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Podcast 10 Transcript

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A full transcript for Podcast Episode 10, Advice for Introverts.

Minutes 0 to 3

Intro Music

Matt: Let me see. So this will be episode ten of the show. Finally in double digits. It took--

Jessamyn: Double digits!

M: --five months.

J: That's alright.

M: I think our average is every two weeks, so it's okay.

J: I think two weeks is reasonable. Although, it's got that same Ask MetaFilter two week question problem. If the people don't track two week periods, they think every podcast feels random to them.

M: That's true. Except if you do it every single Friday it's like, "Not a lot happened from Tuesday to Thursday."

J: And it's a whole bunch to listen to. It's a whole hour sometimes.

M: Every two weeks it's like we always have two or three really high posts that had almost a hundred favorites, and those are a lot easier to do. Lemme see, what was the most popular... I was looking at the most popular for the last month since it's been three weeks since we've done this.

J: Has it really been three weeks?

M: Yeah. It's hard to follow ColdChef. He was awesome.

J: Right. And we had a good time talking to him, and then I was traveling and you were traveling.

M: Yeah, and it's summer.

J: There was babybalrog's-- you know the favorited posts in the last month don't have the date of the posts on them? So there was the CatCam post from a long time ago with Mr. Lee wondering around looking at snakes and cars and whatnot. My favorite thing about that post is that unless you really hate cats, and we don't have a lot of cat haters on MetaFilter, everybody kind of gets it. I sent to my mom, I sent it to my sister, I sent it to my geeky friends, I sent it to my "I don't use the Internet that much" friends, and all of them were like "Awww! It's a cat, looking at a snake, walking around. Mr. Lee!" I love it.

M: That's awesome. I thought it was kick-ass. The guy is selling them now? Wow.

J: Well sure, right? It's perfect.

M: This is totally smart. The dude kinda turned his little internet fame into whatever... make fifty bucks for a little CatCam. I love the pictures under the car. That's my favorite.

J: Because that's where they all hang out, with the other cats already there.

M: [laughter]

J: "This is my car."

M: They also remind me of the first post ever of Cat-scan.

J: I think that was the point.

M: Cat-scan is domain spammers, right?

J: Now it is?

M: I think is what it was? Yeah, I should buy it and recursively point it back to the first thread. I think that would be great.

Minutes 3 to 6

J: That's a brilliant idea. That is wise.

M: Something for the to-do list.

J: The other post that I liked that you might have missed if you didn't kind of dig into it was brittney's post about--

M: Accordion Guy?

J: Accordion Guy.

M: Oh yeah, that was great.

J: And the same-sex wedding in Canada which had a wonderful kind of denouement with the same sex wedding post about Massachusetts, I think today.

M: Or yesterday, I think.

J: Yesterday? Was that yesterday?

M: Yeah. Yesterday before the law--

J: But Accordion Guy playing accordion for the women he met on craigslist, and then doing this huge wonderful post about it, and--

M: And one of them popped in and left a comment. One of the women involved. I posted "I never thought 'Praise You' on an accordion would tear me up, but oh my god."

J: Right! [laughter]

M: Never in a million years, I think. That was basically the best post all week, all month for me. The Internet wins again. That was awesome.

J: Well, and accordion guy is like total old school blogger dude, too, which extra double-plus. I've known him forever.

M: He was working with Cory Doctorow seven or eight years ago on stuff. D'oh! They're freaking mowing outside.

[drone of lawn mower]

J: Yeah, I can hear that.

M: It's like the world is against me. Jesus Christ.

J: The closer you sit to it the less I can hear anything else. Oh right, and James Burke on Youtube. That was the other thing that I really loved.

M: You had already been watching them all, right? From the library?

J: I'm halfway through the second set of Connections. I mean they kind of Americanized it, you know? So instead of the shows being 45 minutes or an hour long, they're half and hour long and they're all like "Lemme go through this again."

M: He did the first series around 1980, and then he did it again in '95 or so.

J: '95? Yeah, and there's more technology now, too. Obviously.

M: The thing that made me fall in love with Connections, I think I saw it probably in '97, and it just instantly reminded me of how I used the web back then and still today. He's basically Wikipedia come alive.

J: Right! Right, like "Oh and then this other thing. Click on this link on this--"

M: Have you ever read his books? His books are almost hard. It's just the same thing in text.

J: Is it funny though? Are they funny?

