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Ep 884[Ep 885] Shove It Down [2:05:22]
Recorded: Sat, 2024-May-25 UTC
Published: Sun, 2024-May-26 00:36 UTC
Ep 886
On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan are all over the place, discussing everything from the death of the President of Iran, to the situation in Gaza, to the latest dumb uses of AI, with a bunch of other things in between. So settle in and enjoy the ride! And stay past the end for a couple pitches for a Curmudgeon’s Corner movie!
  • (0:00:36-0:39:58) But First
    • In Person vs Virtual
    • Pandemic Revisited
    • Masks Work
    • Book: Mostly Harmless (1992)
  • (0:40:59-0:59:00) A Block
    • Iranian President Dead
    • Helicopter Safety
  • (0:59:50-2:02:32) B Block
    • Trump Update
    • ICC/Israel/Gaza/Biden
    • Stupid Misused AI
    • Alito and Thomas
    • Dumb Phones

Automated Transcript

Sam:
[0:01]
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Ivan:
[0:03]
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Sam:
[0:08]
Usual pattern, just start. Okay, here we go. Welcome to curmudgeon's corner for saturday may 25th 2024 it's just after two utc as we're starting to record i am sam mentor and ivan bow is here again hello ivan, hi and i see you are back at home back like you know without the craziness of travel i guess you're like with with your good mic in front of your computer in your home office all yeah all excited and ready to go yes and and i will.

Ivan:
[1:10]
Pre-announce here that i.

Sam:
[1:12]
Will not.

Ivan:
[1:12]
Be here the next two weeks.

Sam:
[1:14]
Oh okay we will we will get the requests out to try to look for co-hosts the next two weeks then yeah.

Ivan:
[1:22]
Yeah i think it's gonna be i i think next week is definitely not going to be dual. I'm going to have to go back to Guatemala. Okay. You know, obviously I don't want the pandemic to come back.

Sam:
[1:37]
Okay. Yes. But you like not traveling?

Ivan:
[1:41]
Oh, fuck. I'm so over this. You know, the thing is...

Sam:
[1:47]
You used to like thrive on it, or at least it seemed you did. You used to like it when you were going all over the place, but I guess after a while it got old.

Ivan:
[1:56]
No, I got, you know what? Yes. And, you know, thing is that, For a while, customers got used to just doing everything virtually. And now, I will say that this whole thing of people back in the office and blah, blah, blah. I mean, there's just... Man, I go into a lot of customers where everybody is at the office all the damn time. I mean, they're there all the time.

Sam:
[2:40]
Um, you know, I, and, and this won't be my topic, but I'll just throw it out there. I'd put it on the list that like, not this last week, but the week before was the first time I had been physically in the office five days in a row, like an entire week.

Ivan:
[2:56]
Whoa.

Sam:
[2:56]
And you know, the reason was people had flown in from out of town to like be there all week. And, and then, so I took advantage of the fact that they were there to like do a few things in person there was a lunch there was a thing there was you know a few in-person meetings where we got to chat in a way that we wouldn't remote and that was fine but it's not an every week thing it was like there was a special reason that made it make sense you know well.

Ivan:
[3:26]
Well i remember that you know that was something that would happen because i mean i have not been one to have to go to the office every day, probably for 20 days. Years almost right right okay you know so that that was that hasn't been a thing for me for 20 years but but when when that happened as you mentioned if some people that you work with came in from out of town yeah then that was a week that you had to go to the office every damn day there was no way around it and.

Sam:
[4:02]
It just made sense like i mean.

Ivan:
[4:03]
It makes sense of course they're here like.

Sam:
[4:05]
I i did not mind going all five days because i felt like i was actually getting something out of it that was, you know, good. Whereas like a lot of the times I go into the office and I sit there by myself all day and it makes no sense whatsoever.

Ivan:
[4:19]
Yeah, that makes no, that makes no sense. Yeah. You know, like I, the last couple of times that I've been to Puerto Rico, I have somebody that I'm working with there that I think the main thing I've been trying to do is, well, we've got some accounts where we can do some stuff together. Okay.

Sam:
[4:36]
Okay.

Ivan:
[4:37]
But also they're new to the company. Okay. They actually came from your place of employment to ours.

Sam:
[4:44]
Oh, okay.

Ivan:
[4:44]
And so they need to learn all this shit at this company. And so, you know what? A couple of days spent at a company. I had to go for meetings. I told her, look, we actually have a co-working space. We actually have dedicated desks at the co-working space. We've got that. They're always for us. So we've got a co-working space there in San Juan. So I told her, look, let's go to the conference room and I was able to you know, far more quickly than any of the sessions I'd done remotely, walk her through a number of things to get up to speed with understanding where things are, how do you put stuff together how do the systems work, how do you get approvals, blah blah blah and so, you know, I did a lot of that and, you know, got to spend some time with them that was like not working but just you know, shooting the shit, whatever, and getting to know about them, you know, what they know, what they don't know. And that's, you know, that's helpful. I don't need to be with them every day, but sure. There is a value for that. For, for with that. Okay. Um, so, so, you know, I, I've been doing some of that, but I, you know, I, I, well, I don't know if it's just.

Sam:
[6:02]
I, I'm, but there's a difference between like going to your local office for a few days when somebody visits rather than you being the one flying around visiting other people.

Ivan:
[6:10]
Yeah. And I've, and I've, I, I, I, I, I looked, uh, yeah, I mean, it's just, it's paying my ass. Oh, I, I just, I think it's just, but yeah, my whole thing is that for a while I had been able to get away with like closing a number of important things without having to be there and getting these people's attention in front of them to do this. Okay. But I've encountered several things with customers that, I mean, I had to resort to something I hadn't done in a long time.

Sam:
[6:51]
Was it murder?

Ivan:
[6:52]
No, no, no, no. I've never done that. Just make sure, FBI, everybody, hello? Nobody? We haven't? We haven't?

Sam:
[7:02]
Kidnapping?

Ivan:
[7:03]
No, none of those crimes. We have not committed any felonies that I am aware of. No.

Sam:
[7:10]
No felonies. Okay, I was going to rattle off a few more just to be sure, but, you know.

Ivan:
[7:16]
No misdemeanors. No. No felonies. But I went to, look, I couldn't get an answer from this person. I went to the person's office. I went to the reception and I had them called and brought them and was able to get them to meet with me in person unannounced.

Sam:
[7:38]
Okay.

Ivan:
[7:38]
I skipped the phone, skipped all. Just forget it.

Sam:
[7:42]
Just showed up at the office and I'm in the lobby. Come talk to me.

Ivan:
[7:46]
Yes. Yeah. And that worked.

Sam:
[7:49]
Okay.

Ivan:
[7:51]
So, you know. I mean, there's another person that we had been trying to set up meetings virtually, and they kept blowing them off. So I have now decided that there is just no way of setting up a meeting with this person virtually. I have to actually go, and if there's a meeting, I have to fly there to meet with them in person. And that way, if they have even a scheduled conflict, they'll move around their schedule and make sure they meet.

Sam:
[8:21]
Because they know you flew in for the stupid meeting.

Ivan:
[8:23]
Exactly.

Sam:
[8:24]
Right. Whereas blowing off a virtual call is like whatever.

Ivan:
[8:29]
Exactly. Yeah.

Sam:
[8:31]
Okay.

Ivan:
[8:32]
I've been having to do more traveling. Wanting to do i really got it's just i i got used to the routine you know and manu's older yeah i'm older yep you know i i'm not i i will say i i'm not i mean last week i was exhausted doing that that podcast last week i was dying yeah.

Sam:
[9:01]
And and then thank thankfully for you your internet died or whatever and i.

Ivan:
[9:06]
Mean the internet died or whatever it just it just completely decided to just i mean there was just no way of getting that damn thing to complete it just refused to so yeah i i you know so yeah so i'm it's.

Sam:
[9:23]
Okay yvonne i finished up without you i managed i.

Ivan:
[9:27]
Tried my best i.

Sam:
[9:28]
Know but you were you even when like you got a little bit of a second and win but when we when we first started you're already clearly exhausted oh.

Ivan:
[9:37]
I was just man i mean i'd woken up i mean look that day i woke up super early i went you know get took manu to to school, i took a flight no i didn't take monitor school i left early because it was i had to take an earlier flight i got there i went i dragged this customer out i went to what went to the office went to an event you know you know well i mean i wasn't even planning on going to the event what happened was that i showed up at a restaurant and there were these people were there that i know that i do business with and i'm like oh yeah.

Sam:
[10:16]
You told that story last week yeah.

Ivan:
[10:18]
Yeah so so you know so so that i mean so it just dragged on forever and next week i know it's going to drag on forever, So, I mean, so yeah, I'm not for another pandemic, but I have to say that there were definitely some plus sides to everybody deciding that they have to work remotely.

Sam:
[10:44]
Well, I remember saying during the pandemic that aside from all the people dying and being sick, it was awesome. It was awesome.

Ivan:
[10:56]
It was great.

Sam:
[10:57]
I got to stay home. Nobody wanted me to go out. I didn't have to see people. All perfect.

Ivan:
[11:06]
You know, virtually, I was going through some old pictures and things that I have over the last couple of years.

Ivan:
[11:14]
And you know one of the sad things about the pandemic is that i i came up on the on the note that when we announced that my my sister-in-law's parents died because they both that same day of covet like right at the beginning start of the pandemic that was that was i was you know just reading the note it's just just horrible and uh i did find also i was wondering i for a a while i didn't know but i had the so dumb i didn't look in my videos that i had saved on my phone i found this video that i had of the measures that we had in in wuhan.

Ivan:
[11:54]
At the office to receive people when we reopened the office in china okay okay i mean and you know that that i i laugh because it made anybody over here complaining about about you know anything that we did in the u.s compared to what the hell we were doing over there it was just it's just you know over here we're asking for a person to put on a little mask and whatever listen when When people showed up, I don't know, we were spraying them with disinfectant from head to toe. We were checking their temperature. We were doing, you know, I don't know, multiple checks. They were like, basically, their hands were like basically drenched in hand sanitizer. I mean, it was just an entire ritual for each person to go into the office. People over here just bitching about wearing a damn mask.

Sam:
[12:47]
Mm-hmm. Yep.

Ivan:
[12:50]
Yeah. still hear people about bitching about people wearing masks you know i realize now that over here there are certain people and with good reason okay that you know are probably i especially i see them working in like public situations right where they're wearing masks all all the time and you know what i get it if you're exposed.

Sam:
[13:11]
To strangers all the time every day it's prudent.

Ivan:
[13:15]
Yeah. I mean, it's like.

Sam:
[13:17]
And, and, you know, like I've, I've, I've mostly stopped at this point. Like there's only a couple of occasions.

Ivan:
[13:23]
But you're not a customer service employee. That's seeing 10, you know, you may be seeing tens of thousands of people in a day. And I'm like, look, I see these people. I heard that. of all these people wearing somebody called a Rona mask. I'm like, hey, asshole, you know what? I mean, in Asia, like I mentioned before, still like half the people did it even before the pandemic started anyway because of SARS. So, right.

Sam:
[13:48]
Well, and the fundamental thing is that, They're, even now, there's a risk evaluation. There's still people picking up COVID. There's still people dying from COVID.

Ivan:
[14:01]
There's still people dying from COVID.

Sam:
[14:03]
And there are lots of people getting long COVID symptoms as well. The percentage of those people is increasing because from all of the research they've done so far, every time you get COVID, if you get it multiple times, your chance of coming out with long-term symptoms that don't go away increases. And so like, you know, yeah, there, and there are people like you, you mentioned the people who are like constantly in crowds and interacting with hundreds of people a day, but there, there are also people that are, are, have vulnerable health conditions for one reason or another as well. And, and there are a whole bunch of reasons like that the, the trade-off for you is different. And like, I still see some of those people complaining that even if they wear masks themselves, the fact that nobody else does puts them at risk. Um, and so like I said, I've, I've mostly stopped. I was going to say, I still do it in a healthcare situation, but I just realized I was in a healthcare situation a few days ago and didn't bother. I just forgot entirely. I, when the last time I went on a plane flight, when I flew to the East coast for my step-grandfather's memorial, memorial i wore masks on the way out but i completely forgot on the way back you know.

