Episode 131 – Just the Facts


We talk about the realities of using social media as a content creator. We continue to try new things to get our geekery word out and there are some things we are trying. There are social media platforms that are better than others with a reason to use or not use them.

Social media has also given voice to some interesting new cultural norms. We don’t agree with trolls and people flaming, and we don’t like people ignoring the facts that are available. Makes for a messy social media landscape.

We discuss enjoying Dr. Who through the years and why we think they have gotten better. And we don’t think they all need to be white guys.


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Stephen: I was looking at all our stats, I was looking at all the different podcasts and mobile is almost all of it. And looking at all the little clips and videos that other people have they’re stacked and they fit in a phone and ours are horizontal. So I’m like that’s going to probably turn people off.

So I’m like, let’s see, let’s try it. If you go look at

Alan: YouTube, even though you know you could take that phone and turn it 90 degree, cause mean they don’t . Yeah, absolutely. But they don’t do the interface so much. If you’re on Facebook, you looking at the reels you hold it, you click it, they show it, and you just flip it’s Tinder just flicking.

Stephen: People don’t do that. Okay. Uhoh it. I have no problem. I hope it’s it. One of the joys of relentless Geek Cree is let’s try new technology, or let’s return to previous technology and see how well it’s improved. And just that making us more accessible and available to more listeners.

Alan: Good idea. It just it’s one of those things that I am always amazed at how people’s habits they get inured in a certain way of doing things. And then even though companies make a point of, it’ll run in both landscape and portrait or it’ll, they’re they do things so that even the differently abled people can get to things cuz hey, it’ll read it out loud to you if you want. And yet people. Whatever this is sweeping statement, whatever things people do the first time, that’s how it should work. There’s all kinds of psychological proof that says your first experience is something kinda is the first way your brain maps it.

And anything after that is confusion and wrong and worse has opposed to, whereas I’m always like incremental improvement. I’m almost always willing to try new things unless it’s really I need it to be just the way I always want it to cause I need to get something done. And I want it to be that things are where they should be on the keyboard and where my eyes go on the screen are where they should go.

Stephen: That’s interesting. I never thought about that. Explains why my sex life sucks. .

Alan: So are you gonna tell us about your first experience, Steven? we’re not gonna go there. Let’s stick with the landscape mode, which could be interpreted very, not only too, but I was on a a group call last night for a bunch of authors and they were talking about this platform, that platform, this one.

Stephen: And one of ’em said one of the platforms and a couple players said, oh, I won’t go there cuz I don’t agree with this and I don’t like that, and blah, blah. And I, and they said I’m on this other platform. And I said, okay, but that platform’s nowhere near as popular. That’s the one I agree with.

Okay, that’s fine. But then you can’t also turn around and say, I don’t know why I don’t have an audience of 3000. You can’t ignore the most popular platform and go to the least popular and wonder why nobody’s looking at your books. If no book people go to platform two, then yeah you’re not gonna, it doesn’t matter if everybody on there does gardening, they don’t care about your mystery book.

know, It’s a demographics, and I hear you. It’s a, and I said, I told him, I said, look I don’t, I understand and agree with some of the comments on this, that platform, or what’s wrong with here and all that, but I’m trying to run a business too. So in the business aspect, I’m going to go and do what needs done to promote my business too.

There’s a fine line there.

Alan: I’ll tell you. That has shifted over the course of the last, 40 years. By that meaning even when the internet first came to be, but even back when it was b BPSs or whatever, there didn’t, it used to be that everything was considered a common carrier, that there was no editorializing about a o l didn’t care what you put on there.

They might have rules about illegality, but it wasn’t a political stance, or it wasn’t a you name it, a moral, ethical demographic stance. And now as platforms, because identity politics has become so much a factor in what’s going on in our life, people like, they’ll we can’t go into a long enough list of, I don’t want to eat there anymore because I know that they declare themselves to be this way and I’m not that way.

A, I won’t be comfortable. B I don’t agree with their stance and I don’t wanna fuel it by paying for things there. Whatever that joyful time period of where it really didn’t matter what platform you were on, people made artificial distinctions between CompuServe and A O L and E world and BBSs and whatever else it might be.

And maybe it might have been, back then it was a matter of nerd cred. You know what I mean? That, that CompuServe, you actually had to use numeric strings instead of a username. So that was somehow harder and more geeky. And yet, I don’t know, the, I always thought the point was to find your tribe in the various different chat rooms or BBSs and stuff like that, but the service itself didn’t have that weird.

Glow or stink, based on what you think of it. So I must admit I have always been about signal to noise ratio. The places that I frequented weren’t necessarily what I liked. I wanted to have different opinions and lots of information being presented. The ones that I didn’t was where there was nothing going on.

It was already back then the equivalent of social media, where it was just people talking about their breakfast and their haircuts, and there wasn’t anything of substance. And if anything, all of the ugliness to me is noise. You know what I mean? It’s always been that people get in in fights because the net, even like you and me looking at each other, and even nowadays with that video feature, there’s still a level of anonymity that people take on because they figure, Hey I’m far away.

I’m too far away from you to punch . You’ll never find me in the real world. I’m in Singapore, or just I’m in the United States, but at the other coast, And so it, it emboldens them to be their worst self, not their best. I’ve always thought that okay, out of all of me, I’m narrow it down, distill it down into my online persona, and no matter where you would see me, I want it to be this guy seems to know what he’s talking about.

This guy seems like a decent fellow. You know that it wasn’t, wow. I can’t stand to read him after three posts. He’s crazy. He’s overreactive, he’s nasty. And so why people decided maybe it’s the Jerry Spring reservation of the world, that as long as you can get all on the tv, as long as you can demand presence, no matter how awful you are, it enables awfulness in some ways.

You get, perhaps, I know I’m jumping around, but it really all does cut, tie together what get. CLS views, listenership not being a decent person, sometimes being the most outrageous asshole that you possibly be, attracts all the other assholes. And if the world is now 40% assholes in the United States, you can get a big old listenership because he says what I’m thinking.

He says what I want to say. Yeah,

You shouldn’t wanna be that jerk. And yet, while people flock to it sometimes

Stephen: And the we’ve talked about this too, and Facebook’s a great example. A lot of people complain about the this and that on Facebook and these people and that.

But you do have a lot of control. There’s is some responsibility that you have to take. It can’t just be, give me what I want and I’ll complain if not, because on Facebook you could choose what groups to be in. You could choose what comments to make comments on. Yes. And you could even block people even in like our group.

If somebody’s on there and they’re just spouting off, you could block that person and you don’t see a single post by them. And if more people did that they go away. They wither up and die. So it, it’s part. Your own fault and responsibility to make the right things happen sometimes. And we’ve talked about that too.

