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Podcast 154 Transcript

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A transcript for Episode 154: I Learned It By Reading (2019-08-02).

Pronoiac passed the podcast to


Cortex 0:01 Beep Beep boop, beep boop. Hello. And does it actually be for you when I press it? No. Okay, you

Jessamyn 0:08 were just why I made the noise.

Cortex 0:10 Okay, well then, okay

all right, couple of things that noise means it's time for a podcast. Welcome to Episode 154 of the Metafilter monthly podcast. I am Josh cortex Mullard. And I'm Jasmine. And it is Wednesday, July the 31st 10:38am. Just clocked over from 1037 as I was speaking at 38. Eastern but but the server timed 1038

Jessamyn 1:04 servers on Pacific time.

Cortex 1:06 Yep. Yep. The hegemony. hegemony. hegemony.

Jessamyn 1:12 I don't even know I don't know. I don't know. I learned it by reading. Yep, we learned that we should

Cortex 1:16 we should really just make that the title for the show. Maybe is I learned it by reading. My reading. I like it by reading. Yes, it's a podcast. It's time for podcasts. It's this this podcast is either late or right on time, depending on how you look at it. We didn't do a podcast at the end of June or start of July. So

Jessamyn 1:41 celebrating our nation's birthday. Yes, yes.

Cortex 1:43 We took a two month long vacation for Fourth of July. And that's that's why we didn't do a podcast. No, we didn't do a podcast because boy, it's been. It's been a couple of months. It's been a very busy time on the site. It's been a sort of socially and emotionally complicated time. And right around the start of July just like felt like a weird time. To me just be like, let's talk about links. Exactly. You know, I mean, there's been a ton of good stuff on the site. We're going to talk about links today, we're going to do our podcast and stuff. But the moment just felt weird. And I've been really, really busy. And so we're picking up here and getting back into the swing of things. Thanks for your patience. Yeah, yeah, we don't really have a good hey, the podcast is going to be delayed mechanism. It turns out like usually when it comes up, sometimes the podcast is like a week into the month before we get to it. But that's about as much of a delay as we ever have. And what happens is the podcast doesn't come out for a few days. And then someone starts tweeting to say, I wonder if there's gonna be a podcast and then you were I reply to say, Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. No, no, we're a little late, but recording in a couple days.

Jessamyn 2:54 Usually, we've got some plan. It's just busy. We're busy. I forgot about this one, basically, until you texted me like, dude, the thing? All right, today,

Cortex 3:05 this morning, which is shortly before recording. But, uh, but yeah, no, we don't. Yeah, I thought about putting up a tiny little podcast bumper saying, hey, podcast, not as usual. But then I felt like is it mean to just put out a two minute podcast saying, hey, there's not a podcast. I mean, there's still not a podcast that way that if you tell a really good joke, yeah, I guess that's the thing like this is next time this comes up. If this comes up, I'll, I'll put together a nice little like, type five and like, give people something to go home with. I like it. Yeah. But here we are. Here we are. It is. It is nine August. And there's a bunch of Metafilter stuff.

Jessamyn 3:44 And I got this to say about the number 154. There's a real thing. Do it. It's the name of the third album by the wire, or wire by wire. Sorry, the wire. They basically had done 154 live shows at the point at which they recorded their third album. And so they named the album 154. It was released in September 1979. And it's kind of cool.

Cortex 4:08 Do you think there's anything connecting the band wire in the band coil? Like that's the thing you could coil some wire wire off comes in coils. They're both like four letter one word band names. They both have eyes in the name.

Jessamyn 4:25 I feel like I'm not clever enough to go anywhere with that. Yeah,

Cortex 4:28 yeah, this is it's kind of unfair. Because I have nothing.

Jessamyn 4:32 Nothing. Battery battery. I don't know. I don't know.

Cortex 4:37 I don't know any electrical engineering either. So it's like it's not like I didn't even have anything in mind. That was just a blind setup, which is just kind of mean. But hey, 154 That's probably a good album. I don't think I've ever listened to wire actually.

Jessamyn 4:49 It's a lot of damn podcast. Oh wire is really good. You might actually like them. They're pretty serious musicians.

Cortex 4:56 I should give it a shot. Yeah, that's a lot of fucking so that there's a lot of a lot of books out there too. But like I've already resigned myself the fact that I'm not going to read most books, but like,

Jessamyn 5:06 I feel like I am going to read most books,

Cortex 5:10 while you're making much more of an effort than I am. So like, you know, I am making a concerted effort. That's, that's consistent.

Jessamyn 5:15 I have my guided reading this great book right now. It's called, will my cat eat my eyeballs? And it's by Caitlin Doughty, who is a mortuary technician, and very cool and interesting. And it's basically answering kids questions about death and funeral practices. Looks. Yeah, it's got great illustrations, I put one up on Wall chop. And, you know, the answer to the question is not for a while. And then, absolutely,

Cortex 5:44 yep. We should we should get cold, you have to do like a Reading Rainbow style two minute review of it just as a segment on a future episode.

Jessamyn 5:51 Oh, that's a great idea.

Cortex 5:53 We should get a bunch of people to do like, we should do fucking Reading Rainbow segments on the podcast is what we should do all of a sudden, no,

Jessamyn 5:58 that's a great idea. I feel like you should, you know, give yourself a break some months when you don't feel like doing a full on podcasts and just have people call in and do their I think Reading Rainbow podcasts would be amazing.

Cortex 6:10 I think it would be too I don't think that would actually be giving me a break unless I had someone else also doing a lot of the editing. Like, like, let's be let's be real, the process of the normal podcast is you and I talk for an hour and a half. And then I don't want no i When was the last time I said I was gonna edit some. I've been very clear that I'm not going to good point. But yeah, we talked for an hour and a half. And then like, you know, an hour hour and a half of maybe just like copying stuff together, which mostly means putting in spots for music lovers and a little bit of trimming. You know, and then like letting the computer just do its thing. You know, half the editing time is like GarageBand just crunching away once I say go on two hours of audio. But, you know, call him show like, I have to edit every fucking thing. So maybe, maybe that'd be a good chance for like a collaborative podcast project or something. get folks to put something together. Yeah. You know, I started to read the library book, The Susan robot. I got about halfway in. And then it was overdue. Angela gotten it out from the library. And so we put it back. I was enjoying it. But I also wasn't like, I think I was actually super on board for like the three chapters that were going to be about the actual, like arson case. And so I'm halfway through that. And

Jessamyn 7:28 there's a lot of history that yeah, it's not your jam. Yeah,

Cortex 7:32 that's the thing. Like, like, it wasn't even I didn't even dislike the other stuff. I just wasn't like sucked in like, I wasn't like, oh, no, we definitely need to, you know, pay an extra 50 cents and fines on this because I have to finish this was more like, well, that's been fun so far. And maybe I'll get back to that, you know, but but I was enjoying it. Library have overdue fines? It does. I think it's I think it's

Jessamyn 7:52 backwards?

Cortex 7:53 Well, you know, I haven't really looked into it. It's one of those things where like I should, I should know more about how my local library operates. Because it'd be interesting to know the details. They have been pretty good about like, if you go in apologetically, and say Oh, gosh. The times I remember doing that they were like, well, it's been knocked off, you know, whatnot. But, but yeah, it is. It is tricky. I don't know, I don't know what kind of formal programs they have for for being better about that for people for whom the library file is going to be more of a prohibitive expense. But be curious to know.

Jessamyn 8:30 Yeah, I mean, it's a big trend in libraries now is removing overdue fees, because they do disproportionately affect, you know, people whose lives are a little bit more difficult in every way, but financially is one of them. And why discourage those people from coming to the library? If it's just like, you know, teaching responsibility, like it's just so not our job, right? Yeah. Like, that's our problem to manage. It shouldn't be people who already have enough problems to manage problem to manage. So, you know, we want to be like Netflix for books, like you got to kind of work on the revenue model. At any rate. That for being at the post office yesterday, I went to the post office to mail some shit. And it's a new post office, and I really liked this guy. And so we bullshit all the time. And, you know, I was mailing some stuff, and he's talking about how customer service is so important. The post office I'm like, oh, yeah, well, I'm from libraries, it's really important to he's like, Oh, I should totally get a library card. And I was like, bla, bla, bla bla, that get backed up, which is your local library. Libraries. Great. They've got these great and he's just kind of looking at me like what switched it I flipped for this to start happening. But no, library card and

Cortex 9:44 yes, it's like the How are you doing? Followed by a lengthy response about someone's actual mental state versus like, Oh, fine, you know, great. Pretty good. It's not the conversation. I thought it was actually initiating. Right?

Jessamyn 9:55 Right, right. That poor man, at any rate, I'm gonna go back there. He's awesome. They have all the stamps, like some post offices only have some of the stamps. They've got, like all the new stamps. So if you want to go get your moon stamps or you want to go get your Muppet stamps, they definitely have them. Yeah. And this was all culture fault, actually, because he texted me a picture of his Muppet stamps. There's a sense I've never said before, and I was like, I gotta get them up at stamps. But I don't like my local post office. So I went over to the border of the post office in Rhode Island and met this guy, and now I'm super happy. Nice. I mean, it feels like we've been bullshitting forever about nothing. But it's really only been about 10 minutes.

Cortex 10:38 Yeah, you know, and we even did the numbers and whatnot. So the numbers, but I guess we could we could talk about, like, the site stuff that we always talked about on the podcast. Yeah. Which includes jobs. There. Were there were some jobs. Yes, I'm looking at the right tab. I know what I'm doing. There's a software quality engineer job in Salt Lake City. If you're if you're a software person, and you know, Utah in Utah, and I don't know why reading. Yeah, exactly. I learned everything. Master of None is looking for someone to do some software quality engineering. So do some Utah, some ut QE. And Holborn is looking for a jewelry crafty person to help to help

Jessamyn 11:32 with a bracelet. Yeah. Pretty simple. Can be mail order. If you're somebody who does that stuff. And Empress Khaled videos is killer pitchers. Clip A clip of those I always like to send that is definitely not right. Definitely not right. But she is looking for working out her debt situation in order to do that she wants to be in a better job. And so she's thinking of a job switch. And she would like somebody to kind of help her manage dealing with that she lives in Brooklyn, and is, you know, interested in getting their shit together to do something a little different and could use some help. So yeah, I actually think that's it for jobs. Right. Yeah, their job.

Cortex 12:19 Jobs. Yeah, I think that's that's all through there currently. And we still haven't changed it so that like, Bill jobs are visible. So we'll never know. Or like, we will not know.

Jessamyn 12:28 I mean, so you can't see me there. I can't see. Yeah,

Cortex 12:30 no, yeah, it's something we'd have to go looking behind the scenes to figure out which is too much work for the middle of the podcast. So jobs, let's talk about projects.

Jessamyn 12:40 Broken perfect.

Cortex 12:41 Is there something changed with API? Why? I know, I know, honestly. Yeah, I think probably will do is take the map off. But like there's something with that API, and we figure out what it is because there's been other stuff going on? Well,

Jessamyn 12:54 I think Google changed some shit. Yeah. Um, but yeah, you should probably just remove it because it does look weird and broken. Yeah.

Cortex 13:01 It's kind of a it's it was it was kind of a goofy fun thing when it went up and look, you know, it's not really, uh, it wasn't even useful when it was working. So it's not technically any less useful. Now. You know, in

Jessamyn 13:12 I sent a message to the contact form and probably do it in five minutes.

Cortex 13:15 Yeah, do that. We'll put that on the dev Trello. But yeah, let's talk about dev Trello. I know, right.

Let's talk about projects. Let's talk about things on projects.

Jessamyn 13:32 I was a little bit surprised that there was not more love for violent penguin.

Cortex 13:38 Oh, violent penguin? Yes.

Jessamyn 13:40 It's basically, let's see, hold on a second. It is by dng. And it's just four panel comic strips about a penguin who was violent. And honestly, maybe I do understand why there's not more love for it. But I do kind of appreciate just how ridiculously simple it is.

Cortex 13:59 Yeah, no, it's it's a super simple premise, executed simply. And it's actually kind of after my own heart, sort of like Gonzo cartooning project in that sense. Like I you know, I read through it and like, to some extent, like if I see a project comes in, and it's got like, violent in the toilets, I better take a look and make sure there's not but it's it's cartoony stick figures and a murderous penguin. So there's not anything super troubling about the content there. It's just it's a very simple like, it is what it is sort of level. And that's kind of what

Jessamyn 14:33 I appreciated. Like it's just, you know, it delivers. It doesn't over promise. It's not even particularly funny, but it is fine. And, yeah,

Cortex 14:46 there is, there's one from just where we cut off I think I think this was the afternoon of the data recorded last podcast a couple months ago. Is pixel pirate by foods. pH 002. Easy. And it's you remember Million Dollar Homepage? Like that's?

