An Episode Out of Time 3: Time Strikes Back


00:00:00   Great, it's that time again.

00:00:01   What time is it, Myke?

00:00:02   It's an episode out of time.

00:00:04   Oh no!

00:00:05   Where are we?

00:00:06   When are we, Myke?

00:00:07   Nobody knows!

00:00:08   Nobody knows!

00:00:09   So I guess we should welcome our listeners to an episode out of time 3!

00:00:14   Time strikes back!

00:00:16   I spend a lot of time thinking now about what these episodes can be called.

00:00:21   You know the rule with movies is now when we get to an episode out of time 4, it just

00:00:24   has to be something like an episode out of time revolution, right?

00:00:28   moved to something with an R. We find a way to put the number into the text.

00:00:33   I feel like number five we could put like EPI5ODE for episode, right? And then we reboot

00:00:40   it for six. I like that you've got the reboot already lined up. You're in charge of this.

00:00:45   It should be great. Thank you for joining me today. I have a very important question

00:00:50   for you before we start the rest of our conversation here. I would like to know where do you see

00:00:54   yourself in five years. This is your performance review now.

00:00:59   Oh is this my performance review? Yeah.

00:01:02   I don't do performance reviews Myke, I'm self-employed.

00:01:05   The reason I bring this up with that time interval is that you have been self-employed

00:01:09   for five years. Yeah, yeah that was a surprise.

00:01:13   Did this one pop up on you unexpectedly? It totally did. I would not have known or

00:01:20   noticed were it not for the memories function in Apple Photos. I took some photos of my

00:01:27   last day on the job and they popped up in memories.

00:01:31   Oh, that's awesome. What a great way to find that out.

00:01:34   Yeah, it's really fun. I do have a habit of taking what I think of as memory shots, photos

00:01:41   that are not intended to be good photos but they're photos that are just intended to provoke

00:01:45   a memory in the future. So I have a bunch of photos that are like that that just seem

00:01:49   like they're totally meaningless photos, but I see them I remember like oh yes, this is why I took this photograph this day

00:01:54   and so yeah, there's just uh, just a couple photos of my old science lab and

00:02:00   Like oh, right

00:02:02   That was that was five years ago

00:02:05   and it was it was surprising to see it pop up in memories as a essentially like

00:02:09   Surprise anniversary that you didn't know was happening

00:02:14   Did you have any sense of it being around this time?

00:02:17   Like, do you have a vague idea of when it was that you quit work?

00:02:22   Like, does that ever pop into your head?

00:02:24   Like, I can't remember the year offhand, but I have a vague idea of the season,

00:02:30   like, kind of the time frame in which I left.

00:02:33   It caught me off guard because I've never been able to fully internalize the UK teaching schedule.

00:02:43   Having grown up with the American school schedule of the summers are very different even though you worked in it for multiple years

00:02:49   That's yeah

00:02:50   It was it really was like it just I was always like I always had to look at calendars about when the summer

00:02:56   Was just it was so so different

00:02:59   It just never really my brain just did not snap together with that and holidays were always like oh, what a nice surprise

00:03:04   So the answer is no like when I saw it I was I was really quite surprised to realize that

00:03:12   Oh, it was this time last year because of course it was toward the end of the school year and also complicated by the fact as I've

00:03:20   mentioned previously when you're a teacher you have to quit like three months in advance.

00:03:24   Yeah, yeah.

00:03:25   Which is actually if you take the summer into advance is a lot closer to like four or five months in advance.

00:03:31   So it's a strange thing.

00:03:33   Yeah, I did a six-week notice.

00:03:34   Yeah.

00:03:35   Out of like kind of goodwill and that froze me off.

00:03:39   Mm-hmm, right because even six weeks is a long period of time

00:03:42   Right to like between when you know, you're done and when you actually leave like three months

00:03:48   I can only imagine that being like prison

00:03:51   Right, like it's the closest thing I can think of like some kind of emotional prison because you at this point you're done

00:03:57   You know, you're leaving but they're like keeping you there

00:04:00   Yeah, it wasn't it what I wouldn't describe it as emotional

00:04:04   Prison in fact, it's it's much of the reverse because there's a certain amount of like I don't have to care about any of this anymore

00:04:10   No, that's true. I understand why that schedule happens for teachers, but I don't think it's

00:04:14   Great for anybody involved. Mm-hmm because as the teacher is like, ah, whatever, you know, this place doesn't exist to me anymore

00:04:22   But you're still like teaching children for many months. You're shaping the hearts and minds

00:04:27   but that also

00:04:31   muddies and confuses the waters a little bit in my head about when did this thing happen.

00:04:36   But so I figure like oh, I'll mark the anniversary from

00:04:39   the day that I walked out of a school for the last time like that seems like the reasonable place.

00:04:43   Yeah, that's it's the day you left. That's because before that point you're still working the job. You can't you're not self-employed.

00:04:49   Yeah, no, you're not self-employed.

00:04:51   Have you had any kind of reflection personally on five years? Like if you did it to dis-trigger anything for you to sit and think

00:04:59   about

00:05:00   What you've achieved where you are where you thought you might be and where you've actually ended up

00:05:04   Yeah, I'm not that kind of person, uh-huh, I think I was just surprised because I hadn't thought about it

00:05:13   Mm-hmm, but it but I didn't I don't know. I don't I don't feel a moment to like oh, I'm gonna sit down and

00:05:17   Reflect on these last few years. Let me see if I can force it

00:05:23   Are you where you thought you might be?

00:05:28   Like if you look at what your life is now, is this what you imagined?

00:05:36   Like if we take out the fact that there are, you know, the things that you don't think

00:05:39   about, right, like the little administration frustrations and stuff like that, like take

00:05:44   away the minutiae and just look at it from like a big picture.

00:05:47   Is this kind of where you expected you would be in your life?

00:05:49   Okay, so the reason I'm hesitating about that is I don't tend to think about things in that

00:05:55   way.

00:05:56   fast forward five years from now, which is how you started this question, I don't have

00:06:04   anything like expectations for where will I be in five years from now. Well I think this is just a

00:06:10   question which is infinitely harder for somebody who's self-employed to somebody who is within a

00:06:16   company, right? Like it's a joke, right? And it's like a thing that I can't even really answer, like

00:06:21   Like as a person who owns a company, it's a similar thing.

00:06:24   Trying to think where you'll be in three or five months time or where your company will

00:06:28   be is really difficult.

00:06:30   But when there is an organizational structure, well, that's easier.

00:06:33   That's a path.

00:06:34   But there isn't really a defined path when you're out on your own because there are factors

00:06:40   and things that might happen that will change everything, which is, you know, of course

00:06:44   there are things like that inside of a company, but it's at least easier to answer the question

00:06:47   because you can be like, well, I want to be a senior manager.

00:06:50   Yeah, that's definitely true.

00:06:52   The flip side of it is, I think, when I was teaching

00:06:55   and this thing would come up about "where do you want to be in five years?"

00:06:59   And my answer to the people above me was always very clear

00:07:03   "Not in management, not with any more responsibility than I have right now."

00:07:06   Not with teaching.

00:07:08   No, but I mean like, the job that I'm doing right now

00:07:11   is exactly if I'm still here, what I want to be doing.

00:07:13   That's another way to kind of answer it, is like, I just want to be a frontline teacher

00:07:18   and I do not want to move up in this hierarchy.

00:07:21   - Well, I think that's perfectly fine.

00:07:22   I mean, I have people that work for me

00:07:24   back in my old corporate days

00:07:25   who would have the answers to that question.

00:07:27   And I always found it's perfectly valid.

00:07:29   Not everybody can or should aspire

00:07:32   to continue moving through the ranks

00:07:33   'cause there's not enough spaces, right?

00:07:35   That's not how companies are built.

00:07:37   They're built on people that are in layers

00:07:39   in an organization, and it's really useful

00:07:42   to have people that wanna stay where they are.

00:07:44   - Yeah, so that's why I'm just thinking

00:07:45   there's a more clear career answer to that from a long time ago. Whereas now, when I

00:07:53   think five years in the future, I would call them targets, like not even goals, but just

00:07:58   sort of targets for various areas of my life. But those come without any kind of expectation

00:08:08   of anything.

00:08:09   How important are they to you?

00:08:11   wildly important. Like they're really, and that's why I kind of like the word target is it's just like it's something to aim for

00:08:18   but targets can also change and move like they're not they're not like a goal

00:08:24   that's like a fixed position on the earth that you're running toward. Like the target is just like oh

00:08:29   this is a thing that you're

00:08:31   steering toward but it just feels so much less important in my mind. So there's like tons of time in my life

00:08:37   where it's just like oh, yeah, I totally miss targets and it doesn't matter

00:08:39   It doesn't really affect me because that's not the purpose of the thing. The purpose of the thing is to just have something to aim toward.

00:08:45   I guess the thing that I can say to sort of answer your question is that

00:08:49   like I feel very fortunate to be

00:08:52   much more successful now than I had any reasonable expectation of being at the time when I was walking out of that door.

