9: Draft A Day


00:00:00   So where actually are you at the moment? Because I thought you were home, like in the UK.

00:00:05   No, I'm not home in the UK yet. I'm only halfway on my trip back around the world.

00:00:12   I was recently in Hawaii, and I am now back in North Carolina.

00:00:18   And at some uncertain point, I will be returning back to London.

00:00:22   But because I fly standby, I don't exactly know when I'm leaving yet.

00:00:25   [DING]

00:00:26   Flying directly from Hawaii, which is one time zone away from being the furthest

00:00:34   away a place can be from London before it starts getting closer. Like doing

00:00:38   doing a trip from that place directly back to London, I'm pretty sure my body

00:00:44   would just give up and die. And so even when I just fly to the West Coast I

00:00:48   usually try to plan it that I come to North Carolina, do a slight adjustment

00:00:52   with time zones, go to the West Coast or go to Hawaii, spend some time there, and then come back to North Carolina

00:00:59   to try to do some adjustment again before returning to London.

00:01:03   So I have to break up the trips because jet lag is always just rough on me.

00:01:08   So I am still jet lagged now because I just got back from Hawaii a couple days ago,

00:01:11   and now this is the dreaded eastward journey in which you wake up terribly late and feel awful every day

00:01:18   and it's very hard.

00:01:19   Anyway, that's a long answer to the fact that I am in North Carolina right now for some

00:01:23   indeterminate amount of time.

00:01:25   I don't think I was aware of Hawaiian time or whatever the actual time zone is called.

00:01:30   Yeah, it's like Hawaii-Alaska time zone, they're both on the same one.

00:01:35   I didn't know that it existed.

00:01:38   And us trying to communicate during that time period.

00:01:42   We had about half an hour a day where we could talk, it's crazy.

00:01:47   Ten hours is madness.

00:01:49   Yeah, depending on the time of year, I think it's almost like 11 hours.

00:01:54   Because again, the UK and the US don't line up their time zones perfectly.

00:01:58   So yes, it is an awful time zone.

00:02:00   And that is why you seem to not believe me that we might have difficulty coordinating recording a show when I was in Hawaii.

00:02:06   Like, it's on the other side of the earth.

00:02:09   It's not a convenient time zone.

00:02:11   It feels like having fallen off the earth when you're in Hawaii.

00:02:16   If you even just go on the internet and Twitter, it's just like tumbleweeds are rolling by

00:02:20   because nobody's awake when you're awake.

00:02:22   Or you go onto Reddit and all of the stories are very static.

00:02:27   There isn't any motion of things going up and down because nobody's voting because it's

00:02:30   just you and the Australians and everybody else is asleep.

00:02:34   So it even feels really like you're not on the planet Earth when you're there.

00:02:38   It's very far away from everything.

00:02:40   So during the time period of our interestingly scheduled shows recently, we now have stickers

00:02:45   for Cortex available on the Relay FM store.

00:02:48   - Yes, we do.

00:02:49   - I love the little square sticker

00:02:50   of the Cortex artwork that you can buy.

00:02:54   And I'll put a link in the show notes,

00:02:55   but the easiest way, if you go to relay.fm/store,

00:02:58   you'll see all of our shows there

00:02:59   and you can buy some stickers.

00:03:00   And I have one stuck to my laptop

00:03:02   and I'm very happy with it.

00:03:04   And I like to see that little brain

00:03:05   when my computer is closed.

00:03:07   - It looks great.

00:03:08   - If you want to stick Cortex stickers

00:03:10   all over everything you own,

00:03:11   you now have the ability to do that.

00:03:13   - As you should do.

00:03:14   So I obviously follow CGP Grey on Twitter.

00:03:17   - Oh yeah?

00:03:18   - That is something that I do.

00:03:18   And whilst reading my tweets the other day,

00:03:22   I saw a pretty horrific event occur to you

00:03:27   which was your home screen organization.

00:03:29   - Oh.

00:03:30   (Myke laughs)

00:03:33   Yes, Myke.

00:03:34   - So at your favorite Audible,

00:03:36   they changed the color of their icon to orange

00:03:38   which then basically incurred too much orange

00:03:43   on the home screen of your iPhone.

00:03:44   - Okay, okay, yeah, let's back up for a second,

00:03:47   because home screen organizing

00:03:50   is a bit of a topic on the show, it seems like.

00:03:51   People love it, much to my surprise, but yeah.

00:03:56   So, okay, with iOS 7, there has always been this problem

00:04:00   of too many white icons, and I already have,

00:04:03   my home screen has too many white icons on it.

00:04:06   I forget exactly what it is, but everybody's like,

00:04:07   "Ooh, white looks so cool."

00:04:09   No, it doesn't, it's a terrible icon color,

00:04:11   but lots of things have chosen it.

00:04:12   But it just so happens that orange is disproportionately represented on my home screen as well, in proportion to the number of icons that actually have that as a color.

00:04:19   And I feel like my iPhone, the central most things on it are the ones that I used to have in the center of

00:04:28   Overcast and Audible were right next to each other and they were orange and white

00:04:32   and I tried to arrange everything else around those two in the middle

00:04:37   so that it was like the colors were balanced nicely.

00:04:40   It didn't look random,

00:04:42   but it didn't look like there was too much of a pattern.

00:04:44   I spent, as you can imagine, a lot of time,

00:04:45   just from the way I'm describing this,

00:04:46   trying to get it to look just right.

00:04:48   - Yeah. - Yeah.

00:04:49   And it's one of these funny things where it's,

00:04:51   I have a hard time even knowing what I mean by looking right,

00:04:53   but people think like, "Oh, stripes, no, I hate stripes,"

00:04:56   or just, you know, little checker patterns.

00:04:58   No, that's awful.

00:04:58   It's very hard to get looking the way I feel is balanced,

00:05:01   because I don't even know exactly what I'm going for.

00:05:03   I just play around with it until it looks right.

00:05:05   But yeah, so Audible, I saw something about how Audible

00:05:09   changed the icon color and I thought, oh, thank goodness.

00:05:12   Because they've almost certainly chosen the standard

00:05:15   like Amazon yellow maybe or you know, like Audible

00:05:19   has sometimes used red as design elements.

00:05:21   But no, they chose orange.

00:05:23   But the worst thing about the orange, Myke,

00:05:25   is that they chose an orange which clashes somehow

00:05:28   with every other shade of orange I have ever seen.

00:05:31   (laughing)

00:05:32   I think someone at Amazon must have thought,

00:05:36   how can we make an orange that we are sure

00:05:40   will look terrible next to every other shade of orange

00:05:43   that has ever existed?

00:05:44   And if you look at that Audible icon

00:05:47   next to the Overcast icon,

00:05:48   which Overcast has a really great,

00:05:50   if you're gonna go orange, right, you go a bright orange,

00:05:53   but the Audible orange is like it was dragged

00:05:55   through the mud and then not properly cleaned

00:05:58   after it occurred.

00:05:59   So it's not a great looking icon,

00:06:02   But now it also looks extra awful next to a vivid orange.

00:06:07   And so I swear to God,

00:06:08   since this happened a couple of days ago,

00:06:10   I just keep moving things around on my phone

00:06:13   and I can find no acceptable configuration

00:06:17   of all of these icons.

00:06:18   And I've been trying to think,

00:06:19   okay, can I take things off my home screen?

00:06:22   I'm making aesthetic decisions

00:06:25   about the colors of the icons.

00:06:27   I'm like, okay, what can I do to try to put a buffer in here?

00:06:29   But the big problem is I still want audible

00:06:31   and overcast in the center, and it's like, no, this is now like two North Pole magnets.

00:06:36   They can't be next to each other, they can't be diagonally next to each other, they need

00:06:39   a buffer of one icon in between them somehow, and it's, I'm gonna say it's been genuinely

00:06:44   upsetting because I just, I'm frustrated and I cannot find, I cannot find a solution to

00:06:49   this.

00:06:50   So then you tweeted another picture which was like maybe your current interim setup,

00:06:55   which I quite like because if you look at both pictures side by side, and I'll include

00:06:59   the tweets in the show notes so people can see them. Audible and Overcast used to be

00:07:03   together sitting next to each other. Now it's like they've had a bad breakup because they

00:07:07   are now both on opposite ends. Only music, like music and maps are like their buddies

00:07:13   and they have to stay in the middle like to keep them apart.

00:07:16   Yeah, but the problem with that, okay so I put music and maps between Audible and Overcast,

00:07:21   but I used to have such a nice pleasing three audio things in a row and now maps feels like

00:07:27   It's just it doesn't belong there. Hey guys! Exactly, it's disharmonious with that row.

00:07:33   And also even looking at this, I just pull it up on my screen, and I look at it

00:07:37   and this is just awful. Like I said, it's an unbalanced disaster. You also have

00:07:42   two diagonal orange icons next to each other which sort of forms a pattern, but

00:07:47   the pattern is asymmetric. There's no good solution. I think what

00:07:51   I have to do is try to figure out icons to remove or replace on this screen. It's

00:07:56   just I'm very displeased because I've come to the conclusion that there is no

00:08:01   good way to arrange all these icons. So I'm not happy. I like Audible, don't

00:08:06   like their icon. So I may have a potential solution for you that came from

00:08:13   listener Steven. And do you remember we were talking a couple of weeks ago, maybe

00:08:19   a few weeks ago now, about how we would both like to have audiobooks in

00:08:23   Overcast for smart speed. Well, Steven has created a workflow with the

00:08:29   workflow app that we both use on iOS where it can take audio files from your

00:08:34   Dropbox account so you could save audio books into a folder at Dropbox and it

00:08:38   can then take that file and add it to the service Huffduffer which is kind of

00:08:43   like Instapaper for audio so then it would add this audio book into your

00:08:47   Huffduffer feed which you could subscribe to in Overcast and listen to

00:08:51   them that way.

00:08:53   Hmm.

00:08:55   So it's a solution.

00:08:57   I will definitely try this.

00:08:59   The only thing I don't like about Huffduffer, and the reason I've never really used it is

00:09:03   because is it still this way that it's all public?

00:09:06   You can't have a private Huffduffer account?

00:09:08   I feel like it might be public.

00:09:10   Let me...

00:09:11   I was just thinking, because I was like, if you're putting audiobooks, it could kind of

00:09:15   be...

00:09:16   It's like shady.

00:09:18   You know, because it's like, ah, now...

00:09:20   and huffduffer end up creating a public directory that you can search of everything that people

00:09:25   put on there and...

