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20VC: Lambda School Founder, Austen Allred on Why Unemployment Is An Optimisation Problem That Will Be Solved Over The Next 20 Years, Why The Speed and Quality of Decisions Are Not Mutually Exclusive & The 1 Question All Founders Must Ask Themselves Befor
They see the twenty minute BBC and founders Friday with me, Harry stabbings on H Stubbings one thousand nine hundred ninety s with u on Instagram, and it would be great CU that now for the show you stay, obviously, I love all the companies on the show. But this one stay is especially close to my heart. What can I say I really am fan boy of this phenomenal founder on mission? And so with that I'm thrilled to welcome Austin ordered found at Lambda school a nine month immersive program that gives you the tools and training you need to launch your new career from the comfort of your own home as the Lambda student, you pay nothing until you earning fifty K or more. And if you don't is free to date Austin is raised over forty eight million dollars with Lambda from a personal favorite of mine bedrock. And Jeff Lewis with Jeff for Monday's episode GV stripe on Ashton Kutcher, just to name a few prior to founding Lambda Austin was senior manager for growth that lend up and before that co-founded grass wire I do say Houston to Sean GV Jefford badger or John colossoma strive and Jeffords for the fantastic questions gestures today. I really do Sul. Appreciate that. But before we. Into the show. Stay a lot of what we do on the twenty minute VC is taught to experts pick the brains of founders and investors who tell us which tries to watch out for offer tips on fundraising and teachers how to excel at any company stage. There's no playbook for building a great business. But we can certainly learn from people who've done it before beyond listening to this podcast and talking to mentors and advisors in your own network. It's important to have resources you can tell to you when you actually need challenge. Stripe has built those resources for you. Whether you'd like to learn how to run a pricing experiment will build a knockout landing page stripe gives you the information you need to start run and scale technology company that God's often written by all feature people. I e Gill and we've actually had on this very poor cost, and you can read one of my favorite guides on scaling engineering organizations and many more on stripe dot com forward slash twenty T W E N T V C. And speaking of incredible products into chrome was founded in two thousand eleven by four startup bathrooms who was simply frustrated by the lack of visibility. They had into that customers that previous ventures. They set out to build a suite of. Messaging. I products that would help make internet business personal fast forward to stay an income has built a platform suite of messaging. I products that how internet businesses accelerate growth across the customer life cycle from acquisition to engagement and support and you can convert more website visitors onboard new sign ups to become active customers, and then support your customers in a really personal way. What's more? You can do this at scale with their powerful automation technology over the past eight years. They've totally reimagined. What a business messenger can be which is way more than simply live chat a more than thirty thousand businesses including New Relic Lassie and shopper FAI us into comb to came out with a billion people worldwide. And finally, I've always been a big history, man. And so I wanted to about Cooley the global law firm built around startups and venture capsule since forming the first venture fund in silicon Bonnie cuties for more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world with fifty plus is working with the keys. They help BC's form and manage funds to make investments than handle the myriad of issues that arise refunds lifetime. To learn more about the number one most active law firm. Representing bad companies going public simply had Cutie dot com and also go to to go dot com. But that's quite enough. For me. I'm so excited for this one. And so I'm thrilled to welcome Austin or at found at Lamda school. You have now arrived at your destination. Austin it is such a pleasure to have you on the show. You say the shit out of you for the last twenty four hours you size to Jeff federal insurance GV fantastic questions. But thank you so much for joining me, stay Allston. Thanks for having me lonely too. But I would love to kick off with you. Tell me about your background Austin. And what gave you the initial idea for Landis Coolum really that our home movement, and my background is long and crazy, but we'll keep it short. So I was working at a company called lendup. And I believe you've interviewed Sasha for Monday on the show before was thinking a lot about income inequality, and how you can help people move from where they are to place better financial health, which was the entire goal of Linda and felt like there's still something lacking. In the we can help people bridge the gap from today to tomorrow. But there wasn't really anything out there that was moving people's incomes and at the end of the day. That's what really matters. So I started thinking a lot about that. And seeing the disparity between before I moved