M: A little bit. It's kind of crazy because every paragraph you're jumping into a different century and it's like "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! The guy who came up with the pencil!"

Minutes 6 to 9

J: "Look at this other crazy thing!"

M: "Overdosed on a chemical that does x-rays!" It's just so chaotic. It's like a Choose Your Own Adventure Book. But yeah, I don't know how on Earth he even writes that stuff. Does it take a base knowledge of thousands of years of history to come up with the connections? It's just... I don't know how he does it.

J: Because it was pre-Wikipedia, of course.

M: That's right. Yeah, he's like the human Wikipedia. The other cool thing this week was the Largest Lake on an Island, in a Lake, on an Island. Did you see that one?

J: I was just looking at that, and as soon as I started to scroll it started to break up my transmission. But it's a petsounds' post. What is it about?

M: There are essentially extinct volcanoes, and they will tend to leave an island in the middle of a lake, kind of like Crater Lake or Lake Tahoe, but then some of the islands in the lakes are so big in the way the volcano erodes that they actually have lakes inside of them.

J: Adorable.

M: And then one of them has an island in that-- No, no, wait... and then it has a lake in it. Yeah, so it's an island inside of a lake, and then it's got a lake, and inside of that lake is a little island.

J: That's awesome. It's like "fish fish buffalo fish". I love it.

M: This is just like what makes the internet great: That people even notice this stuff. That's pretty much everything I loved. The Mr. Roger's thing, when was that?

J: That was a while ago.

M: No, it was June 1. So we haven't covered that.

J: Oh.

M: I didn't see-- you pointed out something, a good comment, which was great, about the Mr. Roger's thread. People were being cynical about it before that, because I have nothing but respect for Mr. Roger's.

J: Well, there were a whole bunch of people who were like "He was a good Christian" and other people were like "Blah! Christian! This and that and the other." I mean it seemed to fulcrum around that and, I mean whatever. Mr. Roger's is pre-irony, I think, in some ways. When I was a little kid his whole fantasy land was like my whole fantasy land, and then I got a little bit older and I'm like "Dude, he dresses like my grandpa." But he was just really that nice all the time. That was his deal.

M: Yeah. The thing about his weight, though, is crazy. I never knew that until recently.

J: I don't remember that. What was... ?

M: He always weighed 143 pounds. He never gained or lost weight. He basically dieted so he never changed. He didn't want kids to have to suffer through change, essentially. He wanted him to be the rock in their life.

J: Wow!

M: So he always wore the exact same clothes and he was always the exact same weight.

J: Essentially he was a diet to do it. It wasn't normal.

M: I think he just sort of watched himself a little bit once in a while, but yeah.

Minutes 9 to 12

J: Because I know some people who just stay the same weight, and then some who do not.

M: Well, he was mindful of it. Purposefully, so that he looked the exact same on TV. Which is something never in a million years I've thought about. But when you watch an episode now, it is like the slowest moving thing with no jump cuts whatsoever. The camera stays. It's like a moving camera or a steady camera for minutes on end that's completely-- He purposefully did it because he saw TV going towards the jump cut thing.

J: He just talks really slowly, also.

M: Yeah, it was all the calm and stability.

J: I just remember watching him putting together a pup tent. That is what I remember about Mr. Rogers, and he had kind of a hard time with it.

M: All I remember is the awesome trips to factories just all the time. Kind of like a Lavern & Shirely shot every time like, "Where do envelopes get sorted? Let's go to the Postal Service!" You know?

J: I told you that my mom used to drag me to things like that when I was a kid.

M: Wow! Cool.

J: She was convinced that we weren't getting enough education in school, and we'd get to take the day off and go to the Hostess factory, or the-- well now, I guess it was the Necco Wafer factory, or like to get the behind the scenes we went to the school for the blind. We went to all these places to learn stuff you can't learn in school, apparently.

M: That's awesome.

J: And we'd take the neighborhood kids and we'd go on these tours, and yeah, it would be kind of fun actually.

M: The only thing I hated about his show was the puppets were freaky looking and had horrible voices. I had nightmares about those puppets.

J: That little cat puppet kind of flipped me out. Because it didn't look like a cat.

M: The crazy queen and kings with the weird cheek bones. They look like that Madame, like that--

J: Wayland and Madame, yeah.

M: Yeah, they look like that scarey-ass puppet, and the same weirdo voice. I had nightmares about that Madame puppet from game shows.

