Cortex 64: 6 Days to Air


  so we watched six days to air which is

  documentary about how an episode of

  South Park is created and the reason

  this documentary exists and the reason

  it is interesting is that for the last

  number of years the team behind South

  Park they will come up with an idea for

  an episode right the episode animator

  and voice actor within six days and then

  it is played to the world on Comedy


  so that is why this documentary team

  decided to come and take a look at what

  that process is like because I this has

  never been done before this is the only

  animation to be done in this way at this

  scale for this long so they are wholly

  unique and it presents with it a bunch

  of very interesting challenges that the

  team goes through which is what we want

  to look at as a way to kind of do a mini

  I guess it's a kind of like a case study

  on how people work under pressure I can

  hardly think of other jobs that would be

  this kind of pressure mm-hmm you know

  running through the roster and I'm

  thinking uh air traffic controllers I

  know that's a lot of that's a lot of

  pressure but but producing creating from

  nothing and going to a completed show in

  the space of a week is insanity and for

  comparison they mentioned like The

  Simpsons which is the most comparable

  animated show to South Park in no small

  part because they have both been on the

  air forever and we're sort of started

  around the same ish era The Simpsons

  takes months to produce each episode so

  it's not just like oh they're doing it

  in six days and other other shows take

  two weeks I know it's a it's an it's an

  incredible difference between the the

  production cycle and other shows the

  creators of South Park Matt and Trey you

  know they are interesting guys they've

  done a lot of different projects over

  the years and when I was watching South

  Park when I was younger like the show

  has been on now for 20 plus years and

  I've seen a lot of the first ten

  years I haven't seen a lot of it in the

  most recent 10 years but when I watched

  it back in the sort of pre-internet days

  I remember noting how quickly things

  that happened in the world were able to

  work their way into the show and I

  always wondered like how is it that a

  show like South Park is able to respond

  to things in the world on such a such a

  short timeframe whereas everything else

  that's created for television it clearly

  is created that can have in a void of

  timelessness that it could it could

  occur at any point I always just found

  that notable and weird and it made South

  Park feel like a a special different

  show that it could react to something

  that happened last week and I always

  wondered and now I have the answer the

  way they were able to do that is with an

  insane working schedule that nobody else

  in the world would copy so the

  documentary begins and when set is March

  2011 and for context the show we've been

  on a bit of a break a longer break man

  had ever taken before because Parker and

  stone had just debuted their musical the

  Book of Mormon and it was up for a bunch

  of Tony Awards and they just kind of got

  the first run or the first few shows out

  of the way before returning back to

  South Park so there had been a

  significant period of time where the

  show had not been on the air because

  without Parker and stone

  there is no South Park but they couldn't

  make it without them as you kind of come

  to learn over the course of the

  documentary so they took a break they

  took a long break and then they come

  back and episode one of this season also

  just completely lucky on the documentary

  makers parts ends up becoming one of the

  most infamous episodes that has ever

  been created it was an episode called


  we don't need to go into it right like

  it is what it is it's one of the most

  infamous episodes that they ever made

  but it was just interesting to watch how

  that all came together over the course

  of this week it's an infamous episode

  because it is iPads crossed with the

  human centipede yes oh yeah

  yeah it's very South Park it is the most

  South Park it could be but because they

  taking this break one of the things that

  I was astounded by was how long it took

  them to come up with the concept of the

  episode it's like one or two days of the

  six days they're still working out what

  the episodes about and that seems wild

  to me right like I assume that as the

  seasons go by they have some ideas in

  the bank but they started on just like a

  completely blank slate trying to work

  out how to complete the episode right so

  it's like dead nothing can happen so

  everybody's kind of is so much hanging

  around like the rest of the team are

  just waiting like there's times later on

  in the episode where individuals are

  sleeping in the offices because the

  script might come at 3:30 in the morning

  and then they can get the work like

  there seems to be this just really wild

  work schedule that everybody goes

  through the way the show usually runs is

  that they're there they build up some

  kind of events that are occurring

  throughout the several episodes and so

  that there's they end up with ongoing

  stories that take place over the course

  of the season but because because like

  you said they're coming back into work

  it's the start of a brand new season

  it's also because they've been on such a

  big break that I found the same thing

  was astounding where it's I think is

  sort of like six people in the writers

  room you know Matt Matt and Trey are the

  two main guys obviously they have the

  producer there they have a couple other

  writers that they're people who are


  but the beginning of the documentary is

  just all of these shots of them just

  sitting there I may stay in a room a lot

  of chasing looking up looking up at the

  ceiling and they're just they're just

  tossing out things that are zeitgeist II

  all right so they're like uh there's

  been a lot of there's been a lot of news

  about that tsunami that occurred our

  tsunamis funny alright they're looking

  around trying to think of tsunamis are

  funny and it I agree with you when you

  see that the premise of the documentary

  is okay it takes six days to make an

  episode of South Park and you realize

  that close to a third of that time at

  least on the first episode

  is just sitting around trying to think

  up what the show is going to be it makes

  it even more astounding and it's it

  really it's like the production is a lot

  closer to four days to air and and we we

  have the actual idea on the morning of

  the fourth day that that's what it

  that's when it starts to come together

  yeah there's a quote from one of the

  producers and this is like at the

  beginning of the six days there's a show

  on Wednesday we don't even know what it

  is there is it just an incredible

  pressure that goes to it and I mean

  there is a part of me that can

  sympathize in a very very small way so

  you know I produce a number of shows

  that are focused around news and

  sometimes you get to like two days

  before the episode and there's nothing

  but the episode is being recorded in two

  days so like what do you do and then

  there is that this do you come up with

  some kind of evergreen topic like

  something that isn't news based do you

  sit with your fingers crossed hoping

  that there will be news like is nowhere

  near the scale that this is at because

  it's like creating something wholly

  larger with many many dependencies but I

  can totally understand the feeling of

  like it being completely out of our

  hands like we don't know what it's gonna

  be and eventually there's gonna have to

  be an episode but as of right now no one

  knows what its gonna look like

  yeah and I've there are two moments with

  Trey Parker in particular where I felt

  like oh dude you have all of my sympathy

  in the world but but one of the scenes

  is he's trying to work on the script

  that's the McDonald's delivery I was

  wondering how I I specifically wrote

  down to ask you what you thought of Trey

  Pacha's script writing process there's a

  couple of things in here but it's like

  he's getting he's getting what looks

  like just the world's worst McDonald's

  meal delivered to him they say it makes

  me happy for five minutes yeah the

  documentary guy asks him about like this


  two bags of garbage he's about to pour

  into himself and yeah and that's that's

  a surprise like oh it makes me happy for

  five minutes

  and just talking about how at this at

  this point it's a little bit after they

  have come up with the actual idea but he

  still needs to sit down and turn it into

  a real script and I have a lot of

  sympathy for that behavior of like oh

  he's doing something that he knows is

  self-destructive but it's bringing him a

  little bit of joy in the middle of what

  is a miserable process because he

  clearly hates the scriptwriting thing

  and it's this unlike the writers room

  where they're trying to come up with the

  ideas and there's people and he's

  bouncing stuff off and you can see that

  he's much more lively there the script

  writing process is like well it's just

  Trey Parker sitting in a room with a

  computer with no one yeah it was wild to

  me that he writes it just him like they

  have writers but they're not writers in

  this in the sense of you know you know I

  don't know what the term is but like

  when I think of writers like are there

  write in the whole episode doesn't work

  like that they're coming up with the

  ideas and helping him flesh out some of

  the plot points but all of the dialogue

  is actually just written by Trey Parker

  yeah it's it's it's crazy I mean let

  alone the fact that they still to this

  day voice the vast majority of the cost

  as well yeah yeah I mean there's there's

  so much that they do it's it's

  unbelievable but the the the reason why

  I had this double sympathy for him was

  because it's like okay I get that like

  you're eating crap because you've just

  got a bunch of work to do and like

  that's a behavior that I have tried to

  breed out of myself over time and I've

  gotten way better about it but it's like

  when I was faster at producing videos

  it's like my health really suffered and

  it was like oh yeah this looks familiar

  I know this like yeah you happy for a

  minute but the other thing that to me is

  again in the smallest way but is also

  now much more my world than it was years

  ago is okay the one the one thing is no

  more but the new thing is where he talks

  about how he's sitting there writing the

  script and he just knows that the

  entirety of the staff of the production

  of South Park is waiting on him to

  finish this thing

  and he knows that

  how late of a night he's going to force

  on everybody who works on the show is

  entirely down to his ability to sit in

  this room and and write the script and

  just the the the pressure of that you

  know I I have things where's like oh I

  know people are waiting on me and it's

  like I hate that I hate being the

  bottleneck it makes me really unhappy

  and and him talking about like this

  entire team of animators and everybody

  else is just waiting for him to finish

  it I thought I can't I cannot believe

  that the two of them have done this for

  as long as they have and that they're

  and that they're alive that this that

  this has not killed them the production

  of this show because the the final

  scenes for this episode are delivered to

  the animators 24 hours before they air

  and this is not there's no dialogue so

  still what record the dialogue where you