to San Francisco. I was living in. Small town in the middle of nowhere and Utah. And seeing the opportunities Jeff between what was afforded there versus San Francisco. Just I feel there was something listening. I didn't know what it was. But we started out with a online code school and started working now. I absolutely love that. And you mentioned there about living in Utah. As I said, I spoke to some of your investors before in quite a few of them mentioned. And also the right way. You maybe mentioned staying in your call way back in two thousand thirteen I told you I spent forty much time stalking. You. What was the context? How did that come about? Yes. So that was actually starting a previous company and found consumer news company and found that there were very few people in Utah who were product focused at the time. That's changed a little bit since then. But it just felt like I needed to get Silicon Valley, but I didn't have any money, and I didn't have any connections, and I didn't know anybody. So I just thought of blog of a guy who had been living in Honda Civic, which is exactly the same car that I had been so kind of mimicked his setup and drove out to Palo Alto. And just lived in my car for a few months. I was trying to meet people and get off the ground and network and become somebody worth paying something to do. Just up my car. I love contest, and it was for a considerable time. No, just kind of a knighthood sees it. Can I ask what what was some big lessons from not experienced? And what did you come to learn about yourself from living in the homeless Vic? I mean that was really into minimalism in throw so hit just the right time in my philosophical beliefs. But yeah, I learned a lot living in Palo Alto in a car is a little disorienting because there's you know, you're surrounded by so much wealth. But you have none of it. For example, you can just park on a street in Palo Alto and sleep, and nobody will notice because people don't walk around and look in the windows and cars, generally speaking, unless there's a reason to so I found there was much easier to blend in with the rest of society. If you're not making any noise, then people would think I had to start living by very strict schedule because the one thing about living in a car when it gets warm outside in the sun comes up it gets hot pretty quickly. And there's nothing. Can do one way around that? So I worked out of the hacker DOJ. Oh, which is a kind of twenty four hour work stays in view. But yeah, I had to start living by a very strict schedule, and it made everything feel very urgent said time was of the essence because every minute I spent not working with another day. I was going to spend living in a car and it works. But it was it was definitely stressful. Itsy printing in the awesome itself you actually, right. You said there about hundred so much wealth around you and having none of that. And you said in the article is not about the money, particularly can you knew months? I can I ask how would you describe? And this is very possible question. So I'm sorry for that. How would you describe your personal relationships in money? Yeah. I mean, the funny thing about money is after pretty small threshold the differences between having a lot of money and a little money are fairly negligible. I mean, it comes down to in a one St. making enough to survive and have a car. What car you drive might be different? But he cares or house. Living might be different. But the majority of things money, isn't what moves the needle. What money can do is buy a little bit of freedom and optionality. So when you meet with a billionaire, and it's like, I don't have. They don't have to do all the stuff that they don't want to do because you just hire somebody to do it for you. And obviously a pretty broad spectrum between being broken being a millionaire. I think people vastly underestimate the psychological impact of having just a little bit of money, even as a couple thousand dollars between how you can think can take risks, and what your life is like from having no money to tab and just a little bit of money, and then actually impacts a lot of what we do at school. I'm sick these the word risk because that was my subsequent question was it's not it's the relationship to money. What's the relationship to risk fee them? I think for me, I basically got to a point where if feels like there is no risk anymore. A worst case scenario is you have to get a job, and I had a company blow up and I had to get. Job and that was fine. So for me, the important thing is maybe it's a psychological trick. I play myself. I don't know. But making it feel like there's no downside. And let's just go play. I don't know if that's why it's necessarily I'm not successful realizing how quickly you can bounce back. If you hit rock bottom because I did that in a very real way. I think that's pretty important. Now, I think that totally is exactly what VC's loves hair in terms of asks you to risk in shooting for the moon. I speaking of VC's lights here before we discussed finding fed obviously a lot of businesses take pre seed and seed funding in the earliest days, and you said to me before that you would determine to never raise again before you started Lambda two years later, forty eight million dollars later, I have to offer. Ask