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Sat, 08 Apr 2023 04:00
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Please gamble responsibly. Gambling problem? Call one 800 gambler. 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 going to be nothing new here for you, but you can make your own decisions. Welcome to shitty mayor Mondays. A name we're not actually allowed to use as a title of our podcast because it breaks a bunch of cert shit in the background. I'm your host, Mia Wong coming to you live from a crumbling basement in Kitesh, Chicago that may or may not be hit by a tornado in the next hour. This is a good happen here. So so true. It could all happen within this next recording session. It could happen in me as basement. Yeah, with me, I'm Garrison and James. Hello, welcome to hell. Hi, I'm a tornado free, San Diego. Get a tornado warning yesterday. Luckily, I'm in the ever stable Pacific Northwest where nothing bad can happen. Yeah, it's contractually, contractually obligated. It says nothing. No, no, no bad things. No, no, no earthquakes here that that are overdue. No forest fires or record temperatures. It's great of that. So true. So today we're doing a sort of special episode of shitty mayor Mondays, which is that we are we are doing the Chicago double feature because our previous shitty mayor, Lori Lightfoot, I managed to become the first, I think I think the the first Chicago mayoral candidate in 40 years, he was an incumbent and lost reelection. And not only did she lose reelection, she went out. So okay, the way the way the the the the the Chicago mayor elections have like a trillion candidates. Like I think there were like nine. This time and if no one can get about 50% it goes to a runoff and she got knocked out before the runoff. Which is unbelievably funny. So we're going to talk about her first as the sort of the city. Lori Lightfoot is sort of the shitty Chicago mayor passed. And then we're going to talk about the maybe future shitty Chicago mayor Paul Vales who sucks so much that he was the reason I specifically wanted to do this series. But first, what are you talking about fucking Lori Lightfoot, a person who I don't I don't know. I feel like people outside of Chicago don't know much about her. Yeah, I mean, I know that she's like like has generally failed to do all the things that she was supposed to do. And in the kind of general sort of Democrat mayor model has sucked. But I'm excited to hear this specifics. Yeah, she's a I know she's a well, okay, a the funniest thing about her is just just Google pictures of her hats. She has just like an incredible hat game. I'm just always appearing in just an incredible like she has so many hats. It's it's wild. Just every single picture she's in it's just like a random different wild hat. It's amazing. But she's also kind of in some sense like a kind of uniquely incompetent politician. So, okay, so Lightfoot was elected mayor in like an absolute land side in 2019. She ran this very weird campaign, which was based on sort of three main things. It was one was not being a machine candidate. And this is actually very important. Is it Lightfoot is not actually part of the Chicago political machine that controls like most politicians? Why there's there's like kind of that kind of separate parts of the machine. This is a complicated thing. We're not going to fully get into here. But she's like not a machine candidate. She like kind of is an outsider in some sense. And that was a big part of why people voted for her. There's another thing, which is this sort of like identity tokenism thing, which is like I'm going to be the first black lesbian mayor of Chicago, which she is. And then the third thing she was running on was building a shits on a police academy's. Now, I, now in 2019, I was in Chicago for this election. And I was like, do not fucking vote for her. She's going to build these copper canvases. Never was like, no, it's going to be great. She's not the machine. She's like, so she gets elected in 2019. And this means that when she gets into office, almost immediately 2020 happens. And okay, so no mayor has like a good response to 2020. Lifehoods is like catastrophic. So I've talked about this a bit at the show, but what, 2020 in Chicago is this really, really kind of wild and weird thing. It doesn't map on to a lot of the others for 2020s. But like the first thing that happens basically is, Chicago has this thing called, I think it's the magnificent mile. It's something mild. I can remember what it is magnificent in America because it's the fucking bullshit tourist thing. But it's like the, it's Chicago's like, it's like a mile of like really rich shopping districts. And the cops just lost control of it. Like people just took it. It was like fully looted. It was this, this, this, this, there was this, there was this sort of incredible moment of like, Chicago's working class that had been getting shit on for 200 fucking years. Like finally stormed their way into their pants. It's just the fucking bougie part of Chicago and destroyed it and it fucking ruled. But after that happened, life foot was like, oh shit, we can never let protesters get back there again. So she started raising the fucking draw bridges that lead that lead across the fucking river. So like she was like, she basically turned the entirety of like, like that, that of that part of Chicago into a fucking fortress that you could not get onto. Amazing. I just read she did this like she raised the bridges multiple fucking times. I like we're gonna get to another story of her raising the bridges where it's like, it's on like, like she doesn't so many times that like even times where she claims she didn't do it on purpose people are like, I think she raised the bridges. This is, you know, and so this is her basically she when she raises the bridges, she just like declares war basically on like half of Chicago. And okay, so this is like not a great thing to do if you are trying to be a popular politician, is to just like physically declare war and like do fucking medieval fortress shit to like half, half your fucking city. And so her popularity starts tanking immediately. This is in like the this is I'm guessing as a consequence of the Black Lives Matter protest, right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, so her rating is like fucking absolutely dog shit. I think, oh, I'm trying to find I should have looked this up really I meant to and I forgot. I think her approval rating was like 30% when she left office. It might even be lower than that. Yeah, so, but you know, but she does this kind of unique thing where she basically goes around and alienates like every single voting block in the city. I guess before we get to this we should get we should get to how she pissed off the cops because one of her big things was she came into office was she was trying to sort of like do this alliance with the police. But instead of her sort of actually like forming this, you know, she she was trying to form sort of center right wing base, right? She's trying to both sort of play this kind of like identity token as something and then also build a base with the cops, but the cops are racist and be okay, do you know the story about the Chicago Columbus statue? I don't think I wait, is that one of the ones that got taken down? Sort of. I think this is one of the ones that and so in 2020, I wrote a story about how to tear down statues and then became the guy that everybody sent pictures of statues getting torn down to for a while. So I'm sure of seeing amazing. Yeah, I was great. Ben Shapiro had a whole fucking seizure about it. We got a lot of trouble with various federal agencies, but yeah, it was a very amazing story. Don't don't affiliate link to the ingredients to things which may or may not be illegal if you combine those ingredients in your story. So true. Yeah, it's in many popular mechanics editors have tried this. It's great. I was on Russia today, not with my knowledge. But yeah, tell us about this. Tell us about this other statue. Me. Okay, so there is a giant like statue thing sitting on this big column that was made in 1933. And it's this giant statue of Christopher Columbus also on this statue. So there's like a series of like important Italian people like on the column. One of these things, one of the people who was depicted on this column like very much seems to be Benito Mussolini holding a bunch of fashies. That's cool. Now the sculptor's the sculptor's son to dice this, but this was made in 1933. It really looks like he is definitely holding fashies. This statue, this is like in like the middle of the fucking city, right? In like this park in the middle of the city. And this became the so okay, so in 2020 in Chicago, the way the protests work is you have like the first initial like phase where the cops like lose control of the city. And then the cops kind of like retake it over the next few days. And there's a kind of lull, but then it starts another like sort of wave of it starts back up again like around specifically around this statue. And there's this whole thing that cops are trying to keep it up. And there's this whole thing where like there's like like rings of activists like surrounding a group of cops standing around this statue like throwing shit at them and it fucking ruled. And eventually the city is like okay, we're going to we're just going to take down the fucking statue. And this was a lightfoot thing. But, but this pissed off the cops and specifically. So what's the fact about this before on the show? Like this is one of the sort of unique things about Chicago is that Chicago has like, I guess the technical term was like white ethnic like groups that like do shit. And one of those things is like there's like an Italian American cop association that is very powerful. And the American cop association is like we will keep the statue at all costs. This is like our fucking guy. Yeah, like I wear yeah. And and and life footies like you guys if you guys don't take this statue down people are going to fucking like burn the miracle mile again. And she gets into this giant fight of them and these emails eventually get I think I can't remember if they I think they get released part of a court case or something. But these these emails come out that it like life footies yelling that she has the biggest balls of any one of the table. She's going to put her balls at the table. These she's trying to like keep the cops. So she she gets in this giant fight. It just pisses off all of the cops in the city. So she's she she has pissed off like like from from from the the initial wave of protests the drawbridge stuff. She has pissed off like anyone who's even sort of vaguely sent her left and anti racist and like a huge proportion of the city's black population. And then she like systematically she's now pissed off like the sort of like white ethnic cop groups who are also very powerful. And then she does something like like really genuinely unforgivable and horrific which is in 2021 Chicago police shot 13 year old Adam Toledo. She's so much a cogo paper called the tribe. At a press conference after the shooting, Mayor Louis Lightfoot vowed to find the people responsible for quote putting a gun in the hands of Toledo who Chicago police and prosecutors insisted was armed. So okay, they shoot this kid. I could who is fucking 13 years old name is Adam Toledo. And immediately the cops, the prosecutors and the mayor said that he's armed. They're going to find the person who put the gun in his hand. So two and a half weeks later, the video comes out and it turns out that not only was Adam Toledo not armed the cops shot him while he was while his hands were up while complying with their instructions. I think I've seen this buddy came. Yeah, it's fucking awful. And then like two years two days later, they killed another guy. And light there were there was there was another round of like huge protests. And they weren't as big as 2021's, but like there was another round of like really big protests in this. And Lightfoot was you know, like actively involved in conspiracy to lie about this fucking 13 year old kid who was killed in cold blood. And so this pisses off like this, this, this, this like basically means that hurt her support among like the Latino population drops to basically zero because she fucking accused a 13 year old kid of being a gang and armed gang member. And then he got fucking after he got shot by the cops. So, the other fun thing about this is so our like prosecutor Kim Fox is like, there's like this whole thing about how she's like a progressive prosecutor and like the right trying to unseat her. None of the fucking officers involved in this or the other shooting two days later were ever charged with anything. After they again, it shot like killed in cold blood a 13 year old kid with his hands up. Now the sort of regular Chicago right hates her because she's both black and a lesbian. And there's some like what we'll talk about this a bit and we get to vales, but there's just genuinely unhinged horrifying sort of like racism and like homophobia and like she's getting basically like splash damage transphobia from it because of how racist these people are. And so that means that like, you know, she has like no support, right? She managed to get to like she managed to get into a fight which Chicago's like normally pretty conservative like Black Caucus. And the Black Caucus gets so pissed at her that they forced through a police reform bill. But has the stuff she's like oversight committees. Yeah. For I win. And so, you know, on February 28th, there's an election and all of the sort of like everyone in the city of Chicago is like, she's fucked like she's a unique, she's a uniquely unpopular candidate. She everyone fucking hates her. She has systematically pissed off every single possible voting block in the entire city of Chicago. And she loses. And you know, there's this whole sort of media junk that happens. Everyone's like, this is like a referendum on crime in Chicago. It's like, no, no, it's not like everyone just hates lightfoot because she sucks. And she sucks in like a unique combination of ways that pisses off everyone who can possibly vote in the city. And so she gets 16% of the vote, which I think 16% of the vote is like the actual sort of like top limit cap of the number of people in Chicago who genuinely like her. Like I think it's exactly 15% like 60% at the city and there's fucking no one else. She so she comes in third. It's also for refoney. She spends the entire like a bunch of her money running campaign ads like against a guy who comes in fourth. In the other two people. Yeah. And so the the menu came in second who is on on on the by the time this episode comes out. The election will be fucking tomorrow. Um, the person who came in second in that vote is Brandon Johnson who's a progressive candidate. He's backed by like the teachers union. He's like fine. He is like as good as you're going to get for a mayor. Oh, so I were in mind people that like it john john john should say much better candidate. The other fucking guy we're going to talk about. But I we need to talk about a little bit about the limits of electoral politics and like, you know, I'm just going to point out here that like Nepal, for example, routinely elects, Maoist governments and like, do you know how do you know how much Maoism those guys do? Like fucking none. There is no Maoism happening. Right. Like there was some cool socialist mayors in Spain who led the population of the city to expropriate the landowners around the city in the 1930s. Yeah, but that was 1930s. This is now 20. Those are all people's fucking grandchildren are like maybe around. But yeah, like you're not going to get, you know, like we're not going to get a socialist city off of this. On the other hand, the person who comes in first to Brandon Johnson will be facing tomorrow when he listen to this is a demon in human form. He is near liberalism's bag man. He is the fucking reactionary Republican dog of the political political machine. And that man's name is Paul valus. And as as as valus would fucking want, we are going to talk about him after we go to ads. All right, we're back from ads. We're going to talk about Paul valus. Just the worst guy. Okay. So Paul valus sucks ass. The thing she's most famous for sucking ass for is for being the school privatization guy. So we're going to start with the beginning of this sort of political career is in in 1995. He gets appointed as the CEO of Chicago Public Schools. And he holds that position from 1995 to 2001. Now, okay. So there's a few things that that he like really likes. One is insulating schools entirely and insulating any mechanism and any sort of like part of how a school works from any kind of community democratic control. Chicago used to have these sort of like democratic councils that could like do stuff within the school and valus is like fuck that. We're getting rid of all that shit like absolutely not. The other thing he loves is charter schools. So we should explain what a charter school is. Yeah. So okay, the way a charter school works is that instead of like the state or like the city or town or like a local government running a school, which is the way that schools normally work, you instead give out a charter to either like technically an NGO or just a for-profit company. And then that company takes a bunch of tax money like takes tax money that would have gone to a public school and then uses it to run their own fucking school. So like it is it is privatization that they've relabelled like charter quote unquote because if they actually called it privatization to schools, people would fucking hate it. And valus loves this shit. This is this is what he spends most of his time across like on multiple continents doing schools, bullshit like attempting to push for. The other specific thing that he really likes this is like this is sort of the the Paul Valus signature like classic thing is military academies. They used to like basically not be military academies in Chicago. And valus is like we're gonna open so many fucking military academies. And these are like regular and the thing is okay. Like there are sort of like disciplinary quote unquote military academies which is like you get sent there instead of prison. These are like just like normal schools that are like quote unquote military academies. But these schools like they're barely schools. Like they're there are a lot of people who went to these schools who in multiple cities and we'll get into more of this sort of later when we get to Philly. But like people will go to these schools and like their textbooks have pages torn out of them. And like there were pages which pages mean. You know, here's the thing right. You would think this is like a kind of like Republican style. Like we're taking out the pages to talk about like Columbus being bad. Like no, no, no, just random fucking but just pages torn out of it because they these schools don't be fucking money. Like they don't have actually curriculars. Like they just like don't have sports. They just don't have like anything to fucking do. And then this is another thing with charter schools. So all right, if you want to like be a regular teacher, you have to have like teaching teaching certificates. I if you work in charter school. Yeah. So I think the standards depend on the state. Some of them, I think Illinois is like two thirds of the teachers have to have to have to teach certificates. But that means that a lot of kids are being taught by teachers with no teaching certificates, which is like, you know, teaching it turns out is not in fact easy enough that you can just put a random person there who doesn't know how to do it. And you know, like have kids be taught correctly. I thought these military academies. These military academies. They have teachers who just like don't fucking teach. Right. Like they're they're they're just a complete shit show. But he opens a bunch of these. And but okay, and the other big thing the vales is supposed to and this is the thing all the people who like vales would do this thing where they're like he's like a budget wizard and he's like the guy he's like the technicrat like smart policy want guy who you bring in to like like bail out a school district that's underwater financially. And oh boy. Oh boy, is that not true? He okay. So there's there's a very good report called passing the buck, which is written by the action center on race in the economy or acre, which I recommend people, genuinely people should go read this. It's like 12 pages long. It's very short. And like up like it's not even 12 like three of those pages or quotations. Um, and they wrote a report on on vales's time in various school districts. And here's some of the shit that he did to make it look like he had his balance is budget balanced. So all right, let's let's talk about his pension scheme. I feel like I actually should explain how pensions work because like nobody fucking has them anymore. So a pension is a thing where like you the worker or in this case like Chicago teachers, you take some of your current pay and instead of taking the money now, it gets taken out of your paycheck and put it towards a pension fund to fund your retirement. And then this fund is invested in the stock market to get returns to pay out pensions that like support you when you retire, right? Yeah. So in 1999, vales was like, oh, hey, the Chicago pension system is funded. So we're going to take the teacher's money and use it to pay other budget shortfalls. Great. So this is good. Um, anyways, after he does this for for 13 consecutive years, Chicago stops paying into its pension system altogether. And the result of this is a $9.6 billion whole in the pension system that Chicago has to like pay off. And this is a huge part of like where the sort of modern like budget deficits in Chicago come from, like things that are used to like justify shutting schools down is that like they just didn't pay into this. They just stopped paying into the pensions and it said took the money that they're supposed to go to teachers and use it to like make their budgets look clean. So if he had just done this, it would have been bad enough. But, but vales is like is a very, very specific kind of like neoliberal technic rap dipshit. And that kind of neoliberal technic rap dipshit is the the the extremely interested in financial instruments guy who was like a kind of person that I think I think we see less of these days because most not the modern version of this are like crypto people, right? But back in like the 90s and 2000s, there were a bunch of guys use things were like really, really, really confident financial instruments and everyone thought they were fucking geniuses. Um, now, now if if you if you were alive in 2008, you know where this is going. But vales, the second thing he does to sort of like like quote unquote balance is budget sheet. Is he takes out the government equivalent of a payday loan? So here's here's a passing the buck quote, vales literally borrowed against Chicago school children's futures when he took out a $666 million in capital appreciation bonds. Also, I what I said, he was like a like a demon six hundred sixty six billion dollars. When was this a tonic? Yeah, yeah, we're doing this a tonic panic, but for this guy who fucking sucks. So yeah, you took out the loans in capital appreciation bonds, a form of debt in which the borrower pays nothing for several years, but then has to pay very large sums to make up for skipped payments. Capital appreciation bond CAB is a long term bond with compounding interest on which the borrower is not permitted to make any principle or interest payments for many years. But the interest still, it yeah, it's okay. Why would we why would you take that? Why would you why would you do that? That seems like a really bad decision. Oh, it's terrible. Is it terrible decision? I'm not a big money guy, but that vales is assumption was that like, okay, we don't have any money now, but property values will continue to go up and just keep going up forever. So we can pay this bond back when we have money from higher from property taxes and yeah, so okay, really if I'm going to finish this thing on these these just dog shit bonds. In this way, it is similar to a negative immortalization mortgage in which the outstanding principle actually grows over time because the unpaid interest