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Podcast 186 Transcript, Fireflies

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A transcript for Episode 186: Am I Being A User Right Now (2022-07-05).

Pronoiac passed the podcast to for an automated transcription.

An hour in, the speaker labels were dropped, dunno.


cortex 00:00 I think let's get this party started.

cortex (singing) 00:05 This was so good post I'm making a note here. Huge success. It's hard to overstate. The Lang says quality matter filter.

cortex 00:25 This is episode 180 6 of the metaphor podcast. I am Josh cortex Maillard.

Jessamyn 00:33 And I'm Jessamyn.

cortex 00:34 And we have with us today as well,

loup 00:37 Luke. Hi everyone.

Jessamyn 00:39 Hi Lee.

cortex 00:42 So we are we're we're finally getting another person talking on the podcast again for the first time in forever. And I'm very excited about that.

Jessamyn 00:51 Yes. Thank you for your feedback.

cortex 00:55 Thank you for it. In theory, I haven't read it. So.

Jessamyn 00:58 For your cards and letters, we'd like to have someone else on the podcast. We hear you loud and clear,

cortex 01:06 But yeah. So here we are. We are, we are podcasting and that's, that's it? That's the, that's the plan now? The hell are you guys.

Jessamyn 01:16 Pretty good? And you know, if you missed it, we also did a half month podcast talking about vampire video games and the television show sufferance,

cortex 01:28 And we've got six comments in that thread. So a lot of people were excited about it.

Jessamyn 01:31 I think one of them was mine.

cortex 01:33 Yeah. I'm not sure any of them were about either of the specific things either. I think it was just people being supportive. So.

Jessamyn 01:39 I appreciate that.

cortex 01:40 I unannounced, unpromoted extremely niche discussion of a couple of media properties. That's that's clearly the future of this stuff, but yeah,

Jessamyn 01:55 Well, so we should probably talk about why we asked Lupe to be on this podcast, besides that people asked specifically for this. Yeah.

cortex 02:03 Yeah. Well, I mean that seems like a good plan. Well, I mean, there's the, you know, we are in the post-transition area. It's, it's how I am thinking of that.

Jessamyn 02:12 To say we're in the post-transition because this is the post-transition area for you.

cortex 02:17 Yes, yes.

cortex (singing) 02:20 That's the beginning of it.

Jessamyn 02:22 I quit my job. Yes.

cortex 02:25 We're in the.

Jessamyn 02:26 Transition era. Maybe we can all agree.

cortex 02:29 We're in the, I am unemployed era and the things I used to be doing loop is doing many of them. And one of the things I used to be doing was owning the company and Jasmine you're doing that. And.

Jessamyn 02:44 How's that going?

cortex 02:45 Well, I mean, you own it, you know, everything else.

Jessamyn 02:48 I have the stock transfer, but the business isn't licensed in my name,

cortex 02:51 We're still, yeah. We should be able to take care of that.

Jessamyn 02:53 We,

cortex 02:56 Yes. We.

Jessamyn 02:59 Just, you know, I wasn't going to bring it up. You brought it up.

cortex 03:02 Yeah, yeah. No, it's, it's dangerous for me to get into anything that involves me getting s**t done. That's a, that's a real own goal on my part, but.

Jessamyn 03:09 I expect that it's summer.

cortex 03:11 Yeah. It's f*****g warm here too, but yeah. So yeah, so you two doing things, doing stuff, you get YouTube to both know more about what's going on. I met a filter in the last couple of weeks than I do it. That's very weird and exciting. And I'm glad to have you here to talk about it, your experiences and whatnot.

Jessamyn 03:30 We should talk about loop a little bit first because I firmly believe people are probably bored with me and you know, the ups and downs of my life, but we don't yet know anything about the ups and downs of loops life and loop. If you care to share, you know, give us, give us your 30, your 32nd loop elevator pitch. And we can go from there.

loup 03:52 That's actually funny because I mean, I've been here for a while now, right? And now when they think about it, I've been like super quiet. I'm one of those people who are in the background all the time. And so why, what can I tell you in the past 15 years of my life, I literally, anything in my life has been internet related. I mean, most of my jobs have come from the internet. Most of my friends relations everything. And that ties a lot into why I'm here. Cause, cause I've always known about, I mean, I've known about metaphor through for like 10 years, but always Larkin and never had a profile, just like, oh, go check this out. Interesting conversation. And then when I realized that there was an opening for a place to work there, I was like, yay. This is amazing.

loup 04:42 And well, things have developed here. And, and I mean, to me, at least there says quiet, nice and quiet interests. And because you know, aligns a lot with the things I do believe in with chairs. I am from a generation that was basically raised with the internet in how it happened. Right. And to me, it's one of those things. What I saw it from being this technology that was very promising and we expected the world to be a better place. I want to bore you with how things turned out. So I'm one of those believers who think that there's still a lot of work to do to make the internet a better place. Right. And I actually think that this was one of the place I believe the places I believe in that's pretty much, no, that's pretty much what I have.

Jessamyn 05:43 I'm just, I'm looking at your profile and noticing you have a birthday coming up in a couple months.

loup 05:50 Yeah. I'm a Leo,

Jessamyn 05:54 I'm a Virgo. So my birthday is a couple of weeks yours.

loup 05:58 Oh, there you go. They didn't know that either. Which by.

cortex 06:02 The way, I don't believe in astrology.

loup 06:07 I mentioned it because people care and I have this thing where, well, if you care about the bit of data I'm going to provide it, but myself, I don't even really know what that means.

Jessamyn 06:19 All I know is the Virgos are like uptight, neat freaks, which is like both kind of me in absolutely kind of, not me. And more to the point, like my birthday, I believe this year is on American labor day, which is like kind of fake labor day compared to May 1st. And, and this year, like every year I always do this thing called that I call the Virgo month of leisure where it's like, you're uptight 11 months of the year, take this one month to relax. And then I always comment on what a joke it is that it's always the busiest month of the year save maybe the holidays. And it's just always very funny,

loup 07:01 You know, it's actually interesting for me because there is a saying that by the end of August, always in the past years, it's a busiest part of my entire year. So it's generally like my birthday. It's something that I get to celebrate or do something about it by like mid September or so.

Jessamyn 07:22 Yeah. I.

loup 07:24 Just got used to it. I mean, there was no way around it.

Jessamyn 07:28 Yeah. I think this, yeah. I mean, I think that's good though. I think having a birthday month is, I don't know. I mean, I know there's a back and forth on asking me to filter about how much grownups should celebrate their birthdays. But I got to say, I am definitely on like team birthday celebrations.

cortex 07:49 I mean, I, I think they should celebrate them as much as they want to. There's a thing there's, there's obviously no moral, absolute here. It's like, you know, do what feels good for you. And if someone's doing something that you don't think you would don't do it. That's, you know, mind your business.

loup 08:04 Also. I think it's like cultural thing around it. Because for example, here, where I come from Costa Rica, everybody does actually the older you get, the more important it is. And then my second family is from Taiwan. I mean, we are not a lot of family, but they are my family. I was raised with them. And with them, it's the other way around. You just don't celebrate them ever.

Jessamyn 08:30 Right. That even for children,

loup 08:32 No, not at all. And it's a cultural thing where how they celebrate things. It was like, when you get married, for example, and they are lecturers, so you will give presents to people who go to your wedding ceremony and I'm like, isn't it the other way around.

Jessamyn 08:50 Right.

loup 08:53 So yeah, I do think that it's one of those things that you can adjust to your culture and the people around you and at the end of today, just have fun and enjoy it in the best way you can.

Jessamyn 09:07 Yeah, exactly. I think in the United States, the understanding is like, you know, birthdays are more for children and I'm just always like, eh, why? Like we can all do a thing.

loup 09:22 As of now I would say anything that you can celebrate, go ahead and do it because we need to celebrate things. It doesn't matter how little they are.

Speaker 6 09:35 Yup.

Jessamyn 09:38 Yeah. Lining, lining up those W's I think is how, how I read it on the internet and how I think it is important.

loup 09:50 And that actually, to me, it's interesting. Cause I mean, it's one of the conversations I've been having with everyone recently. It's this thing where I remember when I don't know, we used to be worried about climate change and a couple more things like capitalism and stuff like that. And now it's like, no, you don't have three or four things. You have like 18 good luck with that.

Jessamyn 10:16 And you don't have the luxury of only worrying about capitalism right now.

loup 10:19 Exactly. So that to me also means that every little thing that you have in life that you can actually enjoy do it. So for example, when it comes to the birthday, for me, it's one of the important things where I am like, I don't know if I want to celebrate it, but having a reason to actually get together with the people I care, I will be like, yeah, I'm totally celebrating my birthday. Actually. It's just pretextual and it's a way to get them together.