changed your mind grace allow them to versus the initial district. Yeah. I think there was an error in the way I was thinking so floor. My last company we raised. What was then a seed round? What would now be like a pre seed round. We raise kind of half million six hundred thousand dollars, and we were going out to raise then you would call a series whatnot. Call seed round because all the names change raising. A couple million dollars felt like a lot at the time to clear is a lot. And so we had all the documents done. We had our lead investor in everything was fine. We only had a couple of months of cash left in the Bank. But who cares because we're just about to close this round, and we got through the due diligence. And then the person that was leading that rounds just called and said, well, actually, he had his assistant call and say, actually, I'm no longer going to invest and that was on December twenty third and that was the end becomes any? So I had a pretty visceral reaction to that. I mean, my daughter was born a couple months later. And was in the hospital for a long time. And I spent all my money making our contractors and employees hole. And so was not a good time. And I was not in a good place. And I was determined never to be put in that position again. And I felt like raising the in that position when a sales realizes that it wasn't VC per se that put me in that position. It was having a business that wasn't promising. And specifically it was not only not bringing in enough revenue that you had a back of plan. But I was thinking about the in tightly wrong way is thinking about VCE, and like, hey VC buys you time to figure out how to create a business or in our case, it was more time to Phillies on product. So you don't have to think about the business aspect of it as much as women went into. I see even still kind of like, okay? I'm not even sure we'll do delegate. We don't need that money. We could figure it out on her own toward the end. I sat down model. Old sue scenarios? I'm not old one where okay, let's imagine a world where everything goes mediocre, and there's no VC involves. And then I'm modeled one where. Okay, there is. He see involves what is a financial model? Like, if we raise a little bit of money, and it became clear from doing that model that in our specific business raising g c would put us at a better place, including dilution than not racing BC. Would I feel like that's the fundamental analysis? Everybody's shouldn't doing before they raised me see sitting down during the math and saying does this makes sense for the business. I'm running past. I hadn't done that. I just assumed that VC was the only way. So so funny enough, I think the reason we've been so successful raising VC, and I mean, I don't worry about raising money at all we've got a ton of money in the Bank more than I even would have raised. Otherwise, we built the business. It didn't need it. And we thought about the business from first principles, and then VC was there as a catalyst. We've never lived to please investors. We've never run a business to try to make it marketable to seize. I think that's a recipe for disaster. I I totally agree with you that in times running for VC's uses their about having maybe access supply capsule than you may be initially thought incomes of your car and situation you do brace chunky around racing with thirty million dollars from federal cannot, Dan front. Jeff Lewis kiosk. How do you think about the right time to raise big and pull fuel on the fire? I'm why was that the time? There's a couple of things one was we kind of figured it out. We got to a point where I knew that. If you give me a dollar today. I can give you back. Maybe it's three or four dollars a couple years from now. And when you have a machine that's working like that, you really should be raising as much as you can. We're also a capital intensive is this in some aspects and some aspects not as much as others, but we were not planning on raising the series B. We still had the vast majority of our series. I in the Bank, actually when I talked to Jeff. So when I initially. To Jeff I was getting a dozen emails a day from VC's now saying no to pretty much everybody. There are couple of people that chat was Sean. And be like, hey, should I meet with this guy just to create a relationship now? So that if we want to raise a year from now that makes sense, and Jeff was one of the few that was like you should be with chest. And I don't know how much of the story Jeff wants me to tell. But we're going to tell it and hope he doesn't get mad at me. So we basically went to dinner, and I walked him through all of the numbers and what we doing. I think shaft had been looking at the space for really long time hoping to find a company to invest in. And he hadn't shambling even when he was at founders fund. I looked at the whole space in you know, just were in twos. Basically waiting for a Lambeth school to come along and hadn't found one yet. Again, he mostly offered a specific dollar amount at a specific price over dinner, really low effort on our end, and we said, no. And then he came back to the table. A couple of weeks later with an offer that I don't wanna say it was too good to refuse. But it was at a certain point win. An offer comes. Around the right price with the right? People eater