  deliver the scenes I start animation go

  cord the dialogue good a match all the

  dialogue gonna put the whole thing

  together 24 hours like I love this this

  one moment like the 36 hour mark where

  this is the first time this has happened

  the producers are looking for Trey

  Parker they're like walking around the

  studio like where's Trey like they're

  trying to find him because they know

  just how horrific Lee late they are at

  this point because like it seemed like

  this one as being the first episode was

  particularly bad right like then they

  pushed it on particularly like late in

  the whole process and like another thing

  that I thought that you I want to see

  what you thought was when he's talking

  about the script and he still got like

  five scenes to go or whatever and he's

  like I have to cut so much of this mm-hm

  like he's like I've not finished but I

  know what I have here is a 40 page

  script which is like a 40-minute episode

  and we have to deliver a 25-minute

  episode and he's just like I have to

  take it all out and it's gonna suck and

  it is really interesting to watch as the

  week goes on to watch Trey's confidence

  start to fall

  mmm-hmm like by the end he's just like

  this is the worst episode we've ever

  done I'm like in he's being legit right

  like he it doesn't seem like he's joking

  now that's I mean but this is this is

  sort of legendary that the two of them

  but particularly Trey Parker always feel

  this way that's like oh this episode is

  terrible but I think it's also just like

  you've been so intensely involved in the

  thing in such a short period of time

  that all you can see are the gazillions

  of its flaws and I think this is pretty

  famously there's an episode of South

  Park that they did which is a crossover

  with World of Warcraft that was actually

  produced with the very people who

  animate that game and my understanding

  of it is that they thought that that

  episode was so terrible they came as

  close as they've ever come to actually

  pulling it to saying like we're not

  going to air it at the last minute and

  like we'll just have to run a like a

  rerun in the in the space and of course

  like that went on to be one of the most

  famous and acclaimed episodes that

  they've ever done is that episode but

  it's it's like you can see he is crushed

  every time at the end of these episodes

  but the thing that kills me here is this

  is just the start of the season I feel

  like I have I have watched two men live

  a year's worth of life in six days and

  it's not like oh it's over go take a

  break guys enjoy the weekend is another

  the next episode is starting up right

  now they get one day right which I

  assume is not a day off yeah not in any

  not in any normal sense yeah but the the

  other part where I just had such

  sympathy is when they're still in the

  coming up with the ideas phase in that

  in the first two days where they really

  just don't have anything and Trey

  mentions how he's like oh I'm gonna try

  to get away and just not think about

  this for a little bit so he goes home

  and turns on his xbox to just turn off

  his mind for a little bit but the ad on

  the Xbox is South Park coming this

  Wednesday right at this point it's

  Friday and he's like that was I love

  that it's like that's so just so cruel

  right like he escaped because everything

  cuz it's at the point it's at the size

  that it is that by this point it's

  everywhere right like and there's just

  if no escape from it oh yeah yeah and as

  mentioned I think this documentary

  happened at the exact magical right time

  yeah because there was probably no

  season of South Park promoted more than

  that one

  the we're returning after a break and

  also the episode where they've just

  produced this incredible musical that

  has received all this wide acclaim

  so that everywhere at this point because

  the book exactly you know it's wet you

  know it had like every Tony nomination

  which also happened in that week they

  got a time Tony nominations right like

  because the Book of Mormon was was huge

  it was huge right and so there's so much

  pressure on them they probably got more

  people that were wanting to see South

  Park then they have had in a while

  because they're not they're like hot and

  in the news again you know I can't even

  I can't even imagine

  I just can't yeah yeah but it is like

  the universe is so cruel like this poor

  guy is just trying to turn off his brain

  for a little bit and his lifestyle for

  coming this day like I just can't

  imagine what that feels like to be

  sitting there thinking like oh there's

  Wednesday I guess I need to come up with

  it you know I'm just forgot it's just

  awful this episode of cortex is brought

  to you by audible audible has an

  unmatched selection of audio content

  from thrilling novels to fascinating

  nonfiction to content from newspapers

  and magazines

  if you want it audible has got it

  whether you're looking to add a little

  bit more excitement to your commute or

  you are finding a way to make laundry

  more bearable and it is really

  unbearable without audio books you need

  look no further than audible they make

  your commute more exciting and your

  chores more appealing and with a great

  audio book to help you fill the time

  you'll be looking for excuses to wash

  some dishes if you've enjoyed listening

  to the working conditions at the South

  Park studios then I'm going to recommend

  a book I read recently to you which is

  called masters of doom how to guys

  created an empire and transformed pop

  culture by David Kushner I played a lot

  of do

  when I was a kid but I didn't really

  know anything about the development of

  it and this book covers how John Carmack

  and John romão came together to create a

  thing that sucked thousands of hours out

  of my childhood it's a very interesting

  look at what could be described as a

  troubled working environment you can't

  make more time but you can make the most

  out of it turn your chores into

  something more with a free trial at slash core-tex to find out

  more and start your trial today and

  maybe give masters of doom

  a listen thank you to audible for

  supporting the show the thing about this

  documentary that I find so fascinating

  is so many people talk about how they

  work better under deadlines and you know

  personally that is a thing that I have

  not found is is true for me I work worse

  under deadlines but obviously it does

  work for a lot of people and this feels

  like the most extreme version of that I

  have ever seen that not only do Trey

  Parker and Matt Stone work well under

  deadlines because they produce these

  very popular very funny shows but

  they've also created around them an

  entire team and production company that

  just has to be filled with people who

  work well under deadlines it has a quote

  from the animation director thing and he

  says if it takes you four days to get

  something done you can't contribute

  right like if you are slow they can't

  you can't work there and like they're

  saying that in usual animation houses

  you have teams of people that do the

  specific parts right storyboarding and

  then animating and that kind of stuff

  but the South Park team everybody does

  everything because they just don't have

  the affordances of time to have it go

  through a slow process you know you get

  a scene or whatever that you're working

  on and you will do it from scratch you

  know and there are things that they have

  obviously done over time right

  like their process has been optimized

  and in an animation style to allow for

  them to create something in that amount

  of time right like the the the

  well-known like what started with

  literal pieces of paper cut out and

  moved around in stop-motion I have no

  doubt that that style of animation helps

  them to work a little bit faster oh yeah

  oh yeah I mean there was this funny

  thing where you know now as an adult who

  has a tiny toe in the world of animation

  but from my perspective watching this

  documentary it's really interesting just

  a couple of little offhanded comments

  that the animators make I was like oh of

  course I can I can see exactly what this

  is where yeah that they they talked

  about how oh this this style is

  intentionally done because you don't

  have to actually draw every frame that

  in in animation there's this process

  where you you can have a static thing

  you can draw something and then you can

  just specify oh it has to move from here

  to here and the computer fills in that

  motion in between and as I'm listening

  to it like that's what I do like it's

  exactly my animation process like I

  don't draw every frame so you know every

  one of my videos is in a much simpler

  way but it's the same thing where I'm

  taking objects and specifying key frames

  of this needs to move from here to there

  in an arc and computer you just draw the

  60 frames in between that needs to make

  that happen

  but but I was also just so aware of that

  that you know their comparison to the

  Simpsons takes months to produce an

  episode it's like well yes but this the


  even if they're using computers to help

  the the Simpsons is not composed

  fundamentally of geometric shapes that

  you're sliding around and because of the

  way the show is animated

  they're able to do this in a way that

  you couldn't possibly do with anything

  that even looks like hand animation and

  then the other thing that I did find

  that comment really interesting where

  the lead animator says oh yeah we don't

  have separate storyboarding and

  character design teams everybody just

  does everything

  and I have having had some peripheral

  experience with various teams of various

  sizes you know producing things for

  YouTube there there really is an

  interesting trade-off in size and scope

  that when you do have smaller teams of

  generalists if you are also able to

  limit your scope in the way that South

  Park does with what they're trying to do

  in animation their animation is quite

  limited it's like you can work very

  quickly with a bunch of generalists and

  then on the other end of that spectrum

  you have larger production houses you

  know what I would imagine like some

  place like Pixar where you might have

  three people who their whole specialist

  job is what does hair look like when

  it's wet you know how do you animate

  that and it's like well then then you

  can produce something that is incredibly

  beautiful that you know a team like the

  South Park team could never ever produce

  but it's also going to take 20 million

  man-hours to to bring into the world and

  again I just think like the South Park

  guys are so interesting because they've

  clearly chosen to be optimized on a

  particular end of that spectrum like

  they've chosen to keep that animation

  style the way it is so that they can

  keep themselves under constant deadlines

  so that they produce these shows that

  are relevant to the world around them as

  opposed to all other all other kinds of

  TV but you know I have seen and it's

  very easy for people to do where you

  want to expand the scope of what is

  possible and and then you have to keep

  adding like what but how long does it

  take and and that's the thing that they

  they've clearly designed everything to

  to stay nice and short and in fact

  there's a little part where they talk

  about as well about how they've

  shortened the process over time

  unlike kind of accidentally though right

  yeah yeah it was interesting that they

  returned with the the production of the

