Hello Internet

H.I. 95: Break Glass in Case of Emergency


  it would actually be useful but I think

  there's a non-trivial number of people

  who just couldn't even get their life

  together enough to be able to go to that

  evening class like we're just showing up

  to a thing on time is a skill that those

  people don't have and like maybe if you

  can't like be somewhere on time you

  shouldn't have a kid it's a bit like I

  spoken to a few people who've done the

  test for the TSA pre-approved check

  thing in the United States yeah and

  everybody's response is exactly the same

  where they talk about oh this thing is

  ridiculous because all you have to do is

  like get to the airport and you have to

  wait in a place you fill out a little

  form like you talk to a guy and then

  they just approve you when you go home

  and I had the same response to everyone

  these people like no you don't

  understand that is the test like getting

  to the airport being able to follow the

  instructions not flipping out when a guy

  asks you a couple of personal questions

  like that's the test I feel like this is

  very much the former teacher and really

  like you don't understand how many

  people can't follow instructions longer

  if the instructions are the test so

  there's something about that that feels

  like just set like the lowest possible

  bar for having kids like I feel like I

  couldn't be opposed to like you just

  need to go somewhere to get a stamp the

  people are having kids have accomplished

  one thing yeah they have accomplished

  one thing I mean yeah you can't open a

  bank account without giving them your

  entire genome an entire internet search

  history and yet you can create a human

  being and rear it and bring it up

  without yeah telling anyone anything

  sometimes I feel really anxious when I

  look at babies because just today

  actually I was just walking down the

  street and there was is a woman who had

  like swaddled a little baby and she had

  him on a back swaddle like instead of on

  the front he was just on the back you

  know like along for the ride and you

  know shopping day yeah whenever I look

  at this babies I always just feel like

  you poor thing you have no control over


  you're just here that you are totally at

  the mercy of the external world like you

  can do nothing to help yourself it's

  that feeling that just makes me feel

  like it's

  see someone can just bring a life into

  the world and we have just zero checks

  on this and this new little person could

  not be more vulnerable like a puppy is

  less vulnerable than a human baby human

  babies can do nothing if their socks are

  making their feet uncomfortable it's

  like well that baby just has to deal

  with it it makes me anxious looking at

  babies so I feel very sorry for them and

  I feel like I want more protections for

  babies more protections for babies I can

  be a New Year's resolution boy that last

  question sure was something in my

  experience nothing gets people riled up

  more than the systems of politics and

  I'm willing to bet that a whole bunch of

  you think you do know how to make a

  system work that would have answered

  that last question well if you have

  something you want to propose you know

  the best way to communicate with me

  about it it's to build a Squarespace

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  we go if McDonald's spent billions of