Ivan:
[15:19]
I have completely forgotten about wearing masks like right now at this point now of course i am one also at the same time that i'm knowing i'm in the minority that has gotten every shot and every booster that i've gotten everyone i've.

Sam:
[15:32]
Got i i have six at the moment.

Ivan:
[15:34]
And and i believe i.

Sam:
[15:37]
I think that cdc guidelines don't say i'll be eligible for a seventh but my doctor has said come fall she'll give me a seventh or summer whenever you know so like yeah yeah i've.

Ivan:
[15:49]
Fully vaccinated i i and i do think that with the vaccinations and the fact i did get exposed to having covet once okay you know because i know that i've been exposed to a number of people like like afterwards that have had COVID and I have not come down with it again.

Sam:
[16:08]
And I, I've only, I tested positive once, but didn't really have symptoms.

Ivan:
[16:14]
Might mean either. I, it was like, it was felt like a mile cold and I was like three or four days. I was fine. There's no big deal. So I do think that obviously that there are certain people, like you mentioned, those that get long COVID and stuff that are certainly far more susceptible and vulnerable to it. You know, and some people that just don't even take any other precautions. I, I, thankfully it seems that, you know, because I know in, in our family, you know, We've been vaccinated and we've been, you know, nobody has had a serious bout of it on on both of my mom and my dad's side and everybody got it. And thankfully, nobody and even though, you know, I got some on the family that were cancer patients and they and they got it and they were, you know, they were fine. So and we do know that there is unfortunately i mean yeah there's a genetic component to it that makes you predisposed that so thankfully apparently we're in the in the lucky group unfortunately like my sister-in-law's group i mean they were i mean they damn it i mean they they got it in a week they died right i mean it was just so fast well and.

Sam:
[17:28]
And one of the things Thankfully, at this point, we've got treatments they didn't have back then.

Ivan:
[17:34]
Too.

Sam:
[17:34]
So even if you do get a serious case, your chances of recovery are much better than they were at the beginning of this thing.

Ivan:
[17:42]
But my whole point about this was about going around and being interacting. And I mentioned about the pandemic and whatnot. Obviously, I don't want that part of the pandemic. But I do totally understand. I mean, I, these people that I don't know, I don't understand why these people, these are all these freedom fighters freedom. So why can't they have the freedom to wear a fucking mask if they want one asshole? Yeah.

Sam:
[18:06]
I mean, like there are a couple of states that are passing laws that actually say you can't wear masks in public. Now, I think those are going to get challenged. Hopefully they won't come out. But like, you know, yeah, like it's completely nonsensical. If your whole point was everybody should have the freedom to do what they want and make their own choices on that, then you can't say people can't put on their masks.

Ivan:
[18:32]
Yeah, I don't.

Sam:
[18:33]
You know, like if.

Ivan:
[18:34]
You know, look, I mean, we say that you can't say people, listen, these people, they're not for freedom. Okay, let's be clear about this. They want the freedom to impose.

Sam:
[18:48]
Their will on others.

Ivan:
[18:49]
To impose what they want on everybody else. That's what they that's what that's what their freedom definition.

Sam:
[18:56]
So anyway, so I will say one more thing since we talked COVID and masks and everything else. Just this week, May 22nd, a report came out in the American Society for Microbiology journals that is apparently the most comprehensive review of research around mask effectiveness, around not just mask effectiveness, but about masking policy effectiveness, all of this kind of stuff. And I only read the beginning of it because like I was scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. This thing has got to be like 100 pages long if you printed it out. But if you search for the title of it is Masks and Respirators for Prevention of Respiratory Infections, a State of the Science Review and Spoilers. Actually, I'll read the summary paragraph because it's not that long.

Sam:
[20:03]
But spoilers, masks work and better masks work better. But let me read the summary. This narrative review and meta-analysis summarizes a broad evidence base on the benefits and also the practicalities, disbenefits, harms, and personal sociocultural and environmental impacts of mask and masking. Our synthesis of evidence from over 100 published reviews and selected primary studies, including including reanalyzing contested meta-analyses of key clinical trials, produced seven key findings.

Sam:
[20:40]
First, there is a strong and consistent evidence for airborne transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2, and other respiratory pathogens. And if you remember, there was somewhat of a controversy about droplets versus airborne versus whatever, And the medical establishment took a really long time to come around to, okay, it really is airborne, not droplets, which changes how you fight it. But strong, consistent evidence for airborne. Second, masks are, if correctly and consistently worn, effective in reducing transmission of respiratory diseases and show a dose response effect. Fact. Third, respirators are significantly more effective than medical or cloth masks. Fourth, mask mandates are overall effective in reducing community transmission of respiratory pathogens. Fifth, masks are important sociocultural symbols. Non-adherence to masking is sometimes times linked to political and ideological beliefs and to widely circulated mis- or disinformation, which...

Sam:
[21:57]
I mean, it didn't have to be that way, but it turned out that way. Sixth, while there is much evidence that masks are not generally harmful to the general population, masking may be relatively contraindicated in individuals with certain medical conditions who may require exemption.

Ivan:
[22:20]
Okay.

Sam:
[22:20]
Furthermore, certain groups, notably deaf people, are disadvantaged when others are masked.

Ivan:
[22:28]
Well, yes.

Sam:
[22:29]
Finally, there are risks to the environment from single-use masks and respirators. We propose an agenda for future research, including improved characterization of the situations in which masking should be recommended or mandated, attention to comfort and acceptability, generalized and disability-focused communication support in settings where masks are worn, and development and testing of novel materials and designs for improved filtration, breathability, and environmental impact. Okay, that's the whole summary. I started to read the rest of it, and it is comprehensive. There's lots and lots of information and data here, and they go through it.

Ivan:
[23:15]
But bottom line is a mass squirk, and that there are certain cases where maybe there could be exemptions for it, but the reality is that overall...

Sam:
[23:28]
Overall, masks work. The more people wear them, the better it is. The better the mask, the better it is, et cetera, et cetera. Which I think was the consensus after a little while. We had that whole nonsense at the beginning where there was some back and forth and the CDC was trying to keep the general public from getting masks because they were saving them for healthcare workers and stuff like that. But the consensus fairly rapidly determined that masks were effective and were a good thing, et cetera, et cetera. But then there were a few studies out there that said, oh, well, no, we couldn't find that. And this thing, if you actually go into all the details of it, actually does at a certain point discuss in length some of those studies and why what was in those were outweighed by what was from other sources and what the problems and methodology were with some of those. So bottom line, it is what it is. And so, you know, yeah, I've stopped masking. But if there was a bump up.

Ivan:
[24:34]
I got a whole bunch. Oh yeah. I got, I got a whole bunch of.

Sam:
[24:37]
Uh, oh, I've, I've still got an inventory. I've still got an inventory.

Ivan:
[24:42]
Yeah. I got, I've got inventory of the good, good, good ones.

Sam:
[24:46]
And I got to admit like the few times like that I've, I feel like, like when I went to a healthcare setting and didn't have the mask, I still feel like, okay, that was probably dumb. I should have worn the mask. Like, cause if you are intentionally going to a place where sick people go, okay.

Ivan:
[25:05]
Yeah.

Sam:
[25:06]
Masks probably make sense. And if you're in a really crowded place, masks probably make sense. And so like, I, you know, I should keep some around on me, like not, not on me, like on my face, but like, you know, keep some nearby so that if I end up in a crowded place unexpectedly, I can throw one on. Cause for the same reason you mentioned, if there's a, is somebody who's dealing with the public and dealing with hundreds and hundreds of people a day.

Ivan:
[25:33]
Um and.

Sam:
[25:34]
Not just for for covid like.

Ivan:
[25:38]
Oh for any disease in general i mean you know for colds yeah because i mean that's the reason why i said you know when these people are like that are dealing with thousands of people and people could have the flu people could have a cold people could have whatever the hell it is i mean you're being exposed to all of this shit in one day yeah it That makes sense for you to protect yourself.

Sam:
[25:58]
And the same thing holds true. Like if you're going to like a super crowded concert or a, you know, what, just whatever venue where you're like right up crammed up with a bunch of other people, it, it, it, it still makes sense. Like I can understand forgetting. I have forgotten at this point and I was really careful for a long time, but you know, at the moment, at least, you know, at least for COVID instances are really low. As we said we're well vaccinated blah blah blah but still like do i want to catch a bad flu, or rsv or whatever it is there's the stupid like bird flu that's going around now like you know no so like well.

Ivan:
[26:42]
Like you're you're talking about the flu look last time we got the flu we all got the flu you guys got the flu and we got the flu when we.

Sam:
[26:50]
Went to seattle oh that's That we all.

Ivan:
[26:53]
Wound up with the damn flu. Okay. Right. And that my son wound up in the hospital from the damn flu. Right. And he was in the hospital for four days.

Sam:
[27:03]
So the lesson for this is whenever Yvonne visits, be sure to wear a mask.

Ivan:
[27:08]
Yeah, apparently. Well, I think you guys gave it to me. I don't know.

Sam:
[27:13]
You must've given it to me. You're the one who like came on a plane. You probably caught it on the plane and then gave it to us.

Ivan:
[27:19]
Ah, no, you didn't. You guys, I'm blaming you.

Sam:
[27:25]
Okay. Are we, are, are we done with your, yes, all that. So covered a lot. We did cover a lot. It's, it started out with something and then it moved to something else. And then I don't know.

Ivan:
[27:37]
I don't know. We, we, you know, we moved through every tangent possible.

Sam:
[27:40]
So I will do my media to round out. And this time is not a movie. It is a book that Alex and I read together. As you guys may remember, we were slowly working our way through the Douglas Adams Hitchhikers series, which is, you know, this is, this is what the, the, this is labeled as the fifth book in the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhikers trilogy.

Sam:
[28:15]
So anyway this is it's called mostly harmless and i talked about the the first two uh hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy and restaurant at the end of the universe are the ones that i think are are good are really good so long and thanks for all the fish is okay but then suddenly the main character gets into some sort of romantic relationship. And so it's kind of like, it's just the tone changes dramatically. And, or, or maybe that was the fourth one. There's a, I forget all of the ones anyway, at the moment we are on mostly harmless. I'm trying to remember what the stupid third one was. Hold on. Oh yeah. Life, the universe and everything. So it's, It's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Restaurant at the End of the Universe, then Life, the Universe, and Everything. That's the one with the woman that suddenly comes in.

Sam:
[29:21]
And, or no, that's, I'm getting all flustered. Oh my goodness. No, the Life, the Universe, and Everything. Oh, that's the one with like the, they have to get all the pieces. Anyway, it doesn't matter. The first two are really good. The third one is like, eh, it's sort of eh-ing a little bit. The fourth is the one with the woman. And then the fifth is the one that we're talking about today, which is mostly harmless. And this is, it continues the downward trend in the series. Okay. It feels like the guy that this is Douglas Adams was getting tired of this and was kind of doing it because okay everybody wants these things i'm gonna make money blah blah blah, apparently whatever relationship was making him happy and made him write in a love interest in the previous book went sour because in this because in this book that person disappeared and was never seen from again okay i thought maybe.

Ivan:
[30:25]
He killed her or something in the book but he.

