Podcast 73 Transcript
A transcript for Episode 73: Direct to DVD.
jingle: theme song
mathowie: Welcome to episode 73 of the Metafilter podcast. It is October first and we are recording our favorite bits from the previous month of September, and we'll try to do this at least monthly from here on out.
jessamyn: We've got it on our calendar.
cortex: (downbeat) We're excited. We're aspiring. We're (sigh) stuff.
cortex: That really, that really - I kinda shot the whole pep-talk in the foot there.
jessamyn: It's a little early in the Pacific Northwest.
cortex: Yeah. I've been having, uh, weird sleep. Uh. We've had contractors doing energy efficiency stuff on the house, and it's just been a vaguely disruptive sort of thing.
cortex: Yeah. So that's all done. So the house is a lot quieter than it used to be.
cortex: And should maintain temperature better, but now we're in autumn -
- - where the temperature's closer to perfect already, so it's like "yay! now the temperature's not changing much from where I want it to be anyway!" We should have done this in June, so that in July, we would have been like "fuck yeah! not dying of heatstroke!"
jessamyn: How long have you owned that house? It'll be nice in the winter though, right?
cortex: Yeah, it will be. We've had it for, going up on four years now.
jessamyn: Nice, nice! Do you get tax credits from the state for that?
cortex: Yeah, there's a lot of good energy efficiency stuff.
mathowie: What prompted you to try that, or do it, or whatever?
cortex: You know, it was that my folks had some done, and they were mentioning the specific incentives. There was a bonus incentive if you started this process before the beginning of September, for my region of town. We jumped on that, because it was an extra $1000 credit.
mathowie: Whaaat! Jesus!
cortex: So we got on it and we decided to go ahead and do it. We've got an old 1910 house - there was no insulation, that sort of thing -
- - and we had a bunch of stuff we wanted to get done.
mathowie: Did I ever tell you the story of my San Francisco apartment? There are two things - me and my wife went to Australia, the time we shut down Metafilter, the only time.
jessamyn: No! You left me in charge.
mathowie: Yeah, but it was shut down. There was a big page of a bunch of links. This was 2000.
jessamyn: Oh, that was when Roberto was in charge.
cortex: Two weeks off, that one August.
mathowie: Yeah, it was in 2000. We come back, and as soon as we got back from the airport -
- - we had a relaxing time in Australia, for a couple of weeks. We come back, and we're like "God, there's a window open. I just hear traffic like they're driving down the hallway." We check the windows. "Nope! That's just the 1916 windows!"
mathowie: Later on, a couple of weeks later, we saw the blinds and the drapes moving from the wind that was coming through the cracks.
jessamyn: Totally, totally,
mathowie: On a windy day, just the tiny cracks were enough to blow the drapes around.
jessamyn: Well, San Francisco's got a lot of places that just don't even have heat in them, in the first place.
mathowie: We had electric wall heaters. They were terrible. [pause] Oh God. Remember Metafilter?
- (matthowie & cortex laugh)
jessamyn: Hey, I actually got my landlady to turn my heat on two weeks early because it was 40 degrees outside.
cortex: Well done.
mathowie: Oh, Jesus!
jessamyn: Yes! Every year, she's like "you know I don't turn the furnace on until October 1st," and I'm like "you know it's against the law to keep my apartment at 59 degrees just because you're cheap" -
- We all have a decent time, the whole bunch ..
mathowie: That's like the uh state motto, right? "Wear a sweater" ?
- (cortex laughs)
jessamyn: Laughing ... "Put on another sweater"
jessamyn: ... is the motto
mathowie: Yeah. Alright so I guess let's do projects maybe first?
cortex: Let's do it.
mathowie: Unless there's any ...
jessamyn: Metafilter [projects] was great this month. I mean it's always kinda great, like, I had found a bunch of stuff that I liked.
mathowie: (Speaking slowly) What were your favorites ..... Josh (cortex)?
jessamyn: Well Matt, here's your favorite you didn't mention ... for some reason.
cortex: (audibly laughing ending in a very high pitched creak)
jessamyn: But .. um .. ahh.. misskaz has created a Tiny Fix Bike Gang? A bike gang run by female fixie cyclists under five (5) foot two (2) [5'2"] ?
jessamyn: Who are working to make Chicago's bike scene more inclusive, and more importantly, way more fun! I met her at South By Southwest (SXSW) this past year and she is terrific! And it's a terrific adorable website with a bunch of sort of girl-oriented bikey stuff in cool ways.
- So it's nice and I'm sure it's your favorite even though you forgot to mention it.
mathowie: I don't even remember approving this. This is crazy.
mathowie: Did I approve it? Like ..
- (Jessamyn and Cortex still laughing)
- I've never seen this
jessamyn: Matt I don't approve the projects.
mathowie: Sometimes ..
jessamyn: Are you starting .. are you taking that ..uh .. whatever that sleeping pill is? Where you get up and sleep eat?
cortex: Oh ambien, are you ambien-approving stuff?
mathowie: Yes. I was sleep approving ..
mathowie: Oh man.
cortex: laughs approving in a fugue state
jessamyn: Isn't it great... am I right, it's nice though right?
mathowie: Yeah, yeah it's cool.
cortex: I'm so happy that JulietBanana is so happy that she showed up in a Projects post.
jessamyn: I like to make her happy, yeah exactly.
cortex: She's one of those people who like, you actually like ... people get happy about things, but she seems like, JOYFUL. She's one of the most joyful-seeming MeFites I've actually ever met in person, so... I can read those all-caps with all the actual glee intended by them.
mathowie: Uhhh, I like two things. This 'fatnest' is actually a dumb little hack that is fucking amazing.
jessamyn: I did not see this. Tell me what this is and what it does?
mathowie: All it is is this thing that...
jessamyn: Oh I did see this, I forgot that's what it was called.
mathowie: Yeah it's kind of a weird name but I guess it makes sense for bird jokes or something. You set up an account linking to some Twitter account which is good for -
- I guess I could have set this up for the MetaFilter twitter account. And then we'll get a secret url that's this crazy hash that nobody could guess. And then it's just basically a posting form and it let's any of us post, you know, as MetaFilter if we wanted to.
jessamyn: So if you're the Vermont library Association and you want to give six (6) people tweeting privileges this means you can do that without giving them all the password. Right?
mathowie: That's right.
mathowie: Like, yeah. And I run like a password manager and I have, I think, access to like eight (8) different twitter accounts
- and this is like, this is two (2) button access. I click sign out and I click auto-login and I pick one of my accounts. But that's still a pain in the butt, you know, cause I ...
jessamyn: Well that is one to many. What we're looking is many to one. Right?
mathowie: Well, yeah. Oh no, I am saying I share some of those...
jessamyn: Oh! I see.
mathowie: ... Two or three of those are like, are just based on events or like bike teams. It's a pain in the butt to .. you know.. it's a pain in the butt for me to .. If I just had a bookmark for like post to "blank" twitter stream, that would be awesome.
jessamyn: Right. Two (2) clicks: too difficult. One click: Awesome!
mathowie: And it's so simple and stupid I can't believe someone didn't come up with this three years ago at least. It's so simple.
jessamyn: Way to go, cellphone.
cortex: It's neat, it's a a cool hack. I liked the random MST3K-Omatic Project.
cortex: I think it ended up on the Blue too. Yeah, looks like The Whelk posted it.
jessamyn: Yeah, The Whelk posted it.
cortex: But yeah, this was from Scott Jackson X, and it does exactly what it should,
- which is just feed you up a random episode on YouTube of MST3K, and they've got it broken down taxonomically so you can get a random episode of a specific sort, like one that has Joel, versus Mike hosting, or other characters showing up in it.
jessamyn: Because people are particular - I have learned that.
cortex: That's a very... there's some seriously schismatic stuff going on with MST3K fandom, and Joel and Mike and all that. It's awesome, it's simple, there's tonnes of stuff that's already on YouTube, so organising like this is just kind of brilliant!
cortex: So yeah, I thought that was awesome.
mathowie: If we had to go around really quick, is it Mike or Joel? I'm a Joel man.
cortex: I've come to...
jessamyn: I don't...
cortex: ...like both in different ways.
jessamyn: I couldn't pick either one out of a lineup.
mathowie: I only...
cortex: I was a Joel guy for a long time, but I sort of warmed up to Mike's specific style. I feel like there was a little bit more polish and flow later on with Mike, but Joel was such the essential sort of core weird "this is actually a thing I'm doing right now" sort of
cortex: soul of the show originally, but it's...
cortex: hard not to lean towards him.
mathowie: I have followed standup my whole life, so I knew Joel from standup world in the 80s, and then so I loved him on the show, and then it was like "Who is this... carpetbagger stealin...?"
mathowie: It took me years before I could even watch a Mike show, but they're pretty good.
cortex: Oh God, there was some thread- this was, I don't know, a couple of months ago, or something. People were talking about politics and someone mentioned that Joel Hodgson posted some like shitty racist thing.
cortex: And everyone was like "Oh My God, No!" And then... I was like "Oh My God, no!", and then it turns out, no, that was actually just some guy on Facebook whose name happens to be Joel Hodgson.
mathowie: Oh, God, thank God.
cortex: But yeah...
jessamyn: That kind of stuff can ruin a career.
cortex: It was serious panic mode there. I don't think it went any farther than about twenty comments in a MetaFilter thread when we were all freaking out, but yeah.
jessamyn: Speaking of which...
jessamyn: why did you send me this picture of this racist peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
mathowie: Oh, while we were trying to hook up - I thought it was hilarious and pointless.
cortex: It's like that old joke, you know, "Peanut and Jelly Guy tells the priest... 'I'm telling everybody!!'", 'cause the Jewish guy in a confession telling the priest that he slept with a couple of like 20 year old twins.
jessamyn: I don't know
cortex: this joke? No?
mathowie: OK, so
jessamyn: Is this a real joke?
cortex: This is a real joke! No, it's a classic sort of dumb sort of dirty joke.
jessamyn: Is it _racist_?
cortex: No, no, depending on how you tell it, it could be a little bit, but the way I learned it was "This man goes into a confessional, and he says to the priest:
cortex: "Father, I have to tell you, I'm a 78-year-old man, I just had sex with these two girls, 20-year-olds, I don't know them from Adam, I'm not married to them, we don't have a relationship, I just had wild sex with them." And the Father - the priest is like, "Well, okay, um... well, that's, I can see why that's problematic, I can give you some penance." And he's like, "Penance? What are you talking about?" And he's like-
mathowie: "I'm telling!" [laughs]
cortex: "Well, this is a confession booth." "Yeah, but I'm Jewish!"
- And he's like, "Then why are you here? Why are you telling me this?" And he's like, "I'm telling every--" ...yeah.
mathowie and jessamyn: [laugh]
cortex: So I just kinda blew it by telling the punchline first. But yeah. That's a joke that I like. Yeah.
jessamyn: That's pretty good, though.
mathowie: That's pretty good.
