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Having a bad day? Dave Eggers can help.


So you want to start a business. Now what aspiring and early stage business owners asked that question a lot for every now what moment male chimps new all in one marketing platform is the answer with easy to use tools like their number one email marketing solution social post scheduler and marketing. CRM You can build your brands online online presence and keep customers engaged wondering now what start with male chimps all in one marketing platform. That's what learn more today at mail. CHIMP DOT COM com that mail chimp dot com with the best comedy. It comes from a sense of moral clarity. To some extent Stan and the best satire is a form of moral outrage sublimated into the shape of comedy they blow up the vox media so I just had the strangest conversation I've wanted to have Dave Dave eggers on the show forever forever like for years. I've been fascinated by him for years. I've read harping work of staggering genius. When it came out read a bunch of now this other house with like watching him over time he created the eight twenty? Six series of pirate tutoring centers and McSweeney is in the believer then. He began writing these books. Like what is the what Where he was doing reportage very earnestly tongue story of other people's lives and the range of things he's done over time the circle I'm just so fascinated fascinated by people who are able to stay creatively that alive and to start things that remain creatively that distinct so I'll talk to him for years And he just bringing out a new book a a satire of Donald Trump called the captain. Glory In this so I got this chance and I came to a conversation. I came in this conversation. I'm kind of having a bad day and Phil fractured and all over the place and frustrated talking to them for a while it wasn't really clicking exactly at the beginning for me I think like because my mind is racing giving these very thoughtful answers and then at some point midway through at Israel become completely hypnotized is by the conversation. And I'm finding it incredibly calming and it's really like landing with me I'll be I don't know if you guys will have the same emotional experience I did in this but I really enjoyed this one And particularly by the end was really here and him. So it's a it's maybe it's just me today but I found it really hypnotic and really wise and calming It was not the conversation I expected to have a little bit more. Grew like by the end but But I thank God because a lot to learn from the way eggers looks at life which was not? It's not not that will make questions had been ready for but certainly where we went so and then I hope you enjoy it as much as I did as can even be at. Ezra Klein show at Fox Dot Com as a client showed box dot com. She wants to be calm thoughtful ideas about who to interview on the show next. But but but here's Dave Eggers and this one takes a minute to click for you. Just give it a little bit of time. It did for me but it was really worth it. Dave eggers welcome podcast. Thanks for having me. So I've admired the just the range of things you do you forever and US trying to think of where to start this which turned out to be intimidating that reasons let me begin here of everything you've started created written done What what are you most? Proud of. God I I never have a good answer for the most this her. I resist these things. I gotTA say I will say that last night we had a fund raiser here in New York I'm just visiting your for few days. But we had a fundraiser celebrating celebrating the fifteen year of two six New York which is like an offshoot of our pirate. Supply Tutoring Center there in the mission district of San Francisco in the center has been around in San Francisco almost twenty years and so it's really bizarre to think of how you know. Few decades go by and and through the help of a lot of other people and volunteers and executive directors board members. All these people these ideas Persist and so I'm ensured you'll appreciate this to in fifteen years with you know and look back and might be somebody else running backs I don't know but you'll you'll be sitting on a beach somewhere in Bermuda. Maybe not Bermuda but you'll be able to look back and sort of Appreciate not just starting something but giving it to other people all to run better. At least that's how it is in my we I did that. I stepped down as editor in chief. just over a year ago now or maybe more than that And now it's being and now it's out author being run better and I get to do on podcast interviews. Isn't that the thing It's hard to it's hard to D- individual though if that's a word right to not to like. Are you able to the put things down that you started. Yeah I what I do like. McSweeney is run by infinitely more talented people than me right now and you know they have have an incredible team and I every so often I'll have a notion and I'll say what about this and they might run with it or not but The main thing is just seeing it a AH persist these these projects that you burst on a whim you know. Twenty years ago are still around and And they're they mutate a little bit it and they get personalized around the new people running them and But it's a real kinda feel like a weird. Your grand fatherly. Love for these things to sort of be able to look back and see them grow up and raised well by their their new Caretakers and so So I you know at the moment I'm thinking a lot about a two six. And all the centers it would have been spawned around the world. There's about seventy that are based on the model all over the world and just a kind of A. It's a trip to think about. Can you say what the model is you. Offhandedly called it. A pirate supply learning center. And I've been to. I was in the one in. DC number times of the others. Yeah but I think that That as an off handed description to make debatable. So what what. What is the model of two six? Well it you know it started. It doesn't after school. Drop in tutoring center and mixed weenies rented a building in the mission district and we were in the back and in the middle. Bill was a tutoring center. Where staff tutored after school and then the front because of zoning obligation we had open we had to sell something and So we came up with pirates supplies and so we sold real buccaneer supplies for like the working pirate and And so it's still this way you go in there and there's like planks and peg legs and you know eyepatches and it's all real stuff. It's not like Corny Pirate tourist stuff. It's like for the you know the working buccaneer and so and that spawned the tutoring center turned into almost two thousand tutors in San Francisco and we send him into schools all over the bay area and we work one on one with students and their writing bring out the voices Polish the writing. Try To empower them through the written word and So we're sending tutors into schools all over the city where Publishing their work by ten thousand books that we've published over the ls twenty years and then We get them ready for college. So there's all kinds of college access programs so keeps growing and growing it spawned all of these sister centers around around the world than the second one that we started was here in Brooklyn where I used to live and And that's instead of pirate store. They've got a a crimefighting store. So if you go to fifth and fifth in Brooklyn you'll see the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company and. It really looks like a Costco for crimefighters. But then there's a secret door that leads into an unseen back room. Where there's a tutoring center? So they all have these like ludicrous. Fronts they kind of de stigmatize. The place where a lot of kids are going to get extra help so I'm not going to do a question set. That's clearly going to override this but it's it's part of I've always been really fascinated by irony and earnestness tend to be seen as in opposition to each other. A lot of your early work was very drenched in irony. And then has it sort of trap door incredibly deep earnestness yet. Well said I like how you put that in the ball. I took it from your from your thing. And so there's a way in which the eight twenty six have always seemed a little bit like a metaphor for the work. You do I know is something that has always struck me about your writing that A lot of people people will do a number of things. They're all functionally the same thing. And I think in some ways even an example not myself but when you went from doing things like Parking working workin and memoir into these very straight books about a life. Somebody else lived. Who is very different from your own? Those not experimental You you know like with what is the what and The books about teachers and a small and I'm sorry Yemen Yemeni Immigrants In SF who brought who've gotten very deeply involved the coffee trade that that was a transition intone that I don't see many writers reap people make and I'm curious how you saw this fitting together like how that transition happened. It was weird. was that the memoir was the anomaly because I was I went to journalism school in