Jessamyn 15:08 Absolutely do.

Cortex 15:09 Yeah, you know, the deal with it was people could buy small block of pixels for a fixed unit, I think it was like, you know, $1 per pixel essentially. So for $100, you could buy a 10 by 10 little icon on this page. For $1,000, you could buy 1000 pixels, you know, something like, you know, 25 by 40 pixels, and you could put anything you want in there. And that could be just some abstract art, or it could be like a very tiny pixel font advertisement for your company or a logo or something. And then you know, that that would link if someone clicked on it, it would link to your web page and which was the big thing. So you know, some kid I want to say made some, you know, whatever, the remainders on a million dollars on selling these individual chunks to these people, and then it was full of like that, that was the thing that was like the entire webpage was just like you get a link here forever with the image you give me for

Jessamyn 16:02 some people bought? Yeah, bigger little chunks and etc, etc.

Cortex 16:05 Yeah. Well, that was a long time ago. And like, Golden Palace might still exist. But you know, a lot of these things don't you know, the link that said cheap CDs may not still be an active cheap CDs business. I love it. A lot of the private small ones, you know, that don't have any sort of logo may have some good ideas, foods put together things saying, okay, you know, these are, these are URLs that aren't being used anymore. Now you can have this URL from the Million Dollar Homepage, you can have your own part of Link rot history, essentially. You know, and I just fucking love it. Basically, that's the entire thing. It's just it's a it's a it's a simple, stupid play on a simple, stupid idea. And I'm really kind of delighted about it as a weird sort of repurposing and Judo flip on on this spot in internet history. So

Jessamyn 17:08 right and so long ago, right? Yeah, just oh my god. Yeah,

Cortex 17:14 like, yeah, it's, it's, it's, it's definitely, I realized, this is kind of absurd for me to be saying, like, when we just did the site's 20th anniversary, but like, you know, boy, this feels like a really long time ago, this, this feels like 20 years ago, you know, and it feels, it feels different in some way. I think the lack of cotton, like the fact that this is something that happened and then stopped having happened so long ago, feels different than like a site that's been going on for like, like medical, there's that sense of continuity, a lot of the older sites that are still around, in some sense, have that sense of like, well, they've been here a long time, you know, that it's an old site, but it's been a continuous thing. But then you look at like, you know, whatever the fuck or whatever it was that one of the ones shit that was like, of the moment of like, 2000 2001 2002 things that were really like, crystalline artifacts of that moment. You know, bursting, and stay or portals. Yeah, like that stuff didn't move forward in any way. It's like, you know, for every actual space website, there's a million sites that like, not only are throwbacks, but were thrown back, like they don't exist in any meaningful sense anymore. They're just like moored in that specific point in time. And Million Dollar Homepage feels like such a thing of that moment, that the fact that like, it is something that we can also look at now and sort of re explore and really think about feels like really, really interesting and fun and sort of vital as a way of like, putting a stark focus on that sense of time having passed. I guess that's how I feel about it.

Jessamyn 18:49 Yeah, as well. It's just a clever little thing. I mean, you know, you talk about URLs and like rock kids today, don't even in a lot of cases, kind of relate to that, right? Why would you buy a domain? What would you do with the domain like I just, ah, and so seeing something that's just so about the domain. I also kind of enjoy

Cortex 19:13 see, what else is there? What else did you like?

Jessamyn 19:21 I feel like I voted for one thing. And now I'm trying to sort of remember what that thing was, oh, this is not what I voted for. But I really enjoyed this. TSS is thing that converts NASA's table about Apollo 11 plus 50 years and put it into a Google Calendar. So you can just kind of have all the little updates. The Google Calendar about Apollo 11, like my summer basically started by going to a metal filter meetup at Harvard that Horace Rumpole was doing they have an Apollo 11 exhibit. They had some like fancy The donor who donated a bunch of Apollo 11 Shit, and they put it together with some old books that talk about space or the moon or travel or like, you know, whatever, whatever that stuff is. And so there was a little mini meet up to go hang out there. And there was a bunch of, you know, the local people who I know and really enjoy, right before the 20th. And like, it just kind of got me back into that zone, right, where you could put a man on the moon and like the world was united. And the thing and it was cool looking at these old books, it was cool being in the library, because it was the funky library. And so, you know, I've kind of stayed on that path, at least a little bit. You know, we watched class man, Last Man on the Moon, which is kind of a great documentary about it. And I've been, you know, just tweaking into the space stuff that's in the ambient, in the ambient air nowadays, because of Apollo 11. And so I just appreciate that other people are doing some of the same stuff like to Yes, yes.

Cortex 21:01 Yeah, no, that that was those. That was a very cool idea. Like, it's such a nice incorporation of like, really, sort of banal everyday tools, like just calendar stuff, and interfacing that so directly with

Jessamyn 21:15 what computers are really good at, right? Yeah, like time and date and put it on a chart. Now, I'm looking at the Apollo in real time website and clicking away from it, because trying to have a conversation here, but

Cortex 21:33 it's tricky. Yes. Here's, here's, here's a project I like and it's a kind of art thing I like and also kind of a good, happy outcome on, like weird little administrative and site culture thing. So there's this project by test Martin, about how to make a photo trope and a photo trope. If, if you know what a zoetrope is, it's that same basically and zoetrope is that old school animation thing where you have sort of a cylinder with pictures on the inside frames of animation, and then some sort of way to look through thin slats from the far side and gives the impression of movement. Yeah, you get, you get sort of like a motion picture thing, because you can only see tiny glimpses from the slats moving around. And so you only see a relatively non blurred, brief image of one of the animation frames, and then your vision is blocked. And then you see the next animation frame. So instead of just seeing a whirling circle that you can't make sense of, you get a sense of animation, which is how basically all frame based on motion, or film animation works, in some sense, just with movie projectors, it's flashing light through a frame of film, and then another and then another. So your zoetrope just blocked your vision. So a phono trope is the same basic idea except for generally you're using a turntable, like a vinyl,

Jessamyn 23:06 I thought at first when I read this, that it had something to do with like, it's the same thing only with audio, and I'm like, I don't, I don't help a. So now I get it, I think,

Cortex 23:17 I mean, in a way, that's that's how audio storage works to at this point, like, you know, we break digital audio stored, as you know, very, very tiny frames, but still like what's instead of like being stored as an actual manual waveform, which is how vinyl essentially starts audio, it looks like it's curving, in real time, very tiny vibrations into, you know, vinyl surface or you know, pressing it with a machine. But the idea is like, you know, a needle is following what's essentially a continuous curve. But with digital audio, what we do instead is take it and break it down to every, you know, 44,000th of a second or whatever, the encoding into just like a little, you know, 16 or 24 or 32 bit string of ones and zeros. And then it just jumps from those and we interpolate a waveform from there. So, so yeah, I guess that kind of that sort of is how

Jessamyn 24:07 it works. So what was the site culture aspect of this? So this is this

Cortex 24:11 is the first project we've had from tests. And while I talked about her stuff, previously on some episodes in the past, and she just does animation stuff, and has posted some cool projects about it. And then she had made a self link on the front page. Which don't sales link on the front page, but at the same time, it's like this felt like kind of a weird misunderstanding situation rather than like someone just deciding to be an asshole. Right. So we

Jessamyn 24:40 didn't interact on the site that much. Yeah, a lot of projects. Yeah. And so a lot of commenting or whatever.

Cortex 24:46 So it's I kinda like well, kind of close the account for now because like, it's, it was, it felt weird, but it also like it was very straightforwardly blatantly what it was. And so I close the account and dropped an email saying, Hey, I just wanted to check in with you because this feels like maybe a misunderstanding about posting stuff. And like, if if we can establish if that's the case, and this just doesn't happen again, then, you know, right. And I didn't hear back for a while. And then I did hear back eventually from I want to say her sister saying, Hey, I just kind of wanted to check about whether it be okay to post about this because I wasn't sure what happened. And I was like, Oh, hey, yeah, no, that was that was kind of a weird, unfortunate situation. And I was kind of hoping we could just make it work. But I'd never heard back and she's like, Oh, well, let me check in with her. And we ended up just like following up like, I feel like it's been a couple years or something, but but ended up looping back on that and establishing that, oh, that is what happened. And oh, this is like a, that needs not to happen. But obviously, you weren't being some spammy, dickheads sort of thing, right? So we just sort of got back in the loop. And now she's back and understands what happened and feels better knowing what happened. And I'm satisfied that like, this is not a shitty situation. So, hey, we got another projects post. And um, yeah, exactly. So that's a good outcome. And hey, photo drops. So yeah, a whole a whole whammy of things. All in One projects post.

Jessamyn 26:07 I like it. And then I get I don't know, if you have anything else to mention that I was just gonna mention that tell me no lies, did some Metafilter usage statistics? Oh, yeah. Just, you know, particularly kind of potent giving all this sort of, you know, future of the site discussions that have been happening, because a lot of these are charts that point down, though, you know, I have to say, and I think you and I are in total agreement about this. Except for the money issue, which I'm aware is not a small issue, but like charts that point down are not necessarily a problem. Right? If Yeah, it's the people that are around are the people who want to be around. You know, it looks like there's a whole bunch of users that kind of have been coming back around, which is kind of cool. New users aren't going down. So much. And I don't know, I was wondering if you had kind of drawn any conclusions for yourself about any any of this data? Because it's fascinating looking at, you know, what were what were high points, what were what were low points, what's going on, et cetera?

Cortex 27:14 Yeah, no, it's it is interesting. And it's, it's been, it's been good to see people like playing with these numbers and looking at them. And it has been like, absolutely something we've been talking about a bunch in the last month, last couple months, you know, when the posted a state of the state posting, basically, here's where we are money wise, here's what's going on with the site, you know, that was after already having spent a month plus having some pretty intense discussions about how well Metafilter does or doesn't provide a comfortable and sort of inclusive space for members of color. And, you know, a lot of it was kind of a tense time to revisit all of that discussion. But at the same time, you know, it is, you know, it's, it's still the reality of the situation, even if it's a tense time to talk about it is, yeah, if you look at graphs of site activity over time, you know, we've obviously had declining revenues, we've also had declining, you know, total amounts of activity on the site. And there's sort of two different ways of looking at it. And one of them is that, you know, if our revenue is going to tie in part two, how active the site is, then yeah, it is, it's a revenue problem for the site, if activity keeps going down, especially, you know, if we are seeing a need to support the site through community giving, which has increasingly become the case over the last few years, at the same time, you know, the people doing community giving are going to be people who have an attachment to the site. So if we see site, user base declining, that might make it harder to maintain that level.

Jessamyn 28:46 Right. And my understanding was, at least some of the, you know, major revenue is just

Cortex 28:52 viewers. Yeah. And that's, that's the thing, like, you know, there may be things we can do to sort of convince Google otherwise. But a big part of this trend is just like Google has their own priorities and right, you know, text based old websites that don't do the specific things that they are valuing. aren't getting the traffic like, you know, metal filter, ASP Metafilter doesn't get the traffic it used to get, and that leads directly to a fall off in ad revenue. And they've been cutting at rates as well, and pushing on other kind of product types. And, you know, so there's a lot of that stuff that like, that's kind of its own terrible externality that we can't control for check. But if we look at like, you know, what does site engagement look like? There's there's the twin questions of like, are we going to have enough contributions from people if the user base shrinks, and I think it's reasonable for people to say, well, that feels like, those things are in opposition. And maybe if the site is depending on user contributions, and the site doesn't grow, those contributions aren't going to grow either, which is a really, really fair point. I mean, it's something I've been sort of staring down the barrel of for a while, but but at the same time that it is a separate question like you say from Whether the site is good, if it's smaller, and that's something that I've said a few times over the years, it's like, you know, I don't think of metal filter is something that has to be a certain size in order to do a good job of being what metal filter is, like, you know, fundamentally, I feel like this place operates at its best as a community space and community spaces, don't even have the easiest time being bigger, like Metafilter, at its peak, was busier than it is by you know, I don't know, factor, probably like some, some some number 234, depending on what metric you're looking at it, certainly it was busier, like in 2010, than it is now. It's still, you know, fairly busy site, it's still got 1000s of people coming by every day. But like, there's that miserable distance between those those numbers, but meta filter as a space to be in and feel good about how he's conducting itself is doing way better these days than it was in 2010. Like, you know, it's been a slog, to sort of get people to generally behave a little bit better on average, and we've had to change some of the ways we manage that stuff from the mod side. Like, I'm telling you this about like, obviously, you were there for some pretty key early chunks of that. Sure. But But yeah, it's it's it's been an effort to sort of change how the site does things. And one of the things it's really hard for me trying to sort of navigate discussions about this is the fact that some of these things line up, but they don't, you know, it correlation and causation are two different things. And there are things that have been really worth doing on the site to make the site a better place that also aren't like, revenue centric, you know, and aren't necessarily growth centric. And I think there's, we're at a point where we have to try and like, look at how we can balance those things. Well, like I'm looking a lot, a lot, a lot of what came out of some of the discussions in the last month. A lot of the state of the site discussion stuff was like, Well, okay, but let's look at what growth for the site means let's look at how to maybe sort of reverse the shrinking trend, see if there are ways to do that. And I think there's people who have to position that, like, fundamentally, the only thing that's important is gross. And I'm, I'm not there, because I can't make it so fundamentally important to focus on that, that I throw out stuff that's also important.