- I thought that was going nowhere [cortex laughs], but that was good.
jessamyn: You know, I sometimes feel like--do you guys remember the joke when we were little kids which was about, you go to a stand-up comedy bar and everybody's been there forever and so all they do is they trade numbers?
cortex: Oh yeah, yeah.
jessamyn: That are basically punchlines to all the jokes [mathowie laughs] that everybody already knows?
jessamyn: And then there's this one guy laughing like hell, and the guy's like, "What's his deal?" "Oh, he may not have ever heard that before?" I think that's what Twitter is like [cortex laughs], but I can't explain it in 140 characters, so I've never told anybody.
cortex: I heard that as a joke about mathematicians that are at a conference, and so a guy is doing a little bit of, you know, conference warm-up icebreaking, and so he's--and he's just saying numbers and everybody laughs, and he says another number, like '187', and everybody busts up,
- and a new guy is like, "What is going on?" talking to some professor, so he's like, "I have no idea what's going on." And he was like, "Oh, well, we figured out that was much more efficient to just index the jokes than to tell the whole thing, since everybody's familiar with them anyway, and so the new guy's like, "Oh yeah, uh, '283'", and people just sorta look at him and say [whispering] "Eh, it's really, it's in the delivery, you know."
jessamyn: That's pretty good. Well, that actually leads into my next favorite project [mathowie and cortex laugh] Shut up!
cortex: We're at Metafilter!
jessamyn: About numbers. mykescipark ['miss-key-park] or mykescipark ['mike-ski-park]? myke-? I don't know how to pronounce his name.
cortex: mykescipark [mike-'kes-ke-park]? I don't know.
jessamyn: Mike Science Park?
cortex: Oh, that could be it.
jessamyn: I don't know. At any rate, I was in a CD swap with him, and I got like the best music CD of all time, and he's just one of these people who knows sounds, music, whatever
- and so he's done this little audio survey of these radio stations that are just shortwave broadcasting precise time and frequency.
cortex: Oh, this!
jessamyn: And as you know, my dad was a time nerd back in the day, and so every time I see this stuff coming up I'm always like, [high-pitched voice] "Oh cool! Oh cool! Oh cool!"
mathowie: Wow, it is the NIST, the National Institute for Standards and Measurements and stuff. That's cool.
jessamyn: Time. T stands for time, Matt.
mathowie: Yeah. They are insane. That's cool.
jessamyn: Yeah! And it was just, I don't know, it was a neat little project that the guy did, and it's this audio thing I have, and I listened to little parts of it, but it's a cool SoundCloud thing, and I just thought it was neat.
cortex: This feels like one of those things that's another bit of pop culture that's just going to go away the way there was - TV shows and movies might reference someone calling the number to find out what time it is,
- not usually even, as far as I can remember, to actually find the time, but to pretend they're calling someone on the phone. I remember an episode of Full House where the oldest daughter was totally trying to pretend not to be completely lost at school with not having anywhere to sit at lunch, and so she was in the phone booth and listening to that, pretending to talk, and you could hear the "At the time, [corrects himself] At the beep, the time will be..." And that's--who does that anymore? Has that gone away entirely, to the point that kids are not gonna know what the fuck that is about? Like, you know, now or ten years from now, I mean, can we even use that as a thing in a TV show anymore?
jessamyn: No, I think you call MovieFone instead, right?
cortex: Ohhh, but that just makes me think of Kramer.
mathowie: My TiVo recorded the Ben Stiller show--twenty full years old now--and it does not hold up very well, even though everyone on it is amazing.
jessamyn: You know who doesn't hold up very well? Ben- Oh, wait, I'm confusing him with Ben Stein. Forget it.
mathowie: Hahaha! No. There was a big joke about their making fun of Rescue 911 shows or whatever.
- It was Rescue 411--and I was like, "I have not dialed 411 in about 8 years maybe, because the Internet."
jessamyn: Because Internet, right.
mathowie: I don't know if I'd ever remotely--I can't imagine a time where I won't have a pocket computer that I can look something up fast with.
jessamyn: I used Google Voice for a long time instead of doing lookup stuff, but then it went away once they had enough of our talking data.
- I would use 411 if it existed and were free. But I think part of it was it ceased becoming always free.
mathowie: I just get frustrated and would rather, like, "D'oh! You're not using the right Google terms!"
cortex and jessamyn: [chuckle]
mathowie: There's this cool one I just approved moments ago, so you guys have probably never seen it [jessamyn chuckles]--someone made, this user tmcw makes a billion projects, lots of little programming projects,
- made this, basically a native Mac menu bar app that monitors what you're listening to-
jessamyn: And what you have listened to.
mathowie: Yeah, and it's like Last.fm but with its own API, you don't have to send your data to Last.fm, because Last.fm is-
jessamyn: That's what I do currently, and I--yeah, doesn't work that well.
mathowie: It's problematic. And I used to have currently playing music on my blog, in the mid-2000s that was cool-
jessamyn: Oh, we all did.
mathowie: If you scroll down, the graphics are insane what he's doing with crazy JQuery stuff,
- like, all sorts of wacky visualizations, they're beautiful.
jessamyn: Oh! Wow.
cortex: Neat. Whoooooa.
mathowie: Song duration histograms... I mean, once you get the data you can do anything you want with it, and there's all sorts of crazy graphing ways of displaying that. And I just thought this was fucking amazing for this goofy little free software thing.
jessamyn: It's lovely. That's super cool.
mathowie: Yeah, yeah. Pretty much everything great about a Project.
jessamyn: Speaking of visualizations--I don't know why I'm so
- working on my segues this month [mathowie and cortex laugh], but this was the 19th century data visualizations, back when the Census Bureau published the statistical atlas, and then they didn't publish it anymore, and there were some scans up, but they were kinda difficult to deal with, and then soma lkzx created this wonderful project called Handsome Atlas,
- or maybe Handsome Atlas is his... her... yeah, Handsome Atlas is the larger thing, and it does data viz with a whole bunch of really cool ancient stuff, and then it was posted to MetaFilter by carson, and people got to ooh and aah over it. It's beautiful. It's so beautiful.
jessamyn: Each visualization will make you feel like you are hallucinating.
mathowie: It's like a directory to blog posts to actual documents, and every step of the way is really cool-looking. Like, even the document viewer is beautiful.
jessamyn: Yeah. The whole thing, I mean, it's amazing. This guy does the Brooklyn Brainery stuff, just in general, so there's a lot of cool funky interesting stuff going on.
mathowie: This has to be some sort of toolkit, like, PDF viewer or something. It's really cool.
jessamyn: I do not know. But it is very-
mathowie: I did not click enough times to get all the way down.
jessamyn: I can't actually look at anything on the Internet and talk to you guys at the same time [mathowie and cortex chuckle], because I need more RAM.
mathowie: Because Vermont.
jessamyn: Because RAM, yeah.
mathowie: Wow. Distribution of trees in the US in 1870 as a map. It's beautiful.
jessamyn: I know! It's amazing. It's just wonderful stuff to look at and click around.
cortex: Proportions of idiots and the insane.
jessamyn: Wait, shut up. Pass that link along.
cortex: Well, no no no, it's just that, the tradition of-
jessamyn: Pass the link, did you see it?
cortex: I killed it. Hold on! I'm an aggressive tab-closer.
jessamyn: That's good. That's healthy.
cortex: Fuck, where is it? Where'd it go? Oh no!
jessamyn: You can go under History > Recently Closed Tabs.
cortex: It says Empty. What the fuck, Firefox?
mathowie: Ohhh, you gotta use-
jessamyn: You must have Private Browsing turned on.
cortex: No no no, I was looking at recent tags instead of recent tabs. Here we go. Okay.
mathowie: [mutters] Chrome. Chrome that shit up.
cortex: It was the pie chart link. It's got--in the Projects post.
- Here we go.
jessamyn: [whispers] Yeah!
cortex: "Aggregate number of insane, idiots, deaf-mutes, and blind."
mathowie: Wow! Idiots.
cortex: Well, 150 years ago it was more of a categorical term.
jessamyn: Term that meant something specific.
mathowie: What is that--what did it used to mean, just slow?
jessamyn: IQ -
cortex: I think it was just a classification of level of intelligence.
mathowie: Low IQ?
jessamyn: Yeah, IQ within a certain range.
mathowie: Huh. Wow, we've completely defanged that word to be pretty much nothing now.
cortex: Now it's just what you call Homer Simpson.
jessamyn: Well, and it's what people always bring up when they say, "So! All these other words are going to be defanged if we just use them more and more and more," and then everybody fights.
cortex: Yeah. The euphemism treadmill versus en masse reclamation, and-
mathowie: Taking it back. Is that all the Projects?
cortex: I had one other that I liked, which was-
jessamyn: I hope it's the one I had. It's not!
cortex: Ha-hah! Suck it!
jessamyn: Cool. What is this?
cortex: This is a blog that griphus [ˈɡɹɪfɪs]--did we establish it's griphus [ˈɡɹɪfɪs]?
jessamyn: I think we did.
mathowie: I like griphus [ˈɡɹaɪfəs].
cortex: I think that's what he said. I prefer griphus [ˈɡɹaɪfəs] too.
jessamyn: I think we can learn.
cortex: But I guess it's his name, whatever.
jessamyn: It's not his name. He's got an even crazier name.
cortex: Well, it's his handle, whatever. Anyway, it's [laughs] a blog collecting just contents of '90s video game magazines. So it's like, that's the whole thing [mathowie laughs].
- But it's fantastic because is there anything so aggressively dated, 20 years later, as the content of video game magazine copy and advertising. So yeah.
mathowie: Oh my God.
cortex: And there's some videos and stuff in there too. So it's just pretty awesome. And that's another post that got turned into a post by The Whelk. Apparently the way it works is someone posts something on Projects, then The Whelk makes a MetaFilter post about it, but then I miss the MetaFilter post but talk about the Project anyway. So that's the new system, FYI.
jessamyn: That works okay! That works okay.
mathowie: Was there too much money in video games in 1992? Like, these are a lot of bad, bad ideas that people put a lot of work into.
cortex: The early '90s especially was a real big boomtime. Well, it's been kind of a big boom since the late '80s. You know, there was the big crash in the early '80s when Atari sort of shat the bed-
jessamyn: The Infocom crash.
cortex: -and before Nintendo broke out with the NES. But after that there's been a lot of money. And I think to some extent at the time there was a lot of money and not a lot of hardware to work with,
- you know, the '90s was a pretty rough period for animation-
jessamyn: It was all about constraints, not ideas, right?
cortex: Yeah, I mean, things that looked more awesome than the NES weren't hard to make, but it was still hard to make things that looked as awesome as what's routinely doable today on modern hardware with modern software libraries, so.
cortex: So yeah, shit like Phantasmagoria that was a full-motion video-driven point-and-click adventure [mathowie chuckles] that was terrible, but at the same time, full motion video, man!
mathowie: Oh yeah, the CD-i and stuff like that.
mathowie: Oh, wow.
jessamyn: Great! The only other thing I wanted to mention was the Game of Throne cake. [cortex laughs] This was a newish user, maliciaflore-
mathowie: Hey! You forgot something!
mathowie: You forgot to segue into it.
jessamyn: I know!
mathowie: "And speaking of, winter is coming-"
jessamyn: I couldn't think of any way to get from video games to Game of Thrones. I guess they share a word-
mathowie: "Well, speaking of games-"
cortex: A moderator always leads his posts, or -- No, that doesn't work.
