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Podcast 121 Transcript
Jingle: theme song
cortex: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Best of the Web, the Metafilter monthly podcast. This is episode 121, covering - everything from September 8th, to today, October 4th? That sounds right.
cortex: I am Josh Millard, aka cortex.
jessamyn: And I am jessamyn.
cortex: And here we are. You wanna, you wanna tell me anything about the number 121, besides the fact that it's totally palindrome, aww yeah!
jessamyn: It's totally a palindrome, which isn't really a lot to say
jessamyn: about a three number number. But, uh, the things I like about 121 are a Chinese Checkers board has 121 holes,
jessamyn: which is cool, both because that's an interesting piece of trivia, but also because there's this cool Chinese Checkerboard picture on Wikipedia, and I always appreciate when they go that extra mile. And, the undiscovered chemical (tries different pronunciations) unbiunium… (pron: un-byoo-nium), un-buy-un…, un-by-un-ium is…
cortex: Sounds right.
jessamyn: has the atomic number 121, and I'm reading this, uh, chemistry book, uh, "Seven Elements…", oh, now I don't remember the name of it, uh, "Seven…'…
cortex: "…of Highly Successful People", yes, no, it's a…
jessamyn: (laughs) um, "A Tale of Seven Elements". It's basically about when people were starting to put the Periodic Table together, and they were trying to figure out how to organize things, and everyone was fighting, but they realized that there were these, like, seven holes that, like, things needed to go in, and it's about the… all the natural elements, all the ones that aren't radioactive and that really exist and stuff. And so it's about figuring out what went in those holes, and how to name them, and all these fights about how to name them and it's, it's very fascinating, so now any time I see a thing that's got something to do with atomic numbers, I'm like, "Oh, I actually basically understand that
jessamyn: now, slightly better than before, I did!" Plus, in terny-ary, uh, it is also a palindrome, which is 11111.
cortex: Oh, nice!
cortex: Nice! I think it's ternary. (pron: ˈtərnərē)
jessamyn: Oh, thank you. You're right.
cortex: Like binary, ternary, yeah.
jessamyn: Ah, blhblblhblh.
cortex: For those who don't know, ternary is a counting system based on birds. You just…
cortex: look at enough birds and once it feels right, that's how many. Um… (laughs) So, we were- we'll put it on record here, we're going to try and make a short one this week…
cortex: Shorter, yeah. Like, if we can do this in under an hour, I feel like we will have, like, gotten the gold medal of restraint.
jessamyn: Knocked it out of the park.
cortex: So, so we'll not talk for twenty minutes about our lives, um, we'll (crosstalk)
jessamyn: Although I do have to hear about your trip to Hawaii, but it can be brief.
cortex: Yes, briefly, my trip to Hawaii was great, Secretariat had an academic conference there, which is a good place for an academic conference, is my opinion, having gone, um…
jessamyn: I have been to one library conference there, and I have to agree.
cortex: Yeah, it's a good… it's a good place.
jessamyn: It's got tons of hotels, and you can walk around, and it's warm.
cortex: (drinks) Yeah, we stayed in a fancy hotel resort near Waikoloa, and it's… I'm not really a fancy ros… resort hotel person- like, it wasn't like
cortex: unpleasant, but it's like, it's- there's a lot of resorty stuff, and we talked about cruise ships before, and I've sort of similar feelings
jessamyn: "Supposedly Fun Thing…" kinda…
cortex: You know, it's not that it's a bad thing, it's just it's not necessarily for me, uh, so we got off the resort a fair amount, and I enjoyed that, and I climbed a cinder cone, and, uh, we ate a bunch of good food, and probably like five pounds of spam wasabi… musabi between us, um, and it was
jessamyn: Spam musabi is good, right?
jessamyn: I mean, in its specific context, yes.
cortex: Yep. And uh, I ate, I had a… I… I… I… I bought a ukulele, and brought that home, so…
jessamyn: (sharp intake of breath) Dude! Nice!
cortex: [yeah, it was a really good trip.] Yeah, (crosstalk)
jessamyn: You and I both have Hawaiian ukuleles.
cortex: Yeah! Yeah, we gotta do something with it. We gotta, gotta make it happen.
jessamyn: I gotta start playing mine more.
cortex: Um, also…
jessamyn: It's started becoming difficult to tune, and I started being like, ehhhh, it's difficult…
cortex: Yeah, ukuleles are a little bit fiddlier to tune. Do you use, like, a tuner? 'Cause you really should.
jessamyn: I have a tuner, and… I mean, I'm bad enough at it that I have a really hard time being, like, do I turn the little dial this way or that way? Even when I'm looking at a digital tuner.
jessamyn: Um, so usually I kinda hand it to somebody,
jessamyn: but I feel like I should get better
cortex: You should…
jessamyn: but the last time I handed it to somebody, they were like "oh, this shit is broken", and I was like, "I thought so!", so now I'm overconfident, yeah, and we'll see what happens.
cortex: Yeah, it's tricky, plus, I, I had a guy helpfully tune my uke one time, [in the] completely wrong key. So it's like, "Erhh, ffffh." But, uh, yes, no, keep tuning that uke.
jessamyn: Oh god, I can't even imagine.
cortex: Oh yeah, it was terrible. (crosstalk)
jessamyn: 'Cause that's the thing, I don't know anything about the actual notes? So… you know, ehhh, if somebody does tune it wrong, I actually kinda won't know, like I'm very
jessamyn: bad with listening, and notes, even though I'm good at like, singing and words.
jessamyn: So, eeh.
cortex: Take some practice. Take some… getting oriented. So, keep on
jessamyn: I wonder if it's practice or if there's just something wrong with my head.
cortex: Ehh, could be both, I mean, I don't know.
cortex: We've never really done a deep dive on your musical sensibilities, so, you know, maybe sometime in person we can try and find out if there's some sort of psychological anomaly going on there, or something.
jessamyn: Try and parse that out.
cortex: Yeah. Uh, anyway, so Hawaii was great, is my answer.
cortex: I really enjoyed Hawaii.
jessamyn: And you'd never been before, right?
cortex: Never been before, so, so it was a treat.
jessamyn: Do you keep a state list?
cortex: Uh, no, but I should. That's a good idea. (pause) Maybe I'll, maybe I'll…
jessamyn: Yes, you can put a big X right through Hawaii, and uh, you know…
cortex: Yeah, exactly.
jessamyn: You're not that far from Alaska, as these things go.
cortex: Yeah. Boy, I've been there, very briefly.
cortex: Because of a cruise. So, there you go. Um…
cortex: (laughs) Shall we talk briefly on the subject of Jobs? 'Cause I want to mention two jobs, 'cause I liked that they were thematic, and they were both sort of small and nice.
jessamyn: Sure! I don't have much to say about Jobs so, why don't you…
cortex: Well then, I'll just
jessamyn: Why don't you just
cortex: take the wheel. Uh, there's a
cortex: um, a, a… this is from unannihilated, who wants someone to take some pictures of them. "I have completely changed my appearance in the past year and have very few good pictures of myself." So can ya follow me around and take some good pictures of me? This is in New York, so you'll want to be in New York. Uh, but also, in Hawaii, go figure, um, a small but sensitive job, uh, this is from scottymac, who would like someone to do a little bit of editing work on some photos of his wife, who passed away, back in August. Sorry to hear that.
jessamyn: Oh, my gosh. I'm sorry, that's terrible.
