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Podcast 61 Transcript

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A transcript for Episode 61: "Know Your Moderators II: Restless Boogaloo."

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


jingle: (theme song)

mathowie: Episode 61, starring (pause) new mod Jeremy.

jessamyn: restless_nomad.

restless_nomad: Hi, guys.

mathowie: This would be "Better Know a Moderator, Part II."

jessamyn: What?

mathowie: Because I think we did one with Vacapinta.

jessamyn: Oh, that's right! Midnight mod interview.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: So this is, whatever we call it, junior mod interview, weekend mod interview. I'm supposed to pass on thank yous from my boyfriend for you actually having working with us, so that we could actually go hiking and not worry about the site for like the first Sunday in recent memory.

restless_nomad: Yeah, I think he and Josh's wife are going to be my biggest fans.

cortex: Yes, yes. [jessamyn laughs] And Angela very much appreciates your being on staff.

mathowie: I'm a fan, and a couple times this weekend I was like, "Oh my God, I need to delete

that," and you had beat me to the punch by like two minutes, so.

restless_nomad: Excellent.

mathowie: Yeah. Jessamyn, is there any cell coverage on most hiking in Vermont?

jessamyn: Well, I was in New Hampshire--

mathowie: Oh.

jessamyn: --and, in fact, the cell coverage was terrific.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: It was better than at my home [laugh], and better than almost anyplace else, including the highways. Because basically, I was on the topper [?], almost the top of one of the tallest peaks in New Hampshire, which is three thousand feet or something, it's not very tall.

mathowie: Mm-hm.

jessamyn: One of [?] the hiking. And so you get, like, your cell coverage gets better the further up the mountain you go.

mathowie: Huh. Any time you get off the road in Oregon, you're toast, you could just die, doesn't matter.

jessamyn: Yeah. No, no no, around here you're actually kind of better off the road if you have better altitude, because, you know, it's all like gulleys and mountains, and if you're in a gulley you're screwed and if you're on a mountain you're alright.

mathowie: Oh, that's true.

jessamyn: In fact, I did that iPhone thing where you kinda track where your phone has been, you know,

and it's basically more of like, when I've been in better cell coverage and very little kind of where I've been.

mathowie and cortex: [chuckle]

jessamyn: And there's a dead spot in New Hampshire, where I totally was!, but my phone totally wasn't, because there's just no towers by the highway.

cortex: It's sorta backwards--you get a whole bunch of people's data together, you could put together a cell coverage map based on reality rather than what any given--

mathowie: That's what I hypothesized: remove the mapping and just overlay

everyone's files to get like a semi-accurate map of America.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: It would be pretty cool.

jessamyn: I think it's great, a great idea. Although, people like--

cortex: All you have to do is get, you know, a hundred million Americans to send you their private geolocation data and you'll be all set.

restless_nomad: Super easy.

jessamyn: Well, and like we saw with Foursquare--remember how Foursquare did the like, "Check in at your polling place!" and then they did this whole map of polling places? You know, it's much more of an analysis of who's on Foursquare than it is

where the polling places are, at the end of the day?

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: And I wonder if iPhones are distributed the same way, if you just don't find as many of them in Vermont, North Dakota, or places where they came in really late, Wyoming.

mathowie: Yeah. Brandon Blatcher did remove my map and did his "Portrait of a webmaster," which is, it's really cool. Even though I don't have to drive to any co-locators or co-locations or anything, so it's not actually a portrait of a webmaster's job, it's

just mostly vacations and stuff.

jessamyn: Wait, what am I looking at? This looks like your bloodstream.

mathowie: This is my iPhone tracking of Oregon without Oregon behind it. So that's the coast on the left.

jessamyn: Ohhh.

mathowie: And then the 5 freeway is the middle thing.

jessamyn: And that's where you live, and that's you driving to Portland.

mathowie: It's actually--yeah, Portland's the big giant circles, where I don't actually live, but that's where the most cell towers are, so.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Right. Boston, same with me. Boston--I think I only went to New York City a couple times

but New York City's this huge blob--

mathowie: It's a gigantic, yeah.

jessamyn: --because you hit, like, every tower on the coast when you drive down the coast in your--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: This has nothing to do with Jeremy.

[all laugh]

cortex: That's not so-- [?]

mathowie: Well, you joined us halfway through geologic radio transmission talk.

cortex and jessamyn: [laugh]

restless_nomad: Yeah, I don't even have an iPhone.

mathowie: Whaat? How do you live?

restless_nomad: Yeah. I've had too many jobs where--

jessamyn: What kind of phone do you have?

restless_nomad: Oh, I have a--whatever free phone Sprint sent me the last time

they wanted me to re-up my contract.

mathowie jessamyn and restless nomad: [chuckle]

jessamyn: Wait, wait, you're not even on AT&T? This is great!

restless_nomad: Uh-huh!

jessamyn: This is diversity at work.

restless_nomad: [laughs]

cortex: No more single points of failure here.

restless_nomad: Right.

mathowie: Sweet.

restless_nomad: There's probably some truth to that, actually.

jessamyn: Sprint phone, PC...

mathowie: So where do we start with the moderator talk? [chuckles]

jessamyn: [laughs]

cortex: What are your impressions of this last couple weeks here?

jessamyn: Right. You had your first full weekend at work when actually Josh and I were less around

than I think we were your first official real weekend at work. How'd it go?

restless_nomad: Well, my basic standard is, "Did I cause any MetaTalk posts?" And it appears, no, I had nothing to do with the snakes, so I think we're good.

mathowie jessamyn and cortex: [laugh]

jessamyn: Well, you know, that's a really good point! I think both Josh and I had MetaTalk threads started about us when we started.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Well, and--

jessamyn: We should go back and check, but I bet we did.

mathowie: Well, we pre-warned everyone.

cortex: No, no, I'm sure we both did. And part of is, like, both of us, when we came on

respectively, it was sort of like, we did some moderating, and then someone was like, "Bruhh?", and that's what led to discussion.

jessamyn: "You work here?!" [laughs]

cortex: Yeah. So in this case, I think by having the, "Hey! So, Jeremy's going to be helping out now," thing up front--

jessamyn: Later! Not right yet!

cortex: There was less of that, yeah, "Why wasn't I consulted?" shit, you know.

mathowie: [laughs]

jessamyn: We worked hard to craft that message.

cortex: Huh? Oh.

restless_nomad: [laughs] I did see a couple people flagging some of my mod notes, so I suspect not everyone's gotten the message [jessamyn and cortex laugh], but I went ahead and put a link to my intro post

in my profile.

cortex: That's a good idea, yeah.

restless_nomad: So hopefully that will head some of that off.

cortex: It'll probably take a little while. I bet you will still have one at some point, like someone will have missed the MetaTalk originally by enough of a mark and will not do enough looking around that they'll be like, "Who the hell is this? Who do they think they are?"

jessamyn: Or any looking around. [laughs]

cortex: Yeah.

restless_nomad: Mm-hm.

cortex: But we'll see.

mathowie: Oh, so you left a comment like, "Hey, removed a few things, you guys should stay on topic," and people flagged that?

restless_nomad: Yeah, couple times yesterday.

jessamyn and cortex: [laugh]

mathowie: That's funny.

jessamyn: That happens!

restless_nomad: Well, I mean, I suppose anybody could use those tags, it's just it looks modly.

cortex: Yeah, well, and every once in a while I see someone leave a random aside of some sort or another--sometimes people do it as a joke, to literally riff on admin comments, but sometimes someone will do it just like, that's how they decided to format an aside is exactly the way we only ever do it when we're leaving mod comments [chuckles], like, you know? It might be a little bit confusing if you make a habit of that, so. But yeah. But I guess that does speak to the fact that we don't have any specific official mod stylesheet, so it's sort of the trade-off to having

it dealt with more sort of unofficially is every once in a while someone's going to maybe misapprehend that.

restless_nomad: Mm-hm.

jessamyn: Oh, we could have all our comments blink, is what you're saying.

cortex: Yes. In Comic Sans, 14 point, red.

mathowie and jessamyn: [laugh]

mathowie: Marquee!

jessamyn: But yeah. Jeremy, I'm really curious, because you came from--I mean, you mentioned it briefly in MetaTalk, that you actually, unlike all of us, have community management background, but it's really different than sort of the Metafilter kind of community.

I was just curious, like, one of the things that I thought has been great, like talking to you about this last like couple weeks, is how much you're like, "Oh my God, this is so much different," and, like, in some ways almost more straightforward than the stuff you've done in the past, and I was curious if you could talk like just briefly about like, what did you used to do? And what was that like? I mean, to the extent that you can, you know, various non-disclosure agreements and God only knows what, but that's what I'm curious about.

restless_nomad: Well, most of that isn't a secret, because, well, it takes place in public. You can Google me and find a lot of that. So what I've done, for the last five years or so, is I've been in the online video game industry specifically, so I didn't work on World of Warcraft, but games like that, to give everyone a baseline. And as a community--

jessamyn: Oh, I'd just been saying World of Warcraft, but--

restless_nomad: Yeah. It's the same thing, to most people there's really no difference.

jessamyn: WoW-type. Alright.

restless_nomad: But what I--depending on the job, and I had one job where I didn't do any forum moderation at all, because our forums are run by a fan site, and so I didn't have any direct control over them, but I would post there, I would pass information along and gather feedback to take back to the developers. But I have worked on games where we had our own forums, and forum moderation to some extent is the same everywhere, but they were all single-topic forums, and if we had off-topic

forums at all it was no sex, no religion, no politics. Which solves a lot of problems.

jessamyn: What does no sex even mean in like a gaming forum? I mean, I assume it means no rape-y stuff, but other than that...

cortex: No cybering?

jessamyn: [laughs] No, "I'm a girl"?

restless_nomad: No, well, it basically means, no PG-13, nothing above PG-13. So really, kind of no sex at all.

mathowie: Can you talk about how hot your avatar is?

restless_nomad: Yes, and God, people do.

mathowie jessamyn and cortex: [laugh]

mathowie: I was joking! Really? Wow.

restless_nomad: Oh no, really, really, people do.

mathowie: Wow.

restless_nomad: I had to explain to one user once that she wasn't allowed to set her forum avatar as a close-up shot of her character's boobs [jessamyn and mathowie chuckle], even though there wasn't speci--like, it was an actual in-game shot, but that

it was specifically sexualized, and so that wasn't cool. If she backed out the zoom a little bit, it'd be fine, but the just one nipple shot, not so much.

jessamyn: [laughs] That's great!

mathowie: Oh, man.

jessamyn: Those are conversations you're never gonna have at Metafilter, I don't think.

cortex and mathowie: [laugh]

restless_nomad: Ohh, I am so, so happy there are no images at all. My least favorite part of anything.

jessamyn: [laughs]

mathowie: Wow.

restless_nomad: So I would--I did some forum moderation

--in the community management field in the game industry, people get really cranky when you imply that they only do forum moderation, because most of us don't, and most of that is outsourced, but most of what I did was generating website content, handling feedback, passing that feedback along to the developers, getting into screaming fights with designers and/or marketing people [cortex chuckles] and/or VPs...

jessamyn: We don't scream here, by the way.

restless_nomad: [laughs] I have noticed that! It's a refreshing change.

jessamyn: We don't even all caps in e-mail unless we're making jokes.

restless_nomad: [laughs] Yeah, and there's no marketing people, which is even nicer.