00:09:00   Leaving that school, I felt like I had achieved what was then what I wanted, which is I can safely

00:09:08   leave this environment and become self-employed without too much stress or anxiety.

00:09:14   And it's like that's when I was walking out the door. That was the thing. It's like, okay great

00:09:18   I have achieved this and now five years later

00:09:22   It's like I'm doing more things than I would have expected that I was doing. So yeah, I feel I feel very fortunate in that way.

00:09:28   I can definitely

00:09:30   relate to what you're saying in that I feel like I'm doing what I

00:09:34   Hoped I would do I feel like I'm doing what I expected I could do. Mm-hmm

00:09:39   But it's very it's also very different, you know, the actualization of it is different. I'm doing better than I thought I would

00:09:47   But it's still like the same thing, but the actual output the results are different, you know, like I am still

00:09:55   Employed as somebody who makes podcasts for a living which is what I hoped I would be able to do

00:10:02   It's what I set out to do

00:10:04   Right. You achieved your dream, Myke.

00:10:05   I achieved my dream, but I've been able to do it at honestly a level which is much larger than I

00:10:12   expected. And it's, you know, because I'm coming up on three years now.

00:10:15   Hmm.

00:10:16   Which surprises me when I think of you, I feel like you've been doing it forever, right? You

00:10:22   know, like just my conception of you, my imagination, like from is that you've been doing

00:10:28   this for so much longer. And it's really surprising to me that you only have two years on me. Like

00:10:32   like that is just a big, when you said it I was like oh wow because I don't think I

00:10:36   really had an idea of the timeframe.

00:10:39   But yeah like you know it is an interesting thing to think about like to look back on

00:10:45   what you thought you might be able to do and where you are and it is nice to know that

00:10:49   you achieved it and it's nice I think sometimes to look back and think to yourself yeah no

00:10:54   I did this because it can be really easy to get stuck in the day to day right?

00:11:01   I mean, yeah. I think when I realized that it was five years, my reaction is, it's all

00:11:09   careers in entertainment come to an end at some point.

00:11:12   Oh, please. I don't want to talk about this right now.

00:11:19   You might not want to talk about it, but I mean, look, Seinfeld was what, nine seasons?

00:11:25   I have been spending an amount of time recently thinking on that problem of a career in entertainment

00:11:34   only lasts so long.

00:11:36   I've been thinking about this.

00:11:37   It makes me very uncomfortable.

00:11:38   Okay, so that's why you're having such a visceral reaction to this.

00:11:42   Like, I've hit upon a thing which is on your mind at the very moment.

00:11:46   Yeah.

00:11:47   It's just something that I think is stupid to not think about, you know?

00:11:51   And it ties back to what I've been talking about with the fact that I have this urge

00:11:56   to do new things in that I want to make sure that I'm trying not even to be relevant, because

00:12:02   if I want to be relevant, there's a million things that I could do that I don't want to

00:12:05   do.

00:12:06   Relevancy is not necessarily what I'm looking for, but it's to remain fresh and new and

00:12:12   to reinvent things and move in different directions so I can pick up people along the way and

00:12:19   also to make sure for the people that are tuning in, watching, that they're getting

00:12:24   new stuff that they're not going to get bored of.

00:12:27   I've always been very conscious of that, like repackaging and rebranding and that sort of

00:12:32   stuff.

00:12:33   It's something that I've had quite a lot of focus on in my professional career.

00:12:40   And that is purely in the idea of trying to make sure that I'm keeping things fresh so

00:12:44   it makes people want to keep tuning in.

00:12:46   But yeah, I've been thinking about this, like, how long does it last?

00:12:50   Not forever, not even necessarily a long time.

00:12:53   Not forever, but it can last for long enough.

00:12:55   It can last for long enough.

00:12:56   You know, because I look at other people, there have been people that have been podcasting

00:12:58   for over 10 years.

00:13:00   You know, and I think to myself, if I'm able to do this for 10 years and it can keep growing,

00:13:04   then I'm probably going to be in a good situation to do something else when it's done.

00:13:08   Like, that's what I keep thinking of, right?

00:13:10   Is like, making sure that what I'm doing right now is the best that I can do, so it gives

00:13:15   me the ability to do something else when it's all said and done.

00:13:18   Yeah, it's funny.

00:13:19   When I talk to YouTube creators, I find that they fall into two categories on this topic,

00:13:26   which is category one.

00:13:30   People who assume, "Well, every morning when I wake up, I could discover that it's all

00:13:36   gone.

00:13:37   Like, the algorithm doesn't love me anymore," or whatever.

00:13:40   Like it all just could disappear any morning.

00:13:43   And then the other category of people seem to just assume that it will last forever and find questions about the end baffling.

00:13:53   Like their meaningless Zen-Koan meditation comments, right?

00:13:59   It's like, "What do you mean an end? This will last forever!"

00:14:03   And I am definitely much more in the former category than the latter category.

00:14:08   So, for me, it's-- my feeling is...

00:14:12   I feel like I have been preparing for the end from day one.

00:14:16   So it's not like, "Oh, I've never thought about this until, like, I noticed it was five years."

00:14:21   But it is-- it's just a thing that I feel like I am constantly aware of this as a thing.

00:14:28   And, like, especially being a YouTube creator, like, being kind of at the mercy of the algorithm in a way that makes this kind of career more vulnerable than others.

00:14:37   than others, and it's also particularly scary when I've seen people who I know

00:14:41   seem to suddenly be on the end of an algorithm change that dramatically impacts their career. This thing comes

00:14:49   for all of us, but I think this is part of like

00:14:53   any kind of self-employment. I think if you are not

00:14:59   constantly thinking about and planning for the future, it's almost a kind of negligence

00:15:07   not to. Like even if you don't have any realistic expectations that your career might end at any moment,

00:15:15   I think you still need to be, to some extent, planning as though that might be the case.

00:15:23   Because like you never know what's going to happen, and this is the great fear and abyss that comes with being self-employed,

00:15:32   which is also part of why it cannot be universally recommended as a career path to everybody.

00:15:38   Because that's a thing that you always have to have in the back of your mind and you have to be ready for.

00:15:45   Is preparing for a future that might be quite different from the present.

00:15:51   Why does this always happen on these episodes?

00:15:54   What?

00:15:55   They always get so grim.

00:15:58   Do they get so grim? I don't remember.

00:16:00   My memory serves that like something happens some level of introspection occurs on the episode out of time

00:16:06   I mean, it's it might kind of make sense right, you know, we're floating in this little vortex right now

00:16:11   All we have to do is to think about ourselves and I guess right that you know

00:16:15   The harsh realities of time they they hit you quite hard. I don't think it's that there's nothing hitting hard

00:16:20   This is there's no harsh reality like this is just the way things are you know?

00:16:24   With it with everything Myke this too shall pass

00:16:28   This episode shall pass our lives shall pass everything. I don't think I want to talk to you anymore

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00:18:09   Considering this is an episode out of time,

00:18:12   I wanted to talk about something that I spotted a little trend happening on Twitter a little while ago.

00:18:17   of people tweeting images of their old home screens.

00:18:22   Like iOS 6 era 2012, 2013 home screens.

00:18:27   - Yes, yes, there was a fun little Twitter thread about this.

00:18:32   Who started this, was it Casey, Casey started this?

00:18:34   Yes, that's right. - Yep, Casey Liss started it

00:18:36   and then it went on from there.

00:18:37   And I thought it might be fun for us to take a look at this

00:18:41   considering home screens are our bread and butter really.

00:18:44   Why not in an episode out of time go back in time and review and critique our past selves?

00:18:52   So I have one example for you here, I have two examples for me.

00:18:55   Okay.

00:18:56   And I have 2011 and 2012.

00:18:59   Should we start with my 2011 because it's the oldest?

00:19:02   Yeah.

00:19:03   So there is a link between my 2011 and 2012 home screens, which is the wallpaper.

00:19:09   Okay, so

00:19:11   You have some kind of movie poster as your wallpaper, it's a movie poster. I really like this wallpaper because

00:19:20   Nothing is the icons cover everything that is relevant the icons cover

00:19:27   The title of the movie the icons cover the central design

00:19:32   iconography

00:19:35   The thing that is most clear is on a movie poster when you see all of those words below that list everybody who's involved

00:19:41   That's the part that is the clearest lee visible just above the dock. Yep. It's a real a-plus home screen material

00:19:47   Yeah, this this this movie poster. Yeah, this is a terrible choice for your wallpaper

00:19:52   But what movie is this Myke? This is Scott Pilgrim versus the world. I figured it had to be okay

00:19:57   So that when I look at this now

00:19:59   I like I see to myself how I could have made it so much better just by

00:20:03   dropping it into Pixelmator and just take at least taking out the title text and all the words underneath

00:20:08   right like it would have made it vastly better like i don't know why i didn't do that because

00:20:12   you'll see the seven figures up at the top that's pretty good they're kind of standing on the icons

00:20:16   right that one's not too bad but everything else is super super terrible by the way the images for

00:20:22   all these will be in our show notes if you want to you really should be looking at this as we're

00:20:26   talking about it otherwise you have to do some real mind games to try and picture what these look like

00:20:33   Well, it is fun to see the pre-iOS 7 transition.