gets tacked on to the amount owed and compounds. Yeah, very amusingly, California was doing something similar to this with with restitution payments recently or some some plates in California were in at least in one case that I looked into for story I wrote was it was ruled illegal under the eighth amendment. Oh my god. A cruel and unusual interest payment. It's good to see the Chicago is doing it. We just fucking but yeah, there's actually a funny story about this. Like one of the size stories of this is that the guy who's running the school system in California, like gets this same offer from like bond salesman people and he's like, no, what the fuck. This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen. But Vales does this. Vales is going to do this in multiple cities. So I'm going to finish reading this thing because of the structure borrowers often end up paying extraordinarily high interest rates over the lifetime of the bonds. Former California state treasure of Bill Lockney called CABs the school district equivalent of a payday loan. So the result of this is that out of the the $666.2 million right that Vales takes out. They pay $1.5 billion in interest. The interest rate over the lifetime of this bond is 223%. This is the guy who's supposed to be like the really smart technicrat reformer guy who understands financial stuff. You bring it to like solve school districts and he took out a loan with 223% fucking interest. This is the kind of interest rate that in the words of David Grayberg were once reserved for organized crime. And now is normally this kind of loan is like a thing. This is like a very predatory sort of like yeah. This is like a predatory banking thing. Vales did this to himself on purpose because he's dumb. And I mean also like you try to like me and part of the other sort of undercurrent of this. It's not just that he's really stupid. It's that he's trying to pay off his buddies in the in the finance sector. Yeah. And then you know this is the other part of the story right. It's like all of these all these school districts just get fucking looted to pay off these like fucking stupid ass hedge funds. And then he just bounces somewhere else and leaves them together with it. Yeah. And you know, so I talked a bit earlier about how like Vales's assumption on these bonds was like well be fine because we'll housing markets will keep going up forever. But then 2008 happens. And this has a bunch of effects. One of the big ones is that Vales was taking out bonds with variable interest rates. Oh no. No. Okay. We have talked about this on this show before. Right. There are entire. They're like entire like multi national political movements that don't exist. There are entire countries who fucking don't have manufacturing checkers anymore. Like there are places where the life expectancy fell by 20 years because they're they're they're fucking leaders took out these kind of like variable interest rate loans and got destroyed interest rate spikes. And guess what happened with the Chicago interest rate spikes. And okay. So Vales's successors look at this and are like this is the stupidest fucking you know what but okay. So Vales's successor by the way is already Duncan who's the guy that Obama puts in charge of of of the Department of Education. And already Duncan is like okay. Do you know how we're going to solve the problem of these the the the risk from these adjustable rate interest rates. Credit default swabs. Oh god. So all right. I'm not going to explain how a credit default swap works because it's fucking annoying as hell. But credit default swaps are one of the thing like one of the like very specific financial instruments that are that are like specifically responsible for the 2008 collapse. And now these technically aren't credit default swaps right. These are technically what are called interest default swap or like interest swaps. And they're but they're exactly the same thing as a credit as a credit default swap. But instead of credit its interest. So the underlying asset right is like a bond and not like a loan or whatever. But otherwise it's exactly the same thing. And this this man, you know, and these these swaps have this thing where like if you can't pay you get these like unbelievably high like thesis are happening. So but when these bonds blow up, they manage to cost they manage to cost Chicago another 31 million dollars because they're credit default swap. So all right. So this guy's a 2002 and 2002. He ran for governor against Rob fucking Blagojevich. Who is Rob Blagojevich? Who is Rob Blagojevich? You just do this first syllable and then let your lips take the rest. It's just like a little. And Valus sucks so much that Rob Blagojevich is able to outflank him on the left by running against him saying, hey, look at all these schools he privatized. So he gets clobbered in the primary by Rob fucking Blagojevich. The man who okay, so I this is what we will cover this one day of fully on the show because it's really funny. But Rob Blagojevich is the man most famous for getting arrested for trying to sell Obama Senate seat. Like he tried to sell Senate seat. He's amazing. He's now just on Tucker talking about political persecution. Oh yeah, yeah, great. Extremely funny. Oh yeah, he was on yesterday, wasn't he? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Trump's been got. Yeah. He was persecuted first and now Trump is being persecuted too. It's amazing. It's great. Really, really the canary in the coal mine of the grifters. Hey, grifting politicians. Look, Garrison, look, if they can go after Rob Blagojevich trying to sell Obama Senate seat, they could go after you for trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat. That's true. You know who else is trying to sell Barack Obama Senate seat? Products and services that support this very podcast. No, they're legally not allowed to do that. None of them would ever commit a crime under any circumstances. I still think I think a fair number of these corporations probably engage in some sort of political law. That's true. But I don't that's trying to buy him a Senate seat. Garrison, that's totally different. Not the same. Not the same. Totally fine. Thanks for an old Reagan. All right, we're back and we're now we're now we're now sending vales to our I don't actually know if Chicago and Philadelphia are sister cities, but like I think they should be. I don't know. I am I am very in favor of the Chicago Philadelphia Alliance. Same vibe. Yeah. So she they both stood in for Gotham City and the Christopher Nolan trilogy. So it's true. You go doing a bag man reference again. There's there's a hole. There are like so many different specific. David Gilbert writes about this. Like there are so many different like parts of places where they filmed like the dark night where people tried to protest and got arrested for blocking the road. Like there's not been multiple cities. Yeah, no one wants the city to turn into LA. So you have to stand up against that shit immediately. Yeah. You do not let it happen in your hood. Yeah. It could it could happen here. Okay, so after vales gets clubbered in in in the mayoral race. She gets brought in by Philadelphia to try to like fix their school system. And he uh I Excuse me. His plan to do this is by doing a bunch of military academies again and then doing also doing charter schools. And so I should I should explain like his other sort of so the big sort of rationale thing behind charter schools is school choice, which is this. Oh yeah. Thing that was specifically invented as a way to let racist parents avoid integration. Yeah. This is like goes along with so they mentioned the homeschooling movement. We've talked about this in other episodes. But he's like a huge like vales to this day is a giant like school choice guy. And you know, but the other thing the other thing about vales said I don't think people realize that much. He even though he's a Republican a lot of the time. Like he kind of flips back and forth between being a Democrat, being a Republican. But he's like he's like he's after he loses to Rob or even sort of before that. Like he is an actual sort of Chicago machine guy. And because he's a Chicago machine guy when he gets into Philly, but stuff that he's he starts doing this stuff where he like he'll just like it's like he takes over the school district and like fires one people and like installs his cronies and all these departments and all these people are getting like he's like buying off people's budget allocations. And he starts selling off buildings to raise money. So he sells off like the district headquarters in order to buy like a more expensive district headquarters. And here's a quote from the book Not Paid For Us, which is a really really great book about sort of the history of racism and education in Philadelphia. And this is a quote from a long time activist Lee Roy Simmons before I start reading this. The district headquarters was called 21st and Parkway. There was doors in 21st and Parkway worth one million dollars. Then big brass doors in the front. Those doors were worth one million dollars with all the carving on them. People don't know how much they got for it to this day. I can't get an answer about how much did you sell that building for where the money went. The school district sold 21st and Parkway in a package with Kennedy Center. There were brand new trucks parked at Kennedy Center. They had forgot were there. There was a printing press in the Kennedy Center that could print all new magazines and they never used. There were books and calculators and every time I went through there were boxes of unused stuff in the Kennedy Center. And nobody knew. And they sold that in the contents and the package of 21st and Parkway. And nobody knew how much that was. There was some art that was priceless on the walls of 21st and Parkway. No one can find the art. They were priceless pieces of art hanging in schools across the city. And all that was sold in a package and nobody saw where it went. How do you know? Yeah, it's like, oh, and this is again, this is like this is classic Chicago corruption ship, right? Like we're not going to say how much we sold this building forward. I could say who would who we sold it to. Like we're going to build a more expensive building. And you know, if you look into the, if you look into who the contractors are, like always someone's uncle or like brother or some shit. There's just, you know, like there's just printing presses that are gone, like priceless works of art just vanish. It's like this is, this is like, you know, it's sort of incredible sort of Chicago political machine stuff. And this doesn't do what I think about, I think the Chicago political machine that that is really interesting, which is that these people are like on the one hand, they're unbelievably corrupt. On the other hand, a lot of them are sort of real like hard line like doctrinaire neoliberals. And this is, I mean, this is sort of the thing with Arnie Duncan, right? Like like Obama actually comes out of this machine too. When he's a lot more sort of like doctrinaire about this stuff than the sort of modern people are. And you know, and Val has just like one of the sort of like big guys here. And you know, so he's really, really in favor of charter schools. And so they get enormous amounts of money. He also does this thing. He, he, yeah, this is also from not pay for us. He funnels money into just like a shit ton of NGOs in order to like do education programming or whatever. And so there's this sort of constellation that forms of these like you have you have these corporations doing like education stuff, like running schools. And you have these like nonprofits running like the like the education material. And it's this sort of like this, this is sort of arch neoliberal thing where instead of the state administering a service, what you have is this like basically a bunch of like contracting grifters who come in and suck up all of the money and then provide absolutely dog shit services. Now I'm going to read another quote from this book because the people they are paying these contracts to are fucking wild on the the SRC is like one of the the bodies that's in charge of like one of the state bodies has in charge of like the Philadelphia school district. One of the SRC's most problematic contracts was with K 12 Inc. for $3 million to quote provide academic and curriculum support access to K 12's online curriculum and assessments. Academic enrichment via summer and extended day programs, professional development, teacher planning and training materials and community involvement activities. Conservative radio talk show host William Bennett was the founder of K 12 Inc. He had been an advisor to former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Jorina show in 2005, he said the following and this is a direct quote, if you want to reduce crime, you could if that was your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down. That would mean impossibly ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do but your crime rate would go down. So they pay this guy $3 million fucking dollars. To both devices pro choice, credential size. This is the most pro choice thing I've ever seen from him is the genocide guy. Because it's the cause of genocide. The eugenics guy. Yeah, well, they all have a week. Has anyone looked at the curriculum that they're providing? It's unclear to me that they ever actually really provided much of anything. It does sound like a like if you were going to make up a company to grift of the education system, K 12 Inc. will be a great name. Yeah, and then that's the thing about like all these charter schools too, right? It's like like okay, so like there are some for pro corporations you do charter school stuff and they stick in the charter school business because they decide that's how they want to make their money. A lot of these things come in take a state contract, the school immediately employs and then leave and then they just walk out with several million dollars. And this is like this is a recurring pattern over and over again with charter schools. He also brings in Teach for America, who is this like just genuinely evil organization that tries to break teachers unions by recruiting these like incredibly idealistic and naive young college grads and like throwing them into like into failing schools as this thing to like, you're going to like go serve the community and like you'll learn on the job and you'll become an educated and you're like helping these disadvantaged kids and it's a disaster. These people who do this have no fucking idea how to teach because they don't have teachers here against right, they're just like college grads. And any of you have been around college grads like you think those people are responsible enough to fucking teach kids like Jesus Christ. Yeah, I mean that was like a big thing. I don't know if it still happens or not, but I can remember writing like this. Oh, it's all this. Yeah, reference letters for students like 10, 15 years ago for that. Yeah, like I mean I know I had to like talk out classmates of mine like out of doing it because we were like you were doing union busting and also this will destroy your life and the life of the children you have to teach. Yeah, it's a very strange system that yeah, take someone put by virtue of having any degree is it's automatically an educator, but to be fair that is how universities work as well. Yeah, you get your master's degree and they're like well, fuck it. Get in there. Why don't you just give your grad students with no degrees, right? Like that's that's a thing too. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, and you know to get it together, they're such of like the other thing that's happening here is he has this really, Vales has this really, really racist kind of like we need to like enforce discipline in schools thing. And so they have all these and this happens at Chicago too. They have these like zero tolerance policies have done I mean irreparable damage to like tens of thousands of kids. I'm going to read I'm going to read a thing from tribe about Philadelphia. Quote, test results were posted on data walls in the school buildings to show which classes were making the most progress. Whoa, it was humiliating said Grills teacher. A lot of our kids were left behind and a lot of a lot of our kids suffered trauma and trauma affects the way you learn. So they were behind. They weren't on grade level and it made them feel like failures. I hated giving those tests. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. People like to be wrong about George your well, but that's a more well-earned shit right there. It's just like and like these are like fucking yeah, it's like these are like these are literally children. Like you were you were publicly shaming people who were like 12. There's just yeah, that like we've known for a very long time that that doesn't work when you're educating kids like I have done pedagogy training and get no one with any intent to actually help kids is shaming kids in the classroom or young people or anyone of any age for that matter. I just checked out what K12 in K doing. It's great. They're now offering online high school. Oh, great. Yeah, yeah. You can go to the faith prep academy and develop Christian character. Oh, fine. Yeah, yeah. This is great. This is this is what our this is what our youth need. Yeah, it sucks. So the other thing again, I'm going to keep tricking around with this because this happens a bunch of times. Like again, Vals' whole thing is supposed to be about like about balancing budgets, right? In 2007 by the time he's like at the end of his like time and filly, he's fucked everything up so badly that for in like just one year of the budget, filly schools were $73 million in the whole. Now the thing about this, this is where most stories about Vals' time in in in Philadelphia end. But wait, there's fucking more. So that's $73 million shortfall was the one year shortfall, right? Remember back in Chicago where Vals' like variable interest rate bonds like blew up in the school's faces. This time, Vals' is the guy directly who did the credit default swaps. And these these the interest rates on these things are locked in literally for decades and just like like some of these aren't expiring to like 2031, right? And just so far, they've cost $161 million. Great. Yeah, and test test scores fucking go down under him. It's shit. Yeah. And so 2007, they kick him out because they're like, what the fuck are you doing? Unfortunately, the place they kick him out to is is and you're not going to like this post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. Oh fuck sake. Yeah. Yeah. Why do we have to inflict like the fail sons of neoliberalism when the people of New Orleans? I was going to get worse by the way. Okay, great. So this is really bad, right? New Orleans now, okay, so I think there's there's some kind of controversy about how exactly you calculate this. At the very least 63 out of the 66 like New Orleans like like, sorry, let me let me refresh it. At the very least 63 out of the 66 like schools that they run like at the very least like that that are directly run by the state or charter schools. Um, there's three more that are also charter schools but are kind of administrative by the district. So there is a huge debate as to whether there are technically any public schools left in in in fucking New Orleans. Jesus. Yeah, they fired like, and this this was this was before Valleys came into office, but in New Orleans, they fired the entire every teacher in the fucking city. They fired all the union literally all the union teachers replaced and with non union people. Um, Valleys comes in and I starts implementing some shit that is just like I like prison camp shit. Oh, God. I hear from here's from tribe again. According to by guard, a lot of kids were arrested for quote disruption of a school process. If they showed up late to class and refused to be kicked out for tardiness, and again, they are being arrested for a few. Yeah, for for wanting to stay in school. Yeah, black kids, black girls were arrested for having quote rat tail combs, which have long sharp hand. Grading hair. Yeah. In one instance, by guard said a six year old student was expelled and charged with possession and distribution of a controlled substance, because he brought thumbs to school and gave them to his classmates thinking they were candy. Oh, what the fuck? They charged a six year old. Yeah. Yeah. God. Yeah, the levels of fucking cruelty that have to exist. Like a cop has to see a six year old and not be like, oh, lol, those are thumbs. Like the kids should probably should eat too many of those. Let me go tell them. They didn't know they were candy because he's six. Jesus Christ. Yeah. Oh, just like, just just jetty white league. Like I'm horribly evil shit. Yeah. See, this is like maybe now is a good time to point out that like in the wake of yet another terrible school shooting, people want to put more cops in schools. This is what happens when we put cops in schools, right? They brutalize our fucking children. Yeah. And like it's not, yeah, like the state doing violence to children is not a way to protect children. Yeah. Yeah. What I want to say. The more your school represents the levels of law enforcement that are in a prison camp, the more the actual experience of the children will become like prison camps. Yes. The co-moment. Yes. Yeah. But also just litter. I mean, I got it. I love to go to the panop to go on high school, Garrison. What are you talking about? I just the panop to go on high school where if you don't, if you don't get kicked out of your fucking class for being late, they arrest you. Who co-moment again? Yeah. Yeah. Just speaking of disciplining and punishing. So these charter schools, they do think that charter schools always do, right? Which is sometimes, if you look at people who talk about education, they'll be like charter schools have like really great test numbers. And a, that's just like not true, right? That they're only looking at the really good charter schools. But here's the thing. If you give a public school the amount of money that a really good charter school has, it will also be a really good school. But there's the second thing that charter schools can do that other schools can't, which is that charter schools can just fucking kick students out. And this is one of the ways that they maintain their test numbers. Yeah. Is they just kick out kids over and over again? You don't do who aren't initially doing well on Tesla. You don't have to teach them and like bother to improve their test scores. And in New Orleans, they get in trouble because the kids that were kicking out were kids with disabilities who they were illegally, yeah, who they were illegally not like giving individual education plans to. And also they were, okay, this is everything, right? These charter schools are all run by different private corporations. And so there's no system of tracking whether, when a kid gets kicked out, whether they can actually get it, go to another school. So they're just leaving these disabled kids like in the fucking win with no school to go to. And this, this, this was so illegal that after a lawsuit like, I think it might still be going to this day. It was going like 2014. Like the, the Philadelphia school system was like under-rich seasonorship by the federal government because they committed so many crimes against disabled students. Jesus Christ. That is brutal. Yeah, it's awful. Fuck, sorry, this stuff makes me sick. I've worked in education for a lot of my adult life, and this shit makes me furious. Yeah. I, I, I, I, as well, so what, what are you two to guess? Where do you think they sent Paul Vales next after he got kicked out of I, I tried, I'm trying to run of New Orleans? Austin, did they send him to set up a finishing school for girls in Kabul? No, but similar, similar vibes. Oh, fuck sake. It's not as outside the continental US. Yes. It's not a rock. No. Puerto Rico. It's a, it's a earthquake. It's a, it's a, the earthquake. Yep. Yep. So now, and we're talking about this before on the show, in 2010, there was a a just unbelievably heart wrenchingly catastrophic earthquake that killed 220,000 people and also destroyed like almost every building in Haiti. And this kicks off phase two of the UN occupation of the country. We talked about