00:09:26   Yeah.

00:09:27   I'm not saying that I wouldn't do it under a fake name that I subscribe to.

00:09:33   Because you know what you could do?

00:09:35   One way that you could do it is you could put it in, so you could put it in the feed,

00:09:40   download them into your app, into Overcast, and then delete them from your huffduffer

00:09:44   account.

00:09:45   Ah, that's too much work.

00:09:48   Well, it's just a solution or you could just leave them there because whatever.

00:09:51   Because Amazon made me do it with their icon, that's why.

00:09:56   Exactly. That would hold up in court.

00:09:58   I'm sure it would. But your honor, look at this shade of orange.

00:10:02   I had to commit.

00:10:04   Objection.

00:10:05   I had to be committing copyright distribution felonies because this orange is

00:10:11   just so ugly. I object to that orange. Yeah.

00:10:15   I will definitely look into this. This is interesting. I've often wondered if there's

00:10:19   a way to create like an RSS feed from a folder of Dropbox MP3s. Like there are various reasons

00:10:26   why I want to do that, but for the time being I'm definitely going to give this workflow

00:10:31   by Steven a try and see if it works for me and if I can try to hide those audiobook files

00:10:37   on HuffDuffer. But if that works, if that works, I already know what I'll do. That will

00:10:42   allow me to get rid of the audible icon on that homepage

00:10:45   and I will replace it with the settings icon,

00:10:49   which is my next most frequent use thing, which is not out of a folder.

00:10:52   So that's what will happen.

00:10:53   Settings will go on there,

00:10:55   and at least settings is grey so I can put it almost anywhere.

00:10:58   I'm liking this.

00:11:00   If I can get rid of that audible icon and still get audiobooks from Audible,

00:11:03   I'll be very happy.

00:11:03   Nice work, Stephen.

00:11:04   Thank you.

00:11:05   @junygirl on Reddit was...

00:11:09   She asked a question that I meant to ask you.

00:11:12   about how many duplicate sets of recording gear you have around the world

00:11:16   because you're currently talking to me from North Carolina

00:11:20   from equipment that was already in North Carolina.

00:11:24   Yeah, I don't know why people find this interesting

00:11:28   but yeah, of course I have a microphone here that I leave here. This seems unremarkable to me.

00:11:32   Why? Because the thing that I have in front of me is

00:11:36   I'm still using the Blue Yeti USB microphone, very convenient

00:11:40   and I have a big metal arm for it and a clamp for the desk

00:11:44   and a bunch of equipment underneath the desk that I can connect it to my laptop.

00:11:50   Why on earth would I pack all of this in a suitcase and move it all over the place?

00:11:54   But this is added on to the fact that you have this stuff at home

00:11:58   and in your co-working space.

00:12:00   Right, but the question there again is why would I pack it into a suitcase

00:12:03   and move it from my home to my office?

00:12:06   It's a huge, it's a huge hassle.

00:12:09   I don't think anybody disagrees with like the fact that it's there like it's great, but I just don't think many people do this like by

00:12:17   Like multiple things and stash them in different places

00:12:21   It kind of reminds me a little bit of Batman like when I used to watch the old Batman show

00:12:27   I like this comparison keep going. Yes. You remember the Adam West show? I don't know how you'll much you like

00:12:31   Yeah, I saw some of the Adam West when I was a kid

00:12:33   There was always like a scenario that he would find whatever he needed wherever he was

00:12:38   There was always like another bat cave or like there was a bush which was in a real bush

00:12:44   But it had a motorcycle underneath like the bat cycle or like he would need the bat boat

00:12:48   And it would just be under the dock like it was always just there and this

00:12:52   That's exactly the way if I was Batman

00:12:55   I would do the same thing you would hide bat stuff everywhere that you possibly could so that you always have it available

00:13:00   You never know when you're gonna need another batarang. It's very true. Yeah

00:13:04   You can't argue with that Myke

00:13:07   I mean, one of the things, just to point out, that I think makes this scenario a little bit different is

00:13:14   I have a business and this is business equipment, so like what we're doing right now, we're doing business at this very moment, Myke.

00:13:23   And so I can have these as business expenses and it always seems to me like a no-brainer.

00:13:29   If there's anything that can make the business easier, I will do that as a business expense just without thinking about it.

00:13:35   thinking about it. But of course, no normal person is going to have redundant equipment

00:13:39   for recording podcasts at their office

00:13:43   and at their home and at their parents' home. But it is a different scenario

00:13:47   when you do make a living, partially, at least making podcasts.

00:13:51   So that's why I'm very comfortable having this stuff everywhere, so that I can do it at any time.

00:13:55   And one of the big reasons that we didn't record it in Hawaii, in addition to the fact

00:13:59   that the time zones were terrible, is I kept looking at this microphone and thinking,

00:14:03   I'm gonna pack that in my suitcase and bring it with me. No way. It's not gonna happen.

00:14:08   I have enough space for everything perfectly. This does not fit.

00:14:12   It doesn't. It doesn't. Even if I had plenty of spare space,

00:14:16   you know what I like better than bringing a microphone with me? A lighter suitcase.

00:14:19   This episode of Cortex is brought to you by Warby Parker. Look, glasses that you wear on your lovely

00:14:27   face should not cost as much as an iPhone. But far too often they do. And this is where

00:14:33   Warby Parker is here to help you out. Warby Parker's prescription glasses start at just

00:14:38   $95 and that includes prescription lenses. And these aren't just ugly cheap looking

00:14:43   designs at these prices either. Warby Parker believes that glasses should be viewed as

00:14:48   a fashion accessory just like a bag, a shoe, a necktie, a hat or even that fancy smartwatch

00:14:54   watch that you wear. They want you to look good in your glasses and Warby Parker achieved

00:14:59   just that. Their designs are super great looking and if you're looking to wear something on

00:15:02   your face all day then they should look good on your face. It's simple you know you're

00:15:05   going to wear it all the time you're going to be out in the world you want glasses that

00:15:08   are going to look great. As well as those fantastic frames start at $95 they also have

00:15:13   a titanium collection that starts at $145 that also include prescription lenses of course.

00:15:19   feature premium Japanese titanium and French non-rocking screws.

00:15:29   But all of Warby's glasses include anti-reflective and anti-glare coating.

00:15:36   And all the glasses include a hard case and cleaning cloth too.

00:15:40   There is no additional items you need to purchase, you're going to be hard pressed to find a

00:15:43   deal this good anywhere else.

00:15:45   But the best part about Warby Parker, the best part of their whole experience is what

00:15:49   they call the home try-on.

00:15:50   This makes buying glasses online totally risk free and super easy.

00:15:54   You just go to Warby Parker, you sign up and you go to their home try-on program.

00:15:58   This allows you to order 5 pairs of glasses that will be shipped to you directly.

00:16:03   They send you 5 frames, you can try them on in the comfort of your own home for 5 days

00:16:06   where you can get feedback from friends and family and colleagues and they can tell you

00:16:10   which ones they like.

00:16:11   Then once you choose the ones you want you send them back, this is all for free of course

00:16:14   using the prepaid return shipping label with no obligation to purchase.

00:16:18   So you just get a bunch of frames, you choose the ones that you want, you send them all

00:16:21   back to a worker and then once you're happy you place your order and they will get started

00:16:25   on putting those love your prescription lenses into the frames of your choice and you will

00:16:30   have them back in your hands of in 10 business days and they usually arrive a lot faster

00:16:35   than that.

00:16:36   This is something super cool, they have such a great experience, their frames look so good

00:16:39   as I said and their home try on really is something that's awesome.

00:16:42   You're not just trying them on for a couple of minutes and looking in a mirror in an optometrist

00:16:46   You actually get to try them on and show friends and family members and get all of their opinions as well

00:16:51   So go to warbyparker.com/cortex to choose your five free home try on frames

00:16:56   Once you're happy with what you've decided send the frames back choose your favorite pair and order by visiting that URL

00:17:02   You will also get free three-day shipping on your final frame choice

00:17:06   Warby Parker makes your experience completely risk-free and with free shipping all around

00:17:11   And also you'll be contributing to a charitable cause as for every pair of glasses sold

00:17:15   Warby Parker distributes a pair of glasses to someone in need. Thank you so much to Warby Parker for supporting this show

00:17:21   Go to warbyparker.com/cortex

00:17:24   You have

00:17:27   Made another impact on my life. I'm not sure how comfortable I am with. Oh, yeah. What have I done? Prison Architect. Oh

00:17:33   Prison Architect you're playing that? I have started playing Prison Architect. Yes. I

00:17:39   I didn't think you're much of a PC gamer guy. No, you have like a thousand consoles connected to your TV

00:17:44   I do but this one wasn't available for any of them. However, it is coming to the iPad in October

00:17:50   Which I'm very excited about because whenever I play Prison Architect on my Mac Pro, my Mac Pro sets on fire

00:17:55   Immediately it just catches on fire. It's really difficult

00:18:01   But listeners again Prison Architect is a game where you are simulating constructing a prison and I love these kind of simulation work games

00:18:08   But one of the things I'm always aware of with them that as technology has progressed,

00:18:13   many of these simulation games don't have the most amazing graphics,

00:18:17   but your computer will still run incredibly hot because it's trying to simulate the needs of a thousand prisoners running around

00:18:24   and how much food each and every one of them wants.

00:18:26   So I always find it interesting that some of these games that are very simple graphically

00:18:30   are still hugely demanding on the processor because of how many individual little elements they are simulating.

00:18:37   So yes, it may look simple, but you're still going to need a pretty good computer to run some of these things.

00:18:42   So I found the game very hard to get to grips with. It is not good at explaining what you need to do, like in any way.

00:18:49   The tutorial is kind of pointless, and I failed horribly my first two times.

00:18:54   Yeah, that's part of the game, is failing horribly right from the beginning. Did your prison burn down? Did you have a riot?

00:19:00   I had a riot, yeah, but that wasn't on that one. So I basically was very stuck with the

00:19:06   first two and decided that my favourite thing about this game is just the building of the

00:19:11   prison. That's what I like to do. I like to build the prison. So I enabled unlimited money,

00:19:18   which I'm sure probably upsets you.

00:19:20   It does upset me.

00:19:21   Because I like to just start building a prison and iterate the design. However, I was really

00:19:28   invested in building this prison and wasn't paying attention to the amount of prisoners

00:19:32   that were being delivered to my prison every day. And then I got into the situation where

00:19:36   I had 60 cells and 90 prisoners and then there was a terrible riot which I couldn't stop.

