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Podcast 117 Transcript

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A transcript for Episode 117: "Voting For Anarchy" (2016-06-03).

Pronoiac set up a Fanscribed page, and this transcript came from there.


cortex: Hel-

jessamyn and cortex: -lo!?

cortex: Ha- ha- hello. (laughs)

jessamyn: What?!

jingle: (theme song)

cortex: And yeah, that, of course, is the big news, which was the news last month, too. And, obviously, we had pb on to talk about it. But, now it's a month later, and pb is officially no longer working at Metafilter. And we have frimble working at Metafilter.

jessamyn: frimble seems GREAT.

cortex: They are awesome.

jessamyn: I don't know that much about them, but, like, all signs are pointing to awesome. Proper sense of humor, ability to interact with the community, makes lots of posts, very interactive. I mean, I couldn't love pb more--should we start recording?

cortex: Oh, I already did, so. laughs

jessamyn: Augh. Okay. Sorry. I didn't want anybody to hear about me whining about my eardrums.

cortex: No, that's okay, I won't throw that in there.

jessamyn: But, like, I couldn't love pb more, right, as a person. But he wasn't the most all-in MetaFilter user. Which is fine! Like, there's nothing wrong with that. But there's something kind of cool about having Metafilter users being kind of all-in as staff that really appeals to me.

cortex: Yeah. It hearkens back to the whole dynamic early on with the site, you know. I mean, that was just by definition the way it was, so.

jessamyn: Yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I'm excited about that. frimble seems like a good person, and up for stuff, and generally pleasant, and correct me if I'm wrong: Austria, or Australia?

cortex: Austria.

jessamyn: Okay.

cortex: It was a point of confusion at one point in the 'welcome frimble aboard' post. (chuckles)

jessamyn: Well, I read it, and then I was kind of zipping around doing a bunch of shit, and then I was like, "Yay, Australia!", and then I was like, "I think you've got that wrong," and then, you know, forgot all about it because my hectic life.

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: And I just figured I'd ask you. (chuckles)

cortex: Nope, Austria.

jessamyn: "Josh, I can't click a link, Austria or Australia?"

cortex: (chuckles) Different time zone implications for us, one or the other, so.

jessamyn: Very different time zone implications. Speaking of, let me talk about time zones for a second. I teach at the University of Hawaii now, for an online distance ed course at the grad school.

cortex: That's rad.

jessamyn: It is rad. They're five hours earlier than me, which you would think, "Jessamyn, that's wonderful for a dormouse such as yourself, because then you don't really need to start work until noon, and you appear to be ahead of the game."

cortex: Right.

jessamyn: Except they all get off work, because they're distance students, so a lot of them have day jobs, at like 5 or 6, which, whatever, like, I'm awake, but it does kind of mean that I'm answering questions and fielding e-mail and participating in chats at ten or eleven o'clock at night. Which isn't terrible, but it's really weird to get used to, because what it means is, I should relax earlier in the day, and not work.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: But the tendency is just get up and work, because that's what I usually do, but then I wind up getting up and working and working all day.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Which probably has something to do with the buzzing noise in my head.

cortex and jessamyn: (laugh)

jessamyn: But it's great! They're all a bunch of relaxed hippies. Like, they all say, "Aloha, Professor West."

cortex: That's nice. That's a solid greeting.

jessamyn: It is adorable. I mean, because people think, like, oh, Hawaii, aloha! But no, that's how people in Hawaii just talk, and it's normal.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Took me a while to kind of get my head around it.

cortex: Well, that is cool!

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: That is a neat thing to be doing.

jessamyn: Yeah! It is! I'm enjoying it.

cortex: But yeah. Yeah, no, no, just to go back to what you were saying with frimble sort of being around and hands-on. I think that'll be really nice, and yeah, I have the same basic feeling as you there, I think. And it's interesting, because one of the things that I talked about in the big MetaTalk post about what comes next and setting expectations--

jessamyn: Which I thought was incredibly well-handled.

cortex: Thank you!

I sort of wanted to get people to think about how that was not necessarily going to be the case, especially if we'd ended up hiring someone who was not a MetaFilter member.

jessamyn: Sure!

cortex: Because they would have like zero reason (laughs) to have a grasp on MetaTalk or whatever. But yeah, I think in retrospect that may turn out not to be as much of a change as it was expected to be, so it's cool.

jessamyn: Yeah! I mean, assuming that they can kind of figure out what all of pb's little code did. I suspect pb's code is probably well-commented and documented.

cortex: Yeah, yeah. It's in really good shape. pb and frimble worked together all last week to sort of transfer knowledge and get things documented and make sure frimble had the keys to everything and so on.

jessamyn: Great!

cortex: And yeah, it was very--well, it's one of those things where you can look at someone's resume, and you can talk to them, and you can interview them, and do a reasonable job of getting a feel of what you think the situation is, but you never quite know until you get someone to sit down and start doing some work whether you have successfully assessed the whole thing. And so it was a big relief to have pb and frimble sit down and start working on stuff, and it was just like, oh, this is--

jessamyn: And they just totally get on.

cortex: Yeah, this is totally working well, alright.

jessamyn: Well, and from an org structure perspective, I mean, you know, pb was basically... I forget, was he on before you, or...?

cortex: He had been doing little bits and pieces, I think, before I got hired. I think he came on full-time later that year.

jessamyn: Yeah. Because the org. structure was always that pb worked for Matt, and then as Matt was kind of more in or more out, pb's attachment to the site was a little more in or more out or whatever, and I feel like just like the last year or so where pb's been working kind of for you, I mean, it's weird to say it, but yeah, working for you, that's been nice also, just because I think it's really affected the way things have been rolled out and the way dev changes and stuff like that have been made. And so having frimble coming in and being kind of native into that org structure, I think, is also going to be just a net benefit for the site, I think.

cortex: Yeah. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to it. You know, I'm still, it's still hard to think about pb not working for the team, but at this point--

jessamyn: Sure.

cortex: --I've gotten, I'm excited about having frimble on board, and I'm feeling good about moving forward with everything.

jessamyn: Well, and the site's just a--

cortex: So yeah, no, I'm actually pretty excited about using this as an opportunity to sort of revisit stuff and say, okay, well, what if we did this this way? And what if the thing that was how we've done it for ten or fifteen years, what if we've just been doing that because it's--

jessamyn: Well, pb came with a certain set of feelings about the site and the way he liked to do things, none of which I thought were problematic, but some of which were particular, like, oh, surprise, a Metafilter user particular about something?

cortex: (laughs) It's very unusual for our userbase.

jessamyn: (laughs) Which may have led to some development decisions that, yeah, maybe could get reassessed. I mean, I'm seriously not thinking of anything at this point, but just--

cortex: No, no, there's also some little things. There's stuff you get, you know, you do a workflow and you get comfortable with it, and then changing it becomes more of an effort than doing it differently in the first place because, yeah.

jessamyn: Or you have opinions, like about how preferences should or shouldn't work, or how, you know, whether a thing is working despite some users thinking it shouldn't, or how many users thinking a thing doesn't--at any rate.

cortex: Yeah. It's a whole complicated stew. It'll be really interesting to embark in this new chapter of technical management of Metafilter's back-end and whatnot.

jessamyn: Yeah! And it just seems like it's been real positive, so I'm super happy for everybody.

cortex: Yeah. I'm super thrilled. The whole thing has gone about as well as it possibly could have, so. And pb has been a huge champ the whole way, helping document and organize stuff and so on. But yeah. So that's... there, we've talked about Jobs. (chuckling) By the way, you're listening to Best of the Web: the MetaFilter Monthly Podcast, episode 117, I am Josh Millard aka cortex.

jessamyn: And I'm Jessamyn West, otherwise known as jessamyn. (laugh) Sorry.

cortex: And yeah, we're covering--(laughs) Well, here, see, this is the fatal mistake I made, back in 2001, is I signed up with some cheeky username instead of my name. Which, I mean, there's nothing wrong with a cheeky username, I love a cheeky username, but, you know, if I had known--

jessamyn: Is it cheeky?

cortex: Well, it's not, I don't know, I guess it's not even cheeky, I'm trying to dress it up. A random username. A username.

jessamyn: I like when people call you Kotex sometimes. (chuckles)

cortex: Yeah, that's a perennial, if you will. (chuckles)

Yeah, no, it's like Matt had mathowie in his name, was his username, and you had jessamyn, and you're Jessamyn. So I've always been the person who has to clarify who that is, yeah.

jessamyn: cotex kid, yeah.

cortex: I didn't name myself... I don't know. I've gone back and forth about this. Should I have chosen just like joshmillard as my username? Because it would have been very straightforward.

jessamyn: Well, and that's your blog name, right?

cortex: Yeah, and it's what I use for pretty much any non-MetaFilter thing. And so cortex is sort of a weird artifact--

jessamyn: Is that true? You're joshmillard on, like, whatever, MLKSHK and Twitter and stuff like that.

cortex: Yeah, yeah. Someone else has cortex and every once in a while a MeFite--

jessamyn: I just click on the picture of your face, I don't know what your username is. (chuckles)

cortex: That works.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Yeah, people @cortex on Twitter once in a while and then have to sort things out, because that's just a random--

jessamyn: I have that problem with my sister! Because she doesn't use her real name for anything. And so she's either bandit, which is her gmail handle, which is a pretty great handle, or she's casahighland, which is the name of her old house when she lived in Somerville.

cortex: Oh, okay.

jessamyn: But if she didn't have bandit, it's usually because someone else had it? But I can never remember. Like, on Flickr, is it bandit or casahighland? On MLKSHK, is it bandit or casahighland? Like, on Twitter I'm sure of it--no, Twitter's casahighland, e-mail's bandit, but then, yeah, there's another Twitter user bandit who occasionally receives my messages.

cortex: That's annoying.

jessamyn: Well, like I told you, I occasionally text the other guy who used to own your very old phone number.

cortex: Oh, right, right, right.

jessamyn: Because he's still in my phone, and I've got some old chats from when you and I chatted whoever knows how long ago. And I'm like, oh, hey, not-Josh! (chuckles)

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: And he's in my phone as not-Josh, just in case.

cortex: That's beautiful.

jessamyn: So yeah, maybe not-Josh needs to be your next thing.

cortex: Yeah, but that's too easy. That's the one step away from--someone, at some point, was like, "I'm never going to get Josh for a username, and so I'm gonna use notjosh instead." And so if I decided to use notjosh for stuff, I--fuck, I'm never going to get notjosh.

jessamyn: You're horning in on the guy's action.

cortex: I'm just going to have to chain it out. Anyway.

jessamyn: Anyway! Oh, and I talked to Jesse about being on The Crapshoot at some point in the next couple weeks.

cortex: Excellent. That'd be fantastic, yeah.

jessamyn: So I'll talk to you guys once stuff dies down a little bit here.

cortex: Great.

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: Yeah, God, it's been--I feel like I'm saying this every, maybe this is a theme ever since I started running the site, but I feel like every month I was like, "Yeah, this is a real busy month! It's been a busy one!" Go figure.

jessamyn: Well, I have this standing joke with my sister, right? Because I'm a super, like, "I can handle all the stress! I eat stress for dinner and just handle things." I don't love it, but I can do it, hence the meditation and the yoga and stuff. But every time I try and interact with her, who has better boundaries, I'm always like, "Well, we gotta do this crazy shit!" and then I don't hear from her for three days, and then I get this e-mail like, "Whoa, work's been crazy!" And finally I had to be like, "You know, you say work is crazy every week? Which I think actually means your work isn't crazy at all?"

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Like, you no longer get to say, "I'm sorry I didn't e-mail you back for five days, work's been crazy." You clearly need to recalibrate either craziness or e-mail.

cortex: Yeah, at a certain point it's either...

jessamyn: "Work was normal this week."

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Which means you shouldn't have expected to get an e-mail.

cortex: "Work is occupying a great deal of my time consistently."

jessamyn: Sure.

cortex: "You know how it is." But yeah, it's like--

jessamyn: Which I do! I mean, don't get me wrong.

cortex: Well, exactly. And, I mean, that happens. But yeah, it does become sort of a thing. (sips something)

jessamyn: What tea are you drinking?

cortex: But yes. I guess... we'll do a quick--what, what? Oh, tea.

jessamyn: What are you drinking?

cortex: I'm drinking tea. Usually if we're not doing an evening podcast because of random scheduling, if we're doing this normal morning, early afternoon for you, which is basically morning for you--

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: --podcast, I usually have a tall glass of water and a cup of tea.

jessamyn: Nice.

cortex: I just brew the tea right before we go, and the two of those usually get me through without going hoarse or getting parched.

jessamyn: Nice! Yeah, I probably should have made some coffee, but mmm, yeah, nah, didn't.

cortex: Ehh, what do you do? It's fine. Okay--

jessamyn: What I need is a Bluetooth headset, and what we need is to talk about the website, not my ears.

cortex: Yeah, let's do that.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: You know what they had on Jobs that doesn't look like it's filled yet--

jessamyn: Wait, wait, the number 117! Josh!

cortex: Oh, shit, you're right! Oh, shit! Tell me about number 117. I jumped the gun.

jessamyn: Well, 117's kinda cool because it factors into 3 squared times 13, like, it's 9 times 13, so it's two numbers that seem like weird wonky numbers and then it turns into a number that looks like it's a prime number but isn't? But there's not that much interesting about 117. It's a pentagonal number, which means you can build little pentagon out of it in little pictures.

cortex: Yes, you have a dot, and then five and yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah, there's an animated GIF and talks about it. But the thing that I found was there's also a "see also" list that goes to oldest people, because of course, oldest people, the oldest living person is almost 117 at this moment. And if you look at the Wikipedia page about oldest people, it's broken down into two categories: "Oldest People" and "Oldest Men."