downstate Illinois and taught by old old Cargo Tribune sometimes reporters and editors and I worked at the daily paper every day. My four years down there so I was a news news reporter and features reporter and human interest reporter and editor and edited magazine. And then after most of my twenties I was I was working journalists for weeklies and websites and May I did cartooning too. I did all kinds of stuff but a lot of it was her most of it was pretty straight and so I always like I had a sense of humor and I appreciated that and I think I took a Gimblett I to a few her Mo- lot of topics. But you know the when I wrote that memoir it was a little bit of a left turn from where I had been. You know most of my work up till that point and so then after that when I went went back to telling more or less I mean sometimes very straight stories about other people. That was what that was. My roots has a writer for newspaper. You tell stories in your findings stories and trying to illuminate a life for an issue that hasn't been explained explained well enough and I see that as my goal most days when I wake up now and the tone and the arch -ness of the memoir is is sometimes a little tough on my eyes and ears to look at now. It's a tone that I think I took on maybe for a couple of years. Maybe and it's not really wasn't really the essence of our. I don't know I mean I guess young younger work it makes you cringe on certain pages ages and then are there things you can Appreciate from a certain distance. But Yeah I you know the the range work it. Senses is a little bit more true to I'm just digging myself in The most mushy in our taking everybody's everybody's history is Is is our depressed. I'm not GonNa make you holden heartbreaking work. Has I think that things people did a long time ago. Are there just strange to revisit visit but the one question I do have about the tone is that it's always seemed to me. It was hugely influential. In how a lot of Internet writing began happening. That if if you look at things like early Gawker and all and other things that there's a real lineage. Back to back to heartbreaking work and other things coming out at that moment and I'm curious if you think that's true I wouldn't give any credited my book. I think it was in the water. At that time. There was a certain sarcasm. I you know the term the irony even I think is so ill defined so amorphous and so I think often misunderstood. I think you could when I was growing up in Chicago. We just called it. Sarcasm you know. And then we grew up with letterman. Who really kind of elevated or perfected the form? I guess and that was how that was our sense of humor that I was everyone I know and so It didn't seem unique and we thought that was humor. Humor was sarcasm and end or a little bit of a cynical take I guess on anything seeming slushy or even knew or everything about California for example you know we thought was very funny and so it was everywhere and it seeped into a lot of the literature of the time and then and then of course the onion came about in the nineties and I think that was you know for the Internet and even though it was a a certain kind of strict format fake news it Info. I think that was like the most influential use of the English language on the web at least in the early days I at least that's how I take. This is why I would push that. which is I think? It's not quite right to say this was all sarcasm Qasem and uneven irony. Because I think of that you know take the letterman example or even the onion example. It's very detached. It's very it's at reserve and what what always struck me as interesting about a lot of the Internet the way the Internet twisted that In a lot of the early blogging is it. It's sarcastic cynical. But it's very very it's very immediate is very much in their right like look at Gawker confessional. It's like exclamation points new journalism. It's ironic is. I'm sorry sarcastic. New Journalism in a way that it has always felt like a pretty big difference. Well I mean I have to admit I don't I I don't know Roy anything about Gawker. I'm afraid I know what they did and I know I just didn't read it so I don't. I'm afraid I'm speaking out of ignorance. I just know them conceptually as thing but you know what was weird though and this comes up like a lot when you talk about humor and Certain types types of humour. Call it ironic. Humor cynical sarcasm. I it it and it's still you know it's exemplified to some extent by John Stewart word and and and the talk show host now and What was especially acute with Letterman? In his later days was that he was a patriot and he was like a somebody that cared a lot about the future of this country. You know and I think that when you I started seeing him giving you know pretty tough interviews to political candidates and presidents and Asking questions that have other people weren't and the fact it was being done by a so called comedian made it a little bit more. Poignant and I think it tricked a lot of politicians onto his show thinking it was going to be an easy ride and then he would put questions to them in kind of a very mid Western commonsensical kind of straight talking way and I think that there's with the best comedy it comes from a sense of moral clarity to some extent and the best satire is a form of moral outrage. You know sublimated into the shape of comedy and and I think Letterman and and all of my sort of comic euros whether it was monty python or Madame Jon Stewart or the onion all have a deep subterranean current of her the most sincere kind of hopes hopes for the future of the human race. You know you find it. Involves two and vonnegut might be you know the godfather of of it all maybe twain. I don't know but I've been rereading a lot of lately. And just seeing how profoundly he was a moralist and had no problems with explaining his moral porn view and allowing his outrage for for our foibles and frailties and failures to come through. That's actually I was planning to get this a bit later. But it's a good bridge to the captain and the glory which is a satire retire? But I kept thinking reading it that it. It showed something weird about this era which is often think of satire as amplifying the finding or highlighting the subtle things that are operating like right on the edge of our consciousness things for like. Nobody's saying hard to say are hard to grasp and see. Blow it up into the satire at you you you heighten. Its contradictions blake. We're in this era where there is no subtlety. Everything is right there like the guy just says it all the time. Yeah so what. What is your all set when you set underwrite that like? What were you trying to to do? Our show. That you felt was being missed in just his tweets every day. I I think I think that we we obviously were so close to it Every day and there isn't ever a break to take a Eh a look and take a few steps back and make any sense of this because there's a new outrage or new degradation or a new low every day and we are inherently distracted Attention spans are just as bad as so everybody else would say and We cannot stay on topic for more than a few days in the fact that we've even stuck with impeachment demint for whatever it is five weeks or so now is astonishing because all of the other crimes And misdemeanors here's committed by this. President have sort of come and gone and even though dozens if not hundreds of them are impeachable. I think if you fit them into the purposely loose definition of high crimes and misdemeanors but satire can take a step back and distill things and Tell a story that has a beginning middle and an end most importantly because we were not in the middle of an end yet. We don't know how this is going to turn out but the luxury of satires to say. Okay I'm going to eliminate ninety percent of the noise. I'm going to concentrate on a handful of characters on on a much smaller version of our twenty thirty three hundred and twenty million people just a few thousand representatives Sitting on a living on a boat and all of those kind of tools. Allow you to you know. See Things or tell a clearer simpler blur but no less complex story and ideally by sort of making it a little bit clear and getting rid of the a little bit of the clutter after you can eliminate some truths that are right under our nose. You've talked a lot about empathy is being at the core of a lot of your work and a lot of your projects and is is there a tension between the empathy of a lot of political reporting and just the outrage of trying to pull away the clutter and just see things that are wrong unclearly and make people see them as wrong as opposed to see them as Duan somehow the product of bigger forces. Thank you that's you said this. This is the problem for the last. Three years for me is that I've been covering trump been going to rallies and going to Eh. KKK AND ANTI KK rallies. And I've been reading a lot of long form journalism for the Guardian especially but for other venues and every go to one of these rallies. I meet very reasonable people who I like who are at the rallies. Some of them are just going. Because it's it's a free ticket. We always forget these rallies are