00:19:41   Which was entirely your fault.

00:19:43   100% my fault. So now my current prison, which I've just started building, I have unlimited

00:19:49   money naturally and I have turned off failure.

00:19:56   - You turned off the game part of this.

00:19:58   The part of the game where you can fail

00:20:00   is now no longer active.

00:20:02   - All I wanna do is just build a really beautiful prison.

00:20:06   - Right.

00:20:07   - That is how I approach this game.

00:20:09   I just want to build a prison,

00:20:11   which is really nicely designed

00:20:13   and everything works really well

00:20:15   and it just functions good.

00:20:17   'Cause when I'm playing these games,

00:20:20   I'm doing similar tasks to you,

00:20:21   like editing shows and stuff like that.

00:20:23   So I want to have like the least amount

00:20:25   distraction. So basically it's just a case of me drawing like a hundred cells

00:20:30   like you know like two blocks and then by three blocks two blocks by three

00:20:34   blocks and just making all these individual prison cells and I like doing

00:20:38   all of that part. I hope to God you know about the clone stamping tool you do

00:20:42   know that right? I have no idea what you're talking about. Oh god Myke it's like you're not

00:20:46   even playing the same game. They don't do anything to tell you about anything. Okay

00:20:50   just just to save you and any of the dear listeners out there who try Prison

00:20:54   architect which again I highly recommend I think it is a very well designed game

00:20:58   one of the things you can research is a little blueprint so that you can draw a

00:21:03   rectangle around a section of your prison that you wish to duplicate

00:21:07   exactly somewhere else so this allows you to stamp down rows and rows of blocks

00:21:12   of cells that each have 12 prisoners in them or whatever that would have really

00:21:15   helped me when I was having that riot that would have saved you thousands of

00:21:20   clicks probably from the way it sounds. The problem was I realized I had 90 prisoners

00:21:25   and then started to immediately build another wing of prison cells. It would have taken

00:21:29   you forever. Whilst I was building them, everybody died. Right, yes. So that would have helped.

00:21:36   But I don't know if I would use it because I actually just like the mind, like the mindless

00:21:41   process of just building these things. It's fun, it's a fun game. But for me it's just,

00:21:48   I just want to build stuff. That's what I like doing. The rest of the game

00:21:52   I'm not so interested in yet. Maybe once I build the perfect prison

00:21:56   I will then pay attention to everything else. Yes, maybe. Stop me if I've made

00:22:00   this comparison before, but my wife always describes some of the ways

00:22:03   that I play the games as the the man version of knitting.

00:22:09   That the way she looks at it is like I want something to keep my hands

00:22:13   busy, you know, while you're sort of doing

00:22:15   something else and I think that that is 100% on board and the way you are playing prison

00:22:21   architect where you're like "ooh I enjoy drawing the exact same identical cell over and over

00:22:26   and over again" is like man that sounds even more like knitting than what I do.

00:22:29   This is crazy.

00:22:30   I was talking to Tiffany Arment yesterday who you also have infected with prison architect.

00:22:35   Yes, who I also have seen has caused riots that killed thousands of prisoners, yes.

00:22:39   And she said to me "you should take up knitting".

00:22:42   So there you go.

00:22:43   I think there's something to this comparison.

00:22:46   I really do.

00:22:47   - Maybe somebody should make a knitting game for Steam

00:22:49   and then we can play that.

00:22:51   - Let's see that if there's knitting simulator.

00:22:54   - There's gotta be, there has to be.

00:22:55   Okay, like don't.

00:22:56   - There has to be a knitting simulator.

00:22:57   - Yep, there is a knitting game.

00:23:00   - Really, there really is?

00:23:02   That's amazing.

00:23:03   - Yeah, but somebody has created it

00:23:05   and you have knitting needles

00:23:07   that are connected to your computer.

00:23:09   So you sit and do the action and it knits something.

00:23:13   That's amazing. That is fantastic.

00:23:17   What a world we live in, Myke. Knitting simulators. It is a world.

00:23:21   Just while we're talking video games I'll mention one other thing. I was

00:23:25   telling my parents a little bit about the video game world when I'm here because this is something

00:23:29   that is just outside of their experience and so we were having a bunch of conversations

00:23:33   but I was trying to convince them that Euro Truck

00:23:37   Simulator was a real thing. Do you know Euro Truck Simulator?

00:23:41   I have seen it and heard of it. I've never played it.

00:23:44   The basic gist of Hero Truck Simulator is it is an exact simulation of long-haul trucking

00:23:51   in that the whole game is you driving a truck across the continent of Europe delivering items.

00:24:00   But when I say most people who play video games are imagining, "Oh, it's some top-down view and you're avoiding obstacles."

00:24:06   "No, no, no, it's really a simulation of a road. It's like a flight simulator except it's a truck on the road and you're just driving."

00:24:13   And my parents were like, "Oh, no, that can't possibly be real. Nobody would do that. Nobody would sign up for virtual work in this way that isn't even remotely a game. It can't possibly be real."

00:24:23   I showed them a Let's Play on YouTube of someone just silently driving the truck across Europe, and within 60 seconds they were sold.

00:24:31   They go "Ooh, I could play that! That looks really enjoyable! I wouldn't mind taking a drive across Europe."

00:24:36   I just think gaming is a very funny thing in what captures what person's mind.

00:24:44   It's all about how your brain is built and what kind of things you react to.

00:24:48   So I imagine there's someone out there who has just heard about the knitting simulator who is very excited.

00:24:53   Even though I could not imagine playing that game.

00:24:56   I'm now watching a truck on YouTube driving through a forest.

00:25:01   Look at that. What a world.

00:25:04   Yeah, exactly.

00:25:06   We live in so much luxury that we can simulate work as enjoyment.

00:25:10   I want to talk to you about scriptwriting a little bit today.

00:25:13   Oh, now we're getting serious? This is your topic for today? Scriptwriting?

00:25:16   - Scriptwriting. - Okay.

00:25:17   All of your videos, they are scripted.

00:25:19   - Right? Completely scripted. - That is correct.

00:25:22   Because obviously this is a decision you had to make, right?

00:25:25   I'm gonna make these videos and I'm gonna make scripts and I'm gonna read the scripts.

00:25:29   That's the audio.

00:25:30   Did you always know like the only way I can do this is if I script the videos?

00:25:36   In some ways the videos are an outgrowth of a lot of the time that I spent teaching because

00:25:44   what I would do as a teacher was to create much more detailed PowerPoint presentations

00:25:51   than most teachers would make, so that I could have an outline of the lesson that I was going

00:25:58   through.

00:26:00   These presentations took a lot of time to make, but it was great because they were reusable.

00:26:05   Because every time I saw a teacher on my teacher training course writing something by hand

00:26:10   on the board, I thought, "Oh, what a waste of human effort."

00:26:12   You're going to have to be writing that same sentence twice a day, twice a week, every

00:26:19   week for the rest of your teaching life.

00:26:21   I'm not going to do that. It's just awful.

00:26:23   So that's why I tended to make everything as PowerPoint presentations.

00:26:27   And what I would do is I would go into empty classrooms somewhere in the school

00:26:33   and walk through in real time what a lesson was going to be like.

00:26:40   So I think, okay, here's the introduction, here's the part where I'm talking.

00:26:44   Some slide would come up and it would be my marker of, okay, here, worksheets go out here,

00:26:49   everybody takes notes here or this is where the experiment starts.

00:26:52   But everything was kind of directed by the slideshow as a marker to me, almost like I'm

00:26:57   doing a presentation, except it's an unusual presentation because there are breaks when

00:27:01   the students are doing things.

00:27:02   But it was a very reusable but very practiced thing.

00:27:07   I really hope that somebody saw you through a window once and you're just like talking

00:27:13   to no one.

00:27:15   I know people saw me through the window.

00:27:17   The other teachers thought that I was crazy for doing this, but my perspective has always

00:27:24   been I am very happy to do what seems like a ridiculous amount of work up front if it's

00:27:31   going to save me work on the back end.

00:27:35   And I think that trade-off is almost always worth it.

00:27:38   And this was a case where in my later years as a teacher, these presentations were great

00:27:45   because almost the only preparation I had to do for any lesson was,

00:27:49   "Which PowerPoint file is it going to be? This one? Okay, great."

00:27:54   And in that folder, if there was anything that needed to be printed out,

00:27:57   those printouts were just in the folder with the presentation,

00:27:59   and that was all I needed to just go.

00:28:02   I wouldn't even have to review the lesson ahead of time

00:28:06   because the presentation was designed with speaker notes and other things

00:28:09   to prompt me about everything that I need to have on my mind

00:28:12   when I'm going through this.

00:28:14   And one of the things as well is I often had points in my notes for fake diversions.

00:28:23   So the students would think that I was getting off track with some kind of story about whatever,

00:28:30   but it was all planned.

00:28:31   I never got off track unless I wanted to get off track, but the students would always think

00:28:37   that I was getting off track.

00:28:39   But I'd start to stumble over something and pretend like,

00:28:43   oh, let me, oh, this thing, there was also this thing,

00:28:45   but you know what, I'm not sure we have time for that.

00:28:48   But then the students would be like, no, what is it?

00:28:49   And I was like, eh, okay, well,

00:28:51   let me, looking at the clock,

00:28:52   like pretending like I don't know how much time

00:28:54   we have left, but I know exactly how much time we have left.

00:28:56   Like, is there time to do it?

00:28:58   Okay, let me quickly tell you this thing.

00:29:00   But the whole point of like the diversion

00:29:02   was 'cause I had learned like,

00:29:04   oh, this part of the lesson is too long.

00:29:06   Like the kids need a break at this point,

00:29:09   and a pretend diversion feels very much like a break,

00:29:13   and then we come back to the real lesson.

00:29:14   It's like, okay, we gotta get serious now

00:29:15   because we've lost some time,

00:29:17   but we haven't lost any time.

00:29:18   Like I knew about that ahead of time.

00:29:19   So this is what I mean, like even the lessons that I gave

00:29:22   were very well prepared.

00:29:23   They weren't scripted.

00:29:24   I didn't do things word for word

00:29:26   because that's horrifically boring,

00:29:27   but I knew like what are the beats of this lesson

00:29:31   and how exactly do I want it to go?

00:29:32   - So I guess when you started to do this,

00:29:35   was no way you were going to do it other than like being completely prepared for everything

00:29:39   you were going to say.

00:29:40   Yes, that's exactly right.