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Do you want to guess why that is? Two reasons.

cortex: Why is that? Please tell me. Is one of them patriarchy?

jessamyn: One reason--ah, yeah, actually! But not why you'd think. It's because--elderliness, what's the word, gerontology, like, older men have been more intensively studied, and so we have data specifically on older men, whereas then we otherwise just have data on humankind, we don't have data on people based on the research here. But also it's because of, the ten oldest living people are all women and the oldest living men had their fee-fees hurt.

cortex: (laughs) They're like, "Hey! But I wanna be on Wikipedia."

jessamyn: So the oldest men are almost all Japanese, although the oldest one is Israeli, and the oldest of the oldest living men is 112. The oldest, the tenth-oldest living woman is 114. The oldest living woman is 116, Italian. Born in 1899. And, you know, I think they literally broke it out so that men could be on the list.

cortex: I think you might be right.

jessamyn: So kind of the patriarchy.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: But kind of just the way science is patriarchal, not Wikipedia.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: It's actually not about Wikipedia's sexism, I don't think. Maybe it is. I bet it is.

cortex: It seems like it would be difficult to unpack that completely thoroughly. I feel like, yeah, I mean there's, this is... there's no obvious smoking gun here, unless we want to maybe dig into edit record discussions, like maybe there's some actual weirdness in arguments about it, but yeah.

jessamyn: Oh, that's a good idea!

cortex: Yeah. Not right now. You can't do it onli- on the podcast

jessamyn: Oh no, see I put it up on twitter right before the podcast started-

cortex: (laughs)

We spent like 15 minutes on twit- on, uh, Wikipedia last podcast, so -(laughs)

jessamyn: ...oldest people there are sections relating to just men. Oh, (laughs) there actually is a little bit of a discussion about it on Wikipedia. This may be one of those "be the change" shit things,

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: I've had it with being the change, Josh. I just wanna like, have the change sometimes.

cortex: You just want to be given your change? You just wanna

jessamyn: (laughs) Please!

cortex: You know I just pay with everything on a card, so it doesn't even

jessamyn: How do you feel if people put the coins on top of the dollar that they have just placed in your hand?

cortex: Ah, you know? I understand it as a move, but I don't know

jessamyn: Tell me- explain it to me. Cause I really don't even understand it.

cortex: I think they just want to have a way to consistently give you everything in one hand. And after that it's like your fuckin' problem. Like their job is not to arrange your money for you-

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: -their job is to give you the money, and if you gonna hold out a hand, and they put the bills down, they put the coins down, they've done their part of the job.

jessamyn: Cause what I've heard is like just putting the money on the counter is considered rude, by some people, so ok, you hand them the change, but then like, I don't know! To me, it's basically like a "ha-ha"(Nelson laugh from Simpsons) kind of a setup where I get dollars, and then I get change on top of dollars, and there's nothing I can do with my hand-

cortex: Well, here's the thing, because like-

jessamyn: -at this juncture, except make a fist and stick it in my pocket and run out!

cortex: (laughs) I completely get you. And it is weird, it's like, what do you do, it's a pain in the ass, especially if you don't have another free hand, you're like, aah! But-


cortex: Yeah. So go put yourself on the other side of the counter- what is the single foolproof thing you do that will solve this problem that doesn't require more of your time?

jessamyn: Put the change in first? Oh. Well...

cortex: Like, that everybody is going to be happy with. Like, it's not just like, is there something else that would work if we all agreed that that was the thing to do, it's like this is a thing that someone is going to understand and- like, maybe you put the coins in first and then give them the bills, they can't... handle the coins somehow and they get confused? Because the coins are hiding behind the bills now, and they're like, "oh I don't know, I don't have object permanence". I don't know. I don't know what's going on-

jessamyn: (laughing) Object permanence- that's like a thing with cats!

cortex: I feel like this is is a question for Ask Metafilter. I think this is a thing we should do, is we should come up with like the Ask Metafilter of the podcast, and after the podcast gets posted- or after it gets recorded but before it gets posted, we post the actual question and let people go at it, cause I think-

jessamyn: That is a really good idea, I love that idea!

cortex: Let's see if I can remember it by the end of the- You know what I'm going to do? I'm gonna chat a note about this to myself and, uh, and there we go. (typing) "AskMe about-"

jessamyn: Why are you chatting? Why don't you just leave yourself a reminder on your phone?

cortex: It'll take longer. This is just- (laughs) this is how the sausage gets made.

jessamyn: That's fair!

cortex: (typing) "AskMe about coins on bills for change." There we go, that sounds like a fundraising movement. Coins on bills for change.

jessamyn: Coins on bills... bills... coins on bills

cortex: Shall we talk about Metafilter?

cortex: I don't know.

jessamyn: I don't know

cortex: We could just go completely off script-

jessamyn: I've just got a lot going on, Josh! I would like to tell you about it! I live alone! (laughs)

cortex: Yeah, I know, I feel you, I feel you! We should definitely do that Crapshoot and we'll get in deep on whatever's going on, but I guess we'll make an effort here to talk about the nominal subject of the podcast

sfx: [Sapphic Melody by bfootdav]

jessamyn: Yeah, so, Jobs! You guys hired frimble, that is awesome.

cortex: We hired frimble, so that's done, uh, it's the weird thing about Jobs you know, every successful Jobs post just disappears, cause you know, you close it and it's not on the front page anymore. So May's got two jobs, but there were probably some other jobs-

jessamyn: I'm surprised you guys don't have like an admin version of this that shows the deleted jobs or the hidden jobs.

cortex: That would be not a bad idea, actually. Uh-

jessamyn: FRIM-BLE...

cortex: Yeah, (laughs) I'll tell frimble to get on that. Um...

jessamyn: pb would have done it by now.

cortex: Ah, frimble actually made a change yesterday, very pb-style. We were talking about an issue with Fanfare episode navigation-

jessamyn: Uh-huh

cortex: -and it's something we've talked about before and hadn't really sort of decided what to do with, but it's a thing where like there's "book only" or- "show only" and "books included" episodes of some shows, by which we mainly just mean Game of Thrones, but also I think Outlander, um, but you know, it's part of the system, and the problem is, all of those episodes belong to the same show and the previous episode/next episode looks for the previous and next, you know, episode posts that exist for that show. Which means if someone posts the "books included" post for a given episode of Game of Thrones and then the "show only"-

jessamyn: Ohhh, that's a problem!

cortex: -"previous episode" will go to the "books included" for that same thing. So! We were like, well... and frimble's like, you know, I'm gonna go take a look, and, uh, they got in there and they said "you know, I think it's two lines of SQL, uh, that I'm going to change" and it worked! So now if you're in a "books included" thread on Game of Thrones, and you navigate to the previous episode, it will go to the previous "books included" thread.

jessamyn: How nice! That's lovely.

cortex: And same thing for "show only". It does put a little more pressure on people to consistently correctly tag stuff on shows like-

jessamyn: On shows where that kind of stuff is important

cortex: -well yeah! If you're doing a rewatch- and Game of Thrones gets a lot of eyeballs, so if there's ever a tag error, we find out, like, immediately- but more casual stuff, you know there's, if someone's doing a rewatch of a series and they tag most of the posts "rewatch" but miss it for one, that'll get skipped in the episode navigation this way. Which is sort of a downside, but also easy enough to fix- so maybe this will get people keeping a slightly closer eye on their tags for the things where they are adding some sort of tag.

jessamyn: Was this, um, the color changes that you guys made, was that last month, or was that the month before?

cortex: I want to say the month before.

jessamyn: Ok. I don't know if we mentioned it.

cortex: Yeah, I don't know.

jessamyn: It's nice.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like, as someone who uses the classic theme, I love going to FanFare and just seeing wooo, little purple stripe across the top.

cortex: I'm glad! I'm glad. I was happy to get some more color on the site. I, you know, I'm not making any promises and/or threats here,

jessamyn: heh

cortex: -but one of these days I do kind of want to revisit the idea of what if dark mode was the default look of, uh, the site!

jessamyn: Dark mode is, like, new color shit, right?

cortex: Yeah dark mode is basically the modern theme's colorful thing like classic-

jessamyn: All I care about is how does this affect me.

cortex: It wouldn't affect you at all. This would only affect people who don't have-

jessamyn: I don't even know if I know what dark mode look like. Can I see that from my preferences page?

cortex: Uh, yeah! I mean, if you go to preferences and just select the dark mode theme, or just look at the thumbnail. It looks a lot like classic Metafilter. It's the colorful one.

jessamyn: Oh, it's, but it's blue.

cortex: Yeah, it's got the full page colors, and the light text on dark.

jessamyn: Oh! It's more Metafilter-like, honestly.

cortex: Yeah, well, it's what I use! I mean, I think the default-

jessamyn: Ergo, l'etat c'est moi!

cortex: Yeah, yeah...

jessamyn: It's French.

cortex: Yeah, that much I could tell, but, uh (laughs)

jessamyn: (laughs) It means "the state is me"

cortex: Oh, yeah, right, we're getting all Louis XIV there or whatever. Uh, was that Louis the XIV?

jessamyn: I can't even remember. (laughs)

cortex: One of those Louis'-

jessamyn: [Lah ga da ba??]

cortex: That was Louis C.K., right? Um...

jessamyn: Whaa... I love how you can just type garbage into Google, and it's like, "oh, you're looking up Louis XIV of France."

cortex: (laughs) Yeah, yeah, thanks. Google- yeah.

jessamyn: Like, I don't know how to spell, I, you know, I certainly don't know how to do an accent- now wait, let me take that back, maybe I do.

cortex: Know how to spell, or do an accent?

jessamyn: YES! I figured out how to do an accent. I know how to do it on the phone, and it never occurred to me that it might be the same.

cortex: Oh! Like the accent character. I was like...

jessamyn: Yeah.

jessamyn: "Blah bluh blu bla?"

cortex: It's just like, "honh hoh!" (bad French accent), that's all there is to it, it's not hard.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: (laughs) Anyway, so, I guess sitewatchers, keep an eye out for the possibility that that will suddenly be an experiment at some point.

jessamyn: I'd just let people have votes, right? We never got votes with pb.

cortex: Well, you know-

jessamyn: Maybe frimble's the vote person.

cortex: I don't know. I'm not sure (laughs), I'm not sure I want to move to a direct democratic-

jessamyn: Votes!

cortex: -model

jessamyn: Votes for women!

cortex: Uh... well, you know, be the... coins and bills for change... um...

jessamyn: Dammit...

cortex: (laughs) Anyway, it's-

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Spicy Nuts, I'm just, I don't even personally care about this but in the spirit of trying to find something in Jobs, there appears to be an open UX designer position that Spicy Nuts is hiring for, Hoboken, New Jersey-

jessamyn: Hey, that's a nice location, on the path,

cortex: -freelance up to full time, depending on the situation if you're a UX person and you're lookin' for some work, go check it out, by gum! Is what I have to say.

jessamyn: Hey, that's great! Wow, that's a good lookin' job!

cortex: Yeah!

jessamyn: I want that job.

cortex: Well, do you have UX design experience?

jessamyn: Ehhh...

cortex: GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE. Alright, uh, (laughs) should we talk about Projects, or do you have Jobs stuff to talk about?

jessamyn: No- well, I mean the only job stuff I have to talk about is there's this really cool job in Portland, Oregon that because this is Metafilter I feel like we should tell everybody about.

cortex: Oh, yeah, sure!

jessamyn: Um. It's like a government job being a community technology manager. I wish I knew somebody who worked for the Portland government so that I could- Look at that URL, how gross is that, right?

cortex: Oh Jesus, that is a government URL right there.

jessamyn: But it's a really nice job doing big community technology stuff in the city of Portland and it looked really cool.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: It has nothing to do with Metafilter, but, uh-

cortex: But come look at this link, people

jessamyn: -and I learned about it this morning, and, uh, it's been on my mind.

cortex: Yeah.

sfx: [The Lost City of Flesh Eating Robots by CarrotAdventure]

cortex: Well, let's talk about Projects.

jessamyn: Yes!

cortex: There was a slightly quiet month, I would say, on Projects.

jessamyn: I feel like Projects was a little quiet this month. I'm glad you thought so.

cortex: Yeah. But there's some good stuff too. Well, you know, it's like I tend to see the emails coming in so, like, in a busy month every day there's an email or two about it, and then this month it's been, like, I dunno, a little more far and few between, some gaps.

jessamyn: Yeah, I was really excited with the Deathalicious new rollout of Metafil- Meta- (sigh)

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: (singing "meh, mem, meh")

Metafilter MultiFavorited Multiwidth!

cortex: Yes!

jessamyn: Which basically allows you to pull out, if you're the kind of person who likes to do this kind of stuff, heavily favorited comments, it used to be a Greasemonkey user script 10 years ago, it was popular, people would tell Deathalicious to update it, and now there's a Chrome extension. And, um, it's just nice, because, you know, Metafilter is one of those sites where the back end has remained remarkably consistent over the last, uh, you know, 15 years. But, it doesn't mean that, like, little plugins, I mean, whatever, user scripts, has just gone away, and so it's nice that some of the people who are here are continuing to update the little things that they made to make Metafilter better.

cortex: Yeah. I feel like one of these days we could have a big, sort of, Metafilter script roundup, too--just get a whole forum together--

jessamyn: I think that's a good idea, that's probably, like, a good health thing to do every year or two-

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: -because I have different setups on different computers? So sometimes there's a star next to my name, sometimes there's a book next to my name-

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: -sometimes everytime you say "Jessamyn" it says "Mom", (laughs), and it would be nice to see which ones work and which ones don't. That's a good idea. Put it on the list.

cortex: Yes. Uhh... I liked this little writeup by pjern! I think I mentioned this just maybe in passing last episode? I'm trying to remember the timeline, maybe actually it was a couple of episodes ago. But pjern had quadruple bypass surgery.

jessamyn: Yeah, no, I remember reading about it.

cortex: Earlier this year.

