Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

It Could Happen Here Weekly 26

It Could Happen Here Weekly 26

Sat, 19 Mar 2022 04:01

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Hey everybody, Robert Evans here and I wanted to let you know this is a compilation episode so every episode of the week. That just happened. Is here in one convenient and with somewhat less ADS package for you to listen to in a long stretch if you want. If you've been listening to the episodes every day this week, there's gonna be nothing new here for you, but you can make your own decisions. Oh, it could welcome here, the podcast that happens. ****. All right. Well, Saint Andrew, I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna pivot to you to to pull us out of this tailspin I've locked us into. Hello, what's the scene everyone? Today I want to go on a bit of a personal meandering, I guess, on some of the ideas and concepts that just kind of floating on my head surrounding sustainable city planning and city living. Want to see a lot of these ideas and stuff? Kind of just. Crimped them from like all over the place, and. In some cases they are a bit less I would see. Viable than others, but. I do find like the week of, for example, and and so on to be very inspiring in terms of our capabilities. What? Potential there is an obsolete technologies. What low tech solutions exist for issues and? What we can do as people to just kind of make. Living in urban sprawl or suburban hell a little bit. Less hellish. Yeah, that is definitely a topic close to my heart as well. As someone who lives in a city. I would like cities to be less hellish. Yeah, it seems like a dog, and I would like suburbs to not exist so. Eternal War on the suburbs we have to ally with rural America in protracted People's War against the suburbs, yes, yes. Yeah, my, my, my, my crank proposal has always been reintroducing mastodons. And just like just having mastodons just, like, walking through and destroying buildings because that's what the suburbs deserves. Yeah, mastodons isn't the actual animals. Yes, yes. I thought you meant like the the social media platform. No, no, no. I think we need to clone leopards so that they breed as quickly as rabbits and just let them loose. Wasn't Doctor Doofenshmirtz raised by leopards? Sure, why not? I would robertino who doctor difference versus no. OK, let's let's just let's just let's just let's just let's just let's just move on. Down OK, now I feel so I I'm, I'm, I think, I think we are, we are roughly the same in the same age bracket for television. We watched. So I'm, I'm very, I'm very, I'm very. Love life, trimmers, movies to catch up on. I'm very familiar with the good Doctor, Perry the platypus. Pilled. Yes, I am very, very, very Plato. Pilled, as they say. Platitude. Let's continue. Right, so there are a lot of aspects of my. Evil plan to make the entire tri-state area more sustainable. But I think I would want to start with something that tends to consume a lot of the energy in cities and that is like heating and cooling. I mean, for me, living in a tropical country, heating has never been a consideration. In. The coldest it gets is in like the. I would say like 18, nineteen, 20 degrees Celsius area. Wow. So to me that is like chilly that's like layering up kind of thing because I can't handle that kind of code which is kind of wild to me that I have considered moving to Canada. I don't think I'll be able to handle it. It does it does get it does get much colder. I mean we when I was in Canada we would have not not uncommonly have minus 40 Celsius. Weeks O. Yeah, yeah. I've never experienced minus degrees before. I don't know if that's like real. No, no, it is. Ohh. It's fine. It's it's not a big deal. You just put on an extra pair of socks, you're good to go. OK, so when when it when it hits -? 40 degrees Fahrenheit. You've experienced -? 40 degrees. It's not like, yeah. Yeah. It's not like Arctic temperatures. No. Like -, -. 40 negative 40 Fahrenheit is the temperature of the surface of bars are on a sunny day. Well, actually -, -. 40 Fahrenheit like is the same as -, 40 Celsius. Ohh. Is it? Yeah. They actually, they actually converge at that point. Yeah. It's like, what? You just it's crazy. Yeah, yeah. It's just pain. Like it's not even cold anymore. Like you just like your face. It hurts. It's it's great. It's a good time. I'm going to call out my, my, my favorite meme again and have -. 40 Fahrenheit -. 40 Celsius. Celsius. Clapping hands in the middle. Yeah. Classic. That's it. And anyway, yes, very honestly. I can't even conceive of that kind of temperature. I am an island boy, so. That's how I operate. Got it. And as an island boy, I had to see that like heat. Is very very uncomfortable. Humidity, humidity, heat is even more uncomfortable. Yeah, dry heat is also extremely uncomfortable. When you have a hot day combined with like. Sahara and dust in the air and. No clouds in the sky. It is truly, truly miserable. I. Can't imagine. But. Life in a city would be like if. You know, these sort of temperatures continue to climb as they are climbing. As you see, you know global average temperatures rising by, you know, 1/2 degree or a degree or. 2 degrees Celsius? That's just ridiculous, let alone 3 or 4 degrees Celsius increase. Especially compounded with the fact that. In a city, there's this thing called the urban heat island effect. So cities are 10 degrees Celsius hotter than the surrounding countryside. And the reasons for that are numerous. You know, you have like vehicles emitting heat constantly. You have air conditioners pumping heat into the air. You have concrete, concrete covering every surface, just like absorbing and radiating the sunrise. And you have these urban canyons between tall buildings to prevent heat from escaping from and to keep it at the sort of St level. It's miserable, right? And the typical solutions, the individual solutions, the short term solutions, the. Just make the situation worse, because I mean when you're feeling hot and I was just feeling hot just now and I turn on the AC, right? When you feeling hot, you know, you sit on the AC or you put on a fan, but. Not so much a fan, but the ESC continues on fuels this vicious cycle of heating the outdoors to cool the indoors, making external spaces even more uncomfortable. She end up with air conditioning use accounting for like 1/5 of global energy electricity usage of building related global electricity usage. And. You end up with the thing that supposed to be cooling us. Heating things even more. Because you know as. Developing countries, you know, they have access to more and more air conditioning especially, and you know, developing countries tend to be in the hotter sides of the world. You know, the use of air conditioning just continues to skyrocket. And. The International Energy Agency actually estimated that it would take the amount of energy needed to cool buildings will triple by 2050, which is equivalent to the current electricity demand in the US and Germany combined. So. On top of all that you also have an issue of like. Heat and heat deaths, right? The deaths and injuries caused by heat, I mean heat stroke is? Becoming more and more of an issue in cities, especially when it, you know temperatures reach above 25 degrees Celsius. People you know manually about people who work outside, people who just have to move around a lot, you know, experience the symptoms, the symptoms of heat stroke whenever there's like the spike in temperature, right? And then even if you don't experience like, a heat stroke, heat is exhausting. It is energy draining is. Utterly sapping and. It requires a lot out of your body to keep you cool and prevent you from like overheating. And surprisingly. This overheating issue is not just like, you know, a tropical issue or like a hot country issue. Like places like Moscow had like and asked me to 11,000 people died due to heat wave in 2010. And so with all these heatwaves and stuff we need to like. Figure out what to do with all these giant concrete buildings. I mean, I know for some people like. Equal brutalism is, you know, wow, so cool to me personally, and this is just my subjective opinion. I find it ugly and disgusting and I hate it. But you know, to each their own right brutalism discourse. I mean, what do you all think of mutalism? Yeah, I think. Yugoslavian brutalism was cool. Every other kind of brutalism was just like my opinions on Brutalism boiled down to thinking the game control is fun. I have stayed in a Yugoslavian brutalist architecture hotel, which was one of the weirdest nights of my life because it was clearly made. It was like one of these gigantic like Peoples Hotels that was meant to provide everyone with vacations. And so there's like 20,000 rooms and we were like the only three people there. So there was one person at the desk and that's just cavern of empty rooms. Yeah, such this. Everything felt like a liminal space. It was, it was very odd. It could be. It could be very, very uncanny. It wasn't like, bad. It was like reasonably well constructed. It was just deeply strange. I mean, that's just to spend the night. I think that's what makes the game control so cool is that yeah, it plays with those uncanny feelings on Brutalism while still being, like, very cool. Like, it's still, it's still control is the game that Jacob Keller made a video about, right? Yes, he made a he he did make a video that I watched that recently. It's like the sort of all this house kind of thing. Yes. Right. Right, right, right. Yeah. Yeah, I wanna check out that game because I mean. That's right. That's kind of like my issue with Brutalism. It feels like. A boss level in a video game? Yes. You know, like, you have to go through each level, clear out all the minions and make it to the top and beat the boss. It's kind of unsettling, yes. And then, like Eco Brutalism, it's just like, oh, what if trees, trees or Moss? And it's like, OK, cool, but I mean, like one of my many occupations and I still maintain it seasonally. I was a power washer and I hate Moss. And so to see Moss all over buildings just really bothers me. Like, I just want to get, you know, my spray gun and just clear it all off. And especially in like this climate, Moss is like a very significant issue. So that makes sense, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. One of my pet peeves among many. So, I mean, there are many different ways we could combat the urban heat island effects. That don't involve equal brutalism. And they can also help to facilitate, you know, creating more attractive spaces to live and to play. You know, obviously the solution isn't to just like bulldoze every building that has ever been built and make it more sustainable, you know, with vernacular materials and stuff. Though of course new buildings should be built with those principles in mind. But you know, it's unpractical to us, even sustainable, to destroy all the buildings we've already built and we and rebuild them. You know, the best thing we can do is try to. Mitigate and adapt with what we already have. Greenery and I know I was just roasting eco brutalism for just trap slash trees and everything, but you know greenery is an important part in that, right? Because you know it call it causes evapo transpiration which is like where what evaporator and plants leaves and cools the temperature, you know it. Or Sue improves peoples like psychological well-being. And they just, they're nice to look at, the nice look at. They keep things cool. In fact, they could help cause temperatures to drop by like 2 to 3 degrees Celsius in the like the surrounding area. I I think people certainly misinterpret it, but like this this is one of the big things you can see with with racism in the US where like you can literally, like you can literally track racial divides in a lot of American cities by the by the temperature because like people places where not many people live just don't have trees. And you know this this has like 8/8. Just this sort of like cascading series of of environmental and. Social effects, which are, yeah, a disaster. And yeah, environmental racism. Yeah, yes. Release stalk. Honestly, if you look at the heat map, so some of these cities and you could literally see, you know, where poor black folks live, you know, you can see the places with less trees, the places next to factories with like toxic runoff and wheeze and that kind of thing. It's just, you know, right there. And it sucks. Which is why, of course, part of any sort of efforts to improve cities and. Make things more sustainable. Would involve, you know, social justice and would involve. Responding to an addressing the compounding effects of like environmental racism over the past several decades. Chill, and part of the issue again tying things back to environmental racism, is that. A lot of the climate change policies that, you know, ostensibly amends to fever, like high density Uber and smart growth, you know, like sustainable blocks and that kind of thing. They are not conceived or implemented in a way that involves the people. Being affected by them, you know, in fact a lot of these like sort of green. Projects. Raise the cost of food, energy, water, transport, housing for people in the area. You know, they create these sorts of like gentrified neighborhoods essentially where the original inhabitants can no longer afford to live there. So if we want to develop like a sustainable city or resilient city or sustainable or resilient neighborhood, it requires social justice. It requires you know equity and you know like. The involvement of all affected through you know. Consensus or democracy? Umm. To just really shape. The future that you know they will be experiencing because they're the ones being affected by it. There are a lot of other ways as well to heat proof as it were a city. Reflective roofs and roads can also help reduce the. Absorptive powers of solar radiation by concrete and asphalt. So in fact, in some cities like LA and in New York, there's this white reflective coating that. Has been implemented in some 500,000 meters square of roof space that saves an estimated 2282 tons of CO2 per year from cooling emissions. I mean, all it takes really is just like that sort of white reflective code and it saves. Dividends in the long run. NASA had done some research on this and it demonstrated their results. Demonstrated that a white roof could be 23 degrees Celsius or 42 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than a typical black roof on a hot New York summary. Umm. And then places where, like, yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm sorry. Just kind of like glossed over. That is crazy. That is absolutely, absolutely wild. And in cities where like we're like 10% of the land area is like asphalt, you could imagine how that sort of. That sort of reflective sealant can impact. The cooling or the heating of the area? Water, of course, is another like important aspect of cooling cities. In andalus. Which was like. The Muslim Kingdom in Gabrion peninsula in the 14th century. They used to have these sort of like. Courtyards with pools and fountains there were stimulates water evaporation and cool the air and so like cities, so they you know. Take some hints from that. You know, you have ponds and pools and fountains and misting systems and stuff that can sort of chill things out. I mean, we see that. Being. Implemented in China where you have. Like for example. Water misters at like bus stops, which can chill. The air and, you know, cool passengers as they wait. And they found actually that adding water features and like cool coatings. Reduces the cooling requirements of an area by 29 to 43% annual. Also lowers the overall average air temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius. So it's like. Honestly, while her like these little things can have such a major impact on temperature. Speaking of like all the methods of cooling. Ancient methods of cooling. There's this Middle Eastern shading device called the mashrabiya. Or I think it's about shabbier. And it's basically an architectural element that is usually built by. Wooden lattice work. And sometimes stained glass. I used to like, catch and cool the wind. Through like having these basins of water in them is. I mean, so I could try to describe it. It's like a window jutting out of a building with some decorated by lattice look with jaws and basins of water pleased within them to let the wind passer. And as the wind is passing through is causing evaporative cooling, then it it chills out the interior, and so these mashrabiya ears. They've been used since the Middle Ages by, you know, the Coptic churches of Egypt and the. Art Deco movement in Iraq and and by you know the architecture in Baghdad as well and so. These sort of construction methods, while they tend to be developed for, you know, individual homes or individual buildings, they can in fact be implemented. With even the esthetics of Islamic geometry to help to. Cool a building and reduce its overall CO2 emissions. As I've been talking about heating and cooling and stuff for a while now, and Speaking of I should probably turn on me, you see taking off my AC rather. I think I heard either. Either it was you and drew or maybe it was Robert talking about the ceramic kind of cooling idea. Yeah, I mean, that's the thing. And like the part of the American SW like New Mexico, there's a lot of like swamp coolers that are basically working, right. Yeah, Swamp cooler, swamp coolers. It only works in certain climates, right. Like, you wouldn't really. I don't, yeah. Because if it's if it's too, it's too humid, it's it's not gonna work. You're just gonna. Yeah. Yeah, I think there's kind of a broader thing there architecturally, which is that like. We have a lot of, sort of like. Like we've we've we've lost a lot of in in in the way we do architecture. We've lost a lot of the sort of. Like? Build like, we've lost a lot of sort of building techniques adapted to specific locations. Yeah. Vernacular architecture. Yeah. Yeah. And like, that's something that has to be reversed, like, immediately because, yeah, like our, our, our current model of building houses out of oil is going to get us all killed. So really, what's what's the problem there? What's wrong? What's wrong with that? I mean, on top of that, right? Not just vernacular architecture, but vernacular clothing. I mean it's, I mean as again someone living in a tropical country, I see it for myself like working people going to work where and like full long sleeve dress shirts and long long dress pants and you know like formal shoes and. It's honestly absurd, you know, sometimes, like they have the whole tie, like, you know, pulled up and everything. Is not. It's entirely based on like European son, that's a professionalism and. It needs to be abolished. Abolished dress codes. Alright, abolish like this whole idea that you know, we have to dress this particular way despite you know the temperature because. It's more professional or whatever. For professionalism? Honestly, yeah, we we are. We are podcasting or in the vanguard of this, but we need you all help to destroy professionalism once and for all. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Show up to work. Can you be there soon? Easy. Umm. But yeah, like vernacular buildings as well, you know, obviously. You had in in Africa, in different parts of Africa you'd have different structures that were particularly articulate. You know, if you were in a in a tropical rainforest environment, you would have a billing that's tailored to, you know, keeping mosquitoes out and maintaining a certain temperature within and maintaining comfort as well within or, you know, in cooler regions you would have. Sitting construction that would keep heats within the building and. Prevents. Excessive discomfort, you know. And there were also, of course, like when it comes to like cooler areas. You were also expected to sort of keep yourself warm as well as, you know, keep your building warm. In fact, it was more so keeping yourself personally warm. So keeping yourself led up even when you're indoors. And of course, that's kind of lost today. People are expected to just, you know, turn on the heater and vibe for the months of winter, but it isn't sustainable. A lot of things we enjoy today, unsustainable keeps going back to that. But yeah, Speaking of things that we enjoy that are not at all. Sustainable? How about cars? Yeah, get rid of cars. Can you please get rid of cars? I mean cause a very convenient in terms of like if you want to get somewhere very specific. You know, if there's a place you wanna go, I'm the one you need to know. I'm a car. I'm a car. I'm a car, you know, kind of thing, but thank you, yes. Well, musical interlude there. Thank you for appreciating it. I appreciate it, but ultimately. Like? They honestly aren't sustainable. They honestly aren't something that we can maintain. And the nail even thought well potentially in the in the neighborhood watch the far future. I mean people are already know the problems with gas cars really know why gas cars are bad but you know things are just things are just sort of pivoted towards. Electric cars and who? Electric cars. Let's get a bunch of electric cars. Whoo. But electric cars aren't better. I mean the materials they require, the energy they require. It's quite frankly not sustainable in the long run and it just. Lengthens the amount of time that we spend dependent on cars for short and long distance traffic. Especially how in the states you've like built our cities around the idea of a car which is expanded the urban terrain unnecessarily. And if you look at like all the space taken up by like highways and overpasses and how much of just like urban space is taken up but just been built around the idea of the car, it really kind of makes the whole idea of a city. So much less useful. It's it's really it's really frustrating. And I think it's also working. Cars are so unbelievably dangerous. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We very much used to like having these, like, death machines driving around at all times and that that makes for like, a very. Cool like series of metal band song names or whatever. But the death statistics on funny when it comes to cause no. And like the average transportation time having cars has not actually decreased. Like the amount of time it takes to get from place to place based on like where you live in your city has not actually decreased because now everything is just spread further apart. So 100 years ago would take you know like a 15 minute. Back to get to like, you know, the market or something. It can take oftentimes longer, especially if you're driving in like rush hour traffic to get just just just like a couple of miles or even in some cases a decent job gets you there faster just because of how we've just designed the cities all around these rolling metal death cages. Yeah. It's not, it's, it's not great. It's one of the reasons I don't currently have a car. Yeah. And that's kind of that's something that's shocking to a lot of people when I tell them that really I have no intention of ever buying a car, of ever owning a car. It's not something that. I want and. I mean, I live relatively close to like some of the major transport arteries of the country and you know, Trinidad has like this unique ish transportation system, public transportation system. So we have these privately owned maxi taxis that they like. Vans with seats in the back and you know you could. You just kind of jump in depending on where they're going, which route they're taken, and they're they're convenient enough for me and for my purposes, so I just, you know. I go, I need to go with them, but. They're also gas guzzling, inefficient machines. I mean, they're better than, you know, all those people driving cars. I mean, as an island, you know, like, I don't know why we're so obsessed with having more and more cars on the road, but. At the end of the day, they still aren't the best in terms of sustainability and in terms of viable, reliable, sustainable transport. We also have like personal taxis as well, but they have the same problems as regular taxis and what's frustrating is that we used to have a a train line. That went along the entire East West corridor of the country. That's where most of the people in Canada live along the East West Corridor. Umm. But that was destroyed in the 1960s, I think, to make way for highways and a priority bus route. So instead of having a nice, convenient, cute little tree and that we could take to go from place to place, we have to rely on buses and Maxis and taxis. And cause. Yeah, that is a quite, that's not cool. That is quite not good, quite quite grim because we need to reconfigure. Seriously, I would love for them to bring back. Trains do with a take, a train do not have to rely on. I mean. Government bureaucracy makes all the things unreliable. But. I think a tree would have been slightly more reliable than a bus. Very much on the Pro train on the on the Pro train train. I've had fewer, fewer, fewer, fewer moments, more happy than writing the Portland Max Line and streetcar in a no face costume. It's very it's it's very fun. I think also like and another thing about about cars, right, this is just, this is just on a very pure political level, like cars are the thing that allowed suburbs to exist. And the existence of suburbs has produced just generation upon generation of, like, frothing reactionaries who are the source of like enormous percentages of the world's problems. And so if you get rid of those places, you produce less of them. Yeah. Which is just a a political benefit for anyone who wants to. Don't die. Exactly, exactly. I mean. We don't think about it because it already so many things to think about, but if you actually sat down and. Ponded. The death toll? Of like cause. We really and really brought to the forefront and really needed less of a necessity. I think more and more people would be open to the idea of rejecting cars, to keeping them as at most. Benign novelty that maybe? One or two existed. An entire community for use if needs be. But otherwise I don't see how. Each and every person in the world owning their own car is at all. The best way to go. Also, cars are kind of ugly to me. Yeah. We really didn't design them to look cool. It's just it's. I mean, there's some cars that look kind of cool, like some of the more classic ones, but. And that's part of the issue, right? They're getting uglier to me, and they're also getting larger. You know, like, people are like, yeah, they're racing their grills more and more, so, like, you're basically a pedestrian killing machine. We've effectively undone most of the benefits of making cars safer for passengers by making them much more dangerous for pedestrians, which is entirely a marketing choice. Like if, if you like, the ******* trucks they were making 25 years ago are just as useful. And in a lot of cases, more useful for, like, practical farm work, for hauling and whatnot than the trucks they're making today. They they haven't meaningfully gotten better. They've just gotten a lot larger for no real reason other than it makes people feel like big men. Well and then you get these fun, you get these fun. You can you can look at their marketing people like explicitly talking about how like, yeah, like they like basically explicitly playing into the the the fantasy of running over protesters and it's it's great. It's. Yeah, so get rid of cars and you won't have to deal with. That. But Chris, how is that sustainable or viable? Hmm, good question. Introducing super blocks. Ooh, yes, super super block sophistically neighborhoods of nine blocks. So I don't think they have to be. I think the. Philosophy and ideas behind superblocks could be implemented to. Suit different cities with different histories and different layouts, especially with localized like. Especially like localized street cars within each city block within each superblock like system. Exactly. So just to clarify the idea, super blocks are basically, you know, neighborhoods of nine blocks where traffic is restricted to the roads on the outside of the block, which means that the interior of the Super blocks are entirely walkable. That, combined with the idea of a superblock being mixed-use means that people are mostly able to access. They'll be sick necessities within their city block. Are you able to like, spend more time, have more open space and spend more time to meet with people, to talk to do, do activities to, you know, have some relief from noise pollution and air pollution from vehicles and to really like? Connects people with the speaks they're living in and make the space they're living in more livable. I mean, I don't live smack dab in the middle of like. Urban, urban town, but. I could imagine people living in like New York or whatever, you know, you can't exactly step out of your apartment and play in the road on a typical league. If you have kids or whatever, you know, they can't exactly just go run outside. You will die. That is so fat. Exactly. Exactly. I mean, people complain about like, oh, kids, he's doing some go outside as much, but. I mean. Look at outside. Yeah, you know, side is look at what look at what has been created. And reflect on that. I mean, part of the issue is the way social media algorithms are designed to suck people into like cycles of addiction. But. That's a whole other topic, right? I think a lot of people, more people would be willing to be able to pull themselves out of that sort of harmful algorithmic health if there