00:29:41   So if you watch that first, the very first video that I did, that video was totally prepared

00:29:49   in the same way that I would prepare a lesson in that I made that almost entirely in Keynote,

00:29:59   Apple's version of PowerPoint, not writing a script with it but thinking about it as

00:30:05   "Okay, I want to go through this thing, and what point do I want to sort of change the topic?"

00:30:12   "When am I going to talk about things quickly?"

00:30:13   "When am I not going to talk about things quickly?"

00:30:16   And that first presentation was extraordinarily presentation-like,

00:30:22   in that I would just rehearse it over and over again, and I didn't have as many written notes.

00:30:27   It wasn't completely memorized, because some of the sections like the countries,

00:30:32   you couldn't possibly memorize those things.

00:30:34   And as time went on, I added like more and more and more of an actual script around that.

00:30:38   But I made that one like a presentation first.

00:30:40   And so, that one, and I think the first two voting videos I know were done in the same way.

00:30:46   And that way of making a presentation in-- or making a video in some ways I think is better.

00:30:52   But it's way too time-consuming once I've transitioned to doing this for a living now.

00:31:00   If I still made videos the way I made the first one, it would take months for each of them.

00:31:05   Because the first one took months to do.

00:31:07   Is that because you're practicing them? Is that the problem?

00:31:11   Is that why it takes so much longer?

00:31:13   Yeah, it's like I'm practicing giving a presentation on a stage in front of a group of people.

00:31:19   And when I'm talking it out loud, you realize, "Oh, this part's a little boring."

00:31:24   And what I'm doing then is, because I wasn't working with the script, I'm working with slides in Keynote,

00:31:29   I would be rearranging slides in keynotes, but also basically it was an animation first way of making a video

00:31:36   Start with the animations and I'm like rearranging things and seeing how it's going to look on the screen and figuring out how the words

00:31:42   Go together at the same time. I

00:31:44   Do think that's a better way to make a presentation because you can sometimes have really great

00:31:50   Overlaps of like oh I want exactly this on the screen while I'm saying these words

00:31:54   But it's just too time-consuming. So as I made more and more videos

00:31:59   I eventually learned that one way to speed up production and still maintain high quality

00:32:06   is to do it all script first.

00:32:09   Because it's much faster to change things in words when I'm not moving around slides

00:32:14   or trying to change drawings or realizing that some drawing isn't going to work

00:32:18   and I've just wasted a huge amount of time.

00:32:20   So I lock down the words now first and then the animations come later.

00:32:25   Oh, okay.

00:32:26   But I kind of did it reverse when I started.

00:32:29   Or I should say, it's not exactly reverse,

00:32:30   but I did it more together,

00:32:32   of like looking at the animations

00:32:34   as I'm thinking through what I'm going to do.

00:32:36   But it's just too time consuming to do that.

00:32:39   Yeah, no, that seems like the wrong way to do it now.

00:32:41   Like to have everything ready and then speak over it,

00:32:45   that is much harder to do on a more frequent basis, I think.

00:32:50   Yeah, it's much harder to do.

00:32:52   especially to maintain clarity and quality.

00:32:56   - Exactly.

00:32:57   If you're doing presentations like I was making for school,

00:33:00   my lessons were very time consuming to create,

00:33:04   but it's still less,

00:33:05   like it took less time to make a lesson

00:33:06   than it did to make a video,

00:33:08   because again, the exact thing that you say

00:33:11   in front of a group of people doesn't matter,

00:33:13   and you can always clarify,

00:33:14   like it's a very different experience.

00:33:16   - Exactly.

00:33:17   - But so that's what I was doing in the beginning.

00:33:19   - Okay.

00:33:20   very glad to have transitioned to script making now first as the words get locked down and

00:33:26   then the animations. Like I don't even really start on animations almost ever until the

00:33:30   script is 90% done.

00:33:33   So I want to talk about like how they get put together, like how you write them. So

00:33:38   I assume that after you decide on an idea the next part will be research. I assume that's

00:33:44   the first part, right?

00:33:46   Okay, no, it's actually kind of backwards.

00:33:48   Okay.

00:33:49   I don't understand.

00:33:53   The very very beginning of videos now is I have a lot of things that I feel are topics

00:34:03   that I am interested in.

00:34:05   And maybe some days these will become a video, maybe they won't.

00:34:10   But there are topics that catch my attention.

00:34:14   And I spend a lot of time acting as a kind of collector for a topic, and I think, "Oh,

00:34:20   this is an interesting piece of information."

00:34:22   And at the moment I'm using Evernote, which I have incredibly mixed feelings about, but

00:34:29   Evernote is my tool where I have about 200+ folders, each one that acts as a collecting

00:34:38   point for a particular topic of interest.

00:34:42   So if I'm reading something in a book or I come across an article or I hear something

00:34:46   on a podcast, I have all of these buckets that I can just dump this thing into.

00:34:50   And I say, "Oh, this is related to this topic of interest and I'm going to throw it in there."

00:34:55   So it's actually, I end up kind of selecting from these collections when I'm thinking about

00:35:02   making a video.

00:35:05   But the collection for me is really the starting point.

00:35:08   I don't know why, but for some reason some topic is of interest to me,

00:35:11   and I end up starting collecting things over a long period of time that are related to that topic.

00:35:18   So when I'm working on an individual video, you can see that that's downstream of this process.

00:35:23   I often look through, "What are my collections?"

00:35:26   And I'm like promoting something from the stage of a collection

00:35:30   to being something that is much more actively worked on,

00:35:33   as opposed to passively collecting information that I'm throwing into it.

00:35:39   Does that make sense? Does that make any sense what I've just said?

00:35:41   Yeah, I mean, I feel like that's like base research, right?

00:35:44   It's just collection of materials, but I assume you then, after that period,

00:35:49   go into heavy research, right?

00:35:51   Yeah, so...

00:35:54   Let me come back to the research thing in a second,

00:35:57   because I just want to take a sidebar on Evernote.

00:36:00   Yep, Evernote sidebar, go ahead.

00:36:02   Yeah, that little sigh that you've just made, that's like my feeling about Evernote too.

00:36:07   It's like, "Ahh."

00:36:08   They haven't...

00:36:09   I don't really feel like that they've advanced the product in any meaningful way in like

00:36:14   five years.

00:36:16   Every addition Evernote seems to make is like for a user that's not me.

00:36:20   Mm-hmm.

00:36:21   Mm-hmm.

00:36:22   Well, I've often thought Evernote is a difficult program to make anyway.

00:36:26   For the listeners who are unaware, Evernote, its express purpose is...

00:36:30   I always describe it as to be a very organized pile of junk.

00:36:35   So you can throw anything at it.

00:36:38   It's fundamentally collecting like a whole bunch of just unrelated junk, but still trying

00:36:44   to give you a very good way of sifting through that when you need to.

00:36:49   They have good search tools and they use OCR to read words and images and all kinds of

00:36:55   stuff like that.

00:36:56   Yeah, they do a lot of clever stuff to try to help make you able to find stuff when you

00:37:00   need to, which is one reason that I use it.

00:37:03   But I always think there are a few programs that are very high on this "I use them but

00:37:09   I don't like them" spectrum, and Evernote is one of these programs for me.

00:37:14   That I use it a lot, but I sure don't like it, and I'm always scanning the horizon for

00:37:19   some kind of alternative.

00:37:20   I've never found anything that comes close.

00:37:24   'Cause I don't use Evernote as much as I used to anymore.

00:37:27   'Cause I tend to keep a lot of my things like this now

00:37:31   in just plain text, right?

00:37:33   Because as well, Evernote is like basically impossible

00:37:37   to get your stuff out of.

00:37:38   It's really hard.

00:37:40   - Yeah, no matter how much Evernote tells you,

00:37:41   oh, you can export stuff.

00:37:43   It's like, no, you can export stuff

00:37:44   in Evernote's custom XML format,

00:37:46   which is also just impossible to deal with.

00:37:48   Like yeah, export in gigantic quotation marks.

00:37:51   It's, you know, it's, I don't like that there's a lock in there.

00:37:56   If I could do everything in just plain text, I would and I used to.

00:38:00   But as time has gone on, I want to be able to throw more things like MP3s and infographics

00:38:06   and all kinds of stuff in there.

00:38:08   So I need to be able to have many, many different media.

00:38:11   Before we get lots of feedback, I have investigated all of the main players in this field.

00:38:15   I was looking very hopefully at Microsoft OneNote,

00:38:18   but that's also terrible for a bunch of reasons.

00:38:20   So I'm aware of all the big players in this field

00:38:23   and I use Evernote because it does solve

00:38:26   my problem the best.

00:38:28   When I take a collection and I say, okay,

00:38:30   I'm going to be more actively working

00:38:32   on this particular topic,

00:38:34   one of the things I do is try to pull out from Evernote

00:38:38   and just go through all of that and say, okay,

00:38:40   what of this is actually useful to me now?

00:38:43   What am I actually going to need for the project

00:38:45   that I'm working on and go through all of that

00:38:48   and take out just the actionable stuff that I actually want.

00:38:52   So I feel like my whole goal is to touch Evernote directly

00:38:55   as little as possible.

00:38:57   I'm sending things to it and then when I need them,

00:39:01   I'm removing them from Evernote,

00:39:03   but it is very rarely actually open on my screen

00:39:06   except for this brief phase where it's like,

00:39:08   okay, I'm going to extract from you what I need

00:39:11   and put it in a text file

00:39:13   that is going to eventually become my script.

00:39:15   That's the way that I use it.

00:39:18   - I love Evernote for traveling stuff.

00:39:21   So I put all my travel documents and things in there,

00:39:23   but that's pretty much the only thing I use it for now.

00:39:26   Because I'm just not confident to put a lot

00:39:29   of really important things in there anymore.

00:39:31   But for you, that system, I can't think of anything else

00:39:35   that would be better.

00:39:37   So with the way that you're collecting,

00:39:40   Evernote is the way to do it.

00:39:41   Because as well, one of the other great things,

00:39:43   I think probably the best thing about Evernote is it's everywhere.

00:39:47   Yes, yes. That's one of the things I really like. If Evernote went

00:39:50   away today I would probably do my best

00:39:53   to recreate as much of this as I could using folders in Dropbox.

00:39:58   I wouldn't go to one of the other alternatives but yeah,

00:40:01   I do use Evernote but reluctantly is the bottom line.

00:40:04   Sorry Evernote CEO who's brand new.