And so he wrote up just sort of a post, basically, a blog post about some of that experience and stuck it up on Projects. Because he wasn't sure where to stick it, I was like, eh, put it on Projects.

jessamyn: That's funny, I thought I followed him on Medium, but clearly not. Well, I will follow him now.

cortex: But yeah, it's a good little writeup, very personal writeup, very Phil-

jessamyn: Oh God, that picture of him is scary. But funny. I think he emailed that to me. Hee hee!

cortex: (laughs) Yep! A flippie for ColdChef. ;Anyway, it's a nice read. And, uh, you know as someone who has not had quadruple bypass surgery, it was interesting to me to sort of get a little bit more direct sense of it from someone I know from Metafilter, so I thought that was cool.

jessamyn: Yeah! I'm glad he wrote that up! That's interesting. I was just talking to our local newspaper photographer, because I won a little librarian award and he came to take my picture, and I was like, PODCASTS, I'm out! I don't know what to do! And he was like, 99% Invisible, and I'm like, great! And then like kismet, this post showed up where Uncle Glendinning talked about doing the 99% Invisible, uh, redesign-

cortex: Yeah! Yeah.

jessamyn: -which not only does it look cool, and it's a podcast I know a lot of mefites listen to, but there's a really nice blog-o-post on which actually kinda talks about how they did it, you know, visual brand elements, and blah-de-blah-de-blah, lots of like, you know, mockups and so, for anybody who likes 99% Invisible, kick ass, awesome new website, and for anybody who really wants to know what goes into making a really awesome website, there's a really wonderful blog post that I think is, uh, awesome that just talks about it.

cortex: Seems appropriate to have a well-written, well-designed blog post about redesigning the website for a podcast about design, you know, it seems like (coughs) (laughs) it would be- it wouldn't be a great look if you sorta like, you know, "yeah, well, we figured we'd just, like, grab a Tumblr theme and, uh, you know, copy some tweets" (laughs)

jessamyn: But like, so many marketing people, and some of design can be marketing, really don't talk about kinda what's going on behind the scenes, you know. They're like, "Fuck it! Like it, don't like it!"-

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: -you know, like, we've seen some major branding and logo design fails and I feel like kind of almost part of why they failed was because, I mean, you know, Instagram, "Here's our new shit!" um, and, you know, I feel like part of managing that message is talking about how hard you thought about it. So it doesn't necessarily, like maybe you don't agree with the conclusions, but you don't just think somebody pulled something out of their butt, like when Yahoo, you know, redesigned their logo or when the Gap redesigned it, and you're like, "You pulled this out of your butt!" and so reading a really comprehensive blog post is like, no, no. No! Nooo! No. Like, we seriously thought about it.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: And these are the things we thought about. Blah.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah, so I was just, I thought the whole thing was really interesting, as someone who is interested in but doesn't really do kinda UX-y stuff, watching people do it right is a delight.

cortex: Yeah. Yeah, no, that's pretty rad. Uh, I really liked this incredibly dumb thing ignignokt made, uh, that is apparently on hiatus now, too, I don't know what the story is.

jessamyn: How can it be on hiatus, it's been up for less than a month?!

cortex: (laughs) I don't know! I don't know what's up! But. In any case, it's Link finding things, and it's just a Twitter feed of images that have-

jessamyn: Is this one of these that requires me to understand- is Link the guy?

cortex: Link's the guy, ok, (laughs), ok, so the deal with Link finding things, Link-

jessamyn: I was like, great! It's a library! No?

cortex: Link is the protagonist from The Legend of Zelda, and in the original Legend of Zelda, a game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, one of the very first things you did was walk into a cave, and there's an old guy holding, with a couple of burning fires off to his side, I guess his double campfire situation, and there's a sword there in front of him, and he says "It's dangerous to go alone, take this." And you walk up to the sword that's sitting in front of him, and Link just holds it up over his head! And there's a "Doop-ba-doop-a-doo!" music. I feel ashamed that I can't remember what it is, exactly. But it's a nice little, like, you know, Nintendo fanfare.

jessamyn: Wait, so that's where the "something something take this" comes from?

cortex: Yes. Yes. "It's dangerous to go alone, take this."

jessamyn: I had no idea. This whole time.

cortex: Boom!

jessamyn: Thank you!

cortex: That's cultural heritage. Anyway, so-

jessamyn: Thank you! I learn so much.

cortex: -this is Link various other things that are not a sword in a cave and-

jessamyn: And it just goes "Doot doot-doo-doo?"

cortex: Yeah. "Doot doot-doo-doo," I think that might be it.

jessamyn: This is ridiculous.

cortex: It's the dumbest thing but it's wonderful! It's so fantastic! It's, like, exactly the right level of- this exists now! Ok, sure.

jessamyn: Very popular. See, I thought, when you started laughing and were like "I'm gonna, wuagh-ha-ha" you know, "joke a joke-joke"-

cortex: You know me, I do like to "joke a joke-joke".

jessamyn: You were going to talk about the pun generator.

cortex: Oh no, but I do like that too!

jessamyn: By, uh, candasartan? (questioning username pronunciation)

cortex: Uh, I feel like I have a feeling about this but I don't remember what it is.

jessamyn: Do you want to go read the Metafilter thread about it to see if you commented in it?

cortex: Oh, I don't think I did. I think I saw the- I put up the Projects post but I don't think I got back to it, so I didn't know there was a Metafilter thread.

jessamyn: "You put the entice in apprentices"? "You put the ogres in progressively"?

cortex: (laughs) See, those are the ones that are like-

jessamyn: "You put the rage in garage"?!

cortex: It's really interesting, because, like, it's a very automated thing, you know, and a lot of them are just like, you know, pretty dull, like "You put the reread in rereading"?

jessamyn: "You put the ranch in franchises"?

cortex: See, that's, it's those internal ones that are really great. You know, like-

jessamyn: "You put the vying in envying"?

cortex: "You put the cobbler in cobblers" is clearly not, you know-

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: That's not a winner.

jessamyn: That's not a pun!

cortex: Yeah, exactly. But you know, it's finding substrings. And so a lot of substrings are pretty boring.

jessamyn: "You put the creation in recreational"

cortex: But "You put the evoked in revoked"? That's, you know, there's a fuckin' narrative there, something's going on.

jessamyn: "You put the asses in looking glasses"?

cortex: (laughs)

j: "You put the scent in pubescent"?! This is awful! (laughs)
That's fantastic!! (laughs)

jessamyn: So, you know, minutes of fun. You did vote for this...

cortex: Yes! No, I saw the, you know, I see Project posts come in, I check 'em to make sure the link is working correctly, I check to make sure it's not, you know, the very rare case of someone just straight up trying to spam on Projects-

jessamyn: Does that still happen?

cortex: Every once in a while. You know, and it's, it doesn't really get any site visibility because, you know, there's a queue on Projects. So instead of someone posting and me deleting it as spam, I just look at it and say, you what, this is a piece of shit, and I'm just going to delete it from the queue, and that's it. And it's funny, 'cause like, Projects, part of the idea with Projects was that like it's the place where it's sort of ok to self-link?

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: You know, I mean, obviously that's a fundamental thing of it. But it's also, to an extent, when we were trying to steer spammers away from spamming, you know, putting something on the posting form saying "You can't post your own stuff here, but, if you do want to, you can do it over on Projects..."

jessamyn: If you made something that's cool, yeah.

cortex: Yeah. And so we would see people who were clearly signing up with the intent to self-link then go and post to Projects anyway, and, that was sort of ok--

jessamyn: Sure.

cortex: But I've sorta realized, to an extent over time that like more and more, I'm kinda like, yeah, but if it's still just a piece of shit, if it's really just, like, junk-

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: -that you paid $5 to get exposure to, eh... we don't need to put it through, so sometimes those spammy dreams get redirected and then just die on the vine anyway.

jessamyn: Interesting!

cortex: I don't feel bad about this, but I feel-

jessamyn: Censorship!

cortex: -complicated about the nature of that.

jessamyn: Yeah, I hear ya.

cortex: Well, you know what it is- what I would like, is to come up-

jessamyn: Why don't you just build a tool that says, you've got to, you know, comment five times on the site before you get a Projects post or something?

cortex: Eh, cause then we'd just get shitty comments from people? You know, I mean-

jessamyn: Yeah...

cortex: -it's like the same thing-

jessamyn: Make people wait six months?

cortex: (laughs) Maybe. That could work. But then-

jessamyn: Three months. Three months.

cortex: But I mean, it's so easy to just, not approve it, it's not really a problem. That's the nice thing. There's not really a problem there because it's not like I have to justify not approving it, I, on the rare occasion that one of them writes in, I just say, "Oh yeah, you know, I didn't really feel like that was a great use of that part of the site, so, I'm not going to put that through." And boom! That's it. And mostly I just don't hear from them at all, so the system's working.

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: What I would like, in my fantasy, is that there's some magical ten word phrase that we could stick on the sign-up page of Metafilter-

jessamyn: Like the checkbox.

cortex: -that will actually magically stop spammers from bothering. Like, I just want people to like, have a moment of realization and then just not waste my fuckin' time. Like that's the actual problem that I would like to solve.

jessamyn: Sure. Sure, sure, sure.

cortex: And it's not solvable because like, you know, you can't get people to agree not to be dickasses, and, hey, that's part of my job, is like, you know, dealing with the fact that you can't dickass-proof the site!

jessamyn: You could delegate it to minions.

cortex: Well, yeah-

jessamyn: Like, are you the Projects guy? Or does everybody share that?

cortex: I am the Projects guy, that's one thing that I'm just doing, and I'll probably share that out, eventually, cause there's no reason it needs to just be me-

jessamyn: Make frimble do it! They're new!

cortex: (laughs) That's more of a content mod thing, though.

jessamyn: Yeah, I know what you mean.

cortex: Like as much as I think it's rad that frimble is, like, socially engaged, cause I think that is an awesome quality-

jessamyn: Make LobsterMitten do it! She's got great judgement!

cortex: Yeah (laughs), I could. I think probably having everybody do it would make the most sense. We've democratized some more of the pieces over the last couple of years, too, and gotten more peoples' sorta hands on things, so I think that will keep being a theme.

jessamyn: Good!

cortex: Anyway. That's-

jessamyn: We had this funny spam thing happen on Open Library, actually, because Open Library, like, you can just make a page for a book if there's not a page. And so if you're some, like, scammy e-book barely there huckster, you can make a page for it and it looks like a book like everything else. Whatever. But we found somebody on, I don't know if it was Fiverr, but it was some site like Fiverr, if not Fiverr, that was like, "Hey! We'll post your book to Open Library! And SEO! Blah-de-blah-de-blah!" and we, actually, it wasn't that hard, because the person got reviewed, and then we tracked down the name of the guy who got reviewed, found his shitty book, figured out who was posting it, and then... we just kind of sat there, like, well, just cause a book is shitty... (laughs)

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Like, we keep an eye on the lady who's posting it, just to make sure she's not spamming it with like seventeen different versions of the book or whatever,

cortex: Sure, yeah.

jessamyn: But like, you know, we're slightly more free speech absolutists at the archive, but we did have to kind of have a conversation about, well, we know this person is doing a thing that would be spamming anywhere else, but this thing is a book, and we are a library of all the books.

cortex: Yeah. It's more of a question of, is this fucking with the utility of the thing you do? You know, maybe aside from--

jessamyn: Right. And I don't think it is. Like, we don't have surfacing of new stuff where this would be jamming that up or anything, so. But we also don't have a notes page on the admin side so that we can keep track of a person. It made me miss, again, the sophisticated tools we had at Metafilter, because it's hard to keep track of these. I just have to leave little fucking notes to myself, which is dumb.

cortex: Yeah. (laughs)

jessamyn: Dumb. Oh! And I just also wanted to say, I'm so thrilled that confirm-shaming has continued to be excellent into this month.

cortex: Yeah. Yeah.

jessamyn: That was my pick from last month, and I still go and get a chuckle out of the crazy stuff that shows up there.

cortex: There is going to keep being material for this.

jessamyn: Yes.

cortex: It's gonna be a while, if ever, before that particular trend actually dies down, I think. You know, spammer stuff, we actually had a funny, interesting spammer thing on the site just the other day--that reminds me, I went on a big tweet rant aboutit a couple days ago. But it was, I looked at my recent activity and there was--

jessamyn: Didn't I unfollow you after your last tweet rant.

cortex: Hm? (laughs) Well, yeah, I respect that.

jessamyn: But I like you in general, I just, every now and again I make you shut up.

cortex: (laughs) Just give it a couple days' mute.

jessamyn: Yeah, no, I'm still following you, okay.

cortex: (laughs) Yeah. Someone, I was looking in my Recent Activity, and there was a thread and there was a couple new comments in it after it had been sort of quiet for a couple days, and I was like, huh, that's funny. I guess some people found this thread, and there was just like, whatever, pretty blah comment, not like a two-word misspelled thing, but just like--

jessamyn: But still, yeah.

cortex: But just like, not super engaged, but someone just commenting, I was like, okay, well, you said a thing on the Internet! Good job! And then another person--

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: --also did that, and I was like, huh, okay. And I went and looked, and that second person, I was like, well, that one, that's like a weird follow-up to someone else's late follow-up, just for not being particularly engaged itself. So I clicked through on that second person's profile, and found that they left like twelve comments and sort of glanced through and was like, wow, this is a... this feels like a spammer laying some groundwork--

jessamyn: It's spammer behavior.

cortex: --because they spammed in, they commented in like twelve threads all of a sudden out of the blue. And they don't really have anything interesting to say in any of those comments. But then I sort of stopped and twigged and realized, oh, wait, but they commented right after that other person. In all twelve of those threads.

jessamyn: Whaat?!

cortex: It was like, ohh! Somebody signed up two accounts, and then went through and commented to lay some groundwork with one, and then went back (laughing) to the exact same set of threads, and comm--and not like they're supposed to know each other, they're not specifically reacting to each other.

jessamyn: Like, "I totally agree with my friend The Guy!"

cortex: Yeah. "I also am in this thread from thirteen days ago, but I--it's a coincidence! I just happen to also be here!" And you know, I mean, there's nothing super interesting about any of this, it's just like, spammers going and doing some, "hey, this is before I spam link farming," sort of setting the scene, I think, to make themselves look like a real contributing member of the community or whatever.

jessamyn: That is so weird!

cortex: But they don't always agree with each other, either! Like, these two people who aren't, quote unquote, people, this person in these two voices is taking positions on subjects, and sometimes they agree and sometimes they disagree. And they disagreed about bedding a lot. Like, one of them really liked their waterbed.

jessamyn: Bedding like blankets?

cortex: Like, bed-related stuff. Like, the arena of beds. One of them really liked waterbeds, the other one was sure that waterbeds are bad for you? One of them had an uncle who made good money running a mattress store, the other one was convinced that every mattress retailer is a crook. So, like, there was some-

jessamyn: This is what you need to free up your time for, from spammers, so you can do this?

cortex: (laughs) Yeah, I don't know, I don't know.

jessamyn: (laughs) I mean, I'm fascinated, don't get me wrong.

