58: Always On Vacation In California


00:00:00   Can I go on a completely unrelated rant that'll be less expletive filled?

00:00:03   I even still hear you jerks. I thought it was a rhetorical question.

00:00:09   Oh, I'm telling you. So I'll tell you right now that I'm using headphones instead of canal

00:00:18   phones, earbuds, whatever you call them for this week's show. And you're going to hear this.

00:00:21   You're going to hear that all day and night. Is that your head hitting the microphone? Yes.

00:00:26   Nice. Like an amateur.

00:00:28   It's going to alter your microphone technique if your head hitting it is a problem.

00:00:32   Because I turned to one side. So for example, like the mic is kind of coming in from my left-hand

00:00:39   side, and I have an external monitor on the right-hand side, and so I'm turning and smashing

00:00:44   into things.

00:00:45   You're all messed up.

00:00:46   I'm a disaster.

00:00:46   Put the mic in front of you, put the screen in front of you.

00:00:48   I have two screens. There's one screen in front of me, one screen to my right. You heathens that

00:00:53   that use only one screen, I don't get it. So really quickly, I was at—Erin and I went

00:00:58   to Target today, and there was a woman who was getting into her car in front of us. Her

00:01:07   car, if I'm not mistaken, was a Taurus wagon, and it had eyelashes on the headlights.

00:01:16   This is a number of problems already.

00:01:18   Indeed. So, she goes and she unloads her car in such a way that she's blocking the spot

00:01:25   that we were going to try to pull through into, which, you know what, she has a right

00:01:28   to take her time and do her thing. That's fine. No big deal. She loads her car. She

00:01:34   wheels the shopping cart to the back of her car, because she had either done a pull through

00:01:39   or backed in, and then ditches it. Goes to get in her car. This is one of my biggest

00:01:46   pet peeves in the entire world. It is almost as bad as not using a turn signal. So she

00:01:53   goes to get back in her car, and because it's a Taurus wagon, it's about a thousand

00:01:56   feet long. So as she's going to get back in her car, I jump out of Erin's car. I

00:02:03   say, "Don't worry, I'll get that for you." Did you give her a thumbs down? No, I should

00:02:08   have. God, I should have. Oh, I didn't even think about it. Man, I'm so upset. Anyway,

00:02:14   So she says, all, you know, synthetically happy, "Thanks!"

00:02:18   So as she's pulling out, she gives me this obviously condescending wave of the hand,

00:02:24   and then as she's turning and about to become out of eye and ear shot, flicks me off.

00:02:29   I mean, admittedly, it was mildly obnoxious of me to say, "Don't worry, I'll get

00:02:33   that for you."

00:02:34   But here it is, this woman is so close to the front of the store that I think it took

00:02:39   us less than 30 seconds to walk there.

00:02:42   When she ditches her car in the middle of the parking lot, where it was going to hit

00:02:45   somebody else's car, it was only a matter of time.

00:02:48   Is this acceptable behavior, or am I just, am I that old that I'm getting upset over

00:02:52   something – well, I know I'm getting upset over something, I shouldn't – but is that

00:02:55   acceptable behavior?

00:02:56   Do you guys see this where you live?

00:02:57   Yes, that is acceptable behavior, and I'll tell you why.

00:03:00   I'm going to kill you, so you better redeem yourself quickly.

00:03:03   The reason why is because she has to drive a Ford Taurus wagon every single day.

00:03:09   Fair enough.

00:03:11   With eyelashes on it.

00:03:12   If I had to drive a Ford Taurus wagon every single day, I would probably be that much

00:03:17   of an asshole as well.

00:03:20   And I bet you would too.

00:03:22   You know, you do make an excellent point as much as I want to be embittered about it.

00:03:25   So why did she flip you off, Casey?

00:03:28   Because I called her out on being an asshole.

00:03:30   Why would that make her flip you off?

00:03:33   Because I called her out on the fact that she was being ridiculous and obnoxious.

00:03:38   So apparently that's enough to warrant the middle finger.

00:03:43   Well, that's standard defensiveness.

00:03:47   If you are being an asshole and somebody tells you that you are being an asshole and you

00:03:51   know you're being an asshole, standard defensiveness response is to tell them, "No, you're

00:03:55   the asshole," even though you know you were wrong.

00:03:58   Exactly!

00:03:59   But it—I got to talking about this, and so I was like, you know, I could understand

00:04:04   sentiment just like you said Marco but in the end of the day like you're just making it worse you're

00:04:09   just further confirming that you're an asshole well you were both apples in that situation just she

00:04:15   was the greater apple that's probably fair i mean does that make me a jerk to say don't worry i'll

00:04:20   get that for you i didn't say don't worry i'll get that for you you lazy punk i mean you you did a

00:04:25   snide response to someone's worst move so you are your hands are not clean there so do you know be

00:04:31   careful when he tucks your white car. Can't we all just get along, Casey? Couldn't

00:04:37   you have just moved the cart without making a comment?

00:04:40   You should have just silently moved the cart directly in front of her car.

00:04:44   Seriously, like all the time at grocery stores, I see people just, you know, put two wheels

00:04:48   onto the nearest grassy knoll and then ditch the cart.

00:04:52   Oh, you're lucky your shopping centers even have the grassy knolls. In New York, we don't

00:04:56   have space for those, and so they just park the shopping carts like in the middle of flat

00:05:00   pavement where the wind can very easily blow them directly into other cars.

00:05:04   They're a self-organizing collective, see? Gravity and wind causes them to bundle together

00:05:09   into kind of like a rat kingdom of shopping carts.

00:05:12   You end up getting like the giant floating circle of garbage in the ocean. It's like

00:05:15   that in the parking lot of shopping carts.

00:05:17   There you go.

00:05:17   I don't know, it's just so ridiculous. Like, why can't you just walk it the 10 paces? Or

00:05:24   what is so important in your life that you can't walk this thing 10 paces away?

00:05:29   Well, so I've never been a smoker, and so maybe I'm missing something here, but why

00:05:35   is it necessary for smokers to flick their cigarettes on the ground or out their car

00:05:38   windows? You know, it's the same kind of thing. It's like just slight reckless disregard

00:05:44   for the rest of society in a way that makes you an asshole in a subtle enough way that

00:05:48   you might forget how much of an asshole you're being, or not realize it in the first place.

00:05:54   So nothing really happened this week, huh?

00:05:56   don't go into topics first. You don't jump to the events of the week. We have a format.

00:06:00   Are you new to this show? [Laughter]

00:06:03   Oh, man. All right, so let's follow up on some sexism talk.

00:06:07   The first item of follow-up is actually not about that. It's two shows back. Or maybe

00:06:11   it was the last show. I don't remember. But anyway, it's not about sexism. Someone named

00:06:15   Michael wrote in to tell us—I don't know why we all didn't mention this when we were discussing

00:06:20   it—on the topic of Sapphire. He said, "Hey, the tops of watches are made of sapphire."

00:06:25   And that's true. We didn't think about that because we weren't thinking about iWatches or whatever.

00:06:30   Not to say that Apple is making a watch or that the watch will be covered in Sapphire,

00:06:34   but it's worth considering that the Sapphire plant they're building,

00:06:39   probably not for entire iPhone screens of Sapphire, although maybe,

00:06:43   because people have been saying they've been making advances in Sapphire that makes it more comfortable to Gorilla Glass,

00:06:49   fast, but maybe not just for cell phone camera covers or touch ID sensors, maybe for a tiny

00:06:58   little screen on a tiny little wearable thing, because that would also work for something

00:07:01   at Sapphire. So I thought that was worth bringing up.

00:07:05   Yeah, there was a really good discussion on the talk show this week with John Gruber and

00:07:10   Craig Hockenberry about the potential of Apple making an iWatch or other wearable devices,

00:07:15   I highly recommend everyone go listen to that. And I think that this is very good feedback,

00:07:23   that yes, it is a very good point that watches do use Sapphire, and even if Apple is not

00:07:29   making a watch, if they're making some kind of small wearable anything with a display,

00:07:33   it would make sense that might be, you know, the cover material. So all these possibilities

00:07:37   make a lot of sense and are all, I think, probably more plausible than the idea of them

00:07:43   doing the whole iPhone screen in Sapphire, just because not only, as we discussed, not

00:07:47   only is that just a lot of Sapphire that they would need, but also we already know they're

00:07:53   using it for Touch ID sensors and they need a lot of those, and if they use it in a wearable,

00:07:58   they need a lot of that, and it makes sense in those things, whereas the iPhone screen,

00:08:03   there's not that...

00:08:04   I don't know.

00:08:06   Do you think it's really necessary for the iPhone screen to switch to Sapphire?

00:08:10   Well, the things I was reading about was not that they would make the whole screen glass

00:08:14   out of sapphire, but that you'd make a laminate where they have a super thin layer of sapphire

00:08:18   over it for scratch resistance, but then underneath that essentially gorilla glass type of stuff.

00:08:22   So you try to get the benefits of all of them really hard. That's like a knife edge where

00:08:26   you get really hard towards the blade edge and then sort of more flexible in the middle.

00:08:32   This is all just speculative and people investigating manufacturing. So down the road, I can imagine

00:08:37   some kind of sandwich like that, giving you the best of all the materials, like a flexible center

00:08:41   with a very, very hard surface. That makes sense for a phone or something where you don't want the

00:08:46   screen to be scratched. You get the hardest material possible just on the very, you know,

00:08:50   the scratch surface. But are we really scratching the screens on our phones? Because the damage I

00:08:55   see is shattering because of impact, not scratching. Well, I see a lot of scratched iPhones. I mean,

00:09:01   think of people who take their iPhones without a case and put it in like their purse with their

00:09:04   keys. People do that, and then they get scratched up. Do they? Maybe I've just never seen them, but

00:09:10   I see tons and tons of iPhones and Android phones and every kind of phone with a shattered or

00:09:15   slightly scattered screen. That's when you drop it, yeah. I mean, like, that's nothing—obviously,

00:09:19   they would like that not to happen too, but at a certain point, you drop it onto concrete

00:09:23   the wrong way. Sorry. I don't know, it's just—I don't know if scratch prevention is what we

00:09:34   really need on the screen, what we really need on the screen in my opinion is shatter

00:09:38   prevention and I'm not sure how you would get there.

00:09:40   Make it out of plastic, but that would be gross.

00:09:43   Well, you get there by having these tacky, giant bouncy cases that a lot of people like

00:09:47   and use for that exact reason.

00:09:49   They're so bad. The Otter boxes, I mean, they protect the phone, but god, they're

00:09:53   enormous.

00:09:54   Well, but that actually helps, you know, like if you want to protect this tiny little brick

00:09:57   of glass and electronics in the middle of something, the bigger you can make that something

00:10:01   and the squishier you can make it, the more likely it is that you will protect it.

00:10:04   Yeah, but God it makes it so ugly

00:10:06   I put Apple wearable stuff way down like three topics down in the topic section who knows if we'll get to it today

00:10:12   But I put it there because of inspired by Craig's article and the recent talk show

00:10:17   So we'll see if we don't get to it. We have an extra let's move it up who cares about Facebook and oculus oh

00:10:21   That would have been a perfect time to lop it John, that's okay, no

00:10:30   John doesn't lop it he sticks around and waits

00:10:33   [Laughter]

00:10:34   Jared: He will wait for his turn.

00:10:36   Pete: Do have some actual sexism follow-up.

00:10:38   Jared; Oh, okay. It is that time now.

00:10:40   Pete; Well, first, before I get to the few items I put in the follow-up section here,

00:10:44   how would you guys characterize the feedback that we got on that topic?

00:10:47   Jared; I would say almost universally praise in the sense that people were very glad we spoke of

00:10:54   it, and in many cases, people were very pleased with the way you spoke of it, especially. And

00:11:00   and I'll lock myself into that category.

00:11:02   I thought we did okay.

00:11:05   I thought I did okay.

00:11:06   I thought you did extremely well.

00:11:08   - Yeah, I completely agree.

00:11:11   I think everyone loves Jon and it made a lot of sense

00:11:15   based on last week's episode.

00:11:17   And the feedback was overall very positive

00:11:20   that people who were very happy that we talked about

00:11:23   the problems of sexism in tech.

00:11:25   And we didn't talk even that much about it.

00:11:26   I mean, it's a massive topic that you couldn't even fit

00:11:30   in one entire show, let alone the last quarter of one of our shows. But I'm glad we talked

00:11:37   about it. I was very scared, as I said during the show last week, I was very scared to talk

00:11:41   about it because it's so hard to talk about sexism without offending somebody on the side

00:11:50   that you're fighting for.

00:11:52   Yeah, yeah. And that's why I pumped the brakes real hard in the beginning. And I'm really,

00:11:56   really glad and thankful that—I think it was mostly Jon basically said, "Tough noogies,

00:12:00   we're going to talk about it." And I'm glad that we did, but oh man, I was so scared. I was so

00:12:05   scared in the beginning. I think Marco said—did you tweet Marco or something? That you had been

00:12:09   afraid to touch on this topic, but were pleasantly surprised that the backlash was not that bad,

00:12:13   and that basically you had been too afraid of this topic for too long, and if you had known that it

00:12:18   wasn't the minefield that you thought it was going to be, that you wouldn't have been as hesitant.

00:12:24   Yeah, that's exactly right. I mean, you know, I try to fight for social causes that I care

00:12:29   about, and this is one of those, but as I said, it's so... I've been really scared off

00:12:35   by the public discourse around sexism because it just seems like everyone's being attacked.

00:12:40   Even people who are trying to make progress in eliminating or reducing sexism, then they

00:12:45   get attacked for something they didn't include or accidentally omitted or didn't say the

00:12:49   the right way. It's really, really, it just, it seems like it's so cutthroat, the discussion

00:12:55   out there that I see so often, at least in print and on Twitter and stuff. It's so, it's

00:13:00   so like, no one's given any leeway, no one's given any slack, everyone assumes the worst

00:13:06   in everyone else in the discussion. And that's what, frankly, that's why I try to stay out

00:13:12   of it because I'm so afraid of something blowing up in my face when I was just trying to help,

00:13:19   I did it in not quite the right way, or I forgot about some condition or something that

00:13:25   I'm not thinking about or some side effect of a word I'm thinking about. It's so hard

00:13:30   to talk about it in a way that won't get you attacked as well. From your side. It's one

00:13:38   thing if you say sexism is a problem and then you've got a bunch of idiot men saying "No,

00:13:42   it's not!" That's one thing. I don't care about that kind of attack, obviously. But

00:13:48   If I'm trying to argue for the progress of this issue and for less sexism, and then I

00:13:53   get attacked by anti-sexism advocates because I didn't do it correctly, that discourages

00:14:00   me from participating in the discussion at all.

00:14:03   And it's very intimidating to even enter it.

00:14:07   Yeah, I think the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

00:14:11   There were a few negative ones thrown in there.

00:14:13   was the typical people like Marco just mentioned who either thought it wasn't a problem or

00:14:19   were just blatantly and unapologetically sexist, so you know, whatever.

00:14:22   I think we only got one actually that was like comically out, like comically off base.

00:14:27   Like it was…

00:14:28   Yeah, there was one that was ridiculous, but there was other ones that you know, were borderline.

00:14:33   I got a lot of private email, like, not a lot, but like four or five private emails,

00:14:38   most of which were entirely negative.