00:40:07   This episode of Cortex is brought to you once again by

00:40:10   Harvest. If you're a freelancer or part of a team and you have client work, you know just how tricky

00:40:15   and annoying it can be to both track your time and send out the invoices that you need so you can get

00:40:20   paid. Well, this is where Harvest can help you. Harvest lets you track exactly how much time

00:40:25   you're spending on your projects and you can do this from the web, from your phone, your computer,

00:40:30   or even your watch. Harvest's great time tracking is available for you no matter where you get your

00:40:36   work done or no matter where it pops into your mind that you need to be tracking that time or

00:40:40   sending that invoice. This makes sure that you'll never lose track of anything.

00:40:45   You want that time to be logged, you want that money to be counted and you want

00:40:49   all those invoices to be sent and this is what Harvest will help you with.

00:40:52   When it comes time to bill your clients, Harvest lets you take those tracked

00:40:56   hours and easily create and send beautiful invoices. They can be

00:41:00   customized with your own company logo to make sure that everything both looks and

00:41:04   feels super professional. Once you send that invoice out you also want to be

00:41:08   paid as quickly as possible.

00:41:09   You want to make it as easy as you can for people to pay you immediately.

00:41:13   And Harvest helps make that happen as it integrates with PayPal and Stripe.

00:41:17   So you can accept online payments on those invoices to help you get paid faster.

00:41:21   They also feature multi-currency support in case you're billing overseas.

00:41:24   That's really helpful for me.

00:41:26   And also automated invoices in case you need to just be sending the same thing

00:41:29   over and over every week, every month, every year.

00:41:31   Harvest have really built a full package for people that need to

00:41:35   track time and get paid.

00:41:36   They do this with great looking apps that are a pleasure to use by giving you the powerful

00:41:41   reporting tools that you need to keep up to date with what's going on in your business

00:41:45   and also by helping you go paperless with great expenses tracking.

00:41:49   I am super impressed with what Harvest offers.

00:41:51   It really is a full package and if you're the type of person that needs this kind of

00:41:54   thing I am sure that they're going to make you happy.

00:41:57   To get started with Harvest go to getharvest.com and create an account.

00:42:05   The first month is free, but you can save 50% off the next month by entering the coupon

00:42:10   code "CORTEX" at checkout.

00:42:12   Don't forget that.

00:42:13   Thank you so much to Harvest for their support of this show.

00:42:17   Let's get back to the research part.

00:42:20   So I assume that once a topic has been lifted out of Evernote and like to be advanced.

00:42:27   I assume that you then when you start thinking about writing the script you have to start

00:42:31   more detailed research?

00:42:33   Yeah, so there's an intermediate stage we can kind of skip here, where things are what are called a zeroth draft.

00:42:39   We'll skip that for the moment. We'll talk about videos that I'm actively working on, of which there are usually two or three that I think of I'm actively working on these things.

00:42:50   things. And yes, at that stage I do set aside dedicated time to take all of this stuff that

00:42:57   I've gotten that I've been collecting over maybe possibly years because I think my oldest

00:43:01   notebook goes back to 2011 for a topic that I want to do that I've been collecting stuff

00:43:05   on.

00:43:06   Whoa.

00:43:07   Yeah, that 2011 topic is one of these topics where the more I research about it I feel

00:43:14   like the less I know, which is why that topic has been for so long. Yeah, that's a topic

00:43:19   the more I research I feel like the less I know. But anyway, when I have--I have just all of this like

00:43:24   random stuff that has collected over the years,

00:43:27   but very often there are lots of holes in that collection because I haven't been actively trying to look through

00:43:33   whatever the topic is. So I do set aside

00:43:36   dedicated time to

00:43:39   research the topic as fully as is reasonable. And it's a bit--it's a bit hard to describe

00:43:45   this process because it feels very

00:43:48   Like people always ask how do you know what sources to trust or what do you think is reliable?

00:43:53   And it's the only thing I can honestly say is I feel like I've developed a sense of this over time

00:43:58   about like like where do you want to stop with trying to verify if something is true or

00:44:04   I'll give an example of one of the things that happens when you're looking at a big collection of

00:44:10   articles and and book segments and maybe podcasts on the topic is I sometimes come across little stories that in my mind

00:44:18   I always think of as too cute, right, or too perfect.

00:44:21   That whatever a topic is, there's some very commonly told story about it.

00:44:26   That just like it fits the narrative like a little bit too well, or the story is just a little bit too perfect about maybe

00:44:35   a historical incident or about how something works,

00:44:38   I feel like my brain has developed these red flags for these stories that are repeated over and over again,

00:44:45   but just can't... they just don't sound right to me. It doesn't mean that they can't be true, but they just don't sound right.

00:44:51   And the classic example I normally use is the

00:44:55   the naming of

00:44:57   Uranus, the planet. There's like this story about how it was originally called King George that was repeated enormously

00:45:04   in many different places, but it was just like too cute of a story.

00:45:09   And that's why I ended up researching that one and trying to find out like was this... is there any

00:45:13   documented evidence of Uranus ever being called King George? And the answer is not really, like no

00:45:19   there's this related thing about it being called the the

00:45:23   Jorgum situs, which kind of means King George in Latin, maybe? I don't know.

00:45:28   But like the King George story was just too cute, and so I felt like I wanted to research it.

00:45:32   But I can't describe like an algorithm for

00:45:37   this part of the script I feel like is really solid and this part isn't. I try to verify

00:45:43   everything but you always have to stop somewhere. You know, where do you

00:45:48   want to stop with research? And that I don't have a good answer to. How do I

00:45:52   know precisely when to stop?

00:45:55   By this point do you have like trusted

00:45:58   sources like people and/or places that you go for your research?

00:46:03   Yeah one of the things I try to do now that I've gotten a little bit better

00:46:08   about doing is when a script is about 80% done, I try very hard to reach out to domain

00:46:15   experts to have them review it before the script goes any further. It is one of the

00:46:23   most satisfying parts of my work, is to send off a script to someone who is an expert in

00:46:30   the field asking for their input, and they come back saying that there aren't any major

00:46:37   errors. That is always hugely satisfying when I feel like okay that is a good indication

00:46:45   that my system, even though it's a bit vague about research, is up to task. That an expert

00:46:52   in an area will agree with me that there are no major errors in the script. What usually

00:46:56   comes back is, and this is where judgment calls always come into place, is some question

00:47:02   about detail or simplification or like I've jumped over some step and I always feel like

00:47:09   that's a judgment call that has to be made about length of video versus detail of video.

00:47:14   Yeah that's a narrator's decision basically.

00:47:17   Yeah that's exactly right. So I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't always follow

00:47:22   all of the feedback that comes back from the domain experts when I feel like we have a

00:47:26   disagreement over the way the narration is going to go. And that's always the biggest

00:47:33   complaint is people say "Oh you left out this detail" and again it's like yes I left out

00:47:37   the part where the universe was created up until this point. Like you can't talk about everything

00:47:41   but it is very very rare. That's your job right? That is your domain. Like the understanding of

00:47:47   the narrative and telling the story. Yeah yeah but so I'm just very pleased that it is quite

00:47:53   rare that they'll come back and say, you know, "This is just a straight-up

00:47:57   error," or "This didn't happen in this way." But I feel a lot better

00:48:01   when I can have a domain expert review the script before I move any

00:48:05   further along with it. Now, the thing with the writing is

00:48:09   a lot of people say, "Why don't you approach the expert first and

00:48:13   save yourself a lot of trouble with the research?" Which seems like

00:48:17   a really reasonable question that I get asked a lot. And

00:48:21   My reply is that I have found that being confused and frustrated about a topic is a fundamental part of writing about that topic.

00:48:33   That you sometimes don't know what parts are going to trip you up if someone just explains it to you right from the start.

00:48:43   So I often make notes when I'm writing about which part of this am I having trouble understanding.

00:48:50   And those things are really valuable because in the very final drafts I often feel like,

00:48:55   "Oh, I completely understand this topic."

00:48:57   But I make sure to look at the notes of what past me was confused about

00:49:02   and try to think, "Okay, how can current me write this in a way

00:49:07   so that the first time someone sees it, it makes more sense?"

00:49:12   Or it anticipates the questions or the problems that I had at particular points.

00:49:18   So that's why I go to the experts at the end rather than at the beginning.

00:49:23   Because if they just explain it to you in their way and then you just take it as read,

00:49:28   you might not be able to then explain it in a coherent way for people watching the videos.

00:49:34   Yeah, or what can just happen is that somebody else's way of explaining it gets in your mind

00:49:38   and it seems like it's the only or best way to explain something.

00:49:42   Right? This is one of the reasons why I try to avoid other people's videos on topics that I want to cover.

00:49:49   Because a really good analogy that someone makes will lodge in your brain and it will prevent you from creating your own different analogy.

00:49:58   I call that brain pollution.

00:50:00   Yeah, that's a good way to put it.

00:50:02   Because I used to a lot more than I do now, like interview people about their work and their projects.

00:50:09   Kind of like a little bit about what we do here basically. And I did actually go

00:50:14   through one of these scenarios recently where I wanted to talk to you about, I

00:50:21   can't remember what it was to talk to you about something that I believed you

00:50:24   were gonna bring up on Hello Internet so I didn't listen to that topic until

00:50:28   afterwards. Because if I hear maybe Brady ask you a question or you

00:50:34   explain something in a certain way then it will pollute the way that I would ask

00:50:39   that question and I don't like to do that because even if I ask you the same

00:50:43   question I might come to a different sub-question or conclusion yeah and I I

00:50:49   just like to trust my own opinion in that rather than having it like spoiled

00:50:54   by any other scenario and they stood is when I used to interview people weekly

00:50:57   this is for inquisitive back in the day right exactly so some people would be

00:51:01   doing things and so they would be in on a bunch of podcasts talking about a big

00:51:05   thing that they were doing. Right, people are making the rounds. Exactly, like you

00:51:09   know the old like like on late night TV or something. Right. So I would never

00:51:14   listen to those until I was done with with my questioning so because it just

00:51:19   made the most sense to me. You mentioned about working on a couple of scripts at

00:51:25   one time. Mm-hmm. How do you keep them like separate in your brain so they don't

00:51:30   cross over like how do you and how do you decide which ones to put your time

00:51:34   into a certain period? I don't feel like I have any problems with cross-pollination

00:51:40   or confusion or overlap. It just seems very natural that I can keep them

00:51:44   separate. I don't feel like there's a collision if I'm working on two scripts

00:51:48   at once. And I actually find that it is the exact opposite. That when I'm writing

00:51:54   I almost always will be working on more than one script in a day. That I'll work

00:51:59   on I'll go through one draft of a script and then I'll take a little break like

00:52:05   I'm out in London this is where I'll get up I'll go for a walk for 20 minutes and

00:52:08   and switch to a different location and then when I get to another place I'll

00:52:12   sit down and then I I won't be able to work on the thing that I've just worked

00:52:16   on it's much easier to then switch to maybe you know what's going to be the

00:52:21   second video in the future and work on a draft through that I have done this

00:52:26   since I was a kid in school.

