This Week in Tech 589
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech! This is going to be a wild one. We got Ohdoctah here, Owen JJ Stone. We also have Baratunde Thurston. He's returning, he hasn't been here in about a year, and to moderate the entire thing, we've brought in a psycho therapist. Georgia Dow from iMore.com. Of course we're going to talk about fake news, what to do to save Twitter, why people are taking so many selfies, and why highway fatalities are up. Are they related? It's all coming up next, on TWiT.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 589, recorded Sunday, November 20, 2016.
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It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the week's tech news. We have a great one for you today. I am thrilled to get some of my favorite people on the show, starting with someone who hasn't been on the show in ages. Baratunde Thurston is here. And all this time, I didn't know you had a gag order.
Baratunde Thurston: It's good to be back. Thanks for having me. I was working for 9 and a half months to help re-launch the new Daily Show with Trevor Noah from last August to May. I just didn't in part have time. That job is insanely demanding and required some approvals to do things that normally come naturally. It was more of a pain logistically and beaurocratically.
Leo: I was taking it personally, so...
Baratunde: It was also that. I took the job so that I wouldn't have to come here.
Leo: I don't read emails. My team reads and sends emails.
Baratunde: That's the best way to deal with email. Have other people do it for you. It's beautiful.
Leo: Baratunde's book: "How to be Black" from Harper. He's also the creator of and one of the hosts on penaplease about race podcast, a show about race.com. You just recently started that up.
Baratunde: That's been going for about a year and a half. We took a haiatus because one of our hosts was writing multiple books. I was doing the daily show thing. But funny thing, we got a lot to talk about nowadays. That show was going weekly. There's a whole crew of regulars just beyond the founders. It's getting even more interesting, sadly, but also excitingly.
Leo: A thrill to also have you with us. Georgia Dow, who was an old friend from iMore.com and a regular on many of their podcasts. We're glad to have you on ours whenever we can. Georgia is a psychotherapist besides being a tech writer. We may need you today.
Georgia Dow: That's why I'm here.
Leo: Already I've been going through the five stages of grief with you just to make sure I'm on track.
Georgia: How are you doing?
Leo: I added two more. I think I got stuck. I'm going to go back to bargaining and continue on from there, OK? If that's all right with you. Also Owen JJ Stone. We call him ohdoctah from iqmz.com. Good to see you, my friend.
Owen JJ Stone: The eagles are losing. You're lucky I love you. I'm here on these Sundays and spend time with you. I got to pay attention to the show and talk about technology. That's the kind of grief I'm living in. That's what I need five stages of help from.
Leo: That's nothing. I'm a niners fan. That's nothing. I don't have to check to see if the niners...
Owen: People get excited for you.
Leo: I'm not supposed to say anything, because apparently somebody in the chatroom has decided to tape the game and watch the show. No spoilers. I will tell you what Westworld is all about. Nothing about the niners.
Georgia: I love Westworld.
Leo: Before you watch it, Baratunde, I would read some of the fan theories about it.
Owen: I haven't watched it, he's seen it.
Leo: I confused you. You're to the way left. I'm going to cop to something, because after you listened to last week's show, Baratunde, you were very upset. And direct messaged me, and I was grateful because you didn't tweet me in public, you DM'd me, and I think we talked it through.
Baratunde: We definitely did. I'm trying to practice good citizenry in all forms, and that includes if I disagree with someone not going straight to the public. But actually talking directly to the person. It's something gentrifiers don't do. They call the cops rather than talking to the neighbors about turning the music down. I didn't want to do that to you. I appreciate the back and forth that we had. Honestly, I feel a lot better. The election is very hot topic. I specifically messaged Leo because I felt like he was cutting people off a bit much when he felt that Facebook had some responsibility. As the show went on, that conversation opened up. That topic has opened up more this week. I've done a lot more boxing and yoga, so I've burned off my aggression.
Leo: You know what I was doing? I was the guy at Thanksgiving dinner who said, "Can we not talk about politics please?" And I lost that battle. I understand. It is part of the nation's dialog right now. How about Canada, Georgia? Is it different up North? Do you look down at us below the 49th parallel?
Baratunde: First of all, do you look down on us.
Leo: Already I'm being euro-centric. I know Canada is not above us. It's over there. Do you...? Because on the map it looks like Canada is above us. Canada, the US, Mexico. But they're not really above us, they're North. You know what I'm saying. In fact, my kid's school has an upside down map to break through the Eurocentric...
Baratunde: What kind of school are you sending your children to? I'm far to the left, and that's crazy.
Owen: Didn't Apple do something this week? Let's get started.
Leo: In hindsight it was foolish to curtail the conversation. It really is true, while we do focus on Tech and we've had a lot of conversation behind the scenes about how much we want to talk about politics, and we decided that our charter is we want to talk about tech. To the degree that politics interferes with tech and involves tech we will talk about about it, and there's quite a bit to talk about there, including fake news on Facebook.
Leo: But I don't want to have our audience, which comes to us for a respite from the incessant political talk to say there's nowhere I can turn now because that's all everybody is talking about. I completely understand what you were talking about, and I agree with you. I'm trying to mediate my own progressive tongue as much as anything.
Baratunde: I think we're good. If there's a tech angle to what we're talking about now, for me, it's that we have the ability to message each other and have conversation. We often choose to heighten discord and tension for the sake of performing our disagreements, rather than honestly seeking to deal with them.
Leo: And Twitter facilitates that! It's destructive.
Baratunde: If your message is not public, it can't be monetized.
Leo: I have had horrible Twitter fights with people because of intemperate things I've said. You seem distraught by this, Owen.
Owen: You Twitter bashing like Twitter is the kid you don't like. My last podcast was called Facebook politicking. Basic story. I sit in the middle and I see both sides. I had somebody come into my comment and say you don't support Owen, if you voted for Trump you a racist blah blah. This is a white woman I had happened to sleep with. I'm saying why are you yelling at this person You don't know my relationship with this person. But people go insane in their mind when they pick their sides and play their games. Instead of talking to each other.
Leo: Twitter facilitates this! I think you shouldn't pay attention to it.
Owen: The internet doesn't.
Baratunde: I feel like I contributed to some derailing. Leo, I'm going to try to help maintain the thread and undo some of the damage I may have done. You were asking Georgia how things were going up North. Side North. In Canada.
Owen: I said Apple. Usually when I say Apple, he's like, "Apple?!?"
Leo: I got a lot ot say about Apple buddy. I am pissed off about Apple. Let me tell you something, we're going to get to that. But Georgia?
Georgia: We're in shock.
Leo: Everybody is in shock. But is there a sense that it could be news for Canada, or are you just worried about a whole bunch of people moving there?
Georgia: There's a lot of people planning on moving here. It's not as easy to immigrate to Canada as people think. I think people are genuinely worried what's going to happen with our trade agreements. The US is our biggest trade partner. The US could be changed because of that. To see the strife that is happening to our neighbors is hard for us. This is something we can't actually apologize for.
Leo: All right. I'll tell you what. Let's deflect to England for a moment. They have now passed the Snoopers Charter. Theresa May who is the prime minister after Brexit in Great Britain pushed this years ago and proposed it several times, and has never been able to get it through parliament, it awaits the Sovreign's approval. Once the Queen says OK, which is Pro Forma, the actual name of it is the investigators powers act. I'll read what Cory Doctorow says in Boing Boing, it's the most extreme surveillance law in Europe. More extreme than the Patriot Act. Snowden tweeted yesterday it goes farther than many autocracies. New spying powers to the Government. They'll require all ISPs to save everything you do online, make it available to the Government on demand, and it undermines cryptography. This picture of Theresa May shaking Putin's hand is a little inflammatory. It is the law that we have in the United States. There have been rumblings that this would happen in the United States as well. Extreme surveillance.
Baratunde: How did they justify it?
Leo: That's the interesting thing. I guess the overall justification for this and the Patriot act was fear of terrorism, and law enforcement needs these tools to fight terrorism, and I presume that is the argument made in the UK. I don't see much of that. Snowden tweeted the UK just legalized the most extreme form of surveillance in the history of Western Democracy. It includes bulk data collection. By the way, GCHQ works with the NSA. This is something the NSA would like to pass as well. Apparently President elect Trump's nominee for the CIA head... we have to read a lot of tea leaves when it comes to what Donald Trump wants to do. Mike Pompeo is a member of Congress and on the Intelligence committee has said he wants to increase mass surveillance. He says using encryption is a red flag, I use encryption whenever I can. He says he doesn't believe in back doors in encryption. It's an interesting mix, isn't it?
Baratunde: We should all be taking care to erase things that we don't think should exist in the hands of these companies that have already shown they can't hold onto it with or without Government orders. Name a company, they've lost your data. So we don't need a Government to come along and ask for it. They will be leaking it out a side door as we speak and using encryption tools just good healthy Internet practice. This seems like an obviously not good thing. Anybody want to argue in favor of a digital police state?
Owen: If you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about.
Leo: You're saying that facetiously, I know.
Owen: I'm not, as a non-criminal entity, I have nothing to fear but fear itself.
Leo: By the way, he'll never say that on the air, but we should point out that Owen has rarely been arrested when he's pulled over for driving while black, so that's good too, right?
Owen: It works out in my favor most of the time.
Leo: How many times this year? What is the current count?
Leo: I'm just going to let that sink in a little bit.
Owen: 63 times the last three years, I've only gotten 16 tickets. Most of the time, they pull me over, they realize I'm a black guy named Owen, they say hey. They let me go. A cop pulled me over one time I was in my hybrid, he was like, Owen? I'm like, Yeah. Hybrid, huh? Not thugging and bugging in a Lexus with Rims, sorry.
Baratunde: They're pulling you over because you're a curiosity. They're like that is a black man in a hybrid? They probably have a back channel where they're like I got him too!
Owen: I drove by a cop bumping Taylor Swift and he pulled me over. I'm like, "It's Taylor Swift!"
Baratunde: I don't know if that counts as racism, I think it's confusion.
Leo: It's clearly racial profiling. The excuse is used that as long as you're doing nothing wrong, we're doing everything we can to protect our neighborhoods, to protect against terrorism, and as long as you're doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. This is stop and frisk.
Baratunde: To take the metaphor further, Owen, you are a unicorn not because you like Taylor Swift, drive a hybrid, and are named Owen. But because you've survived these encounters. You're way beyond the data plot. You're an outlier. You've lived 63 times.
Leo: That's a terrible way to think of it.
Baratunde: That's the scary thing. Take all this abuse of power. Most cops don't abuse power, it takes a few to skew the system. Let's say it's 5%, that is still way too many. But because they have guns and badges which shield them from accountability for use of those guns, they're encouraging the bad ones to keep doing bad things. So you get the Government all this surveillance snooping history browsing and hacking power, and 5 or 10%... what is the digital version of pulling over Owen? Who are the communities that are going to be subject to abuse by this power? It's probably not Leo Laporte in general. It's probably our Muslim brothers and sisters... depending on the society we're talking about, different groups are going to be targetted by this, so that burden of non-accountability is going to be born by people who are going through tough times as it is. The risk of abuse has been proven to happen, it's one of the main reasons you don't concentrate such narrow power in small hands.
Leo: You know how many times I have been pulled over for jamming 50 Cents as loud as I can in my Tesla? Actually in the last three years?
Baratunde: Zero, because there is no artist named 50 cents.
Owen: He's only one person.
Leo: 50 Cent.
Owen: The thing I'm waiting for is a Government to have this power and for them to get hacked. For millions of regular citizens to have their non-criminal information put out there, some perverted funky stuff they have going on, they sleep with socks on. That might get hacked and leaked out to the world. Then what are they going to say? You've been housing all this stupid information, waiting for someone to get ahold of it.
Leo: Here's a question. One of the proposals is to create a registry of Muslims in the United States. I imagine if that... first of all, you don't need to create a registry. We had heard, it's never been proven, but among other things that the Patriot Act did, of course you can with a National security letter query grocery stores, and they can't say anything about it. You can say who is eating hummus?
Baratunde: That's every upwardly mobile...
Leo: That's the problem. But I wonder if something like that happened, what kind of civil disobedience would happen.
Baratunde: We'd all register.
Leo: Even though that could be risky. This is the thing that will be the test. Will people like me step forward and register, even though that might be a risky thing to do?
Baratunde: I've been talking too much. Let somebody else weigh in.
Georgia: Unfortunately, we become complacent way too easily. If it doesn't directly affect us, rarely do people do something. Unfortunately, it takes things to become really bad before people decide I have to get up and fight because this is bad for all of us. If this can be done to one person, it can eventually be done to you as well. People only get upset when it effects themselves or a loved one, and we're becoming more and more boxed in. As we become more attached to the Internet and social media, and things that keep us away from people at large, we become able to survive without having to deal with things, you don't have to open up a browser that is dealing up with a difficult subject that we don't want to deal with. It's easier for us to turn a blind eye and feel like everything is going to be OK. And when things get really bad, it's becoming worse and worse before people will take a stand and say this is something I need to fight for. That's a dangerous area of social psychology. We end up with that group think of "us" and "them." That's dangerous, because in the end it's all of us.