  dollars rescuing the targa from

  extinction should they be allowed to

  then sell a mock tiger burger so there

  are lots of Tigers in the scenario yeah

  they've basically made Tigers like cows

  well I have a lot of problems with the

  meat industrial complex mm-hmm I feel

  like factory farming is really

  indefensible but more more Tigers is

  better than oh god I don't know like I

  don't have a problem in theory with

  Tiger burgers it's a hard one to debate

  it's not like I think if one of my

  videos had Tiger burgers as an example

  of something I feel like I've used this

  before so I don't know whatever anyway I

  feel like the the problem in my head is

  not the problem that this question is

  asking about right the problem I'm

  having is do we want to introduce

  another species to factory farming life

  because presumably like when you're at

  McDonald's scale this is the problem you

  come up against I would have concerns

  about having that many Tigers on it

  skyping from some farm in Devon it's

  like a like a Jurassic Park situation

  mcdonoughs got so caught up wondering if

  they could do it they didn't think if

  they should do okay you know thinking it

  through no I'm coming down now and I'm

  coming down very solidly on now

  because you're saving Tigers from

  extinction but you're just creating a

  whole bunch of Tigers that presumably

  are living miserable lives that seems

  like not an improvement in any way what

  if they didn't factory farm the Tigers

  it was just like a boutique specialty

  burger you could have that they caught

  from the wild occasionally right so

  we've we have free-range Tigers that are

  living here every Reg target suing

  seigneurs if they're free-range Tigers

  then I'm okay with it they're they're

  living like a managed Tiger lifestyle we

  don't have a farm in Devon packed full

  of Tigers that we're afraid of the doors

  are gonna burst any day so you like the

  question there is like are the Tigers

  living a happy life before from their

  perspective the lights just go out and

  they never even know I love the idea of

  a tiger lifestyle I want to live a tiger

  lifestyle now hey Brady you're living

  the tiger lifestyle you said it brother

  I think this thing get really

  complicated though because the question

  is like how happy are the Tigers like

  what are the Tigers eating basically are

  we introducing more sorrow into the

  world because of all of the rabbits that

  the Tigers are chasing down to eat I

  feel like I want to be feeding the

  Tigers synthetic lab-grown meat and then

  killing the Tigers for Tiger burgers and

  the Tigers get to live a full and happy

  life that's like okay I'm perfectly fine

  with that but I think the question is

  posed I would say no that McDonald's

  saving a species from extinction and

  then cultivating that species at the

  scale McDonald's would require would not

  be a trade-off worth making

  if you ain't tiger made from a target

  that only ever in its entire life eight

  since said it mate are you meeting me

  yeah of course what do you mean it's

  like if you eat a cow who's only eaten

  grass its whole life you're eating meat

  the cow is the machine that turns grass

  and cattle yeah and now I do get that

  and I didn't think that but I just

  wondered if there was something more

  ethical about aiding an animal with only

  ever a synthetic stuff probably not

  actually no I think yeah if the

  comparison is is the tiger eating live

  animals versus synthetic meats I think

  eating a tiger that has eaten only

  synthetic meat is clearly more ethical

  would you rather be a dead celebrity or

  a living criminal am i a cat

  criminal am I in jail does it change

  your answer yeah it does change my

  answer I really think that living in

  jail is pretty terrible but there's a

  chance of escape or release whereas if

  you're dead celebrity made yeah done do

  my friend like am I in death row am I in

  some kind of Shawshank Prison almanach

  shank pretty terrible situation I might

  prefer to be a dead celebrity it depends

  it is an example like a white-collar

  criminal who's probably destroyed the

  lives of millions of people but it's in

  a relatively cushy prison like well then

  I'd rather pick a dead celebrity

  but if I'm a criminal who's in Shawshank

  then then no I think I'd rather be the

  dead celebrity there's no way Brady

  you're not gonna pick the dead celebrity

  yeah I think you're probably wrong yeah

  that's that's right I know I know her

  Brady do you choose your personality no

  that doesn't even make any sense to talk

  about that I think you can shape your

  personality especially if someone has

  like a disciplined mind like you like

  you can control and cultivate aspects of

  you and over time train yourself to oh

  yeah I totally agree with that this is

  where I am I am a man who believes in

  two things the possibility of

  self-improvement and puppies and the

  impossibility of free will I don't think

  that those two things are in

  contradiction like I've talked about it

  before I think that there's a real

  moment in my life that I feel like I

  chose to have a different personality

  and that was crossing the threshold of

  leaving high school and entering college

  and that was a very deliberate moment in

  my life where I made a change it was

  much for the better

  hmm but I still think that when you dig

  into that I still run up against this

  free will problem of well I was the kind

  of person who was able to do that and in

  a position where I would decide that

  that was the thing to do and so that is

  what I did I don't think I chose to be

  the sort of person who could decide and

  successfully execute that change and I

  don't think you have any choice in your

  personality so only people with a

  certain personality can choose their

  personality only people with a certain

  personality will be

  able to change their personality but

  they're not even in a position

  necessarily to direct that change in the

  way that I think the question is asking

  could ask you one quick question I don't

  want to dig up and go over that time out

  of high school when you're at a

  crossroads and you feel like you made

  important decisions mmm you know maybe

  we could do it another time

  but pretend you didn't make the big

  decisions you made like say you chose

  the path a instead of path B yeah I just

  continued as I was yeah what job do you

  think you'd be doing today that's a good

  question I'm willing to bet that the job

  I would be doing today is I would be a

  physics teacher in high school the

  difference between me eventually leaving

  that career and becoming self-employed

  and staying in that career can point

  very very directly towards the decisions

  of changing myself between high school

  and college so both paths took you to be

  a physics teacher but just different

  kinds of physics teachers one that could

  escape and one that couldn't yeah if I'm

  trying to like game theory out what is

  the most likely thing that the like the

  high school version of me would have

  done I can't think of a more probable

  path than that one the only other career

  that was even remotely on the horizon as

  a possibility was like being an airline

  pilot and I just don't think I would

  have been dedicated enough to be able to

  do that so I think I would have ended up

  as a teacher as well you didn't feel the

  need the need for space

  let me tell you my thoughts about being

  an airline pilot

  we're not centered around the need for

  speed now this is an interesting

  question in which you're either gonna

  answer very dismissively or you're gonna

  go hmm and have a deeper thought on it

  I'm enjoying all these Brady predictions

  by the way it could one army of robots

  fighting another army of robots ever

  decide a war will the time come where a

  war is completely decided without humans

  entering battle or conflict or violence

  I think is the question okay there's two

  things here I think not in the world

  that were currently imagining I think

  you know in a war between

  nation states like a war fundamentally

  involves human loss and so when you're

  talking about a war being decided like I

  can imagine a situation where there is a

  war in quotes between two nations where

  those nations are essentially at a kind

  of technological stalemate you know

  Russia has drones but the US has

  fantastic anti drones and there's like a

  angry swarm of drones over the Pacific

  Ocean just forever right like not making

  any progress forward or backward and

  then that becomes like oh this is the

  thing in the world what's that oh that's

  the great drone war it's been going on

  for a hundred years and it never moved

  one way or the other and then that's

  just not decided it's not Universal

  paper clips but for real yeah yeah so I

  feel like in nation-state wars there

  have to be human casualties involved

  that is what forces a nation-state to

  capitulate so I feel like there are

  always going to be humans involved even

  if their only involvement is as a like a

  body count to make one side say oh we're

  surrendering now on the other side of

  that though like imagining a future

  without humans where there are just

  rival Paperclip optimizers battling with

  each other for control of the universe

  it's like oh yeah well obviously that's

  the future it's only a matter of time

  until that occurs wars between robots

  can be decided

  among those robots but if it's nation

  state wars I think humans have to be

  involved in in some way the way that was

  coming into my head and that what got me

  thinking about was all these stories and

  I don't even know if they're true

  stories or they just like legend and

  this never actually happened so you can

  tell me but you know how you hear all

  these old-fashioned stories of two

  armies like meeting on a plane and

  instead of just like beating the crap

  out of each other

  they each send their top warrior to have