this in our episodes, Alula and Bolsonaro. This, this is when the UN guys from the Paul bring in a collar on a bunch of the operation, right? Yeah. Um, so right after this happens, so the US just like sends Marines in, right? And they don't know anyone in Haiti asked for it. We just, we just fucking invade. Um, and they bring in Paul Vales and specifically Paul Vales and also Arne Duncan, who's again, Obama's fucking education secretary gets bring in to rebuild the Haitian school system on New Orleans model. Now, okay, weirdly, if they had actually implemented New Orleans model, it would have been an improvement because they hate the way the Haitian school system worked was it was 90% private and the tuition was 40% of someone's annual budget, like a like a family's annual budget. Yeah, so that's a friends in Haiti who couldn't afford to pay for school. Yeah, it's fucking horrible. Um, Vales is supposed to like change this, right? He gets brought in, they bring in the Clinton foundation. Instead, what happens is the Clinton foundation buys a bunch of trailers to use as schools for the from from specifically the same people who got in trouble for selling for Maldehyde, ridden trailers to FEMA during Katrina. And then you know, okay, I never think that I, I, I, I, I, I, I can't emphasize enough what they called that grift trailer ink or something. Yeah, they fucking suck. Well, there's also, also, even the trailers were good, right? There, there's a real issue with trying to use trailers to teach kids in a place that is hot. Yeah, which is that it is 100 fucking degrees inside these trailers. These trailers are made of metal. So if you touch the side of the thing, you get burned kids at people, people who like teachers who were taught there routinely talk about how like every kid and they're every kid in their fucking class was having heatstroke. And they were just like giving them pain killers for heatstroke because that's all they could do. And yeah, it is punishingly hot. If you haven't worked in that part of the world a lot, and it is, it's hard enough without being in a tin can. Yeah, and Vales's fucking education for them, they don't fucking work. They don't do shit, right? Hated education system is still fucked. Despite all the money, the Clinton foundation and like all these experts got paid, like it's still really bad. Vales like specifically, like very specifically defended the use of trailers as like a thing you teach people in. Yeah, and you know, this stuff all continue to use to the present day. The US has been trying to find another excuse to just trying to find a way to do another intervention in Haiti. So he's still on the New Orleans job, I think while he's doing this Haiti job. And then he takes another job in Chile. Yeah, why? I don't know. People people get well because the the the Inter-American Development Bank gives them half a million dollars to run 2000 schools there. So again, he's now he's now splitting his time between New Orleans, Haiti and Chile. It's almost impossible to find. I spent a lot of time looking. It's like it's really hard to find like anything about what actually he was doing in Chile. What we do know is when he got there, he was met by the enormous 2011 Chilean student protests, which then later turned into the 2013 Chilean student protests, which turned into 2015 Chilean student protests, which turned into 2019 Chilean student protests. So, you know, I mean, I just want to like you it is possible to run Paul Vales out of your country a couple of different places or at least your school district or also your country. A couple of places have done it. And then after that, it's in a bridge port Connecticut for some reason where he gets right out after doing like he gets he he flees Connecticut like trying to escape a lawsuit about all the illegal anti-union stuff that he did. I really love the image of someone trying to desperately flee from Connecticut. Yeah. It's so small. How hard is it to leave Connecticut? It seems pretty easy. Jump over the line. I mean the one that I want to see is him getting out of Philly. See, see, getting out of Philly sounds actually hard. Yeah. Getting out of this Connecticut is like, come on. Come on. Yeah, the video I want to see is him getting sent back to Haiti by himself. Oh God. Yeah. Yeah. So he runs again in 2014. So the Goivis gets arrested for, you know, selling his Senate seat. And he tries to run for Lieutenant Governor on on a slate on like a ticket with Pat Quinn who had been the governor because he'd been the Lieutenant Governor under the Goivis and they like act they managed to lose in Illinois to a Republican which is like, I think that should not happen unless a Democrat's like really fuck up. Which I mean it happens, right? But like, yeah. So she's saying Democrats can make, can make electoral mistakes. Are you sure? To be fair. To be fair. This one wasn't, this wasn't even an electoral thing. This was just the guy tried to sell a fucking Senate seat and people were so mad at him in the next election. They're like, we will vote for Bruce Rowner who is just like a fucking absolute dipshit. But okay, so she, so he has now lost two consecutive runs for governor, right? Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Now, this year, he actually, he was, he had another bid when he was maybe going to run and then he stopped. And now, now he is one of the candidates for the mayor of Chicago. Now, while he's been doing his campaigning for this, some other fun stuff has been happening. So she has an absolutely unlistenable podcast. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, please, no. No, she has a thing. Here's the thing. I considered, I considered pulling clips from this and then I was like, I'm not, I can't inflict this on you. Absolutely not. That's not how I, yeah, I would simply leave this Zoom call. I'm not. I'm not. I'm not. I'm just going to like, I'm just going to talk about one of the things that he said a couple of things that he, well, okay, one that he said on this and one of the said on a different show. One of the things was he, he starts ranting about this thing called culturally responsive teaching, which is this kind of liberal like anti-racist other C on T. Yeah, this is a big thing. Like if anyone ever starts talking about culturally responsive teaching and starts yelling about it, like they're a racist, like that, those are the only people who like actually like consistently, I mean, like, it's not like they're art criticism of it, but like almost everyone who talks about this on like a school board level is like a really weird racist guy. So she starts raving about how this means that everyone's going to get handed a copy of Mao's little red book and then says quote, what is this? The cultural revolution? Now we have covered the culture revolution over the course of the show of the Atlanta episodes. And I'm just going to simply say no. And move on to read this unbelievably racist thing that he said, I'm just going to read this. It's, it's real bad. But for that matter, if you're a black child, do you go home and listen to your parent when your parent has failed to be successful in addressing the ways he's historically racist obstacles that have denied them a chance to equal opportunity. He's the guy he's talking to. Paul, I wonder if you're a black kid. Why don't you become a criminal? If you're hearing this stuff in school, everyone with the white skin is an oppressor. If you're a black skin, you're the oppressed. That makes it pretty easy to justify any pretty bad conduct in my, in my opinion. You're absolutely right. So this is a fact, Mao comes back. But what you're also doing, you're giving these, you're giving people an excuse for bad behavior. You're almost justifying is Rats book in Fox. So you're right. You're absolutely right. Where is the accountability? You're the victim. What's happening is it becomes a justification for everything. And I think that's a very dangerous thing. So, sorry, you're being that talking about racism is actually a thing that encourages black people to do crime, which is like, that sounds, that sounds kind of racist, Mia. I mean, just a little bit like he may be a white supremacist. I just gives up racist vibes. Yeah. So speaking of racist vibes, his son is a cop in Santa Fe and he was one of three cops who shot a black guy in the back after calling him boy. The cops, including the fallances. Yeah. They start screaming boy at him and they shoot him in the back and the cops, including Vales, the son claimed to have found a gun next to his body. And in a completely unrelated story, you with special forces units in Afghanistan, routinely carried AK 47s in the combat zone. So they could drop them next to the body of people that killed George to declare their hominstergence. This has no relation to the previous story at all. I am simply relaying facts to interesting and unrelated stories. Yeah. Didn't Vales also, is he's the guy who claimed his Twitter was hacked? Right. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So very way back at the beginning of this episode, I talked a bit about the racism against loyalty, lightfoot. And like, one of the tweets that he liked is a tweet like calling Laurie a man, like loyalty, lightfoot, a man. Like it's just unbelievably racist, like homophobic, transphobic shit. And he claims that his account was hacked and people were liking tweets without his permission. Yeah, right. That's all they did. They just liked some racist tweets. Yeah. There's like a bunch of other like and the other thing is like, okay, like Paul Vales doesn't like actually live in Chicago. I should mention this. He lives in like, he claims to live in Palo's Heights, which is also not Chicago. But it's unclear whether he even lives there or if he's in like some kind of like even more insane outlying suburb that's even less Chicago than this stuff is. And he like, he likes, he likes, he can't, he can't like, he can't like, he tweets calling it like shit, cargo and stuff. And it's like, well, yeah, it's because he doesn't live in the city. He's not actually, a bunch of his supporters, a bunch of the money he's getting are from like, derailles suburban like reactionaries. And okay, so I wanted to one last story about him that pisses me off a lot, which is the story of a wake Illinois. So awake Illinois is like Illinois version of protect Texas kids. It's a group that does Nazi protests at drag events. They managed to destroy a bakery called uprising for trying to hold a drag bun, brunch. So the the the awake did all this thing of like, ah, they're they're grooming kids. And then the proud boys showed up and attacked it. And then someone like vandalized it and they nearly had to close the entire bakery until a go fund me raised $30,000 for them to survive. They are like super unbelievably homophobic. They they rant about groomers constantly. They're like really transphobic. Anyways, Paul Valleys spoke at one of their fundraisers. Oh god. So after this came out, Valleys dissimps himself from the group saying you didn't know what they represented and just wanted to support school choice. Awake responded by going, hey, what the fuck you absolutely know who we are. And they released another video of Valleys and another awake event. We said that Awake's president Shannon Adcock should run for governor. So if elected, would I probably be the most openly homophobic democratic like mayor in the country? Which is a pretty wild like. Which is pretty wild claim. But like I can't think of anyone else who actually like showed up at an event where people are just screaming about groomers. Like yeah, enough for Democrats. She is just a Republican. Like he's like a like a pre right wing like Republican. Yeah, it runs the Democrat because just haggle political machine is also just so far right. I thought this was Kislery Lightfoot, defender the police mayor. I thought that's what happened and people want the police back. That's what I that's what I've sold. You know, the thing is actually very funny about the elections is like. So there are elections for these like police district councils, which is supposed to be these like civilian oversight boards. Yeah. And the like reform, there was kind of there wasn't a alliance to sort of like reform defund an abolitionist candidates. And they did fucking amazing and the pro police candidate got fucking clobbered. And it'd be while every single national story about the election was like Chicago crime. I was like, you guys don't understand how much everyone here hates the police. Like I like they murdered a 13 year old like fucking two years ago. I did. Yeah. Good. I'm gonna I'm gonna hedge my thing here by saying there's so much other Paul Valos should I couldn't fit. Like I really wanted to talk about Keith Thornton who is Chicago's George Santos who like his thing is that he stole 9 11 dispatcher valor and is like showing up in pictures with vales. Just just Google Keith Thornton and you will have a good time. Like there are so many other vales things that he did that are awful. There are probably things that he's done that will never know about because he did them in like, I don't know like like what the fuck he was doing in Chile. We probably won't ever know all the things he didn't hate. Yeah. Don't let this guy become the fucking mayor of Chicago. He will leave the city utterly destroyed. That's good. Brandon. I I I'm so annoyed. The people are on ironically. Let's go Brandon. In Chicago now for Brandon Johnson. It's great. We're taking it back. We're reclaiming it. I re re reclaim a Brandon. Yeah. I'm so bad. Like bringing Brandon back. Okay. I got in trouble with my boss in 2015 for saying fuck Hillary. Like you fucking little bitches. You could just you could just say that you you could just say fuck Joe Biden. Like all of your cowards. Yes. It was it is deeply cowardly. I'm afraid of saying fuck but the same time they think they're going to stage an armed overthrow of the government. Anyway, there's actually okay. This is the thing I actually should mention. There are a bunch of ties between there are a bunch of ties between valus and guys who read J6 like and like a lot of J6 people support him. He's like he's like he is the Maga candidate. That's like, oh, there's a whole thing there that I didn't get into because I don't know. There's so much you could do like seven episodes just about Paul valus and how much he sucks. But yeah, stop him. If he fucking gets elected, we're doing that. We're doing that. We're doing the fucking Chilean student protests because yeah, hate him. Hope he has a bad day. Hey, more yellow pez here and let's be real. We all know that SUVs are what's in right now. 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You can listen to How to Money on the iHeartRadio app Apple Podcast or wherever you get your podcast. Hey, welcome to It Could Happen Here, a podcast about things falling apart. And today it's kind of going to be a conversation about, uh, is shit falling apart? Are we all about to be devoured by a rogue AI? Is your job about to be devoured by a rogue AI? These are the questions that we're going to, you know, talk around and about and stuff today. And with us today is Noah John Syracusa, a math professor at Bentley University. Noah, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me. And I'm reaching out, or we're talking right now because there's an article that was put up in the New York Times on March 24, 2023 titled, You Can Have the Blue Pill or the Red Pill and we're out of blue pills, which is a fun title by Yvall Harari, Tristan Harris, and Azaraskin. And it's an article that is kind of about the pitfalls and dangers of AI research, of which there definitely are some. I enjoyed your thread on the matter. I thought it was a lucid breakdown of the things the article gets right and the areas in which I think they're a bit fear mongery. So yeah, I think that's probably a good place to start. Unless you wanted to start by just kind of generally talking about where you kind of are on AI and what you kind of think, you know, the technology is advancing towards right now. Yeah, I mean, I think I can probably answer both those questions and the same because part of why I enjoyed writing that thread dissecting the article is I just had the strangest feeling reading it that I greed with it so much in principle and yet somehow objected it to so much in detail. Yeah. And thinking about that article helped me think about my own feelings on AI, which, you know, every day of the week is slightly different because so much news happens. Yeah, I found myself overall deeply frustrated that I agree with the central conclusion, which is that maybe we shouldn't be just like plowing headlong into this and should be more careful when we we we screw around with technology like this, which I agree with and I feel like should have been the thing we did with like, I don't know, Facebook, Twitter, like all of these like the it's less my obsession is less with like the specific dangers of AI and more with what we keep letting these guys who are fundamentally like gamblers within sure capital money really put our society through the ringer without ever asking should we like to do any research on maybe how social media affects children and like how all of these different things. And it's it's right that like yeah, we should be concerned about what these people are going to do with AI, but also why why now? Why just now? Yeah. And that raises a really good point, which is what's different now versus what we've been experiencing with social media and just to give your listener some context. One of the three authors on this New York Times article is famous for writing this book Sapiens that's a sweeping history of humanity. And the other two are actually most famous for the the Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma. So they really are in this camp of warning people about social media algorithms. And as exactly as you're saying, that's sort of this thing that we've been dealing with probably quite poorly. And now we're kind of moving on to the next societal risk, which is AI. So that is a really important question of what's different now. And I think that's one of the things the articles try to address, which is many of the problems that we already have with algorithms, data driven algorithms and even AI as it's used in social media is still happening now. But somehow things feel like they're spiraling out of control. Yeah. And I think I mean, honestly, I think a lot of this just has to do with culturally what are touchstones for AI. We're going into this, you know, which are SkyNet, you know, like it's it's that sort of thing. And you do see, I feel like the the uncredited fourth author on this particular article is James Cameron because there's pieces of it throughout this. Where like there's some it opens actually pretty provocatively. Imagine that you are boarding an airplane half the engineers who built it tell you there is a 10% chance the plane will crash killing you and everyone else on it. Would you still board in 2022 over 700 top academics and researchers behind the leading artificial intelligence companies were asked in a survey about future AI risk. Half of those surveyed stated there was a 10% or greater chance of human extinction from future AI systems. Which yes, I feel like they're zooming on that. Yeah, let's talk about that. Because what I tried to do in my thread was go through all the claims and assertions and really pause and say, hold on. But that's a great one to start because there's a lot to dig in right there. Yeah. So first of all, there's a huge difference in that airplanes are based on science and physics and things that we understand pretty well. There's a lot to it. And there's been millions of flights. So you have a lot of data. You know how many planes crash and how many don't. Maybe one engine goes out. You can do the statistics and CEO, you know, whatever percent of planes without that engines still land safely. The problem with AI is we're just guessing. Yeah, right. There's no way to know a hundred years or now or 10 years from now what it's going to do, what the real risks are. So we speculate. And that's not uncharted territory. Right. Nuclear weapons were first introduced. People have to guess and speculate. But the danger I think is putting it in that same categories, things like airplanes or climate change I like to think about. Climate change, when you see these, you know, what's the IPCC? I forget the acronym. These reports. That's based on thousands of scientists digging into thousands of published papers and all this data really modeling the environment. There's a lot of meat and substance to it. The problem with the AI is it's mostly people, I hate to say it, but like me, you're like you just kind of guessing and thinking, maybe this will happen. Maybe that'll happen. The reasonable thing to say if you're in AAR, which is like, yeah, I have concerns that AI could cause serious negative externalities for human race, perfectly reasonable statement. It is physically impossible to say there's a 10% chance exactly because it's never done that before. I'm a math professor and I'm the first to say numbers don't have some intrinsic meaning, right? If I just say something has maybe a 15%. I'm just making up. I'm pulling out of my ass. Yeah, exactly. True. So it's this, it's a general pet fee if I have of sort of giving a false sense of precision by using numbers that you don't really know where they came from or they're just made up. So that's one issue is these numbers aren't made up and asking a thousand people to make up numbers isn't necessarily any better than asking one or two. You know, then if the numbers made up, it's made up. So that's one issue. Yeah, I also do think and I'm not the I saw someone make a note. I think it was Ben Collins who writes for NBC on Twitter made a note that like, well, the fact that all of these statements about like how dangerous they are about human extinction are coming out of people in the AI industry has started to kind of feel like marketing. That's right. Yeah, exactly. I do a little bit of buzz marketing going on here. And I think you mentioned social media and the authors of article mentioned social media and we have to look to the past right to understand the future. I think that's the only way to do it. So what was one of the biggest scandals in social media was Cambridge Analytica. And as, you know, we probably remember this was this data privacy scandal where a bunch of data was collected from Facebook users that shouldn't have been, you know, people didn't realize that the data was being collected. They didn't approve it. And it was used for this election company or this political company that was trying to profile people and influenced campaigns towards Donald Trump towards Brexit. So this was a huge scandal and, you know, Facebook was fine five billion dollars or something very justifiably. But I would say what it was in retrospect was a data privacy issue. People's personal data was leaked when it shouldn't have been. The problem was there was so much fear and fear mongering over it that people felt this data was used by these sort of algorithmic mind lasers to kind of know us in such great detail and get us trick us into voting for Donald Trump and targeting us. And the jury's still kind of out. But most of the evidence looks like Cambridge Analytica, it wasn't that effective. They just, yeah, couldn't do it. And it turns out you can know a lot about a person, a lot about their data. And it's really hard to influence them to change them. So what happened, I think, was there was a lot of alarm set spread rightly so about the tech companies. They have too much power, too much data. They know too much about us and this horrible thing happened. The problem was a lot of the alarmism then actually reinforced this aura of power of Godlike power that the tech companies have. People criticizing them actually gave them more potency than they deserved. And then suddenly Google and Facebook and all they had that it wasn't sudden, but it kind of built it up. They had this aura that our algorithms are so insanely powerful. And we have to make sure they stay in the right hands and we can do so much. And that's unfortunately what I see happening now a lot. And that is kind of the setting for critiquing this article. Yeah. Absolutely agree that this stuff is risky. AI, I absolutely agree