Q&A With Grey #3: Millenia of Human Attention

Hello Internet! I asked for questions, and boy, did you deliver with more than 7,000, so, let’s get started. :Question Immortality! Aging is a degenerative fatal disease of the genes in the same way Parkinson’s is. We’re trying to cure Parkinson’s with gene therapy along with Leukemia, Multiple Melanoma and others. Why not aging? Well, because most people think of getting old and dying as a beautiful part of the life cycle. IT ISN’T With 30 years of genius, we could grasp control of our genetics, and gain eternity. Question: I’m not sold on overpopulation as a problem. Birth rates have been going nothing but down and until we build that “Dyson Sphere” we aren’t anywhere near the carrying capacity of the Solar System and, immortality is exactly the sort of thing that makes crazy, long-term sustainability projects possible. :Question Scary experiences increase the probability of bonding. This explains horror movies. If you want the date to go well, do them. If you don’t, don’t. :Question I’m sure I’ve answered this before, but everyone keeps asking, so here’s the whole story in one place: I grew up in the Empire State, starting in the suburbs…. which I didn’t like that much then went to college in the wilds of upstate, which I liked better. But, it wasn’t “for me” forever so next stop, big city. New York was the obvious choice, but, because I was raised in its shadow, New York felt a bit like a step backward in life. I discovered around this time I had Irish dual citizenship through a series of random events, which opened up the EU, and her largest city, London. I knew if I didn’t live abroad while still free of life’s anchors, I never would, which made it all the more reason to go. I applied to an Economics Masters program in London, was accepted, and went and stayed for more than a decade. It turned out great! When you’re leaving school, try the adventurous path! You can always fall back on the known later. Question: Sounds like we’re in a dangerous place, sounds like I need to keep that antivenim..while I go…get help *laughs* Question: So, I *do* have two podcasts that I’m putting on the screen now that you should totally click and go listen to. YouTube is how I spend most of my work energy, despite what you might think from the CGP Grey Reddit posts but, podcasts allow me to, with fewer of my hours, make *lots* of hours of stuff for other people to enjoy. Ostensibly, I’m doing this Q&A because I hit two million subscribers, but I’m way more impressed that these short videos, according to Youtube, have engaged more than a millennia of human attention. At least, I was impressed until I did some back of the envelope calculations and realized that the podcast has eaten up 3 millenia of human attention, Which makes the time-return on my time for podcasting, astounding. So the bottom line is that these projects are rewarding in different ways Have you clicked yet? Go Click. Seriously, do it right now. I’d love to see this number get even bigger. Question: Of course. Question: Standardized tests measure how good you are at school. Same with your report card. They don’t measure your understanding and once you accept that they’re easier to deal with. Question: Modem sounds. *beep boop beep tchhhhhhkkk* [Grey makes modem sounds] Question: 4, 5, 6, 7 Question: I measure success by what percent of my time I have control over. Reaching 100% isn’t possible, but on average I’ve been getting closer. If this is your goal too: beware the money trap. I’ve always preferred jobs that earned less if they gave me more time — which didn’t pay off in the short term, but did in the long term. The holidays are like 80% of the reason I went into teaching. Question: Watch the Dog Whisperer. I am deadly serious about this. It’s also my advice for new parents. Question: Last Q&A video I mentioned opinions and how to change them. The hardest changes are the ones where you’re invested in the idea. And I’ve been a techno-optimist 100% all of my life. But this book put a real asterisk on that in a way that I didn’t want. And now Artifical Intelligence is on my near-term threat list in a deeply unwelcome way. But it would be self-delusional to ignore a convincing argument because I don’t want it to be true. There’s much more discussion on Hello Internet if you click here. Technoptimistis beware. Question: In my ideal life I would live in many different places for a year or two at a time, but that’s not really practical now. If I had to pick a new city at this very moment it would be Amsterdam. Question: Answered your own question there. Question: I don’t know. The kind of automation I worry about is the same kind that creates Star Trek abundance. The transition from here to there worries me and solutions that would work in this world might not work in the in between. Also, I am open to the idea that I may be wrong about automation and many have good arguments as to why. Technology decreasing jobs goes against all the data from all the history of all the world’s economies. But I think we’ll find out sooner than most people expect. Teslas are quasi-automated already — and automation of transport is my prediction for the biggest, most visible impact on employment. Even pizza companies are getting into the auto business! Question: Way too much Factorio. *Way* too much. Also, Rimworld. And, much to my own surprise, American Truck Simulator: so relaxing. I cannot wait for them to add the rest of the states, and Canada. Please? Question: It used to look like this… But, I’ve just set up a brand new one and it looks like this. Question: ::sigh:: Yeah, maybe. Devil’s in the details though. At one extreme end, if you want to take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans to persue a degree in something that ends in ‘studies’,… …you’d be better off taking that money and starting a restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, starting a restaurant is a *terrible* idea but it’s a *better* terrible idea. On the other end if you live in a country that pays for college and you’re getting a degree in a high-paying field, that’s easy to recommend. But between those extremes is where difficult decisions lie. Personally, I went to college and took out a loan and got a degree close to this end of the spectrum… …but I only felt comfortable doing that because I was also getting a degree on this end of the spectrum. Shock surprise: this one paid my bills and this one was a nice hobby. Question: Your life is in your hands alone now – this is the best and worst thing about adulthood. Question: Jesus Christ man, have you ever seen eye surgery? You’re *awake*, it’s *your eyes*. I’ll consider eye surgery only when I can replace them fully. Question: No, obviously not. Uh… Maybe? Question: It doesn’t matter. Only agreement matters. Question: To live abroad is to be constantly reminded of outsider status. So I don’t feel remotely British. But having lived in the UK for the whole of my adult life, however, now when I go back to America it feels like Canada — familiar yet foreign. So I’m a bit homeless but it doesn’t matter because people over-value national identities anyway. In the end I feel like someone who grew up in America and is just a person in the world. Question: Here’s a super fast way to iron you’re clothes: Don’t bother: buy clothes that don’t need ironing. I’ve just saved you hundreds of hours of your life. You’re welcome. Question: I think New Year’s resolutions are dumb and designed to fail. I mean, how many of you have already totally abandoned your New Year’s resolutions? But I do like themes for the year. This is my Year Of Less — you’ll need to go to Cortex for a full explanation — because it’s a bit complicated and not what it sounds like and I’m still kinda working on it. Question: Messy and, to the surprise of many, cursive. Question: Poorly. My stress management technique is to remove the source. I’d rather eliminate the problem than get better at dealing with it. Question: It’s hard to separate my thoughts on national flags from the countries themselves. Scrolling through the list I find myself drawn to the Canadian Flag, the U.K., Germany and Nordic flags… …but it’s because I *like* those places. That said, I’m also always a sucker for a strong design in the center: like Barbados & Kenya. And most national flags are pretty good, if a little safe — they’re no abomination like the state flags. It’s harder to pick the top out of bunch of mostly good designs as opposed to picking the best out of a pile of poo. Question: I didn’t read as many as I would have liked but I’m going to pick “So You’ve Been Publically Shamed” as my book of the year. If I designed a school curriculum, it would be required reading for the ‘Living on The Internet’ module. Question: I divide my working time into units, each unit is 40 minutes long and I spent 5 units over a couple of days looking at the most upvoted questions… …and all the questions in random order and selecting the ones that interested me … …then many, many more units writing various drafts. This script started at a 5,000 boring messy words and got cut to 2,000 hopefully more interesting words. And thank you to everyone who submitted questions. I’m aware that I only got to half a percent of them, so we’ll have to do this again sometime. Oh, and of course: Question: Squarespace is the easiest way to create a beautiful website, blog, or online store, for you and your ideas. I use Squarespace to run my own website and I can highly recommend that you use it to run your website. It’s super easy. You can click the link in the description or go to squarespace.com/grey to get 10% off at checkout. If you’re considering starting a website of your own, I can personally recommend Squarespace. So go ahead. Check out Squarespace. Use the offer code “Grey”. And help Squarespace. Help yourself. Help this channel.

