past us and now here we are continuing the path of life, always becoming a new person,

00:09:00   discarding the old person.

00:09:02   Still talking to Mykey.

00:09:04   On that note, CortexMerch.com.

00:09:06   [Laughter]

00:09:08   [Ding]

00:09:10   Alright, so we promised Cortex Movie Club for this episode and we are going to be talking about

00:09:15   about Inside Bill's Brain, a three-part documentary series on Netflix, talking about Bill Gates.

00:09:22   The episodes are kind of broken down into three little stories, and they tell different

00:09:27   things that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are up to, and also kind of refer those back

00:09:32   to Bill's history.

00:09:34   This is the first time you've seen it, right?

00:09:36   ALICE: Yeah, so I watched it last night.

00:09:38   I still just sat down and watched the whole thing in a row.

00:09:41   Very watchable, as a single thing.

00:09:43   I don't think they even need to really divide it up into episodes.

00:09:47   I mean, it's just Netflix, right?

00:09:48   They know you're watching it all in one go.

00:09:50   Yeah, but that's also partly why I feel like, who are we kidding Netflix, right?

00:09:54   What do you think I'm doing?

00:09:57   Watching this one episode a week?

00:09:59   Let's get real.

00:10:00   Just make it one thing.

00:10:01   It was easy to binge.

00:10:02   It flows from the start to the finish.

00:10:05   It's really well made.

00:10:06   It's incredibly well made and it's very cleverly made as well.

00:10:09   The second episode, I think, is the best episode from a narrative perspective.

00:10:14   That's when they're focusing on the polio vaccine and talking about his history, and

00:10:21   they overlap the problems, right?

00:10:23   So like him trying to isolate and work out and calculate where to put the vaccine, and

00:10:29   then also calculating how to do the school schedules.

00:10:32   And they just overlap the conversations, and it's fascinating.

00:10:36   It's so well done.

00:10:38   I think it's difficult to not have a lot of respect for Bill Gates.

00:10:43   I don't know anybody who cares about technology that does not respect Bill Gates as an individual,

00:10:49   like on his contribution, but this gave me even more so for him.

00:10:57   Really seeing in detail the work that the foundation is doing, it was really enlightening

00:11:05   to me.

00:11:06   I came away from it feeling even warmer about Bill Gates than I did before.

00:11:13   Yeah, it's interesting because I was thinking before watching the documentary last night

00:11:19   that I was just trying to think about my history of Bill Gates, of what have I thought about

00:11:23   this person, because he's been a large figure on the technological landscape for the course

00:11:30   of my life.

00:11:31   It's funny because I was just trying to think about what were the phases of my thoughts

00:11:35   about him and I remember sort of early in my computing use time having this feeling

00:11:43   like "Oh computers are crazy and we need someone to come in here and totally unify this system."

00:11:51   They're like "Oh if we have all these wildly different working computers, what a big problem

00:11:55   this is and we just like we need a dominant market player here to make everything work together so

00:12:01   so that all these computers can be great. And then years later I became

00:12:05   embarrassingly when I was using Linux,

00:12:07   one of these people who would like write Microsoft with the dollar sign.

00:12:11   I know, right? Like,

00:12:13   I know I did that a couple of times on bulletin boards and it's like, Oh God,

00:12:18   past me. Like I can't roll my eyes hard enough at that person.

00:12:23   If I'm writing notes, like sometimes like very fast,

00:12:27   I will do M dollar sign for Microsoft.

00:12:30   Yeah, but that's, that's like an abbreviation, right? Not a, not an embarrassment.

00:12:33   But that abbreviation comes from terrible nerds like you who wrote Microsoft of a

00:12:38   dollar sign, right? Like that's, that's how I know about that.

00:12:42   Yeah. And looking back on it, it's, it's just funny because, um,

00:12:46   you know, again, like that's,

00:12:48   that's the height of my insufferable Linux user-ness and I also love it because

00:12:53   it's, it's the kind of thing that in retrospect betrays a total edgy lack of

00:12:59   understanding anything about the world, right?

00:13:02   Like, I think that's the kind of a thing

00:13:04   when you're younger and you're like,

00:13:07   "Oh my God, did you know that this business

00:13:09   "is trying to make money?"

00:13:11   And it's like, "Oh God, kid."

00:13:12   - And they wanna be the best.

00:13:14   - Yeah, yeah, and it's like,

00:13:16   "Kid, I don't even know where to start with this."

00:13:20   Like, I get why you're angry

00:13:22   and why you and a bunch of Linux hippies

00:13:24   wanna build an operating system made out of flowers together.

00:13:27   And it's like, it's great, but also Jesus Christ is that embarrassing.

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00:15:35   So that was at one point in my life and then I knew that he started this like charity that

00:15:40   was focused on the third world and I remember just thinking like, oh, what an odd choice.

00:15:48   he made all of his money from the first world and now he's spending all his money in the

00:15:52   third world.

00:15:54   And at some point, between learning about the foundation and then fast-forward a decade

00:16:02   of just hearing about Bill Gates in the background in these various ways, I totally changed my

00:16:08   mind on him as a person.

00:16:10   I just think it's an interesting case of…

00:16:13   Like I was one of these people who at a time thought like, "Oh, Bill Gates is this terrible

00:16:17   person."

00:16:19   And the documentary goes over the course of his life.

00:16:22   And without a doubt, he was an abrasive guy when he was younger.

00:16:27   But there's also just this way in which people change or you can have incorrect assessments

00:16:33   of that person.

00:16:35   And I've gone from thinking Bill Gates is this terrible person to, I think my current

00:16:41   status is if you have to try to make a short list of who of the humans on earth are trying

00:16:49   and succeeding to make the world a place with less suffering in it, it's like Bill Gates

00:16:56   has got to be pretty high on that list of how many people are actually doing and accomplishing

00:17:02   things that reduce the suffering of humanity.

00:17:05   And it's not necessarily that he cares more than anybody else. It's that he is doing it

00:17:11   Yeah, and he has the resources to do it right like that's why like he has so much money

00:17:16   But lots of people have lots of money. Yeah, and they don't do what he's doing

00:17:20   So it is a very interesting thing to see it's interesting to see how him and Melinda approach

00:17:26   The things that they approach and how they tackle them and I can understand that people can criticize some of his methods

00:17:33   the decisions that he makes like there's this one moment where he's talking about like we

00:17:38   pick the things that we think we can have the most impact on. So I got like a couple of quotes here.

00:17:44   The documentarian was asking him how did I choose what he wants what diseases he wants to try and

00:17:49   eradicate and then Bill says like it's not my goal to be inspiring to people. The world has limited

00:17:55   resources, I have resources and I want to focus on the things that I can get the most optimization

00:18:01   are often the best results, which is a very nerdy way to think about philanthropy, but

00:18:09   it makes sense when you think about it, right? Where it's like, there could be, in theory,

00:18:15   on paper, better things for him to focus on, but he puts his money where he believes he

00:18:21   can make the most difference, and it continues to be more relevant right now because he is

00:18:26   investing a lot of money into coronavirus. So it's kind of funny, like a few weeks ago,

00:18:33   he sat down with MKBHD and he did an interview. This happens every year now when the Bill

00:18:37   and Melinda Gates Foundation have a letter, like an open letter. And now it seems like

00:18:43   part of the promotional piece is he has an interview with MKBHD. This has now happened

00:18:48   twice, two times as a pattern, right? And in that video he references that, "Oh, like

00:18:54   I got an email talking about coronavirus and looking at that now and on MKBHD's

00:19:00   podcast he was saying that like there was like a maybe a week's difference

00:19:03   between when they recorded and when they published it and by the time that they

00:19:09   published the video the Gates Foundation had already announced like all this

00:19:12   money and time and resources that they're putting into coronavirus and

00:19:15   they were remarking like how fast he went from just finding out about it to

00:19:20   investing lots of money into trying to help it.

00:19:23   I have a number of thoughts about the documentarian and I do have like real annoyances with this

00:19:29   series but you honed in on two moments that I really love and this moment about inspiration

00:19:36   is really great because to me it's a summary of there is this very difficult thing in charity

00:19:47   where people sort of respond to how emotive people are when describing the things that they're

00:19:55   trying to fix. Like, people respond like outward expressions of sadness and suffering and that is

00:20:04   not gates and that's also very often not the way to fix problems. You have to be able to

00:20:14   coldly separate yourself from the individuals in order to be the one who is actually able to solve

00:20:23   problems on a large scale. And I just always find it interesting how in conversations with people,

00:20:30   this sort of way of thinking, many people really respond negatively to of, "Oh, I'm trying to solve

00:20:38   this problem with polio or I'm trying to solve this problem with poverty. And in order to make

00:20:45   any progress on that, I have to not get swept up in any of the individual cases. And people are

00:20:51   often like, "Oh, what a monster. You don't care about those things." It's like, "No, this is how

00:20:56   you do stuff." And the exact quote is that the interviewer is giving this description and there's

00:21:01   two things and Gates is like, well, these stories of suffering for individuals, that

00:21:08   is the emotional connection, which is the retail of charity business.

00:21:15   Right?

00:21:15   But if you want to fix the problem, you have to think wholesale, right?

00:21:19   You have to think in this totally different way.

00:21:21   And it's like, that's sort of sounds like an awful statement.

00:21:25   And the interviewer says like, that's not inspiring, Bill.

00:21:28   And one of the greatest moments is like before he almost gets to the end of the L sound in Bill,

00:21:33   Gates just goes, "Well, that's too bad."

00:21:35   And he's just like, "If you're not trying to inspire people, what are you doing?"

00:21:41   And Gates says, "Optimization."

00:21:43   And it's like, that is just, it's great.

00:21:47   Like, yes, this is how, if you want to solve these problems, you have to actually go about it.

00:21:53   And he's thinking of it like in like what you're saying about the coronavirus, which I wasn't fully aware of all those details.

00:22:00   Part of it is trying to pick projects in a marginal way of like, where do his dollars make an additional marginal increase in quality or decrease in suffering compared to like the charity world in general or how difficult the problem is?

00:22:18   Yeah.

00:22:18   I personally find that, like, not inspiring, but it fills me with hope of like, great,

00:22:24   this is someone who is not getting distracted by the details and is focusing on like the

00:22:29   hard things to focus about to actually try to fix these problems.

00:22:33   Even if saying like, oh, we're in the wholesale business sounds so grim and so boring, but

00:22:39   that's the way you do it.

00:22:40   But I think this is evidence of an individual who is aware of what they're capable of.

00:22:46   Bill Gates is not an inspiring figure. Steve Jobs was an inspiring figure. He would get

00:22:52   on the stage and he would talk and you would believe whatever he had to say. And Bill Gates

00:22:58   doesn't carry that kind of weight. Even Balmer was more inspiring in his own way.

00:23:04   In his own Balmer-y way.

00:23:06   Yeah, but he could amp you up and that's just not Gates' way. So he is aware of the fact

00:23:13   that what he can do is give money and knowledge. That's what he can do. So that's what he does.