stupid, not to take it. So let's tally ended up raising so much so quickly. We're still not even a third of the way through our series. So we have quite a bit of cash in the Bank, but it makes sense for us to strike while the irons hot, in some cases, these night, totally agree. The and of kind of Jeff being special when the people to good in him, Nina the opportunity is ticket. Can I ask you've been through kind of several rounds of both with Lambda and with your Prien company. Incomes advice and guidance of founders haven't been through those experience. What would you advice be to find his when really approaching the invested selection element, the first company, we took what we could get. There was an option -ality wasn't. Hey, we want to take from this investor that industrial is hey is their money to the first advice. I'd be able to just have a business. Steve Martin wrote a book is called so good. They can't ignore you at. That's what I think about in terms of C. You didn't have a pitch deck for a series B. We didn't raise money we just sent all. Of our time building a great business, and we built a business. It was good enough that we didn't have to think about it. And you know, we had four or five major players in the series v and I didn't spend time fundraising necessarily, a huge win from a company perspective. But I think about Parker Conrad when he was raising for his company they started before Xenophon Sita sock into somebody. He's told the story about how they said, you know, if you were the Twitter guys, you could just walk in ear and walkout with the check. But you're not the Twitter guys. So you have to do x y z and you have to be super well prepare parkas thought process just went to like, wait how how can it just be the Twitter guys? And not that land us the Twitter guys by any stretch of the imagination, but you can get to a point at least in this funding environment. Where fundraising isn't a problem? And is just an optimization of who. Do you want to take the money from at what price and which players are you're getting involved, and you can get there? If you build a great company, so I guess counter intuitively, I would encourage nearly every founder to spend almost all their time. On building a company, and then you'll be presented with a set of options age pick the best one that you can from set of options. I love not an I couldn't agree. More in terms of being so good. They call it known. You a fundraising kind of one big problem though, that often found his faces a huddle the other is often finding product market fit. So I have to two questions on this. Maybe one more general and one more specific on the general having done this. So well with Lambda and she pretty early. What would be your biggest advice and wisdom to found his own coining? We'll give. Yes, something is we started without product. And we had no product market shit originally. So I've been heavily influenced by as Williams, I was the founder blogger Twitter medium, and he talks about the way that you find product markets. It is take a fundamental human desire and take out steps. I think about that all the time. So if you think about our students we started out as code school. We are one of two hundred code schools trying to charge. Insane prices for the same product and had no differentiation. And frankly in the early cohort we won based on gross ability. And luckily, that's my background in. But as we really dug in and started talking to argue users and trying to figure out why people were were not signing up for land school. It had some intuition around it as well, which I think is something you kind of have to have we really realized that people were taking based on risk mitigation. So they would happily pay eighteen thousand dollars to go to the best school because that school had better outcomes than to go to a needy over school that was ten thousand dollars. Because if you get a job, you'll pay whatever it takes if it works, you'll pay whatever it takes. And we realized that what people were really looking for was a high probability of positive outcome and low risk, and we realized that if we could find a way to provide that then we would win. So our second cohort, we sent an Email that said, basically, hey, you know. We're trying to make really low risk. We want you guys to be able to bet on us. And we're willing to bet on you. We want to have our incentives align, so you'll pay a thousand dollars front then actually a job you can pay the rest and send up eating like that. And we'd get one or two applications that time we got one hundred fifty and so we're like, okay, we're clearly onto something like hypotheses to be correct that if we can mitigate the risk for people and provide a really high all experienced they'll come to us. And so we basically got into why see saying, hey, if this is true than what happens if we make the school what we think it really should be. We make it completely free up front, and we entirely align. The incentives of us with the students. No upfront deposit. No, nothing. Just if we think we can get you to job will accept you. And we'll take all this is why does for people. Right. So we sent out an Email, you know, making it six months long, and we're teaching computer science because we thought that something that could camps. Relaxing, and