00:14:40   So like, I mean, it's kind of like the…

00:14:42   Really?

00:14:43   the Joel Spolsky thing where the reason he explained why he wasn't blogging as much

00:14:47   is that he'll get tons and tons of positive feedback, but all he'll do is sit there

00:14:50   and think about the bad ones. And it's just my general nature, the inability to take

00:14:56   a compliment or to dwell on the positive things. So anyway, the negative things were like,

00:15:02   people who took this opportunity, sort of like preemptive backlash, took this opportunity

00:15:06   to say, "I know people are going to listen to the show and say nice things to you, so

00:15:10   let me preemptively tell you about all the times in the past where you have said or done things that are sexist or racist or

00:15:14   whatever in your podcast or writing. And so I got a laundry list of all sorts of things that I've done wrong from various

00:15:19   people, most of which by the way were right, which is why it's, you know, it bothers me as much as it does, because it's like,

00:15:25   yeah, no, I remember that it was terrible. And in fact, in the particular show, there were cases, you know, I mean, I brought up

00:15:30   the one with Casey saying, and Lee, but I did things too. And I heard it myself when I listened to it. And then two days later, I

00:15:35   get the person emailing me about it and it's like yeah that's that's part of

00:15:38   what's difficult about this topic is like I said we're all we all do these

00:15:42   things to some degree or another we've just you know been steeped in this we

00:15:46   are a product of our society and so despite the best intentions you will

00:15:51   find yourself doing things wrong and people will call you on it and sometimes

00:15:54   people will call you on it in a nasty way them being nasty doesn't mean you

00:15:58   didn't do something wrong just like Casey called that woman hey look at this

00:16:01   time that together call that woman on not putting away her shopping cart in a

00:16:04   nasty way, she still did something wrong. And so, like, her defensiveness is like, "Well,

00:16:13   I may have done something wrong, but you were a jerk about it, therefore I didn't do anything

00:16:16   wrong." So when I get these mean emails telling me about the things that I did wrong,

00:16:18   your instinct is to want to reply and say, "But I didn't mean it that way and blah, blah, blah."

00:16:23   But they're right. They're jerks, but they're right, you know. So that part of the experience,

00:16:28   like, "I expected it. It came. I'm fine with it." That's part of the whole deal. You just have to

00:16:35   learn how to properly deal with that kind of feedback, even if it's delivered in an

00:16:40   insensitive way. Look at it for the content and don't engage with the jerkiness, I guess.

00:16:46   So how do you feel about it after the fact, overall?

00:16:51   Well, we did what we could. Let me get through these two feedback items. I think I'll have a

00:16:57   a better overall view of the thing. Actually, this first one is barely about sexism, but it starts out

00:17:02   that way. So I'll read this. This is from Mike. This is just an excerpt from the email. "I just

00:17:06   wanted to lightheartedly point out that earlier in the show, you were talking about sending people

00:17:10   unknowledgeable about tech and Apple to interview Johnny Ive and then proceeded to thoroughly

00:17:13   discuss gender dynamics and technology for 40 minutes. As someone who has an academic background

00:17:18   and a lot of personal interest in styling gender issues and studying gender issues, I had to roll

00:17:22   my eyes ever so slightly. Many tech folks seem to be so quick to put down the layman who speaks

00:17:27   about technology issues for lack of research or knowledge, but they often feel completely informed

00:17:31   about gender and race and class issues that, in their opinion, is automatically well researched,

00:17:35   that their opinion is automatically well researched, valid, and worth espousing."

00:17:38   So there's two parts of this. One is us, you know, slamming the whatever Time magazine or the Times

00:17:45   or whatever, sending some reporter to talk to Johnny I, who didn't seem to know what he was

00:17:48   was talking about, and then saying, "Then we talked about a topic that this listener

00:17:51   knew a lot about, gender or whatever." And then he had to roll his eyes like, "Oh, these

00:17:56   tech guys, they complain when someone who's not a tech nerd talks about tech, but then

00:17:59   they just feel like they can talk about gender issues and they don't know what they're talking

00:18:02   about." So there's two things that I object to in this feedback. The first is the idea

00:18:07   that we are objecting to someone who doesn't know a lot about technology talking to someone

00:18:14   in the technology sector. It's kind of like the Walter Isaacson thing where people would say,

00:18:18   "Well, it's better for someone who's not kind of steeped in technology to do this because it's

00:18:23   supposed to bring the message to the masses. We want someone who isn't a tech nerd. We want

00:18:27   someone who can relate to these people at the level of normal people. We don't just want a nerd

00:18:32   going." And that and the idea of sending someone who's not knowledgeable about Apple or tech to

00:18:38   talk to Johnny Iov, it's the same thing. You don't have to be knowledgeable about this topic to report

00:18:42   on or to write a book about it. But the job of a reporter or an author is to, during the course of

00:18:47   doing this interview, preparing for the interview, preparing for the book, whatever, you learn about

00:18:52   the topic. Because the only way you can bring something to the masses is to first learn it

00:18:56   yourself. Either learn it by through research or learn it through talking to the person,

00:18:59   and then bring the understanding that you gained to everyone else. That's your job. Your job is not

00:19:03   to just transcribe words or just say the first thing that comes to mind and then transcribe the

00:19:09   the answers. Your job is to learn something about a topic, summarize what you've learned,

00:19:14   and get first-hand information from whoever it is you're talking to based on what you've

00:19:18   learned and then bring that back to them. So I don't mind if someone who doesn't know

00:19:21   anything about a tech interviews someone, but they better be a good interviewer, and

00:19:23   a good interviewer learns about the topic at hand before they do the interview. That's

00:19:28   it. I mean, you could say, "Well, maybe it didn't have time. Maybe it was last minute,"

00:19:31   or whatever. There's all sorts of excuses you can make, and that would be a shame if

00:19:34   it was the case. But as I said in the last show, it's hard to believe that they couldn't

00:19:37   find somebody? Like, "Oh, we don't have enough time for you to do research. We need somebody

00:19:40   who already knows something about Apple. Can we find somebody, anybody, who's been following

00:19:43   Apple at all? Maybe send them to interview Johnny Ive." So that's my first objection.

00:19:48   The second is this other sentiment that, like, people—it's not just for this topic, but

00:19:53   all topics—people who are expert in the field—actually, it's specifically with sexism. If you're,

00:19:58   like, a gender studies major or something or whatever, all those people wrote in to

00:20:02   us or to me to tell me that we shouldn't be talking about this topic because we don't

00:20:06   what we're talking about. That, I think, is poison, because if everyone thinks that, it's just like

00:20:11   the same thing that Marco was getting at, with the fear of like, you don't want to talk about this

00:20:14   topic because you're afraid you're going to say something wrong. It's too high of a bar to require

00:20:19   everyone who wants to discuss this topic to be like a women's studies major or a history major

00:20:24   or anything. Like, that's too high of a bar. We all have to talk about this. We all have to talk

00:20:28   about it and get things wrong and fumble and screw things up and occasionally yell at each other. You

00:20:34   You can't be like, "Well, I shouldn't say anything about this because I'm not an expert."

00:20:37   This applies to anything.

00:20:38   Anytime we talk about something where some listener knows more about it than we do, whether

00:20:41   it be like speakers or cars or gender studies, someone needs to come in to say, "I will listen

00:20:46   to your show and you were talking about something that I knew more about than you and let me

00:20:49   tell you why you should never talk about that again."

00:20:51   That's all well and good right up to the point where you tell us we're not allowed to talk

00:20:54   about that ever again.

00:20:55   Because that, I mean, for an important issue like sexism, that's terrible.

00:20:59   And for less important issues, I think it's just silly.

00:21:02   So sorry, Mike.

00:21:03   I disagree with most of your feedback here. I'm sorry we made you roll your eyes.

00:21:06   [laughter]

00:21:07   I love you, Sean.

00:21:09   Yeah, I mostly agree with that. I mean, it's important, you know, when there's a social

00:21:16   issue like this, where it's an important human rights and social issue, I think not

00:21:24   talking about it is generally more harmful than talking about it and kind of stumbling

00:21:31   through and making some mistakes. That's not to say, based on what I said before, that's

00:21:35   not to say that I have the guts to actually do it. But I think, generally speaking, I

00:21:41   agree. One of the most common feedback themes that we got was, "Thank you for talking

00:21:51   about this. We need more people with audiences to talk about this," which is, I guess,

00:21:57   the next feedback. So, John, why don't you get to that?

00:22:00   You can read that one, Marco, because I think it's right up your alley.

00:22:03   All right.

00:22:04   This one is from Jack Banh.

00:22:06   And it says, "Marco said several times that he didn't know how to better serve this

00:22:10   issue.

00:22:11   I think the biggest thing he can do is use his audience and look for voices to amplify

00:22:14   whether it's simply retweeting tech opinions by women or by linking to articles that directly

00:22:19   deal with sexism in tech.

00:22:21   Anil, I guess I'm assuming that's my favorite person, Anil Dash.

00:22:24   Anil tried a similar experiment over the past year.

00:22:28   On the surface, it sounds patronizing—patronizing?—to deliberately seek this out, but clearly there

00:22:33   are issues and conversations lurking under the surface that most men in tech aren't

00:22:37   aware of.

00:22:38   Do you know the thing he's talking about that Anil Dash did?

00:22:41   You think I follow Anil Dash?

00:22:42   Yeah, he's your best friend.

00:22:43   What are you talking about?

00:22:44   Yeah.

00:22:45   No.

00:22:46   I actually knew, and there's a convenient link in the show notes that you didn't look

00:22:49   at because you don't do your homework, but what Anil had apparently done was exclusively

00:22:56   retweeted only women for what was it a year? Is that right?

00:22:59   Yeah, I think it was a whole year. Okay. So he had only retweeted women for a

00:23:03   whole year. Now, I don't follow Anil. I never have. But apparently, according to him,

00:23:09   it didn't really change his own personal—workflow isn't the right word—but his own Twitter

00:23:15   experience very much. And whether or not you think that that particular course of action

00:23:20   is a good idea. I did read this Medium post, which I believe he had written and will put

00:23:26   in the show notes, but it came from what I thought was a good place, which is, "Let

00:23:31   me try to make my own follow list and what I'm putting into the world a little less

00:23:40   single-minded." And I understand where he's coming from. I don't know that forcing

00:23:46   yourself to only retweet women for a year is necessarily the right answer, but I think

00:23:51   it came from a good place.

00:23:53   It's easy to make a political statement on Twitter by changing your—by favoriting something,

00:23:59   or changing your avatar, or retweeting something. Those are all easy things, and the value—and

00:24:06   this, I don't mean to cut on an eel here—I think the value is commensurate with the effort

00:24:14   in this case. You know, if you want to really make a meaningful difference, choosing who

00:24:19   you retweet on Twitter is not a way to do it. It's a way to do a small difference, possibly

00:24:24   a very small difference. But I think making a meaningful difference requires putting yourself

00:24:28   out there a little more than that and doing something a little more risky and bold than

00:24:33   that. And so I don't really put a lot of weight on things like, you know, putting a star on

00:24:40   your avatar, changing it to be the certain color for the certain political cause, or

00:24:43   Stuff like that, like online petitions, favoriting a certain tweet a million times, those things

00:24:50   don't really make much of a difference.

00:24:52   But what Anil did, I think, was interesting because it ties into what this feedback is

00:24:57   that basically we weren't sure what we could do, and the fact that we have an audience

00:25:00   like talking about it in our podcast is something we can do.

00:25:02   And what he did, I'm assuming he has a lot of followers, but I'm assuming he has way

00:25:05   more than I do.

00:25:06   Does he have more than you?

00:25:08   Maybe.

00:25:09   Anyway.

00:25:10   think about a half a million because I guess early on in Twitter…

00:25:13   I was a recommended user list, yeah. Yeah, he was on the recommended user list,

00:25:18   and so people would sign into Twitter for the very first time ever, and they would see

00:25:21   this recommended user. So, sure, I'll follow that guy. And by his own admission, he said

00:25:25   he got a gazillion followers. I think it was like, you know, many of the half million followers

00:25:30   he had from that. Yeah, so that, like, what he's doing basically

00:25:34   is using his Twitter fame as a force multiplier, and that, like, what can one person do? Well,

00:25:38   few of us who happen to have four or five digit numbers of followers or have a podcast that a lot

00:25:45   of people listen to, one little thing that we do could make a big difference. And so he was being

00:25:50   very strict, like only retreating women or whatever for an entire year. But I find myself doing it

00:25:55   even with my small number of followers on Twitter. It's the conflict that Marco was mentioning,

00:26:00   where I'll see some tweet. First, I'll be following certain people who tend to either

00:26:05   tweet or retweet things related to these topics that I care about. And then I'll see a tweet,

00:26:10   and I'll want to retweet it. And you'll have that moment of hesitation where you're like,

00:26:14   "I know if I retweet this, because it's political or has to do with sexism or whatever, I know I

00:26:20   have followers who disagree with me and are going to yell at me about it." Or you're going to get

00:26:25   negative feedback about doing this. And the more followers you have, the more important

00:26:31   is for you to say, "Well, is this my Twitter account or isn't it? If this is what I believe,

00:26:36   then do I believe it or do I not believe it?" And so for the individual persons, like retweet

00:26:40   something that they agree with or, you know, giving voices to people who may not have many

00:26:44   followers is not a big deal. But the more followers you have, the more you're amplifying them by

00:26:48   either linking to them in a tweet of your own or retweeting something that they said. And

00:26:54   I still find myself having that hesitation and then having to sort of force myself to say,

00:27:00   "No, go through it. This is exactly what you're supposed to be doing." Now, I don't know what

00:27:03   kind of a difference it's making, but like in general, there's not that much individuals can

00:27:09   do unless we're in very powerful positions. But through the magic of social media, with the

00:27:14   multiplying effect, especially if you have a large number of followers or whatever, I think it is

00:27:18   important to consciously say, maybe normally if all the things were equal, I wouldn't retweet this or

00:27:24   mention this, but because I know it's an important issue and because I know this person, like I may

00:27:29   be doubling the reach of this person's tweet by retweeting it, then yes, I will retweet

00:27:33   it no matter how much it annoys my followers.

00:27:36   I think it's more effective, rather than say what you're doing and make a big deal

00:27:44   out of what you're doing and tell everybody what you're doing, to just do it, like to

00:27:49   just try to retweet a lot of women. You don't have to say you're only retweeting women

00:27:56   for a year, and you don't have to announce that to everyone.

00:27:58   Oh, well, yeah, that's obviously a gimmick. He's got the article in mind before he begins

00:28:03   the, you know, like, whatever. That's fine, but I'm not saying you have to do what he

00:28:08   did because I think exclusively retweeting women is, like, you know, that's maybe missing

00:28:13   the point of the entire thing. But in general, we all see tweets in our timeline that we

00:28:19   agree with but know that if we were to engage with or retweet or say something about, we

00:28:25   We know we're going to be basically asking for an argument and people are going to say

00:28:29   negative things back.

00:28:30   And that can dissuade us from doing that.

00:28:32   And like Margo said last time, our hesitance to talk about this topic like, "Oh no, people

00:28:36   might say mean things," is nothing compared to the hesitance people have to deal with

00:28:39   the actual issue.