00:52:29   That I was always aware of

00:52:32   there's some limit of how much I can work on, say,

00:52:36   you know, like a dumb essay for English class in a day.

00:52:40   That there's no way for me to work on it more

00:52:44   to make it any better after a certain number of time every day.

00:52:48   And so I was aware that if I needed to have something be good,

00:52:52   I had to very much track how many days are between now and the target, because

00:52:57   you know, eight hour and a half long sessions over eight days is way better than working 15 hours in

00:53:05   a row the day before. Like, I won't produce anything remotely as good. And I think it's

00:53:10   probably related to sleeping between those times, is my guess. That there's something about sleeping

00:53:17   and then waking up and working on it anew,

00:53:20   that is what allows me to make improvements to the script that I'm working on.

00:53:26   At least that has been my experience, so that's why,

00:53:29   if I want to increase the rate of production of videos, well,

00:53:34   the limit is how much time is spent on a script in a day

00:53:39   so I can work very easily on multiple scripts in a day

00:53:42   without feeling like there's any collision,

00:53:44   as opposed to saying like, "Oh, I did my one draft of my one script today. Close up shop!"

00:53:48   Right? Then it would be forever before I produced videos if that was the case.

00:53:52   Okay. It's just interesting to me. Do you not need specific motivation to work on one script over another?

00:54:01   How do you choose which one you're going to work on?

00:54:03   Is that regimented, like, "I'm going to work for four hours on this one, two hours on this one"?

00:54:08   I think in terms of drafts is the way I always think.

00:54:12   And in the beginning of a project, drafts are much longer.

00:54:16   Because usually after the collection, pulling things out of Evernote phase,

00:54:21   I have a text file that's usually maybe 5 to 10,000 words long.

00:54:26   That's like the starting point for what's eventually going to become a video.

00:54:30   And just for comparison, I'm usually aiming for a thousand words in the final script.

00:54:36   So I want to cut it down by a fifth or by a tenth, depending on how much I've started with.

00:54:41   So going through 10,000 words to complete a full draft the very first time I do it,

00:54:49   that can take most of a morning. In no small part because it's just like random gibberish

00:54:55   and sentences and half thought-out thoughts, so it's like it takes a long time to go through

00:55:00   it once the first time. But every subsequent draft takes a little bit of less time. So this

00:55:06   This is how things progress.

00:55:10   I very much think in terms of drafts as opposed to raw hours.

00:55:14   I mean, there is a bit of a collision here because I have found that after about an hour

00:55:18   and a half, I usually need some kind of break if I'm doing this sort of work.

00:55:22   But if I'm taking a brand new 10,000 word thing that I'm trying to do the first draft

00:55:27   of, I will take a little bit of a break and then go back to it because I really want to

00:55:31   get through one draft of that video in that day.

00:55:36   that might take longer. But if I happen to be in a situation

00:55:39   where I have two scripts or three scripts that are

00:55:41   relatively close to being finished, I can do you know

00:55:44   three drafts in the morning because it's much much faster.

00:55:47   The closer the draft gets to being finished because I'm

00:55:50   making increasingly minor changes as time goes on. So you

00:55:54   kind of treat a draft as a unit of time which fluctuates. It's

00:55:59   just a thing. It is that the the item that needs to be

00:56:01   it is the draft?

00:56:03   Yeah, I think of

00:56:05   like a draft a day is what needs to happen on the scripts that I am currently working on.

00:56:12   But a draft may greatly vary in the amount of time that it actually takes depending on how close to finished it is.

00:56:18   So this is also why it's kind of easier for me to juggle things because I'm very likely to have

00:56:24   one video that is very close to being finished script wise and so I can go through that script very fast and

00:56:31   And then I have a bunch of time still left over in the morning where I can work on writing

00:56:35   And so I'll bump back to something that's much less finished and try to work through that

00:56:39   Because again, it's like I need these days between drafts. Otherwise the drafts don't seem to progress

00:56:46   They don't seem to get better if I try to do two or three drafts in a single day

00:56:50   the only exception to this that I have found is

00:56:53   Doing a script out loud. So say going to my office when nobody is around at night

00:57:00   and reading the script out loud, my brain seems to count as a totally different thing.

00:57:07   So as I get close to the end, I'm technically often doing two drafts on a script

00:57:12   because I'm doing writing in the morning and then reading it out loud in the evening.

00:57:17   And then I'm very much focused on how does this sound, right?

00:57:20   What is the rhythm of the sentence?

00:57:22   Which feels very different from when I'm typing or writing by hand,

00:57:26   writing by hand which feels much more like how do I explain this thing?

00:57:30   What facts need to go where? It's like two different

00:57:34   mental phases that allows me to squeeze out a bit more, a few more drafts

00:57:38   per day as I get closer to the end. So you don't actually

00:57:42   start speaking the script until it's nearly finished basically?

00:57:46   I would say I probably can't start speaking the script until halfway through

00:57:50   because it's just a mess. It's not even remotely

00:57:54   remotely in any state where it could be spoken out loud.

00:57:58   Because I often have big quoted sections that I've pulled from other articles, it's like

00:58:02   "Ooh, okay, here's two paragraphs from some article that I want to be able to

00:58:06   try to say in a sentence, but I want to look at the original so I don't forget what was the actual

00:58:10   thing that the person was saying? How can I summarize that or how can I simplify that down?"

00:58:14   So it often can't be spoken through

00:58:18   in any useful way until much, much closer to the end.

00:58:22   So what app are these big text documents in?

00:58:27   I use editorial on my iPad as my

00:58:30   primary writing environment and if I'm on my computer I will use Byword

00:58:34   but I'm a big fan of the minimal writing environment

00:58:38   I mean editorial can do a million things but it can still just look minimal

00:58:41   and the dark background

00:58:45   light text is absolutely vital for me

00:58:48   because of a small eye problem that I have so those those are my

00:58:52   Those are my main concerns when I'm selecting text editors.

00:58:55   Minimal looking, dark background, light text.

00:58:59   Well obviously editorial has a bunch of really powerful stuff as well right?

00:59:02   Which must make it even greater.

00:59:04   Editorial has so many powerful features, none of which I use.

00:59:09   I use it because I like that shade of dark dark blue.

00:59:12   Hey, whatever works man, it's not orange.

00:59:15   Yeah exactly.

00:59:17   Do you write outlines or do you just write straight into like paragraphs?

00:59:22   You know what outlines are for?

00:59:25   Outlines are for school and you make them after the fact.

00:59:28   Outlines are for podcasts, my friend.

00:59:30   That's what they're for.

00:59:31   Okay, but you're not writing something.

00:59:33   You do outlines for the podcast and yes, that's totally useful, very good, and you make very

00:59:39   in-depth outlines.

00:59:40   I don't know really anybody who uses outlines who isn't writing something that is book length.

00:59:49   At book length, it can become a very different thing,

00:59:53   because then the unit of writing is almost like the length of my script, a thousand word or a two thousand word segment.

00:59:59   And then you need some superstructure to hold it all together,

01:00:03   but for something that's ultimately going to be a thousand or two thousand words,

01:00:06   or 2,000 words, and outline is just a total waste of time.

01:00:11   It's like way more infrastructure than you really need.

01:00:14   - I know people that do use them for large pieces.

01:00:18   So like when Federico goes to write his like 10,000

01:00:21   word reviews of apps and stuff, he uses mind maps.

01:00:26   - Mm-hmm.

01:00:27   - I think he uses an app called iThoughts to do those,

01:00:29   and they can also generate outlines from the mind maps.

01:00:33   - Yeah.

01:00:34   - But I guess it does make sense why you don't do those,

01:00:36   considering the pieces are actually quite small,

01:00:39   aren't they? - Right.

01:00:40   - Like a thousand words.

01:00:41   - Right, I just think of essays in school

01:00:45   where the essay's not going to be 10,000 words

01:00:47   when you're in high school and you're writing something dumb

01:00:49   for English class.

01:00:50   But even then, they're like, "Oh, why don't you write

01:00:52   "an outline for what you're going to write?"

01:00:53   It's like, "Because it's way more work

01:00:54   "and it's not useful at all."

01:00:55   And I think like many, many people I have spoken to,

01:00:58   you just write the essay and then you write the outline

01:01:01   afterward and hand the outline to your teacher first

01:01:03   and go, "Oh, this is what I'm going to write."

01:01:04   but you're actually doing the whole thing backwards because it's not helpful.

01:01:08   But if you're writing something 10,000 words,

01:01:10   that's the breaking point at which I can see where an outline becomes useful,

01:01:13   because the only time I have ever sort of kind of used an outline

01:01:18   was for the 15-minute "Humans need not apply" video,

01:01:21   which is now four or five times longer

01:01:24   than most of the videos I normally make.

01:01:27   And that was one where I felt like,

01:01:28   oh, this is big enough and there are enough things

01:01:32   that I used on the outliner,

01:01:34   and I was actually writing the script in OmniOutliner because I could do headings for

01:01:39   "This is the part where I'm talking about autos"

01:01:41   and then "This is the part where I talk about creative work"

01:01:44   and "This is the part where I'm talking about flour mills"

01:01:46   and I could rearrange the top-level outlines which would move around big chunks of the script underneath them.

01:01:54   And that was the only time I found it really useful because I was having a very hard time

01:01:59   figuring out the order that I wanted to talk about things

01:02:03   And at that level an outline was useful.

01:02:05   So...

01:02:06   With a tool like that you're able to do that stuff like, "Oh, this entire section needs to move. I'll just drag and drop it."

01:02:12   That's exactly right. That's where it is useful for me. So I'm not saying outlines are useless under all circumstances.

01:02:19   But where most people would have come across them, which is relatively short essays in school,

01:02:25   they seem useless because they are useless in that scenario.

01:02:30   But I feel like if you are working on something big enough that you feel like you need an outline, you know that.

01:02:36   But you don't need an outline for the vast majority of short pieces. And I know people talk about mind maps.

01:02:42   Maybe it's just me, but I have never found a mind map useful.