Sam:
[30:27]
Didn't kill her in the book but she disappeared and like the main character was was sort of as somewhat sad and depressed and they brought these things on. And apparently, as far as I can tell, the author must've been sad and depressed when he was writing this book because, it's like bad things happen to all the characters throughout the whole book. And like, Okay. I spoilers skip ahead a couple of minutes. If anybody cares, the book ends literally with every single main character being killed. That's, that's how it, that's how it ends. It's like a massacre and they all done brutal. And yeah, and it's sort of, and yes. Oh, and not only they, they, They destroy the Earth again at the end, but not just like there's been a whole thing in the last.

Ivan:
[31:28]
Okay, so he kills everybody and destroys the Earth.

Sam:
[31:31]
Yeah, so the very first book, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, starts with the Earth being destroyed. But then over the course of the next few books, you find out there are a bunch of parallel Earths, and they end up on some of those. And here they're on one of the parallel Earths. And then the people who tried to destroy the earth in the first book are like, we have to destroy all the parallel earths. So they actually, the book ends with not just them being killed, but the earth being destroyed again and all the parallel earths being destroyed too. This is how the book ends.

Ivan:
[32:05]
Well, it's, it's very depressing.

Sam:
[32:10]
Yes.

Ivan:
[32:11]
Jesus. So let me get this straight. right this guy goes off his girlfriend basically writes off the girlfriend okay all right that doesn't appear that every other character gets killed and he destroys every you know the earth in every parallel universe possible yes jesus and this guy must be swell to hang around and party holy shit i'm.

Sam:
[32:38]
Thinking he was depressed over however that relationship ends and i don't know I don't even know. Like, I don't know what actually happened in this guy's personal life. I'm just judging by the way the books went. I'm thinking book four was like, he suddenly got into a relationship and he was super happy and entranced with this relationship. So wrote a book about the main character being sort of besotted and falling in love. And then that must've gone sour. And so, so he, you know, zaps the girlfriend to like a parallel universe. She just disappears. And then all of the other destruction we've talked about. And in the meantime, before we get to all of the destruction at the end of the book, everybody seems to be unhappy. Everybody seems to have significant issues. There are all kinds of things going on. And also all of the things that like, I mean, this series was known for being sort of a comedy series and being really clever and it's satire and blah, blah, blah. blah, anytime that it was, it seemed like.

Sam:
[33:46]
It wasn't happening naturally anymore. There are a few times where he was trying to be funny, but it just sort of came off as retreads of things that had been done previously. And it wasn't really funny. And meanwhile, all this depressing stuff is happening. So you're like, I'm not really laughing a lot about this. And like, I don't know if destroying everybody at the end was supposed to like be funny, but like it wasn't, you know? And so I will say, Unless you're being a completist about this, I'm giving this one a thumbs down. We're reading the whole series, and there's actually another book after this that we are in the process of right now. But this was, it's just, like I said, the first two are really good. Everybody should read the first two. It's a cultural touchstone. And then they go downhill from there.

Sam:
[34:40]
Three's okay. Four and five. Four, passable. Well, five is just bad, you know? And so, yeah. And now apparently here's the deal. We are currently reading number six, um, which, and here's the story about, I'm not telling you anything about the actual story of number six yet, but bottom line is apparently a few years after I was about to call him Arthur Dent. That's the character after Douglas Adams, the author, a few years after he published this, he told a few people that, you know, I kind of left that book on a bad note. You know, maybe.

Ivan:
[35:22]
Oh, shit.

Sam:
[35:24]
Really? Wow. Maybe I should like, it would have been nice to do that. I was in a bad state of mind. Maybe I should have done things differently. Maybe it would be good to like, I don't know, pick something up, blah, blah, blah. And then he died. He died. He died like of a heart attack or something.

Ivan:
[35:48]
Well, and I'm surprised.

Sam:
[35:51]
Let's see what I think it was a heart attack death. Yeah. Heart attack due to undiagnosed coronary artery disease. Age 49.

Ivan:
[36:00]
Fuck. Really? That young? Yeah.

Sam:
[36:05]
Yeah. but in any case apparently his estate i i don't know if it was a wife or what i don't know that yes blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah okay yeah anyway he the, The estate decided to hire somebody to write a sixth book to sort of make an ending that wasn't quite as negative. And that's the one we're reading now.

Ivan:
[36:39]
Okay. So the, the estate, so who survived? Did he have a wife, kids?

Sam:
[36:46]
Yeah. So what I'm reading there is that, uh, okay. So here, here's his personal life. I was saying I didn't know what his actual personal life was and whether it translated to these books. In the early 1980s, Adams had an affair with novelist Sally Emerson, who was separated from her husband at the time. Adams later dedicated his book, Life, the Universe, and Everything, to Emerson. In 1981, Emerson returned to her husband, Peter Slothand, a contemporary of Adams at Brentwood School and later editor of The Times. Now, I'm wondering, was that the one that related to that book?

Sam:
[37:30]
Adams was soon introduced by friends to Jane Belson, with whom he later became romantically involved. Belson was the lady barrister mentioned in the Jacket Flat biography printed in his books in the mid-1980s. He, Adams, lives in Islington with a lady barrister and an Apple Macintosh. The two lived in Los Angeles together during 1983 while Adams worked on an early screenplay adaptation of Hitchhikers. When the deal fell through, they moved back to London, and after several separations, he is currently not certain where he lives or with whom, and a broken engagement, they married in 1991. So apparently he was on and off with this woman from after the other affair until the end. So I don't know. I have to look up the timeline of these books to see. But Adams and Belson had one daughter together, Polly Jane Rocket Adams. Right.

Ivan:
[38:21]
Nice name.

Sam:
[38:22]
In 1999, they moved to Santa Barbara, California, where they lived until his death. And, oh, later on, she died of cancer, age 50 now.

Ivan:
[38:34]
Oh, what the fuck?

Sam:
[38:37]
The wife, not the daughter.

Ivan:
[38:39]
Yeah, no, no, no, I got that. How old's the daughter?

Sam:
[38:42]
Oh, God. Well, daughter was born in 1994.

Ivan:
[38:46]
Okay, well, all right. So that, you know, she's in her 20s. So yeah, writing a, wrote a, okay, yeah, so she's, okay, so she can enjoy.

Sam:
[38:55]
She's in her 20s. She should be turning 30 this year.

Ivan:
[39:00]
Yeah. Yeah. So, okay, so at least she'll get to, okay.

Sam:
[39:05]
So anyway, like, this book was ended in such a depressing way that they hired somebody to write a new one to sort of make it less unhappy in the end. And now I haven't gotten to the end of book six yet, so I don't know how it actually ends. And while I have some thoughts about the partial book, I will save any real review of it until I've actually finished. Yeah.

Ivan:
[39:29]
Okay. Well, on that happy note.

Sam:
[39:34]
Right. Okay. Well, we'll take our first break and then, then Yvonne, you can pick the first set of newsy stuff we talk about after. Let's see. which break am I doing this time? My notes say it should be the 2021 second Alex break from 2021. Here you go. Okay we have returned.

Ivan:
[41:01]
We are back so.

Sam:
[41:03]
Yvonne out of the newsy stuff what would you like to talk.

Ivan:
[41:15]
Talk about.

Sam:
[41:16]
I guess not just talk what would you like to talk isn't a complete sentence I just distracted myself in the middle of the sentence.

Ivan:
[41:26]
Not that i not that we know much about this but just how weird this was and how basically nobody is giving a shit okay which you know the president of iran oh right in a in a helicopter crash of all things okay and when i heard about it i totally expected holy shit right.

Sam:
[41:55]
This is a big deal we're gonna be talking about it blah blah blah.

Ivan:
[41:59]
And and not just that but that it might i mean look we've had all these tensions between israel and iran right now including you know, them firing at each other recently.

Sam:
[42:16]
So you'd think there'd be a lot of talk about like, was this actually an attack? Did there, blah, blah, blah. I mean, the Iranians did blame it on the U S but not because they were like the U S shot a missile. They're like the helicopter probably crashed because of bad maintenance because of sanctions.

Ivan:
[42:33]
Oh, well, so it's the American's fault. Okay.

Sam:
[42:38]
Well, cause they couldn't get parts for the helicopter.

Ivan:
[42:41]
They couldn't get parts for the helicopter. Well, I mean, it goes back to I mean, we actually had this thread a little bit about talking about this.

Sam:
[42:50]
Although even there, by the way, that that kind of thing might be true, like the effective sanctions might make it harder to repair things. But at the same time, you'd think at a certain point, you'd say this thing isn't safe to fly if you're really worried about that and stop.

Ivan:
[43:05]
Listen, as we have found with the Russians, you know, don't give me the shit about the fucking sanctions, because we've seen that, you know, those can be circumvented, especially if we're talking about the helicopter and the president. I'm sure they could figure out some fucking way to get the parts. Okay. Yeah. And, you know, so that's I, you know, but but the one thing is that it highlighted. Well, a is the one thing is. I'm still a little bit shocked that. It was like. He's dead. okay we gotta elect another one well you know okay seems to be the reaction, In Iran, I mean, they're like, eh.

Sam:
[43:50]
Well, they're- We lost the president.

Ivan:
[43:52]
I mean, you know, we could just get another one. It's no big deal.

Sam:
[43:54]
Well, we mentioned like the Iranians blaming it on the US, but there were other conversation about, you know, maybe it was his rival who was wanting to be president instead and now might get to be president. And not only that, but this guy was apparently in line to potentially take over for the Supreme leader because remember in iran the president isn't really the one in charge it's the supreme leader the.

Ivan:
[44:19]
Ayatollah right right right um i mean he's more like i mean i i mean as far as i can tell this is a guy who's like works more a little bit like um i mean he's the guy that actually has to do like probably like i gotta work a budget and i gotta do things you know like the president he was you know he was.

Sam:
[44:38]
Pretty hardline and involved in all the crackdowns to.

Ivan:
[44:41]
The women Yeah, but it's, you know, if the Ayatollah says, you know, do this, he's got to jump.

Sam:
[44:50]
Right.

Ivan:
[44:50]
Right? Basically what I understand. Well, there was one thing that I look there. I don't know if you've watched any episodes of this, but there hasn't been a new season in a while. But there was an Apple TV plus during the pandemic. I was watching these episodes of this TV series that was, if I remember correctly, it is produced in Israel called Tehran. Okay.

Sam:
[45:14]
No, I have not.

Ivan:
[45:15]
And all right. And one of the things that happened in there, if I remember correctly, was that they assassinated the Israelis, the president of Iran in one of the last episodes that has been out. They haven't had a new season. And I was just like, shit. I mean, you know, I mean, that was literally the plot line of this TV series that they have been producing in Israel, you know, about Iran. Apparently season two. Yeah, it's been Jesus. Right. It's 2022. Season three is currently in production. Okay. And so I'll be interesting. thing. I'll see what the hell happens with this thing. But look, it's like it didn't matter, Sam. It didn't matter. Nothing happened. Nothing happened.

Sam:
[46:13]
One of the things, too, is despite all of the bluster about, okay, the Americans did it, or maybe this other guy did it, or maybe this did it, the bottom line is it was extremely bad weather in a mountainous area that this thing was flying.

Ivan:
[46:30]
And, you know, but I'm just like.

Sam:
[46:33]
And they probably, they probably shouldn't have been flying at all. If there was a mechanical failure on top of bad weather, you know, one of the, like, if it really was, if, if somebody had good evidence that there was foul play in here, it probably would be a much bigger deal. I think the reality is everybody kind of knows it was an accident.

Ivan:
[46:53]
Well, I mean, I was going to say with with the president of the United States, we've never had something like that happen. OK, he flies by helicopter. And, you know, it's not like you see Marine One, you know, having ever, you know, had an incident that that threatened the president's safety as far as I can recall right now. Right. But, but, but.

Sam:
[47:15]
Or Air Force One, for that matter.