cortex: But, uh, looking for basically some photo editing for a memorial. And this is on the 8th, so we're down to the wire, hopefully it already got taken care of, but if not, you've got a few days, if you see this, to, uh, let scottymac know that you can take care of that, so, uh, check that out if you're, uh, a decent photo editor. Uh…
cortex: And there were a couple of other things on Jobs too. You should all go look, because you're going to care more than I do if it's a job that you're interested in, as I'm not looking for a job. So, uh, but that's Jobs.
sfx: Music: "Wrong Color for a Heart", ajryan
cortex: That was a solid, like, minute and half, two minutes?
cortex: [It was about that?], I think we're on track here, uh… (laughs)
jessamyn: Well, Projects is where we usually get bogged down, and I
jessamyn: just have two projects, uh, to talk about, because I tried to, you know, shift a little bit from everything was wonderful, and here's the new twitterbot, to a couple things that were sort of off the, off the beaten path, which include uh, robocop is bleeding. Um, people may, or may not know that he's got a website called The Corey Press, he makes weird wooden blockprints and some other funky stuff, and he just did, and this is the reason I bring this up, a Mothman inspired Ouija board, which is just a thing of beauty, and everyone should take a look at it, because it is cool. Um, but so he did a redesign, and is looking for some nice, um, feedback on it, and I had robocop is bleeding on my mind, because there was a meetup in Salem, which I missed, but Jim went to, ah, where he was there with, uh, banjo_and_the_pork and their kid, who may or may not, uh, have a Metafilter account,
cortex: Yeah, I don't remember, I don't remember if the kid got (crosstalk)
jessamyn: and, uh, PinkSuperhero was in town, and was the, uh
cortex: Oh, nice!
jessamyn: that was the occasion for the thing. So, I thought that website looked cool, way to go, and…
cortex: Yeah, he does great stuff. That Mothman Ouija board is beautiful. It's just…
jessamyn: Isn't it?
jessamyn: Isn't it? So lovely.
cortex: And he's a mensch. Uh…
cortex: I, I, I enjoyed, uh, this, just from yesterday, and I was sort of shouting about it on twitter, and I feel like I should have shouted louder, maybe I'll make a Metafilter post, we'll see, but, uh, dreyfusfinucane posted their Unknown Pleasure Album Cover Gif Generator. Which…
jessamyn: Unknown Pleasures is which? I'll click.
cortex: That's, that's the…
jessamyn: Ohhh! Yeah! Ernhhh!
cortex: Uh, I was going to say Sonic Youth, but I'm gonna be wrong,
jessamyn: No, you're super wrong. It's Joy Division.
cortex: Thank you! They're all two word names of bands that I haven't listened to as much as people would want me to in conversation.
jessamyn: Well, Joy Division is about Nazis, and Sonic Youth is, I think, not.
cortex: Well, and, and, (crosstalk)
jessamyn: Let's look it up - you can keep talking.
cortex: …too good a [band and?] album cover to be, to be wrong about because it's got that great classic Tumblr, classic as in, I don't know, a year or two, someone made this, or whatever, that classic Tumblr, uh, joke that's got a picture of the, the cover art and then it says "What is this? I saw it on the Internet." Um, instead of, like, you know, the actual, like, band and, like, you know, Joy Division, Unknown Pleasures.
cortex: uh, but you know, it's a waveform thing, this is the worst thing to be talking about on the podcast for anyone who's not immediately saying, "Oh, I know what it is."
jessamyn: 'Cause it kind of wiggles! The thing!
jessamyn: You've probably seen it. It's black, it's got these white lines, these white lines, you can make them form a picture in the middle.
cortex: Yeah. And so the album cover is just sort of a mountainous looking, uh, rise in a squiggly sort of seismograph looking gif (pron: /ˈdʒɪf/), or oscilloscope thing. Uh, but this, you can draw your own thing and it wiggles, and it's great, and I love it, and it's super, super clever, ah, and I liked that.
jessamyn: Neat! I just found out where Sonic Youth came from, and I didn't know, 'cause Joy Division was like a Nazi thing, um, but Sonic Youth's name, they used to be called The Coachmen, and, ah, their name came from combining the nickname of MC5's Fred "Sonic" Smith with Youth from reggae artist Big Youth, so it was actually kind of a, a nod to MC5 and, and Big Youth.
jessamyn: Yeah! And, [I, blee, I] had no idea. Oh, I do really love this thing. 'Cause I'm going back to the, the cover wiggles. I just like that it wiggles, you can probably like play some music in the background and like, it always looks like it's wiggling to your music.
jessamyn: I think. I mean, does that ever happen- you get an animated gif (pron: /ˈɡɪf/) on your screen, you're looking at whatever, and your music is going, and all of a sudden you just like have this like, "Ohhhh!
cortex: It… it… it…
jessamyn: That music goes perfect,
cortex: It lines up, yeah…
jessamyn: with this animated gif! It's so perfect!" And you can't really find a way to share it with anybody
jessamyn: because you're not that clever, and yeah.
jessamyn: Story of my life.
cortex: Phone on your video, maybe. Or video on your phone! (laughs)
jessamyn: Video on your phone!
cortex: Phone on your video!
jessamyn: Something like that.
cortex: Lots of 1985 pop rock hit. Um,
jessamyn: OK. I also loved
jessamyn: What? Just try to type it up.
cortex: No, no, do it!
cortex: I'm laughing at myself.
jessamyn: Um, wachhundfisch, which is what, "something dog fish"? Wach… do you know German?
cortex: I don't. I mean, not enough.
jessamyn: Basically, finished his masters' degree, congratulations, and um, wait. XY. That's female.
cortex: wachhundfisch may be "something dog fish"?
jessamyn: Male. Michael. OK. Um, Michael made a website, he finished his masters' degree, and walked from the University of Munich to his home town in Austria over the course of seven days.
jessamyn: And… I know, it's so cool! And so this website, which is actually a really great looking website, in addition to just being interesting, kinda has highlights of what the trip is. It's got beautiful photos, the website's really easy to do, it's a very kind of single serving, like, it's just seven days of this walk, and it's delightful, through, you know, Europe.
cortex: That is, that is really neat.
jessamyn: Yeah, I love it.
cortex: I like that.
jessamyn: I really feel it's like kind of what… it's a, you know, platonic project. It's just, um, kind of what Projects…
jessamyn: what I think about when I think about Projects.
cortex: Yeah: "I'm gonna do a slightly unusual thing, I'm going to document it, and I'm going to share it and, you know." That sounds almost inane, saying it, but like, that's, like that's, that's, that's why we fucking like the web in the first place. People doing this constantly.
cortex: So. (breathes in.) Uh, yes, that's nice. Uh, I dug…
jessamyn: It was actually kind of… did you feel like it was a small project month, relative to other months, also?
cortex: I think it was, I think it was kind of quiet. I mean, people are probably getting back to school, getting kids back to school, getting ready for the changeover to Fall, collapsing under the ongoing building strain of the US presidential election, you know it, things , you know. (pause) I imagine people had stuff going on, basically. Um, whereas when we get, ah, really shitty winter months, then, you know, in the northern hemisphere, at least, you know, we'll start to get some of that, you know, creative energy piling out as a, as a way to get away from the weather etcetera, is my theory. Uh…
jessamyn: (weird clicking noises?) Yeah, I can… (pause)
cortex: [Please go on?]
jessamyn: No no no!
cortex: (laugh continues)
jessamyn: No, you!