  like a one-on-one fight and whoever wins

  that fight wins the battle I have never

  heard of this ever I think it must be

  like Greek legend and stuff like that

  like it was it happens in I feel like

  this happens in Royse yeah yes I never

  really happened cuz I always think

  that's such a silly thing

  because whoever loses will just go

  bugger that judge like that a war would

  kick off anyway so when I saw that robot


  that's what I was thinking I was

  imagining two nation-states saying okay

  there's a nice empty space over there

  let's go and send out two robot armies

  and whoever wins but you know wins the

  war yeah but I just don't think that

  would stick because in that losers will

  be like charge it's missing the point of

  what a war is for like a war occurs when

  you can't come to a diplomatic solution

  and agreeing that you're going to abide

  by the results of this robot boxing

  match is a diplomatic solution yeah if

  you can agree to that you can agree to

  other things you can agree where the

  border will be drawn yeah exactly so

  like this concept of what a war is is

  like I think you don't understand what

  war is like well like war means we've

  run out of options except the physical

  ones does war mean there's no longer any

  honor because what this is all about is

  a willingness to honor honor and

  agreement so war reaches a point where

  you know one can agree anything with any

  Honor I think honor is a strange word

  here I feel like it's much more just

  like you cannot trust the other party to

  abide by agreements even if they seem to

  be willing to agree they said it's gonna

  kill him instead yeah that's like that's

  what it is I think that I think that's

  what's going on there could a computer

  write a poem well yeah yeah easy like

  computers do that right now but is it a

  poem if there's not a certain intent or

  emotion behind it a poem exists in the

  mind of the reader not in the writer

  yeah it exists in the mind of the reader

  not in the writer okay

  Oh in that case they of course he

  answers yes all these questions about

  like what are we talking about here

  right it's like this I'm not sure I

  agree that apart exists in the mind of

  the reader and not the writer maybe it

  needs to exist in both but actually

  something that is a little bit more

  relevant to our careers I don't know if

  you've seen them but I've noticed a lot

  of these videos that are they're usually

  from news sites and their videos but

  their videos that just have like stock

  image in the background and then

  captions that are running through the

  basic facts about some situation in the

  news yeah they're becoming more and more

  common now yeah

  you know why they're more common it's

  because they're bought created you know

  I know a lot of people who are making

  humans who are making these things now

  the thing that hasn't occurred to me is

  that these people are being prepared to

  be put out of a job and they don't even

  realize it that is what they're just

  getting people used to the idea of these

  things and also what those people may be

  doing without realizing it is that they

  are creating part of the data set upon

  which the robots are being trained

  but like the existence of these

  human-made videos is part of the data

  set that the company owns which then

  they're feeding into like their Markov

  generator behind the scenes but it's

  really an interesting thing and when I

  when I found out that a huge number of

  these are produced by robots it's like

  oh that makes perfect sense I like it it

  makes absolute sense this is why I'm

  seeing these all over the place there's

  these ways that you can be a be testing

  them against each other to try to find

  which ones are most effective

  bla bla bla bla bla but would you say

  that the robot has made a video I think

  a robot can make a video yes but let me

  read this definition of poem I just

  found ago a poem is a piece of writing

  in which the expression of feelings and

  ideas is given intensity by particular

  attention to diction rhythm and imagery

  now I think a computer as I understand

  them now can handle the diction rhythm

  and imagery but can they have the

  expression of feelings and ideas that

  the poem is based on yeah but by that

  definition and by what we think of as

  robots today no a robot couldn't write a

  poem I'm thinking of this in terms of

  the way I think about art like what like

  what does it mean to say that the thing

  is art and that's always notoriously

  tricky and my my fallback is is mostly

  like art has to invoke some feeling from

  the viewer that's what art is so by my

  definition I feel like yeah a an

  unconscious thing can produce artwork

  which includes poems but by that

  definition of what a poem is then

  clearly we'd have to come to the other

  conclusion that no a robot can't write a

  poem because it is not attempting to

  express anything but I just don't think

  that's a good definition yeah fair

  enough it was just the first one I found

  suited my miny

  are we more alive than a tree no fair


  I think alive is a binary state you are

  or are not alive

  putting aside the very tricky definition

  of like what does it mean to be alive

  like yeah we're gonna blow right past

  that and just say that there's a thing

  that we can agree upon which is the

  concept of aliveness that is a binary

  state has not a floating point integer

  we are literally only halfway through

  the book so we're only about halfway

  through my questions but I think we'd

  better stop and we can use the second

  half of the book I'll put the second

  half of the book back behind the glass

  for a glass yet great here's one fine I

  want to mull over does your dog think

  about you when you're at work or not

  around because you and I both work from

  home if we work away from home and if

  you owned a dog right do dogs think

  about their owners when their owners are

  at work well what do you think baby part

  of me can't imagine a scenario where

  they kind of forget you exist and then

  when you turn up is the best thing ever

  that would explain why they're so

  incredibly happy when you get home

  because they had forgotten you existed

  and you just come back to life I don't

  know this comes back to what we

  discussed recently about how just how

  human dogs are certainly Lulu knows

  here's my car from miles away because

  she's always at the window when I pull

  up but you know again that could just be

  a learned response to a certain sound

  but I think they do yeah do you think if

  you could reach inside the dogs heads

  they would know that you exist when they

  don't see you there's certainly an

  anxiety for something that's missing

  mm-hmm that is sated by your

  reappearance whether or not they can

  visualize what that thing is but whether

  they just feel an anxiety or they fit

  they're feeling an anxiety that's saying

  I wish Brodie was here I just we prayed

  he was back he's he's nicely I don't

  know I think they probably do well what

  do you think for me this is very simple

  yeah I don't care what the answer is I

  choose to believe that the dogs miss you

  when you're gone

  when you're gone

  hello Internet its future gray here

  rushing to edit this episode before I

  have to go for this podcast I think you

  should pause after each of the questions

  and find the answer for yourself before

  you let Brady or I convince you of what

  is the one true answer if you're

  listening with somebody else even better

  each of you should try to convince each

  other of what the true answer is before

  hearing Brady and I talk about it anyway

  that's all I wanted to say I'm going to

  stop recording now and literally press

  the export upload publish buttons as

  fast as I can to get this episode out to

  you so have a lovely evening

  and let the show begin so for the

  longest time we have had this sort of I

  wouldn't say fear but concern in the

  back of our minds that one day we may

  come to record how the internet and just

  not have anything to say or who run out

  of topics and things like that mm-hmm

  it has never happened and it hasn't

  really happened today either I don't

  think but just in case it does happen

  I've had a break glass in case of

  emergency option sitting in a drawer by

  my side for a couple of years now this

  is a book that has it really been

  sitting there for a couple of years I

  guess it has you referenced it enough

  when we were doing our little pre-show


  I reckon has just been sitting there so

  today for a special episode we have

  decided to break the glass and use my

  emergency podcasting options just I

  don't know why I just because I'm sick

  of waiting we're gonna do it it does

  feel like a thing we'll never get to

  because every time we do good record I

  think much more so for me I have this

  deep fear of like what on earth are we

  going to talk about and so many times I

  feel like we get to the show and we

  barely get to all the topics that we

  have because we get caught up in

  something that's a total tangent right

  at the beginning so it is an unfounded

  fear every time but yes it does feel

  like we'll never get to this book

  otherwise so let's just take a look at

  this book okay this is a book I don't

  know where it came from or why I have it

  I don't think I bought it it doesn't

  look like something I would have bought

  but it's called the book of thunks of

  thunks funks so instead of thinks that

  place the IB that you thought okay

  that's by a chap named in Gilbert

  mmm-hmm I think it's bit of a toilet

  book I think it's supposed to be a

  conversation book but I see it more as a

  toilet that rarified genre hmm it's full

  of just one line questions that are

  supposed to be thought-provoking or

  conversation starters

  it also says on here to annoy your

  friends and I think a lot of these

  questions would be quite effective

  annoying your friends it sounds like a