Go where, like you said, go where the people are that you want.

Alan: Yeah. I’ll tell you because I’m very much an advocate of free speech until I have seen over the last let’s call it 20 instead of 40 years. Just how ripe for abuse it can be. Not because someone has a different opinion, but because they have no desire except to bother you.

Inflame you, troll you. And that’s a sickness that society has developed. I don’t need to let the mad dog run around the yard. I cage ’em up or I get rid of them. You know what I mean? So I used to be on Facebook and other social media quite parsimonious. Ooh. And see how do I differentiate myself?

He used a big word dead him, get him. Anyway, I used to be quite I hardly blocked anybody cuz I thought they’ve got an opinion. I want to hear it, after a while if they’re trying hard to prove they’re a jerk, believe them. And my experience has gotten so much better over the last just couple years when I really started to say, wow, that’s a pattern that’s now I’ve seen them be a jerk 10 times, 20 times.

I don’t need to hear number 21. Or, yes, something that they said was so awful that it’s wow, if that’s what they’re really willing to put out there. And as don’t say anything online that you’re not willing to have read into the transcript at your trial in front of your mom. I can’t believe some of the things that people are willing to post and that loss of control or that uncaring about control, I don’t care for that either.

I think that every other it comes with responsibilities and people who so clearly show that they’re not responsible people. I don’t, I think that’s a cowardice you’re not willing to stand behind your words. I’ve seen you say awful things and then you later you say you didn’t really mean it, you just wanted to see what kind of reaction it would be.

Don’t waste my time. Exactly. I, I probably, I have my little block of funny, smart, curious, decent, big, and I travel the globe writing wrongs and punishing evil doers and the line that’s my, my my bio many places. And what it should say is another line, maybe I’ll add it right after we get off of this call today is, and I won’t waste your time because I try not to do that.

I know that I talk about some, a lot of humor, lighthearted stuff, et cetera, et cetera. But I’m almost certain that everybody that is my friend, when they read it, they don’t just click past it because, oh my god. Another stupid I really find Vicky, he

Stephen: loves your post, by the way. So

Alan: If I make a, especially if I share a video, I don’t just share the video.

I try to say, An extra thing so that I reveal a little bit of myself. I reveal I try to make it so that it’s worth people’s time to read, and I think that’s the way to build a friendship, a listenership or whatever. I don’t know that I’m trying for that. I like that I have lots of friends and the ones that have abandoned me, I’m pretty, I guess it also matters to me in terms of my own self.

If people have decided not to be my friend, it’s not because I was outrageous and deserved it, it’s because I’ve been trying all along to be like a good, clean, decent human being and they don’t like that good fucking rid, you know what I mean? If they say something awful and I call ’em on it I just can’t believe sure.

Don’t come around here anymore. My wall is very much a place where I hardly ever have, I used to have a couple bad actors and they would try to bait me and my friends, and now that hardly ever happens, and the groups that I go into I am much more. Like a lurker in some, cause I’m curious about the content, but most places I just stay away from, I just don’t need that man, that negative vibe Moriarty.

I just don’t need that. You have that choice. My life and I know I have, I read and do so many things that it’s harder, like I’m feeling left out. I have no FOMO over most of the places that I’ve chosen to abandon because they got so terrible. And especially if you see people that are like determined to stay in the fight, that they go there and they’re the one calm, clear voice out of all the jerks.

I just feel Wow. Good for you. Maybe for fight in the fight. But I think that you’re wasting your time and I think that nothing’s gonna change . And the great thing is a concept a lot of people don’t get is you can support free speech and you can agree with people being able to voice their opinion.

Stephen: Does not mean you have to go and listen to it and make comments about it and be a part of it, they can go somewhere else and have their own free speech. Does not mean I have to listen to you. It doesn’t mean I have to agree with you, and if I don’t, it doesn’t mean that you suddenly have to attack me and destroy me because that don’t listen or agree with you.

That’s not part of the concept. Yeah, and This is I know this is so a little bit of arrogance here, but I think oftentimes, and I say this often when I had been in discussions where things got a little heated or there was clearly contention, I, we exchanged 3, 5, 7 notes and then I like will often say I don’t think I’m talking to you anymore.

Alan: I’m speaking up so that all the people that are listening, watching in this discussion, they can see that I’m not giving in that I think you’re, you name it, ridiculous, dangerous, et cetera, et cetera. And, but that it’s It’s important that voice speak out, but it’s also important that voice say, I can see we’re making no progress here.

I will leave it to everyone who’s been following along to make their own judgments. I’m pretty sure that I like stayed on the path of like logic and fact and trying to share not attack and whatever else it might be. And unfortunately that time is sometimes that even enrages them more because then you’re, oh, now you’re being all judgmental.

It’s you are absolutely correct. Look at the scheme of notes that we’ve put together. And mine really have been that like listening to what you said and replying to a specific point and not trying to go into so sophistry where I wanna win the argument more than I want to be like rational and logical and decent.

Sometimes that’s the be best thing you can do is call people out on, man, you gotta get better at this. If you’re gonna participate online, you suck in terms of how much you are trying to have a discussion instead of a disagreement, an argument, you suck in terms of don’t say something as fact and not say, Hey, I wouldn’t mind reading that study myself.

Oh, I can’t find it. It just it’s so easy nowadays in a minute of searching for virtually anything that whenever somebody does that says, I’m sure that I read this and this is true, and then they can’t come up with it. It’s I’m pretty sure you’re a liar. I’m pretty sure you misremember that.

I’m pretty sure that you’re wrong. And it’s okay to like also say I’m gonna be the guy that thinks the truth is important. Because there’s so many people that couldn’t care less. They just want what they want and they’re willing to say and do anything to get it. And I think. The truth is how multiple people get to share, not just you and me, but all the world can say, how would I decide?

It goes all the way back to high school debate. You know who won, right? The very smart points in the debate. I have a direct quote from the guy who is the expert that did the study, that whatever. And what you’ve got is hearsay and crap. So I win and nowadays the world doesn’t want to think that the world is that way and yet it, that assertion is continually proven wrong.

And all the dunning Krugers of the world, they’re not only incompetent, but they don’t even know how to judge how incompetent they are. It’s okay to expose them as that. You don’t know. I, it’s kinda funny. I’m sure this. A little baiting, but sometimes after a real crazy thing. I just have to go you don’t know what you’re talking about.

I don’t even wanna reply to what they said. It’s the amount of stuff I’m I go with quotes from any number of places. I’ve seen the quote along the lines of the amount that I’d have to explain to you to get to where you really understand why the world is not flat. It’s not up to me to do that.

It’s too much wasting of my time. Go read any book. Go read history. Go learn astronomy. I just gotta, I was just gonna , I probably will post this later. So one of the interesting things that, to show you the world is a big place is I’m in California, you’re in Ohio, there’s three time zones different.