100 comments on “Q&A With Grey #3: Millenia of Human Attention”

  1. september1717 says:

    I 95% agree with you. I have still kept my new year resolution.
    Read more books.
    I 💙 reading.

  2. Supreme Mango says:

    2:49 when you flip a light switch but it was the vacuumed in the sink and you haven’t done the dishes yet

  3. Quinten Althues says:

    4:01 yayyyyyy (I'm Dutch)

  4. Matthew Mazzetti says:

    A hot dog is a taco.

  5. SpawnOfGiratina says:

    3:08 I'm sorry is that a line graph for nominal categoric data grey wtf

  6. Christian Dammen says:

    4 5 6 7 😂

  7. Jack Slipher says:

    This guy doesn’t watch the prequels DISGRACE

  8. Callie Stalnaker says:

    7:17 love the Twilight Zone reference

  9. Onza Edmunds says:


  10. Shi Yuan Jiang says:

    Asymmetric cellular division means that immortality is fundamentally impossible for our biology. Evolution has long ago sacrificed individual immortality for offsprings with better fitness. =(

  11. Rhys Williams says:

    Why not get a computer nerd to right you a sirch tool that ues all serch engines to do reserch for you?

  12. ItzYaBoiiWill - Gaming yeet says:

    Hey grey, will you ever reveal your name and face wait you already revealed your face

    Name: Blockie
    Location: Victoria(State)

  13. Graceo Cakeo says:

    my handwriting is also messy and cursive.