Speaker 6 10:48 Yeah,

Jessamyn 10:49 Yeah, yeah, exactly. In the before times, a lot of times I'd be like, all right, we're having a big dinner out at, you know, one of the few local restaurants and it's on me because it's not actually, it's pretty hard to run up a huge tab at any of the local restaurants and you know, not a big outlay. Everybody gets kind of the one day hookup and then everybody gets to kind of hang out with each other. Like I'm waiting for that to be a thing we can sort of safely do moving forward. Like I'm still like, eh, pretty much node indoor dining, but like we're in outdoor dining weather. And a lot of our restaurants finally have sidewalk service and yeah. We'll, we'll see a couple of months.

Speaker 6 11:32 Yeah.

loup 11:35 One of the things I do a lot is cooking. Cause I know that whenever I say I'm going to cook something, people will show up. So yeah. That's, that's my way to actually convince people to come. I'm like, yeah, I'm making something, whatever it is pay. Yeah. You name it. But people will show up if they know there's food.

Jessamyn 11:57 Oh my gosh. It's been so long.

loup 12:00 Well, I mean, I've been trying to convince you to come here for awhile. I know what they think fly in and stuff, but your decision, not mine.

Jessamyn 12:09 I got to say, you know, I have definitely my, my rule for me right now is like no more airports, no more airplanes until things stop being so unreasonable, both in terms of COVID and like staffing and everything else. But that, it's very tempting. And I have people, friends of mine who live in my town here, which is, you know, small town, 4,500 people. And they have a place in Costa Rica that I think they like Airbnb a lot of the time. I don't know where it is. I'll figure out where it is, but they're big. They've been forever like come to visit, come. And I'm like, oh, I haven't been to Costa Rica since I was in my twenties. I think.

loup 12:50 And also there is that thing where in Costa Rica, you're never over three or four hours away from anything in that weird. I mean, if you have to drive three hours or four hours, it's like, it's far other than that, pretty much everything. It's one hour away. So.

Jessamyn 13:08 Which is glorious. You can, you can go to the mountains, you can go to the ocean, you can go to yes. And the.

loup 13:14 Amount of.

Jessamyn 13:15 The amount of birdwatching I could do there was truly like, just like more different kinds of hummingbirds. We had like two kinds of hummingbirds here.

loup 13:26 Gracie. I literally, as I mentioned, I just came back from Mexico city. Right. I had been there before and it didn't strike me as much before, but this same, I was like, oh, so city. Yes. But like nature and stuff. I forgot since I've been stuck in Costa Rica for so long due to the pandemic, I forgot how much I got used to nature. And now when I'm traveling, I'm like, oh, now I do see it. Now I do understand that this is tense.

Jessamyn 14:02 Yeah. I went to Montreal for a, a work trip a little over a month ago and you know, Montreal is lovely and the people are lovely, but it was like a city. And I just, it was fun to walk around. It was fun to have like a place you could get food at 10:00 PM, like, you know, but I had to reacquaint myself with traffic and like just congestion, you know, there's just people everywhere, even though like, you know, masking was pretty good. And also like just, you know, my kingdom for a tree to stand under after a while, just because it was very concrete and that's just kind of not how it is here.

loup 14:45 Though. I have to admit one of the things that I've been missing a lot since I been stuck in Costa Rica for so long it's I need sexual seasons. I mean, to see, I miss to see the fall. I mean, right now the thing that to me is driving me crazy is knowing that we are in the middle of the summer and here it's like, sunset will be always like five, 6:00 PM. That's it. Right. And you have those days during the summer. I miss that so much.

Jessamyn 15:16 Yeah.

cortex 15:17 Yeah. Because Costa Rica is enough more south that yeah. You don't get the big long stretches for.

loup 15:22 Here's you gets two things. It's either rainy or not. So rainy. That's pretty much it there's no fault. There's no winter. There's no summer. There's nothing. It's like a spring. Something like that.

cortex 15:38 Yeah.

Jessamyn 15:39 Well it.

loup 15:40 Sounds nice, but I miss it.

Jessamyn 15:43 I didn't really think about that much, but yeah. The length of your day is doesn't change the way it does, you know, up here, like Josh from my knee, I am further north than you are or no,

cortex 15:54 I'm about 44. I don't remember. I'll have to look at a map.

Jessamyn 15:59 I'll look into this the same. Yeah. And yeah, one of the, we just had solstice and it means that, you know, longest day of the year and you know, it's glorious having, you know, there still be enough light to kind of walk around, you know, at 9:00 PM. And you know, it's been a little too hot this week, but like, you know that it's going to turn around, right? Like for every day, that's too hot. This summer there'll be a day, that's too cold in the winter and you can kind of flip flop back and forth, but at least, you know, things are, they're going to change and it makes it easier to deal with whatever stupid whether you're dealing with or your short days or your whatever. I don't know when the sun comes up.

Jessamyn 16:44 Cause boy, I'm not around to see it. But sunset lovely.

cortex 16:49 I'm going to say based on Google maps and it's Mercator projection, I am in fact a couple degrees farther north than.

Jessamyn 16:58 Oh, interesting. I mean, that makes sense just yeah, but I'm never sure. I always know. It's just not what I expect to be.

cortex 17:06 Yeah. Well, I mean, it's so much snowier where you are than it ever is here. And like it's not my latitude. It's that we're like by the ocean. Well, I mean, you're by the ocean as much as we are almost, but like we've got the cascades right here and it's not so much with that mountainous microclimate over in new England,

Jessamyn 17:27 The ocean.

loup 17:28 To me,

Jessamyn 17:30 Thinking of Pacific Northwest, they've repainted the space needle orange.

cortex 17:36 I don't know.

Jessamyn 17:36 That's what I heard on malt shop. I was very excited. I, you know, things I know nothing about and didn't think I cared until I found out that I cared.

cortex 17:44 Yeah, no, no. Yes. That's that's Seattle news. I'm honest, applied to the court letter. Not to know. It's like, oh, did they paint their nice little, you know, showpiece good for them?

Jessamyn 17:58 Is that true? Is there really like a Portland Seattle? Kind of?

cortex 18:01 I'm not really. I don't think so. I think there's like, if there is anything in terms of like sort of rival cities, it's probably one of those things where like smaller college team has a rival, you know, re with like a Ivy league team and the Ivy league team has never f*****g heard of them. Like, you know, it's not quite that much of a disparity with Seattle and Portland, but Seattle is like, it's the bigger city.

Jessamyn 18:24 It's the white light city.

cortex 18:25 It's the bigger city of the two, for sure. Like, it's definitely got more weight to throw around if you're going to get into like some sort of like city influence, b******t, but what do they got? They got Frazier and we've got Portlandia. And that sounded a lot better until I actually said it out loud because man,

Jessamyn 18:41 Fred Armisen so much, he said everything and he's aggravating.

cortex 18:48 Yeah, yeah.

Jessamyn 18:53 Which is why I don't know anything else about Portlandia.

cortex 18:56 That's fine. I barely watched it.

Jessamyn 18:58 Although he's in our flag means death and I just manage to ignore him and enjoy that show. Nonetheless.

cortex 19:09 Yeah. A lot of people are in our flatmates. I enjoyed it as a sort of like comedy cameo sort of show sort of the same way the Mandalorian was low key doing that. Like a bunch of comedians have just had like five minute parts in an episode of Mandalorian times in elaborate makeup or their faces covered. Yeah. Like a kind, who was it like? Yeah. A bunch of people, Brian Hosein is like just a guy giving them a ride at some point. And then I think he gets blown up. He's like onscreen for like two minutes and gets align. And then he's dead.

Jessamyn 19:46 Jose. And it's like the world's biggest nerd. So that must've been,

cortex 19:51 Yeah, there's a, there's a lot of f*****g star wars nerds in the comedy world who like showed up on that show. So, and then they cast bill Burr who was like a major character in like the second season. He was like in two different episodes, basically playing bill Burr in space. He's just like be in this, you know, Hey, f**k you. I'm from Boston.

Jessamyn 20:09 Somehow never started watching season three. And I don't know.

cortex 20:14 Why I, if it has.

Jessamyn 20:16 Whatever it was after the bill Burr. I mean,

cortex 20:19 Yeah. Like I just did. Yeah. I think that was season two. And I don't know. I don't know anything about season three.