cortex: I was gonna, I was just gonna, just mention another project I liked, is, uh, tessmartin, uh, built a multi-plane animation stand, and so made a Projects post called "I built a multi-plane animation stand". Um…
jessamyn: What is a multi-plane… I'm clicking through to look at the thing.
cortex: Yeah, uh, my understanding is that if you're going to do animation with multiple sort of depth layers, like if you're gonna do, you know, uh, maybe foreground animation of something, and you also want ah something [to go] behind it…
jessamyn: And by animation, you're talking, like, stop motion,
jessamyn: because this is for real life stuff, not, not uh,
cortex: Yeah, yeah, so like…
jessamyn: digital stuff.
cortex: literally mounting a camera and lighting and several transparent panes of glass, so you that can, like, layer multiple things that will show up in a picture of animation. And this is one of those things, I'm vaguely aware of this, having, you know, seen the occasional thing about, like, the making of cartoons or whatever, but, like, but, like, I don't know a ton, so it's one of those interesting things where someone who is actually like knee-deep in the creative process I'm only glancingly familiar with is sort of like, "oh, and so I worked on this, and I did this, and this is how I dealt with that", and it's like, "Oh, I'm learning a bunch of stuff." And also, you know, there's… it's kind of neat watching someone set up something that's for doing creative work, 'cause you know you're not only going to see like this, but then you're gonna see creative work coming out of it.
jessamyn: What they, what they made with the thing that they made?
jessamyn: Yeah, yeah yeah, exactly. It's like, uh…
cortex: It's like watching a… yeah.
jessamyn: It's like you having a ukulele.
cortex: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.
jessamyn: I'm not just excited that you own a ukulele. (laughs)
cortex: (laughs) [Yes, I was like…?]
jessamyn: I'm excited to hear your ukulele music.
cortex: That's, that's a delightful abstract fact, let's speak of it never again.
cortex: Uh, yeah. So I thought was neat, I thought that was neat to look at. Um…
jessamyn: Great! I also wanted to point out, uh, Juliet Banana wrote a really thoughtful, um, essay called May Your Fave Be Unproblematic, basically talking about, you know, being a fan of a person who you liked, and/or supported, and then it turns out maybe they're a terrible person, or a partly terrible person, or a complicated person, or whatever, and it's, um, just a really nice sort of thoughtful essay about, you know, how you sort of deal with that. Like, we'd all like to believe that the things we like and care about don't have any, you know, negative externalities that we're just kind of blowing off, like I told you I'm doing this talk about disruption, and part of the issue is, ehh, you know, the thing that allows Blue Apron to bring food to my house, or somebody's house, 'cause they're not my thing, um, also has all these people having these shitty, shitty jobs in Richmond, right?
jessamyn: And so how do you deal with that? Or do you? Or do you have to? Or what's your social responsibility, or whatever? And in fact, just before this, um, podcast, Anil linked to ah, some crazy, you need to make a social choice about self-driving cars by deciding whether you're gonna like, run over old people
jessamyn: or run over pregnant ladies, or run over dogs?
cortex: Yeah. The ultimate trolley problem.
jessamyn: Yeah, and, and it's not, honestly, it's not really, uh, it'll probably make it to Metafilter by the time the podcast comes up, um, and it's not really about self-driving cars, but about people's value judgements, and it's almost one of those implicit value judgements, right, like when you see a picture of a face, and it's next to a word, and you implicitly associate it with your kind of… didn't even know it was there, cultural racism, even though you don't think of yourself as racist. I feel like it's kind of the same thing, you know? That you're looking at it like, "is it more important to punish the person that's crossing against the red light, or is it more important to never run over a dog?" That kind of thing.
jessamyn: Um, but it, it's the same kind of thing. You know, everything's problematic if you dig deeply enough, and so trying to figure out ways to grapple with that and think about it, and it's a very thoughtful essay.
cortex: Yeah. Good job Juliet.
cortex: Uhh, I'll mention one more uh…
jessamyn: We're not doing a very good job.
cortex: (laughs) [Well, you know, we're doing all right!?]
cortex: We're… let's not lose hope.
jessamyn: Alright. We're focused.
cortex: We're actually getting excited and giddy about stuff, there's worse ways to fail. Uh, I will mention briefly, 'cause I love this, and anyone would guess I probably would, but "Guided By Voices song title bot" by yukonho. It's literally a Markov chen… chain generator iterating out new Guided By Voices or Robert Pollard song titles. Ands, I love Guided By Voices and I obviously have positive opinions about Markov bots, so, boom! It's just gorgeous, uh, if you are amused by one or both of those things, go check it out.
jessamyn: Fairly believable Guided By Voices, I mean, yeah,
jessamyn: what, they have my favorite song everywhere, with "Helicopter", and then this is "Get Out Of The Black S Buffalo".
jessamyn: "Fuzz in The World". "Back to the Rainbow". "Sister I Need You". "Bee in the Beehive".
sfx: (Music) "Crunky", by ultrabuff
jessamyn: [Play that right now. OK.?]
cortex: Shall we discuss Metafilter?
cortex: Alright. What did you like on Metafilter?
jessamyn: Should we? Should we?
cortex: I think we should.
cortex: It would probably be going too far to just not discuss Metafilter, in the interest of keeping the podcast short, so I think we should compromise here.
jessamyn: But I will have to say, I didn't look at any political threads,
cortex: That's OK.
jessamyn: so if something bad happened there,
cortex: That's OK.
jessamyn: I don't even know about it.
cortex: A lot of people have looked at political threads,
cortex: I think if someone wants to look at a political thread they've figured out that they can at this point, so it's, you know, we don't really need to… we don't need to get into it.
jessamyn: I even started using, ah, you know, Facebook tools, like, uh, they have that Fluffbuster, I mean it's really like Facebook Purity, but they call it fluff busting Purity or whatever. And you can just type the word "Trump" in it, and never see anybody talking about Trump ever again.
jessamyn: And using it on Tweetdeck. It's made me so happy. I mean, I kinda followed along with, ah, the debate, but other than that, no.
jessamyn: I'm in Vermont. It doesn't… matter.
jessamyn: People can send hate mail to the usual places. OK! So. Metafilter proper?
jessamyn: I have a couple. Ah, favorite post, probably, and this was one of those things where, "found a thing on the internet that I fell in love with so hard that I came to Metafilter to post it, only to find it was already there."
jessamyn: Ah, and this is the Museum Of Modern Art, which is already a museum that has had a decent website historically, has basically taken material from their past exhibits, so um, uh, press releases, and programs, and sometimes, uh, digital imagery if they're more recent, and put them online, and made it very searchable, very browsable, and it goes all the way back to the founding of the Museum Of Modern Art in 1929. And you can download every catalog, and it's just the most amazing thing. The post is by OmieWise, and, even though the, uh, website, the thread has a couple like, "grump grump grump, MOMA let me down one time, and ran over my dog", uh, in general, it was very cool.
sfx: (cat yowling in background?)
jessamyn: And it's just a ton of, like, free information online, and the website is beautiful.
cortex: I, uh, gosh. I liked, I liked several things, one thing I was… this is just dumb, but I was, it was amusing dumb, uh, me3dia posted a "Make Your own La Croix flavor" generator
jessamyn: Heh. Heh. Heh.
cortex: app that some people put together. And it's…
jessamyn: I made one that was Male Tears.
jessamyn: I'm just… I'm, I don't even care.
jessamyn: I don't even care.