that we could go down to dangerous path. But once we start leaving firm ground and speculating wildly and using the terminator stuff that you described. Yeah. Even if you think you're criticizing the tech companies, you know what you're doing, giving them the biggest compliment in the world saying that you guys have created our Godlike and you've created these mining machines. You've created a deity, which is very similar to the language this article has at the end. And I think it's kind of worth like as you're bringing up, there are real threats. There are real threats that are immediately obvious. The threat that a lot of writers are going to lose their jobs because companies like Buzzfeed decide to replace them with, you know, chat GPT or whatever. The fact that a lot of artists are going to lose out on work because their work's been hoovered up and it's being used to generate like these are very real and very immediate concerns that we don't have to they're not hypothetical. We don't have to theorize about the AI becoming intelligent for this to be a problem. These are things we we have to immediately deal with because it puts people at risk. It's the same thing with like, you know, there's a lot that gets talked about with Cambridge Analytica with kind of like the different Russian disinformation efforts. But when I think about the stuff that was happening in the same period that worries me more, one of the things that occurred is because there was so much money to be made if you could get certain things to go viral on YouTube companies that use tools that weren't wildly dissimilar from some of these basically generated CGI videos based on kind of random terms that they knew were likely to trick the algorithm into trending. And God knows how many children were parked in front of these like very unhinged videos for hours at a time that like they would start watching some normal kid musical video or something and then they're watching like the disembodied head of crusty the crown bounce around while like some sort of nonsense song gets sung and it's like, well, what is that actually going to do with kids like we don't know that's unsettling though. It is deeply unsettling. Yeah. And that's the kind of thing, you know, and I'm sure there will be obviously like one of the things that this article is not wrong about is that if we kind of leap forward into this technology with the kind of abandon that we're used to giving the tech company, there will be unforeseen externalities that we can't predict right now that will be very concerning. I just don't think it's kind of yeah. And that's that's what was so challenging not just with that article, but with I think the movement we're having is I do agree very much in spirit. I agree with the recommendations. We need to slow down. We need to be more judicious and cautious. We need to really consider these. But again, if we overhype the technology, we may be doing ourself a disservice by empowering the very entities that we're trying to take power from. And as an example, I like that. Can I can I read a quick quote from the article? Do you? AI's new mastery of language means it can now hack and manipulate the operating system of civilization by gaining mastery of language. AI is seizing the master key to civilization from bank vaults to holy sepulchers. That's right. And that I mean, that is funny. And you're right to laugh. Yeah. Well, that's actually zoom in a second. And I think this is such attempting trap that AI is super intelligent in some respects, right? Yeah. It's done amazing at chess, amazing at jep or be amazing at various things. Chat GPT is amazing at these conversations. So what happens is it's so tempting to think AI just equals super smart. And because it can do those things and now look, it can converse that it must be the super intelligent conversational entity. Yeah. And it's really good at, you know, taking texts that's on the web that it's already looked at and kind of spinning it around and processing. It can come up with poems and weird forms. But that doesn't mean it is super intelligent in all respects. For instance, one of the main issues is to hack civilization to manipulate us with language. It has to kind of know what impact its words have on us. And it doesn't really have that. It just has a little conversation at text box. And I can give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. So the only data that it's collecting for me when it talks to me any of these chatbots is, did I like the response or not? That's pretty weak data to try to manipulate me. You know, it's so basic. That's not that different than when I watch YouTube videos. YouTube knows what videos I like and what I don't like. Would you say that YouTube is hacked civilization? No, it's addicted a lot of us, but it's not hacked us. Yeah. We people have hacked YouTube and that has done some damage to other people. Like, but it's like the thing is, and that's that's part of why, while I have many concerns about this technology, it's not that it's going to hack civilization because like we're really good at doing that to each other. Like there's always huge numbers of people hacking bits of the populace and manipulating each other. And there always have been. That's why we figured out how to paint. Like it's, I do think that there's, there's an interesting conversation to be had about the part of why people are kind of willing to believe anything is possible with this stuff is that for folks who were just kind of living their lives with a normal amount of attention paid to the tech industry, it seems like these tools popped out of nowhere a couple of months ago, right? It feels like, oh, there was just suddenly been this massive breakthrough. And the reality is that all of the stuff that people, you know, chat GPT, these different AIs that everybody's talking about, this is technology that people have been pouring resources into for years and years and years and years. And that's why it's able to do some of these amazing things that we've seen. But it's not, I don't think it means that in a month, it's going to be a thousand times smarter. It's, it's, it's a process of labor and it was finally ready to be unveiled to the extent that it has been maybe. That's right. And a good example is a GPT-4, which recently came out. There was GPT-3 before and chat GPT and there was so much speculation that GPT-4 is going to be again, this, this godlike thing that just, you know, that brings us to the singularity and, and honestly, it, it's done better at tests, you know, I forget the numbers, but maybe one of them got a 20% grade on some tests and this one got an 80%. So that is a significant improvement, right? If you're a teacher and your students improve that much, you should be happy. But as you said, is that a thousand times? No, even though the machine is much bigger, much more data. And it just shows that yeah, like the reality is this is incremental progress. Going at a very fast rate, very unsettling, even for those of us following the field closely, we're experiencing that kind of vertigo that you're saying that, whoa, where did this come from? So even within the field and you're absolutely right, if you're just at home, you know, not paying attention for a week or a month or a year, suddenly the stuff pops up. It is disorienting. But one thing I think that's helped me at least kind of clarify what not even answering what the risks are, but just understanding the different camps of why certain people are reacting differently. And why even the people afraid of AI seem to be now fighting amongst each other and why it's getting fractured is, are you more afraid of this be AI used as a tool by people or are you more afraid of it kind of taking on its own autonomy and kind of going rogue and doing its own things? And I'm very much afraid of people using it. I think yes, big companies are going to use it and there's going to be a lot of problems just like we saw with social media people will get addicted. Democracies will be flooded with misinformation. It'll be weaponized by various actors. There'll be bought accounts. So I am very concerned about it being used. Basically it performing the job it was told to do. Yeah. But it'll be told to do dangerous jobs, either making money or making discord. There's another group of people that are more worried about the AI somehow deciding on its own to do things to take over. And that's where you know, me, I can't roll it out, but that's where I kind of am skeptical. Let's focus on how people are using it for now for the foreseeable future. I don't think we need to worry yet, at least, about the AI somehow having a life of its own and stabbing us in the back and enslaving us. Because there's just so much that can go wrong before you even get to that point. Yeah. And it's not that that's exactly like it's a threat triage kind of thing where like, is it theoretically possible that one day human beings could create an artificial intelligence that is capable of having its own agency that is malicious? Yeah, sure, I guess. I mean, maybe. But man, we're there's a lot of us that are very malicious right now that are actually trying to harm other people at scale. I'm concerned about how they will use AI to do that. I think botnets are a really good example. One of the things that these new this newest generation of AI tools allows is more realistic and intelligent bots than I think have been accessible at scale before. And that's a very real concern. I will say when I kind of, sorry, when I kind of wargame this back and forth with myself, one thing that is oddly comforting is like, well, the shared comments that we all inhabit of like ontological truth is already so shattered that like, there's only so much damage I feel like adding additional bots and additional disinformation can really do. Like, I don't want one thought on that though, because I've been digging into that too. I've been trying to ponder how to feel about that because a lot of this, I don't know. I'm trying to make a new business. I do think if you go back to like 2016, earlier versions of the internet before leading up to Donald Trump's election, I think there was a lot of Wild West to Google, to social media to all these things. Fake news was just piling up to the top of Google search results. That election was so monumental and seismic shockwave through tech that fake news and misinformation might have played a role that they really had to do something. And I think some companies are more effective than others. I think Google put a lot of effort into making sure authoritative sources rise to the top. So what that means is when now you go online and you Google for medical information, the top results you get are Web MD or some official CDC, your government thing. They're pretty decent reliable. It's not to say there isn't all that crap on the internet, but Google has done a pretty good job of having the good stuff float to the top. And that's the information that people see. So what I'm worried is now we might be kind of resetting ourselves back to the 2016 where when you're talking to these chat bots that are trained on all the internet, yeah, I don't know if the Web MDs and the CDC type of information is necessarily going to float to the top. Maybe they'll work that out, but I'm also worried that open AI or Google or Microsoft or wherever. They'll have ones that are pretty reasonable and kind of you know tuned to appeal to a lot of people. But Elon Musk might build his own competitor one that might be really tuned to elevate the right wing side. So the thing you're car. So I have been messing around as I mean, and you have been doing so in a much more rigorous manner, I'm sure, but I've screw around with a couple of different AI chat and search engines. I use find PH I N D sometimes. I've been playing around with Bing and one of the things I've noticed is that, you know, if you ask it like, hey, summarize for me like why the battle of Hastings mattered. You'll get a reasonably decent answer. But if I ask it like, I don't know specific questions about myself, I've come to I noticed at first when I did I would get some really weirdly like colloquial vernacular from it, explaining things. And I realized it was just pulling answers directly that fans had asked about me on the subreddit that this show has. And so when I think about like ways in which to game the system, well, you make a bunch of bots, you have them post questions and answers that are supportive of this specific product line or whatever on a subreddit. And hope that it gets picked like scanned by an AI. And that becomes part of it's like answer for, you know, what happens if, you know, I can't stop itching or whatever. I don't know. But I I like, obviously you can see using them ways in which these can and will be game to some extent. You know, it's always kind of a red queen sort of situation where you have to disinformation, people fighting this info, you're always running as fast as you can just to stay in place. That's right. And that is that brings up another issue, which I do feel like this is possibly really tipping the balance in that it takes a certain amount of resources to create misinformation. It takes a certain amount of resources to debunk it, right? A journalist has to sit down, snobes has to write a little piece about it. And the problem is with this AI, it's suddenly just dropping the price of creation down to essentially zero. Anyone can create essentially a limitless supply of quasi information that may or may not be true. But the problem is, is the price of journalism of debunking also going down maybe by 50% right maybe takes you half as much time to run an article. It's not going to zero. No. So that's the balance is creating stuff has gotten a lot cheaper, detecting debunking, doing proper journalism's gotten a little bit cheaper. So I'm worried that that's journalists are already stretched. And this is that is that is that attention by far my biggest concern because it's it's not just this that's obviously a significant factor in it. There will be more disinformation. There will not be more journalists in part because I think AI is going to take jobs from that's right. Particularly low level. It's not going to replace, you know, it prize winning columnists at the New York Times. It's not going to replace like guys like me who have a very long and established, you know, career of doing the specific thing that we do. But I think back to when I got started as a as a journalist as a writer, it was as a tech blogger. And I had an X number of articles that I had to get out per day. And obviously like my boss was essentially trusting that with that many articles, I'd have a few that did well on Google and that brings in traffic and that brought in money. And there's a degree to which you're just kind of doing SEO shit. But it's also I conducted my first interviews for that job. I went to trade shows for the first time. I did my first on the ground journalism for that job. It taught me how to write quickly and in a polished nature. And I was not writing anything that was like crucial to the development of humankind. But it made me into the kind of person who was later able to write things that were read by people all over the world. And that had an influence on people. And I worry about the brain drain not just among journalists, but among writers and among among artists, you know, people who do illustrations and stuff, eventually musicians, at least some kinds of musicians will probably also run up against this, where the stuff that it was easy for kind of people breaking in to get a little bit of work that would hone their skills and and allow them to, you know, live doing the thing that they're interested in is going to disappear. And more and more of the stuff that we kind of casually low level consume, not our high art, not our favorite movies, not our favorite books. But the stuff that we encounter when we stumble upon a web page or like in a commercial or whatever will be increasingly made by AIs and that AI will be pulling from an increasingly narrow set of things that humans made because less humans will get that entry level work. And that is there's something concerning there that is something that worries me about the future of just creativity. Yeah. And I think I mean, two points. One is just to kind of be devil's advocate a little bit because I do sympathize and I think you're right. But a little bit devil's advocate is there might be on the up flip side of the coin that there's people that feel like they have artistic imagination and desires, but lack the technical ability. And suddenly they can paint, so to speak, by using these AI image generators. Maybe someone has some form of dyslexia or their English as a second language or even, you know, native speaker without any of these issues obstructions, but just finds the writing process difficult and maybe AI enables them to be a writer to contribute. So I could see, you know, there's there's going to be the pros and the negatives and I don't know how the balance is. But I think you're right. Thinking from a profession, that's sort of like a passion project view from a professional view. I do see the profession narrowing. If it journalists are expected to work twice as quickly because they're all using chatbots, there's probably going to be half of half as many of them, right? I mean, that's that's the economics. But this brings up a bigger issue, which is I do think what you're hitting on is there are these long term risks that maybe robot AI is going to fuel this rebellion of robots and this, you know, maybe. But again, we have an economics, a social political economic world we live in. And I just think let's really focus on the issues we have now. That's not discounting the future. It's not like let's burn a bunch of carbon emitting fuels because who cares about climate change? That's our grandkids problems. Yeah. This is different. It's like, let's think about the jobs the world. I mean, another way to put this is if we mess up our economy and mess up our democracy by people losing jobs and mass protests and losing trust in the government and there's just an erosion of truth, we're not going to be able to handle climate change or any of these big AI, you know, the singularity type of risks. So what I feel like is let's focus on what keeps our economy and our sanity and our humanity. Let's keep this fabric of society together now so that we're more equipped in the future to handle all the risks AI and otherwise. But this goes back to what you're saying, which is these are real issues in the short term. And if we don't address them, if we get distracted by the long term, we're not going to be ready to address the long term. Yeah. Even if we think about it now, we'll be so distracted and so dismayed. Yeah. So I think we have to be practical here. I agree. And I am also, I think it's an valid point that you make about the fact that while these are tools that will reduce options for some people, there are also tools that create options that can be used for the creation of art of culture. I do think some people I know have brought up Photoshop when I talk about my concerns with AI. And they're like, you know, there were a lot of people, draftsmen and whatnot who were concerned when Photoshop hit because it was a threat to some of the things that they did for money. And Photoshop effectively has created whole forms of art that didn't exist or didn't exist in the same fashion before it did as a tool and tools like it. And that's not a, I think, I think it's kind of worth, I don't like, I don't want to be kind of just on the edge of tragedy here. You know, this is a, there's a lot of different ways this could go and they're not all bad. I think we're all used to calamity right now. So much so that we potentially expect it in situations where it's not the inevitable outcome. Well, that, I mean, that's, I think one way to kind of boil a lot of that down is we can adapt. We just need time to do so to many things. And what's really challenging and frustrating now is the pace is so fast. It's not just an illusion. It's not just, oh, if you don't pay attention to AI, it really is fast. It's very, very hard for us to adapt. So just thinking of the internet, we got a lot like individuals as users and tech companies got a lot better at dealing with clickbait, right? YouTube was tons of clickbait and they figured out ways to demote that to some extent. We got a lot better at keeping fake news out of the high search rankings in Google, like I mentioned. A lot of these problems that came up were not perfectly addressed, not even close, but there was significant progress. And that's often understated. But if these problems are coming so fast and so intense, it's a lot to adapt to. And that's what's really the challenges the pace. And I think we're, we're seeing a very, very breakneck pace that's really hard. Now, does that mean you're on the side of a Elon Musk and some of those folks who just signed that letter being like, maybe we should put a pause on AI research? Because, you know, I'm not 100% against it. Again, I kind of am like, man, I wish we'd been having this conversation when Facebook dropped or YouTube dropped. But I don't think that's a realistic thing. I'll say that. But I do think. Yeah. So I would say, no, I'm not, I'm not a favor that for one thing, I mean, in a very practical sense, you think all these companies that are putting billions of dollars in these investments in AI are all going to sit around saying, you know what? Let's just not do this for a few months. Of course not. So here's what I think. They're not going to slow down. What's going to happen is going to happen. Even if some players decide to be responsible and slow down, guess what? That means the only people plunging ahead are going to be the irresponsible ones. So what I think we need to do is I don't think we can really slow that down. So what about the flip side? I think we need to accelerate public education on artificial intelligence. I think we need to accelerate government legislation, regulation, international cooperation. I don't think we can solve this by slowing AI down. I do think we need to find a way to speed up our democratic processes. It's taken us how many years to pass basically nothing about social media in the US and some mixed results in Europe. That's the problem, right? If we could work faster, then I think we could keep up. And I think that that's actually the long term, like practical survival thing from this is that I hope we get is like, yeah, we've always needed to be more careful about the things that we expose billions of people to suddenly. It should have happened before now, but I hope that this, I hope that all I hope the fact that AI because of James Cameron is coded into our brains to be something that triggers a little bit of panic in people. I hope that rather than reacting with panic, it leads to a more intelligent and considered state of affairs when potentially embracing technologies that are going to change life for huge numbers of people. That's right. And that is, I think we have an opportunity here to experience that and explore that and try. And that is kind of what I was aiming for in that thread is again, I love that article that you mentioned in the beginning. But if we start going down this road of hype, there is a danger that we're going to fall into these traps. And I think let's stay grounded. Let's say practical. Let's really identify the risks. Not that I'm some guru. Know what they are, but it's almost easier to see what's not true than than what is true. And that's I think let's all try to police each other and make sure we're focusing on practical things that really are manageable, that really are genuine risks, that are impacting people, that are impacting people today, and especially ones that are impacting marginalized populations. Yes. So I think let's hope we learn these lessons. And I am not optimistic, but I'm not as cynical. I think there's a lot of important discussions happening now that let's say, there's a lot more discussion now than we had with social media. And maybe that's a good thing. Yeah. Well, I think that's a good note to end on. Noah, did you have anything you kind of wanted to plug before we roll out here? No, I just I think it's it's a great topic that everyone can be involved in. And I just my plug is just don't be intimidated, don't be afraid. I am writing a book that's not going to come out for a couple of years. That's trying to help empower people to kind of be part of these conversations. But that's far off. I just want to say broadly, don't be intimidated and don't fall for this narrative that sometimes happens in in tech communities that, oh, you know, I'm not a tech person. I don't have a chance to understand it. This stuff affects all of us and how it affects you matters and your opinion matters and your voice matters. And we're all part of social media. We're all very soon to be part of AI and chat thoughts. So don't don't be afraid to join the conversation. You don't need any technical background because I think the subject is just as much sociological as technical. It's about people. I think that's a great point to end on. Thank you so much Noah. Really appreciate your time and everybody else have a have a nice day. I mean, you have a nice day too. Also, thanks to you too. It was lots of fun. Hey, more yellow peasant. Let's be real. We all know that SUVs are what's in right now. And if you go with the Toyota, you got a ton of options to choose from like a RAV4, the perfect versatile SUV for riding around in style comes in a bunch of cool colors in his super fuel efficient. It'll make you the talk of the town or if you want a little luxury and comfort, there's the venza with features like a panoramic sunroof heated and ventilated front seats. You'll feel like you're riding on a cloud and it's available in hybrid and all wheel drive awesome. And if you need a little more space, you got the highlander, which can fit up to eight people. So it's perfect for family road trips. It also has all types of available features for both passengers and the driver. It's a great ride. So there you have it folks. Toyota SUVs are the way to go. They are one of the most reliable brands around. You really can't go wrong. So stop by our local Toyota dealer or check out more at bioteota.com and let's go places. 