Ivan:
[47:16]
Or Air Force One, for that matter. However, however, we did have this incident where Ron Brown, the Secretary of Commerce for President Clinton, wound up dying in a plane crash, the Air Force, in bad weather in Fort Worth, Yugoslavia. I can't remember exactly where they were trying to land. This happened sometime in the 90s. and you know they were trying to approach a place that they were not familiar with the weather was bad and they crashed and i know that that did make a significant change in terms of policies regarding flying into uh unfamiliar airports with bad bad weather okay but obviously you know it was you know it was a lower level a cabinet member okay this wasn't the president than being hauled around. And one thing that we are mentioning in our Slack is.

Ivan:
[48:13]
I've flown in a helicopter only once, I think maybe more than once, but I can remember once. But one thing that I see a lot about helicopters in general and helicopter pilots is that those are aircraft that have pretty damn high accident rates. And I always feel that helicopter pilots are more cavalier than everybody else.

Ivan:
[48:43]
OK, you know, because a helicopter technically could really land just about anywhere, take off from just about anywhere. And so you could put them into situations that are far more dangerous. OK, and, you know, they're talking about the the aviate the rate of aviation dates of these medevac helicopters and crashes in certain places. I know we had we had a big incident here. year i mean we had you know i still remember the one that there was a there's this massive incident that was in the news regarding a movie a john landis movie they were filming a twilight zone movie oh yeah where there was a helicopter that crashed during the filming that killed you know kids and shit decapitated them on the damn set okay um you know you have you know you've had that kind of crap happen you had kobe bryant a basketball player whose pilot went into bad weather in Los Angeles and fricking crashed. This was just flying around Los Angeles. Okay. You know, a very wealthy guy, just like, well, get me to this place on time. And you know, they, you know, it just, it, it, it crashed. And so I would just say that.

Ivan:
[49:56]
If I can avoid a helicopter, I'll avoid the damn helicopter, okay? I really think that some people, because of traffic and other things or whatever, they'll take choppers sometimes and things that, you know, okay, maybe it'll take an hour and a half by car, but it takes 20 minutes by helicopter. And I'm like, you know what? I'll fucking give me the damn car. You know, unless it's like an excessive, okay? Okay. And some other way, you know, like it's, there's no landing strip now.

Sam:
[50:31]
So have, have you, have you actually done the math? Like people always say, for instance, regular, like commercial air travel is much, much safer than cars.

Ivan:
[50:39]
Let me see.

Sam:
[50:40]
How about, how about helicopters when you do it per like passenger? Okay. Let's see.

Ivan:
[50:44]
Uh, uh, uh, well, because general aviation is a lot more dangerous than commercial commercial. Okay. Let's be clear about this. Okay. You know, so let's see.

Sam:
[51:00]
Which, by the way, since we were talking about famous people who died in plane and helicopter crashes and stuff, I'll also mention Senator Paul Wellstone also died in a plane crash in Minnesota.

Ivan:
[51:13]
Oh, yeah, that's right. Yeah, there was a guy who Atlanta's the hotel group zoned by this company called Kersner International. And the guy who led the company, he died in a fucking helicopter crash in Dominican Republic, scouting locations to go like buy hotels. So I'm looking at here. Let's see. Uh, general aviation accident trends pilot. This is noncommercial helicopters. Um lethality 17 number of fatal accidents where's the rate i'm just i'm looking i got hard numbers but not rates hold on, i didn't mean to send you.

Sam:
[51:55]
On like a big chase well.

Ivan:
[51:56]
But i i i don't have the hard data in front of me um you just have the gut feeling that.

Sam:
[52:03]
Like why would you get in a vehicle that will just drop like a rock if you turn the engine.

Ivan:
[52:09]
And that's the problem, because, you know, the thing is that they do have a little bit.

Sam:
[52:13]
Of auto rotation, but it's not like the glide you can get in a plane.

Ivan:
[52:16]
No, no, no. It's not. You know, I remember like practicing, you know, engine failure on on on planes. OK, you know, and, you know, you get you get quite a you get quite a glide. OK. All right. You've got, you know, you can do a whole bunch of things that you can extend and you can look and you could do something or whatever. You know, you know, that damn helicopter engine goes down. You have some you know you know some motor rotation that helps you like stay in the air it's not a lot you know if if it's not if you're not in an area that's like that you could find quickly a place to land you're you know you're gonna be dead it's bottom line i mean hell we had there was a commercial airline or a canadian airline a whole bunch of time ago that that they They fucked up something with the fueling system, and they ran out of fuel. This is an A3, you know, this is an Airbus plane, a big one, an A330, that just ran out of fuel on its way to Europe, period. They ran out of fuel midair.

Sam:
[53:20]
They, like, miscalculated whatever.

Ivan:
[53:22]
Well, no, they had the right load of fuel. What happened was that something was done wrong where there was a leak.

Sam:
[53:28]
Ah, okay.

Ivan:
[53:28]
OK, and the fucking plane was leaking the damn fuel on the way. So they ran out of fuel and they they glided in the Azores. OK, it's landed in the Azores, thankfully. But it was about I think they were close to 100 miles from where they ran out of fuel. OK, for that. So that's, you know, I mean, if you think about it, that's, that's a pretty long distance that they were able to from cruising altitude to be able to get into a fucking place of land. Right. But in a helicopter, you're not getting a, you're not getting a mile. Okay. You're basically, you know, if it's not at a mile radius around you, you're, you know, you're, you're, you're, you know, you're in trouble.

Sam:
[54:14]
And probably not even that far.

Ivan:
[54:17]
Okay. Okay, here's the stat. Okay. Take the car.

Sam:
[54:21]
Take the car.

Ivan:
[54:22]
Fatal accident rate of civilian helicopters in the U.S. is 17 times higher than the fatal rates of passenger cars.

Sam:
[54:30]
Okay, per, like, passenger miles.

Ivan:
[54:33]
Yes, yes, in rates. 17 times more dangerous than a car. Take the damn car.

Sam:
[54:40]
Meanwhile, the commercial airline is way safer than the car.

Ivan:
[54:43]
It's the opposite, yes. But a fucking helicopter is one hell of a way to easily get killed. 17 times.

Sam:
[54:52]
How about blimps?

Ivan:
[54:54]
I don't know. We have been on a blimp.

Sam:
[54:56]
We have. You and I were on Airship Shamu, which unfortunately no longer exists.

Ivan:
[55:02]
No, it doesn't. You know that the guy who owned it was some kind of fraudster?

Sam:
[55:09]
Okay.

Ivan:
[55:10]
I found out later that the whole guy was a whole, you know, he had some Ponzi scheme, scam, you know, thing, whatever. Okay. So let me see airships versus car death rate. They don't have, there's not enough airships to have data.

Sam:
[55:29]
Yeah. You know, the other one that's like, we'll, we'll just drop you is like, if you're in a hot air balloon and you burn up the envelope, you're done.

Ivan:
[55:38]
Oh fucking oh the damn hot air balloons yeah well those yeah yeah that's as long.

Sam:
[55:43]
As you've got your bag of hot air you're probably fine but like if you if that bursts.

Ivan:
[55:48]
Well you're just you and i are listen if you're an eye on the balloon all we need to do is just start recording a podcast and we'll keep this thing flying for a few more hours with.

Sam:
[55:57]
Our hot air yeah there you.

Ivan:
[55:58]
Yes of course that's all you need we're probably probably safe if you and i are on the hot air balloon the rest of the people are safe.

Sam:
[56:06]
Of course.

Ivan:
[56:08]
But yeah, but okay, so my gut was correct. The death rate helicopters versus civilians 17 times higher than the likelihood of dying in a car accident. And that's, you know, basically what the president of Iran was flying. Because, yeah, I mean I have to believe that Marine one has to be the most overly.

Sam:
[56:34]
I'm sure doing that in horrible weather does not help.

Ivan:
[56:37]
No, no. But one thing also is that I know that they don't just take the president on Marine one at whim because you've seen so many times that they do motorcades and they do the motorcades, I'm sure for a reason. Okay. You know, they, they really only try to take them on a helicopter in, you know, in certain specific situations where it's safe. But, you know, I mean, I mean, the president will take damn motorcade. I mean, they, they, they will take the car and they will go. And obviously with the way that the, the beast is, I mean, it's basically a fucking rolling tank. I mean, you know, so. I mean, even if somebody crashes into it, no, no, no, nobody's getting hurt in that damn thing. So. So anyway.

Sam:
[57:22]
Okay.

Ivan:
[57:22]
So random president dead. And apparently we're just going to get a new one and nobody gives a shit.

Sam:
[57:27]
Yeah, I guess so. Well, you know, to be honest, I think the coverage depends on where you are. Like a couple of times I.

Ivan:
[57:35]
Saw in Iran, they weren't giving a shit. And so people sell it. I saw, I would see views of some people celebrating.

Sam:
[57:41]
Well, yeah. Like the, the, the, like I said, this guy was heavily responsible for, uh, you know, he, he, he was a heavy handed dictator type. You know this is not like you know well-loved amongst the people type not not not no no.

Ivan:
[57:57]
People didn't get the warm and fuzzies room well that's a shame.

Sam:
[57:59]
Yeah but uh but yeah like it i think it's got like i saw a little bit more coverage on it than on bbc than i did in the u.s but you know that's typical like our media doesn't care about anything international for the most part unless it's directly involves us. And even then, maybe not right. You know? And, and meanwhile, domestically we had like Trump trial stuff and, you know, all of the, you know, usual stuff that we get obsessed with. So anyway, anything else for your segment beyond that, that you didn't, it wasn't that long. The conversation. Are you, are you.

Ivan:
[58:39]
That's all I got.

Sam:
[58:41]
That's all you got.

Ivan:
[58:42]
Yeah. That's all I got.

Sam:
[58:43]
Okay. OK, well, then let's take our second break and then I will come back and I'll pick one or maybe two things we'll see and then we'll wrap it up after that, of course. OK, back after this.

Sam:
[59:49]
OK, so I got a couple different things on my mind. First of all, I will say I am not going to pick an extensive conversation on the Trump stuff. We talked last week about how we might even have had a verdict by now. We don't. And the reason is that the judge didn't want to potentially interrupt, like have have closing statements from both parties and then have a holiday weekend before the jury could finish.

Ivan:
[1:00:20]
Yeah, that would have been bad. Yeah.

Sam:
[1:00:22]
Either start the double deliberation, then have a holiday weekend and have them come back or just have the statements and then have them deliberate after the weekend. So after the end of the witnesses, judge said, we're just taking an extra long time off here. and we will reconvene on Tuesday for closing statements and then after closing statements, jury deliberation. So we're going to have closing statements on Tuesday. They will probably wrap up Tuesday. Like, you know, I don't think either prosecution or defense is going to take like an entire day and push that to two days for closing statements, although I guess you never know, which means the jury is likely, I don't know, they've been taking Wednesdays off. So I don't know if that means deliberation actually starts on Thursday or whether they might actually start to deliberate on Tuesday and decide not to take Wednesday off so they can just get it done. And of course, we have no idea. Will they deliberate for an hour or will they deliberate for a week? We don't know.

Sam:
[1:01:24]
But anyway, we'll undoubtedly have more to talk about that next week. We may even have a verdict next week. I think the, just to summarize that, I think it's still, there's still a possibility of a hung jury or there's a possibility of out and out conviction. One thing I did note, I was listening to some analysis right now. Apparently the option of the lower included sentence to just say it's a misdemeanor, not a felony, like guilty, but of the misdemeanor is not normally an option in this case because the statute of limitations has run out for the misdemeanor. So the only way that could be brought into play is if the defense asks for it. And so far they have not. And inclinations are Trump wants an all or nothing anyway, so they probably won't. So it'll just be straight up on the felony, guilty, not guilty, or hung jury and i think nobody really thinks i'm not guilty as in the cards or but you know hung jury still could happen all it takes is one okay that's all i'm going to say about trump trial oh well then we'll we'll talk about it next week.