Jessamyn 20:24 I should probably make sure I even know what I'm talking about.

cortex 20:28 Succession call back. Anyway. If you've been watching anything in parking loop, any media content, do you want to go off on a tangent about?

loup 20:43 I mean, the thing is reasonably, I been watching as much TV because of two things. First lots of work. And second I've been avoiding screens because of the pandemic specifically. I've been more like, okay, go for a walk, go fight nature. However, there is this thing that to me is I love Westworld. And actually they just said the fourth season. Yes.

cortex 21:12 Yeah. Yeah. Just our reference to that being back on, I got about halfway through the second season and then like got distracted and that was not a good season to get distracted halfway through. Cause like it's clearly two different timelines and two different Bernard's and something going on. And I'm just gonna have to start from the start of that season again, to like figure out what the hell is up.

loup 21:32 I totally recommended to me it's the acting that actually I love. And then science fiction, like I'm totally into science fiction. Then aside from work Westworld, now that I mentioned science fiction, I try to watch the patient that they made a foundation from Isaac Asimov. And it's interesting. I mean, what they do is kind of try to go over to things that are not covered in the books. The books are very about what happens, but the actual series are about how it happens. Right. And it's interesting, but I mean, there is this thing that when you read a book, then you see a notation, you will never be satisfied. Right. So yeah. I mean, those are the two things that come to my mind reasonably certain that I have been avoiding screens.

loup 22:29 I mean, most of what I do at this point is really bored watching TV as not so much.

Jessamyn 22:39 The Mandalorian.

cortex 22:40 Oh yeah.

Jessamyn 22:41 Yeah. I have, I have only seen the first season. And so second season, I guess the bill Burr's season is what I haven't seen yet. And the third season has been announced, but not completed.

cortex 22:54 All right.

Jessamyn 22:56 But.

cortex 22:56 It looks like loose show update.

Jessamyn 22:59 It looks like Luke and I are both fans of space westerns, according to Wikipedia, Westworld, Mandalorian Farscape, which I loved the expanse, which I loved the books and was deeply unsatisfied with the show and Firefly,

cortex 23:16 I am I'm about, let's see I'm four books into the expanse books enjoying it and just sort of taking it as the holds cup along. So every two months I read another one, but that works out. Okay. But yeah, no, I'm really enjoying it. I I'm really curious to see where the book series goes because I liked the show a lot, but I started with the show and I still felt like the show just really kinda wow. Wrapped up in a way that was like, eh, so like, it feels like there's.

Jessamyn 23:47 Room to move in the books.

cortex 23:48 Yeah. The show ended.

Jessamyn 23:50 Because the books ended, but like the last book just came out fairly recently.

cortex 23:54 Yeah. Yeah. No, the show ended, I feel like fairly abruptly. Like it feels like maybe they don't, there's decided not to keep making seasons or found out they weren't going to be able to do so on the terms they wanted. I don't know. I haven't followed the production at all, but it felt like it felt like hitting stop in a sort of like.

Jessamyn 24:13 Handed way. Okay. Now it's over.

cortex 24:15 Yup. So I'm curious to see where the books go.

Jessamyn 24:20 I think you will like them. I finished the Mars trilogy and I'm just been burning through books. And I feel like maybe as the most foundation, like would be a good next set of books because I need those, the Mars trilogy was good, but I didn't love it, but I did love that the books were very long. And I know that's just a weird thing to like go choosing your breeding from, but like, you know, I am,

cortex 24:52 Yeah. There's something about having that like sort of long runway on something if you get into it and you can just sort of stick with it. You know, I always had trouble with short story anthology. So not that I didn't enjoy the short stories, but like, you know, I didn't sort of get in a groove as much. Like I'd had to like mix it up again, every like, you know, 12 or 20 or 30 pages.

Jessamyn 25:14 Yeah, exactly. Especially, you know, depending on how uneven the sort of selection is or why they're all sort of selected together kind of.

cortex 25:25 And also, I mean, I'm also an album person and like a entire discography person. And like, I tend to like find an album I like and listen to it a bunch. And then if you know, it's not a fluke by that band, like do that for each of their other albums and eventually like, you know, spend a ton of time with that, those individual albums and those artists rather than doing sort of like playlist shuffle listing.

Jessamyn 25:48 Or like Spotify find me more music like this one song.

cortex 25:52 Yeah. Which could be nice. I mean, like it's nice to discover new stuff instead of just be stuck in like, you know, my grind. But, but also a lot of the times they're recommending stuff. I'm like, nah, nah,

loup 26:04 Well I'm in myself. I hyper fixate quite easily with things. So when it comes to music, it's like, oh, that sounds nice. Let's listen to the whole thing. And let's listen to everything they have ever done side projects and everything. And then if something, any subject is interesting to me, I'm the type of person who will be at 3:00 AM reading all the Wikipedia pages that are related to that and being like, why am I now an expert on something that I didn't know anything about yesterday?

Jessamyn 26:38 Well, and that's a good quality to have, especially if your next quality is not now, I'm going to get on the internet and argue with other people who have 30 years experience with that thing because I've been reading Wikipedia all night.

loup 26:51 Well, actually that's the thing for me in any platform I've ever used. In most cases, I tend to enjoy more lurking reading and listening to what people have to say. I, even though I have strong opinions, I'm not the person who will go into long discussions about things mostly because I mean, a lot of the time, I don't know where people is coming from and what it means to them. Right. So I just tend to enjoy more just sitting and relaxing and seeing what happens and reading what people have to say. Yeah.

cortex 27:27 Yeah. I think, and that's a, it's, it's a healthy quality on the internet, a healthy quality for working with other people on, they entered it to,

loup 27:38 To a certain degree. Cause I do think that the people who are vocal help shape perspectives. Right? Yeah. And so if you have something important to say, it's important for people to listen to that. And that's, to me, part of the beauty of the internet, so to a certain degree, right? I mean, when you go into metal filter, I get to read people's perspective. Some things that I am like, oh, it never crossed my mind that you can say this way. Interesting. And I might have some of those. I just don't get to share them as much.

cortex 28:16 Yeah. Well, yeah. And that's like, I think that's a big part of it. It's like recognizing like there is the value in and the need for like actually saying, okay, this is something, you know, I have feelings about. And this is like important to, you know, be clear where I'm coming from. And then there's the instinct to like, oh, but now there's a text box and I can put words into it and like finding the difference between just reflexively, putting words out there and finding that moment where, Hey, this is going to be a contribution it's, you know, described like that.

cortex 28:46 It sounds really f*****g trivial, but like that's a huge part of, what's tricky about the internet and part of why moderation is necessary and part of why moderation is tricky and part of why throwing a whole bunch of people onto a worldwide network and just letting things happen. Sometimes it doesn't go great as partly cause yeah, like having that sense of like, oh, this is listening time, oh this is actually need to speak time. As you know, it's a skills,

loup 29:12 You mentioned that it's, to me, it's interesting because for example, so right now I'm hosting a friend who she is from Costa Rica, but she is living in Finland. So she came for the summer here. And so her, my partner and myself, the three of us pretty much tend to consume the same type of content, but we use different sites for that. And you can understand, and you can easily tell how the behavior terribly different, right? So we write same, same information, different behavior. And that tells a lot about how communities are built and how people perceive these things and how even technology shapes, how you do things. One of the things that I particularly love about meta filter is this thing that it's not gamified in any way. Right.

loup 30:05 While you have other sites, I wouldn't say which ones where everybody's super again, it's obvious. I mean, come on. But there are the sites where people no longer care, it's not any more about what they have to say. It's more about how do I, people, how do I get people to like what I'm saying? And yeah. And yeah, nobody says anything seriously anymore in those places. Right. Then I'm like, , come on. I want to see the real thing.

Jessamyn 30:33 Right, right. Or something you actually care about instead of something that's, you know, designed to provoke a response. And I think that sort of hearkens back to what you were saying before loop about the idea of, you know, worrying about capitalism, that like, you know, part of what we get from the internet is the fact that there are a whole bunch of people essentially using it as like resource extraction in various ways. Right. That they, that they not only gamified, but they sort of fine tune for engagement in order to do whatever other sort of capitalistic things that they're trying to do. And I think that's why you see, you know, businesses like Twitter that are always kind of tweaking their algorithms or whatever. Facebook, I just, something happened on Facebook this week, which changed.

Jessamyn 31:25 Like I use this sort of Facebook native ad blocker thing and something changed. So all of a sudden it wasn't working the way it used to be. And I was just, you know, Facebook is like, has a lot of utility for me interacting with local people. Right. Because they're not using other social media and that's where they put their events. And all of the sudden I was seeing a Facebook that was full of ads and I hadn't before. And I was like, oh my gosh, is this what people are dealing with?

loup 31:52 Tally changes our experience. Yes, yes.

Jessamyn 31:56 On a day-to-day basis. This is wild, you know, because so much of it was like, you know, recommendations because you liked this one thing maybe you want to hear about like Catholic church sex abuse. And I was like, what happened? Like, oh my God. But you know, that I think affects engagement. Like.

cortex 32:17 I think the thing with a kid in it, you know, stop, sorry.

loup 32:21 No, it's, it's terrible because there is this thing work to me, it all comes down to the revenue models that we as humans f****d it up at some point like decade and a half ago, somewhere there where there was this thing. I mean, to me, it's super clear because for example, were using the internet to, for right sharing right now. We don't have ride sharing. We have over. Right. Which is an entire, it's a lot more revenue, but a lot less community and humanity to it there. And you say it with Airbnb and stuff like that, all of these services that are mostly about the money and not the community behind it. And, and to me, that changes so many things. Right.