it was going to be completely free until you get a job, basically, our model today, and that time we had two thousand applicants and our lists of seven thousand people we knew we had struck on something very important. And then we basically spent the next year and a half trying to figure out how to make that actually work. It's easy to providence in difficult to make sustainable infeasible ideal have to mention that kind of that critical moment of when he changed the business model and really went into free and sold on inflation in terms of the damone side of the equation in terms of found his whack it's just not quite hitting. Yes, just preaching business model. How do you found between the vision and the mission of the founders and you'll Casey wanting to fundamentally improve career opportunities for people in is income inequality versus kind of the realization for when something's not working. How do you balance between vision and reality, I in my mind, that's actually not something you have to balance. It's just here is our vision, you have to be brutally honest with yourself. Are we on the path that gets? Is there and it's not how do we find that pass for? I think you have to actually have vision, and you can tell pretty quickly ate my mind of vision is worthwhile. When you tell people they they get a totally makes sense. I love it. I'm just not sure if you can get there. So I would always say, you know, we want to basically eliminate unemployment and make income ability instead for easy like what if they're an easy way. Just like snap your fingers, and you'd have all the training and all the resources you need to get to a new job, and it was risk free. So he didn't pay for it. Unless you got there. And everyone's like, yeah. Yeah. That's that's a cool idea. But that's not possible. And then you have to find the first thing that you could do to prove it, there's some element of that that you can get working cannot see turn to hell sim. But when I listen to you, it seems sir through methodical and wealth, purse driven almost seems kind of seamless. What was the biggest challenge in the building of Lambda? I'm was there a real sticking moment. Wet that was a real question fee. Oh, yeah. I mean, so in our since it was never paid. Does this make sense in the like can we get users to sign up? That's never really been an issue. The issue has been fundamentally can you make it happen? I think because I come from kind of gross marketing background, my intuition is to just promise something. That's so amazing that everybody will absolutely sign up. It's not difficult to imagine a scenario where you can get a lot of people would love to do something that lend up that was something that I've learned is led up would give people loans that couldn't otherwise get loans and turns out it her value proposition is hey, you need money will blunt you some money as you can't get it anywhere else. You win that. It's not difficult. The difficult thing was okay. Now, we have to hire fifty machine learning. Engineers in Seger out who can lead to in who we cannot because we're playing a risk game to some degree. I think Lambda school is similar in the sense that if we can promise, hey, you'll get a job or it's free bowl. Always have people to sign up. The question was can you make it work? So in the early days, we talk to other schools than say, there's no way this will work for four or five different reasons. One. You can't find people online we tried it. And it didn't work even people that paid twenty thousand dollars. We couldn't get them there too. You know, we've tried free upfront experiments and people weren't motivated enough. They didn't have skin in the game that totally failed three, you know. It's really hard the people job outside of the bay area and York, and if you're doing this as obviously people aren't all going to be in the bay area and the org, and so we had to focus on solving that problem for the first couple of years, and it's it's working now in our family. So now, we don't have to like debate. The theoretically can somebody learned to be a software engineer online because we've place punds of students and were trading thousands more. We don't have to say can you give people to graduate Vikas thousands of people graduating. But it was it was a long hard road to get there. Getting the instructional design. Right giving the admissions process, right? Getting job-hunting process. Right. So that people wherever they are whatever their background may be could cite their way into getting a job. That was none of that stuff is trivial. So we decided to figure it out. And I think it kind of works because we had no other options we had the figure that where we would die the difference between us and other schools were other schools. They're already running it was already working, and they saw what we were doing a cool potential edition. But it was never works. Really going all the way into where for us. It was this works or we don't exist. Absolutely analysts in that. Huge. Congratulations on the hundred percent now admits it from I think it was the first batch with jobs that was phenomenal to see I do have one final atom of. I've wanted to discuss it before the quickfire when she something that I she Jeff told me about which was your incredible speed of execution when