Sam:
[1:02:38]
A couple other things on the one political thing is it's been a few weeks since we talked about Israel-Gaza. The new developments this week are the ICC is asking for an arrest warrant on, Netanyahu and certain other members of his government, as well as some of the leaders of Hamas. And they put them in one statement, which got them a lot of flack for sort of drawing an equivalence between the two or whatnot. But basically, they're accusations of war crimes, right? Which, duh, as far as I can tell, there really are war crimes on both sides here. And the Biden administration has pushed back hard and said that this is completely inappropriate, inappropriate, blah, blah, blah, doing an equivalence, blah, blah, blah. I don't know. Like to me, this is honestly exactly the kind of thing where it would be good to have an international court that actually had power to say, yeah, you know, war crimes are being committed and those responsible should be held to account, should be held to account on both sides. Because Because I think the Israelis have been committing war crimes here. And obviously Hamas did too at the start of this.

Ivan:
[1:04:01]
Well, and obviously Hamas did too. The one thing is, like I said, you know, oh, they did it. We, you know, the whole, oh, they were bad too. It's not a defense.

Sam:
[1:04:12]
Right.

Ivan:
[1:04:13]
Oh, well, you know, oh, but you committed murder. Well, they did too.

Sam:
[1:04:18]
Well, right. And this whole thing about being all huffy about, you know, there's no moral equivalence. Well, you know, if there is if there if you are going to do any sort of comparison, the Israelis have killed more civilians.

Ivan:
[1:04:30]
Right.

Sam:
[1:04:31]
By a large margin.

Ivan:
[1:04:33]
I mean, this is this is at this point, this is completely senseless.

Sam:
[1:04:38]
And so I actually think it's more than appropriate for some organization like the ICC to, yes, be bringing these folks to account. And I think the Biden administration—.

Ivan:
[1:05:17]
Off the fucking hook.

Sam:
[1:05:18]
Either. No, no, absolutely agreed. No question there. I'm not one of these folks who's saying genocide Joe about Joe Biden or anything like that.

Ivan:
[1:05:32]
Oh, fuck it.

Sam:
[1:05:32]
But I will say I'm increasingly disappointed by their response as time goes on. You know, I can understand what was being done the first month or so.

Ivan:
[1:05:43]
Yeah, but look, at this point, here's the thing. What is it that you want President Biden to do?

Sam:
[1:05:49]
Well, here are a couple things I'd say right away. One is absolutely aid to Israel should be conditioned on this stopping. They slowed down one weapons shipment, but there's another one going like right now. They've said, okay, the next shipment's on the way. That should absolutely stop. up. Like there, there's no reason to put one more piece, one more weapon, one more piece of ammunition into Israel. If they want to be acting this way, they can do it on their own without our support. That's number one. Number two, for things like this ICC thing, we should not be saying, oh, this is awful. This is awful. We should say, well, you know, that's what you get for behaving this way. And we agree that, you know, Netanyahu is a war criminal and we should do something about that. And the leaders of Hamas as well. That's the kind of thing. And I don't, it's not.

Sam:
[1:06:47]
It's just a matter of, you know, like I said, I think the people were calling, saying that this is all Joe Biden's responsibility are full of shit. I don't think that's true. However, I think we have gone far enough down this path that it is fully appropriate to back off and at least not be supporting it in these ways. I mean, I know we're not actively doing the war crimes, but we're not backing off from them as much as we could. That's where I think.

Ivan:
[1:07:24]
I think that.

Sam:
[1:07:27]
And I know that's politically fraught.

Ivan:
[1:07:30]
Yes. And. But but what the other thing is that. OK, say we don't send another shipment. Do you think that stuff? Yeah. Hell, I actually think I got to be honest with you. These guys have been so hardened. I mean, Netanyahu went the other day and basically went and said, fuck the rest of the world.

Sam:
[1:07:51]
Yes, I know. No, the whole argument of the Biden administration and argument that I made on this show in the first month or two is that by staying engaged, you potentially are able to influence the Israelis. Whereas if you step out in the way I just described, you've just given up all influence whatsoever and they will do whatever the hell they want. But I think what we've seen over the last couple of months is they're doing whatever they want anyway. are with the exception of one temporary ceasefire, we were able to get back in like, what was it? November, December, uh, I haven't, maybe there's behind the scenes things we don't know, but.

Ivan:
[1:08:33]
Well, there's been an intense amount. Well, we know that there's been an intense amount of pressure.

Sam:
[1:08:38]
Oh, I know.

Ivan:
[1:08:38]
On ending this. Okay.

Sam:
[1:08:41]
Oh, I know. I know. But it, it, it, so far it hasn't been working.

Ivan:
[1:08:44]
It hasn't worked, but I just don't, I, I, my thing is that I don't know if doing that works either. And so I'm just.

Sam:
[1:08:53]
And at this point where I am is like, I don't think what we're doing is working. So it's time to try something else. And at the very least, like, even if it doesn't work, even if it doesn't stop the violence, at least we can move to a point where it's like, we're not actually supplying the weaponry that makes it happen. At least nothing that isn't already there. And at least we could start putting our pressure elsewhere. And, and meanwhile, like there's, you know, I feel like this is a situation where the rest of the world is lining up on one direction and the U S has taken the wrong side, you know, and it, and it's, and it's more and more obvious as time goes on. Now I mentioned it's politically fraught. There are domestic issues here too. On the one hand, like, you know, the Biden stance may be causing some of these genocide Joe people to cause problems in in sort of the Democratic base, quote unquote. On the other hand, if if Biden did what I just said, that might hurt him amongst the quote unquote moderates and swing voters.

Ivan:
[1:10:10]
I know. I know.

Sam:
[1:10:12]
You know, so I, it's, it's, it's a hard picture, but polling on this issue is, First of all, it's the number one salient issue for a very small number of Americans. But the percentage of Americans who are basically saying that supporting what the Israeli government is doing is the wrong thing to do is going up and is well over 50% now. Now, most people probably don't know what the fuck that means.

Ivan:
[1:10:49]
Thank you. you because i saw the other day a different poll that said that we still got like in the u.s like 60 support for israel okay like right now.

Sam:
[1:10:59]
And that's and that's different and that's the thing with the polls right like support for israel is different from support what the current israeli right right right now exactly i mean different from whether the palestinians are right or wrong versus i know that it's just it depends on how it's all it's all muddled.

Ivan:
[1:11:16]
In the middle i i'm I'm just, you know, the one thing I did see somebody today finally say about this, which I've been wondering, is I can't remember. This was a Democracy Now! news story. Okay.

Sam:
[1:11:31]
And for those who don't know Democracy Now!, it is a very left-wing news source.

Ivan:
[1:11:38]
It is a very left-wing news source. But the one thing that they said that was interesting, which I have many times said that why don't a lot of people on the left state this is they were like, why the hell is Egypt so complicit in fucking the Palestinians?

Sam:
[1:11:55]
Yes, you've mentioned this a lot.

Ivan:
[1:11:57]
I have mentioned this over and over, and it's one of those things where I am just like, why doesn't anybody take the Egyptians to task for what the fuck they are doing? Because if they are our Muslim brothers, they should be the first ones that could probably make a significant change on their side of the border but for whatever reason, I mean, I know that they've got this treaty with the Israelis dating a while back. It's almost like people are saying they're like fucking beholden to Israel in Egypt. And, you know, and so they haven't done anything, okay, to help the Palestinians. And they could do a lot. And so that one is one that really still bewilders me. And the Syrians aren't going to do anything, I guess. They don't give a shit. And neither do Jordanians. I know those people are doing anything. And Iran is just basically using them as pawns. You know, the worst thing is that even though I am with you at certain things, I would like to see if the Biden administration tried to do something different, you know, to apply more pressure on Netanyahu. When you look at when you look at it like from all all the angles fuck you know that the worst thing is that they're the ones that are doing the most for fucking palestinians amongst all those groups.

Sam:
[1:13:27]
Well yeah and look the thing is we we know i mean i mean secretary of state blinken has been over there and over there and flying between capitals and trying to negotiate like so they've been trying it just so far hasn't hasn't worked right but like you know and and maybe there's behind the scenes stuff that we don't know about that's gonna like personally there there is a lot of behind any moment look.

Ivan:
[1:13:52]
But but you know yeah i mean i think i think that your frustration and i and and and i get it is fuck bad can we just get something done or.

Sam:
[1:14:05]
Or like i said at the very least if we are not able to get anything done at least wash our hands of this stuff so we're not complicit.

Ivan:
[1:14:15]
Yeah of course you know the one thing is that i keep begging for this fucking government in israel to fall and it seems to be always on the fucking verge.

Sam:
[1:14:24]
Of the verge and.

Ivan:
[1:14:25]
It doesn't fucking topple.

Sam:
[1:14:27]
Right i i mean and even then that's a chaotic situation right if netanyahu goes it could be somebody worse who comes in it or it could be somebody better we don't know it's like a it's a very dynamic situation they don't have the numbers for anybody who have a majority so it's always going to be some sort of coalition no.

Ivan:
[1:14:46]
And and and and the whole thing the situation is like that's the problem that we've had with israeli politics dating back like what 20 plus less years, they're evenly divided. I mean, it's, it's, it's almost like I'm, you know, the same as we're experiencing here, you know, it's so evenly divided and, you know, but in their, their cases is worse because at least our system of government can function to a certain extent better. You know, even if the, even if the government is as divided as, as theirs would be in their case, it's basically just, you know, well, I mean, Netanyahu has managed to fuck. and let's just run roughshod over everybody.

Sam:
[1:15:30]
Well, and you say evenly divided, but because it's parliamentary and because nobody has a majority in the parliament, it's all these unstable coalitions as well, where you're trying to like cobble together a majority with parties that don't really agree with each other on everything anyway.

Ivan:
[1:15:46]
And what winds up happening is that the extremists are the ones that are really, you know, the ones that have taken control. And if you go through public surveys of Israelis of what they would want, I saw one survey, 60% of people said, we'll take any peace deal, any of them.

Sam:
[1:16:07]
Well, and also Netanyahu in specific is incredibly unpopular right now.

Ivan:
[1:16:13]
Right.

Sam:
[1:16:13]
Like, the only reason he's hanging on is because they're in a war footing right now.

Ivan:
[1:16:18]
Essentially. Right, yeah. But it is, but 60% of the population basically has said, we'll take any deal. Just end this.

Sam:
[1:16:28]
Right.

Ivan:
[1:16:29]
And so...

Sam:
[1:16:31]
Well, and right now, specifically related to that too, the Israeli population as a whole is like, why aren't you concentrating on getting the remaining hostages out as your number one?

Ivan:
[1:16:42]
And that's been the thing, because that is why they want this to end. They want the hostages out. They want it to end.

Sam:
[1:16:51]
Right so.

Ivan:
[1:16:53]
Oh another cheery story yay okay.

Sam:
[1:16:58]
Um they're.

Ivan:
[1:17:02]
All died everybody died.

Sam:
[1:17:04]
So i i i do have uh anything.

Ivan:
[1:17:07]
Else were cheerful.

Sam:
[1:17:09]
For today were cheerful well before i go into the real subject uh alex has just texted me a reaction via Via chat GPT for what we have just been talking about.

Ivan:
[1:17:22]
Oh, fuck this.

Sam:
[1:17:25]
In this, Yvonne says, funny you mentioned that, Sam. It reminds me of how countries shift their entire economy and technology focus during wartime. It's like all hands on deck. Every resource is pushed towards the war effort.

Ivan:
[1:17:39]
Okay.

Sam:
[1:17:40]
And then I respond, that's an interesting parallel. Kind of like how tech companies are in a constant race to outdo each other with AI advancements. Almost as if they're in a technological arms race. They're always on the edge, innovating rapidly. Anything in particular that made you think of this? And he has another thing after that about you talking about a rescue mission. But I will use this as a segue to talk about stupid search AI.

Ivan:
[1:18:11]
Oh, stupid search AI. Yes.