cortex: I want someone who does research into rhetoric and, you know, spam to take this as a case study in, sort of, acquired voices or performance. Anyway, I thought the whole thing was really interesting, and then-

jessamyn: Yeah, but is there- does this story end?

cortex: Not really!

jessamyn: FUUUUCK!

cortex: You know, that's all there is! They haven't actually spammed yet so we haven't bothered to ban them yet.

jessamyn: They're just on your, you know-

cortex: They're just on the watch list, and we'll know as soon as they do. But we did get, like, six emails from people saying "hey, I don't know if you noticed this, but there's something a little bit weird going on here," and that I kind of loved, because that is totally the Metafilter immune system in action. It's like, there are enough eyes in enough places that someone can go toss weird comments into a two week old thread and someone's like, "hey, you know, something's not right here, I'm gonna do a little detective work, I'm gonna write to the mods, I'm gonna let them know something's going on with these sketchy looking accounts..."

jessamyn: Right, right right right!

cortex: So yeah, like half a dozen people! And honestly, I was gonna just leave the comments there, just 'cause they're innocuous, I mean they're dumb but they're not making the threads they're in terrible, they're at the end of the threads anyway, there's no actual links or spam in 'em, uh, but I think we would have kept getting email from people! (laughs) So I think after about the sixth one, LobsterMitten was like, "Yeah, I'm gonna go through and just delete these." Which was the right decision to make. But I loved that there's that artifact of that weirdness. And you know, we've got it in the database if we ever want to, you know, write it up or whatever.

jessamyn: Fascinating!

cortex: Gosh! I'm just full of tangents today!

jessamyn: Tea!

cortex: Yeah, it's the tea. It's probably the tea. Well, and I've been painting my home office. Which, uh, I'm not going to go into a ten minute digression on!

jessamyn: Painting it in a cool way? Like your bedroom? Or, like, just a boring way, like an office?

cortex: No, a cool way! (laughs)

jessamyn: Do you have a picture?

cortex: Not yet, but I'll post one soon.

jessamyn: Ok.

cortex: It's a nice bright orange now and I refinished the floor that had been just a couple layers of old white paint-

jessamyn: Why is all your shit orange, Josh?! You're becoming me!

cortex: I like orange! Well, it brightened up that room a little bit.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: I thought about other colors and I just went with orange.

jessamyn: That's awesome!

cortex: And I'm gonna do some design stuff on the wall. It'll be cool. But I have a sense of accomplishment for that and also maybe some paint fumes. So. (laughs) One other project I wanted to mention, just because I like it, and I think the discussion of it is interesting: escape from the potato planet put together a site called-

jessamyn: I always love that username.

cortex: Yeah, it's a great username. A couple of sites- and

jessamyn: Ohhhh!

cortex: Both of which are intended to be sort of like,

jessamyn: Whoooaa!

cortex: -hey, okay, you're being dumb about a thing, here's this site. And the presentation is very sort of sassy and snarky in a way that, like, I totally appreciate the intent there, but it's also interesting to sort of see the discussion that ends up in the Projects post of people sort of saying, "Well, you know, this aspect of that isn't correct," or some people are like, "Well, you know, but I don't..."

jessamyn: Right, "that's not how 'that's not hows' work"

cortex: (laughs) Yeah, it gets fractal. So there's a bunch of good detail in there, and it's been sort of like a work of process as a result, I think. But it's a nice idea, and it's nice to see that sort of engagement on Projects. You know, a lot of time on Projects you're posting something and it's like, hey, I made a thing, it's done, go enjoy it if you want to. But sometimes it's like, hey, I'm working on this thing. And so this is one of those nice sort of, there is a whole process involved.

jessamyn: And jedicus showed up with some lawyer science and Su showed up with some other information about fair use, and, yeah! That's great! I mean, great sites, and as well, um, yeah. Yeah!

cortex: Yeah!

jessamyn: Way to go, potato planet! And these are really good- especially Freedom of Speech. Freedom of speech I like because I think it's a little more clear cut, copyright is kind of a mess and it feels like if you support one side or the other people are like "Oh, I know what you're like!"

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Whereas Freedom of Speech is a little bit more- maybe it's just because of my feels on the subject.

cortex: Yeah. (laughs)

jessamyn: But as a result, like, I find myself leaning more towards the Freedom of Speech of the two because I have very complicated feelings about copyright and not very complicated feelings about Freedom of Speech.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like, I mean, they're complex, but they're not complicated. You know what I mean? Whereas with copyright as soon as I read it I was like, "Yeah, but...!" like I can feel myself saying that, even though I'm probably wrong, so. Yeah! These are super helpful! Way to go!

cortex: So yeah!

jessamyn: And, it's escape from the potato planet's first Project post- how cool is that!

cortex: Ohmygosh! Congratulations on breaking that seal.

sfx: Move Right Now by comealongpole

cortex: Shall we move on to Metafilter?

jessamyn: To wherever we go next?

cortex: Yes. We go to Metafilter next. I'm not- I'm not actually really, like, "asking" asking, like, I'm not saying, "hey, do you think that's what should happen now?" It's sort of a polite rhetorical question-

jessamyn: "[??] with me, to the..."

cortex: It's like yes, "let's do."

jessamyn: Jim and I had a big conversation about that. Like, the difference for me, when he's like "So, what do you wanna do?" and "I wanna go bowling, do you wanna go bowling?" is like, the difference between, "ARGHHHHH," and "Oh yeah, great, that sounds great!" whereas in his head, they're basically exactly the same thing.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like, he kind of likes bowling, but he really kinda just wants to hang out with me and do whatever I wanna do, but whenever he says "What do you wanna do?" I'm like, "Why are you putting it in my lap?"

jessamyn: Like, it's really weird. I've done some aggressive relaxation stuff in the last 3 or 4 months, and certain things really have just gone away, and certain things have been, like, "NOPE! I'm doubling down on that one!"

jessamyn and cortex: [laughing]

jessamyn: And one of them is that, like, "What do you want to do?" I'm like, tell me what you wanna do! Don't always--yuuuugh. I don't always wanna drive that train. So we've been kinda working on that. Like, "Hey, let's do this!" instead of "Do you want to...?"

Like, that passive thing, for whatever reason, I'm always--

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: ...Just say what you mean!

cortex: Yeah, figuring out how to sort out communication on that stuff is great.

jessamyn: But I read this really interesting article on Medium about Ask and Guess culture...

cortex: What's that? I haven't heard of that?

jessamyn and cortex: [laughing]

jessamyn: Well, it's this thing Matt Haughey made up!

cortex: Matt...he's...that Slack guy, right?

jessamyn: I don't know, we used to be friends when he worked for Blogger.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn and cortex: [laughing]

jessamyn: I thought he did a really good job, actually, of summing that stuff up, but it's always funny watching

a whole new group of people--

cortex: like, encounter the whole, "oh, ahhhh!"

jessamyn: Well, and even listening to people talk about it in MetaTalk this time around, I got a more sophisticated understanding of why certain people in my life may not be assholes like I thought they were.

cortex: [laughs] Maybe it is [??]

jessamyn: And worse yet: maybe I'm the asshole.

cortex: Ehhh, I think everybody's the asshole sometimes.

jessamyn: I'm like a smiling-Buddha asshole, so I kinda don't care,

but I'm like, oh, I could see why they would've thought maybe I was--oh shit, shit! But I can see why like, simmering resentment from people in my life over having had to have done a thing because I asked a question in what I thought was a normal way, suddenly I was like, "ohhh!" I can see how that would've looked really fucked up to somebody who ascribed to this completely different method of interaction.

cortex: Yeah, exactly.

jessamyn: So here we are at Metafilter!

cortex: Here we are at Metafilter! It's been a month of--

we just finished keepmefiweird May--

jessamyn: Oh, I forgot about that! I was like, super on board at the beginning of the month, and then shit got busy. How'd it go?

cortex: It sort of continued throughout. It went pretty great!

jessamyn: I enjoyed the stuff that I did!

cortex: I've liked the--and I made a couple posts, and that's more than I usually make in a month, and that was pleasing to me. Let's see, I'm looking at the tag--there was 168 posts with keepmefiweird this month.

And you know, I kinda hope it'll just keep going!
But I mean, to some extent, I just kinda hope people keep posting weird stuff just as a general thing, because that's kind of the Metafilter I like.

jessamyn: I was gonna say, Lord love my boyfriend, he actually made a post in June with the keepmefiweird tag.

cortex: As long as it's not the keepmefiweirdmay tag in June. And then, if it is, maybe that's appropriate, I don't know. It's hard to say.

jessamyn: But yeah, I think for people who love what I think of as "classic Metafilter,"

this tag, and just looking at the posts in this tag--you know, like, "I wonder if there's a way to lick my cat and groom him at the same time?"

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: I saw that on Twitter! I didn't even know it was on Metafilter, but there it is, one of my favorite weird things from last month, and there it is. For those who are curious, it's a thing you would wear on your tongue that has little grippers on it so that you can--well, you don't wear it on your tongue, you kind of put it in your mouth--

cortex: You just bite it, yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: ...and you can groom your cat as if you were its mommy, as opposed to just, like, with a regular old brush like normal people.

cortex: Well, like you do. That's just the way it is.

jessamyn: Right!

cortex: Yeah, no, there's been a ton of good stuff. It's just been really, really good. I'll have to say, one of my favorite things from the month is not even a keepmefiweird thing particularly, it's just a post about a Tumblr blog that started out as a discussion about

the Tumblr blog, that started out as a discussion about the Tumblr blog and the phenomenon it was reporting on, and then descended into "Oh, we're so close to 2000 comments now," of just dumb pop culture mashup puns. So it had about 50, 70 comments maybe, of a normal conversation--

jessamyn: So what is this--it's just, you take two pop culture things and you put them together.

cortex: Yeah, well also, so--the post is from Krom Tatman, and it's to a Tumblr blog called

and it's basically collecting and generally snarkily remarking on t-shirts, mostly, and you know, other merchandise--

jessamyn: So like, for people who need to get their head around it, there's a picture of a Minion dressed as Moss from the IT Crowd.

cortex: Yeah. So you've got the IT Crowd and Minions--"oh, okay!"

jessamyn: Totoro sleeping inside of Snorlax, which is actually quite inspired. I mean, I'm sure it all is, right?

cortex: Yeah. Some sort of--oh, I guess maybe this is, uh...

jessamyn: Pikachu ewok? Uh...

cortex: Bioshock Infinity and Portal? Powerpuff Girls and Justice League--

jessamyn: Beavis and Butthead Breaking Bad? Wow!

cortex: See, here's the thing--and I was saying this in the thread. Like, there's a mix of, lots of stuff in here is really clearly the lazy fucking shit that I can totally agree that like, yeah, someone literally pasted a Firefly drawing over a Peanuts drawing, and said "You can't take the sky from me" in Calvin & Hobbes font.

and it's like, "THAT is--" okay, you did literally shit that out.

jessamyn: But that's kind of what's great about the Internet, right? 'Cause not everybody's at your level.

cortex: Well, no, and that's fine. And I'm not gonna say someone shouldn't have the right to make--

jessamyn: Some of it's for children: Hello Kitty-pede?

cortex: The point is, that's lazy vs. like...

jessamyn: [low voice] HELLO KITTY-PEDE...

cortex: See, that I thought was great!

jessamyn: Right!

cortex: I like Hello Kitty-pede. So you know, it's like, I've got real mixed feelings, but, you know, after we pretended to be adults for probably a good four or five hours in that thread

then people started making up their own references just as a minor distraction in it, and then that just completely took over, I think around the time that Existential Dread posted Forrest Gumpkinhead, and it just sort of went downhill from there. And it's been glorious, and it's still going, like a week later, and we're gonna clear 2000 comments easy. But I really, really loved it. That sort of came through right at a stressful apex of the whole
hiring process, too--

jessamyn: uh-huh.

cortex: I went, "Hey, here's something that I can go make 200 comments in!" So it was good for me!

jessamyn: Well, 'cause that's the thing that I have the hardest thing explaining to people, is I really do I like to, I mean, I'm usually in AskMetafilter, but I really like to kind of just check in and hang out and, like, bullshit with some people. And that is kind of a calming thing,

whereas I think for a lot of people, they view online interaction/discourse as something that's fraught, concerning, something. But yeah, no, I can totally see how this would have been just a great... I'm not even, it's 2000 comments.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: By Krom Tatman, who's not a username that's familiar to me. "Maya Angelou Who's Talking." "Lord of the Ringu." "The League of Their Own Gentlemen." "Lars and the Real Ghoulies."

I don't understand 75% of this.

cortex: [laughs] It's tricky, you know--you want to have a variety of things in your references, but you also want them to be references to things people will get, you know, do you go for the deep cut at the risk that people say, "Well, okay, you wrote that thing, but I don't get it," or do you really focus on--

jessamyn: And seriously! It's almost 2000 comments, and it's had 2 flags. All the flags. Two! Two! Which means nobody's making any gross rapey jokes, nobody's making any pedophile jokes, or nobody's paying attention at all.

cortex: No, no--

jessamyn: But my suspicion is, people are just behaving. I don't know, behaving's maybe not the word, but you know what I mean.

cortex: Yeah, it hasn't been weird, which is nice. But yeah, anyway, I've had a lovely time with that, and it'll be open for several more weeks, so you know, people get in there! Make it happen!

jessamyn: One of my favorite threads I found by accident, because the one place I hang out on FanFare is to talk about Saturday Night Live episodes, and so the season ended with Fred Armisen, who's not on the show anymore

and he's kind of a polarizing figure, because he does Portlandia, and by all accounts he's kind of a dick, right? But he's a good actor, also, and the show is actually pretty good. And one of the pre-recorded bits--so we were talking about it over on FanFare, you know, me and the six people who talk about it over on FanFare--

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: ...and then somebody, not one of the six people, basically posted one of the preroll video, I don't know what, it's not preroll--one of the prerecorded bits

cortex: The digital shorts, I think they've taken to calling them.

jessamyn: Yeah! Yeah! ...which was like, kind of a joke takeoff on Dead Poets Society, and it was really funny, I thought, and a lot of people thought. But the thing about the thread that was the most interesting was, number one, you got to talk about SNL and whether it does or does not suck with a larger group of people, but there's a couple amazing comments, both about the size of Fred Armisen's penis, which is very interesting to me, and I would have had no idea otherwise--

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: But also, some people who actually had personal interactions with him, good and bad, schmod's is the one I'm thinking of--I'll send you the link--that kind of takes different sides on what they've heard about Armisen personally, which is, again, one of the reasons I really like Metafilter, like, oh, here is some people who actually interacted with him when he came and performed at their school, or, "I had a friend who dated him, and,"

and so the thread itself, especially because Metafilter's a lot better at not being like "your favorite band sucks" all the time anymore, and so it was actually really nice to bullshit and chitchat with a bunch of people about this specific thing, and to feel justified by my dislike of Fred Armisen, which on some level--

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: visceral. Like, I just cannot stand him, and I know that it's just like, me. You know, like--he's talented. He's capable--

cortex: Well yeah, you just get that sometimes. Like, everybody's got, you know--

jessamyn: But I hate him. And I hated Kristen Wiig.

jessamyn: And so it was really interesting to kind of talk through with other people, why maybe--what it is about him that's so [retching noise].

cortex: See, and I really like Kristen Wiig, but I didn't particularly like her when she was active on Saturday Night Live, not that I was watching frequently.

jessamyn: Well, I think that's the thing. I mostly was used to her there. I've seen--I liked her in Bridesmaids, she was great!

cortex: Yeah. I think was I dislike is, shitty rushed hammy Saturday Night Live writing involving her, was the problem.

jessamyn: Fair.

cortex: Like, you know, when she has a little bit more room to move, I think she's really great.

jessamyn: Well, because she falls back on a lot of her tropes, which are--

cortex: Well yeah, and it's the Saturday Night Live thing, which is like, "Hey, this skit was really great! Let's do it... FOREVER."