cortex: You were not alone there. Uh…
cortex: You know, it's goofy, it's interesting, I liked the thread half for people playing with a toy, which… the toy was, sort of like nicely made, but also it turns out, like, it was really easy to make a not very easy to read thing, which is kind of a fail for the whole…
jessamyn: I thought it was very difficult to make a thing you could read at all, and then I was…
jessamyn: is this one of those "I can't open my sausage packets any more", like I just am getting old and refuse to deal with it?
cortex: No, I think, I think it's just…
jessamyn: So I complain that everything is hard to read?
cortex: The [stutters], the labelling on a La Croix can just isn't that big, and they went and did a nice, you know, 3D model of the can, and so…
jessamyn: And spun it kind of fast.
cortex: Yeah, and so it's just hard to make out. Like, it's literally hard to make out. If someone was spinning a La Croix can around in front of your face, you'd be like, "Wait! Hold up, slow up!" Uh, so it's like in, in the interest of doing such a nice job of creating a realistic looking CGI can, I think they sort of shot themselves in the foot for the readability of their thing. But, you know, whatever it was, some people… this wasn't like, La Croix doing this, this was just somebody's goof, so…
cortex: But the thread turned into people talking about like, La Croix as a phenomenon, which I sort of enjoyed that whole thing too, so…
jessamyn: The La Croix phenomenon just… I don't even, like, I basically was like, "I buy my seltzer at Target, and if Polar doesn't have what I want, oh look, this is on sale, and comes in a thousand amazing colors." It's… trendy? What? Like, I literally… the whole thing passed me by.
jessamyn: And I had to kind of backform whatever the hell happened. I mean, you've seen like, Matt Haughey's twitter.
cortex: Oh, no, yeah. I called him out in the thread as (laughs) being, like, super into La Croix. He's, uh, yeah, his banner at this point is just, like, uh, an image of La Croix. Yeah, that's right. Uh, so, yeah. So, La Croix, if you…
jessamyn: So I don't even get it? I mean, it's just seltzer, right?
cortex: Yeah, no, it just totally is. Like, there's nothing to it. It just… it just is. It's a thing that has been happening, and there you go. But if you have opinions about it, totally go check out that thread. Uh…
jessamyn: I think that maybe I do have opinions about it.
cortex: There you go, now you know what to do with them.
jessamyn: Fan-freaking-tastic! And I did put a link in the thread to the Metafilter-colored one that… I don't know who, sorry, I just copied, uh… ohmigod.
cortex: Yeah, it's, it's OK. (laughs)
jessamyn: Wendell posted.
cortex: Yep. Uh…
jessamyn: So, I was very… oh… Ahh!? Ahh?!
cortex: No, go, go… do it!
jessamyn: I was very pleased at adept256's post, um, where the title is "A tiny vestibule of literary happiness", and it's essentially a thing called Street Librarian, which people in the United States probably would know as Little Free Libraries,
jessamyn: but apparently, there's an entire thing that exists in Australia, called Street Librarians, or Street Libraries, and it's essentially the same damn thing, only for whatever reason, I like it better.
jessamyn: I have no idea why, it makes no sense whatsoever, but I just like it better, and, you know, the thread was kind of small, um, it didn't have a bunch of, you know, grousing and bullshit. People talked a little bit about the ones that they had, and, uh, people talked about building a Mad Max bookmobile with a book launcher, so it was a fun little thread,
jessamyn: nice person, uh… I'm adding the "streetlibrary" tag, because I don't know why it's not there, and, uh, yeah, I liked it. Pandering! Pandering to jessamyn.
jessamyn: I always appreciate it.
cortex: It's a solid move. Well, speaking of, uh, of pandering to, I guess, I guess I have to change the name to cortex,
cortex: I really liked this post, uh, that turns out to have been from a friend of mine, based on a recommendation to him, uh,
jessamyn: I have a feeling we can make
cortex: from another friend of mine in a Slack that has nothing to do with Metafilter.
jessamyn: a Markov generator for posts cortex will like.
cortex: (laughs) That would be a good project, actually.
jessamyn: Because I'm literally looking at this being like, "I know what all these nouns mean, and I don't have any idea what's going on."
cortex: Yep, yep.
jessamyn: So keep talking.
cortex: This is a…
jessamyn: Wait, so tell me what your secret Slack is, though.
cortex: Oh, no, it's just, it's literally a, the Slack reinvention of the secret IRC that my friends have had since college. We just started doing it in Slack.
jessamyn: Oh, that's adorable!
cortex: Yeah, so, so I didn't know that, like, I got excited about the post, and then I was like, "Oh, wait, that's my friend", and I was like, I went to Slack to say "Oh, hey, I liked your post", and [then] scrolled up to see "Oh, the… you just… somebody else mentioned it, and you didn't give him credit. (laughs) OK, yeah!" No, it's… it's beautiful.
cortex: Well, I mean it would be weird.
jessamyn: So wait, your friend tocts is a dick, is what you're saying.
cortex: Yes, totally, totally.
jessamyn: (sound of disdain)
cortex: It's the worst. Um, (laughs)
jessamyn: (more hissing)
cortex: Actually, uh, he's, he's a very nice guy. For many years I didn't know his user name, and we sort of like, avoided the fact that I could in theory find it out, just so I would never know, and then at some point he made some comment, I figured it out, and damnit, now I'll always know it's you.
jessamyn: Damn it.
cortex: When I delete your comments, I'LL KNOW! Um,
jessamyn: Damn it.
cortex: But this post, this post, uh, uh, is about bitmap and tilemap generation from a single example. is a good, concise summary. I'm not even going to try and explain in detail, I don't even understand how it works in detail yet, but it's…
jessamyn: Does it make something?
cortex: What it does is, it takes a very- if you click through to the first link, it'll actually, uh, give you some pictures, if you scroll down. A bunch of little bits of bitmap up on the left, and a bunch of new, like, uh, extrusions of that into a larger picture on the right. So, like, this tiny cityscape turns into all these larger ones. This tiny plant turns into all these bigger plants. These tiny little line patterns turn into bigger patterns. Um…
jessamyn: Wow, I'd like to play smart and pretend I get this, I just like looking at the picture.
cortex: It's… what it's doing is, it's taking that small thing, and then, like, using edges of it that are similar to each other to sort of extrapolate and make a big new random thing. Um, and so you get these complicated large sort of random versions of this basic graphical idea that is just generated on the fly.
cortex: Um, which is a a really neat idea.
jessamyn: I like it. I mean, I like what it makes.
cortex: You know that content aware fill stuff Photoshop can do these days, where you can sort of, like, stretch an image and it'll… or squeeze an image, and it'll sort of like adjust it on the fly to keep
jessamyn: I'm kind of stuck in old, like, you know, stamp mode, old Photoshop.
cortex: Well, it's kind of like
jessamyn: I abandoned Photoshop for Gimp, which is kind of like Photoshop from four years ago, but I'll take your word for it, I can imagine what you're explaining.
cortex: Yeah, and I, I don't, I don't actually have a version of Photoshop that'll do it. But, uh…
cortex: anyway, it's like that.
jessamyn: But you hear tell.
cortex: It's in that, in that notion that you take a small bit of input and then get a much larger random chunk of new output that looks kinda like that. Um, I mean, it's the same kind of thing a Markov generator does, right? Um, uh, anyway, it's neat, it's very neat, uh, and uh, I like the idea of doing something with it, but I also really like the fact that, like, you know, the post goes up, and then pfh shows up in the comments uh, later that day to say, "Oh, hey! Someone actually read my PhD thesis!" Because this is based on…
cortex: his work! (laughs) So, uh, so year.