  technology that they're like oh we used

  to use these incredibly expensive

  $30,000 machines

  and now it's just an office full of IMAX

  that the machines have gotten fast

  enough and the animation style has

  remained simple enough that that it's

  it's pulled down the amount of time even

  further and further that they need to

  produce one of those shows in terms of

  the animation and yeah it is it is crazy

  to think that the last 24 hours is when

  the vast majority of the animation

  actually occurs like it's it's just


  so obviously me and you are very used to

  collaborate in all creative endeavors we

  work with people to have an output and

  that's what's happening with Trey Parker

  and Matt Stone they're collaborating and

  there's a moment where they sit down

  with Matt stone and do kind of a

  one-on-one because looking at the show

  you know he's obviously important but

  doesn't seem to have as many roles in

  the production right purely because of

  the fact that Parker is writing it and

  directing the show he does both and

  Parker is also the louder personality

  yes so host on camera like Parker takes

  up space on the screen right just just

  with his physical presence drawers he

  draws everything towards him mm-hmm and

  they're you know he's kind of met sounds

  kind of talking about the fact that they

  the way that they work together and they

  understand each other and they know

  which one is in control in that moment

  and that that has enabled them to

  continue to work it's understanding the

  way that each other works I'm just

  playing into that has allowed for their

  collaboration to last for 20 years

  now I thought that little moment where

  they talked to each of them about you

  know the roles they play and how the

  other fits into this this production I

  thought that was really interesting

  because I've always thought that there's

  this there's this very important meta

  skill which is knowing yourself like and

  recognizing what you're good at and what

  you're not good at that can be developed

  and even just in that little section I

  thought like man these are two guys who

  know really well where their strengths

  are and where their own weaknesses are

  and and how they work together with each

  other and you know it's like it's really

  interesting because Matt stone in

  particular is talking about a thing

  that's really hard to talk about on

  on camera where he's saying how Oh when

  South Park was becoming popular he was

  getting offered all these direct oral

  jobs yes and he turns them down and he

  turned it's like he turns them down

  because he knows that that is not his

  skill set

  even though to the outsiders it seems

  like oh the two of them are making South

  Park together and they must be dividing

  these things up equally and he

  recognizes like he might be able to make

  a few movies but ultimately it's not

  it's not where he's strong and it just

  it wouldn't really go anywhere I thought

  like man that is just that is like such

  an underappreciated skill in a person to

  recognize that what many people would

  think of is like oh this is an amazing

  opportunity is actually a mistake that

  that wouldn't be the thing to do and

  that his time and energy are better

  spent working with Trey on South Park

  you know and it's really interesting

  then they then they go talk to Trey like

  and there's these situations where like

  Trey is the louder personality but he's

  not not confrontational in situations

  where maybe he would need to be

  confrontational like and then that's

  where Matt stone steps up and you know I

  just like how they both talk about this

  this metaphor of like being the members

  of the band and it's like yeah there's

  there may be one person who looks like

  they're more the lead person in the band

  but the band is still the members like

  you know one person can be the band the

  band is the two of them I just thought

  that I thought that was really

  interesting and you could just see like

  these are guys who work together a lot

  and and really know where their

  strengths lie whilst also remaining

  friends like that cuz one of my favorite

  examples of this is the Mythbusters are

  you familiar with the story there no I'm

  but I'm not sure what you're talking

  about here so they especially Adam

  Savage it gives more interviews than

  this because he's more of a like a

  public person he is someone who has

  remained kind of in the spotlight since

  Mythbusters ended and he said this is

  fact they're not friends they seem to

  not particularly like each other very

  much one of the quote

  step adam savage mentions a lot is that

  they have never eaten a meal alone hmm

  and they worked together for 10-15 years

  something like that

  Mythbusters was on the air for a long

  time yeah and but before that Adam

  Savage worked for Jamie like that's how

  it started

  like who's an employee his prop shop and

  their part they just they can work

  together incredibly well they know what

  the other one is thinking they can have

  a kind of like a language between the

  two of them apparently they argued and

  debated about every single point but

  always at the end one of them knew that

  the other was right and that was the way

  that they work together and it's so

  interesting to me because I can't

  imagine that environment like I only

  work with people I consider friends I

  couldn't imagine being in that way but

  what's going on is the same thing right

  like they just know how the other one

  works so like whether they're friends

  like it doesn't matter because what you

  actually need to know is to understand

  yourself understand the other person and

  their needs and then you can work

  together over a long period of time that

  I think people assume that you should

  have to be friends with someone but I

  think that they are a good example of

  why you actually don't need to be you

  just have to have the fundamentals of

  what you'd consider a friendship but

  they don't actually have to result in

  being friends which I just find that

  comparing to these two is very

  interesting is that they it's all there

  it's the same thing as then they know

  the strengths and weaknesses and they

  play to that they don't overstep and

  they work within their boundaries it's

  the same thing I didn't know that about

  Mythbusters and I'm I'm willing to bet

  that that I know like I don't want to

  say it annoys but I bet I bet that's a

  thing that bothers a lot of people I

  think it does yeah when when you're

  watching a show is like you want to

  think that they're friends and that

  they're hanging out

  when I first found that out I was really

  bummed out about it cuz I love yo I love

  the show and they seem to work so great

  together and I just assumed that they

  were the best of friends so when you

  hear that you're like oh no like they're

  my buddies yeah I get I guess part of

  this is also I think that people might

  have a hard time a hard time

  understanding that kind of professional

  relationship or it's like are they

  friends they but they don't have to be

  friends but it doesn't mean that they

  hate each other right like they're just

  they're there they work together they

  know how to work with each other but

  that's that's interesting I could that's

  interesting you hear that that's your

  reaction because that's what I would

  think most people would feel that way

  where they're like oh I want to imagine

  that everybody's friends that like they

  and the whole crew sit down and have

  birthday cakes together at the end of

  each shoot I was like it but things

  don't need to work that way especially

  like in Hollywood right people don't

  need to be friends they just need to be

  able to work together but it is or at

  least it comes across in this

  documentary that that Trey Parker and

  Matt Stone are clearly friends and also

  you know thinking thinking of things

  structurally it certainly seems like

  South Park is able to be what South Park

  is because Trey Parker and Matt Stone

  are great friends and it seems like they

  might not have a lot of friends in the

  wider Hollywood world they reference

  that yeah it's you know when people say

  something like that in documentary I do

  always wonder like how much do you

  really mean it

  but I can really believe it from these

  two for everything that they have done

  over the course of their careers but

  it's like there's a there's an

  interesting moment here because it

  getting like South South Park will

  really make fun of celebrities and

  people in the public eye and in a way

  that very few other shows will go like

  as hard into it as South Park will but I

  do think like it that doesn't just

  happen it happens structurally because

  of the personality of these two and

  because they don't really have any


  with the wider Hollywood world that goes

  so far as to reject it but the thing

  that like really highlights that in the

  documentary is that one of the writers

  in the writers room works on Saturday

  Night Live and explicitly says how oh

  I'm sorry Night Live the the politics of

  making fun of public people comes into

  the writing of their skits and it's like

  yeah like I can see that and I would

  think like that's also probably one of

  the reasons why at least to my tastes

  South Park is way funnier than Saturday

  Night Live and it's because Saturday

  Night Live is structurally constrained

  by the kinds of jokes they can make

  because if they're making jokes about

  public figures they can bet they're not

  going to get that public figure to host

  the show or if they're making jokes

  about the public figure they have to be

  within a certain bounds they can't go

  too far in one direction or another but

  it just it hadn't really occurred to me

  until seeing that but it's like oh right

  that makes total sense that that this is

  structurally why the show is able to do

  this and other comedies play it much

  more safe when it comes to referencing

  specific people in the real world but

  South Park doesn't care because Matt and

  Trey have nothing to lose it's like

  they're not losing their friends they

  don't have any friends in that world you

  know they clearly thumbed their nose at

  that world like they did at the was the

  Oscars was that the party that they

  showed the dresses it's interesting on


  it's funny I remember seeing that when

  it happened and I was much younger and

  just thought like oh those kinds of just

  in dresses but watching the clip now as

  an adult

  particularly Trey Parker there's a

  moment it's like dude you are so clearly

  I and on drugs like I cannot believe

  you're just showing up to the Oscars

  like this but yeah that's that's how you

  don't make any friends in the

  professional world but yeah so I is very

  interesting to watch seeing that whole

  process seeing how long it takes to come

  up with the ideas just as someone who's

  watched the show it's also very

  interesting to watch the the writer

  process where

  you can see them start to play with the

  ideas and and they start to do the

  voices and you can see then like come

  together with the puzzle pieces of of

  what the show should be like I have to

  say it was very interesting to watch

  that develop over time but towards the

  very end the thing that I just could not

  believe is that this episode was in the

  end delivered five hours before the

  broadcast time that that's that's when

  they got the final render out of the

  animation and it's like they hand a they

  had to tape to a guy who brings it to

  the the machine that's going to

