10: Zero Artistic Skills


00:00:00   Ten episodes in and I still just don't know what to do.

00:00:04   To start the show?

00:00:05   To start the show.

00:00:06   You always feel awkward about it.

00:00:07   Well now you're turning it into a tiny segment which is Myke awkwardly tries to start the show.

00:00:12   You complain about the schedules.

00:00:13   Mm-hmm.

00:00:14   And this is what I complain about.

00:00:15   I just don't know what to do with it.

00:00:17   The best part is I do nothing to help you.

00:00:20   No, you make it worse.

00:00:22   Yeah, I just sit here and I wait and go, Myke's gonna start the show.

00:00:25   Let me see what he does.

00:00:26   And then I say something and you just go "Oh, trying to start the show are you?"

00:00:30   Yeah, I draw attention to it, which makes it worse.

00:00:34   And so this is what we do now.

00:00:36   I see you have a line in our document which you've placed before the follow-up section

00:00:42   that you seem to have a video game recommendation.

00:00:45   Yeah, I put it at the top there because you seem to be in charge of all the show notes.

00:00:48   I don't want to mess up all your beautiful little show notes.

00:00:51   So if I ever write anything, I'm just going to put it at the top and you can put it wherever you want.

00:00:55   There's one thing I have learned, Myke, which is that if you're doing a show which is vaguely

00:01:00   about work and being self-employed, the thing people really want to hear about is video

00:01:05   games.

00:01:06   It certainly seems that way, because any time we mention it, the Reddit becomes full of

00:01:12   video game stuff.

00:01:14   So I was looking for feedback on mind maps, and I do have one little part, but there was

00:01:19   nothing in the Reddit, right?

00:01:20   But did we hear about video games again?

00:01:22   Yes, we did.

00:01:24   Yes.

00:01:25   to draw from this is that people who are self-employed, they have a lot of time for video games maybe.

00:01:31   And it's something that interests them. So I thought, oh, I guess let me mention something then.

00:01:36   Which is, when I was just editing the last episode of Hello Internet, which went up yesterday

00:01:42   after a big editing marathon, I was looking for something else to play

00:01:47   and you may be a little young for this, Myke. But did you ever play a game called Dungeon Keeper as a kid?

00:01:53   No.

00:01:54   Yeah, see that's what I figured because I forget, you're, how old are you?

00:01:58   You're like 25?

00:01:59   Is that right?

00:02:00   I'm 27 I think.

00:02:02   This is the thing, I don't know how old I am most of the time.

00:02:06   To the point that once I said how old I was on a show and someone wrote in to tell me

00:02:10   that I was wrong and tell me my correct age.

00:02:13   Nice.

00:02:14   Nicely done there.

00:02:15   Yep.

00:02:16   Genius!

00:02:17   Yeah, so you would have been a little, a little, a little young for Dungeon Keeper but it

00:02:22   It was a game that had kind of a cult following back in maybe the 90s or so.

00:02:27   But it is yet another game that follows the tragic story called

00:02:32   Electronic Arts buys a promising video game company, promises to make a sequel,

00:02:37   and then does it for years and eventually spits out a horrible pile of poo that nobody likes.

00:02:42   Considering I'm doing the editing, I will at this point say they just go and f*ck everything up.

00:02:47   f*ck it all up. They do. They really do. At the Electronic Arts corporate offices it should say

00:02:54   Electronic Arts and then right below it on a banner it should say something like

00:02:58   Crusher of Dreams. It's just they're just terrible and they just love to buy up talent and then

00:03:04   squander squander that talent. But Dungeon Keeper was another one of these things where people were

00:03:10   really excited for the third game in the series and nothing eventually happened except pooping

00:03:16   out a horrible free-to-play "actually you need to buy a thousand in-app purchases"

00:03:21   thing for the iPad a little while ago.

00:03:24   But just like with Cities Skylines, where someone else finally took up the mantle for

00:03:29   SimCity because Electronic Arts wasn't going to do it and they built an amazing spiritual

00:03:35   successor to SimCity better than anything else, which is of course the Cities Skylines,

00:03:39   there's a team that has put together the true successor to Dungeon Keeper, which is now

00:03:45   called War for the Overworld. I only mentioned it as a recommendation because it originally

00:03:51   came out many years ago, but it was just like a buggy mess that was unplayable. But I remembered

00:03:58   that I had purchased early access to it on Steam and I thought, "Oh, let me give it

00:04:02   another try!" And I had several enjoyable hours kind of wandering down the nostalgia

00:04:07   factor of playing this game from my childhood, which is now very good and is definitely worth

00:04:13   checking out if you ever played Dungeon Keeper when you were a kid.

00:04:16   So this is one of my recommendations.

00:04:18   I want to make a recommendation as well.

00:04:20   Yeah?

00:04:20   For a PlayStation game.

00:04:21   Called Rocket League.

00:04:23   It's amazing.

00:04:24   It's this little game.

00:04:26   It's like one of those things, it's just this little game made by a studio that I'd never heard of before

00:04:32   that just captures the hearts and minds of people and it just takes off.

00:04:37   So you basically, you control a kind of life-size remote control car.

00:04:45   Like they look like remote control cars, they move like remote control cars.

00:04:48   And basically you're playing football with remote control cars.

00:04:52   There is this huge ball and there's teams and you just have to try and score it.

00:04:57   And you can jump the cars, flip the cars, they have rocket packs on them so you can boost them.

00:05:02   And it is incredible fun.

00:05:04   I do not enjoy sports. I tend to not really enjoy sports games. This one is just totally different

00:05:09   and if you have a PlayStation you should own Rocket League because it is fantastic and they have

00:05:14   You can play against AI or you can play online

00:05:17   Which I really like they have both because there's way too many console games these days that just put everything as more online multiplayer

00:05:24   Which is not typically how I like to play

00:05:26   Yeah, I get frustrated by that as well. If you buy a game, it's like oh only multiplayer online. Oh forget it

00:05:33   Yeah, it's not mine, it's not my bag, I just don't like it.

00:05:36   Going back to the PC games for a moment, how do you play them?

00:05:41   What do you use for input methods?

00:05:44   Well, with Dungeon Keeper I'm still using my Wacom tablet as the primary input method because

00:05:48   Oh, interesting.

00:05:49   Really, when I'm playing the game I'm really doing the first and the third edit of Hello Internet

00:05:56   which are both edits where I can be doing something else at the same time

00:06:00   Because I'm actually wanting to be able to do stuff on the podcast, I'll still use the pen.

00:06:05   And it is very usable for certain kinds of games.

00:06:09   You could never play, like, a first-person shooter with it.

00:06:12   You could never play something like Doom with a pen very well.

00:06:16   I will now hear from everybody who plays Doom with a pen.

00:06:19   But for something like Dungeon Keeper, which is a top-down, moving characters around,

00:06:25   Starcraft-style game, a pen tablet is a very usable input method.

00:06:30   I was just thinking, because I haven't explained what the game is at all, but you build a dungeon,

00:06:34   you play the bad guy, you build a dungeon and heroes are trying to invade your dungeon, so they kind of flip around the traditional story.

00:06:39   It's not like one of these games like, for example, Starcraft, where you have to constantly micromanage each individual troop.

00:06:45   You can do very little directly, which I think is an interesting gameplay mechanism that makes you absolutely loathe your minions.

00:06:54   because you feel like "Just do the thing that I want you to do!"

00:06:57   But you can only issue these very broad commands, like "Everybody go over here!"

00:07:01   You can't control things directly, and so when I'm working I actually need games like that

00:07:06   where I don't require 100% of my attention and I can flip away from them for a few moments

00:07:11   and make a few cuts or delete something and then flip back and continue to play them.

00:07:15   I might look at this one.

00:07:16   Because of this frustrating mechanic, I'm not sure that people who've never played the original ones

00:07:21   would actually like this.

00:07:23   If you've heard of Dungeon Keeper and you loved it as a kid, you should totally play this.

00:07:27   But I'm not 100% sure that I could recommend it just

00:07:31   as a game in the abstract. You stick with your prison architect and burning

00:07:35   everything to the ground. - I'm building a beautiful prison right now. - Oh right, of course, because you turned

00:07:39   off the losing part of the game. - Really is very, very, very beautiful.

00:07:43   I might actually work on it more whilst editing this show. - There we go.

00:07:47   - And it will be fantastic. - Okay, so now let's do the real show.

00:07:51   Yeah, let's do some follow up.

00:07:53   So C-HDO on the Reddit suggested an app that you might be interested in called

00:07:59   Altanote, which is an Evernote replacement for the Mac.

00:08:02   It isn't a different service.

00:08:04   It is just another app for Evernote on the Mac,

00:08:08   which is built to take out a lot of the cruft that they add in

00:08:12   and actually make the app nicer.

00:08:14   Oh, I see. I see.

00:08:16   So it's like it's like a tweet bot for Evernote.

00:08:19   - Exactly, because it's difficult to explain,

00:08:21   because when you say it's a replacement,

00:08:23   it makes it sound like a different service.

00:08:25   But this is actually just an app that looks way nicer

00:08:30   to be used for Evernote, but it's just on the Mac.

00:08:33   - Yeah, it does look like it's much nicer.

00:08:36   - Yeah. - I might give that a try.

00:08:38   - I think you should,

00:08:39   because I don't know how much you use it on the Mac.

00:08:41   I assume enough.

00:08:42   - The answer is as little as possible and enough.

00:08:45   - See, my thing when I look at something like this

00:08:47   is I just know that if I was to start using this,

00:08:50   I would want it everywhere.

00:08:52   - Right, yeah, that's part of the frustration.

00:08:54   - You know, and that makes me sad.

00:08:55   Oh, they are making it though.

00:08:57   They're making Altanote for iOS.

00:08:58   They've got right down the bottom,

00:09:00   sign up to our newsletter,

00:09:01   be the first to know about Altanote for iOS.

00:09:03   - I would definitely give something like that a try

00:09:05   because one of my biggest complaints with Evernote is,

00:09:09   okay, so I throw all this stuff into Evernote

00:09:11   and I have a default folder called inbox

00:09:14   so that I can just throw everything in there

00:09:16   and I don't have to try to pre-sort it,

00:09:18   it makes it easier to just be able to throw things in

00:09:21   to remove a little bit of resistance.

00:09:23   But that does mean that every once in a while

00:09:25   I have to go through my inbox and sort all of the stuff

00:09:28   that I've collected into which topic folder

00:09:31   is it going to go into.

00:09:32   This is exactly the kind of activity

00:09:34   that I would love to do, say, while sitting on the couch

00:09:38   and my wife is watching some TV show

00:09:39   and I'm there and I'm paying attention

00:09:42   but I also wanna do a little something,

00:09:43   like this seems like, oh, the perfect kind of work

00:09:45   to just organize something like that.

00:09:47   I would take out my iPad to do that on Evernote,

00:09:50   except that why they do this, who knows?

00:09:52   But it takes so many taps to take an item

00:09:57   and put it in a folder.

00:09:58   And it just blows my mind,

00:09:59   like isn't this the primary purpose of your thing,

00:10:02   is for sorting and collecting stuff?

00:10:05   Why do I have to click on the note,

00:10:08   click on the information box,

00:10:09   click on where the folders go,

00:10:11   then scroll down to select the folder that I want,

00:10:13   click on the folder and then click OK.

00:10:15   It's like a hundred taps to put something in a folder.

00:10:18   So I just don't do it on my iPad,

00:10:21   even though that is obviously the ideal place

00:10:23   to do that kind of work.

00:10:24   It's hugely frustrating.

00:10:25   So if Alternote makes an iOS version,

00:10:28   I will definitely check it out

00:10:29   because at least from the little video here,

00:10:31   it looked pretty good for Mac.

00:10:32   - They have a dark mode.

00:10:34   - I noticed that right away.

00:10:35   That's extremely important to me.

00:10:37   - Ticking all your boxes here.

00:10:38   Version two, apparently for the Mac,

00:10:40   is gonna have full markdown support.

00:10:42   - Sold.

00:10:43   - Yep, that sounds like a winner.

00:10:45   - Yeah, this is definitely,

00:10:46   this definitely looks like a winner.

00:10:48   - I mentioned we didn't have a lot of follow up on mind maps

00:10:51   but we did get follow up from one person,

00:10:53   Adina, my girlfriend, who I spoke about in the show.

00:10:56   She provided me with very detailed follow up

00:10:58   via iMessage yesterday on her way home from work

00:11:01   she was listening.