So yeah, I've done a lot of things, basically anything that's publicly visible I have probably done at some point. But it's an interesting perspective.

jessamyn: And for five years! So, like, five years ago, that's when Josh started,

and I started, almost, at Metafilter. So you've--that was like the wild frontier, five years ago.

restless_nomad: Kind of. The game industry [chuckle]--so, the funny thing about community management in the game industry is, we all know each other, we have probably all worked together or will all work together at some point in the future, we have our own forums, because that's kind of what we do.

jessamyn: Don't tell Josh about these forums.

restless nomad and cortex: [laugh]

restless_nomad: Yeah. Yeah, the community management forums are, they're professional forums, that's where we compare forum software and talk about how people are making Twitter supposedly make the company money and stuff like that, so they're fairly specific. But so where I was going with that is, we consider the very first community pretty much ever to be, well, one of my old bosses, because, again, we all have worked together.

About '99 is when he started?

jessamyn: Whoo!

mathowie: Wow.

restless_nomad: So online games are probably one of the first places where this position as a position with a title started. So we've got some history, and by the time I started, there were some industry standards and best practices and a lot of people with a fair amount of experience. Which is neat!

Before that I did community management for a local band, and that was
a completely different story.

cortex: [chuckles]

restless_nomad: Yeah, see, Josh knows.

mathowie: So any more weird stories like the cleavage icons?

jessamyn: We can't get enough of those.

restless_nomad: Oh, [??]. Well, so my favorite one--and Jessamyn, I think I've told you this one, but I was working for a Korean-based game, which has--Korean games have a very particular art style, it's very anime-esque,

very pretty. And one of the players, as a joke, said--you know, I had taken one of the orcs as my avatar, just 'cause. And one of the players said, "I know you're an orc, and I'm a light elf, and I'm not sure it'll ever work, but will you marry me?" And the running joke, at that time, was that there are no male light elves, because they're just so super pretty and feminine that the male and the female
both look about equally girly. And so I said--

jessamyn: Should I be Googling 'light elf' at this point?

mathowie and cortex: [chuckle]

restless_nomad: You can if you want to.

jessamyn: [chuckles] Ah, yes.

restless_nomad: So I said, "Well, you know, I'm really flattered, but I prefer my women a little more butch." And what no one in the community got--then, or I think, ever--is that I was being totally literal.

jessamyn: [laughs] That you actually were female.

restless_nomad: Yeah, no, I really do prefer slightly more butch women

than that! But yeah, that won me the hearts of that community forever.

cortex and jessamyn: [laugh]

restless_nomad: It's probably the only time I--

jessamyn: Look for your light elf.

restless_nomad: Yeah. Lineage II was the game. I am surprised that no one bit on that and asked me what games I'd worked on, and I was totally expecting one of my players to pop up at me like, "Oh, I know you!" But it's probably just as well.

cortex: [laughs] It may come out with time. Next time's there's

some sort of argument about Korean gaming or something, you know, you can--

restless_nomad: Uh-huh.

cortex: --drop some knowledge.

jessamyn: Like, "Oh, you're that person!"

restless_nomad: [skeptically] Yeah.

jessamyn: Well, and what sorts of best practice types do you like use or employ in moderating gaming forums that either would be interesting to us or are so completely different from what we do, because I'm vaguely fascinated in, like, what other communities, especially ones that are formed around an idea as opposed to just formed around talking, or,

you know, a thing, as opposed to just talking about talking, like, what rules do you just not have to even think about any more, or what rules do you actually bring to Metafilter that are interesting to you.

restless_nomad: Well, the biggest difference is, all of my communities had a "we do not discuss moderation issues issues in public" policy.

mathowie: Hmm.

restless_nomad: Hands-down, no question, will get deleted, feel free to e-mail me and we'll talk about it privately. A little. And the talking was generally, "I'm in charge,

go away."

cortex and restless nomad: [laugh]

jessamyn: Oh, that really goes over well with this crowd.

restless_nomad: Yeah, totally. [jessamyn laughs] And it's part of the reason I started reading MetaTalk is because it was, first of all, just so totally alien, like, why would you do--why would you have these 400-comment threads on a moderation decision you're not gonna change, what's the good in that? And reading it for a couple of years, it became pretty apparent that it does work for this community. But it's also

a tremendous time-sink that none of my previous employers would have been willing to pay for. Frankly, they'd rather be generating more web content or making a podcast or something like that, for the money they're paying us.

mathowie: Yeah, that came up, something came up with our silent deletions--gah, where was that? Someone was complaining about how we silently delete, we don't email people.

jessamyn: Mm.

mathowie: And someone said they worked at a community board where every deletion prompted an email

between the moderator and the person--

restless_nomad: Oy.

mathowie: And they said, like, that was like six hours a day arguing in e-mail. [cortex laughs] Like, literally, it took like eight e-mails for every interaction we made on the site. And it was just horrible, and it's like, it's as bad as we thought it might be.

restless_nomad: Yeah, that would be my guess, that's... I mean, even on a forum where it's not okay to question the moderator ever, it still generated a fair amount of contact

every time we did something that wasn't immediately obvious.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Well, and it's pretty nice that we don't have content-generating job parts to our--I mean, whatever, like I chit-chat on the site a lot all the time, Josh I know does, Matt does sometimes, and it's nice to not have to think about like that, like, "Oh, I have to make a Metafilter post because that's my job."

restless_nomad: Because it's Friday, and you always make a Metafilter post

on Friday, yeah.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: Yeah, right. Or you're supposed to make two posts per day.

jessamyn: Gotta find another flash game. Six years of flash games. Yeah!

mathowie: I did one, everyone, to try making an anonymous post, just to know what it's like to feel... I don't think Paul or Josh still to this day have made an anonymous post.

cortex: Yeah, I don't think so.

jessamyn: We can go check!

restless_nomad: [laughs]

mathowie: And I just think, like, you should--

cortex: [laughs]

mathowie: There's no way to check, really! But you should do it once just so you know how,

you know, there's a special sort of vulnerability to that, and the worry about being found out, and all that stuff, and how do you interact.

jessamyn: Well, I think the worst part is just that knowing all the rest of us are gonna know who asked that.

mathowie: Yeah. Eh.

jessamyn: [laughs]

mathowie: We have to live with that.

jessamyn: Well, you're our boss, Matt.

mathowie: Yeah, well, I mean, you guys know when I have to use it. Anything else for Jeremy?

cortex: Yeah, I had like seven or eight probing 'gotcha's, but I've forgotten all of them now, so.

mathowie and jessamyn: [laugh]

mathowie: Does an orc versus an elf in a light world work? No.

restless_nomad: Uh-huh. I can point you [???].

jessamyn: Well, and are you a current gamer in addition to your forum work? I mean, I assume the forum work grew out of the fact that you were a gamer to begin with, or... vice versa?

restless_nomad: Yes. Which is another sort of funny story. I was not a very good student in high school, because I was bored and impatient and had no willingness to do homework, but also because

I discovered Ultima Online when I was a junior and started playing it until 4 in the morning every night, which did not help my grades. I did eventually graduate, but, you know, it was sort of skin of my teeth at a couple of points there. [cortex laughs] And then, you know, six or seven years later I'm applying for this job in the game industry, which... I'd kind of moved to Austin because I wanted to work for the company that made Ultima Online, there was a couple of game companies--

mathowie: Wow.

restless_nomad: --in town, Dell was in town, this was I moved here before

the dot-com bubble burst, so Austin was a real boom town at that point. But that was always sort of in the back of my head, and then my friend got a job over at NCsoft, which was sort of the spiritual successor, and then a position came up that I was, with my work in the music business, actually qualified for. And I walk into the interview and sit down and the guy says, "Well, why do you want the job?" And I said, "Well, I've been playing online games since I was 16," and he said, "Oh, what do you play?" and I said, "Well, Ultima Online,"
and he said, "Oh, really, what server?" and I tell him, and he says, "Oh, do you remember this particular role-playing group?" And I said, "Well, yeah, of course, they were really big on that server. Who did you play?" And he tells me, and I said, "Man, do you remember, we met in the tavern in Trinsic [jessamyn laughs] during the zombie invasion [mathowie laughs] in like 1998 and we had this whole long conversation?" and he goes, "Oh, that was you? Totally!" And that was pretty much the end of the interview.

cortex: [laughs] Nice.

restless_nomad: Yeah. Yes.

jessamyn: Hurray!

mathowie: That's awesome.

restless_nomad: My ask [?]--like, people always want to know how you got into the game industry, because it's this big secret thing, and I'm like, "Well, you really have to hang out in virtual taverns during zombie attacks, that's my secret."

jessamyn: [laughs] So keep playing your games, kids!

restless_nomad: Uh-huh. Yeah, it's just totally random. And then, of course, I get a job on Ultima Online a couple years after that and got to go back to my high school and

talk to a couple of the teachers there that I'm still friendly with, and basically just gloat at them.

cortex: [laughs]

restless_nomad: Like, I won, I made the right choice there.

mathowie: [laughs]

jessamyn: [laughs] Staying up late was the right decision.

restless_nomad: Mm-hm.

mathowie: Screw school!

cortex: That's your message for today, kids: whatever you do, don't get good grades!

restless_nomad: [laughs]

mathowie: Video games always save your day.

restless_nomad: Uh-huh.

jessamyn: I can't even imagine trying to explain to people that I stayed up late, like in high school, playing Atari.

jessamyn: I - I - I can't even imagine trying to explain to people that I stayed up late, like, in high school playing Atari... like (laugh) I don't even think we had, like, "stay up late" video games. Someone, I'm sure, will correct me since it's the podcast, but...

cortex: Well, I mean, there's - there's always been video games you could stay up late playing... I mean, it's almost tautological.

jessamyn: But like, how do you stay up late playing Atari 2600? Like...

cortex: You play the shit out of it! I mean, guys--

mathowie: Well, here, Pitfall!, Pitfall! was a 20-minute run, right? And so all you had, so you had to go as far as you could in 20 minutes. So you could do, you know, three an hour--

cortex: Yeah, you just keep going and try to improve.

mathowie: --keep going and going.

cortex: You could play Journey's Escape until your mind

melts, which is a paradox, because no one whose mind had not already melted would bother playing Journey Escape.

mathowie and jessamyn: [laugh]

cortex: But it had a really great piece of art on the cartridge, so.

jessamyn: I think there was a way to get like endless lives on Asteroids, which I think you needed because Asteroids was incredibly hard.

cortex: I think you may just be missing the fundamental thing that happens to people who have this part of their brain that makes them play video games, is, everything that's really hard eventually gets to the point where you can do it pretty easily once you

do it for-fucking-ever. So you just have to stay up late developing the skillset, and so if you get the little "press the button, get the pellet" sort of thing in your brain from playing video games, it's really easy to drop six hours running just pressing that button and getting that pellet.

jessamyn: This doesn't happen with Scrabble.

mathowie: [chuckles]

cortex: Well, you know, for some people it does. I mean, you've seen fucking Scrabble documentaries with people who [jessamyn laughs] play Scrabble six hours a day, and in the evening all they do is sit around memorizing the dictionary, and,

you know...

jessamyn: I feel like I hit a plateau with Scrabble. But yeah, you're right, there must just be some missing part from my brain that doesn't do the pellet thing.

sfx: [Music: Robot Choir by goodnewsfortheinsane]

sfx: [Music: Robot Choir by goodnewsfortheinsane, continued]

jessamyn: Although that does lead me into a Project that I really liked.

cortex: Well, do tell.

jessamyn: Well, I don't know. Jeremy, do you want to stick around and talk Metafilter stuff with us, or do you actually have things to do?

restless_nomad: I've got no other plans, so I'm happy to be--

cortex: Alright!

mathowie: [laughs]

jessamyn: Hurray!

mathowie: Hurray!

jessamyn: Well, 'cause going back to Projects, there was the Habit Judo project, which--

cortex: Oh yeah.

mathowie: Oh yeah.

jessamyn: --specifically deals with the selective reinforcement thing? It was by our own leotrotsky, and it was in Projects, and then maxwelton posted it to Metafilter, and then I guess it wound up at the Guardian, I think? He dropped us an e-mail a couple days ago, I'll see if

I can find that.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Yeah, it got a neat little write-up.

mathowie: Yeah, it was in there.

jessamyn: Yeah! But it's like the idea of intermittent variable reward. So it's not like you press the button, you get the food pellet all the time; it's like, you press the button and sometimes the food pellet comes, and that's the thing that keeps you pressing the button, right--

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: --not because you can always do it, but because you can sometimes do it.

cortex: Yeah, there's not just the payoff, but there's the anticipation of a payoff and because you don't get the payoff every single time, you don't get as quickly tolerant to the stimuli,

as it were, so.

jessamyn: It's the crazy seeking mechanism, right?

mathowie: There's a monster, yeah.

jessamyn: We talk about it on every podcast.