  very Brady book then no I don't like the

  annoying aspect of it anyway really

  because I think you are the king of

  asking needling annoying questions of

  people when you're interviewing them or

  when you're talking to me on a podcast I

  feel like you would like that part the

  most know some of the men or even may

  now there are 300 questions in this book

  okay just before the show I went through

  with a marker and I've put big red

  crosses next to ones that I think hmm I

  wouldn't mind asking gray that question

  so I'm gonna go through this book I'm

  gonna go through all the questions that

  I've put crosses next to or at least I'm

  gonna go through all the ones until we

  get sick of it row and we're gonna see

  what you think about them are you gonna

  answer these questions as well breeding

  if you want me to depends what the

  question I would very much one I don't

  want to be just on the hook here I don't

  need this to be a quiz there situation

  it's not like that it's not like that I

  will answer questions too if I feel I

  have something to contribute mm-hmm now

  there are a lot of questions in this

  book I'm not gonna ask because some of

  them really annoy me because they seem

  to come from a place of real science

  ignorant or just a logic ignorant so I'm

  ignoring all those ones give me an

  example of this I'll give you an example

  of one what weighs more a piece of blank

  paper or a piece of lined paper yeah

  that's just an annoying question yeah

  there are lots of questions like that

  and I feel like I need way more details

  to answer that question well that is a

  definite problem you will have with

  every question anyway we're gonna have

  to do with that grace and just as much

  as we come to it but that a gray ISM I

  don't think so I think that's a

  reasonable thing to ask all right let's

  go let's I've got the book here you can

  you can probably hear the pages here

  there we go some nice bully work thank


  so the first one I put a cross next to

  just so happens to be number

  eight in the book of 300 okay if the

  cure for cancer meant constructing a

  huge Factory in Antarctica should we do

  it anyway I don't even understand how

  that's a question yes what's the

  question I don't think they make the

  stakes high enough in that question

  myself you know like I'd burn down the

  rainforest for a cure for cancer so cure

  for cancer I was thinking you know maybe

  destroying all of Antarctica would that

  be worth curing cancer

  yeah I'd sink Antarctica under the ocean

  I mean cancer kills a lot of people yeah

  there's a lot of weight on that side of

  the scale I think I'd be pretty hard

  pressed to think of anything that

  doesn't come close to species destroying

  that I wouldn't do to cure cancer okay

  are you breaking I think my threshold

  would be probably lower than yours

  okay so lower then just doesn't destroy

  the species as your threshold yeah I

  think obliterating Antarctica altogether

  I don't know what is in dark touka ever

  done for you not much I'm going there

  same oh yeah but I would also like a

  cure for cancer so I would cancel my

  trip and let make your cancer would you

  answer change like before and after the

  trip like oh you're more hesitant to not

  destroy Antarctica before you've gone

  but after you've gone do you think you

  would be more willing to sink the entire

  continent would you be willing to put

  several thousand sort of charismatic

  fauna species extinct in exchange for a

  cure for cancer as long as it meant

  humans could still live like you know

  get rid of all the elephants and the

  lions and the cats and the dogs and no

  dogs oh oh I found your weakness if that

  is my weakness

  uh actually I feel like could I look

  into the eyes of a single puppy and

  extinguish its life in exchange for a

  cure for cancer I feel like I don't know

  if I could do that say what you wouldn't

  be willing to kill all the puppies in

  the world for a cure for cancer oh god I

  don't know now I feel immediately like I

  need a bunch you know PETA and tactic am

  the rain forest you know put a few

  puppies on the Block and suddenly it ya

  know that's a very different moral


  Wow that's horrible to realize that this

  is the way my brain is prioritizing

  these things oh man

  that becomes a much harder question yeah

  I feel like then I need to know all

  sorts of details of the book is not

  going to have like does this mean we

  will never cure cancer or that we just

  won't have the cure now like then I need

  to start really lawyering up on what the

  exact parameters of this question are

  but once you involve puppies I'm going

  to become much more hesitant is what's

  going on here

  it's mr. chump is in Asia at the moment

  mr. chompers is not in earshot at the

  moment he's going to be returning to the

  house very shortly

  he had a big bath from getting all muddy

  today but he is not currently around

  well anyway he probably would've liked

  your answer anyway I feel like a

  terrible person let's move on to another

  question are you more of a success if

  you have had five top 40 hit records but

  no number ones compared to someone who

  is a one-hit wonder who has just had one

  number one oh man that's easy that's

  easy hmm

  it depends entirely on how large the

  residuals are like was the tail end of

  this just pure dollars yeah it's not a

  bad consistency of quality uh it's just

  about the money you make oh is that the

  I guess that is the question well I

  think this is complicated because I

  think it's a kid I think when I first

  came across the concept of a one-hit

  wonder I always found that kind of sad

  yeah do you get that same feeling from

  like the concept of like a one-hit

  wonder that there's something like a

  little sad about that

  I think it's fluky the person's success

  yeah I mean that's one of the ways you

  could take this question yeah but I feel

  like as I've gotten older like adult me

  doesn't have that same feeling with a

  one-hit wonder like a one-hit wonder

  he's already incredibly successful yeah

  it's like sure obviously anybody who's a

  one-hit wonder would prefer to be a

  two-hit wonder but being a one-hit

  wonder is way better than being a zero

  hit wonder let me reframe the question

  and that completely changes it and in

  some ways I think would reverse my

  answer okay and that question would be

  would you rather win a gold medal at the

  Olympics or win thirteen silver medals

  over three different Olympic

  but no Gold's for me the answer to that

  is easy I'm gonna bet you want the gold

  right yeah hmm because no one remembers

  silver medals in the world of music well

  it's not true to say no one remembers

  songs that don't get to number one

  because a lot of very big songs never

  technically got to number one but you

  know a number one is a bit like a gold

  medal isn't it

  yeah this is touching upon like the

  power law in entertainment like a

  one-hit wonder is ten times more

  presence in people's minds than the next

  most popular song which is 10 times more

  present than the third most popular song

  and so what would you get down to the

  bottom of the top 40 chart is like oh

  yeah those are songs people might

  recognize but they're not super

  omnipresent in a person's mind I was

  just thinking with the silver medals I

  think something more impressive if you

  can get a bunch of silver medals in

  disparate fields this then again it like

  a we're getting into the details here

  but I think personally I feel like in my

  personality I would be happier being

  less successful in a wider area of

  fields then being super successful in

  one field like much to my surprise there

  is something that is attractive about

  being the kind of person who could win

  silver medals in a bunch of events even

  if you know like lots of people think

  that silver is first loser

  that it's not the same as a gold that a

  gold is like ten times better than a

  silver in people's minds I remember when

  I was a little boy I went through a

  phase where my favorite color

  was silver you know when you say you

  have to have a favorite color and a

  favorite number

  I always said my favorite color is

  silver and I was watching the Olympics

  with my dad one time and I was watching

  the medal ceremony and I said to my dad

  you know what I love silver so much I

  think I'd rather have a silver medal

  than a gold medal and he just looked at

  me and said when you grow up you think

  differently and he was right he was

  right and while it's true like winning

  silver medals across disparate

  disciplines over a sustained period of

  time does show a far greater level of

  accomplishment mmm and if you don't

  believe me there's an Australian who won

  a gold medal at

  the Winter Olympics that is the most

  cheeky undeserved gold medal in the

  history of gold medals you have to tell

  me what that is now I'm now I'm curious

  what is the most undeserved gold medal

  ever to set the scene for you in the

  Winter Olympics in some forms of speed

  skating you have all these eliminations

  and things like that to get to the final

  mm-hmm and then the final is four people

  okay and this Australian actually got

  through to the final of four people he

  shouldn't have even been in the final

  because all the people in his semi-final

  fell over and he made it to the final


  so then this was the fire live sent you

  the clip his name's Steven Bradbury okay

  and he was against three other speed

  skaters that were way better than him

  and they were going around this really

  tight track okay so this is a race this

  is just like a pure speed race on the

  ice okay pure race pure race there were

  four other skaters actually there were

  five in the final okay he was just

  sitting at the back not a hope in hell

  and he'd given up even trying he was

  just sitting there watching them

  thinking this is amazing that I even

  made the final and as the four others