00:11:02   So I would like to provide her reasoning for mind maps.

00:11:05   Because at the moment she is the only person

00:11:09   on site for mind maps.

00:11:10   Was she trying to sell you on mind maps?

00:11:13   - No, she's just telling me why she likes them.

00:11:15   - Okay.

00:11:16   - So she says, "I need mind maps to organize the information

00:11:19   that I find out for my job in a way that makes sense to me,

00:11:22   rather than how someone else has structured it

00:11:24   that makes sense to them.

00:11:25   Mind maps help me simplify findings and rationales

00:11:28   and also helps me remember them.

00:11:30   So no matter what question I get from someone on a project,

00:11:33   I can go to that specific location on the mind map

00:11:36   to find the information to answer that question."

00:11:38   So the way that I see this is like,

00:11:39   So she draws out these mind maps and it's like, okay,

00:11:42   I think about this, which leads me to this,

00:11:43   which leads me to this.

00:11:44   So somebody asks her a question later,

00:11:46   she can see the thinking that informed the decision,

00:11:48   which is interesting.

00:11:50   And she also, she wanted to say that her,

00:11:52   the way that she does these types of mind maps

00:11:54   don't look like regular mind maps,

00:11:56   where one idea is in the center

00:11:58   and everything branches out from it.

00:12:00   She says that doesn't make sense to her.

00:12:01   And then she went on this rant also

00:12:03   against mind mapping people to say,

00:12:05   how do you organize your ideas?

00:12:07   Why do you just throw them on paper?

00:12:09   You just draw more branches and it's crazy.

00:12:11   So she does her own style of mind mapping

00:12:14   and I can see the thinking behind it,

00:12:16   like drawing out these diagrams

00:12:18   to try and display the way that you're thinking.

00:12:22   And if your brain works like that, it's great.

00:12:24   But it seems like on the whole,

00:12:26   Cortex listeners don't seem to have mind mapping brains.

00:12:29   - Could you get an example mind map from her?

00:12:31   Because it sounds like she doesn't like mind maps either

00:12:34   and she's actually doing something else.

00:12:36   I feel like we need to see what she's doing.

00:12:37   I can try because I don't know what she can share but I'll see if I can get something

00:12:43   and if I can then great if not maybe I'll ask her to do something for me and we can

00:12:48   put it in the show notes.

00:12:49   I don't know how much we can do to have a show because she might get in trouble for

00:12:54   that but we'll work it out.

00:12:55   That's fine it's worth it for the show though isn't it?

00:12:57   Oh definitely I mean you know what's her job isn't really as important as this show of

00:13:01   course so you know priorities.

00:13:05   I have said nothing about that, you just said that sentence.

00:13:09   Well I can listen to how that sounded and I can remove it if I need to.

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00:15:50   [BEEP]

00:15:51   Getting audiobooks into overcast.

00:15:54   There is a lot of stuff here, Gray.

00:15:56   So referring to last week where you were removing--

00:16:00   you were very upset about the audible icon changing to orange,

00:16:04   and it was completely throwing off the feng shui of your home screen design.

00:16:08   I realized, listening back to that episode,

00:16:10   that it did sound a little crazy that I was having this problem with the fact

00:16:14   that it was orange.

00:16:15   But at the same time listening to that I thought, no, but it really is a problem.

00:16:18   I just, yeah, that orange is just terrible.

00:16:22   So it did have to go.

00:16:23   So I have a bunch of follow up items and other suggestions.

00:16:28   So we spoke about last week the Dropbox to Hufduffer Workflow with the Workflow app.

00:16:33   Turns out doesn't work for DRM files as you discovered.

00:16:37   So I have a bunch of other suggestions for you.

00:16:40   Lucas sent over something that he created to create a private audiobook podcast

00:16:45   feed using Dropbox and it's a script that he made. I didn't test this because

00:16:51   I'm too scared and confused to run scripts. It's just not something that I

00:16:54   understand. I've upset everybody but it's just not a thing that I've ever really

00:16:58   spent much time with so I assume it works. I like that you are open and

00:17:02   honest about that. Yeah it's just never something that I've spent any time with.

00:17:06   I don't know any type of programming language, nothing. Scripts equals

00:17:11   scary for Myke.

00:17:16   Yes, terrifying.

00:17:18   Absolutely terrifying.

00:17:19   So I'm guessing then that you were unsuccessful

00:17:21   in attempting to remove any DRM from the audio,

00:17:25   from the audible files.

00:17:30   I can neither confirm nor deny my attempts

00:17:32   at doing such a thing.

00:17:34   All I am providing you, Gray, is just some suggestions.

00:17:36   Right.

00:17:39   I will also, right now, either confirm nor deny

00:17:38   that such a thing is possible and say for the record now that if I ever make any comments about doing such a thing in the future,

00:17:43   that they are entirely theoretical conversations that are being had.

00:17:50   Exactly.

00:17:54   Just, you know, speculating about what might or might not happen.

00:17:55   But I can also say that I have some thoughts about smart speed as it relates to audio books.

00:17:59   Oh, interesting.

00:18:04   Theoretical thoughts, I suppose.

00:18:04   - Right, yeah.

00:18:05   - Tyler suggested something called JustCast.

00:18:07   It's a service that allows you to create a podcast feed

00:18:10   using Dropbox, but everything happens automatically.

00:18:13   So this is kind of like the service version

00:18:15   of what Luke has made.

00:18:17   You can sign up for it.

00:18:18   It is a service that you can pay for if you want to.

00:18:22   There's a couple of different tiers for it.

00:18:25   You just create a Dropbox folder

00:18:27   you associate with this little app,

00:18:29   and then everything that you put into this Dropbox folder

00:18:32   gets added to the RSS feed.

00:18:33   so you can subscribe to it in other services.

00:18:36   Of course, these aren't just for audiobooks

00:18:39   that may or may not have copyright protections,

00:18:41   can be anything, maybe some stuff that you find,

00:18:43   maybe you just wanna create your own podcast feed,

00:18:45   you can do that.

00:18:46   There is another service called Podmash

00:18:48   that CosmicServant suggested on Reddit,

00:18:51   which looks to be a private alternative to HuffDuffer.

00:18:53   So it basically gives you a login and it's private,

00:18:58   the feed is private rather than a HuffDuffer

00:19:00   where everything is public.

00:19:02   The other solution to all of this is just to create a RSS feed using a service provider like Libsyn or Simplecast,

00:19:10   like how you would normally create a podcast and just create the feeds.

00:19:13   But the problem with doing stuff like this is you are making, you're putting those feeds potentially into the Internet.

00:19:18   You can keep them private, but people could eventually find them.

00:19:21   Yeah. I'm realizing, though, it never even crossed my mind to use Libsyn, which might be one of the simplest answers for how to do this.

00:19:29   It's just like, oh, I'm busy making podcasts.

00:19:32   And then I also have this problem of,

00:19:33   boy, I wish I had a podcast feed for this thing.

00:19:35   It never occurred to me,

00:19:36   like maybe we can put these two together.

00:19:38   - You would be surprised how long I was reading the feedback

00:19:42   and putting this into the document

00:19:43   before that occurred to me.

00:19:45   - Right, like we are both professional podcasters

00:19:47   who are in need of a podcast

00:19:48   and we didn't know how to do it.

00:19:50   - How would you even make one of these?

00:19:52   - Yeah, I don't know why my brain went to,

00:19:55   can I write a script that would take a drop?

00:19:57   like I like to recreate the whole thing myself.

00:19:59   So Libsyn actually sounds like a, like a,

00:20:02   at least a simple way to do the thing that I naturally started with the hardest

00:20:07   possible way to do the thing.

00:20:09   So you also, I used, you tweeted out a picture,

00:20:13   which is of your home screen. This was a couple of days ago, uh,

00:20:17   where you have removed both audible and Apple music from the home screen.

00:20:22   So we are in complete change again. How do you feel right now? Are you okay?

00:20:27   Yeah, I'm feeling much better about this because...

00:20:32   There's more balance in the orange again.

00:20:34   There's more balance in the orange. Yeah, there's some things that I still don't like.

00:20:39   I brought out the settings app to the main screen, as I speculated last time I might,

00:20:44   which is nice, you can put that anywhere.

00:20:46   I've had to move things around a little bit more since the last time I took that screenshot,

00:20:51   but overall I'm relatively happy because, yes, I made the decision that two things

00:20:56   things were going to get demoted to the other folder.

00:21:01   And it was Apple Music and Audible for very different reasons.

00:21:04   Audible because of their terrible color.

00:21:07   Orange, which I have to say I liked.

00:21:09   I have gotten a bunch of feedback from people using other Amazon services and it looks like Amazon has gone with orange for all of their icons.

00:21:12   But the audible icon orange clashes with the other oranges that Amazon has selected for their other services.

00:21:24   So if you look at a whole bunch of Amazon icons,

00:21:26   the Audible one is the only one that just looks different

00:21:29   and like it doesn't belong.

00:21:30   So it's not just me,

00:21:32   other people were complaining about this as well,

00:21:33   that if you're all in on Amazon,

00:21:35   the Audible one sticks out like an ugly duck.

00:21:38   But so yes, I got rid of that one.

00:21:40   And I have, 'cause I think we mentioned it

00:21:43   on one of the earlier shows

00:21:44   that I was going to give Apple Music a try

00:21:47   and hope that Apple Music was solving

00:21:48   all of my various music problems.

00:21:51   and I have been giving it a go since it came out,

00:21:54   but the end result is that I hate Apple Music

00:21:57   and I don't like anything about it

00:21:59   and it's been causing huge battery drains on my phone

00:22:04   because for some crazy reason,

00:22:07   I want to actually have music on my phone

00:22:09   and Apple Music seems to disagree with me.

00:22:11   No matter how much I try to get it to download stuff,

00:22:14   it just doesn't and it throws up error messages

00:22:17   all the time of, oh, we can't actually download this,

00:22:20   just constantly but it's still working in the background and it's just like I

00:22:24   feel like I'm fighting with it the whole time and it's also optimized towards old

00:22:30   style radio and like there's nothing about it that I find pleasing so I feel

00:22:34   like you know what the hell with this I'm just burning my whole music

00:22:36   collection down to the ground and I'm just gonna start over with Spotify

00:22:39   that's that's my conclusion.

00:22:41   I've been seeing that you've been having issues I

00:22:43   have absolutely no advice for it because it just looks like a horrifically

00:22:48   annoying thing. It does surprise me because I can't personally tolerate that

00:22:52   color green that Spotify chose when they changed to that. Just not even green

00:22:58   green. Like I don't even know what that is. It's like they should create some

00:23:00   sort of new color class to describe what that thing is. I don't know why they did

00:23:05   that. It's like they're trying to burn into the screens or something. It's

00:23:08   just a color I cannot abide by. I feel like you in this scenario but that

00:23:13   Spotify color makes me very uncomfortable.

00:23:18   See, this again I think is our age difference here,

00:23:22   because I grew up on computers that were just two colors,

00:23:25   horrible greens and black backgrounds,

00:23:28   and so that always feels like, "Oh, it's like going home again."

00:23:31   Any kind of green on black color scheme I'm always a big fan of,

00:23:33   because that's what I grew up with with computers.

00:23:38   So I am not bothered by the green of Spotify,

00:23:40   even though I can see that many people would be just as bothered by it

00:23:41   as I am by the orange of Audible.

00:23:44   But again, I had another idea this morning when I was putting the show together.

00:23:48   And I created something for you.

00:23:51   It's a workflow action

00:23:54   that you can add to your home screen

00:23:57   which will open the Audible app

00:24:00   and you can choose whatever icon you want.

00:24:02   Oh, I know. I've used these services before. Is it

00:24:05   Iconify? Or are you just using the workflow app to do it?

00:24:08   I just created a workflow in the workflow app.

00:24:13   And so you press the icon, it opens the workflow app

00:24:16   for a second, and then it opens the Audible app.

00:24:19   I used to actually do that with a dedicated app

00:24:22   for Also Audible, because they used to have some other

00:24:25   really hideous icon that I couldn't stand a long time ago,

00:24:28   and I made a custom icon that I used on my desktop for that.

00:24:32   But then they moved to an acceptable icon.

