Our talk starts with a great Facebook post about what makes high IQ people different from others. The most common element is openness to new experiences and knowledge.
for some reason, this leads to a discussion of advertising and how it affects people and uses psychology to control them. This is an off shoot to the zombiefied world we live in.
Our music discussion is about rock n roll being dead. This is from a conversation at the Sebastian Bach concert that Stephen attended.
Alan recently attended the online WIRED sessions that talk about the future of our world. More specifically, they focus on new tech and Alan is excited about our future health improvements. Our future could exists not only without covid, but things like malaria.
We’ve seen The Eternals movie and discuss it – so spoiler alerts. There is some talk of the future projects – including Spider-man, She Hulk, and Moon Knight.
We also are trying to add these each week:
Raspberry pi update
Our book/music/movie picks
and a trivia question:
What heavy metal hair band was the precursor to the Trans-Siberrian Orchestra.
[00:00:03] Alan: Good feeling and getting, there we go. Can you hear me? Yes. Can you hear me adapt a wow connection? We’ve had so little glitches in the last couple of weeks
[00:00:14] Stephen: now. It’s perfect. It’s a Thanksgiving miracle. Nice background.
[00:00:21] Alan: I did my kind book talk last night for my local Cleveland area mentor group.
And because I was talking about kind of books. I went and looking to see what was available in zoom ish format. And I found a bat cave.
[00:00:31] Stephen: So I celebrate how’d that go. I listened to part of it actually went
[00:00:37] Alan: very well. It we had maybe 14 participants. I think I had thrown a little bit of publicity out there and not only for our local group or the local mentor groups within Ohio and back in Chicago, my old stomping grounds.
And yet, one of the reasons that we do this wonderful podcast is we’re still underground. There’s all kinds of deep culture that just isn’t mainstream. So I wasn’t announcing, Hey, here’s some Superbowl highlights. I was talking about guidebooks. For the vast majority of people, they’re like, wow, I like those movies.
And I thought that maybe it was, I was talking about, Hey, this will give you the backstory for all those kinds of movies that are setting box office records, that we get more people. And yet it isn’t only about the topic. It’s also, everybody has so much things, so many things that they have going on now that in order to break through their habits of, oh no, that’s when I watch wheel of fortune and jeopardy.
That’s what I, cause it really was right at seven o’clock that’s when I’m sitting down to dinner, I’m taking the dog for a walk. It’s all the media that you are competing with. Just, it’s really tough to get attention. It’s been like that, for the last 25 years on the net, that’s an attention based economy.
A lot of interesting books were written about that. And I don’t know, I’m still of the opinion that I want it to be. Hey, everybody who’s there really wants to be there as compared to, oh, I got trapped that I could only get my chance at the motorbike if I watch this show. Oh, they’re injecting another ad in on me all the ways in which advertising and other time wasters.
There’s so many of them nowadays, and people who grew up with it, don’t realize that it used to be that his weren’t, that intrusive. They weren’t the automatic price that if you want to get this, we’re also going to inject this into you. So if I read about this before I go to the bank and I hit, I have things set up where at any time I can get an instant, a hundred dollars, and it’ll take Mike, my card insert one key press and I’m in my code and I’m in. And instead they inject an add in and it’s if I was doing other transactions, I could see some justification for, Hey, while you’re doing other things and wallets, we’re doing supposedly little calculations in the bathroom.
Watch this ad instead. They know it’s an instant thing. What I want to do is get in and get out. And they screen, of course, doesn’t show for three seconds and then go away. It makes you interact to say, yes, I’m interested or no, thank you. And I, every time that I do that for the rest of the session, they have a little camera on you.
I have my finger up so that what they see of me is my letting them know. You designed this, you programmed this, you’re making this happen. You’re stealing time from me every single time I interact like this. And that’s the kind of stuff that really outrageous. So I didn’t intend to go on a rant this morning and yet,
[00:03:04] Stephen: It.
It is true. It’s so difficult because that’s what we say with writing books. You’re not competing against other authors. You’re competing against TV shows and movies and video games, and they hit you so many places know the old cyberpunk, not old sire, but the cyberpunk stuff kinda pushed that, with showing the future dystopian worlds where there’s ads everywhere and right.
Exactly. And we’ve got that. I can get gas and I get little ad commercials now,
[00:03:36] Alan: the first time that I was at an amusement park and it used to be, they have the big serpentine line and oh no I’m there with my friends. We’re going to have to talk. Even if we have to wait for 30 minutes, we’ll find things to talk about now, as they have monitors up everywhere and it’s like from black mirror or a bad movie, there’s hardly anybody.
Yeah, like literally mesmerize.
[00:03:57] Stephen: I talk with parents about that. They’re like, I just don’t know do my kid, they don’t have good grades. They don’t have an attention span. They don’t want to go outside and play. And I’m like, okay, they’re 10 years old. Let’s go back five or six years. Every time they got in the car, every time you were trying to make dinner, every time they got a little restless.
The first thing you did was flip on the TV, your hand up. And I pass. Yes. But people don’t think that way and realize it, but over five, six years now, you’ve trained that kid to that’s what they do.
[00:04:29] Alan: I hear ya. I think that all with our discussion is jumping around, but this seems worth mentioning.
So I just read an interesting study from psychology today that did a whole bunch of Metta studies. There’s a template for how to study personalities of people that says four on five different spectra or axes. They explain really fully what, how people are like, and just, when you shared it with me, I was like, oh, I just read that.
And the acronym for it is ocean it’s. It’s openness, it’s conscientiousness, it’s extroversion, it’s agreeableness and neuroticism. Those are the fight axes. And if you will, the good and bad ends of it. You and I being gifted folks, what they said was statistically, the only one that’s really. Closely correlated with giftedness is openness to new experience.
And that really spoke to me. In other words, I try not to be neurotic, but I knew a lot of gifted people that are, and same with, I know agreeable and curmudgeons. I know extra and introvert, all those things, but that curiosity that need for novelty, it really is strong in me. And it’s very much that’s what curiosity and invention and what’s makes for suppose that acts of genius is often you’ll look at things in a different way.
You’ll put things together, see relationships with others, don’t in a different way. And that you’re always on about that. You’re always driven to do it. I don’t just take things at face value. I’m always looking for what’s really going on behind here. What’s the pattern that could help me get to the next one.
And the reason for saying all of that is. Those kinds of things, advertising they’ve learned about memetics and they’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be always interesting if they pounded into you again and again, somehow you’ll just start thinking, I need a Snickers bar. It’s not, the Snickers is better, more tasty, or that’s a witty ad.
If you see a witty thing, 10 times in a row. And because Colleen and I often watch wheel of fortune and jeopardy, the ads they have on there are the same. We see things where they’re the same within the same ad block, but they never used to do that. But for sure, from night to night where like when we not only watched that little hour, but we went left the Olympics full immersion network TV.
Oh my God. I could tell you every single car that’s on sale. Every single drug that’s on sale, every single soft drink that’s on sale because they just fucking pounded into you. Yeah. That’s so much is against my need for novelty that after I’ve taken it in, once I pretty much know it after I’ve taken it two or three times, I’m like memorize it.
I could recite the gosh darn advertising, and then you see it 30 more times. And I just, I like, I gotta get outta here. I can’t watch this again. I don’t know that doesn’t seem to kick in for everybody. A lot of people are really satisfied with maybe even a repetition makes them happy. They like watching the same movie again and again, or reading the same book or there’s a trailer and they watch that trailer
[00:07:13] Stephen: a hundred times, or they’re not when they are, they’re watching and see the ads over and over.
They’re letting their, I don’t know, lizard brain slot brain just sit there and absorb it. They’re not aggressively. They’re very passive about it. They’re not aggressively thinking, what am I watching? Why am I seeing this again? What does it mean? Is this a good, it’s just. The brain is shut off
[00:07:38] Alan: and unfortunately it’s still working on you in your subconscious.
[00:07:41] Stephen: You’re still thinking probably better. It’s probably absorbing
[00:07:44] Alan: better. It might in a ways that when you I know that there’s been for a while for 50, 60 years now, there’s been things about subliminal seduction. That the way in which you can reach people is not only as you just said consciously, and that I’m really paying full attention, but they just put images and they’re associated with either nice things or at least things that get my attention.
So if I see an ad with ice cubes and there’s Ooh, people making love in the ice cubes in kind of unfair, not exactly, but you could see it if you want to. And then next time you were at the liquor store. I don’t know why, but I’m picking up Jimmy beam today. And it’s because now that liquor means sex and or it means death, or it means things that got our attention in some ways.
And I think that everybody, medics, when it was a breakthrough thinking maybe 30 years ago, the first people to really get into it, we’re like, okay, how can we use this? How can we politically make a slogan? How can we make an advertising? How can we get into, people’s like through the back door.