00:28:40   So we're so wimpy, we don't even want to bring the smallest amount of criticism or

00:28:47   fire down on us for even engaging the topic.

00:28:49   And that's the weapon of the bad guys in this scenario, is that if it becomes so toxic,

00:28:56   no one wants to touch it, they win by default.

00:28:58   Right, because they're going to touch it as much as they want on their side.

00:29:03   The amount of rampant sexism is crazy, and the people, the rampant sexist are not going

00:29:11   to stop talking about it because they're afraid of the feedback.

00:29:16   They're going to just keep doing it.

00:29:17   That's another reason, by the way, not to engage with those people, because every time

00:29:20   someone's, you know, I do something like that, and then I get negative feedback. If I need

00:29:24   something to remind myself not to engage with those people, I mean, this may sound terrible,

00:29:29   but I look at their follower accounts and I say, if I was to engage with this person

00:29:32   and start arguing with them, there's the potential that more people would see this argument than

00:29:37   would ever see this person to begin with. Like right now, his evil is confined to me.

00:29:40   But if I engage and go back and forth or like hate retweet him or anything like that, that

00:29:44   actually increases the exposure of his toxic ideas, right? And so, it's better to just not engage and

00:29:50   leave them confined to their fore-followers and their hate-filled timeline. Like, look at their

00:29:54   timeline of tweets and just one hate-filled statement after another, and these people must not

00:29:58   have very nice lives. But you engaging with them, that's like a jackpot for them.

00:30:03   Pete: And that's something that I think I'm still learning in general, not specifically to sexism,

00:30:09   is, you know, how do I choose when it's worth engaging, like, for example, in a parking

00:30:16   lot at Target, and when it's not? It's something I will always struggle with, and

00:30:19   it's something I think we all struggle with. We are not done with the sexism follow-up,

00:30:23   but we've been going a while. Can we talk about something cool?

00:30:26   We can. It is our wonderful friends—once again, they're back—our friends at Warby

00:30:32   Parker. Warby Parker believes that prescription eyeglasses simply should not cost $300 and

00:30:39   They should be affordable, even affordable enough for people to accessorize and have

00:30:44   multiple pairs if they want to.

00:30:46   So Warby Parker is really a new way of making and selling eyewear.

00:30:51   They bypass all the traditional channels, they sell higher quality, better looking prescription

00:30:55   eyewear online at a fraction of the price of brick and mortar places and your opticians

00:31:00   and everything else, starting at just $95.

00:31:04   go to warbyparker.com/atp to see and learn more.

00:31:15   They have these great designs, they're vintage inspired with a contemporary twist.

00:31:19   Every pair is custom fit, they have anti-reflective, anti-glare, polycarbonate prescription lenses,

00:31:24   and every pair comes with a hard case and cleaning cloth, which is a really nice hard

00:31:27   case by the way, so you don't need to buy any overpriced accessories on top of your

00:31:32   glasses.

00:31:33   glasses online you would think this would be risky. Like how do you try them

00:31:37   on? How do you see how they look? They know this and they have built pretty

00:31:41   incredible tools. So first of all you can go and they have a thing where you can

00:31:45   like use your webcam to take a picture of you and they will overlay the glasses

00:31:49   on your head so you can see how they will look. And they also have webcam

00:31:53   tools to do things like help you measure in case you in case your prescription

00:31:57   doesn't have the right distance number on it or if you want to just double

00:32:00   check it, whatever else you can see that you can measure it right there, right online.

00:32:04   And then the cool thing, the best thing about Warby Parker I think, besides their awesome

00:32:08   prices and everything else about them, the best thing besides all the other stuff is

00:32:13   this home try-on program. So they have this great thing, you can pick out up to five pairs

00:32:18   of glasses, and let's say you only pick two or three because you can't decide, they'll

00:32:21   fill the box so there's five. So anyway, great company, so you get these glasses to try on

00:32:27   on home for free this is all you haven't paid anything yet you get them you can

00:32:30   try them on and then you say they send it to you for free you send it back it's

00:32:35   all prepaid shipping you don't pay anything and then you can make a choice

00:32:39   and you can choose to buy none of them if you really want to but I bet you

00:32:41   won't because they're really great quality you'll see for yourself when you

00:32:44   the home try on and then you just pick whichever one you want whichever ones

00:32:48   you want you can get more than one if you'd like they're not stopping you and

00:32:50   you get those glasses delivered to you pretty quickly actually so they and when

00:32:55   When they make the prescription lenses,

00:32:58   they usually get started on them right away

00:32:59   and they're usually in your hands within 10 business days,

00:33:03   or usually even faster than that.

00:33:05   That's just kind of like a rough end ballpark,

00:33:07   but usually it's even faster than that.

00:33:09   So prescription glasses starting at just $95,

00:33:12   including the lenses, obviously.

00:33:15   I don't know why they even sell glasses without lenses,

00:33:17   it's like selling a car without brakes.

00:33:18   So $95 includes the lenses.

00:33:21   They also have a titanium collection that's even better,

00:33:24   quality stuff in certain places but really they're all pretty great. Titanium collection starts at just $145 including the lenses.

00:33:29   That includes premium Japanese titanium and French non-rocking screws. All their glasses at all price points include anti-reflective anti-glare coatings,

00:33:38   cleaning cloth, everything like that. Really great. So check it out. And one of the cool things about this, I'll go a little long here, but

00:33:44   one of the many cool things they do is they have a program

00:33:48   where for every pair of glasses they sell, they distribute a second pair of

00:33:54   to someone in need somewhere in the world.

00:33:56   There's a few charities they work with to do this,

00:33:59   where prescription eyewear is very expensive

00:34:03   for many parts of the lesser developed world,

00:34:06   and it's pretty important to be able to see

00:34:09   for things like learning and getting through everyday life.

00:34:11   It's really important.

00:34:13   And so they have this great program

00:34:14   where every pair they sell,

00:34:15   they give another pair to somebody in need.

00:34:17   So check 'em out, warbyparker.com/atp.

00:34:22   Thanks a lot to Warby Parker

00:34:22   sponsoring our show once again. Speaking of using your social following to

00:34:27   amplify the effect and speaking of Warby Parker giving a free glasses to someone

00:34:31   who needs them, Mike Montero, who generally is a jerk on Twitter in a

00:34:35   funny way, also occasionally does a thing where he tries to raise money for a

00:34:39   family that needs money for something like, "Oh hey, this, you know, it could be a

00:34:42   pair of glasses or something like that," or, you know, "This family is about to get

00:34:47   evicted, let's all raise $2,000 to keep them from getting evicted," and he will

00:34:51   use his Twitter following, which is not that big. It's bigger than mine, but not much bigger.

00:34:55   And he'll use that to get a bunch of people to raise money, not a lot of money, but a small amount

00:35:01   of money for charity. And he'll do that over the course of an hour and a half on like a Saturday.

00:35:05   That's something that you couldn't do before the internet and Twitter. And Twitter seems like just

00:35:09   a silly thing. "Well, I've got 50, 60,000 followers," or maybe he's got like 100,000, I don't know.

00:35:13   "What can I do with that?" You can do surprisingly, if there's a cause that's important to you,

00:35:20   spend a little time tweeting a few things, get a bunch of people who follow you to raise some money

00:35:27   for a cause that you care about. It's not a big thing, but it's not a little thing either. And

00:35:31   it's something that wouldn't happen if it's like, "Oh, I gotta go door to door, knocking on people's

00:35:34   doors, asking for money or whatever." Twitter brings together like-minded people who might

00:35:39   be inclined to do these types of things. And if it's all electronic, where you just tweet a URL,

00:35:43   everyone goes to the URL to click a couple buttons, they pay about 10 bucks in there,

00:35:46   everyone feels good about it, and someone gets helped. And Warby Parker, the same type of thing,

00:35:51   you know, it's just an extra bonus for like, why might I buy Warby Parker glasses? Well,

00:35:55   because they do this extra thing too, and you'll feel good about getting your glasses when you do

00:35:59   that. Yeah. So what else do we have on the sexism topic? I put a bunch of other things here, but I

00:36:06   think I would skip over most of them. The only one I think I want to touch on for now is, we didn't

00:36:10   talk about in the last show, but things that help with empathy. And I was thinking of the

00:36:16   I'm surprised it didn't come up. Maybe it didn't come up because I'm the only one in this camp.

00:36:20   But a lot of times when you talk about this topic, someone will bring up either casually

00:36:26   or as a weapon more likely, the idea that you don't understand this topic because you're a man

00:36:35   and only women understand it. Or I used to not understand this topic, but then I had a daughter.

00:36:42   And now if you don't have a daughter, you can't understand what this is like. Or just wait until

00:36:46   you have a daughter and you'll understand. And the daughter one is the one that gets me because I

00:36:49   can't control my gender, but people could conceivably not have a daughter at one point

00:36:52   and then have a daughter at another point in their life. And I never liked calling people out to say,

00:36:59   "Your ability to empathize with this is stopped by the fact that you don't have a daughter."

00:37:07   I agree that having a daughter definitely helps, can help, because it gives you—it forces you to

00:37:14   take a perspective that previously you couldn't. But intellectually, I don't like the idea that

00:37:19   it's impossible for someone to understand this issue until they have a daughter. I happen to

00:37:24   have a daughter and like, and it has helped me identify with this issue more. But I don't think

00:37:29   it is neither necessary nor sufficient to have a daughter to understand this issue because plenty

00:37:35   of people have daughters and still don't see the forest of the trees. Some people are helped by

00:37:41   having a daughter and some people. What I'm saying is that you shouldn't have to be pre-qualified by

00:37:46   something to say that you can—your ability to empathize with this issue is not dependent on

00:37:51   you having sisters or daughters or being a woman or anything. Everyone else can do it. Those things

00:37:57   may help, but I just don't like the exclusion. It just bothers me. Even if in general it may be

00:38:06   true that people don't get it until they have a daughter. I don't like people trying to

00:38:10   exclude people from the conversation and say, "Well, you can't understand this because you're

00:38:14   a man who doesn't even have a daughter or a sister or whatever." Yeah, the other ones I think we

00:38:22   probably don't have time for today, but there's more bits in there. I won't delete them out from

00:38:26   the notes. Maybe we can touch on them on another show. Really quickly, I do want to also add that

00:38:30   I think part of the problem here, I mean, obviously, I'm American and I take the very

00:38:35   U.S.-centric view because simply that's where I am and what I know most about. But certainly it

00:38:39   seems like an American culture we, and of course not all of us, but the majority, the dominant

00:38:48   culture in America is to hold on very tightly to the past and the way we've always done things.

00:38:53   And the way we've always done things is like the Bible. It's always correct. It's how it always was

00:38:59   and how it always will be and we are the best, damn it, and we are never going to listen to

00:39:03   anybody else or anything else that suggests otherwise because we are the best USA, USA,

00:39:08   blah, blah, blah. And the problem with that kind of viewpoint, one of the many problems

00:39:13   with that kind of viewpoint, is that when some part of what you think is your culture

00:39:20   that you've always had and you must always have is challenged, like something that you

00:39:25   do or think or say that is sexist or has some other social problem, your instinct if you're

00:39:32   in this mindset is to hold on tightly and tighten your grip even more and get even angrier

00:39:37   and more defensive and reclusive even around that. And that really hinders a lot of social

00:39:44   progress. And you know, it's hard to convince people that their history and their culture

00:39:49   and the way they think is wrong and bad. That's really, really hard to do. And that's probably

00:39:56   true everywhere for everybody. But that's one of the problems with moving an issue like

00:40:00   this forward. One of the challenges is, as we said last episode, things that we've always said,

00:40:07   words we've always used, assumptions we've always made, these things have problems. They are sexist,

00:40:15   they are discriminatory, they are insulting, they have problems. But if we hold on too tightly to

00:40:21   "this is the way we've always done things, this is who we are, this is who I am," and use that as a

00:40:25   big excuse, it's very hard to make meaningful progress.

00:40:28   Yeah, and this is applicable in America anyway across many, many, many different subjects.

00:40:33   Oh yeah.

00:40:34   Like gun control and the legalization of marijuana.

00:40:39   And I'm not trying to get political.

00:40:40   I'm not saying, you know, one way or the other where I stand on these issues.

00:40:43   However—

00:40:44   Two yeses from me.

00:40:46   You're a braver man than I.

00:40:49   But it's hard to have intelligent conversation about it for exactly the reasons that you

00:40:53   said, because those of us who cling to the way things are today tend to just tighten

00:41:00   that grip, just like you said, even more! And it prevents an intelligent conversation

00:41:05   and it quickly becomes an emotional conversation.

00:41:08   Jared: Right, and that's a very quick way to not get anything done.

00:41:11   Michael; Yep.

00:41:12   Pete; Yeah, like, well, any kind of change like that, usually you just have to wait for

00:41:16   people to die. And the worst thing about that is like, well, you just wait for people to

00:41:19   will be fine. But they teach their children these regressive ideas too, and they propagate it. And

00:41:25   it's so difficult to sort of stem that propagation. The most effective means that I've seen during my

00:41:32   lifetime of fostering change in society has been the sort of ambient exposure to ideas,

00:41:41   not shoving them in people's faces, but just kind of like—not really bombarding, but just like,

00:41:48   you're in contact with it all the time. So sort of the MTV generation constantly seeing different

00:41:54   kinds of people, just like exposure to just different people, different races, different

00:42:00   sexuality, not as like it's a message or an afterschool special, but just like they're just

00:42:04   there and you're just exposed to them. Everyone cites Will and Grace and sitcoms, stuff like that.

00:42:10   Some of those are more highlighting than others, but just generally that exposure, it makes it more

00:42:16   difficult for the adult generation that is never going to learn any better to pass on their

00:42:22   regressive ideas to their children because their children are just sort of like soaking in a

00:42:28   society that accepts these certain things as just like, "Well, that's just the way it is." And

00:42:34   that's, of course, why the parents hate it and, you know, don't want their kids to watch MTV and

00:42:38   blah, blah, blah, you know, all that stuff. But like, that kind of thing, it seems to me,

00:42:42   is even more effective than proselytizing or trying to teach kids the right way. Because

00:42:50   no one wants you to teach it. It's just like, you just have to be exposed to it. That's, again,

00:42:55   us talking about it. This being out in the open, even if it's in the form of a bunch of people

00:43:00   yelling at each other in blog comments, even that is just so much better than just not talking about

00:43:04   it. Because kids will grow up just exposed to this, like, "Oh, this is a thing." Or, "I've

00:43:09   I've seen people yelling about that. And even if kids are like on one side of the debate

00:43:13   for most of their life, they'll know that this debate exists, they'll know that there

00:43:17   is another side, and it'll be in their mind, and maybe they'll come around eventually,

00:43:20   right? But just being exposed to it, it doesn't seem alien or taboo or ridiculous. It's

00:43:27   like, "Oh yeah, that's been going on my whole life. That's definitely a thing,"

00:43:30   you know?

00:43:31   All right, so anything else on the follow-up category?

00:43:36   Forever follow-up.

00:43:37   follow-up. We're only an hour in, so maybe we should start the show.

00:43:40   I skipped a lot of stuff. I skipped it.

00:43:43   You didn't have to. It's all kidding aside. It is a really, really, really good conversation.