jessamyn: I'm going to kill you for using singular they.
mathowie: Uh! Starts with a preroll ad?.
jessamyn: Or for using the non-generic he pronoun. I'm a lady. This person is also a lady, and if you look at her video, which is in French, but has got English subtitles, she tells you how to make a Game of Thrones cake. It's pretty cool, actually. I sat and watched it.
mathowie: Is that like the iron chair thingy?
mathowie: What did they call that thing again? I'm not... I've never read it, so I always forget.
jessamyn: It's like the throne I mean it's got some name but that's where the king sits.
cortex: The iron throne I believe.
jessamyn: The mad king put it together? I don't know I, you know.
cortex: Although now I'm wondering cause like the iron price is something from the wet (???) people so maybe I don't know, anyway, yeah.
mathowie: Cake, chocolate, wow, that is a lot of chocolate.
jessamyn: Yeah it looked delicious also, which is, you know, never hurts. [mathowie laughs] But I just thought it was nice, we don't get,
- I mean we get lots and lots of program-y stuff and less and less cooking type stuff and I enjoyed that one particularly.
mathowie: [whistles] Chocolate fondant, oh my god, kooky. And it's got the little recipe at the end, all in grams, awesome.
jessamyn: I had to buy a scale that did grams so that I could learn to make some of the stuff from the internet cause otherwise I was just totally lost.
mathowie: Well you know all the like Ruhlman, and Alton Brown say like that's so much more accurate than the goofy American way we do things.
cortex: Oh we finally bought a--
jessamyn: Wait yeah totally!
cortex: --we just got
- a scale that'll do both, just a couple months ago, and it's nice, yeah!
jessamyn: I did too!
mathowie: Did you buy it for other reasons?
- [mathowie and cortex laugh]
cortex: Did I tell you guys?--
jessamyn: Because my dealer keeps ripping me off? Yeah!
cortex: --with the contracting stuff that we had going on, one of the things, one of the first things they said when they were looking at, walking through our like unused attic space that could be a future bathroom, maybe, sometime, if we feel like doing the work. As they're walking in [???] they say, "Oh yeah!" We're like, "Yeah, we don't know what they space was for," they're like, "Oh, it was a grow room."
jessamyn: Grow room, totally.
cortex: "Yeah. Yeah, there you got, yeah floor's kinda wobbly cause of moisture, you got this big fan, but it's totally unfinished--"
mathowie: What? Really?
cortex: "--you got power, water, yeah yeah yeah yeah, you had a grow-op here." I was like, oh, ok. [laughs]
jessamyn: Super, super popular use of attics.
mathowie: Oh my god.
jessamyn: You had kind of a hesher house, right, I mean you bought it from... it--
cortex: We bought it from like apparently just like a very nice young-- I would guess the grow-op belonged to--
jessamyn: Pre-dated them.
cortex: --yeah the people before them. They were some like random nice couple with a young kid-- not that, you know, young couples with young kids don't
- you know grow or smoke weed but, you know, I don't get the feeling, like the guy before them was this old, cantankerous dude who works at the bike shop as a volunteer up the road sometimes and he fits it a little bit more, yeah, yeah.
jessamyn: Heh heh. Heh heh. If you know what I mean. "Bike shop."
mathowie: What kind of dumbass puts the grow room in the attic where like, have they ever seen a Law & Order? Like what do they call it, imaging you know, it's from above with helicopters and they try and find you know grow rooms.
- You got that massive basement that could be totally hidden below ground.
jessamyn: They've gotta be warm and they've gotta get light on certain levels and there are reasons for attics instead of basements.
mathowie: Oh, I guess it's hotter so everything's gonna go faster.
cortex: Anyway, what were we talking [laughs]
mathowie: [sigh] I think we're done with projects right?
jessamyn: I think so, that was great! Projects were great this month, as usual.
cortex: Way to make stuff people, way to be awesome!
mathowie: Yay! And... now I guess Metafilter, eh?
mathowie: [sings] Favorite Metafilter posts, doo-doo-da-loo...
jessamyn: Here's the one that I like the most because I don't have that many from Metafilter, most of my stuff is in Ask Metafilter. I don't know if it counts as like kind of a friend's link to talk about your friend's post to Metafilter?
cortex: Well it's happening now! [laughs]
jessamyn: But if Josh can talk about his own stuff this is my friend--
cortex: That's not technically a friend's link, you can't prove that I like myself.
jessamyn: (Laughing) This is my friend Sharyn and it's just a doofy little story about a cat that showed up at an elementary school in, I believe, California? And would just hang out there and come to school. And he became the school's cat and his name was "Room 8".
jessamyn: This is just, you know, little articles that talked about the CAT and there's pictures of the kids with the CAT and he lived to be a million years old and nobody knew where he went in the summertime
- (cortex and mathowie audibly snicker)
- and I don't know. It was sorta a combination of like cat stories, funny things that happened in the Fifties (1950's) and Sixties (1960's) and then other people linked to ...
mathowie: Twenty-one (21)! Holy shit! That's an old cat!
jessamyn: I know, right?
mathowie: Here's the funny thing. A photo of the cat from Nineteen Sixty-Four (1964) looks like any cat today.
mathowie: There's no fashion! (Laughing) There's nothing to date a cat.
cortex: (Laughing harder)
jessamyn: (laughing in the background)
mathowie: I'm just like, no. It's like a modern cat. Oh, wait a minute .. cats are just fucking cats
- (cortex and jessamyn laughing hard in the background)
jessamyn: And evolution is slow .. (laughing)
jessamyn: Well there aren't trendy breeds of cats the same way.. you know.. if you see a labradoodle you're not looking at like a dog from twenty (20) years ago.
mathowie: Right. Yeah. Or those God-damned corgies (snicker)
- (Everyone laughs)
jessamyn: (Laughing) Corgies did still exist 20 years ago
mathowie: Not in my world!
jessamyn: At any rate I enjoyed this post. It was fun. Got tons of favorites and I read all the links, so .. It was my tops!
cortex: Well done. I totally missed that. I think I'll go back for that.
mathowie: Oh God! The Super Mario Canon! I saw this around the web somewhere.
cortex: Yeah. I found this amusing! It's sorta light- weight but at the same time it's like this post about an attempt to determine a correct chronology for ALL of the Super Mario games.
jessamyn: Explain! Explain! Because I don't understand this at all.
cortex: Okay. It's an attempt ... see here's the thing ...
jessamyn: The order they came out in, isn't the order they ....
cortex: Well, part of the problem is .. well there's a couple of problems. One of them is there is no official like, yeah, date-stamping
- of when the video game occurred. Partly because early on, I don't think they were even thinking about it at all and these days I don't think they think about it a whole lot, but you've got Super Mario going to the Mushroom Kingdom, or other places, and dealing with Bowser and saving Princess Peach a bunch of times, but beyond that, and there's no clear chronology other than there's some games where Mario and Luigi are babies. So those must have happened earlier, right?
jessamyn: Luigi? They are related? Or they are friends? Or are they dating?
cortex: Mario and Luigi?
mathowie: Punchout! (Laughing)
jessamyn: I don't know!
cortex: Mario and Luigi, they are the Mario Brothers.
mathowie: Oh, wait, why does Punch-Out!...
cortex: Luigi's the one in green.
mathowie: ...actually figure in?
cortex: Well, here's the thing. Mario been in a bunch of games that aren't Super Mario Brothers games. For instance, he's the ref in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!. He reffed Tennis, on the original Tennis ???. He was, as you may recall, once Dr. Mario. He was...
mathowie: Oh, my god!
jessamyn: Is he that guy from Donkey Kong?
cortex: Yeah! He was known as Donkey Man back then.
mathowie: Donkey Kong 3 comes before Donkey Kong, because Donkey Kong is smaller?
cortex: Someone may have - so - yeah - this is an attempt to like take what be gleaned, and there's competing timelines for these various things that people put together. The question like when does Dr. Mario happen, 'cause for it to have happened, Mario would need to be a doctor, which would mean he'd need doctoral training...
cortex: but the argument that at least one of the chronologies made was that he got his medical degree early on, but only later actually took up a practice. So Dr. Mario -
cortex: - actually happened much later.
mathowie: He was busy plumbing!
cortex: You know that's the funny thing--
jessamyn: And twelvetwo has this completely amazing comment in that thread, right, talking about how that all comes together-- what a fun thread this is.
mathowie: Oh my god, I never saw this.
cortex: I like that he put a bunch of effort into it but I got there sooner, so I got more favorites. [mathowie laughs] And by "I like" I mean "I am ashamed that--" but uh...
jessamyn: You don't have your favorites turned off?
cortex: Huh? No. I don't pay much attention to them but I was looking just now cause I was like, oh hey I got a few favorites.
mathowie: You know what, the Mario timelines need platforms next to them because there's so many gazillion like reboots of it for the Wii, I don't even understand what comes before.
cortex: Well yeah and then yeah it's kind of tricky. But yeah I feel like it's something you do because you have uh--
mathowie: [chuckles] All of them.
cortex: --a little time on your hands basically. It's a hard one to get behind. Well and the Zelda games are similarly sort of weird, but the Zelda games are a little less prolific 'cause Link doesn't show up elsewhere so much and you know there's fewer games altogether
- but that's the same sort of thing. It's like how do you discern the timeline from games that seem to treat it more as, you know, re-telling a myth than telling chapters in a story. Anyway. I thought it was kind of funny. I like it when MeFites nerd about this stuff so.
jessamyn: It's cool, very cool.
mathowie: My recent favorite was this ridiculous Tumblr blog of someone... [laughs]
mathowie: The premise of the tumblr blog is: Hey 3D artists you get thirty (30) minutes to try and re-create a frame of a (cortex laughing) very expensive 3D movie ..
cortex: (Laughing Louder)
mathowie: That are hilariously kinda bad, when they show a scene from - anything from Pixar. And then what you can do, you can only do so much in Maya in thirty (30) minutes
jessamyn: (Laughing) Oh my God, The Lorax!
mathowie: (Laughing) Yeah. So I was going through the archives for hours. Like they were so funny! Like yeah. You can't render hair in like thirty (30) minutes so they look terrible.
- You have the ??? one...
jessamyn: I skipped over this because I did not really understand what it was doing but, ... Oh-my-God look at the Lorax! You are going to laugh your ass off.
jessamyn: Look at it's little arms?
cortex: (Laughing very hard)
mathowie: (chuckling) I love the hair on the Incredibles
jessamyn: (Laughing harder)
cortex: (Laughing) Ohhhh I am fuckin dying.... oh shit ...