00:20:38   Yeah.

00:20:38   Just how different everything looks.

00:20:41   And then of course, this screenshot that we're looking at here,

00:20:44   it must be an iPhone 4 or so?

00:20:46   Like the size of the 4 anyway, because it doesn't...

00:20:48   Right, because the 5 has one more row of icons.

00:20:51   So it's all squashed and rectangular.

00:20:56   I also particularly enjoy on your home screen here,

00:20:59   there's a thing that I could not possibly abide by,

00:21:02   which is that you have an app which is called Chiching.

00:21:05   Yeah, I'm looking at it right now.

00:21:07   But it looks like the icon for Chiching is...

00:21:09   Non-retina.

00:21:10   Yeah, it's the non-retina icon.

00:21:13   Chiching. Chiching was a tale of heartbreak for me.

00:21:15   So Chiching was a budget planning application that I used very extensively at this time in my life.

00:21:25   The problem with Chiching was it was...

00:21:29   active development was ceased before the iPhone 4, I think. And it was just, I held onto it for a

00:21:36   few years and just over time more and more of it was breaking. And it was just, it was really sad

00:21:44   that like every time I bought a new phone or every time iOS was updated, the app got closer and

00:21:49   closer to dying. And it died, I don't know when it was, but it was just before iOS 7 and I had to

00:21:57   to move away from Chiching.

00:21:59   I actually ended up moving to no budgeting application

00:22:01   at all.

00:22:02   - Right, of course.

00:22:03   - Because there was just nothing that would give me

00:22:05   the exact features that I wanted.

00:22:07   I tried a bunch and then over time I stopped doing it

00:22:10   because the applications just weren't sufficient.

00:22:12   It was sad, it was very sad.

00:22:14   But yeah, you can see it there, it's on my 2011,

00:22:16   it's also on my 2012 home screen.

00:22:18   It's this app that just refused to die.

00:22:21   The real one here though that I don't know what it is

00:22:24   and it's the Abhorrent is an app called Pouch,

00:22:28   which has got a photo as its icon.

00:22:31   - Is it like a bag of holding?

00:22:33   Like what did you put in there?

00:22:33   - Honestly, I don't know what it is.

00:22:35   (laughing)

00:22:36   I can't find it.

00:22:37   - It's funny to think that this is a thing

00:22:40   that was important enough to make it

00:22:42   on your four by four home screen page.

00:22:45   - Yep.

00:22:46   - And now you can't remember what on earth this thing was.

00:22:48   - So like the only thing that I can find

00:22:50   is an app also called Pouch,

00:22:51   which enables your 37 signals backpack account on your iPhone and iPad.

00:22:56   But I don't even know what that is, right?

00:22:58   Like I don't even know what backpack is.

00:23:01   So I don't know why I had it.

00:23:03   I don't know what I was doing with it at that time.

00:23:05   I'm assuming it's the same application, but like,

00:23:08   I just cannot recall why I would have ever used it.

00:23:10   So that's actually pretty telling of my life at this point.

00:23:14   What do you mean?

00:23:15   Just like trying these things to be productive.

00:23:18   I think at this point in my life,

00:23:19   I'm like starting all of my real side projects, right?

00:23:22   2000 and I started podcasting in 2010.

00:23:25   In 2011, I would have been getting a bit more serious about it.

00:23:29   So like an application, which is like a digital backpack, I'm sure was somehow

00:23:34   related to me trying to become more productive.

00:23:36   Ah, right.

00:23:37   Okay.

00:23:38   Right.

00:23:38   You're trying to bootstrap yourself.

00:23:39   I see.

00:23:39   Exactly.

00:23:40   I see.

00:23:40   There's something in there, I believe, which is like my attempts at becoming

00:23:46   someone who's thinking about side projects and side careers

00:23:49   and using productivity tools to make that happen.

00:23:52   - You could have used a podcast like Cortex

00:23:54   to help you along, Myke.

00:23:55   - I sure could have.

00:23:57   The thing is though, Gray, if Cortex would have existed then

00:23:59   then I would have been all right.

00:24:00   Like, you know, we'd be fine, we'd be fine.

00:24:04   - We might have caused a time paradox.

00:24:06   - Yep, that's the real risk of doing an episode out of time.

00:24:09   You do have the ability to just rip a hole

00:24:12   in the fabric of time at any moment.

00:24:14   - Yeah, we have to be very careful.

00:24:15   very careful. Is there anything else on this screen that jumps out at you particularly?

00:24:18   What is Icebird? What is this thing?

00:24:20   This was back in the day when Twitter clients were rampant.

00:24:23   Oh, it's a Twitter client. Okay, that makes sense.

00:24:26   Icebird was the app that I was using, I think, when everyone was still using like Tweety

00:24:31   or Twitterific. It was like a pretty janky in places application, but it had a lot of

00:24:36   really interesting features that I cannot remember. But I know at the time I was using

00:24:41   because it allowed me to do like weird and wonderful things with Twitter.

00:24:44   But like I was the only person that I knew that used it.

00:24:47   Hmm. You know, as a meta-commentary, there's a thing I feel like I can't get my brain to

00:24:54   understand the appropriate scale of, which is how old and how long some pieces of software

00:25:03   have been around on iOS because in my brain iOS is still new. It's the new shiny thing,

00:25:13   but then at the same time the iPhone came out in 2007. It's not new at all. And I constantly

00:25:22   have to use 2007 as like a year zero reference. I'm particularly aware of it if I'm watching

00:25:31   movies and like movies from the 2000s like I think it's always useful to peg

00:25:36   when a movie takes place relative to the iPhone because of how central something

00:25:42   like an iPhone could be too many of the plots of movies. Yeah yeah yeah right

00:25:45   like a movie that takes place in 2008 or there was filmed in 2008 you realize oh

00:25:51   you can't assume that people have smartphones like smartphones are still

00:25:55   relatively new things and so all sorts of wacky miscommunication plots they're

00:25:59   way more acceptable, even though the world still looks like a modern world.

00:26:03   Like it's the nothing is really that different except for the phones being added.

00:26:07   It's like fashions haven't changed that much technology and all sorts of other

00:26:11   things hasn't changed that much. It's just the presence or absence of phones.

00:26:14   And so like, I don't know, like I'm just looking at your home screen here and

00:26:19   it's like, oh, right. There's Dew on here, which is an app that I still use.

00:26:24   Yeah, I can't believe that. That's the thing that really surprised me.

00:26:27   like an application like Dew that I use all the time

00:26:30   and I've been using it for over five years at this point.

00:26:33   That was a real big surprise to me.

00:26:35   - Yeah, it's surprising to see.

00:26:37   Or like Instapaper, which I always want to go back and look,

00:26:42   but I'm fairly sure Instapaper may have been

00:26:46   the very first app I ever downloaded from the App Store.

00:26:50   But it's like, oh, okay, this is a thing

00:26:52   that I have been using for a very long time now,

00:26:56   But it still feels like, oh, right, it's this new thing that I can use to save articles.

00:27:00   There's something in my brain that just can't place the age of iOS and the iPhone appropriately.

00:27:10   And it's constantly re-surprised at how long a bunch of these things have actually been around.

00:27:16   Saying about aging, though, when you look at these screenshots, they do feel older than they are.

00:27:20   Like, I'm really struck by how dark everything looks.

00:27:24   Hmm. Yeah.

00:27:25   You know what I mean? Like it looks like the brightness is down on all of these images. It's very strange. It's like obviously design

00:27:30   changes and now things are whiter and brighter but everything looks really like

00:27:35   dingy and dirty in a way that I can't it's very strange to me. Well, yeah

00:27:41   I think it's it's a holdover from lots of stuff having textures and gradients. Yeah shadows, isn't it?

00:27:46   I think that the shadows and the gradients for some reason when I look at them now

00:27:50   It makes it look like like the camera icon has been dragged through a hedge or something

00:27:54   Yeah, or even if you look at for example Reader, which is an RSS app I used for a long time, the texture

00:28:00   darkens Reader. Or I think a particularly good example is if we flip over to your next iPhone screen, the one with the yellow background.

00:28:08   Tweetbot is a great example of they put

00:28:12   texture on the bird's face and that texture really darkens

00:28:17   everything. So there's that's why everything looks dark because in order to make it look

00:28:23   3D, you need to have parts that are dark. You can't just have a flat icon design.

00:28:28   Should we look at the 2012 one now? See how it changed?

00:28:31   Yep.

00:28:32   So you see our good old friend, Ching-Ching, holding on. Well, he's not dead at this point.

00:28:37   No.

00:28:39   Looking worse and worse.

00:28:40   Some of the things I find interesting is how a lot of the applications remained in their places or were replaced

00:28:46   by similar types of applications.