was an outside to pull themselves out too, you know? But. Honestly, cities especially notorious for like not having places you can be where you don't have to spend money. And that sucks. So I think super blocks being places where you know libraries and. These people can eat makerspaces, community kitchen spaces. It does seem to be missing or ignoring the what we're going to lose with super blocks. Which is how. How am I going to roll down the street smoking Indo sippin on gin and juice if I'm not allowed to drive within my block? Wow. Yeah, I think we can. I think we can reach that. I think. I think you could just get a bike. Who's cruising on the bicycle? Have you tried smoking Indo sippin on gin and juice while riding a bicycle? It's it's impossible. Got a couple of the anything as possible that's a Snoop Dogg erasure. No, but the the idea of having. Yeah, like community gardens, community like kitchens, like a makerspaces, libraries, all these within like this super block framework, you know, I like green spaces. It does make actual urban city living seem attractive. And not like you're just living in nested concrete boxes. Yeah, I mean, people like living in cities because that's where everything's happening, right? Yeah. But yeah. You you want people to take part in the things that are happening. But. It's the place is unbelievable. Yeah. You have the table that will continue to complain about until the end of time, which the table in Chicago Chinatown that threatens to arrest you for sitting at it like, it's yeah, like the hostility of their school is back to like, racism because of course everyone does, everything does. But, you know, a lot of these loitering laws and stuff with the designed to target black people and to target, you know, poor people. Like vagrancy laws and that sort of thing. Just hostile people's existence and that gets into like hostile architecture and that sort of thing, but I think. With these two blocks, you know we open up our spaces to make them welcoming. To human existence, species that are not built around cars built around commutes built around week. And this obviously is a chance formation that requires more than just. You know, vote for so and so and make this a degree and kind of thing. You need something more substantial than that. You know, within these super blocks as well, you're you're able to take stock of. How? Your block or whatever you have a better mental sense of. Community and able to take about a sense of even things like. How your block can? Community sustained themselves and you know. Reduce waste and all these different things. This in conjunction with. Struggle against capitalism in this state, but you know that is implied. This is, you know. This is the show this is. It could happen here. I don't know if you expected like electoralism, but that's not really what we do around here. I mean the benefits to these sort of like. Super blocks, you know these 15 minutes soon, so people can walk within 15 minutes to get the essentials. The benefits are innumerable. You know, that's air quality, less noise. Healthy lifestyle mental health boost. But. The issue is without a combination of you know. These projects and these activities with like anti capitalism and anti statism. It's, it's. Tends to lend itself towards gentrification and we've seen that in Spain, which is where some of these super blocks have been implemented. They've created like these locations that are obviously more desirable because who doesn't want to live in a super block where, you know, you actually have a sense of community because we're all desperate for that and at least an increase in property demand, higher prices, higher rent, it basically creates these pockets of unaffordable neighborhoods, displacing local residents. So you have to get into the fight against gentrification in order to make this, you know, idea viable. The last thing that I want to get into really is as commissioned community gardens. I want to talk about urban farming. Because that is crucial. I mean, part of what? Meet city cities and other cases is the fact that they import all their food, right? They have the urban rural divide that's, you know. Delineates the two areas. But. Considering the transportation costs, the energy costs, all those things that. Compound. To sustain a city, a city's food needs. We have to look to ways that we can sustain cities and sustain neighborhoods within cities. Within themselves. Before I continue, I just want to point out that the future of urban farming is not in vertical farms. They look very cool, you know, like those tall kind of like. Pillars of like lettuce order for growing old sort of thing, but. The land that they save is usually cancelled out by the land they need to produce the energy to power them. Like, they're very. Energy intensive spaces. So. Until that issue is resolved and I don't know if it will be considering. You know how the energy requirements just sort of built into the food cycle, the concentration of energy requirements built instead of into the political farming design? We have to look to more. Practical methods. Land ownership tends to be a major hurdle when it comes to. Organizing community gardens and maintaining community gardens, I mean, like folks like Black Futures Farm, Oakland Ave, Urban Farm and the Victory Garden initiative, they've been working to like, provide fresh produce to those in need, especially in urban food deserts. But in a lot of these projects, they go in good for some years and then the city suddenly spins around. It's like we need this land for development, so they just ****** it up and you know, those years of. Efforts just basically good on the dream. Community land trusts have been put forward as a potential. Solution to that issue but. Like a lot of these things. I mean, it's a good bandit I would see, but it's not necessarily. Mocking the end of capitalism? Another issue that there is with the whole urban farming thing is that. The culture that develops around them while they, you know, provide education and community and connection for people within them and that is extremely valuable. I think some organisers fall into this habit of treating. Of creating this sort of like shared. Delusion. Around community gardens. You know, claiming to be sort of feeding the people quote UN quote. And what really brought this to my attention was inhabited territories newsletter. They had an article on it last year I think on, you know, urban and community gardens. And it was written by Gabriel. I seen the co-founder of Atlanta, which I find to be a very. Very creative name. Basically asked the question, are we really feeding ourselves? I mean these local food initiatives, they do produce food that people eat, but. It can be a bit harmful to be overly optimistic about our food autonomy at this stage. Especially considering how reliant we still are on big agriculture. You know, like. Yes. We are producing, you know, organic, nutritionally, this dense crops and stuff and that's great, that's helping people, but. You know. Oftentimes it usually just means that, you know, the people might be getting participants and getting like a salad or, you know, a couple tomatoes. It's not necessary that they are cutting down their grocery bill in a sustainable long term way. Because, I mean, if you've tried God, then you know that, like when you were here with the limited space, you know, you grow your food, set it. To me it was. It's me. It was cool, but they don't last forever, you know? Yeah, and you have to wait until the next harvest to get more tomato. So whatever the case may be sitting for, like letters or whatever, it's kind of. Rough you know it doesn't. It helps for like a meal. Or maybe two, depending on like your living situation. But it doesn't meaningfully cut into. Our reliance on groceries and. You know, food imports. Yeah. It definitely takes a bit to get to that point. And you have to do it with a combination of, like, food preservation and like, canning and like, you know, like, jarring and a whole bunch of other stuff to actually make that a worthwhile endeavor as opposed to just making like, great. I spent three months making these tomatoes. Now they're ready for one meal, and then they're all gone. We've like, 1 salt. Yeah. Yeah. You do have to really kind of figure out how to grow enough to keep enough ready to be harvested. They're jarring and canning for future use, but make sure like you're, you know, harvesting them when they are ready so that you can, you know you don't lose stuff, and that you have like, you know, an ongoing. Ongoing process of like preserving the food that you do grow for later as well, so you could definitely take a lot, a lot more. Like mental effort and planning, then just, you know, planting it and then, you know, using it and cooking it when it's when it's all ready. Yeah, I mean a lot of energy and service put into growing things like greens and roots and fruiting vegetables and the healthy, you know, they have the vitamins and micronutrients. But, you know, people still need meat, dairy, eggs, you know, protein. Yeah. Heavy, high calorie dense stuff. You know, like potatoes and other starches. They could really holy poofer wheats and that kind of thing. And that just isn't being. Drawing right now, you know, wheat and rice and soy and nuts and corn and sugar. These steeples and stuff don't tend to be produced by these community gardens and by these, you know, garden plots. So not many, not many, not many legume patches at your local community garden. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Like I'm in the process of growing some pigeon peas right now. And. They are taking a very long while. And what I realize is that, I mean, I just planted them, so I'm being a bit impatient, but what I realize is that. I. When they do grow, and I've seen you know, some mature pigeonpea trees and stuff, so I know how big they tend to grow. By time harvest rules around, you know you get all those different pods, and you you know you put in the work, you pull you you pick all the pods and you pry open the pods and you know you put in some more alliteration into the sentence and. You know, you get those peas out. Once those peas out of the pod and you put them in a pot. They are not. Important enough to hold you over for more than one meal. You know, like you pick like a cheese worth of peas in a pod and you know that's like. Sometimes like half of a meal and really, honestly respect to the people who are producing all of our food right now, because I can't imagine having to. Be shelling peas all the time. It's kind of ridiculous. I mean, it can be fun, but I kind of imagine doing it all day. I mean, work is work, right? It's gonna. Yeah. Yeah. Work is hell. We know this. But yeah, see, I mean community gardens, they're good, you know, they have, you know, education, they build community, they provide outdoor activity and stuff. But. You know, I think what Quincy Gardens Urban Gardens just need to do is. Find ways to and you listen to disparage the work was being done. You like massive support? I'm doing that myself kind of thing. But. We gotta like as the article argues, we can't get caught up in the fluffing up of the reality. For marketing purposes, you know, we need to look for ways that can actually feed ourselves. I means getting into caloric foods that means you know, like dried beans, potatoes, fruit trees, that kind of thing, grains, nuts, all that jazz and also connecting with. Farms outside of the city, you know, local farms outside of the immediate urban landscape, seeing what's. Cooperatives can be developed that can. With each other mutually to build a more potent capacity for. Food what's on me? So I mean. Get in touch with this soil, you know. Get this sign in your face, but also think about. What more we can do to sort of? Take this to the next level. And yeah. That is, that is what I believe. Could in fact. Happen here? This is happened here. Good. Yeah, it's nice to have a positive one of these. Yeah, you should do that more often. Well, if only we had the power, if only control over. Well, come back tomorrow when we'll be talking about another bad thing and then abandoning you to deal with your thoughts about it. OK. Wow. What a I we, we try, we try, we do try. This Is Us trying. Well, This Is Us having Saint Andrew try. You're welcome. Thank you. Thank you very much. This is a topic I wanted to discuss for a long time in terms of because we get a lot of people talking about like, yeah, how you know and whatever like. Post collapse fantasy that you can imagine where you're able to kind of reconfigure society, how would you plan urban living? And you're like, well, yeah, there's there's a lot of actually really cool ideas for like, keeping people close together can be a very ecological idea if you do it certain ways. It's just a lot of the ways you've defaulted to over the past, like really 300 years has made it not that. With the invention of the car really, really screwing us over. So yeah, thank you so much for talking about urban living and super super blocks and all this kind of stuff. Where can where can people find more of your work in writing on the interwebs? You can find me on YouTube at Saint Andrew Azum and you can find me on Twitter. Which hopefully when you hear this I am still not on at under score centre. Fantastic. Yeah, you see Andrew just put together a really great episode about anti work stuff and. The way that debacle has has has happened and what we can learn from it and that kind of thing. And while you shouldn't still actually care about anti work and yeah, so would definitely recommend the anti work video for recent, recent, recent stuff. Let's see if you want to feed your brain into the addiction driven social media algorithm, you can follow us on Twitter and Instagram at happened here, pot and calls on media. And yeah, let's go think about go think about makerspaces and community gardens. That seems like a good a good way to dedicate your thought time. And roll down the street smoking Indo. Sippin that gin and juice while you still can. On a bike, on a bike, before, on a bike, or else I'm whilst I am personally destroy my moral judgment upon you. OK, before, before, before the fascist anarchists take away your F1 fifties. Yeah, look, if if if we can democratize military grade weaponry the way the Ukrainians have, we can, we can. We can form neighborhoods that cannot be forced to live in the traffic. The the the the auto industrial complex. What's really reduce frivolous air travel. What a fantasy. Otherwise, we'll end up in a Mad Max world. And I mean, who wants that, right? Well, you know, every once in a while it aspects of it, yeah. Alright, see you later everybody. Bye. Oddcast. Thank you. Thank you. That is that it is. It's true. It's true. Actually. Yeah, it could happen here. Breaking introduced by listening to the podcast. That's probably accurate. More or less the truth we have we have dragged Robert out of bed at before the crack of dawn at 11:42 AM. And we're gonna talk about actually something very fun. I'm I've been wanting to talk about this for a long time because this is what I'm actually one of my favorite things. OK, yeah, yeah. So I'm going to, I'm going to tell a bit of a bit of a little story regarding one of my all time favorite events and topics. So back in like 2013, there was this cheesy little online university science show made by the Rochester Institute of Technology called Can you imagine the. The idea was to highlight some of the cool and weird things that the university in part to promote the Imagine RIT festival. Which was like the schools annual, like Innovation and Creativity Festival thing that they put on. So yeah, today I want to talk specifically about episode three of the web series because the contents of which overlap with some of my, like artistic interests and like just my love of illusions and paradox. And it'll kind of tie into some topics we other we always discuss on the show. So yeah, episode 31 of probably the most interesting episode, episode 3 opens with the hosts Kevin and Steph. As they like stand awkwardly in the gloriously dated you like university film set, like it's, it's, it's, it's, it's only 20. It's only 2013. But it was like, obviously like made in the 90s. Like, like, like, like the sets, like, it's it's all very dated. What specifically are you referring to? Like they're just like weird. Like, like weird, like, like dated science stuff on the walls all the hosts are wearing like a dorky orange T-shirts, like, like overt over top of their regular clothes. They have like computers. Do they have like, yeah, yeah, it's it's it's all. It's all. It's all that kind of stuff. So like, dorky orange T-shirts with the letters RIT for Rochester Institute of Technology, of course, because everything in this online video series is perfect. Kevin is is wearing his shirt over top of, like, a button down. It's, it's, it's it's great. The 1st 50 seconds of the video are taken up with like plugging in the upcoming of RT Imagine Festival with a with a co-host staff beautifully stumbling over her lines when she says the events catch phrase, it's where the left brain and the right brain collide and it's great, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's it's perfect. So after all the plugs and the vamping, the hosts get down to the fun engineering feat that they'll be showing us today, which is a neat little. Architectural experiment a part of the RIT campus called the Assyrian stairwell, of course named after the impossible staircases depicted in Dutch artist MC Escher's artwork. So the video cuts to from the little like soundstage they're filming in to this boring, white, seemingly typical stairwell. Our host, Kevin Ascending a flight of the Gray concrete stairs, explains that what located in Building 7 of the campus, the stairwell was designed by Filipino architect. Rafael Nelson of Agando and was one of the first structures put up when RT moved their campus from downtown Rochester to the more suburban Henrietta when he's taking. When he's reaching the top of the stairs, he turns the corner and then suddenly seems to appear at the bottom of the lower flight of stairs leading up to the landing that he just left from, all while continuing to talk about the architect behind this, like, kind of weird, impossible feat. So as Kevin walks back up to camera, he says that the stairwell was built in the 1968. And has been wowing our two students ever since. It's it is very cool. It's like, it's like you're like, OK like you. You get, you get the little like like a you get the little like architectural trick that they're doing. But it's it is it is still pretty fun to see before episode three of Can you imagine aired you could you can already find a few articles on the schools. A website about the assuring stairwell along with some like forum posts debating how the architecture in the stairwell works to like achieve the effect. Also floating around on YouTube was like a random segment of what looked like a like a PBS style late 90s documentary about the physics and architecture of the school and specifically the stairwell that interviewed some like professors and some like architects and like of the physicist. Kind of discussing what like how to like bring paradox into the physical. World Yeah, but but but but around the time the Kenya imagine episode aired, denell like infamous are RT stairwell was mostly unknown. So it was like even despite it being very interesting, no one really knew about it until this episode of this little web series there. The little Web episode dedicates around half its time to interviewing students and registered random people at the university about if they even know about the sterile existence and if they do, what like experiences they have with like messing around with like the looping architecture. Because yeah, you can, you know, you can play a lot of games with this type of with this type of design. So the rest of the short video, like tries to demonstrate the disorienting ascent down and descent back up via the camera in various ways. Like, you know, like. The chains, or holding hands around the weird like Mobius loop type staircase and like passing objects back and forth in a circle while inside and around the enclosed stairwell. There's one where Kevin walks around with a cup to show that the stairs aren't like clearly like heavily slanted. Like the water stays pretty, pretty level as he walks all the way through and we, like we follow with him the entire time. So yeah, like the overall like nerdy and lofi style of the university video match with, like, the insane feat of architectural. Collusion is a really fun mix. Like, it's like, it's like, it's it's it is very, like, surreal but not totally on purpose because it's just all of these, like, regular college students. Yeah, showing this, like, really cool architecture by this really good architect. And you're like, Oh yeah, they're just like, they're so chill about it. It is, it is, it is pretty fun. It's pretty fun. After the third episode of the Imagine RIT Video was posted, finally the mind boggling looping staircase of building 7 in of RT started to gain a lot of confused appreciation and the dorky university science show went viral. People traveling from out of state, even other countries to see the Assyrian stairwell themselves of and film videos on social media as as they walk through it. There there's this one video of like people traveling from a different country and they're like. Fasting like the school staff to try to like, tell them where it is and they're like, Oh my God, you're still doing this. Except it was like this film was this video was like like years old, but it's it still happens. People still travel there to to specifically see it. There is like tents online discussion and debate on how the Filipino architect Raphael Ogando was able to achieve the effect and what kind of other bizarre architectural experiments he may have worked on. Because you can find his Facebook page and you can find some stuff about him, but he is not really because like this, this stairwell was built in the late 60s. But you have you. So even though he has an online presence, he's like, he's like, he's not like active. So it's unclear like what else he's actually been doing. But I would, I would, I would love to learn more about this architect and what else he's done because this is it is it is really rad to have these very small condensed but like high effort type, like type builds and like the the existence of the whole thing posted some really interesting questions around how extremely clever, paradoxical design. Then push the boundary of how we make assumptions about spatial physics and how we visually and physically demonstrate things that we usually can only depict in two dimensions, right? Like you can. You can easily depict the sharing stairwell in two dimensions, but when you're scaling that up to three dimensions, it's obviously more work like that. That is, that is part of the paradox. Plus, you know, it also demonstrates the importance of art and how ideas, once thought impossible or merely optical illusions, can actually, with enough dedicated effort, break into our real reality, if a brilliant architect. Managed to build the specifically and like logically impossible structure. What other types of things can we actually do as possible? The the video now has like over 1,000,000 views on its original upload, and videos about the RT stairwell have racked up as many as like 25 million views. Wow yeah, it's pretty cool. So what else demonstrates the looping nature of time having to listen to all these ads that we do? Pew Pew, we we are, we are back. I've, I've rounded the corner and we are back where we came from because of the fund paradox of architecture. The the the one. The one other thing I should mention before we continue on this episode is that the entire thing spec. It's false. No way. Not this time we created it. Not this time, no, not this time. It's totally made-up. Because of course. It's a staircase that breaks the basic rules of movement and physics. Kevin walks up the stairs and teleports to the lower stairwell. Believe them, there's there's no, that's not, that's not an architectural illusion. It's called good video editing and Adobe after effects. Like, no, you're you're really going to believe a video on the Internet and some well placed, falsified Internet posts over the very basic rules that govern our universe. Like, oh boy, did it fool millions of people. And if I played my cards right, I hope most of our listeners until the last few seconds. Yeah, it is. So the whole the whole thing was a was a student like film, an art project around around building a modern myth. Of the it's because it's sure. It sure is interesting how good storytelling can overrule obvious logical processes. The tale of the sharing stairwell is one of my favorite case studies and how disinformation spreads. And it's believed while all in defiance of the basic rules of reality, because it's not a matter of what facts are true, it's about what facts are compelling. And the idea of a logically impossible staircase being built by a brilliant Filipino architect is more interesting than it being someone's. Weird disinformation art project. There. So, yeah, like I want to say, like how what? What were you guys thinking as I was explaining the issue again? Stairwell. Like, like, would you see this going? OK, so I had in the back of my head, OK, we should mention this. Garrison has been hyping up this episode for like. I don't even. It's pretty small amount of time has told us nothing. So you just show up and there's a staircase and I'm like, what? What? And I was like, you know, my, my, my brain. My brain started going because you said 1968 and I was like. My like, like, a counterinsurgency brain flicked on and I was like, wait a second, hold on. Is this like some kind of, like, weird? Like, we've redesigned the college campuses so they stop people stop taking the Dean hostage, a thing that used to happen constantly. And with all my favorite part about this would happen constantly. And you'd get New York Times articles calling it nonviolent. Yeah. So yeah, it was a that was a that was yeah. I spent more mental energy that I probably should have trying to figure out how it would work. And I was like, I don't know, maybe they just made it, like if they just made it. This razor, it's obviously, yeah. I mean, I was, I was in the like, I was in the like, OK, so they they built the staircase, they build another, the viewers cannot see my fingers. And then it was like. Regular staircase. It doesn't tell it was like, it was like, but you you can find videos of people traveling to the school to see if it's real. And they try it and they're so disappointed. They're like, Oh yeah, it's it's no, it's just stairs. It doesn't. It doesn't. Yeah. This is important in a lot of ways because it's it's not even like a thing where like there's like another back staircase that you walk down, then you go back up again. No, it's just it's just nothing. It's just stares. Like, I was hoping there was like some actual clever thing as no, no, just it's not real. The team. It was that meme where all the math doesn't add up and the person, you know, just what is happening. I was like, alright, Garrison, you got us here. You made Robert get up before noon. What is happening? Well, the reason that the real reason I got up before I got Robert up before noon is because I actually have scheduled an interview with the creator of the Assyrian stairwell, the actual 1 via, like, the online art. Project and the building a modern myth idea which we are now going to segue into. So yeah, here what what follows is us talking with the creator of the Assyrian stairwell project. Hello, we are we are back from our probably very very brief break and with me along with Robert and and Chris and Sophie is a Michael, the creator of the Shirian stairwell project and the building the modern Myths Project. Hello, greetings. Greetings. Thank you so much for joining us to talk about one of my one of my favorite things actually, which is, which is. Little to us to project. Yeah. I've, I've, I've been afraid of this for a long time and found it to be really compelling and interesting and I so I I just walked through Robert and and Chris and Sophie. What, what it what it was, but from the perspective of it being true for like for the good 15 minutes I was, I was, I was, I was going, was going through talking about it as if it were completely real, but curious to hear how you did that. It was it was slightly baffling because again, we were told nothing, and then what we got is Garrison is talking about a YouTube video about an architecture thing. And I was like, what? Here. Yeah. And then and then then then talking about, hey, Oh yeah. And I guess one more thing is that it's actually fake and it's part of this whole, this whole thing. So yeah, I would, I would love to talk to you about both like how, how you like logistically like made the project, but also like the underlying your underlying thought thoughts that like. Inspired you to do in the 1st place and then like retrospective now almost like 10 years later, like how do you view the project as like happening, you know, right before like the peak of online disinformation around like 2016, right. So, but first of all, I think we should probably start at the beginning, like what was your inspirations for this type of like online like there? Because it seems it seems built to go viral in a lot of ways. Yes, exactly. So this