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I was going to play in this speech out while I got my oil change, but I went to take five and it was a lot faster than I thought, so here he goes. Okay, Tim, you were my first friend. Angela, you were my first. Yeah, I never thought the two of you would make it, but I guess love really is blind. No, no, no, I mean in a good way. I'd take five, your oil change is faster than you think. Take five, the stay in your car, 10-minute oil change. Ah, welcome back to it could happen here, a podcast about things falling apart, sometimes about putting them back together. Sometimes just about enduring difficult times, and it's been a rough couple of weeks. What with the mass shooting in Tennessee, and the right accelerating their anti-trans paranoia, the whole, you know, Trump getting arrested and all that. Yes, that has really hit all of us really hard. Yes, really. Yeah, deeply. Now that Trump has been charged with felonies, he's officially a friend of mine. We're on to Trump now. I really conflicted between my AKS side and my illegalist side. It's really hard. I mean, 34 felonies, that's quite illegalist. Very few of the people I know commit crimes is like a vocation, have that many. It's pretty difficult. But at any rate, you know, it's been a rough couple of weeks, and I thought we could use a lighter episode to, you know, help everybody feel better. And I know that you, Mia, and you, Gare, are both youngens. You missed the earlier age of the internet and the heroes of that ancient age, you know. When I was a child, you know, it was Jupiter and all the Greek gods of the old internet, you all have come up more in the Roman gods of the old internet era. So I wanted to talk about an ancient hero of the internet. And perhaps this will become a series that we do now and again, where we talk about the gods of the past. And today, the ancient deity that we're talking about is kind of like the internet's Hercules, a man named Troy Herdobies. Have you guys heard of Troy Herdobies? No. I've not heard of Troy Herdobies, but I do have one correction. Jupiter is actually a Roman god. The Greek lotion is Zeus. You're right. You're right. You're right. I thought about before some freak DMs me and sends me like three paragraphs on this. I'm just going to put that out there. Do not DM me about this. We do that thing where we start, we start including one of these every episode of the dry road. Yeah, just just fucking up purposefully in order to get people. They love doing it. They love being able to hop on. I do, we did get recently. We did the liver king episodes this week. And somebody popped on to be like, Hey guys, you're probably not aware of this. But the livers of polar bears contain enough vitamin A to kill to kill. Yes. 140 people, something like that. Don't eat polar bear lippers. This is relevant because we are talking about a man today whose lifelong goal was to develop a suit of armor that allowed him to fight bears and hand to hand combat. Or this is actually very applicable for us because just last week we went to the theater to watch cocaine bear. You're right. This man would have been one of the only people capable of dealing with a cocaine bear. So once upon a time before the breaking of the world, there lived a beautiful maniac named Troy Herdobies. Troy was a simple man. He was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1963. He liked the outdoors and he was a dedicated conservationist. The one exception to his abiding love of nature was bears. On August 4th, 1984, when Troy was 21 years old, he went hiking in central British Columbia. Now he's given a couple of versions of this story over the years. Some that this happened say that this happened when he was a boy. Others say he was like 20 years old, but all agree that he wound up in close proximity to a grizzly bear. In the most exciting and almost certainly untrue version of the story, the bear knocked Troy down and he dropped the 22 caliber rifle he was carrying, which would not have made much difference against a grizzly bear. No, you only make it more up to six. The only two is not the weapon you want in that situation. In a desperate attempt to defend himself, he drew a knife. We're going to talk about Troy's knives in a minute here. In an interview with mental floss, many years later, Troy claimed that seeing the knife, the bear thought better of attacking him after this. Okay, played a minute. That's not how bears work. Has this bear been involved in other fights? The guys were in knives? Is it like another maniac? The bear got stabbed behind his 7-11 and is like, no, man. I don't gris don't fuck with knives no more. I've been through that shit. Is he like a street gay? Like his police? No, bro, no, bro, he ain't worth it. In an... So he later claims an expert told him he would have been mauled if there'd been any cubs. This, I believe. Yes, bears were very rarely attacked people. Now, a normal man would have taken this number one as boy, I sure got lucky. And number two, as I should be more careful when out in the woods. But Troy was not a normal man. His first thought was that he needed to invent a new form of mace made specifically for bears. He had been beaten in developing bear mace by an actual scientist, although the first paper on bear mace was published in 1984. So it makes sense that it wouldn't have been available at the time. It was a reasonable thing to be like, maybe we should have a mace for you sin against bears. There are again several versions of what came next. I'm going to quote from one that I found in a write-up by The Spec Now. Quote, from then he decided that his destiny in life was to invent a dependable bear spray repellent. But he realized field testing with bears would be needed. This would require a protective suit for the person doing the test. No. No. No. In his interview with Metal Floss, one of the later pieces on the man, Troy dropped the mace story and claimed that he had the idea just to make bear resistant armor a year after his grizzly encounter when he was watching Robocop and decided bear researchers would he protect a farmer that would let them test bear spray and also safely observe grizzly behavior. Troy is something of an unreliable narrator, but I will say I do not doubt that the film Robocop influenced his subsequent efforts. No. He absolutely had this idea. Well, I'll watch you Robocop. That makes the most sense out of anything you said so far. It is very logical. So it is now Troy. It should be noted is not the first probably not the first man who has thought I should develop a suit of armor to allow me to grapple with bears and hand to hand combat. It is possible that in medieval Europe, some people hunted bears while wearing full body suits of armor covered in spikes. There is debate as to whether or not this really happened. The gist of why this is a debate is that there's an insane looking suit of armor currently in a Houston museum that was probably made in Switzerland or Germany like 400-ish years ago. Researchers have not conclusively determined why it was made or for what purpose, but one theory is that it was used for bear baiting. If so, it was used for European bears, which are significantly smaller than mostly bears. And as far as we know, it was never a wide spread practice. This is because attempting to fight a bear and hand-to-hand with a suit of armor is insane and something only a madman would do. But I am going to show you this suit of armor because it looks like something from a David Lynch movie. Oh, I'm so thrilled. Specifically the face. So look at that. Look at that beautiful thing. Oh my god. It's in the face of that unsetly. They think probably somewhere around Austria or Switzerland, although it's not, I don't think known to a point of certainty. That looks fucked up. It looks like a metal casting as someone's head, but with the pinhead thing, how raised I think is the movie? The face on it is distinctly unsettling. They couldn't just win a normal helmet, but it's the guy's face. We're not doing this right unless we peak into the uncanny valley with this thing. Troy was not interested in the fact that attempting to fight a bear and body armor is just objectively nuts. And since he was as handy as he was unhinged, he sets swiftly to building a suit of armor and then testing it. I'm going to read another quote from the specs right up because it's extremely funny. So the suit became his focus of attention, putting it through all kinds of tests that included being run down by a pickup truck driven by his father, rolling off the side of a cliff and being pummeled by bikers with baseball bats. And I'm going to play you a video of Troy, one of these tests where Troy gets hit by a tree. It's almost exactly that scene from Hot Rod. If you've watched the movie Hot Rod where they like swing a log down at him and hit him. Um, that may in fact be what that scene is based on, but I'm going to share that with you all now. The log is going to be... Oh my gosh! No! No! Get out of my way! Get out of my way! I can't emphasize enough that it looks like half this armor is held together by duct tape. This looks like a fever dream combination of the Wizard of Oz and the battle of Endor. He walks throwing massive logs at the guy in the middle tin suit. It's white suit too! Yeah, it looks almost like something from, like speed racer. It's weirdly enough, the aesthetic that I would close this compare it to. It is kind of like that anime robot style design. Yeah, it's profoundly unhinged. So I want to play you a clip of him getting the helmet off so you can listen to Troy talk and see this man's face. Really? You know what I'm saying? Yeah, Troy is a fascinating man. So I'm going to play you now, him being attacked by a bunch of men with baseball bats. As he attempts to move in this suit and I have to emphasize to you, he is not capable of moving in this thing. This is an immobile suit of armor that he can almost shuffle in it, but not quite. It's his idea with the pickup truck and the bikers with regards to big men being an anthropologist. He looked at the testing we had originally done with normal size men. You know, 150, 180 pounds, he said the public isn't going to buy it. They're looking at this monstrous, bruise bear and they're looking at a normal size man hitting you with bats and boards and stuff like that. They're not going to buy it. You have to give them reality. This is insane. This is so weird. Oh, amazing. I just feel like a gang of men just attacking this nerd in a metal suit. It's so funny. It's extremely funny. They're like, and they pick like Terminator 2 looking bikers. They don't out of their way. All of the stylization is super, is super bizarre. Yeah. It's such a strange documentary. This is from the documentary project, Grizzly. And there's Troy Gibbs in the various interviews he does. Some pretty incredible quotes, like years after this, he wrote, at 52, I have to know whether or not the suit will hold. It's one of the curiosity things. We tested the suit a lot of ways, but never went against the Grizzly. And the suit that you're seeing is like the first version of his suit, the Ersis Mark 1. He eventually gets up to the Mark 6 and spends more than $150,000 making various versions of these bear suits. Actually, so I think the one that we're looking at in the documentary is the Mark 6. Because he did eventually, after years of this quest, get a documentary and interested. And the film Project Grizzly was made about his quest. One fun piece of trivia about it is that it's one of Quentin Tarantino's favorite movies. That makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense. Yeah, it makes total sense. Now, in order to give you just one last piece of context about the personality, what kind of man is Troy Hurtabies? Or was Troy Hurtabies? I am going to play you a clip of an interview with this man from the documentary. That's just perfect. He's holding in this a gigantic booey knife in his hand. And he has another booey knife strapped across his shoulder in such a way that it's on his shoulder, but pointed down. Yeah. Which is the way a crazy man carries a booey knife. He's also, it's worth noting dressed as like a frontier settler, but wearing like a red brain. I go into the bush. I don't use a gun. Never don't believe in guns. I swear by my knives. They save your life a thousand times around. If a Grizzly is going to come at you and I'm not saying knives are going to save you. That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is you've got a gun and not Grizzly is 50 feet a hundred feet away from you. You got one shot. I don't give a shit who you are or how steady you are. You've got one shot and not Grizzly. And if he's still coming at you, that gun you might as well use the barrel on him or you can use the stock on him. That's useless. But if you've got some half decent knives, at least you got a fighting chance with animals. But that's not the reason why when I go into the mountains or I go into the bush or any man goes into bush, they don't carry knives for the four-legged animals. They carry knives for the two-legged animals. Because nowadays it's a lot like the old days. You've got a lot of wackos up there and it's knives as you want to close quarters. You do, you do indeed have a lot of wackos up there, Troy. So that's a brief introduction to Troy Herdabies. Now, the suit that you've seen in the project, project Grizzly documentary weighed 150 pounds. And it was not in any way powered. As you see in the dock, he can kind of barely shuffle with it. He is unable to move or even stand on uneven ground. He falls over very easily. Troy liked the documentary, felt like it helped expose his work to a wider audience. But he took issue with the fact that the documentary did not delve into what he described as the science behind it all. Adding, being able to get hit by the truck took years of development. Now, years of practice of getting hit by trucks. Yeah, you can't just jump into getting hit by a truck like that. In 2002, a trainer who probably should not be allowed around animals, let Troy get into a cage with a Kodiak bear. Now, thankfully, the bear was too confused by Troy's armor to what to get near him, which you might ask this is technically a win for Troy. The armor did do its job. Just scare them away. Yeah, that's good. You know, the bear just saw that was like, you know what? This is something wrong with this guy. It's clearly on well. I do not want to be around this person right now. Here's mental floss interviewing Troy. She was so terrified she urinated her debase recalls. I didn't look human enough limited mobility and questionable usefulness combined to doom the mark series. We would never use a suit like that says Lana Sierra and L.O. PhD, a bear behavior expert, a solid knowledge of bear behaviors. The best thing one can use to avoid being attacked, which is rare. And this is cut. This is common whenever they talk to actual bear experts and researchers like do you want a suit of armor? They're like, no, that's not at all useful. It's very easy to not get attacked by bears actually. And again, if you watch the documentary grizzly man and the man in the documentary grizzly man is a similar type of person to Troy herdebise. They are both people. I do believe Troy herdebise might need a suit of bear armor because he seems like the kind of person to push grizzly bears past their limits of comfort. Very rarely will someone else wind up in that situation. Nonetheless, the armor brought herdebise fame. He was all over the internet. I found out about him because one of my colleagues at crack wrote about him in an article. But like you would see this guy all the time. I'm sure I ran I think I also ran across him on something awful earlier. He would regularly put out videos. He had an early kind of understanding for how to make yourself into a brand on the internet in order to get funding. And so he was very successful at raising money in order to like make new iterations of his armor. He was also recruited on several Japanese game shows. And he inspired a 2003 episode of The Simpsons where Homer constructs a bear fighting suit. He even filmed an Audi commercial. Of course, he always reinvested the proceeds directly into making more suits of bear armor. Now, the good news is he eventually moved on from wanting to make armor that was specifically geared towards fighting bears. But he never got over his desire for making a suit of elaborate body armor. So he pivoted, claiming that now his brother was in the military. And so he wanted to make flexible body armor, themed after the armor and halo to help keep soldiers in swat officers safe during dangerous raids. His next suit was called the Trojan. And it featured a compass in the dick for reasons that are deeply confusing. How does that look? Wait, wait, wait, that's not even a useful spot. Like put it on your watch. Like, he watch him. He is adamant that he had talked to special forces guys. And they said, right in the dick is where you want to compass it like flipped down. So it looks like he has a penis that's made out of compass. Okay, that that is kind of funny. I'm going to play you a clip of this armor, which I will say looks a lot more professional than the last suit. The first ballistic full exoskeleton body suit of armor. This came from 20 years of development through the bear suits and about 1750 hours of actual building time. And it came from so many calls I got from friends of mine in Iraq and in Afghanistan. My brother was in the military talking about is there, can you not go in the direction that we need, which is against the IED's improvised explosive devices and build it to the point where you've got the flexibility, the lightness, but with the strength of what the bear suits were, and that's where this came from. So I'm going to tell you right now, that suit is not going to help you against an IED. The gigantic heavy armor you see in the hurt locker only kind of helps you if it's a pretty small IED. What he's built is not going to protect you from like an explosively formed penetrator or like a 5,000 pound fertilizer, 500 pound fertilizer bomb or something like that. To test this though, Troy hired a former military marksman. He guy who he claimed had previously covered him out in the woods on bear expeditions with less lethal ammo. And he asked this man to shoot him point blank with a rifle. So thankfully this guy was like, Troy, it's illegal to point to loaded weapon at a person in our province. I'm not going to shoot you directly in the chest with a hunting rifle. So Troy had him take the armor out of the suit and then shoot at it and the bullet went immediately through the armor. It says a lot about Troy that his first instinct was not shoot the armor without a human being in it. But at least he was weird. Yeah, at least the guy who was testing it did not shoot him directly in the chest and kill him. I'm going to quote again from mental floss here. Her debees tweaked the Trojan, which he debuted in 2007 to little notice. Eventually he offered his design to the Canadian military for free, but it can take years for armed forces to evaluate new technology and existing contracts with equipment vendors render it near impossible for independent inventors without backing or references to succeed with industrial military contracts are sewn up and they don't want anyone stepping on toes. He says, engineers pick my brain, but I can't be affiliated with them. I'm a loose cannon and my methodology is backward. I do not disagree with that statement. He did, however, have several other inventions over the years. For one thing, Troy invented a burn paste, a gooey substance that hardens when exposed to flame in order to protect you. Canada's Discovery Channel documented him covered in the burn paste being exposed to temperatures above 3600 degrees Fahrenheit. He held a blowtorch to his helmeted head for 10 minutes. And it worked. This leaves out a fun fact, which is that Troy was inspired to make his burn paste because one day while wearing his suit, it overheated, burning most of his body very badly. So he needed to make the burn paste in order to protect himself. Yeah, it doesn't seem easy to get in and out of like no. It would not be easy to don. If you look at the helmet there, your peripheral version is going to be shit. It's not going to be good for like fighting in and it is going to exhaust you like he builds an air conditioner for it, but that's only going to do so much. Like armor body armor is always kind of like a a trade-off between mobility and protection and something like a plate carrier is worth it, but full body armor that's not powered in a meaningful way just is not going to be practical yet. This is why I do not respect the Mandalorians. No, no, you you you've been vocal about that for years. I have. I'm going to play you a video of him testing this fire paste from that Canadian Discovery Channel documentary because it's very funny. Troy envisions neighborhoods in the path of a forest fire being sprayed with a thin layer of fire paste, effectively starving out the fire. And according to Troy, cleanup is a breeze due to fire paste only weakness, water. Yeah, how it's just see it turns back into a paste see I've already into a layer. Okay, it's just paste now which is fire piece. This is its natural state and when it dries, see I'm already sloughing it off now. There's there's there it turns to the paste. This is what's going to happen on your house. Now it's he's chewing it up. Oh, oh, that's so gross. He's just spitting it all over. The dog comes along, takes a little in his mouth, washes it around and spits it out. Nothing's going to happen. It's bad rid of it. Non toxic. Don't have to worry about anything happening. So how would a homeowner remove the fire paste from the outside of their home? This is going to be Bob's house next door. Bob's house is going to be fine the next day. He's going to go out with his garden holes and it can't appear and in two hours he'll be ready for the football game. Oh, what? There goes the house. After 10 minutes, Troy inspects the fire paste house. Look at this. Look at this. There's a little Barbie. She's all Kay. Barbie's fine, she's Barbie's sister. The Barbie is clearly sin. Now he does note again that the only weakness of the fire paste is water. This might reduce its efficacy but I think he envisions it being dumped on neighborhoods in the path of a fire. They decided not to do this. Now why does