So that out of the a hundred choices for cigarettes, I bet you, I can. Cool cell a little bit better. And advertising was always doing that about what’s the image. It’s not about the taste of the cigarette or the quality of the cigarette. It’s if you’re a Kent smoker, then you’re a swashbuckling adventure.
And if you’re a Salem smoker, then you like the outdoors
[00:09:02] Stephen: or whatever. Jay, was it Jay Conrad. I believe that the guerrilla marketing he tells the story about the Marlboro cigarettes that back in the day they were considered a girl’s cigarette. Women smoked it. They weren’t anything that, and they spent two years advertising the cowboy and pushing, and now that’s all everybody thinks about.
And Tufts, yeah,
[00:09:22] Alan: totally changed. You know what I mean? And every other, every car is not. That the kind of car it is, the way it looks, the spokesperson they get for it. It’s what station are you in life? Are you an aggressive driver? Are you a, I’ve made it mad and you want to show off that thing.
Cause now originally notice my Mercedes, my BMW, my, you want, I that’s one of those things that the price point for those kinds of things are not at all, based on the difference in what it took to produce them or necessarily the quality of the vehicle. It’s all based on your social standing that this is look at me in this car.
[00:09:53] Stephen: know, that’s why I’ve been watching and reading and seen interviews with Ryan Reynolds and the advertising marketing he’s doing because he. Does it with a totally different thought process. And he does it for today’s world because people want to share the advertising. They want to, what him and J Hugh Jackman did for the coffee and gin companies.
It was more like Tik TOK videos than advertising, but they he caught. The aviation gin sales in a year and ended up selling the company for $60 million or, and he bought it for 14 million or something along those lines.
[00:10:32] Alan: Yeah. Yeah. It’s funny. I’ve not read enough about that. I just read recently about what a successful business person he is.
And I think that’s really interesting when you find out that Keanu Reeves, Danny DeVito, that they weren’t just memorable actors, they’ve played a specific type of character and they got money from being that, sorry, Zilla. Exactly. They they clued in early about, it was really making the money here are the producers and the advertisers and and they they’re still happy to get in front of the camera and they maintain their brand if you will.
But that brand has big payoffs if you also use it in other ways. So how smart, how cool that and it does seem like. What you were saying about I don’t know, another thing that we get Colleen and I love up comedy. And again, my novelty gene kicks in and says, when I have someone that like repeats a punchline, it really is like, man, don’t worry.
I got it the first time. And yet there really is a whole brand of comics that they don’t have a lot of material in their hour set. They have a lot of repetition and yet the crowd goes wild. They want to be able to have that catch phrase here, that things that, again they like project themselves perhaps onto this person, or I would’ve called that milking the joke.
And instead it really is. There’s a whole new frame of mind that says, that’s how you do comedy. Oh I, haven’t just been at a comedy festival at regularly going out to comedy clubs to see the difference. And I’m so much. I know, embracing the stereotype of that. There are generational differences and so forth, but in this one way, there really might be because I don’t see many young comics that have that old school.
I’ll give you a lot of material in an hour. I’m not going to repeat. I’m not going to pander to the lowest common denominator. I know those all sound kind of negative, but boy, I would say that a lot of my observation and I see a lot of it. So I think it’s reasonable learned
[00:12:20] Stephen: opinion. I think so same thing with comedy.
Saturday night, friend of mine invited me to go see Sebastian Bach from skid row. He was at the rock CNO. So I was like, whoa, cool concert. Let’s go. And we were impressed. He sounded great. But we got into a discussion about how this applies probably to comedy in many things, how rock and roll is no longer dangerous.
That rock and roll itself is dead. It’s very corporate. It’s very clean. You don’t hear about the rocket rollers, destroying hotel rooms or pissing people off, or, you have the cleanse BTS boy bands and all sorts of stuff. So don’t look at the charts. There’s no real good grungy rock and roll guitar bands on the charts that you know, there
[00:13:09] Alan: just isn’t honestly, that’s because it’s not rock and roll anymore for a while.
Punk surfaced. Crown and then Jack and grunge and wrap. So now you don’t even look at the rock and roll charts. You can look at the rap charts. They’re still,
[00:13:24] Stephen: no, that’s funny. That’s exactly what he said. He said, it’s not rock and roll. It’s all rapid hip hop and variations of that. And I said, I agree, we lament it cause we grew up with it.
That’s what it should be. But you go back to the fifties, sixties, and you probably had the exact same conversations of people were listening to big band and Sinatra from the thirties and forties. They’re like, what is happening to our music?
[00:13:50] Alan: The British invasion really was uninvasive, oh my God, the, I G I think boy, there’s people that have been gotten have gotten very smart about how to package that, that, this they’re dangerous. You know what I mean? All the young boys want to be them. Young girls want to have them, if you will. And even, I don’t know, girl bands where.
There was a time when it was the Andrew sisters and they were all very sweet. And then you change, where you started to have a dangerous Joan Jett, or I think it’s an ever-changing market. And I dunno, Alice Cooper made an entire career of being the band that your parents don’t want you to see, but you’re going to find a way to go, and maybe Ozzy Osborne and various different people, and that, that doesn’t even have to be wow. And. What do we just have tragedy in Houston? Previs Scott, he’s known for inciting the crowd to rush the stage. That’s it is what rock used to be. You know what I mean, though, the stones at Ultima, people were dying.
They there’s any number of times where you saw that transition from the bad boys or rock or suddenly now they’re like dance and they don’t want their kids to be hurt. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. They didn’t sell out. It’s just that everybody ages and everybody slows down and everybody staying with the police used to have all kinds of.
Fuck the crowd type stuff, and he got easy listening in some ways, still very musically skilled, but his woman is nowhere near what the police were in terms of edginess.
[00:15:13] Stephen: No. Yeah, definitely. They were Scott pumpkin, he turned into a adult oriented rock as time and it’s funny.
I mentioned kiss I’m like back in the day kiss was Satan. They protested against it and it was their costumes because man, I swear to God, if you didn’t tell me it was kiss and I had never heard them and I’ve listened to it. And I’m like, oh, that’s standard bubblegum pop. I didn’t really eat
[00:15:35] Alan: them very much the image.
[00:15:40] Stephen: And it made me think of Metallica because I saw a meme where it showed the. Kid dressed in leather with chains and, just all done. And since this is a Metallica fan, then it showed Metallica’s lead singer, James Hetfield in shorts, and flip-flops carrying a Gucci bag. And now Metallica is on masterclass doing a class on be in a band.
And I’m like, that sounds more like a sellout than anything
[00:16:08] Alan: else. I’ll tell you a lot of cases. It’s not even having to be angry and dangerous, but it just is always the rebellion, standard stuff. So it, lady Gaga has been that, and now she’s fading from that role. Before that it was Madonna and I don’t always remember what we’ve talked about.
I remember early on seeing a, an interview of young ladies getting ready to go see him, Madonna concert. And they were like, so why do you like Madonna? It’s she’s so innovative. She lets us be ourselves. And there they were all dressed exactly as Madonna. You know what I mean? With the little gloves, the Lacy, and it was like, wow, you’re missing the point.
You should maybe all be not the same egg in the box.
[00:16:46] Stephen: What I mean,
[00:16:48] Alan: it’s funny that rebellion, it breeds its own destruction because after all, everybody wants to be and look like you, and then you start to get conformity to that new mode. It’s not always non-conformity,
[00:16:59] Stephen: When I was in middle school, I got teased because I had holes in my jeans.
My knees were holes. I wasn’t doing it to be rebellious. I wasn’t trying to be some metal child or anything like that. I just thought they were comfortable and didn’t care if I had holes in them. Cause I didn’t want to go buy new jeans. That was really it. Let’s fast forward to the end of high school.
Suddenly everybody’s getting buying jeans already with holes in them because it’s cool. Who knew that you were going to be the trendsetter? Yeah, so I was teased then, but I was the geek in high school, even though I was four years ahead of them, whatever.
[00:17:38] Alan: I’ll tell you what, it’s funny. I really. Long time ago.
I remember reading Gilda Radner saying, so where do you get your sense, your fashion sense from it? He goes, I like to wear what doesn’t itch. That was her concern. And I I’ve always been like that. I very much was what did I wear? Jeans and shirts in college. It wasn’t only because everybody else was doing it.
It’s because that was such a comfortable way on no thought way of doing it. How did I not rebel, but stand out. I had all my concert shirts, so I represented for ELP and UK and Genesis and taller, whatever else it might be. I CA without realizing it, I don’t know what’s happened, but at one point I said, I’m done with jeans.
I’m going to start wearing Dockers. And I don’t, I, it wasn’t because know I’m growing up and I want to look like a, an Abercrombie and Fitch or a Benetton. And he was just like, I have. I wear lounge pants a lot for the last 20 years. And I don’t even know what started that. I think my younger brother gave me a pair of that’ll have Dr.