Jessamyn 32:26 Like, one of the things that's really important is whether people are happy there, right? Yeah. And if they're not happy, is it because of things that could be addressed and dealt with? And are they things that are, you know, site values, or goals that aren't being upheld, or whatever, as opposed to growth? And of course, you know, having moderators that are paid and happy is part of that. And so yeah, you know, I can acknowledge that. super tricky, but just bringing in new people isn't to me, necessarily, optimum. I mean, I think that that's really interesting is trying to figure out how to do it differently. And it's been interesting watching people talk about the mega thread stuff, not to not to veer too

Cortex 33:08 far into another huge subject. But

Jessamyn 33:11 you know, I've been reading along with all those, all those threads, because it's interesting. And one of the things that super tricky is, if you're going to recreate part of Metafilter, from scratch, it's a really interesting question to think about which parts of it you try to take with and which parts of it you feel like you can jettison, right, because obviously, you can't build like Mega That is only the mega threads without also taking into account site culture, and maybe the things that never worked well, for the Mega threads. And it's been interesting watching people who aren't necessarily professional moderators, try and try and parse that out, re watching people think in real time about how to solve problems, for me, at least, has been super interesting, because, you know, it's goal oriented, right. And so, I talked about this in one of the other threads that like, you know, been reading a whole bunch more like Quaker fiction lately, like Quaker spacer fiction, of all things. And, you know, their whole idea of goal oriented community based decision making is, you know, an interesting thing to sort of think about, as opposed to just dropping it in your lap and being like, Josh, how are you going to deal with this when you're like, hopefully not alone. Thank you, but you don't have to sort of get too far into that. It's just been really interesting for me.

Cortex 34:37 Well, yeah. And I liked that. I liked that comment from you. I saw that and I think that really gets to the heart of how I really feel inclined to work on a lot of stuff on this site. And as I want to say as as tense and difficult and you know, at times acutely anxiety inducing last couple months have been it's it's also been it's been And good as you know, I could say kick in the pants. And that's true. Like, there's stuff, it's been useful, especially on the business side to be sort of reminded that just okay, we got to tackle some of this stuff a little bit more head on and not just let it differ. But it's also been kind of energizing in its own way, even if slightly difficult path to get there to thinking about the stuff that's really important to me about what metal filter is, and how it operates and what I want this community to do and how I want it to get there. And that idea of having a goal and having a sense that we are trying to do something, not just say, x is bad, but say and how to how do we make it better? Like how do we actually like, have a path towards saying, you know, not just like, bad stuff has happened, or this is dysfunctional? But like, what good stuff do we want to happen? And how do we do that in a functional way? And like, what is what is the route forward on that? And really focusing on that? Yeah,

Jessamyn 35:58 given very real restrictions, like, you know, money, which is real and time, which is real and limited attention, which is real. You know, it'd be interesting, it'll be interesting to see, I just realized that tell me no lies, is also older user T Khullar, because it links to his website. So I don't think I'm, you know, telling tales out of school or whatever.

Cortex 36:19 Yeah, it's just more of a username James thing. I think there.

Jessamyn 36:24 We should probably pivot off this topic, because we will talk about it non stop all day.

Cortex 36:29 Yeah, I'm sure we'll pick it back to it before the podcast is over. So yeah, no, it's it's, it's obviously there's been a ton of stuff sort of think about there. And it's been, it's been useful for me to spend some time really trying to focus on that. And, and we've been doing a lot of work on trying to organize, you know, a revision of kind of all the documentation on the site. And that's coming along nicely. It's, uh,

Jessamyn 36:51 yeah. Most of that, like, yeah, like, that was a long time ago, I think, great idea.

Cortex 36:57 There's a lot of stuff from the 2000s in there. Like, there's stuff that you wrote. And stuff that Matt wrote, like, before you were even working on this. Like, there's a lot of a lot of, I would say charming cruft is probably the best way I can put like, it's it's stuff that's been around on the site so long, that it feels like part of the site identity, but I'm not sure a lot of it is as

Jessamyn 37:20 getting some people don't find it fucking charming. Like, Well, yeah.

Cortex 37:26 So yeah, like taking that stuff. You're like

Jessamyn 37:28 nostalgia trip and be like, ah, and other people are like, yeah, that feels totally alienating to me. Yeah,

Cortex 37:33 let's take some of the stuff that like made sense, when, uh, some some white dude wrote it in 2002, for his hobby project, and let's maybe take that and, you know, precedent Amber and put it on a shelf somewhere. And then let's put something new there that like reads like it was written for people who were on the internet in 2019. And they aren't just a bunch of people down in Silicon Valley working on side projects, while working in startups, like, let's change it

Jessamyn 37:57 for their face. Right. So it's just a group of sort of insiders. And then you don't have to think about a lot of the things that I think you guys are now thinking about.

Cortex 38:06 Yeah, like it needs it needs to be, it needs to be less historical, just in a literal sense. But it also needs to be more contemporary in a useful sense. It needs to, it needs to be something that when someone comes to the site, you know, they get what we're doing now, and how we're trying to do it and have a sense that this is something that we are thinking about right now, and not just thought about 15 years ago and have run with it. So it's been really interesting, looking at and reviewing that stuff. And we've been working on that off and on for a while. But like, last couple months, it's gotten us back to really like lowering the shoulder and trying to make sort of daily or weekly progress on it. And I'll be excited to be able to roll that stuff out. It'll be nice to sort of bring that sort of updated, take on things to the community and get some feedback on it. Great. Yeah,

Jessamyn 38:53 not on a Friday afternoon.

Cortex 38:54 Probably not probably on a Friday afternoon.

Jessamyn 38:57 You know, still mad right. I have like flashbacks. You know, here's the fanfare redesigned, see? Yeah. And you know, I know why that happened. I'm really happy. It got you know, brought back to the drawing board. I think it would be cool to see fanfare be different, but oh my god.

Cortex 39:13 Yep. Yep. Yeah, that desire to try and

Jessamyn 39:17 do you in your non work life where you just look in the mirror and you're like, Oh, my God, I've become my father. Or something. Like every now and again, I'll like look in the mirror and be like, when did I get my mom's hair? You know what I mean? Or some random thing where like, you totally didn't notice you did that thing. And then suddenly, you're like, what? I thought I'd been paying attention. Yeah, now there's a boy. There's sorry, I didn't mean to like pick a scab or something. I'm so sorry. No,

Cortex 39:45 no, it's, it's, I want to briefly say I guess like, I found myself a couple times in discussions like recently talking about some of the site stuff, you know, basically prefacing a comment with like, Hey, I don't want to just like you know, dunk on Matt here, but dunk on Matt. And that's the thing I like, like I

Jessamyn 40:03 I mean, Matt, Matt was an is a great guy, but he made mistakes. I mean, I'm sure I made mistakes too, like, I don't want to be like, and I never did. But like, you know, he made mistakes. And those because of you know, Metafilter never forgets, right? They carry along and people remember them and especially people who work there early like I'm sure you and restless Nomad, and probably to a lesser extent Taz. And you know, everybody else had to kind of be like, Ah, it's hard because you wind up with a legacy of sometimes just having to do a job to be not that guy, you know, to say nothing of what you're positively trying to work toward. Well,

Cortex 40:47 and that's, that's one of the things I've thought about. And like, and this isn't, this isn't really about Matt, this is just more about that. That sense of legacy in general, like it's a systemic thing. One of the things I've thought about a lot as we've been sort of like trying to work through reprioritizing, and reorganizing, where our focus is on stuff and planning for the next few months, is like realizing that there's a lot of stuff that we've done in the last few years, that doesn't feel super visible, because as I stop and look at it, like I realize a lot of the stuff we've worked on has been more about, you know, me as the person managing the site and us as a whole mod team, sort of trying to reroute and undo some of those legacy things

Jessamyn 41:29 that come from, you know, gigantic threads where you talk about, like, now we have these meetings, we have these public law, we touch base a lot more, you all talk as a team a lot more. That kind of thing,

Cortex 41:40 when that's that's part of what I was realizing as thinking about, like talking about some of that stuff is like we've ended up saying that stuff in some of these threads, because I realized it's just not visible. I mean, there's, there's kind of no reason it would be because to some extent, when Matt was in charge, you know, we worked as a team to try and sort of make that work as well as possible. And now we try and make this stuff work as well as possible,

Jessamyn 41:59 we also format in a way that I don't think the mods are like doing for you in a in a in a in a, in a better way. Now, if that makes sense. You don't me. I

Cortex 42:08 mean, I think I think it's so much more likely at this point that we are all kind of on the same page to start with, like we're making that such a goal that like, it's just sort of like, it's less of an issue of trying to figure out how to talk publicly about what's going on. And we're just like, literally talking about what's going on, which feels very healthy. But also, I think it's been kind of like, a somewhat seamless, or at least close to that experience for people who aren't directly involved in that. And so it feels weird to feel the need to actually say, okay, but, but at the same time, the flip side of that is like, if that is something that's not super visible, I understand where people would be coming from feeling like, hey, you know, but what's being, you know, what's going on, you know, where's the forward progress? And, you know, some extent if we are being reactive, and sort of reparative about, like, older legacy issues with how, like the site and the business works. Yeah, that's not making that sort of, like forward progress in a way that people can see, basically, oh, sorry, go on just a bit. Basically, I can get where people are coming from, like, you know, something that for me is personally frustrating, cuz I'm like, oh, but all this stuff. But that's not you know, the stuff that other people outside of, like, the half dozen people like making the site work, you know, aren't going to be super aware of

Jessamyn 43:22 you think about the strides you've made essentially not being the old model. But it's literally just erasing a negative, which is different than like creating a positive. You know what I mean, exactly, like some of the stuff sort of Matt never did, because it was too hard. You're at least thinking about doing but isn't stuff that's necessarily sort of gotten there. And for people who are used to 2019 websites, it's interesting. Yeah, the extent to which you're like, but we're not mad, and people are like, That's not.

Cortex 43:54 That's not enough bar, that that's not the metric everybody.

Jessamyn 43:57 People are like, we didn't even know that was a thing. So yeah.

Cortex 44:01 So it's been it's been interesting to try and like really do some self examination about my sense of progress. And like the team internal sense of progress versus like the world facing stuff. And those are two different things. And like, the stuff we've done has been important and useful. Yeah. But it's not the only thing that he's doing. So it's, it's been been a lot, a lot of self examination, a lot of sort of like reassessing, like where our headspace is at as a team, as we've been working on stuff. And I think that's been a good thing. It's been helping us sort of get reorganized about some of the stuff we're focusing on. So and now we'll talk about

Jessamyn 44:39 my mother hates my suicides and so the natural you don't understand this, she won't sing along. Again just Tell me where you want to go. I've been like watching more movies lately, because I have like some shoulder problem that I've been trying to work on. And so I do have to say, like, getting the dip a little bit more into fanfare, like I saw booksmart, which is like a nerdy girl movie, and then getting to go to fanfare and being able to like, talk to other nerds about it. Super important. Very cool. Yeah. Yeah. What book? What? Yeah, so

Cortex 45:23 haven't seen that, but it's on my list. I like I like, I like the folks involved. So yeah, and I've been I dipped into fanfare a couple times recently, too. I've been happy to have done that. I'm reading The Broken Earth trilogy by NK Jemisin. Right now. Oh, loving it. I like it a whole lot.

Jessamyn 45:41 You don't. W Kamau Bell is cousin. I did not know that. Yeah, I just read his kind of autobiography ish book. And he talks a little bit about her.