- (Laughing harder again)
jessamyn: (Laughing) [inaudible]
mathowie: (Trying to rope them in) It's so, like, purposely bad ... you know ..
cortex: (Laughing harder still)
jessamyn: (Laughing) He's got human eyes.
cortex: (Laughing uncontrollably)
mathowie: It's from the world of like, you know, lets's (laughing) "let's try and sing a song badly" kinda.. it's so good.
cortex: (Recovering from laughter) deep sigh Oh shoot ...
mathowie: It's so dumb. It's just like funny pictures on tumblr, but so good.
cortex: It's like doofy sonic [phonetic] but,
- just so much more so.
mathowie: Yeah. Oh God. I love it. I love it a lot.
cortex: Oh man. that's .. yeah. Wow. I totally missed that.
mathowie: (inhales, big sigh)
cortex: Um I thought ...
cortex: .. this was kinda great. In just, sort of, everybody sharing their sense of terribleness. A trailer for a sequel, like just a Direct-to-DVD sequel, to A Christmas Story. Which is the one with Ralphie and the BB Gun
jessamyn: You'll shoot your eye out, kid!
cortex: Yeah. So yeah. It's just like. It's just a crappy sequel that you know, it's cashing in on, you know, an established and over exposed sort of Christmas movie brand, but it's terrible. The trailer is terrible in a very sort of precisely, "Wow. You just.. you're actually making a bad movie BECAUSE you're trying to cash in on this other movie?" So the trailer's like a shot-for-shot set of references to the original movie. But, with different actors and not as funny.
- And it's all very weird but there was a collective moaning in reaction I found entertaining and there's a lot of fun riffing on fake sequels and stuff. So it was a fun thread about a terrible, terrible thing. (Pause) That's all. That's really all.
jessamyn: Here's one of the pandering ones that ..
mathowie: Is it really bad? I never watched it. So ..
cortex: The original movie?
jessamyn: The movie?
mathowie: No. No. This trailer, I never watched.
cortex: Well it's just soul sucking. (jessamyn laughs) You should watch it sometime when you got a couple of minutes and wanna have less soul afterwards.
cortex: It's like
mathowie: Is it?...
cortex: It's just so transparently a cash-in, and it's so transparently trying to sort of run cargo cult style with pieces of
cortex: the original movie.
mathowie: Did they get anyone from the original at all,
cortex: I don't...
mathowie: to appear in the trailer?
cortex: I don't think so, no.
mathowie: Oh man.
cortex: So yeah.
jessamyn: So this was one of many very good posts by themanoftwistsandturns, who, I don't know if you guys even sort of pay that much attention to him, but he is _killing_ it.
- He's made like ten (10) .. fifteen (15) .. twenty (20) fairly good posts this month and this one, of course, was just one that I liked because it's about this big library that's built in an old Wal-Mart and got people showing up with the same old, like, "Rawr! Library! Rawr! Wal-Mart!" ...
jessamyn: ... "Rawr! whatever...." but I enjoyed the post and I just...
- ... wanted to sort of mention it because manoftwistsandturns does these fairly interesting and fairly terrific...
mathowie: I saw one of these photos 'cause it's the most beautiful like interior ever. I saw one of these photos like six months ago. It was cool to see like a sort of round up of like here's ten links about it, and here's how it went off, and here's how people actually use it - it was great.
cortex: Huh, yeah, this is neat.
mathowie: I mean that's basically the question, I think, for architects in America today - "What are you going to with all these vacant gigantic big box stores?"
mathowie: Like, I don't know about your town, but like, there are things the size of supermarkets, you know, that are like empty, all over the place and... like somehow those have to be turned into public spaces or living spaces or somehow...
jessamyn: Well that's the thing, places that are giant corporations can wind up using that against their bottom line like tax credit-wise, whereas you know the little town would probably rather take some sort of a temporary loss and then use it for something that benefits the community. Just one of the many ways in which global capitalism does nobody any favors.
jessamyn: But yeah! Exactly! Having these empty spaces-- you'd wanna do almost anything with them, and being able to re-purpose stuff into something useful like the library, kind of neat.
mathowie: And there's-- there's something like broken windows-y about it, like, if something's gonna fail in your town you don't want it to be the _largest building_ on the entire street. Like, it's such a big ugly thing, and, yeah.
jessamyn: Well a lot of places, like when I was going to college, we had a place called The Dead Mall, which was one of those malls
jessamyn: where like... the anchor store was left and was empty, and so they had kind of a flea market in it on the weekends, which was fun? But the whole place just kinda never got--
sfx: (finger snap)
jessamyn: --goin', because, you know the largest space was empty and so parking lot got empty, and there was a nice mall nearby-- I think they have since solved this problem, but you know the whole time I was in college it was like, "Woo, The Dead Mall, woo..."
cortex: I'm reminded of that uh... whatever like the ghost malls in China. There was a post about that a few years ago. Just like BIG big big mall... things that got built out to be big consumer centers and then like just demographically ended up not working at all and so they were just like, there were a few shop keepers keeping up failing stores in these giant, quiet... places where nobody ever went.
mathowie: Oh man.
cortex: But I can't remember any of the details. So yeah!... [laughs]
mathowie: There uh, there's-- there's a-- what's the chain of sporting goods? Oh it was GI Joe's that was out here, and they changed the name cause I think the finally got sued over it--
mathowie: -- and then, then they just--
cortex: No I--I, I think Joe's went out of business is what happened.
mathowie: --right, no, but they were called GI Joe's for the longest, and everyone-- when I first moved here, I was like come on, that's a little on the nose, you know, and then they changed it to just Joe's, and then they all went out of business-- they are the size of COSTCOs. And so there's like, here's one in every major Oregon town that's just vacant so, there's one near me where they're like, they ripped off the front of it?
- It's like actually open to the air now... they're completely redoing it into something and I hope it's cool like this library.
jessamyn: That's cool.
mathowie: Uhhh... I don't have any other big favorites.
cortex: I've got - I've got one BIG favorite, uh, which is this post about tool-assisted speed runs that was put together by ersatz, um, and it's just a, it's sort of an exhaustive - well it's not exhaustive because there's so much stuff on the tool-assisted speed run site,
- but it's a very, very solid round-up of a bunch of different types of tool-assisted speed runs and - a tool-assisted speed run, for those who do not know, uh, is a specific approach to the more general concept of a speed run which is the idea of trying to, in the simplest form, beat a video game as fast as you can, find the fastest possible way to, uh, you know, beat Pac-Man or beat Quake, or beat any - any game you can think of - Super Mario Brothers is a popular one to go at, um, and the traditional purist notion of
- a speed run is to sit down and play it, like, you know, play it just by, you know, being THAT good at it, maybe using an emulator to load save states, to re-try something hard;but then tool-assisted speed runs take the idea that, well, you know, there's things that could potentially be done in a video game if you actually had the twitch skills to be that precise - to be precise down to a thirtieth of a second - uh, and so let's use tools to service that, let's show what would be possible if only you had the fingers and the discipline to do it;
- and so people use a variety of techniques to eke out, like, tiny tiny improvements and, like, someone will beat Super Mario Brothers in, like, you know, 4 minutes and 37 seconds, and then someone else will come back and beat it in 4 minutes and 36.95 seconds, and everybody will be like "fuckin'-A!", it's like NASA landing something on Mars, you know, it's like, exciting at that level of precision, uh. So it's this crazy long-running culture of people doing nutty stuff, everything from trying to beat games fast, to get every item into a game,
- to just breaking games by finding programming glitches that they can, uh, take advantage of, and it's - so it's - it's just a great post to click through, tasvideos.org is the site that it's all linking to, and it's just a great huge collection of user-contributed videos and a lot of nerdy discussion about the insides of video games, uh, how they're programmed, where the bugs are, etc. on the comments on the videos, so. I had a, I had a -
cortex: - great time with it, and uh -
jessamyn: Super nice.
cortex: - it's a way to - way to lose an afternoon.
- It's pretty good.
cortex: And someone in the thread mentioned, late in the thread, a Family Feud version, uh, like someone did a speed run of the Super Nintendo Family Feud game, uh, that uses a word recognition algorithm that's really really sloppy, so that you could, in theory, spell something wrong and still get it correct, and so they use it to put in completely nonsensical stuff, uh, that has nothing to do with anything but the word recognition system is so simple that it accepts
- them as correct and it's kind of amazing and it killed me the other day when I watched it, so. So that. That was awesome. That was my favorite post of the month. Go, ersatz.
mathowie: That was amazing. That was an amazing, crazy post. Uh -
jessamyn: Yeah, we've had a ton of 'em!
mathowie: - the most popular - the most popular post by far is the 20th anniversary of The Princess Bride post -
jessamyn: Oh, good gracious, people went nuts!
mathowie: Yeah, I mean, who doesn't love - this is like the Xmas story that hasn't been, uh, you know, [laughs] ruined by a rightsholder, everything's awesome,
- you know, about it, we have this epic story - where is it? - yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda ya -
jessamyn: Oh, that we put on the... sidebar.
mathowie: Yeah, "best of".
jessamyn: Oh, "best of"-ed.
mathowie: Yeah. Admiral Haddock's crazy story of getting to go to the premiere and meet Andre the Giant, accidentally -
jessamyn: - when he was on the date with, like, some -
mathowie: First date.
jessamyn: - cute girl he was trying to impress.
mathowie: Yeah. So awesome.
jessamyn: And, this is a - sorry for the segue -
- but, uh, Artw also has made 750 posts as of this month, so -
jessamyn: - way to go, thanks, Artw.
mathowie: Go - go, you crazy prolific bastard.
jessamyn: I was gonna get to that when we started talking about MetaTalk - along with filthy light thief, and filthy light thief, who has made 500 posts this month, but I just thought I'd mention both now -
mathowie: Not THIS month. [laughs]
mathowie: As of - as of this month.
jessamyn: What? Oh. Whoooo. Sometimes the caffeine adjustment in here goes a little [makes a wacky honking noise] so, uh, yeah. 500 posts as of this month. So, way to go, you two.
mathowie: [whistles] Awesome. Um, I'm done, I guess, then.
jessamyn: I just did something to my chair and now it won't bend back - oh, there we go.
mathowie: Are there any - other?
cortex: Just leave it [???] I - I have one other Metafilter post that -
mathowie: Oh! I just set up one of these chairs, it's the thing in the back on the left side, it totally -
jessamyn: Yeah, I just found it, thank you, thank you.
mathowie: - it's the minor click and it totally changes things.
jessamyn: Thank you.
mathowie: Any last Metafilter posts?
jessamyn: Josh had one.
cortex: I had one further, uh, just a real quick one -
- but it's a post about someone who did the work to prove that, uh, using pretty much just the mechanics of the game itself you could implement a - a Turing machine with Magic: The Gathering -
jessamyn: Explain, please.
cortex: A Turing machine is a fundamental concept of modern computation named for Alan Turing who theorized the -
jessamyn: Shut up, I know Alan Turing is.
cortex: - for other people, I'm running with the whole thing, I'm just doing a spiel, okay, I'm trying to elevator pitch this shit, geez.
mathowie: What is the definition of a Turing machine, it's like, as smart as a human?
cortex: I've done - no, no no no [laughs]
- it's a totally different -
jessamyn: Is this P equals X E?
cortex: No, no no, not really.
cortex: So a Turing machine is just a very very basic conceptual model of computer, it can, uh, write and read data along a conceptually infinite paper ticker which represents the actual memory of a computer. So, computers as they exist in practice are essentially very complicated implementations of this idea, um, which has important implications because it means anything that can be shown to be Turing-complete is then functionally
- in theory, equivalent to anything else that has, so, if you can show that Magic: The Gathering is Turing-complete you could then, using whatever mechanism that is, actually do any sort of arbitrary computation using Magic: The Gathering cards, uh, which is silly and it's one of those things that came up in the thread, "yeah... but who cares?" and it's - it's not like it's important, but it's neat to take a system that doesn't seem like it has anything to do with another system and prove that they've got this underlying, uh, similarity, this isomorphism
- where you can say "well, we wouldn't expect them to be the same thing, but in a way they are", so. And it's just a - it's kind of a - it's a neat stunt using this card game that was not designed with the intent of, uh, you know, computation, and it turns out, hey, you can kinda pull it off in a surprisingly self-directed way, so. It's just neat.
mathowie: Yay... stunt programming.
cortex: Basically stunt programming, but then extended out to... collectible trading card games. So yeah.
jessamyn: I'm still a little mystified, but I get it generally speaking. And it seems neat. I'll have to go read it.
cortex: Yeah. It's a little bit dense too so, but for people who are into that, for the three people who are now excited, boy are you excited.
jessamyn: Yeahhh! All right!
mathowie: Yep. Ask Metafilter. [unintelligible]
jessamyn: There was tons of things I loved from Ask Metafilter. Continuing with my adoration of mykescipark (mike-skee park)-- I always say mis-kee park, I don't know what his user name is.