Owen: In general, Georgia, I say you are 1000% right. But since you live in Canada, you've not been here in America for the last 24 months when it's been protest central. You don't like somebody wearing a blue shirt? We protesting that. You don't like that the President one a fair election even though he lost the popular vote? We protesting that.
Leo: Isn't there a risk of crying wolf? Too much protesting, then when there's something really serious to protest everybody goes there they go again.
Owen: I'm not trying to drive down that street right now, Leo. I'm just saying people are getting up out of their mom's basement and getting out to the street.
Leo: You're in somebody's basement.
Owen: More people are doing it. Yes, the cry wolf thing comes into effect, but instead of a hashtag, people are hitting the streets. I'd like if they hit the streets with more purpose and direction, but at least they're hitting the streets.
Leo: So when we talk about privacy. There's a couple of issues. It's not merely Government snooping. I think at least so far, it might be an overblown concern. There's also an issue of commercial snooping. Uber for instance has just changed its terms of service to people who use the Uber car service. Use Uber may permit you from time to time to submit a bloke publisher, otherwise make available to Uber textual, audio, and visual content. Commentary and feedback. By providing user content to Uber, you grant Uber a worldwide perpetual irrevocable royalty free license. We've all seen this. In other words, Uber is saying anything we get from you, we can use without further notice or consent from you, some people are saying this as a grab. When you get an Uber, they're gathering all sorts of information about you, where you've been, where you're going. Who you are. If you've got Spotify, what you're listening to because they tie into your Spotify account. Now apparently this is becoming grist for the mill. If I have an Amazon Echo, and I do in my house, the Echo could be listening to what TV shows I'm watching, make record of that and sell it to the networks as ratings information. That's another kind of snooping. A third issue is a security issue. If the Government can snoop on you and have backdoors in your encryption, if commercial entities can snoop on you, hackers can use these avenues to not only snoop on you but to mess with you. All three of these are issues. They're all to br concerned about yes?
Baratunde: Absolutely. When we went digital we stopped physically owning a lot of the production of our lives. If you took a picture before, you developed that, or you could go to one hour photo, but that was yours to lose in a fire to sell, to misplace and discover 50 years later. Now so much that we produce about ourselves, about our location, our thoughts, memos, notes to self, are physically owned by someone else. There's a land grab that has been made. You're not just a phone company customer, you're a rich source of data and insights that is monetizable that you didn't sign up for... actively. It's retroactive, by the way we own your family and your children in perpetuity and all forms of media. We have been late, as citizens to claim ourselves. That data is ours, and you have to check with us before you do all kinds of things, so what Uber is doing is sadly common. Everybody has the same lawyers, and they're all working with the same, generally behind the times overwhelmed, and perhaps unaware user base that doesn't know what to do about this even if made aware of it. What are we supposed to do? Saying don't use stuff is like saying "just say no." These services have been made so integral and so addictive in our lives that saying not to use them is meaningless for a significant portion of the population whose employers demanded, whose friend networks demanded, whose sense of self is tied into it.
Leo: How do we fight it?
Owen: First of all we get that Facebook notice that we pass around that says I hereby declare my Facebook contract says...
Leo: That's BS, right? Talk about fake news.
Owen: You cut me off. That's the general way to do this. The layman people who are not in your bubble, or my bubble don't understand these things. Once the crowd gets to hear about this, you say Uber is going to steal your stuff. Who is going to steal my stuff? Uber ain't stealing my stuff! The next thing you know, nobody knows what's going on, but at least they look and check. If you sign up for Uber and scroll through that five page thing and click OK cuz you're trying to get a ride home in the rain, you don't have time to read that. These people do a very good job of not informing their customer base about what they're doing, and usually what happens is somebody gets screwed over and something bad happens and everybody will know about it and they have a battle with Facebook taking people's pictures and things like that. So we just need to inform people better. There needs to be a law that puts in simple form there's new stuff, if you want to opt out, do it. If not, don't use our service. It's all hidden away in those long form contracts people don't know about.
Georgia: I fully agree with you, Owen, but you know what the other part of this is we are fickle beasts.
We constantly sacrifice our future for the things we want in the present. We don't think about the repercussions for our actions. We are way too short sighted and nepitistic to care, and what Orwell didn't think about is we're the ones sticking our cameras everywhere, installing them in our private rooms, carrying them wherever we go. In the end, our biggest fear isn't that people are going to be watching us, but that people might not be. We've created this ourselves. We've abdicated our own right to privacy.
Owen: Don't make me get my full hat. Watch this. OK Google. OK Alexa. XBox Home. I be unplugging everything. Siri, you ain't listening to me about nothing.
Georgia: But you're on a podcast talking. We are relatively public people. I don't have Alexa, I don't have Siri, but I'm on Twitter. I hope to get more Twitter followers. I do podcasts, and people know more about me than I want them to.
Owen: That's the 6'2" 180 pound I've been working all morning self that I put out. You don't get to sneak into my house with my Google or Alexa, you wouldn't to know.
Leo: Coca Cola has just introduced the selfie bottle. It's a bottle with a camera that shows you taking a picture of yourself drinking a coca Cola.
Baratunde: I cannot wait for the foul, disgusting things people are going to do with this bottle. It's going to get interesting really fast.
Leo: Wait a minute...
Baratunde: Whenever companies empower people to express themselves, it takes people five minutes to get really nasty.
Owen: What kind of adult videos are you watching? You just went right to it!
Baratunde: People are going to want to put it on their dogs... it's going to get nasty. Coke... this is great and horrible at the same time.
Leo: It was advised by Geffentine for the Coca Cola summer love brand event. It is real. The selfies are taken when you tilt the bottle to 72 degrees, and can be shared on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. Doesn't this seem like this should be a fake news story? And yet it's real.
Baratunde: It's real. Here's another way they could have spun this. Coca Cola, instead of creating this one way data flow from the customer back to Coca Cola server so they can monetize your image so they can get other people to create a relationship from themselves to Coca Cola servers, they could have created something that connected you to other Coca Cola drinkers. They could have encouraged some level of community, find someone in your neighborhood, like I don't know. I'm being cheesy right now. There's such a narrow imagination around how all these organizations are built, which is they're treating us like the natural resource that they're mining. They'll discard us.
Leo: That's the new way of business.
Baratunde: It's so extractive and it's so lazy. Ultimately it's so lazy. If you want to exploit me, at least make it more interesting. But a selfie camera taped to the bottom of a coke bottle is pretty low...
Owen: Question, Uncle Leo.
Leo: Yes sir.
Owen: Speaking of exploiting people and getting that money, don't we have an ad to do?
Leo: You are so good. Owen JJ Stone knows how to monetize like nobody's business. Owen, you're the real thing. We will talk ab out an increase in selfie deaths.
Baratunde: Thanks, Coca Cola.
Georgia: Somebody is going to get sued.
Leo: Not me, I love coca cola.
Baratunde: I'll go to coke prison for you guys. I'll do that for you.
Leo: Louis Black has a great routine about coke and Pepsi. What's the difference? If you go to a restaurant and you say, "I'll have a Coke," and they say "We only have Pepsi," do you storm out?
Georgia: I say no. I'm not having that.
Leo: I'm glad you're brand loyal. See, Coke? Coke did try that I'd like to teach the world to sing thing. They did that touchy feely thing.
Owen: Money, Uncle Leo.
Leo: Don't worry, it's all trickle down. This show is... I do feel like a company that is well run would look long term and say ultimately our success requires a consumer base that has the money and interest to spend on our products, so focusing all the revenue into this company isn't a good long term strategy. They want to make the stock market happy, so they don't care. They don't care if nobody can afford paper towels and quilted northern toilet paper, because they're going to make it now. Which is why I'm going to pause for this commercial break. Baratunde, it's so nice to have you. baratunde.com. Now that he's freed from the chains of Trevor Noah he can join us and speak to us. Was it crazy working there?
Baratunde: It was absolutely fun and absolutely crazy, and at times, absolutely unbearable. It's the most difficult job I've ever had, hands down. I would do it all over again, hands down.
Leo: were you doing social media for them? What were you doing?
Baratunde: That is a vast subset of what I was doing. I Had this lofty title which was superviser/producer. I created a department that had not existed before. We called it the Expansion team, and it was all things digital, which included representing the show online and in social media. It also included helping the show create on air content in a way that was more digitally sound or relevant. It included creating original content that was not connected content wise to what was airing last night or the upcoming night.
Leo: Was that forward thinking?
Baratunde: To some degree everybody is doing that. I'd like to think we had a more robust and comprehensive level of I set the bar for that. I can't imagine any show that is not dabbling in some of those areas. Everybody understands the value of being on social media.
Leo: But it has to be organic. It can't be obvious that the point of all of this is to get more viewers.
Baratunde: People have gotten more sophisticated than watch our show tonight at 9/8 central to extending for fiction and scripted series, extending characters between seasons so that they live and have drama and scenes play out in YouTube and Tumblr. Micro-series and things like that. They recognize the power of these non-linear formats to extend story. Honestly, the thing that got me most excited was the third type, how do you create new stuff that is inspired by and in the voice of the Daily Show but not in a 24 minute video segment for distribution for a cable network, but how do you make an interactive app or a mockery of March madness. In this case we did third month mania. It was issues and people. Which made you madder, Bill Cosby or Martin Skrelli? Tangled headphones or taco trucks?
Leo: Do I have to choose one?
Baratunde: In the end, the people chose. It was this big tournament. It came down to climate change versus Trump supporters? Which ones are Americans the most mad at? In a prescient move, Trump supporters beat out climate change. This is satirical construct. It was a technically sound build. Lots of jokes in it. That's a flavor of the job. I'll say one last thing off the pedestal. It was so much less about what I brought to that show and for me it was the humbling excitement of being able to unlock what was already there. It's almost like being a language instructor, and when people can express themselves in a new language. What you can make a joke in another language, you know the language. Once you can make a joke with the Internet or with technology, first of all, you realize I'm funny. I can do this in multiple languages, not just spoken ones. Our team was able to work with folks who were already there, and show them some new things and collaboratively unlock some creative and comedic potential that didn't necessarily fit in that 22 minute video over a proprietary cable network package.
Leo: Tech TV back in '98 when we started, you'd think that would be the first channel to get that. I don't know if I ever spoke their language. Frankly. I don't think they learned. It's really interesting to watch this evolve over time.
Baratunde: The people who are just starting, they always have the advantage. It's African nations who go straight to mobile and don't rip up their streets to put copper in the land. If you get to start right now, and the future is just ahead of you, you're going to be more futuristic. If you have to adapt a 20 year operating strategy and maintain the legacy networks and personalities, and billing systems, it's hard. I've been in this position multiple times now, like older media organizations stepping more aggressively into the future.
Leo: You worked at the Onion. The Onion got it.
Baratunde: I was there for five years. One of the best jobs I've ever had. And The Onion went blazing into the future, but it wasn't.. I had a lot of internal conversation, shall we say, to justify and explain and convince and show why this matters, why it's not just some vanity project. Why it's maintaining relevance and interesting-ness ultimately. The world changes; we change with it. That's how things have always been.
Leo: Great to see you again.
Baratunde: Can I say one more thing? I am on National Geographic as a correspondent. There's a new show called Explorer. It airs after their Mars show on Monday nights. I am all up in the second episode on November 21, so for those who are listening in time to catch it or to catch it on demand, tune in to Nat Geo explorer where you'll see me doing field pieces and panel discussions and all kinds of fun stuff.
Leo: What is the topic of this episode?
Baratunde: The topic of this episode largely has to do with criminal justice in America. Nat Geo goes to the bottom of the sea, satellites, ancient pyramids, but they're taking this explore concept into social issues and human interests and what not. I did a story about policing outside of New Orleans, there's a story about private prisons. There's an amazing story about honey that I think helps bring people...
Leo: I think that's you walking by the city hall.
Baratunde: And not getting stopped, like Ohdoctah.
Leo: Ohdoctah is also here. Owen JJ Stone, IQMZ.com and of course lovely to have Georgia Dow. I almost called you Greta Dow, I don't know why. You look like you could be a Greta.
Georgia: I could be a Greta.
Leo: We still don't know what your real name is. Don't do it.
Owen: Two things. Baratunde, is your boy black Trump still online? Your boy blacktrump.com? That's my jam. Second thing, Leo, for the love of jimminy Christmas, I'm going to sip on this tea while you do this remake.
Leo: Is that sweet tea? That's going to kill you.
Owen: This is lemon tea! With all natural flavors. Don't ask me no questions.
Leo: OK. We're going to talk about audible.com. You know why? Audible.com is the best place to listen to Baratunde read how to be black. Right? Did you ever put that on audible.com?
Baratunde: I read it myself.
Leo: In his own voice, ladies and gentlemen!
Baratunde: This voice, you can hear it again and again.
Leo: Oh look. Issa Rae has a book. Nice!
Baratunde: And a great new HBO show called Insecure.