  were vying for the medals they got to

  the last corner and they all crashed

  into each other right at us and he just

  like just coasted over the line on his

  own like thinking what the hell just

  happened and the others were all trying

  to stand up and like put a toe over the

  line so they could finish and he was

  just like oh I just want to gold medal

  you can never take that away from him

  and of course he's not as great a speed

  skater as someone who has won a bunch of

  silvers over loads of Olympics but he

  still got his gold medal that's amazing

  that he's the beneficiary of two flukes

  that is fluky he was there in the first

  place and that shot is amazing cuz they

  they really do crash like 20 feet before

  the end of the before the end of the

  race yeah you see the others standing up

  and just trying to put like their skate

  over the line to finish and he just like

  drifts past yeah because I'm just

  watching the replay here and he's not

  even booking it for the finish line like

  he's clearly mentally checked is like

  inertia just propels him over the finish



  Australia go for Australia go for


  I feel like this adds another level to

  that question potentially which is

  getting a gold getting a bunch of


  or totally unintentionally getting a

  gold okay like just blind luck stumbling

  on to success in this manner that's

  that's amazing

  well Salt Lake 2002 fantastic here any

  for another question yep is a horse a

  vehicle is a horse a vehicle hmm yeah a

  horse is a vehicle I'm trying to stretch

  the edges of this I think if you put a

  little girl on a big dog that is not a

  vehicle because there would be no

  driving like a big st. Bernard with the

  tiny child on top of it the child doing

  no driving but a human on a horse is

  doing driving so I'm gonna say yes the

  horse is a vehicle and that's the

  distinguishing characteristic there

  needs to be active driving agree or

  disagree don't even care I think it's a

  stupid question

  what do you mean it's a stupid question

  here's a good question uh would it be

  okay to blast our rubbish into space

  yeah well again like the one with

  Antarctica I'm trying to think

  my only objections would be pragmatic

  there was a video I used to show my

  students when we did our little space

  module that I always loved which was a

  video that was tracking all of the

  objects that are currently around earth

  yeah this included here's the

  International Space Station here's all

  the satellites and there's you know

  there's a huge number of satellites you

  just don't really think about it but

  then it was also including all of the

  objects in space that could potentially

  be a threat to future missions then when

  you include that like it's an astounding

  number of object like it looks like an

  angry swarm of bees yeah it's a credible

  now there is a weird problem of scale

  here right because space is real big and

  you're trying to look at an image on a

  screen and how big can that screw be

  like there's a funny way that it it

  looks fuller than it is yes of course

  but still the number is enormous and the

  threat is real so my only concern

  about space garbage is how accurately

  can we fling it directly into the Sun

  can we use the Sun as a garbage disposal

  system yeah and if we could shoot it

  accurately then I would have no problem

  with it

  I do remember actually doing this as a

  unit in one of my physics classes and

  university is how hard it is to actually

  hit the Sun like if you are launching

  something that is not self-guiding it's

  remarkably hard to get an object that

  would go into the Sun as opposed to

  getting captured in some kind of very

  long comet orbit and then causing other

  problems so I would probably say no

  because it's very difficult to imagine a

  way that it is practical to do so space

  as garbage disposal I would say let's

  not do that on practical grounds but if

  we came up with like a propulsion system

  that was economical mm-hmm and we could

  just blast things into space but you

  couldn't go for the Sun you just had to

  aim out of the solar system and just

  send them where they're going like a

  Voyager probe you know wherever you end

  up you end up right not here so it's

  just gonna go where it goes and one day

  it'll get captured by some other star

  okay so we're just blindly launching

  into space yeah yeah don't think too

  much about the actual practicalities is

  it okay to use the great beyond as a

  place just to fling unwanted stuff

  everything now I'm worried about drawing

  the attention of like a paperclip

  maximizing a hey I like where this

  garbage come from there's like a gods

  must be crazy situation you know yeah

  where'd this Falcon having rocket full

  of disposed soda cans come from it's

  like all right it came from that planet

  yeah I would still say though like

  putting the potential destruction of the

  human species aside I would be okay with

  it because space is just so empty it's

  almost functionally like throwing it

  into a black hole you don't say as this

  last pure expanse that hasn't been

  sullied by McDonald's wrappers I will

  grant that right space is unsullied

  presuming that we're the only ones

  around mm-hmm but I don't think

  unsullied matters if there's nobody

  there to experience it isn't us the

  argument used by people who want to draw

  for oil in Alaska and stuff people say

  oh we mustn't do these mining in Alaska

  and then the little who are pro mining

  say well there's no one there to look at

  all this beautiful stuff and these rare

  birds anyway I'm susceptible to that

  argument I think I'm less susceptible to

  it in the drilling in Alaska case

  because of concern about externalities

  that it's like okay yeah sure if you're

  drilling goes okay then everything's

  fine but if it doesn't then it's no good

  and we also like for entirely human

  selfish reasons we have an ecosystem

  here that we want to preserve for our

  own benefit space just doesn't seem to

  have any of those concerns to me yes it

  is unsullied but it's just unsullied

  emptiness with no conscious experience

  whatsoever like it's very hard to

  imagine what is the externality here of

  we've launched rockets full of McDonnell

  trappers into space it's like where

  there's nobody there to even see it it's

  just like it disappears where I think

  the earth is a closed enough system that

  you want to be more careful

  like if you're sinking a continent into

  the ocean you want to make sure you're

  really getting something good out of

  that you just want to be more careful

  with the changes that you're making

  I'm gonna guess you don't like sending

  trash into space that's my prediction I

  find it hard to argue against sending it

  into the Sun right but I don't like the

  idea of it but I am also aware that the

  Apollo astronauts one of the last things

  they did before reach takeoff was

  chuckle their rubbish out the door

  including bags of way it was because

  there aren't their poo bags off the

  surface of the Moon yeah it's hard for

  me to get on too high a horse on this

  one but or that objectivity video of

  yours that I loved talking with you

  about when we were first discussing it

  the one where that the Russians exploded

  the satellite full of little Russian

  coins off the surface of the Moon there

  was like sort of like a sphere made of


  right and then the pennants sort of

  scattered all over the surface when the

  settler impacted yeah there's something

  I just I love about that idea is there's

  something so childish about that like oh

  we're gonna just put a bunch of coins

  that say we were here on the surface of

  the Moon it is also just totally a kind

  of garbage I would love it if they went

  and visited those sites when you know

  eventually we start going back to the

  moon and they found those pennants

  awesome there will be real collectors

  items someday yeah they will but so

  you're okay with the Sun because the Sun

  is just an incinerator yeah like an

  atomic level incinerator like we could

  throw nuclear waste into the Sun but

  then you feel more uneasy when you're

  talking about the vast emptiness of

  space if it was just blasting sewage

  towards Alpha Centauri yeah pardon me

  would think Oh God

  we've crapped all over this planet now

  when crapping everywhere else as well

  I'm not sure I feel like we have the

  right to do it I find that interesting

  because like to me the concept of rights

  implies that there's someone whose

  rights are being infringed upon well I

  don't think we know enough to know

  whether that's the case or not okay and

  I feel like it's not our place you know

  I know there are space treaties and

  Antarctic treaties and it kind of all

  merges into that a bit but I think it

  goes beyond that because I still think

  with our space treaties Antarctic is

  different but with our space treaties

  there is a certain arrogance involved in

  us deciding amongst ourselves as humans

  what can be done with space and how it's

  gonna be carved up remind me have you

  read the read Mars Ceres the Kim Stanley

  Robinson series I only think I've read

  the first one yeah I have tried many

  times to get through the second - I've

  never made it I've given up on that as a

  life goal I'm like I'm never gonna make

  it through green Mars let alone blue

  Mars yeah but I really like them I

  reread red Mars maybe just a couple

  years ago it holds up as a great science

  fiction book but this is like one of the

  main themes through that book that I

  think is interestingly handled is the

  idea of humans around Mars

  how much right - humans have to change

  Mars from what it is into what the

  humans wanted like this is a central

  political conflict that takes place in

  that book and I think the book is a an

  interesting exploration of that idea

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  show would a baby born on a deserted