Cortex 45:51 Nice. Ya know, I'm really, really lucky man. It was nice to go. And like, you know, the first book came out four years ago. And so there was a fanfare thread from like, three years ago when I think the first book got its Hugo nom, and that may have kicked off some more attention. But someone posted a or maybe that's when that's when we let people post books. I don't remember the timing. Anyway, there's a three year old thread that was really nice to go read through and then add some thoughts at the end of and, you know, yeah, I like I like, I like that long continuity to fanfare threads. It's nice to be able to go sort of know that people had this conversation. I can add a little bit to it after the fact. But yeah, yeah, I've been reading that I read The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

Jessamyn 46:35 That's one of hers. I haven't read. It's good.

Cortex 46:38 Well, we watched the there was a, you know, TV show on a mini series, I guess, a presumably one season series of it. Like eight episodes or so there was a very loose adaptation like it was a modern and a different cast of characters, a larger cast, etc. But it was nice to go back and actually read the old story to see where that sort of adaptation was taken from. And it was, I don't know, it's just nice to read some Shirley Jackson actually started reading. We've always lived in the castle favorite book. A couple months ago, I had to stop. I think I was just like, I was in a stressed out place and like having trouble dealing with like, people having ungenerous feelings about things in general. And so reading a book that starts with basically like this mutual, massive antipathy between like the Yep, main character and like this entire towns, yeah. This is true. Jackson is too good at conveying that sense of social thing.

Jessamyn 47:36 That is literally one of my favorite books of all time, but I could totally see why that was not the right time or place

Cortex 47:41 for it. Yeah, exactly. So I'd like to come back to at some time, you know, I have that problem with fiction sometimes. I couldn't finish Oryx and Crake, when I first tried to read it. And that too, I like Margaret Atwood. I thought the writing was good. But it was just like, there was a vibe of sort of doom to the whole thing legislation. Nope, nope. Right. But that actually, I went to go. I finished Hill House and I went to look it up on fanfare. And I'm not sure whether or not somebody's posted a book because we have a name collision problem. We're still trying to figure out a good solution to because the way fanfare was initially built, not thinking about the possibility of properties coming up across multiple media. Oh, some cases you can't get at, like both the movie and the book. Yes, we do a specific, like flipping a switch under the hood. So that's an ongoing engineering project. But as a result, like if there has been a discussion on fanfare about the book, I haven't read it yet, because I can't get at it, which is very dumb.

Jessamyn 48:39 Well, and she has written some really interesting books about if I'm remembering correctly, about moving to Vermont, like and being kind of a let me see if I remember. Like memoirs. Yeah, she's got a book, weird title. But it's called life among the savages and uneasy Chronicle, which is essentially about her moving to Vermont, and living in a big fancy house with her Hellion children. And, you know what, what that's like, and it's played is kind of almost like an Erma Bombeck type comedy. But for me who's like, you know, someone who lives in Vermont and I'm like, what these Lottie Dov fancy people come and get blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But they are very funny and have kind of a specific one of them's called Raising demons have a very specific nostalgia aspect for me. Yeah. Short stories she had published in women's magazines.

Cortex 49:49 And we've had don't I mean, I associate Shirley Jackson very strongly Stephen King, because basically she was his literary hero, and I think he's had more than once like basically the reason he started writing horror fiction Hey, it's interesting because like, you know, some of her books are like, you know, like hunting of Hill House is arguably a horror story. Like it's, you know, it's people having a hard emotional time in the face of genuinely supernatural, terrible things and death and ghosts and whatnot is involved. To some extent, at least, you know, the but she also, she's just such a careful mannered writer of people interacting, like the things about her stories that work like you look at the lottery, or I guess, you know, we've always lived in the castle too, as I understand the summary from Angela after she did actually finish reading it. It's like, you know, these aren't, these aren't ghost stories. These are just stories about people. And some of the sort of strange terror of people interacting and being self organizing. And, you know, that's, that's not like, jumpscares that's just like, kind of the horror of human existence and coexistence, right. Stephen

Jessamyn 50:54 King is a little bit more monstery. Yeah. Like, he just realizes the horror of, you know, human interaction. So I can relate

Cortex 51:02 exactly. And I mean, you can see that stuff in Stephen King's like writing, but at the same time, it's not like, it's not the same thing. You know, he became a very different writer than Shirley Jackson, even though it's sort of clear where that font is, and where that that he has

Jessamyn 51:16 is so and the last time I talked to him was in an elevator. That's right. That's right. Yet his iPad didn't want to talk to me at all. I didn't want to talk to me. That

Cortex 51:27 is a good setup. Yeah.

Jessamyn 51:29 I talk about five tasks. So sorry, it is boring. You're not forcing your brain to the time not boring. But we're just gonna have to spice it up a little.

Cortex 51:41 This is the podcast that people come to because this is what they want. Apparently, because they love Yes.

Jessamyn 51:47 Or no. Been a hell of a time I forgot to talk to you is like, yeah, yeah, bring a lot.

Cortex 51:54 It's it's good to talk to you. It's, it's maybe bad for everyone else, like skip a month. We just want to chat. But hey, you know, here we are. Let's talk about let's let's get that big old, the blue that the actually fucking blue. Okay, I'll talk briefly about that. Again, we turned the blue back on the default site when you come to it has colors again. And I'm really, really happy about that. Wait, what? Yeah, know what you don't notice if you're logged in, right? Because it looks like however you think it looks about I'm saying if you if you go to meta filter from like, not logged in, from a clean browser or in incognito mode, it's going to be blue now instead of light. Weight. We change the color,

Jessamyn 52:34 Josh? Wasn't it? Always?

Cortex 52:38 No, no. How? Okay, you did. I guess you were out by the time this happened. But when we rolled modern theme out, one of the things Matt decided he wanted to do was like, actually do the fucking professional white background. Like why you finally won? Yeah, this was like 2014 Oh, how did you not know about this? I mean, you may have just been like, yeah, arm's length. At that point? Yeah. Shortly after

Jessamyn 53:03 not giving a fuck about the site whatsoever, and gradually got sucked back in. Wait a second. So you're fucking serious. You're not fucking with me right now?

Cortex 53:10 Absolutely. I'm not fucking with you. This is not a big

Jessamyn 53:12 site has been white with a blue bar across the top for logged in users and logged in users could keep blue versus white.

Cortex 53:22 Yeah, yeah, I had to pester Matt at the time into adding a dark mode for the new theme for the modern theme so that you could actually easily switch to the colors.

Jessamyn 53:32 I just wanted to punch him so much by the time I left, which was right when he moved the redesign out that I was not paying attention, because we had just had the fight over titles. And then he wanted to roll out fanfare like it was just a very bad. We have always lived in the castle. I couldn't finish knowing about this, which was

Cortex 53:50 super understandable. So

Jessamyn 53:52 wait, so you didn't even announce it in like meta talk or anything? Because I have been paying attention. I mentioned

Cortex 53:57 in the anniversary post on meta talk. Yeah.

Jessamyn 54:03 I read that. Okay. Well, it wasn't

Cortex 54:05 it wasn't a huge, like, here's the thing, like it's an announcement for people who are not logged into the site who are simultaneously not the people who are going to read the announcement and not the people who are particularly in a care so like, on the one hand, emotionally for me, like as a sentimental thing. It was a huge thing to do and as just like a sense of a sense of like the site identity and direction. It's also important, like it's not just strictly because it felt good to me. It's like because it feels right, it feels like this is what I want people I want people to think of that weird blue website, you know, that's always been beautiful to me. And five years later,

Jessamyn 54:38 I swear to God, I read this thread. Okay,

Cortex 54:42 well, you know, it's it's been a busy weird time. You know, this is something that

Jessamyn 54:47 the people over to my house for cheese, so

Cortex 54:50 you had a pretty good party.

Jessamyn 54:51 We'll talk about that later. But yeah,

Cortex 54:53 anyway, so the blue is blue again, we can call it the blue with less confusion. That's that's pretty much the whole thing. Right. But let's talk about things we liked on the limits and what it was a Metafilter. Plus, you're like, Okay,

Jessamyn 55:07 um, well, of course, the one that I loved, just because I am old is the Amazon promotion ever. We have cameras thing. And then there was like Amazon Prime Day, which I don't even know what it was, but it was like, go buy shit on Amazon, everybody gets free shipping, I don't even know what it was. But basically, there was camera equipment, by accident, which sold for cheaper. And then there was a sort of a feeding frenzy of people trying to get stuff with Mitch mismarked prices. This is by rgt, who's an old school metal filter user, very active malt shop user, so I sort of like him. And the thread isn't even very long. But it is people who kind of remember that, that sort of we have cameras thing happened Norton DC shows back up on the thread, and it just kind of, you know, made me happy and then devolved into people arguing a little bit about whether somebody's gonna get fired,

Cortex 56:09 which is like very onpoint for the original thread 18 years ago to

Jessamyn 56:13 original threat 18 years ago had people I believe, who had purchased cameras. And so a little bit about the morality of that were

Cortex 56:21 slowed down. Yeah. Yeah. If someone today actually said, Hey, I just noticed Amazon's got a low price on this. Everybody go and made that a post that we probably wouldn't delete it. If not, because to be,

Jessamyn 56:35 you know, like, I used to an early internet, like, there were like sites that were like, Hey, we just made this new thing, click here for a free sample. And they could give out free samples to the people using the internet at the time and not go completely broke. You know, so you get like free samples of like, whatever USB sticks or tea or little snacks or whatever. Now fuck it, you can't you know that she gets on Twitter. And suddenly you've got a million people who want whatever you you're selling. So it was interesting to me is kind of a watch the watch the environment change. Yeah. And sort of how to deal with that. What about you?

Cortex 57:13 Point, you know, it's, it's, on the one hand, it's been a very sort of busy and stressful couple months. On the other hand, there's been a bunch of stuff, I really, really liked our metal filter. I liked this post by clause soon, about how to make preserved lemons in the workshop. And it's a short video tutorial on making some preserved lemons.

Jessamyn 57:32 Somebody added salt to this because of course, I was the lemon person brief.

Cortex 57:37 And it's, it's, it's like, it's not something that really needs a spoiler warning. But the whole joke is like, you know, you chop up some lemons, you put some salt in there, you put them in a container and let them sit for a few days. But the guy's like, Well, okay, first thing you need to do is, you know, take your lemons and put it on the cutting board, and oh, I don't have a cutting board. And so you get a two minute montage of him making a cutting board from scratch in his woodshop so is

Jessamyn 57:56 it a joke? Or is it just like a sincere person who's kind of doing? Like, like, Is it funny?

Cortex 58:03 It's, it's, it's a stick, but it's not like a slapstick comedy. It's like, it's an excuse to he's like, it's an excuse as a joke he set up to like, make a cutting board and make a knife and then like, you know, make a box to put them in. So it's like a video about doing those things dressed up as a oops, I forgot I need to make a knife before I can cut up the lemons. Oops, I forgot I need to make a box before I can put them all right. All right. And it's just like, you know, it's 1011 minutes like it's a nicely edited little concise workshop video. I think it's a thing that guy does. And I just enjoyed it a great deal. Like it was cute. It was cute. Is is Howard described the old

Jessamyn 58:37 one was like, when's the glassblowing gonna start?

Cortex 58:41 I mean, it's it was it was not implausible, like, you know, oh, now I need a jar to put them in. Oh, well, you know. So I really enjoyed that. I liked this post from Meech about a net joy at 538 doing some research into where foul, where foul balls land

Jessamyn 59:00 of mine. It's a legitimate concern, like I watch minor league ball and I would like to briefly complain the paw Sox, which are the Red Sox feeder team who are in Pottekkatt are moving to VISTA. So they're going to be the whoo socks, which is garbage. But we go try and catch up minor league game, like a lot. Like I think we went to three games last summer. It was glorious, but I am actually like irrationally afraid of getting hit by a foul ball. You know, like, Jim and I practice like him putting his hand up in front of my face. So that I don't I don't know, like nobody gets hit by foul balls. People have gloves, you know, and it's fine but for whatever reason, unreasonable fear totally unreasonable.