Leo: I love insecure. Wild. It is wild. It is so funny. Anyway, this is the deal. You get two books at audible.com right now for free if you go to audible.com/twit2, Trevor Noah has a new one. Born a Crime, stories from South African childhood. Lots of books. If you like science fiction, if you like history, if you like self-help. It's endless. Steven Levie's amazing hackers. If you're into technology and you like Hackers, now is the time. You can listen to it for free! What we're going to do is get you two books for free. You're going to go to audible.com/twit2, you'll be signing up for the platinum account. That's a two book a month account. Lisa is listening to this one, the subtle art of not giving a fig. She loves it. She says it's a great book. I still have to work on that a bit. The New Rogue One Novel. If you go to audible.com/twit2, you'll be signing up for the platinum plan, you'll also get the Daily Digest of the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times so you can listen to the news, as well as great literature and books, and you get to pick two books. Here's the deal. If at any time in the first 30 days you say it's nice but not for me, you can pay nothing, just cancel and keep those books forever. Which is one of the things I like about Audible. It's like a Bookshelf. I've been at Audible since the year 2000 for 16 years.
Baratunde: Me Too!
Leo: Have you really been that long?
Baratunde: Before they were acquired by anybody, when you had this dinky MP3 player.
Leo: Remember the Otto?
Baratunde: I used to check out books on tape from the public library as a junior high student. Auto reverse was a big deal. I've been very committed to audio consumption of books, and Audible makes that addiction easier to service.
Leo: It was a huge thing for me when I didn't have to send the cassettes back after 30 days because i would never finish a book! Audible, you get to keep it forever and you can download it instantly. Very frequently I'd say I gotta read that and I listened and it's just... anyway. Audible.com/twit2. Two books. Pick two books. Robert Scoble's book is now out on audible.com. I think he's got a new one coming. This is not the new one. His new one is coming, but it's not out yet. Tim Wuu has a new one called the Attention Merchants, which is a highly recommended book. He's really good. He wrote the Masters... with a Kilt. This one is absolutely timely, about the barrage of advertising, branding, social media, commercials, all attempting to harvest the one thing we've got to offer them: our attention.
Baratunde: I see what you did there, Leo. In the middle of an ad, you plugged a book that was critical of ads. That's nice.
Leo: Ha! stop it. You're not supposed to call attention to that. I'm a little subversive sometimes, huh? Audible.com/twit2. This isn't an ad, this is a song of love to audible. You might want to check out Paul Beatty's newest the sellout. All right. There we go. Audible.com/twit2. Two books for free. We're talking about the week's tech news, we have in the other room, the new Apple Macbook. We did an interview yesterday on the new Screensavers with Kyle Wiens, he's at ifixit.com and as you know, iFixit does tear downs of all the new stuff whenever it comes out, they did a tear down on the new MacBook. It's part of their mission which is to make repair manuals and tools, and parts available for everything. So one of the things they do when they do a tear down is they rate these things on how easily you can repair them. The new MacBook got a repair factor of one, repairability of one out of ten. The lowest, I said, Could you go lower, he said I guess you could get a zero.
Baratunde: Could you not in fact see that as the best? Like it's number one?
Leo: Ha. That's what Tim Cook says. It's a beautiful thing, but in their haste to make thinner lighter notebooks, what Apple has really done is make notebooks that aren't upgradable. It's a big iPhone. It's exactly the model, even down to the point where not only is the battery non removable, it's almost impossible to get them out. They have infinite patience. This is the thing that also bugs me. Not recyclable. He says we hear from recyclers all the time who have fires from lithium ion batteries. They're either left in by accident or we didn't find it. When they grind it up, as with any lithium ion battery it explodes and bursts into flames, and it's a real problem for recyclers to the point where this is going in the landfill. This is not going to be recycled.
Baratunde: I remember years ago Apple getting criticized for burning down the Earth and being bad citizens of the world, but they came back and but we do this and our new building is going to be lead certified, it's a spaceship it can take us to Mars if the Earth melts down...
Leo: They're a member of EP. Their stuff is EP certified. I have to think it has to do with the millions of dollars they gave EP, more than the sustainability of electronics. Here's what I'm going to propose. By the way, it's not just Apple, it's everybody. This is the Google Pixel. Sealed battery. It might be possible to take the battery out and take it apart, I don't know. But I think the drive towards thinner electronics is driving us towards sealed cases and batteries. Remember the days when you could take the back off a phone and replace the battery? Or pop the battery out from the laptop and put a new one in? The battery goes bad in a few years anyway. They're essentially making disposable electronics, and this is an awful big chunk of disposable electronics.
Georgia: Are you sure Liam can't take the battery out yet?
Leo: Liam cannot take the battery out! And by the way, I asked.
Baratunde: Liam has a very particular set of skills.
Georgia: Liam is not ready for Westworld yet.
Leo: I asked Kyle doesn't Apple recycle these? Because you're supposed to bring your old stuff back to Apple. He said I know the recycler that Apple uses, and no. Here's the issue, going forward we as consumers for our own benefit because replacing batteries are good for us it keeps electronics lasting longer, if you have a cellphone with a replaceable battery, you could put a second battery in, shouldn't we start demanding not thinner and lighter but removable batteries and recycling?
Owen: First of all I hate this new laptop. I hate this new direction that Apple is going into. They're not going into the pro series where people create content, now they want you to consumer content. So first of all. I'm going to go and I'm going to stop. You make a laptop with only C ports in it and you put a headphone jack in it, after you told me you were magically getting rid of my headphone jack that I'm trying to put in this iPhone 7 plus repeatedly? Why is it in that and you can't have a way for me to plug my phone into my laptop and charge it when I'm on the go and I got stuff to do? Instead now I have to pull out this dongle and look like a doofus, but you couldn't put an SD card in it because you told me aerodynamics... everything is wrong with this thing! I'm not done. Did you see the stupid scroll bar? Any professional knows how to use the function keys to get around these pro tools that they're using. I never miss Steve Jobs. He's a man I never met, I don't need him; but I miss him! So much because it's so ridiculous the stupid stuff they're doing. If you wanted my Grandma to have a Mac Pro, maybe you shouldn't charge $3000 for it you stupid. I don't need it. It makes me so mad and I need a new computer and I have to go back to MIcrosoft!
Leo: Can I tell you something...?
Owen: Where is Apple's innovation? They don't got no courage. I'm going to stop yelling becuase people get mad when i yell on this show.
Baratunde: Leo, we need a moment of silence to appreciate the Bill Cosby mixed with Homer simpson rant that we just heard. That was the most beautiful thing we've heard on this show in years. Ohdoctah, I want to find you and hug you, but I know... That was amazing.
Owen: It hurts my heart I need to spend 3 Gs on a laptop and I can't bring myself to do it. I can't do it right now because I'm so upset. I don't want to go back to MIcrosoft. I dumped her a long time ago. But now she put on a cute dress and dropped 50 pounds.
Baratunde: I have no words.
Leo: Georgia writes for iMore, which is an Apple blog.
Georgia: I do, and I think Rene is watching the show and I have to be careful what I say so I still have a job after this. I'm not getting it. I like my ports.
Leo: It's clear to me Apple has become a fashion brand, not a technology brand.
Georgia: I like fashion!
Leo: It's form not function.
Georgia: Beautiful, but it's got the power of a calculator.
Leo: Real computers are ugly!
Georgia: We can do both! They can be beautiful and I can stil lhave my ports. There's no reason to get rid of them and then you give me the 3 MM. I'm with Owen on that. I like the touch bar, I want it to be a touch screen. I look at Microsoft.. it looked good.
Owen: They ain't got a touch screen yet, and they come out with a three hundred dollar book, I would take this fingernail polish and dump it all over....
Leo: Don't do that. No.
Owen: Sue me to get that money.
Leo: There you go. A three hundred dollar book.
Baratunde: We might be missing with Apple; they take the removable battery away only so that in three years they can unveil a brand new removable battery. No one has ever done it. It's like when they introduced copy and paste to the iPhone six to 12 months after it was released. I'm still stuck on the wastefulness of it all where they throw it away, where you can't take it for repairs, where it's going to explode if you take it to a recycling center?
Georgia: The book is a different thing. That's for them to...
Leo: 300 dollars. There's the non-existent airpods. They don't want this.
Owen: The thing we always have to remember about recycling is, to be fair, Apple computers get the best shelf life known to man. People have laptops 3 or 4 years, still throw them up on Ebay and get a G for them and they still roll. I know this chick who is still rocking one of those old white MacBooks. It's from 2005. She still uses it. Apple does make a better quality product that lasts longer than a disposable windows machine.
Baratunde: Now that they're making super sized iPhones, I don't know if that's true anymore. This is a huge shift, and I don't know if it has the creative power. I'm honestly thinking, this is not a commitment, this is a public exploration. I used to build my own PCs, I used to play with Linnux on the side. I got suckered because Apple made it easy and I was like I can do other things with my time. I feel a loss of freedom and self, and I'm just not trying to have that. I'm considering doing the PC thing, just to diversify my interface. Every once in a while, I'll switch my mail app, my calendar app just to change my interface so I don't get hooked on what somebody thinks my view of the world is. This laptop, I'm not going to get it, but it's another symbol, like why would I give them everything? Just spread pieces of them around. If you're going to exploit me, I'm going to make it as hard as I can.
Leo: Here's Colbert. This is the new Apple book.
Colbert: There is the iBook, the MacBook, and now the most advanced Book we ever made. The Apple Book,.
Man: It's 450 pages of high resolution images of Apple products you probably already have in your basement.
Colbert: Using the latest and most innovative technology from 1440 we were able to take an experience that was instantly familiar and charge 300 dollars for it.
Mia Hifen-Surnamo: Its touch page technology allows you to simply swipe your finger on the page to turn it.
Jerry Papagas-Anopolous: We also wanted to make a completely intuitive experience so the Apple Book's pages are sequential. 60 is followed by 61, which is followed by 62, followed by 63.
Leo: Why is it Apple is so easily parodied now? Is that a sign of a company that is not—
Baratunde: When you take yourself too seriously.
Leo: When you take yourself too seriously.
Owen: The true sign is that audience thinks that that book is fake.
Owen: The audience thinks that that book is a joke. And it's real.
Leo: It's not. It's real. I think they've become a fashion company. I think somebody, somewhere said, "You know what, where the profits are is at the high end. We make high end products because the PC is dying and we don't know what the hell to do with it and yea."
Owen: Who's going to make the stuff that the people consume? They're literally making consumption machines but people need to produce with them.
Leo: It's not their job. It's not their job.
Baratunde: Snapchat will make that, OhDoctah with the glasses.
Leo: With the glasses. You go get them. Go to Big Sur.
Owen: Can we talk about Snapchat?
Leo: Yea, let's take a break and then we'll talk about Snapchat. How about that. That's OhDoctah, Owen J.J. Stone. Love having you on the show and love the rants, my friend.
Owen: Love you too.
Leo: What was it Baratunde, the Simpsons meet—
Baratunde: I feel like there was a heavy Bill Cosby but there was a little bit, there was a little bit of Homer Simpson. There was a little why you little—like there was that going on too. And then there was like a get off my lawn-ness to it. There was a back in my day, we used to have an iceman with a carrot, carried a chisel. And now the ice just comes out of my freezer magically. I don't trust this ice. Why can't I get ice the old fashioned way like it was 80% on point but there was 13% percent, I think I'm probably wrong but I'm going to go with you—
Owen: Yea, but when I make us stuff it sounds good, thought, right?
Leo: No, hard numbers.
Owen: 82% of 92% of the stuff I say is 100% legit.
Leo: Also here the fabulous Georgia Dow and her videos now, I bet—have you noticed a big increase in sales of the anxiety videos? They're going through the roof now, right?
Georgia: Unfortunately, yes. And I guess fortunately, yes.
Leo: It's kind of a comment, isn't it?
Leo: Yea. Georgia is, besides being one of the nicest people in the world and a write for iMore is also a psychotherapist and you and your partner have a website, anxiety-videos.com where you can get lots of stuff to help you sleep better, help you relax, help you get rid of the anxiety. Anxiety's the problem in this modern day.
Georgia: Anxiety, yea. We just did one on depression as well, especially at this time of year there's a lot of seasonal effective disorder that's coming around or you know, post-election depression. It's just people are really shocked for many different reasons, the holidays, family. It's a little bit of a rough time of year.
Leo: You're lucky, you guys—
Baratunde: What happened on The Walking Dead.
Georgia: Right, it's true. Westworld, there's stressful stuff happening.
Leo: You guys are lucky in Canada that you had Thanksgiving in October. That was smart to have it before the US Election.
Leo: We are going to have to suffer, all of use, through Thanksgiving. Some of us will be with loved ones who hate us (laughing). Did you see the 19 questions the New York Times suggested that you prepare for your Thanksgiving dialogue? 19 questions you should ask the people that you are sitting with, to ask the loved ones for Thanksgiving.
Baratunde: I think we should ask all those questions of the various bots that are available online and see how well they do it.
Leo: Did you see it, Georgia? Because—
Leo: 19 Questions to Ask Loved Ones Who Voted the Other Way.
Georgia: Is this to have a good Thanksgiving or a really bad Thanksgiving?
Leo: It's very psychotherapeutic, right? So you sit down, do it over a meal or drink. Offer the benefit of the doubt, assume the other person has generally good intentions. Almost everyone does. Don't let imperfect word choices tank the conversation. Forget policy debates. Then say, "Describe your relationship to me. Are we close?"