  island ever laughs of course a baby on a

  deserted island would laugh I think

  that's asked like asking if a baby on a

  deserted island would see I guess the

  question they're getting at more here

  and this is a more interesting question

  rather than saying would ever laugh

  would it ever find something funny like

  his humor learned it's getting to be

  more subtle but all I was gonna say the

  thing that I found interesting when my

  friends started having kids I think that

  never really crossed my mind before is

  that there comes a time when babies

  start to laugh that there's like a

  period of time where a baby will not

  laugh like you get a little trouble baby

  and you do a big raspberry on its

  stomach and

  there's just no response like the wires

  aren't hooked up correctly yeah and then

  when they get older at some point

  they're like oh this is hilarious right

  like raspberries on the stomach are the

  funniest thing ever but that's because

  I've seen you and everyone else laugh at

  it but oh yeah I was gonna say it's like

  I do think there is something about the

  wires are getting hooked up together cuz

  a baby born on a deserted island that

  and then it becomes like grown-up let's

  forget about all the logistics involved

  here yeah yeah just and then one day

  they see like a giraffe walking on ice

  and the giraffe like stumbles and falls

  over in a comical way they're not gonna

  find that funny

  okay the more we talk the less certain

  I'm getting because I'm thinking maybe

  this is much more like a language thing

  like just humor exists in the absence of

  other minds but I feel like there's some

  part of humor that's like the lowest

  part of humor which is really connected

  to the idea of surprise yeah that humor

  is connected to surprise and a baby

  living as an adult is going to at some

  point on its Island be surprised by

  something and maybe that would trigger a

  laugh but I don't know like and the more

  I talk the less convinced I am because

  there are those cases that you read

  about like you know feral children who

  are sort of in this situation and the

  really fascinating thing is it seems

  like for a lot of these cases

  reacquiring language skills is just

  almost impossible and maybe there's

  something like that with humor that if

  they're you don't have the concept of

  other minds that you just don't develop

  this idea a long time ago I heard this

  idea about what is humor that I just

  love and I think about sometimes but

  that humor is like a way that brains are

  like debugging other brains or that

  brains are figuring out the edges inside

  of other brains and I feel like I don't

  quite know what that sentence even means

  but there's something about it that

  strikes me as correct

  that like humor is an exploration of

  another mind in a different way than

  talking is like what makes someone laugh

  tells you something about their mind in

  a way that is very different from just

  talking to them and especially like with

  my wife I feel like I can make my wife

  really laugh now I like I have a good

  sense of like jokes or things that will

  make her laugh but there's no way to

  verbalize what that is it's like some

  other part of my brain has learned how

  to get this particular reaction out of

  her brain so I don't know I think I have

  just talked myself out of this maybe a

  baby would never laugh that this is

  something that is like language yeah I

  think I might be retracting my position

  yeah well it was fun watching you work

  through it

  this next question might be a bit more

  up your alley okay if a robot waiter

  brings you a drink should you say thank

  you well that was a big sigh like this

  is really like a conundrum for you it

  all hangs on the word should in this

  sentence right okay I came across a

  parent who had this concern that I found

  interesting and the concern was that

  Siri and Alexa were turning their child

  into an inconsiderate asshole

  that is interesting yeah because the

  child is just able to issue commands and

  the machines just do it

  yeah and the machines have no need for

  any of the social pleasantries

  and that their perception was that this

  was bleeding over into other social

  interactions that this was not contained

  within the environment of like you're

  not really talking to alexa like you're

  issuing a series of verbal communication

  with a robot that like the kid just

  wasn't clicking with that so that's the

  reason i hesitate there because like do

  you need to thank a robot obviously not

  do I ever say thank you to Siri no do I

  ever say thank you to your toaster yeah


  right like there's no need to do that

  there's nothing there I feel like

  there's something about society here

  like if you have a c-3po looking robot

  something that is like sort of human

  looking that maybe it's not a bad idea

  to just reflexively keep the thank you

  even though you know that the robot

  doesn't need it just to practice I have

  a yeah like it like as a habit now if

  the robot is is like oh the table is a

  robot and the drinks just appear then it

  feels like they come up through a little

  slot in the table and I feel like okay

  well this is there's nothing human here

  but it I feel like if it is an

  anthropomorphic robot I could see being

  on the side of we as a society should

  agree that we're going to keep this

  habit in so long as there still exists

  human waiters in other situations that

  it's like don't lose this but so you say

  we should say thank you to say Threepio

  but not r2d2 damn it Oh God well okay

  Brady you're gonna make me talk about it

  droid slavery is clearly a conscious

  creature with emotions and feelings and

  expressions but if in the real world we

  built a robot that looked like r2d2 who

  was going around on a floating flotilla

  in the desert distributing drinks and we

  were reasonably confident that that

  robot had no consciousness I feel like

  yeah that's a little close to a Roomba

  with some drinks on top of it and I feel

  like you know I have no need to thank

  the Roomba for distributing these drinks

  but if it's humanoid I feel like there

  is something maybe here but again I may

  be extrapolating too far from a

  particular case but I found that like an

  interesting thing that would never have

  crossed my mind before that that it's

  making me think about this question a

  little bit differently I just had a

  great idea for a piece of Star Wars

  merchandising who a Roomba that will

  fire a lightsaber across the room to you

  Return of the Jedi star little slot that

  opens up on its top is that what you

  want breeding well I would say no you

  wouldn't think now I've got another

  question okay would you rather live

  under a democracy or Undead a

  dictatorship led by Father Christmas oh

  I need to know a lot about father

  Christmas in this

  I think you understand the general

  concept of father Christmas I mean

  there's not a bad bone in his body

  I'm gonna just I'm gonna interpret this

  as Santa Claus because I think there's a

  like a slight difference between father

  Christmas and Santa Claus but like I

  must say that sounds like a far more

  interesting conversation to make what's

  the difference during father Christmas

  and Santa Claus okay so this is like dim

  memories from when I was doing the my

  Santa video from years and years ago but

  I was reading up on a whole bunch of

  stuff and it the conclusion that I

  remember coming to and so this this may

  be a little bit shaky Internet it's been

  a long time but my memory is that father

  Christmas was much more like a spirit of

  adult Thanksgiving that father Christmas

  was like feast and happy times and wine

  and fun and that father Christmas was

  not like a gift-giving concept no father

  Christmas definitely gave me presents

  when I was little here's where I was

  going with this is that that this is a

  thing that starting in like the 40s and

  50s started to get completely subsumed

  by the concept of Santa that like Santa

  as the gift-giving thing is an idea that

  has taken over a lot of other cultures

  and that like father Christmas used to

  be like a different thing but now and

  for the life of everyone who has been

  alive in the UK father Christmas is just

  like a different name for Santa like

  it's one of the thousand names of Santa

  yeah but I feel like I don't understand

  Santa Claus political ideas I think this

  is why it's an interesting question if

  Santa Claus was taken from his cushy

  life in the North Pole right and he's

  and he's one day of work a year yeah how

  would he run the world

  this I think is the burning question

  said of Claus sees everything but he's

  not all-powerful presumably in the

  situation he has an army right he's a

  dictator he has keys that he needs to

  keep him power I feel like I would keep

  the democracy you know anything Santa

  could hold it together I just think that

  even if you have the power of all-seeing

  sight and all-knowing like a

  dictatorship is a okay so if we're

  taking Santa Claus and we're putting him

  in the real world and he's in charge of

  a dictatorship I feel like it's still a

  dangerous and precarious situation that

  even if you have the power of seeing


  I'm not going to trust that to last a

  long time or to always be able to do

  good things even if that is the

  intention of Santa Claus so I'm gonna

  stick with the democracy instead of a

  dictatorship run by Santa there's just

  so much goodwill towards Santa Claus now

  you can't imagine anyone ever trying to

  overthrow him it's Santa he's got a

  belly that shakes when he loves I guess

  that gives him plus 100 defense against

  movies like this that was that belly

  does look like so jolly knows who's

  gonna throw our Santa yeah but one of

  his powers is not like a reality

  distortion field like if if he came with

  like a foundation style like you will

  love me ability like then that's a

  different story but I feel like his

  primary power is being able to read the

  minds of everyone simultaneously and

  it's like I wonder if he'd get elected

  if he ran for office in a democracy I'm

  pretty sure Santa would win by a

  landslide he'd get most of the popular

  fight but he might get undone by the

  electoral college

  yeah but I wouldn't mind having some

  checks and balances on Santa Claus like

  that's the difference here you can win

  an election but maybe not just we're

  gonna hand you the keys to power

  entirely do you use your imagination

  when you dream

  I know dreamings of a favorite topic

  yours I don't understand what that

  question means yeah I don't really

  either I just saw a dream and thought

  other nope oh great yeah let's I feel

  like that's a meaningless question if

  you do something wrong when you are


  should you feel less guilty than if you

  had done it stone-cold sober oh you got

  to answer this one Brady you answer this

  one because I I feel like this is such a

  hard question

  this gets like the core of the universe

  this question here I don't know the

  answer to that you don't know the answer

  to that I think you know you were

  equipped with less tools to make a good

  decision right but you took those tools

  away from yourself when you decided to

  have a bunch of drinks yeah it's a bit

  like oh I was driving a car while

  blindfolded no this was like huh I guess

  it's less your fault that you got into

  an accident but you put on a blindfold

  it's like if you're still gonna find

  fault there yeah with this question the

  reason why I really stumble over it is

  because if I were to disassemble this

  question I think this question is

  actually asking if you were to change

  the nature of you are you as responsible

  for your actions that very quickly gets

  into it a thing where it's like it's

  hard to know what to even say and this

  like if you've changed yourself to be a

  different person are you still

  responsible like yes and kind of know it

  it's I think this is why the law

  wrestles put this subject as well I

  can't come down solidly on this I will

  just say get something on the record

  here there's a thing people do that I

  think is a bad habit that people should

  get out of I think some people have the

  idea that like when they're interacting

  with someone who is drunk that somehow

  that is the true person and I feel like

  that is a strange and bad idea to have

  in people's minds that they feel like oh

  when the person gets drunk it's like the

  veil is lifted onto the inner core of

  the person the filters are removed yeah

  that very concept of like oh you're

  saying the things that you would say or

  that you you are thinking but now we can

  all see it because you're drunk I feel

  like that is a bad idea for people to

  have in their minds I think it's

  nonsensical like you're dealing with the

  person who's essentially a different

  person now it's not like you're seeing

  the core of the real person I think

  that's a a strange and unhelpful idea

  that lots of people seem to have I do I

  think it's a strange thing to think it

  might be a wrong thing to think but I

  think it's strange

  I see logic to it but it's kind of like

  if someone were to take a bunch of LSD

  like would you feel like you're seeing

  the core of the person while they're

  high on LSD I don't think people would

  think that I think people have a concept

  that oh this is a person whose mind has

  now been dramatically changed I feel

  like we just don't have that same

  concept with something like alcohol

  that's true but it's also true that for

  example you may know things or have

  opinions that you don't share with me

  because you don't want to hurt my

  feelings or you don't want me to find

  out for various reasons and your

  intellect is telling you that and if

  that was taken away from you temporarily

  I could have access to that information

  I'm not saying that would tell me

  anything little true.you but it would be

  like I would find out information I

  might not know otherwise I guess maybe

  that is where that idea comes from

  certain people can let something slip in

  a coherent way while they're drinking

  yeah that in LSD like all that's gonna

  happen is if someone's gonna be hugging

  you and telling you how you're a

  beautiful butterfly and we're all one

  with the universe and you're like okay

  man like it's great but they're not like

  yeah spilling their secrets okay I

  retract strange but I stand by unhelpful

  yes is vandalizing a speed camera the

  same as vandalizing a lifebuoy by a

  river but okay right you could you could

  vandalize a speed camera so that

  government can't give a bunch of fines

  two people for speeding okay

  or you could vandalize like a lifebuoy

  by the river which is really handy

  because it would save people's lives are

  those two acts of vandalism equally bad

  do you mean like there's buoys that mark

  where you're not supposed to swim past

  no I think like a ring that you would

  throw out to someone to help them if

  they were drowning okay yeah presume by

  vandalize it like you've made it

  non-functional yes not like you've drawn

  a naughty picture on it no I feel like

  vandalizing that the buoy is way worse I

  think that's where the question is

  leading one I'm trying like why do I

  feel like the buoy is worse and like the

  direct one-on-one nature makes it feel

  worse like you've fallen off of a cruise

  ship into the ocean someone goes to

  throw you a lifeline and lol it falls to

  pieces because some kid is have slashed

  it to bits that feels like it like a

  doubly bad situation while the Spade

  camera while it can be life-saving

  indirectly it's not quite say directly

  life-saving and it is also revenue

  raising for the government what do you

  know it's surely not those things aren't

  used for revenue I also feel like

  there's a there's a vandalizing the

  speed camera is less bad because the

  speed cameras work because there are a

  lot of them it's like you're attacking a

  single node in a network and the

  speed-camera its presence or absence is

  not necessarily going to have a big

  impact on does someone speed a lot or

  not but the fact that there are a

  hundred speed cameras in the city on

  average may have some kind of

  suppression effect although like even

  how effective that is may be debatable

  but like somebody drowning and reaching

  out for a floating thing and the

  floating thing breaks there's no debate

  about that that's just undeniably bad

  and in a very clear and direct way so

  yeah it's like a speed camera is like a

  politician no one likes it but it's kind

  of necessary whereas the life boy is

  like father Christmas everyone likes

  about the Christmas right yeah okay yep

  well perfect that's a perfect analogy so

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  podcast seriously check them out can you