00:43:48   And like I said before, as much as I pumped the brakes in the beginning, I am glad we're

00:43:52   having it. And I'm glad that we got—well, most of us got so much good—I can't believe

00:43:56   we got bad feedback. I'm glad we got feedback saying, "Hey, you know, you didn't always

00:44:00   say the right thing, but at least you're talking about it."

00:44:02   But like I said, it wasn't bad for us. It'd be feedback that makes me feel bad, which

00:44:05   is different.

00:44:06   Right, right, right.

00:44:07   You know it's no fun for people to point out all the places you've done bad things in the past, but like

00:44:11   Anytime you talk about something someone's gonna want to say oh yeah, but you whatever it's a it's one of those Latin logical fallacies

00:44:20   Whose name I can never remember and always have to look up in Wikipedia, but like a hominin no

00:44:24   It's the to to coke you or something where it's like

00:44:27   Because you did something that's counter to what you're saying what you're saying is wrong ah

00:44:34   So the fallacy is that if you have not lived your life in 100% consistency with the position

00:44:39   you are espousing, therefore the position you're espousing is wrong.

00:44:42   And I have not lived my life in 100% consistency, but my position is not wrong because of that.

00:44:46   And so people want to write in and tell you that what you've done in the past has not

00:44:49   lived up to the ideals you've presented, and then you feel bad about it.

00:44:52   Or at least you should feel bad about it, and I do feel bad about it.

00:44:54   And a couple of them are also jerks.

00:44:59   Someone got it in the chat room.

00:45:02   You want to pronounce that?

00:45:03   I tried.

00:45:04   Well, the great thing is because it's Latin, there is no authoritative pronunciation. Nobody

00:45:07   actually knows how to, how Latin words are pronounced.

00:45:09   There you go.

00:45:10   Oh, goodness.

00:45:11   Please send your corrections to Marco.

00:45:13   Indeed.

00:45:14   So, uh, so this week, Facebook bought Oculus, which I didn't see coming. Not to say that

00:45:21   I follow this stuff closely, but I did not see that coming.

00:45:23   And you didn't see this coming? Did you know this company existed before the last show

00:45:27   where we discussed VR stuff?

00:45:29   Yes, you big jerk. Speaking of jerks.

00:45:32   All right. All right. Just checking.

00:45:33   I knew it existed. So yeah, so Oculus, is it Oculus Rift is the device? Is that correct?

00:45:39   I'm going to get my terminology wrong here, but they're making a VR headset. And it's like a

00:45:44   virtual boy, but it actually works from what I gather. And they were bought by Facebook and

00:45:49   a lot of people aren't happy about that. So John, you didn't back this Kickstarter, right?

00:45:53   I did not.

00:45:54   Okay. So there's a lot of different things in flight here, a lot of different viewpoints and

00:46:00   and a lot of different, I don't know, conversations happening. One of them is, "Hey, I backed

00:46:05   this thing on Kickstarter, and I did that so they could stay independent, and now they're

00:46:11   not independent, so this sucks, and oh, P.S., I want my backer money back." Does that make

00:46:16   any sense to you two at all? Because it does not to me. Like, well, it makes sense in the

00:46:20   regard that I can understand the feeling, but the feeling is without merit.

00:46:25   I think part of it stems from the same kind of thing where like if a paid app or service

00:46:31   is bought, then the people who paid for it before the acquisition are mad. Like, "I

00:46:36   paid for this so you'd stay independent," or "I paid for this so you wouldn't be

00:46:40   bought and be absorbed and shut down," and all that other stuff. So it's similar

00:46:44   to that. I think the difference is with the Kickstarter, the message that Kickstarter

00:46:49   sends and maybe not explicitly and maybe they try to disclaim it, but the message that it

00:46:55   the feeling it gives people is a feeling of co-ownership.

00:46:59   It's you're being a part of starting this thing,

00:47:02   even though it confers no actual ownership to you.

00:47:06   In fact, it's really a terrible deal

00:47:08   for all those reasons in most cases.

00:47:09   However, you support these things

00:47:13   because you want them to exist,

00:47:14   and then you feel some token of ownership,

00:47:17   even if it's not direct financial ownership,

00:47:19   you feel like you helped the band get started,

00:47:23   that kind of thing.

00:47:23   you feel like one of the backers, as they call it.

00:47:27   You're a backer, even though you're more of a donor.

00:47:30   But it's, so, you know, I totally get the feeling,

00:47:35   and I think it is, hmm, shoot my words carefully here.

00:47:40   I think the feeling is not academically correct

00:47:46   of something you should think,

00:47:49   but completely understandable why Kickstarter backers

00:47:52   would think and feel that.

00:47:53   Yeah, that's a good way of phrasing it. Because I would have felt the same way for Flash,

00:47:58   but then I would have realized, well, that's not really fair, because that wasn't the

00:48:02   deal. That wasn't the deal I made with Oculus. But I don't know.

00:48:07   Kickstarter is kind of weird in that if you pull back far enough and are sufficiently

00:48:11   cynical, as many people on Twitter are, it starts to look like a zero-risk way for the

00:48:18   real VCs to sort out a bunch of stuff with angel investing being done, being distributed over a

00:48:24   huge group of nerds. So it's like, we don't want to do the angel investment where we just give

00:48:31   some people enough money to get off the ground. We want to wait to see where the winners are.

00:48:34   And even angel investors are like, well, I mean, that's part of the beauty of Kickstarter. It's

00:48:40   not worth anyone's time to invest in some dinky little thing that no one's going to care about.

00:48:43   But sometimes there are big things and it's like, well, we could go to real investors or

00:48:46   We could just get that same amount of money from thousands of regular people, but we don't

00:48:51   have to give them anything. An angel investor would want some part of the company in exchange

00:48:56   for their investment, but since each individual person gave five, ten bucks, we don't have

00:49:01   to divide the company up and give each person 0.0001% of the company. They get nothing since

00:49:06   it's so close to zero anyway. And that's kind of where people feel burned in that they,

00:49:12   first of all, they do feel like they're investing, which they're not. They're not investing.

00:49:14   giving people money in exchange for usually like a product or some kind of, you know,

00:49:18   sometimes they get nothing but there are backer rewards or whatever like because you want

00:49:22   this thing to be in the world. But it's not an investment because you don't get any ownership

00:49:26   over the thing, over the profits, over the company, over anything. And even if you did,

00:49:29   it would be a tiny little sliver but you get zero, you get nothing. And so it's like, "Hey,

00:49:33   we got all this money." In this case, it was like 2.5 million or something for the Kickstarter.

00:49:38   That's a reasonable amount of money for an angel investment. But it was distributed over

00:49:41   such a large number of people and all of them got zero equity. So from the company's perspective,

00:49:46   "Hey, this is great. We get money and in exchange, we don't have to do anything except make the thing

00:49:51   because people just want this to be in the world." And that's the beauty and the curse of Kickstarter.

00:49:55   And what's in these people's heads when they're giving them money is like, "Well, I was giving

00:50:00   them money so you could remain independent." That's not what the Kickstarter said. The Kickstarter

00:50:03   said, "Give us money so we can remain independent." I mean, there's no promise about what's going to

00:50:07   happen to the company in the future, but in their head, they're like, "I'm giving you money so

00:50:11   so you won't have to get bought up by some big company or whatever. But that's not what you're

00:50:16   buying. You're not buying equity. You're not buying the right to determine the future course

00:50:21   of the company. You are just giving them money because you want to see this thing in the world.

00:50:24   And the thing did go into the world and the Riff Dev Kit version one and two came out and

00:50:28   I'm assuming people got what they were promised for their Kickstarter thing. But time moves on,

00:50:33   and eventually Facebook comes and buys them. And I guess these people could kind of feel burned.

00:50:39   But I hope it doesn't sour people on Kickstarter, because I like the idea of someone who's like,

00:50:43   "I've got an idea for a board game, and it's going to cost $700 to manufacture 10 copies

00:50:48   of this board game for me and the 10 people in the world who want it.

00:50:51   No one's ever going to invest in me.

00:50:52   Everybody let's all pull our money together, and we'll all get a copy of this cool board

00:50:55   game."

00:50:56   That, I think, sums up, right?

00:50:59   All the way up to raising a million dollars for something bigger.

00:51:02   But in none of those scenarios should you expect anything past whatever it is you were

00:51:07   were promised as part of the Kickstarter?

00:51:10   - I think it's important to, as a Kickstarter backer

00:51:14   of things, to be extremely skeptical

00:51:16   as to what you're going to get.

00:51:18   And the promises that they make,

00:51:20   it's all, it all has an 80% chance

00:51:23   of actually working out for you,

00:51:26   whatever the number is, it's not 100%.

00:51:28   Certainly, I've bought Kickstarter products

00:51:31   that I have never received that fizzled out,

00:51:33   that they made promises they just didn't keep.

00:51:36   I bought products that did eventually arrive very, very late, or that arrived finally and

00:51:43   were not as good as they said they were going to be, or didn't work at all.

00:51:49   It's easy to get caught up in the mentality of, "Oh, I'm helping these people out. I'm

00:51:54   really going to be one of the founding backers," or whatever. It's a good feeling before you

00:52:00   do it.

00:52:02   And then eight months later when you haven't gotten the thing yet that you paid too much

00:52:08   for, like you wouldn't have paid $200 for it in a store if it was available right now,

00:52:14   but you paid $200 to back it because you really, really wanted it two years ago.

00:52:20   It's a different emotional scenario that you're in, a different type of buying, a different

00:52:25   type of messaging and rhetoric around it that I think distorts a lot of these expectations

00:52:37   and values and market effects. I think that the most sensible way to use Kickstarter is

00:52:43   basically as a speculative pre-order with the assumption that of every 10 things you

00:52:49   pre-order, you're not going to get one of them.

00:52:52   Or you could do it as like, I mean, one of the things that I backed recently was some

00:52:55   person who's trying to make a website including high quality photos of game consoles.

00:53:02   I'm not getting anything for that.

00:53:03   Of course you backed that.

00:53:04   All right.

00:53:05   I'm not getting anything for that.

00:53:06   Like it's not like the website's going to be public.

00:53:08   All I'm doing by giving any money to this at all is trying to make it so that this website

00:53:13   exists because the guy, he's going to use the money to buy, you know, vintage hardware

00:53:18   to clean it up, to have it professionally photographed, and to put it up on a website.

00:53:22   And I'm basically paying for the entire internet to have access to this thing, paying for him

00:53:27   to do it.

00:53:28   You know, it's not his job.

00:53:29   He's just doing it as like a hobby project, and he doesn't have a lot of money to spend

00:53:31   on the hardware.

00:53:32   So here's some money to put towards your project, because I think it's a fun project, and I

00:53:35   want it to exist in the world.

00:53:38   People are usually okay with that type of Kickstarter.

00:53:40   It's where it gets fuzzy is where you think you're like, where it feels like you're part

00:53:43   of something.

00:53:45   And if you're part of something and it fizzles and you lose that, and it doesn't

00:53:51   ever ship, people feel bad in one way.

00:53:53   But it's almost like people feel worse if you back the Oculus Kickstarter.

00:53:58   And the people at Oculus get fabulously rich, you get no money, and the company's in the

00:54:04   hands of another company that you didn't like.

00:54:06   So it's like a triple whammy there.

00:54:08   I bet these people feel worse than if the company went out of business.

00:54:12   doesn't make any sense, but I think it's just human nature.

00:54:14   Like, you had, you thought you had a lottery ticket, but you didn't.

00:54:18   I mean, I don't think people really thought they had a lottery ticket, but it's just like,

00:54:21   the same people feel like, you know, well, we'll get to the opinions of the people who

00:54:27   backed the Kickstarter a bit specifically.

00:54:30   I have some quotes here from Notch, the guy who made Minecraft, but it's just human nature

00:54:35   to, not so much to feel that you're left out financially, but that you've been betrayed

00:54:40   somehow.

00:54:41   Yeah, I guess that's true. What is it about Facebook that makes it sting so much? And

00:54:51   what I mean is Facebook is very clearly very similar to Google in that they're an advertising

00:54:55   company without question. But nevertheless, somebody tweeted earlier today—I don't

00:55:01   recall who it was—they haven't yet ruined Instagram. All logic says they're going

00:55:08   to, but are we sure that we're going to--that they're going to ruin Oculus? I mean, what

00:55:15   proof do we have that they're going to ruin it?

00:55:18   I'm not entirely sure it matters that it was Facebook that bought it. I think--I mean,

00:55:23   there's only so many companies out there in the tech business that could spend two billion

00:55:27   dollars on something, and, you know, it's a relatively small number, I think. So, you

00:55:33   know, it would have been that much different. Obviously, like, you know, if Google bought

00:55:37   I bet nerds would all be a lot happier about it because nerds love Google for no reason.

00:55:43   If Microsoft bought it, that would be kind of interesting because they're a big tech

00:55:46   company. They need some new stuff to do and they have this gaming business on the sides.

00:55:50   Maybe that's kind of it. If Sony bought it, Sony's developing a competing product. If

00:55:55   Sony bought it, that would be, I think, met with certainly some resistance as well, but

00:56:00   it would be a little bit more clear, "Oh, well, that's more likely that this thing will

00:56:04   actually come out and exist and be for games. But with Facebook buying it, the big question

00:56:10   is what the heck is Facebook going to do with this? Why did the Facebook buy this? That's

00:56:13   the big question. And, I mean, your guess is as good as mine. I think there's certainly

00:56:19   a contingent within Facebook, however paper got produced and shipped, and Facebook Home.

00:56:27   Whatever contingent made these products happen and made them come out and got them out, whether

00:56:32   that includes the top or not.

00:56:35   These people believe that Facebook is about

00:56:37   these really high quality pictures

00:56:39   and following great designers who post great photos

00:56:43   and have really interesting lives

00:56:44   and are somehow always on vacation in California.

00:56:47   But the Facebook that most people see is not that at all,

00:56:52   not even close.

00:56:53   And so it's hard to look at Facebook's core product

00:56:57   and see where this would fit in

00:57:00   in a way that wouldn't be just awful.

00:57:03   But maybe that's not their plan.

00:57:04   I mean, Instagram, as you said,

00:57:06   like Instagram has not been integrated

00:57:08   into Facebook's core product.

00:57:10   I'm sure they're using the data

00:57:11   for all sorts of creepy things,

00:57:12   but the core product of Instagram

00:57:15   has remained a separate thing.

00:57:17   So maybe Oculus will also remain a separate thing.

00:57:21   Why they wanted it is still anyone's guess,

00:57:23   but I think part of the rage and anger

00:57:30   about this is, what the heck does Facebook need this for?

00:57:33   Right, but why did we all kind of give Jeff Bezos, Bezos, whatever his name is, a buy

00:57:39   on The Washington Post? Like, how does that make any more or less sense than this?

00:57:42   Because who cares about The Washington Post? Not a bunch of nerds.

00:57:45   That was like 150 million, though, wasn't it? It's not 2 billion.

00:57:48   And that's also fair, but to me it seems like a very parallel example. If you look

00:57:52   at Amazon's Corp—and I know Amazon didn't buy The Washington Post, but nevertheless,

00:57:58   It's not Amazon's core business, and it's not what Jeff Bezos is used to doing.