00:24:36   But I also just don't like the fact that when you use the custom icons,

00:24:36   because it has to do the bloop bloop of opening up two things. Maybe that'll be better

00:24:40   when I put iOS 9 on my phone, because it seems a lot faster, but

00:24:44   I don't like the two app open thing, so I'm going to pass on that

00:24:48   for the time being. Yeah, it definitely looks nicer on iOS 9, because I'm

00:24:52   running it on my phone right now. Yeah, but just a discussion

00:24:56   in general, not of any files that have DRM on them,

00:25:00   but we can just have a general discussion about listening to audiobooks

00:25:04   in Overcast. Yeah, audiobooks that you made. Yeah, audiobooks that I have

00:25:09   recorded. Yeah, I have recorded some public domain material in audiobook

00:25:14   format. But you just need to keep it in a private RSS feed because you're doing

00:25:19   accents and stuff and you don't want people to hear them. Exactly, reading to myself and then I

00:25:24   listen to it again. So yes, we can have a general discussion about audiobooks in

00:25:27   Overcast because I like also being able to consolidate something so that now

00:25:34   I have a single icon which is overcast for spoken material so it's not necessarily divided into

00:25:42   two different icons and I can now again for books that I have made for myself and not books that I

00:25:48   have gotten from anywhere else I have a playlist in overcast which is just for audiobooks so that

00:25:57   when I open up overcast it's like okay I have my three standard playlists and one of them is now

00:26:01   audiobooks so I can listen to audiobooks there. And I like that, I like just having

00:26:05   the one place to go for spoken material. So even if Audible were to come out with

00:26:10   a much better looking icon, I think it would forever remain in the other folder.

00:26:14   Like I will use it to browse for audiobooks, but I'm not necessarily going

00:26:18   to have it on on front and center because now Overcast is my place for

00:26:22   spoken material. The only thing I will say is that listening to audiobooks with

00:26:28   the Smart Speed feature, which is the whole reason that I use Overcast,

00:26:32   is a strange experience because

00:26:36   I think when Marco, the guy who makes Overcast,

00:26:40   was testing out Smart Speed, he was listening to

00:26:44   podcasts and deciding how much of the space should be taken out

00:26:48   between words or between sentences.

00:26:52   And when I'm using Smart Speed with podcasts, I almost never even

00:26:56   notice if it's on. Sometimes I'll have to look and say, "Do I even have smart speed on?"

00:27:00   because it shortens it, but it shortens it in a very natural

00:27:04   way. But when you're listening to an audiobook,

00:27:08   audiobook narrators are speaking in a

00:27:12   very different cadence. It's not a conversation.

00:27:16   And a couple of the audiobooks I have listened to

00:27:20   it has the feeling of, "Man, I know smart speed is on

00:27:24   because it feels like they're talking very, very fast.

00:27:28   So that's just my personal experience,

00:27:30   is it feels like the knob or the calibration

00:27:33   on smart speed with audiobooks is way high

00:27:37   because audiobook narrators have much bigger spaces

00:27:40   between their words and much bigger spaces

00:27:42   between their sentences.

00:27:44   So it feels like I have it on maybe one and a half X

00:27:48   instead of just one X.

00:27:49   So I think I'm still going to use it,

00:27:51   but it is taking a little more getting used

00:27:54   to than I thought listening to audiobooks with Smart Speed.

00:27:58   Audiobooks that I've recorded, of course.

00:28:00   Yeah, I have listened to an audiobook in Overcast, and

00:28:04   it was a very different sounding experience.

00:28:07   Okay, so it's not just me. I'm not being crazy here.

00:28:09   It sounds strange because it's just one person.

00:28:12   Mmm, maybe that's what it is.

00:28:13   And so it just sounds strange because you would expect

00:28:17   that person to take a break at some point, but they never do.

00:28:21   Yeah, that's true.

00:28:23   although I have to say, one of my absolute pet peeves is—I almost don't want to say this out loud,

00:28:29   because when people hear me say it, they won't—they will—they will not be able to help but tune into it,

00:28:34   but I'm still going to ruin some of people listening's experiences. I hate it in audiobooks

00:28:39   when the audio engineers leave in the narrator taking a breath. I am reading a sentence.

00:28:45   This is the second sentence that I'm now reading. This is the third sentence. And it's like, "Gah!

00:28:52   God damn it, right? Like why didn't you take that out?

00:28:55   Whenever I do narration, like prerecorded narration I've done for shows in the past,

00:29:02   I do remove that. I remove the breath.

00:29:05   Because it's infuriating.

00:29:07   Yeah.

00:29:08   It's absolutely infuriating.

00:29:09   But I think you might be on to-

00:29:11   I just heard you breathe.

00:29:12   Now you're gonna hear me breathe every time.

00:29:15   Because we're all sacks of meat that have to take in oxygen, otherwise it doesn't work.

00:29:20   But, exactly.

00:29:25   But I think you might be right

00:29:29   that the smart speed sounds weird

00:29:31   when it's just a single person continuously talking,

00:29:33   because you are expecting that break and it never comes.

00:29:37   I think that might be what it is.

00:29:40   By the way, I'm still going to try it out

00:29:42   and I want to get used to it.

00:29:44   But it's one of these things where you think in advance,

00:29:46   "Oh, I'll definitely like this thing,"

00:29:45   and then you try it and you go, "Ooh, it's not quite what I was imagining."

00:29:49   I know Marco will never do it because he has an Apple-like

00:29:53   take on adding options into any of his software, but this is the one

00:29:57   time I feel like, "Man, I really wish I could dial back SmartSpeed a little bit

00:30:01   on this playlist." But that's the kind of option he will never add

00:30:05   to Overcast, even though I might want it.

00:30:09   Yeah, because I don't even know what that is. Like, how do you mean dial it back?

00:30:13   but I want it on, I just want it in the middle of off and on.

00:30:18   My understanding is he has it calibrated to do something like remove 40% of the silence

00:30:23   whenever there is silence.

00:30:24   And so I feel like, ooh, I'd want to dial that back on an audiobook to maybe 15% or

00:30:28   20%, speed it up a little, but not all the way.

00:30:32   Because it does also just drive me crazy how slow people, especially nonfiction narrators

00:30:36   sometimes talk in audiobooks.

00:30:37   Anyway, that's enough of that.

00:30:39   Do you have any thoughts on Alphabet?

00:30:43   Have you even seen this? Do you even know what I'm talking about?

00:30:46   Myke, I am on top of the news all the time.

00:30:49   Yeah?

00:30:49   I'm a news junkie. I follow everything.

00:30:53   Actually, I did hear about the alphabet thing.

00:30:55   If you didn't hear about this, I was gonna be like really surprised about this.

00:31:00   So this is for anybody that doesn't know.

00:31:02   Google is kind of breaking up their operations a little bit.

00:31:07   No, that's not even the way to describe it.

00:31:09   That's a terrible way to describe it.

00:31:10   I don't even know anything about this story and I wouldn't say that at all.

00:31:13   They're forming an umbrella corporation which owns Google.

00:31:18   It's not Google breaking up into a bunch of little companies.

00:31:21   Well, but a lot of subsidiaries of Google are now leaving the Google umbrella and going into the Alphabet umbrella.

00:31:26   So they won't be related to Google anymore, like they used to be.

00:31:29   Right, but Google used to be acting as the umbrella corporation for all the stuff that they bought.

00:31:34   And now they're just saying, "We're going to actually have a real umbrella corporation called Alphabet."

00:31:39   - Alphabet. - Okay.

00:31:40   - I was just terribly rude to you there.

00:31:42   (both laughing)

00:31:45   - I don't know what you're talking about.

00:31:47   So Alphabet now owns Google, the new Google,

00:31:50   which has less parts in it.

00:31:52   So Alphabet has now taken and owns companies like Nest,

00:31:57   which was owned by Google, is now owned by Alphabet,

00:32:00   and is separate from Google.

00:32:02   I find it very peculiar that YouTube is still owned

00:32:04   by Google, even though YouTube has its own CEO anyway.

00:32:08   That is something my brain can't completely wrap around.

00:32:11   But yeah, I just wondered, is there anything in this that interests you?

00:32:16   I just, when I heard about it,

00:32:20   I first thought it was some kind of joke. People were like "Oh, Google's been renamed as

00:32:24   Alphabet."

00:32:24   Even when I read the stuff on their blog and looked at the website, it felt like a joke initially.

00:32:29   Because it's so strange. It didn't seem real

00:32:33   at first. But yes, the process I also think is funny is that Google

00:32:37   created this little company called Alphabet,

00:32:42   and then Alphabet bought back Google,

00:32:45   is the way they have to do these things.

00:32:47   It's very funny.

00:32:49   That's hilarious.

00:32:49   We're going to create a company which is going to buy us.

00:32:51   Exactly.

00:32:55   What money is it buying us with?

00:32:57   Oh, the money we gave it to buy us with.

00:32:58   Our money.

00:33:00   Yeah, it's all very strange.

00:33:04   But I haven't--

00:33:05   I've only just looked into the barest bit of this,

00:33:05   because of course I was curious about does this affect me with YouTube or anything, so that's why I looked into it a little bit.

00:33:11   I think it's actually a kind of simple and brilliant idea, in the same way that the Google search engine was just very simple and worked well.

00:33:20   So I give this a big thumbs up. I think this is a good way to do things,

00:33:25   to not have all of their various projects feel like they are tied to the Google brand.

00:33:33   So it's not Google self-driving cars and Google everything.

00:33:38   This, I think, allows them to do the company version of what I think people should do,

00:33:43   which is have lots of little experiments, many of which are unrelated to each other,

00:33:48   and to see what works out well.

00:33:53   So I'm a big fan of this.

00:33:55   And I also think it's pretty clear from the fact that they bought, what is it?

00:33:57   It's abc.xyz as their domain name,

00:34:00   that they don't have any intentions of pushing Alphabet as the brand.

00:34:06   I don't think you're going to see anything on the Google homepage, which is "Google brought to you by Alphabet."

00:34:11   I think it looks like it really is acting as a holding company that then buys up or creates all of their various experiments.

00:34:19   I believe that I did see them say somewhere that Alphabet is not a consumer-facing company.

00:34:24   While I do think it's a good idea, the alphabet and the whole G is for Google, N is for Nest,

00:34:32   S is for Shinehart Wig Company, this whole thing that they seem to be doing, it does

00:34:37   feel a little bit like the villainous corporation in A Dystopian Future, where it's like, "Look

00:34:44   at how happy we are, but everything is actually terrifying because B is for Boston Dynamics."

00:34:49   The robot murdering company.

00:34:53   Yeah, exactly. Boston Dynamics, absolutely terrifying,

00:34:57   but the inevitable future of humanity.

00:34:59   Creates robot dogs that can fall over and stand up,

00:35:02   which is one of the most horrible things you will ever see.

00:35:05   Yeah. Yeah. Or I mean, that's their old stuff.

00:35:09   You should see their new humanoid stuff. It's like,

00:35:11   it's like kill it with fire is the reaction to seeing some of their humanoid

00:35:15   robots. But, so yeah,

00:35:18   I, that's the bottom line. I think it's a good idea. I think it's a nice, clean,

00:35:23   simple idea that allows Google to do stuff that doesn't end up tarnishing

00:35:28   Google's own brand when their projects don't work out.

00:35:31   Because I think that's just a natural thing that happens to companies.

00:35:35   You feel like, Oh, Google tries all these things and then they kill all these

00:35:37   things. They have no focus. And I've,

00:35:40   I've even said similar things about Amazon. I feel like, Oh,

00:35:43   Amazon does all this crazy stuff and none of it works out.

00:35:45   Even though I think that's actually a good strategy, but,

00:35:48   But with a company, I think it helps to dissociate yourself from a lot of your experiments.

00:35:54   So it doesn't feel like, "Oh, you're always doing all these things that don't work out."

00:35:58   Because most things don't work out, but you only care about the things that do.

00:36:02   It also helps Alphabet, when they buy companies like Nest,

00:36:08   for it not to seem like they're just trying to collect all of your data, whether they are or not.

00:36:12   But when it was Google doing it, people would tarnish it with this idea that,

00:36:17   "Oh, now they're gonna control your home temperature

00:36:20   "to try and sell you air conditioning units."

00:36:22   Like, you know, there was this like fear that people had

00:36:25   that I think this might help alleviate

00:36:27   if the companies are a bit more separate.

00:36:29   - When I was in Hawaii, I actually stayed in a place

00:36:31   that had a Nest thermostat in it.

00:36:33   And the fact that it is connected to Google

00:36:37   and is part of Google, it made me feel creepier

00:36:39   about the Nest thermostat.