So while you’re doing 10 o’clock, I have to be up able to get up early enough to do seven o’clock . How many time zones there would be if the earth was flat, two under and over, and the world would flip based on when the sun goes. And like I just, how can people not get the most sick? And of course there’s people that argue we shouldn’t have time zones anymore.

That was a they get the paranoia thing. Plot by the government, by the railroads, by the, you name, the places. It’s think of what a brilliant idea it was to say, we know the earth goes revolves. And that the sun we, that the day has 24 hours. And the way that we’re gonna keep some sense is not by maintaining one time.

And that six o’clock, 6:00 AM means darkness here and light here. You had to have some way of saying there’s a shared experience for humanity as we do that rotation. And yet people wanna argue that no that it’s, we don’t need that. And it’s even, and boiled down in the weird do we need daylight savings time or not?

I was just gonna say that, that’s, don’t wanna do it are like are you rational? Are you not willing to say, why should we or shouldn’t we have it? Because the half of adjusting a clock twice a year is more important than. Crops getting done, industry trains, whatever, all the other things that, that daylight savings time is meant to do, kids going to school correctly, and that there’s been studies and they say it really is, that there’s more grogginess or less, that there’s more productivity or less, et cetera, et cetera, because we adjust ourselves to the different start time people want more and the morning than they want in the afternoon, whatever else it might be.

A lot of the ways you have to talk to people is what are the criteria that you’re using to make the decision here? And it can’t just be, you’ve got one criteria and you’re gonna stick your fucking heels in the crown and say, nothing matters more than this. Because the world is big and complex and messy, and you are wrong.

It isn’t only about one thing. Maybe there’s one issue out of a hundred that really is boiled down to a litmus test and everything else is, it matters, things change. It’s not, what about, it’s not destructive arguments that try to take you away from a main point, but it’s like unbalance. Now.

What do you think? Oh oh First we do have Greenwich meantime, so you can go by a central time and use that. But that’s going to change too once we get a base on Mars and once we explore other planets and go outside our solar system. I know that’s not happening next year, but that’ll totally we can’t keep the same time then and the whole thing with what you were saying about people arguing or whatever, my conspiracy theory fear is that.

Stephen: Politicians, other governments, just rabble rousers. Start these little rumors, start little things that distract everybody to be focused on the stupid things so they can go and do. I’m I don’t have much faith in politicians and I truly can’t believe that they want it for power. They don’t give a shit about the rest of us, and they will say or do anything to get that power, and then they don’t care.

We’ve seen that with the election and what they were proving with Russian coming in and hacking things and sending up all these false news articles and stuff that people started to believe. I’ll watch Star Wars. That’s at least It’s funny.

Alan: I, I, that really is, that’s a, an interesting topic of discussion because even that thing you just said, I don’t trust all politicians. It isn’t true for me. I trust some because they’ve proven to be in line with what I think is important. They really do speak to facts. They try to be as inclusive as possible.

They try to get people to come to what can we share that we know together is true, and then build from there instead of saying, Nope, you’re entirely right, I’m entirely wrong. Vice versa. It’s weird. Even just the, in the tactic they take as to how they’re gonna have the discussion. I think that the Elizabeth Warrens of the world, the Russ Fein Golds of the World, the people that we’re really trying to make rational decisions in presenting data I do believe that they are trying to do the best, the fact that their voice is so easily drowned out by all the crazies, right?

You can’t have a Russian balloon over Americans, Russian, Chinese balloon without people spinning tales that have nothing to do with reality, or a fixing blame that has nothing to do with reality, et cetera, et cetera. Everything now is just, it’s kinda like when you see politicians at a debate, and they will stick to their talking points no matter what the question asked is.

And the people that really try to address themselves to the question they automatically have like closer to my vote because they have the discussion that I want, they’re listening, they reply to the main point. They it’s it’s getting harder to find

those, don’t get to poison the entire pool for all politicians.

It’s important to find out the good ones and support the heck out of them so that they aren’t swept away. I could see how many number of people have had to leave Washington because they saw how bad it was getting. And I guess they have their same sense of, am I gonna waste my time here? Am I gonna go be with my ha like by being here, I’m not with my wife and my children, I’m not making my community better.

I’m in this cesspool of what’s happened here. And I guess that’s a tactic, if you wanna screw the world up, make it so that nobody wants to be around to set policy because you’ve made it so terrible to be around and then the bad guys win. It, I think that it’s important.

I, long ago I was in a MAC user group where we really had a bad actor guy who ran the b s and was just dictatorial in his powers, was and was a liar and everything else. He could be bad. And a lot of the people that were in a MAC user group to have fun just so much didn’t deal with him.

Even though part of what. We, the group was good at, was that kind of communication. It took a guy who wa, who was a our street fighter that was going to make sure that every time this guy did something bad, he replied in kind and made that guy just as uncomfortable and just always brought to light the crap he was doing, and finally had a vote of the board and took away the et cetera, et cetera.

But sometimes, Being indecent and not being prepared to deal with the worst of the swine. It really can be to your disadvantage. How much do I really wanna, and reason I say swine is cuz another proverb about that, right? Don’t fight a pig, you’ll get money. And the pig loves it. , it’s important to we have once in a while to do that, to, to stand up, even if it’s gonna be momentarily painful for a greater good. And it happens in mea and it happens in our government and it happens in our local city councils and whatever else it might be. Being a jerk is a tactic.

Stephen: So there, there’s a, you mentioned following the good politician, there’s a local politician, I, off the top of my head, I can’t remember her name, she’s younger.

Maybe 30, 32 right now so she’s still really young and when she was just getting started, She came to the local Memorial Day parades. She came to several events that you never see a politician at. And yeah, I know she was a local politician and she was young, but that endeared her to me a lot more than anyone else that I’ve never seen.

And she came and talked to the scouts who were doing the ceremony at the Memorial Day Parade and things. Yeah, so she’s been moving up in the ranks and she was running for state representative maybe or something down in Columbus. I don’t remember. And I remember seeing a commercial with her opponent bashing her because she has never even been involved or she’s never voted on anything that would help our state.

And I’m like, that’s because she’s not had that position. She’s never had the opportunity to vote. So they made it look like she’s avoiding all this and she’s just corrupt. When she was just like never in a position to do and that I was just like, you know what? I’d vote for her. Just because you’re doing these ads that are so underhanded,


Alan: We’ve talked about this. Carly and I my wife and I never watched network television except when we have to, and by that meaning we, we’ve even stopped watching like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, which were longtime things because they were so alerted with political attack ads and ads for drugs that we don’t need, and cars that you get a big bow on at Christmas.