00:23:21   And so like he chooses things I think where his skills and his resources are best placed.

00:23:29   And standing on stages and doing these things aren't, that's not really his thing. And there

00:23:34   are many examples of him doing shocking things on stages that's different to inspiring. He

00:23:41   He doesn't inspire people.

00:23:42   He quite frequently scares people, right?

00:23:45   So there's like, everyone's familiar with, uh, the Ted talk he gave where he

00:23:49   let mosquitoes out into the room and locked the doors, right?

00:23:52   Cause it was about malaria.

00:23:53   Um, and then they show it in this one where he puts a jar of human feces on the,

00:23:59   on the stage next to him when he's talking about sanitation.

00:24:02   The mosquitoes thing is great because it makes him seem like some

00:24:05   kind of crazy evil person.

00:24:07   Into that a little bit.

00:24:09   Right.

00:24:10   And it's quite clever where he's like, "I'm gonna do something terrible to you to prove a point."

00:24:15   But that's attention-getting, but not inspiring.

00:24:19   In the way that inspiring people have the job's reality distortion field.

00:24:25   And it's like, that is a good tool for some things,

00:24:29   but for very many of the kinds of problems that Gates is trying to attack.

00:24:34   That's not helpful. If anything, it could be anti-helpful.

00:24:37   So yeah, like I think my personal thoughts on him have changed so much and that particular moment in the film of him going,

00:24:46   "Well, that's too bad." It was like, "Oh, Bill Gates, you're like my spirit animal in this moment of shooting down this dumb question about like,

00:24:54   'It's not inspiring.' Like, yeah, I'm not interested in that. Like, I'm interested in fixing the problem."

00:24:59   Like, I'm not gonna lie, there are a lot of things in this documentary that made me think of you, which is why I wanted to talk about it anyway.

00:25:05   [Laughter]

00:25:06   I want to talk about these book bag and thinkweeks.

00:25:10   Yeah, Bill Gates needs a Kindle. I can understand why he doesn't have one, but boy, I guess if I had someone to carry around my bag of books all day, then maybe I would be less resistant.

00:25:20   But I got the impression he's carrying it a lot though.

00:25:23   Yeah, do you think so? I don't know.

00:25:24   I guess it depends on the context.

00:25:26   Yeah.

00:25:27   So like when he's taking that little plane and he's going out to his little shack, he's carrying the bag.

00:25:32   in the bag but yeah probably a lot of the time someone's got it for him but

00:25:36   it's this tote bag which is again just very interesting it's everything about

00:25:39   this is interesting to me it's like a white and blue tote bag which is just

00:25:43   full of books and papers right like intellectual papers and they show him

00:25:51   like having it packed and stuff like that and I know it as well it's like I

00:25:55   don't understand why he's reading actual books I can only imagine he just really

00:25:59   needs the paper. You know, like I know that some people they prefer it, right? Like it helps it

00:26:03   sink in and it seems like he is such a voracious reader that maybe it just fits with him. Like

00:26:10   maybe he just can't do it digitally and maybe he doesn't want to slow down.

00:26:14   Yeah, I can honestly imagine. So in the documentary they make a big deal about Bill Gates

00:26:20   reading. Everyone around him just talks about how like how much he's able to read, how quickly he's

00:26:26   able to read and his retention level being very high. And I can imagine that at this

00:26:32   scale, you know, so he has like an acquaintance who says, "Oh, he went on vacation with Gates

00:26:38   for a week, and he read 20 books."

00:26:40   I got it. He read 14 books on vacation. He reads 150 pages an hour.

00:26:45   Right, yeah. And I can imagine that at that scale, having the physical books helps your

00:26:53   brain distinguish and makes memories better of what you're actually reading.

00:27:00   Whereas if you're doing whatever it is, 150 pages an hour on a Kindle screen, maybe it's

00:27:06   just too much the same.

00:27:07   MATT: Like, just blends in together.

00:27:09   And maybe he can't—because Melinda at one point references that she feels like his brain

00:27:13   is like a series of compartments.

00:27:16   And so maybe he is compartmentalizing the knowledge a little bit with the book, right?

00:27:22   that he needs, like maybe that's like kind of the way that his brain works.

00:27:25   So he needs to be able to recall the book to recall the knowledge.

00:27:28   This is also where some of my frustration with the documentary comes out because,

00:27:35   so it's called Inside Bill Gates Brain.

00:27:37   And a lot of this is like the biography of Bill Gates, which is totally fine, right?

00:27:41   Give, give people the background of this person, you know, but the thing about

00:27:44   reading, right, is so clearly core to what he does and part of his ability to interact with such a

00:27:54   wide range of people on different topics and quickly assess situations and everything else

00:28:00   that I don't really want to hear so many other people telling me about Gates reading a lot.

00:28:09   I want to know much more what does he think about this?

00:28:12   Like our very speculation of, "Oh, maybe he wants the physical books because it's easier to remember."

00:28:19   I don't know. It's just a thought.

00:28:22   But there's a lot of this where I'm not...

00:28:26   I always have this thing about you shouldn't expect that exceptional people are normal people.

00:28:37   the people at the top of any field are a bunch of weirdos for a variety of reasons and that's

00:28:43   why they're able to be like exceptional people in different areas.

00:28:46   Bill Gates is not normal, we have to accept this.

00:28:48   Yeah.

00:28:49   He is better than us in things.

00:28:51   Yeah, he's totally not a normal person.

00:28:54   It wasn't luck.

00:28:55   It's actually interesting because I know my father and mother had watched this documentary

00:29:00   and they'd mentioned it to me ahead of time and my dad had said something like,

00:29:04   "Oh, I always thought Bill Gates was just like a rich kid who got lucky, like right place,

00:29:09   right time." And he said, "Oh, I watched this documentary and boy did I realize he was not

00:29:14   just lucky. This guy was going to do something and it just happened to be Microsoft, right? But

00:29:22   he would have done something else if that didn't come along." But so because of that, because,

00:29:29   like, let's just accept that this exceptional person is different from other people,

00:29:33   I find it very tiresome to have people in his life describing what he's like. Like I'm just

00:29:43   not interested in their assessments. It's like I want to know what does he think about reading?

00:29:49   You know, like how is this for you? Or how like how do you go about picking which books you're

00:29:58   going to read? Is that something that you do at this volume of reading? Are you selecting? Are

00:30:04   other people selecting? I'm sure the thing that you want to mention, but he talks about his Think

00:30:10   Weeks and he mentions, "Oh, this is the time where he's just dedicated to just reading and thinking

00:30:16   and how you want to have some ideas in the back of your head that you're working through." And

00:30:22   it's like, "Yes, but what do you mean by what you're working through? How is it that you're

00:30:27   trying to approach these questions or how do you select these questions?

00:30:30   So my frustration is I feel like there was a lot of this kind of stuff where other people's

00:30:37   descriptions of what Bill Gates is up to is not remotely what I'm interested in. Like I want to

00:30:42   hear Bill Gates talk about stuff and it's particularly interesting that very frequently when

00:30:48   they're playing the actual interviews with Bill Gates he has so many of these little comments like

00:30:53   the thing of like, "Well, that's too bad. I'm doing optimization." That feel like, "Oh, he's

00:30:59   shining through this documentary." But I just felt like a lot of this stuff wasn't really pursued.

00:31:04   Like, "What do you mean by that? Like, elaborate on that." So those are partly some of my

00:31:09   frustrations. I wanted more. Like, I want more from Gates.

00:31:13   So did I. But I kind of wonder if maybe that stuff isn't interesting to everybody else.

00:31:20   I can get that, but then maybe don't call your documentary like Inside Bill's Brain.

00:31:24   That's a good name though.

00:31:25   It's a great name, but I think that is not what they are selling in this documentary.

00:31:32   I was expecting it to be a little more autobiographical than it actually is.

00:31:37   Because ultimately the reason that he did this documentary is to promote the foundation.

00:31:42   Yeah, yeah I think so.

00:31:42   It is a marketing piece for the foundation, which from his perspective, I'm on board with that.

00:31:48   There is no problem with that.

00:31:49   Yeah, yeah.

00:31:49   But I still maybe would have liked to have seen a fourth episode that did more, right?

00:31:54   Why does he read what he reads? How much time does he read? Where does he read?

00:31:58   Right? Does he read in that library or is the library just for storing books?

00:32:01   Why does he keep the books? Why does he read on paper?

00:32:05   Like all of this stuff, which I would love to know more about.

00:32:09   But there was something I wanted to touch on, which is kind of, it's in my notes for this area,

00:32:13   is they talk to Myke Slade, who's a former director at Microsoft.

00:32:18   and he says that Bill always knows more than the other person he's talking to.

00:32:22   And this comes across so frequently in the documentary, or at least if you don't see that,

00:32:29   you see him knowing things that like, it's surprising that he knows.

00:32:34   Like he walked, when he's, there's a couple of instances, both with sanitation and with

00:32:40   nuclear power. These are two of the things that the Foundation's focused on.

00:32:44   And one of the ways that Bill tries to push innovation is to basically create a competition.

00:32:52   So he'll have universities and companies compete to create a solution to a problem,

00:32:58   which he will then fund, right? In both of these instances, he's going into like,

00:33:03   and this is especially in the one where they're doing nuclear power, he's going into these rooms

00:33:07   and he's talking to people and he is having incredibly in-depth technical conversations.

00:33:14   and asking all these questions that I can't even fathom to understand.

00:33:19   And sometimes you see kind of like surprises the people he's talking to.

00:33:23   And it's like this is stuff you shouldn't know. You didn't do this.

00:33:27   Like you were not a nuclear physicist, right? You did not do this, Bill.

00:33:32   Like this was not your thing. But he's learned it all by reading.

00:33:37   And it is unbelievable.

00:33:40   There's a little section I really like, which is... I don't have the name offhand, but they

00:33:45   interview the guy who has written all of the books on energy. He's like the German or Austrian

00:33:50   guy.

00:33:51   Oh yeah, I don't remember the guy's name either, but there's the thing where he's like, "This

00:33:55   book has an audience of one, and it's just me."

00:33:59   It's even more brutal. This is where Geertz, his interesting way of thinking shines through,

00:34:05   because there's another line I really like of his where he says, "He doesn't say it has

00:34:09   an audience of one, he says, "The natural audience of this book may be less than one."

00:34:16   It's like kind of an amazing and brutal review, but also pitches it in a way of like,

00:34:25   "That's just what this book is." He's not saying like, "Oh, it's a bad book." There's none of that.