00:36:41   It's like, "Oh, right, there's a camera

00:36:43   "in the Nest thermostat."

00:36:44   and the company that owns the place that we're staying in

00:36:48   can look through the camera,

00:36:50   but it's also all tied in with Google services.

00:36:52   It was a little bit weird,

00:36:56   and I was very aware of that Nest thermostat

00:36:59   in the main area where we're staying.

00:37:01   It's like the little HAL 9000 on the wall.

00:37:05   - Do they have cameras in?

00:37:06   I don't think they have cameras in.

00:37:07   - The newer versions have a little camera in them.

00:37:09   - They make a camera called the Nest Cam.

00:37:11   - Oh yeah?

00:37:12   which is different to the Nest Thermostat.

00:37:17   - Maybe I am getting confused, but I'm pretty sure.

00:37:19   - I think you are.

00:37:22   - Nest.

00:37:23   - Googling.

00:37:24   It has an infrared sensor.

00:37:25   - Okay, so it has an infrared sensor,

00:37:28   but it doesn't have an actual camera.

00:37:29   - Doesn't have a camera that somebody could see you through.

00:37:30   - Yeah, okay.

00:37:32   - I'm glad we got to the bottom of that.

00:37:33   - Disassociating the things works with what we've just been

00:37:35   talking about with this confusion over whether the Nest

00:37:38   has a camera in it, because I feel like I just assume Google

00:37:38   is the kind of company that would be like, "Yeah, put cameras in it."

00:37:43   Whereas if Nest was some separate feeling company, it'd be like, "Oh,

00:37:47   the neat little thermostat, isn't that great?"

00:37:51   Like they used to be when they originally were around before Google bought them.

00:37:54   Yeah, exactly. I would have never given it a second thought that, "Oh,

00:37:57   is there a camera in the Nest thermostat?" But now Google owns it and my brain just assumes,

00:38:00   "Oh yeah, it's spying on me and listening to me and sending everything into Google."

00:38:04   and Google's gonna make sure that the next time

00:38:06   I'm seeing an ad it's for exactly the thing

00:38:09   that my wife and I were talking about

00:38:10   in the main room of the house.

00:38:12   - You don't want that.

00:38:13   You don't want that kind of thing

00:38:14   pulling you around. - No, I don't want that.

00:38:15   No.

00:38:16   - Last week we spoke about script writing.

00:38:18   - Mm-hmm.

00:38:19   - And the kind of, what goes in

00:38:21   before you start creating the video.

00:38:23   So today I actually wanna talk a little bit

00:38:26   about animating and assembling your YouTube videos.

00:38:31   - Okay.

00:38:32   So you have a quite distinctive animation style, I think,

00:38:37   with your little stick figure gray and stuff like that.

00:38:41   I mean, it didn't necessarily start off that way,

00:38:44   but you developed it over time.

00:38:46   But from the very first kind of gray explains video,

00:38:50   there was always animation.

00:38:51   It was always animated in some description.

00:38:54   Why did you decide to go with animation

00:38:57   and not just like film yourself

00:38:58   in front of a whiteboard talking?

00:39:00   I did animation on the screen for two reasons.

00:39:04   The first is that I was just very familiar,

00:39:06   as we discussed last time,

00:39:07   with making presentations in this style for classrooms.

00:39:12   And so never when I was making a presentation

00:39:17   for a classroom setting did I film me talking to camera

00:39:22   as part of that presentation,

00:39:23   because that would be insanity,

00:39:25   because I would be in the room giving the presentation.

00:39:28   So I had no experience filming myself,

00:39:32   and it would have been a totally different thing to do,

00:39:37   to try to figure out lighting.

00:39:40   It was just entirely out of my abilities at that time.

00:39:46   The other reason is that right from the start,

00:39:49   I did want to keep my face off of my YouTube channel,

00:39:54   because I did have a couple other little videos

00:39:56   that I did before the UK one,

00:39:58   which really kick things off.

00:40:00   And in all of those videos,

00:40:02   my face is not on camera as well.

00:40:04   And the reasoning for that is because

00:40:08   I was still employed at that time in various schools.

00:40:13   And I wanted to, as much as possible,

00:40:16   keep a distance between my employment

00:40:21   and my projects on the side.

00:40:23   Now, of course, that distance couldn't be complete.

00:40:27   like I'm still using my actual name,

00:40:29   like that's the name of my YouTube channel,

00:40:32   but I thought that keeping the face off

00:40:33   was just a little bit more distance

00:40:37   so that maybe if a student happened to see one of my videos,

00:40:40   it would be less likely they would actually realize

00:40:43   it was me in the video if they're not seeing me.

00:40:46   So yeah, I just, I wanted to keep things apart.

00:40:50   I mean, maybe this is a bit of a story for another time,

00:40:52   but the short version is that I left schools twice under circumstances where I was trying

00:41:00   to become self-employed.

00:41:02   And the first time didn't work out, but the second time did, which was YouTube.

00:41:06   But in both cases, the people at my schools had no idea that I was working on side projects.

00:41:13   I never mentioned it to anybody.

00:41:15   I never brought it up as a topic of conversation that I did things on the side.

00:41:19   I just would not ever want anyone at work to know that because if people at your place of employment

00:41:30   know that you want to be independent and to do things on your own, at best that makes them start

00:41:38   treating you like a non-entity who has no future at this place. That's the best possible outcome.

00:41:45   And the worst outcome is that you have a target on your head

00:41:49   as someone who can potentially cause problems for the institution.

00:41:55   And so that's why I kept it silent, and my advice to anybody who's really trying to do this

00:42:03   is don't tell anybody at your work about how you want to be a self-employed person.

00:42:09   just think you can only do that if and when you already have a pretty solid

00:42:14   plan in place for leaving but even the second time when I was doing YouTube

00:42:19   when my income was enough that I could safely leave teaching I still didn't

00:42:23   tell anybody at my work why I was quitting it was just like oh I'm just

00:42:27   quitting because I just didn't want to connect it at all but yeah yeah I mean I

00:42:31   don't know you what did you cuz I I know that you were doing your podcasting

00:42:37   thing you were in a similar position like you had a somewhat public career

00:42:40   yep that you were doing while you're at your big corporate job but

00:42:43   me i'm just realizing i should have asked you this first did you tell people

00:42:47   at your work like have i just pooped all over what you

00:42:50   did while you were at your company well slightly different so

00:42:55   part when i first started doing what i do part of

00:42:59   um the employment rules at my company is it if you want to start a business of

00:43:05   of your own whilst you're under the employment,

00:43:08   you have to have it approved by a senior manager.

00:43:12   - Oh, interesting.

00:43:12   - Because I work, so this is when I worked

00:43:16   in branch banking, so I worked in a bank branch.

00:43:20   I kind of worked my way up to a branch manager,

00:43:22   but this was before that point when I was kind of like

00:43:24   a senior member of a team.

00:43:26   Because there's so much money around, right,

00:43:28   you're actually dealing with real money.

00:43:31   If you have a business on the side,

00:43:33   It's a really great way to hide the money you're stealing.

00:43:37   - Oh, right, of course, of course.

00:43:39   - So you have to be deemed as,

00:43:41   as much as somebody can be a trustworthy individual,

00:43:44   because I learned over my time, you can't trust anyone.

00:43:48   - Oh, yes, is that Myke's advice on life?

00:43:50   Don't trust anyone.

00:43:52   - When there's cash around.

00:43:53   When cash is just lying around,

00:43:56   you may think that someone's a friend

00:43:58   and you can trust them,

00:44:00   but then you find out that they were stealing money.

00:44:02   Like, so there's this big taboo around it,

00:44:05   but my boss was very gracious.

00:44:08   She understood my situation and was happy to agree

00:44:11   that it was all okay.

00:44:13   And then I tried to keep it to myself as much as possible.

00:44:19   The secret was out, but I never shared any details.

00:44:25   I didn't tell anybody where to find my stuff.

00:44:28   - Exactly.

00:44:29   Like I just kept it all to myself.

00:44:33   But then, when I wanted to get out of the branch stuff

00:44:36   and move into my marketing role,

00:44:39   I had to use my on the side stuff

00:44:42   as a reason why I would be good at marketing.

00:44:45   So the secret was completely out,

00:44:47   there was nothing I could do about it.

00:44:49   Because I had to like have interviews

00:44:51   with multiple managers where I could show them

00:44:53   the types of things that I do

00:44:54   and why I think that would make me

00:44:55   a good marketing candidate.

00:44:57   So then they knew about it and they spoke about it

00:44:59   and everyone knew about it.

00:45:01   And luckily in the scenario that I was in,

00:45:05   everyone was kind of cool about it

00:45:07   and anytime anybody ever spoke about it,

00:45:09   they were actually just interested.

00:45:11   But I still, I never brought it up.

00:45:15   And I agree with you completely,

00:45:17   for as much as you can keep it to yourself,

00:45:19   keep it to yourself because there is no upside.

00:45:22   Like literally no upside.

00:45:25   Because as you say, you either,

00:45:27   anytime you speak up about something,

00:45:28   you get labeled as a troublemaker because you don't care.

00:45:32   If there's layoffs and stuff,

00:45:34   you can be put to the top of that list.

00:45:37   - Yep.

00:45:38   - And one of the things that you'll find out

00:45:39   when you're starting to start a self-employed career

00:45:42   is that your current employment

00:45:43   becomes the way that you fund that.

00:45:46   And if you don't have that anymore,

00:45:48   you can't achieve the goals that you want.

00:45:50   - Oh yeah, yeah, without a doubt.

00:45:52   - It like becomes the vehicle which enables the side projects.

00:45:57   I mean, I would never tell my employers this, but I viewed, particularly in the later years,

00:46:06   my teaching as exactly that, of this is what is financially supporting me while I am attempting

00:46:13   to bootstrap my actual career that I want.

00:46:17   If you say that, you're just in trouble at work, so that's why you have to keep that

00:46:22   stuff to yourself.

00:46:23   course if you're doing something publicly on the internet there's always going to be a limit to that

00:46:30   like there's there are ways that people can find out what you're up to but yeah just try to minimize

00:46:35   it as as much as possible so yeah going back to it that's that's why i didn't have my face in the

00:46:40   video was was partly just thinking about anything i can do to make it less clear that this is me

00:46:46   is something that I want to, I definitely want to do.

00:46:51   But yeah, I mean, I was really kind of amazed because

00:46:55   I was still doing YouTube at my last school for about a year and a half,

00:47:01   and at that stage I was getting videos with hundreds of thousands or maybe

00:47:05   millions of views, and I did know that a couple of students

00:47:08   knew about it, but as far as I could tell, no one on the

00:47:12   teaching staff ever knew, for which I was always hugely

00:47:16   relieved but I was also just worried about the day when this conversation comes up with a manager at some point of like

00:47:22   Oh, what's this thing that you're doing with YouTube? They ask innocently but actually have already watched all of your videos

00:47:28   Exactly, right or they want to know they want to know why but they're going to pretend like they don't know anything about it. It's

00:47:35   managers in some ways are weirdly deluded about the corporate structure and about how things actually work at companies, but

00:47:44   But many managers would still be aware that lots of their employees, if they could become

00:47:51   self-employed, would do so.

00:47:54   So a manager may know this in their mind, but it's still different once it comes out

00:48:00   in the open.

00:48:02   That you in particular are a person who is in acting plans that may have you leave the

00:48:08   company at some day.

00:48:09   And yeah, that's why I said it.

00:48:11   At best they treat you like an indifferent person who has no future there.

00:48:14   And at worst you're at the top of all of the lists for getting booted out of

00:48:18   there. So that's why anybody with side projects, keep them quiet.

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00:50:59   So you remained, and you continued to have the style of animation, which was you would

00:51:06   display things on the screen to highlight what you were talking about.

00:51:09   But when did the grey stick figure character come in to play, and why did you choose to

00:51:15   do this?

00:51:16   I'm looking through the videos, and I can't actually remember which was the first one,

00:51:21   but I think I may have had a dozen or so videos before I ever had a little stick figure me

00:51:26   on screen.

00:51:28   I really wish I could remember offhand where it was. I think it might have been the 2012

00:51:32   video, the 2012 in the end of the world might have been one of the first ones where I have

00:51:36   the stick figure me appear. Yeah, so the earlier videos were almost entirely picture slideshows,

00:51:45   where it's just pictures, pictures, pictures that I'm putting up on the screen. But there's

00:51:51   a limit to how much you can do with pictures, because people think it's the reverse. People

00:51:56   think that the pictures must be really easy and the drawings must be really time consuming.