  broadcast it across Comedy Central and

  it's like with a five hour five hours to

  spare it's it's unbelievable that they

  do it there's some guy in his car and

  tries to over it's that way you know

  just put it on a DVD and taking it there

  I mean the thing that is worth mention

  as well cuz I can imagine like if you're

  not seeing this documentary they're like

  how is that possible right because it's

  such a racy edgy show like how can

  Comedy Central allow it

  well it seems like that they have

  developed a system and a process where

  the executive producer will have

  multiple calls with the standards bodies

  and of Comedy Central

  all of the cuss words they're allowed to

  use how many they're allowed to use

  which ones they can replace for

  something else what they complete what

  they can't bleep and it ends up in just

  this wild these wild phone calls that

  you over here with and the the executive

  producers name is and Gary Fino and it's

  so funny to just watch her reading these

  lines in like a totally deadpan way

  she's using a boring corporate voice

  discuss the details of exactly how

  graphic they can be with their Human

  Centipede and then it's just like well

  you know happy Easter Bob right and

  click something like that right is it

  happy is it something like that yeah

  just wishes them like a great afternoon

  or it's just so strange but you can

  imagine after 20 years there is no trust

  bill up yeah right they kids they're not


  do something so crazy that they would

  get shut down like at that point they're

  well enough no identity and I guess this

  is like another sign of collaboration

  that we don't get to see a lot of but

  like how they work with Comedy Central

  it's kind of is kind of strange so I

  have a question for you right and I

  think I know the answer to this but I

  want to ask you anyway

  could you work in this environment oh my

  god now I'm kind of you know it's again

  there's a thing there's a thing that I

  sometimes think is underappreciated in

  the world but that some people who are

  very successful it is not obvious to

  outsiders just how much of their life

  they are burning on the thing that they

  are successful with and I think this

  documentary is a is a great view into

  that of of just what these guys are

  putting into this is just inhuman and

  then when you add on top of it like

  other side projects that they do you

  know successful musicals other movies

  the video games like like all of this

  other stuff it's it's just crazy but it

  gets them such an amazing level of

  success and I know we were discussing

  last time about the question a little

  bit about oh just because you put in the

  hours doesn't doesn't mean you're

  successful even if someone even if a

  genie could come along and could say to

  me like oh if you put in the hours

  you could be as successful as these - is

  that something you would want to do I

  would say no because I just this is a

  place where I do know myself and I I

  don't work well under deadlines I

  couldn't possibly dedicate as much in

  human time and energy as they do into

  this so I feel like I know myself and

  that I am much happier with a much

  diminished relatively level of success

  for for not having to produce

  episodes within six days and having to

  stay up until 5:00 in the morning and

  pulling these all-nighters and eating

  sad McDonald's and all the rest of it

  it's just I couldn't I couldn't possibly

  even if it meant it came with all the

  rewards that it does would you Mike

  which you took would you take that deal

  contrary to almost everything else about

  my personality and my disposition is a

  human being

  I have always worked and thrived in

  crisis situations so especially when I

  was working at the bank if something

  went terribly wrong if there was

  something that was going wrong I could

  and always did work very well in those

  environments like everything's crumbling

  down how do you fix it

  to the point that like if a team member

  was having a crisis I would want to be

  involved in it to help because I kind of

  thrived on that pressure and the kind of

  impending disaster it's very strange

  because there is nothing else than what

  my personality which would indicate that

  I would enjoy this but I did yeah but I

  think this is a trait that some people

  just have yeah I and and I think you

  have it and you know it doesn't it

  doesn't it really doesn't gel with

  anything else about the way that I work

  because you know I could be a nervous

  person I can be a warrior like it's very

  strange that I have those two parts of

  me but there they are so I don't think I

  could work there for very long but I

  think I could do it for a not tiny

  period of time I think for a few years I

  could I could work in that environment

  and would enjoy the last 24 hours and

  that's why I would keep coming why keep

  putting it myself through it would be

  for the last 24 hours

  mm-hmm but I think I would burn out

  often maybe two or three years of it

  like I don't think I could do it for

  long but I think it's something that I

  could enjoy not that I ever want to work

  in an environment like that necessarily

  I'm not gonna seek it out but if I was

  in it I think I would enjoy it but you

  don't think you could do it for 20 plus


  most definitely not I it's wild people

  doing anything for that period of time

  the same thing is astounding to me you

  know I used to work with people that

  have been in the same jobs in the same

  places for 30 years

  and I think it's an unbelievable thing

  cuz I couldn't do that like I wouldn't

  be able to stay just doing the same

  thing and I find it astounding that they

  have kept the same roles that they've

  had for 20 years and like basically

  uninterrupted that is a commitment that

  I don't think I could have to something

  like that I agree with you there I agree

  with you there but I've got to say Mike

  I'm glad you mentioned this a while back

  as a thing that we should watch I feel

  like I'm really happy that I saw it


  I hope for the people who did watch it

  that they found it interesting even if

  you're not necessarily a fan of South

  Park and I would I would be curious if

  the listeners out there do know of any

  other documentaries in this kind of

  genre of following people at work or

  people who work on interesting things I

  would love to hear some recommendation

  yeah because I just I can't think of

  anything else that's like this off the

  top of my head and I'd be very curious

  to see some more we could just do a

  rewatch of the office looking for

  something that's real wait I have bad

  news for you my British office is not

  real they're very different things yeah

  the American office is more my style of

  comedy in the British office today's

  episode of cortex is brought to you in

  part by indogene oh we're vintage Chino

  you can say goodbye to generic

  off-the-rack suits and instead enjoy the

  wonder of custom suits tailored to you

  at a fraction of the price that you

  would pay if you went to a tailor inochi

  know is the world's largest

  made-to-measure menswear company and hey

  they haven't gone unnoticed they've been

  featured in GQ Forbes and Fast Company

  because they make suits and shirts made

  to your exact measurements for a great

  fit they have a wide selection of high

  quality fabrics and the option to

  personalize all those little details

  both the lapel the jacket lining the

  monogram and much more it's so easy you

  just pick your fabrics submit your

  measurements place your order and three

  weeks later or less

  you'll have your new custom-made suit

  but let me tell you about this you think

  but Mike how how can I order a suit with

  my custom measurements on the internet

  was very easy just go to Indo Chino comm

  they'll send you if you want a little

  tape measure out in the post then all

  you do is you follow their guide which

  has some really helpful videos it shows

  you exactly how to measure each part of

  your body and then so you submit the

  measurements to them they check it all

  to make sure that they will seem logical

  when I put my measurements in I think I

  measure myself incorrect in a couple of

  places and the system was like hey you

  should check this area because I think

  you got that wrong I redid it and they

  were right I did get it wrong a few

  weeks later my suit arrived in the mail

  and it's fantastic it is now my super

  formal suit that I wear if I have to go

  and do something really nice and fancy

  I'll wear my endogenous suit

  it is fantastic especially when you look

  at the prices so endo Chino they are

  offering suits to you right now for just

  three hundred and fifty nine dollars to

  any of their premium Indo Chino suits if

  you use the code cortex at checkout so

  if you go to Indochina comm which is IND

  OCH ino calm and use the code cortex at

  checkout you can get any premium suit

  for three hundred and fifty nine dollars

  you can shop online

  Indochina calm or visit any of their

  showrooms across North America if you

  want so they can even size you up in one

  of their stores if you want so you can

  get a 50% off the regular price of a

  premium made-to-measure suit plus the

  shipping is free that is Indo Chino calm

  with the promo code cortex to get any of

  their premium suits for three hundred

  and fifty nine dollars plus free

  shipping head there now and get an

  incredible deal on a perfectly tailored


  our thanks to enter Chino for their

  support of this show okay Mike I have

  another little little update for the

  year of order order no no Mike it's just

  that don't say it like that so I said it

  in a totally normal way which is the

  year of order right that's that's the we

  have a little update for that so my my

  home office at this

  moment is empty everything needs to be


  there's packages that have been

  delivered to my glass cube all of that

  is underway I want to get that stuff

  finished are you up to three desks and

  the cube now or we still did two there's

  the two desks

  why do you man

  I just make a silly joke but it ends up

  turning into like there's actually

  something really going on yeah well do

  really me already

  now there's two desks in the glass cube

  and I I think that they are going to end

  up being two desks in the Home Office

  but I need to I need to settle on that a

  little bit more but more that happens we

  spent so much time talking about like

  the specifics of the one purpose of the

  Home Office if it has two desks there's

  two purposes no we can't get into this

  now Mike we can't I refused to be

  derailed on this because I still I still

  have thoughts okay and and you cut me

  off last time anyway with with

  discussing the Home Office glass cube

  situation I had so much important to

  talk about what we have to bring that so

  I I wondered if you notice ya know I'm

  no fool I know exactly what you were

  doing there was there was much more to

  be discussed you have touched upon it

  now but you know what I'm refusing to

  talk about it I'm gonna I'm gonna let it

  percolate I tried to write you out of

  that right that was that being the

  director so very subtle very subtle

  thing Mike I didn't notice at all so

  anyway we're just gonna skip that we're

  just gonna Sherman

  yeah so I don't I don't have a long

  topic on the year of order but I did I

  did just want to mention something

  because I know something people are

  interested in which is my eventual

  return to full-on use of task managers

  this year

  this is a thing that's going to happen