00:28:49   Mm-hmm like agenda which was a calendar app that I don't really remember very well

00:28:54   Agenda agenda I really miss I remember that that was my ching ching

00:29:00   I remember holding on to agenda so far past the point at which I should have been using it

00:29:06   Huh eventually something about the sink broke and I was like, oh I have to let you go now agenda

00:29:10   But I don't even remember what it was

00:29:12   I just remember I really loved that calendar app and I feel like I haven't I

00:29:18   Haven't liked a calendar app as much as I liked agenda since the only thing I remember about

00:29:23   Agenda is it had themes and some of the themes were named after popular websites in the Apple community

00:29:28   It's the only thing I remember about

00:29:31   So like simple note reader do they all remained in the same place?

00:29:35   Icebird is replaced by tweet bot at this point as my Twitter application

00:29:39   Mm-hmm, you know the camera and Instagram they moved over maps moved a little bit

00:29:44   I find it funny that between 2011 and 2012 I realized that the phone is not a worthy

00:29:49   dockable application.

00:29:51   That moves up one and gets replaced by day one.

00:29:56   There's a couple of remnants of Myke Past in here like Nike Fuelband, that was a thing

00:30:01   that I was using for a while to track fitness, and App.net Rhino, an application for a social

00:30:06   network that is now dead that was supposed to be a Twitter replacement called App.net.

00:30:12   That was there for a while.

00:30:13   remember app.net. Wow, I haven't thought about them in a long time. One application

00:30:17   that I tweeted, when I tweeted the image of this one, people were like, "Oh man, it

00:30:22   was Verbs. Verbs was an IAM app." You'll notice I had an IAM application on my

00:30:27   previous screen called IAM Plus. Right. This was in the times when people were

00:30:31   still using like AIM and MSN and stuff like that to talk. Yeah, of course, of

00:30:35   course. That was still then, right? Like, iMessage didn't exist at this point, I

00:30:39   don't think. Right, so like, you know, you were talking to your friends on AIM, like

00:30:42   that was what you did.

00:30:44   - The thing that also really strikes me

00:30:45   about looking at the old home screen

00:30:47   is the bubbleness of the notification numbers.

00:30:51   - Yeah.

00:30:52   - Like the real bubbles on top of the thing.

00:30:54   - And it's so big, why does it need an outline?

00:30:56   You know, like it's so much space is taken.

00:30:59   But it's as well.

00:31:00   Oh and this note, just my wallpaper here,

00:31:02   that's Ramona Flowers, she's also in Scott Pilgrim.

00:31:05   This was a big Scott Pilgrim phase of me.

00:31:07   It's one of my favorite graphic novels,

00:31:08   I recommend it, it's absolutely fantastic.

00:31:10   The movie's really good, but the movie's better

00:31:12   if you've read the books, that's all I'm gonna say.

00:31:13   I'm one of those sort of people, but it's true.

00:31:15   (laughing)

00:31:16   - It is often true.

00:31:17   You don't have to apologize for that, Myke.

00:31:19   - SimpleNote, we didn't talk about that last time,

00:31:21   but SimpleNote, that was an app that lasted with me

00:31:24   for a very, very long time.

00:31:26   Probably all the way up until Apple Notes got good, honestly.

00:31:29   - Yeah, I remember trying SimpleNote,

00:31:33   but it never stuck with me for some reason.

00:31:34   But that was obviously like a big note-taking app

00:31:38   in the world.

00:31:39   It felt like everybody was using SimpleNote except for me.

00:31:41   and I can't remember why I was picky about it for some reason or other.

00:31:44   Because you're you man, that's why.

00:31:46   That hurts Myke, that hurts really.

00:31:48   Yeah, I found you to your core.

00:31:50   One of the things I do find interesting in this one and the screen before

00:31:53   is the fact that I had an RSS application on my home screen

00:31:57   and now I don't even look at RSS in any way.

00:32:01   Yeah, yeah, I remember transitioning away from an RSS reader

00:32:08   to just selecting a very, very small subset

00:32:12   of the RSS feeds that I follow

00:32:14   and just IFTTTing them straight to Instapaper.

00:32:17   And it's like, well, I guess,

00:32:19   so we had a good long run here, RSS reader,

00:32:22   but you are essentially now no longer needed.

00:32:24   Goodbye.

00:32:25   - Yeah, I took the small subset

00:32:27   and then just follow the Twitter accounts

00:32:29   and then believe, as has turned out to be true,

00:32:31   that I just find out everything

00:32:32   that I need to know about osmosis.

00:32:34   Like anything that's important just gets shared

00:32:36   and then that's kind of it.

00:32:38   - Yeah, that's exactly right.

00:32:39   I still remember having a conversation

00:32:41   with my wife a long time ago,

00:32:44   who may not even have been my wife at that point,

00:32:46   but about how I had discovered this thing called RSS readers

00:32:49   and I was like,

00:32:50   this is going to let me read more websites faster.

00:32:52   Like this is gonna be a great productivity.

00:32:54   - Just what we need.

00:32:55   - Yeah, I remember her like,

00:32:56   sort of rolling her eyes at that one like,

00:32:59   oh yes, the ability to check more websites more frequently.

00:33:02   You think like this is fundamentally a good idea.

00:33:05   I was like, oh yeah, this is the future.

00:33:07   I was like, "Oh, no, no it wasn't."

00:33:09   (laughs)

00:33:10   - There is something fun, right?

00:33:11   Like I've realized in App.net,

00:33:13   on the previous screen is Path,

00:33:14   which is another failed social network.

00:33:16   So Path failed for me, then it got replaced by App.net,

00:33:20   which then also failed.

00:33:22   It just goes on and on and on.

00:33:23   There's a, I also like,

00:33:25   I've transitioned from Instapaper to Pocket,

00:33:27   and that was purely because Pocket

00:33:29   also had really good support for like videos

00:33:31   and stuff as well.

00:33:32   - Right, right, yeah.

00:33:33   - So I moved to something that was more of a catchall

00:33:35   for multimedia.

00:33:36   The social network stuff, or even just the like, Tching as an example, this just reaffirms the idea that

00:33:44   in the business world you talk about companies that sell software as a service, which is like subscription models

00:33:49   and people get all huffy about subscription models

00:33:52   but like this stuff just reaffirms like ultimately though, all software is a service because

00:33:59   It requires continual improvements and updates even if small and it's like it all erodes away

00:34:06   if it isn't continually updated, and so I don't know I feel like I'm just very on the other side of

00:34:13   people complain about subscription services I feel like but it it has to be like apps

00:34:17   Apps ultimately have to go to some kind of subscription model if you want them to last indefinitely like saying that you're

00:34:25   against

00:34:27   subscription model means like you're against this software lasting forever and so such as like looking back at the old screenshots

00:34:34   It's like oh, yes, there was an app. I paid a dollar for once, you know, ten years ago

00:34:39   Yeah, and like it doesn't exist anymore. Why I loved it so much. It's like well, I

00:34:44   Think it's not too hard to figure out business wise why it didn't last

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00:37:00   All right, so let's move from 2012, my home screen, to 2013 and look at yours.

00:37:06   So one thing I'll notice is that that wallpaper is not good.

00:37:11   Like that is a...

00:37:12   I think I have a...

00:37:13   Like I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with past me and my home screen.

00:37:15   It's messy.

00:37:16   It looks like it's just dirty.

00:37:18   like a really badly painted wall.

00:37:22   For me it's the same thing as always.

00:37:24   It's like a dark, unobtrusive background

00:37:28   that you want to make the icons pop.

00:37:30   So I'm going to give a thumbs up to pass me

00:37:33   on his wallpaper selection.

00:37:35   I wouldn't use it now, but...

00:37:37   We've clearly moved here into iPhone 5 size, right?

00:37:39   Because you have more rows on your home screen.

00:37:41   Yes.

00:37:43   Than I did.

00:37:43   And you're not taking advantage of them in any way.

00:37:46   You got a huge gap there, a cavern some might even call it

00:37:50   between the applications and the dock.

00:37:53   There's two empty rows. That's that's what Myke is saying

00:37:56   There's possibly five rows on the iPhone 5 and I have not used two of them

00:38:00   Because again, I'm self-similar to past me and that he obviously didn't want to fill up his whole home screen with a bunch of stuff

00:38:08   You can see because there's two dots like there's two other screens on this phone

00:38:12   You know now lost to the sands of time like God knows where they are

00:38:15   I imagine like I just had a bunch of crap on those other screens, but yeah past me he understood

00:38:21   You wanted the smallest number of stuff that you can get away with on your home screen

00:38:26   And so yeah, no need to fill up those entire rows just looks really ugly when you do that you agree Myke, you know

00:38:32   Yeah, sure your sweetheart agenda right there. Yep agenda. Yep

00:38:37   What I love about agenda is how thick that icon is like the real like we want to make it maximum 3d

00:38:43   It stands above all the other icons.