jessamyn: Like read it, and, and, and, copied it? Like, like…
cortex: No, no, like…
jessamyn: the link was to their stuff, or the link was to their concepts turned into a real thing?
cortex: The latter, yeah.
cortex: So, so whoever wrote this, uh, thing and posted it on github, ah, credits, you know, it says this is based on, in part, you know, the PhD work by this guy. Um, who just happens to be a Metafilter member, so, ah, it was just a nice coincidence. I liked it.
jessamyn: Neat! I enjoyed this new, uh, News Of The Weird-ish kind of thing by etrigan, which was about a kid who collected baseball cards,
cortex: Oh, yeah!
jessamyn: and some of had prizes, you know, you fill in scores and mail them back to Topps, the company. And the company's still there, right? And, so, the prize thing didn't have a, like, "this is only valid until the end of the year." Like, I don't know about you, but I kinda like, collect coupons in this half-assed way, and it's really only the expiration dates that keep me from buying too much shit I don't need
jessamyn: because I'm like "Oh, this expired two years ago, probably time to deal with the coupons stuff." So, Topps basically got the card that the guy sent in as kind of like a joke, and they sent the dude, who's now seventy years old, an actual baseball glove. Ah, even though, obviously, this was… oh, feh, that link doesn't frigging work any more. Dang it!
jessamyn: So I don't know what the hell happened, is the end of it.
cortex: Yep. Good job, Dallas News!
cortex: Uh, maybe I'll see if I can find it real quick. Tell us… tell us about another post you liked.
jessamyn: No, that's it.
cortex: That's it? Oh well, shit.
cortex: Uh, well, maybe you'll check (crosstalk)
jessamyn: I mean it's not that it, but I can only kept… I only did a couple on purpose.
cortex: Yeah, no, it's, it's smart. Uh, I will mention this one that I thought was interesting, and something that I was [imperfectly] aware of, but also slightly complicated. Um, so there is an, and full warning, if you're clicking rapidly while, while listening to the podcast, and [feel about this], the whole point of this post is that there is an Italian author named Elena Ferrante, uh, who is pseudonymous, and has been for decades, but someone went and did some investigating and found out, uh, her real identity, um, and so the pos…
jessamyn: Let me guess, she's a dude. (crosstalk)
cortex: Uh, no no no, I haven't even looked into it myself. My impression is that she is a woman, uh, but the point of the whole thing is that it's sort of a weird, like, someone's finding this out just because they can, and then a lot of fans are actually pissed, because they sort of have a relationship with the pseudonymity of this author.
jessamyn: The pseudony, the pseudonym.
cortex: Yeah, and, and they don't just want someone saying "Oh, by the way, now you know this." Um, and, so the post, if you're going to read through the post, you might end up finding stuff out about their real identity, so if you don't want to, don't do that.
jessamyn: And, and that was a thing, in the thread. 'Cause people are like…
cortex: Yeah, so, like a couple of people used the, the revealed real name, which, on the one hand, like, I, it's, you can, like, like this, this is not a doxing thing where someone was, you know, tracked down and made to be in danger because of like a Gamergate sort of situation, you know, it's more like they were trying to maintain their privacy and that stopped being maintained because someone did this investigative work. So it's kind of like, it's a little bit crappy, but it's also… this is a weird thing about life, and a weird thing about pseudonymity, if you're working as like a published person, and there's, as you can imagine, plenty to (crosstalk)
jessamyn: You can't rely on the entire world to keep your secret.
cortex: Yeah, and and so a couple of people mentioned the name which, you know, is sort of central to the story, but at the same time, (crosstalk)
jessamyn: Kind of what you expect people to do.
cortex: Yeah, but then a lot of people pointedly didn't do that, and we got a few emails from people saying "Oh, hey, you know, I feel weird about the fact that, you know, this person or that person has written that." And, you know, we had to write back to basically say, "I kinda feel ya, but it's also OK to do that." Like, there's not a Metafilter guideline that says you cannot essentially reveal kind of a spoiler, even if it's got a weird sociological angle to it. Um, which reminds me of back when, oh, I can't remember his name right now, but, uh, Harold from Harold and Kumar, or Kumar…
jessamyn: Kai… Kai Penn?
cortex: Yeah, back when he uh, left House,
jessamyn: Kal Penn.
cortex: to go work for the White House, uh, and there was a post about that, and it functioned as a spoiler, because, I think it got mentioned in the post about it, that his character got written off of the show, um, which was, like, that was one of the more impressive bits of just, like, random story stuff on House, is like, his character ended up killing himself, uh, somewhat unexpectedly.
cortex: Yeah, and this is late into House…
jessamyn: I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW!
cortex: Yeah, no, and I think, I don't remember of that was in the detail of the post or the story title, but, like, it was clear that something had happened and on one hand, great news for Kai Penn, and that's cool, and on the other hand, and also it's clearly, it's like entertainment news, and it's political news, but at the same time, it's also like, by the way, something's going to happen to that character, and people are like, "But! Come on! I haven't…", you know, because this was contemporary to when it was airing, so, uh, anyway. Uh, similar, similar sort of like, not the same situation, but like, similar sort of dynamics of how complicated it is to talk about a thing when the thing you're talking about is sort of the news that happened.
jessamyn: When the secrecy of the thing you're talking about is actually at issue.
cortex: Yeah. What…
jessamyn: Well, and that comes up with Wikipedia all the time, right? Like, um, I'm familiar with it, with, um, like, you know, like one of those, like, feral kid stories, like "Kid raised in a closet. Horrible!" You know, blahblahblah, and then grows up and becomes a grown up, and so, whenever that kid was talked about in the media, they used a pseudonym, but the kid's a real person, now a grownup, has a real name, and so on Wikipedia, of course, because they're Wikipedians, they're like "blahrg, here's her name!", and a lot of other people were like "Dude, she deserves a private life, like, she's not a celebrity, she's a person who was abused as a child, and dittadittadah." And so on Wikipedia, a lot of times you see these fights on the Talk pages, about how much, or… whether to sort of put someone's real name in, and what the decisions are that lead into that, and, you know, the, you obviously know, being from Metafilter, like,
jessamyn: IT'S COMPLICATED, and a lot of factors go into it, but of course Wikipedia, being Wikipedia, everyone's like "JUST TELL ME THE RULE", kind of, and it's a, it's a complex thing.
jessamyn: So I couldn't find the Dallas Morning News article, it's literally not on the Dallas Morning News website any more, so I gave you a link to another version of the story, which only cites the Dallas Morning News so now I'm a little concerned maybe this hasn't happened?
cortex: (laughs) Oh, shit.
jessamyn: But, uh…
cortex: And someone finds out this was all an elaborate hoax that's being quietly covered up because people are embarrassed? I hereby allow you to make a new post about it. Um…
cortex: Because, yeah. Huh. Hmm.
jessamyn: Well, I don't know, and I don't wanna start zombie-ing it up, to googling, but it is kind of interesting that, that article is memory-holed,
cortex: Yeah. It's, yeah. URL change would be [one thing]
jessamyn: it's not just that they changed the URL.
cortex: Yeah, that's very (crosstalk)
jessamyn: Or their search is shitty, and the URL changed, which is, you know, always possible. Oh and I guess I should probably mention the post that I made because, you know, I made a post.
cortex: [Do it.]
jessamyn: Um, one of the interesting things about 2016 is that, um, the world records for the most bird species seen in North America in a calendar year has been broken already, in October, um, or in September, actually, because of weird weather and a whole bunch of other things, and, two dudes, one of whom was the world record naked birder,
jessamyn: are… I know, I had the same feeling.
cortex: Oh, and he's got a book titled "Boobies, Peckers and Tits."
jessamyn: OF COURSE HE DOES! But, so, like, my local newspaper just ran an article about these two guys, both of whom have seen record breaking amounts of birds, and, you know, I had made a post somewhat earlier about it, you know, you go for your Big Year, try to see as many species in your country as possible, and you know, USians, Americans, are nuts on this subject. Um, but, yeah, I found the article in my local paper, and was like, "You know, I know there's a whole bunch of birders on Metafilter. We should, uh…"
cortex: Shout out to rtha and gingerbeer.
jessamyn: Yeah, exactly! So, yes. Pretty interesting. And the, uh, title is "All I know is American Airlines loves me."