it comes kind of HVAC woman business. And so he's question was how do you h race on all facets of the business? So I I think that's. That's kind of the key. And that's really difficult to do. I figure it's just something that we had to build in our DNA. So be very much run. We run a lot of experiments rerun them concurrently in we run them quickly. So he'll Jeff as those tells the story of what if your major league batter and every time you hit a home run right now you score a run. But what if every time you hit a home run you scored a million runs? You should just be swinging for the fences every single time. I think that's true in startups to some degree where if you find something that really hits you win. So the focus should be more on the number of at bats than almost anything else. There's no other metric determine the success of you winning in baseball as much as how many swings you're taking. If each run is worth a million points. So for us, we've built a culture when we have an idea. I want wanted shift by the end of the day not by tomorrow not by Monday. If. There's something that takes three weeks to get it out there we need to ship it right now. There have been sometimes, for example, we had this crazy idea a few weeks ago. What if we had a student who's in the front end section of the cohort when they get for their project weeks, then they're soon on the back end. And then there's an Iowa student. What if we had them all come together and build an app instead of doing their weekly projects says every five weeks students will build a project as predefined that shows that they know how to do all the things that they've learned. And if they don't know how do any of those things so we roll them back in the work on those things again until they've mastered it which is just kind of our fundamental philosophy of learning. So he said what if instead of everybody working on these predefined projects, we just got everybody together and they built apps, and we started getting pretty excited about that. You know, he could have six apps fully built with six different teams by the time, you graduate from Landis cool that would be really cool. And so we everybody agreed that it was a cool idea. And then someone. Said okay. Well, let's do this next time. And I think if I remember correctly, the response was are you freaking insane. Are you absolutely insane? There's no possible way we could do that. And so I think that is a key moment Atlanta's hold that. When that happens we stop in. We take a step back and say why is it insane? What are the blockers? And when you start to work through that you realize it. Okay. It's not insane. It's actually just really difficult. And sometimes you eliminate pieces of what the experiment is. Sometimes you basically strip everything down to its bare essentials the living in the car in Palo Alto instead of living in a mansion in Palo Alto. But it's still living in Palo Alto. So strip everything down to its bare essentials, and usually you can get something out there quickly. So we did that in January. We got a pilot up with T students. We call Bill weeks that work really. Well, it was probably the best experience that happens Atlanta's full. And then it was okay. How do we scale this among? It's all kinds of students, and what's the time line like that? And now, it's just built the DNA. Everybody knew like we're doing it for the very next week. So let's get all the pieces in place. So we're going to have thousands students working on all these different absolutely need it ready in few weeks. So we work ridiculously hard and make it happen. But I think that's probably the value that is nearest dearest to my heart is that we should fast, and we experiment a lot. But we still do it at high quality. And I actually don't think those things are antithetical, which is another thing that separates the way we think for most the way most people think I actually think that the faster you should things the higher quality. They will be over time. And that if you focus on mission things really high quality and the laying the time to ship. It will be lower quality overall. How do you determine when to kill me progestin experiments when kind of in that false deployment as rating testing phase? How do you determine whether to stay over on? So in the beginning of that was something we struggled with. Now, we predetermine what the success and failure metrics, look like before we run an experiment. So we say if it's works that means X, Y Z and anything other than x y z is teams failure. So for example. I think we have eight concurrent experiments running with how we can get students hired faster. That's everything from hiring virtual assistant to send out their resume all day. I think their companies were sending ice cream cakes with resumes attached, saying please interview these people we have career coaches vouching for students to companies for sponsoring meet ups. We have a few of the staff who are what if we give the staff of bonus if they can get a student hired an all of that is running at the same time. So of those eight things I'm fairly certain that one or two of them will work, and we can measure that by that we take different samplings of students that are across still levels geographies, and we basically compare those results against each