free. So that's why there's a lot of people there is free entertainment so and I meet the people and I say you know. Don't you voter. Yes or no and y you know when you think about this and he had reservations about that and invariably their intelligence intelligence is It's nuanced their beliefs are complex. They have reservations. They don't like everything trump does but they they do this or did that policy in very often. They're voting out of narrow self interest or one issue alone and I have the best conversations and I always come away from these rallies thinking all right. We'll be okay because all of these people are reasonable and they're thinking is changeable I think and if they are offered even a few of these issues you know addressed by another candidate from another another party they can be moved because and maybe Candidate for whom. They don't have so many reservations so I come away thinking all right we'll be we'll be okay and American people... Goodhearted at the core in my faith is always quickly restored and then I spent a few days reading about the latest policy outrages the suffering of people at the border asylum seekers refugees here and abroad the real world horrifying consequences of the rhetoric and the policies and then I get outraged again and I kick myself almost for forgiving the millions who put this person in office and so I had this sort of cycle goal for three years now where I like meeting everyone you know usually and I understand and I have empathy for them and than the fact that they tolerate the continuous and hard to deny degradation. Listen of the office of the president and the rule of law and the trampling of the constitution and the just the idea of decency the indignity in DC. And I find myself really You know some of that empathy is harder harder to access for until I meet them again and then we have good conversation. So what is your. What is your explanation? What do you mean what what scores the circle fuck? Donald Trump. Say what you will about him. He's not hidden something. I appreciate about him very up front about who he is and and in a way that has always striking to me. I know a lot of people and I know a lot of trump's supporters and universally. I think they are better people than he is. Oh Yeah I mean that's the thing the very first rally I went to his in Sacramento in before he was elected in August in two thousand sixteen and it. It was very obvious. This was the same crowd that would have been at a minor league. Baseball game was calm. And every age is very diverse it was farmers in urbanites and everybody in between end and just an and then the guy the microphone was spouting you know boasts. There's a lot of regular trump humor. which every so often is actually pretty funny He was very gave a very entertaining. Our to these folks but it was evident that the craziest person of the three or four thousand people in that airplane hangar. On a hot day in Sacramento was was the guy at the microphone. And it's very strange that we are so okay 'cause they will all admit it to their I mean most trump supporters do know and will quickly admit he's a madman but he's there madman and you know it struck me An animal if you agree but trump has his own trump. And that's Giuliani. He wanted somebody to stand up for him and fight like a a dog and and do whatever and beneficial rules as long as he was loyal fearless and would get on TV and defend him to the death and that's why he let Giuliani off the lease and do so much damage but he would rather have a bold fearless attack dog who made a lot of mistakes Dan he would a fearful or timid or you know practiced c'est insider who wouldn't fight and in a way a lot of trump's voters want they don't care how mean ugly crude ignorant ignorant he is he's out there fighting and or the he seems to be fighting and it struck me as an interesting parallel that the same trade that a lot of voters wanted. You didn't why they put him in office is why he was so loyal to Guiliani. And oddly enough you know this might be the lynchpin Japan to it all and the reason that while certainly one of the many reasons. He'll be impeached by the house. At least I want to go back to the questions support or so and soon as I found that to the actually the the most interesting part of captain and the glory the kind of scenes where people are deciding whether or not to put this guy in charge of the boat. which is you know people are looking at somebody and they know they would not want their neighbor acting this way? Yeah they would want their spouse act in this way. They want the friend acting this way. They wouldn't want their boss acting this way you kidding. And they decide side to overlook it and maybe somebody's like guys who fired our guy says what he believes but there is something that is being reflected in society that is important and and I think that in one of these. I'm interested in having this conversation with you is that I think there is a tendency if you are in political journalism in the way I am. You always want to like filter it through the the the material resources Lens Right. It's gotTa be economic anxiety. It's gotta be it's gotTa be something we can translate into a policy right like look what we do in political punditry as we mash up. What's happening in politics? And like we like chew it up till's some form that we can digest and so oh like everything goes through this filter till like we've like spit it back out in politics. So Congress can legislate on it actually not how human beings operate. And they're just on the like like on the on the level of the Human Reaction Right the dimension that novels operate on. I'm curious what you see what you think. Think people are seeing when they look at this. Say That's not normal. But you know what well I. I think that the you know. The science says that the main thing that runs throughout Out His supporters of all different socioeconomic classes in regions. Is it a tendency toward authoritarianism. And I do think that that's true. Most of the people that I met that were reasonable and they they would talk about how things were out of control before and they wanted some order and they wanted somebody to lay down the law and they wanted somebody would tell them straight and you realize that there is a hunger for simplicity and in a lot of people do not like the complexity of the three branches of Government House. Slowly things move. It is to get things done. How much debate debate and Blather to you know to hear them talk about it. Is How much inaction there is. They really want the strongman every so often too late on the law. Get get stuff done and that is like really. I think almost more than anything the thread that runs throughout at least all of the supporters that I've met and then there's the the idea that he is the blonde famous man from TV. I the most enlightening conversation I had was. I went to a rally in El Paso and trump speaking on one side of the street and Baidoa workout Israeli on the other side of the street. So I spent the day going between the two spots interviewing people interviewed. These two young t-shirt vendors one African American one white woman and an African American guy. They they've I've been travelling. Since trump was a candidate together selling stuff and they were not millionaires selling t shirts and hats at these rallies. But and I said well. Do you guys have health insurance. No we don't have health insurance. I said okay. So what do you do if you get sick while we go to the emergency room. I said well okay so her what would you say to. Maybe a one percent increase in taxes for the wealthiest Americans millionaires and billionaires. And that might pay for your insurance. You know you'd have Medicare Medicare for all and they both barely skippy. They say well. I don't know about that. That doesn't sound too good to to me because I'm planning on being a millionaire and when I'm a millionaire I don't want my taxes increased and you can imagine like think about at that. That uniquely American Way to think a you know they're not seeing how that system works. How a little you know? They think that they are and this is the history of our country. Everybody thinks that they're on the edge on the very verge of being a millionaire leaner billionaire and they see themselves and trump and they don't see that trump is not working for their best interest and they didn't see that torch W was not interested in their best interests or their Republican policies. As a whole are not necessarily helping them get healthier are necessarily helping them get a college education all of these different things. They see though that they might be in that spot with a few lucky breaks lakes in the t shirt. Vending business may be and so they're thinking ahead they don't want their future taxes on on their millions to raised it's a diabolical and very strange mindset. And I say this about about these two guys I am these men and women. I met that had to forty five minute conversation. I loved talking to them and they were good people but we have a a real strange mentality in this country. I guess we always have but it. It amazes Europeans and anybody with any kind of social safety net when tate when I tell stories like this because it's very unique to us. Today's episode is sponsored by mail. Chimp one night at three. Am I jumped out of bed. Smack my husband and I said lively when you're starting a business mail chimp. Gets you ready for those now. What moments but they're all in one marketing platform? What are those moments? 