Cortex 59:46 Well, it's it's a weird thing like the chances are very small but also like you know, it could happen and you're putting yourself like specifically in a situation where that strange thing could happen. So but anyway, the the write up in the link was nice some of the discussion in the thread last night Yeah, I just I thought was a cool thing. And it was one of the things where I say this in the thread, you know, like, I'd always sort of wondered about this and never really looked into it. So it was great. It was nice seeing someone looking into it you Happy birthday

Jessamyn 1:00:49 in the pandering to Jessamyn category, which there always is. And I mean, it's not even pandering to me. It's just there's lots of people like me on metal filter, arbitrary and capricious. pointed to the New York Public Library blog, which presents the literary tattoos of New York Public Library staff. So it's just library tattoos. But they are if you're a library person, the fucking best, right? Because they, you know, it's about people who love books, we were talking about reading earlier. Like what tattoos they get for books they really care about. And yeah, man, there's one person who just has like a card catalog drawer on their leg. And it's the coolest thing you know, people get quotations, little books, the New York Public Library logo, like I can't even imagine, but that person has been working there since they're 15. They're now 36 and decided now is the time to get it. And it's just it's just a sweet, a sweet little thread to like one neat thing by arbitrary and capricious who used to be Yeah, Creek, Creek Creek, Chad, and I liked it. Yeah. Sweet. I always like it. And you know, there's not a lot of comments, the comments are just like, This is great.

Cortex 1:02:13 I like it. And speaking of nice, sweet little things, I liked this post from Nika spark about a Dublin Bus pride video. It's just a nice little about two minutes or so. Just video talking, like like capturing some footage and interview stuff with some older queer folks in Dublin going to pride for the first time basically being forced by young people in their lives to come out and finally go to pride. Yes, like

Jessamyn 1:02:43 I'm already like,

Cortex 1:02:44 yeah. I'm, yeah, I'm getting more thick in the throat. But anyway, it's very nice. I thought it was I thought was very nice, little thing. So I appreciated that. Just the other day yesterday. That's the other day, a depth 256 posted a video of a guy doing cover of Enter Sandman. In the style of David Bowie. Like let's let's dance era. Oh, and that's exactly what it is. It's like a guy who does videos where he you know, does style like covers or reinterpretations of stuff?

Jessamyn 1:03:20 Identity? 56 Yeah. Oh, I've seen this guy

Cortex 1:03:23 before. Yeah, like, this guy does stuff. I don't remember his name. But like, he's, he's a dude. And it's good. And it's really interesting. Like there was a thing mentioned in the YouTube comments on it and then reiterated several times in the Mi fi comments and I agree that playback at point seven five feels much more bogey than like at full speed. So anybody listening definitely give that a shot because it's it's interesting. Like I liked it both ways. But like slow downs, like ya know, it really does feel a little bit more Bowie stretched out like this. Yeah, just just a fun, nice little video and some a couple of things linked in there.

Jessamyn 1:04:00 I love it. Speaking of videos, yeah. My man not on display posted a thread about two D Trick Shots, which is essentially like, flat kind of Rube Goldberg machine. It's it's, it's hard to explain, basically, but like, it's basically like a marble coaster thing. But the whole things wind up being flat ish like you like you have a bunch of magnets and stuff on the refrigerator.

Cortex 1:04:33 Yes, I've done it like a shallow incline on a table surface. I'm seeing Yes. Oh, this is yeah, this is Oh, boy. This is good.

Jessamyn 1:04:41 Yeah. And it gets better. Like the first ones just straightforward. And then they get super complicated and they're just you know, single link.

Cortex 1:04:49 Alright, I shouldn't just sit and watch it. I guess but yes. No, I had missed that entirely. That's fantastic.

Jessamyn 1:04:56 Yeah, super, super fun.

Cortex 1:04:58 There was this is This is just exactly what it is. Orange dinosaur slide made a post about chickens and tutus, just chickens and tutus. That's the whole thing. If you're thinking I want to see chicken a to do with a picture, I got several ones for you. MiX WHAT? It's a grab bag of of links to chickens and tutus in various interpretations. That's a that's the whole thing later on Oregon's dinosaur slide added a comment saying important post update. baby chickens wearing cupcake liner tutus fall so exactly what it sounds like. And so yes, go get your Go get your chicken

Jessamyn 1:05:31 fashion trend. It is really kind of cool looking. Yeah,

Cortex 1:05:35 no, it's it's kind of great. No, the first video really is mostly someone struggling to pick up a chicken to put a tutu on which was like serious bonus content for me.

Jessamyn 1:05:43 Well, of course reminds me that that milkman song right. Chickens and tutus. Chickens. tutus.

Cortex 1:05:48 I don't know that doesn't matter. Oh, it's called bitching Camaro. Oh,

Jessamyn 1:05:53 Camaro I ran over my neighbor. But you know, it scans with lots of different words, including tickets and tutus.

Cortex 1:06:01 Yes. Very nice. Yeah. I also liked this post from bond Cliff about someone who took Coolio song Gangster's Paradise, and the weird I all song Amish Paradise, and then just jumped back and forth every other beat

Jessamyn 1:06:16 on the audio and it gives me arrhythmia. This is

Cortex 1:06:19 it's so good. Like it's kind of terrible that way. But it's Oh, it's it's really fantastic. And it turned into a bunch of people linking to weird stuff in the thread as well, which is the My second favorite thing about posts like this, or maybe my first favorite and the post itself is the second favorite. I don't know their their their neck and neck. But I enjoyed it a great deal. Bunch of goofy music mashup cut up stuff in there.

Jessamyn 1:06:42 I'm just trying to look at the things I commented in the other thread that I really liked. And I think I didn't come in and was just this really basic one by Etrigan. About, we sell our pics pizzas for 1650. Here's how that cost breaks down. And it's literally talking into the costs that go into a 15 inch cheese pizza, including, you know, 30 cents for the box and everything else. It's like a It's on the takeout, which is a website that I don't know, but I feel like I should know it. But basically, you know, you'd make $5 profit, you spent $5 on rent, the sauce is $2 The crust costs almost nothing, that little pizza circles, 13 cents, et cetera, et cetera. And so you know, then you have the sorry, the thing it's one of those like scrolling websites that like you scroll, and then you get like another article. And the other article I got is Texas man faces trial for sending chocolate dick to police. Oh, moving on. I don't even know. Yeah. But it's a whole bunch of people talking about like margins, and business and pizza and blah And blah. And I just enjoy it. I like kind of how the economics break down threads. And I like pizza. So when Yeah,

Cortex 1:08:04 nice. I enjoyed more than I expected to the thread about the trailer for the film version of cats.

Jessamyn 1:08:12 So I just like, was off the internet for a couple hours. And then I got back on the internet. It was like, like, you know how you watch a movie and like, something happens and suddenly the entire world is different. You know, and like that's like a fictional device. I feel like but like I got back on my Twitter and like I follow 1000s of people. And like every goddamn one of them had something to say about this movie. And it was just so and then they were united in their hatred for it. And I was just very confused by how it like hit everybody in literally the same two hour period.

Cortex 1:08:54 It was It felt very, like it was much more of a Twitter phenomenon than a lot of other goofy why why? I don't know I don't know maybe because cats maybe just because of the singular nature of cats as a sort of cultural touchstone slash like, you know, whipping boy of, of easy dunks and goose Andrew Lloyd Webber musical theater Broadway. I don't fucking know exactly like, it's really it's not? Well, that was one of the things about the thread. Like I left a note fairly early on, like, people were having a good time. And then a couple people were sort of like making shitty furry comments like, well, you know, just don't do that. No, don't do that. You can manage to say all sorts of things about Andrew Lloyd Webber and this musical without just like, randomly being shitty about furries in general.

Jessamyn 1:09:39 Those people who like when I mentioned FERS, I'm just sort of curious and interested. You know, I don't have any dunking comments like why would you that seems

Cortex 1:09:46 like a lot of people in the thread like we're just sort of talking about in the context of like, hey, free culture is also a thing I wonder how or like, you know, my from my friends, this is how this has been received there. And that was like an interesting

Jessamyn 1:09:57 conversation because I know that when I you know, there's certain media that I consume, where I'm like, Oh, this really appeals to like a very niche thing that I'm into, and I feel really seen in a way that is, has, like, you know, calculating stars is like a why a book and the the protagonist is a Jewish female astronaut, right and like her Judaism is not a big deal, but it is real and she mentions it. And it's it was interesting to me how much that mattered in my enjoyment of this book, generally speaking, because I really felt like attached to it in a way you know, I'm not even that attached to Judaism but for whatever reason, the fact that this was the thing was super important. And so I'm always curious where other people find themselves either attached to or hating it, right? Like you know, maybe this is really bad for people who are really into fairy culture so I'll have to read the thread because I'm curious

Cortex 1:10:53 there's a there's a very good sub thread of it that like raise it like a couple more notches for me and it starts somewhere a little bit north of this comment from Kira demon but his work Hydra demon lays out their actual take on it in more detail after sort of an all caps at initial like I can't believe this is always fucked up comment, which is that Mr. Mustapha Lee's from TS Eliot's poem is definitely a female cat. And that the play completely fails to get an acknowledge and run with this. And that that's a goddamn travesty. And the argument is basically, the TS Eliot's poem is playfully suggesting that Mr. Mustapha leaves is a playful magical cat who does impossible things and does magic tricks and like the biggest trick of all, is he pulls seven kittens out of a hat. And the idea is like well, it's none of this is Magic cats just pull off this weird bullshit all the time and they're cats and they're weird to us. And someone thought this was a boy cat but was actually girl cat which we found out what it had kittens. It's it becomes like a text versus sub text versus like competing canon thing because like the play Mr. Mustapha uses a dude like, cat. But there doesn't seem to be any acknowledgement. The idea that's anything other than this is a guy named Mr. Mustapha Lee's

Jessamyn 1:12:05 well, and you kind of wish, I think nerds especially, you would hope for some clever commenting on text versus subtext or like theater versus poem or whatever, you would hope there would be winks and nods that you as kind of a spark nerdy person could get and appreciate instead of like, half Fuck, this is just

Cortex 1:12:25 Yeah. But who knows? Like, this is I enjoyed the conversation, probably because I had like no investment in it to begin with, like, I don't really know the musical at all. I don't know, the TSLA poems. So just seeing people sort of like, say, oh, wait a second. But what about this and have like, a good natured argument about like, text and subtext and competing Canons was like, I like I like this. This is good. This is, this is more than I expected from people like just goofing on the cats trailer to begin with,

Jessamyn 1:12:49 right? Well, and for me, like I saw cats in the theater. And like, really liked it. And so one of the things that's also like, it was literally probably the first theatrical, maybe the first musical I ever went to that wasn't in high school, you know, and yeah, and we dressed up and went into Boston, like, everything was like a big deal. And I remember it, because we were like, I felt like weird, deprived kids. And so this was huge. And I really enjoyed it. Right, me and my sister. And it was great. And so it's very interesting to kind of revisit that as a grown up and be like, well, you know, what was good and bad? And like, do I do I maintain my opinion about that now to revisit it, like, I can look at that trailer and be like, I've never seen that movie. Like, that's, it's not even on the table. But you know, but but the idea of cats and like, what you do with it still holds like a special place for me, just because of my weird childhood and not anything else.

Cortex 1:13:55 That was part of that was part of the flow of the thread to like, you know, like, the initial content of thread was a lot like the Twitter thing, which was like people just like what? You know, and then, you know, you had people sort of start to say, Well, okay, on the one hand, what the fuck, but on the other hand, I do kind of like hats. I mean, it's, it's weird, but like it, you know, and this sort of turned into a little bit more of a all around discussion and like, prizing apart, like, which parts of the dunking on it were like, justified and which parts were just people sort of dunking on it because dunking on cats is what you do and Yeah, no it was it was a fun thread it's

Jessamyn 1:14:26 a fun as hell thread I can tell just sort of just sort of by looking at it and for not fun as hell threads but threads I actually enjoyed was the demise of Mad Magazine. Oh dread from the Fourth of July because like Fourth of July around here like we always like go do stuff there's like family people we hang out with or like, you know, kind of chosen family people we hang out with. We're always like out eating and drinking and then I get home and I'm like, What did I miss on the internet? And so then I got to sort of see this wow, there's even an editor's note from back up into you guys were like all on vacation, I guess. Yep. And, you know, Mad Magazine is going to stop publishing Mad Magazine that, you know, has traded owners or moved owners over time. And you know, it was kind of bought by a company that just sort of couldn't make it work. And it's, you know, it's been 67 years, but it still has some of the people who were kind of formative mad writers. I mean, Al Jaffe is like still around, you know, and still publishing and I just read his autobiography, which is fascinating. Like he was stolen back to Lithuania by his mother, when his parents split up, and grew up in like, completely neglectful abject poverty for like six years, and then got kind of stolen back to the United States by his father, like so interesting his story because he's like a jokey, jokey guy. And so the thread is all just people appreciating it. And, you know, kind of remembering what Mad Magazine was or meant to them, or whatever. Like one of the things I think I've probably talked about this before, but like, Jim, and I have a lot of things in common that are not kind of the usual things you have in common. Like we grew up kind of in the same general orbit. But we also like had, you know, we were both like kids who would stay up late on Sunday night to like, Listen to Dr. Demento. And we both like read Mad Magazine avidly. So it's like a very specific. I mean, it's not that specific. But I think, you know, for this hat relationship, to have both people be like, weird, nerdy, jokey joke, people in that same way. And like, you know, Jim, of course, is a lot more of a class clown. And I'm just more of a, I don't even know what my thing is, right? I like my humor, sometimes I'm just, but you know, talking about Mad Magazine with him. And like when I was helping clean out my mom's house and finding my old box of Mad Magazine books, and the two of us just sitting up there and not like sweaty attic, like reading jokes to each other that we remembered from when we were kids. Like, it's really like a cementing part of our relationship. That's already pretty good. And so this was just a way to be like, ah, like, remember, remember, remember? So yeah, I appreciated this thread for getting to take me back to a place like that. Yeah. And I think that's it for my, my blue metal filter.