00:38:46   It's almost like a skyscraper of icons.

00:38:48   Yeah, it really is.

00:38:51   It's fun.

00:38:52   I'm kind of looking around on Google right now and I'm finding old reviews and stuff

00:38:56   of the application.

00:38:58   It does look really great.

00:39:00   It still now looks like a really full-featured, pretty good-looking calendar application.

00:39:06   Wherefore art thou, agenda?

00:39:09   It's a real shame.

00:39:10   Fantastic Al beat it out for me just because of the natural language stuff.

00:39:13   And it does the majority,

00:39:14   or at least I assume did the majority of things that I needed.

00:39:17   But you know,

00:39:19   it's funny to see like an application that was clearly so successful,

00:39:23   so prevalent for like three years, right?

00:39:25   Cause I'm using it for two years and you're using it as well.

00:39:28   And now it doesn't exist anymore. Yeah.

00:39:31   And it probably is the idea that like we paid maybe $3 for it and then that was

00:39:36   it, you know?

00:39:37   Oh, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's, that's going to happen.

00:39:40   This is gonna happen.

00:39:41   - So you were using OmniFocus back then?

00:39:43   - I see, good old OmniFocus.

00:39:45   - Yeah, I didn't have any GTD at this point in my life,

00:39:48   as you noticed, right?

00:39:49   My two previous screenshots,

00:39:50   there's no application solely focused

00:39:53   around me managing my tasks.

00:39:55   - Oh yeah, that's a good point.

00:39:56   That's a good point, you don't have any task managers.

00:39:58   I know if I was able to dig up an earlier home screen,

00:40:02   OmniFocus would have replaced Remember the Milk

00:40:04   with the cow icon. - Oh, the cow.

00:40:07   (laughing)

00:40:07   I hate that icon so much.

00:40:10   Like the logo, just like the cow is so, so dumb.

00:40:15   - Yeah, it's not a good icon

00:40:17   and they're still sticking with it.

00:40:18   Every once in a while, like I still have my login

00:40:21   for Remember the Milk and every once in a while,

00:40:23   I just like, I will log in and I'll say like,

00:40:25   what was going on there?

00:40:26   And I have all this old stuff that's left over

00:40:27   from when I was teaching.

00:40:28   But I will still say that Remember the Milk to this day

00:40:31   still has features that no other to-do manager has.

00:40:34   - I would say that's probably for a reason.

00:40:37   You know? It's been around for so long, I think everybody would have copied the useful

00:40:43   features by this point.

00:40:44   Well, remember the Milk, right from the start, was a subscription service, which I think

00:40:48   is also the reason why it's still around. And it's like the people who want the features

00:40:52   that Remember the Milk has, they are paying for it on a regular basis. And it's like,

00:40:57   "Hey, guess what? It sticks around. It didn't go away." How many to-do apps have been washed

00:41:02   away hundreds of thousands. I'm sure that's what it is. But remember the milk is still

00:41:09   around and the company is still running and it's still a useful application. I can still

00:41:14   log into my old account and reactivate that subscription anytime that I want. So yeah.

00:41:19   I was going to say, pour one out for Remember the Milk, but just for me because I still

00:41:24   miss some of its features.

00:41:25   I mean, you would be able to because you clearly have the milk, so you could just pour some

00:41:28   of that, right? I guess that's how that works, I think.

00:41:30   I guess this metaphor is getting kind of gross though.

00:41:33   Milk is fine.

00:41:34   Milk is disgusting.

00:41:35   Evernote, Evernote right there, man.

00:41:37   Look at it.

00:41:37   Look at it.

00:41:38   Just gracing your hum scream of its green beauty.

00:41:41   There it is sucking up a whole bunch of notes from me so that it will be forever.

00:41:47   An albatross around my neck from which I cannot escape.

00:41:50   Have you ever heard of Microsoft One though?

00:41:52   Oh no, Myke.

00:41:54   I've never heard of Microsoft One though.

00:41:55   They did have a big update recently.

00:41:57   I don't know if you were.

00:41:57   Oh boy.

00:41:58   No, I didn't know about that.

00:42:00   I haven't heard about that from everybody, from all the OneNoteians who are super intense.

00:42:03   Have you looked at it?

00:42:04   Yeah, yeah, you know what I have.

00:42:05   I have, like, I have looked at it.

00:42:06   Still doesn't do what you need?

00:42:07   Nope, doesn't do what I need.

00:42:08   Just trying to help you out here, man.

00:42:09   Thank you for bringing it up.

00:42:10   Yeah, no, I appreciate that.

00:42:11   Just trying to help you out.

00:42:12   Thank you.

00:42:13   Yeah, it's great, thank you.

00:42:14   I appreciate that.

00:42:15   You know, I feel like if people use OneNote, they should let you know why it's so good.

00:42:22   So moving right along, we also have Seconds Pro, which is my pre-do app serving the exact

00:42:29   same function. I wonder what that was. I've never heard of it. Yeah,

00:42:33   it was doing essentially a whole bunch of the similar things.

00:42:35   Repeating reminders, persistency. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Cause it's like, man,

00:42:40   that is still the greatest thing about do is those reminders that you can set to

00:42:45   poke you repeatedly at certain times. Like it's such a valuable feature.

00:42:48   I don't know why more apps haven't built that in. Again,

00:42:50   like just to reiterate this, it's not that like it just pings up at 12 o'clock.

00:42:54   It will then keep pinging up like every 10, five,

00:42:56   10 minutes or something, or maybe even more frequently.

00:42:59   I don't know the actual time interval.

00:43:00   It's every few minutes.

00:43:01   - The thing that I love about it is that you can set it

00:43:03   for an arbitrary time interval.

00:43:05   So I have things where I'm like,

00:43:06   remind me in an hour if I haven't done the thing,

00:43:09   and I have other ones that are set like,

00:43:11   poke me every minute until I say yes, I've done this thing.

00:43:15   So that's why, it's fantastic, I love it.

00:43:16   - It just persistently reminds you until it's done.

00:43:19   It's not just like a one and done reminder,

00:43:21   and that is what makes it so awesome.

00:43:23   - The only other thing I think of real note

00:43:24   on this home screen to me is a good old Launch Center Pro.

00:43:29   Probably the longest running app that is still

00:43:34   in the same location on my iOS devices.

00:43:38   - You still use it?

00:43:39   - Well, this is an episode out of time, Myke.

00:43:43   We can't discuss that right now

00:43:45   'cause we'll be giving away things, but.

00:43:47   - Okay.

00:43:51   - There'll be a time paradox if we discuss

00:43:53   launch center pro in too much detail but I will simply say that I still think

00:43:58   about that old silver icon and miss it like I resented when they when they

00:44:02   switched to a blue icon then this is like years ago but never a day goes by

00:44:06   where I don't think about like I liked it better when it was silver. I will say if all of the

00:44:10   icons that I've looked at that is the one that I would be most willing to keep

00:44:13   around today it's it's not too bad you know like it's not too much it's not

00:44:18   going too far I actually think it looks really good still. Yeah I never liked

00:44:23   the blue icon update. And I also felt, I felt ideologically that an app that is a

00:44:28   launcher of other apps should have a neutral color. Sort of like settings

00:44:33   feels like it should have a neutral color because it's related to a whole

00:44:37   bunch of other things. It shouldn't be having its own brand being too prevalent

00:44:40   because it's not about that. Yeah exactly it should be in the background so every

00:44:46   time I press the blue launch center app I think you should be silver. But anyway

00:44:52   Yeah, there's a I gotta say I got to give myself points for my old home screen. I think it looks great

00:44:58   Why have you got your old home screens?

00:44:59   They look terrible just as I would expect before I came into your life

00:45:03   But I think I think I'm doing pretty well in my old home screens. I really do. It's good. It's good stuff

00:45:08   So gray, I would like to invite some of our listeners to lunch with us today and take a look at some ask cortex

00:45:15   Questions that we've been getting cuz I collect them all up, you know people can tweet with the hashtag ask cortex

00:45:20   They can even tweet it to me personally, Gray. Mm-hmm. That's nice. Did you know that that I am @imike

00:45:26   I am YKE on Twitter. I did know that. And that people should follow me on Twitter. Now

00:45:30   I'm just gonna say at this point before you object. Object to what? We've been doing this for like two years

00:45:35   And I have never once done that. Why would I object to you begging for Twitter followers?

00:45:40   You can do that if you want. I think that people would enjoy it if they followed me on Twitter

00:45:46   For lots of hashtag content, you know, okay follow I Myke on Twitter people. Thanks gray. He wants your ass cortex question

00:45:54   I'm definitely not thinking about the preparation for my future when

00:45:58   When I beg for Twitter followers

00:46:02   Okay, so let's take a look at some questions here shall we so our first question gray comes from greener and greener asks

00:46:11   The cortex usually discusses being productive whilst running a business presumably to free up time and resources to spend with loved ones

00:46:17   Greeno wants to know a few things one. How do you both get the most from the time that you spend of your significant others?