Georgia: Ok can we—I'll just say it's too soon. Don't do this. Don't do this.
Leo: Who did I vote for and why?
Georgia: Don't, don't.
Leo: What was the most important issue for me? Why do you feel differently about that issue? How do you think our views came to be so different? Has it been difficult to talk to me about this election? If so, why?
Owen: Can I say something so I don't feel like a bad person?
Owen: I was at the grocery store the other day and it was like super packed because everybody's buying Thanksgiving stuff and I was talking to this nice, older lady. We were talking about hams. And this gentleman bumped into her cart. And she pulled her cart back and the guy didn't say excuse me. And for some reason in my heart, I just wanted to yell, "Trump America!" right in his face.
Leo: (Laughing) Oh no, no, no. That's the wrong thing.
Owen: It came in my mind like, "Trump! Trump!" I just wanted to do it.
Leo: I know. Trump is the new Tourette's. Don't do it.
Georgia: Don't do it. Don't do it.
Owen: I felt so bad in my heart. Like what is wrong with me? Why do I want to do that (laughing).
Leo: You need to get a Twitter account, Owen.
Georgia: No, we need to talk after the show. No, you can't—don't do that. People—what happens to people when they have any subject that they are really strong and passionate about is that you know, the limbic part of your brain, like the lizard part of your brain takes over and it shuts off your working memory. So there is not much you're working with. Don't do that. You want to enjoy your turkey and all of the gravy and goodness. You don't want to have a fork flying across the table.
Leo: Don't become part of the lizard people, Owen.
Georgia: Don't ask these questions.
Baratunde: Could you, as a service, as a generous, Canadian service, as an active neighborliness, could you reframe those 19 New York Times questions into something that won't get stabbed in the face with a fork?
Leo: I've got one.
Baratunde: At their Thanksgiving dinner table.
Leo: I've got one. What do you think of the weather? How's it—it's a beautiful day, isn't it? How's that turkey for you? A little dry? Good? You like it? Oh, and then get controversial. So, breast side up or down? No, really?
Georgia: Are you a breast or leg man, yea? Anything else. You really—this is just, people are up in arms on both side of the fence that you don't need to make your family members more upset or upset. It's too soon. Don't do it.
Leo: This is probing the bad tooth with your tongue. This is not a good idea.
Georgia: This is great for people that are moderately—
Baratunde: So maybe at New Year's Eve? Is it St. Patrick's Day?
Leo: Yea. Save it for St. Patrick's Day (laughing).
Georgia: Wait until people feel more at ease. Don't do that. People are really—
Leo: By the way, the last 2 questions, what do you think we agree on? And the last question is actually so sad, do you still like me? Thank you, New York Times.
Owen: This is my mentality. You should never ask a large group questions like that because they can turn on you at every second.
Leo: No, we never liked you.
Owen: And even one on one conversations on the internet that you have, you call your mom on the phone. You don't go face to face and get a pie thrown at your head.
Leo: Let's take a break. We're going to talk about something else that you probably don't want to do this time of year and that's go to the post office. The holidays are coming. You know they call that at the post office, amateur hour. If you use the postal service for business, maybe you sell on Etsy or eBay or Amazon or you send out bills or invoices or brochures, if you're doing business in the post office, you don't want to go to the post office when all the non-business are there tying up the post office. Traffic, parking, it's going to be packed, everyone mailing holiday gifts. But the truth is year round, you can save time, save money, save anxiety by using Stamps.com. Stamps.com online lets you buy and print official US Postage from your computer, your printer. It's not a postage meter. You can use what you've already got. In fact they will send you for free a digital scale worth $50 bucks so you can weigh every package and have exactly the right postage. You can print the postage right on the envelope or you can print a label for a box. Any kind of mailing, any kind of mailing. You can print on plain paper, an envelope. They have Stamps.com labels that actually let you print stamps. You can have your company logo on it. The return address is automatically filled in.
Baratunde: This cannot all be true. This cannot all be true.
Leo: Wait, wait, there's more (laughing). If you go to Stamps.com right now and click the microphone in the upper right hand corner, use the offer code TWiT, T-W-i-T, and not only will you get the scale, you will get $55-dollars in coupons for free postage.
Baratunde: What? Free money?
Leo: Free money. And because they do charge you for shipping of the scale, it's $5 bucks, they'll give you a $5-dollar supply kit. And of course, a month free of Stamps.com. So it all works out to about a $110-dollar value. And I'm telling you, it is the most professional way. You want to look professional. If you sell on Etsy, maybe on Etsy you don't mind having a brown paper package wrapped with twine and about a hundred Amelia Earhart stamps on it. But most of us would like to look a little more professional and this is what it will do. Plus it will save you time. It even fills out the forms for certified mail and customs forms for you for overseas mail, stuff like that. It's so great. And then the mail carrier comes to you and picks it up. You can have a nice conversation. You can ask the mail carrier, "Do you like me?" Stamps.
Baratunde: It makes you want to mail more stuff.
Leo: It does. Stamps.com. Use the offer code TWiT, T-W-i-T. It does make you want to mail more stuff.
Baratunde: Next time you're tempted to post a picture on Instagram—
Leo: Mail it.
Baratunde: Ship thousands. Mail it. Mail it to all your followers.
Georgia: Mail it first. Then you'll know. Do they have this in Canada?
Leo: Yea, but it's not Stamps. It's somebody else. I thought—I bought letterpress cards that said, "From the Desk of the Chief TWiT." And I bought like envelopes and fountain pens. I thought I would just handwrite answers to people. And then I wrote—
Owen: You never sent me my handwritten letter.
Leo: I wrote one and my hand ached so bad (laughing), I haven't done any since. I can't write anymore.
Owen: You own me a letter.
Leo: I owe you a very nice thank you note.
Georgia: Wait, if you're giving one to Owen, I want a letter as well.
Owen: Well see now you're doubling up and I'm not going to get mine. But Lisa sent one in his place. I know the handwriting. I saw it. It was love us.
Leo: Did Lisa send you?
Owen: Yea, she sent me one. She took care of me. You still didn't do your job.
Owen: That's a good woman you've got. You're lucky.
Leo: It's not my fault I'm a left.
Leo: Yea. So is she, so.
Leo: Snapchat. Oh, Snapchat, baby. Snap, not Snapchat. IPO. They filed—this is the new thing. If you're not worth a certain amount, I don't know what the deal is according to the job site.
Owen: A billion?
Leo: Yea, there's some deal where you don't have to file publicly anymore for an IPO. So Snap which is the name, corporate name of Snapchat, has filed secretly for an IPO which we expect will be about $25-billion dollars according to the Wall Street Journal.
Baratunde: That's already interesting because IPO stands for Initial Public Offering.
Leo: Yea, I know.
Baratunde: But you can file it secretly. Ok.
Leo: Yea, it's weird. I don't understand all that stuff. But I'm sure somebody could explain why this is a good thing. At some point you have to get public because you have to sell the darn thing but I guess they don't want—
Baratunde: Maybe not. Maybe they're secretly public.
Baratunde: Maybe they'll change the whole game, the whole IPO game and then stock will just disappear after 10 minutes. As soon as you own it you don't own it anymore.
Owen: There you go.
Leo: So $25-billion with a "B" dollars. And that wouldn't even be the full valuation of the company. And what is Snapchat? It's an app, right? Is there anything more than the app?
Baratunde: Snapchat is a way of life, Leo. It's a new interface.
Leo: Do you Snap?
Baratunde: People have talked about virtual reality, augmented reality. Snapchat's just reality and it's a window on reality.
Leo: Oh a reality reality.
Baratunde: It's whimsical.
Leo: Can I put it on a Coke bottle?
Baratunde: And it's attention. Basically it's taking people's attention and that's worth a lot of money. So, that's why it's worth all that money.
Leo: Is it really you think worth that much?
Baratunde: I'm not a numbers, finance IPO person. But I suppose so. Look, if someone believes enough that they can get that money back by selling washing machines as filters or whatever is going to come next, golf clubs attached to your earlobes. Maybe that will be the thing that really puts it over the top and makes it worthwhile. Whatever's grabbing these many minutes of people's time a day, people assume is worth something, whether they can get that money back, we'll see. I'm not so sure. I don't know if they should be able to honestly. But the size doesn't shock me given how obsessive the use is and just how fun the thing is. It's kind of like a game and a social environment.
Leo: Owen, do you Snap?
Owen: I have Snapchat. I look at other people's Snaps. I do not Snap.
Georgia: I want to see Owen if you've ever used a filter. I want some photos on Twitter.
Leo: I've used filters.
Owen: Look, here's the thing, here's the thing. You know Snapchat ain't worth this money. No Snapchat's ain't never gonna make this money. They're never going to get this money back. And I think— I understand the marketing because it's a Snapchat idea. All I'm saying, the demographic is like 13 to 19. How much money do they got to buy the stuff that you're trying to sell that you think you're going to advertise to a 13-year-old that don't even cut grass because he's Snapchatting all day and got no time and no real job because he's a lazy millennial or whatever the generation is now for a 13-year-old. Why are they going to do this for so much money? Yes, there will be a lot of people but they ain't going to get this money back. They ain't going to make no money. They ain't going to make no money.
Leo: They're selling the Spectacles are like crazy.
Owen: They're not even selling them. They're Where's Waldo-ing them. They're sticking them out in the forest. You can go get 15 of them. People Tweet about that like it's a big deal but they're not even selling any.
Leo: That's good marketing. That's brilliant, right?
Owen: Oh, it's great marketing. That part of it, amazing and great.
Leo: Here it is by the—this is the Blue Whale of Catoosa which is one of the attractions on Route 66.
Baratunde: Is that Twitter's Fail Whale?
Leo: I know, isn't that—that's kind of, maybe that's a little backhanded snap at Twitter. It's apparently an attraction on Route 66 in Oklahoma, The Blue Whale of Catoosa and that next to it, the thing with the balloons is the vending machine for Spectacles. So what you've got to do is you've got to follow Spectacles on Twitter and wait for something like this and then you go, "Oh!" And you run. This was 5:00 AM on the 15th, a couple of days ago. And you run to the Blue Whale of Catoosa.
Baratunde: It's like Pokémon go with real stuff.
Leo: Yea. I don't—you know, I can see how they might make money. I think you're right, Baratunde, they can make money with the filters, right?
Baratunde: They're like a TV network and so they can insert video ads into that stream. I mean it's very traditional advertising.
Leo: Does your daily show strategy involve Snapchat?
Baratunde: It did. It did. And my personal strategy involves Snapatunde, that's my—
Leo: (Laughing) Oh, Snapatunde. You were doing stories for a while. Do you still do those?
Baratunde: I haven't done a story in about a week. I don't know, something happened a week ago that distracted me. I can't quite remember what it was.
Leo: That's when you've got to do stories, man.
Baratunde: (Laughing) But yea, I'll be back on it especially with my travels I have done a lot of Snap stories. But, Georgia, I feel like I cut you off. Where you about to say something about the Snapster?
Georgia: No, I was just saying, I like the filters. I'm not on Snapchat I just use the filters and then I screen shot the picture of me with the filter (laughing). That's all I use it for. It's horrible. I'm like the opposite of Owen. I'm like emoji-ing and like having all the pictures with the filters and I do that.
Owen: There might be a butterfly picture around my head picture somewhere. I'll give it to you. I'm not going to put it out there in the world. There may or may not be me sipping on a mai tai somewhere on a fake beach. But I understand Snapchat because people in the chat are yelling at me. I understand the power. I understand the use of it. I just think that inflation and the hype on this product is not worth the money that they are trying to get when they go public. Regular suckers that don't know anything about anything are going to go dump their money in, these investors will get their money back.
Leo: That's always the case, right?
Owen: And then they don't—and that's the case.
Georgia: Yea, they're saying it's worth this many billion so that when it comes down to like $900-billion, you're like, "This is a deal. Let's jump in."
Leo: But the thing is, everybody lives in kind of, it's kind of an almost casino mentality, like or lottery ticket mentality. Well, if I just get that big score. And no one know what the next big thing's going to be. It's probably, I've got to be honest, it's probably not going to be Snapchat or Uber.
Owen: You have to have a product. You have to have a product. And Uber, at least Uber has something that they sell to people. If Snapchat was already selling these filters and making X dollars—
Leo: They do. They sell the filters like they have filters, Warcraft filters and filters from movies and—
Owen: I don't know how much money they're making. They're a private, secret IPO. I don't know that they're making money. I don't know that right now so in my mind they're not making any money.
Leo: I doubt they're making money.
Owen: Uber, at least Uber's got a plan. Hey, we build our backs on people. We run out the taxi industry then we dump all those people in the street and buy autonomous cars and rake in the cash. At least they get that. That's the plan.
Baratunde: Uber's plan is exploit everybody as fast as possible.
Owen: Exactly. That makes money. I'd put money in that. Like I said, I put money in Tesla because they make things, you know? All these fake—look at these Twitter stocks now. How's Twitter working out for you? Anybody rich yet?
Leo: You can't do this on Twitter. You don't have my over the shoulder shot, do you?
Baratunde: This is really great for the listeners.
Leo: You know, all they have to do is imagine me doing some filters on Snapchat.
Owen: He's got the dog snap.