J: [laughter]

M: So that was the one thing that turned me off of Mr. Rogers. I just couldn't stand-- As soon as the puppets came on, as soon as he went to Make-Believe Land, I just turned it off.

J: I'm sort of wigged out by the postman named Mr. McFeely.

M: How so?

J: It's just a weird name. He was like a weird creepy post office guy.

M: Oh, McFeely! [laughter] I didn't even put that together when I was that young.

J: I mean, if you were making a kids show now, is that what you would call your mailman? No, you would not.

M: No. I would call him Lester, um...

J: [titters]

M: I really need to do a 30-days past favorited for Ask MetaFilter. Because all I have is the last seven days of most popular.

Minutes 12 to 15

J: Yeah, lemme see what I have.

M: Lemme see if I can build it really quick in about two seconds. All I have to do is change one value.

J: Conversation games? Mingling? Always good. It's all a bunch of kind of like social awkward posts. "How do I mingle? How do I stop being afraid of the phone? I can't do any work. The internet has ruined my mind. And how do I make humus?"

M: Yeah, pretty much.

J: And "What should I eat for breakfast?"

M: Everything is advice. It's pretty much everything is just advice and how to be, yeah-- I mean, we're definitely a community of introverts if you look at all the questions. I was cracking up because JD Roth had a post on his personal site about how to stop being an introvert and do stuff. It was all based on this improv book where you just say yes. Improv is just the act of an actor saying "yes" to any situation that comes up.

J: Okay.

M: So he came up with this-- using this is sort of a plan for daily life. Saying "yes" to every favor asked for six months or a year and seeing what all kinds of craziness you get into.

J: Don't you think in a week or two people would catch on and all your time would be booked for the rest of your life? Because I mean, "Hey, Matt. Wanna go to Ithaca with me? I have to go pick up this car I just bought," and you would be like "Errr..."

M: Well it wasn't strictly favors. It would be like anything people asked him he would say "yes" instead of always saying "no". So it was like "Do you want to go to this concert?"

J: Oh, I see.

M: "I have an extra ticket. You wanna go to this weird concert for music you've never heard?" And he would always in the past go "Eh, no. You know, I never heard of them." So he just said "yes". And then he wrote up "Here's all the crazy things I've done in the last three months. I got free this, I saw this new band, I went here, I went to Europe. These are all the things that I've never-- I'm gonna speak."

J: Well he's married, right?

M: Yeah.

J: I mean, once your wife clues into that it's over for you. "Mow the lawn. Clean the bathroom. Cook dinner for a month."

M: The thing that cracked me up was it got on Digg, and the majority of Digg comments -- you know, Digg comments, YouTube comments -- the majority of comments were like, "This is the stupidest thing in the world. Who the hell needs advice for how to live? Didn't he learn that already?"

J: Uh, you do, you little basement dwelling troglodyte.

M: It was weird. Yeah.

J: Pot? Kettle?

M: The people on Digg gave him shit. So I'm looking at Ask MetaFilter's most favorited posts and I'm going, "Oh my god."

J: See? People like those things on MetaFilter.

M: I think everyone on Digg is like 21. So all these 35 year-olds had to explain it to them. They're like, "You know, when you get to be older going out of the house sometimes gets hard. Not in a agoraphobic sort of way, but sort of like you get in such a comfort zone that you never venture out and do new things. It'll happen to you, kid."

Minutes 15 to 18

J: Right, and you're always happy hanging out at home doing whatever because there is always stuff to do when you're in your thirties. And yeah, it makes it harder to do something that seems risky or weird.

M: Yeah.

J: The other post that I really liked from Ask MetaFilter was actually from today. So it hasn't gotten way, way favorited, but it's a post that just says, "How do you show that you had an object before a certain date?" It's kind of like a sort of a hypothetical, but sort of a real question. Basically, it's saying, "Okay. I've got this item and I wanna show that I had it. I wanna be leet and I wanna show that I had it before everyone else. How do I do it?"

M: Take a picture of the front page of the newspaper?

J: Well, except you can have a newspaper two weeks later. You can still take a picture of that front page of the newspaper.

M: Oh, true.

J: See what I mean? So it's tricky. Tricksy. And so everyone's like, "Enjoy your frickin' iPhone, dude." And he's like, "I don't have an iPhone!"


M: So what was the answer so far?

J: People were talking about-- oh, it's down at the bottom was sort of the best one. Oh, take a picture next to a pregnant lady, or a little kid, or on your arm before you get a tattoo and then get a tattoo that everybody knows when you got the tattoo.