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: "Remember that skit where we had that one good joke? Let's keep telling it." And it's like, well, what do you do?

jessamyn: Right, it's a lady who farts a lot! That'll never get old!

cortex: Yeah. You know, and if you're a good comedian, and you try and work with that, and the writers try and work with it, and maybe you can get some additional good variations, but you're still, like--at that point, what can you do to just, maybe try and escalate your character a little bit?

And it's like, yeah. So.

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: Interesting stuff. [laughs]

jessamyn: Yeah! So, for anybody who hates Fred Armisen, or maybe who likes him, or is just curious about the size of his genitals, that thread is perfect.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Yep.

cortex: Uhh... this is a thing that I loved, and I thought the thread was not very good, but it was sort of interesting in not being good. The bottle-flip for the ages? This was--(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates posted this, and this was just a thing that was going around on the Internet. Some high school kid

named Mike Senatore, at the talent show--

jessamyn: Okay, I'm watching this...37 seconds long.

cortex: Yeah, have you not seen this?

jessamyn: No, of course I haven't seen it!

cortex: Oh my gosh, it's exciting--I almost just wanna...

jessamyn: What even is happening?

cortex: Just--ignore me, watch that, and I'll set it up for anybody who can see it. It's a high school kid who goes to the talent show, the high school talent show, and his trick is that he flips a water bottle. He takes, like, literally a half-full plastic bottle of water and he just sort of bloops it to [??]

jessamyn: And it lands on its butt...

cortex: and it lands on the table.

jessamyn: which I guess is successful, right?

cortex: Yeah, you know.

jessamyn: And then everybody in the audience loses their shit, for no reason.

cortex: Yes. Yeah, it's like, clearly everybody's enjoying this. He does this like, real-slow walk up, and dramatic music, and there's a pause, and then he--bloops this bottle, it's like the dumbest, least-impressive looking thing you could imagine for "this is my talent," but--

jessamyn: But you've gotta completely be impressed by the cojones of the fact that that's a thing.

cortex: Yeah, he set it up, he did it, and then everybody's obviously excited about the idea of going inappropriately crazy about it, and so everybody just like, explodes.

and this turned into a thing on the Internet, and I love it.

jessamyn: And Metafilter was mad about it? Please, please no.

cortex: [frustrated sigh] Yeah... a certain number of people were, sort of, "ughhh, fucking jocks." And it's like, "ehhh!" You know, it's a funny thing about the Internet, like--

jessamyn: Oh my God, reading the YouTube comments? Oh. My. God.

cortex: Like, I had some shitty experiences in middle school and high school too, so I get it, but it's also, this is one of those, like, just--slow down and put...

This is the moment to put school down and forget about those bad experiences, and just say, "Hey, this is a fun and goofy thing that happened." This is like, youth culture happening. Just 'cause, I mean, shitty experiences in school come up in other contexts and ways that I think are totally legitimate. If there's a discussion about bullying, people talking about their experiences with that in high school makes sense. If there's a discussion about weird systemic problems in schools, yeah, that makes sense to talk about. If there's something to talk about, like, dealing with people years later who you had bad experiences with and you are carrying around baggage
from that, they aren't necessarily going to be aware of or weren't seeing the same way, that's an interesting complicated discussion about the weird traumas and complicated social fuckin'... tire-fire that is, you know, being a kid in school.

jessamyn: [chuckle]

cortex: But this kid just flipped over a bottle and it was funny! Just fuckin', just say, you know--okay!

jessamyn: I am looking through this thread and at all the things you guys [pause] wow. Wow!

cortex: We deleted a few things, yeah. So it's weird, you know.

jessamyn: A lot of people recommend the "baggage reclaim" blog for dealing with your own personal baggage.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: And, goodnewsfortheinsane has a very nice comment in there, which I thought was good. I always love seeing goodnewsfortheinsane, you know--add a thing.

cortex: Yes.

jessamyn: 'Cause, you know, he's not like, all over Metafilter, though he's in Metafilter--

cortex: Yeah!

jessamyn: Every time I see him making a great comment I'm like, "Yeah!"

cortex: There's some--he has a sense of subtlety, and yes, I love this.

he's done the table-flipping emoji, except for it's flipping a bottle--

jessamyn: a little bottle--

cortex: onto a table, and that's just... I laughed, I genuinely laughed out loud. I gave it a solid authentic lol at the time.

jessamyn: Yeah. I mean, to be fair, that guy was probably a jerk if he was somebody I went to high school with.

cortex: Oh yeah! And that's the the thing--

jessamyn: On the other hand, yeah.

cortex: I'm not saying, "Wow, this guy's obviously cool and everybody should be nice to him, I'm just saying, you know, it's a fuckin' video of this... great dumb thing, and that's all it is, just enjoy it for what it is.

[heavy sigh] Anyway.

jessamyn: It does have a little bit of that mob mentality in it.[laughs] The more I think about it, the more I'm like, "Yeah, but..."

cortex: It's so obviously, like, everybody's in on that, like that crowd is going wild because that crowd decided to go wild over something dumb. That's fantastic.

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: Anyway. There's a squirrel outside! There's a squirrel on my neighbor's garage...

jessamyn: Oh my God, dude, don't get me started about squirrels.

cortex: this has been the squirrel report.

jessamyn: That's what I was talking about before I was talking about how much my ears were humming.

cortex: [laughs] Okay, we won't talk about the squirrels.

jessamyn: I have like, sunflower seed with red pepper on the outside of them and still they keep coming.

cortex: Those fuckers.

jessamyn: [whispers] Still they keep coming! [normal volume] My squirrel-proof bird feeder is only proofed to gray squirrels, not red squirrels.

cortex: Gray squirrels must feel pretty stupid about that, then. They,'re like, "Oh man! What the fuck?!"

jessamyn: They're just heavy! They're just heavy! It's not an IQ test.

cortex: Oh, okay.

jessamyn: They're just heavier.

cortex: Okay, that works.

jessamyn: Well, I liked the discussion on "Keep Mefi Weird," the thread, where teponaztl--oh, shit.

cortex: teponaztli?

jessamyn: teponaztli? was like, "Well, I did sort of see this thing about Romanian leaf singing, but you know, I don't want to make a post because I don't want people to be dicks about it." And everyone was like, "DO IT! TOTALLY DO IT! DO IT!" And, they did, which is just, you know--people doing this little Romanian singing thing--but it's nice!

cortex: Yeah!

cortex: Just--it's a nice thing?

jessamyn: Because it's good music, it's sort of, I think--cultural Romanians in their funny little getups, which I of course [getting misty] remember from my times in Romania! so I enjoyed it specifically, and the thread was just short and awesome.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: And with a reminder that the numa numa video was originally Romanian.

cortex: Really!

jessamyn: In case you forgot.

cortex: I don't think I ever knew! That's exciting!

jessamyn: Yes.

cortex: One of the very rely--

jessamyn: I mean, the song is the kids from New Jersey.

cortex: Yeah.

One of the very early keepmefiweird posts of the month was TANE, which I had not seen before--

jessamyn: I didn't understand--I read every word of this, and had no idea what was going on.

cortex: It's just--[laughs]

jessamyn: Josh!

cortex: It's just odd. It's odd, is all it is.

jessamyn: But I mean, I--I--

cortex: It's TANE, you know? It's adjacent to zombocom, you can do anything you want.

jessamyn: So this isn't like a thing that needs anything else?

cortex: I don't think so, no. I think it's just weird for weird's sake. But the thing is, it's not new either, if you look down at the very bottom of that thread--I remember this because I favorited this comment from whir, which is just the word "aherm" linked to a post from 2009 that whir made from TANE.

And you know, this came along after the post had been up for a couple days, so I wasn't gonna go and delete it, but I also just wasn't gonna go and delete it anyway, 'cause fuck it! Seven years later, we'll have some TANE again, I guess is how--

jessamyn: I think you're allowed--Jim reposted something from ten years ago.

cortex: Oh sure, you know, it happens. That's where we'll like, sort of--

jessamyn: I mean, some person do it on purpose, like "Hey, now it's mefi--make mefi weird--whatever, keepmefiweird, and the people have changed,

so maybe they should also get to see zombocom, or... I think Jim did a zombocom post actually, come to think of it.

cortex: I think there was, yeah, yeah, like zombocom for iPad.

jessamyn: I'm looking at a red squirrel right now trying to break into my house, Josh.

cortex: Fuckin' squirrel, man. What is his problem?

The other thing that I like about--

jessamyn: I think it's her problem, and her problem is she's got little squirrels to feed.

cortex: Oh, that could do it.

jessamyn: I can see her little nips.

cortex: Okay.

jessamyn: [laugh]

cortex: A utilitarian argument, that the theft of bird seed will reduce suffering

in aggregate.

jessamyn: Maybe.

cortex: [laugh]

jessamyn: I don't even, yeah. [???]

cortex: The thing about the TANE post--

jessamyn: Oh, no, he did a weather map data porn thing from a long time ago.

cortex: Oh, okay.

jessamyn: which people weren't as excited about as they should've been.

cortex: Yeah, well what do you do?

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: You pays your money, you takes your chances.

jessamyn: Exactly!

cortex: As they say in wherever they use too many s's in their words.

The other thing about the TANE post I wanted to say, and I just wanted to say this 'cause I've done it literally
six times while we were chatting before I mentioned it, is that because of the way the post text is made, it's hyperlinked TANE TANE TANE TANE written in five different directions--

jessamyn: I didn't quite understand that.

cortex: It's just, I think, in the spirit of the weirdness of TANE showing up all over the place in the pages of TANE

jessamyn: Did we mention who made the TANE post?

cortex: Oh, this was splinda. spinda! spinda.

jessamyn: spinda.

cortex: But because it's like, a code, or TT [??], whichever it is--sort of mono block,

you've got this giant invisible click target off to the right of TANE where if you accidentally click, it'll just go through to the website even though you aren't clicking anywhere near any of the letters in the actual hyperlink. Which is not important or anything, but I just sort of compulsively click sometimes when I'm at the computer.

jessamyn: Sure! Because you think you're playing a cookie clicker game with the entire internet.

cortex: Yes. Basically. Oh, we'll get there.

jessamyn: [laughs] What?

cortex: I'll segue into something.

jessamyn: What?

cortex: ...with a cookie clicker, well, sort of, sort of.

jessamyn: What? Okay. oooookay. I gotcha.

cortex: We'll get there. Anyway. I liked TANE. What did you like? What else did you like?

jessamyn: Me?

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Uh... uhhhhh... God, I have a ton of stuff from AskMetafilter, hold a second, let me check my deeper list of stuff. Now I need to figure out what I actually commented in.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: You know I'm usually prepared, and this time--

cortex: Well yeah, it's--well, you didn't even have internet where you were, so...

jessamyn: Oh, I remember!

Oh wait. I don't know if this was--oh, this is by Jim.

cortex: Eh, go for it!

jessamyn: Well, I think it was, actually we talked about it last time, but maybe not? Tell me if this looks familiar. It was all the Lennys and Squiggys walking in the front doors of the Lavernes and Shirleys?

cortex: I have not seen this. I do not believe we talked about it, this rings no bells.

jessamyn: Well, it should ring one bell, because we talked about it--because Jim wanted to make a playlist of all the videos...

cortex: Oh! [laughs]

jessamyn: And then he linked to his own playlist, and then Jeremy deleted his post, after you had said it was okay.

cortex: [laughs uproariously]

jessamyn: Which is fine! That's actually how that system probably should work.

cortex: Yeah, the system was working perfectly, it just was dumb.

jessamyn: But Jim was like, "You said--!" and I was like, "I don't actually work there, so..."

cortex: Let's play-by-play how this worked. Okay. So.

jessamyn: So.

cortex: So the question is: Jim is putting together a collection, not_on_display's trying to make a collection of--

jessamyn: five videos--

cortex: from YouTube, and the thing is,

well, there's a bunch of videos--

jessamyn: And there's no existing playlist, and he's like, "You know, everybody could watch it in a row if there were a playlist, and I make my own playlist."

cortex: Yeah. And you DM'ed me on Twitter, which is, for the record, the least reliable way to reach me--I mean, I'll probably see it eventually, but just email me, because like, every once in a while, I'm like, "Oh, I missed a DM from two weeks ago."

jessamyn: I DM'ed you on Twitter?

cortex: I'm on Twitter, but none of the ways that I use Twitter--

jessamyn: No no no, but like, I DM'ed you on Twitter? That's so weird!

cortex: Yeah, you did!

jessamyn: Huh! That's odd of me. I think 'cause it was nighttime, and my Twitter was open. That's funny.