  at some point but I did just want to to

  mention that I have been using things a

  lot this year so this is things three is

  the name as always with TAS managers and

  timers you have to have these names that

  are very difficult to talk about and

  things is one of those it isn't as bad

  as do you though a do is do is the worst

  to do is close oh I saw another one I

  saw another one there's something well

  it was called like do but it was like do

  oh I was like all your dooms you do a

  start task manager one of my favorite

  studies Ted you seen that right I don't

  think I don't think I've seen that one

  no te ux de UX oh yes I have seen that

  you said yeah it's not yes but it's the

  problem is there's so many task managers

  right if you're trying to come up with a

  name you're limited for things but it's

  they all end up being relatively

  ambiguous but hmm I did just want to

  mention things because I've been using

  it just just a little bit sort of very

  informally to keep a record of some of

  the projects that I have active but I

  wouldn't say that I'm like I'm all in on

  using it as a task manager I've just

  been using it as kind of like a

  placeholder like where do I write down

  the things that I'm currently working on

  but I have to say I just I'm really

  impressed by it as a task manager I

  think the the things three redesign like

  for a long time I didn't touch things to

  because it seemed like it was not

  actively under development it hadn't

  been updated in a really long time but

  things three is just a really really

  great update and I know on the show

  previously I have said that my sort of

  default task manager recommendation if I

  don't know anything about a person is to

  just use clear and said let go just just

  run with clear but since I know they

  have a new one in development but it

  isn't available yet but right now I

  think I would have to switch that to

  things as if you want to get started

  with the task manager and you don't know

  where to begin

  I really have to recommend things 3 as


  to start it's just it's very simple it's

  very beautiful and it has a couple of

  really clever features in it that are

  things that I originally thought like oh

  I don't know about this but I have have

  come to love and wish that other task

  managers do like this there's the one

  thing that is just so simple but when

  you're laying out a project things gives

  you this option to create little

  subheadings and those subheadings aren't

  tasks they're not anything they're just

  a way that you can group something into

  different areas and say like oh all of

  these tasks go under this heading and

  all of these tasks you under this

  heading and it's it's so nice and

  freeing to have a visual distinction

  between things that doesn't also have a

  meaning right like these things are not

  sub projects or anything like that it's


  oh here's here's some visual separation

  between these different tasks what does

  this visual separation mean nothing it

  means nothing at all and they have a

  very simple way to specify tasks that

  you should be doing today which a lot of

  task managers have but everybody have an

  additional nice feature which is you can

  specify oh this task is for this evening

  and it just moves it down to the bottom

  of the list just a lot of really really

  nice touches and have to say I'm very

  impressed with it and I like it a lot as

  a simple task manager that isn't

  completely stripped back I don't know

  have you played with it at all Mike or

  are you totally unfamiliar with things

  no enough of my friends have been

  gushing over it that I decided to give

  it a try

  I know titi likes it a lot were talking

  about things yes and that's why I

  decided to give it a go just because of

  how much she's been enjoying it and I

  know that Steven tried it and he liked

  it but it ultimately didn't work for him

  and I've played around a bit very little

  but I know it's not the right app for me

  just for a couple of reasons the main

  one being the way in which you select

  dates and alerts is so cumbersome

  it's it feels very clunky to me after

  having used to doest loop for so long

  because todoist

  it's all natural language and once you

  get used to typing in take-out-the-trash

  at 4 p.m. pound sign personal and then

  what that does is takes the task puts a

  reminder in and an alert for 4 o'clock

  and it puts it in my personal project

  group that's wonderful and all of that

  in things you're hitting a bunch of

  buttons in here a bunch of dropdowns and

  they're repeating tasks UI is not good

  yeah I loved the design and some of the

  thoughts behind it I mean it is a

  beautiful iPhone app in which to duyst

  is kind of like just a decent-looking

  cross-platform application right like

  that's how even decent there I'm I feel

  like that's it's fine right like it's

  not offensive because it's so plain I'm

  not saying it's offensive but it's not

  great it's not great but ultimately what

  I'm looking for my task manager is the

  functionality either I want as opposed

  to do with the design and whilst things

  design is wonderful they're missing a

  bunch of things I mean and also like

  whilst I don't use a ton ton of it like

  having the Web API stuff is important to

  me now because I like to have things go

  in on their own and just as an option

  for the future I don't really show that

  sort of stuff off but I've tried things

  I don't know if it would be my

  recommendation for people but I but I

  can see why it would be somebody's if

  that makes sense like what's not what I

  would give I would still recommend

  todoist especially because to-do list

  you can try for free I don't even think

  things has a subscription plan and it is

  a in the world of applications a

  relatively expensive application and you

  have to buy it on all platforms

  individually but it is beautiful and if

  you are if you really care about design

  in your applications like you really

  really care then this is probably the

  one you should try I agree that I would

  have a hard time if I had to use that as

  my main and only task manager forever

  that the limitations I would find really

  frustrating but there's two things here

  I find I always find it an inch

  a thought experiment about if you had to

  make a recommendation and you didn't

  know anything about the person like what

  would you recommend if you knew someone

  was going to buy Mac but you didn't know

  anything about them like what would you

  recommend is the default knife I guess

  this is an interesting thought

  experiment and I feel like things is my

  task manager' recommendation if I didn't

  know anything about the person what

  would I do what would do that but also I

  just want to recommend it because I have

  really enjoyed it because I think that

  there are times when the limitations are

  helpful it's the very fact that things

  is lacking some of the more complicated

  features that has while I'm still

  feeling out the edges of what does the

  year of order mean it's forcing me to be

  more limited in what I'm actually

  keeping track of right now and it's the

  same reason why if someone has no

  experience with task managers whatsoever

  I always recommend someone just starts

  with paper like just get a notebook and

  paper and write things down because you

  don't even know where you want to begin

  and like force yourself with the

  simplicity of that before we move on

  from this topic do you have any thoughts

  about OmniFocus 3 like the upcoming

  announcements and stuff of OmniFocus 3

  yeah well well this is this is one of

  the questions right if I can't stick

  with things for forever where am I gonna

  go and then and we see on the horizon

  there how many focus and the thing I

  love about OmniFocus they're their

  strongest suit as always is hiding from

  you the things that you can do nothing

  about right now that to me is such a

  killer feature it's why I always I

  always come back to OmniFocus and I'm

  always happy when they publish their

  roadmap at the beginning of the year

  because of course I'm intensely

  interested in what they're doing and

  especially having been away from task

  managers for so long I feel like I'm

  coming back to it with different eyes

  one of the things I'm really really glad

  to see that OmniFocus is doing they are

  finally getting rid of the concept of

  contexts and replacing them

  with tags I feel like that is there is a

  huge improvement so that you can have a

  task and you can put an arbitrary number

  of tags associated with it rather than

  having to pick a single context which

  they discuss on their blog post that

  this is this is a thing that as time has

  gone on that people who are unfamiliar

  with getting things done have a hard

  time understanding like this concept of

  what is a context supposed to be and

  I've always argued that I think in as

  time has gone on one of the ways that

  getting things done has not held up is

  this idea that your work is so clearly

  defined by the physical world and like

  that just and that was what context grow

  out of is this idea of these physical

  constraints it's like we just kind of

  don't live in that world anymore I think

  this doesn't make sense for most people

  the way it used to so I got to say I am

  really really glad that they're bringing

  in tags and they're ditching contexts

  I'm super happy about that there's a

  bunch of other great features I like it

  it looks like they're improving

  notifications they're changing around

  the design which I think can be improved

  they're working on automation of course

  I always love automation there is one

  question though that I have from reading

  this blog post I was reading a section

  real close as I can't quite figure out

  what do you mean by this omni group and

  it is their section on how dates are

  managed with OmniFocus because I love

  OmniFocus but the one thing that really

  kills me sometimes is the way that at

  least currently they handled dates where

  there's this strange thing where if you

  have a task and you assign a due date to

  it it remembers what time zone you're in

  when you assign that due date but

  there's no way to modify or change that

  time zone and I think had I been using

  OmniFocus over the previous year with

  the amount of travel that I have have

  been doing that would have driven me

  crazy because I was just constantly in

  different time zones or working with

  different things I'd like to have

  that have this invisible time zone

  associated with them would be madness

  and my whole system revolves around the

  idea of gray master time that almost

  every single one of my tasks is due or

  needs to be done relative to me and my

  time not relative to like what is the

  time not relative to like what is the

  time in California right now or what is

  the time in New York and this is one of

  the reasons that I love and used to do

  list because if you do this when you

  arrive in a new place it asks you do you

  want to change to this your task to this

  time zone and if you say yes if you add

  a task it was going off at 12 o'clock in

  London it will go off at 12 o'clock in

  New York right like just full it just

  changes all of your task times for you

  to do it is great because it asks the

  vast majority of task manager systems

  don't even ask they just assume that the

  time is relative to wherever you are so

  like if you said if you set a reminder

  and Apple say like go remind me about a

  thing at 2:00 p.m. and you get on a

  flight and change time zones in the mean

  time it'll remind you at 2:00 p.m.