Sorry, Matt, monster?

mathowie: There's a monster amount of psychological research on that, on variable rewarding systems. That's how all gambling works.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: That you'll win enough to keep you interested, but not so much that you actually make money on it, or that the house doesn't maintain their advantage, or whatever.

mathowie: Or--any game you like, it's because you

continue--because you variably win.

cortex: Well, yeah.

mathowie: Like Scrabble. You don't win every time, but you win enough to make it worth it, and it feels like you're influencing that decision.

cortex: Yeah, anything, any game that gave you just the actual expected return every time--

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: You know, with gambling, the whole point is the house has the edge, but the edge manifests itself over time, so if you literally just got the expected outcome from every hand of blackjack you play, you wouldn't bet anything, or you would say, "I'm going to lose ten dollars this hour. Please take my

ten dollars. Gee, that was fun."

mathowie: [chuckles]

cortex: You know, it's like there's no fun in--

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: But if you're up and down, you're up and down. You get the wins, you get the loses, you know.

jessamyn: Well, and you always think you can quit while you're up, and then fuck the house! and then RAR! And that's everybody's dream that is so rarely realized, right.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: That you go in and you just stick a quarter in a slot machine and make a hundred bucks and then leave.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: But losing three percent every throw consistently wouldn't give you that same illusion [mathowie chuckles], even though it's functionally the same thing that's going on, so.

mathowie: Yeah. Wow! I almost didn't approve Habit Judo

because it's a link to an Excel file on his Dropbox, and I was going to e-mail him and go--

cortex: Well, I think the whole thing came up sort of quickly, was part of the thing. Because I remember it coming up in the discussion, like, he was just sort of talking about it--

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: --and that led to the whole project. So it was very sort of full of[??] nothing sort of thing.

jessamyn: Well, and then he did it, and then he made an app, right? I mean, I think there's an app now that goes with the--

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Well, he made, too. That's why I was going to e-mail him and go "Dude, I'd approve this if you owned it. You have to start a blog about it, please!"

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Right. Just do something!

mathowie: Yeah. Something more than Excel.

cortex: I'm very happy

about--there's a project from Plutor, that I'm very happy about [mathowie chuckles], that he started called "The On-Line Blog of Integer Sequences".

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: And it's just him reading through [jessamyn gasps] the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences and saying, "Oh, hey, this is a fun sequence. I'll make a little post about it."

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: You know, talks a little bit about the sequence and tells you what it is, and he's been doing a couple of posts now that are like, you know, integer sequence quizzes, so if you're really into this sort of thing, you can try and figure out what it is and then he'll post the update like on Monday. And it's neat! It's a super charming little math nerd blog, and I was so happy when

he put it up. So yeah.

jessamyn: That's terrific! Not a ton of comments.

mathowie: I couldn't even--I couldn't wrap my head around a single post. I have no--[cortex chuckles] This could be in Chinese, like I don't even understand what's going on.

cortex: Warning: slightly mathy.

mathowie: Super fucking mathy.

jessamyn: No, I get it. It's really, really interesting.

mathowie: That reminds me of my favorite thing I learned last week, which was 1337% of what pi equals is

cortex and mathowie: 42 exactly.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: What?!

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: What?!

cortex: It--

mathowie: Yeah. 1337 [leet] times pi = 42.

restless_nomad: [laughs]

mathowie: And it actually works, if you try it.

jessamyn: Well, of course it actually works! You can't make math assertions that aren't true, because people kill you for that!

cortex: [laughs] I need to start making up fake math assertions and pass them around. Fake math assertions, fake anagrams. That could be a blog, "Fake Anagrams."

mathowie: Yeah. [laughs] Fake anagrams.

cortex: It would just like, it would be anagrams that are like, they're great--

mathowie: Two word, two letters off.

cortex: --except for the part where they're totally wrong, yeah.

mathowie: [chuckles]

jessamyn: That the anagram for Muammar Qaddafi is, yeah. "Oil Dickhead In Yeast[?]" or something.

mathowie: [chuckles]

cortex: Yes. You've got it.

jessamyn: People are like, "What about the Q?"

mathowie: "Where'd the C come from?"

jessamyn: [laughs] "Is there a C in Qaddafi?" And Josh is like, "No, no, it's phonetic."

mathowie and cortex: [laugh]

jessamyn: That's it, Josh, phonetic anagrams!

cortex: I just, I used different phonetic renderings for each side of the anagram, I, you know, it's totally legitimate!

jessamyn: [laughs]

mathowie: The most popular one was the Big Map Blog, which also ended up on the thingy.

cortex: Oh yeah.

mathowie: And... wow.

jessamyn: The thingy? [laugh] That's what you call it now.

mathowie and cortex: [laughs]

mathowie: Yeah, the thingy, the main site!

cortex: The thithiggybar! The side thing!

mathowie: Wow. Did you see the hilarious Easter Eggsy bit he did for all of us? There's like a Jessamyn-specific map, a Josh-specific map, and there's one of Salem for me and Paul, that I was totally amazed with.

cortex: I totally did not see this.

restless_nomad: Oh, that's awesome.

mathowie: Like, if you look at the original post, like, look, "A note of thanks to the community, I present presents for... blah blah blah."

And then, I didn't even see--

jessamyn: I am ashamed to have not seen this until this minute.

mathowie: Yeah, I didn't see that sentence until this very moment, but I found the Salem post when I was going through the blog going, "Holy crap, I rode my bike down that street yesterday, like, wow, it's an awesome map!"

cortex: Oh, nice. No, yeah, no, I did see this! Yeah. It's a great like 1879 map of Portland.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I didn't even know this was from Metafilter! I saw this just on the Internet and was like--

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: --"This is the best thing ever, [descends into gibberish]"

And, you know, that's pretty much it. Wow. Wow! How do you pronounce this username?

mathowie and restless nomad: [laugh]

cortex: Let's see...

mathowie: [buzzily] Jjjjjjjjigigigig? Jigigiguh?

jessamyn: I think it's just Jijj.

cortex: I'm just gonna say j-6 i j-6.

Or 7? Is it 7, maybe? I can't count the stupid 'j's.
Anyway, it's a palindrome, and that's what matters.

mathowie: Oh. [laughs]

jessamyn: Yeah, that's an awesome Project. A completely awesome Project. It got one more vote than my Project.

mathowie: What was the Jessamyn--Oh, my God, did you see the Jessamyn thing?

jessamyn: [in a strained voice] Matt, what thing?

cortex: [laughs] Nouns!

restless_nomad: [laughs]

mathowie: This is the one he made for Jessamyn, of the library map.

jessamyn: Yeah, yeah, I was just looking at that. It's terrific!

mathowie: Yeah, it's hilarious.

jessamyn: It's beautiful, it's thematic, and

yeah, it's pretty neat. Back when Massachusetts had a thriving library culture.

mathowie and restless nomad: [laugh]

mathowie: What is it now?

jessamyn: I mean, not that they don't, but they just went through this kind of gutting evisceration of services in the state of Massachusetts. But, I can see my house from here!

mathowie: [chuckle] Very cool.

jessamyn: No, seriously, I can see my library. That I had growing up. The Boxboro library.

mathowie: Is it a realistic rendering of the actual building?

jessamyn: Well, it was in--yeah! I mean, that building was a mile from my house where I was growing up, but that's like three libraries ago, so it's interesting to look at it, but like the Concord library or the Acton library is the same. I mean, it's still in that building, they just built more on it. Wow. Wowww!

mathowie: I'm just trying to figure out how much freaking work it was to draw two hundred or three hundred realistic libraries on a map.

jessamyn: Well, what else are you going to do? You're not gonna fuck around playing Asteroids all night.

mathowie and cortex: [laugh]

mathowie: "I would have done better in school if I wasn't map-making until 4 a.m. in my [?]--"

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: It's a really cool map. And the whole project is amazing. Like, people love this stuff and it was really well done and well implemented.

mathowie: Yeah. Yep.

jessamyn: What's this you have, Josh?

cortex: I liked this. It's just a cute little nerdy thing, but it's Star Trek pixel art from Robot Johnny.

mathowie: Oh yeah!

cortex: And so it's like, you know, all the sort of major and major secondary characters across the various Star Trek series runs

done up as tiny little pixel people, and it's pretty adorable, so.

jessamyn: Wow! This is great. This is like kind of those, like, yeah, you see everybody from the Simpsons or whatever, except that it's all the Star Trek people.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: Why is there a dog? What's the significance of the dog on the last line?

jessamyn: It's a character, man.

mathowie: I know.

jessamyn: Why is there a pile of slime? There's a little monster.

mathowie: [chuckle] Yeah, but--dear nerds, tell me the storyline that involved the dog.

cortex: Okay, so that's like the Enterprise era of Star Trek.

mathowie: Ohhh.

cortex: And I didn't watch Enterprise very much, because it was kind of a piece of shit. So yeah, I don't know what the dog was about, I guess there was a dog.

jessamyn: Jeremy, any ideas?

mathowie: I see a cat.

restless_nomad: I'm very much not a Star Trek. It's a cute dog.

jessamyn: So am I, so am I. It looks like Snoopy, I think. And I liked that Garfield that's sort of halfway up on the right. Garfield with the laser eyes.

mathowie: Yeah. That's Next Generation, I'm guessing? Yeah.

restless_nomad: Oh hey, there's Legend down below.

jessamyn: What?

Don't confuse us with facts!

mathowie: Oh!

cortex: [laughs] Madness!

mathowie: I still--one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight!

jessamyn: So, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Porthos!

cortex: Ah, Porthos.

mathowie: Porthos the Dog. Oh, I remember that episode. Not--

jessamyn: I do not.

cortex: Good old Porthos. The Garfield halfway up is Data's cat Spot, for what it's worth.

jessamyn: Here's the dog, man, on the Star Trek wiki.

mathowie: [laughs] Of course there's a Star Trek wiki, and of course there's an entry for the dog.

jessamyn: I called that it was a beagle.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: What's the cat, Josh?

cortex: Spot. Data had a cat named Spot.

jessamyn: Oh. Oh! I remember the cat! I actually know that part. All right, terrif...

mathowie: Why would Data have a cat? He was a robot.

cortex: Well, he didn't give birth to it.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: He had a cat! He was an artificial life form, not a...

mathowie: How would he know when to even feed it? He doesn't feel!

cortex: He's...

jessamyn: Computers know how to feed cats, Matt.

cortex: Data's like... Data's like a person with maybe, significant affective disorder. He's not [non-functional?]