Cuz that’s the way to wreck a relationship is, Hey honey, I bought a $35,000 item without checking with you first. So having said that, it’s it really is. Sometimes it isn’t only who you’re gonna vote for, but you absolutely know that you’re not gonna vote for someone, especially when they have the little thing X, Y, Z approves this.

Man, if you watch this like I did and you approve of it, you are scum. You are terrible in what you’re willing to put out there. That is an obviously a lie, obviously misleading, and yet you want that position so much that you’re willing to really besmirch another human being who does visit the scouts.

And you know what, , man, I ,

Stephen: we Alright we’re going down the political rabbit hole. That’s something we, we don’t usually like to do. We start with social media. Yeah.

Alan: To make it geeky. I think what’s important is like there really are resources that we can use, to judge the quality of people or I just, I’ve recently posted the latest edition of the media bias chart that Ad Fontes Media does.

And it’s a nice little pyramid where the things that are most unbiased and most unpolitically skewed are at the top. And so if you want to get news. Good stuff presented intelligently and clearly you go to these and then you see trailing down all the other leaning left or right wing and where it’s not even attempting fact, it’s all fantasy and evil.

And then you, whenever I see someone quote from one of those lower right-hand or lower left-hand sources, it’s often I automatically don’t believe you. The fact that I know you’re listening to that enough, Catherine, and that you are gonna share that with others because you, that’s, you are proud of what they’re doing here.

Saying here that they’ve twisted the facts, that they’ve got an obvious bias. Like it lets me know a lot about you. And and of course there are people that immediately upon sharing that chart, they’ll tell you all about why the chart is. And it’s I’m pretty sure that they’ve done more study, that their criteria are higher quality than yours are, but because you like the certain source and it skews wrongly, you’re gonna intact the entire methodology of doing this.

It’s kinda like a Socratic dialogue where you can’t say a series of yeses to reasonable questions, but, and they lead invariably to a conclusion. And that’s when you say no. If all this is true up till here, logic says the next yes is true as well. But that’s when you go, I just can’t, I can’t do it.

It’s then , I dunno what to tell you .

Stephen: It’s kinda funny. I’ll disprove your triangle by quoting one of the lowest ranked And in fact, just that if this lower right hand triangle attacks the media bias chart, it’s like what do you think their agenda is? , you know what? If there’s number of places this happens, not only of course with that chart, but there’s a dozen good.

Alan: Unbiased fact finding sources out there. You go to the Southern Poverty Law Institute, you go to Snopes, you go to there’s, you can see here’s how they do what they do. They go to original sources. They find multiple sources. So there’s corroboration and they will tell you what the truth of it is so far as they know, and they’ll often give you a confidence level, is it liar pants on fire or. Almost certainly true and everything in between. And the people that immediately attack those for they don’t know what they’re doing. That’s kinda like Wikipedia. Wikipedia can be that in the moment. It’s someone has changed it so that it’s unfactual, but you’ve got a thousand pairs of eyes watching this to make sure that most of it gets to true.

So it’s self-correcting. Is your media source self-correcting? No. It’s, you’ve got enablers, you’ve got bias, and they’re looking to get more eyeballs because they’re outrageous, et cetera, et cetera. So a large part of how I find out about the quality of people in my geek way is how do you even approach getting to the truth?

If you’ve already decided, then you only look for corroborating evidence. You’re lost. You can’t possibly be as rigorous as you and me as sns as at font, or you just can’t, they’re, or least the odds are really low. And then, so the odds are, if that’s the.

If that’s how you got two seconds, two minutes to interact with me, and the tack you take is to quote from this thing you just saw on Fox News. It’s I thank you because now I know I really don’t need to waste any more time with you . You know what I mean? If you’re really quoting from Fox News, I know that you’re lost, that’s what you regularly watch, or that you remembered watching something deeply enough that’s what you’re gonna bring into this and the fact, oh, it does have news in the title.

Oh, that, that’s right. That’s what makes it true. And the fact that they had people that actually testified in court, we know it’s not news. We know it’s fabrication, it’s entertainment, it’s lies. That

Stephen: was a lawyer that, that, that lawyer said you can’t quote us on that because it’s just entertainment.

It’s not news. That I was like, oh my God, are you kidding me? people are still like I heard it on Fox News . They claim it’s entertainment. It’s as reliable as me watching the rookie with Nathan Fillon last night, . That must what cops say and do entertainment folks

Alan: It’s kinda funny just the fact that Canada, if I remember correctly, was where that suit was brought because they have rules about media that you can’t knowingly lie.

And we used to have at least balanced reporting that we had to present both sides. And it used to be that Lider liable and slander were much more. Fully enforced and the United States has given up on that every single day with 300 channels to fill with time. We just say everyone’s gonna lie.

And so it’s up to every one of our citizens to get to the truth. Somehow in that vast pile of manure, they’re supposed to find the one little gem of truth instead of the government kind of being involved in. Maybe we should put some teeth into the truth is a public common wheel, important thing, and we shouldn’t let ourselves go down the pooper so readily by having it be that this is, it’s as wrong as it is.

It’s obviously powerful propaganda works. You know what I mean? Cause the

Stephen: minute the government defense , the minute the government steps in with a rule or regulation, you get all the Fox News watchers going, oh, that my first Amendment rights, I’m a free speech. I can say and do whatever. You can’t control that.

I, that it’s beat my head on the wall time

Alan: Right? That’s and that’s what I, what they what the reason, from what I understand that here in the United States, they do this because there is a redress it is that you, the government is not gonna step in, but people really can sue for libel and slander.

And it’s like, then that makes everything okay. Not if Fox News Corp has billions of dollars of resources and hundreds of lawyers that they can hurl at you to, you name it, defame you, terrify you, et cetera, et cetera. But I’ll take up the fight about how, what they said about the train wreck at the edge of Ohio that has spilled toxic waste.

What’s the truth of that? In order to be on Aaron Brockovich nowadays, in order to be any kind of whistleblower or real investigative journalist, you really have to of take your life into your hands. Here in the United States, at least, we haven’t started just saying kill ’em. But as that we know of the world in.

the Arabic countries and the Latin American countries. And I’m trying not to I, there’s, I, we can, I can name things. The people that you must have heard at this point about like the Panama Papers and various different things that show how the secret monied cabals really do run the world. And here’s where they hide their money.

And everybody who reported on that at some point has been car bombed or killed in other ways. And so it’s wow, I can’t wait to be the co reporter that takes that story on, why in the world it’s important that the world know about that kind of stuff. But nowadays it’s not a matter of you write you what you write and I’ll write what I write and we’ll see which truth wins.

It’s more silence them. and good Lord. And not, and that’s funny again, to geek it up, it isn’t only about finding fact. It’s like in any way that you might disagree about humor, let’s say. So what happened in France with, they did a story about, oh no Muslim elements as I recall, and their office got bombed.