Sam:
[1:18:14]
How's that going? Companies are once again racing to the bottom to do absolutely stupid shit with AI.

Ivan:
[1:18:26]
Oh, no. Come on.

Sam:
[1:18:29]
And I know we've talked about this before, but I'm going to try one. Okay okay they they fixed this one or i'm not getting the stupid ai stuff on google myself yet but like look google in the last couple weeks added a default sort of thing for a lot of users i guess i don't know why i'm not getting it maybe because i have like all kinds of blockers and crap on my browser but to the first thing on your search results being sort of an ai summary yeah Yeah. And it is as usual for these AI things. Sometimes it does reasonable stuff. Sometimes it's completely unhinged.

Ivan:
[1:19:20]
Well, so for example, I got one here where somebody, it's Google AI.

Sam:
[1:19:25]
Yeah.

Ivan:
[1:19:25]
Uh, Hey, how do I make a million dollars?

Sam:
[1:19:28]
Uh, yes. Yeah.

Ivan:
[1:19:29]
Okay. And apparently according to the AI overview, make it a million dollars a month in a month is not in a month is not easy, But some say it's possible to make a million dollars a year by earning around $2,740 per day. Sam, that's it. That's all we got to do.

Sam:
[1:19:47]
Is the math correct? Did you?

Ivan:
[1:19:48]
Yes, I did. I did check the math. Yes, it is. Okay.

Sam:
[1:19:52]
Okay. Well, at least it's got that. You know, or wait.

Ivan:
[1:19:57]
Well, we had the other stupid search result, which is great.

Sam:
[1:20:01]
I got the one. Okay.

Ivan:
[1:20:04]
Presidents that have attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, okay, and earned 59 degrees, Sam. 59 degrees. You know, according to this AIO review, it says that Andrew Jackson graduated in 2005. Yes. I mean, I didn't know he was like, what, 200 years old? William Harrison graduated in 1953 and 1974. I mean, these guys really like school. John Tyler graduated in 1958 and 1969. Andrew Johnson earned 14 degrees, including glasses of, I mean, this range is incredible, 1947, 1965, 1985, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2012. James Buchanan graduated in 1943, 2004, 2013. Harry Truman graduated in 1933. I think that one may be accurate. No, that can't be. He would be too young. Or maybe. I don't know. I have to look that up. John Kennedy graduated in 1930, 1948, 1962. And apparently he took some additional studies after he was dead in 71, 92, and 93. And Jerry Ford, while managing the Vietnam War and being president of the United States, graduated in 1975.

Sam:
[1:21:29]
You know, he was probably in some of those anti-Vietnam protests at the time.

Ivan:
[1:21:34]
While, you know, yes, while president. Yes, absolutely.

Sam:
[1:21:38]
Yes.

Ivan:
[1:21:38]
Yes. Yes.

Sam:
[1:21:39]
There are a few other examples. Like one that got a lot of press is someone asking Google how to keep the cheese from sliding off their pizza.

Ivan:
[1:21:51]
Okay.

Sam:
[1:21:51]
And Google answered, amongst other texts, but recommending adding some non-toxic glue into the sauce.

Ivan:
[1:22:02]
Oh, well, you know, okay. Well, that's not toxic. Look, I today, look, I will say that today I got some cheese. This cheese comes with like this, this like, like wax paper or something in between each slice. And I accidentally, you know, left one of those in there in between two slices. So I bit into the, the, the, that, that I stopped talking. I mean, I was like, I didn't realize that it was paper. But I was like, eh, it's not that bad.

Sam:
[1:22:40]
Yeah.

Ivan:
[1:22:41]
So maybe glue? I mean, okay.

Sam:
[1:22:44]
Maybe.

Ivan:
[1:22:45]
Okay.

Sam:
[1:22:46]
I mean, and effectively certain things act as glue in foods anyway. Yeah. No, but look, the point of all of this, and look, you can do lots of Google searches that probably come out with reasonable stuff here. And people are picking sort of the worst examples to publicize. Also, I saw at least one person on Mastodon, I think, claiming that they had intentionally put something ridiculous on their website for the purpose of getting Google to come back with one of these bizarre results and had it work.

Ivan:
[1:23:23]
Yeah, but my point is that, okay, I'm sorry, it shouldn't be so easy to hack.

Sam:
[1:23:27]
No, no, it shouldn't. And look, the fundamental problem with all of this is, you know, and I know we've talked about this before, but this current generation of LLMs does not have any, any clue. Okay.

Ivan:
[1:23:44]
By the way, Harry Truman did not go to University of Wisconsin.

Sam:
[1:23:48]
Oh, okay. Did he graduate in 1933 or whatever it was?

Ivan:
[1:23:52]
No. After graduating from Independence High School in 1901, Truman took classes at Spalding's Commercial College, a Kansas City business school. He studied bookkeeping, shorthand, and typing, but stopped after a year. So basically, he stopped in 1902. So no, not even close. Yeah.

Sam:
[1:24:10]
So anyway, we've talked about this before, but the problem is this current generation of models really has no idea about truth or falsehood or whatever. It's taking what it's ingested from the internet and probabilistically determining what is a reasonable answer based on what it's seen.

Ivan:
[1:24:32]
To me, it seems more like it's putting together bullshit that sounds... Well, yes, but it sounds right, but not necessarily that it is right.

Sam:
[1:24:44]
But part of this is also, it's just scraping the internet. Like specifically, for instance, this glue on pizza thing appears to be the answer that someone gave to this in a Reddit post from 11 years ago where they were being sarcastic.

Ivan:
[1:25:02]
Okay, so that's a problem. You know, you just highlighted, I was trying to come up with the right analogy. And, you know, we've been talking about the left-hand turning problem with cars, okay, with automated cars and self-driving. It's kind of like the same thing with sarcasm, okay? Look, the biggest problem that they have with damn self-driving has been making unprotected left-hand turns, okay? OK, it really has a lot of trouble judging when it should or not. OK, and it's kind of like what you just found with this sarcasm. You know, you answer a question like that with sarcasm and the LLM has no way of determining if it's that.

Sam:
[1:25:50]
In this case, in this case, it's not even that somebody could have answered the question earnestly, but been wrong. It would still have no idea.

Ivan:
[1:25:58]
Right, right. Right. But it doesn't have, it has no judgment over that, over any of this.

Sam:
[1:26:04]
The bottom line, the bottom line is it found someplace on the internet where somebody had asked this question. And like, when you go through all the statistical models, the question was unique enough that it said, oh, the most likely response to this is the one response I have in my database from 11 years ago. And so I'm going to regurgitate that, which points out a bunch of problems. One is that it doesn't know what's true and what's not and what's sarcasm and what's like somebody making something up and blah, blah, blah, what's trustworthy and what's not. Another is just like the whole copyright thing again. Like, you know, it's coming out and just saying this answer, like it's its own, but it turns out, oh, you just lifted something off somebody's blog post from like 20 years ago or whatever. But all of this just comes back down to, and I know I'm a broken record on this, is that this technology is incredibly interesting. It has a bunch of potential, but all of the big companies are so afraid of being left behind that they're just shoving all this stuff out here when it's bad. You know, like, you know, in this case, like, Like, you know, if this was a customer service representative giving this kind of answer, you would fire them.

Sam:
[1:27:29]
You know, it's just like there's so much there. This. There's amazing stuff here. You know, I read you the thing that Alex sent me. I've done the AI art thing for a couple things, and it's cool and it's fun. I've had it do creative things of various sorts. I've had it help me with programming tasks and take a lot of the tedium out of it and save me time for simple stuff. If it was complicated, I think it wouldn't.

Ivan:
[1:28:02]
But I will tell you that I had it. I had it help me summarize some slides for a presentation. And it sucked, right? I mean, it did give me something. It did. But yeah, but it gave me at least a starting point from which I could then craft my presentation.

Sam:
[1:28:19]
Yeah.

Ivan:
[1:28:19]
Okay.

Sam:
[1:28:20]
But you would never trust it out of the box. No.

Ivan:
[1:28:24]
Oh, fuck. No, I could not have set that out. You know, yeah. No, no. Out of the box. I had to really, but, but it, it gave me, I was struggling to come up with.

Sam:
[1:28:35]
It saved you some time by giving you a starting place that you could use to add it from.

Ivan:
[1:28:39]
Correct. Yes.

Sam:
[1:28:40]
So, and I found it useful in a couple areas too. Like I mentioned on this show, how I used it to shorten something I use for wiki of the day from like a hundred words down to 50 or something. And it helped give me ideas. And even there, I did not take what it gave me out of the box. I took what it gave me and edited it myself and added my own preferences to it. after doing several iterations with the AI. Look, there are a lot of useful things that can come out of this. What just drives me nuts are these companies pushing it clearly beyond the point where it's good in the effort to just get out there and drive this stuff everywhere. So practically every tech company in existence is shoving this stuff everywhere. And the results are mediocre.

Sam:
[1:29:29]
In most cases. And I feel like so many of these companies are just burning whatever trust they had with people in their brands from before, because like the results are crap. Like there was a, one of the guy, what was the, the tech publication? Uh, he was in, he was interviewing the CEO of Google and just, I mean, what was the, the, from the verge, the, the, the head editor of the verge was interviewing the CEO of Google and just handed him a live search result that he did on like best laptops or something. And the AI summary was crap. And then following the AI summary were a bunch of links to SEO opera, optimized garbage pages with no useful information. And you had to scroll way down to get anything that was even remotely useful. And on the AI garbage at the top, uh what what's what's the ceo's name i'm blanking on sudar something uh.

Ivan:
[1:30:33]
Sundar psh from google yeah yeah yeah he.

Sam:
[1:30:37]
He said he said well you pushed the button to get the ai it actually determined it didn't have a really great ai response and so you had to push it to get that and so you shouldn't have done that and it's like really duh every everybody is complaining right now that even Even before this AI stuff, Google search results were getting more and more horrible because they're polluted with, of course, the ads that Google uses to make money. But also then all of the top results are SEO, search engine optimized, so that it's just people trying to game the system getting to the top of the search results. And they have apparently won the war against whatever Google was doing to compete against that. And then on top of that, you're adding AI summaries that are mediocre at best. And it's just like, and Google's not alone. I mentioned Google, but Facebook's trying to shove this into everywhere. They've got it as well.

Sam:
[1:31:37]
Microsoft is doing it. Microsoft just announced a feature where they're going to have their systems automatically take screenshots every few seconds as a quote unquote memory of what you've done so that you can ask the AI about stuff that you've done on your computer and have it be able to bring back relevant information from what you've done. But the mechanism to do that is taking screenshots every few seconds, whenever you're using your computer forever and saving those and then doing operations on them, which obviously has a bunch of potential downsides to it as well. And, and like all of this stuff is, and, and also like, I forgot to mention at least some of the Google weird results that have been coming out in their summaries have turned out to, for them themselves, be lifted from pages that were AI-generated themselves. So we've predicted before that this sort of AI large language model is going to end up eating itself, essentially, because the whole internet is going to get flooded by output from these things. And then if you try to use that to train more models, it'll just be increasingly self-referential garbage.

Sam:
[1:32:50]
So that's part of what Microsoft's doing with the screenshot thing is because to get any better, you need more and more sources of data to build these models on. But if you've poisoned the internet at large, how do you do that? You have to monitor people directly that you know are human for what are they doing? It's just, it's just a, I...

Sam:
[1:33:15]
Again, there's lots of good potential in this, but I feel like all of these companies that are in a mad rush to shove things out the door and shove things in front of people as quickly as they possibly can are making a huge mistake because they're just going to lose trust. People are not going to want to interact with it because if you start by pushing out something that's just horrid, even assuming you improve it further down the line, you're going to of have to dig yourself out from that hole in terms of people trusting you like at this point like google search is becoming more and more of a joke of like why would you go there to start looking for something well you know and be.