was around 2011. Yes, was when I first got the idea. It was for my master's thesis, my MFA for film at Rochester RIT and. The idea actually began from this, like deep anxiety about how to discern fact from fiction. At the time, like I came into film school like really into like realism in films like Romanian, New Wave, Mechanika, Dardan, brothers like, these are film makers who are like. They're sort of like the modern day version of Italian Neo, Neo realism, and they're trying to like depict like these reality as it is. I wanted to like learn how to make those types of films. So over like with each year, that's what I tried to get better at and the more I tried to do that. Well, like a number of things were happening around that time. Right in class they showed us that these mockumentaries called no lies, which was made in 1973 by this guy called Mitchell Black, actually won a student Oscar at the time. And delusions and modern primitivism 2001 by this guy named Daniel Laughlin and these like, I was like floored because I thought they were real. Like real documentaries and. And it bothered me. Like, our teachers told us afterwards that these were actually scripted works of fiction with, like, really, really good actors. And it like, I went into kind of like, existential crisis mode afterwards. Like, how do I even discern what's true from what's not? If I got fooled by these things especially, like, that's like my concentration. That's what I've been studying for years. And even I was not even able to tell that they were fake, right? So there was that going on. And then there was like smartphones were becoming a thing. Like, I just looked it up. Smartphones didn't start out out selling flip phones till 2013. So around this time, like, it was becoming a thing where everyone would have the Internet in their pocket. So I guess there was that anxiety going on. Yeah, I'm trying to think about. How we're starting to function and how we're how. I remember when I proposed my thesis to the thesis committee, I I one of the things that I was. Telling them was. I have this worry about how reliant we are on the Internet to determine what's true and what's not. And this is like, like, my professors found my concerns, like, really abstract and theoretical. Like, why do you even care? Because this was 2011, right? Like, why do you care about fact and fiction? It wasn't, like, fake news. That wasn't even a term thing. Yeah, it wasn't. It didn't become part of the everyday lexicon, like you said, until 2016, when Trump started throwing that term around and and suddenly we hear about it. Every day. So there was that going on. Trayvon Martin was a thing. And for the first time, like, nationally, you could see like this disinformation like on, you know, just like exaggerated versions of different, different accounts from like, polarizing sides. So all that was going on. And so I, I, I wanted to. It was it was like this film project was about trying to take something that was are you familiar with it? With the difference between like, apriori knowledge and a posteriori knowledge? Yeah, OK, so so so like, you know, for for anyone who might be listening that doesn't really know the exact difference, apriori knowledge is the type of knowledge that you can have without needing to make observations or. Conduct experiments or look at surveys, or do any research of any kind is a sort of knowledge you can know just by reasoning it out, but just by sitting in a room by yourself in the dark you could. Figure things out. This is the sort. This is our priority knowledge. So an example of that is like knowing that all bachelors are unmarried, right? Or all triangles have three sides. That's apriori knowledge, an example of a posteriori knowledge. Is something that you find out through observation or using one or more of your five senses, right? Like Joe Biden is the president of the United States, the masses of Mars is 6.4171 * 10 to the 23rd kilograms. You actually have to go out into the world and conduct surveys or do research. So that's opposed theory or knowledge. So the idea was to take something that was our priority false, something that could. That could. Be disproven by reason alone. Like you wouldn't have. You wouldn't need to do any research in order to to know that it was false. You'd simply have to reflect on it and think about it. Uh, so we could have picked anything, right? We could have, we could have said made-up like a fake news report that leaves mathematicians at MIT having invented like a square with five sides, something like that. You know, I remember that weekend update on SNL had this sketch, I think it was like. Forget who it was. It might have been Kevin Nealon or something like that. The the report was like scientists and mathematicians have discovered the new number. The number exists between 5:00 and 6:00, and they're calling it the number spleen. You know, something like that, which is like just impossible. So. So come up with something that could be disproven by reason alone and at the same time surround it with this wealth of online information supporting its veracity. So, like, you know, it was kind of a social experiment. So I was like, have we, are we so far beyond rational thinking that even something that can be disproven apriori, people would believe. And it was like, we didn't really know the answer to that, but we were going to commit. To creating this thing as though it was real. And but which was like, logically impossible. So in a way, it anticipated the age of like, this information. Absolutely. Cause. And it was just, yeah. The thing I kind of alluded to in my little scripted portion is like, yeah, it wasn't just the YouTube video. There was all this extra online content that was created, some of which was articles, right. Yeah. Yeah. Like, like articles, forum posts, all this kind of stuff like, like, like if. Yeah, like. So if you could look into it more and find these other things. But it's still contradicts the basic. Logical processes that we can use to discern what is real, what is not in terms of like, yeah, in terms of like believing in A5 sided square. Like no, that's not what that that's. That's not how like physics and like special like spatial dimensions work. So yeah, in terms of all the extra material you filmed for it, there was like, there was like, I think I read around like 9 hours of documentary footage was also like a lot of footage, but it was only made into like probably a 30 minute thing. We got our friends like at the very, very beginning. We got our friends to play along with it, like. So whenever you see posts about this, just comment, like it's real, like, yeah, I was there and it was really great and eventually people would actually start. Visiting this stairwell, like, from all over, like from Canada, they crossed the border to get there because it's in upstate New York, right? And I actually ran into a couple from India who happened to be visiting New York, and they were like, since we were here, we'd like to see this stairwell, that sort of thing. Oh no, I know. I felt really bad for a lot of the visitors. So we actually had to come up with souvenirs so that they wouldn't leave empty handed, right. So we made fake. We made postcards like saying I've been to these Sharon sterile stuff like that program and what happened and the way we explained it. So a lot of people were really mad, actually, you know, as you can imagine when they got there. But after we would explain what we were doing to them with the project, like. A lot of them actually, like, started playing along and thought it was really cool. And they went home with their souvenirs and told their friends that they just saw this amazing thing. So, you know, it kind of built that way for a little bit. I mean, yeah, because it's it's like telling kids that Santa isn't real. Exactly. And then some of them will be like, play along with like, OK, cool. This means I can play along with the myth to help keep other kids happy. And some of them will be like, what? Oh no, my entire reality is broken. How can this happen? And when you find out, it's your turn. Like, pass it on exactly that. So a lot of that was going on. Like Shaq, the basketball player, posted about it at some point. Joe Rogan talked about it on his podcast. Oh my God, they got kind of crazy. Wait, wait, did did Joe Rogan know it wasn't real? Uh, it's funny, you should see the clip of him doing it because he was like it was him. And who's the other guy? Burt Kreiser or something? Anyway, they were arguing about whether or not it was real. The other guy was like, no, it's real. It's so real. Joe Rogan was like all, all you guys are ******* idiots. You're all idiots. So this Google it right now, Google it and they look up an article and Joe Joe Rogan's like, OK, yeah, alright. It's still ******* stupid. The guy who built it is ******* you know? That is so good. I you have you have no idea how happy you have made me because I in my in my research. But like, I, I have like read your thesis. I read all that. I read lots of articles about this. I did not come across the jorogumo clip, but I would have to see that, right? Right? It's like way back, right? It's like 10 years ago and it's like a lot of stuff to dig through. And I found it, though, again. So I'd like to kind of go into like the logistics of like actually doing this in terms of like creating all the fake, like web content, but also like, you know, dreaming up this, like family-friendly science show that's made by RIT. And like how, like, you know the thing between like, naturalism and realism and making it like, playing, not trying to like, replicate reality, but playing it as if it were reality and how those those are two different things. Yeah, we what we wanted to make it as real as possible. And like, that's what I was, I'd been studying anyway, but in like a dramatic context, like making narrative films. And the idea was to there's this event at RIT every year, which gets a lot of people, like 30,000 people a year, go to the campus and look at like, these, whatever the students are working on. It's kind of like a mini, like festival type of thing. Well, not mini. It's pretty big. So we just, we wanted to make a video for that event as though we were promoting the event. Hey, come see the assurance there. Well, when you get here at RIT. And you know, you normally for these, like for these, for these events, if you have a booth or something, you'll see reservations and you'll see like four people reserve 15 people. Like we were like started getting nervous and we found out we got a sense that this was going to be big because like when I looked at like the reservations for a like are nonexistent stairwell. There are like 1000 plus visitors leading the visit it. Yeah, I still remember, like, going to campus that day of the festival Saturday and like, my friend Ira, like, comes up to me. He's like, Mike, people want to kill you. Like, come and get over here. And I was like, trying to not show my face. But anyway, yeah, that's what. So what? The way, like a lot of the legs of the project was just like word of mouth, I guess. And we actually ran out of money. We didn't get to do, like, the web stuff on the scale that we wanted to. Yeah, it turned out that we didn't even have to. In fact, like, within a few days or maybe a week or something, after the original video came out, I posted a video explaining that it's a myth. Like, I posted it and I was like, all right, that was a fun ride. And I was going to be over because here's a video of me explaining everything on the same channel. Yeah, right. And people still don't believe it. People are saying that my my video explaining was fake. That was a conspiracy. Like, people were, you know? Like who they're so invested inside the inside. The actual myth of it. Yeah, because it is. It is so much for a lot of people they've thought that is more compelling than the idea that it is this, like, you know, project around what is real and what's not. They just got so invested in the reality of it that they'll explain away every other explanation. Umm. Exactly. Like my I had a teacher at Rutgers where I did my undergrad, Tim Maudlin. He used to say that, you know, there's two types of thinking. There's reasoning and there's rationalizing. Reasoning is when when you start from a place of ignorance and you look at the best evidence and the best arguments you can find and follow that through to the you know the rational conclusion. Rationalizing is when you start from what you want to believe and working backwards and looking for. You know confirmation, right? Yeah, right. Looking for the arguments that are already support what you're saying there. There was a lot of. Lot of rationalizing going on. I guess people wanted to believe it. Yeah, for, for the how, how much, how many people in this because I assume for all like the filming, like, like everyone was all like in on it. But you know, there's a whole bunch of great stuff around like all of like the men on the street segments are, are, are like perfectly done in terms of like people like just acting like regular university students, like talking about the stairwell and like how they've got like lost and they're like looping around in a circle and all the segments with you with them like inside the stairwell with all like the very, like the very clever editing. I assume you're using stuff like Adobe after effects. And yeah it's it. It is played. It's played so well, like it's it's I think part of the part of why it's so successful is that it's not filmed like you would film something too high. Like like like for a lot of films when they like you want to do like like, you know like like the term is like a winner where they have like 1 long shot. They they like hide the transitions in between. You can obviously tell like they're filming it to make these transitions work versus the way you film. This is just how people would film it if they were filming this for real. And you. Well, that and it's it is so carefully done because it's not trying to be something it is. It is just being the thing so earnestly in terms of like how how the actors like, stumble over their lines in the in like the opening segment, like the aesthetics of like all of like the title cards and everything is just so it has this, has this like aura of earnestness, which I think helps cells the whole project so, so much. Yeah. Yeah, actually Speaking of the show and like the cheesy. Title cards and stuff. My girlfriend at the time was a producer for this show called this local show called homework hotline and where Kids Call in with their homework and they answer their questions about it. I studied the **** out of that show just looking at how they built the sets and how cheesy and how awkward like the the hosts were because a lot of it was like a lot of the realism I think of it is just Umm yeah, the awkwardness of the people how it's not. It's not really meant to be. And and like like the best, the most convincing untruths right is a combination of fact and fiction and you know a lot of and blending in the actors with real people. You know in in in the in the actual video stuff like that. Like yeah, it comes out 2013 goes goes pretty viral. You like pretty quick create a very easy explanation for no, it's not, it's not real. Started this project. People still believe it for years and years. As kind of the decade progresses, we go into like the era of disinformation. Everyone starts getting phones in their pockets. Everyone has Facebook with them wherever they go. Everyone has Twitter with them wherever they go. How is kind of your views on like, the ethics of the project and what it demonstrates in terms of like a case study and like a social experiment? Like, how is that changed over the years from like you like 10 years ago when you're doing this up to you now after, you know, we've had stuff like, you know, like January 6 and two and on, you know? All these types of things which I feel like have are almost like foreshadowed in this in this weird way by showing how successful your little project is. Yeah, so. A lot of, a lot of the criticisms that it was faced from the get go like from RIT professors even is still facing right now. Like it's still the type of thing people bring up, which is essentially that, hey, there's so much this information out there at the time, we weren't even using those terms. Disinformation, right. But basically people were bringing up the same complaints, which is there's so much disinformation out there. You're basically just adding to it. What? What are you even doing? So I guess the idea is that, and, you know, it's a very noble idea, which is what sort of response to this information, right? We should. I guess the idea is we should call out every instance of it when we can flag posts, report posts that violate Community, Community standards. You know, speak out, provide counter evidence when you see fake news, that sort of thing. And I think that's great. That's a good thing. But disinformation, the problem of disinformation is, at the time, this is kind of how I explained it, like 10 years ago, I described it as a as an epidemic. Yeah, no, absolutely right. Or or like a cockroach infestation. Like, every time you kill 110, more spring up. And this, this notion of, like, we gotta call out every instance of this information and stomp it away is like, it's great, but you're focused on killing. Cockroaches. Yeah. It's like addressing the symptoms, not the actual problem, right. I wanna get to the cockroaches nest. Right. And whenever, whenever I give talks about this, this project, people always approach me afterwards, you know, like wanting me to kind of, because we don't just talk about this project, we talk about like, deep fake stuff. Like, we show speeches of Obama, like, looking like the real Obama, but it's like completely fake, right? And people start to realize, holy **** like, I don't even know what's real or not. Anymore, like, what can I trust? And they approached me, expecting me to ease their anxiety somehow and kind of like guide them through how to discern what's true from what's not. As though my project was about finding some sort of solution. And I tell them that, like, my project wasn't about solving the problem, it was about seeing the problem right. It's about it's about trying to get to the heart of the matter. And it's like to me, I think like the heart of the matter, like the cockroaches nest. Is the. I don't know you. There are different ways to say it, but basically the the lack of critical thinking in individuals and like in the society we shape together or. Lack of a willingness to think through things carefully. Maybe that's, that's that's like, if we had a Society of critical thinkers, this wouldn't be much of a problem. I think it's because so many people come at a lot of information from like when you would say the rational viewpoint of like they're trying to use reason and stuff, like they're trying to think critically, trying to think logically, but they come at it in the terms of rationalizing stuff they already believe. And I think that's a very prevailing type of idea in terms of like, yes, I'm going to believe in this thing and I'm going to find evidence to support it. Which isn't critical thinking, I don't think. I'm not really, no. The point is that that is itself a logical fallacy. But that is so common, especially on the Internet, because the Internet encourages the backfire effect. You know, whenever someone calls out on something you want to be right, so you're going to, it's as soon as soon as someone calls something, you're going to backfire. You're going to, like, become even more entrenched in what you believe when you you know when when you explain to someone that know Hillary Clinton is bad, but she doesn't eat the blood of children, like, no, she does. I I saw all this thing. You have to believe that because, like, all of the things are tied up in what makes you a person. And now all of these, like ideas that have that were used to be just be conspiracy theories that you believe in for fun are now so a part of like, what people's sense of being are and how they have their entire worldview that there's so much more because the Internet is such a bigger part of their lives. Everything on the Internet is a bigger part of their lives for each person. So it is more of an ontological threat because these things are so closer together now, right? There used to be much more of a distinction between the Internet and you because you can only access the computer every once in a while. You can now carry around a supercomputer wherever we go. So it is like a part of you. Like you bring it with you almost everywhere. It's always in your pocket. So these things are so, like stitched together that prying them apart and telling people, no, this thing you would carry around, actually probably most of what you see on it isn't, isn't actually true like there is. People can like believe that in their heads, but don't actually don't actually. The belief doesn't actually impact them because like we all know that there's like, we all know that people can just go on the Internet and lie, right there is like. Part of the joke, but we still don't act like it. Like oftentimes we get so we get so. Like, encased into the stories that we tell ourselves, right? The part of why they're sharing stairwell is so good is that it's such a, it's such a compelling story like that. Like, the idea of like, a brilliant architect bringing like, you know, building this paradox in the real world is like, is is so much more fun than being like, yeah, some dude just knows how to use Adobe after effects, like, right, so you get so entrenched in the storytelling because the the story of like, politicians eating, the eating the blood of children is so much more interesting. Then no, politicians just don't care about you like. And getting to the heart of that problem is so much more difficult than just, you know, debunking things because you can debunk things all day. And does that actually matter? Yeah. And I think there there's there's a secondary problem that, like, you know, there's another, like another level of it, which is that, yeah, like, everyone knows that there's information now, like everyone does. But that just makes it worse because now if you want to do this information, what you can claim is like, oh, hey, look at all these other times that all this stuff has been fake. And then, you know, this is how you get everyone, like, doing frame by frame analysis of like a bombing and going, oh, these are all crisis actors. And it's like, you know, you talk to these people and they're like, Oh yeah, no, I I did. I did the research. Look, I like I saw. With the license, like, no, you've just completely made this thing up in your head. But you can see the green screen compression. They're like, no, it's just regular video compression. And it's like, yeah, like everyone can be a detective now, so everyone can be so convinced of their own conclusions, even when the conclusions turn out to be not true, right? It's a problem. If there was an easy solution, we wouldn't have the problem, right. It's one of those things where it's like, your project is a very good example of like, it's it's it's a very demonstrative thing. You can like you. You take someone along this journey and demonstrate, hey, this can happen to you. So you should watch out for us, right? Look, look at the story I crafted. Look how you become convinced of it for these six minutes. And then you think, oh wait, no, you can't teleport to a bottom stairwell. That's not that's not how that works. But. And because you take them on that journey, it's a very it's a I love it so much as like a demonstrative process being like to like, this can happen. So watch out for it in the future to think it's honestly more useful than just debunking somebody because you can, you can debunk all day, you can have the backfire effect and stuff, and you're right about the demonstrative stuff because it's like. If a bunch of film students and volunteers with no connections and no resources pulled this off like we did, like a tally of all the videos at the end of the year of, you know, all the videos that ripped it off and posted on their own channels and all that, it was like 50 million, right? So if if a bunch of film students like had that much influence, what more can like people who are actually fun, like governmental political power and resources? What could they do? And we were just doing. And ours was about, like, this innocuous, silly stairwell. It wasn't about anything that would cause, you know, anyone's death or anything like that. Or. And and let you know something like in Myanmar where the Myanmar military basically systemically, systematically created fake articles and fake photos to create like to to arouse disdain for the Rohingya people and basically they incited a genocide through Facebook, just through fake news, right in the Philippines where I live right now. Which a lot of commentators call like the patient zero of disinformation, because in 2016 this guy called Duterte was elected president, basically ran running his entire campaign on disinformation. And after him was Brexit, like a month later. And after that was Trump got the nomination. So, like, what's her name? Kate? Katie Barth Barther or something like that. The one of the executives of Facebook referred to the Philippines as. Patient zero in the era of disinformation because like. And the thing that deuterated the President here right now was running on was basically like the same sort of. Othering and scapegoating of a certain group. And he said, basically he's the guy who said like, basically, if you're a drug user or a drug dealer, it should be OK to murder you and kill you. And that's what happened. That's exactly what happened because they were posting all these stories about. You know, the same sorts of stories that you that that we saw in the US in 2016 about undocumented immigrants or Muslims or something like that, this like, oh, this undocumented immigrant rape the five year old girl, you know, that sort of thing. Yeah. And he would the, the, the organized campaign making up stories about drug addicts like murdering and ****** people basically like got an entire nation to. Well, not an entire nation, but basically this guy won the election and you know, we have a country right now that. Basically live through just atrocities the last 5-6 years, you know? And like the double edged sword of this, like what Chris mentioned is like, yeah, this tight, same type of thing because it exists. People also like retroactively apply it to like, you know, like Sandy Hook was staged or like even stuff now with like, you know the pandemic, right? People were like, what if, what if, what if the pandemic is it real? What if all these people are just you know, conjured this thing into being. And it's all a giant misinformation campaign, right. So it has this dual, it has this double edged sword nature of which makes combat and disinformation so challenging. So it's like disinformation to combat disinformation to comment. The idea of disinformation and there's so many layers of it now. There's, there's, there's, it's just it makes it makes actually getting to the heart of it so much more challenging. It's been abstracted so many times and one of the things is remembering what didn't. The New York Times weren't the first people to come up with the term fake news and then Trump started using it. After like when we was watching post it which newspaper was. But my memory, if it was like it was, it was, it was the media that came up with fake news and then like Trump just took it and it became this, like this, just like demon they absolutely could not control and was just turned on them. Do you remember the context in which they used it for the they were like, they they were. I think they were calling like stuff that Trump said. Fake news. Let me I am. I'm unsure of at the moment who specifically coined that term, but I mean, we definitely see terms like, even terms like disinformation, which used to be more tied to like a Discordian philosophy breaking like in like, even even back, even as back far as like the 80s getting, you know, turned into an actual, like political term. That everybody uses. So I'm reading that it was actually somebody from BuzzFeed. An editor at BuzzFeed was one of the. That makes sense. Craig Silverman is one of the ones who first popularized it, but was in 2016. Yeah, but there could be. There could be. You know several other people that say that they coined it? I don't know. I mean, I there's even a a, an illustration from 1894 by by Frederick offer with reporters carrying newspapers labeled humble news, cheap sensation and fake news. So it's, I mean, in terms of, in terms of just mashing words together, I'm sure it has had a decent history, but definitely Trump is the one that like launched it into the zeitgeist, right? Right, right. Let's see, Robert, you've been pretty quiet. I know it's pretty early in the morning for you. Do you have any, do you have any kind of thoughts to help us kind of generally start closing us out, not, not not like super immediately, but generally heading that direction? Brought up everything I would say. All right, all right. It's a. Yeah, I guess like what if, how is this project and have impacted how you approach film and just like how you how you use the Internet yourself in the past decade? Hmm, well, I I'm fully aware of. What we did every time I'm like looking at something, I'm like they had done that because they