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That's MAIL CHIMP DOT COM. Here's a question. What is technology how you're listening to me right now on your phone your smart speaker or laptop we know that's tech but tech is also the way we develop new medicines? It's how we compose music. It's our connection to friends and strangers and it's changing everyday today. I'm Arial Jim Ross and when I see those changes I see worlds. I can't wait to dive into and question because none of us are immune to those changes and we need to understand their impact right now. That's why I'm hosting a new podcast called reset from recode by Fox. We'll examine how artificial intelligence is changing the way we write. I had a bizarre thought. Enter my head which was I wonder if at some point is going to be able to write my novel ideas better than I. How Algorithms augment flaws in our thinking over and over Eric? We're seeing these algorithms display by ample and it can have very serious real world consequences for people. We'll talk talk to the bio hackers who are challenging regulators and scientific standards. So would I sell crisper that somebody could inject Baker Labor Bruno's and we'll look at the tools we have to save our rapid warming. Oh Yeah I think. We need drones. I think you'd and fixed wing detection radar the public everybody. We're all in this together. Every story is a story. And we're going to break that down. Subscribe right now on Apple podcasts. Or your favorite podcast APP from stitcher and the VOX media podcast network. So one of the things that I always find interesting about. Trump is that he operates as a kind of pureed. He he says things that most of us Even if we thought them would say certainly would not tweet The the amount of restraint I feel that I am exercising on myself at every every single moment of every single day is constant exhausting modeling of what everybody outside. He's GonNa see when they look like it's horrible and he operates. It's in this way that is totally without Remember when Dave Chapelle when he was a candid chapelle said he was admiring the fact that he's just said his mind and is free. Yeah he has no just said you gotTA admire that. He's mind is free and I thought probably butchered it but it was a uniquely equation Peillon observation but this is a way in which I think a paradox or attention of his age. Is that the Internet the hallway we live digital lives for most of us. What it's created is an even more paralyzing sense of constant social evaluation and at the same time that in many ways it seems to prize people who are able to just total echo that and be free and you're pretty early in writing the circle which is a much more topic take on Silicon Valley which I think a lot of people caught up to a couple of years later You've talked about the city of situational Internet madness on this thing where all of a sudden we existed in this world where the norms we had help a cooperator are breaking. I'm curious whether or not you see Like a bridge in those those things like whether or not you think trump and some of the other things we're seeing are just like this is just our society going through situation Internet madness and overtime. We'll figure it out. Remember when Obama Bama was called the first Internet president because he tweeted right and look it up and I I remember looking it up a few years ago after trump was selected and everyone knows all these articles about him being the first Internet president. He wasn't at all the first Internet president because he was still all of his messaging was is done you know with a White House seasoned reasonable. You know vetted by thirty lawyers kind of style. You remember if he if he was the one who wrote a tweet. It would have his lower case initials on right there thing. The other ones were not him. And even then you you know as a lawyer. He was sending through at least a handful of advisors and lawyers just to make sure because this is going to be part of the historical record and would would have a lot of power. So but trump is really the first Internet presen- he is the manifestation of all the worst aspects of the Internet the the speed of of unreasonable judgment the type of the inability to spell anything correctly. The the React before thinking the weird vitriolic filter that somehow the most reasonable people will turn into the raging maniacs online The way that it is just kind of an outrage machine I think that trump in person I actually was just talking to somebody that had had a lunch with him way back when he said well he's not without its charms. You know like in person and I think that the his access to twitter has been one of the real towering degradations of the office of the presidency because his otherwise if he's giving a speech or if he is giving a press conference even you know I think the the at least the verbal and demeaning and embarrassing messaging. That will all it will always be part of the historical record. None of that would be there. I think you would have had like a tiny fraction of the shame that was live with at least in terms of that his oratory and I mean you know errors says His social media usage would be. If we took all that away. I think all of us would still be living through a very tough time. And and his policies policies would still be in place but I think some of the shame that we live with and they just incredible embarrassment would would go away but if you think about it. Yeah all of the Internet madness it that people succumb to when they use social media for whatever reason I still have no idea because we've all been guilty not of it. Since the advent of email I remember writing you know suddenly all my dander up and be writing in all caps and saying things that I would never say. Say to anybody in person and luckily you know we caught on at the least a lot of us early enough to say like this is a medium that has a weird power over us and it transforms us just by using it and so ideally most of us solve that in our twenties and and music without endangering ourselves or the idea of civility. But he's the he is the uncensored of the Internet and it was only a matter of time. I mean in a way it's if Black Mirror had been around ten years ago and they wanted to create sort of some stope an idea of what would be the worst electoral manifestation of How we use the Internet they would create this monster they absolutely would not think about at this all the time? It would not in any way believable like it would just be ridiculous episode. One of the things he's able to trump is able to do is like a black hole of attention and like so. I'm GONNA pull off of him because I think it's a good conversation and I'm right talk to you for years Yeah like I called the trump trap door. It's like any conversation you're just walking along and like you for the rest of new centers about Donald Trump Blake richest here for four hours talking about immigration. You know a horse but but on the Internet you gave this great lecture at Penn That in terms of how it changes us. You told a story about a friend and an email read receipt. I thought was superb perceptive and I'd like you to to to retaliate and explore that a bit with you that happened in New York a lot of years ago Not to go to New York. Yeah yeah well. It was in the late nineties because I lived here a few years then and so it was a reasonable friend of mine that we used to get together once a week for lunch and Anyway he sent me an email. One day I I didn't read. It looked at it but I didn't answer. That was and then Osama Somma street few days later and he said well how come you haven't answered my message emailed you a few days ago. I said Oh I haven't read that yet. I haven't been online and he said well. I happen to know that you did. They'd get the message that you were online. Because you read the message and I have software that tells me exactly when you read it at three twenty four. PM on Monday afternoon for noon. And I got an e a receipt to say that you did read it and I thought at that moment and this was like ninety eight. That's when I think everything changed at least in mind. And that's when I started taking notes about the Internet that we had known which was like AOL and dial up and messages from from your grandmother and a few websites and changed into this tool of interpersonal surveillance and And and that was the point kind of that lecture to some extent was to say we can't just blame the big five companies in the surveillance that they do with the NSA because we are constantly constantly using these tools on each other and thinking. It's okay whether it's getting email receipts whether it's Parents surveilling their kids even at college whether it spouses surveilling each other through their smartphones. Whether