- ocherdraco asked for favorite non-American radio stations, which has been this sort of constant hassle for me ever since Bhangra FM went off the air. I find myself stuck listening to-- whoops sorry-- I find myself stuck listening to like the same Soma FM, Space Station Soma, drum and bass stuff over and over again and it's not what I want. Like, I want interesting music from other countries that I won't hear on the local radio
- which is-- there's pretty much nothing you can hear on the local radio here.
mathowie: Oh sweet!
cortex: Nice, yeah.
jessamyn: And soooo mykescipark (mike-skee park) had a good list and a whole bunch of other people chipped in different stuff they like to listen to. And that was terrific, so.
jessamyn: Made me very happy, it's just a great list-generating thread with some interesting stuff to check out.
cortex: I should throw those all into just a bookmarks file and... boom.
mathowie: The one week I... yeah the...
jessamyn: It's like in a bookmarks file currently! You should just bookmark that URL.
cortex: Well I did. I favorited it-- as a bookmark.
mathowie: This uh--
jessamyn: You bookmarked it as a favorite?
cortex: I fave-marked it.. as a, as a... book-- book-rite-- book--
jessamyn: I book-faved it as a mark-mark.
mathowie: I'm gonna-- I'm gonna pin it to my Facepage. [cortex and jessamyn laugh] So I don't forget.
jessamyn: I Friend-Faced it.
mathowie: The one week I was in Belgium I fucking adored the goddamn radio, oh my god! I was near the French border...
jessamyn: Totally right?
jessamyn: Yeah! I mean, yes.
mathowie: Everything's good, you just fly up and down the dial
- and there's hardly any ads, and it's just good French music, good-- whatever, European music, some of it's American, it's awesome. Super-good.
jessamyn: Whenever I'm down on the south shore of Massachusetts they have Portuguese radio stations there that are suuuper good too and if I go far enough north in Vermont they get French! Both of which are really fun cause I can only sort of understand what they're saying but I can kind of understand what they're saying, which is extra fun. And the music's just really good.
mathowie: So wait the up-- is that Québécoiiis radio, or something?
jessamyn: Québécoiiiiis!!! Yes!
- Yeah you don't have to get very far north to where you can get French on the radio, and if you go south by a couple hours you can get Portuguese radio stations.
mathowie: And that's because like Portuguese fisherman or something?
jessamyn: Yeah! Whaling-- there was a whole bunch of like whaling and fishing Portuguese people who settled in the south coast of Massachusetts and then continued on to work at the mills down there. So there's a huge giant Portuguese population in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts...
- Which means a lot of amazing restaurants and a lot of amazing radio. It is great.
mathowie: And good soup.
mathowie: Yeah. Oh. Everything Portuguese [cortex and mathowie laugh] cuisine is soup-based.
jessamyn: And supermarkets, amazing supermarkets with all sorts of crazy meat that you've never heard of before. And octopus.
mathowie: AskMeFiiii... best oofff...
jessamyn: You don't even have a list do you? So I'm going to go for my next one
- which is another list-generating one which is more videos like Gangnam Style. [cortex laughs] Everybody's a little sick of Gangnam Style the video, but agregoli was like, "Hey, I enjoyed this video, find me other videos that are like this video." So again, it's a non-US list-generating-- what pop, fun videos are there from other countries.
mathowie: Well what, I don't understand what they like about it cause the whole thing seems silly to me like a li'l L-A-M-F-O (sic) whatever... video.
- Which is just like hey, there's some-- a bunch of people being silly.
jessamyn: I think that's it though! And pop music, you know: DUNdun-DUNdun-DUNdun-DUNdun.
cortex: And a certain amount of like dedication to the level of sort of energy and silliness about it I mean, cause you could make a silly video, but then Gangnam Style I feel like is a good example of one that really kind of steps up its game in terms of being sort of aggressively... sort of silly and surprising throughout.
mathowie: Oh yay!--
jessamyn: Well and its got a local message for people who are sort of into Korean subculture but then it's fun even if you have no idea what he's talking about.
- So it's got this universal appeal.
mathowie: It's... it made me think of "Tunak Tunak Tun" which was mentioned, which is like a portly man who has so much fucking confidence and swag that it's ridiculous.
cortex: Daler Mehndi man, Daler Mehndi's the fucking-- he's the shit.
jessamyn: I have never...
mathowie: You've never seen it?
cortex: Oh, we will--
jessamyn: I'm looking at it right now.
mathowie: Oh my god--
cortex: --have to do something about that, yeah.
mathowie: --your life is complete now. You just have to watch this entire video--
jessamyn: I just saw one of them which was a bunch of like Indian people dancing on top of a train
jessamyn: I just saw one of them which was a bunch of Indian people dancing on top of a train, that was all done in like this crazy one-take, crazy.
mathowie: Well, this one came out in like 2003 or something.
cortex: Oh, earlier than that, this is old-school internet meme stuff. I remember it going around when I was in college still.
mathowie: Yeah, around 2000. But it has the production value of - like it's trying to be a Madonna video with explosions and crazy dancing.
cortex: Yeah, but it's got production values like a karaoke video.
cortex: And it's pretty great.
mathowie: But the dude sells it. The dude sells it.
jessamyn: But the guy is totally stoked, and the music is bangin'! It's great!
mathowie: Yeah, it's one of my favorite
mathowie: Yeah, it's one of my favorite crazy songs.
mathowie: Pretty good!
jessamyn: Somebody suggested what, 'Windowlicker,' which is one of the grossest, most awful, totally bad answer.
cortex: I don't know, it's ...
jessamyn: I mean it was one of those "Do I delete it for being a bad answer?"
- Well, it's all like [gruff voice] "any you mother-fucker bad ass blah-de-blah", I mean the first thirty seconds are just awful swearing.
cortex: I give you...
jessamyn: No music at all.
cortex: I think it'd be something to sort of attach an explanation to, but at the same time, in another sense, I feel like it's sort of in the same
- spirit it's just a much sort of darker sort of approach than than like Gangnam Style. But I don't know, I think it's a fair sort of like, you know--
jessamyn: Really. You think it's a fair cop to call it "dance pop crazy dance video."
cortex: Kinda yeah. I mean it's--
jessamyn: Ok, ok.
cortex: --it's you know, we're getting into sort of genre schism stuff here, 'cause I feel like...
jessamyn: Well no I mean it's worth understanding. I just appreciate that agregoli was like, dude, that is so not what I'm looking for [laughs]
cortex: Well yeah I think that's a totally valid response as far as that goes too. 'Cause yeah, I think for some people that might be what they're looking for even with... essentially the same sort of setup. I can see it being-- like you know depending on the person and the universe that they're in.
mathowie: Man. If you look at the most favorited posts on Ask Metafilter for the last thirty days, like, this is sooo like-- people talking about the like Reddit-ification of the internet--
- every single-- this is the top twenty questions, they're-- like eighteen of them are like, give me a list of the best blanks in, for x,y reason--
cortex: It's reference-ability man. That's the stuff that--
mathowie: Yeah it's unbelievable.
cortex: --people think they're going to reference and so they favorite it because they wanna come back to it, you know. It's not--
mathowie: Yeah, that-- yeah-- every--
cortex: --they're not the best questions they're just the most accessibly you now approachable references, you know, material.
mathowie: I think every single one of these is list me three things you love about blank or your favorite x's... wow.
cortex: Well you know I mean, hey I'm having trouble working out this tough social situation with my mother-in-law is never-- no one's gonna be like, oh man that's the BEST THING, I'm gonna go favorite it [mathowie laughs] you know, you know there's like three people who've dealt with that specific family dynamic thing, you know--
cortex: --will favorite very meaningfully. But you know hey, what's your favorite list of x is gonna get a lot of more casual like, oh hey yeah! I like x too! I should look at that list.
mathowie: Yeah. Here's a strange one that I thought was great, just: List me the worst people-- musicians working in the music industry--
jessamyn: Loved it, loved this post.
mathowie: --and there's so many great just horrible stories of just people just being awful to each other. Like all--
jessamyn: Well and some of it is just like, oh I heard this guy's a jerk. But a lot of them are like you know, here's... here's how Prince calls people to work in his thing, or whatever. Paul Simon is considered a scumbag--
mathowie: PAUL SIMON is a scumbag, Los Lobos hate their guts, that's--
cortex: Ah, there's a there's a lot of like yeah bad blood there--
mathowie: --I did not know any of that--
cortex: --from Graceland especially, but uh..
cortex: But yeah, whatta you do.
mathowie: It's so-- it's so crazy... [snort] Danzig... [all laugh]
jessamyn: We know that though. But yeah, I enjoyed that. I also, another one of these like help me understand the history issue. It seems like kind of a weird question? Tell me about the history of identity, but like... it's actually kind of complicated like you know, now we've got like driver's licenses, and this that and the other, but how would you prove who you were before you could have a photo ID
- and you know the post office or whatever. How did you figure out who people were if they didn't have ID papers in the Middle Ages--
jessamyn: --or whatnot. And there are a bunch of people sort of explaining how. How that worked, how you could be identified.
mathowie: Gold coin bribe?
jessamyn: Other people would have to vouch for you.[pause]
jessamyn: And people would make guesses based on your accent or how you were dressed or whatever...