  think of two things at the same time I

  bet you like that question that comes

  down to what do you mean by the word

  think I'm just reading the words what do

  you think do you think two things at the

  same time in your head I don't think so

  consciously like conscious deliberate

  thought right I mean obviously I can

  talk to you in juggle at the same time

  right but I don't know I don't know how

  the brain works I know that's the thing

  on the other end of this microphone we

  know like oh well let me pull out my PhD

  in brain like nope I don't know how

  brains work either like just a dude on

  the internet who's made a video about

  brains like I don't know I'm never aware

  of thinking two things at the same time

  that's for sure you're at your lack of

  internal monologue I also find weird but

  um okay so thinking two things at the

  same time what I'm thinking here is I

  can talk to you right now

  while I am visualizing an elephant in my

  brain like does that count about as

  thinking two things at the same time to

  me though maybe I'm wrong about this but

  when you're visualizing the elephant and

  talking to me you're not actually doing

  two things at the same time you're just

  jumping between the two things over a

  microsecond by microsecond you think

  you're switching back and forth between

  the two mm-hmm I think at the exact

  moment you're actually thinking of the

  clever thing you want to say to me you

  are momentarily

  using the elephant yeah this also gets

  really to the core of like I'm not

  convinced that talking is thinking

  because talking seems to be a thing that

  just happens certainly for us in ninety

  five episodes of like I mean going to

  the very very core of like what we

  started talking about the beginning of

  this podcast I like to talk about this

  as a topic with creative people but it

  is a thing that you can make people

  aware of just in their regular life

  which is like just pay attention while

  you're talking and you will realize you

  have no idea how you're doing it it's

  just a thing that happens and that even

  when you think you're thinking about

  talking like you don't know where those

  thoughts like it is just an automatic

  process and there is something about

  that realization which is absolutely

  terrifying and it is ten times

  terrifying when say like you do a

  podcast for a living because you have to

  come like face to face with the concept

  of one of the core things that you do

  for a living

  you fundamentally have no idea how you

  do it it just happens this is what I

  mean like the question very quickly gets

  to the concept of like what is thinking

  because I feel like I could easily say

  that talking isn't any kind of thinking

  that there's not any thinking that's

  occurring while talking is happening and

  that visualizing an elephant to me seems

  like this is what thinking is or closing

  my mouth and then listening to the

  internal dialogue in my head that that's

  what thinking is and then if you're like

  okay thinking is the words that you hear

  in your head is like well then that's

  very clear there's only ever one voice

  talking in your head and if that's what

  thoughts are then no it's not possible

  to think about two things at once there

  is a component to conversation that

  obviously isn't talking but there is

  that part of you where you're thinking

  about what you will say next and you're

  even anticipating what that person will

  then say to what you're going to say so

  conversation is obviously very full of

  thought but yeah the actual talking part

  when you actually like put the foot down

  on the talking accelerator yeah it does

  become very strangely automated is

  something I think I think I've mentioned

  this in how they were internet before

  but I noticed it again the other day

  actually and I don't know whether I've

  Eve ever told me if it happens to you

  but if you happen to for some reason

  ever hear an old piece of you podcasting

  do you find you always almost know

  exactly what you're gonna say next and

  not because you remember what you said

  but just because you're so predictable

  in your head like sometimes when I hear

  at a conversation that I've had with you

  in the past like the silly joke or the

  question that I ask next and other thing

  I say I very often anticipate and I

  don't think it's because I remember the

  conversation because I don't I think

  it's just because I'm so so predictable

  when I'm done with these episodes I

  don't think I have ever listened to a

  hello internet episode after it's gone

  live unless I'm preparing for a show

  yeah but even then I haven't done that

  very recently but what I do have is a

  thing when I am editing let's say that

  the only thing I'm doing is I'm looking

  at the screen I'm looking at the

  waveforms I'm editing the podcast

  especially when I'm doing it for the

  first time so I'm listening to the raw

  conversation exactly as it happened hmm

  I'm aware that I can get almost caught

  in a weird loop where I don't know how

  to describe it but it's almost like my

  brain is just like a wagon going

  westward in these really well-worn

  tracks and there's no ability to even

  turn off the tracks mm-hmm it's

  sometimes the thing I have to kind of

  break out of or it's like what happened

  to me I feel like I just disappeared and

  this conversation is happening through

  my brain and my brain is just this very

  predictable machine which is like

  repeating the exact things that it is

  saying in the past like it's it's very

  hard to describe but it does feel like I

  lose myself and can kind of forget that

  I'm supposed to be here editing a

  podcast it's more like my brain has gone

  on some kind of autopilot because it's

  receiving the exact same inputs and

  hearing the exact same outputs that it

  would produce so I think this is a

  similar experience to what you're

  talking about but it's just yeah I think

  so too I intentionally especially when

  I'm doing the first edit I intentionally

  want to have something visual to do

  which is very often like playing a video

  game because it helps

  keep me actually more focused on the

  conversation I think that that's that's

  part of it is like break this little

  self-similar pattern by having something

  else that you're paying attention to

  that's like I can hear the podcast more

  clearly when I'm visually doing

  something else and I think that's part

  of the reason why I was gonna slightly

  modify this next question just to tone

  it down but I think it's kind of it's

  starkness and harshness is what makes

  the question work so I'm gonna read it

  as printed go for it would you accept a

  heart transplant from a rapist

  I mean I'm dying here right yeah I

  presume you like at doing it recreation

  yeah like it's not recreational heart

  transplant surgery yeah um yeah I would

  do that I would have no problem with

  that because I feel like it is a piece

  of meat I wouldn't accept a brain

  transplant from a rapist but like if we

  could take a rapist and cut him up into

  all the different pieces and distribute

  them all to people and you could save

  lives with those pieces like I don't see

  how that's not good

  well let me ask her another question

  that's a good answer let me change the

  question on you hmm if a rapist died and

  left all their money to you in their

  will and the money wasn't gained by

  illegal means right would you accept the

  money from a rapist yes that's an easier

  one and I would say no but money's money

  like heart is a mate yeah your heart is

  made a lot isn't it is the Reese yes

  that is true you can use that as the

  title of the episode if you like oh

  you're doing the episode title fishing

  while we're doing it now that's that's

  terrible radiation I'm thinking of

  multiple things at once it you shouldn't

  be doing metacognition on the podcast

  will holder recording I was also

  imagining an elephant as I said the

  distinction here is okay so I I I'm

  gonna take your modification modify it

  again yeah I am a popper in need of

  life-saving surgery that I cannot pay

  for and a rapist dies and leaves me his

  money that I can use to pay for the

  surgery would I use the money to pay for

  the surgery yes even if it was

  ill-gotten money even if it was

  ill-gotten money I would use the money

  that had been left to me yeah presumably

  that this is like not an illegal

  situation I don't know exactly how that

  works no no yeah that no you're right

  you're not breaking the law

  right if I am not breaking the law and

  like a rapist leaves me some money that

  I can use

  on a surgery to save my own life I would

  totally do that but the situation is now

  it's like I am CGP grey podcaster

  YouTube creator video game live streamer

  dog walker dog well that's dog walker

  actually by sheer number of hours that

  is now my heart is profession probably

  in that situation like a rapist dies and