00:46:24   Before we can even answer that that first part of this

00:46:27   I think that there's a there's a comment on this question that I kind of want to make for anybody who is thinking about being

00:46:34   self-employed

00:46:35   which is

00:46:37   that I

00:46:39   I think it's very natural that you are going to be terrible at freeing up time and resources,

00:46:46   especially at the beginning of your self-employment career.

00:46:50   Yeah, let's say it gives the ability to, does not mean that you have the tools to be able to do this.

00:46:56   Yeah, it's just like there's a lot of an assumption in there, but it is remarkably hard to do.

00:47:03   But it's an assumption that literally everybody makes, I think, when they're going into this.

00:47:08   I can think of everyone I know who is self-employed in some manner

00:47:12   describes at least the first couple of years

00:47:15   being just a total absorption of all time attention and effort

00:47:20   So it's like if you're like, oh

00:47:23   We just had a brand new baby and I'd love to spend more time with my child. So I'm going to become self-employed today

00:47:30   You're not gonna see that kid until he's walking. Yeah, it's the worst time to do it. Do it before. Don't don't do that

00:47:37   Do it two years before, or two years after, but not at the same time.

00:47:41   And this is just like a universal experience that everyone I've talked to about this has had.

00:47:47   And it's certainly been my experience that I only feel like I have in the past few years

00:47:55   even gotten better at doing this kind of thing, about separating out the work and being able to

00:48:03   spend more time with loved ones.

00:48:07   It's just impossible to do in the first few years, because you're really learning

00:48:11   you're really learning how you work

00:48:16   and what sort of boundaries will work for you and what sort of boundaries won't work for you.

00:48:22   Like, what do you want your working environment to be like?

00:48:26   There are just so many things here that it's very hard to do this right at the start.

00:48:33   So while I have definitely gotten better at freeing up time and resources over time,

00:48:39   I was not very good at it at the beginning.

00:48:42   Yeah, let me just add on to that to say that

00:48:45   I'm gonna talk about some ways that when I'm with Adina, I try my best to be with her, but I can't give you any

00:48:52   concrete advice into how you make sure you're freeing that time up.

00:48:57   Yeah, that is the hardest thing to do.

00:48:59   Because really what I've noticed is what happens and what's happening

00:49:02   I think to me maybe now is I'm just getting to the point in my career where I can just

00:49:08   take the gas off a little bit in that I can hand things to other people to take care of,

00:49:14   right?

00:49:15   That I'm able to say no to some projects more and to be able to just really refine the amount

00:49:21   of time that I spend on certain things to the point where I can free up an afternoon,

00:49:25   I can free up a day.

00:49:27   I'm getting to that point now.

00:49:28   Yeah, that's good to hear.

00:49:30   I'm glad to hear that you feel like you can take your foot off the accelerator just a bit.

00:49:34   The last few months especially, I've been like, "Okay, I can spend the afternoon

00:49:41   with time for myself. I can spend the afternoon with Adina because she's off work today."

00:49:48   And things don't explode. I'm getting a lot better. It's not even so much the workload,

00:49:54   it's my approach to it. And that's the biggest thing. Really, it's not necessarily your workload

00:49:59   that's gonna get in your way. It is your approach to how you deal with your work,

00:50:03   and I'm finding myself now being more confident in the fact that everything's gonna be alright.

00:50:08   I think that's a really excellent point that I hadn't considered there, because if I think

00:50:14   about my own career, my workload was much less when I was starting, but I handled it way worse.

00:50:21   Whereas now I feel like my workload is much higher five years later from the beginning than it was at

00:50:27   start, but I handle it vastly better, so I actually feel like I have more time to spend

00:50:35   than I did at the start, even though I also have more to do, and that's part of learning

00:50:40   how you work. But yeah, that's an excellent point that the size of the workload is not

00:50:45   related to how well you handle it. As for the actual question about how do you get the

00:50:51   most from the time you spend with significant others? I feel like for me, I don't have anything

00:50:58   specific to say except a general kind of awareness of a real presence in quality time. So my

00:51:10   My wife and I are going to be going on a trip and I find it is extremely important to, in

00:51:22   those moments, be able to feel like this is quality time and to just be able to totally

00:51:30   put work out of my mind during those times.

00:51:35   And that's really the skill is like being there and not having background processes

00:51:44   running in your mind where you're worried about work.

00:51:49   That's how time can be quality time.

00:51:52   But again, that's just like a thing that you have to learn how you can get better at over

00:51:58   time.

00:51:59   That for me is what makes quality time quality time, is that I can really focus on what is

00:52:03   occurring and not have the background process of my mind worrying about other work stuff.

00:52:08   Yeah, I think for me, if I was going to sum it up, it's just self-control.

00:52:13   I try and feel the situation that we're in. There are times when we might just be hanging out on the

00:52:22   sofa where it's totally fine for me to just pick up if something comes in for me to do it. But when

00:52:27   I do that, I explain what I'm doing. I try and do that right to try and be like, "This is what I

00:52:32   I need to do right now, it won't take me very long, but I have to take care of it.

00:52:35   This is why.

00:52:36   To try and just set the expectation for why this is important enough for me to jump into

00:52:40   it now.

00:52:41   But then there are also times when we're sitting on the sofa where I just don't because it's

00:52:46   feeling the situation that we're in.

00:52:49   And we're taking a vacation and I'm doing my utmost to hand over everything possible

00:52:55   during that period of time to other people to take care of.

00:52:59   So if I'm going to do any work, I'm going to do real limited work during that period

00:53:03   of time, which will be honestly, Gray will be the first time I've ever done that.

00:53:09   In the whole time that I've been running my company, I've never taken a vacation where

00:53:14   I've set things up the way that I'm setting things up now.

00:53:17   Interesting.

00:53:18   Having people fill in for me on my shows, handing as much stuff over to my assistant

00:53:22   as possible.

00:53:23   I will not be setting an out of office on this trip, but I will be on our honeymoon.

00:53:27   like this is this is a dry run for me. This is a dry run for the honeymoon? To see how far can I go

00:53:34   and then to know what I need to do for the big trip where it's going to be 100% no work for two

00:53:39   weeks is the plan. Where this one is like a week and I'm going to try and take a dry run at being

00:53:46   completely focused on just spending that time which is going to be really difficult because

00:53:50   when you run your own thing it's so it's not just something you think about it becomes part of your

00:53:55   personality. You are built around the fact that this is how your brain works

00:54:00   and when you're making all the decisions and they come from your brain well those

00:54:05   decisions and those thoughts and those feelings can come at any time and it

00:54:08   becomes part of you. So to be able to turn it off is very difficult but again

00:54:12   it's about how much self-control and restraint can I show to not jump in and

00:54:19   record that bonus episode right now because I had a great idea you know like

00:54:23   how do I pull back? And that's what I've been focusing more on it and I have some tests

00:54:28   coming up and I'll let you know how it goes.

00:54:31   I'll be curious to hear that.

00:54:33   Yeah, yeah, so will I.

00:54:37   This episode of Cortex is brought to you by Audible, the home of all the audio content

00:54:42   you could ever want. From thrilling novels to fascinating non-fiction to content from

00:54:47   newspapers and magazines. If you want it, Audible has it.

00:54:51   For this episode out of time, I'm going to recommend to you a book that I think anyone

00:54:55   could read at any time.

00:54:57   It's called "Essentialism, the Disciplined Pursuit of Less" by Greg McKeown.

00:55:03   It's a book that emphasizes the idea that whether you're thinking about your life or

00:55:08   your business, you need to focus on the things that really matter.

00:55:13   And it's a great kind of book to listen to in the background maybe a couple of times.

00:55:18   I know that I have revisited it as an Amsterdam Gratation book on a couple of occasions.

00:55:24   I really liked it and if you feel like you're getting pulled in many directions, it's a great book to listen to.

00:55:29   And of course, that's the great thing with audiobooks, is that you can use all kinds of time that would otherwise be dead time to help improve yourself.

00:55:39   You might be on your commute to work, you might be doing your laundry, you might be cleaning the house or doing some chores or some errands.

00:55:45   That is a great time to listen to audiobooks, and I know errand time for me is big audiobook listening time.

00:55:52   Seriously, if you're listening to podcasts and you haven't yet gotten into audiobooks, you are missing out.

00:55:58   So go to audible.com/cortex, C-O-R-T-E-X, to find out more and start your free Audible trial today.

00:56:07   That's audible.com/cortex.

00:56:09   Thanks to Audible for their support of this show and all of Relay FM.

00:56:13   Emily has a question related to your vlog. There's a moment in the vlog where you open

00:56:20   Slack and you say something to the effect of enabling the dead man switch, call my lawyer

00:56:27   and all this stuff. Can you please explain what level of peculiarity that is? I mean,

00:56:35   this is very intriguing to me because I don't fully understand what's going on here.

00:56:41   It's a dead man switch, Myke. I don't understand what I need to explain.

00:56:44   Let's start with what is a dead man switch?