I was it a story, it might even have been that they were, they either printed a picture of Mohamed or they said they were going to do it. And of course that’s fanatically wrong in the Muslim religion. Islam says you can’t do that. And yet, you know what? Not everybody is Islamic. And so where’s free speech there?

They’re fanatic enough to say we will expand our religion everywhere that we can by terror, if that’s what it takes. And so the geeky aspect of it, think how brave it is nowadays to go, I know I’m going up against a billion people and yet it can’t be that. A religion that, that so denigrates women that so has the solution to an author that they don’t like is to put out a fat, a death sentence on Salman Rushie and so forth.

Isn’t there something that everybody in the world can say that’s not the right religion then, is it? We can’t have a religion that says those things be the one that everybody should adhere to. Because you know what? Women are fully equal. They’re not half men and authors shouldn’t be able to say whatever they want and not worry about, the council decided we didn’t like you, and so we’re gonna kill you.

Civilization has to march forward, not backwards, and not get frozen in time from 2000 years ago or 900 ad or whatever the founding thing of this. And so it’s worth saying as a geek, you can’t help but compare and contrast between world religions and pretty much every Abrahamic religion has things about how women are not equal.

And so I can’t agree with any of them because I am pretty sure that every human being, even women good Lord, have in incredible beauty and power and intelligence and value worth in this world. And that no, you can’t just treat ’em like chattel. You can’t, they’re not your possession. Yeah. I guess you know, here.

Sorry. Sorry. Now a zencaster gets a fat on me , but it’s I, it’s weird. How can you say such an obviously true thing is that, and have someone say, Nope, I disagree and I’m coming after you. Why? We, if there’s any reason that we should be in the Arab states, What an outrageous thing I’m gonna say.

It’s not to get their oil, it’s to stop them from treating women terribly. If you wanted to be a force for civilization, you’d be, maybe you should have everyone inci in your society have value. They should go to school, they should have a voice. They shouldn’t drive a car. They should wear as whatever they want.

And yet, boy, those are like that sentence type things, that’s not right. You know that, that’s not reasonable. Rational, decent, questionable .

Stephen: You get up on a the Fox News thing and the news, one of the other problems is that we have all these AI now. And the AI are writing a lot of the news articles when you go read a mo, like 80% of the news articles that you read are actually written by an ai and not even just that article, they do AB testing on these.

They will have an AI in 30 seconds, write a hundred different articles and they’ll put ’em up all over and see which one’s more popular cuz that’s the one that’s getting the clicks and stuff. But the problem is the AI is basing what it’s writing on the information that it already has. So the more bad information and the bad stuff you put out there, the more the AI read from that and write more of it and keep adding to it.

And then suddenly it becomes fact, even though we know it’s absolutely false or you shouldn’t believe it, but wow, I’ve seen it so many times now. So it’s an disaster. It’s such evidence that the training bias of what you feed as the input is going to be. Wow. It is, no wonder though, that’s a little bit more outrageous because if 40% of the news is outrageous, you don’t winnow out the lies.

Alan: You winnow what people seem to write like, and they will include more inflammatory words. They will play fast and loose with facts and they’ll write, I, the biggest thing that I’ve noticed as AI has been used more and more is they’re very repetitive. And I think that maybe that’s, in some cases a human being wants to fill out 300 words cuz that’s what they’re contracted to do.

So they will repeat things. But I catch up on that relatively quickly is oh I, no, I’ve seen that twice. Maybe it’s repetitive because it’s meant to be reinforcing and I’ll remember it better, but it seems like this is what a five-year-old does to maybe, let’s say 10 or 15 to lengthen that report so that the teacher will say, yep, you gave me a hundred words.

And so I. I object in the same way that you do, Ben. I don’t if that’s a thousand times more efficient than a human being writing things, it’s going to be, I guess the same kind of thing. Most of what as standard news is gonna be pap. It’s gonna be just the most lowest common denominator churned out stuff.

And so I’m starting to say, who do I already know enough about that I value what they’re writing and I wanna read their stuff cuz I’m they vouch for Yep. Every word that Warren Ellis writes on his blog is his, everything that Robert Wright writes is his. And that that Heather Richardson does.

I’m having to become like a fan of not publications where they churn things out, but individuals. Cuz that way at least I can respect the individual and I’m getting to where I’m more willing to pay for that than ever before because I do get a novel viewpoint, a learned viewpoint, that it’s not just.

Celebrity news or political stuff churned out or whatever else it might be. I hope that the rest of the world gets to that point, but the more that news becomes free, they’re, who’s gonna pay for free? Who’s gonna pay for something not free, I should say. They’re just gonna say whatever I saw online, I’m just gonna keep, let ’em shovel it at me.

It’s you’re worsening your life. You know what I mean? You’re giving up another little defense that you could have against the worst of stuff.

Stephen: Oh, . Here, so let’s shift gears a little bit. Here’s a defender of the innocent injustice and someone who will step up to make things right.

The doctor.

Alan: The doctor, exactly. Doctor who exactly

Stephen: this, and I brought this up because, I have not always watched Dr. Who I’ve always known of Dr. Who, and it’s been on the periphery, but when I was younger it wasn’t something I watched a lot of, unlike a few of my friends. And then in the recent iteration, my kids got into it and I was like, eh, Dr.

Who’s been around forever. So you

Alan: know’s probably gonna catch up on 50, 60 years worth of Dr.

Stephen: Who. Exactly. Yeah. I was like, yeah, I wasn’t that interested. But when the 50th anniversary came out and they had the three doctors and it was in the theater, I took my kids to it cuz they were excited. I got them t-shirts and it was a big deal to go do, and then for Christmas we got the disc and they loved it and watched it and they knew those doctors really well. Well over the last couple years I’ve gotten into it a little bit more and Matt Smith has become my doctor. He sold me on it because Okay. I watched the, a couple episodes with him and I’m like, I can relate to this guy.

I know him. You know that’s how it so I’ve started to watch a little bit more and I went back and watched the 50th anniversary. So I’ve been watching Dr. Who off and on random episodes here and there for about four years now. And I hadn’t watched the 50th anniversary again. And I watched it and I’m like, oh my gosh, this makes a whole lot more sense.

And there’s all these little yeah. You And Tenant and Smith are just fantastic doctors Absolutely. And actors. But what I love about Dr. Who the newest iteration I haven’t gotten through all the old stuff yet. Yes, I am going through all the old stuff. . Okay. But it’s an anachronism in today’s world because it’s very tongue in cheek.

It makes fun of itself. It’s not trying to be ultra realistic. It’s not trying to be super scientific. And if the doctor points a screwdriver at something and then it just does something. There’s no scientific explanation. There’s no it happens because it has this mechanism. No, it’s just because it’s an easy convenience for it.