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: ...when you can sort of say "this is how you do this, step by step". You know, he's great at that. He sometimes had trouble understanding the cat's motivations, but usually...

jessamyn: But don't we all? If Ask Metafilter...

cortex: Exactly!

jessamyn: any indication.

cortex: [He would learn?] that struggle with the understanding of foreign beings was part of the very human condition itself. Blah blah blah. I like Data.

mathowie: Cool.

cortex: But we just finished watching like the entire series run of Next Generation, and so I'm mixed with happy nostalgia, yay, it was fun watching it densely, and also sort of tired of some of the things that were really, really tropish about it, so...

mathowie: Hmmm.

cortex: So there you go. Star Trek.

sfx: (pause)

mathowie: [???] (laughs)

jessamyn: Moving on to other games, I like the HTML5 Pac-Man.

cortex: Oh, yeah.

mathowie: How does it work? I never tried it.

cortex: It does work, and it sounds like it's kind of spotty from browser to browser, but it worked fine for me.

jessamyn: It's too bad you guys can't hear this, when we all click on the same thing, and everybody plays Pac-Man for thirty seconds.

mathowie: (sings Pac-Man music.)

jessamyn: Without the headphones, we'd all be like (makes pac-dot eating sounds)

mathowie: (makes pac-dot eating sounds) Didn't Google already do this on their homepage?

sfx: (pause)

jessamyn: Uh...

mathowie: Aw, I'm not getting a map!

sfx: (pause)

jessamyn: You're not... what?

mathowie: I'm not getting maps, like I'm just...

cortex: You've got the sprites, but not...

mathowie: missing the... like, in the black world. It's just, wow. Oh, and then they showed up. Yeah. Kinda buggy, but wow. It's good.

jessamyn: I just like seeing HTML5 doing like cool things.

mathowie: (laughs) Instead of lounging around the standards body.

jessamyn: Yeah! You know, just doing location awareness and sitting... sitting around. I mean it's good to know what the other things are that it does that are non-code-y [???]...

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Nerdy coders. Can I mention my own project?

cortex: Yes.

mathowie: A-ha!

cortex: Unless you'd like me to mention it for you.

jessamyn: Would you?

cortex: So Jessamyn...

mathowie: The tradition of Josh.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: What I've been doing...

jessamyn: Like inverse kind of thing.

cortex: What I've been doing in my Jessamyn persona lately...

jessamyn: Ohhhhhh.

cortex: You have a book! You wrote a goddamn book!

jessamyn: (laughs) I did.

cortex: A book about the digital divide.

jessamyn: And I made a webpage for it.

cortex: Yes, and it's a nice little webpage. And you put that on Projects.

jessamyn: Yeah! Josh helped me with the layout to make it look a little bit like a spammy SEO holding page.

cortex: I helped you like someone sitting in the back of the car, saying "No! No! Take a left here. LEFT!". That helping.

jessamyn: It was helpful!

cortex: I gave brief feedback via IM.

mathowie: I also want to show you there's a one page portfolio done in HTML5 that kind of works in the same way, but without the expand and contract thing. [???]

jessamyn: Oh, I would like to see that.

mathowie: Yeah, I'll send it to you, because it's basically the left nav is like, permanent, like, sort of like a frame, and you click it, and all it does is

scroll for you, down the right side to that spot. It's a little... you know, it looks like a one page site.

jessamyn: That might be weird.

mathowie: No, no, it's good, it's good, it's good.

cortex: So is the book basically out out now? You say it's at the printers...

jessamyn: I haven't touched it yet, it's at the printer, I should be getting it sometime in the next couple of weeks, and basically the website has my whole appendix, bibliography, some FAQ stuff, links to handouts, because one of the things the book talks about is like how to teach people computers, and you know, you can talk

all you want about like "Well, this is Word, it works like this, and downloading a book from Overdrive is like that", but I included a whole mess of handouts that I actually use in my classes and that's why I wanted to have a website in addition to the book, 'cause the book was written like a year ago, mostly, like last summer, and so some of the stuff because it's computers, is already partly out of date.

cortex: Yeah, it's gonna sorta need constant updating, as far as that goes.

jessamyn: Yeah, I mean, we'll see if the publisher gives me a hard time about including my entire bibliography

in websites and everything else, but I was happy with it, and the one-pager was done by [Aaron Schmitt?] who's [arkam?] on MetaFilter. He has a like a usability... library usability company called Influx, and this is their creation. I don't think he specifically did this but they did that.

cortex: Cool.

mathowie: Cool.

jessamyn: [???]

mathowie: When did you finish writing the book?

jessamyn: Well, I finished _writing_ writing at the end of the summer

mathowie: Mm-hm.

jessamyn: --and then did the second draft in November, finished the second draft by November, and then since then it's all been image permissions, copyediting, getting it indexed--which takes a bunch of time, the kind of outsourced page designers are doing infighting with them. There was a lot of back-and-forth in the design process, as you might imagine. So I just literally got it off my, like, I don't have to look at it anymore, probably a month and a half ago.

sfx: [Music: Let It Go Or Give In (Album Version) by pazazygeek]

sfx: [Music: Let It Go Or Give In (Album Version) by pazazygeek, continued]

sfx: [Music: Let It Go Or Give In (Album Version) by pazazygeek, continued]

cortex: Oh, you know, if we're talking about Projects we could mention in passing the little tweak we made to the Projects stylesheet, where now if something gets posted to the front page you can tell from the front page of Projects, because the title is now sort of dark highlighted with a little Metafilter favicon. So if you're wondering what the hell that's about, that's what the hell that's about.

jessamyn: Oh, right, yeah, that's a little thing that we added, and it's nice, actually. I think it works out really well.

cortex: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. We went back and forth about it a bunch on e-mail

and I like what we ended up with. So yeah. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

mathowie: Yeah. Haven't seen a post about it.

jessamyn: Cool! So yeah, if you buy the e-book I'm really sorry, this is like a really bad time of [cortex chuckles] e-book development to be purchasing e-books.

mathowie: [chuckles] Over in Jobs I thought helping with the Wisconsin recount this week was kind of an interesting job. I guess that's probably happening now as we record.

[pause] But if you're in Wisconsin...

cortex: So it's timely.

mathowie: Oh yeah, what's today? It begins the 25th. It begins today. Dammit.

cortex: Alright, well, I'll just have to edit this really fast.

mathowie: Yeah. And call Zosia Blue ASAP.


jessamyn: Word[?]. Oh, yeah, that was awesome!

cortex and mathowie: [chuckle]

mathowie: What? "Waiting for loading." Oh, yeah!

cortex: What was good on Ask Metafilter?

mathowie: Oh, wait! I had a cool IRL post I saw.

cortex: Oh, well, let's do that first, then.

mathowie: Yeah. It's the last of the remnant categories. IRL! I saw that there's gonna be a New Belgium Brewery tour meet-up, which looked pretty awesome. If I was in Colorado I'd be all over that thing.

cortex: Oh, nice. You know, there's a Thai place up in St. Johns nearish my house that I really like eating at, because it's just tasty [???] Thai, but anyway, they have a beer menu and it's like domestic and then imported,

and the domestic is stuff like, they've got like, you know, Bud, and they've got like Fat Tire--or, but not Fat Tire--

mathowie: [laughs]

cortex: On the imported menu they have a couple of Japanese beers, and then they've got--

mathowie: New Belgium.

cortex: Some New Belgium beer. [mathowie chuckles] Because, you know, it's New Belgium, it's imported [cracking up] from wherever New Belgium is.

mathowie: From New Belgium.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: From the Colorado Rockies, where it's now located. [chuckles]

cortex: [chuckles] It's like the Vatican, it's a sovereign state, you know.

mathowie: Yeah. It's awesome!

cortex: That's all.

jessamyn: They have great French fries.

jessamyn: The belgians.

cortex: Yes.

mathowie: Yes they do.

cortex: They've got that figured out.

mathowie: And mayonnaise on fries is awesome.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I don't really like mayonnaise. I thought warm mayonnaise would be the worst thing ever, and yet you are totally true about that.

cortex: You go from mayonnaise to aioli, and it's the same thing in a lot of respects, but it's so different. I would not take out a bunch of [???] and microwave it and eat fries as quickly as I will eat fries with aioli.

mathowie: (laughs)

mathowie: Right.

jessamyn: [What is?] aioli, please?

cortex: It's mayonnaise.

mathowie: Fancy mayonnaise.

jessamyn: Just mayonnaise, or what's the difference?

cortex: It's

mathowie: I think it's olive oil based, instead of some other oil, maybe? I'm guessing.

jessamyn: Egg?

cortex: Yeah, I don't know, I've never made it myself.

jessamyn: Does it have eggs in it though?

cortex: I don't think so. Maybe it does?

mathowie: Aioli versus Mayo. That's like [my... 'cause... finishing it for me.?]

cortex: It's an emulsion. It's... is the key thing, so.

mathowie: Oh yeah, "Aioli is always made with olive oil.", and mayonnaise usually isn't.

mathowie: Oh, wait, aioli is sans egg.

cortex: Oh ho!

jessamyn: Or "without", for those of us...

mathowie: and it has to have... (laughs) It has to have garlic? What? Wow. [???]

jessamyn: I thought garlic aioli was a thing.

mathowie: I know.

jessamyn: Weird.

mathowie: Any flavored... (laughs) Any flavored mayo is usually called an aioli. And, oh, it's a misnomer to say "garlic aioli". Hmm.

cortex: We've learned a lot today.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: (laughs) Let's just call it. The rest of the website, whatever.

jessamyn: I'm done.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: There were some posts, something, you know.

mathowie: We solved some mysteries, that's all.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Things that've been bothering nerds since the beginning of time. [What is that ???]

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Alright, moving on. Anyone else, Projects? Jobs? Anything?

mathowie: Done. Done.

jessamyn: That was [???] Very exciting, I think.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Too bad Jobs is less exciting than a...

I'd like to think it's because more and more people are getting hired. I have to pass on the good news that Cat Pie Hurts, who we were helping, who was doing some help for us, server help, actually got a job-job, now.

cortex: Yay!

mathowie: Aww. Yay and bummer.

jessamyn: I don't know the specifics, I just got some tweet being like, "Let's hang out next time you're in town and celebrate my job!", so, cool.

mathowie: Oh, that's cool.

jessamyn: Yeah, I thought so.

mathowie: Maybe it's because of that last-second resume booster, that he was head of IT for Metafilter, Inc.

jessamyn: [laugh] Did you call him that?

mathowie: I told him, I told him, like, "Put it on your resume, dude, that you worked on Metafilter. It's a big site."

jessamyn: Everybody's heard of it. [chuckles]

mathowie: [chuckles] Yeah.

jessamyn: [??]

mathowie: Someone tweeted me the other day, we're like, number 600 and something on the Alexa Top 1000 Sites in the US, apparently.

jessamyn: Really? I'm vaguely afraid of that.

mathowie: Yeah, I know. We're apparently one of the biggest sites still running ColdFusion. [jessamyn and cortex laugh] That was the point to the person.

I know.

jessamyn: You guys and my bank, right.

mathowie: Yeah, exactly.