Seuss characters on. And it’s okay. A 40 year old guy wearing Dr. Seuss characters. It’s funny, it’s this. And as I’ve been wearing them, I’ve been watching the world catch up to me in the same way that you described. There’s all kinds of people nowadays that are wearing pajamas in public. And of course, when people comment on them, it’s what kind of man would wear pajamas?
These are lounge pants. Clearly they’re a fashion
[00:18:55] Stephen: statement. We’ll change the title that a rose by any other name is completely different.
[00:19:01] Alan: And it was fun to be like where I was shopping kind of change. Where am I going to find lounge pants at kiosks in the mall at Christmas at target and Cole and other places that I don’t know.
Another thing for lounge pants might be. I just started to care about comfort. And when I got bigger around the waist, you can always cinch up a pair of drawstring. I don’t think I did that. Only a concession to, okay, now I’m trouble, et cetera. I really did because I like wearing one day Mickey mouse, one day, Scholes, black Panther pants, going to Comicons and finding out they didn’t just have t-shirts, but they started to have lounge pants for him. It’s oh, we’re the whole call where I won’t wear ghostwriter. I hate him. But you know what I
[00:19:42] Stephen: mean? It’s funny because for some reason I started getting a collection of Hawaiian shirts with stuff.
Cause they’re not just the patterns you think of their, everything. There was a guy at the concert Saturday. They had every hair metal band on a Hawaiian shirt. I need that shirt that they’re very expressive and you can get a whole variety. So it’s a thing. I
[00:20:03] Alan: got one with the cars, it’s like Christmas in Hawaii.
[00:20:06] Stephen: I feel like my grandfather actually because he used to wear white shirts, button down shirts with a plaid shorts, cargo shorts and stuff.
[00:20:16] Alan: That’s funny. I don’t know that I’m unaware of fashion by that. Meaning I don’t purposely wear plans with stripes. I don’t try to say that I’m the king of the geeks on the block.
I’ve actually become really good at, I got many clothes. And when you start to have many clothes, you start to have, you don’t wear them out because you only wear them once a month. You’re not wearing them every single week. Colleen has found me, like for instance, long sleeve, t-shirts like this at a local place called marks.
They have them for five or six bucks. So I have them in every color, every time she stops by for lady products or whatever else it might be. She looks to see if they have t-shirts for me. And now I have it where, oh, this green pulls in a little bit of green from some other, like I said, the doctor’s pants that I have.
And so I really become. Here’s a good word, choiceful. I’m going to at least have it be that there’s the contrast. Or they match well or whatever else, be, and honestly it’s not for anybody else. It’s cause Colleen likes it. She’s she really dresses? She’s always been very good at playing to her strengths, colors that she likes, whatever she did, her color, I’m a winter, whatever else it might be.
I think that every time that she comments on, wow, you really cut your Garanimals matching today. You know what I mean? Your top goes with your pants. It’s it’s for you, sweetheart. That’s the one I want you to be. I want you to think that I’m not
[00:21:31] Stephen: a total fashion. I remember wearing jeans when I was younger because I made the comment.
Everything goes with jeans. I could wear a button down. I could wear a polo. I can wear a t-shirt. It doesn’t matter. That all goes with jeans. I’m good.
[00:21:45] Alan: I have a pair of black jeans. That’s like my go-to where I don’t want to be fancy, but I also, as you said, I will go with anything. Whether I have a sweatshirt on, or whether I have a button down or something I worn like occasionally I’ll wear a pair of lounge pants and I had this big black leather.
And it really doesn’t go. And yet that’s the whole point is I don’t care whether you’re thinking it doesn’t go public, but I am aware of that. That kind of looks like the guy that’s sitting outside the school yard, you don’t want to look not only not caring, but I don’t want to look
[00:22:14] Stephen: creepy.
[00:22:19] Alan: I’ll make a choice as to, I’m just going to wear the parka today instead of my black leather coat, because it’s jarringly wrong. Hey, kids look at my fun pants with Dr. Seuss now get in the van and no, I don’t want to be that
[00:22:32] Stephen: freaking guy. There’s one thing I’ve started. We at GameStop and mayor places, socks is another very personalized thing.
Nowadays, you can get everything. Personally or cartoon socks and star wars, socks and stuff. But then what I do, especially when I am shorts on I’ll grab two different socks. So I have
[00:22:52] Alan: become a fashion thing. Now I
[00:22:55] Stephen: still need the pair. As I was only did it, because one of the writer things I went to, I was like what the heck?
And I did it. You’re wearing shoes or socks. I’m like, but the crazy thing is I have another pair just like it, that’s a good line.
[00:23:09] Alan: So you’ll see their
[00:23:11] Stephen: mates. Exactly. I do it even with the, like my grandmother’s funeral, I wore two different black socks, so slight different designs. And I said, yeah, she’s probably rolling over in her grave right now.
[00:23:25] Alan: You know what? I don’t know. It was like, how do we bring this back to a relentless key Curry? I think that part of why this is cool is that’s really where people for a long time they have portrayed. What band do you like? What cartoon show do you watch? What comic book do you read when. Archer on it really isn’t like everyone knows about it type thing, but for the people that know Archer and it’s I can’t hear you over the sound with my awesome.
Is there like immediately there’s a bond. They know, I like it. They like it. So in some ways it’s signaling some people, I wouldn’t call it virtue signaling, but that, and it’s kinda, I hardly, I don’t think I ever wear a shirt that has a swear word on it because even though I am quite rebelled in my vocabulary, I swear all the fucking time.
I want it to be my access to when I say that. Not that everyone that sees me that day from little old lady to school kid, to my best friend, I don’t want them to see fuck on me. It’s not right. You know what I mean? I don’t know. I do know that’s not how I want to represent my. Yeah, all these things that really are just like trying to tweak the public a little bit to show that I don’t care in that way.
I do. I don’t.
[00:24:29] Stephen: Anyway I agree. And I get that. I think, everything, the shirts, the socks that’s been the Mo because when we were younger, you saw an old guy wearing a knee-high and black socks with tennis shoes or flip-flops. And Sandy, it was like, oh, that’s now wear black socks was shorts is like a thing.
It’s a sports thing. They put sports, socks out like
[00:24:51] Alan: that. I hardly ever do that. I it’s kinda funny. I dress like an aging jock and I don’t know, I never been a job most of the time. I have as if I’m going to work out, I have all kinds of muscle shirts. I have all kinds of, gym pants and I almost always wear gym shoes.
I hardly ever one of the other shoes I wear boots to go hiking in. It’s a matter of utility if you will, not of fashion. So anybody who would see me would be. A football hero, he’s a big guy. Can’t quite give up on it. That’s why he dresses. No, it’s because they’re so comfortable and they’re easy to find everywhere and for a reasonable price, that’s another thing is that I just can’t stand the thought of paying like 50 bucks for a pair of jeans.
When I know I can get them for 20 or whatever else, and maybe I’m dating myself, prices have gone up, but the first time that we’re buying designer jeans is like, There, they were designed to be rough and ready. They’re designed what you wear when you’re mining for
[00:25:42] Stephen: gold.
[00:25:43] Alan: Right. Gloria Vanderbilt or something
[00:25:46] Stephen: like that.
That’s why I go to the thrift stores. There’s one in Cuyahoga falls that when I go, I look for like jeans or pants in my size, but then I look at the labels. It sounds stupid, but if I’m going to pay three bucks, I’ll get the ones that were originally $80. It might last a little longer.
Then I go through all the t-shirts and I’m like, I like that band. I liked that band and star wars, so I get, I might come home I just spent $30 and I’ve got a year. New shirts and jeans.
[00:26:13] Alan: It’s funny. I don’t do that as often. Every time I do it, I think I should do this more often.
What I’ve also discovered is you go into this place and it’s loaded with clothing, but because I’m like a three X, you immediately go to that kind of short little provision between two X and three X. And I’m like I hope I find something, but there’s no guarantee that I
[00:26:31] Stephen: will. And there’s more of it though.
The night, the one in Cuyahoga falls has as much of a rack as other sizes.
[00:26:38] Alan: Interesting. So it’s kind of area of the country. You know what I mean? Cleveland would have been, Hey, there’s all kinds of Browns fans. They’re hot dogs. They’re stadium
[00:26:47] Stephen: mustard. So they got the big and tall racks. But the thing is, and I know this is ethnicity and it sounds like a stereotype, but almost everybody that works there is Mexican.
They speak Spanish, they don’t even speak English. So they’re all shorter, but they’ve got just as much big and tall clothes, maybe it’s cause they like take some of it before it gets out. I don’t know. There’s less of the other sizes, but it’s so weird because there’s a lot of big and tall
[00:27:12] Alan: stuff there.
Yeah. It’s I maybe cause I haven’t found it as much in the resale stores, I started to go to maybe M Hyman and sons and there’s certain places that cater to big and tall men, but even then the prices, weren’t that great. What I discovered. So Colleen and I have driven many times back and forth to Chicago and back for Halloween and for visiting friends and all that kind of stuff.