  wherever you landed and it's same thing

  with things

  same thing with almost every single task

  manager I've ever used it's just

  OmniFocus has this one this like weird

  feature and they they do discuss in

  their article talking about how the

  dates are going to change that

  currently there are five different times

  that are tracked with each task but the

  user only has access to two of them and

  I'm wondering like what the heck are

  those other two I don't understand but

  so anyway I am deeply deeply hoping that

  this is addressed that OmniFocus that

  you can set a task to be a floating task

  that it does not have a time zone again

  not not least because I'm still looking

  at this year where there's going to be a

  lot of travel ahead and if if this

  hasn't been addressed I'm going to need

  to figure out what is it that I'm going

  to do with my task management system but

  if it has been addressed and I feel like

  almost almost certainly a couple months

  from now I'll be telling you about like

  oh this this system that I've set up in

  OmniFocus but in general though

  OmniFocus like it looks really great the

  roadmap and the things that they're

  doing I hope to god that they fix the

  time zone thing they're doing a really

  interesting idea with collaborations I'm

  just I'm very curious to see where it

  goes and I think it's I think it's just

  a great piece of software although I

  think also a custom icon wouldn't go


  yeah custom icons huh how are those

  working for you well you know Mike I

  think the thing is a custom icon you

  need custom icons all apps should offer

  custom icon colors because when you're

  trying to arrange a home screen colors

  are very important can't have too many

  of the same colors near each other or if

  their color is that you don't like you

  don't want them on your home screen so

  custom icons very important for home

  screen arrangement today's episode of

  cortex is also brought to you by

  Backblaze the unlimited cloud backup for

  Macs and PCs the starts at just $5 a

  month you can sign up for a 15-day free

  trial with no credit card required at

  Backblaze calm such core-tex you've

  heard us talk about back plays before

  and when you hear us doing this when you

  hear these ads you're probably thinking

  to yourself hmm you know what I really

  should get around to backing up my stuff

  pretty soon but let me tell you the

  problem with Tsun Tsun basically is

  never sign up right now and finally get

  it checked off your list you don't even

  have to be at the computer that you want

  backed up just go there from your phone

  right now to Backblaze comScore tax and

  sign up for a plan they'll send you an

  e-mail once you've checked out and

  everything and then later on you'll be

  reminded to set it up when you're

  sitting at home on your Mac don't let

  this wait because back plays will backup

  your documents your music your photos

  your videos your drawings your projects

  your memories everything that you want

  and need and once it's all backed up

  you'll have instant access to your data

  anywhere in the world even from your

  smartphone if you need to restore one

  file Backblaze can do that if you need

  to restore everything because something

  terrible's happened they can do that too

  heck they'll even ship you a hard drive

  all of your data on it and once you've

  restored with your precious documents

  send it back to them and get a full

  refund it's a win win back players have

  restored over 28 billion with ABI

  billion files that is an average of 1

  million files per hour

  it's gimmick free there's no additional

  charges it's just $5 per month for full


  I personally waited too long to do this

  and I lost a laptop to a pint of soda

  don't let that happen to you because

  there was stuff on that laptop that I

  know is gone you know what

  real problem is I don't know what I lost

  that's way worse than knowing what you

  lost the feeling of things have gone and

  I don't know what they are don't be a

  fool like me I had that place set up on

  all of my max now and it makes me so

  happy to know that even though I have my

  local backups I have absolutely

  everything in the cloud ready for me in

  case I ever need it

  Claude sex listeners get a 15 day free

  trial just by going to Backblaze calm

  slash cortex so go there right now and

  get your backup system in order once

  again that is Backblaze comm slash

  cortex go there so they know that you

  came to them from this show because that

  helps support us thanks to Backblaze for

  preventing countless disasters and for

  supporting this show and real afm client

  just mention it mention why not just

  throw home screen arrangement around as

  a phrase you know you have to give it up

  let's see what you got we have not

  exchanged our home screens since we

  moved to the iPhone 10 it feels like we

  do home screens every week I help you do

  this all the time this already once a

  year we do this and I want to see if the

  iPhone 10 has changed things for you I

  will mention that the the wallpaper the

  core-tex wallpaper that the wonderful

  designer forgotten tale put together for

  us was painstakingly updated for the

  iPhone 10 like I was helping him out

  with it and we were trying to get it to

  just work just right it has been

  painstakingly updated so it aligns

  properly so you know I know a lot of

  people like that wallpaper and it's

  still available and there is now a true

  black version ooh nice on the OLED

  screens it is black it's not blue or

  gray anymore so that's the thing that is

  available there are a couple of options

  and that's still available for free and

  I'll put a link in our show notes if you

  want to grab that but it has been

  updated so if you have an iPhone 10 then

  you may want to you may want to check it

  out so okay let's exchange home screens

  here okay Mike I've sent you I've shown

  you my home screen it's time for you to

  show me yours oh you've done a whole bit

  thing again oh my gosh I haven't done a

  whole big thing I have not done the

  whole big thing again and what you have

  just sent me you have no right to talk

  about ugly yeah I don't know no no I'm

  like I feel like we're starting all over

  again this is like the first time we

  exchanged home screens my home screen

  looks like how people's home screens

  look it's a wallpaper and there's a

  bunch of apps yours is like oh here's a

  grid of 12 smack bang in the middle of

  the phone yeah your home screen looks

  like people's home screens look like

  which is what garbage looks like and

  it's not the comparison you're like oh

  my screen looks like most people's

  because I always peer over everybody's

  shoulders to see what their home screens

  look like and most people's home screens

  make me want to vomit and this is this

  very busy mic this is a real real busy

  screen just a full screen it's it's very

  it's very colorful so yeah this is a

  special members-only really I found

  wallpaper that I have so if you want to

  get that wallpaper you have to be a real

  AFN member we have a whole pack of

  wallpapers and this is one from the

  remaster podcast that I do and I love it

  very much it's nice and bright I spent a

  long time trying to get it aligned it's

  not perfect but it's as close as I can

  make it happen yeah I think I like the

  remaster artwork retro video game fan

  globe it's sort of Trani and also Epcot

  Center II it's the remaster artwork one

  of the best artworks on the whole of the

  relay Network I don't like that you've

  just zoomed in on the central part so

  that it's it's just this is how gross is

  horrible look this is just a wallpaper

  you you know you've chosen this and it's

  I'm not a fan not a fan at all I think

  it's it's really ugly I never expected

  you to be a fan but I think that you are

  working with some grotesquerie right now

  with this situation you've got going on

  why is everything in the middle okay

  can can I wait before before we get that

  can I can we just we need to focus on

  you from huh okay it's ugly

  we can just get past that make sure um I

  mean I mean look at Mike it's like

  you're trying to pick all of the colors

  in the world because you've also gone

  with a custom P calc icon which has the

  rainbows around it yeah you've chosen

  icons to make more colors all over the

  place oh my color again it's clown vomit

  the only one you've actually gone the

  other way with is the bear icon you've

  chosen the the black black and white

  bear you don't choose the argument I

  choose the theme Michael I wish they

  would separate those two things because

  right there developers if you're

  listening that the fact that you have to

  choose your theme and your icon at the

  same time and they have to match is

  crazy I want I want a big bear icon and

  the true black theme in the inside the

  application that's one yeah I have

  definitely moved back towards all color

  again I'm in an old color season for

  whatever reason it's the reason for the

  colored season that's where I am right

  now I can't explain why very Wonka here

  okay it's Bru it's the season for colors

  okay why is it so full like what why

  have you just why have you felt the need

  to use them every single space a lot of

  things to think about I need access to

  stuff immediately yes there will be

  there I mean there are a couple of

  applications that I don't necessarily

  need on the home screen but then it's

  gonna throw it out of whack balance wise

  right I have like maybe one or two that

  I would move away but then yeah there's

  always a bit of balance you know so

  there are a couple in there in here that

  I probably don't need to be there but I

  look at my home screen every now and

  then and I evaluate and there is nothing

  I would take off that screen right now

  okay and we have covered many of these

  apps many times but I also feel that

  this is there's a few on here that I

  have no idea what these things are

  what is pipedrive Oh pipe drive is a

  sales management CRM tool uh-huh

  right okay yes that's my that's my big

  my big grown up adult application right

  my discussed that my corporate sales app

  right with the mandatory lowercase

  letter logo okay great yeah

  what is anchor okay so anchor is audio

  social network they respond sir and

  relay FM and I've been playing around

  with their application so okay alright

  too much but yeah there is a cool app I

  like it okay and canary

  I don't know canary canary is my home

  security system oh right okay right so

  that's that that's the home security

  camera little bus that we call him

  you're right that makes sense yeah I

  bust the criminals I'm calling Busta

  little name right he's busting busting

  criminals all day it's crime crime

  busting she's just me walking around

  though honestly like 1:30 in the morning

  fussing you tell me again I see you're

  also a cool guy who's on not one not two

  but three test flights with these apps

  you see that City Instagram want up

  there look at me now I'm super fancy no

  I know that's that's the thing it's like

  ooh you're on the histogram test why

  isn't somebody fancy I know these people

  just need my good opinions you know they

  certainly don't need your good designed

  opinions though that's that's for sure

  oh yeah okay yeah this just expansive

  disgusting just darkness with these I

  just I couldn't I couldn't I couldn't

  possibly look at this purple monstrosity

  all the folders with one application in

  them and a bunch of dots great it

  doesn't scream and his it's barely such

  a missed balance of color as well like

  the three molt like green applications

  and there will kind of spread out

  weirdly and then there's green in the

  maps icon yeah yeah I'll give you that

  the green the green is a thing that

  needs to be worked on but that is partly

  bears fault

  like I can't choose the color bear icon

  that I want which has like knock-on

  effects so yeah I agree this this screen

  is not what I want the final version of

  it to be but I think it is clearly way

  better than your

  disgusting homescreen disagree what what

  are you using filmic perfil okay well

  let me let me let me paint it let me