00:52:02   And it's actually the reverse, because trying to find the exact picture that you want to

00:52:07   have on the screen at a particular moment is very, very hard.

00:52:13   You think like, "Oh, there's a million pictures of Las Vegas," for example.

00:52:17   But when I'm talking about something, I want a picture with a particular look.

00:52:24   And so I eventually learned over time that if I can just draw stuff, even if the drawings

00:52:29   aren't very good, I can still have it convey exactly what I want, instead of trying to

00:52:36   filter through hundreds of pictures about a topic and find the couple that can work

00:52:42   with what I'm saying.

00:52:43   So I think that's why, as time has gone on, my videos have, on average, become much less

00:52:51   photographs and way more drawings because I can make the drawings what I want them to be.

00:52:56   Do you have like a way that you describe the style?

00:53:00   Uh it's CGP Grey style.

00:53:03   Do you like do you really think of it that way? Like if you see other videos now,

00:53:07   as I've seen it, videos that look like yours, like do you consider that the style that you created?

00:53:13   Well...

00:53:19   It's okay to say yes.

00:53:21   The answer is no, because I didn't create and I don't own the idea of,

00:53:26   "Oh, it's PowerPoint with a bunch of pictures."

00:53:28   But it's a weird situation where I do come across videos that sometimes very explicitly

00:53:37   say that they're trying to copy my style. And that's always just a little weird to see.

00:53:46   It's a strange thing to come across,

00:53:49   but I don't own doing just pictures.

00:53:53   But it's very funny 'cause I sometimes see people say,

00:53:56   like, oh, there's all of these videos

00:53:58   that are in this style on Reddit,

00:54:00   they'll have a little discussion.

00:54:01   And then the person eventually realizes

00:54:03   that they've actually just seen all of my videos,

00:54:05   but they were thinking they were all done

00:54:06   by different people doing them all in the same style,

00:54:10   which is a funny thing to realize because, yeah.

00:54:13   I've seen that conversation happen a few times on Reddit

00:54:15   where someone's like, oh man, all these guys sound the same.

00:54:18   And someone will link to them all of my various videos and they'll go, oh,

00:54:21   they sound the same because it's the same guy. I didn't even know. But I, I,

00:54:25   I think, you know, there's,

00:54:26   there's always some kind of line about what is similar,

00:54:31   what is too similar and what is not. I mean,

00:54:33   I've said before that one of the things that really made me think, oh,

00:54:36   I can do a little slide presentation online was Yahtzee who

00:54:41   does zero punctuation videos. Do you know Yahtzee?

00:54:45   I do, yeah.

00:54:46   Yeah.

00:54:47   So he does these video game reviews, but he's doing a fast talking style and he has very,

00:54:55   very simple animations up on screen and I've always really liked his videos.

00:55:00   Even if you don't play any of the games, his video reviews of them are entertaining in

00:55:05   and of themselves.

00:55:07   And it was watching his stuff that made me think, "Oh, you don't have to be on camera

00:55:15   and you don't have to have great visuals if the thing that you're talking about is

00:55:20   being talked about in an interesting way."

00:55:23   So I would say that his videos are very influential on the start of my own videos.

00:55:31   But I would also say that I'm not copying Yahtzee's style, and I'm also not doing

00:55:36   a thing where I'm saying, "Oh, I too am going to be a video game reviewer," right?

00:55:40   I'm doing something in a very different area. But there's

00:55:44   definitely an influence there. I can see the influence in the stick figure

00:55:47   characters, but I would say that I think that your

00:55:50   videos are more much more complex than Yazzi's videos.

00:55:55   The animations that I do now are more complex

00:55:59   than the animations that he does, but what I mean is it was more just

00:56:03   seeing that I don't have animation skills, I don't have any drawing skills,

00:56:08   but Yahtzee was a great example of how that's not really relevant. Nobody

00:56:13   cares that Yahtzee's animation skills are very little because it doesn't

00:56:18   matter to the enjoyment of those videos. They're excellent videos regardless

00:56:22   of the animation skill. I want to talk about the tools and software that you

00:56:27   use, but I think that there's a step before that, which is the planning of the

00:56:30   animation, do you storyboard it?

00:56:33   Okay, sort of. So here's what happens.

00:56:37   When I'm writing the script, for the first, let's say, 50%

00:56:41   of the drafts that I'm doing, I'm just trying to get something that is

00:56:45   vaguely coherent and readable to any human being

00:56:50   from the gigantic mess that we talked about last time.

00:56:53   But once it gets into this stage where I can

00:56:57   read it out loud in a single session, I start thinking very consciously about

00:57:04   what is going to be on the screen when I'm saying each of these things.

00:57:10   So the second half of the draft, that is very much in my mind, and when I'm writing it

00:57:15   I almost have like a little image in my brain about what's going to be on the screen.

00:57:21   Because if you write a script without thinking what's going to be on the screen

00:57:26   you are going to be in a serious amount of trouble when you actually go to try to animate that thing.

00:57:32   It's very, very easy to get yourself into phrasings of sentences that are totally fine

00:57:39   if you're reading them in a book or an article, but that do not work at all

00:57:43   if it's going to be going with an animation.

00:57:47   So I'm trying to work on the script, keeping that in mind.

00:57:52   But when it gets very very close to the end, and I think okay, I'm a few drafts away

00:57:57   one of the things that I will do is

00:58:00   It's not a storyboard because when a traditional storyboard is a rough sketch of what's going to be on the screen

00:58:06   Instead what I do is on the computer

00:58:10   I'll have the script on one side of the screen and then I'll still open up my good old friend keynote

00:58:15   have it on the other side of the screen and

00:58:20   I'll go through the script paragraph by paragraph,

00:58:24   and I'll put a slide or two or three for each paragraph,

00:58:29   and I will write a brief sentence about what is going to be on the screen at this point in the script.

00:58:35   Now, the reason I do that is because it's very easy to trick yourself into thinking,

00:58:44   "Oh, I've got this." I have in my mind something that's going to be on the screen at every single moment.

00:58:49   single moment, but I force myself to write it down for each paragraph because

00:58:54   I will sometimes catch out little sections where I realize, "Oh, I actually

00:58:59   don't have any idea what's going to be on the screen for these three sentences."

00:59:04   And three sentences is an eternity in an animation, like you have to have

00:59:08   something that relates to what you're talking about then. So that's why I do

00:59:13   this thing with Keynote where I force myself to write it down in words what's

00:59:17   going to be on the screen. You know, this is going to be a fort with a couple of stick

00:59:24   figures in it, this is going to be a king holding his crown and it falls off. Just very,

00:59:29   very brief descriptions. But I don't draw anything because, again, I have no artistic

00:59:35   skills so I have no ability to create a sketch. I only have the ability to create exactly

00:59:41   what I make. That is the best that I can do and it is also the worst that I can do. I

00:59:46   have no in-between skills. So that's why I write it out in little words,

00:59:50   to have an idea about what's going to be where.

00:59:54   When you started off, what tools were you using?

00:59:58   I assume you probably didn't start with Wacom. I assume that there are software tools

01:00:02   that you use now, which maybe didn't exist or you didn't know about. How did you

01:00:06   even begin? I might have had a Wacom

01:00:10   at the time, because I've always had some problems with

01:00:14   RSI. I think ever since college I've always been switching various input methods.

01:00:19   Sometimes I use trackballs, sometimes I use Wacom tablets, sometimes I use a regular mouse.

01:00:23   I switch it up so that I'm not always using the same thing all the time for every single thing.

01:00:28   So I might have had the pen tablet. But in terms of software,

01:00:33   Keynote, almost entirely like we described last time,

01:00:38   and then audio-wise I used GarageBand to just record it

01:00:43   on my iMac.

01:00:47   GarageBand was totally fine, because it was

01:00:51   free, and it was on my Mac, and I could just use it, and it was relatively simple.

01:00:55   And then I used iMovie to put the two things together.

01:00:59   The audio track from GarageBand, and then the

01:01:03   video track from Keynote. So I could play a keynote

01:01:07   on the screen, and I was recording what was happening on the screen and putting those two things together

01:01:11   and iMovie, and that's how I was syncing up the video to the audio.

01:01:15   What I love about that is that all of the

01:01:19   tools that you used are tools that are now available

01:01:23   for free with any Mac. I think about this all the time

01:01:27   and it's one of the things I really like about YouTube. I mean, I just like it

01:01:31   about the world in general now, which is that there are no gatekeepers

01:01:35   and the tools to do things

01:01:39   are at your hands. They might not be the best tools.

01:01:43   Like, I wouldn't use iMovie and GarageBand today.

01:01:47   But they're free, and they're there, and if you put

01:01:51   time into them, you can learn them and do amazing things.

01:01:55   And you can just... You know, people always talk about, "Oh, don't you think it's

01:01:59   harder to start a career on YouTube now than it was years ago?"

01:02:03   And my answer is, "No, I don't actually think it's any harder to start

01:02:07   now than it was years ago. I sometimes think people use that as an excuse not to start.

01:02:13   It's like, "Oh, well, everything that could ever exist exists now." I was like, "No, it doesn't."

01:02:17   If you think you can make something that is good, you have free tools, almost certainly,

01:02:23   on any computer that you own, and you can just make a YouTube account tomorrow. And then,

01:02:29   if your video is good, you submit it to Reddit, and it can be on the front page of Reddit in 12

01:02:34   hours. It's an amazing, amazing world that we live in. And I think to

01:02:40   make a video like I make 30 years ago would take millions of

01:02:45   dollars in equipment and broadcasting rights and all kinds of crazy things.

01:02:50   It's an amazing world, Myke. It really is. It is, I agree completely. That's

01:02:55   why I find it so fascinating to hear that you began with... you're basically

01:03:00   hacking together tools to work the way that you want.

01:03:03   I didn't even know and I still don't know,

01:03:06   can you export a Keynote as like a movie file?

01:03:08   Is that how you did that?

01:03:10   - I don't think Keynote had it at the time.

01:03:13   I know that now you can export a Keynote

01:03:16   as a QuickTime file, but I think at the time

01:03:19   I had to record the screen to actually grab it.

01:03:22   - See, that's so awesome,

01:03:23   'cause you were hacking it together.

01:03:24   And I love that, 'cause that's the attitude, I think,

01:03:28   which is so awesome about this kind of stuff.

01:03:30   You just had this idea, you were like,

01:03:32   well, how can I do this?

01:03:33   Well, I know how to use these four pieces of software.

01:03:36   I'm sure I can kind of sticky tape it all together

01:03:39   and spit out a video which millions and millions

01:03:43   of people have now seen.

01:03:45   - That UK one, made with iMovie,

01:03:47   is now at seven and a half million views.

01:03:50   - Yeah.

01:03:51   - Which is just crazy.

01:03:52   - That changed your life.

01:03:52   - It totally did.

01:03:54   I feel very fortunate to be an adult person

01:03:57   in a time when the tools are available and the gatekeepers are gone for many things.

01:04:02   And you can just try stuff.

01:04:06   It was a thing that with some of my more able students,

01:04:10   I was always trying to impress this point upon them. If they would say things like,

01:04:14   "Oh, I want to be a video game designer," or "I want to be a writer."

01:04:18   It's like, just start right now. I know you're in high school,

01:04:23   and I know that you think you need to go to college and learn about this stuff,

01:04:26   but trust me, you don't.

01:04:28   You don't need to do that.

01:04:30   You can just get started now.

01:04:32   And nobody cares how old you are

01:04:36   if you write a good article.

01:04:37   Like it's not relevant.

01:04:39   Or you can go download Xcode right now

01:04:42   and start messing around with computer programming.

01:04:44   And I just felt sometimes my students had this notion of,

01:04:48   "Oh, someone needs to give me permission to do this thing,

01:04:51   or I need to be formally trained to do this thing."

01:04:53   It's like, you don't, you don't.

01:04:54   It's there for the taking.

01:04:57   You do not need to be ordained by the keeper of creativity.

01:05:02   Yeah. Or just any kind of production.

01:05:06   Like it's just out there for so many jobs in so many fields.

01:05:11   And you know,

01:05:12   I mean like being a YouTube creator is a kind of career now in the way that it

01:05:16   was not so much when I first started. But it's the same. Like nobody,

01:05:19   there was no YouTube university that I went to for degrees.