Alan: It’s a magic wand. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Stephen: It’s, but even like Harry Potter magic, they explained the magic, Dr. Who Dunian do that. It’s we don’t care. Pray. Look, it did exactly what I wanted. But I admire that so much because there’s so few things in the world where it’s tongue in cheek and makes fun of itself, and it doesn’t treat the audience as idiots.

It I notice that with a lot of British TV and movies that they don’t spend time telling you, okay, let me point you to the bad guy. Let me show you the bad guy walking through the room. Let me show you the bad guy grabbing it. They just assume you figure that out and they cut that 30 seconds out of whatever and I admire that.

Yeah, so I’ve just watching that 15th anniversary, I just really got a great appreciation for how wonderful Dr. Who really can be and is so I’m

Alan: Very happy for you. I really I am the opposite cuz I’ve seen, except for the know, the first two Cs, first two doctors where they’re really hard to find.

And even back when it was first coming to the States back in the mid seventies that they started with Dr. Who number four and then actually went back to Dr. Who number three and then to find, so it, there’s so much great history there and it has built on itself so well, and it’s always had very much what you say, it’s got whimsy, it’s got tongue in cheek.

It’s got real elements of danger and pathos and other things. But that’s not the overriding soul crushing aspect of it, that it really is. He’s going around having adventures and he gathers companions, that are a whole so much. The contrast or the intermix they find between him and his companions and all the various different villains that he’s had, they’ve done, all the writers have done an incredible job of having all that history, but always being able to introduce new elements or doing re conning where they talk about we knew about Gall is an entirely true and that the incredible innovation of we’re gonna, like when Dr.

Who started, as he was a grandfatherly figure and when they didn’t, he was going to retire. Are they gonna retire the character? No. They came up with the first transformation, the first regeneration, and what an incredible thing that was Then to say, wow, now doctor who can live forever, he does, or at least I think he has 13 lives that and whatever. Sometimes they’ve. Strictures and then they sometimes break them voluntarily and sometimes they’ve come up with a good like you said, kinda like a wave of a magic wand. Sometimes they do try to explain how it was different. Then his energy got diverted and then came back or whatever else it might be.

But kinda like James Bond, it’s given multiple people a chance to play that character and put their own stamp on it and that the villains are often the ones that return. And at first when the, whenever the dos came back, they were the same until the first time that it was like what’s almost defeated?

The do, they can’t go up and down stairs. And then you find out the dos decided to, they learn how to hover, they learn how to teleport and then, they, I love the fact that especially for longtime viewers, and especially if you watch them serially, you really can appreciate whatever was going on in the writer’s rooms, or at least in the main writer’s heads.

What can I do to do a variation on this that’ll make it not just. A sequel where it’s a repeated the first, but it’s a variation on and it moves forward. It introduces new things and stuff and Wow. I have, I’ve loved it for a long time and when it went away for eight years or whatever else it might be.

Yeah. They had some specials in some movies, but it really got canceled because it wasn’t fitting the time. Like I think early nineties was when it went away for a while. And the fact that they’ve been able to bring it back and have some of the best doctors, the most successful doctors now, as you mentioned, David 10, Matt Smith and it’s got funny, Christopher Leston has in a number of interviews, and he was the first one to bring the doctor back when he got revived.

He’s talked about at the time that I left, I was really unhappy with how it was going and I thought it was silly and stuff like that. And he. It’s the most I’ve ever shot myself in the foot in my life, that he should’ve recorded the character more and he would’ve liked to have been a longer standing doctor and things like that.

The things they’re trying now with nowadays it seems to be they’re heading towards woke, funny wokeness in the slightly jiving way of I guess we’re gonna make it a woman and then a person of color and then maybe a woman of color and whatever else it might be. I have no problems with that because the stories have still been fine and each of those doctors has had their own wonderful quirks and stuff like that, that when Jodi Whitaker was the doctor, one of the ongoing gags that I really liked was when people weren’t sure who she was.

And she goes I’m probably Banksy. Don’t worry. I’m not Banksy or am I, and the fact that they’re able to be that acutely topical about someone that really has a mystery to their identity in the world, it’s very fun that they brought that in. I was, I laughed every single time they did that.

So having said that, You have so much to look forward to. Yeah. You know what I mean? The. The generations of Dr. Who and the generations, for instance of the master. Oh, man. If you haven’t,

Stephen: so I know the master in dialect and the right, the Cybermen. I know a lot of the history from back when we were younger, a few episodes here and there, and some of the video games and little bits here and there with my kids.

It’s weird. They would turn something on or Gina and them would turn something on and it’s wow, I’ve seen this episode like five times. Can I watch the next one, please. , but the thing with you know, Jodi Whitaker bringing a woman on bringing the new doctor who, as you said, he’s gonna be a black man on there.

I’ve always said fantasy. Has lend itself to that much more than the world is now catching up to. I have absolutely no problem with any of that as long as they’re doing it because it will make a good doctor not doing it just because I guess we better put a woman on there and then the doctor sucks.

Absolutely. Those stories suck. That would be totally un unex unexcusable in my mind. Bring five women on in a row. I’m fine with that. If they make good doctors and good stories, don’t do it just because they’re women. That’s a fine distinction.

Alan: One of my big things that I was saying was, so you’ve been on, you’ve been watching this series for a long time, and you’ve seen.

How many different alien races this is a pseudo squid person. This person’s green, this person’s got four eyes. But your big objection is gonna be that the doctor went from being a guy to a gal. Don’t, do you not get what this series is about? You know what I mean? Diversity and infinite combinations to bring in Star Trek cause bring in

Stephen: Star Trek, , but that’s what they all complained about with the third inquisitor sister on Kenobi.

That it was a black woman and that was a problem. I. I did honestly, and I’ve said this before, if you would’ve asked me about that character, I would’ve told you about the character and the what they did and blah, blah, blah. And the really cool parkour scene that she had and all that.

Exactly. And if you brought up was it a black or white woman? I, for I honestly would have to stop for a minute. Okay. It was a black woman. I’d have to think for second because

Alan: of all the ways that I would portray that character. It’s down here, like number 20 on the list. Yeah. The

Stephen: first thing about, I noticed it, but , yeah.

Yes. So I’m excited for the new one. And here’s the other thing. I, we talked about James Bond a while back. I was all on board with the group saying, Idriss Elba should be the next James Bond. I think that would be, I think he’d do good because of him, not because he’s a black guy’s, because of him

Alan: intensity, he has like presence and danger to him and stuff like that.

Yeah. Yeah.