Do you want to do Metafilter or Ask Metafilter?

jessamyn: Either one. I've got a couple links for both of them.

mathowie: Eh, let's go with the main Metafilter.

jessamyn: Do you guys have any links for either of them?

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Ehh...

jessamyn: Liars!

mathowie and restless nomad: [laugh]

cortex: Well, there's stuff I liked on Metafilter. And on AskMe, at this point--

jessamyn: Music? Music? Remember Music?

cortex: I picked out some fucking music, okay.

mathowie: Oh, well, you can use it as bumpers.

cortex: I'm on that shit. [jessamyn laughs] So yes. You know, let's talk a little bit about music while you guys get

your acts together.

jessamyn: Songs you haven't written.

cortex: Yeah, songs I haven't written. [mathowie laughs] I actually haven't been doing much recording. I should change that. But, I think that sort of a Music/MetaTalk/Metafilter thing, all rolled up in one, is Jennifer Teeter joined the site after there was a post about--

jessamyn: Oh, I loved that!

cortex: She did a song about--I don't even remember what the original song was! Some goofy song she did, that was sort of like a funny nerdy song about... I seriously cannot remember what the actual song

is that was the big thing. But it was just like, it was a very off-the-cuff recording a friend of hers made and posted to the Internet without asking her, and it's pretty lo-fi, and very audience laughing along and interrupting things. So it really wasn't actually a very good video that was in the original post. But then people were sort of grumpy about it, it's like, "I'm so tired of women with ukes, and ugh, it's all sci-fi pandering, blah blah blah blah--"

mathowie: Ugh.

cortex: And she signed up and said, "Hey! Well, you're kinda right about all that stuff, but this isn't the only thing I've ever done," and it turned into a discussion

on MetaTalk, and she was actually super cool about the fact that people were being kinda grumpy, and people sorta turned around as a result and were pretty cool about her being here, and she's posted a couple times to Music, and it's fun stuff, and it's actually much better recordings than the video that originally got her being, you know, criticized on the site, so it's kind of a happy ending all round. Anyway, uh...

jessamyn: That actually links

cortex: she's posted a couple of things and it's great.

jessamyn: to one of... oh. What?

cortex: She's posted a couple of songs and they're great, and I hope she sticks around.

jessamyn: See, this links to my thing that I had that Josh actually had

written, which is his defense of (quietly) ukeleles.

cortex: Oh, God, yeah. Yeah, I really [got into that thread.?]

jessamyn: [It was a nice comment.?]

mathowie: That was good.

jessamyn: It got a lot of favorites.

cortex: I was kind of surprised, actually. I mean, I thought I was being kind of grumpy but I guess maybe...

mathowie: No!

cortex: ...[people like ukeleles.?] I dunno.

mathowie: This is a... whoever fucking started (speaks in goofus voice) "I'm so sick of ukeleles", like... gahhhhd.

cortex: Well you know, it's like, yeah, like I dunno, [as a comic?]...

jessamyn: How can you hate on...

cortex: ...I can understand it.

jessamyn: ...teeny guitars?

mathowie: I know!

cortex: (laughs)

cortex: Other music stuff - goodnewsfortheinsane or gnfti, as we like to call him, has an album coming up or [maybe it's actually out?], but anyway he's been posting stuff that didn't quite make the cut on Music, and it's all been really great, and I've been enjoying listening to that, so I'm pretty excited to hear the whole album.

mathowie: Oh, this is... this is the album I paid $275 for in the last podcast.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Sweet.

jessamyn: Oh, Matt.

mathowie: Can't wait.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: [So, yeah.?] I liked that, and there's another song that's a... the user has been posting like... this is the third version that's... [pizazzygeek?] posted it, and it's like, posted the original, then posted another version that was sort of worked on more, and this is like, this is _the_ version, although there's also another version that's going to go on the...

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: EP.

cortex: But anyway, it's a really nice production. I missed it - I only found it today when I was poking around, and it's really nice. And so, yeah. I'm kind of excited to go back and listen to the original two tracks, and sort of see how it grew up, because I always find that really interesting when people post multiple sort of takes on the same song on the site.

jessamyn: Oh, neat, she lives in Boston now. So we can come... bug her to come to our meetups.

cortex: Do that.

jessamyn: And she has twenty thousand people who like her on Facebook.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: She may be a big deal.

mathowie: What?

jessamyn: I'm just saying.

mathowie: Holy crap.

cortex: Do you think she owns one of those t-shirts that clarifies that point?

jessamyn: (snickers) I would like one of those t-shirts myself. But no, I think she's just a good musician that people like.

mathowie: "I sing zombies"?

jessamyn: [She makes?] songs about zombies.

mathowie: "Zombie songs for C.O.D.". What's C.O.D.?

jessamyn: Cash on delivery?

mathowie: Maybe some kind of popular...

jessamyn: Some kind of fish?

cortex: Is it capital C...

mathowie: popular...

cortex: capital O, capital [B?].

mathowie: Mmm-hmm.

mathowie: Is that like a popular zombie band?

cortex: I dunno.

jessamyn: Is your google broken? Call of Duty.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: That's a video game.

mathowie: I know! I'm just saying like...

jessamyn: She [made?] zombie ...

mathowie: ... how do you

jessamyn: ...songs for the Call of Duty, maybe.

mathowie: Call of Duty is a video game.

cortex: Call of Duty is a World War II-slash-shooter.

mathowie: This is why...

cortex: I'm not saying it's impossible that that's what it is, but I don't know enough about Call of Duty to know why anyone would be singing zombie songs [about it?]

mathowie: Wait. She sings Nazi zombie songs?

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: There are Nazi zombie songs in Call of Duty?

cortex: That's honestly the most appealing possible thing I would have heard about Call of Duty in a while, so, if so...

mathowie: Yes! Yes, she said - this is her twitter bio...

jessamyn: She does! Call of Duty songs!

mathowie: "I sing the Nazi... songs..."

jessamyn: Gaah!

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: [I like again... I don't know if that's not her page, because you know?] I didn't know what it was, so. That's interesting, that's an interesting thing to learn.

jessamyn: Well that would explain the twenty-seven thousand Internet Friends.

cortex: Maybe so.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Well, there we go, folks.

mathowie: It has to be crazy popular.

jessamyn: Maybe that's not her.

fx: (pause)

mathowie: Yeah, look at the... I guess here's the zombie song, a list of...

cortex: Oh, it was actually for COD BlOps?

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: OK, so she's a woman who sings songs about zombies for...

mathowie: Zombie Nazis.

jessamyn: ...Call of Duty: Black Ops, and we wonder why she's so popular.

mathowie: Zombie Nazis, apparently.

jessamyn: Oh, here she is on the Nazi Zombies wiki.

cortex: Oh, did they put out a zombie Nazi DLC...

mathowie: Album?

cortex: ...for COD BlOps, is that what happened?

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: I don't understand what you're saying at all!

mathowie: Cod Blops! (laughs)

cortex: Jeremy, help me out here, do you know?

restless_nomad: I am not certain, but it doesn't surprise me.

mathowie: So this is like the Jonathan Coulton of Portal fame? Sort of... thing.

jessamyn: Exactly. She is the Nazi Zombie singer girl of Call of Duty.

mathowie: Right. It's pretty much the same.

jessamyn: I'm so happy we've been able to spend this time together.

cortex: (laughs)

cortex: I guess I could just comment in the thread and ask. "Oh, hey, nice song. Also, zombies what?"

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: "Zombie Nazi what?"

jessamyn: No, just read the wiki!


mathowie: Eh. Who's got the time?

jessamyn: Read the zombie Nazi wiki.

cortex: I will do so.

mathowie: Can you summarize it?

jessamyn: Are you seeing what is happening in this thread?

cortex: Yes, no, I am!

mathowie: Can someone click them for me?

cortex: I just don't want to read it linked into the podcast. I'd rather do the podcast and read it later.

restless_nomad: It looks like there is a whole set of maps for Nazi zombies.

cortex: Nice.

restless_nomad: Yeah, awesome.

jessamyn: Thank you!

mathowie: I can't believe you were right, Jessamyn, about something about video games.

jessamyn: What?

mathowie: I can't believe you were right. I assumed COD was some band.

jessamyn: I'm the fastest googler there is!

mathowie: You're a librarian, you're professional!

jessamyn: Yeah! I'm an information professional. Who else would you trust?

mathowie: Uuuh. Ask Jeeves?

jessamyn: Although I did say "cash on delivery" first.

cortex: It's okay.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: I was assuming it was a popular band with that stupid acronym that I hadn't heard of.

jessamyn: Not with twenty-seven thousand friends on Facebook now.

mathowie: (high-pitched and loud) That would be a popular band! Twenty-seven thousand.

jessamyn: That you'd never heard of? It would have to be niche popular.

mathowie: Yeah. What was that band with the noodly mathrock style - they split up?

jessamyn: [???]

cortex: Phish?

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: No, a bunch of dudes from the East Coast - ugh, it's killing me, because they always went by their abbreviation,

and I never even knew what the hell it was, but I knew what their whole name was. Something of death wages? No. Eh, forget it.

jessamyn: Mathrock? Oh, System of a Down?

mathowie: Yes! System of a Down! So people would just say whatever, S-O-A-D, and I'd be like, "what? what the fuck is that?"

jessamyn: That soda band!

mathowie: Everyone talks about it online with the acronym.

All right, let's move to Metafilter.

jessamyn: Oh please.

Hey, this was on my list, too!

mathowie: Yeah, I love that color scheme! It's beautiful.

jessamyn: Explain it, explain it. Because for people who don't really get it, what does this mean?

mathowie: Yeah. This is hard, because this is almost like, "Hey, check my awesome thing out, here's my GitHub," you know.

jessamyn: (laugh) "Here's my GitHub."

mathowie: Yeah, which I hate, because like, there's the ingredients for that great, you know, you can't actually bite the burger, but here's the ingredients. This is like coming up with mellow color schemes for staring at code all day.

cortex: Yeah, it's seriously like aesthetics

feng shui for programmers.

mathowie: Yeah. And the not-white light version is very eye-pleasing in the dark. Night version is pretty close to what I have in TextMate, I use some sort of night mode in TextMate all the time. I wasn't--I was gonna ask if anyone got this to work in TextMate, if there's any quick way to do it, because it's like, here are the 75 color settings, you know, and it's kind of a nightmare to do it by hand.

jessamyn: Well, you know that the creator, i blame your mother, is actually now

a Metafilter person, so. And comment--

cortex: Well, I think they already were, they didn't even join for the post, they just walked up--

jessamyn: Right, right, right. Sorry.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: They were a long-time user, which I thought was very interesting.

mathowie: But at the moment you pop in the website, you know, all becomes obvious and you're like, "Oh yeah, that does look nice!"

jessamyn: Well, and did you read his comment?

mathowie: No.

restless_nomad: That was fascinating.

jessamyn: The explanation of where it comes from is basically synesthesia-related, you know, the blue is all about being afraid of dying while... drowning?