Cortex 1:17:31 I'm gonna show a couple other things real quick. One is a thread from us be posted back in middle of June, about the protests situation in Hong Kong, where there's been a extradition law fractus, essentially, about extradition, including to mainland China from Hong Kong. That turned into huge, huge protests in Hong Kong, something like a million people out in the street, a huge chunk of the population. And it was like a very big thing. But also one of the things it's like, very big, if the media situation where you are, is covering it, and the United States not super visible, like it's something that like I'm sure showed up in New York Times, but it wasn't getting the kind of coverage you would expect from something that was maybe happening in the United States or in like Western Europe. And it turned into a really good, tight focused collection of updates on that whole situation over the course of several weeks, basically. And I really appreciate it like it's something that like, was not really perfectly on my radar, because it's just, this doesn't end up on my news radar. But metal filter ends up being kind of my radar for stuff. And so it was really nice to be able to get an idea of what was going on with it. So I liked that. Not a not a fun post. It's like a big, difficult situation. But but it was a really good roundup of it, and a really good collection of sort of links and updates for remedy. So that's

Jessamyn 1:18:59 nice. I mean, I feel like that's super helpful. For me, it's great luck to have a person who understands that what the hell's going on who can really bring some usefulness to it as our news media is increasingly useless or focused on you know, Dippy, Democratic debates that don't matter, as opposed.

Cortex 1:19:20 Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And like, insofar as part of what we've been talking about, in the last while is sort of trying to thoughtfully make space for perspective outside of like, just like the majority, white American demography of the site, you know, being able to let people feel like their space to make those posts and then help those posts go well, you know, feels like an important part of what we're trying to get done. And I want to keep sort of making that possible, make that feel good and doable. And that was a good example of a thread that really just like it just worked, too. It wasn't something where we needed to do like moderation to make it happen. You know, we left a note or two but I think cuz I don't think we even really had to delete anything, people just sort of got it and contributed where they were able to, and it was really good. So

Jessamyn 1:20:06 well, just one of the things, you know, whatever, everybody's got kind of their ideal metal filter, right. But like, I would love to see more of that kind of stuff. For a much wider range of topics, you know what I mean? Like not to just be like, or politics filter, blah, blah, blah. But to be like, you know, if you really understand a thing, I mean, I think hopefully, this is one of the things that removing the bar to friends linking will allow people to be able to do is be like, Do you have a real deep understanding about a topic while at the same time a thick enough skin, so other people misunderstanding, the topic isn't going to make you lose your mind, I mean, because it is that combination, right? Like, watch, you post about a thing you care about, and then a bunch of people jump all over it in a way that makes you aggravated, like, you know, it's got to be a little bit of both. But, you know, learning about that kind of stuff from people who have had different lived experiences is super interesting, especially if it doesn't push any of those, like, I'm gonna get immediately defensive and upset buttons, if at all possible. It's hard, but, you know, I love I love that kind of stuff.

Cortex 1:21:12 Ya know, it's, it's interesting, and it's in really enriching. And, you know, it also, it helps sort of set and reinforce the idea of this as a sort of global and really culturally heterogeneous space. And I think that's letting that happen. And making that happen. gets people to expect that to happen. And it's the really positive feedback loop there that can happen, you know, as people say, Oh, okay. This is a good place for that sort of thing. I'll do some more of this too. And like so. Yeah.

Jessamyn 1:21:46 Right. So I'll do more of it, too, is what you're suggesting. You do more of it also will do more of it. It will accept everybody now. Well, I'm the old school adult demographic, I should shut up. Which is what? I've been pretty happy about that. And working on my shutting up. Yeah.

Cortex 1:22:02 You're saying sometimes your strength is like, that's, that's the joy of this podcast. I never want you to shut up. Should we talk about last minute filter? 20 an hour and 20? It's been two months. It'll be a long episode. Whatever. Yeah. You told me about

Jessamyn 1:22:18 a double episode. Yeah, that's

Cortex 1:22:21 it. Yeah. Just you just turn the LP over. Yeah. Or switch to the next

Jessamyn 1:22:26 liner notes. Yeah, there was speaking of in the sort of neurodiversity meta talk thread that I was reading, along with. Definitely some interest in reviving getting a little bit more serious about captioning. These podcasts Bucha would be another thing. Yeah. Look into doing a little bit more assertively. Yeah. Because there's a lot of people who, you know, either literally cannot hear it, or just have a hard time following along with sort of spoken, bing, bing, bing, bing, but who would love to read something like this? So, you know, I would be happy to kind of help work on that if there are other people who have the technical chops to make that happen, because what we were doing before was good. And worked well. So I just wanted to know,

Cortex 1:23:14 because I think it'd be good to revisit that. Because yeah, I was thinking about the same thing. Reading through that thread is like, yeah, okay, this is a, this is a, this is a thing we're thinking about trying to get back to,

Jessamyn 1:23:23 yeah, and I just feel like it could have a little bit more kind of meta filter, mod backing of it, whatever that means, you know, whether it means you know, you can help set up a shop for it, or just make sure it happens or whatever, but I think we sort of used to caption and then it kind of fell off and haven't gotten back on it. So a vote for getting back on it. And I will help, whatever that means. Okay, so double album, double album, this was this funny, weird thread from last week, which was by SassaFrass, which essentially is like, is there a word for this type of place, like a forgotten room or area, you know, like a closet that you never open, or like a back room that has storage, and you don't go in there that often. And basically, this person is talking about having a shed on their property. They kind of knew it was there, but never really thought about it. But then like, you open it, and you're like, oh, yeah, and it kind of comes back into your consciousness. And even though you know, the answer is kind of No, but it was just interesting hearing people talk about it, because I think there's a lot of people who have that similar feeling. I know that for me in dreams, like if I'm dreaming about a house, even if it's the most familiar house, there's always a door to a part of the house I've never seen before. You know what I mean? Yeah, always. It's just part of how houses in my sleep brain go. And so I enjoyed reading along with this thread. When people talked about their experiences with that.

Cortex 1:24:59 Yeah, Yeah, no, it's it's it's a very evocative sort of question for me like, like I immediately like, oh, yeah, there is. There's a feeling and there's a sensor and yeah, I have no answer. I don't think there is a specific way to handle answer. There's there's stuff that I'm seeing just glancing at the comments on this on like, someone mentioned House of Leaves. Okay, check. Someone mentioned liminal spaces. Okay, check. It's like, I don't feel like it's really a liminal space in the same sense, as I think a lot of them.

Jessamyn 1:25:29 I mean, the answer is no, there's not a word. And so you have to think about well, that how do you talk about the things that make that special? And that don't mean, just a closet?

Cortex 1:25:38 Yeah. So yeah, no, that's really interesting. Yeah. I hadn't seen that. That question. Yeah. I like that. Trying to look through and see what if anything I have from ask me, that wasn't just

Jessamyn 1:25:51 I have more, because of Dr. Lith, who actually showed up at my meet by party and was one of our one of our overnight guests. So that's great, too. I had never met her before. It was great to meet her and get to sort of chit chat. And I think she had a good time and et cetera. I missed her in the morning. Sorry. I slept till 1030. Like, we had like 10 people sleeping over here. And for whatever reason, like, the party was huge and great. And then everybody went to bed, and I made sure everybody was in bed and Okay. And then like, I just backed out like a like a like a sack of potatoes. And then by the time I got up, like a whole chunk of people had already left like cold chest, I missed him entirely. Like he was on his way to the airport, did not even see him in the morning. So it was kind of good, but very funny. At any rate, Dr. Lith has a hey, I'm an adoptee I got in touch with my people. My birth father is you know, somebody who's probably struggling with like mental health issues in California, but I really would like to see if he's still alive. And how could I find? And you know, no, no actual entire resolution yet. But you know, the title, how to unhide the body very funny, for Metafilter. And it was just interesting, trying to figure out like, Well, how do you track someone like that down? How does that how does that work? What can you what can you do? And I just enjoyed again, like learning about this and figuring it out?

Cortex 1:27:25 Yeah, yeah. I have nothing to add. Just yeah.

Jessamyn 1:27:33 Yeah. No, it was it was a really, really interesting, really interesting thread. In fact, here's another helped me track down a thing thread from M girl mean, girl. Basically, my dad was born on the boat on the way to the United States. The people who stayed behind in Hungary all died in the Holocaust. Dad said the town was called this word. But that's not the way to spell it. People may have said it in a Yiddish accent. He grew up in New York. Where are they from? And then it turned out they they tracked down where the place was, which was like from eastern Slovakia. Basically. I don't I'm not even going to try and pronounce it because I am. I am the worst. But basically, yeah, they track down where where this user's father was in a, you know, Hungarian Slovakian town that just got worked over in the Holocaust. And I thought that was really neat.

Cortex 1:28:32 Yeah, that's fantastic. Yeah. Good work. Good work, everybody.

Jessamyn 1:28:38 You'll probably know the answer to this one right off the bat. But why would a man have manicured long nails

Cortex 1:28:45 on only one hand? Why that man plays fingerstyle guitar? Yes.

Jessamyn 1:28:49 That man plays fingerstyle guitar. Yep. It was a great, that's a great thread. It's

Cortex 1:28:55 a whole thing. Yeah. It's like, it's, it's, I remember encountering that at some point, like, you know, for the first time seeing someone with that setup in like, my late teens or early 20s and be like, Oh, shit, that makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? And I've never really thought about it before. You know, it's the sort of thing I ended up reading about and guitar magazines to people like you know, talking about like, you know, tips for like different. There's a lot of weird whoo about how to best cause yourself to have really good fingernail. Here's James

Jessamyn 1:29:24 Taylor doing that James Taylor doing a video of how to put on fake nails.

Cortex 1:29:30 Good for him. We talked about how I just like arbitrarily don't like James Taylor did

Jessamyn 1:29:34 and I don't understand it. I've been in love with him. So you know, I don't know that I saw him on the cover of an album and knew he was the man for me.

Cortex 1:29:42 Yeah, I don't know. I don't know. I just don't like the sound of his anything. Which is which is a bad, bad quality musician.

Jessamyn 1:29:51 You just don't have arbitrary enemies. So it's

Cortex 1:29:57 not like my enemy. I just like legitimately don't enjoy Boy the sound of his music or the sight of him playing his music

I like this question that you were commenting in from Yes. I said yes, I will. Yes. About a fucking septic tank removal disaster. And they were closing on. So worried.

Jessamyn 1:30:42 Oh my god, this is a roller coaster for me. Because I'm really excited that yes, I will Yes, I said that person because because we've been communicating, right like she was like looking at getting a job and for mine, and then like got a job and for mine. And I was just so excited for her. And then like, found a house. And like yes, like everything was cool. And then they had to do the septic remediation shit that like, fucked it all up. And, you know, she had a closing in like, three days, and the yard was just a travesty. And like, even the non anxious would have some concerns about this, but people who are anxious and I don't know if they fit into this category or not, but I know I definitely do are like, Holy fuck, everything is falling apart. And it's weird, right? Like this The tank, the top of it had to be uncovered for a who knows Vermont reasons. And so at any rate, it's a very brief thread, and it works the fuck out. You know? Yeah. Which was great. Like she went back to, to the the owners and said, You got to do something about the landscaping. And they did. And it worked. And I think they closed on the House this week.

Cortex 1:32:10 Yeah. It's such a satisfying conclusion on what was like, fuck, you know? Right. So yeah, I was very happy to see that and probably wouldn't have linked to it if it had just been hanging out there is like, this is cool, but like, it's stuck the fucking landing. All right.