have done this and that, you know, that sort of thing. I don't know if it's if. Yeah, I don't. I'm not sure how it's how this project specifically has impacted me other than. Just trying to think through things a bit more carefully. Trying to go through things like. I mean, like, so we we basically came up with this idea of what eventually became troll farms, right? Like me and like my classmates would, hey, we even make fake accounts and, like, talk about the stairwell and. So I don't know, like a few years later people we we learned that people were actually doing this like to influence like elections around the world and a lot of the strategy of like the Russian troll farms and stuff. Was to basically create caricature versions right of arguments from whatever side. Like, you know, whether they they might present an argument from like, the left or the right, but in like a caricaturized version of it. And So what people would see when they see that, they'd see an argument coming from the other side, and they'd ridicule it. Like, look at these people who just seem crazy espousing this whatever view, you know? Or they might say things like. Like, yeah, if you're a Democrat, you want to abort babies at like the 9th month or something like that. Yeah, no reasonable person actually argued. So what happens is like, people talk about how the goal of Russia was to like, polarize, you know, polarize the political spectrum. I think like the bigger goal and the. The goal that we're going to be untangling for many, many years and the the more. The more difficult problem to deal with was that they oversimplify. They successfully oversimplified discourse. You know what I'm saying? Like they found a way to, like, oversimplify the type of discourse we're having because everyone's like arguing with such simplistic. I'm not sure if I'm making sense. It's like, it's like, it's like the the term I use is like politics as fandom. Right, right, right. And that's, I think that like intersect, it's not exactly what you're saying, but like it intersects with that type of idea of like condensing down actual discussions on like what you believe in and what politics you want and how you want to improve the world into this weird fandom lens of like this team versus this team which we, we, we, we, we, we, we, we've had a degree of that for a long, long time. But with the Internet and how how discussions on the Internet are designed to work, right, how algorithms want to boost content, how there's always these short. Exactly. It just, it mirrors the way people discuss like, what Star Wars character is, their favorite. It's just that. But for politics. So it's it's just this. Like, what if politics is just this idea of fandom, and you can debate what fandom is more valid than the other, right? I like the last Jedi more. You like Rise of Skywalker. This means your version of reality is less good than mine. So when that is objectively true, which is like the rise of sky, which is reality is wrong. But let's be clear here. Same idea, but for how we like make social programs and how we address racism and how we like give food to poor people and how we do affordable housing and how we handle the police. So it's that type of idea which is just. Disinformation kind of impacts this, in part because when you flood the zone with so much conflicting information that people can't really get a handle on or easily. Sort of like when they're when when you when you put that much confusion into the air, it makes people more likely to just kind of grasp it sides because everything coming out is way too complicated and messy and it's it takes too much work, right? That's actually true. So holding to some rubric of well. I believe this. So that means these are the good guys, these are the bad guys, and I don't have to to analyze it any deeper than that. I can reject information that comes from this group, or I can reject information that says this because I I just category categorically reject, you know, anything that that fits in with that. Like that's the benefit of disinformation for authoritarians of all stripes. You're seeing in Ukraine right now where you've got all of these different authoritarian powers. You've got Turkey, you've got Russia, you've got. You know, ******* we, the United States, at least to the extent that, like, we impact a lot of things internationally. And you've got them all coming down on different sides of of this issue and of what's happening in Ukraine. And because there's so much disinformation and misinformation about what's going on, people just kind of grasp at, well, whatever side I'm have been more sympathetic to recently, I'm just going to believe whatever they say because it's way too complicated to actually analyze. What's going on? Yeah. And this was this was the thing that that I mean this was explicit on the left. I I remember this there was around 2017, 1018. There was a whole thing about how like people people like talking about anti imperialism would would literally say like nuance nuances liberalism. I don't like nuances liberalism. Don't don't research this. Don't think about this because nuance is how liberals like you know spread sort of pro pro regime change propaganda. Like I remember those people like Ember Frost just straight up said this and this was a huge and you know like. I I got a lot of **** for this because, you know, like, I I remember when when when the coin Bolivia happened, like, I I made a giant threat that was trying that was like, OK, we need to figure out like how specifically the CIA was involved in this. Like, OK, so did they plan the whole thing? Was it like, were they working with local partners? Was it a thing where someone else planned it and they signed off on it? And like, to this day, people think that I supported the coup because I was like, we should figure out who was who the actors were on the ground because no one like this, this, this, this is just became like, like, like, like. It's funny, like like an actual sort of like political tenets of of how a lot of anti imperialism like in American left worked was you, you were not supposed to do nuance and you were not supposed to look at who was. Like, you know, if if if you spent too long looking at what was going on in the ground, people would be like you you work for the CIA and that. You know, I think like we we've we've finally seen that basically blow up in their faces because, you know, oh hey, look how many of these people just like wound up supporting Russia and then spent like 3 months saying that Russia would never invade Ukraine. This happens, but it's. I don't know, it's, it's, it's. It's extremely depressing how people who otherwise are, you know, like in a lot of ways, like I've spent a lot of their time. Like trying to, you know, filter out stuff from the media that's false. Just go into this. Because. They just do not want to deal with the complexity of reality. Yeah, it's just easier not to. Again, if there was a simple problem, we wouldn't. I mean, if there was a simple solution, we wouldn't need to discuss the problem. Yeah, yeah. So I guess basically, like just like answer that question about how it. I guess at the time I'd say like we got an up close look at how things were going to be like you know with with all these things we kind of anticipated the next few years. So yeah, that's basically what happened. Sorry to interrupt your closing, but no, no, no. It's the, it's the, it's the, it's the best. Note that that we can go Michael do where can people find you online and if people want to look into some of your other projects. I mean, you found me. Like, I guess if they want to find me, they'll find me, right? I don't know. I still don't know how you got my e-mail, but Gary Garrison is extremely good about this topic. Not that many people are that good. Yeah, well, they could check out the YouTube channel. Like, I'm going to be posting some new films this year probably. So my name's Michael Lacanilao. Or just search the assurance there. Well, I guess that's a way. Yeah, yeah. I'll, I'll add your YouTube channel to to the description. Yeah. I just want to thank you so much for coming on to talk about your, your project. Yeah. Thanks for having me. Right, well, that that does it for us today. You can follow us on the internets for some reason, on Twitter, Instagram. That happened here. Pod and Coulson media. And yeah, go, go create a a myth that people will believe and travel from out of country to walk over some stairs because that sounds like fun. Go to something like that for fun fuzzies. All right. Bye. Bye. It could happen here it being a number of things. This is the podcast about things falling apart and also maybe putting them back together and assuming there is not a nuclear war in the immediate future. You will probably be hearing this episode sometime in early March. I am Robert Evans. My cohosts as always well as often, uh Chris and Garrison and that's that's my job for the day done. I'm going to I'm going to sit back and chill. You guys want to take it from here? Yeah, I'll take it from here. We are doing one of our perennial things fall apart but also we sort of put them back together again episodes and joining us today is JMC from strange Matters, a new libertarian socialist cooperative magazine. JMC, great to have you here. Yeah, this is really great. So. I guess we should probably explain what the magazine is, yeah, not just in and of itself, but also because it's a good lead in into. Into what we're going to be talking about. So we basically there's five of us as Co editors and we're all equal worker owners in it. It's a magazine called Strange Matters and the the the point of it is to explore radical new ideas, not just in terms of politics and economics, which is going to be kind of half the focus is trying to figure out like you know libertarian socialists talk a lot about dual power, which I know you all talk about on the show a lot, talk about building independent institutions under the direct democratic control of the working class that. For real resources and are not the state or capitalist firms, but like we talked a big game. But do we actually know how to do that stuff? And do we know how to do stuff like run like you know a big company as a as a self managed democracy or do we know how to like run a city as a as a radical democracy like rooted neighborhood councils or anything like that? The answer kind of is not really. And there's a lot of like open questions that we don't know yet the answers to and that very few people are working on those answers. So strange matters is partly about. Discovering, uh, those answers. Not because we, the editors have the answers, but because we need, like some kind of space within which we can bring lots of different people with different life experiences together in order to talk about the stuff and figure it out. And then the other mission of it is to be a kind of general interest literary, intellectual magazine doing the kind of journalism and philosophy and poetry and memoir and stuff like that, that, that. Perhaps get shut out of capitalist society because it's not commercial, because it's too weird, or because it's like, I don't know, a historiographical essay about even khaldoon or something like that, you know? And we think that there should be a place for that just because it brings delight and meaning into people's lives. And it's what we're fighting for, a more democratic society in order to do. So. That's basically our vibe, and the essay in question is a collective editorial that we that we collectively drafted and edited talking about our political views. In particular, and the recent history of libertarian socialism. And then, As for me, I'm a I'm a writer who's written for a couple other places like the the point and the Brooklyn Rail. And I also was involved in the DS's Libertarian Socialist Caucus and also the the Yeah, yeah, that's that's right. Yeah, lot of history. Trauma, you know, some, some, yeah, but anyhow. And also the Symbiosis Federation, which is a federation across Mexico, the US and Canada that is trying to put together. It's a, it's a confederation of local organizations that are trying to do this kind of direct democracy stuff. Yeah. So I guess, well, OK, so the pandemic isn't, I guess, the perfect jumping endpoint for this. But I want to go back and I guess just getting into the meat of this piece, I think it's very interesting. I wanted to sort of talk about the the origins of like what's called sort of NEO anarchism and how it sort of. Begin to decay after, sort of after the collapse of Occupy and after. Well, I guess the the the sort of kind of revolutionary arc of the two thousand 10s. So basically before you do the decline, at least it's the way that we wrote it. And I kind of think that it's the way that I would tell it, you have to kind of do the rise first, right, because like there was this moment. From roughly the fall of the Soviets in 91 to roughly like 2000 and even kind of lingering in an afterlife afterwards where it kind of looked like anarchism was going to take over the world. And that's a bit of a joke. But it's also not a joke because in the context of like the radical left, which is of course obviously a kind of like, you know, dissident scene in any country where it happens to exist. You know, everything receded in terms of the traditional parties because the fall of these Soviet style Leninist states either through their collapse as in the case of the USSR or in the case of their transition to a much more like clearly and obviously like state capitalist semi, you know, liberalized model like in China, like the the you, you basically had like this total recession, not just in Leninism. Interestingly which are obvious enough right like you know it's basically a global collapse of Leninist style governments but also in like social democracy because it a lot of the I mean it's actually kind of interesting why it's it's unclear why it is people have different theories but they're you know people often describe it in you know fissures term the the the writer Mark Fisher capitalist realism the attitude in the 90s was that you know there's there's only one world. It's possible, and it's the best of all possible worlds. And that's the capitalist world where everybody's gonna have McDonald's in every country, and two countries that have the same McDonald's are never gonna go to war, which we kind of found out the hard way this week that that's not really the case. Well, if people had paid attention more to other parts of the world, they would know that, like, well, there were civil wars in a bunch of countries that had McDonald's. It didn't stop people from shooting each other. Yeah, that's absolutely right. As, as the United States should tell you, people will kill each other whether or not they have access to Chicken Mcnuggets. Yeah. You know, I mean, I think like that that's a period that has it's full of the most wrong anyone has ever been. Like, you got Francis rookie Yama, like, the most wrong person ever you've got. Yeah, you've got a lot of sort of idea. Looks you. Like have sort of deluded themselves into thinking this stuff is over and. Yeah, I think, right. That sort of plays into this, you know, into sort of the collapse of, of, of. I guess the the the party state left and then the way in which that. You know, the the alternative to that, I guess becomes new anarchism and anarchist practice, even if it's not necessarily ideology with all the groups. Kind of. Seeps its way into the rest of the activist scene. Yeah. So basically the story that we tell is that there's some, you know, the separatist rebellion in 1994 triggers these. It's not just that the separatists are able to create their autonomous territory and chapas, but they it triggers this wave that we use a term that sometimes is used in academia called NEO anarchism for this, you know, there's an anarchist revival in the 90s around the world, and it's not just. People calling themselves anarchists, it's all these movements that were inspired by the libertarian, socialist, broadly speaking, separatists adopting kind of similar methods in their local context in different countries, fighting against, I mean, a lot of things. Initially it's against like, you know, neoliberal trade deals, but it also ends up being against like sweatshops because that's basically what a lot of outsourcing is, is, you know, if if they have unions in this country from the Social Democratic. They shut down the factory fire. Everybody move it to someplace where. Uh, some dictatorship is going to shoot anybody who tries to do a union. Uh, and then that. You know that? That lowers. Logistics has gotten sophisticated enough by this point that like, you know, it ends up being cheaper for the company even though they have to transport goods all across the world and do just in time delivery and that kind of thing. So, Umm, the a lot of the the the anti globalization movement that's sprouted up around the 2000s was like against all these things and usually using the kinds of direct actions, which is when you act kind of independent of the state and not trying to like, you know, convince politicians to do something, but taking direct action. To get your results, your desired result, you know, and all this kind of stuff that we're using like direct democratic consensus methods in the way that they organized stuff that that was that was all basically inartistic. And so there was this way in which anarchist methods, anarchist tactics, anarchists like attitudes towards what activism even is started filtering into all these other movements. And this has been happening a little in the 80s too. So there was like the anti nuclear movement had a lot of this the the the feminist movement. A lot of this, Umm, there was a whole stream of single ecological movements were actually like pioneered in a lot of ways by anarchists in the 90s. So as well as indigenous movements in places like Mexico, Bolivia, etcetera. So the the. This is the kind of like rise of this NEO anarchist milieu that we're talking about, which is not just about anarchists, it's about people who. Act and think like anarchists without necessarily identifying as it, yeah. I mean, that's the kind of thing that I hope we can kind of more encourage as well in the next few decades as those types of ideas can be. We I I want, I want to make sure that we can take these ideas and make them very approachable for people. Even if they don't use the terms that we might use, you can still kind of. Suggest these types of thoughts and this suggests these types of kind of lenses and viewpoints as much as we're about to get to how this sort of goes wrong or fails in some sense. Like I think that was the strength of this movement was that it was. It's it's tactics were really easy to spread. And that led to a lot of people adopting me. It led to it sort of becoming this. I guess activists consensus that you know like you use things like consensus process you, you know, you have horizontal organizations, you have you do direct actions, you mobilize people and you don't have these sort of like. Harkle like parties, but that yeah. And I think, I think the next part of the story that you want to tell is about. I guess how that fell apart and the consequences of that. Basically what ends up happening is that like there was this moment of our ascent because I would identify myself as being definitely like part of these the the this gentleman you. I mean, I, I came, I hopped aboard a lot later with like Occupy Wall Street, but a lot of the kind of explosion of movements that happened around the world in 2011, again, not always right. It started with the Arab Spring, which started with somebody saying themselves on fire in Tunisia and like, you know, and then that spreads to. Other countries in the Middle East and, you know, protests against dictatorships and so on, but it starts getting kind of like transported beyond its initial Middle Eastern context. And what a lot of people don't know is that the, the, the Occupy Wall Street movement in North America and like other movements that, you know, some of them were called Occupy some of them and one of them was Maidan in Ukraine as a matter of fact and and other like, you know, the the Hong Kong, the the, the the umbrella. Movements, yeah. And all these kind of movements that that preceded from after 2011, a lot of them were basically in a single kind of wave, a protracted wave of copycat movements that were trying to adopt the same kind of tactics of like occupying public squares, declaring them basically autonomous and doing like direct democracy in those squares, modeling the kind of society that they that people wanted to create. You know, in this moment where it seemed like you could have this direct democratic sorts of movements, the, the and in the US there's like a Direct Line of succession from like Occupy Wall Street through to like Black Lives Matter through to like the anti pipeline indigenous protests. There's a lot of like shared movement experience, a lot of the same people showing up to it or teaching the next generation in those movements. And I think this is something, I mean it's difficult to find like sources on this, but I mean y'all are involved in social movements. I think that that's like a rough that's roughly a description of of what's happened, right? Unless unless we're crazy. Yeah, I think, you know, I think. I guess what you call the last wave that is occupy ice in. 2018, Yeah, yeah, you know, like I remember like that was a sort of mix of I guess. Two crowds. One is, you know, I mean, like I, I I remember it was a bunch of, you know, people who've been occupy and then also it was a lot of people who radicalized essentially by Trump. Yeah, there was, there was a pretty big new wave of people, yeah, around around 1016 and that. You know, I guess the other thing that that that's going on through this. Is. The the the ascension of. Conception of the right and the return also not just of, you know, not just the sort of the, the, the, the, the fascist right, but of Leninism and social democracy as well. Yeah. This is what happened around, like, when Bernie Sanders was getting more popular. Yeah. Yeah. And I think, I think, I think there's, there's, you know, there's a couple of, there's like 2 threads here. There's sort of Bernie Sanders thread and then there's, you know, the the rise of the rise of the tankies, which has to do with Syria and has to do with sort of the this backlash against. The the the shuttle 11 revolutions that, you know like some some of that backlash turns into like just, you know like aired ones like hard, right. I mean there's never like. Not a right wing, but like Erica wants to turn into just like fire, bombing cities and. And then Assad as well, like they literally barrel bombing. You know, the peaceful protest stuff can overthrow governments if the government is not willing to bomb and shoot people who gather on mass in the central square because they're afraid of what the world's response would be if they did start doing that. But, you know, when Bashar al-Assad did that in Syria against the democratic opposition movements, you know, that basically sent the signal nothing. I mean, nothing happened to Assad, right? So that basically sent the signal. That, like, oh, he had a stressful couple of years, but yeah, yeah, right. Yeah, right. Yeah. Like, like, you can you can just shoot people and bomb them and like it. And that basically defanged the kind of central tactic that a lot of these movements were trying to do, which is to have, like, large numbers of people do nonviolent civil disobedience and then through those, like, direct actions, cultivate this culture of, like, direct democracy in the hopes that, you know, the assemblies that are created in that space could in some way become. That the germ of the organs that could run society, or at least that's like when it's taken to its logical conclusion. Because usually people who are involved in this, they get involved in it. They think the assembly stuff is really cool. They Start learning more about it. They get radicalized by being in the assembly because like when you're in a direct democratic assembly and you're actually making the decisions like together, and then you come to an agreement and you execute the decision, you start asking yourself, like, why can't we do everything like this? And then you know that that's what directs a lot of people in this kind of anarchistic. Direction, but yeah, one of the reasons why these movements starts to decline is because they get smashed the but I think that there's always. This other thing going on which, and I wonder how y'all felt about this. Like reading it like, you know, there there's there was this kind of. Both like an external critique at first from people like you know, Busker, Sinkov, Jacobin and things like that. But then also like this increasingly over the years in the last half of the 20 tens internal critiques of anarchism coming from anarchists themselves or people in this general kind of milieu, libertarian socialism. Talking about how like anarchists didn't have. Solutions to the most pressing crises in the 21st century. Like, if you like, if you guys had to say. I know it's like, kind of pretentious, but, like, what is the most pressing crisis of the 21st century? What are, like, the top three just off the top of your head without thinking? What would you list if you had the list 3, two or three separate things. Climate change, creeping authoritarianism, and rampant disinformation about basic facts of reality. Sweet. OK, so let's tackle each one of those, right? Like. What's, what's an anarchist got to say about climate change? Well, OK, disrupt the pipelines like, you know, do like, you can't have infinite growth on a finite planet. So you have to have, like, you know, we we have all the slogans, right? I mean, we've all heard them like a million times. Yeah. You have the diagnosis of the problem, but yeah, yeah. But then like, OK, so how are we going to like, you know, I guess we're going to build some coops and then the coops are going to democratize production. And then we can do degrowth somehow, but, like also disrupting existing production. But there's like a missing step here, right? Because, like, you know, the reason why we have all this production in a certain way is because the entire economy depends on it's been set up that way. So how you implied in the idea that we're going to do degrowth somehow is that we need some way of constructing a different economy. And how do you construct a different economy, right, through some kind of planning. So really the question is, like, how do you do economic planning, second one? I'm gonna skip creeping authoritarianism for now because that's actually like feeding into the more the ending of the essay. But the but the other one, right. This information. Another great question. Right. Like what do you do with social media? Like, OK, again, you're just talk in general a lot about like, OK, we're going to democratize all the companies because we're democratizing everything, we're democratizing neighborhoods or democratizing cities. So it's kind of the same thing, turning everything into like a radical direct democracy. OK. But if we're going to have social media, first of all, should we? Like, was it a mistake to invent a centralized system instead of the more decentralized Internet that created that existed before social media? Right? That's kind of an interesting question, but then, assuming that we do. How do we restructure it, not just in terms of how it's managed, but like, OK, we have the democracy of Facebook or whatever, and let's say that we're the workers of Facebook. What do we do? Like, how do we structure it so that it's not a giant misinformation engine? Right? Like, once once you actually have like, the responsibility and the power of being in the saddle, which is what we spend so much of our time kind of just trying to do, you have to actually make decisions about what to do. And honestly, there aren't that many. I mean, what do you what do you do with, with the, with, with the utility like that, like, for example, who ought to be in control of the utility like that? Is it really just the workers of Facebook aren't all the people who are users of it? Don't they have a right to be making decisions about it, too? And is it just an American institution just because it's an American LLC? Or is it like a global institution because everybody on the planet's on it? Is there, you know, are there ways that it could be reconfigured, like fundamentally in terms of how users use it that would change the experience in some way to actually make it make you less liable to misinformation? But on the other hand, if you try to manipulate people in order to, you know, not see. Something that's gonna be misinformation isn't that. Well, you know, like censorship or or or some other thing that we generally would oppose. Right. Like the the tool of centralized social control. So they like, these are really deep questions. And again, this is generally a kind of silence. And of course, you know, in that case there's silence from the Social Democrats, too, and there's silence from the leninists. I mean, well, the Leninist just kind of fantasize about turning Facebook into the the tool the Central party state uses in order to crush dissent forever or whatever. But. Yeah. Social Democrats are like most nationalized Facebook. And it's like, you know, yeah, sure, we could we could do that. And then, you know, the NSA owns, owns Facebook. I'm sure that that's a