other nuts. It's a small sample size. So it's not going to be scientifically accurate, if you use a little bit of intuition, it's pretty obvious. So for example, we had an experiment where we had person reaching out to do. You know, what if we had a company come in? And they do a presentation. And then the next day, they interview all the students who were interested. How does that change the hiring rate, and we found that of those companies that we brought in they would stay. They interview students and a third of those interviews ended up being hires than women talked to this companies said, yeah, you know, we're skeptical about yet another code school. We don't really hire from code schools. But sure, we'll, you know, we'll come in the presentation, see if we can find the one diamond in the rough and all of a sudden, they're hiring ten twenty people, and that was one of many experiments that we tried. And now we have an entire team. That's just focused on that. We have people in multiple companies coming in every day, presenting to the graduates interviewing students, so we try a lot of things we try them high quality, and we predetermined what the success. Metrics will look like before we try them. So it's really easy to evaluate whether or not it was successful. I love some of these different ways. And if you ever want to send me any cakes Austin, you know, are, but I do you wanna finish today with a quickfire round, as you know, my favorite elements, essentially is saying short statements, and then you give me your immediate fools, all you strapped in and ready to go about sixty seconds, Paul one. Okay. So the favourite procam, y what must I read my favorite book of all time is Les Miserables, which is not a startup book. I just love the way it makes me think about humanity my favorite book. Otherwise, I really only read nonfiction now. I love the Wright brothers, by the way, they just patients interrupted their weight success on something that a lot of other people were trying thought was impossible is pretty remarkable. I love that biography. What would you most like to change about Silicon Valley intact today? Go to fascinating perspective having been in Utah. And now in the valley. What would you most like to change would try more ambitious things which sounds silly? When you're saying it in Silicon Valley because she'll. Like people are trying to Embiid things. But I feel like there's a whole lot of other stuff fundamental human ills that we should be going after with a little bit more veracity that were not be balanced family life with running Lambda with a good assistant in a solid schedule. So my my schedule is actually I'm out of the door. I live in the east face. I'm out the door at five AM said all my clothes and everything before I go to bed out the door and five in the office by six six thirty in leave the office, five five and spend an hour and a half getting home. We're going to move to the city to cut down on that commute time hasn't been easy, but a strong schedule, but she will that doesn't really much time from a he says in evening, tell me confident that is only a master of time and stoking tweets again before we have billion ad developer with no employee's. You just look at how easy it is for projects to scale. I think there are few people could have done it. I think if the flappy bird creator hadn't turned it off. He probably. Would be there to just if he builds something great level of adoption. You can see is something. That's unlike anything else we've ever seen associates better time. What keeps you up at night? Austin right now, how can we build an organization to make lamb school? What I think it can and should be. I mean, the difficult thing for me is were affecting thousands of people's lives every day and anything that we do sub optimal will sub optimally affect thousands of people's lives, and any failure is Phelps in a very real way. So how can we make sure we minimize those failures? That's a little weight on my shoulders. How do you de-stress you gym bunny? And also, how do you de-stress? I mean, I kind of love the stress I kind of lived for it. And it doesn't bother me. I don't know love. Now. I was always told embrace stress never helps. But I was told. Gee, believe that most around you disbelieve to unemployment is an optimization problem that will be solved in the next twenty years. I wanna finish an and this one I'm C pretty cited for the next five years for you, and for Lambda and just how big could get five years from now, we're probably half a million students here. That's the go survive is from now, we're going to have another show, and we're going to toast with Mahita is and you're going to have on with me the five hundred thousand a year is not a deal. That's a goal. Either Ford's fine. He said unless you're joining me stale sin. It really has been so much fun. No problem extra having me. I mean, what do I start with Alan as I said at the beginning, a huge farm boy of buddies Austin's on lamb does. And I couldn't be more selective. In the coming years if you'd like to see more from Austin, which is a must you can follow him on Twitter at Austin, likewise. It'd be fantastic see behind the scenes here. The twenty minute VC. You can do that on Instagram at H stabbings nineteen Ninety-six with a really would be great see