Stephen: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, there’s my getting back in the Dr. Who a little bit. Of course now the kids are gone and they’re not watching it. So I’m kinda I’m watching Dr. Who by myself, still enjoying it. But ,

Alan: honestly, I that, I think that’s another one. And I’ve mentioned this phenomenon too.

I tend to not watch that. Oh, I’ll just watch 10 episodes in a row. I tend to watch one episode of maybe half a dozen different things that I’m interested in, because I like the time in between to let my mind kind of process of what’s gonna happen next and what do I think about that, and stuff like that.

And I think that Dr. Who really might also benefit from that, it’s meant to be episodic. It used to air like once a week, then twice a week in Britain, if I remember right. When we first got it, it was like the combination of two episodes to become a 48 minute conglomerate. You know what I mean?

They, we did things before the world became our episode, American television, if you will. But you have so much to look forward to and it’s not only of with the new ones, but if you go back you’ll be able to say, oh, that’s the first appearance of the Sea Devils. And Wow.

How long was it between that appearance of the Sea Devils and now, cuz there’s some things that they’ve really done that with that they’ve introduced so many cool things with new cool things. The silence and whatever else it might be the Weeping angels. But then once in a while someone says I always had a soft spot fantastic four kind book that it with a character called The Molecule Man.

He was like in Fantastic four, number three and then didn’t return until 1 45 or something like that. Divide by 12, like almost 12 years, they let him right. Be in limbo. And I just love that where people have such memory, such history and stuff like that, that they find a way to not only bring him back, but to say, why haven’t we heard Ramin in 12 years?

Oh, because he was shunted into a limbo dimension or because, and actually now that I think of it, I think Space Phantom was another one of those that in the Avengers, he was like in Avengers number two and didn’t come back for 10 years. And so I love the fact that they didn’t just bring him back as a stunt.

They actually. Made a plot out of it, had a whole backstory, had a whole he’s still a menacing thing, et cetera, et cetera. I’ve always loved that the skill of reconning and like super and here another cool thing, supernatural almost always had an arching big menace for each season.

And some were better than others. Yeah. And you’ll find that out a little bit about Dr. Who, that there’s often an overarching plot for an entire season and sometimes it comes to a big and satisfying co climax. And sometimes it’s yeah, I saw that coming. You know what I mean? That it, this there, the quality varies based on the head writer or based on they just had an off year or who knows what.

But there really are, when it’s at its best, it’s as good as anything else out there being made. What’s that? I should have this quote directly cuz it matters the the universe trembles when a good man goes to war. Wait until you get that real quote. It’s great. ,

Stephen: right?

Alan: Ok. Alright, so

Anyway, .

Stephen: So the other cool thing for me and you have a list here, we haven’t even touched on most of your list yet. , what was your

Alan: conference? That’s the first thing I, cause you were, last week we didn’t do the podcast. You were.

Stephen: For work. It was great. For the company it was wonderful. It’s the first time in three years a lot of we had 200 companies there, almost 500 people, and we were running the whole thing.

Okay. And it went very well. There were very few problems that I noticed and just about everything was ahead of schedule to be prepared for. So things just went super and I’m so glad it did. Me personally, what

Alan: was the theme? It was like, it was high Geekary, right? It was, oh gosh. National, international, sorry.

Stephen: Yeah. It was all business. We do an a yearly awards ceremony for human capital management and learning and development within business. And it’s a very prestigious industry award in the niches. Talent management h HR and human capital management learning development. Very. High praised awards that let anybody outside of those industries know nothing about

Let the gala, where we gave out the awards was tuxedos. Very cool ball. So it’s a very business, but, oh man. But there were, I was gonna bring this up and I forgot all about it. There were two companies that did presentations on. One was on meta was there, the Facebook people, and they talked about the metaverse and how VR is going to change.

and change business cuz there’s a business focus. And then there was a group there, I forget who, but they talked about chat, G P T and how it’s a game changer in the business world and how that will change things. I didn’t get to sit in on the talks, but I was like, my gosh these are relevant and new.

It’s not the same old, Yes. Stuff. And they’re really pushing the boundaries in the business world with this. So I was like, that is to me from the geek standpoint, amazing. That they’re talking about people are wearing suits and ties and they’re running a business and they’re talking about chat G p T.


Alan: blew my mind yet. It’s fine. I’ll tell you for sure by the time that we talk next, and I’m sure in many months to come, I have been. Dipping a toe into all those things. Chat, g p T, and the AI-based art generation, AI-based conversation, et cetera, et cetera. You know what I mean? That old touring test of how do you know something’s almost human?

Cuz you can’t distinguish between having a conversation. This is like another planet. This is so light years beyond any rusty thing that we used to talk about like that, that I’m really curious. How do I interact with those things? How do I guide them? How do I get guided by them? I’m gonna be investigating that a ton, and we can start, that’ll be one wonderful, relentless, geeky, yet it’s finest to see.

Yeah. The state of the art is, the world is shifting. It’s there’s incredible horizons opening up as an investor. I’m like, okay, how do I, I’ve been buying into various different companies and videos, stuff like that are doing it, that are making use of it, that are applying it to big problems, that are applying it to everyday problems.

And so I there’s no better way to. Encourage that in by saying, I’m willing to pay you to do more of this . You know what I mean? So I’m, I love smart people and I love people that like, this is disruptive technology at its finest. It’s not. Take what they’re doing and beat ’em at their own game, do it a little bit better.

It’s more a technology that’s gonna make certain technologies like unnecessary, not even obsolete, but just like they just don’t need to be around anymore. I’m fascinated by, I’ve always tried to find about those technical trends and get in front of them, be able to speak to them and work with them and stuff like that.

And this is huge. This is galactic. This is really cool. Yeah. And I, is that my finest phrase? It’s not just interesting. It’s cool

Stephen: and it’s so new and cutting edge really chat. G p T is the first good example of ai talk, chatting. And really it’s only been in our forefront six months, eight months or so mid journey that a year-ish, and yet they’re already doing presentations for business about this.

That’s how fast it’s moving and getting into the world. So all these people are like chap, g p t. It’s not like talking to a real person and it doesn’t do this. I’m like, you’re missing the point. It jumped to this point in less than a year and think what it’s going to jump in five years.

And it’s that really that big .

Alan: Yeah. tell you I love knowing about smart people. Stephen Wolfrem, a guy, the guy that did Wolfrem Alpha a wonderful let’s call it the ultimate math engine. The ultimate solver also did Wolf from El he did a knowledge engine that was like you could freeform ask at any question what’s the population of Madagascar and Boo in like real time.

Tapped into everything that had ever been hosted. Talked about database anywhere and could give you answers to things. And so that was, if you will an amazing breakthrough to be able to tap into that kind of knowledge so quickly. The fact that now you might be able to not only have the tap into that knowledge, but it’s aware of.