00:34:30   He's just like, "Oh, Vladislav went too far on this one and just went too far and went completely

00:34:36   into it. And I love when they talk to this guy who his whole professional life is thinking

00:34:44   and writing about energy and the human civilization's use of energy. And he's written, you know,

00:34:51   whatever it is, 20 books. He has a huge number of books. And they ask him, you know, has

00:34:55   anybody read all of your books? And it's like, maybe just Gates, you know, that's, that's

00:35:00   like the only person who's even come close to doing this. But what comes across for me,

00:35:05   though the documentary doesn't specifically say it is his ability to read has allowed

00:35:10   him to essentially absorb the entire professional career of another expert. He knows nearly

00:35:18   as much about energy as like the world's expert knows about energy because he's just consumed

00:35:23   everything that he's read. And that is the thing that allows him to move between different

00:35:30   environments and talk to people because I don't think he's just done it with that one

00:35:35   guy. They're just using that guy as an example of like yeah, Gates can do this. Like read

00:35:40   your book, absorb your stuff, keep it in his head for future reference and be able to pull

00:35:46   it out in a conversation when it's necessary. And it's an incredible skill. It's an incredible

00:35:51   skill.

00:35:52   I liked, I know you, maybe we'll get into it a little more about like you said you didn't

00:35:56   like the documentarian. Is that a word by the way? Am I using, have I made up a word?

00:36:01   Or is that? No, no, that's correct. That's a word.

00:36:03   But there was a few things that I enjoyed, especially towards the beginning of the episode

00:36:07   is like the way he would ask Bill questions. I think that he worked out that Bill will

00:36:12   answer things immediately and he knows things that people shouldn't know. So like there's

00:36:17   one scene which I loved about this when they're playing tennis. There's playing tennis and

00:36:23   he'll ask him, what's the longest you've played tennis? And Bill immediately says,

00:36:26   eight hours. He goes, what's the highest temperature? It's like 106 degrees. He has worked out,

00:36:31   I think, that Bill remembers things that people don't typically remember. And he'll ask him

00:36:37   questions like that. And it's fascinating to see this complete deadpan responses. He

00:36:43   is effectively returning the answer that you've asked the computer. Like it's just immediately

00:36:49   like available to this information. And I actually did really like that. And even questions

00:36:54   like, you know, "Soon, what's your worst fear?" and Bill says "I don't want my brain to stop

00:36:58   working" and I immediately thought of you because that feels to me like something you would say.

00:37:02   B: Well, if you listen to Gates talk, he does the... like I picked up on it as well, he

00:37:08   many times references his brain as a separate entity in that way, right? Like he doesn't

00:37:15   phrase it as "I don't want to get dementia", right? It's like "I don't want my brain to stop working"

00:37:21   And there's a few other times in the film where I noticed that.

00:37:24   I mean, I'm always a big believer in, I think that's a useful way to self-conceptualize.

00:37:30   I think that helps you think more clearly about yourself in relation to other things.

00:37:35   And yeah, like, of course, that's going to be his big fear.

00:37:40   Like, how much of his life is defined by his brain?

00:37:46   It makes me think of John von Neumann, who's sort of considered to probably be one of the

00:37:51   smartest people who's ever lived. Like, that was his horror at the end of his life, is he could

00:37:56   feel like he was losing grip in his final days on the sharpness of his mind. And I imagine for

00:38:04   someone whose life is just so intellectual, no one wants to get dementia, but it has to be more

00:38:12   horrible if you know you are a much sharper knife than the average knife in the drawer.

00:38:18   In the same way that I imagine if you're a great athlete, losing your physicality must be harder

00:38:25   than it is for someone who never experienced the peak of what their body can do.

00:38:30   - Hey, here's something I just found. I just figured to Google it and it's true.

00:38:34   Gates has made heavy investments into Alzheimer's.

00:38:37   - Okay, interesting.

00:38:40   - Because that was what I thought was like...

00:38:44   It just dawned on me, like if surely he's doing that, surely he's putting money into that because

00:38:49   it's something he is concerned of for himself. As in like if he doesn't want his brain to stop

00:38:56   working, surely he would be funding research into making sure that that wouldn't happen.

00:39:01   That maybe by the time that these things would happen to him, there may be cures that he's

00:39:07   helped fund. I have no problem with that, right? It was just like a thing that I thought was like,

00:39:12   surely he's put money into that.

00:39:14   And it turns out he has.

00:39:15   Millions, tens of millions.

00:39:17   - That's not surprising, but it also is,

00:39:19   like it's not a bad place to put money,

00:39:21   again, if you're trying to assess human suffering.

00:39:24   - Oh, 'cause it's a horrific thing

00:39:25   that human beings have to go through.

00:39:27   - It's horrific and it's also,

00:39:29   if you just do the quick calculation of,

00:39:31   well, if healthcare keeps improving,

00:39:34   the number and duration of the population

00:39:36   that has to spend time with Alzheimer's will only go up.

00:39:41   this is not a problem that goes down as healthcare improves, this is a problem that goes up.

00:39:45   - And as far as I'm aware from like I looked into this a while ago or it came across my

00:39:49   path a while ago, it's actually not a very well researched thing. Like in the history

00:39:55   of medicine, like there hasn't been a lot in a about Summers research, like there was

00:39:59   not a lot of funding for it. So like it's not surprising to me that he would, because

00:40:04   you say you could maybe make a significant change without a lot of money.

00:40:10   You know, like if it's not been funded or researched very well, like you might be able

00:40:15   to make some surprising jumps on that.

00:40:17   >> You're thinking about the questions, like I don't love the interviewer's method of questions.

00:40:22   And I do think like right at the beginning, so he asked Bill Gates a couple of questions.

00:40:27   He's like, what's your favorite this?

00:40:28   What's your favorite that?

00:40:30   And I'm pretty convinced that's the first time the interviewer sat down with Gates.

00:40:35   >> Yeah, probably.

00:40:36   >> It's just like a couple of interviews.

00:40:37   And that feels like they're always cutting back to that one because it's the higher level

00:40:42   like "hey, getting to know each other" kind of interview.

00:40:45   I'm convinced, like I did go back and watch it, that those first two questions where he

00:40:49   asks something like "what's your favorite color?" and then he goes "what's your favorite

00:40:53   animal?" and I'm looking into Gates' eyes there and I think he in this moment is debating

00:40:59   for a couple of seconds about whether or not to just abort this whole project.

00:41:03   But that's what I like about those questions.

00:41:06   And I don't think that the guy is doing it accidentally.

00:41:09   Now the interviewer saves it.

00:41:10   So he says, "What's your favorite color?

00:41:12   What's your favorite animal?"

00:41:13   And Bill Gates kind of answers both of them dismissively.

00:41:15   And then he says, "What's your favorite animal that you eat?"

00:41:19   And then you can see Gates was like, "Oh, okay, okay."

00:41:22   That reminded me of Blade Runner.

00:41:23   Oh, I could see that.

00:41:24   A list of questions that got weird in a way that you wouldn't ask someone.

00:41:31   Where it's like, "What's your favorite food?

00:41:33   What's your favorite animal?

00:41:34   your favourite animal to eat?" That sequence of questioning is very strange, and I think

00:41:41   purposeful as a way to maybe try and unseat him a little bit. Like, lure him in and then

00:41:48   just throw him off. If somebody asked me that question I'd be like "What are you talking

00:41:52   about? No one's ever asked me that. It's so weird!" So I actually kind of liked it. I

00:41:57   thought the progression was interesting. Because you can see on Bill's face where he's like

00:42:02   "Who is this moron?"

00:42:03   Yeah, yeah, but that's why I'm convinced in those first two seconds, he's already booting up the like, "do I abort this whole project?" part of his brain.

00:42:11   And I think when he talks about some of the Monopoly stuff later, I love the way he answers the question.

00:42:17   But it's the same thing where he's like, they talk about him being arrogant, and he's like, "yeah, when you have to make decisions for thousands of people and you don't have minutes to spare, like, yeah, you can seem quite arrogant."

00:42:27   and I just sort of like see this little bit of maybe younger Bill Gates being

00:42:33   like "oh god what is this gonna be?" He seeps out a little bit there and that

00:42:37   that part is quite cleverly done because they're overlapping that conversation

00:42:41   with some of the deposition videos of when Gates was on trial with the

00:42:47   Department of Justice over Monopoly stuff right for Netscape and Internet

00:42:51   Explorer. This was back in the 90s I think and like you say right he was like

00:42:56   "Carl, do you think you were arrogant?"

00:42:57   And he's like, "Well, if you're in your 20s

00:42:59   "and you've got billions of dollars,

00:43:01   "you're responsible for thousands of people

00:43:03   "and you're growing a company

00:43:04   "and every five minutes means something,

00:43:06   "you probably would come across a little arrogant."

00:43:08   When I hear that, I'm like, "Hmm, okay."

00:43:11   Like, I agree with it.

00:43:13   - What do you mean, what do you mean?

00:43:15   - I agree with what he's saying,

00:43:17   but you can feel that, and Melinda touches on it as well,

00:43:22   that the antitrust lawsuits really affected him

00:43:27   in a big way, and he clearly doesn't want to talk about it.

00:43:31   Right, like ultimately I think he just doesn't want

00:43:33   to confront that again.

00:43:35   You know, basically the info asks him,

00:43:37   he's like, did you have a monopoly?

00:43:40   And then Gates, he kind of tries to make the argument

00:43:43   that they could have been toppled by another company, right?

00:43:46   So he feels it isn't monopolistic in that sense,

00:43:49   but then immediately says, I know that sounds weaselly,

00:43:51   Like I'm trying to get out of this by like explaining it away.

00:43:54   Yeah.

00:43:54   But, but say like, again, I'm kind of, I'm kind of with Gates here.

00:43:58   I am not saying that I disagree with the way it all shook out.

00:44:03   Like I am a person of the internet.

00:44:06   I have watched come and go many companies, right.

00:44:09   Who like seemed dominant and then are just knocked off.

00:44:12   I think we're at a point where maybe some companies will never be knocked off now.

00:44:17   Like we've got to a different point in internet's history.

00:44:19   Yeah, that may be true.

00:44:20   But it was for a time, like yeah, I mean Internet Explorer had 98% market share, but that wasn't

00:44:26   going to last because Microsoft didn't last that way.

00:44:30   My point is just like if you are having to say, "I am aware that sounds weaselly,"

00:44:35   you know that you're not making an argument which is definitive.

00:44:38   I'm like, I don't know, I'm not sure I agree with that, but I think there's, I just think

00:44:43   there's also something interesting here, which is I never even realized.

00:44:46   I didn't realize that the higher court overturned the verdict against Microsoft.

00:44:52   I was totally shocked by this piece of information because I had always thought like, "Oh yeah,

00:44:57   they got hit with this antitrust lawsuit and they lost."

00:45:01   The whole like retrial completely bypassed me in the dustbin of history.

00:45:05   Like it just didn't cross my mind.

00:45:07   I think you may be confusing it with the European Union.

00:45:11   Maybe that's what it is.

00:45:12   The European Union did find Microsoft.

00:45:16   Right, right.

00:45:17   Okay, yeah.

00:45:18   And it was over the very same thing.

00:45:20   Right.

00:45:21   Okay, yeah, maybe that's why it's kind of muddled up in my head.

00:45:24   Yeah, and I believe off the top of my head, I'll put some links in the show notes if

00:45:29   people want to confirm this for themselves, but off the top of my head, that was not overturned

00:45:33   and they paid like half a billion dollars or something like that.