And your DMs don't just email you? 'Cause mine do.

cortex: Yeah, I should make them so they--well, they do, but then Twitter sends so much shit that I send it all to the Promotions tab.

jessamyn: Oh, see I--you use the Promotions tab? No one uses the Promotions tab.

cortex: I use it to not...use it. Like, that bunch of emails successfully gets sorted there.

jessamyn: Wow. All right, all right.

cortex: And then I just never look at it.

jessamyn: All right.

cortex: And that's how it falls apart.

jessamyn: Including your DMs. That's good.

cortex: Anyway.

jessamyn: You run that website.

cortex: [pause]Twitter?

jessamyn: [laughs]

cortex: I don't run Twitter. What are you talking about? I have lost the plot.

jessamyn: [laughs] You run Metafilter!

cortex: Well, I know, but--

jessamyn: And yet you ignore your DMs!

cortex: No! The--Twitter DM, it's not Mefi Mail, I get my Mefi Mail.

jessamyn: [irritated noise]

cortex: You DM'ed me on Twitter! That's Twitter! That's not my fucking problem.

jessamyn: [laughs]

cortex: Anyway. You DM'ed me.

jessamyn: "I don't need to be contactable, I don't run a major website."

cortex: I--just don't contact me that one way! No one contacts me about Metafilter stuff via DM, ever, except you that one time last month.

jessamyn: Apparently. I don't even--

cortex: So you DM me, you DM me, I see it--happily enough--promptly, and I get back to you, you're saying "hey, so Jim's trying to do this."

jessamyn: [??] quickly, because now I know that works.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: I don't care what you say, I know what happens.

cortex: Well yeah, but sample past performance may not indicate the future? Whatever. So Jim is thinking, "Oh, I should make a YouTube playlist of this, because that'd be simple," you wrote to me on DM and said "Hey, can Jim do this?"

'cause I don't remember if we even had a policy for this.

jessamyn: Yeah, probably not.

cortex: And I think I said, "Well, you know, technically the policy is no, because we've always discouraged people from--"

jessamyn: Any self-linking.

cortex: ...creating something to then link, even in sort-of like an abstract way like that, but at the same time it's not a huge deal,

jessamyn: [???]

cortex: I think if he wants to do it, go ahead and do it, 'cause that is so far out to the edge of any sort of level of concern we'd have there, especially from a well-established user.

jessamyn: A long-time user and all the stuff.

cortex: Yeah, if it's some random brand-new person saying "hey, check out this YouTube list of great stuff by this band you've never heard of," it's like "uh, are you in that band?" But you know, Jim, obviously, it's not a thing. So I said sure, yeah, go for it. And then he puts a post together, and like you say, restless_nomad sees it and is like "Uh...bro, you can't do that, because that's..."

jessamyn: Sketch city!

cortex: "...pretty clearly the rule, you don't do that." and then I think I traded email with you and Jim about like, "Oh what happened?"

and well, I mean, you should ask the person who's like, on duty, and not just DM me on Twitter.

jessamyn: Right, right. We didn't put it in the official mod Slack.

cortex: And then I told her, I told restless_nomad as well, I owned up to it to her--"Oh hey, I talked to jessamyn briefly about that, and I didn't even think to mention it." Anyway, it all ended well, and lenny is great, but I didn't even know what the playlist was about is why this wasn't--

jessamyn: Sure, why would you?

cortex: Yeah, I don't think we even got into the--

jessamyn: So basically, it's all those times on Laverne and Shirley when they walk in a room because they have this comic relief kind of bit

where Laverne and Shirley will be like, whatever's going on--"I don't know how this day could get any worse!" and then they walk in, like, "eeoooo!"

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: and this is just supercuts of that. And Jim and and I had just finished doing a Laverne and Shirley/Happy Days trivia round...

cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: A one-day trivia thing for the trivia league that we're in. If anybody wants me to mail you the questions, I totally will. And--are you sure we didn't talk about this on the podcast last time?

cortex: I don't--

jessamyn: Could we have?

cortex: I think it was May 2 was the cutoff point for the last one, and this was May 4th?

jessamyn: Yeah, totally. And it's just a super cut of all those things.

cortex: Also--when did I start saying "May two"?

jessamyn: Y'know...

cortex: That's just not me. I don't know. That was weird.

I really liked this post from Greg Nog, it's a post called "BOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOI" which is also a description of the contents.

jessamyn: Greg Nog, who I believe we have to thank for both the--

was keepmefiweird, he was one of the guys?

cortex: I think it was some sort of intersection of him and griphus, like--

jessamyn: Because he was also the guy who did the "What's your walk-on music?"

cortex: Yesss!

jessamyn: [??] wrestler.

cortex: Yes, we'll visit that during the MetaTalk section.

jessamyn: Okay.

cortex: [laughs] I don't know--what if we just said, fuck it, what if we through caution to the wind and said, you know, "We're gonna talk about whatever we talk about, whenever we talk about it"--it's too late now, we're already kinda committed to the structure here--

jessamyn: It's not gonna bother me!

cortex: Yeah, well, is it gonna drive other people crazy, or will they be like, "Hey, no, it's fine!"

jessamyn: Well hey Josh, we could actually take a moment to ask them.

cortex: Hey! Hey folks...

jessamyn: People from the podcast, if we didn't do stuff in order, and just talked about stuff from the website all over the place, how would you feel about that?

cortex: Yeah, let's chat about that in the ensuing thread for this, which maybe we'll also toss that question into the post, so people will have a prompting there. "Ask... people... what about willy-nilly sub-siting?" Boom. Note made.

Anyway, BOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOI is a funny video that involves the sound boi-oi-oi-oi-oing and that's all I'm gonna tell you. It's funny, go watch it, it's a minute long. It's great. So I liked that.

jessamyn: One of the things that I liked in terms of ripple effect--like, I'm not always like, "Oh, Metafilter's talking about the thing that everybody else is talking about," but this caramel sugar thing [laughs] where you can actually just heat your sugar in an oven and get caramelized sugar and it makes it a whole bunch easier, and oh my God actually it's

fucking great, and then watching all the different people who I know from Metafilter, and as well on the internet in general, and follow on Twitter, talking about this--I'm not that much of a foodie really, I eat the same food pretty much every day, always, but when something like this hits, it has to be a real seismic disruption in order for me to be like, "Huh? What?"

cortex: Sure.

jessamyn: And I was interested

in watching this trickle-down effect. It was on Serious Eats, I guess, and then it got posted to a couple places, one of which was Metafilter, and a massively popular thread about how to make caramel sugar.

cortex: I completely missed this, and I'm excited about this idea. It seems like a fun thing to try. I've been watching a lot of Great British Bake-off lately--

jessamyn: Oh, by daisyace, by the way.

cortex: Yay, daisyace!

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: And you know what? People fuck up their caramel a whole lot on that show. It's like a running theme.

jessamyn: It's hard! That's the thing!

cortex: ...Someone's like, oh, I'm gonna make some caramel! And I'm gonna fuck it up.

jessamyn: ...You gotta use fuckin'... bleeeaahhhh, thermometers, and--

cortex: ...and obviously ending up with some kind of caramelized...ish... sugar crystals is not the same thing as a nice caramel liquid, but I don't know, it's interesting.

I am gonna--okay, so, here's the thing. This is a post I made, but this is not me being excited about having made this post, I just liked this thing I posted
so much, I like sharing it with people.

jessamyn: Can't even believe it... Mad with power...

cortex: Well, no! It's not my thing! It's just my post, I'm just talking about my own post: a game called factoryidle, like, is where this game is--and it's an "idle" game? It's in that same general genre as cookie clicker, and various other games that involve, like--

jessamyn: What's an idle game?

cortex: It's a game where, part of how you play is you just sort of let it sit and accrue and let the numbers get bigger,

and then you sit down and play some more, and spend that stuff on new things, so like, Cookie Clicker, you--

jessamyn: So like, actually leaving the game to idle doesn't--is that why it's called...

cortex: Yeah, yeah, you leave it to idle in the background. Yeah, it's an idle game.

jessamyn: Okay.

cortex: Some of them are clicker games too, Cookie Clicker is a clicker game, 'cause it involved a fair amount of clicking, at least as originally designed, but it's gotten very idle-y too, where you know, you click on the cookie, you get some cookies, you buy a've played some Cookie Clicker, you remember.

jessamyn: I do remember buying a grandma!

cortex: Yeah, and then the grandma makes cookies, and so she makes more cookies, and then you can use the cookies she makes when you come back to buy more grandmas, and they make even more cookies, and then you can buy a factory, and so on. So like, the whole "letting it sit there" thing is a key part of most idle designs. But I like this game a lot basically for the parts that have nothing to do with that! Like, I just genuinely enjoy the actual core gameplay of it--which is, you're trying to basically manufacture stuff in a little pixelly factory

where you buy, you know, an iron supplier and an iron foundry, and you put a conveyor belt from the supplier to the foundry, and then chunks of unprocessed iron going to the foundry, and then out of the foundry comes some nice smelter iron, and you put that into an iron seller, and it sells it for a dollar. And you set up a tiny little factory, and you start making some money, and then you can buy some more factories, and make more money, and then you can research how to create steel,
and spend some money on creating a steel power plant, and so on, and upwards and upwards as it gets more technically complicated as you invest in more stuff. It's just a nice little game, there's not a ton to it, but it's sort of a spacial puzzle, like--how do I put these facilities here so that the things that need to convey supplies to other things can then supply [??] ways in the way that I can fit a bunch of them in this small, slightly weird space. So it's a spacial puzzle, it's a problem-solving thing,
every time you upgrade something, the relationships between various components change and you have to re-lay stuff out, and it's just really charming! It's really charming, and I saw it on MefightClub, I want to say, a few days ago, a week ago, and I just really liked it, and was like "I'm having a great time with this game! Oh wait, this is a free game on the web, I can make a post about this!" and so I went and made a post, and now there's like, going on 200 comments as we're all trying to figure out how to optimize our gas/oil labs--

jessamyn: And now your MLKSHK posts make sense!

cortex: Yes, yes. That's--

jessamyn: I had thought you built the damn game!

cortex: No, no! I would like to have done so, but no. I just found it, and I'm enjoying it. It's got me inspired to wanna go back to working on some stuff of my own, but...

jessamyn: That's nice!

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Which reminds me of my damn post! Since we're doing this!

cortex: Let's do it! Let's fuckin' do it.

jessamyn: I don't remember what the reason was, I was looking for a "dress up like a penny" costume, and--

cortex: [laughs] Well, you know.

jessamyn: Like you do! And so I found this really--I mean, you know, we all love--I don't know if we all love it...

cortex: Oh wait, is the mascots post?

jessamyn: Yeah! So I thought this--

cortex: Yeah, we talked about how you should make this post, I think, at the end of the last podcast.

jessamyn: Yes! And I did make it, and then it turned into a completely hilarious conversation, was it--had I already spoken to my sister about it? Because as people probably know, I have a Pekinese dress-up costume.

cortex: Boy, do you.

jessamyn: I think we mentioned it. And, what I didn't know--and I'm not sure I knew when I talked to you last month--was that the Pekinese costume

I had actually comes from these people.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Specifically. They made it. And my sister's like, "Why are you sending me a link to that website? You don't know that website." And I'm like, "Oh, I found it because, ha ha ha, there's this penny outfit." She's like, "That's wear the Pekinese costume came from," AND, it came from there because it's dressed--it's like their dog.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Like, they have a Pekinese dog...

cortex: Like, "You know what, we need to mascot this buddy. He's--we got a good dog, let's mascot him."

jessamyn: Yeah! And so they made a mascot of their dog, and I HAVE IT! I don't even know why!

cortex: That is amazing.

jessamyn: So I made a post, and for people who like this "dress up like a fucking weirdo" stuff, 'cause it's not really, like, furry dress-up? It's a different kind of dress-up. Like, I totally respect furry dress-up as being its own thing, but this is just like, "I like to get dressed up like an asshole and go run around." Like, it--you know.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: "I don't want to rub up against anybody or even meet people. I just wanna go run around in a costume." Yeah, so I made that post. At the very very beginning, right after we talked, I think.

cortex: Yeah, that's a nice bridge between episodes. It's an ep-bridge.

jessamyn: No, it isn't.

cortex: Yeah no, I'm pretty sure it is. [laughs]

sfx: greenish with not_on_display, "China Doll"

sfx: greenish with not_on_display, "China Doll"

sfx: greenish with not_on_display, "China Doll"

jessamyn and cortex: [laughing]

cortex: Do you want to move on to AskMetafilter?

jessamyn: Yeah! I do! I mean, there was a couple other like, little things--"Is it safe to use a malachite stalactite as a dildo?"

cortex: Interesting question.

jessamyn: ...the thread for bad geology pickup lines, as LobsterMitten says, but yeah, no... those were my majors.

cortex: All right. Let's do it, then. Let's pop on to--

jessamyn: AskMetafilter.

cortex: The ol' Ask.

jessamyn: Fascinating. I can never tell if the months where I'm like, "oh my God, AskMetafilter was amazing are just because I'm really stressed out, and I go there to chill out, and so it seems particularly wonderful when I need to be there more--

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: ...or if it just was really interesting this month. I think both.

cortex: Maybe a little column A, a little column B?

jessamyn: Yeah! So one of my favorite posts was

"Bring the best of the world to my home." Basically, evadery is renovating a house in Canada and is like, "All right! People from all over the world, I'm doing a renovation, maybe you have a thing that's kinda normal in your country but wouldn't be normal in Toronto? Lay it on me so I can have the most awesome house with the most awesome thing." So people recommend things like mud rooms, recommend things like baseboard vacuums, which I didn't know was a thing,
plugs where you can kill the power at the plug, you don't have to turn your thing on and off, heated floors in the bathrooms, an airing cupboard for your dish or your laundry, blablablablablablablah, just fascinating. I learned things about what you might put in a house.

cortex: Baseboard fuckin' vacuums!

jessamyn: Who knew, right?!

cortex: What is this?

jessamyn: You just sweep it all--I mean, 'cause I always sweep my shit under the baseboard and leave it there--

cortex: It's just a trash hole right there in the wall!

jessamyn: ...but I didn't know you could sweep it under the baseboard and have something suck it up!

jessamyn: That's awesome, right?

cortex: [laughs] Yeah, that's crazy! That's why I own a vacuum cleaner...just, you go do the--

jessamyn: My vacuum cleaner is like 100 pounds and always sucks up half of my carpet!

cortex: Oh, that's a problem.

jessamyn: So I actually went through, and like--

cortex: You know what you should do? You should get some cats, and then the cats will pee on the carpet, and then you can't have the carpet anymore, and then you don't that problem.

jessamyn: See, people give me the carpets their cats have peed on.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: They're like, "We washed it, it doesn't smell anymore, but we just can't have it in the house, because the cat will pee on it, so you can have it, because you don't have a cat."

cortex: That works, that works.

jessamyn: I'm like, thanks?