Jessamyn 33:10 Right.

loup 33:11 I, I, I'm still a firm believer in the early stages of the internet. I mean, of course that's why I'm here, but yeah. I mean it's, to me it's shocking in, and one of the things that, to me, it was hard to come to terms with who was it, for example, I think it was this year or last year, I'm not entirely sure that the most visited the website in the world used to be Google. And now I think it's this year, it actually got to eat. Tick-tock where I don't even have an account. I mean, I get to see some content. Right. But I am like now the more I talk to younger generations, they are like, yeah, I learned this through tick-tock right. And I'm like, well, did you actually check any of the sources or anything?

loup 34:01 No, that's pretty much how I actually learned about.

Jessamyn 34:06 The check a source on Tik TOK. I know I sound like a weird cranky librarian here, but like, oh my gosh,

cortex 34:12 It is, it is not an attribution heavy culture. Like I love Tik TOK. I, it is like easily, my favorite social media sort of platform among the big corporate social media platforms in terms of me just enjoying, spending time f*****g around on it. But yeah, it's like, it's almost part of what works about it is like there is zero friction for things like writing things up and annotating and being dutiful. Like, no, that's not even culturally in the lingo of Tik TOK. And it, that drives me f*****g crazy, but.

Jessamyn 34:46 Well, and then of course we're seeing what we're seeing in the United States, right. Where, you know, the Supreme court made their decision based on facts. That actually weren't true. But somebody said they were true. And so they're like move sounds, right. This was the prayer in school, you know, the coach kind of guy, it's fine. If you don't know more about it, you don't have to, but essentially, you know, the guy who was the coach was like, oh no, I never, you know, I only pray on my own and people are welcome to pray with me. And then there's like literally a photograph that sorta my are included, which was like, Nope, this is you and your team like hello now.

cortex 35:22 Yeah.

Jessamyn 35:24 So I, as a librarian, I'm slightly concerned about that. You know, I don't want to be in a post-factual world, but.

loup 35:32 It's actually interesting. Cause I've been thinking about that a lot. And one of the things is I was, so there is this concept that to me has been in my mind for the past weeks or a couple months probably, which is how technology becomes transparent. Right? So I use reading glasses and it gets to a point where it's no longer something I use. It becomes part of how I see things and it becomes part of myself. Right. And we tend to do.

cortex 36:02 That at that point.

loup 36:04 Exactly. And that happens to every kind of technology we have. I mean, from a stick that we use to reach things to the social media, we use to a phone, to all of this. And so I'm totally there with you and the thing that facts to matter and how in that, to me, it's important. And so it's hard to see a world where people will say anything they want, but where are you coming from? Do you actually have anything to back it up? People are not really asking that anymore. In many places, right. There are all the replaces where that still happens. But that, to me, it's a shift that I think it I'm worried about that a lot. Yeah.

cortex 36:55 It's like, yeah, it's, it's not even nobody does it. It's, it's the continuing shift away from it as any kind of reinforced expectation. And that's the f*****g hard thing. Cause like it's not a bunch of people like getting up one day and it's like, you know what? I'm tired of facts. You know, like everyone's just being a person. And some people are being s****y people with some intentionality at times. But even most of the people who are being s****y are more being s****y because of the, as a product of like the system and the environment that they have been exposed to. And that environment is not doing a good job of helping people not be s****y and knee jerk and reactionary and whatnot.

cortex 37:38 And like, it's so hard to figure out how to counter this kind of trend that is, you know, driven more by the weird circumstances are changing technology and profit motive. And there's no money behind incentivizing being a well-informed reader and citizen basically like.

loup 38:06 Actually, sorry to interrupt you. But with that,

Jessamyn 38:09 Let us know loop.

loup 38:12 Well, that to me actually it's strike, it strikes a point that it's super important to me about what is going on with the side right now, which is I've seen websites and things I care about at similar stages already. Right. Which is like from here, what do we do? And one of the things that I've seen happening all the time, as they start making decisions on to monetize and they either go well or go wrong, but they changed the entire blueprint of what the actual surveys website or product was no.

cortex 38:46 Longer entirely.

Jessamyn 38:47 From that.

loup 38:49 Exactly. I mean, it's one of those things where to the session to actually bring power back to the community, to actually make it more, what you like of it. It's the thing that believe it, or not, never happens, never in the history of internet, you'll see how there's ideas. It's like take all the beauty of it and then transform it into a business model that doesn't go anywhere and don't help humanity in any way.

cortex 39:16 Yeah.

loup 39:17 So I particularly, one of the things why I show up to work every single day it's because I'm the way I said, we're actually making an effort to actually make better filter a little bit more meta filter by allowing members who actually have a say in there. And that's, to me, it's one of the things that they intranet rarely does.

Jessamyn 39:38 Yeah. And what we're really hoping. I think all three of us to be able to do kind of a low level, subtle pivot to a little bit more, you know, community steering wheel than Mehta filter has had before. But with the idea that it should be run, you know, more by the community, which isn't to say like the community clocks in and clocks out, maybe like loop does, or, you know, Josh did, or I'm supposed to sorry, Josh, I keep calling you Josh and not cortex. I hope you don't mind.

cortex 40:11 I both have always been fine. The only other, the only thing that's ever weird is like a couple of times I feel like in metal filter earlier this year, a couple of times someone who does not know me was really part of the saying, Josh Maillard was like, well, okay, that's my name? I'm not shy about it, but also.

Jessamyn 40:28 It's kinda like your mother,

cortex 40:31 Like.

Jessamyn 40:31 Yeah,

cortex 40:32 Yeah. We don't have a, you use my full name to point out how angry you are at any sort of relationship. Like you can be that angry at me, but like there's other places on the internet. But.

Jessamyn 40:42 I know, I know this Joshua, what's your middle name,

cortex 40:45 Edward.

Jessamyn 40:46 Wow.

cortex 40:49 Yeah.

loup 40:49 I have to know any of that.

cortex 40:51 I know. Well, I mean, I never used it, you know, I've always only ever gone by Josh too. And I very recently, I may have said this on a previous podcast, but like there's good food carts around here. It's one of the things I like about my neighborhood and you know, a busy food card pod where there's like 12 different food carts and people eating and whatnot. They're going to yell your name from somewhere and not everybody yells very loud. And Josh is like, it's nothing. It's just, it's just an Aw sound with some wind around it. So I've been going, I've been saying when they're like, oh, what do you want to, you know, w what's your name? I'm Joshua at the food Carson. Cause that's three syllables. That's got.

Jessamyn 41:26 Some real first thing.

cortex 41:28 It really is Joshua. Yeah. But, but it carries, you know, like they have to hit three syllables. So there's like a melody to it rather than just like,

Jessamyn 41:38 Yeah. Jess is absolutely. Unhireable like if I hear people talking in a group, I always think they're saying, like, if they say just, and I think they're saying my name, but if I say Jessamine, then we've got to do the, how do you spell it? Hokey pokey for 30 seconds.

loup 41:55 With mine is funny because it's this thing where I'm in at this point, I just allow people to pronounce it however they want. Right. But, but I mean, it's, it's interesting. Cause actually, if you're technical about it's actually pronounced Lu, but that this point, everybody pronounces it loop, which is.

Jessamyn 42:19 Wait, do it again.

loup 42:22 Nope,

Jessamyn 42:23 Nope,

loup 42:25 Nope, Nope. Oh yes.

Jessamyn 42:31 Hey, good to know then.

loup 42:34 Oh, don't worry. I mean, at this point I told him I don't pronounce it like that anymore. Yeah. Which by the way, seen, by the way, in case you didn't know that sexually a Wolf in French.

cortex 42:48 Hey lupine, Hey,

loup 42:52 Mind blown.

Jessamyn 42:54 This is great. I'm so glad we've had this conversation.

loup 43:00 That's how you get to know people. Yeah. I mean, I'm one of those who, I'm an open book. If you get to talk to me, but otherwise I'm a very quiet person. I guess, once you get me to talk, I don't stop. I admit that.

cortex 43:19 That's always been my experience with like doing social situation stuff. Like I don't, I wouldn't say that I like an introvert, but like, I'm definitely an introvert until we've talked for five minutes in terms of instincts and then like, yeah, I will, as long-time listeners to this podcast. No, just absolutely not shut up, but.

loup 43:39 Totally. It takes that.

cortex 43:40 Little bit. You have to like hit that first checkpoint.