Even though I’m now 20 years out of town, Midway in Indiana, there’s a place that’s a big and tall store that has the best selection that I’ve ever seen. And the downside of it is they’re closed on Sundays and so forth. Coming back from Chicago all the time was like, oh, I would so much stop there.
It’s right up the road. And so sometimes when we’ve stayed over Sunday night, it’s yay, Monday, I get this place. And I want it. I want to shout out to them to say, Hey everybody, you should go there, but I’ve been like you were saying I’ve gone there and found. All kinds of pants, all kinds of tuxedo shirts.
When I was looking to dress up a little bit, fancier I’ve tuxedo shirt for eight bucks, it’s like why, as long as I’m here, I’ll buy three. That way I’ll never, I’ve had a tuxedo shirt where it seems because I often wear them for potential drinking and then I spill something on it.
And for whatever reason, this stuff is persistent. Like grape juice, it doesn’t wash out. And I got a chance to wear this once and I’m going to have this, can I hide it with a spider or a tie? What can
[00:28:29] Stephen: I do to make it? So I guess it’s a Halloween costume. Now you look like it’s not cut it up or whatever. It looked like a zombie or paintball shirt.
[00:28:37] Alan: Exactly. I could shred it, as if I got a tattoo, but anyway, why am I not thinking of the name of this place? It’ll come out later, but it’s in your Elkhart, if I remember right. Which is like the RV capital of the world. It’s funny when they discover, like I’m not even sure.
Maybe they must have billboards that first said. Let’s stop at this place. Just like we’ve often stopped for. Here’s an interesting museum that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise, but it says spam museum. So we’re going to check it out and what sometimes when you do that and discover that it’s really a good place, it’s so weird to have.
I dunno, there’s certain restaurants also in the middle of nowhere that we discovered, can we go out of our way to go back to it because it’s been a year since I had their bushwhack burger or whatever
[00:29:17] Stephen: else, w we’re still planning and trying to get down to a hillbilly hot dog want to go there?
[00:29:26] Alan: It’s really, you get the same thing every time you go there. It’s yeah, that’s why I go there because I haven’t had that taste in two years. And my sense memory is you need to go and get this, it’s so funny.
[00:29:35] Stephen: Oh so we missed this last week. We ran out of time. But you sat in on some wired sessions, a wired magazine there.
Yeah. That was a clean, smooth, fast shit.
[00:29:47] Alan: Yeah. I guess what I’m trying to say is I love my mom and dad anyway. So I’ve been reading wired magazine forever and. Yeah. I read a quote once where someone said, Hey, what’s that you’re reading? And the guy said, it’s the next five years of life, as we know it.
And I’ve often found that to be the case. They’re very good at taking tech and explaining it or taking tech and extrapolating as to here’s what they’re doing now, where could this be going? They introduce you to the giants of the field. So we really get to know what’s going on in Elon. Musk’s head in, in Dean Caymans, in Steven jobs, whatever else it might be.
They have had a conference last year, which I missed because I think most other things must’ve been going on. But this year called rewired where they They’re very good at getting like the leading proponents of various different things and having a good interview, a good panel discussion with them.
So this year it really works. So what are the big tech issues or at least tech interests that are creating the world? Here’s stuff about artificial intelligence, your stuff about cryptocurrency. Here’s how we’re using tech to fight global warming. And so when they’re going to have things about how the government is going, what’s the government doing to use tech?
They have the head of the office of cyber security for the United States. It’s not just a dilettante, it’s the people that really know if they’re going to talk about autonomous driving, they get the people from Nissan and Ford and Toyota to talk about what these companies are doing to create the next world.
And so very high quality, a whole day of sessions, probably either six or eight. The interviewers are very canny. They really listen. They don’t just have canned pre-written questions. There was high quality. I often don’t have, I like to read transcripts as opposed to watch because, there’s I take in information more quickly that way, but I really want it to do that immersive experience of kind of get to know these people.
Okay. A little bit of, do I really believe them? People can be very glib when they’re seeing soundbites in front of a camera for 30 seconds or when they write something up. But when a good interviewer is asking probing questions, you get to see if you will, whether they really know their stuff.
And I, there were, there was only one was I unimpressed with maybe because she was a little like giddy you don’t have to be serious unstrung Torian and what you’re saying, but there has to be at least a little bit of your thoughts. Can’t flit. They have to match and come together and build towards a conclusion and hers didn’t.
They were very scattershot, even if she was saying. 10, 20, 30 interesting things. They didn’t seem to be of a Corpus of massive data that it’s, here’s the ways of a Socratic dialogue. You work your way through five yeses to get to the big, yes. Hers didn’t seem to have that coherence if you will.
But having said that, it also really reassured me about the world. The world is having so many difficulties. And yet one of the reasons that I have always liked tech is because it really is solving problems. It’s not only to make money. The world is getting better because we have. They had a great session about vaccination and about messenger RNA and how the, all the research that went into it really was like serious R and D with no payoff for about 20 years before they started to have the computer power that could mimic things that could model things correctly.
And the ability to distinguish between a billion, different combinations of things and narrow down, we’ve often talked about how do you do the search for a solution set. It’s not just brute force. It’s getting smarter about how to do your search. And so even just the conversations about how they pursued these solutions are itself.
Like very reassuring that boy, there really are smart people out there, and they really are doing good work. And it really might be that sometimes you get the asshole, who’s going to charge more for insulin than they should because they bought the patent and that kind of stuff. But in the meantime, all kinds of people are doing wonderful, disruptive things to make.
We might not need insulin. We might be able to finally really cure aids, really cure COVID really cure. And the advancements in economist driving the advancements in AI, and it’s not just Matt. So like how can we sell things? How can we target ads to you more it’s more, wow. Vast data that we really can’t make sense of, unless you have a machine that never tires that look for patterns without any preconceptions and stuff like that.
And I just, so I have come away with the world’s going to keep getting better and better. And I have all kinds of things that I often say the future’s already here. It’s just not evenly distributed. And they absolutely show that, so much my concern has been about COVID. How do I get my friends, all vaccinated?
My family, my, my neighborhood, my city, my state, my country, but in the world, 7 billion. 80% are still not vaccinated. 80% are still like if COVID gets loose in parts of Asia, parts of Africa, south America, where the population is dense and it’s not easy to deliver such solutions we might have only seen just a tip of the iceberg in terms of how truly pandemic truly devastating this could be.
And so them, I’m talking to them. It’s not about now we have the solution in terms of the various different vaccines. Now it’s a logistics problem. How do we get it out? How do we get it to as many people as possible and preserve the profit motive? Capitalism is good, but you don’t have to make all the money if you’re going to say if I’m thinking about who do I want as my customers in the next lifetime?
It’ll kill off half of them. You know what I mean? Saying something as obvious as that. Like, how was that revolutionary? How was that? Let’s discuss further. It’s preserving life a
[00:35:22] Stephen: big old thing. Yeah. That’s, I’m very cynical. When you start talking about corporate greed and.
People, looking to make money. I get extremely cynical about those with, because look at all the examples we have, people, I love using bill gates because I can defend him a lot. People say, oh, look at him. He made all this money off. Okay. He did. But look at what windows really did.
It allowed anyone to buy a PC. Any manufacturer to make a product that worked on it and I could choose who I wanted. So it really opened up the marketing. Yes. It meant everybody was on this one thing. But just think if we go back to the eighties where my version of computer with OSTP did not work with yours, so we couldn’t use the same program.
Yeah. There’s so many benefits to what he did. And now look at what he does, how philanthropic he is, how many things he bought, how much farm land over the last couple of years. Cause they’re working on ways to improve crops and help farmers ends up. He’s the
[00:36:30] Alan: biggest
[00:36:33] Stephen: malaria. Yeah. So many things he does that you don’t hear certain other.
Trump doing at all
[00:36:41] Alan: right now, I have much more admiration for him now than 20 twenty-five years ago. He really was a a strong competitor, a rapacious capitalist in many ways when they started to get to where windows wasn’t fighting the fight in the market, what was fighting at via lawyers and via tiny agreements and things that are skating on that edge of competitive behavior and so forth.
I really was like, and yet he has so much maybe like he’s the Jimmy Carter of tech so much grown into a better human being and his wife now ex-wife where they really did. What does, what can money do can become big problems that, that international cooperation on. We really can pursue these things without only a profit motive, et
[00:37:22] Stephen: cetera, et cetera, not condoning any of the actions of corporations, but it seems like they all do some of the same types of things.
It look at Disney, look at all the negative things I’ve heard about Disney corporation recently is the magic kingdom. Wonderful, great, and magical. Yes, absolutely. Are the movies super, especially some of the Marvel stuff lately. Absolutely. But when they won’t pay the authors of the star wars books, because we didn’t buy the contracts, just the property.