00:58:04   And everyone kind of scratched their heads when he bought the post, but it seems like

00:58:08   nobody gave him a buy.

00:58:09   I'm sorry, everyone gave him a buy, and nobody seemed to care.

00:58:15   Whereas when it's a nerdy tech thing, all of a sudden the internet is furious.

00:58:19   Well, we travel in nerdy tech circles.

00:58:21   I put a link in the show that's from, what's his name, his actual name?

00:58:26   person, Notch, the guy who created Minecraft. He was a backer. He gave like

00:58:33   $10,000 or something because he's got tons of money for Minecraft for the

00:58:37   original Oculus Rift, and he was looking forward to developing for it, and he's

00:58:41   very angry that Facebook bought them, and he lays out his reasons in a

00:58:46   post that we'll put in the show notes. The main reason I think that he's angry and that a

00:58:51   lot of people are angry is Oculus's main audience prior to this acquisition was

00:58:54   game developers. Like it was, I guess, gamers too, who wanted this to come, but basically it's game

00:59:00   developers. What good is a headset if you have no games to play on it, and you can't just take an

00:59:03   existing game and slap it in there and expect it to work? They wanted developers to make games

00:59:08   for VR. And he was thinking of making a version of Minecraft custom tailored to VR. And that was

00:59:17   their audience. And that audience is like, and I think rightly so, their objection,

00:59:21   crystallized by this blog post here, is that Facebook is not a game tech company.

00:59:28   They're just not a game company. And any time anything having to do with gaming is owned,

00:59:34   controlled, or influenced in a big way by a company that isn't a gaming company,

00:59:39   gamers distrust it. It's part of the reason that there's this distrust in the gaming industry of

00:59:46   Apple, despite the fact that tons of games sell really well on iOS, Apple still seems

00:59:52   not particularly enthusiastic about games. Like, they don't act like a gaming company.

00:59:58   Like, they'll say, "Oh, look at these great, you know, these games are selling very well,"

01:00:01   and they'll highlight games in their keynotes and stuff, but they're not like a gaming company.

01:00:05   Sony was a great point. If Sony had bought them, people would feel a lot better. I mean,

01:00:08   they'd still whine and complain because, you know, what else? They're always going to whine

01:00:11   and complain. But Sony, thus far, has shown itself to be a very dedicated gaming company.

01:00:16   And that's what people want. They don't want this tech to go off and be used for social things or

01:00:23   video conferencing or like all those things that you could use it for that Notch writes about here.

01:00:28   It's like it could be very good for those things. It could be very good for lots of different

01:00:31   applications. But he's a game developer. He wanted it to be all about games. And he's afraid that a

01:00:37   non-gaming company buying this is going to make it not be about games. Now, this is just what his

01:00:41   fears are, not necessarily what's always going to happen. But he did put another bit here,

01:00:45   speaking of kickstarts, he says, "I did not chip in 10 grand to see the first investment round to

01:00:50   build value for a Facebook acquisition." And he's not bitter because he missed out on money,

01:00:55   because he's got tons of money already. It's just human nature to feel like, "I invested in this

01:01:00   thing, and it seems like my $10,000 was just a little booster to Facebook, and why the heck does

01:01:09   Facebook need my $10,000?" It's like, "Here you go. I'll set this up for you, and you can scoop

01:01:13   scoop it up when it's ready and take it away from us, take it away from us game developers."

01:01:16   And he's saying now he's not going to make Minecraft for it, and we'll see if that happens.

01:01:19   But obviously he's very angry.

01:01:22   But from Facebook's perspective, I totally see why they bought this.

01:01:26   Why?

01:01:27   Facebook has a business where they get everyone's information and they get them to be social

01:01:32   and try to get them to do things on the web and everything.

01:01:35   But I think they see not so much the writing on the wall, but just the evolution of their

01:01:39   product where more people are doing more things than mobile, and that's why they're trying

01:01:42   of the paper stuff. And they're trying, Mark Zuckerberg is nothing if not a student of

01:01:48   tech industry history, and he's trying not to find himself in the same situation lots of other

01:01:52   successful tech companies have been in. He wants to find whatever the next big thing is, and get

01:01:57   there before everyone else does. And when you've got a lot of money, when you're in sort of this

01:02:02   fat part of the growth curve and doing very well, that is the time to try to find out whatever the

01:02:06   next big thing is going to be. Maybe it's not this VR thing, but what if it is? It's a good idea,

01:02:11   it's a safe bet to go find the best VR company, buy them, just in case that turns out to be the

01:02:16   next big thing. Because, I mean, they kind of liniced out a little bit of that on mobile,

01:02:20   like, or actually made some bad bets about doing HTML style mobile apps or whatever.

01:02:24   I think he sees himself like, it's kind of a shame that the name of the company is Facebook,

01:02:29   better if it was called like, ZuckerCo or something, you know, like, where the fact

01:02:34   that it's so identified with that one product, I think he sees a future where, I mean, some

01:02:39   Some people make tweets like, "Facebook is now just a glorified holding company."

01:02:42   But I think he sees a future where Facebook is no longer defined by the product that we

01:02:46   currently know as Facebook, but is merely like a big technology company right up there

01:02:50   with Amazon, Apple, Google, and all these other companies that like, he's trying to

01:02:56   make sure that he's not blindsided by something.

01:02:58   He's trying to sort of not be surprised by the future because he'll be inventing it.

01:03:04   And it's something you can afford to do when you have a lot of money.

01:03:06   And I think it's a reasonable bet, because if this tech works and shrinks and becomes

01:03:10   really good, it is attractive in ways to regular people.

01:03:16   People are like, "Oh, no regular person is going to put on the big giant headset, even

01:03:19   to play a game, let alone regular people who are going to talk to their grandma."

01:03:23   But accelerate this forward 25 years.

01:03:25   Who knows how big that headset will be?

01:03:27   Who knows how attractive it will be for people?

01:03:32   If he is in control of that technology evolution because he's got the best people in the world

01:03:38   doing VR and he very well may have them now, that sets Facebook up to not be irrelevant

01:03:44   once Facebook itself, as we currently know, starts to become irrelevant.

01:03:49   Maybe Facebook really just wants to own any way to simulate interacting with people without

01:03:55   actually having to interact with people.

01:03:57   Very well could be.

01:03:59   I don't know, I have some thoughts on this, but before I get to the...do you want to tell

01:04:03   us about something else that's really fun?

01:04:06   Igloo is an intranet you will actually like. Now, most people think of intranets as old,

01:04:11   stale, terrible places that the corporate overlords make you go to when you just want

01:04:15   to use Dropbox or WordPress or something that actually works from the real world out here

01:04:19   that helps you get your work done. Igloo brings the ease of use and familiarity from consumer

01:04:24   software into your corporate environment by using familiar apps like shared calendars,

01:04:29   Twitter like micro blogs, file sharing and more.

01:04:32   Every piece of content can be social, with comments and like buttons and each team in

01:04:37   your company can configure their own workspace within your igloo.

01:04:41   That's all great for users, but what if you're in charge of IT?

01:04:44   Well igloo is very IT friendly, they handle the security, the hosting and the management

01:04:48   for you.

01:04:49   They are SOC 2, that's S-O-C-2, that's probably a business thing, you guys know about business,

01:04:53   business. Is that a business thing?

01:04:54   No idea.

01:04:55   Well, anyway, they're SOC 2 Type 2 compliant, and they host data securely in SOC 2 Type

01:05:00   1 enterprise facilities in Canada on their own servers. They offer 256-bit SSL. See,

01:05:05   now I actually know about this. All right, back to English. 256-bit SSL, backups, disaster

01:05:10   recovery, single-tenant and shared environments, integration with many authentication and sync

01:05:14   systems including SAML, oh boy, back to you, SAML services and LDAP and more. Igloo can

01:05:20   even work with HIPAA compliant organizations, John.

01:05:23   - HIPAA, you don't have to say HIPAA, just say HIPAA.

01:05:26   - I feel like I should spend more time on a AA.

01:05:30   You can customize everything inside your Igloo

01:05:31   with the ability to add CSS and JavaScript globally

01:05:34   across one team or even on a single page.

01:05:37   Very customizable.

01:05:38   You can see all this on the Igloo website.

01:05:40   It's actually built on their platform.

01:05:42   Go to igloosoftware.com/, ready for this?

01:05:46   Casey.

01:05:47   - All right.

01:05:48   igloosoftware.com/casey. They've made a funny landing page about why SharePoint

01:05:52   sucks and why igloo is so much better. They've been a longtime friend of us, me,

01:05:58   my site, this show, everything, so check them out. igloosoftware.com/casey.

01:06:03   Thanks a lot to igloo for sponsoring our show once again.

01:06:06   This is all about, the very top headline is "Challenged by SharePoint?" and as

01:06:11   someone who has been paid, or was, I haven't done it in a while now, who has paid for a long

01:06:16   time to make SharePoint intranets for companies. And I did a build actually, it was either

01:06:22   earlier this year, last year, that I did think went well because it was a very, very straightforward

01:06:28   build. But my prior job, I did a lot of SharePoint builds that were terrible. And Igloo certainly

01:06:34   looks a lot better for almost every particular, for almost every use you can think of. So

01:06:40   thank you very much guys. And for the special Casey landing page, I feel so honored.

01:06:44   you should.

01:06:45   All right, so I said right before the break that I had a couple of thoughts on this. And

01:06:50   really I think, I have a thought about Kickstarter, which maybe we'll get to, maybe we won't,

01:06:54   but about Oculus and Facebook. I almost feel like Facebook, the business, the website and

01:07:03   the ad sales are really just subsidizing doing all the crap Mark wants to do. And I think

01:07:09   you were kind of getting to that, Jon, in that Facebook is getting Mark Zuckerberg all

01:07:14   this money and in the company, all this money, so that they can go out and just goof off

01:07:19   and try different things. And so if that really is the case, that doesn't, in and of itself,

01:07:28   lead me to believe that they're going to ruin it with ads and just generally make it suck.

01:07:34   With that said, remind me of this in five years or whatever when Oculus is full of ads

01:07:39   and terrible, but I don't know that there is a straight line from today directly into ads or

01:07:45   I don't think that it's guaranteed anyway.

01:07:48   Well, they're not goofing off there, because there is a theme to what they're doing. Like they're trying to do it like social, like interactions like

01:07:55   Marco sarcastically said before, like interactions when you're not actually there with the people, because that's what Facebook, the product, the website is more or less about.

01:08:03   And VR, if it becomes a viable technology, is well suited to that application to sort

01:08:09   of, you know, telepresence or whatever you want to call it, where you are not with somebody,

01:08:13   but make it seem as close to actually being with them as possible.

01:08:18   And this could be the beginning of a technology that has applications.

01:08:21   So there is a theme to what they're doing, like Instagram, WhatsApp, those are all social

01:08:24   things, is how people communicate and share things with each other across great distances.

01:08:29   So I think there definitely is a theme.

01:08:30   I think it's not kind of like Google self-driving cars, kind of like pie-in-the-sky nerd stuff.

01:08:35   You could draw a dotted line around this all and say, potentially transformative social

01:08:40   technologies, either current transformative ones like WhatsApp with the bazillion users

01:08:44   and everything, or Facebook, which of course, where people share pictures of their kids and

01:08:49   talk to each other, and then future things as well. So I think it makes some sense in that

01:08:54   respect. And I don't think they're just goofing off. But yeah, that's the question is like,

01:09:00   The Doomsday scenario is that lots of people had lots of graphics of this. I think there was a

01:09:04   Simpsons episode where they showed Facebook of the future where, no, it was Farmville. It was

01:09:10   like Farmville VR where a bunch of people with VR headsets and hedge clippers in their hands. And

01:09:14   then there was the Oatmeal comic showing Facebook VR from a couple years ago as well. And I don't

01:09:21   think that that's what they're going to do immediately either. It's like, "VR way to go

01:09:25   through your Facebook timeline and post things to your wall." No, I don't see that at all.

01:09:30   And that's, I think that wasn't their pitch. Like here's the, a couple quotes I grabbed from

01:09:34   Palmer Lucky, which I think is his real name, and a pretty good name for someone whose company just

01:09:38   got bought for $2 billion. Here's what they think they're getting out of this deal with Facebook.

01:09:45   He listed three items. This is on his Reddit thing, responding to people on Reddit. He says,

01:09:49   "One, we can make custom hardware and not rely on the scraps of the mobile phone industry." So

01:09:53   basically, their Oculus Rift that they currently made was like they would buy some screens that

01:09:57   they were intended for cell phones and they would put them in a case that they designed

01:10:01   and put some chips in there and try to wire it together. But they couldn't do what Apple

01:10:05   does, which is actually make custom hardware because it's just so expensive they didn't

01:10:08   have the money. $2.5 billion is how much Apple probably spends figuring out how to make the

01:10:14   – I was going to say Lightning connector, but Lightning connector probably cost way

01:10:17   more than $2.5 million to develop. So anyway, custom hardware is really expensive. And now

01:10:22   through Facebook promising them, "Hey, we've got tons of money. Now you can do real hardware

01:10:26   development."

01:10:27   Number two, we can afford to hire everyone we need, the best people that fit into our

01:10:30   culture of excellence in all aspects.

01:10:32   Anyway, they can afford to hire.

01:10:35   Previously their big hire was John Carmack.

01:10:37   I assumed he was hired with the knowledge that they were going to sell the company,

01:10:40   and I'm assuming he got a big piece of that because that's how you get John Carmack to

01:10:44   come work for your no-name company.

01:10:45   You tell them, "We may be a no-name company, but what we're doing is really cool, and we're

01:10:49   going to be bought by Facebook soon, and it's going to be a lot of money."

01:10:53   And again, not that John Carmack needs the money.

01:10:54   I think he was attracted by the technology, but I'm sure that didn't hurt and I'm sure he got a piece of it

01:10:58   And number three is we can make huge investments in content more news soon

01:11:02   What that translates to me is they're trying to get big game developers on there

01:11:07   So like it's half-life 3 gonna come to the oculus rift or whatever and they throw a bunch of money at valve who by the way

01:11:12   Is also working on VR stuff. So maybe there's some partnership there

01:11:15   But basically if you want to make this a viable gaming platform, you got to have the games

01:11:18   How do you get the games you throw money at different game developers more or less?

01:11:22   So I'm assuming that's that's what they mean

01:11:24   And he also added comments of like someone asking about you know

01:11:29   What about selling to like Microsoft and Apple?