Jessamyn 43:43 Right? Tell me a little bit about no mic Josh.

loup 43:46 Oh, well.

cortex 43:48 Man, I have feelings about gnomic these days. Like not gnomic itself, but like the more b******t has like undermined the basic institutional functionality of a notional, but democracy, the more a game that's about sort of satirically examining democracy does not feel like anything I'm ever going to want to play again in my life. I'm like, oh yeah. Let's.

Jessamyn 44:11 Let's see how this falls apart. Eh, yeah. I was talking to the guy that runs our newspaper in town and you know, were talking about this or that. And I was like, well, you're, you know, talking to him like you're friendly. You're chatty. He's like, oh no, I hate people. And I'm like, what? No, you don't, we're having a conversation. He's like, I like you. And I'm like, you don't hate people. You're just shy. Like before you get to know people,

cortex 44:38 He just pretends to like people because he wants those pictures of Spider-Man J Jonah Jameson. I don't know. I was just it's first thing, I thought newspaper, please continue.

Jessamyn 44:52 But like, it was interesting trying to sort of delineate like what's introvert extrovert and what's just kind of shy versus outgoing. You know what I mean? Like, like I can be, I'm less initially shy with people than I used to because I would rather get along with people than have them be like, she's weird to the extent that I can control that. And, and part of that does involve kind of like, you know, idle, chit chat and how's the weather and how's it going and whatever. And I used to just resent it and hate it. And like, if you read us Mehta filter, you'll see a lot of people who resent it and hate it.

Jessamyn 45:29 And you know, but once I sort of figured out kind of the social purpose of it and I could make it make sense to me, it's become something that most of the time, unless I'm exhausted, you know, I actually enjoy. And like, you know, Tim who runs the newspaper, like he talks to everybody all the time. Like he goes, he takes photographs for the paper, which is interesting that you mentioned it and you know, so he has to go into strange situations constantly and be able to be like, Hey, but he's got a status position, which I think makes it easier for him. So that one of the things he's not doing is jockeying for, you know, are you more important than me? Am I more important than you like confusing? I'm just happy. He likes me. And I'm waiting for, you know,

loup 46:15 Like.

Jessamyn 46:15 They.

loup 46:16 Gave.

Jessamyn 46:16 Me a little desk at the newspaper and I'm worried eventually they're going to regret it.

loup 46:23 And now that you say that actually to me, it's interesting. Cause I'm one of those people who are like, I thought actual, like people won't tell until I get to know them. Right. And I think it's because the resist threshold where you actually have to develop empathy. Right. I know where you're coming from in that, to me, it's something that as a generality, I, I can't have it that easily, but when I actually engage with someone, I, it entirely changes, which I think it's it. It's just really interesting. Cause, cause that's how you actually engage with people. How you change your mind about how you see things it's with when you actually engage with them, right?

Jessamyn 47:09 Yeah. Yeah. It's like a muscle you flex kind of, you get better at it.

cortex 47:13 That's that this is the conversation about this stuff. Always remind me of a sort of meetups, which I miss and resent the f*****g pandemic for making.

Jessamyn 47:24 Not feel while you were rebooting actually. Yeah,

cortex 47:27 Yeah. Yeah. Everybody missed me having to reboot my computer because my voice turned into a robot that all happened before we started because of this old f*****g Mac workstation. The last, the last computer metal filter ever would have paid for. And it's been a few years now and finally got rid of mine. Yeah. One of the things I really like about meetups for Mehta filter is, and this probably applies to other kinds of meetups as well. But for mehta filter is by far and away, the most common reason I've ever gotten to a meetup with random people from the internet or whatever is like, you have a starting point. And you know, whether I should describe myself as an introvert or just describe myself as someone who has anxiety and is bad at initiating small talk either way.

cortex 48:43 That's one of the challenges of like sitting down with people you don't know already. And just like starting to socialize is like, you have to break the ice, you have to get things rolling. And when what you have in common is like, literally anything, anybody remembers that happened on metal filter in the last week or month. That's a lot of content that, you know, from the moment you walk in the door, you have as a shared point of interest, which is great. Cause like it's not even like, oh, what have I personally been doing in this creative pursuit we have in common? Like, which is great when you have that. But like, it can be challenging for like, oh, but I haven't really done anything lately.

cortex 49:17 But if it's like meta filter, other people have done plenty of stuff on Mehta filter, you can talk about like, Hey, did you see that thread? And if that's yes. Okay. Let's talk about, if, no, let me tell you about it. Like it's such an easy on-ramp and it's one of the things that just sort of gets you talking in a way that I, I really kind of appreciate cause it lets cause yeah, people can sort of come out of their shell when they have something to talk about that doesn't feel effortful. And that's a big thing. Like that's like, I feel like Luke, this is the first time you've been on a podcast with us for like, oh, we're going on 15 minutes now.

cortex 49:50 And I feel like the first five minutes was like, kind of like, well, okay, we've got to figure out what is the rhythm? Like, we're not saying this out loud, but there's this like, what is the rhythm? What are we going to talk about? Et cetera, et cetera. It feels a little bit stilted. And at this point we're, cross-talking over each other very naturally because we sort of, we found that, like that thing and it's not even like, it's not the first conversation you and I have had, we've had a bunch of f*****g zoom calls over the last couple of years, but like it's a different context. And I don't know.

cortex 50:18 I, I think it's great because yeah, you get people opened up and then that thing you're talking about with the empathy, it's a lot easier to develop a sense of empathy for other people. When you start engaging in sort of like a natural sort of, I'm interested in what this person is saying and how they're thinking way, instead of like, I've got to figure out what I have to say now. Like that's not a good place to try and,

loup 50:39 And adjustment saddle earlier. I think it's actually one, it's one of those muscles that you actually have to exercise, right? Yeah. So for me it's been what like 14, 13 years working remotely. I mean, I, I rarely get to see people. So one of the things that I've realized is that you need to find ways to connect with people, even though you won't see them face to face all the time, or you will get to talk to them just 30 minutes in one month. Right. So how do you humanize that? And that's so important because if we are not able to do that, it's, we're in trouble as humans in general. That's the way I say it. I don't do things that go ahead.

Jessamyn 51:24 No, no, no. You go ahead.

loup 51:26 No, it just crossed my mind because it made me remember at a previous undisclosed website I used to work for there. They have like Durham member base was so passionate. And so through us, this particular person who was yep, perfect definition of the word troll, right? It was one of the last, the least positive people you could ever talk to online. And then when they came to Costa Rica, so we met face to face, we hit it off right away and were great, great friends in like five minutes. Why? Because you get to humanize them for the first time ever. Right. You realize that we have this thing coming. We have, we're both passionate about this. We just go about it different ways.

loup 52:18 And so having that little space to actually understand that we actually have more in common with what we think when we do that changes a lot to me.

Jessamyn 52:29 Well, and that's definitely happened to me at like, you know, historic metal filter because I've been going to Metta filter meetups for whatever 15 years now, something like that. 16, 17, like, cause we had them in Seattle when I was still, you know, a metal filter person there in the nineties. And you know, I did meet people who were like,

cortex 52:49 There was only a very little bit of the nineties when you could have been a metal filter person.

Jessamyn 52:52 Oh, I guess, sorry. I'm thinking of like my own blog, which was 97, the early odds then, but yeah. Meeting people who had like, let's say kind of a cervic, I'm not sure if this person is even really really espousing their real beliefs opinions on the site and then getting to meet them and either being like, oh, I get it. Like this person is either extremely socially anxious or you know, has this or that concern, which is why they present themselves in that way, you know, would really change at least for me. And especially for like, you know, then moderator me change the whole vibe of how I felt like that person was interacting.

cortex 53:37 Yeah. Well it's such a God, that's, it's such a weird, interesting, complicated thing. I would say for me, one of the things that like for better and for worse, one of the things for me is like, I've always felt I had like a pretty decent capability to get into that sort of like theory of mine, Headspace empathetic space with people without necessarily a ton of info. Like, you know, I mean Jasmine and Luke, you have both at different times been involved in lengthy paramedical conversations with me where I'm trying to sort of unpack someone's motivations, then try and understand where they might be coming from and what might be the point of miscommunication and how we can sort of like gap that and whatnot.

cortex 54:17 And like that part is not necessarily difficult for me, but figuring out how to approach like the problem after having done that theorizing is trickier because people are people, but one of the things is a real recurring thing is I can develop this sense that like, I think I know where this person is coming from, but unless they feel like they know where I'm coming from or understand or believe that I have a sense of where they're coming from, that doesn't matter. Cause they're going to be operating from a point of sort of like self protection and defensiveness about it. Like that's one of the things you see with people who are s****y, like, you know, in a specific context, but you meet them and it turns out they're not like just actual s**t heads.

cortex 54:58 It's like, it's usually they don't operate from a position where they assume they will be understood or where they assume they will be given the benefit of the doubt or be met equally on stuff. And like,

loup 55:10 That's one of the things that I actually admire from you a lot, which is that you are always willing to do the work, to actually go and meet them and humanize that person. That, I mean, a lot of people in the internet can just see people as the words they put in. Right. You actually do have a clear idea that there is a human behind the keyboard. And that sounds like basic to us, I guess. But to a lot of people, that's not really a thing.

cortex 55:37 Well, and that's one of the challenges with like a site like metal filter or anywhere else. And that I think metaphor does better, but like Metta filter has just as much a challenge with it as anywhere it's like, how do you get everybody to be in that head space all the time? How do you get everybody to be trying to remember to be empathetic and to try and stop and say, oh, I only have a couple paragraphs from this person who I don't know. And I'm having reactions to it that are based on sort of dealing with a blank slate instead of like, thinking about why is this person saying what they're saying? And what's the context that's coming from. And you know, it's like everyone had to do a.