00:56:48   A dead man switch is the idea that there is an action that you as a person need to perform on a regular basis

00:56:58   in order to prevent something from automatically occurring.

00:57:04   I've usually heard this in the context of computer security.

00:57:10   So an example of a dead man's switch is like let's say you were really paranoid about your computer security.

00:57:20   And you were a programmer and what you do is you write a little program that on your computer every day you have to type a certain phrase in your Notes app.

00:57:33   and if that phrase isn't typed, a computer will execute and will automatically wipe your whole computer clean.

00:57:40   So this might be the idea like, "Oh, you're really paranoid about your data falling into somebody else's hands."

00:57:46   And so, if the computer is not touched by you for 24 hours, like even if it's not connected to the internet,

00:57:52   there's a way in which it's going to do this thing to wipe itself clean automatically.

00:57:59   So that's like that's an idea of a dead man switch you have failed to do something so a

00:58:05   Process begins when I worked in the bank

00:58:08   We had code words that we would use and if the code word was was or wasn't used it would activate a security protocol

00:58:15   Mmm, meaning that you're under duress. Yes. Yes. Yeah, that's right. Actually and that's a good example

00:58:21   There's um, I know in the airlines there have been

00:58:25   similar kinds of things like the the failure to use a

00:58:29   Codeword in a communication indicates that there is a problem which is when if you think about it for a minute a much better system

00:58:36   Than like requiring a codeword for there to be a problem

00:58:41   Because it may be difficult for the person to give the codeword under certain circumstances

00:58:44   Okay, so now

00:58:47   particular thing that was happening

00:58:49   Stage is sets for this for this concept, which is the dead man switch

00:58:54   So without getting into any specifics, crossing the US border, even for US citizens,

00:59:02   over time has become the kind of thing where for funsies, you can be detained indefinitely, even as a US citizen.

00:59:11   Border security can just decide that they want to hold you for a really long time, you know, and put you in a special room.

00:59:19   And once I had this happen to me, being detained for a very long time at the border, and it was no fun.

00:59:28   It's no fun at all.

00:59:31   So what I was doing in the vlog with this dead man switch is, all I wanted to set up was to let somebody know

00:59:40   that they should be hearing from me within the span of two hours.

00:59:46   So I had landed at the airport, I was about to go through border security,

00:59:50   and I just sent the message which activates the dead man switch like,

00:59:54   "If you do not hear from me within two hours,

00:59:58   you should just assume that I am being detained for funsies indefinitely by border security.

01:00:05   And if that happens, you should just get in touch with my lawyer and let's like start the machinery rolling."

01:00:14   And so the reason to do something like this is...

01:00:18   Because the stories are quite interesting about people who get detained at the border,

01:00:22   but like you can be held incommunicado for very long periods of time,

01:00:27   and that is not great.

01:00:29   So all it is, is it's like a little bit of a traveling peace of mind

01:00:33   that you know-- that like, I can know that if I'm in the situation, which is very unlikely,

01:00:39   But if I am in this situation, like the machinery of legal protection is spinning up

01:00:45   without me having to invoke it because I may not be able to invoke it for a long time.

01:00:52   So that's that's what's happening there with the dead man switch.

01:00:56   Okay, so my feeling on this is I have two things. One, the fact that you have been detained

01:01:02   excuses this for me as a crazy man's thing.

01:01:05   Okay, right. Okay, so that makes it that makes it more real for you.

01:01:08   Yeah, well because you know my feeling was like what's he doing like this?

01:01:12   Why are you going to these lengths?

01:01:14   But if you have been involved in this right like if this type of thing has happened to you before

01:01:19   Then it makes perfect sense like it's not an act of pure paranoia

01:01:22   Yeah, it's it's not an act of pure paranoia and and the thing

01:01:26   The thing which I always kind of have to explain is I am NOT a normal traveler crossing the border because of my dual citizenship

01:01:34   Sure. So like I am pulled aside and searched at a frequency which is much greater than a regular traveler.

01:01:41   Okie dokie. Well, that makes sense. The other thing is I'm slightly disappointed that this doesn't have an amazing name.

01:01:46   Like

01:01:48   Activate Project Hades, right? Or like Protocol Zeus. You know, I feel like you could do better than this.

01:01:56   Yeah, I mean I could come up with a better activation name in the future. For that vlog, that was

01:02:03   That was the first time it had occurred to me that like I have a I have an actual way to solve this kind of

01:02:08   Problem like I have the ability to put a mechanism in place to get things started

01:02:10   Oh, it was just the first time you'd done it. So that was actually the first time I had done. Okay now it needs a name

01:02:16   No, you so now yes, okay

01:02:17   We'll have we'll have some kind of protocol which will have a cool name, you know

01:02:21   You could build like a slack box that could do a lot of this work for you

01:02:25   You know that right like you could automate this

01:02:27   You know you let the slack bot know and then it will do the notification to your lawyer

01:02:32   You don't even need a human.

01:02:35   I want a human in the loop, right?

01:02:37   Because I'm not like, "Oh, how confident am I about my ability to automate not when it's

01:02:42   serious?"

01:02:43   That's true.

01:02:44   Yeah, let's keep it going on there.

01:02:45   This is not a time to be like, "Oh, I'm so clever with my workflows."

01:02:50   Like really.

01:02:51   Look at me.

01:02:52   Yeah?

01:02:53   Are you 100% clever in your workflows?

01:02:55   I have a pretty good success rate, but then again, it could be a disaster that I'm just

01:03:01   not aware of. Yeah, but so anyway. That's the dead man switch. I have a question

01:03:08   here from Jack. Now this is a question that Jack has given to us that I hear a

01:03:14   lot and I think it might be interesting to talk about why this isn't a thing.

01:03:20   Jack wants to know why don't you just commission an email app made to your

01:03:24   specification? I hear this a lot, right? Because me and you have very particular

01:03:30   thoughts about things, especially when it comes to apps that we use to get our work

01:03:34   done. Email apps is maybe the biggest, right? We're very particular about our email apps,

01:03:39   we're never happy. Why don't we just commission an email application made to your specifications?

01:03:46   My answer, Jack, is I don't have enough money to do that. To get that done would be an incredibly

01:03:52   expensive job that I would just be pouring money into for honestly no real return, I

01:03:58   think.

01:03:59   I mean, this is a bit like I live in London the apartment that I live in is not exactly to the specifications that I would want

01:04:06   Why don't I commission the creation of an apartment to match my specifications? I think this is the kind of thing where

01:04:15   this the scope of this is

01:04:18   Much bigger than it might seem

01:04:21   Yeah

01:04:22   There's just a there's a colorful icon that you tap and it opens and there's email like it seems

01:04:28   It seems so simple, but I know from people who have worked on this kind of stuff that, what is it? It's the

01:04:34   SMTP, like that's the protocol that's used for email. It's like, oh, okay. Well, you just need to write something to the

01:04:42   SMTP protocol. It's like, oh, yes

01:04:44   Except that all of the major email providers

01:04:48   Use a slightly different version of this. It's like, oh, okay

01:04:52   So your work just multiplied by at least tenfold before we've even begun

01:04:56   that it's not "oh write a thing to this specification" it's "write a thing to Google's version of this specification and

01:05:02   Microsoft's version of the specification and Fastmail's version of the specification."

01:05:06   This is work that would never stop. This is an infinite money pit.

01:05:10   Yeah, it's like it's different if you're making this app to sell on your own

01:05:14   You're not paying for it. You're just using your time, right? Like if we're commissioning something we're paying for someone we're hiring someone

01:05:23   to do this, which is

01:05:25   very difficult and very expensive. Yeah, and something like an email app. I

01:05:30   think there are very few people who could be single individuals

01:05:37   who could do this in any reasonable time frame on their own. So now

01:05:42   it's actually, well, we're hiring three people. It's like, wait a minute, like I'm starting a software company now?

01:05:50   Like we're having weekly scrum meetings about this email app.

01:05:54   Stand up, you gotta have your stand up in the morning.

01:05:56   And so just I think the cost of this is vastly beyond what people anticipate.

01:06:02   And it's like well I know we will hear from loan developers who have made email apps,

01:06:08   but now this is like a very different question from we're paying someone to make a thing,

01:06:14   and like the recouping, recouping the cost of that,

01:06:18   it just, I think it's totally unworkable

01:06:21   in any practical way.

01:06:22   - 'Cause here's the other thing,

01:06:23   if you're willing to do this for free,

01:06:25   I can't do that because I can't confirm

01:06:27   that you'll ever make any money

01:06:29   other than the $10 I'll pay you for the app, right?

01:06:31   Like I can't, you can't do it in good conscience either.

01:06:35   Like this has to be something

01:06:37   that you would hire someone to do.

01:06:39   - Yeah.

01:06:40   - And that just ain't happening.

01:06:40   Like I prefer to take my current route

01:06:43   where I send emails to developers that I like and kindly request that they have functionality

01:06:48   for me, the same as anybody else can.