01:11:30   He says why we want to sell to someone like Microsoft or Apple so they can tear our company apart and use the pieces to

01:11:35   Build their own vision of virtual reality one that fits whatever current strategy they have not a chance

01:11:39   So he's saying that if Apple had bought them all they'd be doing is say we just want your tech or your patents and forget

01:11:44   About this product you were making we're gonna use it to do like the next whatever the hell we're gonna do

01:11:48   Like we don't we're not interested in your product

01:11:50   We just want your tech or Microsoft like oh, we're just gonna make this an Xbox accessory and forget about what you've made and

01:11:55   The impression of the company is that Facebook is going to let them essentially do exactly what they were planning to do along exactly the same

01:12:02   You know same schedule just now the timeline is accelerated

01:12:06   Now the price of the product is lower because they can you know, they can subsidize it

01:12:09   With Facebook's big bankroll they can do custom hardware like they think it's basically

01:12:15   We're gonna do exactly what we were gonna do before but better and that may actually be the case for the first few years

01:12:21   Anyway until Facebook sees where this goes like that's the whole thing with these acquisitions people agree to acquisitions and they say all these things like oh

01:12:28   Don't worry. Nothing will change

01:12:29   They told us everything's gonna be the same and I think they really believe it and I think they really were told those things

01:12:35   But like what no one wants to dwell on is like once you are no longer in control of your own company once once the buck

01:12:40   No longer stops with you

01:12:41   eventually several years down the line and there's going to be a difference of opinion and you're going to get overruled and you're going to

01:12:46   I mean, I know you know this intellectually that you're not in charge anymore, but at a certain point it's going to come home

01:12:50   Oh, I'm not in charge of quote-unquote my company anymore

01:12:53   Someone else is and they want us to do whatever and then you know, that's when founders leave their shares have vested

01:12:59   They're disgruntled they leave on so so terms and like it maybe they're fine with it

01:13:04   But like this is a honeymoon period where everybody thinks it's going to be a win-win-win

01:13:08   They think we're gonna get to exactly what we always wanted to do and we'll get to do it better

01:13:12   And maybe they really will

01:13:14   But at some point down the line is going to be difference of opinion in it

01:13:17   And that's probably where they're going to part ways so I don't want to be pessimistic about it

01:13:21   But I'm actually more optimistic than I think most nerds about the situation and that I think this does give oculus

01:13:27   Some breathing room to try to do a good job with this tech I

01:13:31   Just wonder after a couple years of this if they have not hit it off in the gaming space and not hit it off

01:13:38   in like the world of social, how long will Facebook keep funneling money into this in

01:13:43   the hopes that it will turn into something big for them?

01:13:45   I don't know. Did it take a long time for AOL to ruin Winamp when they bought—because

01:13:51   they bought all of Nullsoft, is that right?

01:13:54   I mean, that was a special case, I think, because Justin—what's his name?

01:14:00   Frankel? Something like that?

01:14:02   Yeah, right, yeah. He, I mean AOL is just dumb to even buy him because he very much

01:14:10   like could not possibly work for some dumb big corporation, like he does not have the

01:14:15   personality for that at all, with quite comical results. Gotta give the guy credit. He actually

01:14:24   got an impressive amount of subterfuge done while he was there. But, you know, I don't

01:14:33   think that's a great example, but I think, I mean, Oculus is too young for Facebook to

01:14:41   necessarily ruin it. I think the big question is, what will they do with it? I don't know.

01:14:48   Here's another quote from Palmer Lucky from an article.

01:14:52   This was posted as an image with no attribution by Jeff Hatwood.

01:14:55   So I don't know where this came from, but this is a quote when he was asked about selling

01:14:59   Oculus.

01:15:00   I'm assuming this was many months ago, perhaps more than a year ago.

01:15:03   He says, "We want to do things our way.

01:15:05   There are certainly people who are interested, but we have a vision for our consumer product

01:15:08   and we know that we're going to be able to pull it off.

01:15:10   We don't want to be assimilated into someone who's going to have us working on their own

01:15:13   product or their own vision for VR.

01:15:15   We want to be able to deliver our own vision of what VR is."

01:15:19   And so the interviewer says, "So even a company like Amazon made a huge offer?

01:15:22   It wouldn't matter?"

01:15:23   And I hear quoting Palmer again, "Nobody can say it doesn't matter.

01:15:25   Everybody has a number.

01:15:26   But I don't think there's a reasonable number that would make me say, 'You know, I was going

01:15:29   to change the world with VR and try to change humanity forever, but here's a number.'"

01:15:33   Well, apparently there was a number, and that number was two billion.

01:15:38   That's kind of unfair.

01:15:41   These are quotes from him.

01:15:42   I don't slam him for this because like I think everybody does have a number

01:15:45   but really like this is consistent with what he's currently saying now, which is that he didn't want to

01:15:50   do someone else's vision of VR.

01:15:53   He wanted to do his vision and Facebook came to him with a big number and said

01:15:57   with this big number you get to do your vision of VR.

01:16:00   We don't want to take it and make it into some other product or just subsume your tech into some existing thing.

01:16:05   Even like, you know, absorbing your tech into like the next Xbox thing.

01:16:09   they have their vision of VR and they want to pull it off and Facebook came to them apparently and

01:16:12   said, "You can do your vision. We will help you do it. We believe in it too." And so I think

01:16:18   like people pulling this out, it's like to show that he was hypocritical or whatever, but

01:16:21   first of all, I don't begrudge people selling out. I don't feel bad about that at all because

01:16:26   I know I would sell it in a second. But like he's getting to do his vision of VR. And that's what I

01:16:35   think is important. Like if you look at John Carmack's tweets, whatever, like what is their

01:16:37   vision of VR? Is it just that you play cool games on it? Both Palmer and Carmack both seem to have,

01:16:44   what I'm reading between the lines, is that their vision of VR is like, you know,

01:16:49   Casey's favorite book, Ready Player One, or Snow Crash or anything like that. All the future six

01:16:54   scenarios are like you just jack into the matrix, you know, whatever, like any sort of 90s bad,

01:16:59   like the original dream of VR, that you were going to be in this virtual world and it would be like

01:17:03   you were really there and there will be this other world. It's like Second Life, but you know,

01:17:07   How many times have we taken runs at this?

01:17:09   I think the closest we've come is probably something like World of Warcraft,

01:17:12   which is not like VR at all, but is very absorbing.

01:17:15   I think that's their vision of VR, like the potential, the future potential of VR.

01:17:20   And Carmack had said, like, Facebook is good at scaling,

01:17:22   and if we're going to do VR right, it's going to require scaling.

01:17:25   He's not talking about, oh, if we're going to do VR right,

01:17:27   meaning if we're going to make a really cool first-person shooter in VR.

01:17:30   Scaling, he means like the entire world in like a virtual world,

01:17:34   all wearing our headsets, all interacting or whatever.

01:17:36   That appears to be their vision, and I'm not sure if that's a good vision, or if that's a feasible vision, or if they're just all kidding themselves.

01:17:45   It's clear that right now they're concentrating on just making good games, which I think is a good idea.

01:17:49   But if you look at it from that perspective, it kind of starts to make a little bit of sense.

01:17:54   Like that tweet that Casey actually got the reference in.

01:17:58   If you're gonna make the actual real-world equivalent of Oasis from Ready Player One,

01:18:04   Facebook plus Oculus is like, it makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

01:18:08   Yeah, that was exactly what I was thinking. And I don't know, I'm not sure that's the future and I'm not sure that I

01:18:16   really like the idea of a Ready Player One style future, but it does make sense.

01:18:22   You're absolutely right.

01:18:23   And I think you hit the nail on the head a moment ago when you said it's

01:18:26   It's not really mutually exclusive to think for for the Palmer to say hey

01:18:32   We have a number and then to sell to Facebook

01:18:34   I think what he was referring to we have a number of like a you know

01:18:37   100 billion dollars or whatever if Apple were to buy us, but he genuinely seems to believe that

01:18:42   Him being his company being bought for 2 billion is just a bonus

01:18:48   It's icing on the cake for the fact that he can still do exactly what he's always planned to do

01:18:52   So they're not mutually exclusive in his mind. So I think you got that exactly right.

01:18:56   I don't know, as much as I loved Ready Player One, and as much as I know you didn't,

01:19:01   I don't think I want that for our future. But maybe I'm just being an old man.

01:19:06   I would also, going back a step, John, you used the word "vision" a lot in the last

01:19:11   few minutes, and talking about the vision they have for this product. And vision, I

01:19:16   think is overrated and overestimated in that I think the public thinks that people have

01:19:25   a lot more of a vision in place, like a predetermined vision in place, than they really do. And

01:19:32   for a product like this, it's pretty much paving new ground. It's going off in this

01:19:39   direction that has never worked before and doing it with much newer technology and much

01:19:44   more advanced stuff than has ever been tried before. This is the kind of thing, like most

01:19:50   products and services where there's somebody at the top who appears to have a vision, this

01:19:55   is the kind of thing where the vision probably stretches out for the next six months, or

01:20:01   you know, maybe twelve months at the most. And the person might have this dream of future

01:20:06   things where somehow in five years or in ten years this is where it's going to be, but

01:20:10   in reality as a product goes on, you're never going to get there. They're going to change

01:20:13   they're gonna edit, they're gonna adapt over time,

01:20:16   they're going to adapt to shifting market forces.

01:20:20   As they try things, they're gonna realize,

01:20:22   oh, this actually doesn't work well,

01:20:23   but this other thing does, so let's do this other thing

01:20:25   instead, like everything is going to be edited

01:20:28   and shifted over time and adjusted based on where things

01:20:31   are going and how things have gone for them so far.

01:20:35   And so you might think in theory that they have this vision

01:20:40   and Facebook's not gonna interfere with it,

01:20:42   But the reality is being owned by Facebook will inherently interfere with it because

01:20:48   their vision is going to be adjusted over time.

01:20:50   So in a year, when they have to make some little decision, the fact that they are owned

01:20:55   by Facebook will on some level inform that decision.

01:20:58   And so the vision, whatever vision was set out, you know, by some guy having visions,

01:21:04   whatever was set out ahead of time is malleable and not guaranteed.

01:21:09   And the acquisition will definitely change that.

01:21:12   And so what Oculus will become and what they will do and the products they will make and

01:21:16   all the decisions they will make will definitely be influenced by this.

01:21:21   And some of those will be for the better and some of them won't be.

01:21:24   But you know, there isn't like... people say Steve Jobs is this great visionary and the

01:21:30   fact is Steve Jobs was a really great editor and a really... and he had very good sensibilities

01:21:37   of where things were going soon.

01:21:40   But even his ideas for where things would be like in 10 years were not that frequently

01:21:47   expressed first of all, but not usually that spot on, I bet.

01:21:51   You know, he adjusted as he went.

01:21:54   He saw opportunities and took them.

01:21:56   He didn't have all of his products planned out 10 years ahead of time.

01:22:00   You know, that's part of the seduction of acquiring companies, that the acquirer always

01:22:05   has to convince the founder of the small startup that they share their vision.

01:22:08   I think the difficulty comes in that Facebook will convince them that they share the vision,

01:22:15   but Facebook shares the vision on a much shorter timescale. Like, well, let's see if this works

01:22:19   out. Whereas the founders of Oculus believe in this vision, like as in a lifetime, they are

01:22:24   never going to give it up. So if Facebook decides to sort of pivot, as they say in current parlance,

01:22:30   or, you know, edit the vision, then they're going to come in conflict with the founders.

01:22:34   They'll be like, "No, no, we still have the original vision. What do you mean?" It's like,

01:22:37   like, "Yeah, well, but we're your bosses now, so tough luck." So that's what I was getting

01:22:40   at before that's going to come to a head in a few years if things don't work out.

01:22:44   And in the small picture, it is important to like, it's great to have a vision, but

01:22:47   like, what are you making now? Are you going to make a product that people like, and do

01:22:51   you have a way to make money from it, or to make money from something else until it can

01:22:55   come into something that makes money? So you need to concentrate on that, because if you

01:22:59   just have this vision, you're not going to get there.

01:23:02   But the case of Steve Jobs, I think he's a great example because he had a vision from

01:23:08   the time he was 20 years old of how computing should be.

01:23:16   And it would not be—it took him like 30 years to get to that vision.

01:23:23   And along the way, he tried all sorts of different directions.

01:23:25   He tried the Mac, he tried Next.

01:23:27   did the laptops and the iPods and the iPhones. I would say that the iPad is essentially the

01:23:37   culmination of his vision of what computing should be like. If you go back to—I think he gave a

01:23:41   speech to some computer user group in 1983 that you can find the audio version of—and just go

01:23:47   and listen to it, and you're like, "He's describing the iPad." In vague terms, not

01:23:51   specifically, "Oh, it's going to be this, that, and the other thing," but the vision that computing

01:23:55   should be simple and not have lots of fidgety bits and not have a lot of indirection and,

01:24:02   you know, be portable and wireless and all kind of like sci-fi/fantasy things.

01:24:05   But like, that vision sounds all wishy-washy and it's like, how does that help you make

01:24:08   the Mac?

01:24:09   Well, it doesn't.

01:24:10   How does it help you make the next?

01:24:11   Well, it doesn't really, right?

01:24:12   But maintaining that vision over his entire life was like kind of his guiding force led

01:24:17   him in the direction of, if I'm not sure where I want to go, like, if you zoom back on his

01:24:22   entire life and career, you can see it as an entire lifetime spent trying to get to

01:24:31   this ideal and finding lots of dead ends along the way and lots of fruitful things and lots

01:24:35   of distractions, but just never letting go of that idea that essentially the iPad is

01:24:40   what computing should be like.

01:24:42   Actually, he probably thought it should be even simpler and even cheaper and even lighter,

01:24:46   but he didn't live long enough to see it happening.

01:24:48   But that being your guiding principle, not being married to some specific idea like it's

01:24:52   It's got to be an earpiece or it's got to be even a VR headset or something.

01:24:56   But a broad vision of where you want to go really helps you, guides you as you're going

01:25:03   along these steps of like, oh, we have to adjust.

01:25:05   Oh, the situation has changed and the realities have changed.

01:25:07   Like that's all well and good and you have to do that.

01:25:09   But if you don't have like an overall vision, you will find yourself going off into one

01:25:13   of those tangents and then continuing that direction, like plowing forward in that direction,

01:25:17   forgetting about what your original vision of.

01:25:18   and you will find yourself very far away from where you were, where you intended to go,

01:25:24   because you just found a fruitful avenue in another direction. And I think, I'm not sure

01:25:27   what Mark Zuckerberg's vision of the future is, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't agree with the

01:25:31   the Oculus guys. And yeah, that will probably come to a head. But I do think that the Oculus,

01:25:38   their vision, like having vision and having a clear one is an important thing if you ever want

01:25:44   to get there over the course of a 30-year career despite all the different twists and

01:25:48   turns you take.

01:25:50   Do you think Zuckerberg has a vision beyond today? If you look at what Facebook is doing

01:25:56   – and I mean, Zuckerberg's a really, really sharp guy. Even though I don't use Facebook

01:26:03   and I don't really care for what it is, I can't deny that Zuckerberg is a genius

01:26:09   in so many ways and especially astute with the business of technology and being the business

01:26:16   that he's in. Do you think he knows what's next? Because it seems like Facebook has maybe plateaued

01:26:26   in a way that, and again because I don't use it regularly it's hard for me to really say this

01:26:33   this authoritatively, but it seems like he had a vision

01:26:37   for where it was roughly two or three years ago.

01:26:40   He got there, and then it's been, ever since then,

01:26:43   it's been like, well, now what?

01:26:45   And kinda looking around, like, well,

01:26:47   I guess I could try this or this or this,

01:26:49   but it seems like he was really focused and driven

01:26:54   to achieve what it was two years ago,

01:26:57   and has not had a clear idea of what to do since then,

01:26:59   and that's why we've seen some weird experiments

01:27:02   weird moves from them since then. And maybe that's what some of these recent acquisitions

01:27:07   are about, because he is trying to find out what's going to be next, because what Facebook

01:27:13   is right now seems like it's kind of done.