- there's a good book called "The Social History of Truth" with like letters of introduction, stuff like that. It was just one of those things I never thought about and the thread was really interesting--
mathowie: When was--
jessamyn: --and a lot of people knew interesting stuff about the about the idea.
mathowie: --when was state issue ID like even a thing, is it, maybe a hundred years old? Maybe, like have we had Social Security numbers since the starting of the country?--
jessamyn: No no no NO!
mathowie: --I don't even know.
jessamyn: Social Security numbers are um...
sfx: (loud typing)
mathowie: Like 1930 or something?
jessamyn: I thought it was FDR.
sfx: (loud typing)
cortex: Yeah somewhere in FDR I believe.
mathowie: That's my guess.
jessamyn: Let's see, la-la-la, la la... Social Security Aaact... 1935. New Deal, yeah.
mathowie: Wow. So then like, there's no such thing as a driver's license until, jesus, wow... huh. So this is like, happened in the 1900s. So every. thing. before that...
jessamyn: Well the Social Security number stuff, in the US anyhow, I mean you also had all sorts of crazy papers in various ways
- sort of before and after that. But when you couldn't have a picture, how did you prove that the papers that you had belonged to... you?
mathowie: Oh god, yeah!
mathowie: I guess you walk around with your barrister? [all laugh] Like, yup, he really did sign those things and it's actually like a homeless person you've paid to walk around with you, maybe, to fake-vouch for you. Geez, it's weird. Crazy.
jessamyn: Right? It's tricky-- well that was the thing the vouching had to go all the way up or all the way down, you know. That person would have to then be vouched for
- and so ultimately you have to like, trace your vouching back to somebody who's super-trustworthy, and that person's only as trustworthy as you could bribe them to vouch for you and [clears throat] very interesting--
jessamyn: --whole thing's really interesting.
mathowie: How do you even like own land, oh man! Nothing is-- the whole world's cr--
jessamyn: You like signed for stuff but then yeah, if you had the paper... you would have a claim, you know?
mathowie: Yeah I guess... yeah.
jessamyn: I mean I just watched this ridiculous movie Wanderlust, has anybody seen that?
jessamyn: It's like Jennifer Aniston and what's his name, Paul Rudd move to a commune in Georgia-- whatever, the movie's kind of ridiculous, but part of it hinges around having the deed to the house. And if you have the deed it's like... being the person who owns it even if it's not your name on the fucking deed, you know? Like you know how people always tell you that, like, "Put this title in a safe place." And it's like, what if it catches on fire, do you not own my house any more?
jessamyn: Which you know we're getting away from
- sort of within our lifetime, but when we were kids that was absolutely the way people dealt with stuff like that. [pause] More-- more than now.
cortex: Yeah. That's neat, yeah no I didn't see that at all...
jessamyn: Yeah, yeah!
cortex: I had one, I had one AskMe that I like it's it's this sort of cute thing, Angela pointed this out the other day. "I need help with sourcing unusual building materials for my DIY doghouse that looks like my--
jessamyn: LOVED IT LOVED IT!
cortex: -- ridiculous-looking house."
jessamyn: Loved it, loved it!
cortex: This is from halogen.
mathowie: What does it look like?
cortex: Well, click through.
cortex: It's a very...
mathowie: That's their - OH My God! That's fucking awesome.
cortex: And they've made a bunch of progress already. They're just trying to find, you know, the rest of the stuff to finish it off. Like the specific sort of metal grating look on the bottom of the second floor of the house.
jessamyn: So halogen has a very modern looking house, and wants...
mathowie: Dude, that is a badass house.
cortex: So yeah, it's kind of an amazing looking doghouse, and it's an awesome fanatic thing they're doing.
mathowie: This is like a makerfaire in a single post.
mathowie: This is like a makerfaire in a single post, going to that length to make an exact replica as a doghouse is insane, oh my god.
jessamyn: Well, and I can't wait to see what it looks like, 'cause it'll just be super cool.
mathowie: Well, it's already looking like ninety percent done, but yeah.
mathowie: But, like, yeah. Oh my god. That is so cool. That's, wow. Huh. That house looks like Venice Beach, it reminds me of when I lived in LA. Like you'd just go down the street and all of a sudden "Wow, that's an amazing house!", just in the middle of houses.
- Crazy modern, over-the-top, awesome.
mathowie: Sweet. Everything else I liked was just all freakin' lists [laughs]... I loved J-
jessamyn: Well, there was...
mathowie: I liked this one, I loved Jiro Dreams of Sushi, you know, other other documentaries like this and I've seen zillions of these and yeah, there's lots of them.
jessamyn: That are like mesmerizing art direction? Was that what they were looking for?
mathowie: I think it was more like just about one, you know, super into their craft, spent their whole life working on you know, etc. So like Rivers and Tides is good, Andy Goldsworthy...
jessamyn: Have you guys seen Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop that xicana63 mentioned?
mathowie: Yeahhh, except--
jessamyn: It's a good movie.
mathowie: --that whole thing feels like a put on by the end.
jessamyn: Yeahhh, it is a little bit ahhh, has that self-congratulatory tone to it. But I did enjoy learning that much about Banksy which I had not.
mathowie: Well I thought, yeah, I thought the first two-thirds (2/3) were good and then you're like
- yet the whole thing seems like fiction at the end, 'cause that's Bansky's thing, not to be a [???] then you're like, is the guyyyy even a guy? Like the whole thing felt like fiction by the end, like the whole thing was a Banksy put on. Maybe-- did you get that from it? Like, that, basically the whole--
jessamyn: That the whole thing seemed like a giant goof, maybe?
mathowie: --yeah, the entire thing was a goof, but like he paid some random guy to act like an artist to try and win over the art world to make fun of the art world, and then he made a movie and then he doesn't tell
- you until three-quarters of the way into it -
jessamyn: That the guy is a con[?].
mathowie: Yeah, and I was just like, ugh, fuckin' Banksy, just turning in on himself.
jessamyn: Right! Because otherwise you're like, how did this guy get access to -
mathowie: I know! "So lucky he was in the right place at the right time!" and then, no. Probably bullshit. [laughs]
jessamyn: [unintelligible word] speculation. Yeah, I didn't - I didn't twig into that, but now of course that you say that, I'm like, OH. Oh. Oh right.
mathowie: I just HATED it, like the last five minutes. I was like, oh, you just pulled down my pants and laughed at me for, you know, 90 minutes while I thought this was a
- great movie, like this isn't so -
jessamyn: HA HA!
mathowie: Argh. Yeah.
cortex: Well, I look forward to seeing it then.
mathowie: Oh god. Hahaha, well now we just told you the massive twist.
jessamyn: It's interesting.
cortex: No, actually, it's in my Instaqueue, we'll get around to it at some point, but -
mathowie: It was great, nah, I watched it on a plane and then I was mesmerized, and then I was just - felt ripped off by the end, but, it was good. Uhhhh... I guess there's two other super popular -
jessamyn: Speaking of amateurs - oh. [laughs]
mathowie: Yes! Yeah, do the amateurs, that was one of -
jessamyn: This was just one of the - one of the site favorites
- which was, uh, Blasdelb, I think, um... was like "How do you spot an amateur in your trade, profession, or hobby?" and it's another one of those great, like, lots and lots of people talk about how you can tell if the person who's doing the thing is new at doing the thing. And there's a lot of people talking about pipettes, which I don't know enough to know how you're supposed to do it? But, um, I sort of skipped the pipette stuff and the rest of it was, uh, super-interesting.
- Lots of great interesting things -
mathowie: Oh, um, chemistry?
jessamyn: - to read about different people's professions, which I would never have known anything about.
mathowie: Was it, uh, chemists talking about improper pipette technique or something?
jessamyn: Yeah, bunch of chemists talking about "oh, you can tell somebody because they do it one-handed or they don't do it one-handed or... they use the thing or they put it in the... argh. And I only sort of understand what you use pipettes for, it's SCIENCE -
mathowie: For pipette stuff.
jessamyn: - so the whole thing was a little strange, um.
mathowie: I was cracking up at restless_nomad (Jeremy) posted what a bad community moderator looks like.
jessamyn: ...Did I somehow miss that?
mathowie: The idea - the idea of this wraps into this, like, personal hypothesis -
jessamyn: - oh, right, that they don't say they're sorry, and -
mathowie: - yeah. They never admit mistakes. They, like, put up the walls. Um. This, like, wraps into this hypothesis I've had for about the last 20 years and I have a hard time describing it, that, uhhh, that I think of experience being circular? That if you look at an absolute beginner
- and an absolute world champion doing something, that they look almost the same, because they both are, like, failing a lot? And that's why, y'know, someone's a champion, it's like they're gonna - they already know it, 99% of it, they're just trying that last 1%? And they might be stumbling around and they would look a lot like a beginner. I just noticed this in like skateboarding, and art, and -
cortex: Yeah, if you see, like, a really solid skateboarder trying to work a new trick, they're gonna fuck it up a bunch 'cause they're trying to work a new trick.
cortex: But uh -
mathowie: They're gonna look like the idiot
- kids who're 11 who just can't kickflip, they do it for 8 hours. Like, but they're gonna look - and then like someone who's like, moderately good at something never wants to crash anymore, so they'll just, like, nail everything, and you'll think they're pretty good but they're not really like -
cortex: I feel that way about, like, music stuff a lot, I feel like that's kind of a bad habit on my part as I - I can pick up something musical fairly quickly, and I can get to a place where I enjoy playing it and that's, you know, in a sense is good enough but at the same time it's easy for me to sort of do the thing that feels comfortable instead of, like, beating my head against
- something that I kinda suck at, so, yeah.
mathowie: Yeah. Yeah. Musician - yeah -
cortex: It's a tricky thing [coming?] from that point, that tension between sort of satisfaction with your own competence and actively pushing the limits to - to grow.
mathowie: Yuuup... So yeah. [laughs] What was the other huge - oh, the time traveller - that was just yet another, like - what -
mathowie: - what, what did - the time-traveller advice, 30-year-old, it just -
jessamyn: Oh, I'm tired of those -
mathowie: - what would you tell yourself at 30. Yeah.
jessamyn: What would you tell your 22 1/2 year old self? I mean, no offense to the people who posted the questions but we had the 25 AND the 30 year old kind of bang-bang, uh -
jessamyn: - and I'm -
mathowie: But we've had - we've had -
jessamyn: - and I'm now old enough that I'm like "25 and 30 are THE SAME. You're the SAME AGE."
mathowie: [laughs] Exactly.
cortex: [laughs] You don't know what the fuck you're doing -
jessamyn: - it's like your - it's like your 4-year-old self and your 6-year-old self. You still know nothing. Don't worry about it, try not to get killed.
mathowie: I just loved, uh, Choire's "you don't know it now but your gums are your most precious resource"
- [everyone laughing]... So good.
mathowie: Uhhh... that's about all I had for Ask.
jessamyn: The only one that I had, which I liked only 'cause it's RIGHT up my alley, is documentaries about ordinary people, their secrets and lives, um, so if you're just looking for interesting documentaries about ordinary people that talk about their personal lives and here's a whole, ah, here's a whole list of them.
mathowie: Neat. God I've seen so many of these -
jessamyn: - including Marwencol...