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: No, seriously, like, I put this on the sidebar, it's a really good... the yellow, what does he say?

mathowie: Who is that? I'm trying to find him and see all his comments.

jessamyn: "I have this one color which is also a shape and a kind of smell/taste. It's all one thing and

and thinking about it brings aspects of it immediately to mind/sensation. And the yellow in Solarized is essentially this."

mathowie: (laugh)

jessamyn: Here it is.

mathowie: It seems like it goes--

restless_nomad: (laugh) I do like the admission that this might weird too many people out, so he didn't put it on the main page.

jessamyn: Right. "I just mentioned it in Metafilter because it'll just weird people out otherwise."

mathowie: Where does he say that?

jessamyn: I just linked to it, Matt! It's linked in the 22:14... (makes silly monster noises)

mathowie: Oh, sorry.

cortex and restless nomad: (laugh)

mathowie: Oh, my URL had blocked yours.


jessamyn: What do you mean, it had blocked it? Yours aren't sequential?

mathowie: No, it's just the way my windows are--I only see the last post and yeah, sorry.

cortex: Oh, that's questionable.

jessamyn: That's passive-aggressive.

mathowie: (chuckle)

cortex: That's got a serious failover mode that's manifesting itself in this conversation. I'm going to need to re-itemize your [??].

mathowie: So I thought--that's so weird because--

jessamyn: It also explains a lot about our communication for the last year and a half.

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

mathowie: It's not always this bad, it's just sometimes this bad.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Wow, I always thought blue was like the

most trustworthy color, that's what people had always said.

cortex: That's what blue wants you to think.

jessamyn: (chuckles)

mathowie: So WordPerfect is like a window to his own death? By drowning? Strange.

jessamyn: He's a different sort of person.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah, I'm sorry.

jessamyn: He's a 10,000 user number. I mean, that's way back in the Metafilter.

mathowie: Yeah. Sweet. Alright.

cortex: I enjoyed this post about roguelike stuff.

mathowie: Oh, Jesus.

cortex: It was actually basically an essay on the history of roguelike games, and I know roguelike games are something I

never shut up about, but it's neat. And the nice thing about the post is the essay at the core was actually sort of talking about what they are and why they're interesting and how these are games that although they're famous for being horribly hard are also sort of maybe prime for being something that you sit around playing on your couch kinda casually. And it's a nice little discussion of a topic I enjoy, and all the Metafilter roguelike nerds came out and chatted up. And the post mentions, also, I've probably mentioned this before, but 100 Rogues, which is a iPhone
roguelike game that's really great, made by a guy who's a member of Metafilter. So. Just a bunch of nice little things all in one.

jessamyn: Who's the dude? keithburgun.

mathowie: You guys should have a meetup of Metafilter roguelike fans somewhere. Like a convention!

jessamyn: Looking at your phones together?

cortex: (chuckles) And then we could also get down together and play like, one-fifth of a game, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, yep. Yep.

jessamyn: Yeah, that was cool. Another great post by Artw.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Along the same lines, nerdy posts that I enjoyed, was the

Cthulu emoticons (mathowie and cortex laugh), which was specifically known for--here's my second link, Matt!

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: The guy who made it, who's now on Metafilter as, just popped in and said hello. Which was nice.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: I mean, he signed up, he's basically made one comment, but that was nice.

mathowie: So the Cthulu for Dummies, is that--this isn't all from H. P. Lovecraft books, right?

restless_nomad: Yes. And--

mathowie: And nobody's ever seen one, so everyone comes up with their own idea of what it might look like, sorta?

jessamyn: There's illustrations on book covers.

mathowie: Yeah, I've sort of seen it. People run with it. Octopus head.

cortex: Yeah, I mean, there's this huge sort of, yeah... mythos [ˈmiθoʊs] that's grown up above and beyond what Lovecraft himself generated. Well, and it's interesting,

actually, I think it was that thread people were talking a little bit about the idea of the visuals of this mythos [ˈmiθoʊs] where so many of the creatures and so much of what Lovecraft did effectively was sort of hinting at the unknowable rather than saying literally, you know, this is what it looked like, it had three arms, and it had big teeth, and its eyes were the color of a dead sandwich or whatever--

jessamyn and mathowie: (laugh)

jessamyn: Yeah, he got your freaked out in your own mind's idea of what it would be.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: That's--yeah.

cortex: One argument, I think, was that Cthulu was a fairly early creation of Lovecraft's, like, it was fairly early on

in his writing, when he was maybe being more literal, and it was like, "Oh, and horrible tentacles!" and whatnot. And maybe as it got later on he got better at saying, "And oh my fucking God, your brain would melt,"--

jessamyn: To even gaze upon the unspeakable awfulness.

cortex: To even comprehend, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, I just mentioned it because there's this humongous mythos [ˈmɪθoʊs] around Cthulu and I don't see it with, like, specific characters from whatever, Lord of the Rings or something, because it's so literal and new, I think

the other stuff that we know things are probably going to look like, especially when a movie comes out.

jessamyn: Well, that's exactly it. The movie thing is exactly it. That there's no picture of it... I mean, I guess some of Lovecraft's books had the weird thing on the cover, at least that's what I remember. But the early stuff kind of captured people's imagination by not really talking about what it was.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And so people got to freak out about it in their own mind for decades before people drew pictures of it. And I don't think,

I mean, Lovecraft movies?

mathowie: Are there any?

cortex: There's been, yeah. There hasn't been a lot of good ones. And there's movies that are straight-up films of Lovecraft stories, and then there's movies that are more sort of like films running with the Lovecraftian mythos [ˈmiθoʊs] or that general aesthetic. Like In The Mouth Of Madness.

jessamyn: You say mythos [ˈmiθoʊs]?

cortex: Yeah, I say mythos [ˈmiθoʊs]. I probably say it wrong, but that's how I say it, and it's not changing, so.

jessamyn and mathowie: (chuckle)

cortex: I took the 'me' from MeFi [ˈmifaɪ]--

jessamyn: MeFi [ˈmifaɪ].

cortex: --but that's incorrect, and I was able to free that up to recycle it for mythos [ˈmiθoʊs].

mathowie: Yeah. Mythos [ˈmɛθoʊs].

jessamyn: That's so great.

cortex: Yeah. Anyway, yes.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: There have been movies, not all of them [??]. But there's like a Lovecraft film fest, and people do like indie things, and there's like a recent silent film version of I can't remember what that came out in the last few years, it was allegedly pretty good. And there was a John Carpenter film in the, I think it was like late '80s, maybe early '90s starring Sam Neill called In The Mouth of Madness that was not explicitly

Lovecraft, but it was totally...

jessamyn: Oh, Sam Neill is great in those kinds of movies!

cortex: Yeah, well, yeah, he was really good in this. I mean, it's kind of schlocky horror, but you know, it works really well. And actually, I rewatched it recently and really enjoyed it. When I originally watched it I sorta didn't have any of the Lovecraft context, so it was just sort of weird, but it makes a whole lot more sense now, and it's a lot more charming in its inward-looking self-referential Lovecraft schlockiness. So. So yeah.

mathowie: Sweet.

cortex: Lovecraft.

jessamyn: Terrific! And you can make emoticons out of them.

cortex: Yes. Yes, that's the key.

mathowie: Now you can.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: I'm gonna go out on a--

jessamyn: Yes, I was also gonna talk about this one.

mathowie: Oh yeah.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: So, I would go out on a limb and say this Best of Google Video on MetaFilter I saw linked everywhere, probably influenced--and the hard work of Jason Scott--probably influenced Google Video people backing out of their deleting everything and at least doing a Post to YouTube option. Which everyone was baffled on Day 1 when

Google Video announced, hey, we haven't accepted uploads for like two years, and we're also just gonna, you know--"

jessamyn: Turn it off.

mathowie: Turn it off. Better save your videos or you're screwed. Even though we own YouTube and we own the servers and it seems trivial, but we're not going to do it for you.

jessamyn: We're richer than God, but fuck you.

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

mathowie: Yeah. So like everyone huddled around Jason Scott and the Archive are pulling down every data they could, and then Rhaomi [ˈɹeɪ.oʊ.mi] and somebody else, who else was he working with--

jessamyn: Rhaomi [ˈɹaʊ.mi]. Rhaomi [ˈɹaʊ.mi].

mathowie: Rhaomi [ˈɹaʊ.mi] and someone else were working on this mons--oh, yeah, FishBike--working on this monster post of everything great on Google Video. Because a lot of people said, "Well, who cares?"

cortex: "What's on Google Video? Who gives a shit?"

mathowie: Yeah. Google Video existed for maybe six months before they gave up and just bought YouTube and just said, "Oh yeah, we can't beat those kids, so we'll just buy them."

jessamyn: Well, and it was so weird at first when Google Video came out, because like, it was there but you couldn't put stuff on there, that only certain people could put stuff on there, and then--

mathowie: Yeah, it was a beta...

jessamyn: It kinda never--

mathowie: And then there was going to be... CBS signed on, you were supposed to pay to download shows, and it was really strange. And then they got rid of the whole paid thing, so if you paid for a show, you were just screwed. Just, the video was gone.

cortex: Weird.

mathowie: It was a mess. They probably should have just shuttered the site as soon as they bought--

jessamyn: And the Google Video Search for a long time searched other video sites as well, so it was really kind of confusing figuring out where the stuff was...

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: But they did have lots of amazing content.

mathowie: Yeah. I mean, it's hard to find, so I think this post I saw linked on lots of blogs, saying like, "Hey, there actually is awesome stuff on Google Video," and it's worth saving.

sfx: (Music: Compromise by jenniferteeter)

sfx: (Music: Compromise by jenniferteeter, continued)

sfx: (Music: Compromise by jenniferteeter, continued)

cortex: You know, not to get all introspective here, but I know we're not real big on the whole production artifice and I like the fact that we don't feel like we have to go back and do post-production per se on stuff--

jessamyn: I don't even know what that means.

cortex: But--we have this habit of pasting the link into the chat, and then everybody looks at that, and everybody goes, "Oh yeah, that was great!" And that works great for us, because we know what we're looking at. But anybody listening to the podcast, it goes like this: Let's talk about whatever, blah blah blah blah blah, and then a brief lull, and then we all go

"Oh yeah, that was totally great, I loved that!", and people are like, "Loved what? What the--"

jessamyn: Good idea!

cortex: So we could always be like, we could try and be a little bit better about being like, hey, I really enjoyed this post about this puzzle game called NAWNCO. It was fun.

mathowie: Oh, that thing.

cortex: You know, and I don't know. I don't feel strongly about this, I just...

jessamyn: No, I think you're totally right.

mathowie: No, but this is why I don't understand how anyone listens to the podcast away from a computer (cortex chuckles), because MetaTalk--MetaTalk is literally a copy of our chat, like, we, I

copy our chat, so you can see every link. But a lot of people tell me, "Oh yeah, I was out on a run, and you guys are hilarious," and I go, "What? How does that make sense out of context?"

jessamyn: Talking about the Internet, that's so weird, right.

mathowie: While you run? I don't understand why...

cortex: Well, it's nice that we have the notes, because then you can come back and be like, "Oh yeah, there was something about, what was it?" and find that in the notes, so. It's not, you know.

mathowie: Yeah. But your criticism is warranted that yeah, we could describe them a little better.

cortex: Yeah.

restless_nomad: Yeah, I've been listening to the podcasts for a while

now, and as long as all the links are pretty much in order in the post, it's not bad to follow. But I couldn't go running with it. That wouldn't work at all.

mathowie: What if you're chased?

restless_nomad: Depends on what's chasing me, I suppose. (laughs)

mathowie: Cthulu!

restless_nomad: Here! Just throw links at them to distract them.

mathowie: (chuckles) All right, what is NAWNCO?

cortex: NAWNCO is a little logic puzzle. And it's one of those things where the puzzle is kind of trying to figure out what's going on with it. It's explicitly not helpful in explaining even what's happening. So it's one of those things where if you like trying to figure out a logic puzzle from scratch, it's a really nice little one. If you don't want that, don't bother, because it will drive you fucking crazy.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: I hate this. I hate this already.

cortex: Maybe avoid reading the thread until you've given it either as much of a go as you're going to or know you aren't gonna bother giving it a go, because it's kind of interesting, but you can't really talk about it without

it being spoilery, because there's just nothing but the raw mechanic of the thing. But it was a fun logic puzzle. So logic puzzle people--

mathowie: (descending whistle)

cortex: --there you go. Check out NAWNCO.

mathowie: I think I sort of won.

jessamyn: I don't understand--oh my God, yeah, I just have to, ohhh.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Euhuhuhuh.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: What?

jessamyn: (pants) But I could stay up all night probably playing it, because I wouldn't understand it for hours. It makes a nice little beep sound. (imitating it in a high pitch) Bap! Bap! Bap!