  paint a word picture for the people Mike

  no people no no cuz you're gonna paint

  it nicely people need to just go to AA

  showing us and open this horrific image

  that I've been put in front of my eyes

  with just this weirdo square or

  applications sitting in the middle of

  this screen it's such a waste

  such a waste yeah so rather than junk up

  my home screen and take every available

  slot like I'm some kind of app hoarder I

  have I have chosen instead to do a

  little bit of a four by four grid of

  apps on my phone I don't need all of

  those slots occupied hmm space is a

  luxury Mike and so I have luxurious

  space on my phone how are you doing this

  by the way well what you are about what

  you're asking here is I have the grid

  centered on the phone because with the

  iPhone 10 and with the OLED screen black

  backgrounds just look fantastic like the

  black levels are great it makes

  everything else pop and that's always a

  thing I've really liked about the

  backgrounds that I choose is trying to

  pick backgrounds that highlight the

  applications that don't detract and I

  don't know if I'm going to stick with it

  indefinitely but I have been enjoying

  the pure black background as a novelty

  with iPhone X and because it's pure

  black it now allows me to use that trick

  where you can put fake icons above the

  actual apps so all I did was I made a

  fake icon in workflow where it's just

  purely black color and then I added that

  to the homescreen so there's there's

  four like dummy apps with invisible

  names that are taking up the top row

  just to move the grid down so that it's

  centered on the screen if you can have

  the invisible names why do you have the

  dots there for the folders I have the

  dots there for the folders because

  I think it looks visually on like if I

  could if I could I wish I could add an

  accessibility feature on iPhone called

  your app names are dumb and I don't want

  to see them especially because they

  turned off the names of the apps in the

  dock I know if it's it drives me crazy

  like again every time I see that the app

  names I just I feel like those app name

  czar there for idiots and and it's like

  yeah anyone who uses their phone any

  amount of time knows what the icons are

  nobody is reading it and going like me


  where did my calendar go it's so stupid

  it's so stupid and I hate it I hate it

  so much I've hated it since the dawn of

  the iPhone having the stupid words

  especially when some of them don't fit

  and they like do the little dot that is

  a problem of being with so many cool guy

  betas is that sometimes they're little

  yeah you run out of space don't squish

  is the name up you know that can be a

  real problem it is if but it really is

  it really is a real problem so while in

  theory you would think oh you hate these

  words so you wouldn't want to have

  anything below the folders the four

  folders on the top I find that I tried

  it by putting invisible names in those

  folders but then it just looks visually

  unbalanced because all of the icons have

  something below them these stupid words

  so I feel like I need something below

  the folders otherwise it just looks like

  there's too much space between the top

  row and the next row so I put the dots

  there because I find them the least

  visually intrusive and that that's why

  they're there it's just as visual

  balance but they don't have any real

  function you ever tried emoji I tried it

  once but there's a problem that I don't

  I'm not a fan of the design of the Apple

  emojis I think they look dumb and I

  found them just more distracting to have

  on the home screen there are places

  where I use emojis actually do use

  emojis a lot in my time tracking system

  with toggle so that I can

  like visually identify stuff faster than

  reading but it works there but I don't

  like them on the home screen I just

  don't like the look of them there -

  there - 3d for my liking and so that's

  that's why I don't have them there even

  even though I think that it would kind

  of make more sense to have an emoji that

  represents what each of these folders

  are but rather instead I'm trying to

  pick the one icon that you see in the

  folder to be representative of what that

  folder is that that's kind of how I'm

  labeling these folders but yeah so I

  have the the top four folders which are

  there simply to act as categories to

  sort all of the apps that I don't want

  on my home screen into and so those

  categories are the first one has the

  Settings app in there and that is the

  miscellaneous category everything that

  doesn't fit anywhere else just goes in

  there the next one over has caret

  weather and that contains all of the

  apps that are I don't know a good way to

  describe this but in my head I think of

  them as location-based so they have

  something to do with where I currently

  am so these are like flight tracking

  apps or ride-sharing apps or I put the

  wallet app in there or if a conference

  I'm going to has an app like I put that

  app in there or food delivery services

  or train ticket apps like all of that

  kind of stuff is sort of location-based

  do you ever do like a time-sensitive

  promotion of an application to the front

  page at the folder one of the reasons I

  like to have space is so that I can have

  that bottom row available to put stuff

  down and normally when I'm traveling

  there'll be two apps that will go in

  that bottom row and it's mainly on the

  main screen on the main screen yeah

  it'll usually usually be the flight

  tracker and I'm still using flight log

  or as my main one for that okay I'll

  need a recommendation I did give up in

  the air a try it's interesting but I'm

  still sticking with flight logger as my

  main one it's pretty heavy-handed but I

  do like it

  it is also definitely better than it

  used to be like if I had to use it I

  wouldn't be upset but I'll put flight


  that bottom row and then the other thing

  I'll put in the bottom row which I sort

  of silly but I'll put the wallet app

  down there because like if I don't know

  I find when I'm traveling I'm always

  real panicky about how long will it take

  me to access whatever ticket I have in

  my Apple wallet for whatever it is that

  I need and so I have the wallet

  available everywhere like I have it in

  the in the control center and then I'll

  put it on the home screen and then some

  tickets but not all tickets

  frustratingly will show up as

  notifications on the lock so like I want

  every way to be able to open up that

  wallet immediately because I'm oh it's

  just like real panicking when the guy

  comes over it's like tickets please like

  I don't know what second I'm the idiot

  with my phone right yeah yeah I feel

  that like there's a there's a train line

  in London called the Docklands Light

  Railway the DLR and unlike any other of

  the tube lines or the kind of DF of rail

  lines there's no barriers for this train

  and there's no drivers for the Train

  there's no drivers but there's a

  conductor or you could come up and down

  and check the tickets because instead of

  doing the barriers where like you have

  to have the Buried presser to get

  through you kind of work on an honor

  system if I'm gonna touch my Oyster card

  or my iPhone to the to the scanner and

  I'm gonna get on the train so because

  they have that kind of honor system they

  have a conductor periodically who may

  come and check and I feel like such a

  tool when I double tap my watch and hold

  my wrist up for this person to scan my

  wrist to make sure that I touched in on

  the the pad correctly I feel like such

  an idiot in those moments I have to

  agree while a lot of the ticket stuff

  will show up on the watch I feel

  socially reluctant to use the watch as

  as a ticket yeah

  I'd never do it it's just cuz it's Apple

  pay and I use it an Apple pay all the

  time but for like tickets for planes and

  stuff I would honestly typically still

  use the paper one if they give it to me

  but other than that I will always use my

  phone I like a paper ticket just in case

  you in such a high-pressure situation

  right when you're in the airports it's

  like if they're gonna give me a paper

  ticket I'll take it because I

  ever back up I don't print out the paper

  tickets but I'll say this I have never

  regretted it when someone gives me a

  ticket I give a thing comes up and I

  need to go to the gate a yeah never

  print it but if they if they offer to

  give me or they give me at the check-in

  desk that's what I'll use for the rest I

  will I will always take it and there is

  one real disadvantage which I think is a

  real structural disadvantage in an


  especially when lots of people are using

  a tickets which I'm just aware of a huge

  proportion of people are using the

  tickets on their phone like that has

  really skyrocketed in airports and the

  big disadvantage is everyone is real

  gentle with your phone and a lot of the

  scanners are built so that you just you

  have to give the person your phone to

  scan in the tickets yeah yeah and

  there's there's this weird like people

  are holding it just on the top side like

  nobody wants to really grab anybody

  else's phone and you really do think

  that that slows things down so and but

  it's also why that's in many situations

  like using the watch it's like oh come

  on you know I need to take your whole

  arm yes like it weirdly

  pushed your arm around and yeah it's

  never it's never gonna work

  but again I'm always like I'm very

  nervous on the lines about having my

  iPhone ticket ready because I just I

  don't want to be the person who's

  holding it up and every once in a while

  I've been like I've been so anxious

  about having the ticket ready that I'm

  fiddling around with it so much that

  I'll like lock the phone yeah right

  before them and I'm like oh now right

  and now now Here I am like now I'm a guy

  then you become the British person

  fumbling around making little noises

  yeah it's terrible but so that that's

  why I'll put the wallet in that bottom

  space because like any any button no

  matter where I can be to get to the

  wallet to get to the ticket is what I

  want as fast as possible so that that's

  the one folder the next folder over

  which has the toggle timer in it that's

  representative of a bunch of apps that I

  just use for work stuff in one form or

  another so I toggle that still kind of

  sucks right yeah it's not great and it's

  probably not very long-lived

  on my phone either because

  I can't I can't trace it exactly but

  somewhere in my system something isn't

  ending timers correctly and so I end up

  with these weird super long recorded

  times that problem is me I woke up this

  morning to a 19-hour invoicing timer ya

  see I'm always I'm always firing off

  timers so I don't have that problem but

  every once in a while there's some timer

  where it like it weirdly thinks that

  even though I have launched 20 timers in

  the day there was one timer from the

  morning and has also been going on all

  day long and I'm I think it's the iOS

  app that's doing it but but either way I

  just I have it there as a label that

  this is the folder for work stuff I

  don't use it a lot and I'm probably

  going to take it off my phone relatively

  soon and then the next one over has the

  Apple watch in it and then that just has

  a bunch of health-related apps in there

  so I have those four folders on the top

  for these sorting purposes so it does

  make it easier when I need to manually

  find an app I have an idea of where it

  probably is and also frankly it is like

  you were saying while with filling up

  the slots on your phone that you do run

  into these balance problems of I

  actually don't have a ton of apps that I

  really would want on the home screen

  there's lots of stuff that I'm happy to

  search for and so the four on the top is

  is again a kind of visual balance the

  thing I could get away with one folder

  but one folder looked really ugly and

  four is fine and I'm I'm looking for

  more spaces on the home screen anyway so

  I don't I don't mind putting those four

  across there but yes I will acknowledge

  that the color arrangement an exact