Jessamyn 56:09 Ton. Yeah, yeah,

cortex 56:12 Yeah. And, and expecting everyone to do a tremendous amount of work interpreting things every time it's like unrealistic, but fostering, like going back to the idea of like, what does a even encouraged in the first place, you know, metaphor is not going to solve the problem of fact-checking, but that a filter can maybe continue to work culturally to solve its own problems of yeah. Empathy and, and sort of assumptions and figuring out the lens.

loup 56:39 There. You're touching one of the key things for me, which is that on a very basic level, when we talk about what moderation is, it's actually this thing where you actually want to kind of do your best to remind people that when you are discussing any subject right. For you, it can be theoretical and that's it. But for some other people then sexually their lives, they are sexually affect them. So you have to, if you bird that in mind, that changes how you talk about it. Right.

cortex 57:13 And I feel like a lot of the growth of site has shown over the years on a bunch of fronts is in sort of accomplishing that culture. Like there is a much better general understanding on the site and general set of expectations about that. Then there have been in the, you know, early days of the site and you know, like conversation now versus 15, 20 years ago on any number of topics, you know, you look back to the old threads. It's like, oh, and people now are like, Hey, no, actually that's not cool. Yeah.

Jessamyn 57:41 And I think having that codified, you know, in terms of like, you know, the content policy, the privacy policy, the guidelines, the, you know, what are microaggressions, give you something to point to so that when you tell somebody, Hey, maybe you need to kind of retool this because of this thing, I feel like that is helpful.

cortex 58:05 Because it gives other.

Jessamyn 58:06 People it's sort of a jumping off point where they can understand the expectations, which I think is one of the things we've heard from users over and over that they prefer.

cortex 58:16 Yeah, it's not that those documents by themselves solve the problem, but those documents create a framework in which people can better understand and better refer to sort of the expectations of the site. And it becomes, yeah. Sort of some, some bedrock and some foundation for the individual user decisions and actions and attempts to reinforce a culture. Cause like none of it happens unless people buy into it, you could put up any list of rules and guidelines you want, but if people don't take it seriously or don't care about it then,

Jessamyn 58:48 Or if moderation is not going to back it up, right. I mean, that's the Twitter and all their trust and safety stuff where it's like, yeah, sure. But like, well, that's not what you actually do. So what does it mean to have documents that say that's what you're doing.

loup 59:05 To me, that's actually one of the things that, I mean, I, I, I could go on for hours about how it let's use one specific example. Let's talk about Facebook for a second, which I hate to do, but it's one of those places where I can't tell you how many times I flagged something because it's ridiculously transphobic. Right. I won't say exactly the things I've seen, but I mean, things that you are like doors, no way, this is close to okay. For anyone. And then you flag it and they're like, yep. Nothing wrong about it. Go on. Just ignore them. Yeah. And that's shocking, right? I mean, how can we live in a world where aside as big as them can do those things and they don't really care. Right. That's.

Jessamyn 59:59 I saw a really interesting analysis of that talking about, I don't even remember. I think it was like Serber Croatian disputes, right? That, that part of the issue is you had, you know, an out-group that was being sort of online terrorized by an in-group. But the people who are moderating are more likely to be from the cultural background and from the language background of the in-group. And so even if they kind of saw what was going on, they might not have a particularly nuanced understanding of the debates, but they also weren't at the table, even if the level of having the power of being moderators.

And so, you know, I think this was even more of a deal, you know, with the Ray hanger, with some of the stuff going on in Myanmar and, you know, the people who are, or in China with the weaker, like you don't have weaker moderators at Facebook, you know, you have Chinese moderators who may be downplay the issues that are involved with sort of the weaker sub-population and, you know, it's the argument for having a much more diverse workforce and, you know, training them appropriately to sort of understand ingroup and outgroup dynamics, which maybe if you've always been part of an in-group don't, aren't even visible to you know, like I've learned a lot on metal filter, just listening to people talk about white women when I'm not involved in the conversation, but just reading along, being like, oh, you know, it's, you know, it's the, this is water effect where like, I didn't even realize, but listening to other people talk about it, who are different from me helps me learn.

And if I can also shut up while doing that, I'm not also making it worse.

And you know, I think this goes back to revenue models and how our business is built, because for example, the way the works for a site, as small as meta filter, which percentage of everything is moderation, how much care is put in there while I, I am talking from experience. Cause I literally used to, I, I was directly in touch with the trust and safety team at Twitter and what they have. It's actually people who will do it in bulk, right? So they have to review reports like so many of them that most of the time they have it's used in to just global, over the amount of reports you get. And very little of that seem to actually learn about the issues that are being reported. And you don't have the knowledge to actually handle all of that.

Sometimes to research it.

Exactly. And so that's not sustainable in any way.

Yeah. This is, this is why I was laughing at Medico is like I was catching myself wanting to go into a long rant as I am want to do about like you said, something loop about like how it's it's bizarre that like a platform as big as Facebook is like letting this stuff happen. And like, it's partly because it's so big and it's partly because of the way it got big was trying to make money off the thing. There's, there's no clear, profitable way to do an ethical amount of moderation on any of the big social media platforms because they scaled in favor of growth and metrics and profit, instead of saying how like, do we have a foundation that we can actually scale up responsibly? Like who cares? That's not where it is.

I remember about what was it like seven years ago? I was at, well, I already said it, that Twitter's headquarters. And were talking to her trust and safety team. And one of the things that cross that to me was shocking is they had their own team of developers, aside from the normal development team. They had a one just for trust and safety to where they could request tools and features and things to rebuild in no time. Right. Sure. And I was like, oh, those are amazing things that you can do with the resources you have. But then you realize that's just one side of the story, right?

Then there is this thing that you are growing so fast and to the point where you no longer cared that much about things that are happening and that are being said, so you get to a point where, what people say is not that important. It's just the 12. You don't want people to put bomb threats, bomb, threats in your site. Right. That's as far as some of you go and I am like, well, that's very s****y.

Yeah. That's not.


Not having bomb threats is not an acceptably nuanced bar for f*****g moderating an online community.

Well, and remember when Trump got banned from Twitter and there was a whole bunch of like screenshots that were leaked of what their moderation tools looked like. And I don't know about you folks, but like I remember looking at them and being like this isn't even very good, like,

Oh yeah, no, no. And, and it gets some point where it becomes political. Now that you mentioned Trump, for example, it's one of those things where I swear I wasn't there at the table, but I'm pretty sure that decision was made just because of the public relations side of it. If Trump was saying that, but he wasn't that VC wall, they wouldn't have cared.


Yeah. And that's the thing that it's concerning is you need the people who are at the table, making decisions to actually care about what people are saying and about. Cause that changes in their blueprint, entire website, how it is and how it shapes, how people see things. Right.

Yeah. Twitter went recently from like their reporting for you. If you wanted to report a tweet, it changed where it used to be, you know, quote, using the reply feature to spam unquote was enough of a reason to report or block someone. And now that same sort of rule or guideline has been changed to using the reply feature repeatedly too. So if somebody just replies to you with a whole bunch of like buy Bitcoin crap, you know, you can still block them, but you can't, you know, you're not going to get that account shut down. And one would assume they aggregate those reports and there's some backend mechanism. That'll, that'll go to that. But to what you were speaking to loop the user, doesn't see that. And so all the user sees is the website doing nothing and they don't feel safer or protected.

F*****g like six click process to seemingly have nothing happen. It's just, it's.

Lots of clicking. And Twitter also has this thing. Now, I don't know if either of you two know about this, but called birdwatch which hilarious.

Seen it,

I've signed up for it. And what birdwatch means is when you read a tweet, that's like from somebody and it's some garbage statement, you can add a comment to that tweet. If you're a part of the people in the birdwatch beta, that then can get evaluated by the people in the bird watch beta so that when somebody sees the tweet, it has like a little, like, you know, this has been, you know, read more about this or whatever. And somebody could be like, you know, this isn't true. What they're saying, here's a citation or they're saying this word, but that's not what that word means.