01:05:24   it's just making things and then you kind of fall into it

01:05:27   and that's why i think there's so many things like that in the world if you're

01:05:30   interested in something pursue it and and maybe

01:05:33   something will come out of it and maybe it won't but but just you know give it

01:05:36   a try but yeah i i'm not sure i was ever

01:05:39   entirely successful at convincing any 17 or 18 year olds to do a thing that they

01:05:43   wouldn't have have done anyway but i was but when i like i said you know

01:05:48   a few of my more able students when they'd say things like

01:05:50   I want to be a writer. It's like, do you have a blog? And I'm like, oh no, I don't have a blog.

01:05:54   Like, make a blog right now. Like, you know, go make a blog and just start writing stuff and go for it.

01:06:01   Yep. I've had, I had that exact same conversation with my brother a couple of years ago. He would

01:06:05   love to be a sports journalist and he was looking at trying to write for magazines or he was

01:06:13   applying for things with the BBC, like for internships, and I was like, okay, do you have a web address?

01:06:18   Like, where is your blog?

01:06:20   - That would be my first question too, yeah.

01:06:22   - Exactly, I set him up with a Squarespace account,

01:06:25   bought him a domain on hover, ding ding,

01:06:27   and I just set him up, I was like, just do this,

01:06:29   just write this stuff.

01:06:31   And he's got some little bits and bobs from it now,

01:06:33   because when he applies to places,

01:06:35   and this is so important if you wanna do this kind of thing,

01:06:38   even if you wanna be in the world

01:06:40   where you have an actual job, right,

01:06:42   but you want it to be a creative kind of thing,

01:06:44   show you can do it.

01:06:46   Like, that is so important,

01:06:48   because then when he was applying to these places, everybody asks, "Give me examples of your work."

01:06:53   And it's so much better if you can say, "Oh, I do it already. I'm not writing something for you right now.

01:06:59   Take a look at the stuff I do every week."

01:07:03   Exactly.

01:07:05   Anyway, let's get back down off our soapboxes for a moment.

01:07:06   What software do you use now?

01:07:11   Over the years, I transitioned from iMovie and GarageBand and Keynote as the primary tools that I was using.

01:07:16   Now I use the most techy of the programs, is I use a program called Inkscape for almost everything that I draw.

01:07:24   And Inkscape is a vector drawing program.

01:07:29   I started with ages ago because I had some familiarity from Linux, which it originally grew out of,

01:07:34   and it's a free open source program, and that's what I use for the drawings.

01:07:41   crazy fast in Inkscape. Like I can draw up something just very very fast with that.

01:07:49   Whereas if you try to draw a stick figure in Keynote, I hope you have a couple hours.

01:07:54   Because it's actually really fiddly to do. Whereas if you're using a program that is actually designed for drawing,

01:07:59   it's way faster. So I quite like Inkscape. I do sometimes think about switching away from it,

01:08:04   but it is very well suited to my purposes at this moment.

01:08:08   What would you look at something like Illustrator or something like that?

01:08:12   I'm always just surveying the field because I know that

01:08:15   I happen to just land on Inkscape because at the time I had no money.

01:08:20   Yeah, no I get it. So that's why I originally used it because it was free

01:08:24   and open source

01:08:24   and I always just feel like oh maybe I should be using Illustrator

01:08:28   or on the opposite end I'm

01:08:31   I always have my eye on OmniGraffle as a possible alternative

01:08:35   primarily because OmniGraffle would allow me to do some animations on my iPad, which is something I might be interested in

01:08:41   if Apple comes out with a bigger iPad and nice stylus. Hint hint, Apple. Tim Cook, you listening?

01:08:48   Editing on my iPad is something that is attractive to me, presuming that I have the right tools eventually.

01:08:54   But I stick with Inkscape because I'm so fast and because I know how to use it so well.

01:08:59   Any particular video is never the video that I feel like, "Oh, let me try doing something with Illustrator now,"

01:09:05   and vastly multiplying the amount of time it's going to take.

01:09:10   So I may end up using Inkscape for the rest of my career, even if I'm always interested in what other alternatives exist.

01:09:14   It took me a long time to switch to Logic.

01:09:22   That's where I was going next, is that I also use Logic for the audio.

01:09:25   And that switch took me way too long to do.

01:09:29   And I was using GarageBand right up until

01:09:33   when the Hello Internet podcast came out, because when I was thinking about doing that podcast with Brady,

01:09:37   I thought, "Okay, if I'm going to be working with hours and

01:09:41   hours of audio, this is the point at which it now makes

01:09:45   sense to learn Logic, and then I would also get the benefit of if I've learned

01:09:49   Logic for the podcast, I can use Logic for the audio for the

01:09:53   videos and that was a difficult transition but boy has it paid off like

01:10:00   man am I a lot faster in logic I mean the the whole audio portion of making

01:10:06   those YouTube videos used to be a really big deal it used to be like a couple

01:10:10   days of many many takes and lots of fiddling around with editing and trying

01:10:15   to get it just right and now man I can bang out the audio for one of my YouTube

01:10:20   videos in a couple hours in the morning. I don't even think about it. Like I don't even plan about it.

01:10:24   And that is without a doubt 100% attributable to biting the bullet and learning how to use Logic.

01:10:32   I was really breaking GarageBand.

01:10:34   Oh yeah, I bet. If you were doing real podcasts in GarageBand, it is not designed for that.

01:10:39   No, and I, my thing was just because Logic, the jump from GarageBand to Logic is one of the

01:10:44   biggest technical jumps I've ever made. It is, you may as well be going from

01:10:50   audio to video, like, because it just none of it makes any sense. Like, it really is

01:10:56   a huge thing to learn if you've never tried to learn it before, because Logic

01:11:01   is not made for what we use it for. Like, it's made for music production.

01:11:06   Yeah, I will mention a slight conflict of interest here because Linda is a sometimes

01:11:10   Hello Internet Sponsor. But I really wish someone at Linda would make a Logic for Podcasters tutorial.

01:11:19   Because I was always looking at the various tutorials on how to use Logic, and it was...

01:11:24   They're always just designed for music. They're coming from a music perspective.

01:11:28   And I just want someone to make a two-hour course on "Here's everything you need to know about Logic for Podcasters."

01:11:34   because I've cobbled it together myself, but I still feel like, man, I would really like to see someone who knows what they're doing really go through it.

01:11:45   So we use Logic because it has a lot of the features that we want, but it's not made for that.

01:11:53   But we can kind of cobble together enough of what we need to make a podcast that sounds good.

01:11:58   Now we can talk about stories about walking uphill both ways.

01:12:01   I used to record and edit podcasts on an 11-inch MacBook Air.

01:12:05   I am at my parents' house, obviously, and I am using the

01:12:09   15-inch Mac Pro, which normally lives in my office.

01:12:13   I brought it with me. That's the one piece of equipment I will move. I don't have a redundant

01:12:17   computer. I'll bring the computer with me. But when I was trying to edit

01:12:21   the last episode of Hello Internet, I've gotten really used to my big Retina

01:12:25   iMac, and I opened up the Hello Internet file on this computer and I was like,

01:12:29   "This is barbaric!"

01:12:31   How did I ever edit anything on this tiny, gorgeous 15-inch Retina screen?

01:12:38   I was like, "This is unusable!"

01:12:40   I was really shocked at how much of a difference it made.

01:12:43   You get so used to extra screen real estate very fast.

01:12:48   Just reminding myself, you know you used to also use an 11-inch non-Retina screen,

01:12:53   and you just get used to the better tools very, very quickly.

01:12:57   It's weird, isn't it? It's weird. Because I still feel like I struggle as much as I did then.

01:13:02   But obviously I'm not.

01:13:07   Could you give me that thing right now and I'll just quit.

01:13:12   There's the hedonistic treadmill where you get used to more and more comfy lifestyles

01:13:17   as you go up in civilization and you get used to it very fast and you just start assuming like

01:13:22   "Of course central heating is just the norm!"

01:13:24   It's like, no, it's not the norm at all, even if you thought it was amazing the first time you had it.

01:13:28   And I think there's something like that for productivity tools.

01:13:32   That when you upgrade to your new productivity tools and they make a difference, you go,

01:13:36   "Wow, this makes a huge difference!" And you're really aware of it for about a week,

01:13:39   and then you just treat that as the new normal as well.

01:13:41   The final new tool that I use now is Final Cut X

01:13:45   for putting together the animations from Inkscape

01:13:49   and the audio from Logic. So that's the

01:13:53   final piece that I use. And again, that also made a huge difference.

01:13:57   Because I can't remember why, but I do remember it

01:14:01   used to be hugely stressful trying to edit the movies

01:14:05   together in iMovie because...

01:14:09   I wish I could remember the details, but for some reason I could never go back

01:14:13   that if I edited the first 30 seconds of something

01:14:17   I had to just leave that as it was.

01:14:22   If I went back and tried to make changes,

01:14:24   it messed up everything.

01:14:26   And so it was just hugely stressful

01:14:29   trying to make sure that each 10-second segment

01:14:32   was perfect before I moved on.

01:14:34   And now with Final Cut, I'm just constantly changing stuff

01:14:37   in the beginning, or like, "You know what?

01:14:40   I'm gonna make a last-minute change to this audio."

01:14:42   Bloop.

01:14:44   Cut that little segment out, switch things in,

01:14:42   or adding new animations if I discover I have a little bit of time.

01:14:46   So now I'm just like reckless with making changes all over the place.

01:14:50   And again, it's from using a professional tool that allows me to do that.

01:14:54   I decided to make the change when Apple did their big redesign of Final Cut X.

01:14:58   Many, many people in the industry complained about that big changeover, but I thought,

01:15:02   "Wow, opportunity for me!" Apple burned it all to the ground and started over.

01:15:06   And I was like, "Yes! I am one of those people who is now just getting into this industry."

01:15:10   industry and I'm very happy that they got rid of however the old Final Cut

01:15:14   worked and so I like I've never known anything else.

01:15:17   Syncing together the audio in the video I can do so quickly now that it almost

01:15:22   feels too fast because I feel like oh I really like working with Final Cut X.

01:15:26   I wish this part of it took longer but I can actually do it in you know maybe

01:15:31   under an hour at most when I have everything all set to go.

01:15:35   I have to say because people will be upset I think it's 10.

01:15:39   I think it is.

01:15:40   - I don't care.

01:15:40   - I know you don't.

01:15:41   But I know you don't care, I really know that.

01:15:44   But people will complain to me if I don't say this.

01:15:47   So I have to say it, and so then people at least know

01:15:51   that I am telling you that it is 10

01:15:53   and you can call it X if you like.

01:15:55   Because I believe that that is your choice

01:15:57   because it's actually not the 10th version.

01:15:59   And this is a whole big thing that I was a proponent

01:16:01   for X in the beginning.

01:16:03   Because they went from like seven to 10.

01:16:07   Just making sense. - Exactly.

01:16:08   which they also did for Logic Pro,

01:16:10   and that was when I moved over for the exact same reasons.

01:16:12   They took it from a horrible interface

01:16:14   to an interface that made sense,

01:16:15   so it pushed me into doing it.

01:16:17   - Yep, just like the next version of Apple software is,

01:16:21   I believe it's OS X Snowseminy.

01:16:23   Is that the next version that's coming out?

01:16:24   Is that what you call it?

01:16:25   - I'm not even going, I'm just leaving that as it is.

01:16:28   That's just gonna stay like that.

01:16:29   - Perfect.

01:16:30   (beep)

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01:19:26   Explain something to me though, like, so does Inkscape create the animations

01:19:30   or do you create the individual pictures that you then put into Final Cut to create an animation with?

01:19:35   My videos actually have far, far fewer animations than people think they do.

01:19:41   Because what I'm actually doing is, for almost everything,

01:19:45   I am using slide transitions

01:19:49   between different drawings to make it look as though

01:19:53   I have animated something. So the vast majority

01:19:57   of my "animations" are actually

01:20:01   slide wipes or dissolves between

01:20:05   different drawings that I have done that give the appearance of an animation

01:20:09   without actually doing an animation.

01:20:13   Okay, so it's like a trick of the eye, I guess.

01:20:15   It really is, it's a trick of the eye, and if you look at the videos, you can see it once I mention that it's there.