01:27:18   I think he's a perfect example of a second-generation tech mogul. Not living generation, but second-crop

01:27:25   tech mogul. Another Ready Player One analogy is the protagonist in Ready Player One didn't

01:27:31   through the 80s but he's a student of 80s culture and so he's able to interact with that. But anyway,

01:27:35   Zuckerberg I think looks at Gates and Jobs and you know even in some respects the founders of Google

01:27:41   are a little bit in the second generation as well. Like the you know IBM and Apple and all those

01:27:46   things as like kind of that's his version of history. Like I want to be like those guys but

01:27:53   smarter so let me look at what all the things that they did and when I start my company I'm not going

01:27:57   make the same mistakes. And so we started out very early not making the mistake, arguably,

01:28:01   that Oculus has made or whatever of not selling your company. Yahoo offered him billions. I think

01:28:05   Microsoft offered him billions. He had billions of dollars thrown in his face so many times.

01:28:10   And every time he turned it down, every time he turned it down, the number was bigger. And people

01:28:13   would say, "I can't believe this kid is turning down all this money. What a fool. He's going to

01:28:16   be screwed." But he knew that step one, if you want to be a big boy in the tech industry, don't

01:28:21   Don't sell your company to somebody.

01:28:24   Or even in Steve Jobs' case,

01:28:25   don't bring in a CEO who's gonna run the company for you

01:28:29   or whatever.

01:28:30   Keep control, don't sell out,

01:28:32   because that's like a prerequisite.

01:28:33   Because if you sell out, you're never gonna be one.

01:28:35   You're just gonna be a footnote.

01:28:36   You're never gonna be the big guy.

01:28:37   So he did that early on.

01:28:40   And then now, make a great product,

01:28:43   make it something that people want, become worldwide.

01:28:45   Like that's the Facebook that we know of.

01:28:47   And now he's at the phase of like, okay,

01:28:49   now I don't wanna make the other mistake people make,

01:28:51   which is like Microsoft, once you get a personal computer

01:28:53   on every desk running Microsoft software,

01:28:56   then what do you do?

01:28:57   You're like the dog who bought the car.

01:28:59   Don't paralyze yourself.

01:29:01   Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

01:29:03   Branch out, figure out what's next,

01:29:06   and get there before everybody else.

01:29:08   And if you make mistakes, correct them quickly.

01:29:10   And so he's going off the playbook,

01:29:12   the failed playbook of everyone who's come before him

01:29:14   that he, I assume, looks up to and admires,

01:29:16   and trying to be smarter about it,

01:29:17   which is a total nerd move.

01:29:20   like use your brain power to try to not make the mistakes that the people you admire had made.

01:29:25   And in some ways it reminds me of Pixar, the whole idea that like the creative process,

01:29:29   we can figure out what works and what doesn't and come up with a system as unorthodox as it might be,

01:29:34   which is truly a nerd's way to foster creativity. Like, but you know, not relying on tradition and

01:29:40   convention and egos and not worrying about who has power or whatever, just concentrating on like,

01:29:46   what works, what can we measure, what can we do that actually makes good products, and if something

01:29:53   doesn't work, change it. That, I think, is his MO. I think his lack of vision, as far as I can tell,

01:29:58   I don't know what his personal vision is, other than to, like, it's a little bit like Bill Gates,

01:30:02   like, be the victor in the technology world, like, to be the biggest one. That is not a,

01:30:08   some people wouldn't call that an admirable vision, but it's like a, I don't know, it's not

01:30:13   Steve Jobs' vision where he wanted to do something for humanity and change the world.

01:30:17   I don't know what Zuckerberg's vision is, I think it would help if he had one, but right now he's

01:30:20   doing better than a lot of the people who came in the generations before him merely because he gets

01:30:24   to learn from all their mistakes. Yeah. What else is cool these days, other than Oculus?

01:30:30   HelpSpot. Casey, are you still using email clients for customer support?

01:30:36   Sure. Well, as you know, you are probably losing track of important tickets,

01:30:42   or you're trying to use Mark as unread as an organizational tool or the flag, you know,

01:30:46   and you're probably still IMing your coworkers to see who's working on what.

01:30:49   This is a mess. It's time to get organized.

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01:30:56   HelpSpot, on the other hand, is focused. It deals only with customer inquiries and

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01:31:14   Some of them are around $600 per user per year, for instance.

01:31:17   HelpSpot is just $299 per user, one time,

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01:31:38   And HelpSpot has been around for a long time.

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01:32:18   Thank you very much to HelpSpot for sponsoring our show.

01:32:21   - I got one more thing for the chat room on Oculus.

01:32:24   Someone posted a while back in the chat room

01:32:26   a quote that John Carmack made on Slashdot in 1999

01:32:29   that I actually remember reading in 1999

01:32:32   and not because I'm assuming where this person saw

01:32:34   that a lot of people are retweeting it

01:32:36   or digging it up today.

01:32:37   And the quote was, I think it was in one of his interviews on Slashdot, "Making Snow

01:32:41   Crash into a reality feels like a sort of moral imperative to a lot of programmers,

01:32:45   but the efforts that have been made so far leave a lot to be desired."

01:32:47   Obviously, this was in 1999, but his description of that making Snow Crash real is a moral

01:32:53   imperative to a lot of programmers, I'm assuming meaning himself, says all you need to know

01:32:57   about why is John Kromback joining this company.

01:32:59   I mean, if you think back to what Quake was supposed to be before it actually became a

01:33:03   or product like the idea that was gonna be like this virtual world and more like an RPG and

01:33:07   Trading items with people until it just became a first-person shooter

01:33:11   But then quake world where you could connect people over the internet like his entire career has been making steps in that direction

01:33:16   Like we wouldn't have this VR stuff if we didn't have all the 3d stuff that he pioneered

01:33:21   So it makes perfect sense to me. I think I can see what Carmack's vision is. He lays it out more or less

01:33:26   It's like he he read snow crash. He said yes, I want to go to there and he's been working towards that ever since

01:33:32   We'll see what happens. A lot of people have asked about this, speaking of Facebook,

01:33:37   this Facebook hack language, language extension thing. And Marco, you wrote a post about it,

01:33:45   but I didn't know if you had any other commentary you may want to share, if you could summarize

01:33:50   what your thoughts are on all this.

01:33:52   Well, I don't have a lot more to say. I think it's really interesting. So as a quick

01:33:56   overview hack is Facebook's, basically it's a modification in addition to the PHP language.

01:34:04   So they've taken PHP and they, a couple years ago they made this hip hop compiler that would

01:34:11   compile PHP to C++, that way it can be compiled to binary and be way faster. And they've actually

01:34:17   replaced that with something called HHVM for hip hop VM and that was about a year ago they

01:34:24   released that and it's basically a super high performance PHP JIT compiler runtime. And

01:34:34   PHP has had optimizing caching bytecode compilers before, it actually comes with one, but hip

01:34:41   hop is way faster. It's like 2 to 10 times faster and useless memory and everything else.

01:34:46   So it's pretty substantial.

01:34:49   So what they've done now is they've taken this HHVM project and they've said, "Well,

01:34:57   now that we've re-implemented all of PHP in a faster way, let's start customizing it more

01:35:03   to our tastes."

01:35:04   So they've added things to the language.

01:35:06   Most substantially they added optional static typing and type hinting, which is really,

01:35:10   really great.

01:35:12   one thing that I would love to have that. So, Hack is basically PHP plus some stuff,

01:35:21   including most significantly static typing optionally.

01:35:25   So, it's very, very interesting. I think, you know, PHP has always been a language where,

01:35:34   as I said in my post, it has not been stewarded well. It never was. You know, it's famously

01:35:42   with that awesome article about PHP being a fractal of bad design, we'll link to that

01:35:46   in the chat, I love that article so much.

01:35:49   It is not a well-designed language.

01:35:51   The people who make the decisions about what should go into it and the syntax and what

01:35:57   it should be called, what method should be called and everything have made a lot of bad

01:36:01   decisions over the years.

01:36:04   But it is an eminently practical language.

01:36:08   And that's why I use it.

01:36:09   I like it a lot and I don't love it. And I think, you know, I got a lot of crap for saying

01:36:17   in the article, PHP is not a great language, but it is a good language. And I didn't get

01:36:24   a lot of crap from people who I know to be experienced programmers. And I'm not saying

01:36:29   that everyone who said crap to me about that is a noob or anything, but I think if you

01:36:36   can look at the language you're using, like, this is actually a good way to bring you guys

01:36:40   into this discussion, so it's not just me talking to nobody for a while. Are there any

01:36:46   programming languages that you know well enough to say are great?

01:36:50   I don't know if I'd say C# is great. I'd say I have very similar opinions as you do of

01:36:58   PHP in that I think it's really, really good. I think it's been used to write some real,

01:37:03   real crap, but I think it's extremely powerful and can be bent to do almost anything. But,

01:37:09   you know, that flexibility comes with some costs. I don't know, what do you think,

01:37:13   Jon?

01:37:14   See, "probably" qualifies as a great language. Not to do anything in particular, just because

01:37:20   now we're so far away from it's like, it's time of usefulness that, like, it has only

01:37:27   a few warts on it, and what it was designed to do, it does really well without getting

01:37:31   in your way. I guess it's probably as close as I can find to a language that's great.

01:37:37   Because if you think of what's awkward and weird about C, you're not going to say, "Oh,

01:37:40   it's got pointers." Well, yes, that's the whole point. The level of language exists that.

01:37:44   Maybe you don't want to use it to make a modern program, but for what it does,

01:37:50   it's pretty good. Go maybe—I'm hesitant to say Go because Go is kind of like C done right,

01:37:57   but now we're in a different age and maybe Go is a little bit too low level to be a great language.

01:38:06   But I haven't used it enough to say, but it's kind of like C with the bad thing shaved off,

01:38:10   and then I added a bunch of other stuff too. But maybe something in that thing. Any of the

01:38:14   more modern languages—it's true of any programming language—the more you know about it, the more you

01:38:19   see all the warts and all the horrible things about it. Except for PHP, where you don't have

01:38:22   know that well to see all the warts because it's covered in warts. It is all wart. But yeah,

01:38:28   just think of anybody, like the more you know a language, the more you just are disgusted by it,

01:38:34   because if you use it for real and become an expert in it, you'll know where all the bodies

01:38:38   are buried and you'll just feel bad about it. But it's difficult. Anything that is in widespread use

01:38:45   and grows quickly and, you know, even in the best case scenario, is going to eventually

01:38:51   accumulate cruft and, you know, PHP and C++, for example, started out with a hell of a

01:38:56   lot of cruft from the beginning and just got worse.

01:38:59   Right. I mean, you know, PHP started out as a pretty terrible language and became a good

01:39:05   language over time. But I think you're exactly right, John. My point in saying this is that

01:39:12   I feel like when you learn a new language, you go through these stages. First, it's unfamiliar

01:39:16   to you. And generally, your opinion of the language at that point tends to be extreme.

01:39:23   Either this is terrible because you're being forced to use it for something, either through

01:39:27   work or you have to use a certain language to be on a certain platform or whatever else.

01:39:31   And you know, we've had, when I first looked at Objective-C, I thought, well, this is a

01:39:35   ridiculous language. There's brackets all over the place. What the hell are they doing

01:39:38   with these method names? What is that? Why are those parentheses there? And what's the

01:39:41   the plus do and all this sort of crap of like, why can't they just use words like everyone

01:39:45   else? Like, you know, it was, you look at this and it's unfamiliar to you. And so, if

01:39:50   you're being forced or coerced to use it for some other reason, that's usually you look

01:39:55   at it and say, "This is terrible." If you're learning it because it's the new cool thing

01:40:00   and you really want to learn it, you might have the opposite extreme reaction of, "Everything

01:40:04   is awesome. Oh my God, this is great. This is totally the way forward. This is going

01:40:08   to be amazing. And then as you learn more of the language, as you have more experience

01:40:13   with it, your opinion tends to move towards the middle in some way. Like, you start to

01:40:20   go, "Okay, now I'm getting a little more familiar with it. It's not as bad as I thought, or

01:40:25   it's not as good as I thought." And you start seeing, "Okay, well, here are the things that

01:40:30   are decent with this, and I think I'm getting the hang of it." And a lot of times, your

01:40:33   opinions of the language's shortcomings at that point are actually your shortcomings

01:40:38   and knowing it, because you might not think it has a good way to do X because you don't

01:40:43   know a better way to do it, but there is a better way to do it and you just haven't learned

01:40:46   it yet. And then as you tend to get more expertise in a language, as you become an expert in

01:40:51   it and really get a lot of experience, that I think, the wisdom that you reach at that

01:40:59   point usually is, "Okay, this is actually a pretty good language. Like, I can see what

01:41:05   they were going for, I see why things are done the way they're done, I see, oh, well,

01:41:11   you know, here's this cool new way to do this thing that I didn't know about before, and

01:41:15   all the code I wrote before this point was crap, now I'm going to rewrite all that stuff

01:41:18   the right way, because now I know this language much better, this is great." And then a year

01:41:23   after that, you're still writing this language, and then you start seeing, "Okay, actually,

01:41:27   these parts of the language are really getting in my way.

01:41:30   Now I know that this is just a wall here.

01:41:32   Like there is no way past this with this language

01:41:34   or there is no better way to do this.

01:41:36   This is just a stupid wall because the language is stupid.

01:41:38   (laughs)

01:41:39   And so as you get further in knowing a language,

01:41:42   you eventually realize that every language sucks

01:41:45   in some ways.

01:41:46   Like I've never learned a programming language well

01:41:51   that I thought didn't suck in some way.

01:41:54   Although I will say, John,

01:41:56   think I might give C the highest overall rating, maybe. But regardless, you know, I

01:42:03   think every language sucks in some ways, and if you can't see why the

01:42:09   language you're using sucks in certain ways, you're probably in that early stage

01:42:13   of it, where it's still very new and novel and maybe you haven't used it

01:42:18   enough to really run into some of the walls, or maybe just, you know, the

01:42:23   way you've used it just hasn't been expansive enough in the grand scheme of things to really

01:42:28   run into certain types of problems that everyone else is running into.

01:42:31   So I think similarly, it's hard to say any language is bad. In the same way that it's

01:42:37   hard to say any language is particularly great, it's hard to say any language is particularly

01:42:42   bad. Because usually the reason why people say a language is bad is because of faults

01:42:47   that are not the languages. It's because of bad code they've seen, bad programmers they've

01:42:53   interacted with, or bad code they found online, or a bad situation that they had to write

01:42:59   that language in, or a bad codebase that they had to work on written in that language. None

01:43:04   of those things necessarily are because of the language. Often they're because of the

01:43:10   people you were working with, or the way the language was used by a novice. And there are

01:43:15   writing bad code in every language. And so I feel like a lot of the criticism about PHP or

01:43:21   but any, you know, you could tell the same things about Visual Basic. Visual Basic back in the day,

01:43:26   yet another language I knew pretty well, I know how to pick them. Visual Basic back in the day,

01:43:32   I mean, you could say it was a weird language, there were a lot of weird things about it, but

01:43:36   a lot of people got a lot done in that language because it worked pretty well. And it wasn't cool

01:43:41   ever. It was never respected by programmers, but it worked. And it wasn't as bad as most

01:43:49   programmers think because they never bothered to learn how to write well in it, and they

01:43:54   probably saw a lot of bad VB code. So, you know, very similar thing with PHP, and with

01:43:58   any language. You can look at the language and you can say, "Well, it works. There are

01:44:03   some weird edge cases, but for the most part, the language works." You know, people build

01:44:09   large apps in it all the time. If you look, I found some page on Wikipedia that was like

01:44:15   what the biggest websites in the world are built on. And I think a good quarter of the

01:44:20   top 10 or 20 were written in PHP, including Facebook, Wikipedia, WordPress.com, Tumblr,

01:44:27   I think, as far as I still know. So things like that. There's a lot of PHP out there

01:44:31   being used, and Yahoo uses it pretty heavily. It's fine. It's down to what you write.