Ivan:
[1:33:57]
Fair i i look i still use google search a lot.

Sam:
[1:34:02]
I do too and.

Ivan:
[1:34:04]
And the reality is that for the most part i do skip i i do skip like i'll maybe peruse that but But that AI summary that sometimes it does pop up. But most of the time, I'm looking for the results down below to see if I see a source of what I'm looking for that's authoritative that I believe that has the correct answer instead of taking that. You know, that sometimes maybe gives me some factoid that may be easy to get. Get like for example i believe that i took that those stats on on helicopter accidents right i took from from a google search and and i i i'm pretty sure that it was a summary at the top that had that there and i'm i'm gonna go back to it i see i'll go to the google search, It's not an A, but it's not one of those that's highlighted as AI. Okay. This was from an, this was, this was, it literally took a, a line from an, from an article from a source that is authoritative that had that and just highlighted that passage.

Sam:
[1:35:21]
Right. And Google has been doing that for a while. And so have other places like DuckDuckGo where they, if they have a source that they believe is good they just do a snippet from it and a link to the source and that actually oh okay i'm good with that that that's different right um you know somebody uh yeah it's called the featured snippet right right and somebody posted recently like a a timeline of saying like up through 2016 like google produced really good fairly good web results 2016 through a few months ago go bunch of seo optimized garbage but you could sift through it and get the stuff you wanted and then a few months ago to now like whatever this ai shit is right but and this is getting to people trying to find other ways to do it i i just shared on our convergence corner slack and i'll mention the the link here there was an ars technica article on a updated may 24th but i'd seen this going around for a couple of weeks now where apparently Google not that long ago added a command, added an option that you can access through the command line or through the menus that restricts your search specifically to web.

Sam:
[1:36:39]
And then when you do that, you basically get back the good old fashioned Google results of just links to websites that are relevant. It. And the, the, the, the article is Google searches UDM equals 14 trick lets you kill AI search for good.

Sam:
[1:36:59]
It removes the AI summary. It removes a bunch of ads. It gives you just a bunch of links. There's an, the same article talks about an additional command line option you can do to get rid of fuzzy search and just go to exact search, which if you really know what you want, helps search results and it that the article gives you gives you tips like you can change your default search in your browser to use this instead of the normal one etc so it's just.

Sam:
[1:37:32]
It's there been it's the declining quality of this stuff over time it's the ai stuff is the the latest bit of it, but, I want to go back to the AI topic specifically. Again, my bottom line is just, All of these companies, I think, are going to regret pushing as fast and hard as they did into this space. Because if, and I understand why they're like, we don't want to let the people who go hard and fast, like win this race and make us obsolete. But at the same time, you're just killing your users trust in you by throwing out garbage. It would be another thing if it was good, but it's not good yet.

Ivan:
[1:38:20]
Well, here's one thing that is like the one thing that I'm remembering about this entire AI discussion over the last several years, okay? Because it predates this whole thing, chat GPT blowing up, et cetera, and so forth. But one of the things that people have been, have complained for years about how Siri hasn't evolved.

Sam:
[1:38:48]
Well, now it is. There you go.

Ivan:
[1:38:50]
No, but the one thing about it is that the reason why, for years, Siri's results were pretty limited was because Apple was very unhappy with Siri. Results that were based on algorithm automation anything that was similar to ai right and so they made a conscious decision that unless we vet everything this stupid thing is saying we don't want it to we don't want it to say it well.

Sam:
[1:39:23]
Of course meanwhile the rumors are that the next version of ios and the next version of mac os are going to be full of this stuff and they're They're working on a deal with OpenAI to power it, et cetera, et cetera. So we'll see if they back off from that.

Ivan:
[1:39:38]
But I'm wondering, you know, how much they will back off of that. Because there's a couple of things. There's a couple of things.

Sam:
[1:39:46]
One of the things that they're going to, Apple is still insisting on, they want to do a lot of stuff on device instead of cloud.

Ivan:
[1:39:56]
Cloud right um.

Sam:
[1:39:57]
And they they undoubtedly are going to have i hope are going to have higher standards than some of this crap we're seeing online here like because i i think that's the key to this like again this technology has tons and tons of potential you just have to do it right well i mean i do it do it right quote unquote.

Ivan:
[1:40:17]
Here's one thing about it you know you know people love to complain about how siri what it does and what what it doesn't do it it's limited but i i i think also that people keep trying it based on what they how limited it was right because i have found that it was every time siri keeps surprising me how it really could do a lot more things that i just forget to ask and don't all of a sudden i ask and i'm like well wait hey, it will get me an answer to this. It will find me this. It will have the answer to these things. And so I also think that that's part of it, that I think that, but at the same time, They have made a conscious decision to strictly limit what the hell it says because it doesn't want that nightmare customer service agent that goes and says, oh, yeah. Oh, that first class ticket. Oh, we'll give it to you for free. No problem.

Sam:
[1:41:18]
Right.

Ivan:
[1:41:19]
Oh, it's, you know, like there was an AI chat bot that that it's a car dealer that basically was selling.

Sam:
[1:41:26]
Cars for one dollar. Yeah.

Ivan:
[1:41:27]
For one dollar. Yes. Not exactly what you really want.

Sam:
[1:41:34]
So and also i'll just add like i i just said there's a way to quote unquote do it right but part of that is recognizing the limits of current technology like it may well be to you i fully expect we will get much much smarter quote-unquote ai things as we go forward maybe even generalized intelligence at some point. But I think you have to go beyond, like the current batch of LLMs ain't it. You're not going to get there by just making those bigger and bigger and bigger. You're going to have to also take, you're going to have to have some way of the thing, figure out truth and falsehood, who to trust, who not to trust. And I know people are working on that. It's just a matter of like, Like I get frustrated when they go beyond where these things are actually useful and just try to push the limits in this way. Cause, and I know the motivations for it and I know they're scared, but it's like, oh, this is bad. It like, maybe it will be good in another six months, another year, another two years, whatever. But right now this is crap and you're trying to shove it down people's throats.

Ivan:
[1:42:53]
Yeah, that, that, that is basically what we're getting. So. But look, the race is really big time on. Everybody has now announced that they are going to have AI-infused PCs. Yeah. I mean, Apple did it first. And then, I don't know.

Sam:
[1:43:14]
Apple? Which one was Apple?

Ivan:
[1:43:16]
They announced this M4 chips that are coming that have AI, you know, advanced processing on the chips. and and there there's also i heard the same thing for i mean and basically.

Sam:
[1:43:31]
A lot of that is gpu technology they're just moving it in the.

Ivan:
[1:43:34]
The wind the windows and.

Sam:
[1:43:36]
They optimize maybe slightly they.

Ivan:
[1:43:38]
Had something that microsoft and i saw nvidia and yep whatever announced well michael dell was on something this week announcing that they were going to have pcs with that same with the, you know, trying to do the same shit, you know, they're all on this race for this. I, I, I, I mean, look, as long as we're not putting it to do something dangerous, I'm okay with people tweaking with this. Like right now, I, I, I just, sometimes I tried a service, a customer service agent that was AI infused for a tech request in which I sent it a screenshot of the error message I was getting. And unfortunately, what I got back is supposed to analyze that and do some kind of triage in order to figure out what the source of your problem was. Let's just say that it was not even close.

Sam:
[1:44:37]
Right.

Ivan:
[1:44:37]
Right and so and at least but at least it gave me the option well isn't this your problem and i'm like no you're not even close.

Sam:
[1:44:48]
So, yeah. So, and, and by the way, I, what Alex is doing here with the simulated conversations of us is he's over here a few feet from me with chat GPT on his phone, putting it in the audio interface and having it listen to our conversation, then asking it to continue our conversation.

Ivan:
[1:45:09]
Well, it's not doing that great a job as far as anything I've heard so far.

Sam:
[1:45:13]
Yeah.

Ivan:
[1:45:13]
Well, to be honest, it's, it's really shitty. Okay. All right. And so, you know, now, now I will say this, that the movie that, that it's proposing that, like I said, the movie needs a murder. There needs to be sex and murder in this movie of some kind.

Sam:
[1:45:35]
Okay. Okay, so that folks know what Yvonne is referencing, I will not read it right now, but when I edit this together after the closing credits, I will have an AI voice read the description of the Curmudgeon's Corner movie.

Ivan:
[1:45:52]
There's going to be a Curmudgeon's Corner movie. We're going to get it funded, Sam. We're going to get it funded.

Sam:
[1:45:58]
Yes.

Ivan:
[1:45:59]
We'll just do it. Well, we could just try to do this entirely with AI. I saw somebody do some, you know, I've seen a few people do some movies and videos of which they're trying to do the whole thing entirely with AI. And I got to tell you, look, the one thing is some, the, it, when it's trying to, handle multiple people on screen at the same time it is oh my god it's like it's it looks like a zombie freak show i i i'm like what the hell is it literally looks just it's it's scary well.

Sam:
[1:46:36]
And by the way that kind of stuff is one of the areas where the technology is still increasing exceptionally rapidly. Like the sort of AI generated pictures and video based on like natural language prompts right now compared to a year ago is unrecognizable. It is so much better than it was. And I think that's true even of the sort of text-based creative stuff is also true. And the key to these is, and you still have all of these sort of copyright and are you stealing ideas, blah, blah, blah. All of those issues are still in play. And AI companies, by the way, have started to make deals with content companies to pay them to avoid getting sued over this.

Ivan:
[1:47:24]
Where they're just stealing those voices.

Sam:
[1:47:25]
Stealing it outright, yes. Right, like Scarlett Johansson in the news this week for that. But these areas where truth doesn't matter and you're trying to just be creative and get compelling images or even writing stories or things like that, those are getting better rapidly because they don't have to be constrained by being true. You know, this technology is good at making things that look or sound or are written in a way that is compelling and natural and quote unquote sounds right. And if all you care about is it sounding right or looking right, and you don't care about whether it's true or false, that's an area where I, I think there's still lots of room for improvement here. And we've got a, you know, this technology can do a lot and obviously is doing a lot and is getting better rapidly. It's just the area where it completely falls on its face is where it matters if it's true or not right and i'm sure their work again i'm sure they're working on it i know they're working on it but it's not there yet and they're trying to push it out before it's ready it's half baked at best and so yeah okay um our.

Ivan:
[1:48:43]
Movie's gonna be fantastic.

Sam:
[1:48:44]
Yeah it's gonna be fantastic so that's That's all I'm saying. The one last thing on this, the continuation of our previous conversation, Yvonne. Oh, got it. So speaking of GPU technology and how it's evolving, have you noticed how these advancements are also affecting AI performance? It's like each new generation of GPUs brings a significant leap in what AI can do. Sam, definitely. The speed and efficiency of AI models have improved so much thanks to GPUs.

Ivan:
[1:49:11]
That's the worst thing?

Sam:
[1:49:13]
Yes. It's fascinating how the same technology that powers high-end gaming is also pushing the boundaries in AI. It's like they're optimizing everything bit by bit. Have you come across any recent breakthroughs in this area?

Ivan:
[1:49:27]
Anyway. Okay. You know, I mean, it sounds like, you know, I mean, that sounded like us. We've been drinking that whole thing changed what we were saying, which is basically, oh, this whole thing sucks. We don't understand. It's garbage. And it's like, it's like all of a sudden we just drank the fucking Kool-Aid.

Sam:
[1:49:52]
Yeah. Something like that.

Ivan:
[1:49:53]
Yeah. Basically.

Sam:
[1:49:55]
Okay. The only other thing. You don't want to. Do you have anything to say about this Alito flag thing to completely shift directions? I don't think it's a long topic. It's just, you know.

Ivan:
[1:50:11]
You know, the only.

Sam:
[1:50:13]
Only thing I have to say is nobody.

Ivan:
[1:50:16]
I have, I have two words to say. Fuck Alito.