The various different significances of those various different knowledges, and they start to do what human beings do, which is synthesize and sift and compare and contrast and that kind of stuff. That’s such a wonderful next big step. I don’t know whether Wolfrem is involved with his own version of these various different things.

I know that he just has a big thing about here’s how the math that I enveloped in a new kind of science really understands here’s these laws of thermodynamics and how they’re true, no matter how many ways you look at them. So there’s certain things that we just take as axioms, as tenants of we’ve everywhere we’ve seen it, it’s been this way.

But now it’s if you think of the universe as being inform. and in every way that we look at how information is bandied about these things are always true. That’s like a whole different level of how to think about the way the universe works, the way our world works, and does it scale? Does it go from cosmic to here to micro and all?

I just, I love, even if I don’t almost fully understand it when I first read G Escher Bach and was like, all right, I think I got incompleteness theory, but I might have to reread some sections of this , there’s still something very heartening to be like, I don’t know, man, going through a school, I hardly ever ran into something that I couldn’t read overnight and get it, i, sorry I’m a smart in that way. When you read about something that really is pushing the boundaries of not only what I can understand, but what humanity can understand, how thrilling it is to be allowed to touch it to read about that kind of stuff, so I’m, that’s my big. Enthusiasm for all the latest AI development is that I think I’m gonna be continually like just shaking my head with, they really can do that.

This is like technology sufficiently advanced to become magic. I wanna be in on this. I wanna understand this enough so that I can play with it, harness it have it teach me. Like I was saying, I’m just, I’m fascinated and I have, I’ve just dipped a toe in, so there that’s . My, my take on AI is, man, it’s gonna, So thrilling to some and so terrifying to some, and we’ll see how the world pursues this so well.

Stephen: There’s a lot of people that are saying, oh it’s not that good yet. It’s not this. It’s okay, but just saying it’s not that good yet. Is you trying to deny how quickly it’s moving up and how good it really is, and what it’s right it can do. Am I delusional that I can go to chat g p t and solve all my problems and do it?

No, I’m not . I’ve used it and I asked it something I was writing the geolocation app I was working on for my phone and I went there and said, Hey, I wanna write a Android geolocation app blah, blah, blah. And it quoted me pretty much what I had already been found and followed, except there’s two steps missing.

So it didn’t really get it all right. So I’m not delusional on that. But the fact that it did it in that way is so many steps above a Google search , yeah. Very cool. Yeah. Hey, before we go real quick, and I know you know this I, I am, oh this hurt me, Alan. This really hurt me.

Yeah. So coming up is the steel city con in March, I think. That Richard Dean Anderson is going to be at, and Okay, so I’m going to go meet him. He’s like when they ask I’m gonna give, okay. I’m gonna give this away, so I’m gonna have to go change it. You know those questions for logging in.

Who’s your hero? It’s always MacGyver. That’s mine for me. And I just, everybody’s gonna hack my shit now. Okay. So I’m super excited. I’m going to take my Swiss army knife I’ve had since I’ve 15, if they’ll let me in with it, and I’m gonna have ’em sign that. So that’s very cool. That’s super cool.

Alan: But I’ll make sure that I render up legends so you can have that signed by him.

That’d be cool.

Stephen: Yeah. Okay. I and I told the comic store, I’d work for them Saturday, Sunday, so I’m gonna have to go Friday to get his signature and meet him. I was like, oh, I’d love to go for the weekend, but, Colin’s going somewhere, and I already said I’d worked there but whatever. Oh, but still what’s in a life, but this is what really hurt.

Then I was looking, there’s a. Author book convention like down in Virginia called The Scares That Care. It’s Horror Writers. And it’s for a good cause. The, a large percentage of the money gets donated to cancer research or something like that for kids. Okay. And one of my favorite new authors, Jeff Strand, is he goes to that every year and he’s going to be at it as usual.

And I was just looking it over to see, and Arman Shimerman is going to be there, and I talked to him about my podcast. I’m like, oh my gosh, I would love to meet him in person and talk to him about some of the things we really talked about. It’s the same weekend that I’m working in Richard d and I’m like, I can’t do both.

And I was so disheartened.

Alan: It’s I’ll tell you I am I plan things for Colleen and I all the time, and now, especially with the world opening backup post Covid, can’t tell you how many collisions I’m having. There’s a cool comic book thing this weekend, and it’s the same weekend as a Messa thing.

There’s a cool pinball thing. It’s the same weekend as a comedy weekend, and man, , I know you guys don’t have to talk to each other, but you’re really screwing with my life, . So I feel your pain. I, that’s one of those things. If wow. It’s not that far from Pennsylvania to Virginia. I would’ve tried to do both of those things, if at all I could.

But like you said, you’ve already made you can’t find a proxy to work for you at the store somehow. You got a whole

Stephen: bunch to work on it. , if I can, if they can get somebody else to work at the store, I’m gonna do that. I’m gonna go to see Richard Dean Enson Friday and drive down and meet Armon and Jeff Strand on Saturday.

I will do that. Very cool. Very good. We’ll see. We’ll see.

Alan: Okay. Alright. Congratulations.

Stephen: We have a of things we’ll for

Alan: next time. Okay. California. Thank you. It’s yeah, that’s, that would be my big news. I’m getting ready to drive cross country. I’m here in California. Yes. I inherited a wonderful comic book collection from a friend, like the kind of stuff that you don’t wanna put in the mail because you would just break down crying if you lost it.

So I got 15 boxes of comics that I’m putting in. I’ve just rented a one way s u v, so I’d have enough to get the Kai folks get the last stuff outta my parents’ house. A lot of the last stuff, not it’s too much but, and then I’m gonna be doing a cross country drive. And actually I always love these, I have had great success with at the end of a big project to not fly back, but drive back and take 2, 3, 4 days to just kinda clear your head. Think about where am I and where do I want to go and how am I gonna get there? Where, who am I in my life? And I don’t know, I find that being surrounded by, in this case, snowy, natural beauty the drone of the road doesn’t put me to sleep. It actually is okay, it’s a big task that I gotta get done and it’s the only thing I have to get done today.

There’s something very satisfying to getting done. And so I’m gonna be doing this is probably be like the longest road trip solo I’ve ever done. And I I made, wow, I’ve driven to California from Chicago and from Denver. From Cleveland and stuff. But this is gonna be that I, in the past I would’ve popped out and whoa, as long as I’m here, I might as well go see London Bridge at Havasu.

And, but in this case it’s really trying to get back before Valentine’s Day, the Super Bowl, that kind of stuff. So I’m gonna be very purposeful and just enjoy the beauty . So anyway. Nice. We’ll see you next week. You have a safe trip. Yep. Talk to you later. Thank

you very much, Steven. Bye-bye.

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