  location of some of these apps is not

  the best but this is partly coming off

  of the gray keishon and not having

  settled entirely on what the new phone

  will be that's partly why the the

  screenshot that I gave you is taken

  filmic Pro is on there which is the

  camera that I can use for some vlogging

  stuff because I was in a place where I

  was doing some vlogging recording but

  that's that's not an app that needs to

  live on the home screen under normal


  that's gonna get out how many plugs are

  you gonna record before you release one

  just I've vlog every day

  I just never put them out the question

  is Mike what is a vlog I can say that I

  have made several short vlogs that I've

  realized this is boring as all hell and

  I just got rid of it

  so like that that has happened a number

  of times log falls in the woods and

  there's no one around blog vlog has

  uploaded to YouTube and nobody likes it

  did it exist who knows but so anyway

  filmic Pro is gonna go off and then of

  course that has huge knock-on effects of

  everything else but and also the the

  arrangement of to do tasks on the bottom

  row like that is ultimately going to

  change but you just happen to be seeing

  it where it is right now are there any

  other questions about this particular

  set of Evernote man Evernote it's just

  never gonna go away is it Evernote it's

  here's the thing though this is actually

  it's been a long time since Evernote has

  been on the home screen of my phone and

  part of this was part of this was just

  accepting as part of the year of order

  like every notes just gonna be with you


  right it's just gonna be here there's no

  way you're ever walking away from that

  embrace it and I've put Evernote on the

  homescreen specifically so that and it's

  worked so far I engage in a particular

  behavior which is I often have a thought

  for some video and in the past I would

  open up a note and I would write it down

  and then at some later point I would

  cycle that note into the appropriate

  place in Evernote and I've decided like

  well just just skip that step why not

  just accept that ever notes here put it

  on the home screen and put the note

  right where it belongs immediately and

  save yourself the effort later of

  sorting and categorizing it so that

  actually has worked pretty well and I'm

  liking the way that is how is the

  Evernote app now it's fine

  it's fine cuz I I haven't used it and in

  a very long time at this point just

  because Apple notes is it gives me

  everything I need like I don't need

  anymore from it like on the phone what I

  would say it's fine for putting stuff in

  it's fine from looking stuff up but if

  you're gonna do any organization you

  better be sitting at a computer or

  you're gonna hate your life so if I need

  to do any serious Evernote reorganizing

  that that'll happen on a computer that

  won't happen on the phone Apple Maps use

  Apple Maps I have a very particular use

  for Apple maps mmm

  this is gonna sound I'm pretty sure I've

  told you this before I'm not sure I've

  said it on the podcast but well you know

  what's going here I have a I've

  increasingly had a lot of problems with

  motion sickness and it's very strange

  but when I'm in a car it's is very often

  like I can get motion sickness if I'm

  not looking out the windows or I'm not

  like yeah I just this is this is a

  sensitivity that has increased over time

  and do you just get it and caused you

  get it in planes luckily I have not

  gotten it in planes oh that would be bad

  I hope that ever happens to you

  yeah I'm a little worried just because I

  used to never get it in cars either and

  now I do and so I feel like uh oh

  there's some dial of sensitivity that is

  getting turned up over time but if I get

  motion sickness on planes like well I

  guess I'm just gonna restructure an

  amazing portion of my life like that's

  what's going to happen because I'm not

  gonna put up with that anyway I have

  Apple Maps there because I mean

  genuinely Apple Maps is is it is reach

  the point where it's fine for day-to-day

  use but the thing that is surprisingly

  helpful is if I'm in a car and I'm not

  driving I put the destination into Apple

  maps and it does the haptic feedback on

  my wrist and it is really helpful to

  actually have a little indicator of

  which way you're going to turn before

  you turn and so I find that is actually

  helpful with the car sickness sales

  thing so it's it's it's pre preparing

  your brain for the

  yeah like I will always leave the

  navigation on on on my phone but it's

  useful because if I don't want to look

  at the phone I can just get the haptic

  feedback on the watch and yeah it's like

  my brain is is ready for the turns and

  people always ask like oh but what

  happens if the person doesn't make the

  turn where Apple Maps thinks it should

  make the try it doesn't seem to matter

  it just seems to know that like

  anticipation of a turn maybe upcoming is

  actually the only information that I

  really want and it it helps but I do

  have to say if you are doing any kind of

  actual serious strike like if I'm in

  America and I am driving to a place that

  I don't know

  I will almost always use Google Maps

  instead for the actual driving

  directions like Google Maps is a serious

  like you're doing a road trip in America

  you're crazy not to use Google Maps not

  least because they have some features

  like saving offline maps for when you

  get out of cell phone acts like they

  have a lot of really great features but

  I'm not really using Apple maps for my

  own navigation 99% of the time right I'm

  using it as like navigational awareness

  but it's there on the home screen

  because it when it's needed is needed

  urgently right there's no fussing it's

  good yeah there's no fussing and and

  also I do use the maps often enough and

  like I said it's fine it's fine for

  purpose when I'm looking for things so I

  just I just leave it on the home screen

  there in London Google Maps is so much

  better than Apple maps like the point of

  interest data is better they have like

  what time is this place busy day - it's

  it really is just excellent oh yeah no

  yeah I mean that is the thing if I want

  to know when a place is busy I always

  open up the Google Maps and I want to go

  to a place when nobody's there tell me

  Google Maps sites that that is one of

  the best features I love that feature

  and you're still using the start and

  stop time is there in the bottom what is

  it what is that one in the middle is

  that open like a log of your toggle

  activities or something okay so this

  this is a little bit different this was

  part of my effort to increase the amount

  of time captured I was trying think

  about like what time or do I hit the

  most and I've I've set up a timer I mean

  is months ago but I set up a timer which

  is called loading which I think of is

  like the loading screen in a videogame

  you know when you're trans

  from one area to another as realizing

  that there's a lot of my time in life

  which I can categorize as like loading

  screen behavior that I finished activity

  1 I've sort of like oh I'm gonna go get

  a coffee now and I'm like in that

  transition period of deciding what am I

  going to do next and so I've mentally

  trained myself that if I don't know what

  timer I'm going to hit for the next task

  I just automatically hit the loading

  timer and what that does is it stops

  whatever timer was previously running

  and begins this just generic you are in

  a transitional state timer which I

  really like because it helps me cut down

  on that transitional state it helps cut

  down on not deciding what's going to

  happen next because again I'm aware that

  there is this timer in existence but so

  that is by far my most frequently hit

  single timer is that one so I thought

  might as well put it right right in the

  center on the home screen in a in a

  prominent location so that's what I hit

  most of the time now Mike I know you

  don't I don't you don't like the home

  screen but here's here's a question that

  I want to know what you think of here is

  my lock screen oh look at that that's

  surprising surprising that would even

  come up what does that Mike is that one

  of these dynamic cool papers yes it is

  it is one of the dynamic wallpapers that

  Apple introduced years ago and has never

  updated ever but it's just the the blue

  little color blobs and what do you do

  you 3d touch on it and they move or

  something all that I just move around on

  their own they move automatically so

  whenever I pick up the phone the little

  blobs come into existence and they move

  around with the way the phone moves and

  I always hated those animated wallpapers

  I didn't think they look great but I'll

  tell you again with the black levels of

  the of the iPhone X it looks gorgeous

  and I always just kind of like having a

  little bit of a little bit of whimsy a

  little bit of difference when you switch

  devices and so this is again a thing

  like I don't know

  if I'm going to keep this but I like it

  and it's it's fun for having the new

  device but yeah I like it I like it a

  lot and I was just curious if this was

  going to get Mike approval or

  disapproval I think that there are there

  are better options for what you're doing

  but I like that there's something going

  on so like with the with the infant and

  they added a bunch of these 3d touchable

  dynamic wallpapers like shifting sands

  shifting coloured sands and stuff like

  that they're pretty interesting I don't

  use them but they're fun yeah but the

  problem is they require an action on

  your part that's true like you have to

  like oh I'm gonna now 3d press my lock

  screen to see a thing move how many

  times you're gonna do that I like that

  this just happens automatically that

  they just show up and they move around

  and they've made them very reactive to

  subtle motions in the phone oh yeah I

  like I've just I'm trying to out now and

  you move it around then it all goes wild

  I don't think I would like that I

  originally thought I was gonna try it

  for this and the home screen and there

  is a nice there is a nice touch that

  when you unlock the phone and you swipe

  up it'll keep the bubbles in the same

  spot when you go to the home screen but

  turns out that I hate that icon small

  about it yes yeah oh I tried it I tried

  it for maybe a day and I was like what

  am i doing it's like horrible there's a

  Mines clan moment they're like clown

  trials us yeah it's it would be no good

  there was also a multicolored one which

  I was trying for a while and then I

  eventually settled on the blue as my

  personal favorite so i like that i think

  i think it's it's interesting to do and

  it looks great on the new phone for the


  but i have one more thing to show you

  but i just need to grab something from

  the other room so I'll be back in just a

  second okay


  I was realizing that we've discussed

  home screens now for a while having done

  this show and I don't think I've

  mentioned one thing that I particularly

  like to do so I'm going to show you I

  can't show it on my phone because I

  don't have it set up right now but I'm

  gonna show you how I set up my iPad when

  I was on my winter vacation what are you

  laughing at Mike before you say anything

  I want you to realize that when I was on

  my gradation I did this on my iPad and

  on my phone for the lock screen and the

  home screen it's it's a snowy landscape

  of a forest but in this hylia cartoon

  aesthetic it's just a flat design

  aesthetic you have a little forests and

  some snow mm-hmm I'm a big believer in

  changing your homescreen and your


  for when you're on a holiday I think it

  helps make the time psychologically

  different so when I go on my gradations

  are my corporate retreats I often try to

  find a nice a nice little wallpaper

  which is not a wallpaper I would use

  normally but something that feels like

  it fits the matically in wherever

  wherever I am so I had this beautiful

  beautiful wallpaper on my iPad and on my

  home screen for my winter vacation time

  and it was lovely and I think it's a

  thing that everybody should do and they

  say you're a robot