he keep getting platforms? Why does he continue? Because this was really funny to everyone on the internet. A documentary that came out would get shared all over. People would watch it. It would get him attention. He would get donations. There was one point where he had to sell his body armor. He had to sell it to a pawn shop because he was broke and a fan bought it back from the pawn shop and gave it to him. So he could continue his research. That's nice. Yeah. He had a fan base. Like I said, he was a hero of the old internet. He did eventually succeed in making an armor suit that was resistant to 12 gauge shotgun shells, which he acts like is very impressive. Shotgun shells are not good at penetrating armor. Most soft body armor vests will stop a shot shell from penetrating it. Shotguns are not for penetrating armor. They're for damaging meat. But Troy made a big deal about how this would save the lives of soldiers in war. His next invention, as he was continuing to iterate his body armor, was something called the godlight device. Now Troy never gave much detail on what the godlight was, but he says it shrunk tumors and mice as well as his sister's tumor. And he would tell interviewers he was pretty sure it could cure Parkinson's disease. Light is extremely effective against certain cancers. All I did was take all spectrums of light, electromagnetic radiation and put them together. And it works. I don't know why. I think that's how you get cancer. But okay. Fun, fun. You mentioned that. So obviously his claims about the godlight were never validated by any outside force. In part because shining whatever the fuck he's invented on a bunch of sick people has ethical considerations to it. But Troy turned the light on himself and experienced what he calls the hide effect. I think as in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide, his hair fell out and he lost 20 pounds. Oh, I'm curious. What a mystery. Then he claims the godlight mysteriously stop working and he didn't have the money to fix it up. There are a man. I love this man. It is fascinating. The closer society comes to just complete collapse. We get more of these little weirdos who are like trying to figure out how to like survive the apocalypse. And they can come in exactly the wrong way. Yes. Yes. Yes. Um, I'm going to read another quote from that mental floss article. Today, her debees operates a scrapyard non-terriot and dismisses notions of patents. The stuff is too easy to duplicate and it costs $80,000 to file an application. He rejects offers to outright sell his creations like fire paced because he frequently sells off shares to fund their development. By the time I got fire paced to the point of testing, 70% of it was owned by investors. So in a university once it only have 30% left, they're not interested in that. And yet her debees can't stop inventing. He still feels compelled to put in 21 hour days refining his projects. His current plan is to find funding for the Apache, the latest version of his Trojan suit, which he says protects 93% of a user's body and offers 96% flexibility. A prototype will cost $70,000. It'll take six to eight months to build by hand. I'll try to market it to law enforcement like SWAT. He needs another $100,000 to rebuild the godlight, renamed the EMR-5, which he now claims will only cure breast cancer. He wants to take it to John's options for testing. So... Well, I'm excited for SWAT teams to be using his inventions. Yes. Yes, I do support that. Thanks to that dick compass, they'll never get lost at the wrong house again. Could really save a lot of lives. That's the problem SWAT teams have is poor land nav. I think this SWAT team should wear that every SWAT team member should be forced to wear that barricade for everything they do. Yes, the only thing SWAT could get to. So tragically, Troy died in like 2012, I think, in a fire recollection. No. Yeah, he drove right into a fuel tanker. It's very sad. He was 54 years old. His widow says that he's served his car or the police say that he's served his car into the pathway of the truck. He had been very depressed because he'd encountered financial difficulties and had not been able to sell his inventions. Obviously, this is very sad for them. He seems like, despite everything, he was a fun guy to be around and then fell on hard times. It is a depressing end to the story. But Troy lives on in the documentary project, Grizzly. And in the impact, he had on all of our hearts. And in the memory that, you know, even if your dreams are crazy, you should try and live them. Because who knows? Maybe you'll develop a suit that allows you to fight a Grizzly Baron hand-to-hand combat. Anyway, that's this hero of the internet episode. I hope you all found it edifying. That is an inspiring tale. Yeah. It's, you know, he's fucking more of an inventor than Elon Musk ever has been. And he would have been a better ruler of Twitter. That's true. Well, Troy was in charge of Twitter. He's really the last guy from the old era of capitalism where you would actually like return your profits into R&D instead of just like paying Elon Musk like $47 million to hire a bunch of consultants who also make $47 million. Yeah. One thing you have to say about Troy is he was not in this for the money. This was a man who believed more strongly than I think I've ever believed in anything about the idea of building a suit of armor to fight Grizzly Bears. And whatever else you can say about Troy, he was absolutely, absolutely honest in that belief. And I think I'm going to end by playing a brief montage of him testing out his first version of the armored suit, which looks more or less like a set of heavy baseball armor. Like it looks like someone wearing body armor in a baseball helmet or a foot, sorry, a football helmet. In fact, I think it just is a football helmet. But yeah, here's, here's Troy's early tests in 1988. Oh, that's definitely a football helmet. That one looks kind of cool. That one looks pretty cool too. Yeah, they look increasingly space merine in this period and he has some range of motion. I just, it's so fast. He's French is just beating him with this ball that doesn't even have his helmet on. Just knocking him down with what look like two by fours. It doesn't, it does look more like oh my gosh. He just, he keeps getting, he walks right in the face. Yeah, it's, it's amazing. That last one looks super space marine ass. Yeah, yeah, some of them looked pretty cool. And he didn't die from anything related to the suit testing. So no, you got to give him one thing. He knew how to make a suit of armor that would not get you killed doing the kind of shit Troy heard of these like to do his armor. It seems like he was good with like, with like blunt force trauma armor. That's right. Did anyone ever do like a CTE skit like test on a metric dive? I don't know because this, this man had a thousand micro head injuries. Absolutely. I mean, I think the real lesson here is that he was able, he was able to continue his work thanks to Canadian healthcare. Yeah, he was probably like 5% of the entire Canadian healthcare system budget. Just dealing with all of Troy's concussions. Yeah. Anyway, that's the story of Troy Herdibis. I hope you've all found it useful. Go into the world and if your dream is to create a suit of powered armor that will allow you to defeat a grizzly bear in unarmed combat, then by God, you know, shoot for the stars. Hey, Mariel Lopez here and let's be real. We all know that SUVs are what's in right now and if you go with the Toyota, you got a ton of options to choose from like a RAV4, the perfect versatile SUV for riding around and style comes in a bunch of cool colors and is super fuel efficient. It'll make you the talk of the town or if you want a little luxury and comfort, there's the venza with features like a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats. 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In a world where you end up standing in a two hour line to buy mediocre and not climate friendly water. Sorry, this is it could happen here. This is so-fi, I really wanted to do that for a really long time. Well now I want to watch it. Yeah, me too. Thank you. Those voices you hear are James Stout and Margaret Killsroy and we're here to talk about the water crisis that seems to be getting worse these United States. James, what's what's what's what's happening? Well, and everything's happening, right? I think we should probably emphasize at the start that water contaminants have been affecting people outside of like the kind of colonial core for a very long time and then legacy corporate media, whatever you want to call it, hasn't given a solitary fuck about it until it affected people inside the colonial core. So what we're seeing right now is in two places east. I believe it's pronounced Palestine. Right? I believe it's so too. Yeah, okay, East Palestine, Ohio and in Philadelphia. I believe it's pronounced Philae, Delfia. Okay, it's like someone's name. Like Philae, it was named for Philae, Delfia, the founder of the city. Philae from Delfia, like the Oracle. Ah, I see. Yeah, he predicted that one day there would be a spill from a PLC chemical plant near the Delaware River and famously he was right. We've built the city there anyway. Yeah, and for years, it's been so angry about not having a chemical plant. They've just climbed landposts and thrown batteries at a boating football team. And I feel really good about starting with such heavy jokes about this thing. It's like three million people, I think. Anyway, yeah, if you're in Philadelphia, we don't want to express solidarity with you, I guess, as you wonder what the fuck to do about your water supply, which is currently contaminated as we understand by something called Butyl Acrelate, which is a chemical that is found in paint. And the reason that there was a paint chemical in your drinking water if you live in Philadelphia is that a PLC manufacturing chemical plant called, I think it's Trinseo, T-R-I-N-S-E-O, had a leak and that leak went into a storm drain that storm drain went into the Delaware River and that river feeds into the Samuel S. Backster Water Treatment Plant. And obviously that water treatment plant feeds into the tap that you turn on to drink water when you live in your house. And this has, as it always does, when there are like these somewhat bungled announcements of chemical contamination in drinking water, it caused people to rush out to buy bottled water, which is an understandable response if you think you're not going to be able to drink water, which is caused people to wait in long lines to access sometimes like a limited supply of water. And what we wanted to talk about today a little bit was not so much like what to do if you're in Philadelphia right now. But like how we can better prepare to be ready for water emergencies, water shortages, water contamination, things like that. And which is why Margaret has joined us because she is the prepper anarchist queen and knows a lot of bad things. So yeah, Margaret, should we, I think you said you wanted to break this down by like bad things at Corbinia water and things you can do to get those bad things away, right? Yeah, although I will say only a minority of this information directly relates to people who are dealing with toxic chemical spills. So if we're, I have a lot of information about general water safety, it's long term storage of water, things that you don't want in your water, how to get those things out of your water. And I know you have a lot of experience with that stuff too. But the very specific thing that people first in Ohio and now in Pennsylvania are dealing with of chemical stuff is worse than other stuff and way harder to get out, especially on a DIY level. So I don't know what, what feels best like should we do an overview or should we try and first talk about the chemical stuff and then talk about like the fun easy stuff, like not getting garedio in your campaign? Yeah, let's maybe start out with the kind of, this is the scary, you know, you can't buy a life straw for this. Fear first. Fun later. Yeah, because people might be listening, I mean, might be afraid, they might be concerned, or they might be in one of these places, right? Or Michigan will still have fucking fixer water. Yeah. And so yeah, let's start with. Staying fucking Flint, Michigan, what are just disasters and competence? Yeah, I mean, yeah, it's extremely sad that the country that is as rich as any country has ever managed to be in human history is still poisoning people with water. But yeah, let's start with that. Let's start with what to do when you get a reverse 911 phone call telling you not to drink from your tap. I mean, honestly, going out and getting bottled water was the right move. Or also, since people did have a heads up that their tap water was safe for a period of time, storing water in various containers is the right move. Because once your water is contaminated with chemicals, it's really hard to get it out. The main method that, well, on an industrial scale, the thing that someone can use the way they treat wastewater with beautiful acid, late. I didn't write down the name in my notes. Accelerate, I think. Accelerate. Oh, like acrylic, that makes sense, because latex paint. It's something called a fluidized bed reactor, which frankly, I did not know about until I started doing this specific research for this specific chemical. People who are like more at a high science level will know more about this. This is basically like you're using different bacteria to eat and I don't know, fucking clean out this shit. This is not what's going to be happening in your kitchen sink anytime soon. This is not going to be part of your brita filter anytime soon. Ironically, and this is not, hmm, how am I going to say this? Don't drink this chemical water if you have any possibility, right? If you can get other water, do that. And I believe in our current society, it is a better and safer bet to get water from elsewhere. If you were in some situation, which I suspect most people are not, I suspect most people could access supply lines. If you were in some situation where the only water available to you has this, these types of chemicals in it, the most likely guess about a way to deal with it is activated carbon charcoal. And is, is actually the home filters that a lot of people use is your brita filter is your burky, although I'll talk some shit on burky in a little bit. And, and when we go over the more like nitty-gritty details about each filtration method, maybe we can we can talk more about this. But basically it is like, it is not tested to do this. No one has ever been like, man, what if we get a bunch of butyl acrolate in our water? Will our brita filter it out? No one is running tests on this because it is not a thing that normally is in the water historically, although clearly it is often in the water now. However, the method of filtration of the various home level acts, various home level methods of filtration adsorption is what it's called with a D instead of a B is the method that is perceived as most effective at reducing chemicals in water. However, again, we're talking about like, maybe this reduces some chemicals, maybe not, oh, you run this through this and now you're fine. Yeah, yeah, it's, there's a lot of things that could get no water, right? We don't really have like any any like decent research on how to get them out of our water. Yeah. So Margaret, James, is there a, say, say you're not living in a place where you get a text letting you know that in Tuesday at 3 p.m., your water will not be safe to drink, which is really just is there a home testing kit or a water testing kit that that is accessible for most individuals or what resources can people use to to understand their water at home because I'm not really going to trust the government on that. Yeah. And Margaret, do you want to take that? I only know about, I do not know about testing for betel-ass acrolate. I think that this is the kind of thing that they are not, people are not prepared for, like at a society level. I don't, I believe, I could be wrong. All of the water testing that I have done has tended to be around, like I live on a well, right? And so there's a lot of testing things that are available to tell you, the acidity of your water, the hardness of your water, which is how many dissolve minerals, whether or not your water contains things like lead and arsenic, heavy metals, which we'll talk about in a little bit, and also bacteria, right? Like all of the stuff that we normally prepare to filter out of water, there are home tests available to you that you can use to determine. I don't know, and I wish I had done more research ahead of time. There's like some talk about like possible smells and stuff for some of these, but I don't feel confident. Yeah, I mean, I know there's the EWG's website where you can put in your zip code and get more information on if there's been contamination or anything like that. But that's reported things, not necessarily like on an individual level for testing. Definitely do that anytime I have moved anywhere. I'll type in my zip code and then I go, that sounds really bad. I don't like that. But yeah, you can find out, you know, once you put in, you can find out who, who like you put in your zip code on, this is just EWG.org, you put in your zip code and you can put who you pay for water and then it goes in and it tells you, you know, it's really, it's really fun. For in my, in my neighborhood, for EWG health guidelines, 14 contaminants. Oh, yes. Yeah. I think a combination of two, it's probably your best bet, like unless you happen to have a laboratory, like, because there's stuff coming, like if there is like lead, like in between the water mains and all like, you know, wherever the EWG is getting its information and your tap, then you're still risking like heavy metal contaminants, right? Or if you're on a well, you should test that out. I think it's every year right? You're supposed to test your well water. Probably should. You know, you'll be fine, you know, but yeah, I think it's important that like you, I have definitely got super sick from water that looks super clear, had no odor looked fine. And I have drunk from per bit as fuck, stagnant water and not been sick. So like your nose is not going to tell you, you do need some kind of help. Yeah. Let's talk about storing water first and then we'll talk about the more sort of established solutions for the more expected contaminants. I guess. How would you go about, let's say you're not in Philadelphia right now and you want to prepare for something that could happen in your area. How would you go about storing water? So the easiest way is that you go go bottled water. If it is sealed and you keep it out of the sun, you keep it out of the heat, even though you're, it's supposedly good for a year or two or whatever. I feel like really nervous on this. Like this is what safe even though it's not safe, right? But you can, but water itself doesn't go bad. That is a thing that is worth understanding left to its own devices. Water does not go bad. Water goes bad when there's like something in it that replicates like bacteria or something like that. Or when something leaks into it, the main reason that you want to keep your water out of the sun and out of the heat is because if you're storing it in plastic, that can eventually kind of leach into it as the plastic degrades. And that, I don't know, there's probably long-term health effects, but like I would drink a water bottle that has been in the vaccine in my car for a year before I would drink Udol Acrolate water. And which is, I mean, it's, I guess that's just plastic or plastic, pick your poison. But yeah, so bottled water is generally very safe. And it is sealed and it has no particular reason to go bad. You don't want to store it next to kerosene or gasoline. Like if you are the kind of person who keeps five gallon jug of gasoline around, you want that in a different place than your water. Usually you want the gasoline outside your house and an outbuilding. Everyone lives on acreage in the rural areas of the country, right? So many outbuildings around here. Yeah, everyone's outbuilding. Just go out to my urban bond. Yeah, exactly. So, okay, well, okay, then the other thing, if I'm actually preparing, go out and get some five gallon jerry cans. You're going to pay between $20 and $50 and you'll get a little bit of different quality depending on that. You want something that is BPA-free. You want something that is opaque. And you want something that is like not really bigger than four or five gallons because it's clumsy and unwieldy. You also don't want to stack these things unless they specifically say this one is stackable to such and such depth. Like most stackable containers are also only stackable one or two. High, well, two or three. High. And I don't know. I mean, like frankly, on some level, that's what there is. Okay, and if you're going to fill your own water containers, there are a couple weird things about it. One, you, people argue about how often you should rotate it. I, I rotate mine about once a year. You should theoretically rotate them somewhere between six months and a year or something like that, depending on how you store it. The other thing is that if you are, I actually think living off of a well, you should probably rotate it more often. If you're on municipal water, don't run it through your Brita before you store it because that Brita is going to pull out all the chlorine, all the bleach. And people are like, whoa, I don't want to drink bleach. I listened to that punk song, dead, dead milkman, whatever. People don't want to drink bleach, right? You actually do want to drink tiny amounts of bleach. You want tiny amounts of miracle medical solution. Yeah. It keeps bacteria from growing. So if you filter out all of that, and then you put it the water and the thing, if there's the tiniest little bacteria that got through, it's like sweet. The defenses are down. But yeah, honestly, store and water, like people, they're going to sell you lots of products and like, proper sites are full of people selling you shit. But it's just a matter of like finding containers and filling them with water and then rotating them every now and then. And it's not actually that big of a deal or super complicated. That's my take on it. I used to live off of, I used to live entirely off grid and then had to just drink water out of 50 gallon drums. And I just, I didn't even, you know what, I'm not going to say how bad my practice is where because I don't want anyone to emulate me. What are you going to say, James? I was going to say, if you're like, if you're storing on a scale, I don't know why they say, you live on a compound in the desert. You know, you can get big water tanks, right? I was looking at moving out into desert a couple of years ago. Didn't, but yeah, you can get big water tanks, they're pretty cheap. You should, some places, about a dollar a gallon last time I looked for like a 1500 gallon tank. Yeah. I found them cheap like gov surplus ones as well, pretty often. Oh, really? Yeah. We'll talk later. Yeah. Yeah. We'll send you some links. But you might want to check it, some places you actually can't legally have those. It's getting better now with that stuff, but you do want to check on that. I think if you're, or you can get like a water buffalo, which is a an industrial device for shipping water, you can probably pick up those pretty cheap. No, it's an animal. I don't want to do, don't dehumanize it, calling it an industrial machine. It's an animal, it has feelings. Yeah, it does. And you just keep that in your backyard. And then, well, that does is attack anyone who comes after your water. So it's quite effective. Yeah. They are toughest nails. I've had some runners with buffalo. Um, fat ass animals. Okay. Another thing I guess that like if you're like going hardcore on this and storing thousands of gallons of water, maybe you could have invested something like a chlorine maker. And that way, if you do, like mess up with your storage, I guess, that could maybe give you some leeway in terms of purifying afterwards. Is that fair to say, Margaret? Yeah, I mean, that makes sense. Like chlorine maker is the next step up from basically because like bleach itself does go bad. And if you get it's not shelf stable for, I don't remember how long it lasts. It's not indefinitely shelf