That’s a schemey corporate thing.
[00:37:54] Alan: In fact, I think it was in wired magazine that I saw the phrase, the Senator from the. You know what I mean? They were some of the first people to like, make sure that there were laws on the books that were specifically benefiting them pending copyright from 15 to 31 to like now it’s 84 years, 96 years.
I’ve lost track of it. And the fact that they were the ones that were great at taking characters that were in the public domain, like Ari, all the little mermaid, like Pocahontas, all the various different Disney princesses. Now, instead of it being that you can get the book from project Gutenberg and everybody gets to share in that their particular incarnation that they made that’s copyrighted.
And they will defend that harshly. The little mermaid from Hans Christian Anderson, they think of the little mermaid, the Disney
[00:38:36] Stephen: animation, it, if people don’t see the problem that most of our politicians are also big businesses. Owners and investors is that if you don’t see that problem, then
[00:38:50] Alan: I don’t always follow the money.
There’s so many ways the best way to explain how people are voting is not, they came from a different background. They have a different conscience, et cetera. It’s more like who were their donors? Where did they get a lot of money from? And there, there will always have been the big list of who the various different donors are.
What. Most interesting. I guess most condemning about corporations is they don’t necessarily pick which one they want to win. They donate heavily to both, as a matter who gets into office, they’ve still got their, they got their, a little bit of favoritism into them and I can see how it doesn’t. It isn’t that you buy a person, but in all those little ways, the incremental why not this little thing that I’ll give them?
Why not making sure that in the latest budget, there is indeed a set aside of some kind, there is indeed a law that says, yeah, we’re going to make sure that steel is built correctly everywhere. According to these safety specifications, what we’ll grandfather in these various different facilities and funny how all those facilities are owned by one big corporation.
What I mean, it’s just, it’s so obvious. And yet even when the truth comes out, there’s not time to get out the tar and feathers time to get out. Like
[00:39:57] Stephen: Ryan
[00:40:00] Alan: raised that there shouldn’t be over such obvious
[00:40:02] Stephen: bribery and manipulation. Manipulated and uncleared today’s world, because I guarantee there are people that would say that’s exactly what the Capitol riot was.
That’s what they were doing. You’re wrong. You don’t get that. And it’s ah,
[00:40:14] Alan: so often art talks tie together, mimetics work, and you can keep putting things out there that are absolutely false, absolutely misleading. But after you get people repeating that, and that there’s no thing, nothing that can penetrate that can go up against them. We’ve seen examples of that. We have all kinds of, I’ve heard the phrase, low information voters that they’re not looking to learn more.
They’re not looking to make a better, more informed, smarter, more of looking into the future choice. They kind of phrase look and repeat. And they’re repeating that while they’re at the ballot and repeating that when they were in every conversation. And so every time that you hear okay, Any people coming together to do something it’s socialism, it’s like helping your nature, that you and your neighbor are gonna make sure that there’s no reason for everybody to have this tool.
If I get a tool that all five of us will share and we share the cost, that’s not socialism, that’s cooperation. That’s being a decent human being in the situation of why would we each have one where we only gonna use it two days out of the year? The fact that it immediately goes to ends of the spectrum instead of Louise and losing any nuance, any discussion.
It really weirds me out sometimes to see how quickly people jump to see the list of what do we really have? That is socialism. You mean like police departments, like the road system, all the things that we have that we share that are absolutely valuable in value. We can’t live without roads nowadays.
We can’t live without libraries and police and fire insurance companies are a way of spreading risk, like socialism. You know what
[00:41:51] Stephen: I Oh boy. So what the episode today is all about is Steven cynicism, before we get too cynical, w the wired webinars what’s the most coolest, extraordinary thing that they talked about that you saw that you’re excited about.
[00:42:09] Alan: I M R N a, the technology behind what’s allowing us to get over COVID is incredibly extensible. There’s. Understanding how things work at that molecular level, understanding how life works, how do our bodies really function? How do, how can we understand it enough to mimic certain processes that we can actually turn our own cells into little engines of protective cells?
It’s fascinating and incredibly heartening to know that it’s not gonna only be for COVID all kinds of viruses that we made before only had very specific the vaccines that would be able to cure them or In bacteria’s case what do they call flat enough land? Anyway, the technology behind it is one of those things that when you have a breakthrough that says, I not only understand this, I understand that this model that I have, I can just reposition it to look at will be finally be able to cure the common cold.
We’ll be able to cure malaria. There are certain diseases that ravaged the world in ways that we don’t have them in the United States because they’re based on unclean drinking water or something. If we get to where we really, yeah. Vaccines or that can stop it from happening or pills that can cure river blindness and diptheria and things that we already have the tap, right?
Vaccines that, to be curing that, but the developing world does not have a lot of protection from the outbreaks. Like you Boba any number of things that jump from animals to humans that now instead of being, oh man, it’s going to take two years to study this enough, to know what happened and then try a whole bunch of experiments to find out what might work now.
There might be able to do something just happened. Here’s a cure in a week and prove that it works and then roll it out in mass production. That, that changes so much of why we are now living until let’s see 78 and 82 as male and female is not because we’ve become hardier smarter, et cetera. It’s because of public health, because we cleaned our water and stop people from dying from typhus and know what I mean, all that kind of stuff.
And the fact that we might be able to do that. W one of my dreams has always been, can I leave long enough that we’re really going to be able to have life extension kick in? And then instead of my getting my 78 years, I might be able to get nanotechnology smarter, a vaccination, et cetera, et cetera.
And that if I can stop my telomeres from shortening so that I have my own built in, at apoptosis cell death, that’s going to kill me off. If I can find a way to circumvent that any technology that’s moving towards that cure Alzheimer’s cure degenerative diseases. This seems like an amazing opportunity.
And I’m so heartened by them saying, not to be weird, we know we’re curing COVID, we’ve already moved on. We’re already starting to look at the other things that might be able to handle, man, that will. Like from heaven coming down that human people really are smart
[00:45:12] Stephen: and overcome things until the corporations get ahold of up the price a thousand percent for every whatever.
[00:45:19] Alan: And it really might be all manner of dystopian. Future is, Hey, they managed to cure death and, who’s around the top thousand rich people, so they can stay rich and in charge forever. You know what I mean? They then withheld the solution. I really hope that will not be the case that there’s going to be just like soccer and Saban back in polio days.
They made a point of saying this isn’t for a company. This is for the world. We found a way to cure a terrifyingly bad disease that cripples and kills and how can. The profit motive is not, what’s in charge here. It’s
[00:45:48] Stephen: getting it out. And that’s an argument for a pro of our worlds. Like we always say science is not evil or good.
It’s how it’s used. And right with the media, with the internet, with the tools people have, if somebody discovers this and they can get it out, that there may not be time for a corporation to get it. But the problem is you get these kids doing this research in college and they’re being sponsored by a company.
And the company is everything is ours, but we’re paying, so it’s,
[00:46:22] Alan: It is a minefield. New developments to making sure that it really is overall to the benefit of humanity. And it really there’s got to be a medium, right? There’s gotta be a way that it’s not only about corporation and not only about altruism, that it’s somewhere.
Yes. You make money and you made the right amount of money for the wonderful thing that you’ve done, but we also priced it so that we could save the maximum number of lives, given circumstance. There’s gotta be, that’s what economics is, right? It’s that utility.
[00:46:47] Stephen: That’s what economics used to be. I think it’s probably different now.
That’s true. Speaking of saving the world what’d you think of the turtles?
[00:46:58] Alan: You know what, so I liked it, but didn’t love it. But what I really liked about it was it’s different than every other Marvel movie. Instead of being the fan pal, a bunch of heroes, fighting villains and of various different skills and various different evils, it was very philosophical.
Like, why are we here? How did life on earth come to be? Are there things going on besides. Evolution. And besides God that there could have been, the universe is a big old place. And perhaps the Celestials did indeed come to earth and look at us as a lab, a toy, and that them being so amazingly missioned omnipotent powerful, at least that they seated us with the internals to shepherd humanity and that they have a little bit of their star Trek first priority of do not interact with these species, do no harm, et cetera.
Maybe also the watcher that when things finally get so serious that you might need to interact, it’s not only a matter of fighting the deviants who are the opposite side of the coin. It’s a matter of when you know, what could really help humanity and you come to love us because everybody loves their favorite pets.
You don’t want not to
[00:48:07] Stephen: watch what
[00:48:08] Alan: your traffic, you
[00:48:09] Stephen: want to save them. My problem with the movie was they never asked or talk to the white mice to find out really what was going on.
[00:48:19] Alan: Penn dimensional beings. Hyper-intelligent
[00:48:22] Stephen: that’s right. I thought my, my, I get like you, I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it.