00:45:36   Yeah, yeah, that sounds right to the European Union.

00:45:39   Yeah, so it may have just been like, if you weren't paying attention, you would just assume

00:45:45   that they were guilty everywhere.

00:45:47   Yeah, so the thing about him with the monopoly is that there's two really interesting, my second

00:45:52   most interesting moment in the documentary is in this little part two. But yeah, so the interviewer

00:45:57   asks him, "Did you have a monopoly?" And his exact quote is, "If by monopoly you mean a high market

00:46:03   share, then yes, but if you mean an unchallengeable market position, then no.

00:46:07   And that's where he's like, you know, if it's a, if that sounds like I'm being

00:46:10   weaselly, you know, and, but I just, I just think there's a part here where like

00:46:17   stuff like this is just not simple.

00:46:20   Like that question is just not a simple question.

00:46:23   And like, I'm, I'm with Gates on this of like, he's in this horrible position that

00:46:28   of people ask him, "Did you have a monopoly?" What people sort of mean is, "Did you have

00:46:34   really high market share?" But that isn't what a monopoly is.

00:46:39   But the—

00:46:40   But so my question on that though is, did Bill Gates in 1997 or whatever really believe

00:46:47   that he could be challenged?

00:46:49   Yeah, I mean, that's a totally different question, which I don't know the answer to.

00:46:55   I think that does change it though, right? Like if he believed at that time that no

00:47:01   one could beat Microsoft and Internet Explorer, that perception changes

00:47:08   the outcome, right? And I know that's like how could you can't, there's no facts in

00:47:13   that, right? So like it's difficult to put that on trial but like I'm just making

00:47:19   the point of like I think that does make it slightly different because I would

00:47:22   believe that he probably thought no one could beat him then. You see the kind of guy he

00:47:29   was then especially, and I genuinely believe that he was in the idea of like, "We've won

00:47:35   this."

00:47:36   Yeah, that's very possible. Like, that's very possible.

00:47:40   And if that's the case, it's like, well then what was it, right? So now we can argue on

00:47:44   technicalities but if the guy running the company thinks that he's won, then they…

00:47:47   Anyway, it's too complicated. It's incredibly complicated.

00:47:50   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:47:51   I think it's an interesting thing to think about at least.

00:47:53   Yeah, it is.

00:47:54   It is interesting.

00:47:55   And it goes, it goes back to like, it's just, you can so see in the clips that.

00:48:01   Like young Bill Gates is this really abrasive guy.

00:48:06   So good.

00:48:06   And yeah.

00:48:08   And like old Bill Gates is like a friendly grandpa and it's such a, but you can see,

00:48:15   you can still see the same person.

00:48:16   Well, see, that's interesting though.

00:48:18   Right.

00:48:18   because like, so they show those, so show the clips of him being deposed and he is,

00:48:23   and I understand it, like he is being asked the most idiotic questions, right?

00:48:27   By people that do not understand.

00:48:29   We've all seen the clips of like Zuckerberg in court in America.

00:48:33   And they're asking him like, how do I change the ringtone on

00:48:37   my iPhone or crap like that?

00:48:38   Right.

00:48:39   And like, that's clearly what's happening.

00:48:40   And it's like, I've got no sympathy.

00:48:43   You know, Zuckerberg, I would say is not a person.

00:48:47   I have any warmness in my heart for, but even still, it's like, oh God, can you,

00:48:52   can you imagine being as smart as Zuckerberg and having to on camera, like

00:48:58   listen for hours to these totally idiotic questions for people who know nothing.

00:49:05   Like he's there to talk about something completely different.

00:49:07   And like these people are bringing their tech support questions to him.

00:49:11   It's like, I'm sure it was exactly the same kind of conversation

00:49:14   in those depositions.

00:49:16   Right.

00:49:16   So like you can see how we guess that way.

00:49:19   And Gates had to sit there all day.

00:49:21   Right.

00:49:22   So you like, I can guarantee you those clips are from hour seven of day two of

00:49:27   But then there are also the clips of him in office meetings at Microsoft.

00:49:32   Where he is just like losing it.

00:49:35   Right.

00:49:36   And there's like, someone says that he used to say, like, that is the most

00:49:40   idiotic thing I've heard all day when he said it like 10 minutes earlier about

00:49:44   something else. But the thing is, he's also asked questions of like, "Has he mellowed?"

00:49:53   And people are like, "No, he hasn't." And I wonder if maybe he can just control himself

00:49:59   better now, but ultimately he's still the same kind of guy.

00:50:04   Well, so it's only one person who answers the question of...

00:50:08   So Gates himself says that he's mellowed.

00:50:12   And it's, I forget, it's just like the venture capital dude is the only one who says no.

00:50:19   But his answer is like, no, if anything, he's amped up what he's trying to do.

00:50:25   - Which is like a slightly-- - So it might be a different thing.

00:50:27   Yeah, like I think that question was a slightly different sort of thing.

00:50:31   But I don't doubt that, like, if Bill Gates wants to, he can turn on the arrogance of a younger man.

00:50:41   But before we leave the Monopoly thing, the one thing which is my perhaps most favorite moment in the whole documentary

00:50:48   is when the interviewer asks him something like, "Oh, what would you tell your younger self about that whole time?"

00:50:53   And Gates's whole manner changes.

00:50:57   Like he gets colder and he says to his younger self,

00:51:02   "You have an overly simplistic view

00:51:06   of what's going on here."

00:51:07   - I loved that so much.

00:51:10   - Well, so the interviewer goes like,

00:51:12   "What do you mean, defensive?"

00:51:13   And he says, "You're naive, you're naive."

00:51:16   And this is also partly where like,

00:51:18   I'm sort of frustrated with the interviewer

00:51:20   viewer because boy do I want Bill Gates to expand on that point.

00:51:24   Even though I think...

00:51:26   You know he's not gonna though, Gray.

00:51:27   Like if you asked him, he's not going to say any more than that.

00:51:30   Right.

00:51:30   But like even, even just the clip of him saying like he's not going to

00:51:34   say any more than that, right?

00:51:36   Okay.

00:51:36   But like, I think anybody who's thinking this through can pick up what Bill

00:51:44   Gates is putting down in this moment.

00:51:47   Yeah.

00:51:47   of like, "Hey, kid, you think this is actually about 'Is Microsoft a Monopoly?' and you're

00:51:55   trying to fight this game on 'Is Microsoft a Monopoly?' and this is not remotely the reason

00:52:02   why you're stuck in this situation. That's not what's going on here."

00:52:06   There are other forces at play here and you can't control them.

00:52:09   Yeah, and it's the same thing with Zuckerberg of like,

00:52:14   why was Zuckerberg hauled over to Washington, D.C.? Is it for the reasons they really said,

00:52:21   or is it for other reasons? I think we all know it's also for other reasons.

00:52:26   But that is my favorite moment, and part of it is just his demeanor change. I'm making a real

00:52:34   statement here for people who want to hear what I'm really trying to say. You have an overly

00:52:42   simplistic view of what's going on here. I thought that was great.

00:52:45   - Let's talk about the thinkweeks.

00:52:48   - Okay.

00:52:48   - So Bill started these when he was at Microsoft in the 90s, and he has a little cabin that he goes

00:52:54   out to, which looks very remote. It looks like seaplane only to get there kind of thing.

00:52:58   And it's referenced in the documentary that this is like a time that he'll take to distill

00:53:03   his thoughts. He just reads and he thinks. Someone refers to it as like CPU time. It's just like when

00:53:09   when his brain is processing things.

00:53:11   And I also noted that he loves Diet Coke.

00:53:12   He drinks a lot of Diet Coke.

00:53:14   There's like a whole fridge of Diet Coke.

00:53:16   - Yeah, as soon as you tune into it,

00:53:17   he's actually drinking Diet Coke

00:53:19   through a huge portion of the documentary.

00:53:21   - Just like constantly drinking Diet Coke.

00:53:23   (laughing)

00:53:25   - Hey man, I think you might have a problem.

00:53:27   - Yeah.

00:53:27   (laughing)

00:53:28   Well, so we're gonna talk about Warren Buffett later on,

00:53:31   'cause we have to,

00:53:31   'cause that's a lot of interesting things in there.

00:53:33   But Warren Buffett is also a big Coke guy.

00:53:36   - Yeah, I know, yeah.

00:53:37   I saw the same thing.

00:53:38   It's like what's going on here?

00:53:40   - I think it's Cherry Coke for Warren Buffett.

00:53:42   - Oh, was it a different one?

00:53:43   Okay.

00:53:44   - He drinks like five cans of Cherry Coke a day.

00:53:47   And this came up on an episode of Connected a long time ago

00:53:51   because I don't know if you saw this,

00:53:52   but like Apple made some game

00:53:54   called Warren Buffett Paper Wizard.

00:53:57   - No, I know.

00:53:58   - Super weird.

00:53:59   Like Buffett owns like a massive portion of Apple.

00:54:01   He owns like 5% of Apple or something.

00:54:03   - Right.

00:54:04   - And at this investor meeting,

00:54:05   they like Tim Cook came out and they made this game

00:54:08   it was this big fun thing it was on the App Store but only for like two weeks and he took it down

00:54:12   so weird like Apple made the game and it's like you're going around and throwing

00:54:18   newspapers at like

00:54:21   Apple HQ

00:54:23   Oh my god. Yes. Okay. This sounds familiar. Yeah

00:54:26   Had like a paper route as a kid or something. Yeah, that's how we started his fortune, right?

00:54:31   That's like the story his story like paper boy in Omaha

00:54:35   Worked around worked it up and up and up and now he's like one of the richest men ever that kind of thing

00:54:40   But anyway, he he was at the face of cherry coke in China

00:54:43   Really? Yeah, Warren Buffett is like

00:54:47   Freaking fascinating like the more you look into that guy the stranger it gets like in many ways

00:54:55   But yes, there's a connection there with coke

00:54:57   but but the thinkweeks like they obviously they jumped out to me because it is very similar to the Gratian right and

00:55:04   And I just wanted to know what you thought about it.

00:55:07   - The very first thing I wanted to know was,

00:55:10   is that his real cabin?

00:55:11   Is that really the place that he goes?

00:55:13   I just, I can't decide if it is.

00:55:16   I think it is.

00:55:17   - I feel like it is.

00:55:18   Why wouldn't it be?

00:55:19   - I don't know.

00:55:21   Just like how much does he want to show on camera?

00:55:24   If someone was doing a documentary on me,

00:55:26   I can guarantee fucking to you

00:55:27   that I would not be showing them

00:55:28   where I actually go for gradations, right?

00:55:30   And so I was just wondering like,

00:55:32   "Oh, if Gates goes to the same place all the time, does he want people to see the inside?"

00:55:37   I think it is his place, but it just kind of struck me as I wonder.

00:55:41   [laughter]

00:55:42   MATT: I don't think Bill Gates's residence is a very secret.