Like you can add context that might not be available in the tweet itself now, you know, to be honest, I think most people aren't going to be using it, but it was really interesting, especially with the Supreme court decisions this week, you know, a lot of people are trying to sort of get their clicks on with hot takes about this, that, or the other. But it's the first time since I've been involved in this, that, you know, I've had the ability to both add commentary, but also evaluate others commentary. And for the most part, you know, I sort of agree with what many people say that like the truth has a bit of a liberal bias or, you know, the liberal, whatever that, I think there's a lot more people from the rate, just making crap up.

And so it's interesting to see the kind of birdwatch approach to that. Being able to sort of add facts and commentary without polluting the discourse with a lot of people yelling back and forth, for example.


And I don't know how you know, get on this beta or what you can do, but I've been for me from a community moderation perspective, it's very interesting seeing sort of how it's designed to work. And it'll be more interesting to me if they do any public reporting on how it's actually working, you know,

And that's an interesting one. Cause I mean, it all comes on to resources, right? I'm sure the sites like Facebook and Twitter, like they are a huge, so they do have resources, but then you think about the amount of content that is being creative and how problematic it is or it can be. And then you realize that the numbers don't really add up. I mean, you don't have enough people to actually review all the report or reports with the time it actually takes to actually make an informed decision on something that it's been reported. So we are seeing a change in humanity and in technology right now where these are things that we as humans are trying to address in companies are trying to address in ways that, I mean, we still don't have the right answer to all of them.

I remember back in the days where, for example, there was this trend where people were going into Amazon to actually add reviews just for content purposes, you know, they were just funny reviews and.

You can find, yeah, I'm still, they're fun,

Like milk jug reviews. And it was one of the classical ones back in the day. Let's see if I can find that actually.

Right. I mean, there are so many of them that are super funny, but then you realize that you have a feature that was not intended for something like that. And then it explodes, right. How do you face something like that? And I mean, particularly when it comes to the huge sites, you'll see that. I mean, they are failing terribly and just because they see it from another perspective, which is the main thing it's revenue and not necessarily content. Right. And that, to me, I mean it sucks. It's I mean, again, it's, I definitely think it's a generational thing. I was born in a time where I was a teenager when the internet came and I was like, this is going to change everything and this is going to make our lives perfect. And well, I mean, well that's.

Teenagers are teenagers, right? Like, sure.

Well, we are about a hour and 10 minutes in here and.

Just get the TPM. Yeah.

Yeah. It's a good number six. I don't know if we wanna just keep yammering, which is fine if we want to try. And it feels almost silly at this point to try and NuGen normal post content. So I've, I found a link to some Amazon reviews and that can be the one link for the show. If we want to do it that way.

I also have a shout-out that the job that I put up, I believe it was, oh my God, this is me starting to talk before I I'm June 2nd. So when was the last podcast? So I, I think were talking about this Josh, that I posted a job for a rewrite of my stupid book list that was in antique PHP.


From the arts. And I found a metal filter user who took that job and did significantly more work than I was expecting that job to take. But I guess it was a bigger job than I thought, but he was a delight to work with and that project is now finished. And I just wanted to give a shout out to Mike whose username. I of course don't know because I only interact with them. Oh my God. Oh my God,

We are professional podcasters. We've been doing this for years.

I wasn't expecting to do this part of it.

It's your idea. You probably.

Know, but I wasn't expecting it when I had time to just say some words and I'm going to go and look,

Is there any particular post anywhere on meta filter that you liked in the last month or.



Shout out tonight. Would you fix my stuff? Thank you so much. It's great. And I love it. Sorry.

What did you know night moves?

Oh my God. That's what I was doing in high school. I was listening to Bob Seger and the silver bullet band.


Is it?

Nah, you know, it's a polite thing to say.

So interestingly enough, now that you ask about posts that I'm interested in, here's the thing as much as I love the blue, I spend most of my time in ask and the rest is fine. No. And the reason why it's, because I actually think that you get slack, so specific questions, you know, things that are hyper-specific and you get points of view that I'm like, oh, I never looked at it this way. So I literally, most of my time inside, it's not even seeing what is new, but I actually go back in time. I started scrolling back and see previous questions and I am like, oh, that's something I want to know more about or what people have to say about that.

And that's where I spent most of my time when it comes to the other thing is I actually get to follow all of them. And then it gets to a point where I am like at this point in reality with the pandemic, a lot of it is very tied to things that are going on that I am like, do I want to know more about what's going on with the world?

No, absolutely. This is, I mean, this is one of the things that is hugely great for me in having left. The job is like the last couple of months, I haven't really had to pay attention to any meta filter thread. I didn't want to cause I wasn't moderating it. And it turns out most of the threads I would be moderating are the ones that I'm not paying attention to. So like I'm looking for like the weird stuff posts and the art posts and the music posts and like oddball technology and occasional internet drama, fractious, and like, and being able to just put it down and walk away is fantastic. As far as that goes, it's definitely, I'm enjoying myself on the blue a little bit more the last couple months, as far as that goes.

Okay, thank you. Right. It definitely has a lot to do with the fact that your mother raised in a lot of them and then you are like, well that, so you assume a different position there, right?


Even though I have to agree that there is this balance. That to me, it's weird because then during my day off and peeking in the site and reading things, and then am I get to this point where I am like, huh? My being a user right now, or.

It's a, it's a f*****g, I tell you it's one of the biggest mind f***s at this job is like, you know, having to navigate your own understanding of your navigation of that space is a, it's an oral borrows.

Talking about this during your lengthy reboot too, is trying to figure out like what time that I'm spending interacting with, you know, loop or users or you, or paperwork is, you know, work time. And, and what's just me being me, which I would have been doing. If I weren't also the nominal owner of.

Tyler alert, the division is not clear right now. And she is underestimating how much.

Doing a terrible job as usual getting paid. This is just the story of my life. I will work on it. I have endeavored to work on it.

This is, this is sort of endemic to like, this is kind of like the nature of the meta filter Stafford's to some extent.

Yeah. I usually ask her to report how many hours she worried.

And I reported the literal meetings that I went to and nothing else.

Yeah. And I was like, okay, come on. You've been talking, just talking to me, you have spent like twice a month.

I know. Well, and I didn't feel like I should count the podcast because Josh doesn't get paid for those. I don't think,

I mean, what I worked there like it fell into, well, that's one of the things I'm doing, but like I've never like paid myself an hourly bonus for podcasts. Yeah.

And Metta filter used to pay for my phone and does not, and that's fine for doing the podcast, but yeah, it's worth trying to pay more attention without also feeling like, you know, I'm bilking the site of, I don't know, it's a difficult issue for me. I should get some more time in therapy.

Yeah. Like it's, it's weird, stupid, complicated, emotional space thinking of it like, cause like it's better filter. Hasn't been like, you know, riding high on a good budget in a long time. So it's hard not to buy produce of caring about the site and wanting to do stuff for it because you care about it. It's hard not to sort of discount like yeah. But does that really doesn't really need like a dollar amount and I can just, and like, yeah. It's you should get paid. And also there's no money at like, you know, how do you balance those out?

That's super funny to me. Cause, cause I have this thing where I had this conversation with lobster meeting during the transition and we're Jessamine now where I'm like, no, if you were there and you were working, you were supposed to be paid for that. Right. But doing it to myself.

And also it's tricky because I think, you know, there used to be kind of slush time when moderators, if they had stuff they were working on, could do that during not their moderator time. And so that's been, I think, corralled in a way that yeah,

Yeah. We, we used to have the flexibility to just like throw some extra hours on like by implication, it was just on the,

I worked on the FAQ for an hour. So pay me for that, even though it wasn't my mud shift, but it was hard to predict. And as a result with the, of budgeting and also unless your mud shift is really super busy, hopefully you can nest those things. Not that I would tell anybody how to do their job, but so that's been a change. I think what.

I know for a fact that you would tell people how to,

If you would like to get into this, Josh.

No, no, absolutely not. I just, I just have terrible instincts. It's all.


But yes, it's an interesting and tricky conundrum trying to figure out how this all works. Oh my God. Sorry. I thought the blanket I was under was, which is an electric blanket, but I haven't turned it on. I felt like it had turned itself on and I was going to die from sweat.

Oh. I thought maybe it's gonna be like a squirrel report or something.

Squirrel report. They are outside. They're climbing all over the Sue. It they're driving me crazy. There's a Goldfinch about a foot and a half from my nose outside, but I'm sorry. Were we getting somewhere?

Yeah. Going back to exactly that. No, don't worry. Going back to exactly that. It just crossed my mind curse. Cause I think one of the things that we've been getting way better at is literally the fact that does not apply to you, to Janice and me and myself, but to the other moderators, we've gotten to a point where it's like, I think they are in a position where they know exactly what they are focusing on. So the vision is clearer, right. For both you and I it's like sometimes in requires us to be like all over the place. Right. But I think it was before the worst of that. Everybody was, had to be all over the place and wear many hats. Now I don't think it's the case anymore. So that's getting better. And that actually makes me happy. Very happy. Yeah.