Baratunde: I actually, I saw, I was at a conference about a week ago and I saw someone walking around with a crown of flowers on her head and I was like oh my God, Snapchat filters are in real life now because IRL Snapchat, and I was braced to see someone with a dog tongue hanging out.
Owen: You've never been to a hippie convention? That's like from the 60s.
Baratunde: It was the spitting image. No, it wasn't from hippie Snapchat invented the flower crown, Owen, I don't know where you learned your history, ok, but Snapchat started it. And now everybody's trying to be like Snapchat. That's how this works.
Leo: I don't see any sponsored ones. I'm looking for sponsored ones on here.
Owen: I'm just waiting for InstaSnap to start giving me some filters. Then I'll be happy. I'm all Grammed out. I'm on the Gram.
Leo: Baratunde, When you did your stories, you didn't use these filters. You took videos and pictures and maybe you do a little text illustration.
Baratunde: I used the filters sometimes more for effect but not so much with the crowns and things on my own face. I wasn't doing funny voices and like animal faces and things like that. I much prefer to just put weird things next to each other or try to tell an actual story. I do ride alongs and point of view. Most of the time the camera is not actually on my face, it's on the world because I happen to think the world is so interesting and so I try to share my view of it rather than just—people can look at my profile picture and see my face. So I think I will show them what I'm actually seeing, often more interesting.
Leo: That's when I knew Hillary Clinton was going to lose actually is when I saw the—and I wish I told people because I forgot to tell people. I could have warned you.
Baratunde: Way to be helpful.
Baratunde: When did you know?
Leo: She was at a rally and was standing there kind of forlornly I though, waving at people. Here's the picture and nobody is looking at her. Every single person has there back to her taking a selfie of them in front of her. That's when I thought, this country, this country does not deserve—it's over. It's just over.
Baratunde: What's up, Georgia?
Georgia: I was just wondering, you're just talking about like that society has lost.
Georgia: Because everybody is so busy taking a picture that they're not actually in the moment.
Leo: Yes, the election has nothing to do with a candidate or anything and of course The Guardian, I love this, Jonathan Jones says, "Those taking selfies with Hillary aren't narcissists but our best hope." That's when I knew. This is our best hope?
Georgia: Or both.
Leo: I don't know. Tell me. What does this tell you about humanity?
Owen: Leo, this is the age of the memes. And the meme king won the presidency. The president elect is a meme king and this is what we want. We don't want facts. We don't want truth. We want memes.
Leo: And by the way, I'm thrilled to see him tweeting again because life is so much more interesting with an unfiltered president elect Donald J. Trump.
Owen: I just can't—I don't know.
Leo: (Laughing) You've become inarticulate, Owen.
Owen: Yea, I was about to—I just get so mad. The first thing I said after he won and he gave his little punk speech and he was congratulatory I said, "You know what? Just don't tweet anymore. Whatever else you've got to do, just stop tweeting." And he stopped for a while. And I was like, "Oh, he heard me. He saw my tweet. Wow."
Leo: That's really when I was encouraged.
Owen: Now he's back. And I'm like, oh.
Leo: I think this—this is interesting because it's unmediated. We've never had this kind of unmediated direct access to the most powerful person in the country, in the world. I think it's fascinating.
Baratunde: But most of the other ones were busy thinking.
Leo: I'm not going to say that. I'm just saying it's really interesting. I don't know what it means but—
Baratunde: No but he's been really accurate in describing where the public is. He was obviously very good at tapping in to where enough of the public was to win the election and he's like the next stage in the evolution of media.
Baratunde: We used to have big networks and gatekeepers and only a few people had a voice. Then we get radio. We get cable. We get all kinds of other modes of media that basically give more people the power to speak and as we do that, our attention span is shorter and shorter and shorter so we have to get more and more stimulus in order to pay any kind of attention. And he knows that. We have infinite channels now because of the internet. We have Reddits and then sub-Reddits. We have all this stuff and he is like a walking, talking animated GIF of noise. He is basically, like I described him as a denial of service attack because he floods the system with so much that you can't actually respond. And like legitimate requests get blocked because he keeps, he's talking about Hamilton and how they attacked his vice-president, how it's unfair. He's so good at it.
Leo: It's really interesting. You know they used to call Reagan the Teflon president because nothing stuck to him. But this really takes it to a whole other level. He has figured—
Baratunde: He's the opposite of Teflon. He spews so much that you actually don't know what he's saying. You can't dodge. Should I dodge this one? Should I react to this one? Is this legitimate and I should engage with this idea or is this just to shift my attention away from the controversy I see over here.
Leo: I think a lot of Trump voters love this that it's driving people crazy, right? They love—
Baratunde: That's what our media primed us for.
Owen: It's bad journalism because the fact that this man can subvert bad news about himself with a tweet or two about a safe space when he spent 2 years telling everybody that America was punks, is magical and powerful in itself that journalism isn't doing their job. They're not doing their job.
Leo: It's magical. No, I don't think so. I think they're trying really hard. I don't think it matters.
Owen: Then here's the thing. Then why—
Baratunde: They're literally doing their job, Owen. Because they make, because the media business rewards—
Owen: True, true.
Leo: I think there is a larger, there is a larger interesting story beyond just this which is that because we live in a 24 hour news cycle on the rise of the news channels, there is a constant inundation of bad news and crisis news just—and it's in their interest to do that, right, to continually do that. I have to tell my mom, who's 83. She watches CNN. I have to say, "Stop it." Because what you see, for her, everything is burning down all the time. Because that's all—of course, that's all it shows. We tried good news. Nobody wants good news. So this is, this is just—we live in a media environment and this is why I hate Twitter because I think Twitter is kind of the epitome of this, of just this constant barrage of factoids. The whole fake news thing to me is a meaningless argument. Because fake news wouldn't work if people didn't want to believe it and didn't want to spread it. We live in an environment where there is no truth because it's all, it's not just Mr. Trump, it's everybody spewing all the time and it's the environment we live in.
Baratunde: I'm literally spewing right now.
Leo: And at some point I feel like I just want to turn off social media and—
Owen: Can I be fair for our audience and just something I tweeted earlier about Trump University. To be honest, Trump U was not a scam. In the end, the students learned what Donald Trump does and how he makes his money. Step one, sign up for something stupid. Step two, claim that that stupid thing isn't your fault. Step three, cry to the public. Four, sue the stupid thing that you agreed to do. Step five, get paid 20 times the original investment. Step six, start your own stupid business with that cash you got. Step seven, fail at that too. Trump University is legit and viable. They learned from something from Mr. Trump and this whole system.
Leo: And by the way, every one of these, there are millions of these, right? How to get rich quick schemes where you to go to a seminar and almost invariably, the scheme is create a get rich scheme and have people come to a seminar and pay you lot of money for a book.
Baratunde: It's the opposite of pay it forward. It's like—
Leo: It's pay it backwards. The rise and in selfie deaths, back to selfie nation. This is from BBC's news feed. The number of people who die each year taking a selfie is on the rise.
Baratunde: Wait, are those women dead in that picture?
Leo: I think that's I'm sure stock photography.
Baratunde: About to die?
Leo: I hope they're not dead but notice, they are on a cliff and perilously close to the edge. In 2014 15 folks died taking selfies. Last year, 39. This year in the first 8 months, 73 people died taking selfies.
Baratunde: Honestly I would expect that number to be much higher.
Georgia: I don't know if that- that doesn't sound like that many really. I think that probably more people have died wearing flip flops than taking selfies then.
Leo: It's more people than had Note 7s explode.
Baratunde: More people died in bed I'm sure.
Owen: More people than died from marijuana and that's illegal in half the country.
Leo: So a team of researchers have decided to create an app (laughing) to warn people—
Baratunde: A selfie app.
Leo: To warn people when they're doing something stupid that could kill you. In India there are more selfie deaths related to trains because according to these researchers, there's a belief that posing on or next to train tracks with your best friend is romantic and a sign of never ending friendship. Bad idea.
Leo: In the US and Russia, a high proportion of deaths due to what else, weapons.
Baratunde: Oh, I thought you were going to say driving.
Leo: Oh, by the way, for the first time in years, the highway death toll is rising dramatically because of distracted drivers and some people blame Snapchat. There was a Snapchat filter that showed how fast you were going and at least they believe, some teenagers died because moments before they got in a horrific fatal crash, they were Snapchatting 115 miles an hour. Pictures of them I'm going 115, ma.
Owen: Yea, I don't like that. They need to put something in those apps where they shut down at speeds, if you're going too fast or something.
Baratunde: All you have to do is whenever you activate that filter, it should show the Snap of the person who died using that filter.
Leo: There you go.
Baratunde: Then you can decide if you want to do this.
Owen: There you go. There you go.
Georgia: Don't people have to be responsible for themselves?
Georgia: Like really? There's a certain amount that you should know that if you're near a cliff, maybe that might be dangerous. Like people fall off of things all the time without taking a selfie. I think that people need to learn you know, that sometimes by tripping and falling and hurting yourself, you learn you know what, maybe I shouldn't have done that. We sometimes get so wrapped up in ourselves that we're not really thinking about it. I don't think they need to give us any warning, you know, that be careful.
Leo: How about distracted driving?
Georgia: That should be illegal. That's what—we have laws in Canada that you get arrested and you're going to lose demerit points if you get caught and there's cops that just you know, take a look and see if you're using your phone while you're on there and you're going to lose demerit points and lose your license for that. It's the same thing as drinking and driving.
Leo: I don't know what fatalities are like in Canada, but after steady declines after the last 4 decades, according to The New York Times, highway fatalities in the US recorded the largest annual increase in 50 years. In fact in the first 6 months of 2016, 10.4% increase year over year. And it's gotta be technology, right?
Baratunde: So maybe this is where we use that snooper charter from the UK and then the government figures out when you're in your car using your phone and then sends you a little note like hey, maybe you shouldn't do that or you get auto-arrested and it's for your own safety. So they're protecting you not from terrorism, but from your stupid self. Maybe that works. Probably not.
Owen: That's a good way to sell it, Baratunde. That's a good way to sell it.
Baratunde: I'm trying to think outside the box. I'm trying to help the UK government you know, violate civil liberties even more.
Owen: If you're not doing anything wrong while you're driving, you won't care they went inside your phone.
Baratunde: Yea. That 10% jump. What happened in the one year, though? That's what shocked me.
Leo: I don't think it's just things like Snapchat. I think it's also that we got now big consoles in our car that we're fiddling with those because there's all this stuff going on.
Baratunde: Smart cars.
Owen: We don't all have Teslas, Leo. We don't all have Teslas.
Georgia: We're addicted to our technology. We can't stop. We think that we're going to miss out on that great tweet on Owen with the filter with the flowers on his head and we don't want to miss out on that.
Baratunde: Exactly. Exactly.
Georgia: And we're—we never even shut down. We can constantly be found at any point in time. You're on a date, you're going out somewhere, you're on holiday. People can find you. We never have any downtime. And that causes an addiction reaction inside of us and so you end up going through withdrawal if you're even driving on a long trip and you can't message. How many people at a restaurant, you suddenly see your friend messaging or taking pictures of the food or answering this because this one's really important. We've not been able to unplug ourselves from our tech.
Leo: And it's not our fault. It's not our fault.
Georgia: Yes it is.
Leo: No, it's not. I'll tell you why. Society of Neuroscience meeting in San Diego this week, there was a study. They took young mice and they exposed them to 6 hours daily of a sound and light show reminiscent of a video game. According to the director of the Center for Integrative Brain Research at Seattle Children's Hospital, the mice showed dramatic changes everywhere in the brain. Many of those changes suggest that you have a brain that is wired up at a much more baseline excited level. You need more stimulation to get the brain's attention. What are we doing to our kids now? We're plunking them down in front of screens as young as 1 and 2 years old and they have many more than 6 hours of screen time nonstop. Now the debate at this event was, well, "The benefits may outweigh the negative side," said an evolutionary neurobiologist from UC Davis said, "A less sensitive brain might thrive in a world where overstimulation, overstimulation"—overstimulation. I'm overstimulated. Where overstimulation is a common problem. The American Academy for Pediatrics relaxed its long standing recommendation against any screen time for kids under two. Now it's just mice.
Baratunde: But we already know that—look, you don't hire psychologists, anthropologists, ethnographers, applied mathematicians and other forms of mental manipulation artists for your various startups because you're trying to support science. You do that—
Leo: Right (laughing) let's gamify everything.
Baratunde: Not for like some general—you're not a university here. You're not trying to educate the public. You're trying to maximize shareholder value. And so the thing that these companies are doing, Tristan Harris, this is my public service announcement and my plug for somebody not named Baratunde, everybody check out timewellspent.io and he is a former product philosopher at Google. He's worked in the tech industry. He's worked in UX. And he's made the case that this black mirror in our hands is a slot machine. And it is the most advanced slot machine ever invented. It hacks into, it pushed all the low level buttons and we don't actually control it. We are, we are small, little, tiny specks against the great onslaught of trillions of dollars of investment in breaking down our willpower. And so, and we're encouraged all the default settings to share more, to open more, to feel socially obligated, to follow people back, to add more friends on something called LinkedIn for some reason. So I really, I don't think it's as simple as can just stop and just take personal responsibility because there's this collective irresponsible action happening with the backing of trillions of dollars that's financially very lucrative for them to win and us standing alone against that is futile. Like we need some way smarter systems on our side to help sway the balance a little bit.