00:55:44   ALICE; Yeah, I know.

00:55:46   But still, how much do you want to show or not show?

00:55:48   So, anyway.

00:55:49   The way it looked struck me as sort of exactly what I would expect of... it's a small place,

00:55:56   focused it seems to contain nothing but books and a bed and a refrigerator full of Thai Coke and

00:56:04   that's what you would want if you're doing this is narrow and focused.

00:56:08   See I buy it because if it was more lavish I would have maybe raised an eyebrow but like the

00:56:15   realisticness of it just being a bed a table a fridge and a bookcase is like yeah I can imagine

00:56:22   Imagine that being all he would have.

00:56:24   Yeah, yeah. Like I said, it focuses. You have less to do.

00:56:28   You're just going to sit here and you're just going to read.

00:56:30   This is also where I just, I really just wanted to kind of know more, but it's interesting why he calls them "Thinkweeks"

00:56:37   I think, is because he says, it's very fast, but he says that he goes there with a list of particular questions

00:56:46   that he has in the back of his mind.

00:56:48   Yeah.

00:56:49   And so he has this example like, "Oh, when will low interest rates end?"

00:56:56   That's a question that he has on his mind.

00:56:57   I think the way he kind of phrased it, which I also found interesting, was kind of like,

00:57:02   you know you have those questions, they pop up in your brain, and they're just things

00:57:08   that occur to you.

00:57:09   I go there to actually think about those things.

00:57:13   So like, as you say, what about why are interest rates so great that they are, when are they

00:57:18   going to change. Like people think of these things but let them go.

00:57:21   Yeah. But it seems like he like is like, no, I want to know.

00:57:25   And like he will maybe record them, find resources,

00:57:28   go there and answer those questions,

00:57:30   which is obviously a very different type of living or thinking than most people.

00:57:35   Yeah. Cause I was,

00:57:36   I was just connecting it to there's an earlier part in the documentary where he

00:57:39   says you have to pick a finite number of things for your mind to work on,

00:57:43   which, which again, he's like distancing himself from his own brain.

00:57:47   Like, you're not picking a finite number of things for you to think about.

00:57:51   It's for your mind to work on.

00:57:53   And just trying to connect the dots a little bit.

00:57:56   I, I get the impression that that's sort of related to the Think Week that he's,

00:58:02   it really sounds like he's going there with like a piece of paper with 10

00:58:07   questions on it or something, and he's dedicating this time to actually trying

00:58:13   to get answers about these particular things, like he's, he is, he's, he's

00:58:17   is not going in an undirected way, he's going in a purposeful way, which I had heard about

00:58:25   the think weeks in some general way of like, "Oh, this is a thing that Bill Gates does."

00:58:31   But it was interesting to me to see that it's not what I had vaguely thought about of, "Oh,

00:58:36   it must just be unstructured." Like he's spending a week catching up on the reading

00:58:41   that he couldn't do during the rest of the year.

00:58:44   And it's not like what you do, right?

00:58:46   Which is like focused work time.

00:58:48   It's not that.

00:58:50   He's just reading

00:58:52   with no distractions.

00:58:54   In many ways it's the total opposite

00:58:56   of work time.

00:58:58   It sounds like, "Oh, he's

00:59:00   using this as a

00:59:02   time to separate

00:59:04   and possibly

00:59:06   adjust course based on the answers

00:59:08   that he gets to various questions."

00:59:10   And you were saying, "This is something I

00:59:12   would want to dig more into. Like, how often does he do them? How accessible is he during

00:59:17   these times? Like, is he doing literally anything else? How does he prepare for them? How does

00:59:22   everyone around him prepare for him being gone?

00:59:25   Yeah, yeah, that's all the stuff that, yeah, I'd want to know all those things. And I would

00:59:29   really just want to know, even just a little bit about what are you doing to try to answer

00:59:37   these questions. Like you must be thinking about this in a more structured way than,

00:59:42   "Oh, I just grabbed a bunch of books." Right? Like you're doing something else. What are you

00:59:47   doing? Or how do you think about these questions? Or how many questions do you have? How do you

00:59:52   select them? Like, you know, like I think there's just so much more there.

00:59:55   Do you expect to actually answer them?

00:59:58   Yeah, yeah.

00:59:59   But again, these are not things that most people are going to care about. Like if you're making

01:00:03   this documentary for Netflix. Really it's like if they're making a documentary for us it's very

01:00:10   different. I would like to get inside of Bill Gates' brain though. Can somebody out there get

01:00:15   us to interview Bill and we can really dig into this stuff? If someone could just pass this along

01:00:21   to him it'd be great. Yeah, yeah. But so again like there's these moments where Gates kind of

01:00:26   shines through and I love them and those are the parts that were like knowing about what his

01:00:31   organization was up to was fascinating like knowing more of these details was really interesting

01:00:36   but Gates shining through is amazing and the other thing that I wanted so bad after this

01:00:43   documentary I want a Netflix series that's just called like the Warren and Bill show and I want to

01:00:51   see like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates just hanging out and talking about whatever.

01:00:58   It's the best. I love it so much.

01:01:00   Playing bridge at the local Omaha Bridge Club just as a couple of normal Joe's. It's amazing.

01:01:07   They're getting hamburgers with more salt than any human being should ever consume.

01:01:13   That is so disgusting.

01:01:15   But I love that they're joking about it too.

01:01:17   I was physically appalled by the amount of salt that Warren Buffett put on his burger.

01:01:23   On a plain burger. There's nothing else on it.

01:01:26   Also, the detail that really got me is he put it on the bottom of the bun, like on the bottom of the burger patty.

01:01:34   So he didn't take off the top and salt the top of the burger.

01:01:39   He flipped the burger upside down, salted the underside of the patty, put the bottom of the burger back on, flipped it over, and then looked like the happiest man on earth as he bit into the burger.

01:01:51   I love that he said something like, it was just great to have made my decisions by the time

01:01:56   I was 11 about what I like to eat or something, right?

01:02:02   I can't help but feel, right, like there are things about when they're talking about their

01:02:07   relationship that reminds me of me and you a little bit.

01:02:12   How so?

01:02:13   Because they talk about the first time they met, right, so the first time that Gates and

01:02:18   Buffett met, Bill's mum recommended that it happen, and Bill was like, "I don't have

01:02:26   the time for this, but he's important.

01:02:28   I'll fly in and fly out, like,

01:02:30   I'll give him a short period of time.

01:02:32   But their first meeting, they were just together for hours

01:02:35   because they just were talking

01:02:37   and they found each other's brains so fascinating.

01:02:40   And it just reminded me of how we are when we get together,

01:02:44   or like even on our first meeting,

01:02:46   where like we spent just, we'd never met before,

01:02:49   we'd never spoken, but we just spent hours just talking.

01:02:52   - Yeah, that's right, we did spend a long time together,

01:02:55   that very first one, which I think was probably scheduled for me for like,

01:02:58   "I'll spend an hour!" and I think we spent the whole day together.

01:03:01   Yeah, like you were kind of the bill in that, right?

01:03:03   Where it was like, you know, I don't know what Warren Buffett was feeling,

01:03:06   but kind of just like, "Eh, you know, I'll see what it's like."

01:03:09   Just the way that they describe some of the stuff in their relationship is just like that

01:03:12   they understand each other, and they become friends because they understand each other's brains work,

01:03:18   and there aren't a lot of other people that they'd necessarily met in their lives

01:03:22   where their brains work similarly enough that they can challenge each other and find it

01:03:26   interesting and it just reminded me of how we are a little bit which I just thought was

01:03:32   that obviously that was nice you returned not on that one probably but that's fine.

01:03:37   I was well I'm not going to play bridge with you if that's what you're asking.

01:03:40   I don't know how to play bridge but this is interesting because of the way that they are

01:03:45   friends and they were also referred to as partners because Buffett pledged half of his wealth to the

01:03:51   the Gates Foundation, right?

01:03:53   - Yeah.

01:03:53   - And it's interesting to hear how he talks about,

01:03:56   Bill says it's worse for him really

01:04:00   to feel like he's losing Warren's money than his own.

01:04:02   - Oh, I know, that's brutal and I totally,

01:04:07   like I feel Gates so much on that.

01:04:11   There is a way in which,

01:04:13   and I think you can see it on his face

01:04:15   in a couple little moments where it's just like,

01:04:18   It's a real responsibility to spend another billionaire's fortune.

01:04:24   That's almost an inconceivable amount of, I don't want to say burden, but like, it's

01:04:30   an almost an inconceivable amount of exchange between two people of, of like

01:04:36   the wealth that Warren buffet has built up over a lifetime passed on into the

01:04:42   hands of Gates to manage like, I, I, I don't think I could psychologically

01:04:47   deal with that of like, oh God, it's okay if I lose my own billions, but if I lose Warren

01:04:52   Buffett's billions, that's terrible. That's a terrible situation to be in.

01:04:56   - Because it's like, it's difficult, they're friends.

01:04:58   - Yeah, or even just like, Buffett wants to, wants an update on like, what's the situation

01:05:03   with polio? How's that going? Like, what do we think the odds are on actually being able

01:05:06   to get it down to zero? - It's come back!

01:05:09   - Yeah, that's a very different conversation if the two of you are just hanging out and

01:05:15   talking as billionaire buddies and bridge partners versus, "Oh also you're spending all of my money

01:05:22   on this polio problem too." Like, oh god. But I could watch the two of them interact all day long.

01:05:28   It's just something about it that was charming but weird.

01:05:32   - They're like, "They're in the recliner chair? Why are they in that store? Why are they sitting

01:05:36   on recliner chairs? Like, who made that happen? Why is that happening? They're doing this like

01:05:42   thing in a kitchen, like it's just really strange.

01:05:46   - Yeah, it's really strange and even just,

01:05:49   my wife laughed out loud 'cause she was like,

01:05:52   what are these two, they're just sitting in a diner?

01:05:54   Like this is what they do, Bill Gates flies to Omaha

01:05:56   and they just go to like some random diner

01:06:00   sitting in the booth and it's just,

01:06:02   it's like okay, what's the total net value represented

01:06:05   by the two seats in this booth in a diner in Omaha?

01:06:09   It's something intrinsically absurd about it.

01:06:11   I mean, I can't imagine they are actually doing that because like Berkshire Hathaway owns that town, right?

01:06:17   Yeah.

01:06:18   They must have restaurants at the office.

01:06:20   I don't know. Like I don't know a lot about Warren Buffett, but I like if they're just going to that regular bridge club,

01:06:26   I can totally believe that the man who wants to pour half a container of salt on his burger also just has some diner that he's been going to for 50 years where he likes the burger.

01:06:36   I guess.

01:06:37   I find it very believable that that's really what they're doing, you know?

01:06:41   And Gates is like, "Yeah, we have to go to this diner, 'cause it's the only one that Warren will eat at."

01:06:46   Like, I could-- I can-- That is trivially easy for me to believe.

01:06:51   But yeah, did you hear me, Netflix? This is what I want.