  leaves me some money like that is just

  going immediately to a like a woman

  shelter right like I'm just redirecting

  that money straight away it's like yeah

  yeah money is money but the reason that

  the original scenario works is because

  it's a question about like saving your

  life it's nade yeah it's what you see

  it's innate must yeah that's what makes

  the the difference in that scenario

  fair answer would you brainy I am a bit

  squeamish about accepting a heart

  transplant rapist but I am also a bit

  squeamish about dying from heart disease

  when I don't have to so the eternal void

  that'll wait - yeah - bit squeamish

  about that if someone changed your life

  for the better

  by lying to you would it be a good Act

  mmm God I say yes here's a problem I

  have with that quite the the phrasing of

  that question yeah this reminds me of

  like sometimes in movies when you you

  are given the like the all-seeing

  perspective and you know something for

  sure and when you're watching it like

  that changes how you perceive characters

  in a movie it's like oh but you know for

  sure this thing did or did not happen so

  I feel like that question is starting

  out by positing there like this will for

  sure always be a net positive if this

  person lies to you and I feel like the

  real world is much more complicated than

  that but I under the premise that this

  question is asking I think the answer is

  is yes but I'm I'm very hesitant to say

  that as like social stamp of approval

  for lying to make people feel better

  exactly I think the answer is yes but

  they took a tremendous risk I think

  there are far far fewer situations where

  even things like White Lies but like

  lying to make someone better I think

  there are fewer ways that actual

  works then people think it works right

  that's why I feel hesitant about this

  just because it's like I don't want

  people to hear me like writing a check

  that I'm not really going to cash I'm

  agreeing under very narrow circumstances

  this next question is a bit similar to

  something we've already discussed and

  it's also high-stakes trolley problem

  here no no no the trolley problem if you

  could save the planet by wiping out half

  the population of the human race should

  you wait the planet I don't know I guess

  they're saying is it ok to kill half the

  humans in the world if they're all going

  to die otherwise do you mean the planet

  like we're saving Mother Earth because

  I'm not real interested in that but is

  my alternative we can move everybody to

  Mars and not save the planet and like ah

  well whatever it's just like Antarctica

  into the sea it goes ok yeah so you're

  taking the planet a bit as just at the

  rock but like if the question is would

  you kill half of everybody to save

  everybody like I can barely understand

  how the answer could possibly be no I

  wouldn't do that well some people would

  take the position that it's not my role

  to kill other humans yet alone half the

  humans so if we're all going to die so

  be it it was God's will well you know

  you you can die with them or you can die

  for them that makes no sound like we're

  all going to die anyway if you can just

  have half the people die and half the

  people survive that is obviously better

  the problem I have with this as well as

  like once you start talking about the

  complete extinction of everybody it's

  like a tragedy without any parallel when

  you talk about like the complete

  extinction of conscious human experience

  from the universe there's like nothing

  you can possibly put on the opposite end

  of that scale except for maybe a puppy

  it's just too big it's hard to imagine

  anything that could counterbalance that

  should your estate own the emails in

  your inbox

  oh I thought you just say yes of course

  next question it's funny I have had this

  is like a thing for the show for a while

  back I think this there is so much

  weirdness in the digital world around

  people dying I think the answer is

  legally it is the case that like you

  your emails and things become just part

  of it but there's I read awhile back

  like Facebook has this whole process

  about like memorializing pages and you

  know what is the process for when

  someone dies on Facebook like what is

  going to happen like your estate might

  think ah

  CGP graves personal emails are really

  like saucy and interesting or

  controversial we could turn these into a

  book and squeeze another five hundred

  thousand pounds out of his estate mm-hmm

  and that's not very fair on you because

  when you died you didn't want that to

  happen they were like your conversations

  yeah they should just like disappear

  like you have not be capitalized and

  used and manipulated and liquidated and

  I may be a little extreme in this

  position but I feel very strongly that a

  lot of our digital lives should be

  treated the same way that we treat

  thoughts in our heads yeah I know that

  that is not practical for a whole bunch

  of reasons but that is partly why like I

  pause there because there's something

  about like there's something about that

  question that feels a little bit like

  when you die should the complete record

  of all of the thoughts you ever had in

  your life be available to your estate

  and it's like well of course you know in

  one sense I'm dead it doesn't really

  matter to me but on the other senses

  like wow it feels like an incredible

  invasion so much of an invasion that

  even though I will be dead it's like

  while I'm alive that would that would

  feel like whoa I can't believe this is

  going to happen so it's been weighing

  down on you because I was gonna say

  you're dead surely you don't care but

  you're saying it's weighed down on you

  while you're alive so much that it

  shouldn't have been the case there's

  also a society question here like should

  the record of everyone's thoughts be

  available when that person dies and like

  I'm not sure that would be good for

  society either

  I guess there is something about this

  which I just feel like a large number of

  like the stuff that lives on a person's

  phone is very similar in my head to the

  stuff that lives in the person's brain

  and you in the course of your life are

  making decisions about what parts of

  that do you want to externalize or not

  you take a picture of say an adorable

  Audrey and then you make a decision

  about whether or not that adorable

  Audrey photo is going to be for you or

  it's going to be for the world on

  Instagram and the state question there

  feels like does the world or your does

  your estate get to have access to all of

  the Audrey photos that you took and made

  some decision about keeping for you

  during the course of your life as

  opposed to just the ones that you decide

  to put out in the world there so and I

  don't have a good answer but I think

  that I think the legal answer is yes

  this question like on the face of it

  might be one way you say oh I'm not

  going there but maybe otherwise should

  stupid people be prevented from voting

  I'm happy to go there my position on

  this is if we lived in a perfect world

  only people who are informed on the

  topic should be voting on that topic but

  I can't conceive of any way in the real

  world you could implement anything like

  that that wouldn't be worse than the

  problem you're trying to solve so I'm

  gonna give a hard no on preventing

  stupid people from voting because I just

  think that there's not anything that you

  could do that doesn't just immediately

  become another tool in the like

  gerrymandering voter suppression arsenal

  of politics here's a here's my question

  I don't want this to come out the wrong

  way my question would be should stupid

  people be prevented from having babies I

  don't mean because they'll have like a

  dumb baby I don't mean it I mean you

  don't mean because you're like Brady

  Himmler right now no I mean it more in

  the context of they could be bad parents

  I sometimes say really bad parenting and

  I I guess what I sometimes think is

  shouldn't people like have to get a

  license for this like they do get a

  license to drive a car we have to maybe

  a better way to ask the question that

  would upset less people would be should

  stupid people be allowed to have puppies

  because that's getting to the same

  problem at slightly lower stakes but I

  sometimes think people have been given

  responsibility for things in the world

  at a time when they don't seem equipped

  to exercise that responsibility it seems

  crazy to me that you you don't even have

  to just like take a like a course like

  an evening class or anything before you

  have a baby the shame of this problem

  has a lot of the same issues of like

  preventing stupid people from vote which

  is like oh the details of this system

  really matter here's the thing I'm not

  even convinced that an evening course in

  parenting would teach anybody anything