Leo: This is good research. Thank you.
Georgia: Yea, but that's never going to happen, right? Like that's never going to happen. That's not the way our economies work unfortunately. We have to know and understand what we let our kids, it starts out with them consume. So I deal in technology all day. Like I have every single video game system under the sun but my kids don't get to play but for maybe an hour or two a week of video games and TV because I know what happens to their brains. Like I just see it my sessions all the time. You look, your kid looks like they're really calm. But they're brain waves are flying. And after that, you get better at whatever you do. You are constantly at every moment of every second of every day, whatever you are doing, you are neuro, you are firing neurons together that will wire together to get better at whatever that activity is. So if you're consuming a lot of fast paced media, you're going to get better at consuming fast paced media. But then, without that media, exactly as you said, Baratunde, is that you end up going through that withdrawal effect because of that, because no longer are you hooked up to something that you have gotten used to. And so we need to talk about it is the first thing so that people understand because they don't know how addicted they are until they end up going somewhere where they don't have any signal or they lose battery power and they feel that feeling of oh my goodness, I feel like I've been disconnected from the world and I no longer feel as comfortable as I did before. So I think that, yea, we are a certain amount responsible and yes, companies are definitely spending a lot of money, paying people in my field in order to make our levels of addiction even greater so that you'll buy more products. But that doesn't take us out of the equation. I think that that, we are not mindless sheep going through to the slaughter. We are choosing to consume these products and we need to say, when are we going to let ourselves calm down and shut ourselves down from that. And that's important.
Owen: So we definitely need that—I'm sorry, I was just going to say, it's definitely a lot to do with your own personal control even though the system is against you because parents, especially with children. Now when you're an adult you make your own decisions, looking at screen for 24 hours a day, that's on you. But as a—when you have kids, if you're not a parent and you just stick that in front of them instead of giving them a book to read, that's on you. Like my daughter, she's got a phone, got a tablet all that stuff, but in the car she's not allowed to turn on the tablet, she has to read books. And when we get home, she has to read for an hour before she can get on the thing. But she's watching this one show, it's called Pat and Jen. She doesn't want to watch any TV shows, all she wants to do is watch Pat and Jen. And I'm like, "What is this Pat and Jen?" I turned them on. I looked at them. I'm like, ok, it's something stupid. I went to her room when she was sleeping because she was talking in her sleep. Now, she's never cussed in her life. I've never heard her cuss. And they say hell and damn on there. And she's cussing in her sleep, repeating Pat and Jen. I'm like yo. She woke up and I'm like, "There ain't no more Pat and Jen for 2 weeks." She's like, "What happened?" I'm like, "No, dude, like you're repeating what they say." She's like, "I did?" And I'm like, "Yes. Like it's in your brain and there's no more Pat and Jen. You can watch something else. You can read more but you can't watch that show because it does program children especially." Like adults, like I said, that's your own personal choice. You can do it but as an adult we need to watch out for our kids and help them not be addicted. That's why I cut her off in the car and all her friends complain. I'm like, "You don't need—you've got music, you've got each other. Let's talk or listen to the radio. But you don't need to have your face in a screen 24/7." So there's some personal accountability even though the machine is against us. It is against us.
Leo: This is by the way, why I don't have you guys on the show all the time because it's too stimulating and we really want this show to be more boring and relaxed and calming.
Leo: And to lower your—
Baratunde: Amazing. I—thank you, Georgia, for making such a strong case for the power of humans and I definitely don't mean to imply that we are not part of the equation. And you're right. We do have some choices. I think--
Leo: But so do companies, have some responsibilities, right?
Baratunde: No, but I think our power as individuals is over rated in a case like this where they're using the best of science against us and no individual has those resources to combat it. But I also think it's a little too defeatist to say, we can't do anything about it beyond individual action. And that's like some of the greatest changes in the history of the world is when we've come together and said we don't have children working in labor camps for the most part anymore, even though that was normal. Like the economy was powered by it but it no longer is because we kind of drew some line and it wasn't just the goodwill of people. It was like a lot of sticking together from folks that had something to lose and others who felt like allied with it and this, I'm not even trying to fully equate to child labor, but I'm just saying like that was a big deal that people could never have imagined not existing anymore. And I just, I think if we don't acknowledge that the power to combat this has to involve something on par with the power that's suppressing our individuality which isn't just personal choice, then we're not going to fight it the right way. So at a minimum, just like you have people trying to get un-addicted to cigarettes and they use nicotine patches and there's programs, like that's just for cigarettes which is relatively minor compared to all the mind hacking going on in your Instagram feed alone. Like why is the feed bottomless? This is one of Tristan's major points. Like any service that gives you an infinite scroll is attacking your mind. Because it's luring you constantly. You never finish. What if you had a book that had infinite pages? You would never finish the book. Right, that's psychotic.
Baratunde: That's Instagram and Facebook and Twitter.
Leo: That's a good point.
Baratunde: That's the default setting because it benefits them and not us to stay on that system all the time. And we can't just fight that one person at a time. We can at a minimum have some tech tools to help us know how much time we've spent, to set some personal limits and at least assist us in maintaining our willpower and those declarations that we make. Otherwise those declarations are pretty meaningless compared to all this science that's fighting us I think.
Leo: We have only a few more minutes with Baratunde, like four.
Baratunde: Oh, and I updated. I got a new GPS route, speaking of tech that's helping me be mindless.
Leo: So you have a little more time with us?
Baratunde: We can, I can go until at least 8:00 PM Eastern.
Leo: Oh, that'd be great. Ok, we get eleven more minutes with Baratunde (laughing).
Baratunde: That's double. I just doubled it.
Leo: He just doubled it. Let's—well I don't want to waste that time but I quickly need to take a break and we'll have more. Baratunde's here, Georgia Dow, OhDoctah. I love these guys and I love this panel. Thank you for being here today. It really is fantastic.
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Leo: Baratunde, since you're about to take off, was there any story you wanted to talk about that we haven't talked about yet?
Baratunde: Oh, no, I mean I threw in a bunch of links about the fake news stuff and the Facebook and the election things so I feel like we actually dealt with that a bit more importantly.
Leo: I'd hate to see Facebook, the responsibility laid all at Facebook's feet. Fake news is everywhere. We've talked about this before. You listened to the show last week. It was one of the topics.
Baratunde: I used to work for the world's premier fake news outlet.
Leo: Yea. Sometimes fake news has a value.
Baratunde: Less people than the new breed.
Leo: Yea. And you know, but people share fake news because it says more than this is the story that you should read. It's, especially this kind of fake news, it's visceral. It's about my beliefs, what—and I just don't think, I think the way to get rid of fake news is to give people information too. And I think Jeff Jarvis had a great Medium post in which he posed exactly that. Not censoring Facebook but getting tools on Facebook to make it easier for people to report something that's blatantly false, to have Facebook maybe add additional links. He did this with John Borthwick at BuzzFeed, to sites like Snopes.
Baratunde: John Borthwick of Betaworks.
Leo: Betaworks, not BuzzFeed. You're right. Thank you.
Baratunde: I'm here to do real time fact checking, what Facebook should do.
Leo: yes, you see what a dope I am? Yea.
Baratunde: That's—I'll accept Facebook for—
Leo: I mean, it's not just Facebook. It's everywhere. This is kind of the nature of the beast now is that there's a lot of information flowing all over us and to some extent it's our responsibility too, to teach our up and coming young people how to decide what's real and not.
Baratunde: I mean I think what we've done, and I can't take full credit for some of this language but I agree with it fully, and I'm the one saying it now so you can say you heard it from me but I didn't create it. We have torn down a lot. Like the internet has destroyed so much of how we knew the world to work. It destroyed some real heinous things like the music industry which were not operating in the best interest of money, though a lot of good people have lost in the way the new system is starting to emerge. It's destroyed most incumbent institutions will not either survive or look at all the way they have in how they achieve their power. And media as a structure, not just the media business, not just the news in particular, but all kinds of content totally different. We've torn down the way it used to be done and we haven't fully established what it's going to be. And so we've mostly broken the world.
Leo: Right. And that's true as you say in every industry.
Baratunde: In education, in banking, in politics. Like you just see, everything will fall. And that sounds like ominous. But I think it's just the fact. And we haven't rebuilt, much less we haven't redesigned much less rebuilt what we want it too look like. And so we develop norms in the old media system, as lazy as it can be, as corrupt as it can be. It had norms. It had expectations. You had some understanding, some semblance of what fairness was. This new system ripped all that to shreds. And so when it's profitable, when it's extremely profitable to traffic in absolute lies, and there's no check on that. Like that's a feature because we're in the in between, right? We're in the upside down of the real world right now. We haven't been able to come back through. And I'm throwing a lot of metaphors out there. I thank you for keeping up. So I get a little bit distraught and depressed and upset, but then it helps for me to remember that's is actually a great opportunity for us in all this chaos, because this is just officially the chaos era, to defy what some of that new order might look like. And can it distribute power more fairly than the last system. We all have super powers in the palm of our hands now. That's pretty cool. That wasn't the case before. But we're also super vulnerable in ways that we weren't before because we didn't get our news from our uncles and our grandparents and our nephews and our cousins, we got it from people who had some sense of training. And narrow and un-diverse as they were, they had some basic shared set of rules that has been thrown out the window. And we haven't rewritten new ones. So I think that, to me that's part of the bigger issue is that we just haven't redefined and redesigned the world as we'd like to live in it yet, and we're suffering from the chaos and just being mad at it being stuck in between both.
Leo: I think that's very insightful and exactly the right long view on this, is we live, you know, the old Chinese curse. May you live in interesting times. This is the disruption that we knew would happen. In fact, and this is where I feel bad, I wanted it to happen because I looked at the internet and thought, "This is the ultimate democratizing force. Everybody gets a voice."
Baratunde: And then you realized democracy sucks (laughing).
Leo: Yea. I didn't anticipate and I don't think any of us anticipated some of the downsides of everybody having a voice. But that's fine because we will reinvent this. And we just have to do it, we just have to all be human and be respectful and loving of one another and do the best we can to make, remake the world in a way that works for everybody. I think it's possible.
Owen: It might be the something something years on this earth that I've been a black man, but the world has not always been a great place in general. The world is never going—I mean, unless we get to Star Trek time, there are good people, we are bad people. And that's kind of where the cookie crumbles. You gave everybody a voice, of course a third or a half or a quarter of those voices are going to be terrible voices. And they have the right to have their voice congregate and pontificate with themselves, it's just when they spill off and attack others with their rhetoric that's a problem but I mean, you are a butterfly unicorn happy man because you'd be out here thinking about the world—
Leo: I believe!
Owen: Yea, you do believe. I don't believe.
Leo: No, Owen, you're right. And I've read a lot of history. But I have to say, the history of the world was worse. We have improved. We had a very bloody century in the 20th century. That wasn't good. A lot of bad things happened. But I think we came out of it into the 21st century and overall we've—look, we're far from perfect. Far from it.
Owen: The 21st century? We just had—if we want to get into—ok, look. I'm just going to cut this short. Yes, we're doing better. The one thing I am very happy and thankful for about a Trump victory is a lot of people that were doing misdeeds in positions of power or doing things to people without making their voice heard. Now we have mayors talking about the first lady being a monkey.
Leo: Oh, horrible.
Owen: We have police officers on their Facebook talking about people in their district and their community and they get fired. So I thank Donald Trump so much for cutting the grass so we can see the snakes and we can get rid of the snakes that are stupid enough to put their voice out there for the public. That's the best thing about what's going on right now. You want to try to destroy somebody else's livelihood and make someone downtrodden, go ahead and do it now. Because now we've got your picture, we've got your face, we've got your name, you're going to lose your job and you can sit at home and have something really important to cry about. That's the only thing that's going on good right now with people acting crazy.
Leo: Yea, I think there's a lot of bad stuff going on, but I think unbalanced, technology moves us forward and has made progress. There are negatives. There are backwards steps.
Owen: This was kind of a backward step.
Leo: Yea, well, not even just this. This disruption that you were talking about, Baratunde, but I think on balance it is forward progress. I really do. Maybe I'm foolish.
Georgia: No, I think you're absolutely right. We are in the safest part of the world, time of the world that we have ever lived in, if we talk about even all the world. This is the safest that we've ever been. But the problem is, is with us. Like the only thing that can really fight this, it's not Facebook. It's not the problem with fake news. It's education. We need to have education and it needs to be free and it needs to be for everyone. That is the only way that we will really battle this because unfortunately if you do not have the education to understand the economics of what we are dealing with in what would be fake news, we are made that if we see something enough, we believe it, whether it be true or not. Your parents tell you that you are stupid. You might be the most brilliant person on this planet—
Leo: But you believe it.