01:06:53   - Yeah, please. - I want the show with the two of them.

01:06:55   I don't care what they're doing. I just want it. - Anything.

01:06:59   - Yeah, anything.

01:06:59   [laughs]

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01:08:54   So going from the micro, which is Warren Buffett and Bill Gates sitting in a cafe eating burgers

01:09:01   is hilarious.

01:09:02   All right, to zoom all the way out to the macro.

01:09:06   Again, one of the things I liked about this documentary is the way it sort of focused

01:09:12   on the way Gates thinks about problems and how to solve them.

01:09:20   And this is the stuff that we were talking before about, like, what is underfunded?

01:09:24   Like where can you be effective?

01:09:26   And the, the toilets thing, I think is it just to like a great example of this.

01:09:33   I get the impression that this is.

01:09:35   Largely what started the bill and Melinda Gates foundation was, was around

01:09:42   thinking about the problem of sanitation in the third world and how to solve it.

01:09:46   But it's just, I think it's kind of fascinating to hear Gates talk a little

01:09:52   about it where he's like, "Oh, toilets are this totally underfunded problem and they're a thing

01:09:57   that nobody thinks about." And it's like, yeah, that's perfectly correct. Nobody thinks about it.

01:10:04   And what I didn't realize and what I found interesting is that there's no market

01:10:12   segmentation in the world of toilets, where we only have two options, which is you live in a

01:10:19   modern country that has billions of dollars worth of plumbing and these multi-million dollar waste

01:10:25   treatment facilities, and you have an incredibly complex system that keeps the water clean and

01:10:34   nobody ever thinks about it. And then as they said, the moment you go down from there, you're

01:10:41   left at a pit in the ground and it's like there's very little that you can do in between those two

01:10:49   extremes and like I just I just thought it was a it was a really fascinating way to kind of think

01:10:55   of this this problem of can you try to fund something that can exist in between these two

01:11:05   Because there's that guy who works for the aerospace company who says that there are

01:11:11   places in the world where they have sanitation plants but don't have the money to run them.

01:11:15   Yeah, yeah, they have the plants, they don't have the money to run them.

01:11:18   Or the thing that I never thought about is like, oh, if you have a slum, one of the best

01:11:25   things you could do for that slum is cleaning up the sanitation.

01:11:30   that you can't, you just physically can't put pipes under the ground to all of the dwellings

01:11:36   in this area.

01:11:37   Like, it would, that it would just cost more money than the country even has.

01:11:41   It's just a good example of trying to build up something else to say like, "Okay, what

01:11:50   can exist?

01:11:51   What are our options here?"

01:11:53   And talking about the way they think through the problems of like, "Okay, we gotta power

01:11:58   the toilet system somehow. Like maybe we can use the waste to power the toilet system itself or

01:12:03   you know, oh maybe we should just try to have some kind of composting system or like what can we do,

01:12:07   what can we do? And then on the other side, the part where you can see Gates being frustrated and

01:12:13   it comes up later with some of the nuclear power stuff of, okay that's great, we have a toilet

01:12:20   that's theoretically self-sufficient but it costs $50,000 to make one of them and like we need to

01:12:27   to find suppliers who can mass produce this and bring down the price.

01:12:31   It's like just such a horribly, horribly complex problem.

01:12:35   And also a problem with such tremendous upside because the number they give in

01:12:41   the documentary is like this 4 billion people on earth without access to modern

01:12:46   toilets. It's like, man,

01:12:49   even if this has been a 10 year project that has been really hard to try to

01:12:53   It's like the upside is tremendous if you can solve this.

01:13:00   And I wouldn't be surprised if still to this day, like the Gates Foundation is one of the

01:13:04   very few people trying to work on this problem of how do we construct and build and roll

01:13:13   out cheap toilet and sanitation systems in the world.

01:13:19   And it's a great example of like the marginal dollar of like where can Bill Gates direct

01:13:25   his resources to try to make a maximal impact for something that hopefully you can find

01:13:32   as a somewhat cheap solution.

01:13:34   You know, again, this is where I wish the documentary had gone in a little bit more

01:13:37   detail because I don't quite understand what is the current state of this project, but

01:13:43   it definitely seems to me like a great area to put all the resources in.

01:13:47   And it was just similar also thinking of polio as a little bit of a reverse case where it's

01:13:54   not that people aren't focused on trying to get rid of polio, but I loved one quote in

01:14:00   particular where Gates says, "The thing about polio is that getting to zero cases is magic,

01:14:07   because once you get down to zero cases, it saves you all of the future costs forever."

01:14:14   And I think that's a, that's another example of thinking about a problem in the world in a sort of

01:14:21   unsympathetic, uncharitable cost way.

01:14:27   But it's, it's again, like an excellent point of like, why is polio a thing that you really want to try to attack?

01:14:33   And it's because unlike some other problems, if we can just solve it all the way once, it's a problem that you can just.

01:14:41   take off the board for humanity of like, we never have to think about this again.

01:14:46   Goodbye polio.

01:14:47   And we don't have to forever invest resources into maintaining this situation

01:14:53   because it's just done and it's just resolved.

01:14:57   And it's also very, very frustrating watching as a viewer to realize like,

01:15:03   Oh my God, like we've gotten it so close, but there's just like three areas in the

01:15:10   world where you can't get it down to zero and it's just logistically difficult.

01:15:16   Or there are just things that happen that there's no way he can work against like terrorism, war.

01:15:21   Yeah, but that's what I mean is like, oh, you have like these terrorist controlled

01:15:26   regions in the world and like those are the last holdouts for polio and you just can't do anything,

01:15:32   but it's like it feels tantalizingly close of like if we can just get it to zero,

01:15:37   what a tremendous, tremendous benefit for all of humanity.

01:15:41   What I like about them, like with Bill and Melinda in this case, is they

01:15:44   they don't give up. Like they in fact, after all, they invest more money.

01:15:49   So we don't get more into it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's a great,

01:15:53   another great line that I really like is where Gates talks about the people he's

01:15:56   working with coming to him and asking for more money, and they ask for like 100

01:16:00   million dollars more. He's like, "I think you asked the maximum that you think you

01:16:04   you can ask for, not the actual amount it's going to take to solve this as like, you need

01:16:09   $400 million.

01:16:12   Which is quite a difference.

01:16:13   Yeah, which is quite a difference, but it's also again, like being clever and trying to

01:16:18   read the human situation of, you know, this is someone coming to me with a number that

01:16:24   already seems astronomical and to fund something not to the level where you actually solve

01:16:31   the problem is worse than spending four times as much money on it and hopefully actually

01:16:37   accomplishing your goal.

01:16:38   Angus The last episode is focused on nuclear energy.

01:16:42   This is the thing that I wasn't really aware that Gates was working on until I saw this

01:16:45   documentary.

01:16:46   Dave Yeah, I never heard of it.

01:16:48   Angus Yeah, he created a startup called Terapower

01:16:51   and they're effectively working on creating a new type of nuclear energy plant, which

01:16:58   Which obviously comes with a lot of baggage and they address that.

01:17:01   They show the Fukushima reactor leak was a big part of it in 2011 where there was a massive

01:17:07   earthquake and a tsunami and the reactor exploded and it was terrifying.

01:17:13   But they were talking about there being a lot of bad choices in the way that these reactors

01:17:18   were made.

01:17:19   And they ended up creating something which on paper sounds amazing.

01:17:23   a reactor that has been designed to be fueled by depleted uranium, which is the waste that

01:17:33   we've already created with other nuclear energy stuff, right? So they were saying about like,

01:17:38   there is a waste plant in Kentucky that has enough discarded uranium to power the entire

01:17:42   US for 125 years on their reactor system. And they talk about it being clean, efficient,

01:17:48   and safe. So I kind of wanted to get your views on it, but I need to talk about something real

01:17:53   quick. I just have to say it because I can't not. There's a guy in this called Nathan

01:17:57   Mervolt and he was the CTO of Microsoft and is very involved in Terapower. I

01:18:02   don't want to talk about this guy because... Is he the guy who wrote the book

01:18:05   on bread or is he the venture capitalist? The guy who wrote the book on bread.

01:18:09   Because years ago Mervolt was connected to and I believe part-owned a

01:18:16   a patent trolling company called LODSIS.

01:18:19   Oh, LODSIS. There's a name I haven't heard in a long time.

01:18:23   Which tried to sue a collection of iOS developers,

01:18:27   including friends, very close friends of mine,

01:18:30   who spent a lot of time, money, and stress dealing with this.

01:18:35   Eventually, Apple stepped in and smashed it into the ground

01:18:40   with a massive apple-sized hammer, and it went away.

01:18:43   But it's just something that I struggle with because I know what this guy is partly responsible for.

01:18:51   And that affects me. And I can't like him.

01:18:55   So you don't want to read his book on bread?

01:18:58   Don't want to read his book on bread.

01:18:59   Okay.

01:19:00   Seems like a clever guy, but also a not good person.

01:19:05   Right. Okay. Well, we don't need to discuss him then.

01:19:11   They also work with a guy called Lowell Wood who was involved in the creation of the hydrogen bomb.

01:19:18   So like it's a real ragtag band, part of this company.

01:19:24   They did have like, there was one part that sort of made me laugh unintentionally where they,

01:19:29   what's the other guy's name? It's Lowell?

01:19:31   Lowell Wood.

01:19:32   Where they introduce Lowell Wood and they make this,

01:19:35   they have just have this sentence about how like,

01:19:38   "Oh, he's this like renegade person in the nuclear power industry and lots of people

01:19:43   don't like him for a whole bunch of reasons." And then they cut to him and he just looks

01:19:48   kind of like a Bond villain.

01:19:50   He looks like an absolutely evil person. He looks like a cross between like a Bond villain

01:19:58   and like a villain in Indiana Jones or something.

01:20:01   Yeah, maybe.

01:20:02   I have never seen someone look more evil than this guy.

01:20:07   He should have a mustache that he twiddles.

01:20:09   That's the only thing he's missing.

01:20:12   Yeah, like I don't mean to comment on his appearance,

01:20:14   but it's just so striking and particularly the way that it's cut.

01:20:20   I do feel a little bit like, "Yeah, I don't know about this guy at the table."

01:20:23   Like maybe not.

01:20:27   I don't know.

01:20:27   I'm just going 100% based on looks here.

01:20:30   [laughs]

01:20:32   Yeah, so yeah, I guess it is this ragtag group over there.

01:20:36   Yeah, ragtag is definitely not the right way to describe them, but I couldn't think of any other phrase.

01:20:43   I don't know, it sort of fits. It sort of fits.

01:20:47   Yeah, because you've got like a Bond villain on one side, and Nathan, who's history I didn't know,

01:20:53   but who comes across as like a real happy nerd who also doesn't get along with the Bond villain at all.

01:21:00   It just feels like, "I don't know about this, guys."

01:21:03   Uh, he seemed, I mean, again, whatever, opposite of Rose Tinticlass,

01:21:08   this is how I'm looking at this guy, but he looks like the worst kind of nerd to me.