  14. IronBubba Gaming says:

    For the first question, I want to create immortality, (but not true immortality, I’m just want to reverse, or/and stop the aging process.

  15. WeekzGod says:

    1:30 why I joined the marines

  16. ez45 says:

    * Millennia! Millenia = A thousand arses (mille + anus)

  17. Jamie Eadle says:

    On the bit about the venom and anit venom, you spelt venom vinin, lol, you bell end

  18. Jonas Mejer Pedersen says:

    Wait do some countries pay for school? Hell exsists

  19. Ryan Manley says:

    6:04 hot dog is taco. end of discussion.

  20. Owen Belfield says:

    Did anyone else see the twilight zone reference?

  21. Stilgarsan says:

    I don't think aging and dying is a beautiful thing. I used to think of fighting mortality as an unwinnable fight, but in that regard you changed my mind.

  22. Love Law says:

    4-5-6-FUCKING SEVEN?

  23. Kevin Zhang says:

    Maryland flag's amazing

  24. TheLapTopX20 says:

    Most efficient driving side is middle.
    McLaren F1 ftw

  25. Logan Rossignol says:

    Overpopulation is only a problem because some people insist in shoving themselves into tiny cities and living in obscenely close proximity to each other.
    You could tl;dr that into "grumble grumble city folk" but seriously big cities are dumb as shit when we have so much space on Earth still.

  26. Logan Rossignol says:

    Also, you can automate everything, and that is probably inevitable, but we don't have abundant resources, and there's no way to accomplish Star Trek level utopianism without abundant energy and resources. Our current track is basically going to be abundance for the wealthy and those who control the machines and stagnation or worse for everyone else.

    The funny thing is that automation will cause people to have less money for buying the things being made through automation.

  27. i use Arch btw says:

    This guy seems so smart till you find out he likes imperial measurements and apple products

  28. Jonathan Eanes says:

    I'm probably real late to this but BLACK SQUARE IN THE AIR MAN 7:46

  29. xxDrain says:

    About mortality, just fix it. Don't worry, death will find a way.

  30. Michael Mangraviti says:

    I'm writing this way after this video came out so I doubt you'll see it Grey, but if anyone else has any knowledge or experience that'd be great. Would you say that if you are eventually going to return to an American city as your home but travel to a foreign nation after school for any somewhat extended about of time, would you say that you should work to build relationships, deep friendships, fall in love, etc while over there, or would you reccomend not investing quite as much knowing that you may have to tear yourself away from that when you go home?

  31. Harsh Parekh says:

    People definitely overvalue national identity. I haven't spent as much time as you in a different country but can say that with reasonable certainly.

  32. Jai says:

    Who watched to the end?

  33. Derpinator says:


  34. GamerFromJump says:

    “Largest city in the EU – London”

    That is incorrect.

  35. Erin O'Driscoll says:

    According to Wikipedia you are 118 years old cause you b day is Jan 1 1901

  36. TritanicWolf says:

    What about the prequel trilogy?

  37. GalacticSilver says:

    Nice portal cake at 6:53

  38. Melody Frogface says:

    I’m glad CumDragon69 got some good teaching advice

  39. Evatan says:

    I hate how you are very good at changing my opinion on things

  40. ClockMan says:

    I don't know if grey is pessimistic or a slight asshole

  41. Hyena-Gaming says:

    My favorite was the hotdog one

  42. Dema Wallace says:

    " I'm a bit homeless"

  43. Lindsey Tuckey says:

    a hot dog is a taco

  44. Regele Leu says:

    4,5,6,7 ?!?!?!?!?!!

    Absolutely disgusting. The correct order is 456123 and throwing 7 and 8 into the trash.

  45. The Man With A Million Names says:

    I'd like to have some immortality technology as well.

  46. Memes n Shet says:

    6:36 thank you for that,i was struggling about my national identity

  47. Geohead says:

    Has Grey discussed his 40-minutes time unites in any of his podcasts?

  48. The King says:


  49. Zod True knight says:

    My New Years resolution is stop making New Years resolutions


  50. SpacenormanYT says:


  51. Lime Limeson says:

    "Most national flags are pretty good, if a little safe. They're no abomination like the state flags."
    The Nepalese flag, while really good! Is absolutely an abomination, compared to the norm of flags.

  52. Roy Berrill says:

    If immortality happens then the balance of life and death will shatter and population will skyrocket

  53. Pedro Mateus says:

    I also like "about a boy" 😉

  54. Jason Boudreau says:

    Honestly, I fear immortality for the facts that anything after is never resolved and you get to live for billions of years, far after the earth explodes

  55. Singe Stheos says:

    3:14 nice username

  56. Tijus Matas Azaravicius says:

    FACTORIO YAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. d-donk says:


  58. MadCap says:

    Sounds like you're from Long Island, does the London traffic remind you of home?