01:44:39   and how you write it. And there are certain things like the libraries can help or hurt in certain ways,

01:44:44   although there's nothing stopping you from writing your own libraries or modifying the ones that are

01:44:48   there. So anyway, all this is to say back to Facebook's hack. The concept of Facebook taking,

01:44:57   like kind of taking control of this branch of PHP, first with HHVM and now with their own language

01:45:04   modifications that they're calling their own language. That, I think, is an interesting

01:45:09   thing. Here was this language that was kind of managed with mediocrity, taken by this

01:45:16   other company. They just took it over. They literally just took it over. And PHP is going

01:45:22   to continue. So what they did was re-implement PHP 5.4. Now, if the real PHP people make

01:45:31   like PHP 5.6 or PHP 6.0 in ways that Facebook really doesn't like or in ways that Facebook

01:45:38   thinks are worse, what if Facebook says, "You know what?

01:45:42   H-HVM is not going to support that.

01:45:43   We're going to actually just fork the language and just say, 'All right, we're not going

01:45:48   to maintain parity anymore because that's stupid.

01:45:50   We're going to differ in these ways.'"

01:45:53   It really is kind of a...

01:45:55   They really are taking control.

01:45:57   They're not just adding to the world of PHP necessarily forever.

01:46:01   They have taken some control and they might then diverge with that control.

01:46:06   I think that actually might be better though, in all ways except one.

01:46:12   So Facebook technically has way better skill than the PHP authors.

01:46:18   There's no question about that.

01:46:20   They're way better at it.

01:46:22   Their runtime is way better.

01:46:23   Their ideas of where the language should go by looking at a hack, you can see what they

01:46:26   thought the language needed and I think I disagree with some of their changes and I

01:46:30   think some of their changes look really weird but ultimately the things they chose to add

01:46:34   are mostly pretty good things.

01:46:39   So if Facebook really does kind of take the language over and become the dominant implementation

01:46:45   and the dominant spec of the language, that's great until Facebook decides it no longer

01:46:51   is interested. And then there, it could be, it would reach a weird point. Let's say you

01:46:58   write a bunch of hack code. Let's say you decide, okay, you know what, this hack thing

01:47:02   is pretty cool, I want to start using it in my PHP code, let's do it. That's great. The

01:47:08   thing's open source in theory, that should work. But if Facebook decides in a year or

01:47:14   two years or three years, yeah, we're actually done with this, we're going to do something

01:47:18   mouse and it's not going to be open source. So nevermind. That kind of screws people.

01:47:22   So that's my only caution that that could happen here. Besides that, I think overall

01:47:29   this is a good thing, although there's no question it will definitely fragment the PHP

01:47:35   community. That being said, the PHP community largely sucks, so the fact that it gets fragmented

01:47:40   I don't think is a bad thing.

01:47:41   Did you also point out in your blog post that they're using this to write stuff on the server

01:47:47   So it's not like they have a developer community out there who's like, for example, Apple objective

01:47:51   C, like they want people to write apps for the App Store in objective C. So they're sort

01:47:55   of maintaining and improving this language on behalf of all these developers, whereas

01:47:58   Facebook is maintaining and improving PHP on behalf of Facebook employees who write

01:48:03   the Facebook backend.

01:48:04   As far as I know, they don't have any kind of like, here you go, write, you know, like

01:48:08   a development platform for people to write code in hack that either runs on top of Facebook

01:48:14   or runs elsewhere.

01:48:15   Is that correct?

01:48:16   Facebook has lots of APIs, but as far as I know, they're like kind of web service type

01:48:20   APIs that you write on top of Facebook and not like write something and hack it, it will

01:48:25   run inside Facebook. Maybe I'm wrong about that. But even if that was the case, I think

01:48:29   people who've built code on top of Facebook's platform have been burned in the past because

01:48:35   Facebook basically just wants something to run their server-side web application, they

01:48:41   want to be able to write and maintain it efficiently. And that is their sole focus. And so if they

01:48:46   changed their mind as they had already, like they used to have hip hop, which was a thing

01:48:49   that took PHP, turned it into C++, and then compiled the C++ into this big monster executable.

01:48:55   That was their previous approach. This is their current approach. In a few more years,

01:48:57   maybe they'll have another approach. And at that point, it's not so much that they will

01:49:00   have forked hack so far, it's just that they will lose interest in it. Like I think another

01:49:05   project that I think it is like Scribe or Thrift, these logging infrastructure thing,

01:49:09   originally a Facebook product, and they kind of lost interest with it. And it languished for a

01:49:13   long time. And I think like the open source community like picked it up and made a alternative

01:49:18   or a port or a fork of it or whatever. So it could be that hack ends up, you know, Facebook decides

01:49:24   on whatever the next approach is in four or five years. Hack is left to sort of die on the vine.

01:49:28   And since it's open source, the open source community grabs it and that is like PHP 7 or

01:49:32   something, and hopefully continues to run with it. But you hope there's still a PHP community around

01:49:37   to do that in several years. Like, you hope this doesn't just, like, starve everybody

01:49:41   out, and all there is is hack, and then Facebook loses interest in hack and replaces it with

01:49:45   something better, and there's no one left to maintain hack. What a terrible name that

01:49:49   is, by the way.

01:49:50   Yeah, yeah, definitely. I think if Facebook loses interest in this, if they abandon it,

01:49:55   I don't think there's enough people in the PhD community who would like it enough, and

01:50:00   who would have the time and the skill to maintain it properly. I think if Facebook abandons

01:50:05   it, it's done. That's it. Because the official PHP maintainers probably want nothing to do

01:50:11   with it. They probably are not happy about its existence, because it really is like a

01:50:15   big middle finger to them, saying, "Well, your language was bad, so we made our own

01:50:20   version of it that's better."

01:50:22   Well, as you pointed out, they probably deserve that middle finger. What was their namespacing

01:50:27   character for the backslash alone, right?

01:50:29   The backslash? What the heck was that?

01:50:32   If anything deserves a middle finger.

01:50:34   I still don't use namespaces for that reason.

01:50:37   It's just insane.

01:50:38   If you had to pick a worse character, could you think of one without using, like, Unicode

01:50:42   smileys?

01:50:43   Like, Pile of Pooh is the only, you know?

01:50:45   A worse ASCII character, right?

01:50:47   I don't think there is one.

01:50:49   Maybe a non-printing character, I guess.

01:50:53   Vertical tab.

01:50:56   Exactly.

01:50:58   Exactly. So anyway, yeah, I don't think the official PHP maintainers, even if they chose

01:51:08   to take it over, which I think is very, very unlikely, I don't think that would be a good

01:51:14   thing. So yeah, basically if Facebook gives up on hack, hack is over. And like, you know,

01:51:21   I'm choosing to write my overcast code base now, and I'm writing it in PHP. And I'm running

01:51:26   on HHVM as of a few days ago, and it's great. But I'm hesitant to adopt hack because,

01:51:32   like, when I wrote Instapaper's codebase, it was late 2007 when I first wrote the beginnings

01:51:39   of that, and it was still running that codebase to the best of my knowledge until mid-2013.

01:51:48   And you know, it would have been added onto, but it had not been rewritten in a new language

01:51:51   until mid-2013. And so, you know, that's a long time. And so to have, what is it, six

01:52:00   years? So to start something now, like, I do things for, not the long haul, you know,

01:52:07   these aren't going to last 20 years, but I do things with the expectation that they're

01:52:11   going to last a couple of years at least, like, you know, three to five years sounds

01:52:16   reasonable to me. And so do I think this language is going to still be healthy and around and

01:52:23   maintained in three to five years? I don't know. I think it's way too soon to say. Because

01:52:29   Facebook is using it now, but what, you know, like they're not, I think somebody looked

01:52:34   at it and I think it's like, it's not being developed in the open. It's like they're having

01:52:39   just like code dumps every once in a while. So where like they're developing it internally

01:52:43   and they're just dumping back to the public code base occasionally, like every couple

01:52:49   of weeks or whatever.

01:52:50   So like WebKit?

01:52:51   Yeah, I think so. So like, you know, if Facebook starts losing interest in this, we'll just

01:52:57   start seeing, like, oh, they'll just kind of start slowing down those code dumps, and

01:53:01   eventually the version they're going to use internally is going to be so divergent from

01:53:06   the public version, they'll just kind of stop thinking it's worth maintaining the public

01:53:12   version. There are so many plausible, realistic ways where this language could get just kind

01:53:23   of withered and killed or abandoned over the next few years as Facebook's interest and

01:53:28   needs change themselves that I would hesitate to build anything big on it today. What I

01:53:35   What I am interested in is one of the greatest advantages of Hack and of HipHop is the static

01:53:43   type checker.

01:53:44   So I would like to write my code in Hack but have it compile down to PHP optionally.

01:53:51   And that should be pretty easy to do because they have an open source compiler right there

01:53:57   in the world.

01:53:58   So, in fact, there's even some command line options that are not yet implemented on HVAM

01:54:03   make it possibly even easier than that. But if there was an option for the HHVM

01:54:09   runtime to compile hack to PHP seamlessly, that would be more interesting

01:54:16   because then you could write your code in hack and you could either run it in

01:54:20   hack on the server or if Facebook decided to be, you know, dicks and kill it, you

01:54:24   could compile it down to PHP and keep working. Or you could keep it as hack,

01:54:28   compile it to PHP for deployment, but before you deploy run the static

01:54:32   analyzer on your entire code base and have that be like a pre-commit hook so you can

01:54:36   say, "All right, I'm going to use all this data type checking and I'm not going to be

01:54:39   checking it at runtime all the time, but I will check it at compile time or at commit

01:54:42   time." And so then you will still get a lot of the benefits of those add-ons. Not some

01:54:47   of the other add-ons in the language, but there are some add-ons to the language that

01:54:57   could be very easily removed and stripped out for a PHP compile. Not all of them, but

01:55:02   some. So that I'm interested in. Otherwise, I think I'm going to wait and see.

01:55:08   All right.

01:55:09   Thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week, Help Spot, Igloo, and Warby Parker, and we

01:55:16   will see you next week.

01:55:17   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin

01:55:24   'Cause it was accidental (accidental)

01:55:27   Oh, it was accidental (accidental)

01:55:30   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him

01:55:35   'Cause it was accidental (accidental)

01:55:38   It was accidental (accidental)

01:55:40   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:55:45   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

01:55:50   @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:55:54   So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:55:59   Auntie Marco Arment S-I-R-A-C

01:56:04   USA, Syracuse, it's accidental

01:56:09   They didn't mean to accidental

01:56:14   [Music]

01:56:20   Titles?

01:56:21   Always on vacation in California. I like that.

01:56:25   I kind of like that one.

01:56:26   Yeah. See, now Marco gets to experience the bitterness of parents. You just see Mike

01:56:35   Mattis' photos, and yes, it does look like he's always on vacation in a national park.

01:56:38   He's not carrying a bouncy seat and a bunch of toys in a diaper bag.

01:56:44   No, he's not. He's carefree. He's going wherever he wants. He's an adult. He doesn't have to worry about nap time

01:56:50   or

01:56:52   Feeding people or people being cranky or changing poopy diapers. He's always on vacation in Yosemite National Park. I

01:56:58   Don't know when he goes to work

01:57:01   There's this like cult of California and maybe it's just me like generalizing. I see these tech people doing all this stuff

01:57:08   but it just seems like

01:57:10   California people have have such like such beautiful climates and such beautiful landscapes and everything's great

01:57:16   Especially like but tech people who are young and again like, you know, as you said that they don't have you don't have kids

01:57:21   Yeah, maybe or there and they're rich

01:57:23   yeah, and like it's like I feel like being on the East Coast keeps me a little bit closer to reality even though I

01:57:31   Live in a suburb of New York City. So of course, it's it's nothing like reality

01:57:34   but it I think I think being here has a very different perspective and

01:57:39   and that part of the problem in the valley is a pretty severe lack of perspective.

01:57:47   **Matt Stauffer:** I don't know. I think it's the same as anything else. They're just better

01:57:50   at Instagram than we are. Like, they make it seem like they obviously can't always be on vacation

01:57:55   in Belize or whatever, but they make it seem like they do, because they take a lot of pictures when

01:57:58   they go, and I think they dole them out over time. So as far as you're concerned, like, they're

01:58:01   always in Japan at some noodle place, or they're always in South America somewhere in a jungle,

01:58:06   or they're always in Yosemite, but they're not. They go on vacations, they take a thousand

01:58:10   pictures, and they spread them out over the year. You don't see pictures of them sitting in front

01:58:14   of their MacBook Pro for 50 hours a week for most of the year, which I assume is how they spend most

01:58:19   of their time. But yeah, I do like Always on Vacation California. And I might have mentioned

01:58:24   this on the show, but both my younger brothers live in California now, one outside—or in San

01:58:29   Diego, one outside LA. And now when I talk to them on the phone, generally speaking, every single

01:58:35   time I talk to either of my brothers on the phone, one of them makes a reference to how

01:58:39   the West Coast is the best coast, and I just want to kill them.

01:58:42   Just wait until the earthquakes and the fires come, Casey, and the drought, and the hyenas,

01:58:48   and locusts, and whatever else they have over there.

01:58:51   All the Google buses.

01:58:53   Oh, goodness.

01:58:55   All right. Bye, everyone, live listeners. You've been an amazing audience. Thank you

01:59:01   so much for coming out here tonight. Uh, woo! Go city name.

01:59:05   Hello Cleveland!

01:59:10   You don't ever go see movies in the theater, do you, Marco?

01:59:12   Oh, come on, what are you kidding?

01:59:14   That's what I thought. Uh, one of us, I don't remember who it was, I don't think it was

01:59:17   me, said "Everything is Awesome," and that begs for you to cut in—

01:59:20   I know, I almost made the comment, but I figured you guys wouldn't get that reference, and

01:59:24   I guess Casey would have. Casey's the new Mr. Reference Getter.

01:59:26   Yeah, about that, two for two today. Well, maybe. Actually, the books that were not ready

01:59:31   player one that you were talking about? No idea. You've never heard of Snowcr- oh man.

01:59:34   I assumed! I didn't even make the joke about you guys that I'm like, "Marco? Snowcrash? Nothing?"

01:59:42   You cannot put this in the show. You'll get so much crazy hate.

01:59:48   Anyway, the point is, there's this song Marco called "Everything is Awesome,"

01:59:55   and it's in the Lego Movie, and it's like ridiculously over the top deliberately.

02:00:00   There's actually a Lego movie that wasn't a joke?

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