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.