I was like, yeah. Okay. I just felt the conflict, the problem wasn’t brought out strong enough. I even at the end, when the ancient Celestials coming up out of the ocean and stuff, I wasn’t like, oh my God. He’s, it was like, yeah, that looks cool. Okay. They didn’t have that.
[00:48:44] Alan: That was really awesome to see like mounds
[00:48:46] Stephen: of rock.
It was almost exactly from the comics.
[00:48:51] Alan: I, what I also like was special effects have gotten to this wonderful place now where they really aren’t like screen, oh, there’s a little shimmer around what’s going on. They’re so well integrated that you really can see super speed. It looks like it should power casting looks like it should.
Mine control of like people just going a little bit. They really have managed to capture where it’s not jarringly oh, look at the special effect. It’s just part of the flow of what’s going on. And I really love that magic becomes mundane. And often you just accepted that. You just, it’s not that’s not the point of the movie. Now. They actually have to up their game. There’s not a special effects showcase. It’s actually got to have plot the antagonist and more satisfying ending, like you were saying that it wasn’t. I I thought again I, before I saw the movie, I read the comic books.
Kirby had multiple versions of this show in DC. He created the new guys in there forever people in that whole thing with apocalypse and new Genesis. And then he came back and did it again here at Marvel with the turtles. The fact that there’s a secret race of powerful beings that have been hiding and why they chose to reveal themselves, but you would have thought that it’s okay, that mountain, that should have exploded that volcano, that didn’t.
How do we account for that? You would have thought that any number of our superheroes would have been saying we got to investigate.
[00:50:03] Stephen: Yeah. That’s something that everybody brings up how all these things really tie in. I breathe.
[00:50:09] Alan: Yeah, they spoke to why didn’t you deal with that to hear the all powerful, et cetera?
Why didn’t you stop
[00:50:14] Stephen: that for me, right? Yeah. We’re supposed to not do that. Really. That seemed like a big event, not millions and
[00:50:24] Alan: millions of people. You’re going to sit back
[00:50:26] Stephen: and watch it after some of that was a little weak. But again, I go back to, if they had thought of some of the. 5, 6, 7 years ago, they could have just peppered a few things in with the other stuff that would’ve made this stronger, just
[00:50:42] Alan: what’s going on over
[00:50:43] Stephen: there. Along with that, there are tons and tons of new movies and shows coming out with all the trailers, because in a week we get a Hawkeye, which I’m super excited about. We talked about but let’s see. So in the past week or so, there’s been the new Spider-Man trailer, different one
[00:51:00] Alan: Peter’s up until now, but now this is getting ready for the marketing campaign to begin
[00:51:04] Stephen: trailer liked that one.
I liked it.
[00:51:09] Alan: It was fantastic. One of my complaints about Spider-Man movies in the past has been, he’s got enough super villains that you could just build a whole movie around that one super villain, instead of throwing always the sinister six at him, Batman suffers from that even more, if you will, but in this case, And I don’t know if you watch the trailer, this is Euler it’s they made a mistake, him and Dr.
Strange tried to make it that Peter Parker could have his privacy back and not have ever been in the world. No, he was Spiderman. If that went wrong and it’s actually caused a rupture in reality and universe is in the multi-verse are colliding. And so you’re seeing not only other versions of him, Spider-Man in various different utopian or dystopian futures, but various other villains.
And when they come through, if you will, they’re not all as aware as to what’s happened. So they just want to kill Spiderman, but that’s not their Spiderman. So the fact that they’ve had appearances from let’s see Dr. Octopus, the green Doblin, electro, I’m trying to think of the lizard Sandman.
Exactly. I think what’s going to be interesting is it’s not the cobbled together. Hey, I’m a mastermind put us together and we’re all going to tech Spiderman. The villains all seem as confused and actually victims as much as spidey does. And four I’m just, I’m very much looking forward to all those interactions.
And I, I don’t know how they kept it all straight to see, the miles Morales version to the artwork and all the various overall. I can’t wait to see what happened. I was so curious as to the craft that went into this to make it that it’s, he sure looks been battered. You know what I mean?
There’s always a certain amount of lies cracking. Oh, he’s just a Lark. He’s a teenage kid. It sure looks like he’s aware that his life is crude and it’s not getting any better. And how am I going to get him out of this? And my loved ones are in danger and Spiderman has always been he’s indomitable, but it’s also been that he gets through it with, I can always kind of laugh my way through.
How have you left for the end of the year? The end
[00:53:08] Stephen: of the multi-verse first thing I said after watching that trailer was this looks like an extremely classic seventies. Amazing Spider-Man story that Peter is everyone’s beaten on Peter at the beginning. So he tries to fix and change things and it gets worse and that he takes complete responsibility and every he’s gotta be the one to fix it all for everybody else.
And by doing so is going to make his life worse. And that’s exactly what this is. It’s seventies, Spider-Man all the way and very good observations. Is he going to save Mary Jane? Or is she going to do a Gwen, Stacy offline,
[00:53:51] Alan: Napa the neck gravity
[00:53:53] Stephen: involved. He’s reaching. It’s not a spiderweb he’s reaching for, but you don’t know.
And the trailer Colin said that he was waiting for Brene goblin to come in and snatch her as she fell and they cut it. So it still could happen. But I’m excited
[00:54:10] Alan: up on the top of the
[00:54:11] Stephen: roof exactly that night. Did you see that trailer?
[00:54:16] Alan: I did. And you know what? I really am. I love that character and there’s been so many great versions of him from people.
I love the Warren Ellis version and anyway, the trailer didn’t have that for me enough, a reveal. Moon power of him not being
[00:54:34] Stephen: all well and not be hit at that a little bit,
[00:54:38] Alan: but nowhere near obvious of like him being in various different identities and him like him talking to himself as if he’s talking to Khan shoe.
Do you know what I mean? They haven’t revealed enough as to what’s going on with that character. What makes him really good?
[00:54:54] Stephen: It was just a 32nd reveal. So it’s not a real trailers per se, yet we still got a year and a half.
[00:55:02] Alan: It had good ominous scenes like him being in the white Cape and jumping from building to building or him rising up.
I gotta say. I don’t know why, but I’ve never warmed to Oscar, Isaac tons of movies. And I’ve liked him, but I don’t, maybe he’s a little bit like Gary Oldman where he so inhabits a role that he doesn’t stand out from the rule that I admire the craft of him being able to immerse himself as a folk singer or apocalypse or whatever else it might be.
But from the X-Men movie, he was apocalypse. Did I ever feel that he was like galactic menacing, manipulating the fate of humanity? I didn’t think that he chewed enough scenery. I didn’t think he had enough murder in his eyes or enough coldness in his eyes that he was capable of murder. He just there’s a blank there to him.
Like I know I I’m looking for more from him. Harvey Keitel was like that for me from a long time until I saw him in a movie called battling. Where he really acted and really was tortured. And it was okay. This guy really does have some chops. He’s not just sleepwalking through every role and not playing himself in every role.
And maybe I, sorry, Harvey, if you’re listening, I really
[00:56:12] Stephen: admire you. He is. He’s one of the three.
[00:56:14] Alan: When you do these things, they go out there forever.
[00:56:17] Stephen: It’ll pick up on
[00:56:18] Alan: it. A good friend of him is going to say, Hey, this guy, in a fucking lime green shirt, it’s dissing you on the podcast, right?
He’s been in all kinds of great movies and trying to find whatever else it might be. But somehow he didn’t distinguish himself for a long time until I saw him in a specific role where until we had enough rules under his belt, but he stopped being young and. Seasoned or
[00:56:41] Stephen: something. So that’s not just a slam and trolling.
It’s a constructive criticism. It really is. There’s a couple of different
[00:56:49] Alan: exactly. It’s the fact that for instance, some people, when they inhabit a role, you really I can’t see anybody now, but Tony stark is indeed Robert Downey Jr. He was so good at that role. And sometimes that’s not the case that like when they did between Batman, it really is.
I’ve I guess I haven’t seen anybody that was so much Batman that you couldn’t indeed try another
[00:57:11] Stephen: one. Patterson’s looking really good. I’m excited for
[00:57:15] Alan: that trail has been out for a while now. And indeed that looks nicely, dark, nicely eventful, et cetera, et cetera. Exactly.
[00:57:21] Stephen: Alright. So before we go to just see she Hawk trailer, and this is a TV show
[00:57:25] Alan: now, That’s right.
In fact, she Hulk and Moonlight, from what I understand are both TV shows right
[00:57:29] Stephen: now. Oh, that’s right. Because I even said that’s good because we need that time to develop all his craziness
[00:57:38] Alan: and we’ll be better episodically than it will be. Just like Jeff, Jennifer Jones was really good to build to what was going on with her instead of trying to cram it into two hours.
I thought she looked good, but there wasn’t any hockey. Where’s the throwing of the car. When she talks about you, won’t like me, when I’m angry, don’t you want the pay off of, and then she got
[00:57:55] Stephen: angry, again, it’s a re reveal, we’ll see though.