it's all the you know the spying that people do on each other whether it surreptitiously taking taking photos of of each other because it's so easy now you always. Have you know high level camera in your hand. I think that we don't necessarily realize how quickly we've evolved and how quickly we have superseded our idea of of a right to privacy by right to know and anything the thing that we think that we want to know where somebody lives where what they're unlisted phone numbers arrest record anything. All of these. Things are reasonably accessible accessible. And there's all kinds of private companies that have set up shop to provide anything we want to know about anybody. And this is not giant Tech Company. Doing the government doing it. This is the public demand. You know there's a marketplace for this and. I think that we've just become so comfortable with every level of surveillance and every new low of of our intrusion of privacy and I wrote something I am published just about how tolerant everybody is every new revelation of in home assistance. Like they say well thank you know. Of course. This machine wouldn't be listening to my conversations. It's just there to tell me the weather. And then we find out that it is listening and they say okay. Well as long as it's is not humans listening that's fine. It's not recording. Okay me looks not archiving. Yeah that would be a different thing. And then we find out not only are they listening recording but there's ten thousand people employed to listen to your conversations and ostensibly to improve the software where they said okay as long as it's anonymous and they don't know who I am or whatever I guess it's okay for me never to know who's listening to what when the machines can be turned off and on and they can turn themselves on at any any time in all of these levels of like even fifteen years ago. If you had report to say that there was a machine that you were going to put in your home voluntarily it would listen to everything you say and store it in a place that you have no knowledge of no access and no control. Nobody would run run to the store to get one of these things it would seem to be beyond any dope fiction but of course you know hundreds of millions in homes. Now Oh partly because we've evolved to the point where we just have. No I think our ideas of what privacy means our value of is almost completely -pletely gone. I think there's like a few square feet and our skulls that we find that we still retain like okay. There's the bathroom There's the bedroom after a certain hour. Or whatever and then there's the space in between our brain but nothing else in no other place. We expect privacy. And I think that's a really radical shift in the you know the history of human evolution happened in ten years. Do you think something always true about us and has simply been revealed that we didn't care about the privacy that much or it was something that got elicited from us. You've got this nice line in that piece. Re say you know what happens. Is We want more information. Often information at which we're not actually entitled was reading them thinking about somebody's examples that I think it'd be endlessly want information that actually bad to have right like your your friend with the read rec- like that make life better when I'm sitting there and be like well. How many re tweets did this gets not making my life better nobody? Nobody throws me a parade for Re tweets. But I do feel bad. If they don't get it or like somebody else's podcast is above mine in the rankings. Think yeah metrics are really eroding our humanity stuff like it's I don't know if it was always in me or it just gets pulled out of me. I think that's what I always wonder about that. Is He internet revealing things about us or is it changing things about US I can. I can kind of Neil Postman. The medium is the message way I think the latter for sure. It's just like if you released a new drug into the world that had been cooked up in a lab like LSD or whatever and and then you found that they'd had that humans had a real They'd liked it a lot and even though it killed them or degraded their lives in some ways the internet that was like that something cooked up in a lab. It was a new force. And it's been mutated many times in many of its iterations are permutations are really bad for us. And there's so many things that are so good for us it's just that so often takes up thing and then we put put a surveillance into it. We put The utter lack of privacy into it and then it and we also put an ugliness somehow ends up into and those three things very surprising to me given I was around when it started. You know like ninety two of his twenty two and it seeing it pop up and email and everything it just seemed like. Oh that's convenient. I like to be able to send a message to my uncle. And he gets it immediately. And and you know there's so many nice things even but then the metrics part I who what kind of twisted mind would think about quantifying. How many you know? And quantifying hearts and quantifying thumbs up and quantifying your friends and the other people's friends in this the data fixation part was So unexpected at least from me and I think for some of the hippies that were instrumental in the early days of the Internet and who I've met since a lot of people were just really shocked like God. I didn't see all of this. The data fixation the quantifying the ranking thanking the numerical US assignations to every part of our lives being so quickly embraced their couple of really fascinating ways. In which the way the Internet evolved or what it is revealed defied early expectations like this to me is one of the big ones that I I remember there too. It's so weird that ah we're being a bit older than me but not that many. It's going to be crazy that we are the people who remember a time before the Internet. It's GonNa like my son He's GonNa look at me like a dinosaur but the Internet was supposed to like Faltas into this world of the mind beyond like the Petty Eh social and geographic and like the petty humanness of all agree. We're all going to become cyborgs. And the thing that is so fascinating. Maybe about the Internet. is they built these tools. And like but what's going to make somebody used these and like well like what if we let people do social stuff on them like we just like like letting people have friends in Hartson rank. You know how popular they are. I don't think anybody has any idea. Like not the foggiest idea. How how powerful those drivers of behavior like like I don't think they I still don't think they even quite realized what it is or playing with in terms of like identity creation of things but just the way that what the Internet revealed about us is if you give me a way to rank how popular I am like? That's it that is the only thing I will do forever. is just a very go like. That's that's what you know. That's we've made life endless high school cafeteria were. There's also the false comfort of data determined to say. Well I mean I think rotten tomatoes is such a fascinating example and other aggregate of ratings where You know a messy complicated form of art can be reduced to a number and instead of having read a bunch of reviews and sort of suss through Pauline Kale's or Anthony Lanes Assessment of movie. You can just go. And you see the numerical aggregate and that somehow I me. What's amazing to me is that there is no pushback anywhere about what has been done to film in terms of that being reduced to a metric Eric and it will come to every other art form for sure? I did that in the circle. Just sort of saying paintings of course are going to be rated and they'll change and be hacked and gamed but there's this need that we have a I think a a hunger that I don't think everybody saw coming I think for the that comfort that comes from. Oh well that's a sixty two. This is a forty one. Your Credit Score is seven Oh to your. Sat's or whatever the college in nineteen all of these latter all the way back our conversation well exactly it used to be kind of like a just a pretty rare occurrence to see a human being or something created by a human reduced to a number Bernau. There is nothing that is not numerically assessed and we are have come because it's like wisdom of the crowd you know if you have ten thousand ratings on whatever site it has to have some you know. accumulated wisdom all of these people. They must be right. And so if you see you know that everybody's favorite work of epic poetry is is BEOWULF and it's got a ninety one point three well that from ten thousand people that there's a certain amount of while that that science. That's that's just. How do you deny that there's been so there's such a large control group of people and there's a number attached to it and so we've got that squared away and now we move onto which play Shakespeare's the best and let's do a you know a poll online for that and it's a real Insanely reductive and and scary trade and we are at the very tip of it. It's GonNa get so much worse and Cathy. Neo writes so brilliantly about how this is going to impact. And maybe re stratified by or you know. Enforce enforce