01:21:12   Well, I didn't say if he's a good kind of nerd or a bad kind of nerd,

01:21:16   but he comes across as a happy nerd either way, right?

01:21:19   Mm-hmm.

01:21:19   That's all I'm saying there, Myke.

01:21:22   [laughs]

01:21:24   But I wanted to...

01:21:26   because I'm just intrigued...

01:21:28   I wanted to get your opinion on nuclear power.

01:21:31   [sigh]

01:21:33   I don't know. It's a hard question.

01:21:36   Because, like, the on-paper solution that is presented in this documentary...

01:21:41   Right? Like, the way that they present their...

01:21:44   what do they call it? Traveling Wave Reactor.

01:21:47   Yeah, yeah.

01:21:48   The way it's presented is like...

01:21:50   Well of course.

01:21:52   Right.

01:21:53   Right.

01:21:54   Completely safe.

01:21:55   No element of human error.

01:21:58   And we have enough resources on the planet already sitting in drums that we can't get

01:22:04   rid of to power the world.

01:22:07   Like on paper, this sounds amazing.

01:22:11   Yeah.

01:22:12   I think this is always the problem with nuclear power is I agree with it on paper in this

01:22:18   way.

01:22:19   must roll these statistics out a lot but they talk about how like more people were killed

01:22:24   by living near coal plants than nuclear plants. There is a slight issue with this statistic

01:22:31   of like there are less nuclear plants but yes I get what you're saying right you know.

01:22:36   Yeah yeah but even the numbers of like living near nuclear power plants how dangerous is

01:22:42   it like this I get it there is a little bit of like different stuff here and there is

01:22:48   so much truth behind the nuclear power plants that exist in the world are all terrifyingly

01:22:54   old and their construction dates don't tell you the truth about how old the designs they're

01:23:02   actually using are. So I do think that that is a real issue and that is part of the nuclear

01:23:08   power is clearly a great answer on paper.

01:23:12   - And it also lends to something that Bill says a lot

01:23:16   and he mentions it of like,

01:23:18   I am only good in business situations

01:23:21   where innovation is possible or needed.

01:23:26   He says, I am good at innovation, that's what I bring.

01:23:29   If it is not an innovation situation, I bring nothing.

01:23:32   And again, I like that because he is incredibly aware

01:23:34   of himself, right?

01:23:35   Like, he knows what he's good at

01:23:37   and will find ways to move in those circumstances.

01:23:40   And it clearly seems from the way it's positioned in this documentary,

01:23:43   that nuclear power very much needs innovation if it's going to continue.

01:23:49   Well, and I also like his venture capital guy makes the comment about how,

01:23:54   again, the way Gates thinks about stuff, we're like, Oh,

01:23:57   you make a lot of friends trying to cure polio.

01:23:59   You don't make a lot of friends trying to build nuclear power stations. Right.

01:24:03   And how from Gates's perspective,

01:24:06   That's actually a reason to go into nuclear power because it's another underfunded situation.

01:24:14   Like, who wants to be the person who's seriously dedicating a lot of time to

01:24:19   "let's build brand new nuclear power stations now"?

01:24:22   Everyone else is too scared of it, right?

01:24:24   They're too scared of the perception of it.

01:24:26   Yeah, everybody else is scared of it, and even in countries that have been traditionally very pro-nuclear,

01:24:33   like a lot of them have been dismantling the nuclear power stations,

01:24:36   So it's like, this is a world without friends.

01:24:40   And he's also in this situation again,

01:24:42   just like with the toilets, he has a great line of like,

01:24:44   oh, if you're just trying to build one nuclear power station,

01:24:46   you should just shoot yourself in the head before you start

01:24:48   because it's gonna cost like a bazillion dollars.

01:24:51   And I like that because he's like,

01:24:55   oh, he's in the wholesale nuclear power plant

01:24:59   construction business, like, oh boy,

01:25:01   that sounds really hard, that sounds really, really hard.

01:25:05   But so, like, I don't have a strong opinion on nuclear power. I'm sort of theoretically

01:25:11   for but some smart people who are closer to the topic than I am, who I've talked to,

01:25:17   are of the opinion that yes, it's great on paper, but we should probably take the resources that we

01:25:26   would spend on trying to build nuclear power plants and do other things with it. Just that

01:25:34   it's a difficult, it's actually not a good place for marginal impact of additional dollars,

01:25:40   that there are other alternative energy sources that it would be better to scale up faster,

01:25:47   just that like nuclear is going to take too long also considering regulatory burdens.

01:25:51   All the practicalities of actual life, the pushback you would get from people,

01:25:56   even if you have a system that's safer, nobody cares and nobody wants to hear about that,

01:26:01   like they just they just know like oh you want to build another nuclear power station so so i don't

01:26:07   know i think on paper it might be great but in real life it has a bunch of real difficulties

01:26:12   that may have nothing to do with how good or not good the solution actually is so i don't know i

01:26:20   don't really have strong opinions one way or the other i mean would you want a nuclear power plant

01:26:24   to go up behind mega studio right but i also wouldn't want any type of plant right you want

01:26:29   want nothing now. Now you're a NIMBY person as soon as you have an office?

01:26:33   No, no, no. I don't want coal to go up or an oil processing plant or anything behind

01:26:38   anywhere I am.

01:26:39   A wind turbine that you have to…

01:26:41   I don't want it. No, it's going to cause disruption to me. Saying that I don't want

01:26:46   those things in general is not correct, but nobody wants them in their backyard. That's

01:26:51   just not a thing that anybody wants because it's going to affect you somehow or you're

01:26:57   going to be scared of it affecting you, right?

01:26:59   I mean, my feeling is like, if what they are saying is true about their plant, if they

01:27:05   are what they say they are, I have no problem with him investing his money into it, because

01:27:10   I am also aware of the fact that he is investing his money into other renewable resource stuff.

01:27:16   So if that's the case, then why not do both?

01:27:19   Because even if you only built a couple of them, and then all it did was use up the nuclear

01:27:24   waste that's been generated, that is a net good to the world.

01:27:28   - Yeah, yeah. - Right?

01:27:30   If it is as safe as they say it is

01:27:31   and it won't have reactor meltdowns,

01:27:35   which the way it's explained to me, I understand it.

01:27:37   All right, I can see why you say that's safer

01:27:40   because the way that you've explained it to me

01:27:41   compared to what is currently out there in the world,

01:27:43   that makes sense.

01:27:44   Like, if you could give this another name,

01:27:47   people wouldn't freak out about it.

01:27:49   - Right, yeah, maybe don't call them nuclear power plants.

01:27:53   - Right, because it's like, it seems like it doesn't have

01:27:56   the same set of problems that current nuclear energy does, because it's using the waste,

01:28:04   so it's not even at its most potent. They talk about using liquid-cooled metal, which

01:28:10   could never get hot enough, because the boiling point is so high that I think they kind of

01:28:15   said, "We'd have other problems if that was the situation, that this is going to start

01:28:20   to boil. You're not going to care about the reactor exploding at that point." So it's

01:28:24   The way that they explain it all, it's like, well, this all makes sense.

01:28:27   If it is as good as they say it is, why not have these as well?

01:28:31   But of course, I don't know that.

01:28:34   I'm sure that when original nuclear power plants were invented,

01:28:37   they were perfectly safe based on what was being said. Right.

01:28:41   My point is, if what they are saying is true, I have no problem with it.

01:28:45   Yeah, but I can't validate that.

01:28:47   Yeah, I'm not smart enough.

01:28:49   I don't have enough physics knowledge to be able to validate

01:28:52   if those power plants are safe. Yeah.

01:28:54   I have enough physics knowledge to be able to say I can believe them that they're correct,

01:29:01   which is slightly different. Like, they're not saying things or making claims that strike

01:29:05   me as crazy, right? Or against the laws of thermodynamics. It's like, yeah, that seems

01:29:11   plausible.

01:29:12   But we also only know what we know right now.

01:29:14   Exactly.

01:29:15   And then it's like in 45 years, they're like, "Oh crap, depleted uranium's worse."

01:29:20   That is very unlikely, but you could run into a problem of like, "Oh, the tips on the coolant

01:29:25   cores are made of the wrong material and we just didn't know." Right? That kind of problem.

01:29:30   So yeah, I don't know, but boy is that a problem that is not an easy one and is quite the thing

01:29:35   to take on and I just didn't have any idea.

01:29:38   Not that it matters anyway, because they can't build them. At least that's where it was left

01:29:43   because of the issue with the American and Chinese governments right now.

01:29:47   Right.

01:29:48   So, there's a big 'wah wah' sound at the end of that section.

01:29:53   S: That was one of those things where this comes up a few times in the documentary.

01:29:59   While we were saying Bill Gates is not inspiring, he clearly has a way of being able to get

01:30:07   people to do what he wants, because he's able to convince the Chinese government to work

01:30:12   with him.

01:30:13   earlier like when he goes in to talk to all of these leaders in Nigeria and gets them to agree

01:30:19   to allow for his vaccines. One of my favorite ones is the aerospace owner guy, but like this guy's

01:30:27   building like military contracts and planes and Bill somehow convinces him to build a sanitation

01:30:32   plant. Like how did that even happen? Yeah that is, I forgot about that where he's like "oh yeah

01:30:38   I'm building top secret equipment for the military" and Gates shows up like "hi how about you

01:30:42   build toilets?" and he goes "okay sure" right like Bill Gates has the ability to convince people to

01:30:49   do what he wants them to do and I just find that very intriguing right that he has that

01:30:56   power because it's clearly not money right like I don't think it's money a lot of the time

01:31:02   in some of these situations. I have a thought about that though okay because this again is

01:31:07   is like what we were saying before about Steve Jobs has like a reality distortion field and

01:31:14   there's a way in which if a thing doesn't exist you can inspire people to move in a

01:31:18   direction and you can make it become so.

01:31:21   Out of raw charisma.

01:31:23   Yeah out of raw charisma but I think that that is limited to very particular kinds of

01:31:30   of problems and that sort of charisma does not work

01:31:35   for the sorts of problems that Gates is up against.

01:31:39   Nuclear power does not yield to a really charismatic dude

01:31:43   trying to convince people to work together on a problem.

01:31:46   - Okay. - Right?

01:31:47   Like you're up against the laws of the universe here

01:31:51   and in a lesser way, but I think it's the same thing,

01:31:55   polio and toilets, they're the same kind of thing.

01:31:59   Like people are getting infected and water is dirty or it isn't.

01:32:04   And an economical way to fix this or to cure this exists or it doesn't.

01:32:10   And what I suspect, because there's, there's a little thing where Bill Gates

01:32:15   talks, I normally have no patients at all for people talking about their childhood,

01:32:20   but there's, there's a little section where Bill Gates talks about how he was

01:32:23   having this really difficult relationship with his parents and the whole family

01:32:27   goes off to therapy and they pretend like, oh, we are all going to therapy,

01:32:31   but actually Bill needs to go to therapy and he and his mom need to work stuff out.