  59. Ciarán Kelly says:

    3:15 Thank you CumDragon69

  60. Theo Dore says:

    If only we all had dual citizenship that opens up half the world to live in.

  61. kirby march barcena says:

    A.I. is still dumb at the moment…right, Siri?

  62. Lukeland says:

    "Messy And Surprisingly Cursive"
    Same! Except For The First Part..

  63. Jared Morris says:

    No prequels no subs.

  64. Zeriix says:

    Why do you have Irish citizen ship.

  65. Peter’s Channel says:

    He’s so close to 4 million subs

  66. Ameha K says:

    The terminator franchise destroyed my techno optimism decades ago.

  67. Rocky Morris says:

    Comment for benefit of creator.

  68. An Eevee Named Pearl says:

    I just realised that I love this series
    Ps: 6 months in and I’ve never broken my New Years resolution!
    ( actually doing my homework every week )

  69. Auden C. Perez says:

    2:52 – The dutch version of the force awakens is shown!

  70. ALS Science says:

    6:26 what happens when you go to Canada?

  71. Tom Cast says:

    i just realised how much you sound like a vulcan (logically wise)

  72. Catalyst - D B says:

    I agree with your definition of success.

    Definition: how much of my own time do I have control over.

    Very important.

    PS: Watching the Dog Whisperer…. as a future parent preparing for 6 years down my road… I Thank you.

    PS1: I agree. I’m also against Artificial Intelligence in a deeply unwelcome way too.
    I’m pro-human and not ashamed of it.

    PS2: I’m also Pro-immortality ☺️ I speak from 4 near death experience and 3 failed suicide attempts failed because I logically came to the same conclusions you did in your death video over the course of 3 hours of critical thinking each time many many years ago. I’ve come to logically love love life. Cheers ☺️

  73. philipp hermes says:

    I had this discussion a while ago: a hotdog is definitfly a sandwich. the only reason it wouldnt be is if beeing a sandwich would require the bread-like substance to be completly cut wich would make your average sub at subways not a sandwich wich clearly isnt right so -> a hotdog is a sandwich or for that matter everything that is layerd between a breadlike substance is a sandwich

  74. Thomas Fieschi-Rose says:

    Vancouver? I wouldn’t have thought you would like it here.

  75. Rowan Reed says:

    I felt that on the standardized testing thing.

  76. Jman116Films says:

    Please, PLEASE explain the working time units thing fully, it's interesting.

  77. Connor McCormick says:

    6:26. Do you have a problem with Canada?

  78. PrettyPinkMusicNotes says:

    4:47 3 years later and I have not had a robot deliver my pizza! or my packages!!

    Starting to think this whole "automation" thing is a prank designed to get my hopes up only to smash them back down

  79. Minecraf Minecraft says:

    You are so fucking smart

  80. dzhellek says:

    Immortality is not lack of aging. Immortality is not being able to die. Long life is great but I like to keep my options open.

  81. MultiYuniversal says:


  82. April Beach says:

    a hot dog is a taco

  83. Sergei Kulikov says:

    Woaa! I'd like to have that passport cover 6:39



  85. Chris M says:

    Get rid of aging? Um, no.

    I don't care that aging and death is a part of life, but I do agree that people have to die. We'd overpopulate within a couple generations, then governments would stick their hands into population control, like China's baby limit.

  86. david kessler says:

    to deal with stress. inhale deep, exhale slow. now your stress is lowered. you're welcome

  87. Jaskaran Jaggi says:

    universal basic income in the new automatic world?

  88. Mariana Salais says:

    CPG Grey predicted the bird box challenge

  89. KeRen Tan says:

    here's a question: what's in your perpetually steaming cup? (tea, coffee, hot chocolate, hot water?)

  90. rapolalo 105 says:

    Okay gaan niet naar den Haag

  91. I am Here says:

    I watched this 3 years ago and was like – something ending in studies?? I'll never do that.

    I'm in my last year International Studies…

  92. Eli Egbert says:

    1:24 Crown dependencies arent eu?

  93. Eli Egbert says:

    That was a very obscure twilight zone reference

  94. The Police Department United says:

    The only way to fix overpopulation.
    Is hentai.
    And lots of it.

  95. A.I.rchist says:

    7:47 Come on, the Ohio flag is one of the only things we have to show for our state…

  96. bignate 9000 says:

    7:31 “sucker for strong central designs” nervös deutsch / österreichisch lachend*

  97. hugepanicbuilder says:

    3:14 good question CumDragon69

  98. Christopher Barber says:

    I like your work very much. Thank you for being who you are and sharing yourself with us.

  99. William Daugherty says:

    ooo EU citizen in the UK ouch

  100. BaronVonKekatron says:

    I as well want a fully robot body, the only way to be resistant to time, though one of my reasons to get a robo body is to escape my horrible teeth that I ignored as a kid

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