a class stratification even in democracy or a sensible classless society. Like this. Where where you're born? Learn what Zip Code What College. All of these things are going to be. There's going to be numerical aggregates that are going to determine your access to credit even more so than now and in your experience in life and access opportunities is going to be really limited by our caterwauling impulse else to cede control and decision making to algorithms because we think humans are fallible algorithms are infallible and so more and more. We're going to seed decision making to machine so that we don't make a mistake as we all know. That news does not stop stopover at work. If you're having a hard time keeping up with all the top stories we have a podcast recommendation view. It's called Skim this a weekday podcast from the Skim in only about ten minutes. They break down the stories of today and give you context on why they matter skin. This wants to help make your evening. SMARTER SCRAP DISCUS ON APPLE PODCASTS. Or wherever you listen l listener. I'm Sean Rama's firm firm host of today explained. Vox Daily News podcast. Every day Monday through Friday my team and I look at what's happening in the world. We pick one essential news a story that defines our moment and asks smart people to help us understand it in about twenty minutes or less. It's the perfect way to start her. End Your Day subscribe today. Explained for free on apple podcasts. or in your favorite podcast APP. It's from stitcher and the VOX media. PODCAST network. I read that you don't have Wifi in your house. Is that still true. He I never had Wifi I don't have a smartphone. I know I've got my got my flip phone right here here on my on the table here in the studio I Yeah I was not going to improve my life in any measurable way so hard thing to hold like I. I don't WanNa just skipped skipped over a year of our Lord Twenty nineteen. You've been holding out for a long time. Well I've borrowed them from people if I like. Hey can look this up or something but I there's not a lot of tools are on a smartphone that that would improve my life personally and I've seen how everyone I know every day wants to throw it against the wall and they love it and hate it and you know have these incredibly complicated relationships with this device and I think why would I start. You know it's like starting heroin or something like what's the upshot of this of this a drug that you're going to be fighting with for the rest of your life and so my phone makes calls and it makes an I can text. It takes me a little while. It's got that predictive text. I don't know what else does it has a calculator. So that's good. What are you what do you find your house? Same reason you know I I it. It's also distracting. You know I would pretend to be looking something up for research and then I'd spend the next two hours watching soccer on Youtube and So I can't be around something so powerfully distracting and especially since I like to have like an intention -ality about a day where it's like. What do I want to do today? We need to do this. I need to do that very little is going to be done on a WIFI connected. Laptop I write on a laptop but it's never been connected to the Internet. It's a S- thirteen years old to and so I don't like that having update Every piece of software that I thought I bought you know a decade ago. I sort of like to just buy a piece of software by a machine and use it and and So you can see how Crotchety I sound. Nobody you know what the thing you actually owned his productive the myth. I don't want to call this a myth because I live in an and believe it. I'm the argument that I think most of US accept even if we have discomfort about where it's all going or how it feels day. Today is may be fine for some weird academic a writer or something like for me like I'm like involved in the world but you you know you're involved in eight twenty six you've got like these like groups of kids coming together as young leader to children's books you've got like eight like you've got more stuff going on than most people I talked to. And so how do you like. I feel the thing that everybody says. Is that like you got to be able to people have to be able to reach. You gotta be able order an Uber doing that. I mean here I mean I'm in New York. I take taxis taxi drivers all. WanNa talk about Hooper and we always always have good talk but you know Otherwise I get online in the morning and Usually for about ten minutes or so. Oh I get the messages and then I go off line until five and then I get online again and I send out messages then and so. I'm reachable you know. I've got to be in touch with the people that run. These nonprofits that I try to help you know that we started way back when and so I'm in touch with a a lot of people and it's just that being forever in touch you can't write that way the you know it's to write a novel and be on page six hundred thirty or something you you know. It's a deep deep dive. It takes half the day sometimes just to remember where you are. You know. You're going really far below the surface and But if ahead of thing digging next to me constantly I would stay. You know I'd be in the shallows the whole time and so for me. It doesn't work it can't work and it's it's like trying to right in the middle of a circus and what we forget though and you know I so admire people that can toggle but when you know when I I talked to friends who teach in colleges. It's like having a television on the desk when you're in college like you're you're at a lecture but you've brought a television Asian and you put it on the desk right and with the screen facing next to the television is a phone. Imagine an old type. You know standard in a phone with the receiver and everything. You've set that up next to you. You've set up a little movie theater you set up You know maybe a stack of letters that you want to answer all while your professors trying to talk right and the number of sort of we forget that all of these things are in that little device it. It is like the most profound combination of powerful distractions. And it's all in front of you and I read a really really good piece recently about professor who banned cellphones in his classroom. And how that went and And how the vast majority of the students even those those were really mad about it beginning and thanking him at the end because they were able to kind of have an excuse to be disconnected and I was on a panel actually I would moderated. A panel of teenagers is panel. Put on by common sense media and Jim Style and I were we're The moderators and talking to five teenagers about their habits and all we didn't know who what they were going to say. We didn't pick them for any particular point of view. You all five of them said they were like In an daily existential crisis with their relationship to social media and none of them had it under control tool none of them were sleeping enough. They were sleeping with their phones. At on their pillow they had not created a balance and one of the kids really incredibly Eloquent and passionate young guy said you know would they won these companies one. They've ruined my generation. I give up and I thought I came away too so mad at the addictiveness of the tools the purposely addictive tools and and the way that they do target teenagers make these devices so appealing to them and the software and the APPS and everything so appealing to them. But I'm also Matt at as a society the fact that we give these insanely powerful tools to kids to young because that was my last question for them I said how old should you be. How would you give yourself a device if you could do it over again? And I think the youngest anybody said was like sixteen or never and they all felt like they'd lost lost control of their lives because of this device just like anyone like an addict would be and we just have to really come to grips with how powerful they are. How dicta they are? And we've gotTA stop assuming that kids need these to be connected or need them to be social. Where need them to do their homework? All of these things are just so odd. Such obvious fallacies and we've got to really think about what's best for them and their mental health and figure figure out a new balance a new plan. I WanNa go back to something you said because look like I for all that. I'm plugged into everything at all times. uh-huh I'm very crotchety about it. All on the show and have held new word people by whining about phones again. But something that I want to go back to the experience you were talking about of being on page six. Oh five of novel so I just finished Not a hundred page book and not a novel but but But a book and that experience of once I was far enough in how much time it took to just get started. How much time it took to rearrange where I was in my own head was a really hard part of it that nobody had prepared before? And I'd love to hear Somebody's written seven hundred bucks. You were writing writing a book. I just wrote a bucket to here for you. What that experience of being very deep in at like what the experience of being in the depths versus shallows feels