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: It's the only way I basically have carpets, BUT, then the vacuum cleaner eats them, because it's jealous that it's not a cat.

cortex: Yeah no, you gotta--carpets, rugs, and a vacuum cleaner, it's a complicated situation.

jessamyn: Well, you went and got another cat, not another carpet when you lost a--

cortex: Well yeah, yeah. We were already out of carpet, so why go back there?

jessamyn: [laughs]

cortex: That new cat, by the way, Boaty McBoatface, continues to be an excellent cat.

jessamyn: I have no doubt that Boaty McBoatface is completely terrific.

cortex: She really likes to be awake once we're awake, is one tricky thing, so... my desk is in the bedroom because we had friends staying, so I moved my desk upstairs, so that they could use that room, and then I've been slow to get around to doing all the renovation stuff that I mentioned earlier I've been working on...

jessamyn: Sure.

cortex: So I'm excited to move my desk back downstairs pretty soon, and no longer have Angela be like,

"Oh hey, I don't have to get up in the morning, but you're typing really noisily." So it'll be...

jessamyn: I, too, am a noisy typer.

cortex: Yeah, and I've got a pretty noisy keyboard, as it turns out. It's not like a model-m, it just sort of rattles. So anyway! In the meantime, I can get up and sort of be quiet in the morning while I'm sitting here, but Boaty gets pretty excited about things like a pen on my desk, or papers on my desk, or anything on my desk, so she's gonna make fuckin' noises--

jessamyn: I always think her name is Bodie like B-O-D-I-E,

I mean, I'm aware of what the name stands for--

cortex: Yeah, well, you're not the only person, so. I think it's going to get more and more abstract for people as time goes on, but--anyway, cat's great, that's your cat update!

jessamyn: Bodie. Like Bodie, California! I knew there was some Bodie.

cortex: It's almost Brody. [chuckles] "Oh Lord, stuck in Bo-di again?"

jessamyn: No.

cortex: No?

jessamyn: No.

cortex: No?

jessamyn: No.

cortex: Bodi, Texas? Or...yeah.

Anyway, John Fogerty! Uhhh...yeah no, just that baseboard vacuum thing is blowing my mind.

jessamyn: Right! Totally want it! I mean, my dad once lived in an apartment that had central vac, and that was its own amazing thing--you just plugged a hose into the wall.

cortex: Yeah, yeah--

jessamyn: And so it came with a hose.

cortex: ...We stayed somewhere, when I was a kid we stayed at a beach house that had that, and it just blew my fucking mind! I was like, "What is going on here?"

"Let's stick a Hot Wheel in there."

jessamyn: But it totally makes sense, right?

cortex: Yeah, no, it's like, why not? Boom!

jessamyn: I'm sure there's a very good reason why not.

cortex: Probably because it's a horrible maintenance nightmare.

jessamyn: I can imagine.

cortex: But you know, other than that, you've got a fucking vacuum in your wall, it's awesome. So yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah. I also enjoyed "Help me make a unique Victorian bat wedding dress"--

cortex: Oh, yeah!

jessamyn: hillabeans, who is getting married, and got some pretty good advice about how to do that,

because it's got, like, a corset in it, so it's actually kinda difficult--and my favorite thing about this was how many people, in the very beginning, were like "Oh yeah, I totally know that dress," and had all sorts of advice about stuff for this person. I think they wound up with some pretty good advice, but it was like, "Oh yeah, bat dress, sure, yeah. Sure. Bat dress.

cortex: Yep. This is--

jessamyn: Speaking of--wait, sorry, that's a segue that goes into this thing I want to talk about,

which is--I never knew this--this is by soylent00FF00, so Soylent Gray... or green? Green? I guess?

cortex: Soylent Green! Yeah.

jessamyn: Oh. Fuck.

cortex: [laughs] You got so close!

jessamyn: Aaaaah! I was like, "Soylent Grrruuuuhhh...!!!"

But basically, the question is--the meaning of the word "sure." So if you were like, "Hey jessamyn, you wanna go get pizza?" and I was like "Sure!" does that mean I'm super into getting pizza, or does that mean I'm grudgingly accepting pizza as a plan because I don't have a better plan?

jessamyn: Like, "sure, if you insist" or "Yeah! Yeah, totally!" So if you say a thing and I'm like "Sure!" what am I saying? And people--it's a super relative regional thing! People from the east coast see it more as just an affirmative "Yeah!" and people from the west coast, it's more like, "eh, sure."

cortex: Well, I think it depends on--I think there's a lot of person-to-person variation, too, but I saw this in passing and meant to go back and read it, and it just slipped by me,

so I'm just gonna toss a favorite on here and come back to it. Because like, yeah, this is an issue for me too, and I think me and Secretariat have somewhat different parsings of it but neither of us is coming from some specific "well no, it has to mean this because" thing, it's just like, we clearly don't always know what "sure" means when either of us is saying it.

jessamyn: Right!

cortex: ...and I feel like I end up, sort of, seeming to be noncommittal about something where I'm actually "no, that sounds totally fine!"

but it's not her fault that me saying something that is kind of a weird subjective word, doesn't unambiguously communicate something.

jessamyn: But you wouldn't know, unless you'd heard from like 50 people that this is a thing--

cortex: Yeah, exactly. So yeah, no, that's interesting. I wanna read through this and see what the various takes are.

jessamyn: And a lot of people, there was at least a couple of UK people who were like, "oh yeah, it's American slang." And like, I guess I see it as slangy--sort of?--I mean, it's definitely more informal than "yes." But to me, "sure" is like,

"Sure! I am sure I would like to do that," kind of. It almost feels like shorthand, it doesn't feel like slang. But obviously to people from other places, it's super slangy.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: [hiccup] Excuse me. Hiccups.

cortex: ...Yeah, interesting.

jessamyn: Yeah! So, go on to whatever you were gonna say, sorry.

cortex: Oh, I was just gonna say, this is just an odd tidbit, but me enjoying the way that AskMetafilter works sometimes. There was a final update from a poster on a question they asked

like a year and change ago, so they couldn't post themselves, but we can post a final update for someone after the fact. And it's basically just saying, hey, you know, after people gave them some answers when they were looking for a phone, their whole followup is basically, "Hey, I really don't like this phone! This phone turned out to be a bad phone! I'm unhappy with everything about it! So here are some details on why that phone ended up sucking!" Which is like, yeah, that's a bummer!

jessamyn: Woooow.

cortex: It's like, ugh, you didn't get what you wanted! But, it's also kind of useful, like, here is some actual followup on how the direction they tried to go with it ended, so there you go.

But yeah. That whole process thing, late updates, I enjoy it.

jessamyn: Yeah, it is nice! I hadn't participated in this thread the first time around, so it's very interesting. And we're in the process of possibly getting Milo another smartphone--this is Jim's son--because he's on a Cricket plan, and it's really cheap, which is great, and he's got kind of a low-end iPhone, and then

at some point his girlfriend put her AppleID on it, so that they could download an app, but then they broke up and then she vanished...

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: And apparently if you have an iPhone that's registered to someone else's AppleID and you don't have their password, you have a brick? Like, you can't wipe and reinstall it, you can't reauthorize it, you can't--there's literally nothing to do--

cortex: Yeah, it's a weird thing, and like, I don't know if there is--

jessamyn: ...and it totally makes sense, from a theft perspective.

cortex: Sure yeah.

jessamyn: But we're in this awkward position of like, trying to get in touch with the ex-girlfriend, because her password's on it, but they broke up a long time ago! And she's not super high-functioning, Jim's son isn't super high-functioning, so the whole thing has turned into this crazy--

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: I even asked Jesse, like "Jesse, is there some like, Apple magic you can do?

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: ...and he's like, "Do you have the original proof of purchase?" which Matt might have [laughs] 'cause it's an old Metafilter phone.

And yeah, it's just crazy. Phones are crazy!

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: That is my smartphone story!

cortex: Yes. I have nothing interesting to add to that. I have things I could add to that, but none of them are gonna enrich this conversation, so "Yes." I hear ya. Indeed, phones, transferring them.

jessamyn: PHONES, amirite?

cortex: Seriously. Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one? [laughs] What else ya got?

jessamyn: Salesforce! How to hire ethnically diverse employees--basically, somebody whose heart is in the right place, anonymous--heart is in the right place, they wanna focus on diversity, they don't really have a lot of money to do it, they don't really think anyone else is gonna try and focus on diversity, "How do I put this job in front of more people in order to get a more diverse workforce?"

cortex: Sure.

jessamyn: And there's actually a whole bunch of really good advice!

Which is nice. I mean, some of the advice is not as useful, but some of it is like, "hey, try this, try that, try this technique, go to these places," blablablablablablablah, and I found it a super helpful question I think a lot of people have. You know, "I wanna get a diverse workforce, but I don't really, bluh bluh, I'm not totally sure how to do it, but I'm trying to do the right thing, but I'm kinda clueless.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: "Little help?" And so there's a little help!

cortex: Yeah, exactly.

cortex: I, uh--

jessamyn: Did you read AskMetafilter this month?

cortex: Eh, not much.

jessamyn: Ehh.

cortex: You know, it's--

jessamyn: Ehhhh!

cortex: Everybody else...

jessamyn: It sounds like it's been a busy month for you!

cortex: Yeah, it's been a busy month for me! Uh...I don't read a lot of AskMe any month!

jessamyn: Why? It's FASCINATING.

cortex: Just, like--because it's, how much time do I have? And a lot of my spare Metafilter time goes to the blue.

jessamyn: ...and it's not a clicker game.

cortex: I tend to--

jessamyn: Clicker games, clicker games.

cortex: Here's the thing. I don't want to go on a big thing about it, but I really spent a couple years, just... away. And I have allowed myself to dabble a little bit more in the last few months--

jessamyn: Wait, when were you away? Was that when you were just working your ass off at Metafilter, or was that before that when you were working your ass of at the insurance company?

cortex: No, no--

jessamyn: Were you in prison?

jessamyn and cortex: [laughing]

cortex: Yes. I didn't know how to talk about this.

jessamyn: "I went down for a while."

cortex: Away from clicker games! I've been away from clicker games for a year or two, because I was like, "you know what, I'm playing four at once and none of them are making me happy..." and I just sort of stopped.

jessamyn: Yeah, okay.

cortex: And recently, Cookie Clicker came out with a version 2.0, and so I came back to check out what fun things were added--

jessamyn: Recently like, recently?

cortex: Like the last few months.

jessamyn: Huh!

cortex: Sometime this year.

jessamyn: Is it better?

cortex: It's the same thing.

jessamyn: [laughs]

cortex: He added some stuff [??]. Well, I mean it's Cookie Clicker, you know, it's not gonna go in some crazy direction that it hasn't already--

jessamyn: Well, I don't know, maybe it's more sophisticated in its math/purchasing stuff.

cortex: He added some nice metagame stuff, like when you reset, when you "ascend" and go collect your heavenly cookies that give you a production multiplier in your next life,

there's also sort of a skill tree that you can buy special abilities with--

jessamyn: I just love hearing you talk about it, 'cause you're so enthusiastic. It's like, if you had children, I would think you would talk about them like this.

cortex: Probably. Probably. Or, like, about the cats peeing on the rug. It's either/or.

jessamyn: But you're not [??] "my cats or my babies" guy. Not that you don't love your cats.

cortex: No, they're great, but they're cats.

jessamyn: They're house pets.

cortex: Yeah, they're cats.

jessamyn: But Cookie Clicker, that's something else!

cortex: But Cookie Clicker! [laughs] Right here, right in my heart.

I don't even know where I was going with this, exactly.

jessamyn: You ascend to heaven with your heavenly cookies, next life--

cortex: Yeah, and you get stuff, there's a skill tree. How did I get there? I think you--I don't know. Anyway, I have no idea where I was going so--[laughs] You know, Ask, I just don't read of Ask because I tend to end up using my free cycles on Metafilter on the blue, and to some extent on MetaTalk, and a little bit Fanfare, a little bit of Music--

jessamyn: Sure.

cortex: But I think the blue ends up eating most of my spare cycles. I have to moderate AskMe, so I always have my recent activity--I could talk about every thread I had to leave a note in?

jessamyn: [laughs]

cortex: But most of the time that doesn't bode super well. This is actually an interesting thread. It's kind of a challenging one, and it's a little contentious, I think a hard read for some people, people being irritable...

jessamyn: Oh, I've been reading this!

cortex: But it's also interesting, and it's a genuinely complicated intersection of very different things going on. This is an anonymous question about--the title is "I can't handle my friend's kid, and increasingly my friend." And someone's saying, "Hey, I'm friends with a couple who have a 4-year-old, special needs, and the short version is the kid is hard to be around and has--

jessamyn: "The kid says slightly dickish things to me, and then the parents instead of being like, 'whoa, sorry my kid's a dick' are like

'Yeah, I know, Anon's kinda noisy'" or whatever and then Anon feels kinda really weird about this.

cortex: Like their friends aren't getting their back when their kid's behaving in a way that they think is inappropriate, and you know--

jessamyn: Because with a neurotypical kid, you kind of expect the parents--a little bit, depending on the parents--to be like "oh hey, don't tell my friend she's ugly," whereas with a kid who's not neurotypical--different people have different feelings about how to deal with those things.

cortex: Yeah. And the whole dilemma, the source of the contentiousness in this,

is that there is both a reasonable, sort of, "Hey, this is hard for me to deal with being around, so I'm not sure how to deal with it--"

jessamyn: Sure!

cortex: You know, that's totally understandable, yeah, but on the other hand, it's really difficult--I mean, it's hard raising a kid period, but it's especially difficult--

jessamyn: I don't know how anyone does it.

cortex: know, raising a special needs kid, you know--they have special needs. It's more challenging. It's stressful, it's exhausting in ways that even typical parenting may not be, so--

jessamyn: And especially with young kids, where you're still kind of figuring things out.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: I mean, Jim's got sort of a special needs son, but he's 20, so Jim's had a long time to kind of get used to--

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: The different, sort of, accommodations that Milo needs, and how to work within the system, and Jim's really availed himself of the various support networks that he has available, but even so, some of this stuff is difficult, and when the three of us get together, and Milo says something weird to me--which he almost always does--it's a little challenging

figuring out how to work with that, you know? Very challenging.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: So I gave what I hoped was some helpful advice.

cortex: Yeah, I thought your answer in there was good, in characterizing it in terms of "Well, you know, things can be difficult, and you can sort of decide how you want to..."

jessamyn: Yeah. You need to set your own boundaries, which is kind of what I did.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: But you know, we've got a lot of parents of non-neurotypical kids, and what we had which I thought was really interesting, was towards the very end of this thread, emptythought shows up and was like, "Hey, that could've been me as a four year old!"