Jessamyn 1:32:28 Yeah. And we were just going around for the ride, right? Like, and you know, it got a little bogged down. Like, why do you have to have your septic tank? You said a cesspool? No, that's different. Blah, blah, blah, and interesting. I enjoyed this as relevant to my interest. This was Aurora sky. Talking about like, growing up kind of isolated. And like, it would have been fun to go see films at the film society when they were sort of going to school, which was 87 and 91. Those are my tastes, but I actually don't know what what would have been playing you in an 80s Film Society at your school? What movies did you play? And hey, I was in an 80s Film Society at my school. In fact, with my chops lawyer, like my friend, Dan, he and I were both on the Film Society and so I got to talk about what we played and so did a lot of other people. So it's a thread full of like 80s movie art art house goodness.

Cortex 1:33:30 That's fantastic. Oh, that's great. Yeah. I enjoyed guy zero. Learning about volunteer squash.

Jessamyn 1:33:43 Hey,

Cortex 1:33:44 he's like, Hey, what's this mystery squash that hidden plant that's growing? And then people say well, here's what's going on. You got your fucking cross pollination you got weird.

Jessamyn 1:33:54 I want to see this volunteer squash. Didn't

Cortex 1:33:57 know I think I just pasted it in. Oh, I made a show note apparently Goddamnit

Jessamyn 1:34:02 note I didn't make show as the

Cortex 1:34:05 person who created this podcast session I can also add visible only to the show notes that are going to I don't know what the fuck I'm going to do with that showing up twice. Right.

Jessamyn 1:34:12 Just complaining. edit this part out

Cortex 1:34:20 this is definitely a no cursing. The family friendly. Yeah, no sounds like just like a little gardening thing. And like, Oh, hey, learn nothing about squash quite sure.

Jessamyn 1:34:32 Yeah, so they volunteer. I just spent some time this week cutting down like a lot of volunteer. I'm not even sure what they were but like trees, like maple trees. Maybe like there's a space out behind where the dumpster is. That has it's like kind of a little cedar forest and it's nice. But all of these like raspberry bushes and I think I don't know oak maple elm like some kind of trees. We don't didn't want to start growing there. Were growing there a lot, but they're not grown very much. They're only like three feet tall. And so I could just go out and just be like, nope, nope, nope, nope. And it is kind of weird because volunteer raspberries have delicious berries. But they also, you know, are kind of a pain in the ass, but like rabbits live in them. So, you know, it was all balancing like trying to cut stuff down but not trampled the rabbit habitat and et cetera, et cetera. But yes, lots of volunteers. Good. Your volunteers? Yeah. All right, I, we haven't really talked too much about list generating threads. And two that I liked, are this one from Ms. Vegetable, who really enjoys weird, specific packing lists. So like, Hey, you're gonna be on MTV road rules. Here's the packing list, you have to bring or like you're going to the Peace Corps, what's the list of shit they tell you to bring. So like, you know, mandatory gear that needs to be an end, I did a rod like, Here's a photo of what was in my backpack. Here's what you bring to Burning Man. Here's what the people go into the Plymouth colony had, et cetera, et cetera. And, you know, I went looking because I feel like there was one I saw about, like, people go into the south pole that just talked about, like, just how much like lard they brought, you know, like just things that would kind of keep you alive. And so, but I never found it. So I kind of read along with this thread, but didn't really didn't really find the link that I had been looking for. Like, there was like, something weird, like some kind of fruit flavored, you know, raspberry jam or something, maybe somebody else knows what the hell I'm talking about. And then the other list generating, it's not quite list generating, but by PFC, 2000. Things we were supposed to have, according to people talking about the future. And we totally don't. But what futuristic things do we have now? That we never thought? You know, we would. So it's a little grim, because of course, some people are like, Yeah, we thought we'd have universal prosperity, weather control, et cetera, cure for cancer,

Cortex 1:37:24 cancer around there,

Jessamyn 1:37:26 you know, wireless stuff, space, stuff, pocket device stuff. I mean, I don't know, if you saw I had a picture up on Instagram, I was getting rid of like old manuals in this house. Because this house is full of shit. And sometimes when I'm just not feeling that great, it makes me feel good to just get rid of stuff that's just was put in a box in the attic. And it's just gonna be there until the last person in this house dies, or until you get rid of it, because you don't need it. And so I found like a manual for like, a wristwatch, a camera, a Walkman. And then like a 230 page manual for a calculator. And, you know, somebody looked at it and was like, oh, that's the HP 12 C, and I'm like, Who are you people, but like, all of those things are done now by my phone. And I know people talk about this on the internet all the time, but I hadn't really had it kind of hit home that like, here's the manual for all this super complicated shit. And now you have a phone with no manual. And that's, you know, that's, that's our life now, right? You don't have manuals, we have one thing that does all the things kinda.

Cortex 1:38:40 And then you look on the internet to try and figure out what's going wrong with it. One, you can find any information.

Jessamyn 1:38:46 Right, right, that whole concept of like going on the internet, like, you probably saw that meme that went around, like somebody's looking at strange things and being like, what was that red room that they go into all the time?

Cortex 1:38:57 I saw that in passing. And I was delighted, just by the thought of people being confused about darker

Jessamyn 1:39:01 well, and it was kind of the first time I think I've ever like made a joke dunking on a stranger on the internet. Like some guy who's like, kind of well known on the internet, like, posted that meme. And then the you know, with the with the comment, like, I wish I were dead, right? Because he's clearly about Rh and like, oh my god, the kids today, blah, blah, blah. And then it was too soon. It was too easy. And I just kind of follow it up with like, Don't worry, Gramps, you will be soon. And I felt like I had to write the guy and apologize. Because he's a stranger. And I just felt like I was getting like, you know, internet points kind of dunking on him even though you know, he, I believe thought it was funny. But it was kind of like ooh, like, ooh, dunking on a stranger. That doesn't feel right. Ooh, yeah. Even though it's not dunking technically, but like who knows? You never know how that's gonna hit somebody. Right? Yeah, he was a white guy. I'm certain that so I figured he would be fine.

Cortex 1:39:59 Yeah, It'll probably be alright. But, but know that that feeling is like, yeah, it's tricky. And I feel like, like, on the one hand, we are so much farther past that than we were 1015 years ago of people just having like, sort of like jumping ahead on my thought here. But like the idea of encountering the internet for the first time, and I feel like this used to be more of a narrative, it's like people encounter the internet for the first time. And they're, they really don't grasp the reality of any social interaction on it. And so you see people sort of doing shitty things that they wouldn't normally do, because they haven't really thought about the social consequences about because it doesn't feel like normal social interaction. And so someone being addicted, someone else, you know, may be very out of character for them in a way, you know, when you compare the normal interactions. Because they haven't really adjusted the reality of internet is just like a different channel of communication. That's all the same funnel, social interaction, the fact that that sense of that, like constant, burgeoning lack of awareness has shifted away over time, as you know, kids have grown up on the internet and adults have had a chance to acclimate to the internet. But obviously, that hasn't stopped people from being shitheads online. So I think it's more just a different texture to the online shittiness. Right. But still, there's like, there's that opportunity with social media put you in a position where you can, like, do that thing that you normally wouldn't necessarily have done because you haven't sort of, you know, you haven't had as much of an adolescence with it the way you did, like, figuring out whether or not to be an asshole, like in person, like as a kid, right? You have a chance to be shithead to someone

Jessamyn 1:41:33 and get some stuff in real life feedback.

Cortex 1:41:36 Yeah, you know, if nothing else, just like sit with your own discomfort with your behavior, like, you know, and then by the time that, you know, you're walking around, and being an adult with, you know, a job and whatnot, you've sort of done that, right. But then Twitter can sort of lay out this thing where it's like, oh, well, here's a different channel where I don't, I haven't thought this through in quite the same way. And maybe I'll do this thing is like, Oh, I'm being shitty. Right? Okay, then that's just that's never gonna go away. I mean, to some extent, I guess what I'm saying is now that's just part of the texture of everybody getting used to that is like, you know, there's more places for you to sort of figure out where you can do these little weird social fuck ups and realize that oh, maybe I'm not okay that I did that. Right. But also people are incredibly horrible in all new ways. That I don't really have a good you know, off ramp for this that doesn't turn into ranting about like shitty corporate social media. So instead, I will say I also enjoyed this list generating question about really good song intros. ashbridges sounds

Jessamyn 1:42:33 so fun. I had so fun much fun, like, trying to remember like, I could remember an intro. And then I was like, I don't know what song that is. Yeah, like the Led Zeppelin song. Like I was, I thought that was really scary at first. It's super not, but I don't know what song it is. It's probably one of the Led Zeppelin songs, but it's not any of the ones in the it's not any of the ones in the in the thread. So I figured I'd sing it to Jim at some point, and then I forgot about it until right now.

Cortex 1:42:59 Yeah, yeah, no, it's really interesting. Like, it's great. Knowing a song like knowing that. Oh, this is a song I really liked. It's a great song. It has a great intro, but there's also that phenomenon. Like, yeah, I know that there's this great intro to Who fucking knows what. And putting that together later is always kind of a relief, but sometimes a disappointment like every once in awhile, I'll put together a really rad segment of some song that's been in my head that I never really contextualize. And I'll finally hear the songs attached to him like oh, that was the only good part of that song. Fuck, that's a crappy song. And now it's got that nice thing attached to it. Well, shit. But, but this was this is a nice like, other side of that coin is saying, Oh, no, no, okay, Start Strong keep strong. With everybody's you know, own subjective takes on it too. I'm sure like, looking through here. There's going to be stuff that I'm like, Well, no, that sounds really that dope. But like, I've never been a big heart fan and like on one hand, like someone mentioned crazy on you and crazy on us like a huge song and people love it. And like it's a it's a good song. It's also I don't really like that song. Yeah, but

Jessamyn 1:44:03 the hook that it opens with? Yeah, like heart that much either. But oh my god, the guitar riffs and they have super strong Yeah,

Cortex 1:44:11 and there's nothing wrong with that there were a great band. I just like you know, it just didn't land in the specific plague genre territory that I latched on to right. But

Jessamyn 1:44:21 it ended it ended it ended and then down. Come on. It's awesome.

Cortex 1:44:27 Yep. No, no, it's yeah, no, I think I don't want to like what I'm we're trying to get at the sense of the subjectivity, the whole thing. I'm not trying to yuck anybody's yum.

Jessamyn 1:44:36 Yeah. No, I had a really fun time reading along with that. And I do miss who was it that used to put together the YouTube threads? Like where they would put a YouTube thread together of all the songs that were in. It was like on Twitter, you can have the enrollment bot do a thread. Yeah, I missed the person that did that on meta filter.

Cortex 1:44:56 Yeah. I mean, I remember Stobart did a couple of huge Huge posts back in the day, but other people have done it too. Yeah, I'm not I'm not pulling stuff together. Well, all right, any other AskMe stuff you want to mention? No,

Jessamyn 1:45:08 I do want to mention this one thing, that probably won't be the last thing. But, you know, my friend Richard, who was really low on the site, died this past week. And he was one of the best, and I miss him. So if people didn't know or didn't see, you can leave your respects in that thread, which was started by mountain dude, which is brother. Lila was at the first meetup, the meetup that I went to where I met Jim. And, you know, Jim and I were talking about how, and he became a friend, like somebody who I hung out with in real life, somebody who I bullshitted with on the internet, and we were kind of talking about how that meetup that, you know, Song Dog called, however long it was a go now 11 and a half years, you know, it was really one of the sort of formative I think there's a lot of people in Metafilter, who probably have specific meetups like that if they became really involved in meta filter culture. But like that meetup it was like, you know, Greg nog and Hobgoblin and Marina and Jaya, and you know, we were just making a list of everybody at that meetup, most of whom are still language hat, like, are still active metal filter members. And yeah, we just we just got along with the house on fire, so I will miss him.

What you? Know, I want to know what you see, I want to know what.

Cortex 1:47:02 We've mentioned in passing a bunch of meta filter or meta talk? Well, both really stuff. Maybe I'll round up some actual links from the last couple months.

Jessamyn 1:47:13 Yeah, well, there's some discussion threads that are active right now.

Cortex 1:47:16 Yeah, so some things that are open right now, I mentioned this earlier, but there is a post up about folks who have experiences living with anxiety and depression, ADHD neurodiverse, divergent folks, basically saying, hey, you know, come in and talk about your experiences and how it's affected your participation on the site, and how Metafilter supports that have a good sort of better. And basically just giving people a chance to talk in sort of a defined space about that. And that's been going on for the last. I guess we went up yesterday, so that last day or so it's been, it's been good. So far, it's been good hearing people's experiences.