feels like what it means? What's different about it? How you get there? Even why I recommend to everybody to write a book It doesn't have to get published but your brain will change and I think it's it's mind expanding for anybody and I think you're you improve your mind to such an extent it is just like a marathon marathon upon marathons intellectually and It's therapeutic you know to write whether it's own story or or a novel or Sifi. Whatever Robert is it is centering it is a calming? It's meditative you know. And so you know these days I spend the first maybe two hours reading in the morning and then get started usually taking notes on pay per for another couple of hours and then in the early the afternoon I start writing passages and Something usually out of order. I don't write an order that often so I'll write a passage that about had some idea that I had that I don't know where it will fit in. I have aches of where it will fit into the novel. But you know that the whole day is so calm you know and it's weird being in New York where it's so busy. Oh these last few days to sort of be thrown into this this kind of schedule again again where it just moving so fast and and everybody is you know connected at all times and It's I feel like Rip Van Winkle Coming Back Secure being away for a while but I don't know if that's if that's helpful. All I know is that you know Jaron Lanier. Who a hero hero of mine and The amazing on the show twice. Oh yeah he you know I think he always explains things better than almost anybody else. I think Cara Swisher explains things really. Well Cathy O'Neil genius and then and and Jaren you know he's he would talk about experimenting on Yourself. He's like you know. How do you feel best at the end of the day? Is it being constantly connected. was that how you you know and I think for a lot of people it is there you know. They have somehow make it work. And it's their balanced and it's great. I think for far more people. There isn't that feeling balance. And how are you going to regain it. And we owe it to ourselves to experiment on ourselves to feel like how do you want to live. How do you go to bed at night? Thinking like that was it that was That was the right experience in life from me. You know now and whether it's Do you have to swim in the ocean every day. Do you have to you know. Spend two hours disconnected. You know. the tiffany slain. Just wrote that book about You Know Tech Shibat and so she's figured out that kind of balance and whatever it is you have to arrive at a place that you control that you have made a decision and too many times we think we. We've seen that decision to Oh God. I could never connect disconnect for a week because it whatever reason and or I have to always have the phone on or else I mean all of these things are are fallacies to. We've sort of boxed ourselves in but I think if you're experimenting yourself like what is the life Lead and get yourself to that place place and for me. You know I recommend you know However you want to do it but at least a few hours of of unconnected at the time of day? It's just going to recharge you is going to allow all of your synapses to you. Know really a bit of rest and And you know I agree with those that say you need to be bored at some point in the day. You need to have extreme downtime kids due to you know all of these things that have been sort of you know proven again and again and scientists again ended again you know and Pundits and new age V. Theologians. Everybody says the same thing but we we still. I think people still struggle so much with being disconnected for a time and And maybe it comes from a good place where people feel feel like they want to be accessible and they want to be reached by their loved ones. I think maybe it's coming from a good place but you know we also have to the trust that those loved ones will be there if we're if we don't talk to them for three or four hours straight you know like we have got a to regain a sense of proportion and balance to reflect a emotional experience. Here I came into his interview today. This conversation perception just like didn't sleep in like fracture day and running around doing impeachment podcast and feeling pissed off like why are my days like this on. I gotta run from this if I find talking to you. Incredibly calming grounding did not I did not at all expect that particular emotional valence of this conversation to be what it is. Well you know. What's weird is that? We've been in Spain for a couple months since August and and that is even I mean I feel like I don't live like a high stress life in San Francisco but I have lived lived a much higher stress life but these days I'm semi retired From most of our projects I'd like we were talking about the run by much more talented people undone but being really one more step removed and be living in a village in in Spain and really having the days I just feel like it's really hard to come back to the pace of life here and But I do feel You know that that sense like boy really do really know what my ideal days look like and And there are a lot simpler than Dan My life was in San Francisco. A lot simpler than it was ten years ago. And but that's that's one person you know but I think think everybody's got to figure out what is that What is that structure is a funny way in which something I was reflecting on? All you were talking is you said a couple of times you have to be able to really look yourself until like well what what felt like a good day and I've had the experience with the past couple of years and it actually came out of a book Levi talk of I was actually in half obey not far from here. It's part of why we've moved out to the West Coast to DC and either in like a really a small place like really cut off. I always think myself as a super urban person and the idea is that everything would be really small you know and kind of boring and so livingstone boring. If a great like it felt bigger like there's more space to thank. You could like have bigger ideas you could actually be much more vibrant and in your work and it changed a lot for me personally because what it what I realized and I'm not saying I've been able to put this fully into play but is it my belief about about what kind of person I was and what I would like was wrong right like I often live a life is if like what would I like the book of my life to read like you know like what would if I was watching. This is what I want the character of Ezra to have done which is happening is the key thing right which is never to like stay at home and we I always like to go do the cool thing Yeah but isn't that balance you know you do have to do something and maybe but I think is interesting and it goes goes back to our conversation a couple of minutes ago about measures that I think for a lot of us and I certainly feel this year one of the things that not just digital life but a lot of the things that you do pay the pictures on your phone is. It's a have some proof that you had a day right that like you know. I got some stuff done today. You know I I like sense between so everybody liked my photo or whatever it might be. I'm I'm with my son a lot. Either of name old and we'll be doing something adorable and all like whip whip out my phone to capture it for myself for the future for my family and he'll mmediately stopped doing it because he was doing it with me and it happens all the time and I'm always I I'm the worst and but it comes from love you know or does it come from this desire to. This is a little bit. What I'm getting at that? Does it come from it. It is very hard to force yourself to see how something is really feeling versus looking at yourself from the outside and trying to measure it all somehow like trying to like win the competition of your own life as as your own life you know. There's a balance because obviously we can't live on a beach from day one till death you know like you have to you have to have maybe have impact may help people you know like make yourself useful so there is that too so there's but there's a balance and I think whatever it is and you know last night. I met all kinds of tutors for me. To Six New York and Haywar College Students Sir Bank clerks or advertising copywriters him for them tutoring as part of that balance like and again and again people say this is the best part of my week. Is the two hours no foam because we don't allow the tutors. Have phones like in at the table. And it's just a table in two kids Adult and a kid and he's paper may be between you and You know that's for them. Part of their that centering centring that balance. That kind of like I need this. This is my humanity bath. You know this is my Were my my soul is replenished by this young person and they're completely guile lists Approach to life hyphen and work. And let's just get this homework down in how what a pure simple thing to do and go home and feel like you got something you know something real done you know almost feels better than anything else you can do is to like you know get get us an eight year olds homework done but But I do think we're so much of our you know the the. What the technology does