As the kid! "Let me tell you what was really hard for me and my parents growing up, bum-babababababah!" And he's got his own particular manner, but I really felt like his feedback was interesting, because very few people spoke from the "this is what was difficult for my family." Like, we had some people who were like, "well, I'm not neurotypical, and this is what was hard growing up..." and a lot of a people who were like, "well, I'm a parent of a similar kid, so blah," you know, a little bit of unsolicited parenting advice, but then he was like, "well, this is what it looked like from me," kind of.

cortex: Yeah.

So yeah, a lot of interesting stuff. Obviously, sort of a difficult thread, and something where I think a lot of people who--and this certainly came out in the thread--a lot of people who have direct experience being the parents in this situation, were like "You know what? Your friends have way more on their plate than your feelings about what their kid says."

jessamyn: Which I think is also a completely valid point!

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: And you don't know, right? You have no idea, sort of where they come at them, and again, it's also a style thing. There are some people who are like, "we actually don't care about you if we're dealing with an issue with our kid," and then there's other people who are like, "well, we try and balance it and maybe we're not doing a good job." But you don't know until you have the conversation, again, sort of back to the ask/guess culture thing that I think a lot of people--like, to my mind, it's like, "well, you start a conversation!" and there's definitely some people in the thread who are like, "no you fucking don't!"

And I'm like, "Huh!" I mean, that's clearly a legit approach, 'cause it's theirs, but it's interesting for me trying to understand that.

sfx: Kiltertolks, "Early Riser"

jessamyn: I did wanna mention a couple Music things.

cortex: Oh, do it!

jessamyn: I don't know if you put together a "music minute" thing or not.

cortex: I've got a couple tracks I could mention, but I am curious to--

jessamyn: But the one that was so interesting to me was thing thing by bfootdav, the guy I always assume is barefoot Dave, and I should probably actually check that, so...

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Yeah! Barefoot Dave. Did a poem fragment? That was set to music using the Platonic Music Engine, and so, basically it can... I don't 100% understand it, but basically you can do, um... Let me read back and make sure I understand what's actually going on.

jessamyn: It can generate sort of sheet music and audio output for various kind of text inputs, and so the thread its self on the top, it's a little "wuaahh", kind of over my head, but it takes a Greek poem and turns it into music using, uhh.... math.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: But then he goes through the thread and takes some of the user's usernames-

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: -and turns them into MP3's.

cortex: That's awesome.

jessamyn: So billiebee, and greenish, and not_on_display

cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: -turns them into little things. Which if you're nerdy like that, it's just super cool.

cortex: Yeah. No, that's awesome. I totally missed that, and that is pretty fantastic. I will have to dig into that a little bit.

jessamyn: Yeah. Yeah. So that worked out well, and of course I loved the, um, greenish and not_on_display's China Doll collaboration.

cortex: Yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: They've basically been doing sort of more and more music collaboration, "across the pond," as it were,

cortex: Yes.

jessamyn: and they did this really kind of cool cover of this Julian Cope original that I was really happy about. I don't spend as much time in Music probably as I should, but Jim always kind of points me to a couple of things that he thinks are worthwhile and interesting.

cortex: It's a good policy.

jessamyn: Eh!

cortex: I liked (laughs) uh, ignignokt is doubling up this month-

jessamyn: You guys are simpatico, aren't you!

cortex: Yep! Well, he made a little recording called Cuidado that's just entertaining, as he says,"bleeps, pew pews, and a vaguely apocalyptic vocal sample!"

jessamyn: He has a child!

cortex: It's nice! I like it, but I also, I've always thought that Caution Cuidado should be the name of a horror movie about somebody who is not bilingual who is afraid of a monster because he doesn't, you know, speak Spanish.

So I also like the fact that the core vocal sample is, you know, "Cuidado means Caution," so that comes together nicely. Uh, I wanted to mention a couple other, there's sort of like an experimental music theme to the stuff that caught my eye. So that one's sort of a little bit experimental, this is an old track from CarrotAdventure who we've mentioned a number of times on the podcast, because he does fantastic music, but-

jessamyn: This is from the last podcast.

cortex: Is it?! Did this come up in the last podcast?

jessamyn: You know, it's May first- I don't think you mentioned it.

cortex: Oh, OK, well, that's fine. That doesn't matter.

jessamyn: Well, fuck it then!

cortex: I was, I was, I was on a roll!

jessamyn: Readers- Podcast Listeners, can we just talk about anything on Metafilter? It doesn't have to be last month, does it?

cortex: (laughs) Yeah, do you care if we- yeah, just... let us know. We're just going to rip the pages out of the rulebook is what we're going to do.

jessamyn: wooo!

cortex: Next podcast, apparently, because we've stuck with them, while contemplating breaking them.

jessamyn: (laughs) Well, I think that's good though, change is hard.

cortex: Yeah, yeah, it's a, we'll see what happens. Anyway, like this is an older track from CarrotAdventure so, uh, going sort of back in time here.

cortex: But then also from comealongpole, also an older, sort of unfinished thing that's sorta neat and- I'm worried I'm mixing them up in my head now, but this one, a little sort of an ambient concoction with some samples in there. And then, some improvised stuff from user gorbichov, who I don't know if we've mentioned any music posts before.

But this is sort of like, improv with the band called the Kiltertolks. Kiltertolks? Sounds good.

jessamyn: Sure!

cortex: So kind of a- I often have more of a, you know, I don't know, kind of a constructed set of moods and mix of sort of poppyness and not so much and whatnot, but this time I was like, "here's some stuff that's all a mix of weird and old" and I just sort of like it for that. So there we go. That was that minute, is what that was.

jessamyn: Hooray, the music minute!

cortex: Yay! So there was a bunch of cool stuff on MetaTalk we should mention briefly. You had mentioned the wrestling entrance theme music MetaTalk--

jessamyn: I thought that was a fun thread, I enjoyed it.

cortex: ...which, yeah, Greg Nog basically just said, "Hey, what's your entrance music? If you're a heel or if you're a face? [??] both?"

jessamyn: If I had known that terminology before, I had forgotten it.

cortex: Yeah, it's great. A "face" is sort of a good guy in wrestling,

a "heel" is a jerk, he's kind of a hell--and then wrestlers sort of change their stature sometimes, and so sometimes they take a heel turn, or even a face turn!

jessamyn: A face turn!

cortex: Yeah, I think "heel turn" is a more common phrase, but you can have a face turn, you can have sort of a redemptive arc--you know, if someone comes into the light based on the manic narrative events of some kind of manic wrestling situation, a kind of "Wrestle Mania," if you will.

jessamyn: What!

cortex: Yeah, I know, I just coined that. It sounds pretty good. I like it.

jessamyn: [snarl/snort/laugh]

cortex: [laughs] Let's see, what else--we mentioned, we've got a "hello to frimble" thread--

jessamyn: which I enjoyed.

cortex: and you had mentioned also the Slack blog "ask vs. guess" thread, so there's that.

jessamyn: Yeah!--which didn't get as much of an uptake as I thought.

cortex: Yeah, I dunno!

jessamyn: Speaking of "not as much of an uptake," too, Johnny Wallflower posted about my awesome interview, which I enjoyed, but got very little in the way of commenting.

cortex: You know, I think sometimes people just start right there, you know--

jessamyn: Well, people are kinda used to me doing this, so they're like--

cortex: "Oh, yeah, jessamyn's doing things, which is totally cool"

jessamyn: --"jessamyn is jessamyn!" Heh heh. Heh.

cortex: You know, the other gigantic sprawling not-horrible-disaster-somehow thread we had along with the pun thread, was this MetaTalk thread, the "MeFi calendar of unofficial events"

which is about 10 comments of people actually trying to answer the question, and--

jessamyn: Oh, right! I saw that when it went up and then didn't go back to it!

cortex: Yeah. Turned into an alphabet thread.

jessamyn: And then it became--Oh! And that's where the alphabet thread is now!

cortex: Yes.

jessamyn: I saw it on the sidebar.

cortex: Yeah. First one we've had in a long time.

jessamyn: That's nice.

cortex: It's been fun bringing that back around.

jessamyn: Oh, and favorites turned 10 years old! That thread really should have been worse than it was.

cortex: [laughs]It's like, "uhhhhhh, nope! It's gonna be fine!" And then it was!

No one wanted to really start shit, apparently, so.
Oh, I see! The caramel sugar thing was mentioned in the MetaTalk post about food stuff. Right. I missed that one. That was like a, "this is not gonna go bad, I have to focus on other things right now" casualty of my MetaTalk reading. 'Cause I usually read everything, but--

jessamyn: I still read everything most of the time, I just don't stay with the stuff that is--that I don't have to.

cortex: [laughs] Yeah, well I just read it all the way down. Also, we worked on flag stuff a bunch. I think we talked about this in the last podcast, and then we did another test that I think got closer to where we're gonna land with it, but then--

jessamyn: God, I'm so happy you guys went away from that. I very rarely feel like Metafilter's not going in a way that I enjoy, 'cause I just feel like I've been there long enough, I wouldn't have stayed if my sensibilities and the people who ran it's sensibilities weren't the same--but like, I was really having a hard time

for a couple days, being like "They can't do that! That doesn't make sense for reasons! REASONS!"

cortex: Yeah, it's felt like--

jessamyn: I tried to just comment sensibly, and figure that you guys would do what you did, and I'd learn to live with it if it actually worked out. There was probably a good reason, and whatever--but I think what you guys are looking at, at least your second go-round of attempts, looked a lot more like what I was hoping.

cortex: Well, and it's much less of a change, and I think that's probably--

like, I think there was a mix of totally legitimate reasons and air-quoted, capital-R "Reasons" in people's pushback on it.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: Both are legitimate, but--

jessamyn: Yeah, I know what you mean.

cortex: But I really liked some of the ideas in that first test, you know, I was really sort of strongly advocating for them in trying to try it out, but it was really useful to get people to give us feedback and try it out and talk about.

jessamyn: Well, and the thing that's wacky, too, is the way the world has changed--you know?

Like, the way Metafilter flagging worked when it started was very low-friction compared to other ways, like "fill out an email! Do a bunch of shit! Blah!" But nowadays, flagging really is as easy as clicking a thing and moving your finger slightly, so anything you do that turns that into more of a thing, isn't contemporary--you know what I mean?

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Even if it might make sense for every other really good reason.

And even if it looks contemporary, just the extra clicking is just not 2016--that was my weird feeling about it.

cortex: Yeah. [coughs] Excuse me. It was definitely a much bigger visual change--and testing did turn up more difficulties with it mechanically than expected. But anyway, the long story short is that I feel like the basic code base and the idea for that is in pretty good shape, but because we're in this big transition, it'll probably still be a little bit before we actually get around to rolling that out.

But it's very much something I want to get to once we sorta settle in to the new order with frimble and everything.
Oh, and one more thing we should mention, actually--a post fraula posted to let everybody know that Wolof passed away.

jessamyn: Oh yeah, yeah yeah.

cortex: He had been sick for a while, and then he had moved to palliative care a few days earlier, and then, well--you move to palliative care for a reason. So yeah, it was a nice MetaTalk thread,

a lot of good memories from people about him. He was a good dude, a longtime member of the site, and sad to see him go.

jessamyn: Australian.

cortex: Yes. Yes, one of the [laughs] better-behaved of our Australian contingent, I would say.

jessamyn: Musician.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Yes. And I don't think I got to meet him, though, of the Australian mefites that I met when I was down there.

cortex: Oh yeah?

jessamyn: Yeah. [pause] "Why are violas better than violins? You can put more beer in a viola."

cortex: Yes.

jessamyn: We'll miss you.

cortex: RIP, dude.

jessamyn: We'll miss you, Wolof.

cortex: Well, now that I've ended on a real upper note--

jessamyn: I don't know where you were going with that! See, this is why I'm the community engagement specialist.

cortex: I just wanted to mention it, I dunno. Felt appropriate.

Yeah, no, I think I'm fresh out of Metafilter for now.

jessamyn: That sounds great! We can bring it in under two hours--

cortex: Just by a hair!

jessamyn: Maybe we'll go a little anarchic podcast next month, maybe--

cortex: Yeah, maybe. Let's talk about it! We'll see what happens!

jessamyn: Maybe, maybe. My class at the University of Hawaii wraps up on the first of July,

and then there's the Fourth of July, and then I'm going on a road trip, so we'll have to really wedge it in there somehow.

cortex: [laughs] We'll figure something out.

jessamyn: We can do it from the road. I'm like, "I'm not even lookin' at the Metafilter! I'll just tell you what I remember from shit I looked at two weeks ago!"

cortex: See, that's perfect! That would go with the anarchy theme well. All right, we'll just see what happens. Maybe that's what'll happen, [whispers] maybe we'll have a vote.

jessamyn: That's not very anarchic.

cortex: [laughs] Nothing says anarchy like--

jessamyn: Voting on it!

cortex: Yeah, yeah.

jessamyn and cortex: [laughing]

sfx: ignignokt, "Cuidado"

sfx: ignignokt, "Cuidado"


  • duffell, 134 segments
  • Secretariat, 97
  • beryllium, 38
  • dilaudid, 1
  • bluefly, 1
  • Pronoiac, 1