SFX: (Music starts fading in.)
jessamyn: Because of course, it's frickin' expensive to do this kind of running all over the place. They're both in some like, Aleutian Island or something like that looking for birds that are basically Russian. But, you know, wound up in Alaska by accident.
SFX: Music: "Passing By And Thought I'd Drop In", signal.
cortex: Well, should we move on to Ask Metafilter?
cortex: Alright. Waddya got?
jessamyn: Oop! What did I even do there? Um…
jessamyn: Well… Well, you know how it is, like you click a thing, and blah bluh blah… Um, I enjoyed this recent post by, um, sevenofspades, just looking… it's kind of a list generating question looking for doctors, scientists and researchers who have done work on the conditions that they're actually suffering from or dealing with. Uh, and there's, you know, examples that people know that are kind of big, but one of the things that was interesting with the thread is that we have a couple scientist Mefites who actually research the things that they have, or things that are sort of, uh, analogous or were kind of nearby to the things they have. And so, you know, it's just interesting learning about scientists who are doing research not just because they're interested in the idea, but because it affects them, or maybe their family member, completely personally. I enjoyed- I enjoy the list generating aspect of it, and listening to other Mefite scientists talk about what they do. Yup.
cortex: There were, as there usually are, several good posts about, uh, you know, "help me come up with specific slightly niche thing." Uh, one for the vegans out there, "help me with vegan friendly comfort food", 'cause Kitteh's starting a, a new 9 to 5 job and wants stuff to take and make ahead. So, if you're thinking "Man, I'm… I'm a vegan and I need some make ahead food", boom! There you go.
jessamyn: A what? A "head food"?
cortex: "Make ahead". Like, like, like…
jessamyn: Oh, "make ahead"!
cortex: Pre-prepping meals and stuff, like to make your schedule more manageable.
jessamyn: OK. You know how I heard that.
cortex: (laughs) Yeah, "Make A Head Meals"! Only vegan heads. Only the heads of non-animals.
jessamyn: Lentil tacos! Yeah, well, because it is squash season, you know.
cortex: Yes, in fact it's decorative gourd season, motherfuckers, etcetera, etcetera. Uh…
jessamyn: I'll take my pumpkin spice latte to go!
jessamyn: (smacking noises) Well, along not those lines at at all, but I totally enjoyed…
cortex: [Some] segue. (laughs)
jessamyn: Sometimes you don't have a segue. I just gotta keep plowing ahead, right?
cortex: I like it. I dig it.
jessamyn: So this is kendra k, or kendrak, basically, they're having a kid, it's their first kid, and they wanna give the kid a name, but one of the names they want to give the kid was actually the name of their beloved late guinea pigs.
jessamyn: And they're wondering
jessamyn: how people would feel about being named after a dead… guinea pig. So, it became a very interesting thread because people would've… people fell out in some different ways, basically. Because, you know, some people were like "No-one cares, you love the name, you love the name." And other people were like "I would totally care if you told me I was named after a dead pet."
jessamyn: Either because the animal was dead, and then that feels weird, or just because it's a pet, and like you gave your kid a guinea pig name, or a dog name, or whatever. I mean, to be fair, these guinea pigs have human names, so they're not like, you wouldn't name your kid "Squeaker" or something like that. But like, in, in Judaic tradition, like, naming your kid after a dead relative is kinda normal?
jessamyn: So, uh, you know, it's different (laughs) with the dead guinea pig, but, like, it's not super crazy, see? Um, but so some people were like "Oh my god, never, don't, this is horrible, you're the worst" and other people were like "I dunno, I think it's kinda sweet, and that's goofy, and, and whatever", and other people were like "Maybe dial it down a little bit, like give the kid a middle name that's the same as the guinea pig"
jessamyn: But honestly, it's like a triangulation thing, right? Like if the guinea pig was named after a beloved family member, then theoretically the kid isn't named after the guinea pig, they're named after …someone else.
jessamyn: So, I just enjoyed the conversation because, uh, there were a lot of people with a lot of really interesting perspectives on this that I would never have thought about.
cortex: Yeah, no, I, I, I always like when that happens. All of a sudden, like, independent almost of the topic and the [framing], when it's like, well, this seemed like a pretty straightforward one, what's your opinion? And then it turns out "your opinion" is a vast and complicated creature, made up of lots of Mefites (crosstalk)
jessamyn: Right, in fact, we should probably… what was that , there was a list on the wiki, right? That's got like, you know, "things you were surprised
jessamyn: that there were multiple opinions about." You know, like
jessamyn: sitting and standing kind of thing. Like it would never occur to me that naming a kid after a dead pet would be a thing. I mean, because it's funny, cause I don't know if I even have an opinion on it, because, you know, you kinda decide not to have kids, and I think one of the things you have to do is quit making up kid names.
jessamyn: So it would never occur to me
cortex: There was another, uh, an anonymous question, like, uh, I dunno, a few weeks ago uh, three weeks ago, looks like. Here, uh, it was, you know, "help us spell this name".
jessamyn: Oh, I saw this!
cortex: And this one was kind of contentious too. I don't even remember exactly why, but it's in my "I must have left a note at some point".
jessamyn: You know why.
cortex: Well, I mean, there was various things people brought up. I just don't remember if there was a specific instigating thing, or if I just ended up seeing a couple of flags, and being like "ahh, I gotta keep an eye on this." Uh, because that's why it's in my Recent Activity, you know, I must have had to do something.
jessamyn: Yeah, basically they wanted to give the kid a name that had a specific sound to it, but they were afraid the way you spelled the name would make people say it the wrong way, but then, how much work do you have to do to make people spell the name the way that the name's supposed to be spelled instead of just letting the kid say "this is how my name is", and blah…
cortex: Yeah. And if the work you do ends up sort of like undermining the actual cultural continuity of the name itself (crosstalk)
jessamyn: Or like giving a name that's complicated, like a lot of people…
jessamyn: have very strong feelings about complicated names.
cortex: That seems like a recurring theme, definitely, yeah, like, there's definitely been that whole, uh, "No, you can't do that because you'll destroy your child's life if there's difficulty about the name, and other people are like, "You know, [having] an interesting name is great!", and like, you know, these are (laughs) [honestly] not opinions that people [are gonna say, you know…]
jessamyn: Well, people who are like "Having a plain name is great", if, you know, I mean, I can't imagine what it would be like to, like, fade into the Google woodwork.
cortex: Whereas I, I ran into somebody in Hawaii also named Josh, you know, I mean, there's, you know, we [talked about how there's people…]
jessamyn: I bet you run into people on your street also named Josh.