No I agree. I think that's, I think that's a positive change and hopefully one that's good for the mod team in addition to just, you know, being acceptable and workable for, you know, the site and the users.



That's not my problem anymore. So will you.

Stop with that?


Make it your problem.

Probably a couple more months probably to get out of my system. It's.

Wishful thinking or sometimes it's.

Probably, well, what is it, what does it say about like, you know, the, you need like half as long as the relationship to recover from the breakup for it like seven and a half, like I'll be 50 and I'll be like completely chill about everything medical-related by then. So.

I, I want that for you, Josh.

I'm good. There I'm actually it's, it's been good.

I feel like maths there, but let's see if he feels the same way when we cancel this Netflix,

He probably doesn't even f*****g use that account either. That's probably part of why this is a for people who have no idea what the f**k were talking about, like Lupe was looking over a PayPal stuff and found a Netflix charge. And I was like, Hey, it is your Netflix on, on the company,

Like a dodgy thing that you would do Josh.

Well, yeah, no, I've, I've very pointedly. Not like put anything that wasn't explicitly work-related on there and now I've pulled all that off. But like, you know, it's like, well, no, I don't even have Netflix anymore, but it wouldn't have been on the thing. Could it be maps? But we changed all the bank account stuff when Matt left. So it wouldn't be, but it was like the old PayPal account, which has a gigantic storm of payments every month. So finding one line item, especially if you're not looking for it, which PayPal does not make it easy to like loop has caught this thing. That's probably been there for yeah. At least, at least probably five years. Maybe more.

And then come on, let's give you some credit. The thing is that you had to so many different things, right? 10 different hats,

But I'm also like, oh, that's f*****g Netflix. Like.

We have been looking at numbers for the past month and a half or two months. Every single day. Right. Thank you so much. I mean, it's one of those things where you can do it just because of the support from everyone. Right? I mean, I see it. And when I say this, I actually mean it. I can see the change in how the community is reacting to the things that we're doing. I can, I have you every single day, every time I reach out to Josh, he is like, okay, let me actually, this is not supposed to be my problem anymore, but it actually is. Let me help you. I mean, everybody is helping, right. So it's not like I'm doing a Titanic job. It's mostly like everybody is and that's, to me, it's amazing.


Along here.

Yeah. Keep, keep it healthy.

Maybe that's a good place to wrap it up.


Actually, actually you were touching. We didn't even mention the thing that I am that has the, to me, it's what it's making me super happy and is, I don't even want to think about all the amazing work that the transition team has been putting in.

Oh yeah.

I can't believe that. We didn't even mention that. Cause to me it's been like, how are they doing? And I am like, they're doing great, but I literally it's one of those things that even paying attention to where they are at it's extra attention that I haven't had in the past weeks. Right. And I check in with them and everything, but it's so much that it actually gives me a lot of perspective into how many of the things Josh, Uber do. And I was like, Nope, I couldn't have done any, anything. If it was exactly the same thing, like you are going to be doing what Josh was doing, I would have runaway. Right.

And to some extent, like, you know, it was also like hitting breaking points where the S it was the stuff that I was in theory doing, and wasn't able to do all of it. Yeah. Know, it was not sustainable. So like, I'm very glad to hear that balance is existing there. And yeah, no, I, I I've had the, again, I've had the pleasure of not having to keep real close track of it. The transition team has checked in with me about a couple of things, but most of their, I think when they're checking in it's with like the continuing staff and yeah, they've been doing a ton of good thoughtful work and trying to move this along. And that's, it's really fantastic.

And just thank you all for doing that work and making it possible for me to not like spend a couple of months dragging myself along and trying to come up with a framework or a skeleton of something myself when I was already that extremely done.

Yeah. And there's been a really nice the people who are going over the survey, there's been a really nice thread on Metta talk. You know, they're like, look, we're gonna change the scope a little bit of the review of these answers, if that's okay with people. And also does anybody want to help? Cause it turns out this is kind of a big thing. And that's actually been going really well. Like people are super positive about it, which is great. And they're going to get a little bit of help from other people to let them review it. I know I've had like a really gratifying, you know, back and forth, ongoing email exchange with Brandon.

Blancher just talking about, you know, kind of his view of transition team stuff and where it overlaps with my stuff and how I need to stop emailing him. Cause I'm doing too much work, but you know, it's just been, it's been gratifying to see power being able to shift and be in a different place and having this site still doing okay.

Yeah. And that, I mean, that's part of what will make it possible to keep this sort of healthier, like future balance like that is the thing, like if no one person has to do everything, then everybody can have a better shot at doing the things they are doing. And that's like, it's, it sounds simple putting it out loud, but like I've recognized how much I was not like, you know, following that thinking in practice, you know, when I worked there still, so it's yeah. It's great. I I'm really, I'm really happy to see things going along and yeah, thank you all for that work. And yeah. The survey data thing, like dealing with qualitative survey data is a huge f*****g task. Like it is something it's a very good thing to get some extra hands on.

Cause like it's easy to underestimate how much work it will be. Hey, do you remember the favorite survey? Gentlemen? I have a friend. She has a low key man fight who has like bugged me literally every year about that. Like it stopped being a serious bug, but at that, like it just became a yearly ritual was like, oh, Hey, so when are you gonna put up the favorites survey data? And like, yeah, it was a humongous.

Saying that the data, oh my God, I forgot.

Collected a huge amount of data. And it was just impossible to f*****g get through in a reasonable way. And it was just not the important thing at the time and.

Charge at the time you met,

This was like 2008. So I was like, still beat you in your mod.

So I was the senior mud, but it was, this was all Matt's fault though. Yeah,

Yeah. Yeah. And I don't know that Matt was ever that interested in the survey.

Well, he wasn't because, I mean, I think the entire point was Matt liked favorites and that was a little bit more when the site was just Matt, like he made the decisions, he added titles, he, you know, launched a beta of travel filter that never went anywhere. Like there was a bunch of stuff he did just because it was his and that's how it worked. And that has changed, I think, mostly for the better, but there was a lot of grousing about favorites. I seem to recall, God, I have seriously suppressed this memory.

We could go down a rabbit hole. This could be for another episode. I haven't been done. There there's a lot we could dig into there. But anyway,

The big argument about whether favorites were ruining the site or not. And so in order to get some more data on it, there was a survey, the results of which were never really,

I love first that came on the tail end of like experimentally hiding them, which was the thing that got people. So, so, so angry and in retrospect was like a real bold move cotton. But yeah, it's a whole thing anyway. Yes. This.

Could be a whole,

I'm just trying to make things uncomfortable enough that we stopped. So, so I could go to the bathroom.

Because literally one of the things that keeps me sane in here, it's the fact that I don't have all of that bag, you know?

Yeah. God bless you. Getting out from 20 years of f*****g baggage is like, that's a healthy move for the site, just in general,

20, 25, 20, 20, 22.

And change going on 23, Hey, the birthday's coming up like middle of June is the Cyprus.

Trust me. I care. Like you have no idea about the site and about how things improve and change and everything. Sure. But the thing has, as much as I care, I don't have that many years of baggage to get in the way. Right.

Yeah. It's like baggage in the, in the purest sense. I don't regret having a long sense of history on meta filter and that can potentially be a resource now and then to y'all in that capacity. But the baggage thing is like, yeah, there's a lot of your, you know, you have feelings about your family that stopped being sort of rational at a certain point because it's just these people you've lived with for so long. It's the same thing happens with online communities. Like, yeah. There's a lot of people in my family. It's complicated anyway. Yes. All right. Well, this has been f*****g delightful. And we talked about two metal filter posts and I feel like that's a triumph, so why don't we wrap it up and we'll figure out what happens next month or middle of next month.

If we want to alienate a bunch of people with more video game talk,

I'm pretty well this time. But yeah, I have to go talk to a nice lady about strategic planning in public libraries. That's my next meeting. So this has been great,

Luke, thanks so much for coming on and being on and also, you know, for literally everything. But this has been a real pleasure. I'm glad we got to just like Yammer like this for a while. And I would be happy to have you on in the future as you are so inclined.

Thank you so much.

I mean, for that matter, you can decide what happens there because,

Well, I mean, you know, how, when and how to reach me, I'm literally here. It's one of those things where I'm glad to be here. And I mean, I have no opinions on that. Trust me. I need to have opinions on so many things right now that this is one of those where I'm like, Nope, no opinions.

That we we're the, we're the no opinion squad we come here and just have blessing freedom from opinions for awhile. All right. Well, Hey, thanks everybody for listening. And that's a podcast and we'll do whatever we do next. Whenever we do it next. Yeah.

See you next month. Hey.