stable. And so people often, especially in places that access to clean water and stuff, I will say though, when we get into it, chemical treatment is really good for the main stuff that people normally worry about, such as protozoa, bacteria and viruses. But once again, isn't going to do shit for some stuff that goes bad. Yeah. I think it might there's one thing, maybe cryptospiridian. There's something that chlorine specifically doesn't work for. Oh, that's right. Actually, yeah, it's actually not very good at protozoa. It's weirdly good at viruses. And then whereas most of the filters are not good at viruses and are good at bacteria and protozoa. So we should probably explain these different things. Right. Right. You can treat your water. Okay. There's a bunch of stuff that you can be in your water that you don't wish was in the water. The one that is like kind of off the top of my head, the one that I think about the most because I've had to deal with it and it sucked. Our protozoa, the two big ones are GRD and cryptospiridian. And these are tiny little animals in the water. If you can look at pictures of them, they're really cute. And they make you shit a lot forever, sometimes until you die, mostly immunocompromised folks, but everyone really unhappy. And if you're in a survival situation already, diarrhea is like no laughing matter. Your inability to keep in fluids and nutrients will dramatically affect your your chance of survival. So that's protozoa. They are the biggest of these things and therefore sort of the easiest to actually don't know whether they're bigger in bacteria or not. Then there's bacteria, which it can also be in water and do bad stuff to you. And then there's viruses and viruses can be in the water, do bad stuff to you. Largely in the United States and people don't worry about viruses and water. And that's not because our heads are in the sand, it's because we don't have as many viruses in our water. Then there's chemicals you could have in your water. We don't like them. There's dirt that can be in your water, which is just like not fun. There's heavy metals like lead and iron that can have deleterious effects on your health. Some people want to get water hardening minerals like calcium and magnesium out of their water, but you actually don't want to get rid of all of them. That's the catch. That's what we're going to have to talk about because your body wants some of those things. They mostly just like make your house has all the plumbing breaks. That's like the main stuff. There's also things like nitrates that I don't understand well enough to talk about. How we get rid of things. The most common way that like backpackers and stuff who are a lot of the people who DIY this on a regular basis use is something called filtration or I'm going to call filtration. First use, you screen your water as in you get out the large chunks. Usually people use like a bandana or a sock or just some piece of cloth. You want to use that so you're not gumming up your filter. Then it goes into something where it's forced through a membrane with micro pores. These used to be ceramic, but these days they're like a bunch of tiny little tubes like the internet. Most of these are basically. Latubes have holes in them that are so small that it stops protozo and bacteria from going through it. That is it's like main claim to fame. It is very effective at it. Now that they're not ceramic, you don't have to clean it like every fucking gallon. These are really good. Top brands that I am not sponsored by are Sawyer and Lifestraw. They're going to use slightly different methods. People have opinions about them. I'm not going to offer mine right now. They're measured in the size of the holes. Anything that's like one micron is small enough to stop most protozoa. Most of these ones are either 0.1 or 0.2. These don't block viruses. They make ones that have even smaller holes that can deal with viruses. This also blocks microplastics, but whatever. Then there's chemical treatment. Chemical treatment, the two most common ones are bleach, chlorine, or iodine. There's also chemical tablets that you can buy that are worth keeping around. They weigh almost nothing, whatever. I am not going to give you the chart of how much bleach to add to your water. Don't just go listen to me and add bleach to your water. Fucking look it up. Do not use color safe bleach. Do not use scented bleach. It's just disinfected bleach. Probably either come in 6% or 8.25% sodium hypochlorite. And it sounds so gross. Just those commoners. I know. I know. Yeah. A little later. It's what they sent it with. Blood of, I don't know. My god. It's like a lavender. You get a miss about. I really like this. I like dogs or something. That sounds so gross. Yeah. I used to wear lavender all the time. I actually, I stopped for two reasons. First, I stopped when I was in college because like my girlfriend was like, he smelled like soap and was like, really mad at me. If you're listening, whatever. And then I stopped because get one in Margaret. Go on. If you're listening, what's good? Look at me now. Thanks for turning me on. A lot of cool stuff. That was much healthier than I would have been. I'm proud of you. And then the other reason I stop wearing lavender is the tracks ticks if you're out in the out in the woods. Anyway, okay. So that's chemical treatment. Chemical treatment is really good for bacteria and viruses. It's not great for parasites. It is a really good backup system. Actually, I'll go over the fucking king of all of them for bacteria, virus and parasites. You want to get rid of it. You fucking boil your water. The classic way to deal with it is you boil your water. And it only needs to get above 60 degrees Celsius, which is like 140 something in regular human. And I actually don't know the conversion. I actually know I just get a little bit of a human as Fahrenheit. Okay. Fahrenheit is really good about humans because zero is cold and 100 is hot. Yes. Celsius is really good about water. So we actually are talking about water right now. So Celsius is the proper scale because it goes from zero is freezing to 100 is boiling. Yeah. Go ahead. Yeah, it's, you know what we should do before we talk about water. Do you know what will not make you shit yourself to death? Reagan coins? Yeah, it probably is Ronald Reagan coins again. All right, we're back. Thank you very much, Uncle Ron, for continuing to pay for my healthcare and insulin needs. So Margaret, we were talking about boiling, fuck boiling water. That's it. Yeah, so how long do we need to boil stuff for to change depending on what we got? It does, but not really. It's like all of the main and do the actual instructions overkill is better than regular get killed. Right? But most shit dies off at 60 degrees Celsius, which is below the boiling point of water even in a high elevation. However, basically the deal is you want to boil your water for one minute at sea level, three minutes above 5,000 feet or five kilometers to wait no. Go on, it's not a thousand feet. It's just at a two-close. Okay. And yeah, so boiling water is actually the one of the main things you can do. It doesn't get rid of everything. It gets rid of those three things, protozoa bacteria and viruses very effectively. And that is most of the time what most people are treating water for. A lot of the other stuff is like long-term health effects, like heavy metals and chemicals, right? Yeah. Other methods that you can use, the other like kind of gold standard, which isn't as good as it seems like it should be, is distillation. Distillation gets out lots of stuff. Distillation is basically evaporate the water and then let it run down into another container. You're moonshining your own water. And you can do this DIY fairly well. There's like solar stills that are really cool. I've never actually built one. I've always wanted to. The downside is if you live off of distilled water for a long time, it gets out the magnesium and the calcium. It gets out the minerals that you actually want in your water. So it can have negative effects on your long-term health if you only drink distilled water. The main thing that distillation does that I think no other method on this does besides a reverse osmosis, which I'm not really going to get into, is it desalinated water? So go ahead. That's a big deal, right? Because if we look at long-term water insecurity, like certainly where I live, we live in a place where people like to play golf in the desert. And that has become an issue as far as water supplies go. And so desalination is often proposed as like a way to deal with our water crisis in California and the fact that the Colorado river, like is getting lower and lower and we rely on it. But like you said, lots of these methods aren't going to pull the salt out of water. Didn't know you drink sea water. Right. But this one does. And so I mean, actually, I don't really care about the health of golf course. I have actually negative feelings about the health of golf courses. But theoretically, maybe water in your lawn with the desalinated distilled water and then drinking the water that actually has minerals in it. But then again, like maybe the plants need that shit too. I don't fucking know. So an indistillation is very good at getting out heavy metals also, like iron and lead. And the reason it gets out the bacteria and viruses is not because they can't evaporate, but because they die getting boiled because you boil to still. Yeah. And some pesticides are filtered out if their boiling point is greater than the boiling point of water, benzene and to lean, which I don't know what is, I don't know, to lean is. These are examples of things that do not get distilled out. Then there's a couple more. There's adsorption adsorption rules. This is the thing that I always misspell. And so that's why I emphasize the adsorption. And I don't really understand. Go ahead. How do we adsorb is that just like absorption with adverts? What? You know, it's like, yeah, it's like I took three years of Latin and all I remember is that ad means towards an ab means away from. And maybe a greek ally is either farmer or farmhouse. Yeah, I got poor poor read. Yeah. Yeah. Sue messes. Sue messes. Aram arasarat. Aramasaramasaram. I can remember that one now. Yeah, great. Yeah. But there you go. You've already done something today. Yeah. I wish that my school had made me take Spanish instead of letting me take some bullshit like Latin. Yeah, exactly. So adsorption is good for pesticides, heavy metals, chemicals, viruses, and bad tastes. It's the only one of these things that I'm aware of that actually use can get rid of bad taste because this is pulling out all the weird stuff in the water. And what it is is it uses activated carbon, which is basically just some shit that's fucking burned and then crunched up real small. It is a huge surface area because it's like little powder, right? And then the water passes through it and then by some weird science shit, the bad stuff tends to stick to the carbon. This is great. This is what your bread a filter does. This is what your burky does. This is what your pure filter does. It's not as good, I believe, for bacteria and stuff. And specifically, the biggest problem with these things is that bacteria can grow on them. And so some people, I mean, that's why you replace it every so often. It's not because it's like slow or clogged. It's like literally unhealthy. And so sometimes what people do is they treat for bacteria with UV or some other method bleached whatever. All the other shit that we talked about, we haven't talked about UV yet. After it goes to the carbon filter, I'm really excited about like kind of learning more about these because you can theoretically DIY carbon, right? Yeah, you're definitely good, right? I know that it's not the same as this, but one of the things you can do if you're in the back country, is if you have water with a lot of turbidity, which is stuff in the water, right? Like if you can't see through the water, you know, if it's got a lot of cloudiness, you can use the white ash from a fire. And that will increase the rate at which it deposits the sediment. If you see what I mean, so you have a lot of it. Oh, interesting. Because it sticks to it and then slowly filters the bottom of the, I think the gold standard is a loom, which is something you use in canning. That increases it even quicker, but yeah, you can use white ash from a fire if you're dealing with that. I don't think that's, I don't think that's the activated carbon. I think that's a different mechanism. Yeah, no, I don't know. And then one of the methods that is actually mostly done on an industrial scale that actually is like, I think the main way that people filter water in this world is through sand. And I didn't do enough research about, there's both slow, slow sand filters and fast sand filters. And some of them like literally depend on certain bacteria, good bacteria, like having a healthy culture of them that like eat the bad stuff and things. I used to know more about that than I do currently. And then the last one I'm going to cover, okay, then those are reverse osmosis, which you might have a kitchen thing that does. And it also removes minerals. It's a very effective method of filtering out lots of stuff. It also, I don't know, causes wastewater and is complicated in some ways. And then there's UV disinfection. And this is like one of the ones that gets touted is this like, this is going to save the developing world or whatever, right? And UV disinfection is cool and good. Basically, it uses UV light to kill off bacteria, parasites and viruses. Again, these three things that are the main things people are usually going for. The biggest downside of UV disinfection, there's two of them. One is that it requires low turbidity water. Thanks for introducing that term. Clear water. It has to be fairly clear water because it's about light, right? That's my sense. And because you have to be careful to do it, right? You just have to actually get all of it with all of it. Yeah. So this is why I haven't, like for a moment, I got really excited about these things and then the end I was like, I like my water filter that I already have. Yeah. I think with UV filtration as well, it's been big in the outdoor world kind of relatively recently. You have to be conscious of storing it in a opaque container afterwards because the bacteria can UV like reactivate. Oh, yeah. If it's like any of it that it doesn't get is like, fuck yeah, it's my time. Yeah, because it stops some reproducing. That's how it's just still in there, but they don't, so it doesn't really matter. You drink them and then you pass them through your system and it's fine, but if they reproduce, that's when you get sick. So somehow they can UV reactivate. So like if you have a, you know, the classic like like through hiking thing is to use a smart water bottle right because it's cheap and it's dirty and but if you were UV filtering and then traveling into smart water bottle and then putting that on the back of your pack and hiking all day, you might get some difficulty. So yeah, I know it's not. Yeah, I haven't really messed with it much. Like, like, I have my comfortable setup and that's what I like to use. And I will say that like something that people who don't go camping much might not be aware of. There's almost nowhere in the United States that you can be confidently drink wild water without it without risking something like Giardia. There are places where you can directly from a spring is the most likely to be good. People used to say that you can, you can drink high elevation water if you're up in an alpine area because there's like no cows or whatever because like Giardia and I believe also crypto but I'm the other poop transferred crypto, the cryptosporodia not the multi-level marketing scam. They, it's passed in the the fecal oral tradition. What's the word here? There's a word here of forgetting. A mouse pathway. Yeah, pathway. Yeah. And so because it's passed that way, it's like basically the fact that there's livestock everywhere is the reason that's not safe to drink the water. And so people are like, oh, if you go up high enough, you're safe, but there's still animals up there. And there's also like more and more hikers up there. Almost anywhere you're going to be hiking someone else's hiked and someone else's hiked and they have drank the water without filtering it because they're not thinking properly. And then they've shit in not in a hole but just shit somewhere on the ground because they're also a bad person in that way. Yeah. And so they've like tested a while ago in the high sea eras that there's Giardia everywhere. Which doesn't necessarily mean it's going to make you sick but it can make you sick. So it's just like worth knowing that this is the reason that backpackers know so much about water filtration. Although again, they don't know as much about chemicals, both filtration, which is why I had to go and learn more about that. Less because I'm a backpacker and more because I used to live off grid. But yeah, they're different like like there were definitely a lot of products out there that are very affordable that work for like that specific specifically the Giardia concern, right? Which is one that most people have. And that's probably if you're like if you're in a place where you hear this industrial water contamination and you go to RRI and you buy a soy or make a tap filter for instance and it's sometimes onto your tap. It probably won't work for the stuff that you're concerned about. But it will work if you're yeah off a well and you have Giardia or something. Yeah. And it also won't work for like lead, which is one of the reasons why the carbon filters are the more common ones at home because city water that is a higher, you know, if you live in some cities, you're going to have a lot in your water, right? Yeah. Because we used in pipes for decades. Yeah. But I don't know. Oh, let's talk shit on Berkies really quick. Yeah, let's do it. What's up with Berky? Why are they bad? So I was like, I posted the other day after this thing because that's my fun joy of being a preppers going to Twitter and being like, here's what I know about that thing, you know, whenever a thing happens. Yeah. While like safe on my mountaintop and drinking out of my well, which whatever has its own problems, I'll take those problems anyway. Okay. So so I posted about this and then I pointed out that like overall there's like the different filters that you can have at home and then the only one that seems to sort of do it all is the Berky. It's this very expensive brand. You've probably seen them in your hippie friends house or you're the hippie and there's one in your house. There's one in my house and it's a big silver canister that looks like it comes from the 50s or whatever. And it's a filter and it somehow filters more than everything else. And the way that it does that is by line or rather, I don't know what I'm using mocketing. The way it yeah, the way it does it is it says it can do these things and it is not certified to the what is it a NSF slash ANC standard that all of your other filters are testing themselves too. So everyone else is saying we have passed this following certification and Berky is saying, oh, we tested it. It does all this stuff. All the other ones probably do kind of all this stuff too, but the only things that they're actually certified to do they are what they say they do. And so Berky basically charges a mint in exchange for using their own testing standards instead of the testing standards of other people independent testers. Google Berky wire cutter and you'll find a good article that where people conducted a bunch of tests. And it's a shame because it would be nice to have this sort of all in one filter because it's very annoying. If you want to filter something out of your water, you have to go, okay, what's in my water that I don't want? And then you have to go find the filter for that. And it's not going to be the same as the other filters, not going to be the same as the other filter. Like, oh, you live some more lead in your pipes, you can't buy a regular brita, you got to buy the the lead pipe Montreal special brita. And like, you know, you want an under sink water filter. Well, do you want this one or this one or this one? And it would be nice if there was a, like buy one's cry once. Yeah. Yeah, go to Amazon two days later, you'll find kind of situation. Yeah. But there isn't one. No. I was going to go over like just in case people are curious more about the backcountry stuff, I guess. I have three different levels of stuff that I use for backcountry. If I'm just going out and I don't think I'm going to filter water, I just take a stainless steel, single wall water bottle and some iodine or another chemical purifier. And iodine works pretty well, but you don't want to be using it long term. It's not good for you long term for your thyroid. And then I'll filter it through like a buff or a cafe or something to get the turbidity out and use that. And if it's a trip where I'm just in the backcountry in America, I take a squeezy filtration system, catadine B phrase, the one I tend to use. And you want to have a dirty bag and a clean bottle, right? So you're squeezing from the dirty water into the clean water. And then if I'm going somewhere for work where there are virus risks and where it might be like what you'd call like a non permissive environment, a place where you don't want to hang around near a water source for a long time, in case it's dangerous. I have this thing called an MSR Guardian, which is not cheap and you probably don't need it for what you're doing. But if you are considered about viruses, it has a dirty bag and a clean bag and it's a hang filter, so you can fill up three liters of water, bugger off to somewhere safe, hang it up and let that filter from the dirty bag into the clean bag and then you're not standing by the water filtering or pumping. I'm a few scientists. It's a pretty fettied situation to be fine. And I'll say the thing that I used off-grid was I used a soil, just a regular soil, but water filter that are like 30 bucks. And I attached it to a five gallon bucket with some hoses and then I gravity fed it and I just left it dripping from one five gallon bucket to another. And that's for a stationary place in the United States that worked for me. Yeah, I can see that working really well. Margaret, do you want to think where can people learn more about prepping? Would there be a podcast they could listen to? You mean one that just went weekly, live like the world is dying, I am one of the hosts of live like the world is dying. The reason it went weekly is now there's more hosts. And you can listen to that wherever you listen to podcasts every Friday. And soon you'll be able to hear James on it. But I don't know when. Ooh, you just have to listen to all of them. Yeah. Where can people see Glowting on Twitter from your mountaintop? Magpie Killjoy until I finally get sick of Twitter, which is increasingly likely every single day. The hell, sorry. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you very much Margaret. Yeah, thanks for having me. I have informative. Thank you. I welcome. All right. Bye everyone. Bye. And let's go places. And now the best man. I was going to play in this speech out while I got my oil change, but I went to take five and it was a lot faster than I thought. So here he goes. Okay. Tim, you were my first friend. Angela, you were my first. Yeah, I never thought the two of you would make it, but I guess love really is blind. No, no, no, I mean in a good way. I'd take five. Your oil change is faster than you think. Take five. The stay in your car. 10 minute oil change. Hello and welcome to It Good Happen here with me, Andrew of the YouTube channel, Andrewism. And today I'm joined by Garrison is here. Greetings. And Mia, also here. Hello. And I wanted to talk about the idea of the Noobel Savage. It's something that people have occasionally brought up in my comment section. When I discuss really anything related to, maybe there's something to learn, something to be learned from the indigenous people of pre-Cleunio period. There's often this accusation levied against any sort of positive representation of their society. Any sort of generous reading of their society as something to be scoffed at as something to be ridiculed as something to be seen as perpetuates in this trope of the Noobel Savage. And so I was in some sort of, I feel this I was in sort of a, I got into a sort of defense mood and I was like, well, I really don't want to do that, right? I don't want to create this caricature of indigenous peoples in my videos that, you know, fall asleep represents all their complexities and stuff. Obviously, effort groups throughout history has had many layers to them. And then in reading, doing everything by David Grebel and David Wengru, ended up something upon even further information on the subject. And so that's something that I want to talk about. You know, this idea, this, where the idea of the Noobel Savage came from, how it's used, and I think how we should be approaching it today. But before I even get into all of that, are you familiar with this term and how it's used? Yeah, I mean, I think it's, I don't know, it is interesting in the way that it kind of like, I don't know, there was kind of this shift of it being used as a term to critique sort of like racist white fantasy to being a term that's used as a sort of blushing anytime anyone and like has the temerity to suggest anything in another society than this one could have possibly have been better, which is a kind of grim shift, I think, in a lot of ways. And I think it has done a lot of political damage by people who sort of don't quite understand what was going on. Yeah. And that is a shift that I noticed as well. And for a while, I thought that was really how the term was originally meant to be applied. I mean, we see it all over discussions of anthropology and philosophy and literature, which could be extended to media as a whole. Right, you have this sort of stock character of Noobel Savage, it's just, it's uncorrupted by civilization, something that's a person that symbolizes this sort of innate goodness and moral superiority, living in harmony with nature that we don't have access to because we've been corrupted by the influences of civilization. Right, it's this idealized concept of unscivilized or sort of base man, right, or rather person. And I mean, we see it a lot in rightist discourse being used as a tomb of derision. For example, a right-wing Australian politician named Dennis Jensen once told parliament that the Australian government should not be funding people to live a Noobel Savage lifestyle in remote indigenous communities. Jesus. Yeah, Christ. It's used to mock the so-called backwards lifestyles of indigenous people and really try to reinforce this white supremacist idea of their inferiority or their backwardness, their regressiveness, whatever the case may be. And then on the other side, in leftist political discourse, you also see it being used as a tomb of derision. So in both cases, it's being used as a tomb of derision without really a good grasp of what the tomb is where it came from. For example, anarcho-primitivists are criticized for upholding this troop and of course leftists, criticized leftists when fallen for the troop, for fallen for the troop when describing indigenous histories, spirituality, and social ecologies. It seems like you can't even bring up any sort of reciprocal gift economy-based relationship to the land that indigenous group might have had without somebody saying, oh, well, did you know that indigenous people also perpetuated extinctions and genocide and this time the other? So I really don't think that any time you learn from a society, they predict you and then they still persist that you're doing a Noobel Savage, but it is something that I had become very conscious of in my approach to any sort of discussion. I feel like it's sort of once the discourse among other sort of stock characters and troops that permeate in our political conversations. Within media, the troop has come in an alter fashion, but the two main forms that it appears in is one that life is strenuous, the life of a quote-unquote primitive is strenuous, and therefore this savage is nobly brave, hardworking, and honorable. And you have this other depiction, which is that the savage, and I can, it pains me to use the tomb every time, but the savage is not greedy, and just as now a taste for luxury. So you see it in, in, in, in, in, in, media. It's been a long time since I've watched the road to Eldorado, but if I recall, there is this sort of idea within the movie that they're so used to this, the decadence and stuff of, of gold and whatnot that they don't consider it as valuable, they consider it worthless. So there's this aspect of the troop that treats materials traditionally considered valuable to be something, to be sort of shrugged off or floated. And then of course, because what is philosophy, what is really our ontology without some sort of reference to the stories embedded within the Christian canon, right? There is this sort of interpretation of the story of the guardian of Eden as this, as Adam and Eve be in these noble savages that live in this uncorrupted innocence and a harmony with nature. And then they have to, they've taken this fruit from the tree of knowledge, or you know, they become, couldn't, could civilized. And then they're punished by having to engage in agriculture and have to labor over the land instead of living in harmony with it. So one, interpretation of that story is that it's a metaphor for the dawn of agriculture and the god of Eden as a sort of nostalgic take. Even later on when your parents first encountered hunter-gatherer communities in the Americas, they compared them to being living in this sort of Eden. And today, you still find comparisons to Eden used to describe sitting hunter-gatherer societies. And of course, as this is quite topical, you often see this criticism of noble savage and whatever being left behind against Avatar as in the blue people, not the, not the last airbender. Because they have this sort of, oh, we are this utterly perfect, you know, peace-loving, space hippies, all in harmony with nature, chillin, vibe in. We literally have sex with trees kind of vibe. And I haven't seen the second movie in the series I only saw the first, but I wouldn't be surprised if that trend continues. I don't know, have you all seen either both of them? I saw the first one as like, I'm no, nothing on earth can compel me to see the second one. So I have no idea if it's true or not. Yeah. And I mean, the, the concept of the noble savage, it has its roots a lot further back than European encounters with native Americans, right? That's sort of the intellectual lineage of the cons that could actually be traced back to ancient Greece. So if you really want to reach, you could say that even back in the Akkadian epic of Gilgamesh that Enkidou as a sort of Bushman was a kind of a depiction of that contrast between hunter-caliber societies and agricultural societies that Gilgamesh represented, of course, you know, civilization. But if we start in from ancient Greece, we could say we see in Huma and Pliny and Xenophon all idealizing the Akkadians and other groups, whether they were real or not. And then later on in Rome, you find Tacitus, for example, writing of the noble Germanic and Caledonian tribes in contrast with his view of Roman society as his sort of corrupt and decadent place. He even wrote speeches like he practically wrote fan fiction about liberty and honor for his sort of caricatures of these people. Other writers would also treat the Scythians comparably. You'll see in the works of Horus and Foujil and Ovid. And then further on, you know, in the 12th century, the Polymath, even for to fail, wrote in his novel, The Living Son of the Vigilant, this idea of this sort of stripped down back to the roots of the wild man who is isolated from society and has a series of trials and tribulations that lead him to knowledge of Allah by living in this life and harmony with Mother Nature. Basically theorizing this idea that people can find can find their way to to God just by being exposed to nature, finding a sort of a theological understanding by understanding the natural world. All of this is sort of a preamble to really what most people point to as the origins of the concept, the modern myth of the noble savage. It's most usually attributed to 18th century enlightenment philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau and he believed the original man was somebody that was free from sin, appetite, thought, concept of right and wrong. And those deemed savages were not brutal but noble, or at least this is how the story goes. The idea can also be found in theology. The founder of the Methodist Church, for example, John Wesley, again, just like the Andalusian novel writer, believe that there's this idea of man in the beginning at the roots connected with nature is not as corrupted, it is more connected with nature and with God compared to the so-called degeneracy found in 18th century society compared to the disease and materialism seen throughout the world. David Grieber in one of his recent post-Jimus works, Pirate Enlightenment, and in a lot of his other works as well, he sort of grapples with this idea of the Enlightenment, right? And how flawed our understanding of the Enlightenment is, how our approach the Enlightenment as a sort of era unique to Europe or this era centered upon Europe is flawed in its approach because it leaves out the realities that the Enlightenment occurred as a result of European's interactions and exposure to the rest of the world. You had these European explorers and colonizers and scientists venturing out, trading, interacting with these different groups of people, hearing their ideas about things and then going back and writing bestselling books about the societies and how they believe and what they think and how they organize their society. One chronicler for example noted that among the Indians, Native Americans, that land belonged to all just like the sun and water, mine and thine, the seeds of all evils do not exist for those people. They live no cold and age in open gardens, thought laws or books, thought judges and naturally follow goodness. Russo, Thomas Moore and others also idealized the naked savages as innocent of sin. Another one wrote about how they are equal in every respect and so in harmony with their surroundings, they all live justly and conformity with the laws of nature. Basically, we just found a whole continent of people basically living in a garden of yudah. But then this concept of ecological mobility that is perpetuated is of course flawed. I mean like I mentioned earlier, there were cases of overexploitation and damage done to the environment and yet we also find a lot of indigenous groups. The living incompatibility of the ecological limitations of their home area, getting familiar with the lands that they live on and what it takes to preserve them for the next generation. A lot of what is seen as a sort of virgin landscape was profoundly shaped by the controlled bones, the horticulture, the hidden and other activities done by indigenous groups. Throughout the Americas, for example, in the case of the Amazon rainforest, and in Australia as another case where the controlled bones really shaped that landscape over thousands and thousands of years. To this day, the methods used by indigenous peoples have been found to be superior to those used by non-Indigenous peoples living in the same habitat. Methods like polycropin, techniques in hand soil fertility, a sustainable harvesting. And of course, these culturally encoded morays that up place in these communities that help results in the preservation of these resources. Then you also have to account for the fact that no culture has stagnant, every culture changes over time. And as a result of the capitalist market economy, there is this pressure to over exploit the land for the sake of profit. A lot of where these documented patterns of land cultivation and land preservation are found is usually the outskirts and the margins of the capitalist market economy. Such practices can be more difficult to find in the belly of the beast. For example, the Eirappa, Yucpa and Western Venezuela they were traditionally mobile over an extensive area, plants and food, decision game, and now they are stationary, now they are settled, and now they are forced to adopt a different lifestyle in response to their new material conditions. When you had that lesser population density and greater freedom to roam, it was easier to satisfy subsistence needs and also maintain the health and fatality of the ecosystem over an extended period of time. But now that subpluses are needed, now that agriculture has been reduced to a very small portion of the population, and those techniques are now expected to be more intensive in order to keep up with the demands of those lifestyles and those cultural morays and those practices have had to change. But back to the idea of the noble savage. And particularly drilling into this idea of the noble aspect of it, because there's some confusion ascriber points out, which we need two meanings associated with the word nobility. You could say someone is noble in the sense that they are moral, good, exemplary in their behavior and their etiquettes in their ethical standards. Or you could say somebody is noble in the sense that they have this position in a sort of a class system, a redditary position in a class system, an elevated economic status. We've sodened come up with the phrase, I'm in fact, you never use in his writings. What Tehr Ellingsen historian discovered or rather explored in his book, The Myth of the Noble Savage is that the two must coined over a century before Rousseau's booth by a guy named by a French lawyer, ethnographer named Mark Lescabous. And Lescabous described indigenous peoples as truly noble, not having any action, but as generous whether we consider their hunting or their employment in the wars. The nobility was more so associated, not with just moral qualities, like generosity and good behavior, but also nobility from a legal standpoint. The lives of freedom, the privileges and the responsibilities that the indigenous people enjoyed were also found according to Lescabous within the European nobility. In Cannibal's and Kings, and I'm just the name of Marvin Harris, went on to explain why Lescabous had recognized nobility among the indigenous people that he visited. They don't allow the abandoned village societies. There was a level of economic and political freedom that very few enjoyed in his day and even today. People decided for themselves how long they wanted to work on a particular day, what they would do or if they would even work at all. They didn't have to deal with the taxes and rents and tribute payments that had been a good example of the fact that they had to keep people today and in the past so confined and restricted in their limited life on this earth. What should have been the sort of norm or standard of human freedom is in contrast with European society, just like mine flowing. There's another David Graber, actually, I've been talking about the number was West a lot recently. One of the things that he talks about in the number was West is this trick that European writers use when they're looking at another society, which is like, they present themselves as people whose behaviors are entirely rational and they're solving a logic puzzle and then they go find what they consider to be the weirdest thing. They go find what they consider to be the weirdest thing that another culture does and look at it through this lens which draws in the reader to be doing this logic puzzle and trying to figure out, how could these people do this thing? If you pull back the lens a little bit, look at what these supposedly objective European theorists are doing. It's like, well, okay, these guys all have these really weird tea ceremonies and they eat the flesh of their god every weekend and stuff like that. You get this really interesting. When you read it through their colonial ethnography, you get this image of both societies that's very weird that let you sort of, that conceals the fact that when these European writers are talking about meeting indigenous people, the way that it's written makes it very easy to do this colonial thing where you forget that every single French writer who is writing about this lives in the most hierarchical society the world's ever seen. Yeah, that's so true. It's like, well, yeah, of course, they went to literally any other place on earth and talked to people and were like, oh my god, these people are really free. It's like, well, yes, because these guys live under the French, like, they're like French absolutism. This is like, I think, Grapers line was like, this is a society where every single person, when they walk when they walk into a dining room immediately knows the class of every single other person sitting around the table by like, how they hold their silverware. Yeah, it's absurd, you know. When a lot of the rest of the world is like, you know, living on the generosity of the people around them being reliable in, you know, the foundations of, you know, community, not even necessarily, because I mean, obviously, there were hierarchies to be found within a lot of these cultures and communities, but not to the extent that you would have found in some of these European societies, not even clues. Yeah, these are the European, like, I don't know, like Europe has been really, really, you know, this is the sort of organizational trend of European society for like the last, like, four, five hundred years has been just incredible unfathomable centralization on on a level that was just, it's just sort of incomprehensible to most of the people who've ever lived, but we treat as sort of normal now because it's a society that we've run up under. Yeah, it's an, I'm trying to draw comparison between Europeans and countries in this level of freedom and other societies and sort of like, I can't think of any specific example right now, but you know, how, you know, growing up as a child in a particular household, your house would have certain norms that you think is just like universal, you know, like everybody does this. Obviously, this is just a fact of life in the universe, but in reality, it's just like some way at quick when a appearance had that you just had to grow up with. Yeah. Yeah, like, for example, this is a really weird example, but let's say, for example, you had, like, ceramic dishes would not allow to be used ever, right? They were purely for decoration and the appearance tool to you that it's some grave moral sin to eat off of ceramic dishes. And then you go to somebody's house and they have all their plates laid out and you're like, they're utterly baffled by how they're able to eat off of ceramic dishes. If I could think of a better example, but for now, yeah, that's what I wrote a row with. Anyway, despite recognizing all of this freedom and stuff, they were kind of like disgusted by it. At least some of them, you know, some of them when publishing their texts in Europe would put their own liberal ideas into the mouths of indigenous people to say, oh, I'm not saying this. This is obviously like treasonous and I would never say this, but this indigenous guy who I spoke to the other day, he said it and so I'm just publishing what he said. So that took place sometimes. And then there also those who would like actually disgusted by the liberty exhibited in so many societies. But whether they saw that freedom as a positive or as a negative, despite all their fluffy words about indigenous liberties, that didn't really matter. Fenditions you put on the date because, you know, through the centuries, empires continue to swallow indigenous lands. And the phrase basically disappeared for about 250 years because the idea of the noble savage was reversed by this stereotype of the dangerous brutal savage like how dare they defend their land and way of life, right? It wasn't until 1859 that the tomb was resurrected by a guy named John Crawford, a white supremacist. He wanted to become president or other, right? He was attempted to become president of the ethnological society of London. And he was very distinful of this idea, image in anthropology and philosophy of universal human rights like how dare you? You know? So he introduced the phrase resurrecting it after 250 years to make a speech to the society. And by the way, he missed he's what first mistributed the speech the phrase to Rousseau. Basically ridicule and using the noble savage as a term to ridicule those who sympathized with such courtless advanced cultures. And so that sort of fabrication where he attributed it to Rousseau and he built up this straw man to blow it down, you know, it's basically this myth of the myth of the noble savage. He creates a straw man of the noble savage as a myth. And then that's what perpetuated. But his myth of the noble savage was the one that was a myth. So it's, you know, the myth of the myth of the noble savage. And so as the British Empire was reaching the height of its power and he was, you know, trying to ridicule anybody who had anything nice to say what indigenous people that straw man was used to continue to advocate for the extermination. Crawford's version of noble savage became the source for every citation of the myth by anthropologists from Lubach, Tyler, or Boas through the scholars of the late 20th century. So even 100 years later, people were still using the term that he came up with retort this rhetorical cheap shots that he used. And at this date continues to pull rise our discussions and obstruct any sort of nuanced approach to hunt together a life. And having discovered all of this, I have to say it really made me feel like a part of history. There never was a noble savage myth, at least on the sense of this straw man of simple societies living in happy innocence. Travelers usually accounted for both virtues and vices. They spoke of the positives, these societies and all the things that they were too fond of. Both the concept of the noble savage and the concept of the brutal savage are fantasies, constructions of a European mind that was intent on boxing indigenous people in this sort of suspended state of either purity or evil. Going forward, I think it's really silly to continue to perpetuate the term. I think it really keeps us from engaging with history properly. And I mean, even if somebody is exaggerating or expungent, sitting aspects of a particular society or culture, that should be engaged with directly. I don't think you should fall back on a lazy troop popularized by a white premises. I mean, we live under states now, we live under capitalism now. And I don't think I don't fault people for trying to imagine what life must have been like before then, before these institutions became so all-encompassing. What becomes an issue is when we take, you know, these past societies and we use them as these because of virtue instead of going back and trying to take their lessons and their practices and adopting them and its efforts in them to move forward. There was a lot of freedom and there still is a lot of freedom left to be uncovered in our history. It is obscured in our history classes. It is entoked and so it taught facts and figures and wars and notable, notable individuals. We're taught of kings and dictators and high priests and emperors and prime ministers and presidents and chiefs and judges and jails and dungeons, penitentiaries and concentration camps. This is all existence now but it doesn't have to be. And if we go into having honest exploration of our history in order to inform our future, we have to free our imaginations of this lazy troop of the noble savage. That's it for me, for this episode. You can check me out on youtube.com slash andruism and also on Twitter at underscore st.ur. As well as my patreon.com slash st.ur. This is a good happen here. Yeah, you can find us in the usual places on Twitter, Instagram and yeah, go be free. 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 from Cool Zone media, visit our website coolzonemedia.com or check us out on the iHeart radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can find sources for it could happen here updated monthly at coolzonemedia.com slash sources. Thanks for listening. And now the best man. I was going to play in this speech out while I got my oil change but I went to take five and it was a lot faster than I thought so here he goes. Okay, Tim, you were my first friend. Angela, you were my first. 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