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Last Metafilter.

mathowie: This reminds me of my newest favorite genre is the unreliable narrator, which seems to be popping up in everything: games, shows, movies... Like, you have no idea what's going on, and the instructions don't help.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: Yep. Move on.

jessamyn: Very [??].

cortex: Although this isn't really an unreliable narrator so much as--

mathowie: A non-existent.

jessamyn: They're a hundred percent reliable. You just have to figure out, right.

cortex: The passive-aggressive narrator. Like oh, yeah, no, you'll get it, I'm sure. You're doing a great job.

jessamyn: The last post that I really liked was

one I think that got posted right after we did the last podcast. And it was one of those ones--it didn't have, it was like medium-popular. But basically there was a clinic in Brazil that bought a radiation therapy machine, the place closed, they abandoned the radiation therapy machine, people sold parts of it for scrap, people broke it open and there was this sparkling, glowing blue powder inside it--this was in Brazil, did I mention? And so people used the sparkling
glowing blue powder for decoration and stuff, and then the punchline, if you could call it that, is, sixteen days later, 112,000 people were in an Olympic stadium being tested for radiation poisoning. It was a radioactive contamination accident, the stuff was radioactive, and it's just a great putting-together of a bunch of kind of disparate links to stuff that happened with a YouTube video but a bunch of other stuff about this
story that I would have never heard about. So it was fascinating.

mathowie: That's fascinating.

jessamyn: Sad, but very fascinating.

mathowie: And this is like, before the dawn of social networks, I mean, this would be social networks like phones and people you know, like, you could imagine word would spread, like, it would become a meme, like, "Have you had the magic blue powder? It's pretty awesome."

jessamyn: Right, right.

mathowie: And just a story growing in two weeks' time. It's... oh, it's fascinating. I mean, people who study memes and

social networks should be all over this story.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Yeah, and to be--it killed people, it was not a happy story at all--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: --but with the distance--

cortex: Well, and the upside of that is, yeah, you could, in theory, as soon as it started going around, someone who might be able to say, "Hey, I know why that's a problem," could maybe get on it right away.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: And maybe people would not have been in as bad of a situation.

mathowie: Yeah, what were the early signals, and why didn't anyone stop them from spreading it farther?

How did it gain such a mythical quality in two weeks' time? It's kind of fascinating.

cortex: You know, this is--

mathowie: I guess... it's glowing, man! It's fucking glowing. I guess that's as good as it gets.

cortex: (laughs) I was gonna say, maybe this should be sort of part of the whole talking about Projects thing, but the reupping [?] the whole Metafilter Kickstarter thing--

mathowie: Oh yeah.

cortex: I think we talked about that last podcast. It was brand new at the time.

mathowie: I don't know if we did.

cortex: Well, maybe you should talk about it a little bit.

mathowie: Yeah, Kickstarter is awesome. I should note that I'm an investor when Andy worked there and he gave me an opportunity to invest in them because I thought it was an awesome deal before they started getting funding. And it's gotten humongous. And so they introduced recently curated groupings of projects, so people from popular websites or TV shows or whatever can create a little curated group of

projects you like, so I just made one of all the Metafilter in-progress projects of people on Metafilter, members of Metafilter that are doing something on Kickstarter

jessamyn: Well, the big problem was, people would have these Kickstarter projects and then they'd want to put them on Projects to get people interested--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And you'd be like, "Well, Projects is kinda supposed to be..."

mathowie: Completed.

jessamyn: Right. But it looks like everything on this page is of course over 100% funded except for the

Flamingo Coloring Book. Oh no, I get it, the being funded are at the bottom.

mathowie: Yeah. I'm trying to keep the newest ones at the top. So anytime anyone--and I put it on the new Projects posts page, basically saying, "Hey, we made a policy of not accepting Kickstarter projects." Because we did that for the longest time, because it's not really, I mean, it's literally a project, but it's not like a completed project, check it out. Which is what we really wanted Projects to be about.

cortex: Yeah. If there's not really a there there yet, then it's sort of [??].

mathowie: Yeah. And then I noticed people would make a one-page blog that was all about their Kickstarter project. They'd be like, "Hey! I'm making a new video game," and I was like, "Come on, people."

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: So then this is a perfect solution. Basically, if you have something in a Kickstarter, send it to me, and I will definitely put it up here, and this helps focus everyone on the projects at Kickstarter from Metafilter people, which will

end up being projects posted eventually, and stuff you can contribute to. I've done a zillion things, one of them is adrianhon's weird future thing. I got a song from the [??] party, and yeah.

jessamyn: Oh, that's right, that's right.

mathowie: They sent me the lyrics and stuff, they're way funnier than I thought.

jessamyn: I got crossword puzzles. I'm still waiting for a terabyte full of text files to come from Jason Scott, whose project I funded a year and a half ago.

cortex and mathowie: (chuckle)

mathowie: He said he was editing.

jessamyn: He always says that.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: (laughs) There's a couple of these, actually, that I'm really excited about myself. One that's almost done is the Fallen Stars, it looks there are five days to go and it's got like 140 bucks to go, for their new album.

mathowie: Oh, wow.

jessamyn: Come on, team, 140 bucks.

cortex: Seriously.

jessamyn: So we gotta get the podcast out before.

cortex: Yes. Well, yeah.

mathowie: I think Andy said publicly that basically if a project gets over 50%

funded, it's like 95% going to finish every single time, because of I guess human psychology, people don't--like, in the last four hours, someone will see that and go, "I'm pledging 150 bucks," just because they don't want to see it fail at 99%.

cortex: Yeah. Well, yeah, I just had that sensation with the Fallen Stars, like, man, whoa, God, if that stops like 100 bucks short...

mathowie: That would suck.

cortex: Because I got their last album I ordered it from the MeFi Mall, or maybe just at random after hearing them on Music and really enjoyed it, so.

I'm like, yeah, now I've got this investment where I want this album to happen! But speaking of Kickstarter projects that I want to happen, there's also one from JHarris just recently put up a Kickstarter for a game he wants to develop, or he's working on developing, called In Profundis, which is a sort of cellular automata 2-D cave exploration survival roguelike-inspired game that looks really freaking awesome! And he's totally working on it. So he's got it on Kickstarter, and
I think that's totally sweet. And I figure if Minecraft can make Notch like ten million dollars, there's probably five grand out there on the Internet for JHarris to give this thing a shot, because it looks like it would be a really fun unique little game, so. So yeah.

jessamyn: Great!

mathowie: Sweet.

jessamyn: That's a good thumbs-up for JHarris. Should we move on to Ask Metafilter, since we're now probably trying everyone's patience with continuing to chit-chat about everything?

cortex: Do it.

mathowie: (laughs) Sure.

jessamyn: Well, on the game subject, which appears to be the topic, generally, philipy [.fɪˈli.pi]? philipy [ˈfɪ.lɪ.pi]? philipy [ˈfɪ.lɪ.pi]?

cortex: I think it is philipy [ˈfɪ.lɪ.pi], but I don't know how he does.

jessamyn: I think it is philipy [ˈfɪ.lɪ.pi] too. This is a post that kinda came from the idea of Habit Judo, and it was on April 1st--have we even talked about our April 1st podcast on--we haven't, on the podcast. People probably listened to it. But it's just about the gamification of everything, and philipy asks,

how can you make life more like games? And there's a lot of really interesting comments with people having interesting ideas, or things that other people do, or who's written about it, or blah blah blah blah blah. It wasn't like a huge or... but it was a very popular Ask Metafilter thread, and I think for a lot of people who went to South by Southwest or are interested in these kind of trending ideas of turning everything into a game so that you can compete at it and do well at it, there's some good advice from other people,
things that they're using, in that thread. And I liked it.

mathowie: Oh, good, people mentioned EpicWin, that was an early iPhone game that would, it's a to-do list that you just, it gives you fake rewards for everything you finish on your to-do list.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Like, "You have just become a Rogue Warrior for filing that cabinet full of documents," like, it's the screenshots.

jessamyn: I like this idea. I'm looking at everything right now.

mathowie: Yeah. The screenshots look amazing. But it was kind of ridiculed when it came out. It was the first sort of gamify everything

app that ever came out, like over a year ago, but yeah, it looks pretty funny.
I get tired of some of that stuff. And like, the people in the gamification world know about that, they have to worry about what--the fatigue from their own users. Like, I did Health Month for a few months and then just sort of gave up, because I was like, oh, it was a chore every morning to rack [?].

cortex: See, that was my biggest problem with Health Month, and I dabbled with it at a time that maybe I wasn't ready to make the change.

jessamyn: It's that the data maintenance is...

cortex: But yeah, it's like, you're not gamifying it, you're fucking workifying it.

jessamyn: You're spreadsheetifying it.

cortex: Yeah. And if I was a little bit more Type A and a little bit more really about twiddling my data, that might actually work really well for me. But for me it's like, wait, so I have to remember to exercise and I have to do data entry to point out that I fucked up remembering to exercise?

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: You know, it's like, that's going to make you feel real great about not...

jessamyn: It's fail plus fail! (laugh)

cortex: I can feel bad twice now.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: I notice the things I stick with are all automated. Like, so, I ride a bike with a computer that uses

GPS, I don't have to do anything, I come home, I plug in the computer, it uploads automatically, like my weight scales, WiFi goes up to a server, all I do is stand it, and the information is uploaded, and then the Fitbit is just a passive data collector, you just hook it on your--

jessamyn: Does the Fitbit suck, or is it okay? I saw somebody asking you or somebody else about that.

mathowie: Yeah. It's kind of a pain in the ass to remember to unclip it from yesterday's pants and put it on today's pants. And it's so tiny

you could forget it--

jessamyn: That's the biggest problem with it.

mathowie: Yeah, everyone says they've put it in the wash, ruined it, hundred bucks down the drain. I just forget to pick it up every morning. But then I do, and it's like, the cool thing is, it's uploading all the time, all you do is walk by your computer and it uploads the data of how many steps you took and stuff. But I can't stand the things that feel like work. You know, workifying is not fun.

jessamyn: Right. Spreadsheetifying, not fun.

mathowie: Yeah. Anil pointed out

this cool story, and I have been meaning to follow up with this guy but did not have time. Basically, someone asked, like two years ago, I need a small business loan for my business which is about to fail, but I know we're going to be big some day--it's just cool to see a resolved, like the last comment is, "Hey"--like, six months later, "Hey, we just hit profitability, everything worked, thanks for the advice." You know, completely have no money fears anymore.

cortex: Yay.

mathowie: And there was some advice on like, how to optimize your cashflow, and how to try and get a small business loan, and stuff like that, but I was gonna--

jessamyn: And how to move forward and not freak out about it so you don't have cash anxiety.

mathowie: Yeah. And, like, having a technology company and taking out a loan, I think it's a technology company, it's kind of like a--not a lot of people do that, but I was gonna ask that user, like, what was the story? Because there isn't--I have no idea what actually happened, what actual advice was followed, you know, it's just sort of a, it's just a really

strange resolved question. I was like "Wow! I never saw that!" That sounds like a cool story in the making, I need to follow up on. So, if you're listening, oh you know, let us know.

jessamyn: Drop him a message.

mathowie: Yep.

jessamyn: I like this "I need piano music to work by" because I also like working to piano music. So it was a short but very popular thread of good stuff to listen to while you're working -

if you like the piano, which I do.

cortex: I liked this thread about films involving the successful execution of a plan.

jessamyn: Yes! I loved this.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: And you know, this is like, it's great, it's a fun thread, because, I mean, I liked this too, so it's a list of films I like and films I think I'd like to see. But it's also one of those things that really shines a light on the distinction between chatfilter and asking something specific, because if you were like, "Tell me your favorite movies," that's not gonna work.

jessamyn: Well, and the above-the-fold thing really

is, "What are your favorite movies about whatever?" and then you look inside, and there's a lot more, "This is why I like them, blah blah blah blah."

cortex: Yeah. It's like you're actually giving people something to work with so they can actually try and find the best possible fits for the niche you're defining, rather than just saying, "I like movies. Movies are fun. Do you like movies?" It's like, that's--we should just like post this up and show people and say, oh, that's how it works.

mathowie: My favorite specific quality is

"the training montage is usually a good sign."