cortex: Yeah, it's, it's, it's, it's not a name that leaps, uh, out, as far as that goes.
jessamyn: Oh god, I have, so there's a a Mefite who's, like, a friend of mine on Metafilter, a friend of mine on Facebook, and a friend of mine, in, like, the post. Like we send each other mail, like… well, I don't know if I've sent him mail, actually. Anyhow, he sent me a postcard from somewhere, and signed it "John", and so I had to, like, get him on Facebook
jessamyn: and be like, be like, "Look, guy. I know you're maybe the only… I'm maybe the only Jessamyn you know, but, like, not only do I have a decent number of friends named John, I have a decent number of friends named John who might send me postcards, so I hate to be all like, 'Oooh…' I mean, I don't even know what the kind of uhhhh, exaggerated version of that is, and you know, 'I'm so popular!', but like, please sign your last name, sign your Metafilter name, sign something." Cause, you know, I don't know where everybody is on vacation, you know, it was, I was thrilled to get a postcard, don't get me wrong, but, just… John.
jessamyn: And a lot of people, you know, they'll sign like, just "Squiggle". Like I, just, I don't even know.
cortex: Yeah (crosstalk)
jessamyn: I have to, like, go search Facebook to figure out which of my friends was in the place on the front of the postcard. Oh, thank you for the postcard, by the way!
cortex: Oh, you're welcome.
jessamyn: I did actually know you were in Hawaii. Well,
jessamyn: the funny thing is, the postcard you sent and the postcard this guy sent both had a very similar look to them and I got them really similar, close to each other. They both had like a… his had a totem pole and yours had the, I don't know, the god, or the person, and you'd sent it from Portland anyhow.
jessamyn: Um, (crosstalk)
cortex: I was gonna hastily do it from the airport, but then, like,
jessamyn: I don't even care! It's nice to be thought of. Um, but it was funny, and you know, it was one of those weird conversations. So, Johnny Wallflower,
jessamyn: thank you for the postcard.
cortex: Let's, uh, I think we're doing, we're doing good here, we're still under an hour, uh, let's move on to some Metafilter Music real quick.
jessamyn: I have a couple more.
cortex: Do it, do it.
jessamyn: Quick, speed round.
cortex: Do it.
jessamyn: Um, very useful thread. I listen to an NPR show on plus size fashion, there are several startups where you can send in measurements and they'll send you clothes
cortex: Oh yeah.
jessamyn: what are they?" So,
cortex: Let's find out.
jessamyn: Somebody sent the list,
cortex: You mentioned Qcut, Qcut shut down.
jessamyn: Of course they did.
cortex: Well, I don't know for sure they've shut down shut down, maybe they're still sort of winding up. Maybe they just shut down their retail location. Maybe they something, I dunno.
jessamyn: I didn't even know they had a retail location.
cortex: Well, it was, I think it was an experimental thing, and maybe that's all it… I should not announce the death of Qcut. Qcut
cortex: was doing some stuff that didn't quite work out. All I know- they were in XOXO Outpost and then they weren't, because of stuff related to that I think. Uh, I'm… yeah.
cortex: Anyway, that was (laughs) the most useless me jumping in (crosstalk)
jessamyn: (laughs) So, I also enjoyed this, ah, thread about, ah, "I got my first pair of glasses, how do I deal with glasses?" Because of course, it's uh, I'm still in year one of my dealing with glasses,
jessamyn: I still, like, wind up in a restaurant without my glasses, like, constantly, because I mostly use them for reading, which is… and not the computer, so it's mostly a thing that I have at home. I gotta get better at it. But appreciated the lifehack thread, um, I like this kind of, ah, "Am I poorly socialized or not?" question, "What is my actual obligations for, ah, the legal requirements of misdirected mail",
jessamyn: by primethyme, which was… ahh, it didn't get as much love as I kind of thought or hoped it would. But, ah, it was just an interesting thing and then, to segue you right off into Music, uh, GoshaDog (pron: /goʊʃə dɔɡ/), GoshaDog (pron: /goʃə dɔɡ/), basically asks, um, give me some best examples of transcendent performances, the one where, you know, somebody is really just doing one hundred ten percent going all out
jessamyn: that like, gives you the chills, and it's a great list of not entirely all music, but a lot of them?
jessamyn: And um, you know, I listened to some of them, and it's, just, I, it's wonderful.
cortex: Nice. I'm going to be the two hundred and twenty-fifth person to favorite this thread right now. Uh, because, yeah,
jessamyn: Well, I just unfavorited it, so it keeps the same number of favorites.
cortex: (laughs) There we go!
jessamyn: Because I favorite everything for the podcast,
jessamyn: and then I go through and un-favorite, and that's how I can keep track. I apologize to everybody for my mercurial favoriting.
cortex: (laughs) You're toying with our emotions.
SFX: Music: totally generic action by Grangousier
cortex: Uh, OK, well now, I'll give you a Metafilter Music Minute, and it will be as close to a minute as it's ever been. Ah, some several things I liked: uh, grangousier, (pron: /grængaʊsiər/) grangousier? (pron: /grængaʊsieɪ/)
jessamyn: gransgousier. (pron: /grænʒwɑˈzi/)
cortex: gransgousier! (pron: /ɡʁɑ̃n'zi/) posted 'totally generic action' which is, they were getting into a, or at least reading and participating in, uh, a thread about Marvel movie music, and placeholder music, and whatnot, and they ended up trying to make a point, and ended up in the process of the effort making their point making some totally generic action
SFX: OS X snapshot sound
cortex: music movie stuff. So it's, it's pretty great. Um, there is, ah, a song called "wrong color for a heart". The very first, uh, post to Music by a new user - ajryan. Not brand new, but pretty new.
cortex: Um, and it's great! And they just posted a follow-up, uh, mix in the thread that I'm in. Haven't actually listened to it, but it's really nice. Go listen to it. I enjoyed
jessamyn: They actually joined almost exactly two years ago.
cortex: Oh, I, I count my user ids wrong, then. Ah, we're at like two-forty something, aren't we?
jessamyn: I think we're higher than that.
cortex: Yeah. Anyway, "Passing By And Thought I'd Drop In" is a recording by signal, and it's a really nice atmospheric, like, music plus also, like field recordings, and stuff, so there's a cattle auction and some storm sounds, and then like harmonica and guitar and a bunch of stuff, and it's hard to describe completely but it's a very atmospheric very interesting pile of stuff juxtaposed.
jessamyn: I like the stuff signal does, so…
cortex: Yeah. On the experimental side, which I always enjoy when people post little bits of processed stuff, ultrabuff just got a copy of FL Studio, Fruity Loops, I believe, and made this little thing called "Crunky", that's just like, you know, thirty seconds of a little bit of a beat they're working on, and I enjoyed it and look forward more [of the song].
jessamyn: This is a good beat.
cortex: Yeah, it's a nice little thing. Like, it's a solid start. And then the one that I want to talk a little bit more about, just because the whole thing is really great and sort of gets with where my mind was on.
cortex: I missed this until I caught up on this yesterday, but this is a song called "Worry About The World", posted by aspenkf, and it's a nice little song, and it starts with a woman singing, and then there, a man comes in singing later on too, and the thing is, the man who comes in singing is DanF, who's a long-time Mefite who passed away recently, and aspenkf is DanF's daughter, who joined the site in the vicinity of all that.
jessamyn: Again, that was almost a year ago.
cortex: Yeah, yeah.
jessamyn: But then DanF, that was literally a year ago this week. Ohh, I do think about him.