[00:58:00] Alan: No, just actress. I don’t know much about her.
She’s been in other things. I don’t remember her from them. So I’m hoping that she does well,
[00:58:06] Stephen: I do that though, actually. And Collin pointed out that he really likes her breaking the fourth wall, the Deadpool stuff, even though he said she did it first, but,
[00:58:15] Alan: Interesting.
Okay. Yeah. I like mark refollow as the Hulk. And even though he is a smart halts that has learned to master himself and stuff like that, it the whole case is one of those where a whole bunch of people were in that role that didn’t really grab me. And I really like Edward Norton and I was expecting him to be better.
And instead he wasn’t. And who was it? Eric Bond. I think also just all the way back to bill Bixby. Mark Ruffalo. It really has captured a lot of the torture of being the Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. When Mr. Hyde can crack the plant into how much self control do you have to maintain,
[00:58:47] Stephen: so
[00:58:49] Alan: actually I can actually, one more thing.
Absolutely. For Ragnar rock, as you might remember, he finds himself on a planet captured, he’s going to have to fight a gladiator, cut eight or contests and so forth. The Hulk shows up the line where he goes, Hey, I know this guy, he’s a friend from work that was not scripted. They had a kid from the Make-A-Wish foundation on set that day.
And they’re the one that said, you should say this line in that movie, if not Marvel dumb. And he was a little. Saying, Hey, this would be good. This would be funny. So I don’t remember the child’s name. Sorry. I can’t paint pro tribute to them. And I’m hoping that Make-A-Wish, I hope that they’re still around because sometimes make a wishes, but what attribute that they are forever immortalized.
[00:59:42] Stephen: I didn’t know that even better. And the fact that they even did that, I love that so much of those things have become ad-lib. They talk about all the ad-lib parts because the characters are so known to the actors by that point, and
[00:59:57] Alan: they, he has that character and can, and have a little bit of comic relief or a little bit of, even more serious than it was intended, because that’s how they’re feeling in that scene.
[01:00:06] Stephen: So supposedly in the first Avengers movie where Robert Downey Jr goes, that man is playing Gallica that we’d noticed, but we did supposedly that’s ad-lib that in between takes, those were real computers. And the guy sitting at that one just started playing Gallica. He hacked into it. And so I was like, if it’s true and with RTJ eating, like the blueberries and stuff, he did that, not the producer director.
He just would get things and put them around the set. So he could snack on. In between stuff and it became part
[01:00:38] Alan: it and it became part of him. That’s very interesting. It’s funny. Sometimes I don’t like to behind the scenes stuff because I don’t want to see the sausage being made. I’m I love having the fantasy, but then you read wonderful stories.
One of my favorites is as from blade runner, Rutger, Hauer, wrote his ending speech himself, whatever was in the script. He said, this just isn’t good enough. I think I can do better. And he went off behind the scenery and came back in 15 minutes with this. I’ve seen a tax shift off the shoulder of a rock.
You know what I mean? Wow.
Replicating level mastery.
[01:01:15] Stephen: All right. Before we go, try and do this each week. So give us our two minute investing update. What’s the hot stocks or whatever for the week.
[01:01:23] Alan: Interesting. So boy volatility has been crazy. I used to have things regularly go from like one to 5% and now I have regularly things go 10 to 30.
Wow. Having said that, and let me think about this upstart, which I was very much about has now gone down slightly. My biggest holdings are the trade desk, Shopify. They’re all doing well and they continue to do well. You know what I mean? So like I’m talking, I have 300 to 400% gains in some things Shopify has been blowing up absolutely.
For a long time, so one of the things that Motley fool hats off to them they often say, winners win that a lot of times when you have a stake, you don’t want to just let your steak continue to grow. If you still think that the story that it’s telling now is as good or better than the story three years ago, when you first invested, there’s nothing wrong with throwing another thousand, throwing another 5,000 or whatever you got in your portfolio.
I actually have been in some ways, getting out of some things, I have a hundred stocks and probably 75 out of a hundred about are positive in some cases, very positive. And they’re doing so well that they make my overall portfolio work. In some cases I’ve been calming money out of certain things that like, wow, they’re not really, for instance, PTO pharmaceuticals, which have been working on.
Any kind of drug stock is tough because they have to go through all the various different FDA testing and stage two stage three, stage four. And they, if not failed, didn’t have positive enough results for a drug that they had been counting on to be a breakthrough. So that market beat them. I think I was up like 40% and now they’re down 30%.
So in some cases it’s if the story behind idea is still good, you can buy them on sale. And so I know that’s more than two minutes. I knew it was not as specific, but I will. Once I just named a specifically in the top you can’t go wrong. The trade desk, Shopify, Tesla digital ocean let’s see.
Oh, digital other shit. Exactly. There are certain ones, especially I tend like Amazon runs owns a mammas on web services and that’s their biggest profit maker, but there’s room in the market for places that aren’t only the big mighty Amazon digital ocean is another provider of server and storage and everything else that lets small businesses get up and running.
And so I tend to go with what’s the guy that’s looking at the chance in the market to be disruptive in that smaller space. So an insurance company that I have that specializes in sporting goods stores or whatever else it might be. And they really know certain niches in the market. And so it was like that’s a good bet.
In order for my mind to make 500%, five X gain, they don’t have to become a billion, a trillion dollar company. They just have to go from a $2 million company to a $10 million company. And they really can’t. So that’s a lot of my interesting bets are small cap growth companies that really have the right management and the right competitive advantage against other people in their same market, a compelling product that is going to be breakthrough.
In some cases they’re a little bit of a long shot, but if it works out, maybe not five X, maybe 10 X. So currently I’m up 320% in less than three
[01:04:24] Stephen: years. That’s great.
[01:04:27] Alan: You know what I mean? That’s off the Motley fool, a little bit to trade Smith where I’ve gotten my information and what I’ve done to continually be digesting and taking those kinds of things in I, I still have confidence that for almost, even I dunno, Peloton took a big hit.
They might really be one of the ones where there’s only so much market for exercise machinery, and it might be that there, your story is now going to still continue to be a good game, but maybe the five X gain is not there for them anymore. So I’m worried about them. So sometimes not only my recommendations, what my disc recommendations might be just as handy, when I’m down 50% in the stock, it’s like I’m holding on because I want them to make a comeback.
But what I recommend getting on this because it’s a sale price, no. And for instance, Zillow is a big trouble. They, Zillow Redfin open door are some of the ones that are really disrupting the real estate market in terms of How to price things accurately, how to be they were doing a thing called where you don’t just say, I’ll be the negotiator between buyers and sellers.
I’ll actually buy your property. If we don’t sell it within 30 days, or I’ll just buy it outright. And I’ll become a big broker for real estate Zillow has gotten entirely out of the IVR buying market because they algorithms the modeling that they did for how to make money in that market, weren’t working out and they bailed out at like $2.8 billion worth of real estate.
So they got what they could out of it, but they flooded the market in those places. And the company is still there. If you’ve been to the Zillow website, they’re really good at what’s the probable value of your house. What’s other things they’re still a quality company, but on that big bet, they really failed.
And the management that made that big bet, there’s not a lot of indications that they’ve learned enough from it. They’re still the best management they could have on this company. Motley fool went into a lot of good detail about not only have they tanked, but we don’t know if they have a way back.
You might leave. You might want to go
[01:06:22] Stephen: with Redfin. If you’re going to pass the time for the competitor to oh,
[01:06:27] Alan: sharp I’ll snack on it. Cause I don’t know, progressive insurance where I worked for five years is, director of databases. They their claim to fame was they learned how to price dangerous drivers correctly.
You know what I mean? How to price people that are the pause driving around and they just don’t have accidents for the ones where people have already had a couple accidents and need insurance still. Progressive Lord, how to price that appropriately so that the risk reward was the right ratio, if you will.
And so that’s what you want from other companies is in this era of everything can be solved by a computer’s kind of, do you have smart enough people to write those algorithms, to do the modeling, to collect the right kind of data and include and exclude the right variables so that you really do have a good model of what makes this correlated correctly.
There’s all kinds of companies that are doing that in the financial space, the medical space, the real estate space. You know what I mean? They’re eliminate is based on that. We take out all the hassles of insurance and they’re much, this is sorry to go on. The young people really do have a thing that the world didn’t exist before they were born sweeping terrible statement, but there’s companies that are absolutely based on that their advertising consists of.
Don’t go with the company that your grandfather used. They just don’t know what’s going on. So it’s not that I’m dissing the young people. It’s where I’m dissing the fact that. These time-honored companies can’t change. What’s the times that they don’t
[01:07:45] Stephen: know how to do show
[01:07:48] Alan: 60, 8,000 years. And for some cases it’s absolutely true.