- and um, Following Sean... and, uh, Brother's Keeper is the one I really liked, American Family... etc., etc. It's just a really nice, uh, short list of flicks -
mathowie: Ahh... I wanted to see that American Family series, like the original. Oh, Surfwise, someone finally mentioned that. I never watched that but I saw that -
jessamyn: Is it about surfing?
mathowie: - like a burnt - yeah, yeah, like a burned-out surfer guy who has this huge family of like 6 kids, and he throws them in a camper, and he basically surfs every day, and it's like they don't go to school, they like - they're like
- - it's this weird, crazy dad and hippie commune kind of family and -
jessamyn: Modern day or from back in the day?
mathowie: Like in the late '60s, so these kids are all grown up and they sort of catched up - catch up with them now, like, what - what was their life like in the '60s and '70s and what is it like now? And the guy was like a famous old pioneer of surfing? But, like, his kids are kinda - I think when I saw the trailer it was like, they weren't super happy with how that turned out? But -
mathowie: - yes, ELEVEN people living in a
- camper, like -
cortex: Wow, yeah.
mathowie: Yeah, just a zillion children -
jessamyn: That's like NINE too many.
mathowie: - and it's just... [laughs] Yeah. And, like, no home. They just lived out of, like, an RV and they just went from surf spot to surf spot, like, for their entire childhood, it's so crazy and weird.
cortex: That's pretty bizarre.
jessamyn: I'm gonna go watch that now.
jessamyn: I've watched a lot of, like, terrible action flicks recently so now I need to watch something that's a little bit more calm.
cortex: [laughs] Cleanse - cleanse your palate. Re- refocus your chi.
jessamyn: [whispers] Don't make me -
cortex: My - my chi's always getting fucked up, man, that stuff, I swear.
cortex: I should've bought, y'know, just a nice - nice, conservative chi, y'know, something with good mileage, but no I had to go and get a Ferrari chi and -
jessamyn: Chi upgrade pack.
cortex: - yeah, seriously. Spend so much time in the shop- people like you wanna come out-
mathowie: Have you tried--tried Chi-Helper?
cortex: -no, my chi, you know, it's -
jessamyn: You know how it is.
cortex: It's all out of fuckin' whack.
mathowie: It's fucked up.
cortex: Fuckin' chis, man.
mathowie: Anything else? Is that it? We done?
jessamyn: Um, I just wanted to
- mention a couple things from MetaTalk in addition to filthy light thief and Artw hitting some milestone posts, we also had this adorable "how come everybody is talking about shoes right now?" -
cortex: [laughs] What a fuckin' thread.
jessamyn: - thread, which was just so - weird?
mathowie: Huh. [laughs]
jessamyn: Basically the question was "why are there all these posts about - shoes?" Here are all the posts about -
cortex: And then everybody starts talking about shoes!
mathowie: Is this fall?
jessamyn: Well, and there's kind of a reason, because it is when people move from their outdoor shoes and their summer shoes to their
- autumn shoes and back-to-school and back to work if you're one of those people that have seasonal jobs and whatever, but then it just turned into this chatty blah-blah thread about shoes in a way that was actually mostly... nice... and I kind of enjoyed it. It's fun kind of -
cortex: Oh, it's fine -
jessamyn: - when people get to all talk about... things.
cortex: It - it just - turns out it's the antithesis of a chatty MetaTalk thread that I tend to [???] and I tend to read, like, pretty much all MetaTalk threads, I'll at least get through 'em but uh, I - I -
- I - I have no, no SHOE, no shoe chi, no shoe chi at all, I - uh -
jessamyn: How many pairs of shoes you have?
cortex: I - I - I own probably six pair? Uh...
cortex: At least three of which are like shoes I never wear 'cause they're like dress shoes and one of which I should throw out? A pair of sneakers and a pair of, like, slip-on loafers, and that's, like, IT. 'Cause I - I need them to protect my feet from pointy things outside, that's pretty much the only -
jessamyn: Right, when you leave the house.
jessamyn: Which is not that often. Yeah.
- So it's - yeah.
jessamyn: I have lots of seasonal shoes, uh, and then a lot of shoes I'll probably never wear again, I should probably get rid of.
cortex: I thought that -
jessamyn: We all know how much - how many shoes Matt has because we see photographs of them every time he buys them.
mathowie: [laughs] Uh, there's this little thing, this little artisanal mom-and-pop shop from the brothers Zappos, that I, uh, go to? And yeah, they have, uh, about a hundred thousand options. Now I think shoes are one of those things where
- uh, size difference isn't as big of a deal, there's not a body-type issue, like, anyone can go buy new shoes, it's pretty easy, the numbers are all about right, and, like, y'know -
jessamyn: Well, all women know though that the smaller your feet are, the cuter the shoes are that you can buy. If you go to a place that has, like, lots of shoes? And, y'know, that has like racks of them?
jessamyn: Like, the smaller your foot size, the cuter the shoes get. I have like medium-size shoes so this isn't like a
- axe-grind that I have, but MAN.
mathowie: I have massive feet so it's cool 'cause I always have the sale rack all to myself, and go all crazy.
mathowie: Oh, yeah, the Kaycee Nicole post.
cortex: Yeah, I - I figured, MetaTalk stuff that was kinda nice, just, uh, came back around - Kaycee Nicole, and Metafilter's role in it came up recently on some site, and uh -
mathowie: And I got to finally reveal, like,
- what I worked on last year for a couple weeks.
jessamyn: I forgot about that, yeah yeah yeah!
mathowie: Yeah I basically had to pay all those-- skeavy, gross, look up people's criminal records sites basically--
mathowie: --'cause I only had like--
jessamyn: To stalk this woman, who-- what? [laughs]
mathowie: --I, yeah, I had, I had basically, what, three names-- well two names-- well three names, like the the what's-- so we had Julie something and she has a new last name, and it was hard to even find her old last name, then we have the neighbor Debbie Swenson or whatever, and th--
jessamyn: I thought Debbie was the person who put it all together.
mathowie: Yeah and then she had a daughter, and so I looked all these people up, and they're all in Kansas. And so they don't, they haven't gone to the big city much. They all probably live within 150 miles of each other, still, and it's like I figured out who the daughter was, I figured out what happened to Debbie, where they ended up moving to, and I figured out what happened to the Kaycee Nicole subject woman Julie, and who she married, and then like--
jessamyn: She was the one with the the the pictures were of.
mathowie: Yeah, and this took like
- this was, aw, I mean this this scared me about the whole, when hackers dox each other, they look up all these crazy government public database stuff, like. I figured out Julie's new husband's job and his cell phone number--
mathowie: --from doing this deep digging. And it's like, and then I was too chicken shit to call anybody or actually confront this and I actually [chuckles] borrowed the services of Rogers Cadenhead who used to be a reporter, and I was just like
- how would you approach this? Like here's my mountain of evidence, there were a couple leaps of logic where I had to figure out you know, but then I you know I figured well they're still in Kansas, he's at this car dealership, he's actually listed as a salesman, you know the husband guy. And so eventually Rogers like called the husband of the Kaycee Nicole girl on his cell phone one day and just said, "Hey I'm a reporter, I'm doing a story about this, ten years later, is she interested in talking?" And the guy was like, "What? No. Don't call back." [laughs]
jessamyn: And he didn't!
mathowie: And-- yep! And I was like, aww mannn, it took like weeks of research, I love, I wanted on the ten year anniversary to basically have an interview with her. I wanted her to be like in a better place, a much better place--
mathowie: --and to be able to say like, ok that was ten years ago, I don't love talking about this, but that was fucked up, and here's how it was fucked up--
mathowie: --and here's what I'm up to now, and I've moved on with my life. Yeah!
cortex: But you never know where [people may be???] I can understand being just like, you know what I would like to not discuss this at all ever again, thanks. I can see that being the outcome too.
mathowie: Right I mean if you had a yeah if you had a crazy neighbor who invented this entire thing around you, like I would never want to do anything to raise her hackles ever again.
jessamyn: Well that was the thing you know talking about it on the record anywhere publicly. Like every now and again I can kind of like... I put up a bunch of photos of like... stuff from old photo albums, one of which was like my prom photo and I was like, Ohh! You know I wonder what happened to my prom date, and he was like a friend of mine, you know, not even like some guy I used to date, and, you know I went looking around a little bit, and after awhile
- I was like, if I can't find this guy after fifteen minutes of-- poking, like, there's a really good chance he's not someone who wants to be found. 'Cause like he's, you know smart enough that he could have a public Facebook, or a website, or something, and doesn't, and so maybe that in and of itself is kind of an indicator that he's a little bit on the downlow for whatever reason.
mathowie: Huh. Yeah. So yeah, it was a yeah and [snort] I saw in the thread someone was like "Why would she ever want to talk ever" [all laugh] I'm like yeah--
cortex: Yeah I think it's one of those things where different people imagine they'd have very different feelings about that stuff--
mathowie: I mean, maybe if I didn't make it public.
cortex: --'cause yeah I think if it was me I would probably talk about it, because I'd be like what the fuck but-- but then again I didn't deal with it so.
cortex: There's definitely people who are crazy who I've dealt with who I'd rather not you know just talk about it because like, fuck that, I don't even wanna think about it, you know, so I can-- I can see both sides of it.
jessamyn: Yeah! Yeah, I totally can too.
cortex: One other thing--
mathowie: Actually-- oh cool yeah...
cortex: --I wanted to plug from MetaTalk, just as a
- yay, happy continuing community working on stuff thing is a podcast transcription. Pronoiac's been organizing a bunch of that and got a bunch more done with a bunch of volunteers' help, over the period of the last month or so.
jessamyn: Yeah there's a ton of people who are doing these great like grinding away at it with the help of some kind of software? Have you used the tool at all, Josh?
cortex: Yeah! I do, it it it's really not bad, it works pretty well, and it's easy to get into--
cortex: --without having to do any work, yeah Fanscribed.
mathowie: What is it? Yeah--
cortex: Sort of like a software service that makes it relatively easy to
- break up a podcast transcription project into a bunch of tiny chunks that anybody can just come along and pick up any time.
jessamyn: Well and it's--
cortex: So you lose a bit of the oversight that you might need to worry about in a much broader sort of crowd, but MeFites (meh-fites) transcribing MeFi (meh-fie) podcast is a pretty reliable group, so it works out pretty well.
jessamyn: Yeah! And it just means the podcast is available to people who would prefer to read it rather than listen to us, which I can toootally understand. And it's cool, they've got a lot of--
cortex: Both preference, and just accessibility for people who are hearing-impaired one way or another, so.
jessamyn: Right. Which includes at least, you know, a number of our members, and hey why not. So, it's cool.
mathowie: Does it... chop 'em into like thirty second bits somehow?
cortex: Yeah yeah it takes an audio and it chops them into thirty second bits and then you can just go grab a segment, and you transcribe that and you can just do that one thirty second bit without any other context. And everybody could in theory do bits disjointed like that. In practice I think a lot of people sit down and they'll hammer through a few of 'em so they'll do a few minutes at a time or whatever.
jessamyn: Five minutes or something but it does mean that you can do a manageable amount
- and so if you do have a lot of people who will be happy to work on it, you can feel like you can contribute, but only work on a couple minutes of the podcast but that has value to the overall project.
cortex: Yeah. It's kind of the way you know the way backtagging worked, we had some serious crazy backtaggers who did a ton, but we also had a lot of people who just threw in and you know they did a page or two, you know, or did a page every you know once a month or every few months as it occurred to them.
cortex: And it worked, because you had this combination of that the super aggressively you know into it people, but you also gotta harness a much broader base of
- people who were maybe not so into doing a ton of work but they wanna help, and they can! So it's-- it it's a good setup.
cortex: I wasn't sure-- I wasn't sure what I would think of the whole Fanscribed thing, when we first saw it come up, but it seems like it's working pretty well for people.
jessamyn: Yeah. It's been great.