01:20:22   And for me, that's very, very easy to do, because what I end up doing is I have some notion of what should the final state of this little sequence in the video be,

01:20:33   And so I create the final state, and when I have that drawing

01:20:37   it's very easy in Inkscape to duplicate it and then make the changes backwards

01:20:42   to what the initial state is, and then I'm doing wipes or dissolves between each of those different drawings

01:20:48   if you see what I mean there. So I do the final picture where everything is on the screen

01:20:53   and then I duplicate it and go one back and I say "Okay, I'm going to remove this character

01:20:58   move this character because I want them to come onto the screen

01:21:01   and then that's just a wipe that's happening in some cases.

01:21:04   Or in Final Cut as well, you can have slides move around

01:21:09   and so very often when things are moving, I'm doing that in Final Cut, saying

01:21:13   here is, like when I move, say for example, all the little country girls that I have, I move them around

01:21:18   I will have a transparent PNG that has the country girl on it

01:21:25   and in Final Cut you can tell it, like, move this image from the top left to the bottom right.

01:21:30   So that's where the animations are mostly happening, is actually in Final Cut.

01:21:35   X.

01:21:37   I'm interested in the Wacom tablet.

01:21:42   Yeah, you seem fascinated by this. It's just a pen tablet, Myke.

01:21:47   No, but I've never used one, you see.

01:21:49   That's why you're fascinated. You should get one and then immediately realize how intuitive and boring it is.

01:21:54   There is one setting though, if you're going to use a pen tablet,

01:21:57   which is very difficult to get used to at first, but ultimately pays off,

01:22:02   which is you have two options for how do you want it to work.

01:22:07   And one option is called "Pen Mode" and one option is called "Mouse Mode".

01:22:14   Now most people want to try using it in mouse mode, which is

01:22:18   when you think about when you're using a regular mouse, the mouse

01:22:22   pointer has acceleration. So if you move the mouse very quickly,

01:22:26   the pointer will go all the way to the edge of the screen, and it'll

01:22:30   slam into the edge of the screen, but you haven't moved your hand that much, you've only moved your hand a little bit.

01:22:34   So a mouse is actually almost like

01:22:38   an acceleration device, but what you want to switch it

01:22:42   to is make sure that the pen tablet is in what's called "pen mode".

01:22:46   I'm just picking up my pen now. I don't know why I'm picking up my pen now, because

01:22:50   because you can't see me, and neither can the listeners,

01:22:52   but I felt like I needed to do my hand when I explained this.

01:22:55   So when the Wacom tablet is in pen mode,

01:22:58   if you take the pen and put it anywhere on the tablet,

01:23:03   the pointer on the screen will jump exactly

01:23:07   to that location on the screen.

01:23:09   So if I take the pen and I put it down

01:23:11   in the top left corner of the pen tablet,

01:23:14   the pointer immediately jumps to the top left.

01:23:17   And if you do that, it allows your brain

01:23:19   to get a physical sense of like you're moving a pen

01:23:24   on a physical piece of paper,

01:23:26   and it lets you kind of jump around the screen

01:23:29   instead of doing the thing that you do with a mouse,

01:23:31   which is trying to accelerate toward

01:23:33   the place that you want to go.

01:23:35   It's a weird feeling at first,

01:23:37   but it's definitely the way to use it in the long run.

01:23:40   Does that make sense?

01:23:43   - I think it is difficult to fully understand it

01:23:45   without having one.

01:23:47   Bottom line, when you buy a pen tablet,

01:23:49   make sure you put it in pen mode, people.

01:23:51   You'll freak out at first,

01:23:52   but you'll love it in the long run.

01:23:54   - Okay, I'm looking at these on Amazon now.

01:23:57   - Okay.

01:23:58   - And I found one here.

01:23:59   The number one bestseller

01:24:01   is the Wacom Intuos Pen Graphics Tablet.

01:24:05   - You're just doing online shopping now, Myke?

01:24:07   - I'm looking, I'm looking.

01:24:09   You got me interested in this, like as a way,

01:24:11   it might be a nice way to edit shows, I think.

01:24:14   So one of my favorite things from your videos

01:24:17   is the jokes that you tell with the animations.

01:24:20   So these can be little timing things

01:24:22   or little subtle references to things.

01:24:26   That's the kind of stuff that I like the most.

01:24:28   How much of the actual entertainment of the videos

01:24:31   do you think lives in the animation?

01:24:34   - I can't answer that question

01:24:35   because I have a very hard time when I'm making the videos,

01:24:40   perceiving them as entertaining.

01:24:44   I think the best way to explain this is,

01:24:46   my wife often likes to see the videos before they go live, and so if I

01:24:50   it works out with timing and if she's home, I'll show her the videos before they go up

01:24:54   and we always have the exact same conversation every time

01:24:58   which is, I get the video ready for her, and then I look at her

01:25:02   very seriously and I say, "Okay, you can watch this, but you need to understand

01:25:06   this isn't a funny one. There's nothing funny in this one

01:25:10   it's just a regular video." And she goes

01:25:14   "Okay, because she doesn't believe me, and she shouldn't, because she will watch it and then she'll laugh at various parts,

01:25:21   so she'll think something is funny."

01:25:23   And I'm always surprised at where she laughs.

01:25:28   Like, I have a hard time perceiving in advance that people will find anything in the video funny.

01:25:34   So if you're asking about where do I put jokes in deliberately, the answer is I don't really know.

01:25:41   Like after I see her watch the video then I can think like oh, yeah, I guess that was kind of funny

01:25:46   But I don't it doesn't seem that way when I make it

01:25:50   it just seems like oh, I'm trying to make it make a little video explaining a thing and

01:25:53   I'm just talking and explaining the thing one of my very favorite things from any of your videos is

01:26:00   A little joke in the most recent look then not the Confederate flag video

01:26:06   We're talking about the dimensions before we are talking about florida and they put up the wall and then is it like the rest of america like kind of the america like girls she's kind of slides in the knife.

01:26:19   Yeah it's a giant america girl slides in with the gun drawn.

01:26:24   That's it. I just love it. It just really makes me laugh every time I see it.

01:26:29   Because it's just this funny little moment where you're saying something,

01:26:32   it's like, "Oh, you know, and they..." but that didn't work out.

01:26:35   And there's just this gun sliding in from the side of the screen.

01:26:38   I like stuff like that.

01:26:40   You mentioned that one last time, and that's a perfect example of

01:26:43   it seemed to me when you were talking about it that you found it funny,

01:26:46   and I noted that when we recorded last time.

01:26:48   I go, "Oh, Myke thought that was funny. How interesting."

01:26:51   But from my perspective, when I made that little segment,

01:26:54   the point was not to have it be funny. When I was writing that, I was thinking,

01:27:00   "I don't want to spend the words to say that the United States

01:27:04   sent in their military and took over this tiny country that barely existed."

01:27:08   I was just trying to think of a way to convey these two things

01:27:12   very fast, that this country existed and then obviously the United States

01:27:16   military just rolled right over them like it was nothing. And so I

01:27:21   So I thought, "Oh, okay, the best way to show that is to just have a ridiculously outsized United States girl come on screen."

01:27:29   And it would just be obvious that she would crush them.

01:27:32   So that's my thought process when I was making it.

01:27:35   But it did not occur to me that anybody would find that funny.

01:27:37   I was just thinking, "This is a way to express an idea very quickly so I don't have to say it so that the video just keeps moving on."

01:27:45   The references are a very different thing.

01:27:48   I like putting in the little references because I have always liked watching movies and television shows that benefit from rewatching.

01:27:59   You get more out of them the second time that you watch.

01:28:01   And so I love putting in lots of little things on the screen that people can look for on a second watch-through.

01:28:09   But that's mainly because I like watching stuff like that.

01:28:12   I think of some of the old Monty Python movies where there's just stuff in the background

01:28:16   that when you've watched them a bunch of times you can notice that there's a little thing happening there

01:28:21   or there's some reference to something that is not even remotely the focus of what's happening on the screen

01:28:25   it just feels like "oh the set designer just wanted to put this thing in there"

01:28:29   and so I like doing that in the videos and that's why I do them

01:28:31   Would you say that you enjoy the animating process?

01:28:35   Oh no, no

01:28:36   Oh really?

01:28:37   It's so boring, it's so boring

01:28:41   It's very tedious, it's very long, it's very boring.

01:28:45   The animation is by far and away my least favourite part of making the videos.

01:28:49   Oh that's interesting. Because it takes the longest, does it? Longer than the script writing?

01:28:53   No, no, it's by far and away shorter than the script writing.

01:28:57   But it feels longer because I always do it all at once.

01:29:01   So it's two or three or four solid days, depending on how long the video is,

01:29:05   of just I get up and I sit down at my computer and I'm animating until I go to sleep

01:29:09   sleep and then I do it again until it's done. So it just feels like this enormous

01:29:15   burden even if the actual total number of hours is much less than the script

01:29:19   writing. Does it take a long time to render like the actual final export does that

01:29:24   take a lot of time? It did when I had a tiny very slow computer I'll tell you

01:29:30   that. I remember having to plan to render the video at least the day before

01:29:39   before I actually ever wanted it to go up.

01:29:43   Because I think on my original computer it took something like six hours to render stuff.

01:29:47   But that was mainly a function of how old my computer was, because I just

01:29:52   could not afford a newer one. But yeah, I remember that it would just take absolutely forever to render stuff.

01:29:56   And then I was also on a terribly, terribly slow internet connection, so it was an all-day process to render

01:30:03   and to actually upload the file as well. It could never do that in a single day.

01:30:07   Whereas now that I can afford an actual real piece

01:30:12   of professional business equipment to work on,

01:30:15   I think those things render out now in 15 minutes,

01:30:17   maybe 20 minutes.

01:30:20   It's a big difference.

01:30:21   Yeah, it is a really big difference,

01:30:23   because it also allows me to do some of the things

01:30:25   that I've talked about before of rendering something,

01:30:27   being able to show it to some people

01:30:31   and then make some last minute changes and re-render it

01:30:33   and still get it up on the same day.

01:30:34   That makes a big, big difference in being able to do that kind of stuff.

01:30:38   That being said, I know the rendering process has increased

01:30:42   lately, because since I do everything as a vector

01:30:46   drawing, it's very easy for me to increase the resolution of the videos.

01:30:50   So that as YouTube has rolled

01:30:54   out HD and then 2K and 4K support

01:30:58   and now 4K at 60 frames per second support, I always

01:31:02   I always just make my videos at the maximum of whatever I can.

01:31:05   Which is kind of crazy when you think about it, that there's a stick figure on screen

01:31:08   but I am rendering it at 4K 60 frames a second.

01:31:12   But I feel like, why not? I just have to flip a button in my Inkscape

01:31:16   to say how big do I want the resolution to be.

01:31:19   And it's another button in Final Cut Pro to say, oh, export this at 60 frames a second

01:31:24   rather than exporting it at 30 frames a second.

01:31:27   It's very easy for me to do, but I end up with gigantic files now that take a long time to actually upload to YouTube.

01:31:34   And they take a long time for YouTube to process.

01:31:36   So that part of it is taking a little bit longer than it used to.

01:31:39   So we've spoken a lot about the animation, but there are some videos and there are some elements of some videos

01:31:45   in which you use stock photography, or you've got like "Humans need not apply"

01:31:50   where it's all like stock video and stuff like that.

01:31:53   What makes you want to look at something like that, and then how do you go about finding that type of media?

01:32:01   Okay, so there's a process that has happened here, if you look at the videos over time.

01:32:07   In the beginning, I used almost entirely Creative Commons images,

01:32:15   which is very time-intensive to find the right images, and also to make sure that I'm giving credit

01:32:21   to the people who created them. Again, for the listeners,

01:32:25   Creative Commons means that someone is posting the image on the internet,

01:32:29   but they can specify in advance the ways under which it can be used.

01:32:33   So they can say, "Yes, you can use this image

01:32:37   for commercial purposes, and you can modify it

01:32:40   as long as you give me credit." And back in the day, not anymore. Flickr

01:32:46   made it very easy to search for Creative Commons images,

01:32:49   so I was always just using Flickr to go through and try to find appropriate pictures

01:32:53   that had the right licenses on them that I could use.

01:32:56   But as I said, that was very time-intensive, so I eventually switched to

01:33:01   doing the drawings, because that took less time and I could get exactly what I want.

01:33:06   But recently I have been using more stock image,

01:33:10   and quite frankly that is in no small part because of the Patreon support for the videos.

01:33:15   the videos, because actually paying for professional high-definition stock is surprisingly expensive.