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: The what? Oh, the training montage? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

mathowie: Like, it's so complicated it requires a training montage, it's so great.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: There's like a subtrope for "There Is A Plan" movies where it's not even necessarily the training montage, but it's the description of how the plan will be executed played over as narration over the plan actually being executed as a [??].

mathowie: (laugh)

jessamyn: Oh, right, doesn't Ocean's Thirteen do that or something?

cortex: Yeah, a lot of things do that. It's just, it's a really easy way to make a segue without having to say,

"Okay, let's all go get in the van and go to do the job," or "Let's now spend the next six weeks rehearsing." Instead you just sorta, you bridge that temporal gap.

jessamyn: You've got the boys from the Dukes of Hazzard, yeah.

cortex: Yeah. Well, no, it's like, you have people having the conversation six weeks before the plans actually go down, and the tail of that conversation will say, "Okay, first of all we'll blah blah blah," and that's what you cut to, six weeks in the future, when it's actually happening, but you don't even have to state that, it's a nice little temporal bridge that's good effective little trick of moviemaking.

jessamyn: And of course we'll tell people they can go check this stuff out on TVTropes, and we'll lose a couple members for a couple weeks as they get sucked into the--

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: (laughs) I didn't know that Spike Lee did one. How fascinating.

jessamyn: Which one?

mathowie: Something called Inside Man. Inside Man. I didn't know he did a heist movie.

cortex: Oh, that was a pretty recent one, wasn't it? That was, like, I think, Denzel Washington or [??]

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah, holy shit. I am so gonna watch the shit out of that.

jessamyn: Oh, neat! Oh, and Clive Owen is one of my favorites.

mathowie: I know, I thought I s--yeah, I know,

it's my wife's favorite and we've seen every Clive Owen movie ever, I thought. But maybe I didn't see this one. What is it about Clive Owen?

jessamyn: He looks like other people wouldn't think he's attractive, so you think you can keep him all to yourself.

mathowie: Oh! Badass. That's so awesome.

jessamyn: That's what I think. And he's tall.

mathowie: He's hot but not super hot?

jessamyn: And he also plays these broke-ass guys.

mathowie: Yeah. He looks achievable as a mate, basically?

jessamyn: (laugh)

But he's still kind of hot, but not super hot.

jessamyn: Right. Where you wouldn't have to fight other people for him, maybe? I don't know. Because I've always really liked him.

mathowie: (laugh)

jessamyn: I mean, whatever, he's a good actor, too.

cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: But, like, I think, you know...

mathowie: Here's a portrait of me as an eleven-year-old, low self-esteem. I loved the Go-Go's, because they're all women, right, who rock. I loved the drummer, because everyone probably liked the lead singer Jane Wiedlin, and nobody's going to go out with the drummer, so I thought that was my best chance.

cortex: (laugh)

mathowie: As an eleven-year-old, with

the drummer [??].

jessamyn: Ohhh, nerd in training.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I wanted to mention also just a couple more--let me figure out before I start--bluh bluh bluh--talking, there were a couple weird wrap-ups. I think both of them I put into MetaTalk. But one of them was the "where does taters come from?" lady.

mathowie: Ohhh.

cortex: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: Wrote me about the thing, and what was the other one... the other one was the nice lady who did the thing where I talk about it all the time, where it was the lady who was like, "I'm worried that I'm fat, I don't want to send pictures to this guy because he'll know I'm fat and then he'll freak out."

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: But now they're actually engaged.

mathowie: Sweet!

jessamyn: So I know I always talk about it because it makes me really happy. But Ask Metafilter gave her a lot of good advice, and then she sent me an e-mail like, "Man, you keep talking about

this," and was like, here's the story, here's more of the story, and now we're engaged, whatever. So taters story, not so awesome, but at least it's sort of good to put that matter to rest, and the "I sent a picture to the random Internet dude" has a very happy ending.

mathowie: That's the one I talked about at Gel, right? And...

jessamyn: Yes, it is, because I told you to talk about it at Gel, because it's awesome! Yes.

mathowie: I concluded that they were still together, because there were relationship questions like a week before I gave the talk, so I was like,

"Oh, well, they're still in a relationship, isn't that an awesome story?" But wow, engaged is a better bookend to that story.

jessamyn: Yeah. Well, and you read the story like they both had a whole bunch of just terrible hardships, and it was really difficult but the relationship helped them both, blah bluh blah blah blah. It was nice. Very nice. Metafilter changes lives. Other stuff? Team?

mathowie: I think I saw this, and I was waiting for this to turn into something, the question of, "What can I snack on endlessly that's low-calorie

that won't make me feel bad?"

jessamyn: Oh, right, it was "What can I binge on?", yes.

mathowie: But the best... Well, like, yeah, if you're used to having a bag of chips next to your computer, what can substitute for chips and I won't be... And I'm like, the only thing I can think of is baby carrots, because that's what I force myself to do, which you get tired of after like three of them, you're like "Okay, I'm done."

jessamyn: Right, I just don't want to--between eating and eating baby carrots, I'll just stop eating.

mathowie: Yeah. (laughs)

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Salted edamame is a good one.

cortex: Oh, yeah.

mathowie: I didn't know it was that great for you, but--

cortex: It's got some protein in it, and not all that much else going on.

jessamyn: Snacko seaweed, sugar-free Jello, broccoli! That's what a lot of people do. They're like, a hundred calories of broccoli is almost more broccoli than you can eat.

cortex: Wow. But that doesn't have anything to do with the calories.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: It's just large?

cortex: It's just broccoli.

jessamyn: Aaaah.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Well, I'm right there with you, but if you don't find broccoli totally distasteful.

cortex: Well, and I've actually made my peace with it in the last few years. But I still can only eat so much. Like, the first few bites I'm like, "Yeah, broccoli, I'm okay with it," and then after that it sort of like, it just like hits a threshold and I'm like, "Braahccoli!"

mathowie: Oh, if you have it prepared well I could eat bowls of it.

cortex: Yeah, [??].

jessamyn: I like it in tempura. Which I guess is just deep-fried in lard.

mathowie: Plus there's rapini... broccoli...

cortex: You like everything in tempura, though. I mean, I would eat my thumb in tempura. After being like, "Oh God, my thumb, I just stuck it in boiling oil."

jessamyn: Jeremy, your opinion on broccoli?

restless_nomad: I have generally a problem with green vegetables, although...

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: What are the exceptions?

jessamyn: You'll do well here.

restless_nomad: Cucumbers?

mathowie: Asparagus?

restless_nomad: I like cucumbers fine, I like--

jessamyn: Asparagus is not usually the exception.

mathowie: (chuckle)

restless_nomad: I actually really like brussels sprouts.

mathowie: Yay!

restless_nomad: And also lima beans.

mathowie: Yay.

jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)

restless_nomad: Yeah, but everything else that's commonly in salads, because most people feel okay about them, I kind of don't like.

So I don't eat a lot of salads.

jessamyn: Good to know. Last time I was with Jeremy, she ate a bowl of goat meat.

mathowie: Sweet.

cortex: Oh, that's right.

restless_nomad: There was rice, too, it wasn't just a goat. But it was really good goat meat.

jessamyn: And I had some Zambian flavored crazy something or other at the best place I ate in all of Austin, Texas.

mathowie: Did you say it was Indian?

jessamyn: Yeah. What?

mathowie: I didn't know there was Indian food in Austin. I need to eat there next time.

restless_nomad: Oh, yeah. Well, this is the, the Whip In is

a tiny little Indian kitchen bolted onto the best beer store in town.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Oh, sweet.

jessamyn: And it's got a performance stage.

restless_nomad: Yeah, well, it's awesome, everywhere does. The grocery store has a stage. And a [??].

jessamyn: Their slogan is, "Namaste, y'all!"

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

mathowie: Nice. That's so perfect.

restless_nomad: Yeah, it's a great little place.

mathowie: Loading, loading, loading...


cortex: Oh, and also Scott Adams is sort of weird and I was on NPR and let's talk about it never again.

jessamyn: (laughs) Josh did a great job explaining the whole thing.

cortex: That's the entire discussion.

mathowie: You were so great! You were so great on NPR. I had no idea that that even happened, but I was so surprised and stoked.

cortex: Yeah, that was sort of [??].

jessamyn: You did a wonderful job, and Scott Adams is a dingus.

cortex: (laughs) End of story.

mathowie: And, can I ask, did they--they edited you within an inch of your life, right?

cortex: Oh, yeah. I talked to Brooke for like 15, 20 minutes--

jessamyn: As you do.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: --so they managed to condense that down to a comprehensible thing. But, I mean, someone said, "Hey, you sure talk fast," like, you know, I kinda talk fast.

mathowie: Yeah, but I was listening to it going, "He doesn't talk this fast," like, was there a gap they took out.

cortex: Yeah, no, they definitely do that super-compressed sort of, let's get every inch of talk out of this we can.

jessamyn: Bap bap-bap bap bap bap, yeah.

mathowie: Like, I heard three sentences in the span of one, and I'm like, "He doesn't talk like that."

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Well, this thing happened, and then this thing happened, and then this thing happened, and I was like, "Wow, he breathes more."

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: (laughs) And rambles more.

cortex: Exactly.

mathowie: (laugh)

cortex: So they made me look good.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And she said douchenozzle, which was hilarious.

cortex: She totally did.

mathowie: Aww, nice.

I think this all started because Gawker's intro post was--

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: The first sentence was, "Scott Adams is a prick," which was hilarious.

cortex: Yep, if Gawker hadn't been like, "Haha, gossip!" then it might have been a little different, who knows.

jessamyn: Oh, Gawker.

mathowie: Oh, well. Whatever.

jessamyn: You make us look normal.

mathowie: (laugh)

sfx: (Music: Compromise by jenniferteeter)

sfx: (Music: Compromise by jenniferteeter, continued)

sfx: (Music: Compromise by jenniferteeter, continued)


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