mathowie: I was actually-- I was researching transcripts for a different project and like if you don't have a time crunch, it's like a dollar a minute or something if you want it like today or tomorrow. But if you give like services a week
- I think they farm this out to like Mechanical Turk or something and it's like a penny a minute or something, it's it's super cheap--
mathowie: --yeah I was almost on the verge of like--
jessamyn: Have you tried it?
mathowie: No, [jessamyn chuckles] but I've heard a lot of people in the documentary world do this, they basically film, you know they film where they record like forty hours for something that's gonna be twenty minutes long, and then they just run it through one of these services, and then they just take a piece of paper, they print it out, and they just x out what they wanna keep
- and then they go back and edit from there. Like paper editing is actually the first step. If you ever heard like NPR people and they-- they work on a two minute piece they'll say it took forty hours of recording and research. And you're like, how on earth do you-- I--yeah that's crazy. How do you even start attacking forty hours for two, good minutes and it's like, huh, well, you just get it all in text and then you just highlight the best parts and then you cut 'em out. So, yeah. That was something I'm also looking into
- if, you know, this wasn't as successful as it was, but--
mathowie: --it's pretty damn successful.
jessamyn: Well, you know, we could even try it and do some quality control comparisons with the older podcasts that are still not... I mean we're still moving backwards--
jessamyn: --at a slow enough place, so.
mathowie: I'm sure the cheap ones are bad.
cortex: Yeah gettin' back to the archives.
mathowie: They can't be-- they can't be great. It's, yeah. I mean, they, people--
cortex: But proportionally speaking for the amount of time it took to record all these podcasts we're going on a crazy clip. I mean--
cortex: People could in theory blow through like the entire archives by the end of the year if they were feeling really...
cortex: ...really transcribe-y.
mathowie: And what do we get in the end-- just the podcast [laughs]--
jessamyn: For the hearing-impaired, Matt (mathowie)--
mathowie: --like in text.
jessamyn: -- are you not paying attention?
jessamyn: It's good news.
mathowie: Oh. All right. I just thought like. When people were pushing for it-- in the beginning, I was, everyone said like (grumpy voice) "I don't have time to ever listen to podcast." And I'd be like, well, you know, we already write up our best links so, that's kind of it.
cortex: You know it's-- it's a mix of things, different people come to [affirmative?? from different??] places. Anyway I--it's neat--
cortex: --that it's been happening. So.
jessamyn: I like reading them--
jessamyn: --and I don't have time for one-to-one attention to almost anybody else's podcast except our own so.
cortex: Yeah. I am, I'm a lot more likely to go back and read ours than I am to listen to them, 'cause it's weird, 'cause I, I was there you know, it's like I remember saying this stuff--
cortex: so it's like, whereas I can read and sort of skim for the--the fun bits. So.
mathowie: There should be a drinking game associated where you have to drink every time you see "jessamyn: Ha ha ha ha. Yeah. Totally." [all laugh] I just remember seeing some phrase over and over again from all of us. Like lots of "ha ha's"--
jessamyn: Right right right.
cortex: [unintelligible] it's definitely the little things I like about the--
mathowie: "Yes that's awesome. I thought that was awesome. I thought that was awesome."
- like [laughs] over and over. It's fine.
cortex: Well we you know we think a lot of things are awesome. It's an awesome site, what can I say, man, you know it's...
jessamyn: We're upbeat. Oh! Speaking of, last link, jph is working on a Metafilter "It Gets Better" project, if you are interested in participating in this crowd-sourced "It Gets Better" video you should talk to him.
cortex: Yeah! Go check that out. It's lookin' like a neat idea.
mathowie: Yeah, how's that faring, 'cause it seems like a lot, and the more I think of-- it seemed like an awesome idea at first now--
jessamyn: No one's asking you to do any work at all, Matt (mathowie).
mathowie: --it seems like a lot of work. [all laugh]
mathowie: No no no! I'm just saying like, oh yeah! Like twenty of us doing thirty second (30 second) bits, that'd be great! We could have it done by Friday! But then you're like, wellll, and then--there's concepts...
cortex: Yeah I know I think it's gonna be a lot more of a, uh effort to get it all put together, but hey, that's...
jessamyn: Well did you read the document he's got? He's got like--
jessamyn: --what I consider to be totally reasonable timelines, like, December--
jessamyn: --they'll do the final edits, he's got like deadlines for people and, you know the people who wanna contribute who can meet deadlines will be the people whoooo contribute. I think you know, that's sort of the good thing about it,
- it's not like you've gotta get ten people, specific people to all... do a thing, you can just get individual people, whoever can actually make deadlines and do the work.
cortex: Yeah, exactly.
cortex: So yeah!
cortex: I- I- think--it'll work out well.
mathowie: Some people are saying it doesn't get better? [snort] Wowwww...
mathowie: Some of these stories are... wowww... painful.
jessamyn: Well and that's the thing, I mean obviously there's people who have different approaches, a lot of people hate Dan Savage and it's his project, but, you know I think the goal
- which jph is trying to keep narrowly focused is doing sort of an "It Gets Better" video the way other people have done it. If people wanna make--
jessamyn: --their own videos about problems that they've been having, more power to 'em. You know. We can link... link to it, share it around the same way.
cortex: Do we wanna--
mathowie: All right, cool!
cortex: --do we wanna do any sort of time-traveling discussion of MetaTalk posts we'll make later this afternoon [jessamyn laughs] for when we're recording this, but... did yesterday or the day before when we actually post this?
jessamyn: You wanna make some predictions about how it went?
cortex: Should should should, yeah should we discuss the threads as if they--
mathowie: Oh yeah!
cortex: --had already happened? 'Cause it's like 11:35 right now--
mathowie: This would be very funny.
cortex: --and I think at noon we're gonna post about... the new mods and then at 2 we're gonna post about the edit feature.
cortex: But that all happened a couple days ago.
jessamyn: Did you contact the new mods to tell them that we're going to post about?...
mathowie: This'd be-- yes I did, yeah.
mathowie: So this is like famous last words [laughs]
cortex: Exactly! Yeah, well I am so glad that we, that we picked LobsterMitten and goodnewsfortheinsane. Although it's unfortunate
mathowie: It was hard!
cortex: --that his head literally exploded after aliens invaded the very next day,
- that was kinda weird.
mathowie: It took uhhh, lemme see like, I think we had about eighty people apply for the job, and there was like a good... fifteen, twenty that were amazing, so it was really hard to narrow it down, so.
cortex: Yeah, even--
jessamyn: A lot of it was trying to figure complicated scheduling things uh...
jessamyn: People who--
mathowie: I felt bad--
jessamyn: --were over-employed, under-employed, in the wrong time zone, yeah.
cortex: Yeah the--
mathowie: Yeah where you lived was such a huge... problem, it sucked. [laughs]
jessamyn: What'd you say?
mathowie: Yeah--Where you, where you just happened to live was probably the biggest determiner whether or not, yeah...
cortex: Yeah I mean part of the thing we got a ton of applications from people in the US. And and on the one hand that's great 'cause there were a ton of great people, but on the other hand, one of the things we specifically need, from one of the candidates at least, is some coverage during US sleepy time. So yeah it...
jessamyn: Or US insomniacs or third-shifters--
jessamyn: --which we didn't seem to get any of.
cortex: Yeah. And there's insomniacs and then there's actual
- dedicated I-am-up-at-nighttime, that-is-the-way-my-life-is.
cortex: 'Cause I mean I have trouble sleeping sometimes too, but I'm... you know, you can't--
jessamyn: Not gonna go to work, yeah.
cortex: --apply for a job on that, yeah. But yeah, no yeah it was nice that the problem was too many good candidates, that was-- a really nice problem to have as far as this goes.
jessamyn: And so we'll beeee--
mathowie: Yeah, yeah.
jessamyn: --training people up in the next week or two, and hopefully they'll start having little shifts in the middle of the month.
mathowie: Yeah. I think we'll uh--here's my prediction, famous last words-- I think everyone
- will be pretty stoked. Everything was great, I don't-- the only thing I can imagine is if someone who really wanted it that got snubbed would be pissed, but I don't think they would lash out on MetaTalk, so.
cortex: I doubt it, yeah, I mean you never know but uh people are pretty good.
cortex: I've gotten-- I sent out the-- email this morning to everybody who applied who didn't get it to say, thanks for applying. You know, we went with someone else but we'll keep you in mind if--if things change in the future, and. And I've gotten a few nice notes back from people saying, oh well
- you know, everybody's cheering, nobody's like, "Really, you son-of..." you know. So yeah I feel like people went in with eyes open and a good attitude, so.
mathowie: And then what was our other wonderful announcement-- oh yeah, we're gonna finally add editing, like every other website in the last ten years [laughs]
cortex: The edit window will be go-- or will have been go.
jessamyn: Will have been go.
mathowie: Which I think will be mostly positive, everyone'll probably say, "But what about--" and I think we've tried to come up with every "But what about" and a workaround for all that stuff.
jessamyn: We're anticipating a bumpy adjustment period but we're kind of--
jessamyn: --excited to have people be able to fix their own typos
- and we're very excited to not have to fix your typos anymore.
mathowie: Yeah! Oh my god! Like, it just ramped up in the last six months to like---
jessamyn: There's like twenty people--
jessamyn: --who need us to fix typos several times a week and then, you know, twelve thousand who never do. But we just figured, we should deputize everybody! I mean we're the people--I fix my own typos all the time--it seemed--
mathowie: Yeah, me too, constantly.
jessamyn: --rude to not let other people do the same.
mathowie: We-- wasn't it something like five to ten percent of everything we've ever posted we've edited. But I mean we're trying to make sure our language is right
- in Metatalk.
cortex: Something like that yeah, but yeah, no it was somewhere in like low to mid single digits for the percentage of--
cortex: --our own comments that we've edited, which uh. Yeah. I mean yeah which is not terrible--
mathowie: Yeah, I'm fine.
cortex: --I was worried it was gonna turn out to be like twenty-five or thirty percent, like I was editing fucking everything, but--
cortex: --turns out not so bad! Maybe I just don't--
mathowie: That's what it feels like, yeah.
cortex: --but yeah so. So yeah it's...
jessamyn: And just having the ability to do that and, regardless of whether preview exists and people should use it or not, realistically
- envision our ideal situation and people having five (5) minutes to make it seems like something really cool.
cortex: Yeah. I neat in a couple of days just to sort of hash out how that works in practice, too. Just to see what sort of things people do to surprise us.
mathowie: Yeah. In the end I think it's going to be a minor blip, but that people .. just .. it'll be a nice thing that people will be cool with from now on. But.. yeah. Who knows?!
cortex: Yeah. Should be interesting.
jessamyn: Should be interesting!
cortex: Well maybe we should stop podcasting and start posting on that deck.
mathowie: All right.
mathowie: Thanks all!
jessamyn: Great time with you guys, as always!
mathowie: Aight (not a typo)
- twist my arm, 129 segments
- flex, 85
- beryllium, 36
- tangerinegurl, 30
- zamboni, 21
- yuwtze, 8
- Pronoiac, 7
- jessamyn, 3
- capricorn, 2
- ceribus peribus, 2