01:32:35   But there's a part which like struck me as interesting and made

01:32:39   me think about these later parts.

01:32:41   So Gates says a couple of things and he says, oh, you know, my main problem

01:32:47   was I felt that my parents' authority was arbitrary, which is absolutely

01:32:51   unbelievable, like as a phrase, because it's so true.

01:32:57   And it is fascinating that a child could work that out.

01:33:03   Yeah, but that's also again like, Man Gates, do I feel you in this moment of like, I get it.

01:33:10   Like that feeling of like, my parents' authority is arbitrary, like this school system is arbitrary.

01:33:17   Like, I think there's a way in which, like, you can imagine a young Bill Gates having a really hard time with some of that stuff.

01:33:24   Yeah, because like he understood how everything worked. Everyone was pretending, but he was

01:33:31   smarter than everyone and had to just go along with it all.

01:33:34   Yeah, so it goes from there to he says, "Oh, I'm at war with my parents." And then he's talking

01:33:39   about the therapist that he was working with. And the therapist says, "Oh, but this isn't a fair war

01:33:45   because you're going to hurt your parents way more than they hurt you. Like your framing of this as a

01:33:50   war is totally wrong. And so Gates then describes how like, oh, what a brilliant tactic this

01:33:56   therapist took and that he needed a little while to be convinced, but this basically

01:34:02   unraveled the whole problem, right? That he was convinced on this. And I think there's

01:34:07   something very interesting here because that therapist may have had the one thing he could

01:34:15   have possibly said to a young Bill Gates that would be effective which is as Gates describes

01:34:21   a convincing response that like yeah your parents authority is arbitrary and yeah you are in a fight

01:34:30   with them but here's here's other things that like you might not have considered and then Bill Gates

01:34:35   kind of changes his mind. Yeah it's like if you care about them which he obviously did

01:34:40   Yeah. Like you have to understand that what you're doing, like it's the it's weighted or wrong.

01:34:48   Like you shouldn't do this, right? Like it's it is fascinating.

01:34:51   The reason I mentioned this is because I think like with the aerospace guy or with being friends

01:34:58   with Warren Buffett or convincing people to work on polio or nuclear power or anything else.

01:35:05   What I suspect is that this is not any kind of charisma in the Steve Jobs sense.

01:35:10   I think Bill Gates is simply finding the people who respond very well to these kinds of arguments

01:35:20   about impact per dollar unit time spent. And so I kind of think that's what's occurring here,

01:35:30   is it's not that he was able to like convince anyone to start building toilets, it's that

01:35:38   the same person who is in charge of this manufacturing facility for secret government stuff

01:35:44   is susceptible to "oh I never thought about this" like that's a really convincing argument that one

01:35:51   of the ways I should spend my time to have maximum impact is actually working on toilets and so that's

01:35:56   what I'm going to do. Or the same thing with polio or the same thing with nuclear power.

01:36:02   I think it's that, that like some people will just really respond to, "Oh, I've never heard

01:36:09   this before," as an argument, and it's super convincing for a kind of logical person,

01:36:15   and this is now what I'm going to work on. So that's my guess about how he's able to

01:36:21   get people to do stuff. I don't imagine that he has greater powers than a regular celebrity

01:36:31   would have. I mention that partly because I have to get this before we finish on the record,

01:36:37   but I totally hate a little bit of the way that the documentary ends because the narrator says,

01:36:44   like, "Oh, it's really easy to be carried away by someone who wants to change the world."

01:36:49   And I think he's kind of talking about Gates like Gates is this inspiring figure, but I just don't--

01:36:57   I just don't think that he's that sort of person. I think he's the sort of person that some people

01:37:03   react very strongly to, but not others. And I think it's horrifically unfair how he says to

01:37:10   Gates, he's like, "Oh, you're trying to cure polio, but, you know, cases are up this year, so, like,

01:37:16   like are you able to achieve what you want to achieve?

01:37:18   It's like, dude, yes, cases are up this year

01:37:22   after a decade of decline and like narrowing it down

01:37:26   to the smallest possible area.

01:37:28   - Yeah, I know, but he's wrapping it up.

01:37:30   But it's like a good wrap up because--

01:37:32   - But like I don't think it's--

01:37:33   No, I don't think it's a good wrap up.

01:37:35   It's not a good wrap up because it's not fair.

01:37:37   - 'Cause the three things he's focusing on

01:37:40   are not working, right?

01:37:41   Like that's the wrap up.

01:37:42   The wrap up is like what he's trying to get Bill to say

01:37:45   is what he says, which is like Bill's like,

01:37:48   yeah, but I'm just gonna keep going.

01:37:49   - Yeah.

01:37:50   - But that's the inspiring message

01:37:51   at the end of it though, right?

01:37:52   - No, no, no, but it's not, here's the thing,

01:37:55   he undercuts that as well, because he says like,

01:37:57   oh, Bill Gates gives the answer that he always gives,

01:38:00   which is to work harder.

01:38:01   And that's his greatest thing,

01:38:03   but I've also come to see that quote,

01:38:05   that diehard relentlessness is also his flaw.

01:38:07   And it's like, fuck you, right?

01:38:09   Like how many kids don't have polio because of Bill Gates?

01:38:14   It just made me so furious of, "Oh, I'm sorry.

01:38:18   He didn't solve nuclear power for you and maybe the toilet problem isn't fixed."

01:38:22   Yeah.

01:38:23   Call me when hundreds of thousands of children have been spared a

01:38:28   crippling disease because of you, right?

01:38:31   Like even if, oh, Bill Gates only has half a success because polio

01:38:36   hasn't been completely eradicated.

01:38:38   It's still such an incredible accomplishment beyond what almost

01:38:43   any human will ever do is like, yeah, that's, I'm still going to count that as great.

01:38:49   And I just, I feel like it ends on this undercutting of, of like, Oh, well, you

01:38:54   know, people are following him because he's inspiring, but where has it gone?

01:38:58   Not, not very much so far.

01:39:00   I just hated it so much.

01:39:02   I hated that, like the last couple of lines from the narrator so intensely.

01:39:08   I mean, I can see it.

01:39:10   I didn't get that kind of feeling from it, but I can understand that feeling.

01:39:15   I just had to get it on record.

01:39:16   Because like, I kind of came away from it of just like, I feel sorry for Gates.

01:39:21   That like, he wanted to have been able to achieve the ultimate success, but hasn't

01:39:29   been able to get there yet with the things that he's focused on.

01:39:33   Like has made massive strides, but none of these things have gotten to where he

01:39:39   once right because like he's had to put more money into all of them you know and

01:39:44   I completely agree with you like the things that him and Melinda have done

01:39:49   have made the world better overall but like they haven't yet been able to

01:39:55   achieve the things that they set out for but it doesn't mean they won't right

01:40:01   but the documentarian just decided to wrap it up with that quote I guess I'm

01:40:07   I'm not taking that hate away from you.

01:40:09   - But I do love that Gates' mom gets the final word

01:40:13   of like, oh, I forget exactly what she says,

01:40:16   but something about like, oh, the thing that matters

01:40:18   not as like who you are now, but like who you become.

01:40:22   As like, I'm pretty sure she'd be very happy

01:40:25   with the results of what her son has accomplished.

01:40:28   I'm very glad that she got the last word in the documentary.

01:40:33   - Yeah, it was really nice.

01:40:34   I did want to just touch on Bill and Melinda a little bit,

01:40:38   like their relationship, because it is fascinating.

01:40:41   She is hilarious.

01:40:43   Like the start of the second episode,

01:40:45   where they ask like, what do you think his brain is like?

01:40:49   And she just loses it, right?

01:40:51   'Cause it's just like trying to understand

01:40:54   how chaotic she thinks his brain is.

01:40:57   And like trying to imagine living in that brain

01:40:59   feels like hell to her in a way, right?

01:41:01   Like just, there is no way.

01:41:03   There is no way that I could deal with it.

01:41:05   But I like their partnership.

01:41:08   I think it's just kind of interesting.

01:41:11   I really appreciate the equality in it.

01:41:14   And obviously it seemed too difficult at first, right?

01:41:17   Because she was very private

01:41:19   and didn't want to be in the public eye.

01:41:22   But then that meant that everybody ignored her

01:41:25   in the foundation.

01:41:26   - Yeah, yeah.

01:41:27   - That if she didn't want to be seen

01:41:29   and only Bill was doing the press,

01:41:31   people would forget about her.

01:41:32   So she had to make the decision to become more public and moved on from there.

01:41:37   I just thought it was really nice to see just how strongly he values her as well.

01:41:41   Yeah.

01:41:41   They seem really well suited to each other.

01:41:43   Yeah.

01:41:44   And I, I found that quite inspiring, honestly, like the, the equality that they

01:41:49   have and the, the way that he really needs her, she really needs him.

01:41:53   Like they're in, they are like a, a very tight unit.

01:41:57   I just found that really, just like really heartwarming.

01:42:00   And I'm pleased that she was as involved in the documentary as she was, because I

01:42:05   thought it was, it was very important as well to see that like, she has clearly

01:42:09   made an impact on him and like pulled him down.

01:42:14   There was one thing I did want to mention just about like the way that he would be

01:42:18   at work, where he said that he knew the license plates, everybody's license plates.

01:42:22   And would walk through the parking lot to see who was in the office.

01:42:26   man. And oh, and he said, everyone can work part time, you just choose the 12 hours you want to

01:42:32   work.

01:42:32   That's also the younger person of his some line about Oh, I work all the time. And I love it. But

01:42:39   I don't force that on anybody. And it's like,

01:42:41   yeah, sure. Anybody but the guy who's walking around saying that he has a different set of

01:42:48   expectations.

01:42:48   Yeah, yeah. It's like, it's a little bit hard to square with. Oh, I also know everybody's license

01:42:53   plate and I'm always keeping an eye on who's at the office but you know I don't force working

01:42:57   harder on you like uh yeah it might not be written on paper anywhere but don't leave

01:43:04   at five o'clock probably.

01:43:06   So yeah I really enjoyed it I thought it was a great documentary I'm pleased that you seemed

01:43:09   to enjoy it too.

01:43:10   Yeah I mean obviously there's things I didn't like about it but I would totally recommend

01:43:13   it I think it's it's really well made and it's really interesting so yeah I'd give it

01:43:18   two thumbs up I think it was a good recommendation.

01:43:20   I'm pleased that he did it. I just think it's interesting to find out stuff about these kinds of people because he's

01:43:26   Unique really. Yeah, we're never gonna see this about Steve Jobs. Yeah, you know like Wozniak is not the kind of guy

01:43:34   That would do this

01:43:36   So really you've kind of just got Bill. Yeah, so getting him to talk about his life is

01:43:42   Important it is important for history. Yeah. No, I agree

01:43:47   There are like three or four people that are responsible for changing the world to where we are now

01:43:54   and he's basically one of the only ones that will say anything

01:43:59   Yeah, yeah

01:44:00   And it's important to hear

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