that's a better scenario. Yeah. I mean, I tend to think somewhat differently about what it means to have an anarchist solution to those problems. Like, for example, I don't, I don't see anarchists or Social Democrats or leninists having any kind of stopping climate change solution. Because I don't. I don't. Realistically, see the organizing potential, UM, capable of actually stopping what's going on in any kind of reasonable time frame. And I I certainly don't think that the existing, you know, neoliberal structures or the authoritarian structures that exist in, you know, other countries or in this country are going to stop it either. So when I think about solutions to climate change from an anarchist perspective, I think about how can anarchist organizing help people deal with the consequences of climate change. And and I I see, I tend to see the potential for actually like mitigating climate change coming more from there's as the consequences of this become more dire to people. If anarchists are better, are good at providing relief and helping people and organizing through that, then eventually there's some potential to actually get people organized to stop the causes of the problem. But I just don't I I'm not an optimist of about our ability to stop the worst of it. At this point, Umm, especially not after the most recent IPCC report. And I guess I'm kind of in the same boat when it comes to disinformation. I and this is not just like anarchists I feel like lack as you've stated a cot like a good idea about like what we do with Facebook, what we do with YouTube, what do we do with the way all of these things are set up and the harms that they do at scale. Nobody, and I include the people currently in charge, has any real good ideas for that because they they haven't like, I've been working in this space for a very long time. I've spent a lot of time talking with and debating with a lot of the the folks who are leading minds kind of in the fight against disinformation. And I just don't feel like there's any sort of solution that is an immediate term solution because so many the problem is so advanced as it is. So as I guess that's kind of like. Where I land on a lot of this stuff is we certainly need to be thinking about solutions. But I, I kind of like, I, I, I, I I think it's less likely that there's going to be like you were. You were saying the kind of debate is between, is there some way of, like reforming or fixing, making Facebook more democratic? Or is it just we need to decide that maybe we don't have some of this stuff? And I tend to land towards that, that like, well, I think the solution is going to be maybe maybe Facebook's a bad idea, maybe we should, maybe we shouldn't have. There's aspects of it that are necessary, obviously, and I think aspects of things like Telegram and Twitter that are useful, but. I I think the they're also fundamentally tied to the algorithms that drive them, which is also what drives so much of the toxic aspects that I think if you're divorcing the medium from the algorithm, you're talking about something that is very different and it's no longer the media. Yeah, it's no longer the media. It's so radically different that it's just, it's it's not even useful to compare them. It's like, it's like, it's like comparing discord to Facebook. It's like they're not, they don't operate the same way. That's yeah, that's exactly kind of where I where I I tend to be on on that and I know that's not like I to the extent that like. That's pessimistic. I guess. I am kind of pessimistic about Anarchism's ability to stop the worst of things that's happening. Where I kind of look at myself as an optimistic anarchist is, is in the I I believe anarchism offers solutions when these things go as badly as they're going to do in a way that you know, the present systems or you know, more authoritarian systems that people propose can't solve the worst consequences of these problems as as well. That's that's kind of where I I feel. Like it is can feel a lot simpler to default to like the dual power framework of a lot of these things because otherwise the problems are so complex that you cannot approach them from it from from every angle. So you really do need to simplify and condense them and collapse them into something that is more simplified, which often results in like a dual power kind of framework for what you actually start doing. Yeah, and I I think you have to, I think if you're an insurrectionist, if you're a revolutionary, whether you're an anarchist. Or, you know, a a Leninist or whatever. You have to be looking at what's actually happening in Ukraine right now and recognize that. Alright. Well, to what extent do you think you're going to be able to organize people in such a way that allows them to deal with thermobaric weapons, you know? And what way are you going to organize people that allows them to effectively resist cluster musician munitions? And I I think that when you kind of look at it that way, which is what it would take to overthrow any of the. The large hegemonic powers in the world right now, a much more realistic set of solutions is all right, well, let's work on building power by building organizations and communities that are capable of of taking care of themselves in the holes that these powers are increasingly going to be experiencing because because they too are crumbling. And that's much smarter than being like, all right, well, I'm going to try to get a bunch of my friends with rifles and and arm up a couple of drones and and go up against. You know people who have access to MLRS, you know, weapons systems and whatnot. Yeah. No, I think that's a really great point. I the way that I would think about it is. The starting with the big picture problems is a bit misleading because, as you said, like nobody, it's quite likely that nobody has solutions to these problems. Certainly the Social Democrats don't. They sure haven't solved them, yeah. Yeah. And and I say this is somebody who's like half a Social Democrat by temperament. It would be really nice if we elected a little Social Democratic government and they swooped in and, you know, did like new deal stuff. I like new deal stuff. I like WPA stuff as much as the next, you know, person who likes arts programs and infrastructure development. Well, you know, some infrastructure development, not others, right. The, the work, the work complex we can do a little without, but. You know the the thing about it is. Those big problems, you're right, it looks like there's not going to be like a big solution and that we're going to kind of have to cope with the consequences of of it, at least at first. Even copying this is, this is kind of where I think, the real kind of substance of of the of the problem that libertarian socialists are are facing right now. Even coping would require a greater level of organization than we have proven able to muster up to now. Not because the methods that we choose don't work. Because in fact, as you point out and as I actually really want to forcefully argue, and because I because we do in the end of the essay, like authoritarian methods don't work and can't work for a lot of the specific problems that we face. And history shows that very definitively. But. There is also a a serious way in which even kind of developing these like, you know local, highly like, you know, rooted in a community, like direct democratic institutions that control real resources. Scaling that up to the point where it actually could start replacing some of the the the gaps left behind by, you know, States and capitalist firms that are too dysfunctional or too focused on their own goals to, to, to to meet those needs. That would actually require us to be able for example to know how to build up a cooperative sector in a city or how to kind of like network the tenants unions that already exist. You know across different you know regions maybe even across like a continent. And then construct like the, the the way in which they self manage each other or or not each other self managed together the you know the the larger group or it would require and you know there's a lot of people working on these problems. But sometimes there is a kind of like, you know, you'll you'll see this like obstacle in the road because for example, like what do you do when the IT might not even be the the the state properly speaking, right. It might be like a posse that's funded by some rich billionaire ******* who's got like his, you know, his notion that some people are just better than others and that you should institute the dictatorship of the tech Bros, you know, and then that billionaires funding a bunch of people who have got now, like, you know. Some industrial access to industrial infrastructure and they don't like the fact that you're doing your DIY like, you know, commune or whatever stuff in there on their turf. So how do you fight back against that? I mean, some of it you can fight back against that kind of our current level of capacity to some of it does kind of require us to start thinking like, well, how do you, how do you build up financial independence and what like, how do you build up the kind of independence where it's like if we get kicked off with the capitalist social media, for example, which is a great deal of what we use for fundraising. What kind of institutions could we create that would be like alternatives that are not like the the ones that the Nazis created when there was a purge of some of them that gab like highly dysfunctional? Like you know, it didn't even work for them. Not that. I mean I'm happy about that, but like, you know, my point is like the same thing could happen to us. So what would we do the like there, there are all these kinds of things that are more little picture questions in a way, but they they scale up relatively quickly to at least like medium sized. Questions where we need this kind of like these these because because part of what it is is also that, like, it's not that these questions are impossible, it's that they're kind of neglected. And there's there, there's these the thinkers like Christian Williams, who's an anarchist from the Pacific Northwest who wrote a a pamphlet about this called wither anarchism. And there was another pamphlet, an essay in Counterpunch by a person named. A real **** who's an autonomous Marxist, basically like a libertarian, Marxist, Marxist, anarchist type called what happened to the anarchist century. And both of those essays which I highly recommend that people read they may they make points basically like this, you know like where where the, the, the focus on how to construct those institutions and the nitty gritty of how to do that has kind of receded from anarchism as it's actually practiced in like. So there's like a rhetoric of revolutionary transformation. But not always the attention to the nitty gritty of how you actually can, like, build resilient institutions that actually, like, carry that through, which, you know, 100 years ago people were talking about, like the one big union and the general strike. But that's kind of like, well, a, it didn't work in exactly the way they were thinking it would even in the most successful revolutions like in Spain. And B, it was also like the the There's, there's there's a certain way in which our tensions are focused on other things. And it's not that those things are bad. It's just that like there's been this kind of neglect of the question of large scale organization and how you do coordination like, you know, in order to tackle problems that are kind of like at the scale of that that I was talking about before. And so basically the argument of the essay is that in the absence of that, like for the the the socialist movement that emerged after 2016 turned away from NEO anarchism thinking basically that it had no solutions, which I don't think is true either, but it's like, you know, or like rather. It it was true in the moment, but it doesn't have to be true. But it was true, but enough people thought that it was, that they turned to like the Social Democratic route. But with the failure of Corbyn and Bernie, that kind of burned a lot of people out too. And a lot of what it seems like it's coming up now. And I'm wondering, I wonder what you guys think of this like a lot of the people that we see showing up in movement spaces, who we see kind of like getting politically activated for the first time or whatever. A lot of those people are really interested in Leninism. And aren't specifically because I don't. I don't know how true that is. That's at least not that's that's the that that that part's not true at least at least at least here in Portland. That's very much not the case. Yeah. Well, port Portland. Portland is. Yeah. Got no other no other part of the country is like Portland other than maybe Eugene like, OK, that's that's fair. A little bit too little Portland. Portland is a big enough anarchist city that there are entire decade long like like Inter Anarchist Wars that no one else in the US has ever heard of that are like the most important thing that's ever happened in Portland. Oh boy, welcome to the green, red. Let me tell you, Chris, you have just ****** *** 60 people who could not explain to you who, if you gave them a year, could not explain to you why they're angry. I mean to to be to be fair, like I I I am an anarchist in Chicago when the first time I introduced two of my Twitter mutuals together they almost got in a fist fight. So like yeah that makes that makes sense. That makes sense. Yeah that's that completely scans even with like DS a stuff I feel like there's there there was at least was a trend a little bit too stay away from some of the more Russia communist kind of like types of aesthetics and and ideas because it is a turnoff for so many people and it does you know encourage us and. Says like encouraging forefront, a form of authoritarianism that maybe is not great. Yeah, I, I don't know like I, I I've seen sort of both friends as well. OK. So I think the last like year has been very different than I think the previous five. I've seen it on Twitter, but I don't know how much it expands into all dual spaces. I think, I think it like I saw a lot of things happens in the USA is is that the Leninist essentially took over the International committee. And right they, they had this kind of delish division of Labor inside the USA where like you have like you have a part of the DSA that's essentially a Social Democratic machine and then you have the International Committee, which is so foreign policy wing essentially run by by. I essentially grew by the Leninists and I think, I don't know, I think I saw it there. And the other thing I think I saw a lot of that I've seen even from people who are ordinarily not Stalinists were, you know, part of was talking about this is the sort of like climate Stalinism or like climate now, stuff like that. That is a huge. Problem that. You know, I mean, I think, I mean, I think part of it also just has to do with the fact that people don't. Like OK so like we we have actually existing climate Leninism like we have it it it's it's it's it's China like the the CCP changed it's like literally changed its state ideology in in in in the mid 2010 S as as you know as an attempt to to to deal with with with with pollution climate change. It did nothing. Like they they they pressed every policy it doesn't like. It didn't work. Yeah yeah I mean they did carbon markets they did they literally just banned: entire provinces and it didn't work. They they they changed the country valuations. I probably shocked people. Yeah. Yeah. Like lays this out specifically with China to an excruciating degree. Like it, like, in detail, if you're really interested in this type of, like, climate left authoritarianism, they call it climate mount in the book, but you can call it climate climate Leninism, you can call it whatever. But they they lay out how it could work and how use cases of it have not worked to a pretty, pretty intense degree. If you're interested in that, I would recommend reading the book climate Leviathan. Definitely influenced. A large portion of the writing for this show. Yeah. And I mean to your point, I don't think that this is the only trend I do. I agree with you that out of like the conjuncture of 2020, there was this. I I think that a lot of the more like establishment reformist aspects of the movement were discredited and that pushed people in different radical directions like one of which very much is anarchism, libertarian socialism. I am seeing a lot more faces that are interested in in in those questions for sure. And that's kind of counter to the trend that I was describing and from the last like five years of like you know, people becoming more disinterested because of the real or perceived lack of solutions. However, I do think that it's important and this is kind of following on Chris's climate Leninism point. To understand that there's at least a counter trend where a lot of people are have not only moved away from libertarian socialism, have not only moved, but they've also moved away from democratic socialism. And if you follow that pattern, which is a pattern that I at least have seen within the USA, within various trade unions, in a lot of among a lot of like intelligentsia type people like journalists, professors, blah blah, you see a very common set of arguments and I think it's very clear that as the century proceeds in the crises. Get worse and start killing, like, even larger numbers of people than they already are. We're going to see this argument a lot more. Yeah. And and the argument is something like this. I mean, there's a quote from a tweet and and, you know, one could argue that the tweet doesn't matter. It's the you are naive if you think this is the tweet climate, you are naive. If you think climate change can ever be solved without an authoritarian government at this point, that's and that's that's the whole thing. So. It's a it's a nasty little tweet because it's ambiguous, right? It has this, like, shocking and scandalous effects. You know, we need authoritarianism to to to solve climate change, to scandalous, you know, epithelia bourgeois, whatever. But then it's like, OK, wait, but what do you mean by authoritarian? Am I just being hysterical reaction? Yeah, it's it's the same as saying you're naive if you think that climate change can be solved without nuclear power, or climate change can be solved without really big hammers. Like we have authoritarian governments, we have nuclear power, we have really big hammers, and climate change has not be solved, been solved. Is it possible that any of those things might be a part of a theoretical solution that may happen someday? Yes, but it hasn't. And there's like, if you're trying to say that authoritarian governments are better at dealing with climate change. Then the governments that currently dominate #1 hell of. A lot of authoritarian governments are responsible for our current situation, our climate change #2 the Soviet Union, which I suspect most of these people see as a guiding light, horrible for the environment, turned the largest body of water in Eurasia into a poison lake, right? Not, not, not good at the environment, you know? And here's here's what's interesting about the thing to me, the other thing that it's doing is kind of signaling. That it's like patently ridiculous to oppose this idea without specifying what the idea is like and like. In other words, authoritarianism. Like, but like, I mean, let's let's be blunt, right. What they're implying as a Leninist is the one party state, the secret police press, censorship and the command economy. So does that help you fight climate change? That's actually an interesting and a kind of like, you know, distant 5000 foot view, you know, from the God's eye view or whatever. Like the. That's an interesting technical question. Do these institutions actually help or hinder a response? But we're not even having that conversation because instead it's this kind of underhanded attempt to get you to think that. So, again, does a tweet matter? Well, I think a tweet matters if it comes from a member of the National Political committee of the DSA. Because, at least ostensibly, of DSA is, which is the person who did that tweet. Because, at least ostensibly, if the USA is a mass movement as it purports to be, the mass movement of socialist in the US and, you know, and and the national political committee is ostensibly the leadership of the DS, which I personally don't believe, but that's certainly how they think of themselves. And this indicates that the largest, most important socialist mass movement in the US, at least self branded, has people in its leadership who believe that the secret police might help in addressing climate change. That's an interesting thing, and it's also very disturbing. And The thing is this this person is not actually, like, important. He's a symptom because this is something that's happening across the board, and a more intellectually serious version of this argument was put forward. By the uh Marxist intellectual and historian professor of human ecology called Andreas Malm. And people who are really into like, Mark's nerd stuff will probably have heard, yeah, moms, yeah, what a very good book called Fossil Capital. Everything he's written after Fossil Capital is a disaster. I I like some of the sabotage stuff. It's, I mean it's a little romantic and unpractical. She wrote an ethical discourse instead of a thing about like the risk of eco sabotage, which is the actual important part of getting well and also the degree to which it can matter because eco sabotage, there's this idea on the left that like, well we need to do is be targeting fossil fuel infrastructure. And again it's like what? It's it's like what that DSA dude said. Like, yeah. That could theoretically be part of our thing that but also process. If it's like 9 dudes who do it and then they go to prison or get shot, well that doesn't really fix climate change I think. Yeah, the book, the book, Ministry for the Future really lays out all the all kind of like the best case scenario for all these types of things and how they can work together to overall try in this direction. Because yeah, that type of like eco sabotage in conjunction with other like political effects can be impactful on what things happen. But it it's, it won't necessarily be, you know, it's, it's not it's not as simple as we would like it to be because yeah, it's. It turns out a complex world has complex consequences and complex political actions and and and I think I think this is you know the trend that mom is on the trend on you know there's there's a big environmental authoritarian like thing among among liberals this is a huge thing in in political science was a big thing in an ecological studies that was essentially making a similar argument to to what mom was making this like well OK you need some kind of. Air quotes vague authoritarianism to deal with climate change and. You know it, it, it's, it's, it's, it's basically this, this attempt. There's like these people. Have have seen climate change, but they have no actual solution to it. So they wave their hands and pretend that like this, like you know the state is going to descend from this guy and save them and and it's not. And and I think that's you know I I think I think we're, we're sort of. I don't know, I think as we just kind of wrap this up because we fortunately they're running out of time, but. You know, this, like this exact moment, like, like these like few weeks are this moment of incredible like rupture on the left, right. Because we, we had, we've had in some way Social Democrats be discredited by the fact that like Corbin and Sanders both lost, right. Their political project has been discredited. We've had a series of sort of anarchist failures within, you know, and in the last couple of weeks, right, it was all of the sort of big state, like authoritarian people like tied themselves to a bunch of imperialists and you know maybe staked their whole entire politics off of them being the anti imperialist class. And then, you know, the state who's like a bunch of their press people like literally work for right and who they've been arguing like is, is the counter imperialist powers, does imperialism. And so, like, yeah, I think we have this moment where everything is in chaos. In which we have to be the ones that that that have solutions or have or have the tools to build them. And I think that's why that's why this project is important because that's that's something that we need in this exact moment. Yeah, I I think there's a tremendous value in being humble about seeking out solutions to these questions and not doing what so many do on the left and pretend that their tendency has an absolute answer. Because all we have is theories. And the reason I know that to a point of certainty is that no one has solved any of these problems yet. And and so there is a tremendous degree of humility that people need to have in terms of like, all right, well, we are attempting to arrive at. The conclusions that can lead us to a better world, as opposed to we are trying to force through this thing that we know will work. Because you don't, you know, if you're a Marxist Leninist and you think that we need climate Mao, you don't know that that will work because it hasn't yet. And if you're an anarchist who thinks the solution is bombing as many oil refineries as you possibly can, well, you don't know that you're ever going to get enough people on board for that to mean anything. And I think that there's a. The the conversations that we need to be having. I think it's important to see them as conversations as opposed to polemics aimed at just getting people in line. Behind this shining vision of a of a clear set of steps, it's important to envision the end goal. I say that a lot. You know, we need to be looking and and accepting the possibility of a better future. But it's important not to be dogmatic about the road to get there because nobody, nobody really has a clear idea of what that looks like. Yeah, so the the. The piece ends up and if you want to see the ending of it it'll it'll be up in in sometime in the next couple of weeks. But the the basic gist of where it goes is precisely to the practical question, right. Instead of like making these like polemical arguments that are rooted more in like kind of like what tribe you've decided to identify with within the broad family of socialism, then in like actually trying to like solve problems for the people around you, right or help contribute to the solutions like. It's actually we what we want to ask is, like if we have, like, the giant ecological crisis. How do you how do you actually do it? Is it by trying to force people from the top down to do it, as Andreas mom kind of draws on the failed policies of war communism as an inspiration for that? Or is it potentially by having like democracy democratized institutions that incentivize people with carrots instead of sticks, like Naomi Klein basically uncovered a lot of her journalism, and this changes everything. So this is kind of like the the, the, the debate that we have to start having in order to be able to together formulate these kinds of solutions. Yeah. All right. Well, I think that's going to do it for for us today. What do we what do we, you guys, you guys gotta, gotta, gotta plug. You want to throw up, throw up before we roll out. Yeah, if if you want to follow us at at strange under score matters on Twitter, we also have a Facebook and you can read our articles at OP, which is our website. And if anything that you read there that you've heard here inspires you at all, please consider donating. We're going to be in the next month raising money for for the magazine, and we want to pay our writers above. Market rate because we think market rates too low. So but in order to actually do that and none of the money's going to the editors from the fundraiser. So if if if we're going to be able to do that, we got to meet our fundraising target. All right. Well, support them and, you know, figure out how to save the world. It's it's up to you. And I'm speaking to exactly one person right now and no one else, but I'm not going to be more specific. Welcome to it could happen here podcast about things falling apart and putting them back together again. And today we're doing one of our, I guess, increasingly less rare but still sort of uncommon putting things back together again episodes. And with me today is Ted Min from Amazonians United to talk about. Different kinds of union, union workers organizing and the work that you all have been doing. So, Ted, welcome to the show. Trolling me. So, all right, one of the things that that I wanted to talk about right off the bat is that Amazonians United is running a very, very different kind of organization than a lot of the Union efforts that we've talked about on the show. And a lot of the sort of like, I guess, classical or sort of business union model stuff that. That, you know, we've, we've, we've, we, you know, then then what you see in the press and then also that we've been covering. So I wanted to start off by asking you about solidarity unionism and how it sort of differs from other kinds of union organizations and campaigns. Sure. I think it's pretty simple, actually. I think solidarity unionism is workers who believe in ourselves, and by that I mean it's workers recognizing that we don't need someone to save us. When, because we are the ones doing the work, we know how to run our workplaces, we know how to do it best, and we also deserve