Jessamyn 1:48:02 Yeah, it's been interesting for me to read along with it.

Cortex 1:48:05 And that's, that's, that's inspired in part by, you know, a couple of recent discussions, including another active one right now, which is a dedicated person of color only thread on meta talk. This is a follow up, actually, Brandon Fletcher put this together, talked about some guidelines with us for following on another one last month to try and like, do another these because because we had threads started early, early June, specifically for that. And that was, for a lot of people involved just a really, I think positive experience as a way to be able to talk about some of their frustrations and their feelings about metal filter and online stuff. And you know, things that go well,

Jessamyn 1:48:47 without having it be kind of a traditionally modded thread, right, where mods come in with our comments and be like, Well, the reason we do that is Yeah, no, yeah.

Cortex 1:48:55 So that's not like, you know, have it more as a site policy like not as a site policy kind of meta talk discussion so much. It's just a discussion space for people wanting to talk about their experiences their

Jessamyn 1:49:05 fate, and it's mostly my dad just to keep that focus not Yeah. Basically, anything else? Yeah, I think we deliberately called I think, was one of the things people.

Cortex 1:49:16 Exactly. And like, right now, so far, like, you know, weekend on that it's going the way I expected, which is to say we've had to do nothing in that thread, you know, we've looked at a flag or two, we've left a couple just administrative notes for our own reference of, oh, this is something we should look at more to. But other than that, it's just been, you know, people having a discussion mods are staying out of it. White people are staying out of it. And that's kind of the whole idea. So both of those have been good the last few days and may represent a useful I don't know if it'll turn into like specifically an ongoing model or not. It's basically in depend on what works for people and what need there is, but it's been, I think, a good approach to getting away from some of the traditional difficulties of talking about site stuff on meta talk in way that can immediately go sort of weird if someone wants to jump and say, okay, yeah, but right, you know, I'm sure I'm sure plenty of people have, like, are reading along and having feelings, but I don't know that. Yeah, certain to have your feelings you know, just be be a participant only through like reading and thinking and self examination in this case. And I think it's, it's been a really good opportunity for that and I, you know, we've been trying to like sidebar and Banner some of the stuff as we can to put it on the radar. And I think hopefully, it'll be a good thing both for participants in the threads. And for people on the site who aren't members of those specific groups, to be able to have a sort of more self aware and broadly aware and sort of empathetic, you know, understanding of some of the things that affect how people feel on the site. Another big thing from just the last little bit we announced a week ago, that's we are decommissioning the US politics mega threads, which is not getting rid of politics on the site. But saying this specific model we've had of 2000 comments running over, like, you know, two or three weeks and then start a new one, when that starts making people's devices fall over. Doing that for basically three years now free and change starting in the primary season tail in the primary season of the 2016 US election cycle. And I won't summarize the whole fucking thing here, because, you know, I wrote whatever, two 3000 words in the meta talk post, but you know, it's been a weird mix of stuff that has been valuable. And people have found sort of a specific kind of community space in and also just absolutely fucking unsustainable, it turns out to do it on Metafilter. With the resources we have right now, it's, you know, DeMonte just can't keep doing it.

Unknown Speaker 1:51:48 So I talked about like, oh, sorry, gone.

Cortex 1:51:51 I talked about like, you know, what things we can try and do instead, you know, focusing more on like, single topic posts and trying to go back to an older school Metafilter model, and also talking about some like, the social energy in there, and how can we support some of that social energy, not like mixed into specifically 2000 Long 2000 Comment long threads about politics every every two weeks,

Jessamyn 1:52:13 I didn't really read along with them, except when I was, you know, working. So I hadn't really realized because again, like, I've just kind of been on the site for forever, how like, intimidating and like, in jokey, not in jokey, but like insider, they felt to other kinds of newer members. Like if you joined meta filter in the last three years, those sites were just a thing, right? Like they just had always existed. And they felt very, you know, very trophy and insider issue. And whatever, it was really interesting for me to read that viewpoint. You know, I maybe didn't like them for my own reasons. But like, it was interesting to read other people's different reasons for why they didn't work for them. Yeah, excuse me, which was, which was actually pretty interesting. And so there is kind of an Organizing Committee, which is the link that I put in for people who are looking for maybe a place to put mega threads somewhere else on the internet. And if you're somebody who's interested in that topic, that is a thread you might be interested in.

Cortex 1:53:15 Yeah, like, like, like, if, like, I've got a big, my focus is going to be trying to like, find homes for most of these feelings and stuff on the site itself, and see how we can make that work over the next several months. But for the folks who are like, Oh, but I want this specific kind of functionality, or I want some additional thing.

Jessamyn 1:53:31 I want a place to go when this megathread closes. Yeah. Talking about those. Yeah,

Cortex 1:53:37 yeah. So so folks talking about how that might work is also totally okay. It's like, there's a long history of people saying, well, there's the thing I want from medical to the medical term isn't providing the way I want. So what if we do our own thing somewhere else? And, you know, some of that stuff has worked out, you know, short term or long term, and that's good. Like, that's people should feel it feels like a very old school web thing, actually, you know, to be able to say, Okay, well, I'm going to spin up this other experiment and see if we can do it a different way to get kind of the same thing. So. So I'm curious to see where that goes, I'm gonna really try and support any effort people get up to there. And, yeah, we'll see how it goes. But it's been it's been a big, that's been kind of my last week is right, in particular talking about that, and sort of working through some of those ideas with folks. And just trying to support like, you know, it's a big change, and it's affecting people emotionally in a variety ways. So it's been, you know, it's been hard for some people, it's been, you know, just kind of emotionally intense in general. Yeah.

Jessamyn 1:54:30 Well, I think people have been having really constructive for the most part conversations about it, right? Like I respect that you guys had to make that decision. I also respect that it was not easy and it's not what some members of the community wanted. But in you know, it's one of those moderation things where you've got people who feel strong things on both sides and you have to pick yep, that's simple.

Cortex 1:54:52 Yeah, no, it's it's hard to do. It's it was not a easy decision, or we would have made it sooner. But yeah, at some point you have make that decision, right. There was also the state of the site update itself on the 10th of July, which was me sort of rounding up where we are where our revenue is, we have a revenue shortfall, again, I talked about, like the specific numbers, their stuff we're working on and talked about wanting to move towards really thinking long term about trying to focus on community funding as the way that the site is supported in general, like, that's a long haul goal to get to, it's not something that we're gonna do with no fingers. But I think, looking at that, as sort of our model for the future makes more sense than just hoping that somehow, constantly declining revenues are gonna turn around on themselves. And Google's gonna suddenly start throwing, like, 2008 money into the skin. Yeah, right. It's a long and at times difficult to read. But there was a lot of really useful discussion in there. And a lot of some of the stuff we're focusing on, as we move forward in there. And also, coming from the stuff we were talking about is like next steps, following up on the members, color discussions, has been really good. Like, that's the focus I was talking about earlier in the sense of like, having some additional direction on stuff has been really, really valuable. And that's sort of like what I ended up taking out of that. So I, I don't, I don't have uncomplicated feelings about that actual, like, discussion thread itself, needless to say, but there was a lot of thoughtful stuff put in there by a bunch of people. And I appreciate that. And the people of color threads that we talked about the the link back from a couple of meta talks we posted on the eighth talking about, okay, what are we going to work on now? What are we working on right now? And what are we going to work on on the long term, in terms of that goal of having Metafilter, you know, be a more supportive and comfortable and inclusive space for people who are not just, you know, basically the white American Majority. We've outlined a budget sort of team goals and cycles that we're going to be working on for the next while it's going to be a while this is not something that we can just suddenly make happen. But taking it as a sort of week by week, one by one plan. talked about a bunch of stuff. I outlined some stuff in the post, but also we talked about stuff in a community setting within those discussions, to try and figure out what we're gonna focus on what we can get done, how we can try and, you know, pursue that goal of making Metafilter feel like it is kind of 2019 in terms of us not just wanting to achieve some of these things, but having plans and communicating and great aren't

Jessamyn 1:57:45 you aim towards and that you have legit real evaluation about whether you've hit them gotten close to them? Or whatever? Yeah,

Cortex 1:57:51 yeah. Yeah. And so that's, that's been, you know, it's been, it's been, like we said, it's been, it's been a couple months, it's been some time, but, but it's been good. And in among all that Metafilter did turn 20. And I made a post about that, sort of talking about some of those goals in it, like, you know, what are the things I want this place to be and how we want it to accomplish it. And then just sort of inviting people to, you know, talk about, hey, you know, Metafilter, 20 years and a bunch of really nice comments in there, and memories and thoughts and sort of, you know, eyes on the future, and has a really nice read. And I really appreciate everybody sort of thrown in on there, along with all the more complicated critical and constructive stuff in discussions the last couple months. It's also nice to have a thread that was kind of like, hey, also Metafilter Metafilter is 20 Yeah, check that out. You know,

Jessamyn 1:58:42 I want to reiterate the shout out that I made in that thread to culture for coming to visit and bond cliff and Rector and vice teacakes and my sister who's technically banned it but she's not really on metadata that much who all helped and showed up early and helped set up and did all the stuff so that we can have a pretty big rager of a party over at my place and I really appreciate everybody who made the effort to drive from places far and near I don't know what kind of like state coverage we had but we definitely had like as you know, Bob came in from New York and flex came in from Canada and we had some people driving up Connecticut definitely couple people from Rhode Island and it was it was a really nice crowd and I just wanted to say thanks for the people who helped me personally open my doors and have people come over facie cakes with this like blue cake that made everybody like shit green for two days. It was a really neat trick if you think about it, right like you eat it and it's one color and then it comes out like a different color. And I wasn't allowed to tell people so I just have to apologize to people for keeping that from you. It was really fucking great cake. Let me tell you what, but yeah, oh wrestles Nomad was there and we had a cake. We can't I was on it and she blew them out. So that was cool.

Cortex 2:00:02 Yeah, no, that's fantastic. We did. Yeah, I want to I want to likewise say thanks, everybody came out to the Portland meetup, which was actually for once a Hillsborough meetup, which is sort of town in the greater metro area. But, but anyway, yeah, no, we had a couple of people came out. Some folks came in from out of town. I saw some folks I haven't seen in a while velvet Winter came out who I think I was lasted to meet up with about 10 years ago.

Jessamyn 2:00:27 Great. Hey, where's Hillsborough? Why was it in Hillsborough?

Cortex 2:00:31 Because we were hosted by Nick and Sadie, a couple of mefites, who run a store called ruining board in Hillsborough, which is a board game store that they started and they asked metal filter, what they should call their store. And they named it that and you know, and then yeah, they were like, hey, yeah, come on out here. So they hosted us in the side room of their now expanded space. There you go play board games. There was a little bit of board game plan. We ordered some yellow and blue polyhedral dice and gift bags have had that and a few other nice things in them and

Jessamyn 2:01:08 you put pictures up

Cortex 2:01:11 I should check the threads and see people that have added them in I have I still need to go through mine actually. I take pictures somewhat recklessly and haphazardly meetup, so I need to get around to like filtering through them and figuring out when I surprise someone versus getting you know, good intentional shots. And yeah, a bunch of meetup separate worlds. There was a there was a bunch of anniversary meetups, it's really nice to see that going by on on on IRL. So Happy anniversary, everybody. It's been it's been 20 fucking years. It's crazy to think about that one to actually stop and sort of like, you know, consider it. It's just, it's nuts. I don't know. I don't know how people got this website wedged into their browsers. Why? Or why? But I'm glad they did. And I'm glad we're here. And you know, I'm, I'm kind of excited about, you know, next year and the year after and where this goes so great. So yeah,

Jessamyn 2:02:05 I think that's I wasn't sure you were gonna be able to turn it around. But yeah.

Cortex 2:02:11 And I think that's it for me. I'm I have not caught up on music right now. So I don't have music minute but I'll try and throw in some sort of bumper or something. Maybe Yeah,

Jessamyn 2:02:18 man. It's 340. I haven't even had breakfast yet. So I should, I should yeah, we should

Cortex 2:02:22 we should we should kibosh, this thing. Ends something by kabocha and that's more like like canceling

Jessamyn 2:02:32 the kibosh on it.

Cortex 2:02:33 Yeah, yeah, but yeah, anyway, we should. We should we should yank the reins on this particular pony. This I'm giving up on metaphors. We should stop podcasts. We should. This podcast recording but a pleasure is always talking with you. It's nice. Get back to it. I missed that month.

Jessamyn 2:02:54 I agreed. Me too.

Cortex 2:02:55 And yeah, we'll do it again. In one month only. All right.

Unknown Speaker 2:02:59 ALL right.