01:06:51   Exactly. And the other side of this is, I think we can all look at the bloody battlefield

01:06:59   of dead email apps and not feel super confident that this is a slam dunk business decision

01:07:06   even if you could make it happen.

01:07:08   Yeah, let's assume that it's actually just not, right?

01:07:11   Like there is no logic in this.

01:07:15   - Yeah, so I think it's a terrible idea all around.

01:07:20   That's why we have not commissioned an email app

01:07:24   to be made to our specifications.

01:07:25   - We both have very strong opinions about home screens

01:07:29   as has already been detailed in this episode.

01:07:32   I wanna know how you feel,

01:07:36   This is a question from me to you.

01:07:37   I wanna know how you feel about apps

01:07:41   that let you change their icon.

01:07:44   - Great. - Yeah?

01:07:45   - More apps should do it.

01:07:47   All apps should do it.

01:07:48   - Friend of ours, James Thompson, developer of Peacock.

01:07:51   He went a little bit off the reservation

01:07:54   and created a million icons, but I love it.

01:07:57   I absolutely love it. - He did a great job.

01:07:58   Yeah, I disagree.

01:08:00   I don't think he went off the reservation at all.

01:08:02   - Well, I'll say that James got a little bit carried away,

01:08:04   I think it started with five and then he's quick.

01:08:07   I don't even know how many he has like a million icons now in his app,

01:08:11   but I love them because I'm able to make choices that fit with my own aesthetic

01:08:15   preferences. I think it's fantastic. I love it. Um, my,

01:08:19   we have a question from Rick who asks what Reddit client we use.

01:08:22   So I can roll this one up into there. My Reddit client of choice,

01:08:25   Narwhal also lets me do this and I have a nice, I,

01:08:29   the app I use is in a dark mode and they have icons that are dark icons.

01:08:33   It's the same for Overcast. I use Overcast dark mode.

01:08:36   And they have a dark icon there as well.

01:08:39   I really like this layer of customization. I think this is awesome.

01:08:43   Yeah, I wish more apps should do it.

01:08:47   And to any app developers who are out there,

01:08:50   I just want to specify, I think you should do it,

01:08:52   and I think it should be in an app purchase.

01:08:54   - Oh, definitely. - This is a no-brainer,

01:08:59   easy path to additional revenue to support the development of your app.

01:09:03   Because this is exactly the kind of thing, this is like selling hats in World of Warcraft, right?

01:09:09   Like it does, does it affect the functionality? Not at all?

01:09:12   Is it a thing that people like to customize their stuff? Tons?

01:09:16   So this is like the most no-brainer of no-brainer.

01:09:19   If you're sitting around thinking, "How can I get it more additional revenue out of my app?"

01:09:24   Customizable icons has got to be one of the biggest bangs for your buck that you can possibly do. Make a few different colored versions,

01:09:31   Stick it up as an in-app purchase. Boom, done.

01:09:35   Like easy money for

01:09:37   not too much work compared to say adding new features to your app.

01:09:43   So I wish more apps would do it and I will happily pay more apps to customize the icons if they make that an option.

01:09:50   Yeah, I think it's fantastic because why not, right?

01:09:54   Yeah. Make it part of just these additional features, some kind of pro level, whatever, but let me pay and let me customize.

01:10:01   I think it's a great like just a nice little addition a nice little enhancement

01:10:05   Yeah, and every one of you app developers, you should look look up to James Thompson and pcalc

01:10:11   For the way you should do custom icons. Yep

01:10:15   Side note me and Grey forced James to charge for these

01:10:20   Which I think is kind of hilarious. I think it's fair to describe it as bullying. Yeah

01:10:26   I think it's fair to say that we bullied James into making them paid, which I also think

01:10:32   is funny, is like, "I'll be super angry with you if you don't make me pay for this thing

01:10:36   that you're doing."

01:10:37   Sorry, James, but we did it for your own good.

01:10:39   Yep, and I think he's very happy.

01:10:41   I think he's very happy.

01:10:42   Yeah.

01:10:43   I have a couple of questions here that are about some to-do system particulars that I

01:10:48   quite enjoy.

01:10:50   Isaac asked, "When writing a new task in your to-do application, do you start the task

01:10:55   of a capital letter.

01:10:59   What do you do, Myke?

01:11:00   Oh, I have to.

01:11:01   Okay.

01:11:02   I can't look at that list later on and then not be the sentence capitalized.

01:11:06   Because sometimes my tasks are sentences, right?

01:11:08   Actually, very frequently they're sentences.

01:11:10   There has to be punctuation and correct capitalization.

01:11:15   It all goes in.

01:11:16   I mean, luckily as well, I do most of this on iOS so the capitalization is done automatically.

01:11:20   But even if I'm adding something on my Mac, I'll put a capital letter in myself.

01:11:23   Yeah, yeah.

01:11:24   I'm laughing because, I mean, years and years ago I decided on the CGP Grey style guide for this kind of thing.

01:11:31   I really hope that there's a document that exists.

01:11:34   There is literally a CGP Grey style guide text file.

01:11:37   Oh man, I want to see that one day.

01:11:39   Nope.

01:11:40   Because I could imitate you, that's all I need.

01:11:44   There's a bunch of stuff that's in there, but yes, it is a text file.

01:11:47   Which is surprisingly useful because there's a bunch of corner cases that I sort of forget.

01:11:51   And it's like, "Oh great, past me made a decision about this, and I'll just see what he did."

01:11:54   But for my task manager, the style guide is that

01:12:00   tasks

01:12:02   start with a capital letter, like it's a sentence,

01:12:04   but projects are written in title case.

01:12:08   So that's the way I do this. If it's a project, it's written in title case, and

01:12:14   if it is a task, it is first letter capitalization only.

01:12:19   Very brief description title case is when you capitalize most words in a sentence. Yeah, is this the way like a movie will be capitalized

01:12:25   Yeah, right. Well, it'll be like night of the living dead of the won't be capitalized

01:12:31   But the rest of the words will be yeah

01:12:32   If you're ever interested in finding out how to format this by the way

01:12:36   There is a fantastic online tool that I use quite a lot at title case calm

01:12:40   I just wanted to recommend that as a little tip for people

01:12:42   It has a bunch of it can format text in a bunch of different ways for you

01:12:47   And we title case all of our episode titles and sometimes I'm not 100% sure how to do it. So I use titlecase.com

01:12:53   Yeah, I use titlecase.com in the case where there's any ambiguous capitalization.

01:12:59   It's the referee.

01:13:00   It seems like it should be super obvious, but you can run easily into an ambiguous case

01:13:06   and so I use titlecase.com as the final judgment on what's going to be capital or what's not going to be capital if I'm not sure.

01:13:12   So I would say mostly final judgement. Sometimes I would change something if it just doesn't

01:13:16   look right. Yeah, yeah, every once in a while there's

01:13:20   one that's just ugly and like, well I'm not going to look at that.

01:13:22   It's like six words, every single one of them is capitalised except for "of" and I'm like,

01:13:27   I just got to capitalise it. There's nothing I can do here, it's over.

01:13:32   And I really like this one, this question from Chai.

01:13:35   Do either of you complete a task that's actually not on your to-do list, add it to your list

01:13:39   and then mark it as complete?

01:13:41   No, I find this a really bizarre behavior.

01:13:47   And I remember first coming across this as a teacher

01:13:50   because one of my students did it in front of me.

01:13:53   She wrote down a thing that she had already done

01:13:55   to then cross it off in her little journal.

01:13:58   And I was totally baffled by this behavior.

01:14:02   I think now I can conceptualize why people do it,

01:14:06   people do it but I was super confused at first. I don't do this. I find it sort of strange

01:14:12   but I'm guessing that you do from your reaction?

01:14:14   From time to time I have done this. I've done some things like this. Like if I have to rearrange

01:14:20   a task but I've done part of it but it's not done yet, you know, I might move the task

01:14:25   and then make another one and check it off so I've at least got the satisfaction of doing

01:14:29   the checking. Plus I use Todoist which actually does do some kind of like tracking of your

01:14:33   statistics and like you can get a streak going and sometimes like if I'm one away from keeping

01:14:38   the streak but I like can't complete this like say for example the task is like because

01:14:43   I have some stupid tasks which you hate something like Q3 sponsorship could be a task right

01:14:49   but that's not a task that I'll complete in a day but I might knock chips out of it every

01:14:53   day right so then I'll be like well I deserve something because I did some stuff today so

01:14:58   I might add myself a little task in and check it off yeah no but I see what you're doing

01:15:02   here you're juicing your stats like the city of Baltimore like that's that's

01:15:04   what you're up to you're like oh yes look at all these look at all these

01:15:07   tasks that were ticked off today but you're just you're creating ones to be

01:15:10   ticked off a very productive human being I'm sure you are I have a 29-week streak

01:15:16   going on here now well you can't can't let that break can't break the street

01:15:20   even if it's even it's the truth hey is it true it's the truth because you've

01:15:26   made it the truth you can't handle the truth