the, the, the, the wealth that we produce. And so solidarity unionism to me is. Building organization with each other where a fabric of our organization is our relationship and our solidarity as coworkers engaging in struggle against bosses, managers, owners, everyone that's that's telling us what to do while. Taking the lion's share of the wealth that we create, and it's by uniting, coming together around issues that we care about, taking direct action in the workplace, building our confidence and our strength and our consciousness. And our organization, to me, is solidarity unionism. It is. Distinctly different from business unionism, which is the dominant form. Mainstream unionism or, you know, legalistic unionism, whatever you want to call it. Umm. That model that has been failing for several decades. Actually is predicated on a deep distrust of workers, the disbelief that workers can organize ourselves, run our own workplaces, represent ourselves, defend ourselves and each other. And in business union and I mean you know you you you see the ads when they're posting for Union staff job come leave these workers come come, join this union and lead these you're not even a worker in the workplace. How are you going to lead someone in there like you know you're you're a lawyer you're you know you have a different professional expertise you're not moving the packages with us from inside with from within the the the warehouse and so yeah I think that's. That's the main difference to me of the model. Do you? Are you a worker? Do you believe in workers? Do you trust and have faith in workers? We ourselves can build our own organization, lead ourselves. And and when or do you think workers need to be led, need to be represented, need to be told what to do, need to pay you to go and save them? And yeah, I I believe my workers saw myself. I'm a solidarity unionist. And I think we were talking a bit before. The show about this and I think there's there's a lot of aspects about this that are. I think very powerful in, you know in in in in in sectors of the economy that haven't been unionized and haven't or unions ever treated for people who were never sort of organized and to begin with. And I think that's, you know something that. There's there's there's there's this problem that happens like with with a lot of unions where. You know you you you get you get this sort of bureaucratic structure that builds up and the bureaucratic structure that builds up like doesn't have, doesn't necessarily have the same interests as the people in the Union and that's a real problem and you get these entrenched like you know you can get these entrenched causes you control unions and you get this to sort of proliferation of of these people. And and I think this was this was part of why a lot of the sort of the the anti Union techniques that you saw in like the sort of anti union purges in the 80s. You I mean you've been seeing it for a while like why they started working. In the 80s, was that like, you know, when, when, when when someone like starts ranting about union bureaucrats, right? Like they're actually like, there actually was a divide there. Like there, there there was a sort of like. I guess like the like there, there was a sort of like a kind of fundamental class difference which I I think. Has a lot, I mean also has a lot to do with you know it when when you get into your sort of like more more revolutionary context that that has to do with why a lot of unions when you know France is infamous for this, right? Like France has had these giant like communist trade unions and every time a revolution started the trade union just like sits there and does nothing. And yeah, and you have to sort of ask yourself like, OK, so why is this happening and I think. Yeah, soldier unionism. It has, it has a lot of answers to this sort of I guess you call it like there's, there's there's a sort of like right wing critique of unions that has to do with like, well OK so we don't want workers to organize. We don't want them reflected power at all but then there's also, you know but but the reason that it works in a lot of cases because it's able to tap into a sort of like in in into these structural problems and a lot of unions have and and I think so. My, my understanding of, of. How he also organizing has been going and correct me if I'm wrong that I've been interested in is that like unlike a lot of other campaigns that you've seen I mean even specifically with Amazon but like a lot of other the the sort of the campaigns are getting a lot of press like you're not acting like your goal isn't to just get like recognition as a collective bargaining unit. Right. That's another key part of our key difference between solidarity unionism and business unionism. Business unionism you're. You're. What? Defines you as a Union, as whether you are legally recognized by the state, by the NLRB, by the appointed government body. Umm. That is the point at which. The folks in these organizations like, are we a union or are we not? OK, let's let's do an election. Let's follow all these rules that by the way, were designed to demobilize us, you know, century ago. But let's follow all these rules. Let's try to fight. In the courts to be recognized as a Union and then one through Union. Then we can fight for a legal contract. That has benefited a lot of people in different ways. I'm not, you know what I mean, like. But that approach is different than. Solidarity unionism, where it's like we know our power is in the workplace, on the shop floor, where our power is based on our unity and numbers. As coworkers, we see this when we walk out, and within a month they give us a raise. How long would it have taken to get a raise if we went for an NLRB election? How many years? Yeah, what organization are we even building in that way and so. Our instead of seeking legal recognition and waging our. The struggle against bosses in the courts we are choosing to wage, engage in, struggle in the shop floor where we are the experts, where we have the power, where we have the organization, where we are doing the work, where that is our home turf. We have more power there, like it makes more sense to build power where we have power, not in the institutions that were specifically designed to disempower. Yes, and give large employers the upper hand, all the different ways that they can manipulate how the votes happen, what is considered part of the voting unit, the contract negotiation process. I mean all of these legal hurdles, I mean, for the vast majority of workers, you'll need lawyers to be even understand how to engage in that world. That's not our world. It was not built for us. To be in. It was built to control us, and so it just doesn't make. Logical sense to try to wage our struggle in that arena. We should be waging it in the places that we work. And so that, yeah, that's I think another core principle. Solidarity unionism, like build power where we have it, and that's the shop floor. Yeah, and I think, I mean that's something that I've seen like in like when I was in college there there was a big grad student union organization campaign and it kind of. That they they had this huge problem, which was that, OK, well, they were trying to do, they were trying to get a National Labor Relations board. Like vote under Trump. But they couldn't do it because if, you know because because the National Labor Relations Board was controlled by just like the even, even even by National Labor Relations Board standards like like just unbelievably anti union, like viscerally anti worker forces. It was like, well, if if we try to get a vote like there's a chance they could just, you know, like literally destroy the right, like destroy the organizing rights of all grad students in the country. And yeah, and you get, you get that with the Nissan election or something like that. Yeah, definitely delayed it. Yeah. And it's it's, you know, yeah, I think this this is a trap that like. A lot of people, even even people who are really highly organized, like, get stuck in where, you know, and like if like, eventually the grad students just like essentially just started doing walkouts because that was, you know, that that was the thing they could do. When they started doing their own strikes, even they weren't like legally recognized because that was the thing that you could do to, you know, actually fight in a terrain that wasn't just inherently rigged against you. So, OK, so you've decided to to take to take a fight in the workplace. Like on the shop floor where where you're, where you're at your strongest. What does that actually look like in in terms of actions, in terms of organization? Yeah, honestly, I think it's simpler and more. Rudimentary. Then then. One might think or that you might read about and you know an academic article or something analyzing. I think it comes down to. Comes down to building community, comes down to building culture. And. The principles of the Community and culture that you build together with your coworkers as one where we value ourselves and each other, we respect ourselves and each other and. That means that we fight for what is fair in the workplace. That means that we maintain integrity. Anytime a boss disrespects one of us, we need to confront it. We we need to address it, if not immediately, soon after, in numbers. It means if we're getting overworked and underpaid and we need to strategize and figure out how do we? How do we compel the employer to stop overworking and underpaying us? How do we hit them in a place that they are forced to respect? And as it goes in the world we are today, it's always the numbers, it's always the money, it's always the profit. So what that means on the day-to-day, I mean. Amazon warehouses are a very isolating place. Amazon has basically GB warehouse work. You know, it's like the Uber for warehouse where you can pick up shifts so you can, you know, extra shifts, you can take a furlough days. You know, we call them vtos. Many warehouses like your your work, the 1012 hour shift, and you're for that entire time, you're near one or two people Max because they're spaced out and it's loud and there's machinery and you're packing. Access and and so on top of that. You know that every day. Dehumanizing. It's also you're pushed to work faster and faster. It's difficult to have, you know, deep human interaction when you're busting your *** moving, you know, 30 to 45 pound packages as quickly as you can. And so. The the the day-to-day of building and fighting in the workplace. Building community means, for example, every week we have a potluck during lunch, bring coworkers together, new coworkers that, you know someone could start last week. This is something that we hear a lot of. You know, part of the challenge. It's the turnover is so high. How can you possibly organize turnover is so high? That is a specific weapon that BOSS is used against us. High turnover means what it means. Frequently have new coworkers, harder to build, relationship and organization. It means that the job feels more precarious, so people are always. Afraid that we'll lose our job? You know, we could get fired. We could. They could change staffing numbers. They could close warehouses. It create, you know, as a tool. Higher turnover. They just, they churn through workers. OK, who who's willing to do the most work for the lowest pay and sacrifice the most of their body? OK. If if you can't handle it, then you could. If you can, then you stay in here. OK. Let's find the workers in society that are most able to, you know, produce the most. So on and so forth and so. Basic things, yeah. Having everyday, sometimes it's just like talking with your coworkers. It's something that is. That they tried to. Keep you from doing in the workplace and by engaging conversation, you're already resisting that isolation. Already resisting. Losses, trying to just control everything, keep everyone divided so, you know, weekly pot lunches, having meetings inside or outside of the workplace coming together. What are the issues that we care about? How do we bring, how do we build more unity around these issues that we know many people care about? Is it doing a petition? People sign on together? Are we delivering the petition in a group? If the management doesn't respond, it doesn't give us a reasonable response. How do we escalate that? We need to walk out? Do we need to take other action? Anytime we see a manager disrespecting a coworker, how do we, you know, post up next to them, pull out a notepad, start taking notes, ask questions. We're a witness, you know. How do we defend each other in all of these basic ways? How are we addressing and being honest with ourselves and each other of just the depth of disrespect when they're waiting for us outside of the bathrooms to write us up for time off task when they're telling us to work faster? When you know we're already on a 10 hour shift, we're on our. Ten of the 10 hour shift they sent a bunch of people home and are forcing us to finish all the work for a small number of people. Do we continue putting up with it or do we immediately walk out? Or do we talk with their coworkers about what we want to do, just being mindful of? Being honest about what how we are being treated, what is fair, what is not, and taking the necessary action to. Yeah. Demand the the fairness, the respect that each of us deserve, I think like. That's what the workplace struggle looks like. I don't, yeah. And I think it comes down to building that community with each other and then building the culture of not putting up with ******** defending each other, looking out for each other. There's a them. There's an US. Make sure you know what side you're on. And you know, I think that's the, that's the foundation of it. Yeah, I think that the, the aspect especially of culture building is really interesting to me because I think that's something that's not really talked about much with with organizing efforts in both because you know a lot of like a lot of what gets discussed with, you know especially in academic circles, when, when, when you're, when you're just, you know when, when, when you have people writing about union, organizing it, when even when sort of like other union organizers are writing about. I unions, I said. Yeah, you don't hear much about the cultural aspects and you don't hear much about. Just resisting the the actual like psychological degradation. That you get and that strikes me I think also as as, yeah as you've been saying something that's that's very important to not. Discussed enough as I mean both as just something that that is a goal in itself, like not having this sort of. You know, not not having the just sort of horrible. Demeaning and abusive sort of tyranny of the bosses just like. Existing as this kind of like normal force. And but then also like, yeah, that that that's actually something that is really important for anyone who's who's thinking about organizing is, you know, getting, getting people. Getting people to organize around just. Like how? Or getting people to organize around just this, the sort of like the psychological degradation. Like I, I, I, I think is really important because otherwise, you know, you, you you get, you can get, you can just get these cultures where like, I mean, I remember I had a job where I was in like we had a union, but like it didn't. I mean so I, I was, I was a temp worker so I wasn't in the Union but like they they had a union and it just sort of didn't do anything and no one like you know this is this is a real source of sort of right wing resent because the unions just didn't do anything and then you know everyone's getting treated terribly like by by the bosses and by their upper management and no one but it never even like it never really like. Just on a cultural level, never occurred to them to sort of like use the Union for that because it's not really what the Union was there for. It was just sort of like it was just this thing that existed. And like occasionally when contracts came up, it would appear. And I guess on on, on that note, one of the things I was also wondering is what sort of so for, for, for, for people who are who are interested in their own workplaces and starting doing this kind of organizing and starting to sort of, I mean, just fight back against their bosses in ways that don't. You know, either because they don't want to or because they literally can't. Which I think is is is true of a lot of people like who who want to organize outside of the business union model. How? How do you how did you all? Start organizing like this and what what sort of? Immediate lessons do you think people should, should take away and should sort of bring in, bring into their own organizing in the workplace? Yeah, I think at the base of the is that. I guess I've mentioned something like this earlier, but that we we can organize ourselves. We can. You know, if you're talking, if you have two coworkers that you're friends with and you say, like, hey, let's meet up and talk about what's going on at work, you're starting to organize, you know, and. I think. Part of. Part of the damage, part of the harm that. Business unionism has done. And also just don't know hierarchical organizing. Kalinski and organizing. I think they're all part of a. Sort of connected school of thought where it's like organizing and you know, building and union is something that like, you need to be like professionals to or you know you, they're experts at it, they're experts. And then if you're not an expert, then you need to consult an expert to figure out how to do it. Yeah, I think that's ********. I think it's if you're a worker, then you can be a union organizer. If you're a worker and you talk with, you know, another worker about what's going on in your workplace, like you're already starting to organize. Like I said earlier, if you're calling a meeting, if you're, you know, and workers do this all the time, confronting management about disrespect, you know, I think it's very much more frequently on an individual basis, but it's a matter of like. Connecting your issue with a couple other coworkers and then figure out OK, well what what's our next step? But we need more numbers. How do we, you know, how do we build more numbers if each of us can invite one more person, that's six people. If you know if the six of us can are starting a petition, we could probably get, you know signatures of 50 or 60. You know like it's it's step by step and saying if we want to build organization. We could do it from the bottom up. We can start it. And we can figure this out. I mean every. Even within the same company, even within the same company, in the same city there, you know, I work at a delivery station in Gage Park. Other delivery stations in the City of Chicago have a completely different culture. You know, the neighborhood that it's in, the the workers that are the bosses, you know, and so. Even in the same company, the same type of workplace, in the same city, it's going to be a different story for how that workplace is going to, you know, get united, come together, figure things out, build organization. And it's just. Anyone there that is thinking about? That, that, that kind of just begins the process of putting together the basics, all right? We need to start building up some numbers. We need to start having, you know, addressing some issues that people care about. And there's always, I mean, there's always the, you know, overworked and underpaid, and that's going to exist everywhere. You can always go after those issues, but frequently they're smaller ones. Like our first issue was a water petition. Or or or or at was access to water and this is how we started as an organization. Basically, they were taking away bottled water. They said we were leaving around too much garbage. They're saying bottled water is only there for the summer, and now that's not the summer that whatever, they're trying to save a few dollars a day on bottled water to make us, you know, work without it. And we said, that's ****** **. We're doing warehouse work like this. Hard manual labor, and it's hot in here. We need that bottled water. It's, you know, not just the broken, unfiltered fountain across the warehouse that you can't even get to while you're working. And so just a few of us that we're talking at break is like, OK, well, there's six of us here. Well, we're kind of, you know, this is the, this is the break room at work. They're like managers walking around their cameras in here, like, let's meet outside and figure this out. So, you know, we, we met at A at a Krispy Kreme down on like 93rd. And we just basically said, like, well, how are we going to get this water? We've been asking management, you know, they've given us the same reasons we need to do something bigger that that they can't ignore. How about a petition? And so we just drafted it, the six of us who drafted it, we went around, we got 150 signatures, I think, from our coworkers or just like basic demands, we need bottled water stock every day. They need to be, you know, filters need to be cleaned. We need to get to be able to take a break to get this water. And we delivered. Uh the, the, the 150 signatures to management, I think it was within 30 or 40 minutes they drove to a grocery store bought you know went to the nearest Pete's, bought every case of Ottawa they have brought and passed it out to everyone like oh OK like that was you know people like that's why we got to do a petition for this thing we got to do. You know what this thing we should probably it was that I don't want to say easy because it's definitely not easy to like but the steps, the step by step of like. How do you begin? How do you get something started? How do you start building some unity? These are steps that we have taken. These are, you know, what we think is can be applicable with everyone's own kind of personal tweaks based on, you know, your own workplace to start getting something going for more coworkers to start realizing, Oh yeah, like we should be in more control of what's happening around here because we're the ones that are doing all the work. We're the ones that are suffering the most from it in our bodies getting grounded. I'm doing it. And so, yeah, I think that, I think I look back to a previous question too, but like how we started, how you engage in the struggle and just like what that looks like for for building, building something up from nothing to something like, that's what that's what we, you know what I mean? That's what we did. Yeah, from what I've seen, y'all have been extremely effective, like at at get, getting management to recognize, but essentially getting them to like a seed to your demands because. Like this, this, this kind of organizing like, soldier, you know, what I'm trying to say is all dear to unionism works like, it's not like like and and, you know, and yeah, it's it's a thing. I think one of the things you're talking about is like, yeah, it's like when, like when you win even on something fairly small, right. And you, you can show people that this works and that like, you know, if if if if you actually come together on something you can force management to do stuff like, I think that also. Become becomes an important sort of like. I don't know if Catalyst is the right word, but it it becomes it becomes an engine that like feeds itself. Define, I mean, especially for a big company like Amazon like. I think the most common. Perspective, at least at the start is like, this is such a big company, like what could we possibly do? They have 1000 warehouses. Like what? You know, they could choose to close one and open another one. You know, they do this, they could suddenly, you know, and with two weeks notice, like change the schedule from an evening time to an overnight time, which is what they did to us basically. What can we possibly do? And so, you know, but I think it's like the moment, it's like there's a. And a Cliff or what do you got? Like the water, a point, like the moment you kind of take that first collective action and then get what you want. Like, oh, wait, it's not as like within this space. Like, we can actually make our lives a lot better pretty quickly if we just come together and do it ourselves and recognize the power that we have. And I think it's like. That's. One of the reasons why it works so well is because. It is different from the mainstream approach which bosses and these companies understand very well and can easily maneuver around such as, oh, if we do, if, if one of our managers does something wrong, what will happen next is we'll receive one of our lawyers will receive a grievance from one of their representative lawyers. And you know, this business union will have this many months to respond and then we can do this and then, you know, we'll do this paperwork and have this legal back and forth and then. Maybe we'll address this issue 6 to 12 months down the line. No disruption, you know, nothing to worry about. The bosses run amok and we'll get a 6 to 12 month head start to you know get maybe get a slap on the wrist and the fix order need to or pay a small fine as opposed to that. That's business unit like as opposed to solidarity unionism where it's like. They just disrespected us in a way that, like, we're not trying to put up with, like we are hurting. We can't even finish this shift without hurting ourselves more. We're just going to group up the lockout right now. They're going to figure out, they're going to have to figure out how to get the rest of these packages out without us. And when we come back tomorrow, we'll see, we'll see if they want to keep treating us the same way. And so it's like to me, you know, we we've had basic, basic management confrontations where either immediately, you know, they were understaffing and we grouped up, rolled into the office just like with seven of us, not even like the whole shift, seven out of 50 people. We're rolling off and said you have too few people on the line so you need to add extra person. We've been asking you have it. We folded our arms. Within 5 minutes they sent an extra person over there. They're working the rest of the shift. And the and the business unit approach, like I don't even know like how he followed you know understaffing grievance, like what are the details? How does that happen? Does a Union representative have to be contacted and then negotiated in some way but that like let's just address this right now and fix it. I don't want to wait for some outside activity. Let's just improve our working conditions right now by confronting and addressing it. I think it just, you know, that's something that the bosses are less. It's less predictable for them. It's less in their control, it's less in their wheelhouse. And I think that's a key reason why it works better. And I think one of the things, the thing this reminds me of is it reminds me of the kind of stuff that you used to do when they were strong. Like, it reminds me of like, yeah, you're you're like, CIO, like, sit down. Strike. Right. It's like, well, OK, if if the manager is something we didn't, we don't. Like, someone blows a whistle. Everyone sits down and like, it's like, it's that that kind of not just sort of like waiting to go through legal channels, but just. Just like immediately taking action is like it's something that like it's something that worked and it's, you know like that that's that's the kind of stuff that like built the built the original like labor movement and and it's really interesting to me that like because I think there's a lot of like. I think a lot of people look back at that era sort of like nostalgically and go like, well OK, if you unions were stronger, we could do this, but like that's not really true. You you can't actually just. Like like you you can do the same things that like, you know you're like 1930 CIO was doing like and and and if you know and you you don't you don't need the kind of institutional backing. That that those people had if if like if if you're organized enough in in your in your specific location. I think that's a really interesting. I don't know. I'm curious if you agree with us. It's seems like it's sort of interesting lesson about like what happened. To the labor movement where like. The the the the more you, the more you get into this sort of like. OK. Well, the, the, the Union is now 2 lawyers sitting down with each other, right. The The What you're doing basically is like this is this is this is explicitly what the National Labor Relations Act was, right. Like it was an attempt to get labor, labor and capital sit down at the table and stop fighting so that they could like you know, basically production could go on and like some sometimes sometimes that that, you know sometimes I favor the Union, right. Sometimes you'd have the president be like like the actual like U.S. President would be like OK, you come, you like steel company, you have to like give workers. What they're asking for because our steel production shut down, right, but like you know the, the the problem with that is that it's based on. Like it it's based on at all costs, trying to sort of preserve like it's based on cost, like trying to preserve labor peace and you know, I mean, there's there's reasons for that too, like, yeah, like, I'm not going to like. Like obviously there's there's anytime you take a direct action, there's a risk. And yeah, like I'm not gonna like. You know, I'm not gonna be like like it's it's hard to be really mad at people who don't want to go on strike because they don't like because the the, you know how how am I going to feed my family