01:33:25   Very often there's something like 400 slides, maybe half of which could possibly be an image,

01:33:32   and it would be negative profitability on those things if I was just using the YouTube

01:33:37   advertising revenue to cover it.

01:33:39   So "the humans need not apply" is a perfect example of.

01:33:43   the crowdfunding, I would never have made that video because that thing was just ungodly

01:33:50   expensive in terms of "I want to license all of this stock imagery." And because I'm a

01:33:55   crazy person and because I'm thinking about this video years down the line, I want to

01:34:01   license the highest quality version of every single piece of footage that you have. I forget

01:34:08   exactly what it was but I broke a record with that Las Vegas video because in the

01:34:13   beginning of the Las Vegas video there are two clips in the first five seconds

01:34:17   that are each 4k and 60 frames per second and it cost me a thousand dollars

01:34:23   for that five seconds right in the beginning of the Las Vegas video.

01:34:27   When you said it was expensive I thought you were like just you know overplaying

01:34:32   it to sound you know like it's always really expensive that's why I don't do a

01:34:36   lot of it. The Patreon support helps, like you know, so it feels like it balances out.

01:34:40   But no, you need that money. That is crazy. A thousand dollars.

01:34:46   Yeah, I mean again, that was the highest, which is why I mention it. And I think it's in no small

01:34:53   part because those two opening shots, they were each obviously shot on a drone, which was probably

01:34:58   being flown illegally over Las Vegas to get that footage. Or a helicopter. Yeah, or maybe a

01:35:04   a helicopter. But yeah, both of those, like I said, I wanted them at 4K and 60 frames per second.

01:35:10   If you want the 480p version, you can probably get that stuff for 20 bucks. But if you want the

01:35:19   high quality versions, they crank up the price very fast. And also, the other thing that makes

01:35:24   it very expensive is many stock agencies adjust the price based on the expected audience.

01:35:28   Of course.

01:35:29   And so when I have to fill in something like, "Oh, I expect it's going to have a million views,"

01:35:35   the price often goes up. And there have been some pieces of footage that I do want,

01:35:39   but even I've had to say, "You know what? I cannot spend $2,000 on a single piece of stock footage for a two-second clip in a video,

01:35:48   because this wants that amount if it's going to go out to millions of people."

01:35:53   It's just wasteful.

01:35:55   Yeah, at a certain point it doesn't make any sense. The Las Vegas one, I was willing to spend it because I wanted a very impressive opening right at the start.

01:36:03   But I definitely used less stock later in the video than I might otherwise have because at a certain point the calculation starts to not make any sense.

01:36:12   That's interesting to me because when I did my marketing stuff, we used agencies but every now and then we did an email or a piece of postal marketing in-house just for time purposes.

01:36:24   But part of that, if it was my campaign,

01:36:27   is I would need to find an image.

01:36:29   And I'm not kidding, sometimes I would spend eight hours

01:36:32   finding one image for an email.

01:36:34   - It's surprising how many images you will come across

01:36:36   that are close to what you need,

01:36:38   but they're not actually what you need.

01:36:40   - Do you know what makes it harder?

01:36:41   - What? - Brand guidelines.

01:36:43   (both laughing)

01:36:45   I can't just choose the image I like,

01:36:47   it has to be the image that I like,

01:36:49   that my boss likes, that my boss's boss likes,

01:36:52   and the person who wrote the brand guidelines five years ago

01:36:54   would agree with. Yeah, exactly. I totally get it. Like if you have something in

01:36:59   your mind that you want to put in the video but because you're not an artist

01:37:05   sometimes the only way to get it is to find this type of imagery. Yeah and this

01:37:11   is actually a good point to clear up a little point that I

01:37:17   misspoke where I said I do all the animations myself and someone brought up

01:37:22   the three videos that I have done with Knut,

01:37:26   the artist that I've worked with who helped me with

01:37:28   the single transferable vote video

01:37:30   and the two Lord of the Rings videos.

01:37:32   When I say the animations, what I'm thinking in my mind

01:37:35   is this assembly process at the end and drawing stuff,

01:37:39   but the way it worked with Knut was,

01:37:43   he was very patient, is--

01:37:45   - Having worked with you now for a couple of months,

01:37:51   I can't even imagine what that process must have been like because it took us a very long time

01:38:00   to agree on the artwork. Oh Myke, Myke we agreed on that artwork so fast from my perspective. So

01:38:07   that's what I assume right is that that took comparatively to all of the other stuff I've done

01:38:12   in the past way longer. But I know that that one little thing there is probably a minuscule

01:38:20   amount of like back and forth compared to what that you must go through when you're creating

01:38:26   this artwork for the videos. So with Knut I was giving him lists of, for example, for the voting

01:38:34   videos, like here are the animals that I want and he was coming back with various suggestions and we

01:38:40   we would talk through it and develop like, "Okay, I like this direction, I don't like this direction, this is good."

01:38:44   And a similar thing with the Lord of the Rings one.

01:38:46   The Lord of the Rings one was a huge amount of work,

01:38:49   for which I am eternally grateful how much time he spent on that.

01:38:51   The impression I got was it really absorbed his life for quite a while.

01:38:55   In the end, when we would decide on, "Okay, this is the final thing,"

01:39:00   when I say I'm doing the animations, I'm taking the assets that he has created,

01:39:06   and then I'm the one who's arranging all of those things.

01:39:09   So Knut is not laying out how are they going to be on the screen,

01:39:13   he's providing me with the characters. So that's why I still in my mind think

01:39:17   "Oh, I'm doing the animation," but the Lord of the Rings one was definitely

01:39:21   a case where I realized right away my art skills were not adequate

01:39:25   for being able to do that video, because there are just too many characters

01:39:29   that need to be differentiated immediately, like I need to bring someone on board

01:39:33   to help me with this. And so that's the way that I have done it.

01:39:37   But people ask, they go like,

01:39:39   "Oh, you seem to hate the animations.

01:39:41   You complain about them on Twitter all the time.

01:39:43   Why don't you get someone to help you?"

01:39:47   And I can work with an artist like Knut in this way

01:39:52   where they're providing me assets

01:39:54   that I am then arranging on the screen

01:39:56   in the way that I want.

01:39:58   But my limited experience with trying to hire someone

01:40:00   to just straight up do the animations

01:40:02   has always been disastrous.

01:40:05   just a total disaster, and not worth it.

01:40:08   It takes way more time to try to explain what I want

01:40:12   and always get back results that I am just ultimately unhappy with

01:40:16   than it is to just do it myself over a long weekend.

01:40:20   So that's why I do the animations, even though I don't really like them,

01:40:23   and they seem like something that could be outsourced,

01:40:26   but my experience says they can't be.

01:40:30   And I guess for compare and contrast here,

01:40:33   if you think about the animations that are done for Hello Internet,

01:40:38   the ones that are done by Dovski,

01:40:43   that totally works from my perspective,

01:40:46   because I don't have any idea what Dovski is going to make.

01:40:48   He just emails me and says,

01:40:52   "Here's the audio clips that I want to use.

01:40:55   Are all of these okay?" And I say, "Yes," almost every single time.

01:40:57   And then I give to him total creative control.

01:41:01   I say, "You just do whatever you want because you produce amazing work."

01:41:05   And that's a totally different scenario from

01:41:08   "I have been working on a script for six weeks and I have a very clear idea of what exactly needs to be on the screen at every second."

01:41:16   And in that circumstance, it's almost impossible to delegate in an effective way to another person.

01:41:21   But with Dovski, I have no expectation for what he's going to do with the Hello Internet Animated.

01:41:27   And so that works.

01:41:30   When you're delegating to someone, if you can just give them total control, that works.

01:41:36   I could never create a Hello Internet animated in the way that he does.

01:41:41   That is his skill, and I have no skills in that area.

01:41:45   Those videos really are amazing.

01:41:47   I love those videos.

01:41:49   He does a good job.

01:41:50   He makes Brady and I look very good and very funny.

01:41:54   Shall we address the situation, the elephant in the room?

01:41:57   What's the elephant in the room?

01:41:58   - Well, we're at episode 10 now.

01:42:00   - Yeah, I'm done.

01:42:02   This has been great.

01:42:02   - Okay, see you later.

01:42:03   (laughing)

01:42:05   - Of course, we've actually talked about this ahead of time.

01:42:07   I mean, really, the big problem from my perspective

01:42:09   is that if we end it here, it's terribly unsatisfying

01:42:12   because you opened the very first show

01:42:14   telling people that I put sleep on my calendar.

01:42:17   - Yep.

01:42:18   - And we haven't even addressed that.

01:42:21   - That would have been in this episode

01:42:23   if I knew we weren't going on.

01:42:25   (laughing)

01:42:26   Yes, but I also told you that we can't talk about calendars or schedules, because I have been off calendar and schedule for like a month now.

01:42:31   So I said, "Oh no, it's a verboten topic. We have to pass over it."

01:42:40   My feeling is I'll agree to do some more, Myke.

01:42:44   I don't know how many more.

01:42:48   I don't know how long this will last, but you still have a list of things that you want to go through with me.

01:42:49   And I think you make the show very easy for me.

01:42:54   I get to show up and I talk and then I leave

01:42:57   all of the heavy lifting to you.

01:42:59   - Which is just how I like it.

01:43:01   - Which is just how I like it.

01:43:02   - And that's why we work so great together.

01:43:05   But we are making some changes though.

01:43:10   Now we've had our time, we've learned some things

01:43:12   from the past 10 episodes and we're gonna make some changes.

01:43:15   So we're gonna go to every two weeks

01:43:18   rather than every week.

01:43:19   The plan is to still stick to a schedule

01:43:23   So it will be every second Friday there will be a show.

01:43:26   - You and your schedules.

01:43:28   - And we're also changing the hashtag.

01:43:30   We're not doing any Ask Grey today

01:43:31   because we kind of run out of time.

01:43:33   But we're gonna change the hashtag going forward

01:43:35   for feedback and questions and follow up to Ask Cortex.

01:43:38   - I think Ask Cortex makes more sense

01:43:41   and I've even seen people just use Ask Cortex

01:43:44   because the show is you and me talking about stuff.

01:43:48   And I definitely did want it to be every other week

01:43:53   because I have found every week just absolutely exhausting.

01:43:55   I don't know how you do all of the podcasts that you do, Myke.

01:43:59   You are on three, four podcasts a day and I'm looking here like,

01:44:04   Oh man, every week I just did one.

01:44:07   And then on the weeks when there happens to be a hello internet and a cortex,

01:44:10   I feel like my whole work life is falling apart.

01:44:13   I can't do these two things together.

01:44:15   The thing is though,

01:44:16   like for every other podcast that I do and or every other podcast I've ever been

01:44:21   involved with, they do not take as much work as the shows that you do take.

01:44:26   Mm-hmm. Why? Because I'm fussy?

01:44:28   I heard you mention earlier the first and third edit of Hello Internet.

01:44:33   Right. Nobody does that, Gray!

01:44:35   I do three edits of the show. I don't understand...

01:44:39   It's just more work. But in the same vein, for us to get this show to a standard that we both like,

01:44:45   it takes a bit more work than the shows that I usually do as well.

01:44:48   It's actually work that I'm happy to do,

01:44:50   'cause I really love the finished product.

01:44:52   - I'm glad you did.

01:44:53   - So to make that sustainable,

01:44:54   we're just gonna do it every two weeks,

01:44:57   it's gonna continue,

01:44:58   and there's gonna be much more Cortex forever.

01:45:01   - No, it's not forever.

01:45:03   - Cortex forever.

01:45:04   - No.

01:45:05   - We're not putting a limit on it, so it can be forever.

01:45:08   - See, you just, I feel like I give you an inch

01:45:11   and you take a forever.

01:45:13   - Yeah.

01:45:13   (laughing)

01:45:15   - I've agreed to do some more episodes,

01:45:18   some unspecified number of episodes and you're like, oh boy, eternity.

01:45:23   This is not what I have said.

01:45:25   Eternity is as possible as five at this point because there is no limit.

01:45:30   No, not as possible. It is not even remotely as possible.

01:45:33   At the very least we will both die and like, and then it will be over.

01:45:39   You speak for yourself in that scenario.

01:45:41   So we will be back in a couple of weeks time. Don't forget feedback,

01:45:45   follow up questions for Ask Cortex.

01:45:46   Yeah, so we will talk again in two weeks.

01:45:51   We will indeed.