01:02:49   I have tried many times. I tried with "Humans need not apply." I've tried with another big project that I'm working on and it's like

01:02:57   the mind map is just useless.

01:03:00   If I'm going, I have another big project that I'm kind of working on that I have sort of an outline for,

01:03:05   and I tried doing it with mind maps and it's just like, nothing.

01:03:08   I derive no value from this, I'd much rather have an outline if I'm going to be doing this kind of thing.

01:03:13   Mind mapping is one of those things that I look at and be like, I would like to do that.

01:03:18   I think that would be really good, that looks useful. And then I start doing it and I'm like, why am I doing this?

01:03:23   Why don't I just write an outline?

01:03:25   Like my brain doesn't seem to click into why it needs to be bubbles like this like just write an outline

01:03:32   But I know that there are people that get a lot of value out of it

01:03:36   And it must just be a different like way the brains are wired. I guess I completely agree with you

01:03:41   I have that same experience which is why I

01:03:43   Find myself every few years going back to to mind map

01:03:48   Let me try mind mapping out my next video and it's like why am I doing this?

01:03:51   Oh, right, because I think the final product looks nice and it looks like something I should be doing

01:03:55   but it just, I get nothing out of it.

01:03:57   But of course, the funny thing is I'm also perfectly aware

01:04:01   that to a computer, an outline and a mind map

01:04:06   are the exact same XML structure behind the scenes.

01:04:08   Like they are so fundamentally the same thing,

01:04:12   it's just the visual representation of them

01:04:15   that's different, but really a mind map and an outline

01:04:17   are nearly identical in function.

01:04:20   So I think it is the same thing like you're saying.

01:04:22   It's just a question of something in your brain

01:04:24   is wired one way or the other to like indented stuff or random bubbles all over the place.

01:04:31   It's like my girlfriend works in advertising and she's what's called a planner so like

01:04:35   she comes up with the ideas and like the thinking behind what would eventually become an ad

01:04:40   campaign right so like what is the need of the customer that kind of thing and she uses

01:04:45   massive A3 pads of paper and does mind maps on them and they're so beautiful and like

01:04:52   She uses all colors and it just looks like a it looks like a brains work, you know, right?

01:04:58   and

01:05:00   She obviously derives a lot of value out of them, but I I look at them and I'm like these look so awesome

01:05:05   But I just can't wrap my head around

01:05:08   Why I would do it myself over just writing a list

01:05:13   Yeah, I mean interesting. Yeah, like I said before it's just I can do them

01:05:17   I have made big mind maps, but at the end of it, I it's just that I derive no value from this

01:05:22   It's just something about it seems like a total waste of time and I end up just recreating the whole thing as an outline anyway

01:05:27   Our final sponsor for this week's episode of cortex is igloo the internet

01:05:32   You'll actually like with igloo. You no longer have to be chained to your desk to get your work done

01:05:38   You're able to manage your tasks while strolling through a meadow on a lovely summer's day

01:05:44   You can share status updates from your phone as you're waiting for your card to be fixed or something like that

01:05:49   Or you can access the latest version of a file from home in the garden whilst having a lovely sip of lemonade

01:05:55   On a great day if you've ever looked at your internet and thought whoever designed this must truly hate me and everyone

01:06:02   I know well those days are over

01:06:04   igloo allows you to make your internet feel like a place that you actually want to be and a place that you can actually feel

01:06:11   productive in. It's surprisingly configurable. You can completely rebrand it to give it the

01:06:15   look and feel of your company and thanks to GroupSpaces and RoleBased Access Permissions

01:06:21   with their easy drag and drop widget editor you can reorganise the whole platform to fit

01:06:25   exactly how your teams work and each individual will be able to access the things that are

01:06:29   important to them and it's all going to look the way that they need. Different teams, different

01:06:33   departments are going to need different functionality like maybe one team needs collaboration stuff,

01:06:38   other team needs the microblog functionality you can just add and

01:06:41   switch and turn off and turn on what you need where you want. With our mobile

01:06:45   lives these days people are increasingly bringing in their own apps into

01:06:48   companies and sensitive documents are getting scattered across different

01:06:51   platforms. Platforms like Box, Google Drive and Dropbox. Well with igloo you

01:06:56   can integrate all of those apps and services into one easy to secure

01:07:00   platform. This means that your company's documents are not going to get spread

01:07:04   out to places that they shouldn't be. If you know terms like 256-bit encryption, single

01:07:08   sign-on and Active Directory integrations, then you'll know just how safe and secure

01:07:13   igloo is. And also with igloo, you can share your files with your co-workers for you all

01:07:17   to collaborate on with their own document preview system. You can also track who has

01:07:21   read them with read receipts. This can be super useful for making sure that critical

01:07:25   information has been seen by everyone in your department, keeping everyone on the same page.

01:07:31   It is time to break away from the internet you hate.

01:07:34   Go and sign up for igloo right now and you can try it out for free for any team of up

01:07:39   to 10 people for as long as you want.

01:07:41   Sign up right now igloosoftware.com/cortex and this will also really help support this

01:07:46   show.

01:07:47   Thank you so much to igloo for their support of cortex and all of relay FM.

01:07:52   How far can you go down the process of writing a script before you can throw it out?

01:07:58   Like how far can you go?

01:08:01   know this makes me sad, Myke. The answer is very far. I get very far sometimes with scripts

01:08:06   and trash them, which is probably the biggest reason why my schedule with uploading videos

01:08:12   is so random, because... I mean, I've gotten better at finding things out in the research

01:08:19   phase and killing videos early. That is definitely something I have gotten better at over time.

01:08:26   But there's still this thing that can happen with scripts that I'm working on where I get

01:08:31   to a very late stage and they die a death of boredom.

01:08:37   Where I look at the script that I have written and I think it is about as good as it can

01:08:43   fundamentally be, but when I speak it out loud, it just has no life to it for some reason.

01:08:52   It's just boring.

01:08:54   It's very hard to say why a thing is boring, like what makes this different from a script that you think is interesting.

01:09:00   It's not a...

01:09:02   You can't really point to stuff, but when that happens, I feel like I'm not going to animate this thing and put it up that just seems boring.

01:09:12   And so that is usually the killer of a video.

01:09:16   The latest that can ever possibly happen is death by boredom.

01:09:21   It doesn't happen too often, but when it does it is depressing because it usually means

01:09:26   there's a huge amount of work that has already gone into the thing and for some reason it's

01:09:30   like "ugh, it's dead Jim, it's not going anywhere, this thing is just lifeless."

01:09:37   Is it only you that judges the death by boredom?

01:09:40   If you're asking do I show it to other people and get their assessment on it, the answer

01:09:44   is no.

01:09:45   "Death by boredom" scripts to other people, but I feel like I have a very good sense of it,

01:09:51   and I know that it isn't interesting. I don't know why, but that is my feeling about it.

01:09:58   I do sometimes show scripts to people for other reasons, for feedback, you know,

01:10:03   but the "Death by boredom" thing just feels very final, and I always want to be clear about this.

01:10:08   I'm not saying that I am bored with the topic. That's a very different feeling

01:10:14   that can happen sometimes.

01:10:16   And I know the difference between

01:10:20   I feel bored with this topic and I just push through it

01:10:23   where it's like, okay, I'm just gonna finish this thing

01:10:24   and I'll be done, send it off into the world

01:10:27   and I never have to think about it again

01:10:28   because I have gotten bored with this topic

01:10:31   because it's taken too long to produce it.

01:10:33   - Yep.

01:10:34   - But the death by boredom is just like

01:10:38   the script is lifeless and I can recognize that.

01:10:43   If there's any like my my skill is really in iterating scripts and making them better and better.

01:10:50   And part of that is being able to recognize what is not good.

01:10:55   And I'm looking at the final product and saying the result of all of my iterations have not made this good enough.

01:11:03   It's just it's just lifeless.

01:11:04   So that's that's that's the end of it.

01:11:06   And I feel like I don't need a second opinion on that because it is irrelevant.

01:11:11   Are they dead, dead, completely dead, dead as a parrot kind of dead?

01:11:16   You can't return them.

01:11:20   Or are they put into... is that called cryostasis when you freeze something?

01:11:27   Yeah, I have a big folder that is called Dead Projects that has a bunch of topics in there.

01:11:34   I end up, when that kind of thing happens, I do my best to collect everything that I

01:11:38   about the topic and archive it away in a folder because I like to have it there just in case

01:11:45   for some reason it's going to be resurrected in the future or if the research on that video

01:11:52   is useful for another video.

01:11:55   But to date I have never gone back into that folder and completely resurrected something

01:12:02   that I thought died from death of boredom.

01:12:05   I have taken parts of research from other videos and used them in future things, which is why I don't just

01:12:10   delete it and get rid of it and never see it again. It goes into a special folder for these kinds of

01:12:15   projects to separate them from the folder that contains all of my successfully completed projects, which is a much happier folder.

01:12:22   I like that you keep them in a little folder, you know.

01:12:26   Do you like that, Myke?

01:12:28   It's like, "Yeah!" Every time you drop it in there, there should be a little sound effect, like a little ding or something.

01:12:34   Yeah, there's not many items in that folder

01:12:36   I mean, it's it's funny thing my youtube career has spanned over several years now

01:12:40   But my total number of videos is not an enormous number. But yes, I do have a special folder for all of them

01:12:46   Do you actually enjoy writing?

01:12:48   Because I hate it

01:12:53   So, uh-huh, I

01:12:57   like many people

01:12:59   That I know

01:13:00   Well many people I know have successful blogs or they have blogs that they keep updated frequently whilst doing other projects

01:13:08   You know like, you know

01:13:10   I know people that make their living from their blogs and I know some people that like they make money from

01:13:14   Podcasting and they have a blog on the side. It's just another outlet. I tried blogging for many years

01:13:21   Before I came to podcasting and even since I've always every now and then I get the idea of starting a blog again

01:13:28   But fundamentally like one of the reasons that I do this speaking stuff is because I hate the writing process

01:13:35   So I've been working on an article for a website over the last couple of weeks

01:13:40   Site that I read and like called I'm or have asked me to do a little article for them and

01:13:47   It's been like torture. It's just been so

01:13:53   difficult for me, like I think I've written the article

01:13:56   four times, and they've all been completely different.

01:13:59   Like it's not like they're drafts,

01:14:00   'cause each of those have had drafts.

01:14:03   And it's just, I find the whole process to be so difficult

01:14:07   because I agonize over every word.