well, etcetera, etcetera, but like. You know, bring like have having that kind of militancy in in the workplace, just, you know, without, without any kind of formal recognition. I think is an extremely powerful tactic and is, I mean literally how the originally movement like got built. It's difficult, though, and it can be scary, yeah, you know, and it's like. I think. You you posed kind of the question or or or. Kind of questioning the idea, like where did how did the labor movement? Get to where it's at. If the origins were more conscious in the ways that you've been describing, I think that. Umm. I mean, it's, it's definitely, you know, the risk is always there, you're always confronting. The power, I mean in the workplace when it comes down to it, like obviously the power dynamics shift and it's more complex than you know. Bosses have more power than workers unless workers organized and workers have more power than bosses. That is true and also. For example, on the day-to-day you know the boss can. Fire anyone and then you're, you know, however you you end up dealing with it. You know, you could be out anywhere between 2:00 or 20 paychecks until something is resolved legally or even through direct action. You know, there's obviously very directly oppressive power dynamic there. And. I think that. To speak truth, to power, to directly confront it. Of course it's frightening. I mean I I would be lying if, you know like I'm I'm I'm going to talking on this on this podcast about doing this and yeah we're doing this like you know, I'm not going to pretend that like when we even when we were in a 40% mass, you know confronting management, addressing that everyone together it's still like, you know there's there's there's still this power dynamic here and we're we're we're punching up like it's a punch but like it we're punching up to someone that's like a bigger heavier. Adversary. And so it's like they could swing back too, like you kind of got to be ready to and so. I think that what I'm describing on a kind of like face to face, interpersonal that moment. In the workplace, I think on a broader scale also exists, where it's like waging an extended. You know, organizing struggle to be fighting this fight millions of times in many different ways and then continually trying to bring people together. You know, people move on because everything that's happening in life, they got evicted from their place. So they had to move to a different place, far away. OK? Suddenly they had to leave the job, and they were someone that was, you know, contributing a lot to the organizing. Something happened. Someone has a family member that, you know, that they need to spend a little bit more time with everything that's happening, everything that's. Making, you know, reducing our time as working people to take care of ourselves and each other. Like all of this. We're fighting against all of this and. There are definitely ups and downs. They're definitely times where it's like, Dang, like we're, you know? And it seems like at times. All of the struggles in life, like, it's like you take like 2 steps forward and then two steps backwards, like, how do you even get that? And so you know, there's definitely a difficult reality permeating everything. You know, all of the the, the organizing wins that, the events that we're talking about. We need to be fully honest about that and also recognize that there's still like, nothing more. There's like nothing more beautiful, powerful. There's no, there's nothing that feels better than the that moment when you when the power dynamic was like this and you pulled something off and it's like. I was like, oh, like you you just did what we wanted, you know, and and more. And then now, like, you're being real careful with us. Like we we changed things here. Like our lives are better. Concretely. And we made it happen. And, you know, I think those are like celebrating the wins and like taking joy, not always thinking so far, OK, we got more to go. We got. Yeah, they're always, there's always more that we can and have to be building. And let's make sure that we're taking the time to recognize and celebrate each of the steps that we are advancing so that, you know, we we don't get lost. And you know, assuming in the cycle of like seeking permanent infinite growth and organizing and being constantly stressed out about it rather than like taking those breathers, taking those moments. OK like let's take this in stride, let's do this sustainable that's not burn out Umm, you know, I think that's all part of. Figuring out how to, how to, how to make it happen. Yeah. And I think that's that's an important. I think that that's an important thing to understand with any kind of organizing. Which is that like, yeah, if, if, if you. Like if if if if there's never sort of a moment in which you're reflecting on or sort of just celebrating like the the the the goals that you've actually accomplished. Right. You're just going to sort of be endlessly bashing your head against the wall and you know this is this is like, yeah this is this is sort of a burnout machine. This is a a way that, you know it's something that also just sort of feeds despair, which is that yeah like, you know like yeah OK your your victory is a small victory but it it it is a real one and that's that's something that. Even in the face of sort of like, the cyclopian horror of, like, just the world that we're living in, like, no, you're you're small victories, dude. Lead up to bigger ones. And yeah, and, you know, and getting people to lose sight of that is a like, it's it's a major way the system is held together by just sort of like manufacturing hopelessness. Even when they're there, there are reasons for hope, and there are reasons to, sort of. Look at what you've done and go hey, we won this thing. Definitely. Yeah, I think that's a I guess unexpectedly cheery for this show. I note to end on this. You have anything else? Yeah. Uh, I mean, I think we touched on a lot. I guess I have like a usual pitch or some version of it. But I think. Umm. Maybe something to bring together? Different elements that we touched on and bring in some of the cherry hopefulness and also put out some encouragement too. I think now is the time where. There's a whole lot of uncertainty and on, you know, definitely in a global week to week or year to year scale, but also on an individual level. I think a lot of individuals right now likely those that are listening that, that end up listening to this or those that are like seeing what's happening around the world like what is my role in all of this? What am I trying to do? And different people are joining different organizations and and and trying to figure out how they should be living their lives. What principles they should be living out, how they should be applying themselves to, for example, combat and dismantle. Capitalism and and and you know the prison industrial complex and reverse climate destruction and and fight fascism and you know everything. All of the existential threats that we face like what? You know what is my role and I think. If. This you at all have the. Capacity and curiosity. To engage in some of this deep work yourself for building community, relationships, culture among. Yeah. Just with workers, build building your own organization, building your own acts of resistance, building your own forms of, of, of, you know, own forms of of reclaiming your time and and and minds and bodies and build something beautiful that can, you know, be part of a broader movement that that, you know, lifts up working people. That kind of gets back what we are building and what we what we deserve. Think about think about the logistics industry, think about warehouse work, and think about joining in. And, you know, it's it's hard work, it's hard manual labor, it's hard mental and emotional work. But I think this is the future of what? The winning, fighting, successful labor movement will need. And I think many people engaging in building more genuine, more worker focused, worker centered, worker run solidarity unions of our own democratic horizontal bottom up. I think building this way and connecting with each other, I think this is the way forward. I think this is the examples that we need. We need more people engaging in this work. We need more. More of that attention, energy and focus. Like how do we build the real stuff that's going to be the the the powerful organizational influence to transform society and and and avert these forms of extinction and continued extraction, exploitation and oppression of all of us. Join us. Join. Join the struggle. Get get some of these jobs. Talk to your coworkers. Build something. Is that it's really that simple? And yeah, that's my, that's my. Everyday pitch. So if if people want to find Amazonians United specifically, where, where, where can they find y'all? So in Chicago, so Amazonians united. Chicago land is our name. We have a Facebook page. We have a Twitter. Those are probably where we're most active. And where you can follow and get into contact with us, tweet out as best you know. Message us on Facebook. If, if you're really so inclined, you can e-mail us at But otherwise, yeah, just look up, you know, follow our social media. You'll see what we post occasionally about what's going on. And, you know, feel free to reach out and in the contact, ask any questions you might have. And yeah, let's connect. Let's build community. Yeah, that's that's a U Chicago land at a Chicago land on Twitter, by the way. Yeah, yeah. Yes, sweet Ted. Thank you. Thank you. So thank you so much for joining me. Yeah. Thanks for having me. Yeah, it's really great. Yeah. If you want to find us at, you can find us at happened here, pod on Twitter, Instagram and close on media in the same places. Yeah, go go, go organize with your coworkers. Go do cool things. Go make the world a better place. Yes, yes, yes, for sure. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. Ergr's, this is me doing a pirate voice, which is kind of a bad a bad Irish voice, that's that's enough for that. Hi welcome to good happen here the show where we talking about things that could possibly happen and or are happening and go yahar fiddly Dee. I've Garrison welcome to this tech centric episode. This is very exciting. With me is a Chris to help us discuss libraries and piracy. Arg permanently pirate brained and and paywalls and all this all this fun stuff. So yeah, we're talking about kind of free access to information and I don't know, like I really like libraries and I think a library based economy would be pretty cool. Yeah, you know, like libraries for everything. The food libraries. You you take food, you know, deposit, compost. It's a nice, decent, decent, decent system. Got the tool libraries so you can get, you know, your angle grinders for taking apart federal fences? You can get your, you know, soldering irons for building your FGC nines. You know, all all of all of the basic stuff. And I guess book libraries are cool too. But we already have those, and we're going to we're going to be talking about them a little bit. We're going to be having a discussion on paywalls, piracy. Org and and how access to information is actually good. Contrary to what many people want to tell you. Yeah, no. So yeah, as a as the Internet became easier to access and information flow accelerated, there's been kind of questions and speculation on how physical book libraries will fit into our increasingly digital media landscape. Now it's important to mention that the library is also one of the main ways for lower income people to access the Internet with their, you know, collection of free to use computers as well as, you know, a decent Wi-Fi connection. And many, many libraries also are expanding their scope to include stuff like maker spaces as well as you know their printers and standard kind of office supplies. So libraries are already kind of beyond just places to get printed media, but of course that is, that is kind of their one. That has been their main, their main premise. But you know, they've been, they've been including stuff regarding ebooks, computer use, Wi-Fi access, all the stuff's been a part of libraries for like the past like 20-30 years. Yeah, yeah, like it's it's not, it's not, it's not, it's not, it's not a new thing. But I think when people think of libraries, we just think of books or newspapers and stuff, but it is it is definitely more than that. Because yeah, obviously physical libraries are mostly known for printed materials and because we'll be talking about paywalls and piracy, Arg and and fears that access to free content will negatively impact creators ability to make such content. I figured, let's start by talking about book libraries since they're one of the oldest examples of providing. Information for free. So based on the kind of surveys and data collected from you from library users across the country, it would seem that libraries and loaned ebooks are actually a very powerful economic engine for the book business. Now yes, libraries do have special deals to buy the books that they do have in stock. Sometimes they're donated. But even beyond that fact, like library users, like the fact that libraries exist for the users in and of themselves increase book sales. It's it's a. It's it's pretty fun. So even as far back as like 2011, there's been studies that show that libraries do increase book sales. Now yes this is this is this is a capitalist argument, but sometimes when arguing with let's, you know, let's call them normies, you can convince them to agree with a lot of kind of like anarchy leaning improvements to the world by carefully using their own rhetoric against them. Right this is this is like the same thing with the giving out free drugs and having safe drug in in like intake. Rights and giving, you know, houses to homeless people, you know, all this type of stuff, you know, all of those things are cheaper for the taxpayer than what we're currently doing with how we use emergencies, like how for how we use emergency services spending. So yes, it's a capitalist argument, but you can still kind of, you know, paint someone into a corner to agree to, like, actual good improvements by using, hey, this is actually cheaper, you know, that, that type of argument. So yeah, libraries, they do increase book sales, so that is mostly cool. There is a there was a study that shows around this is study around 2020. Eleven showed that 50% of library users report purchasing books by an author they were introduced to through the library system, which debunks the myth that when a library buys books, the publisher will lose future sales. Instead, it confirms that the Public Library does not only incubate and support literacy, as it's, you know, generally understood in our culture, but it's also an active partner with the publishing industry in for building up the book market and. Also including in that is the ever growing ebook market, which I don't really like ebooks for reasons, will kind of discuss in a bit for how I kind of have an aversion to the idea of like digital ownership. But ebooks are undeniably a very a growing industry that also you know, does, does support. Writers in a lot of ways, but I think physical books are a lot cooler and more reliable. Nice they are, as you can tell by my very nice physical book collection behind me, which you cannot listen to because this is a podcast and you can't listen with your ears unless you're on a lot of drugs, which good luck hearing the books behind me. People who listen to also have fun. Yeah, you too. But yeah, I'm not. I'm not talking with them. This is an anti people who have on drug induced synesthesia podcast now. Lucky ******** gonna get cancelled that ohh sure. Yeah, that's that's that's gonna get me after all. Not the well bleep that I can't leave. You said that. Wow. Whoa. Chris just said one of the just one of the most, one of the most one of the most horrible authors that I would never be caught dead reading any of their books anyway. So. The idea that like piracy and free information will like tank creative industries and you know the idea that you know just having access to free versions of media will hurt the ability to make more of the media is definitely proven wrong simply by the modern existence and popularity of anime in the United States. Because we would not have enemy. Enemy would not be what it is today without piracy and because in the in the. Specifically, like 2000s, late 90s, the piracy of anime became, you know, big, massive reason why it is the cultural juggernaut that it is today. Over half of anime related sales revenue comes from overseas. Not not Japan. It comes from places like the states. Yeah. And you know, and it's also I think worth mentioning here, like it wasn't even just that they were like pirating the show, right? They were pirating they they were getting a worse version of it because like, you know, you're horrible resolution. That terrible resolutions, like, I mean, literally like VCR's, that people had figured out how to like, write, like, get subtitles on, like, these versions of it are terrible, the translations are awful. And it's still just like, absolutely like just catapulted. Anime from like, an incredibly fringe thing for weirdos to a thing that is also still for weirdos, but it's still mostly mainstream. I'm going to take this opportunity to plug our future episode just dissecting the politics of Attack on Titan. It's coming, folks. Strapping so. Yes. Anyway what not would not be the thing it is today without without without privacy and again but the majority of of sales revenue comes from not Japan. So yeah that's that's a pretty pretty pretty clear so. The the the discovery of new books and authors through the library system is definitely searching right now, actually, specifically due to e-books and audio books being available online anytime. Well, like via library means. So there's like, you know, there's there's ways you can access, you can quote UN quote borrow these types of things via via the library systems, despite them being like digital media, which again I I prefer physical, but that's that's something we'll talk about later. So even even while visits to libraries. Like physical bookstores plummeted during COVID-19, digital library usage soared. Which is, you know, that that that that that that tracks. More than 430 million titles were borrowed from the OverDrive Library platform in 2020 alone. And it would you know it it you could. You could assume that this would cause a drop in the purchasing of books during the same. But the opposite is true. Actually. The overall purchasing of books also rose in 2020. Including an 8% lift in these sales of print books, despite a lot of people being out of jobs, out of work. You know that turns out people are bored. So they're gonna spend money on books because books are cool. And even when they have access to library stuff, they still buy books. It's a it's a it's a simple truth that the the library patrons are usually also book buyers. This it's it's it's me. I am literally surrounded by books on all sides. They they have me surrounded. I have no escape. And this is what happens when you grow up in a library. I mean, I also grew up in a library. I mean, I was, I was homeschooled. I grew up a lot of time in library. To my to my left, I have books on urban exploration and Lemony Snicket. To my right, I have books on alchemy. Behind me. I have books which I should all not name edge behind me. I have a massive stack of comic books of yeah, I am usually surrounded by books. It's the books are great, and you you have them. Unless they burn up, you're going to have them no matter whether the Internet goes out, whether whether an online provider. Its down you're going to you're going to have physical books. They are they are, they are pretty they're pretty cool so. And libraries and like the library system offers a really great way to discover new books, new series, new genres, or new authors before deciding whether to permanently purchase those titles. So it's this this isn't just like an assumption used to hype up the idea of a library, but this has been proven by lots of studies like the one I mentioned a few minutes ago from 2011. Also, there was the Panorama projects, immersive media and books 2020 Consumer Survey, which is a way too long of a title. Real mouthful. Which found that 1/3 of responders bought a book that they discovered through the library in 2020. So turns out you you discover a book, you return it, and you're like, hey, that looks pretty good. I'll just buy a copy myself. I did that. I, I I still do that all the time. It's yeah, it's it's it's it's it's a thing. So that's why I own all my Star Wars books. For better, for worse. This is why I have a beautiful copy of Splinter in the mind's eye. Which I am very curious to see who will get that joke. I would. I was, I was trying to think of the worst Star Wars book that I have. And you said that I'm like, I can't. I should look for this. Yeah, I think I actually have that. Well, there you go. There's there's two. There's two for you. I give you 2. Uh, yeah. So in our kind of in our like technology driven world of like, you know, wanting things very quickly, you know, instant, instant gratification library users are no different. Like they they they still have that instant gratification Dr and many times they will want a specific book and they'll be happy to pay for it instead of waiting for it at the library, right. You can put a book on hold and wait a month or you can buy it for 10 bucks. And oftentimes people will buy the book because we want things quickly. It's according to the same Panorama project. Immersive media and books 2020 Consumer survey about 30% of respondents said that they just bought books rather than waiting for them if they are unavailable for from from the library at the time. So and it's it's it's a great system like libraries are also frequently used just as like a really good browsing tool. You know, if you're unsure of what you want to read next, you can go to the library, look at stuff and be like, OK, this is what I'm interested in, and then purchase it online or in person at a later date. And it's not just, it's not, not, not not just physical books. Library users. Are also are also driving the purchase ebooks and physical books and audio books. Audio books have been actually very big at the library. I used to listen to a lot of audio books actually from the library because I would get CD's back when those were a thing. Yeah, great for Rd trips back in the old days when you had a CD. I say with my Gen Z. Of outlook, yes. CD's. Classic, classic. According to the Audio Publishers Association, also known as the APA, which is an acronym, daily audio book consumption has grown 71% since 2017, which is not surprising me. Like there's, there's there's stuff like audible and you know, big, big platforms that are that are making high quality audio book content, but that's that's that's a lot. Yeah, in in 2020. Loan audiobook revenue grew by 17% even though the number of people who were commuting plummeted. Right, because a lot of people listen to audio books while like driving to work. So the number of you know of commuting dropped in 2020 because there was this play. I'm not sure if you heard about that, but they still government clearly hasn't. So you know that's true. They're pretending it's not real. But yeah if if if you look at most, if you look at you know the the audio book revenue it it grew despite there being. Uh, much less, much less, much, much less work commuting. And that was the eighth straight year of double of double digit growth in the audio book revenue sector. And it aligns with other kind of digital library usage statistics. So yeah, like libraries and booksellers will they they they were content them they they libraries Dr interest for content both physical and digital. You know, rising tide raises all all of those floaty things in the water. As the saying goes our it's a piracy joke, everybody. Yeah, OverDrive has found that when a reader uses one or more digital library apps like a Libby, which I've never heard of until I had to research this podcast. But once you if you use more than one, one or more digital library apps, you're 60. You are 61% more likely to increase your book consumption year over year versus people who do not. So yeah, it turns out when you read more books, you want to read more books. This rules. It's fun. So instead of instead of reading a book, I'm going to give our audio listeners an opportunity right now to listen to this carefully curated selection of ads. Unless they're by, like, I don't know, the National Guard or whatever. So here you go. Here's here's some ads, and we are back. Wow, what a lovely, lovely collection of audio treats to tickle your ears. OK, OK, you're God. Speaking, Speaking of tickling your ears, Sonic the Hedgehog. So a lot of, a lot of the reasons why we're going to so this, this, this will make sense, I promise. We're about to talk about fly genetics for Gene SH. Sonic hedgehog, no for this is a real thing. Look it up. We're talking about how, like when people are allowed to, like, do piracy and allowed to do like their own things with media, it actually boosts the overall kind of like presence of the franchise. Right, so it's not like the Hedgehog would not be a current cultural stake if it wasn't for fan culture and the use of like fan games and fan media related to Sonic. So same thing was like anime, right? You know Sonic. Sonic Fan games which were allowed to be existed for years which they get encouraged are the only reason why there's a good Sonic games right now. Like Sonic Mania which were just, they just hired people who made fan games, the person who redesigned Sonic the Hedgehog for the movie, what used to make Sonic Fan comics. And then he got hired to make the actual official Sonic comics. Then they got hired to fix the to, they got hired to fix the horrible movie design. So yeah, Sega has been very good about like not being a horrible about like copyright stuff and trademark stuff. They've like really encouraged it because it turns out when you when you yourself don't make good games, you need to rely on fans to actually make the good games. So we get we, so we. That's where you get beautiful creations like these Sonic dreams collection, which is a heartwarming nostalgic. Look at Sonic through the ages of and other great games like Sonic Mania which so we can compare this to like a Nintendo who unfortunately makes good games but also hates when fans make games or do like emulation or any like ports they will clamp down on that so fast. If you ever emulate a Nintendo game you haul watch watch your back. There will be there will be men in black suits following you around just yet like. It's understanding of, like, how far this goes, right? So Super Smash Bros and Bailey, this game is like maybe older than Garrison it is, I think. I actually don't know if that's true. But yeah, literally in Garrison, right? This game has an absolute still, still to this day. Like, copies of this game are extremely expensive because there's an enormous professional scene around it. Nintendo, like. Basically was working to actively smash them because they were they were playing a yeah yeah yeah because they because they were playing on like an emulated, like they were playing an emulated version of it for tournaments because playing here emulated software. Yeah yeah. And Nintendo again, who is literally getting like millions of views of completely free good publicity was like, no, we hate you. Yeah Nintendo Williams not like to do this. When people use their, their like their their content and stuff in ways that are not not, not. Official. And because they make decent games, they could actually get get away with that. Sega does not make decent games, unfortunately, so they have to rely on fans doing that. But yeah, that's the reason why Sonic is still a thing. Just because fans have like have been able to, you know, through through piracy, through emulation, through creating, through using like Sonic Code to code their own games. All that stuff is the reason why that's still like a cultural staple that is releasing a new movie next month, which I'm very excited about. I'm very excited about something. The hedgehog too. It's going to be, it's going to be. I'm thinking, I'm thinking it could we we could finally clamp down on the video game Oscar. This time. I feel it. Well, that's that. Look, this is this. This. This is just because Ace attorney got robbed. OK, greatest movie of all time. That is, that is my little side bit about, about, about, about Sega. Oh yeah, she's also briefly mentioned that Nintendo just like put literally put a guy in prison for helping JIT, for helping Jailbreak consoles. Like put put a man in prison for this, for modifying people software on a game console. I guess the other thing I'll talk about is like. I mean part of the reason why I really don't like digital ownership of media is because you don't actually own the thing. You own a license to use the content as long as the online service is active. So even if you buy a game on, you know, the Nintendo Switch store, you're not actually buying the game, you're buying a license to use the game. But same thing for whether you're buying media on like Amazon Prime, right? It's it's it's it's it's the same thing if if you're, if you're buying digital copy of it, it's a license to use it. So you can take, you know what Nintendo has done a few years ago is they shut down the we shop. Anel. Which means if you bought a game