Georgia: You hear it enough you will start to believe it. We're made to be mimics. And so and that's one of the things that kept, that allowed us to survive. But it's also a really big issue because if we don't have any other facts to be able to refute that, we're going to be falling into cogna-bias and then cogna-dissonance which means that we have a certain belief system. We actually don't like to hear any other views that are opposed to what we already believe. And that becomes an issue that we will, we don't want the truth. We want things that say that whatever I believe already is true. Because that makes us feel comfortable. We end up feeling anxiety and disdain when other opposing views are going to conflict with us. And that's very distressing for our system. So we need to be able to get out there. We need to talk about it. But in the end, we need to give education to everyone and it's something that everyone should fight for, behind. And I think that everyone can stand behind that. It's so very important.
Leo: Love it. We have to send Baratunde to the batmobile. But, Baratunde, I want to leave you on an upbeat note. Good news. Metallica's full catalog is now available on Napster. I just wanted you to know.
Baratunde: I have been waiting a long time.
Leo: I know you have. I know you have.
Baratunde: Sorry for dropping that word, you can bleep it out. But good for them. It's better late than never. Thank you so much for having me. I feel like I went to church today with Georgia doctor, Dr. Georgia. Doctor and Doctor.
Leo: Doctor and doctor. She's a real doctor. He just plays one on the radio.
Georgia: I'm not a real doctor.
Baratunde: The choir. The TWiT choir this Sunday. Thanks for having me back. I've missed the chatroom. Hello, chatters and listeners. You'll find me on Baratunde.com. I'm doing the Nat Geo thing. I'm very excited about it. And I'll be doing a Facebook live chat noon Eastern on my page about that Nat Geo episode to talk about policing, criminal justice and other hilarious topics and serious issues facing our society. So, thanks everbody.
Leo: Take care. See you, Baratunde.
Owen: Bye Baratunde.
Leo: To the bat cave. All right. We will reset the set. While we're doing that, let's take a look at some of the things you might have missed this week on TWiT.
Narrator: Previously on TWiT.
Leo: I think the sound is pretty good. Let me—Mac-ersize.
Narrator: TWiT Live Specials.
Father Robert Ballecer: We've seen a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that you can actually buy today. We've seen an autonomous vehicle that drives better than I do. We've seen every auto maker in this hall adapt and adopt to a world that is far more connected, far more intelligent and far more Silicon Valley than it is Detroit. That's why TWiT TV has come here to Los Angeles for the LA Auto Show, Automobility 2016.
Narrator: Windows Weekly.
Paul Thurrott: We're going to try to demonstrate HoloLens over Skype. We're talking about HoloLens applications in real world use cases. Like these are actual—
Rick Schlagle: We're at the Schiphol airport here. It's the major hub airport and we see life data on all the aircraft.
Leo: This is the future of UI. You totally can see that. Can you see maybe air traffic controllers may be even using something like this?
Rick: I would love to talk to these guys.
Narrator: TWiT. TWiT with your head, not over it.
Male: Ok, guys, I listen to Tech News Today. See if you can follow.
Amazon Dot: This is Flash Briefing from This Week in Tech.
Jason Howell: I'm Jason Howell from Tech News Today.
Leo: By the way, we are on, if you have an Amazon Echo, we are a part of the Flash Briefing. It might not be immediately apparent but if you go to your app and you go to the Flash Briefing settings, search for TWiT, you can get a daily dose of tech news from Megan and Jason and this show and The New Screen Savers on your Amazon Echo. Megan Morrone is here with a look at what's ahead this week on TWiT. Megan.
Megan Morrone: Thanks, Leo. Here's a look at just a few of the stories that we'll be watching in the week ahead. Now this week is a short one since it's Thanksgiving here in the United States, so the studio will be dark on Thursday and Friday so we can all spend some time thinking about what we're grateful for. And speaking of Thanksgiving, the first episode of the 9 part football VR series is set to launch on YouTube and the Google Daydream headset this week on Thanksgiving Day. So gather your family and all your VR goggles to watch because nothing spells togetherness more than a family in their own virtual worlds. But before that, Tuesday is the official launch of the One Plus 3T phone, starts at $439-dollars. It has a faster processer, bigger battery and there's a new 128GB version. This Wednesday is Fibonacci Day. That's 11 23 or 1-1-2-3 which starts the Fibonacci sequence where each number in the series is the sum of the two numbers behind it. And I must say, Fibonacci is my favorite sequence. Wednesday is also the deadline for trading in your old MacBook to Microsoft for $650 big ones off a new Surface Book. That's $650-dollars. Does that convince you to be a switcher? And yes, of course, this week is Black Friday where you can do all your shopping with some crazy online sales. But some of you might also choose to celebrate it as Buy Nothing Day and I personally think we should all celebrate it as Update Your Parent's Browser Day. It doesn't have to be your parents. Either if you're spending this holiday with any family less technical than you are, remind them to update everything, especially all of their passwords and while you're at it, why not encourage them to turn on some Two-Factor authentication? We'll be coving these stories and a whole lot more this week on Tech News Today with Jason Howell. It's every day at 4:00 PM Pacific right here on this channel you're watching. Back to you, Leo.
Leo: Thank you, Megan. Megan Morrone. She joins us every Monday through Friday.
Owen: Might have to get that One Plus phone.
Leo: Yea, the 3T looks really nice.
Owen: That's what Leiyah uses. She has—I forget which one she has. She has the—
Leo: One Plus 2 or 1 or the 3.
Owen: Yea, the 2, yea.
Leo: Yea, I think the—I like the 3 a lot. Fibonacci Day, are you going to celebrate (laughing)?
Georgia: There's a restaurant in Montreal that's called Fibonacci's but the food's horrible, so we're not, we're not celebrating. There good at math, just not—
Leo: It's a good sequence anyway. And you know what's good with Wi-Fi? This thing, this little thing. Have you ever seen this? This is the EERO. E-E-R-O. Our show today brought to you buy ERRO. And I have to say when I'm at home, I have two networks so I can test stuff. I have a Comcast Business and a Comcast Consumer and I have two different router systems and every time I get home, every device in my pocket, every laptop, they all switch over to the EERO. They go, "Oh, this is good. I like this." I can't get them to use that other system. That's because EERO really works. It is a better Wi-Fi. Of course it does all the things right that we talk about, WPA2 encryption built-in. You don't have to hide it. It looks great in your house. The phone support is good. In fact, I tested them. I, well, ok, I wasn't just testing them. I was having—I couldn't figure out what was going with my port forwarding and they really did a great job. They stuck with me until we figured it out and they solved it. They're good. The way you set up the EERO is also cool. Now you can buy an individual EERO but most of the time you're going to get three of them, the three pack. And then you set up the first one. You connect that to your cable modem or router and then use the app to place the other two to spread, using a mesh network, throughout your house. If you have other Ethernet drops, you can actually connect the other EEROs to Ethernet as well. It's smart enough to know exactly what to do. It's not just repeaters. This is a mesh network. In fact they just introduced something they're calling True Mesh, an even better wireless mesh technology which makes the EERO network work even better. Within the house, no matter how far away you are from the base unit, you're going to have the fastest networking possible. EERO users will see—if you already have an EERO, you get updated automatically, up to two times the LAN speed between EEROs. That means if you're in your network, you're going to get HD, 4K quality in many cases, depending of course on your internet service provider. But that's going to be the bottle neck on your network. I really love these EERO systems. What is so important with any network router, and it's unfortunately not true of most, this has got to be updatable. And EERO updates on average about every week. In fact you're going to automatically get the new EERO software, True Mesh, because it just updates all the time. It's always looking at your network. It's always optimizing for what you have, the devices. It has some really nice features. For instance I can assign all the devices in the house to our teenager that he uses, and then I can go to the Amazon Echo and say, "Pause Michael's internet." That is—oh, and I love the howl. "Hey, the internet's down." Yes, it is, Michael. Yes it is. That is so awesome. And you can even use this because EERO, because it has the mesh network and it can kind of triangulate where your devices are, you can say, "Hey, EERO, where's my phone?" And it will give you an—you can do this on the Alexa or the Echo. I don't want to say the A word. You can do this on the Amazon Echo. You can ask the Echo to find your phone or any device that's on Wi-Fi in your house. You can have it turn off your EERO LED if it's nighttime and you don't want any blinking in your bedroom. Plus, like I said, you can pause, you can pause. This is the greatest stuff ever. No more—
Georgia: Every family should have that.
Leo: Yes. Echo, pause Michael's internet. It's awesome. His iPad, his phone, his computer, they all go offline. Bedtime (laughing). I love it. If you go to E-E-R-O.com you can learn more. No more buffering, no more dead zones. Super simple to set up. Anybody can set this up. This is a good gift for somebody in your family who's not technically savvy but is having trouble with Wi-Fi. It really works. Free overnight shipping if you go to EERO.com and use the offer code TWiT. E-E-R-O.com. I was really skeptical when I first got the EERO. And I have to say, now I'm stuck. I just can't not use the EERO. Oh, I love it. I want to test other networks but I just can't. Sorry. Even my devices know, it's better on EERO. E-E-R-O.com use the offer code TWiT.
Leo: We should really, we should really do something cheerful now after this grim two hours talking about how awful everything is. Things are ok, right?
Owen: The world is a great place. I'm here with Georgia. You're here. That's ok too. I mean, the world is a—
Leo: Boy, that's a dim endorsement.
Owen: The world is an amazing, amazing place. I made you laugh. Well, I made Georgia laugh.
Leo: You did too.
Owen: Georgia laughs at everything.
Leo: Georgia actually laughed more. Georgia laughed more.
Owen: She did. She laughed a little too hard personally. I would take a little offense to that. But you play this back later, you might feel some sort of way, so.
Leo: I'm not going to mention the woman who is facing prosecution, even jail time for selling $12-dollars of ceviche on Facebook. That's—
Georgia: I thought you said you're going to make us feel better.
Leo: I know, that's depressing, isn't it?
Georgia: That's only, that's only happy for people that hate ceviche.
Leo: I—this is so—she doesn't do it for money. She says, "Sometimes I make too much food and so I go to the—" You know, Facebook now has that little neighborhood selling thing, "and I say, ‘anybody want any ceviche?'" So they did a sting. The city of Stockton, California did a sting. They sent an inspector over. He bought her ceviche and then they arrested her.
Owen: That's so ridiculous. Like they don't have--
Georgia: If he loved the ceviche he wouldn't have arrested her. That's what we know.
Leo: And by the way, Stockton is a very dangerous city. Lot of gun violence. It's a—
Owen: I was going to say, don't they have other things to do?
Leo: Don't you have something better to do then chase down a mom who's selling ceviche on Facebook?
Owen: I should warn people because there are people selling food on my Facebook thing too. I see that actually a lot.
Leo: It's technically illegal although there is a—because there's lots of groups that have you know, crab feeds or spaghetti feeds and stuff. So it actually is a federal law I think that allows unlicensed food sales in certain circumstances.
Owen: I've seen people get arrested for giving homeless people food, just giving them food.
Leo: Oh, yea.
Owen: Like you know—
Leo: Yea, my daughter had a friend, high schooler, had a group that would feed people, the homeless in Petaluma, and got shut down.
Georgia: That's ridiculous.
Leo: I understand we've got to—
Owen: I hope at some point some kind of common sense will come into play with this stuff.
Leo: Common sense. I understand we have to protect people. It's not a federal law. It's a state law, California Cottage Food Law which says some approved baked products including breads, cookies, pastas, confections can be sold locally. With a short training, home cooks are allowed to sell. However, ceviche is not covered because it's made of raw fish. It's a delicious raw fish cocktail that's cured with you know, vinegar and spices.
Georgia: What's up though with the locking people up for things that really are non-threatening crimes?
Leo: Find something else to do.
Georgia: I think we have much better things that we can do if people kind of you know, break a law that's not actually violent. You're not making the world any safer by you know, having one woman that, you know, if she knew she wasn't supposed to do it, I'm sure she would have said, "Ok."
Leo: They didn't warn her, right? They didn't warn her, they just stung her.
Owen: And that's why we jail more people than anybody else in the world.
Leo: You give her a ticket, worse case. You give her a ticket and you say, "Don't do that again." And she does it again, you give her another ticket. She does it a third time, then ok, yea, maybe.
Georgia: You fine her.
Leo: You fine her. Give her a ticket.
Georgia: Fine her. People-- the thing that people care about most is their pocketbook. Give them a fine or make them you know, do some community service. And then that's it, done. It's—I don't know. I don't understand. I think that most people that are—we won't get into a prison debate but anyways, I'll stop (laughing). We'll make it happy.
Leo: I'm trying to find good news. I just can't find any good news in here. Come on, there's got to be some good news. I mean, no, I don't feel depressed. I feel good about you know, technology. I think we're working on it.
Georgia: There's that Toyota, that little Toyota robot that's adorable and wants to be loved. That's happy, no?
Leo: Yea, cute robot.
Georgia: Bad? Robot overlords? That could end poorly (laughing).
Leo: So like ok, here's some happy news. Sal Soghoian got fired at Apple. So, there's happy news. I love Sal. Sal is the guy who was the Apple script guy. We've had him on many, many times. We did a whole series of podcasts with him on MacBreak. He was responsible for Automator, for AppleScript. He was Apple's Product Manager of Automation and Technologies. His post was eliminated and so he's going to consult and stuff like that. Love you, Sal. I'm sorry to hear that. I kind of saw the writing on the wall. This is another example of Apple just kind of abandoning a certain category of user that wants to do more than just kind of browse and have a lovely computer.