01:14:10   Now I know that this stuff isn't necessarily

01:14:12   getting published, but it's like people aren't reading it,

01:14:15   but you're still gonna do the same kind of idea

01:14:16   'cause you agonize over it in a different way

01:14:18   because of how it sounds.

01:14:20   But I just find the process of writing

01:14:22   to be so difficult and tedious for me.

01:14:27   And then every time I try and do it,

01:14:30   every now and then I get a great idea for something,

01:14:33   and I'll write something, and it goes really well.

01:14:36   But they're the only times that it ever goes really well,

01:14:39   is like I have this real clear idea,

01:14:41   and I just couldn't imagine writing things

01:14:43   on a very frequent basis.

01:14:45   - Yeah, I mean it's,

01:14:51   In some ways I'm in a similar situation because I always feel like I should write more for my website.

01:14:57   Like occasionally I post articles up there about something that I've written.

01:15:01   But it's not very often, and I have a bunch of spreadsheets that tell me the return on investment is terrible.

01:15:12   because if I publish something on my website,

01:15:16   it can take almost, not quite,

01:15:19   but almost as much time as writing a script for a video,

01:15:22   but it earns me--

01:15:25   - Nothing. - No money, right?

01:15:27   Nothing, right? (laughing)

01:15:30   Just zero dollars,

01:15:32   because I don't have Google Ads on my website,

01:15:36   I don't have at this time any sponsors on the website.

01:15:40   So it is very literally zero money,

01:15:44   which is why the few things that I have written

01:15:47   as articles, articles on my websites,

01:15:49   are biased toward I'm really irritated about something,

01:15:53   and I almost feel like I can't not write this article

01:15:55   because I'm angry.

01:15:57   It's like I don't even wanna write this thing,

01:15:59   but I'm just kinda angry.

01:16:01   But nonetheless, I like you,

01:16:03   I feel like I should write more for my website.

01:16:06   I should write more articles.

01:16:08   But I don't. I don't because it's just so time consuming.

01:16:14   And when you're asking straight up, "Do I like writing?"

01:16:18   I think the best way to say is that in the book that I'm always recommending to people graduating from college,

01:16:24   "So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport, he talks in there about craft skills,

01:16:32   about the kinds of skills that you can think of as craft work.

01:16:37   And I think in my life writing falls into that category because it feels when I'm working on a script that

01:16:45   this is very very different kind of work from anything else that I do.

01:16:52   It just feels different from even something like the animating which is also

01:16:57   creative work in a way where I have to come up with what's going to be on the screen.

01:17:00   But the writing feels like something that

01:17:04   with practice over time I have gotten better at in in various ways and

01:17:10   It's not enjoyable, but there is a certain kind of satisfaction that comes from doing it and

01:17:19   Maybe the closest comparison that I can make is going to the gym

01:17:25   I know people who enjoy going to the gym and those are

01:17:29   lucky crazy people. But for me, I do not enjoy going to the gym. I do not find it a pleasurable experience when I'm there.

01:17:37   But there's a certain satisfaction in the progress that you can make with lifting weights,

01:17:44   you know, seeing the little line go up, or like, you know, being able to put the next heavier weight on the bar.

01:17:49   There's a kind of satisfaction in that that is different from lots of other things in life. And also much like writing,

01:17:55   sometimes the best feeling is, "Boy, I

01:17:59   went to the gym several hours ago, and don't I feel awesome? And writing can be the same way. It's like, boy,

01:18:05   I had an amazing writing session this morning, and I feel great all day when things go really well with the writing.

01:18:12   Even though in the moment, it's not like, oh boy, isn't this absolutely an amazing experience?

01:18:17   That's why I would not go so far as to say that I dislike writing.

01:18:23   It's just it feels like it falls into a very very different category in my life

01:18:28   That is not like any other kind of work that I do

01:18:31   There is a satisfaction in it, and there's a kind of improvement in it

01:18:36   You know seeing a script go from just nonsense

01:18:40   Into a thing that is finished and then eventually part of a video that you know hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of people see

01:18:47   there's a satisfaction in that but

01:18:49   You know, I wouldn't for fun sit down and write, you know, that would not be my experience.

01:18:56   And I have to say I've got a lot of relief in, I read a bunch of books about writing and, you know, from real authors,

01:19:02   people who write books, which is just a

01:19:04   Mount Everest of a task I can't ever imagine doing. But the consensus seems to be from professional writers a

01:19:12   similar story of "Boy, they sure like having written. They're not so sure they like ever actually

01:19:19   the moment of writing. One final thing that just relates to that is one of my favorite books on writing is Stephen King's

01:19:26   "On Writing" and

01:19:28   I really recommend that. The book is much more enjoyable if you have read a lot of Stephen King's work

01:19:34   But I still think there's value to be derived from it, even if you haven't

01:19:37   But in that book he talks about there are four different

01:19:41   levels of writers. You have

01:19:44   terrible writers, which is the vast majority of the population and

01:19:48   You have the exceptional individual writers, people like Hunter S. Thompson, who are just singular writers.

01:19:59   And then in the middle you have two categories, which are competent writers and good writers.

01:20:05   And Stephen King's opinion is that you can't do anything about the extremes.

01:20:10   Someone who's just a terrible writer, there's very little you can do to even turn them into a competent writer.

01:20:17   And then someone like Hunter S. Thompson, not to say that his writing wasn't work,

01:20:23   but he's almost born the way that he is. Like he's just so different and so natural.

01:20:29   That's just his skill innately.

01:20:32   But that in the middle you have these two categories and that you can take someone who is a competent writer

01:20:38   and if they're willing to put in enough time and practice with it, they can become a good writer.

01:20:46   And I really feel like this has been my path over the past several years, is

01:20:51   someone who was a competent writer, who through repeated practice and through

01:20:58   this constant iteration on a script, is able to take competent writing and

01:21:03   turn it into something that is good, right? Something that is a

01:21:07   script that is enjoyable for people to hear

01:21:11   spoken aloud. And so I really think that there is

01:21:16   is something to that description that with enough practice, competent writers can turn

01:21:22   into good writers and that's part of the satisfaction of the job.

01:21:29   Going back to your gym thing, it is kind of like a muscle.

01:21:33   Yeah, in some sense I think it is. It's a little bit frustrating because unlike a muscle,

01:21:37   you know, if you start to bench press a certain amount of weight, you can be pretty confident

01:21:42   that the next time you go into the gym you'll also be able to bench press that amount of

01:21:45   weight or maybe more. But with writing, with writing there's always this roll of the dice

01:21:49   that does happen to everybody who ever does this of just crap days. It would be like if

01:21:54   you went to the gym and you roll the dice, you know, and if you roll snake eyes you're

01:21:59   not going to be able to lift the bar. You know, even though the day before you lifted

01:22:03   150 pounds. That's what writing can be frustrating like, is it has a much more jagged upward curve

01:22:09   that you can still just have terrible, terrible days even if you've been doing it for a long

01:22:14   time. Whereas the gym is a much smoother line as long as you can keep

01:22:19   going. But writing is not quite the same. So to round out today I have a couple of

01:22:24   Ask Grey questions. Okay. Which are semi-related because you mentioned earlier on that

01:22:30   your iPad is your primary working device, is your primary writing device. And I

01:22:35   have a couple of questions about kind of iPad paraphernalia basically.

01:22:40   Daniel wanted to know if you use any kind of cover on your iPad.

01:22:45   Yeah, I just use the regular smart cover that Apple makes.

01:22:49   I like that too. I have always used smart covers.

01:22:52   I said this recently, I feel like the smart cover is basically part of the iPad, like they are together.

01:23:00   Yeah, it's pretty good. Although I will say with the iPad Air 2,

01:23:04   I'm aware that that iPad is so light that the cover is now becoming a

01:23:09   non-trivial amount of the total weight and so I often find that I will take off the cover of the iPad Air 2 in a

01:23:16   way that I never do with any of my other iPads

01:23:18   Because it just it just makes it feel very different if you're holding it in the hands just because it's so crazy light

01:23:25   So I must be like well

01:23:26   I hope with the next round of

01:23:28   Smart covers that Apple is actually looking into making their covers thinner and lighter much more than making the devices thinner and lighter

01:23:34   And Carlos wanted to know what iPad keyboard you use.

01:23:37   I actually I have a couple from Logitech that I can never quite decide which ones I like better.

01:23:44   I'll have to I don't know the brand names off the top of my head

01:23:47   I'll have to send them to you for the show notes, but Logitech makes two

01:23:51   iPad keyboards both of which I like. One of which is I think Federico Viticci uses the same one

01:23:57   It's one that has like a blue cover that comes with it. It's relatively old as far as Logitech goes and

01:24:03   and the other one has like a light up keyboard which is very nice but

01:24:08   I can never quite decide which of those two I like better so

01:24:11   I tend to leave the lighter one in my go bag with my

01:24:15   on the go iPad and the heavier one as like in my office with my other iPad

01:24:19   but I like both of them it's very hard to find a good keyboard

01:24:23   for the iPad but I think Logitech makes pretty good ones

01:24:27   so next time we talk will you be in London?

01:24:30   Maybe?

01:24:31   Uh, this show is just so frequent, Myke.

01:24:35   It feels like we have to record tomorrow.

01:24:37   We're always doing this show from my perspective.

01:24:40   Even though I've just had a week off, it feels like, God, I could use another week off.

01:24:44   Cortex is always happening somewhere.

01:24:46   It does feel like Cortex is always happening.

01:24:49   I'm still just so thrown with my whole schedule.

01:24:53   I feel like I have to record...

01:24:54   Listen, before we record the next Cortex, I have to record the next Hello Internet.

01:24:57   I don't know when that's going to happen.

01:25:00   Soon, hopefully.

01:25:01   I think I should be in London,

01:25:04   which means you will now have something like

01:25:07   four podcasts in a row on which I am very jet lagged.

01:25:10   So your timing for this 10 episode run was terrible.

01:25:14   - Hey. - It was over,

01:25:15   over a huge vacation.

01:25:17   - This didn't just happen to you, okay?

01:25:19   Like we agreed on this.

01:25:21   - I feel like it did just happen.

01:25:23   We did agree.

01:25:24   We did agree,

01:25:25   but it was terrible timing.

01:25:27   I'm still gonna take the opinion

01:25:29   that this feels like it just happened to me.

01:25:30   - Okay.

01:25:31   - I'm just minding my own business

01:25:33   and Myke Hurley bullied me into a podcast.

01:25:35   That's my story and that's what I'm sticking with.