cortex: And the recording is her singing and basically doing a cover of it, and her roommate helped engineer in his own recording, 'cause it was a song he wrote originally with her. and it's- it's very nice, as just a recording without any context it's nice, but knowing that it's like, kind of get the feels. So I really like it and I think that as a specimen of creative process and a relationship with a parent, with art as something that people make and it lives on past them is all very cool, and so I was kind of knocked over by this yesterday when I heard it. And partly because there's your Metafilter Music Minute pivoting into Metatalk briefly, one of the things that happened recently, very recently, is jbickers passed away, and he's a long-time Mefite as well, he's been on the site for something like ten years, and it just came out on Thursday that he had passed. So I made an obituary post about it, um, on… Tuesday?
jessamyn: Are we in touch with any… does he have family members that are on Metafilter also, do you know?
cortex: I don't think so. I'm going to feel around a little bit more, just in case,
jessamyn: Yeah yeah yeah.
cortex: but I don't think so. I think, I mean it wasn't secret that he was on Metafilter, but I think he was just on Metafilter.
jessamyn: But you know how sometimes people are on with their partners, family, whatever.
cortex: I don't think so, in this case. But anyway, that was sad to hear, and it got me thinking about it, and I ended up writing sort of an essay about thinking about this whole thing, with how (crosstalk)
jessamyn: I read that actually, I'm glad you brought that up, because I've been meaning to mention it and then forgot, because I couldn't bookmark it on Metafilter.
cortex: Yeah. Well, that's the weird thing, because like, there's not really a place on Metafilter for me to put it, you know. I'd feel sorta weird saying, "hey, so jbickers died, here's my thoughts sort of related."
jessamyn: You have a blog.
cortex: I do. And I ended up putting it on
cortex: Medium, because my blog was sort of spam-ridden at the time, and I've since fixed that,
cortex: but anyway. It's weird, because I feel weird about saying "Hey, I thought about death, go read it." But at the same time, you know,
cortex: it's about Metafilter, it's about the whole thing. so, I think
jessamyn: I think there's a subset of people for whom a little bit more, knowing a little bit more about how the people behind the scenes make the decisions that they do is actually not only not navel-gazing whatever, but it's actually helpful and useful for them. I mean, it's what makes the internet more real, in my opinion.
jessamyn: You know, that people's real lives do intersect with people's internet lives, and it's nice to think that the people who are kind of in charge of dealing with that kind of liminal space are being thoughtful about it
jessamyn: and, you know. man, I don't miss that part of my job.
cortex: (laughs) Yeah, every time that comes up, (crosstalk)
jessamyn: Well, because it's super hard! And it does overlap with some of the other stuff you guys have had to deal with, like even back when I was there, when whoever that jackass was, fake killed himself,
jessamyn: and everybody looks at the internet and they're like, "well, it's all that", it's all fake this, and fake that, (crosstalk)
cortex: It's really not, it's really mostly not, I'm sure there's places…
jessamyn: And that's really the thing,
jessamyn: it's really mostly not.
jessamyn: to me. Yeah, no, I thought this was a good essay, and I thought you did a good job. Oh, I had a question about another blog. So Big Big Question was yours, a million years ago?
cortex: Yeah yeah.
jessamyn: Did you sell that to somebody else, or does it just belong to someone else now?
cortex: It just lapsed.
jessamyn: You abandoned it.
cortex: Yeah. It lapsed. I should
jessamyn: Because I saw it's now like a website that does something different.
cortex: Yeah, no, I should set it up… I've still got the content, I could point, like, a subdomain off my site to maybe like bbq.joshmillard, but I just haven't got to it. (crosstalk)
jessamyn: Yeah. I was just curious because I noticed someone brought it up in the spin-off site
cortex: Yeah. (laughs)
jessamyn: thread on MetaTalk.
cortex: And I was like, "yeah, I did make that, didn't I?"
jessamyn: And I do feel that it's worth mentioning the Reach Out to a New Mefite Day, which was ActionPopulated's thread about
cortex: Yeah yeah yeah!
jessamyn: "Hey, good things can happen when you reach out to people from Metafilter and get to know them." And so, you don't have to wait 'til next September 28th, you can do it any time.
cortex: Exactly. I want to say a quick sort of combination/praise for pb and frimble, where limeonaire
cortex: asked if we could bring back a famous pony request that they were still interested - to be able to favorite posts from the "Who favorited this" page, that you could click on the number of favorites on something, cause sometimes you misclick, on mobile especially, and you're like, "I just wanted to favorite, now I have to go back and try and make that tiny click again." So, instead, what if we just put it on the thing?
cortex: And it was like, "Hey, frimble, can you put this together, do you think?" And, uh…
jessamyn: I understood this question, but I hadn't actually seen it in action until you re-brought it up again.
jessamyn: And so frimble said…
cortex: (laughs) "Well, I took a look, and, uh, turns out pb already did this."
cortex: It just wasn't rolled out completely. I think we sort of rolled it out provisionally, or just missed something in the process, so frimble went back and fiddled with it, and made it work properly for everyone. So, yay!
jessamyn: That's great. Nice going, frimble! Nice going, pb!
jessamyn: pb really does seem to be living his best life, as near as I can tell, according to Metafilter Instagram.
cortex: He's been taking some really fantastic pictures.
cortex: Which, he's always been into taking photos, but I think he has like a little bit more time to actually do it now, so…
cortex: And I will mention in brief passing, because it'll be topical again, for the rest of the month, and even tonight if I get this up before it, we've got a Metatalk thread that we set up before the previous general election debate, to talk about logistics, and we've been setting up a one-off chatroom for debate nights, and organizing the timing to start the new debate thread, so there's a VP debate tonight, we already had the first presidential debate, there'll be a couple more, so if you're interested in what's going on there, keep an eye, we'll be throwing up banners during the debate, and there's a Metatalk thread where you can discuss the details and so on. And, yeah. Or you could just completely ignore the stuff, which would also be really, really OK for your health, (laughs) honestly. I can't quite get away from it, but, uh, man.
jessamyn: Well, and that's what I sort of tell people. Like, there have really been no national elections that have got determined at the vice-presidential debate level, so if you really enjoy this kind of thing, knock yourself out, have a very good time, enjoy communing with your people, but if you don't, you know, I give you permission to completely sit this one out.
cortex: Yeah, you can just skip it. Just don't even bother. And that's about it. I think, you know, my call timer is saying fifty-six minutes and fifty seconds, I'm sure we chatted for a minute before going, but I'm going to throw in some interstitials here, and I'm just making it less and less likely that we'll still get it under an hour, but I continue to talk about that challenge! So, I'm going to stop doing that, it has been a pleasure talking to you.
jessamyn: As per always, welcome back, and, uh, yeah, looking forward to getting this- your turnaround time on these podcasts has been killer.
cortex: Well, as soon as I get it out of the way, I have to stop worrying about getting it out of the way, so it's, like…
jessamyn: Isn't that great? Life hack! Life hack!
cortex: Yup, just turn your anxiety inward and make it productive.
jessamyn: Nice work.
jessamyn: Virtuous cycle of procrastination.
cortex: May we survive - I guess we'll record again before the election, so that's… good.
SFX: Music starts to fade in.
cortex: Um, and yeah.
jessamyn: Great! Nice talking to you, Josh!
cortex: Yeah, likewise.
jessamyn: Talk to you again in a month.
SFX: Music: "Worry About The World", aspenkf/Danf