Owen: Can we talk about the FCC cave in on Republican commands?
Leo: Yea, the FCC says, "All right. We're not going to do anything until after the inauguration day."
Owen: That's stuff that people don't think about like when I tell people it's going to be ok, it's not a big deal. Stuff like that is kind of a big deal. Like whoever he appoints—
Leo: Is this unprecedented though? Doesn't this happen every 4 `years where you know, if you have a lame duck president, they just kind of say, "Ok, we're not going to do much for the next couple of months. We're just going to let the new guy."
Owen: They do do that. But I mean for us especially in the bubble, some of the things he was trying to finish up and get through and worked on for years. Like they stalled it out and stalled it out and stalled it out and finally, "Oh yea, we'll do it next week." And now they just put this rule in and are like no. And I'm like my goodness. Like he was trying to do some really good stuff that I don't think is going to get pushed forward. So we'll just see what happens.
Leo: Tom Wheeler, who was the chairman of the FCC, a republican might point out. Obama appointed a Republican and in fact we thought he was going to be terrible. John Oliver said it was like letting your, having a dingo babysit your baby. He called him a dingo. But then he had to take it back because Tom Wheeler, even though he had been a lobbyist for the cable industry and the Telcos turned out to be our best friend.
Owen: Because he knew the inside trade of it. So there's— I mean that's what I said. Give some people a chance. Give them enough rope to hang themselves. Maybe they'll swing across and make the gap. I don't know but that's kind of crappy for us.
Leo: I just can't—come on. Something good, a happy story. Happy. Happy, happy. Happy, happy, joy, joy.
Owen: We already talked about the happy stuff.
Leo: Oh, screw it.
Owen: Didn't we already have the happy stuff?
Leo: Yea, I hate to leave people with—the one happy story was that Metallica's now on Napster. That's it.
Owen: Yea, I mean somebody in the chat and people tweeted me that we were too nice about Apple. I thought we yelled at Apple pretty—
Leo: I don't think we were that nice. I want to start a campaign though. Everybody stop buying stuff that doesn't have a replaceable battery. It's good for you and it's good for the environment.
Georgia: That's never going—yea. You could try that. That's never happening.
Owen: Yea. Samsung does it but they're phones start blowing up.
Georgia: People love their technology. We have to—you're right but I think that people love their technology and how light it is and when they're carrying around a heavy laptop they're going to be like, "No, what, it's bit and cumbersome." Unfortunately we're used to it now. We've already drank the Kool-Aid. Now we want light and portable and it's hard to go backwards even if it's better for us. We need to find it be able to be light and portable and be able to be recyclable. That's what we need to do, so.
Leo: I know. Here's happy news. If you are a fan of Top Gear—
Georgia: Oh, that's true.
Leo: The Grand Tour.
Georgia: Did you watch it?
Leo: I didn't. I'm saving it. Jeremy Clarkson who of course was fired after punching a producer on Top Gear, Richard Hammond and James May are back and they've created a show, not just about cars but about it says, "adventure, excitement, friendship." And it is an Amazon Original, free on Prime. I really, I want to. I don't want to violate copyright. Yea, good, I can't. They're stopping me because of the digital rights era. But I want—you've got to watch the beginning. The beginning segment, 5 minutes involves Clarkson getting on a plane from England, flying to the United States, renting a Mustang and then his 2 buddies show up. He has, what does he—he has a red Mustang and then they show up in a blue and white mustang and there's 3 red, white and blue mustangs, basically go somewhere that looks like Burning Man in the California desert and they've got this big thing. This 5 minute beginning sequence cost Amazon $3-million dollars and it was worth every penny.
Georgia: It was—I saw it. It was pretty good. It needed to be a little bit tightened up for the people that have seen it. There's a scene in the middle, everyone will know what it is, that went on for too long and it was like why are you doing this? There's a scene in the middle where everyone's like, my little 8-year-old went, why do they keep doing this? That's not funny.
Leo: Stop it. Stop it (laughing).
Georgia: So that piece in there. But the camera shots are glorious and it still has that Top Gear atmosphere and the comradery between them which is so great. So I think people are going to be really happy with it. But don't—I hope they don't do the middle scene. You know it with the plane. I'm just going to say that.
Leo: I haven't seen it yet. I'm going to watch it but—
Georgia: I'm just saying.
Leo: Oh, man. Well, you know, it's always been a little over the top, right? It's kind of fun. Kind of fun, right?
Georgia: Yea, yea.
Leo: Jeremy Clarkson is back, baby. So there you go. That's happy. That's happy.
Owen: Twitter suspended a whole bunch of alt-right things. That was happy. That was good.
Leo: Yea, I don't know what to think about that only because—
Owen: Free speech?
Leo: No, and alt-right's disgusting. It's—in fact I don't even want to use the word alt-right. Let's just call them what they are, white supremacists.
Owen: Yea. Yea.
Georgia: We have laws in Canada against hate speech for anyone, against anyone.
Leo: Do we have laws in the US against hate speech? I don't— I feel like we might not.
Owen: We do, like technically speaking when someone does something that's over the realm of free speech and they're threatening or disparaging in a certain way.
Leo: Yea, if you threaten bodily harm.
Owen: Yea, there's like a system set in place where there's certain triggers where it comes into not being free speech anymore.
Owen: So we do have them but again, it's like a Catch-22 of people who are really smart dance that line like nobody's business to play that game, but—
Leo: That's why I feel like, yea, I'm glad that they kicked these guys off. It's not going to hurt them, in fact it gives them notoriety as it did with Milo Yiannopoulos. But there's so many other hateful things on Twitter. It's like, I don't know. It's a drop in the bucket I guess. And then—
Owen: At least they're doing something because for a long time they weren't doing enough for anything and so at least they're making efforts.
Leo: Yea, in fact they have a new tool, new tools and they're saying it's easier to report people and stuff like that. We need Twitter. In fact a good article from Ben Thompson who has been on this show many times and writes great stuff, Why We've Got to Save Twitter. And it may not, maybe the best way to save Twitter is not to let it continue as a private company run by these guys who don't really seem to be doing a good job as stewards of Twitter, but maybe there's some way. He says, "Why Twitter must be saved." And let me see if I can find the money quote here.
Owen: I didn't read that but I believe that with all my heart. The world—people that complain about Twitter or think Twitter's not useful, when Twitter's gone, you will feel it. Like you will feel it. It is the communication of the world in speed and time. And there are certain times, maybe their numbers aren't as big and maybe they're not growing the way they're supposed to grow, but it is a necessity and a way of life, especially for people in unserved markets and areas. Like I don' t know what we would do without Twitter, I really don't.
Leo: And the fake news problem is less of a problem on Twitter, not because there's lots of fake news on Twitter, but people respond immediately. So there is this kind of, because it's kind of a live feed, this natural tendency to move towards correct information. But he quotes in this—Justice Louis Bradeis from the Supreme Court. "The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people. Political discussion is a political duty, and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government." And that's where, according to Ben, and I agree, the discussion is happening these days and we need to have that conversation so maybe—
Georgia: You know what the problem though, Leo, is with most social media is that it's not actually a discussion among people that have different views. You follow people that follow similar views to you. We're usually inclined to like people better that have similar views to us. We don't really want discourse with people of opposing views. And Twitter is a huge microcosm of that, that most of the people that you know, you send something out that's slightly political, you'll notice your follower levels of people that believe different things will actually drop off because they don't want to hear that. And so it's not really dealing with discourse. It's a whole bunch of people banding together that are in the same in group and so we need to have more discourse with people with different views. And we need to learn that people that think different things than you are ok. It's ok to believe different things. That's how we grow. We need to have differing parties or political stances to battle each other to keep each other in check. And that's where the strength in a democracy really lies. And we're starting to become more of in group people. And so discussions on Twitter are usually with your own people and you're not really bringing out the news of a different view to many people.
Owen: In a positive light, there are—yes, echo chambers all around, all over the internet. But there have been many a time where someone has said something to me and 140 characters I flip their whole mindset around because I actually took the time and said something to them directly. So yes, it does happen occasionally. It needs to happen more. But I'm very happy with the fact that a lot of times people say something to me, "Why would you say that?" And I say bup a bup a bah and their like, "Oh. I never thought of it that way." And it does happen. We need to have more of that happen with more people but I love getting out of my echo chamber. I want to be in everybody's chamber.
Leo: But that's up to you. And I think that that's the point is that Twitter gives you the option if you want to hear from other people, to see other views and everybody should take that opportunity to broaden your Twitter feed, to find people with opposing viewpoints. Not even necessarily engage them, just see what the conversation is. And so to me that's the real point. Yes, you're right. You could be in a filter bubble. But Twitter and the internet give you the tools to expand beyond that in a way that we've never had before, to hear as many voices as you're willing to hear and that's the opportunity. And I think we need to take advantage of that opportunity.
Georgia: Which is great but unfortunately I think that one piece to Twitter, and I like Twitter. I use Twitter as one of the few sets of social media that I actually use. So I do like Twitter. But the problem is, is that Twitter, like you end up getting the people that speak the loudest and are the most polarizing get the most followers from that and get retweeted more often. And if you actually want to change people's views you need a moderate discussion. And like what Owen, what you said, is that you spoke to someone directly. You came from the place that they were at and you were able to make them think, "You know what? Maybe I was wrong about what I was dealing with." You have someone who has a vastly opposing view, it doesn't actually help you change your mind. It actually usually reinforces your own belief in why that person is wrong. And so we need to have also moderate discourse instead of having really angry reactive reactions. And Twitter and much of social media reinforces and rewards people that are highly reactive and really angry. And that can actually cause people to be polarized against it. So I think that we need to you know, have moderate discussions about things of you know, you know we're not so far apart as we think that we are.
Owen: I was just about to fake argue with you about that but I love you so much I couldn't do it.
Leo: No fake arguing.
Owen: I had it all set up in my mind. You don't know what you're talking about. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then I couldn't do it.
Georgia: (Laughing) That would have been hilarious though.
Owen: It would have been. I tried. I really tried in my mind. I was like—
Georgia: You should have done it.
Owen: I can't do it.
Georgia: You should have done it. That would have been great (laughing).
Leo: Ladies and gentlemen, we have come to the concluding moments of this fine program. Thanks, one again, to Baratunde Thurston for joining us. To Georgia Dow of iMore.com. It's always a pleasure to have you on the show. You're the voice of reason and I like that. And of course you can find her videos on anxiety and depression and sleep at anxiety-videos.com. I want to give a big plug for that because that's a great work.
Georgia: Thank you.
Leo: Thank you for being here. Also thank you to Owen J. J. Stone. We call him OhDoctah for reasons no one knows but maybe that's because it's his Twitter handle. I don't know.
Owen: It might be my Twitter handle. If you listen to this and you haven't had enough of politics and me talk about it, I did a podcast on Facebook Politic where I ramble and rant about stuff. And then like I said earlier, I did a podcast with a French guy, a German guy, a guy from South Africa.
Leo: What was that show? I want to hear that.
Owen: It's the French Spin. It's on IQMZ in my Facebook Politic post I link to it so you can get to it. But they – talk about somebody changing your mind—
Leo: This is Patrick Beja's show. I know this show.
Owen: Yes, yes.
Leo: Patrick's been on many times.
Owen: Great guy.
Owen: Great guy and again, talk about out of my ecosystem, they were talking about how America is, helps the world and what they're supposed to do. But I'm of the mentality of I'm tired of being everybody's big brother. I'm tired of super-duper socialism where we just give away all this money. We've got poor people in America. And in their mind, all over the country, all over the world they were like, "Look, bro, we need you. Like we need that stuff that you all are doing for us." And they gave very rational points to it where it changed my—like ah, I guess we can't stop being the world's big brother because we have a responsibility that I wish that we didn't have but we do. So it's always great to get outside of yourself and listen to other people. That's why I come on the show and learn something from Uncle Leo occasionally. Teach him stuff. And of course, anytime they tell me Georgia's on, I gots to be here because I can't leave her alone.
Leo: The Phileas Club is the podcast. It's episode 78 frenchspin.com, Patrick Beja's excellent podcast. That would be well worth listening to. I will make a point of it on the way home. Thank you all for joining us. Wow. I was a little worried about this show. It ended up being really, really good.
Georgia: Was it because of me that you were worried?
Leo: No. You were the only person I wasn't worried about.
Owen: What? What? Really? Really?
Leo: Actually I wasn't worried about you either.
Leo: There was no reason to worry at all.
Owen: There was no reason to worry at all.
Leo: No reason to worry at all.
Owen: You've got Captain Baratunde, we got Georgia I Know Everything Because I'm A Real Doctor Dow, we've got—
Georgia: I'm not really a real doctor.
Owen: I know. I'm just saying that because everybody else says that when you're with me, you get to be a real doctor and I'm a fake doctor. I'm just as real as you, ok. Just so everybody—
Georgia: You're just as real. Pinch Owen and he yells.
Owen: Guess what? Leo, I've got one thing to say that most people usually don't get to say. You know what it is?
Owen: Another TWiT is in the can!
Leo: And on that note, goodbye everybody.