it? It helps us or we. I think we are being. We are getting a better measure of how we've used our time on earth and part of that is while I'm a good apparent because I'm taking a Lotta pictures and documented all the fun we've had you know and they're going to be so happy when they're older because I've well-documented in their peers will have their parents well-documented take their times. I've gotTA deal. There's that fear of doing it. Not Quite thoroughly enough. That I think drives everybody's sort of you know obsession with breath documenting youth and the same thing with so many of these numerical measurements as well. I do have this many friends. So that's good and compare them to however many friends other people like me have all right about Right it gives you all of these kind of false sense of Of your relationship with the rest of humanity. Are you you where you need to be. Are you ranked about the right place that you expect to be and And I think that it. That's where I think so much much of anxiety from teenagers talk about these skyrocketing rocketing depression rates in all of these things. I do think that we were not meant to commissioner our selves. Quite as much as is being done and to think so much about ourselves. There's only so much thinking about about yourself. You should do on a daily basis and or even your family you know we are meant to be looking outward whether it's at the C. or had a problem or you know how we can alleviate the suffering of other people build something lasting and meaningful All of these things and they don't involve you you know and they don't involve yourself documentation or are you know measuring how many people liked our our last tweet. You we know that feedback loop the doing something because we've got a certain kind of reward also sometimes degrades degrades the essence. Why we're doing you know one thing that that brings up? I WANNA make sure covered with the rain. Reigned over time together. Is that it's something that you've done really well on your projects or that. I've thought you've done really one. Your projects like believer and A twenty six and others is the thing that metrics and scale things can use it flattens. It makes everything everything else comes again. Bigger more people get involved more of the pressures and everybody else's part of I felt us with things that I've launched. And that you know you start with a pretty distinct vision and part of becoming successful become less distinct And you can see some very very big ways right like facebook or Google begins. Don't be evil. Somebody's like I mean like not to evoke hunt evil and I'm curious how you've in the same way way that it seems like you've stood in your own life against a lot of pressures of the age like how you stood as you've built things against from Sherwin a lot of offers to take take them big in ways would have made them less like themselves. Yeah you know early on. I realized the tension between art and scale aw at integrity and scale every so often you can do something on a large scale exactly as you want to do it. And that's that happens for sure in film and you know Right for the New Yorker. There's a massive audience. Senate's brilliantly added in an it has I think the highest integrity and I'm sure that's what you're trying to do at vox to is is retained that integrity in reaches many people who want to read that As possible without having to compromise it and that's the ideal thing but you often find that there's a ceiling and The believers ceiling healing was relatively low. The McSweeney ceiling was relatively low. We didn't have any capital ever to like by subscribers or you know to expand To roll the dice. It was always every subscriber helped pay for a few more copies printed and it always grew organically that way. But that's a tough thing when you realize I guess. The audience for this literary magazine Will Never Exceed Ten thousand people and you realize that that's it in less. I guess some you know poor ten million dollars into rolling the dice and seeing if there's more people out there four but but in our case you know that was some years ago I came to that conclusion and was at peace. And the editors of the Believer Heidi Lovitz in my life end alone Ed Park and they also had to come to grips with the the ceiling of the audience and say they like well. These five thousand or ten thousand readers are really good readers super engaged. They care a lot to write. Letters are very loyal and it has value. Are you in the world and that value might not be scalable and it might stay. You know at that circumscribed place but then you might work on something nothing else. That has a wider mainstream appeal. I think that that sort of mixed is important too but knowing what the limit is For a certain project or a certain in work of art that it's going to have a certain limited audience unless you you know and and that it would leave leave you if you changed it and that you would You know You can't compromise the the people that are actually understand that work for those that That aren't going to they. Even if you changed it compromised at diluted you might not even you're gonNA lose both sides he ain't gonNA lose the the people loyalty you and you might not obtain anything else. It's like the dog looking at his reflection in the water and dropping the bone in his mouth in hopes of getting the one reflected selected back at him and he loses both But I think you know now you know you guys are in a in an interesting spot. I guess you emerge with New York magazine. I think I was hearing about in the lobby. which and Urine a spot of growth. And so that's the fun place you know. Just let it grow and see he worked goes and always remember that You'll know the very moment when you're loyal. Audience is with the anymore anymore and holding onto them is everything and holding onto that place where people really That's a place where I'm going to be told something that nobody else is is telling me they're gonNA tell it to me in an interesting way And they're not going to succumb to click click bait or Change their ways of doing things because the metrics say this or that you know. I think that you know. It's always been the tension with any kind of media whether it's ratings ratings are seeing needs to call. CPS cost per thousands of readers all of these different things. There's always been some sort of metric hidden in media. But you you have to trust as the New York Times and the Washington Post and the New Yorker all of these places that have gotten better during this time of mass media dilution. They've actually actually gotten better. And so sometimes you actually have to zig when everybody's egging and make your product better and and heightened the integrity at a time win. It's being degraded elsewhere. I feel like I honestly could ask you questions. And listen to give like thoughtful peaceful for hours but unfortunate after two to Rapa Salami ask you. The question is used to end. which is what are three books you've read that have had infect on you that you would recommend to the audience You know I I I'm just going to go with what I've been reading recently. Because I've been just plowing through edith wharton and read Ethan from years ago but mis read in that novel and so I had this collection that has four or novels Through three or four onto age of innocence next but I feel like I was deprived the fact that I did not know her work that well earlier I started with custom of the country which is just insanely brilliant satire of the Bella Park and sort of social climber in New York in Paris in the turn of the century previous entry and It is so funny and so beautifully written and so Such as scalpels sharp satire of that time and then I read house of Mirth which had loved a a lot but not as much as it's not as funny but still beautifully written and Ethan from totally mis read before and it's so different than the other two books but let Perfect in its way and so I'm onto age of innocence next user She I I have to chalk it up to a certain amount of sexism that her reputation isn't even bigger than it is. Even though she's well known I think that she is the equal Of almost any American prose writer and should have the the readership of Jane austen and Hemingway and Faulkner. and and everybody else So I think if anybody wants a really incredibly entertaining and rich and Novel run to custom of the country. Dave eggers thank you very much. Thanks so much. Thank you dave. Eggar somebody go through my phone out the window Thank you to you for being here. I know we talked about how metrics are bad but the only metric it is good is rating the show on apple podcast. Other people can find. It just doesn't matter what we say we don't care about the metric metric just the discovery Although you know what the important thing is that we have you here for true fans nobody else really matters. I think that's the lesson. Thank you to Cindy Guilford. Engineering to Karma for researching Gadhafi held for producing is conscious of oxen media. podcast production and my email is always kind show at Fox dot com.

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