M: Were they purposefully vague about what they wanted to record?

J: Yeah, they said there was a non-disclosure agreement or something like that. But then they said later it wasn't an iPhone, because that's what everybody thought it was.

M: That's awesome.

J: And they were like, people were talking about some kind of building construction. What was the really-- there was a whole bunch of super nerdy, like make a hash table of the--

M: Oh, geez.

J: You know, like, "Post checksums of the photos to Google Groups and give them sha1 and md5 checks."

M: With anything in the past people would just take a picture of a newspaper or a calendar or something. But it's so easy to fake these days. Everything can be fake. You can fake the EXIF data. You can fake dates that are printed on the photo that look like they should be fixed.

J: People usually do the newspaper with hostages to show that they are still alive. And this is kind of the opposite. See, you wanna show, "Hostage is alive on June 15." But that's not the same as, "iPhone is in my hand on June 15."

M: Yeah, that's hard to-- heh, md5 checksum. That's awesome.

J: Well, I mean it was fun, right? Everyone was just having a really good time with it. For some reason I can't post it into your like Skype window, so you'll have to find it.

M: Your paste went away, huh?

J: Yeah, why did my paste go away?

M: I don't know. It just happens with Skype. I think that Skype is just so-so.

Minutes 18 to 21

J: A little buggy.

[both in agreement] A little buggy.

M: A little buggy.

J: I can send it to you on the cat machine.

M: I love this-- there was an old Ask MetaFilter post from two weeks ago about programmable timers in browser titles. So you can run as a tab, so you know how long--

J: What?!

M: Yeah, imagine you start a timer in a tab and you switch over, and you're reading MetaFilter, and you can just glace up and see that it's 13 minutes 25 seconds. You know, like "Oh god. I've got to get back to work."

J: Dude, that's great.

M: Yeah, someone basically built it an hour after it was asked. They just basically built it.

J: Oh, right. The unspoken rules of socializing was another one on the list of Help-Me-Be-Not-So-Nerdy favorited posts of the last 30 days. But that was one of my favorites, because it's always fun to spell those things out. Because then everybody fights, they're like, "That's not a rule. That's just normal behavior." People are like, "Duh."

M: You're talking about the rules for life one?

J: No, the "Unspoken Rules of Social Behavior" one.

M: Uh... There's the "Rules of Life from My Fifteen Year-Old Little Brother".

J: Nope. That was a good one, though. That was the one that I posted-- I think I got a best answer on that one with F. Scott Fitzgerald's advice for his daughter. No, this was philosophistry's Let's Speak About Unspoken Confidences. Here you go.

M: So what was the quote?

J: Oh, that other one? I'm not sure. I don't have it up handy. Oh, dude. Time left in the title, that's great! Of course, I read the title is "Time left in the Bible".

M: [laugh] "Worry about courage, cleanliness, efficiency, and horsemanship."

J: Horsemanship. Think about "What am I really after?" I read that in the book of lists sometime when I was in school, and it's always kind of half stuck with me, but then I finally found it on the internet to help answer that question.

M: So I guess we have to update horsemanship with driving. "Don't drive like an asshole."

J: "Don't drive like an asshole. Always use your turn signals. The left hand lane is the passing lane. Do your business and get out." I'm sorry, have I gone too far? I've gone too far.

M: Wow. I can't believe that there's so many people that are afraid of using a phone. Afraid of using a phone? I'm personally annoyed by it, but I never feel like I'm imposing on people by calling them.

J: Well, I don't either. Although, if I had a job that required me to call strangers on the phone, I think I would worry.

M: I would feel bad about interrupting them, and look for a new job.

J: Well, exactly. I think I'd be like, "I don't want this job." Because for a lot of people they just don't care. They're like, "Call them up, who cares, whatever." And I'm like, "Hssssss! Do not want." Because then you have to leave a message if they're not there, and then they call you, and then you're not home, and then you're in a relationship with this person you don't know, and--

Minutes 21 to 24

M: The other thing is with if you're trying to call another internet person, like using the phone is the nuclear option. So it's like, "You called me? Jesus, what's happened?"

J: Well, when I sent that text message from the airport, like "Dude, I totally want to text message Aneel but I've chatted with him on the internet for seven years and I don't have his phone number." I never heard back from him, but we were both trapped in the airport that horrible, horrible day last Friday.

M: This is probably good enough. I think we've got about 25 minutes of good stuff.

Outtro music

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