and it wasn't currently downloaded, you can now you just it's gone. You just cannot you cannot play it anymore because they just completely took service down. So you don't you're not actually buying the thing, you're saying license to use the thing. Now, they they did the same thing a few months ago for the Wii U Shop channel and the 3DS channel. So yeah, rip, rip to that. If you, if you, if you have, if you bought games on there that we're not currently running, then you cannot get them anymore. They're just gone like you can. They're just. Lost. Lost. Lost to time. Well, and you know, and again, if if you if you modify the software on the game console that you like nominally own in order to play the games that you bought and paid for, they will throw you in prison. Nintendo will send men in suits to come and get you and throw you in the prison. Yahoo, it's a, it's a, it's a Mario joke. Everybody. Yes. So, I mean, it's the same thing with like subscription services, like obviously if you have a subscription service, you don't own those content you're watching. You are just getting permission to use it from a certain amount of time. So this is obviously this is this is more obvious right you you don't know what's on Netflix, you just are able to watch what Netflix has legal rights to show. But you even see this thing extended to like cars like Toyota was was trying out a program and that this may even it may even still be active for some cars where you need a subscription service to use the key fob on your cars like automatic like like door locking like. Club like you need a subscription to use that service of it, which is like what why? Like if you it's it's just turning everything it's turning everything into A to us like a subscription service. It's horrible. Like everything is becoming a new subscription service a new a new thing to get your monthly payments for. It's it's it's awful like you don't actually buy things anymore. It's just a subscription services and digital copies. It's not nothing is nothing is actually the thing anymore. Yeah it's it's it's all just rent extraction the the entire economy instead of you know. Having a thing they figured out way what if we just distract rent and then you also don't own it. Same thing with like Tesla cars. You have to like buy, buy, you know upgrades via software that are already built in and like subscribe to keep your car running nicely. Like what? It's not like no yeah like I'm going to go on a very small gamer rant here because this is a, this is a thing a lot. A lot of the worst practices for this originated gaming and this this was this was a big fight back in like the early 2010 is about. OK. If you buy a game, right, do you own everything on the game? And there was a huge fight about, you know, they have these, like, delayed DLC, like they have these new content packages that would be on the disk, right, that you've bought, but you can't access it unless you pay them money. And this was like a fight. And some gamers were like, eh, you know, sometimes tried to fight it, right? But most gamers didn't care. And then they became the weaponized shock troops of the far right instead of, you know, dealing with this ****. And now literally everything has ******* day and day one DLC on it that you buy the thing you don't even get. You have to you have to buy the if you if buy the season pass to get all the content in the future. Yes, you have to buy the season pass for your car to work properly. Yeah, so this is just how capitalism it started with. It started with the season pass for 60 for a $60.00 game to then buy season Pass to get more of the game. And now it's for your. $50,000 car ohh so yay that's fun. It's it's not it's it's kind of sucks. So it's. But yeah a lot of these a lot of these like play to win practices. These like free models which then like which lead into like a subscription service based model have definitely started in online gaming and it's yeah it's it's really frustrating because. As we'll talk about here in a bit like. The Sega model is like better. Like turns out when you encourage your fans to play around with this stuff, it only helps your property. Like that's the reason why they there's still Sonic merch available now. And it's not like a dead franchise, it's because they let because they allowed that to happen. So it's actually really cool when we're allowed to access free information and play with it how we want to instead of like having this weird, strict copyright. Like rules for not allowing certain usage of certain things. Like, it's it's, it's not, it's not great when you're restricting like, emulation, restricting fan games, restricting the access to information. It's not, it's not, it's it's not, it's not fun. But yeah, this is kind of this kind of plays into why I I am very skeptical of digital media, which is why I start started collecting Blu rays and all of all the things I like because I've gotten things on Amazon Prime which are now no longer available on Amazon Prime, and that sucks. So, like, why do that? Instead, just buy your physical copy. Yeah. Well, The thing is, like, it didn't. And it's so true to some extent. Like, if you buy physical copies like, it didn't used to be like this, like Blu rays used to, to some extent they'll do, but they still do most times. Yeah. But like, like, if you buy the physical copy of it, they will give you a code that lets you use the online version of a digital download code. Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, that's a much better way of the thing working than instead of you. You know, you don't buying it, you don't have the physical product. And also they can take it away from you. Yeah, it's. Let's circle back to this idea towards the end. But I kind of want to, I want, I wanna little bit segue to like the idea of the same type of like paywalling subscription service issues and like the restriction of free information regarding like online news. So, you know, there's a lot of people, whether they be like reporters, editors, authors or just annoying people online, but there's a decent collection of people that perpetuate the notion that readers or consumers are actually responsible for the dire straits of the media industry. But the problem with journalism and many other media you know, industries. But the the problem isn't that people aren't paying for news. The problem is, is that newspapers and outlets are being decimated and dismantled by hedge funds, capital investment firms, venture capitalists, and tech companies in search of profit. You can look at how Facebook tricked a whole bunch of companies into switching over to video content, and then whole bunch of companies had to fire tons of people because there was a lie. You can look at how Sinclair. Broadcasting dominates local news channels and websites and how well established local papers are struggling while big companies buy up all the competition so. It's, it's, it's, it's, it's especially the venture capitalist thing is actually a really is a really interesting. Idea? That has been documented decently well in in a bit I'll teach you how to bypass a newspaper headlines via different methods, but there's this actually good article in the Washington Post. That is titled as a secretive hedge fund gets its newspapers. Journalists are fighting back. It kind of just details all of the different hedge funds and venture capitalist firms instead of, like, just totally destroyed so many local papers throughout the entire country. It's actually kind of surprising once you learn how many of these papers are just getting destroyed by, like, just a few, like, just like a few hedge funds are just doing all this damage. And it's it's like, yeah, I mean, This is why the current, like, journalism industry kind of sucks right now. Is because of these types of practices. And I mean, like, no one likes it. Like no one's happy with it. Like, yeah, everyone hates journalism. Journalists hate journalism. People who read journalism hates journalism like activists hate journalism. Like everyone's mad at it. And yeah, you could look at these, these hedge funds and venture capitalists who are just, like, making it such an impossible industry. And then, you know, you have like, you have Internet sites and culture sites like Vice, BuzzFeed and cracked who've had to frequently layoff large swaths of their editorial and writing teams, whether for like union reasons or because the company made failed attempts to chase some big tech companies or media giants, you know, proposed money like in the Facebook switching over to video content kind of debacle that happened a few years ago. And like. It's it's it's it's understandable why these writers, artists and journalists are frustrated because yeah, the work is hard and the salaries are low. Well, the work should be hard and some people kind of slack off, but you know, for the good journalism is more is is is challenging and salary is typically aren't great. But even if audience monetary support were the solution to making creative and writing industries more profitable again, the kind of anti piracy folks would still be missing a fundamental point is that kind of. The, the Propay, well, people want you to get it through your head that journalism is just like other types of things you buy, whether it be food, you know, alcohol or entertainment saying, you know, all these things. You know, Netflix isn't free, you know, Coca-Cola isn't free, right? This isn't journalism's fault. It's just how the world works. You have to buy it to use it. It's, you know, it costs money to make, so you have to buy it to use it. It's just it's it's it's like it's dumb to think otherwise. This is kind of their framework, but I beg to differ. Because enjoying art and worthwhile journalism, I think, should always have the option of being free. Because when information is in the public interest, it should just always be available to everybody, whether or not you've already used up your three free articles like this is really important, especially now, when there's, you know, the whole the whole war thing happening. And finding like paywalled articles about it is incredibly frustrating. And yeah, I mean, there was even when the there was a right wing, right wing extremist who opened fire and killed someone at a Portland. Black Lives Matter protests a few weeks ago that that is, you know, still definitely impacting the city because it was, it's it's still very recent, but a lot of the news coverage, first of all, wasn't great. There was a whole bunch of news coverage was like was parodying the police lies and framing the framing the attackers like an innocent homeowner who was defending himself. It was pretty gross. But even when even when the news articles started to like, correct their previous grievous errors, almost all of it was paywalled, like all like. Well, like a whole bunch of stuff was paid all about it. And that's incredibly frustrating because this is like, you know, when information is in the public interest, it should be free to access. Like, that's just there's like a good moral thing, like and even. And we've seen it, we've seen this before. Back in 2020 when the plague was a new thing, news organizations across the country started to lift paywalls to share coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which was great. And you know, you can. You can obviously see that once that changed over, a lot of people who were making this happen behind the scenes probably hoped that it would just convince people to become paying customers. But it was still like, that's still the way things should be, is to have have the option of it being free. And then having the option to donate. And this actually seems to be kind of the trend. In 2018, the University of of Texas at Austin surveyed about like 1000 Chicago residents about their local news consumption. And they found that respondents were more willing to give a $10 donation to support a free news site than pay $10.00 for a subscription to access premium news content. So yeah, like that's and that. I definitely share that same like that same. Yeah, I will way sooner donate money to a newspaper that I enjoy that is also free. That I will pay $10.00 a month to read subscription service based news. It's a. It's because it turns out when you like this, the this applies to all types of media. But like, when you enjoy media, you want to support its creators, whether that be anime, whether that be Sonic the ******* hedgehog, whether that be whether that be news or books, right? If you like something, you're going to buy it, right? I I got introduced to Lemony Snicket's books via the library, and now I bought lots because I wanted to. I wanted to buy the books from the person that I like. Yeah, and and there are entire, like, industries that that literally just work on this person. This is why free to play games work. Yeah, exactly. There's another conversation with free to play games here about like addiction and gambling and manipulation about that. But like that, that's, you know, like. Setting that aside for a second, it's like, yeah, these things, if, if if if people didn't want, if didn't spend money on things they like, free to play games would not work. Like, fundamentally as a model. Yeah, no, definitely, definitely the idea of like, yeah, you get someone starts to enjoying the service, then they start paying for it, whether it be buying a useless, you know, skin for whatever third person shooter you have or that be, you know, buying books or copies of of the film or like anime body pillows, whatever. Like you do you want to financially support the things that you enjoy. This is just a part of this is what humans do. So yeah, maybe more stuff should be have the option of being free. That is definitely my take on it. Let's. Let's have a quick let's have a bit of an app. Speaking of free content, this podcast is brought to you by these lovely sponsors so you can listen for free while just skipping the ads. So good for you. We're back and now we're going to talk about different ways of bypassing paywalls, specifically for online news, because. Paywalls frustrate me, and as someone who likes messing around with kind of computer stuff, there's definitely a long list of ways to bypass paywalls, depending on what types of paywalls we are talking about. So types of paywalls there are. There are typically two general types of paywalls. There's hard paywalls and soft paywalls. Hard paywalls require payment upfront, so usually some some form of subscription fee before accessing any content. Websites with hard paywalls? Maybe we'll let you lead like a tiny snippet of the article. What you need to access you need you need to pay a subscription to access the full the full content. Soft paywalls are are are they've typically allow you to read a number of articles before you need to buy buy a subscription. So it's there's you have a a set number of like articles that you can read for a fixed. Or session. There's you know a lot of a lot of a lot of websites operate like this most of like New York Times operates like this a lot of a lot of a lot of news sites have a soft paywall model which is great because they're typically a little bit. Year 2 bypass. Uh, first, first method. This works some of the time. It depends on how the websites constructed, but you can try to stop the loading page before it fully loads. It's generally a quick technique. It's effective on several different types of web pages. You have to stop your browser from fully loading the web page as soon as your browser displays the text element of the paywalled content. So, you know, enter a page URL into the search bar, press enter, and then press the X icon or the escape key as soon as you see some of the text on screen. Before our paywall window pops up. A major limitation of this is that stopping the website may not load all content elements, so it may only render like a portion of the text or it may like miss out on like files like images, animations or videos. And it also depends on the order of which the website loads the page elements. So for example if the website loads the paywall first then this check won't be successful. Also you got to be kind of pretty fast in order to make this one work. Typically this isn't the 1st way. Do it because there's generally easier ways, but if you can do this then cool. It's definitely. It's definitely a fast one if you can't get it to succeed for soft paywall. So like I, I will say the the the stopping the browser. From loading is actually successful at some hard paywall sites because if they do like load a portion of the texture read as like a snippet, sometimes it'll actually load the entire text but then just block it off with a separate window. So sometimes with a hard pay while you can actually stop it via this method. So that's always fun. But second method generally more for soft paywalls is for is is to delete your pages cookies. So you know websites store cookies to track your browser activities including. How much content you've accessed so blog publishers, newspaper sites can track the number of figure out calls you've read using the cookies stored on your browser if you've hit the limit for non subscribers. If like the the limit of articles allotted, then you can delete the website cookies to refresh the to refresh that counter and it will possibly reset the limit of articles. You can go to the privacy or security section of your web browser, select the option that allows you to check the cookies and site for all data and then search for the website. What you're looking for in the in the cookie management page and then click on remove all. You can do this on like Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge if you want to use that for some reason. Safari yeah. But this trick may not work very well on hard paywalls, because it that's that. They don't really use cookies for the same purpose. And also you'll have to, you know, do if you're doing. If you're doing this for soft paywalls, you have to do it every time you you reach the limit. And if this won't work if the website is using other kind of more advanced tools to track your activity, like IP logs, right? So if it's tracking your IP data instead of your cookies, then this probably won't work. So this one's this one. I mean you you should clear cookies every once in a while anyway, just like generally a good practice. But to do this all the time, it's kind of a kind of a bit of work. Especially because the next method is typically easier and does the same thing, which is just reading articles inside a private or Incognito mode. Or in the Tor browser. So as as as as explained earlier, not all payrolls are about the same. If you know if the website uses a soft paywall, you should be able to read a subscription based content through Incognito or private browsing because it'll check the it'll it'll check the website into thinking you're a brand new visitor. Granting you access to the content before it had before it racks up enough views to to throw up the paywall window. So this is this is a lot easier than just manually deleting the cookies every single time. Because yeah, most web browsers do not transmit to pre-existing cookies onto an Incognito or private mode browser mode, so it doesn't switch those back over. And then although the website will deposit new cookies onto your browser during private browsing sessions, they will be removed as soon as you close the window. The one bummer is that some news pages are getting wise and actually are programming their websites to be able to be able to detect if they're opened in a private or browsing mode or even on tour. And they just like, won't open. They'll they'll say, sorry, you have to. We we've detected that you're using this in private browsing mode. To view this content. Boot up a regular browser. Which really sucks for the tour users because a lot of people who use Tor are like, hey yeah, like I'm in China, I'm trying to get past the Great Firewall and a **** you eat ****. You should have somehow paid his subscription service to us to see information on this site that is literally illegal here. Like, it's great. It's really bad for people who are like actually facing. Current censorship? Yeah, who need to use Tor to to view content? So yeah, that that is a it's what we call a major bummer. A major sucks. A major. Oh no, capitalism did a whoopsie. Yeah, but yeah, this is definitely this is one of the modes I do most often. It's like I can typically get get a lot of slides to be able to view through Incognito or private or private browsing. But again, it does depend on what the site is is is is built to do. But by far my favorite mehh guess I'll mention another one that I don't really use very often is the paywall removal extensions for for your browser, which is like third party browser extensions which try to automatically bypass paywalls. These are really hit and miss, and it's they're also a really great way to get nice fancy malware onto your computer. So I would I typically steer clear of this, but there there is allegedly a browser extension called a bypass paywalls for Chrome and Firefox. That allegedly has been found to be effective. Uh, that allows you to read the subscription based articles on hundreds of publications like New York Times, wired, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post. It is. It is. It is free, but you have to manually load it onto your browser. And just typically, I'm not a big fan of browser extensions in the 1st place, so I kind of steer clear of these, but some some some people some people swear by them, so maybe maybe they can work. They're not really my thing, but my favorite method. Is, uh, archive websites, specifically archive dot is. So there are Internet archiving tools that preserve copies of web pages and social media posts for reference purposes, and you can use these tools to access paywalled content and read subscription based news articles for free, including a lot of hard paywalled pages. Archive dot IS or archive dot is is my favorite one. Also, it's it functions under archive dot today, just it just it depends on what servers they're running at the moment. Of course, there's also the classic and pretty reliable, which has a nice calendar feature, but it's definitely good to check both of these, because sometimes an article will be archived on archive dot is. Really easily and it won't be available on Sometimes it'll be an and not archive dot. It's currently the the one that's currently live. I think it's up pH. It automatically switches usually. I usually just type in our cave dot is and it switches me over automatically. But yes, there is, there is, there is, there is a few of them. Yeah yeah you are right correct. It does automatically revert to archive dot PHP at the moment. So yeah, but these are the ones I use the most, because people who have access to hard paywalled content will often archive the hard paywalled stuff so it's available to people without the paywall. This this this can include the screenshot mode for archive dot is and the regular archival method for But both these are great, and they're also really good for looking at past versions of the articles, so you can look to see what how the articles have changed over time and so is great just research tools. And archive dot is is very easy to even upload stuff yourself, even if you don't have the paywall. Like, even if you're blocked off from reading the whole thing, you can try to submit it to archive dot is and there's a good chance of and actually grab an unparalled version of it. Because because I have, because of how the site works, so. Let's go to archive dot pH or or or. Archive dot is enter the web page URL that you're wanting to access in the designated dialogue box at the bottom, select save. It'll go through a little process and then it then you will. Then you'll be able to select the screenshot mode or the web page mode and be able to see what type of thing it archives. It's pretty it's pretty cool. It's the last thing I'll mention is and 12 foot ladder. These are web-based tools, but not specifically archival sites. They're generally used to just get to the text of an article via like web page nonsense and bypassing payroll stuff. Unfortunately, websites have also gotten wise to this, so stuff like New York Times and Wall Street Journal have figured out a way to get to these sites blocked, so you cannot use or 12 foot ladder on them, but they still work on stuff like the Washington Post. So it always depends, but I definitely generally will prefer the method to viewing any kind of paywalled content. Yeah. And that's kind of my, I mean I'm not now, I'm, I'm not going to explain how to do like regular piracy on the podcast because I don't have enough time. But like, it's easy. Yeah, there are. There are lots of people who will tell you, I mean like Kiss cartoon is like a very popular website. Like, you don't even need to like, you don't even have to like properly like torrent stuff anymore. There is like so much pirated media avail. Yeah. And and it's like, OK, so like you gotta be a little bit careful when you partying stuff. Sometimes you can get copyright strike, but if you stream it. They they don't copyright strike you for that. So yeah, yeah, I guess the other thing I will plug is a Plex, which is a kind of an online movie hosting service like Netflix, except you upload all of the content to it. So let's say you buy Blu rays. That comes with it, comes with a digital download code. So now you can upload the digital copy into Plex and watch that wherever you want, as long as you're signed into the Plex account and you actually own the stuff on the service, so as long as the service is online. You can use it because you actually own the stuff on it. That includes if you have. If you have pirated versions of movies downloaded you can upload this versions onto Plex then then delete the actual hard copies of it on your hard drive, then just watch the ones on Plex and you're totally fine. So Plex is great for having like ease of access is right. Sometimes I don't want to sort through my Blu-ray discs and make sure that I have a Blu-ray player with me so to watch my stuff. So using Plex is a great what method to keep your stuff that you actually own. Accessible online to watch it as long as you sign into a web browser and the last thing I'll plug. Is library submission forms. So if you really want media and you don't wanna pay for it and you don't wanna like pirate it necessarily, you can get libraries to buy stuff. I did this all the time when I was younger I I found out that you could submit items for purchase via via via the library on the online forum and I submitted so many comic books. Most of the comic books I was like, I'm not like a good majority of the comic books in the Mounty library system are because of me. Every every Wednesday when a new trade paperback would be released, I would upload it to the library submission form and they would buy it. And not just one coffee, they would be like 12 copies. So I there's so many Batman comics in the in the, in the McKinney system, because I would studiously upload, upload all that stuff that I didn't need to pay for comics. I could just get them from the from the library. So. Definitely look into library submissions to kind of grow what your library has in stock and then also looking to see what other things your library is doing because I know more libraries are looking into building like makerspaces and like tool libraries to. Have access to things that are not just, like books, you know, power tools. And then you know how to access to even cool stuff like stuff like vacuum formers and through and like 33D printers, laser cutters. All these things are kind of growing, so look into what your library is doing, because oftentimes libraries have some pretty cool stuff. So yeah, this is my little little bit on why I don't like paywalls, why I think content should be free, because actually helps creators in the long run anyway, and how to get past news articles that don't want you to read them. Without paying too much money? Yep. And remember folks, if Japan invaded your country pirating anime is reparations. If you're mad about this tweet, find me on Twitter at I write. OK yeah. Make sure you tweet at I write. OK. If you have complaints about that, take so yeah, that is that is my little my little bit talking about piracy. Arg and and yeah. I mean more. We should, we should. We should. I think it's. I've always had I've always hold this opinion that I think we can all learn a lot of lessons from Sonic. Hedgehog. And I think one of the greatest ones is that turns out when you make stuff available to use for free and allow emulation, people like, people like, people like this stuff. More people enjoy it and they will actually support official uses of it as well. So more stuff for free, more, more library based economies and having having gold rings. Having an enormous number of gold rings makes you nearly invincible. That's that is this is all. This is also true. I mean there's multiple franchises exist with that exact premise. Yeah, so turns out when you have more more libraries, more rings people, people are happier. Yep, that's the episode. Hey, we'll be back Monday with more episodes every week from now until the heat death of the universe. It could happen here as a production of cool zone media. For more podcasts and cool Zone Media, visit our website, or check us out on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts you can find sources for. It could happen here, updated monthly at Thanks for listening.