And that’s why disruptive technologies are good. In other cases, when you see what they’re doing is their solution. It’s just like what? You’re just new. You’re not better. You’re you know what I mean? You’re again, you’re going to win, not on the basis of pricing insurance, more accurately, but on the basis of advertising on the basis of gamifying, there’s ways of doing that.
And yet I’m looking I’m I got a bet on them, but have I bet a lot because I’m certain of their stories. I’m not sure. Same with PayPal versus square versus more cutter Libra places that are making it so that you don’t have to have a bank anymore on your phone. You can have all the financial transactionality that you need, and I’m loving that story of you don’t have to have it, especially in places where they can never be well-served by banks, brick and mortar type places, or even, like in Africa, in south America in again, in parts of Asia, Th they don’t use cash. They don’t have banking. They have everything that you want to be the solution that’s going to be. We have guaranteed identity security. We have guaranteed connectivity to almost all the places you want to use.
This we’ve overcome. The usability hurdles and the privacy and security hurdles. Those I have multiple big bets on Mercado. Libra is still looking really good.
[01:09:10] Stephen: Oh, cool. Okay. All right. So for me, here’s a, the raspberry PI update. They just upgraded the O S to a version 11 based on Debbie in and huge structural and underlying changes.
There’s probably some programs that won’t be working there. They’re moving more to a 64 bit Overall architecture and they’ve been 32 and there’s some speed changes with this, but they like totally changed the underlying architecture for the window of the desktop and things to do some rewriting or, yeah, exactly.
There’s some big changes. I don’t have on my. Hi that I mostly use for toying and tinkering with. I don’t have anything major on there. So I’m like, okay, this weekend time to put the new iOS on and see how it goes and see what breaks. But what I love about them is even back to the very first raspberry pies.
Oh, S we’ll still run on those. So you’re as backwards compatible as you’ll ever get with any computer
[01:10:10] Alan: company speed differences, as you said, it may be some competitive, not compatibility differences, but capability different. Yes.
[01:10:16] Stephen: Capability. Definitely. That’s very cool. And they just released the raspberry PI zero two a, which of the zero is the cheapest, like $14 that people use for robots and stuff.
[01:10:30] Alan: want to learn more about making that for the masses. Who can’t afford,
[01:10:33] Stephen: like you crack a $20 bill computer and it runs the whole OOS. Now the biggest difference is it doesn’t have all the outputs, so you have to fanangle it to get on the screens and use keyboards and stuff, or most people just remote into it.
That’s how you work with those. Most of them. Okay.
[01:10:53] Alan: Instead of being any kind of hard wire connections or the right number of ports.
[01:10:56] Stephen: Yeah. SSA. So
[01:11:00] Alan: I think you, you mentioned that you discovered, we’ve talked about using that mighty raspberry pie to do the cool Christmas.
[01:11:06] Stephen: That’s going to be next week.
We’ll talk about that. I found that guy, we went to a maker teaser trailer here. We went to a maker festival at the library that last weekend. And there was a guy I’ve got his contact info right here. He does, he had all the gear and stuff. Cause I was looking at that as okay, what do you need to be able to talk to and program 80,000 lights?
Not that I’m going to do 80, but I don’t want to do 10,
[01:11:31] Alan: the sheets a hundred by a hundred, but they all have to be individually addressable.
[01:11:34] Stephen: Okay. So all a music movie or book of the week recommendation, you got something you really
[01:11:39] Alan: stuck out. So I’ve been really digging the Sopranos as I mentioned, and that continues to be cool.
I saw we’re we. Music-wise nectar a tab in the ocean that I just relisten to. It’s the perfect album side. It’s product rock. It’s very orchestra, but it’s got great washes of sound crescendos and decrescendos, it has multiple movements so that it builds. It’s beautiful. And it’s one of those things.
I often put it on when I’m writing, because it’s got no vocals. And that really works for me from them, from orb, from Oscar tentacles. I love instrumental music that doesn’t interfere with my language centers, but has energy and movement to it. And so it just inspires me that thought that you don’t know.
And I’m just when I’m working on presentations or writing. So anything from Azara tentacles or from Edwards. In fact, this is funny. Christmas lists are now being exchanged, you Colleen and I have managed to be quite the clever boy this year. I got so many cool things that she’s going to love, but that she had, there are going to be enough of a surprise.
And she’s already feeling like stop getting me things like I’m not doing. Overwhelm you. And when I just keep finding cool things for you. So anyway, that any number of things that I don’t want to buy for myself at 16 bucks, I’ll take it as a gift. Cause I really want the next Ian Anderson albums, the zealot Jean.
I really want the latest Steve Hackett live album. And so I’ve been putting a whole bunch of stuff on my one list. Cause I really do want the latest king Crimson road box set, but I still bought it for myself yet. I would love for Colleen to get me. So hopefully I’m seeding the ground quite well.
I’ll just make it out like
[01:13:13] Stephen: a bandit every night. You’re like, oh man, I really would love to get that. This is still looking good to me. All I gotta do is wait five weeks. All I gotta do.
[01:13:24] Alan: Also, I checked out a whole bunch of stuff from the library, black science, a cool series by Jeff Lumiere was better than I expected it to be. The latest version of captain America by Ta-Nehisi coats who had written black Panther, very successful. It’s really good. And it’s absolutely timely in terms of America disenchanted, secret empire.
It had a fake captain America that everybody w was so ready to go to fascism shades of our real times. African-American now having. I, my doppelganger spoiled the world, but so much of my heroism has been the trust of the people. I try to be the spirit of America. I tried to be the good guy, the boy scout, and that has been shattered.
How do I make a comeback from that? And these are really good about all the players that are, they don’t want him to make the comeback. They like the world shattered. They like being able to do maneuverings in the background. Who’s still lurking is the red skull, still lurking. Are the Russians moving in?
Very well-written. So hats off to Mr. Coats for being able to take captain America. There. That’s a good recommendation. I haven’t read those yet, man. They’re really,
[01:14:35] Stephen: so I’ve got, let’s see for music, not really music per se. But we are going to go see first snow, which is a trans Siberian orchestra cover band.
yeah, we’ll go with first, no as mine for the week. Cause I’m getting so ready for that. Movie. We watched red notice on Netflix. I did too. And I should’ve mentioned that it was funny
[01:14:59] Alan: Johnson and Ryan Reynolds off of each other very well. And it’s a caper movie with half a dozen different, like what.
[01:15:08] Stephen: I like that. So good movie fun. Normally
all good. They done some great interviews about working together that just made us happy. We have got to watch that. Very cool.
[01:15:24] Alan: Yeah, you’re right. I should’ve mentioned that’s original rights. So not theaters.
[01:15:27] Stephen: It was limited theaters. It wasn’t limited.
[01:15:31] Alan: Okay. That would have been great. On the big screen.
There was all kinds of good chase scene spectacle.
[01:15:36] Stephen: Yeah. And then my book of the week that I’m reading is a video game storytelling by Evan Skolnik. He’s one of them. Guys I interviewed for my discovered wordsmith podcast. And I’m going through this as I’m working on my talks and teachings for story in video game.
And it’s a fantastic book. If you’re interested in how to really do narrative game design story, wonderful stuff
[01:16:00] Alan: about that a little bit in the past. And that’s such a skill to take something that’s interactive. That is a branching story and still make it that the story itself is compelling. So
[01:16:08] Stephen: totally different.
All right. To end. I’ve got a trivia question. So I’ll do one this week. You think of a trivia for next week. Okay. You ready? Okay. And I think we’ve talked about this. So you may know this one pretty easily. Since we’re talking about Trans-Siberian orchestra, what was the hair metal heavy metal band that six are precursed and turned into Trans-Siberian orchestra.
[01:16:32] Alan: I actually think, I know. How about
[01:16:33] Stephen: Sabotage? That’s it? Yeah. I love that. They were a hair metal band,
[01:16:42] Alan: honestly, another one that like, instead of being just one in a sea of hair metal, they like, there’s a lot of power in this cool Christmas music. It’s all Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, et cetera.
Let’s see what we can do with this and that. They found a very good niche for band that can tour like two months out of the year and make all the money as if they took it all on here.
[01:16:59] Stephen: The funny thing is, the funny thing is sabotage is still pretty big, like over Germany there
[01:17:05] Alan: that’s their other audience.
If that’s cool, there are other identity. I know I’ve seen they had a band called. We’re one of the main guitarists was actually like doing acoustic stuff at the Winchester right here in Lakewood. I remember you mentioned that and he was like, uncle see that because he’s very skilled and just is.
I love when people do that, when they do the MTV used to do an unplugged version, right? Write a song really can stand on its own without all these stereo, without all the lameness,
[01:17:30] Stephen: the acoustic version of Layla that he slowed it down. That’s a fantastic
[01:17:35] Alan: baby. That’s a great example. Okay. Trivialized, next week,
[01:17:41] Stephen: enter the real world.
[01:17:44] Alan: Buh-bye.