Sam:
[1:50:21]
The, the only thing I have to say is everybody's acting like there's some big, huge revelation. Like really? You didn't already know that Alito was a sympathizer with the, the, the insurrectionists insurrectionists. You didn't already know Alito was a sympathizer with the insurrectionists? I mean, like, duh. You know, him and Thomas are completely in on, like, they're like, it's a good thing. It should have succeeded, as far as I can tell. Like, both of them. And, you know, I can't speak for the rest of the court, but those two, like, nobody should be shocked by any of this stuff. Nobody should be surprised in a way like you got all of these people sort of doing, oh, my God, this is outrageous. And well, OK, fine. It is outrageous. But did you expect anything different from him? Come on. You know, and same thing with Thomas and his his wife. And they're all like, you should recuse yourself from these cases. Yeah, like that's going to happen.

Ivan:
[1:51:23]
Right.

Sam:
[1:51:23]
You know, and, and there are people yelling at like, you know, wanting to have like a Senate investigation and blah, blah, blah. And okay, fine. Maybe the Senate could do something performative, but what's going to come of that? Like you, I mean.

Ivan:
[1:51:37]
Unless they impeach him.

Sam:
[1:51:38]
I mean, well, even if they impeach him, you're going to, you're going to get enough Republicans to come in on that, to like, no, no.

Ivan:
[1:51:43]
That's what I'm saying. No, no, you're not going to, you're not going to get the votes to, to like, you know, for him to become victim. Well.

Sam:
[1:51:49]
You, and you can't impeach him because the impeachment has to start in the house.

Ivan:
[1:51:53]
And they're not going to write and the house is not going to impeach him and he's not going to get convicted. And so, you know.

Sam:
[1:51:58]
So yeah, I mean, now, nevertheless, I can see like the appropriate Senate Senate committee, doing some hearings, making some whatever, get some attention.

Ivan:
[1:52:11]
I will say this after this election, after this election, after this election, if, if the Democrats get back the fucking majority, oh, I would love to hold some impeachment hearings to investigate these assholes on this shit. Because, because, because I.

Sam:
[1:52:27]
I could see that you probably still want, you still wouldn't be able to convict in the Senate, but just getting some visibility.

Ivan:
[1:52:33]
Yeah. Yeah, but you know what? What they did needs to be exposed.

Sam:
[1:52:39]
Yeah. Of course, you're just launching another witch hunt, Yvonne.

Ivan:
[1:52:44]
Yes, another witch hunt, of course. Witch hunt. All right, on the witch hunt.

Sam:
[1:52:50]
I got nothing else. Are we done?

Ivan:
[1:52:51]
No, we're done.

Sam:
[1:52:53]
Okay. Yeah, okay, well, the stuff at the end. Go to curmudgeons-corner.com. All the stuff is there. How to reach us, Facebook, email, Mastodon, our archives, including transcripts for almost the last year, I think, somewhere. I forget exactly when I started it last year. And of course, our Patreon, where you can give us money. And if you give to the Patreon at various levels, we will mention you on the show. We will ring a bell. We will send you a postcard. We will send you a mug, all that kind of fun stuff. And at $2 a month or more, or if you just ask us, we will invite you to our Commodions Corner Slack, where Yvonne and I and various others are chatting throughout the week, sharing all kinds of stuff. It's a lot of fun. The more the merrier. You should join us if you're not already there. So yvonne give one example from this week's conversation on the curmudgeon's corner slack that's gonna make somebody listening who is not on the slack today go oh my god i can't believe i missed that i should be on the slack.

Ivan:
[1:54:00]
So apparently there is a device that it's not an april fool jokes april fool fool's joke which is a new ipod like device that turns a strapless watch into some kind of click wheel phone meet the tiny pod i i found i checked their website it is they do have a website with this okay meet tiny pod the device that turns your apple watch into an ipod resembling phone for unplugging while going going fully and.

Sam:
[1:54:36]
We're we're talking.

Ivan:
[1:54:37]
Old school.

Sam:
[1:54:37]
Ipods too the one with the.

Ivan:
[1:54:39]
Yeah we're talking to one with a little wheel so you basically Basically.

Sam:
[1:54:42]
Like the very first iPads, right? You are not iPads, iPods, iPods.

Ivan:
[1:54:47]
OK, so you put the watch, you take the strap off, you stick it in this little box and that turns it into the screen of what would have been like an old iPod. And it's got this little click wheel. And then I guess you've just got some kind of a basic phone. You know so that's that's you know so that's you know that's it's just very weird i i don't you know i i i don't know how anybody got funded to manufacture a whole bunch of these i don't see how anybody's buying these nobody's.

Sam:
[1:55:20]
Gonna buy this thing.

Ivan:
[1:55:21]
Nobody's buying this crap like i i i'd.

Sam:
[1:55:23]
Actually be surprised if this actually.

Ivan:
[1:55:26]
Exists i mean it says it'll.

Sam:
[1:55:29]
Be fully unveiled in june there was an article on nine to five mac about this thing on may 24th new ipod like device turns a strapless apple watch into a click wheel phone uh supposedly like i said due out in june but.

Ivan:
[1:55:45]
Well hell and this is almost like i i think i i shared this other one that was called brick yes so so brick is some kind of like thing that you i guess you install some software on your iphone and that if you don't have the brick with you it will turn your phone into basically just, an old phone back from like a long time ago right so you can't run your app so maybe you can listen into music it just basically you want to disconnect but you don't want to leave your phone because you want to have the phone well the brick will do this for you okay i will admit this would maybe sounds like a little bit more useful but but i also i'm wondering how many people are actually going to buy this well.

Sam:
[1:56:38]
And people have been talking about there has been a bit of a resurgence on dumb phones.

Ivan:
[1:56:45]
Yeah, flip phones.

Sam:
[1:56:46]
Where people are buying basic phones that only have rudimentary texting and phone abilities and don't really have all of the rest. Because there are people who are like, the phone is taking over too much of my life. I want to get offline more. I don't want to be always accessible. I don't want to be distracted by all the things that distract me. So give me a device that basically just does calls and.

Ivan:
[1:57:15]
Maybe limited texting i will say that i that i have noticed that i and i've made you know look sometimes i will walk and look at a phone because i need to find something at the time but i try to make it a rule i'm walking i'm not looking at my phone and i made it with my son also like no you're not you're walking you're looking but i have I have noticed that there is a large cohort right now that basically cannot be, is, walks with their phone while they're doing something nonstop.

Sam:
[1:57:46]
I'm in that group. You know, and, and, and, you know, have, have I walked into anything while I'm doing that? Maybe. No, I mean, I've never like, I've never seriously hurt myself or walked into traffic or anything like that. But, you know, I certainly like you're not paying full attention.

Ivan:
[1:58:10]
No, you're not.

Sam:
[1:58:39]
Somewhat disconnected. If like you mentioned the other week that you had a flight where you didn't have wifi and it actually felt like it felt good to be a few hours without a connection. Yeah. And I, I, I, I feel antsy. I fully admit, I feel antsy if I'm not connected and I don't know that I can see what's going on and people can get ahold of me and all that kind of stuff. Stuff but you know that i fully admit that might not be a hundred percent healthy and maybe, disconnecting for a while would be okay and but again if if you want to do that though i think a flip phone is a much more reasonable way to do it than to get some like little case for your apple watch that you make it so you can't wear it on your wrist anymore and instead Instead, you hold it like a phone, but it has less capability. Like if you really want a phone with less capability, get one of those damn dumb phones. You know, this thing is, seems useless or, or, or, you know, back in the old days. I mean, I know this is hard to imagine, but people went places without a phone.

Ivan:
[1:59:52]
I don't. Well, I, I have to look, but, but I will say that I, in the old days, I mean, that That really, I, this is, for me, we're talking, man, early 90s. Because, I mean, going back to.

Sam:
[2:00:16]
I know you were an early adopter of cell technology.

Ivan:
[2:00:19]
Yeah, I mean, I had one going back to, man, to hell. I mean, because in college, I didn't have one.

Sam:
[2:00:29]
Right.

Ivan:
[2:00:29]
But the moment I, but I had one before, okay, I went to college, but, but for sure, since 93, I always had a phone.

Sam:
[2:00:37]
Right.

Ivan:
[2:00:38]
And there was a period that I went after I had one phone, one of my handheld phones stolen, I went back to having a car phone and a pager for a bit, but I wasn't really disconnected because whenever anybody called my cell phone, if I wasn't there, my pager would tell me, hey, you got a call.

Sam:
[2:00:58]
Right.

Ivan:
[2:00:59]
Which that was a cool thing. So I'm like, oh, okay, I'll call back, whatever. But yeah, I haven't been like that since the early 90s. That would be weird.

Sam:
[2:01:09]
Yeah like i i can't imagine for instance saying you know i'm gonna go on a trip and i'm gonna leave my phone at home.

Ivan:
[2:01:16]
You see all sorts of communications i mean you know nobody can reach me for for days people freak out.

Sam:
[2:01:23]
Yeah i.

Ivan:
[2:01:25]
Mean people would freak out i'm sure that after you know you know maybe i'll go a day but then by the second day people are gonna be like what the fuck is.

Sam:
[2:01:34]
You must be dead yeah yeah yeah so so anyway that is all right that is the modern world we are done thank you everybody for joining as i stated stick around after the they're not credits after the closing music or whatever and i will have an ai voice read you a couple of the curmudgeons corner movie things that alex has been sending me over the over the last few days, so that's it hey everybody stay safe have a great week oh there's a holiday weekend have a good holiday weekend not that i will necessarily get this show out before the end of the holiday weekend, you know but have a great holiday weekend or i hope you had a good holiday weekend depending on when you listen to this and yeah stay safe have a good time and we'll talk to you later later. Goodbye.

Ivan:
[2:02:31]
Bye.

Ruth Generative:
[2:03:03]
Curmudgeon's Corner. The movie could be imagined as a charmingly grumpy, comedic film where a group of lovably cantankerous older characters spends their days at their favorite local hangout. Curmudgeon's Corner. This corner cafe, or park bench, is where they air their grievances about modern life, reminisce about the good old days, and unintentionally get involved in the lives of the younger generation, often offering unsolicited, yet surprisingly wise advice. The main characters could be a diverse mix of retirees, each with a unique brand of curmudgeonliness, a retired teacher who critiques everything, a former engineer who can fix anything but is baffled by smartphones, and a once-feisty businesswoman who has strong opinions on fashion and etiquette. The plot could weave through various misadventures, like a mission to save their beloved corner from being turned into a trendy coffee shop, or helping a young neighbor navigate a life crisis, all while delivering witty, sharp dialogue and showcasing the warmth and wisdom hidden beneath their crusty exteriors. The film would blend humor with heartfelt moments, showing that at any age, people can still grow, connect, and make a difference.

Matthew Generative:
[2:04:14]
Curmudgeon's Corner, the movie could instead be envisioned as a heartwarming dramedy where the main character, a young, idealistic teacher, inherits a rundown community center in a quirky small town. The center, nicknamed Curmudgeon's Corner, is the daily meeting place for a group of endearing, if slightly grumpy, senior citizens, who are set in their ways and skeptical of change. As the young teacher tries to revitalize the center and integrate more community activities, she faces resistance from the curmudgeons, who fear losing their beloved gathering spot to modernization. Through a series of humorous and touching events, the teacher and the seniors learn from each other. The curmudgeons begin to see the value in new ideas while imparting wisdom and life lessons to the younger generation. The film could weave in subplots involving the personal lives of the curmudgeons, such as rekindled old romances, reconciliations with estranged family members, and the pursuit of long-forgotten dreams. This narrative approach would blend humor with moments of genuine emotion, showcasing how the bonds formed at Curmudgeon's Corner help bridge generational gaps and heal old wounds. By the end, Curmudgeon's Corner, the movie would show that change and tradition can coexist, and that every age has as something valuable to contribute to the community tapestry.


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