that. But before we leave each day. A lot of what we do on the twenty minute BBC is to experts picking the brains of founders and investors, you tell us which turns to watch out for potential and fundraising and teachers how to excel at any company stage. There's no playbook for building a great business. So we can send me learn from people who've done it before the only listening to this podcast and talking to mental advisors in your own network. It's important to have resources, you can tell them to you. When you need challenge. Stripe is built lose resources for you. Whether you'd like to learn how to run a pricing experiment will build a knockout landing page stripe gives you the information you need to start run and scale technology company that God's often written by all feature people at e Gill we. We've actually had on this very poll cost, and you can read one of my favorite guides on scaling engineering organizations for many mole and stripe dot com forward slash twenty. 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The Twenty Minute VC
Aired Last month 39:39
#175 Bella Mackie: Why You Should Jog On
Hello and welcome back to control out delete, very fighted to bring you today's guest someone that I have become slightly obsessed with recently after reading Hubbard I know that happens to the best of us. It's the amazing Bella McKay. Who's just written an incredible part memoir part manifesto on running and how running has saved her life. I've loved reading Bellas writing for years, and it was just such a joy to Rita Burke. She's always been I think very honest about being divorced. She's written about that for places like vogue. She's written about mental health before. And she's just generally very outspoken on Twitter, which I really enjoy as well. And in general is just someone who is very inspiring, very honest. So she was the perfect podcast guest. So bit more of. Formal introduction. Bala is a freelance journalist from London. She's written for the guardian. Vice vogue, among other brilliant publications. Definitely go check out all of writing. But in this podcast. We mainly talk about her brilliant book. Joe gone. How running saved my life published by HarperCollins. The imprint William Collins in the week, I interviewed Bella I went to the HarperCollins offices. She'd just found out that Hubbard was a Sunday Times bestseller at number two. No less just following. Michelle. Obama say this book has really resonated with thousands of people already, and it's really inspired me to put on my trainers and go out there for a run, and it's much bigger message than what I'm used to which is people telling you to go for a run because it's good for you. You know, following fitness or wellness accounts can be quite overwhelming. Sometimes not. Actually this book stripped it, all the way back and inspired me to go running for lots of other reasons and mainly related to mental health at the heart of on Bala explains with unfiltered honesty, how to battle crippling and depression, but also how to love running without having to sacrifice some of her main loves booze cigarettes and ice cream. So yes, definitely relatable and up my streets, and she has written a book that's not only memoir in style. But also has so many brilliant bits of advice, and quite an interesting research from doctors psychologists sports, people friends, it really is such a book full of warmth and motivating sound soundbites. So I recommend the book, and I really hope you enjoyed this episode with Bala I really enjoyed chatting to her and this is while offerings. 'cost getting to chat to interesting people about why they do what they do. So if you enjoy this episode, please leave a rating or review on I change. I'd really appreciate it really helps get the post up in the charts and just helps other people. Discover as well say thanks again. And here it is. Palo bella. Thank you so much being this podcast. Thank you. I'm so excited. I feel like I'm so lucky you're so in demand right now. Now, literally just being announced to books Sunday Times bestseller number to spin on the Amazon top ten what seems like years three weeks. I want to oversee talk to you about job on most of this interview just wanted to start off by saying that you commissioned me for the guardian about two years ago. Do you remember ID? Remember, what was it about? It was at millennials and growing up online which was about. And I remember being so excited to get Email from me. Oh, thank you. Because I remember many thinking quite big named and get. And then I love it. When people when you commissioning the best thing in the world is in someone's like, yes, I'm really excited. I really wanted to because that doesn't always happen. Really from the guardian think, but quite often, it's like, not time note need more money don't want any editing. Gary like, just cold cold emailing people asking them to write stuff. How funny it may cool then club literally like bouncing up and down. No, that's the best thing in the world. That's what ended his one easy again. So it's like the best way to be left out. So I've obviously been following your work for ages since then both before then when you write that piece vogue about the differences being being single and alone. Did you know that you you were going to be? Writing and journalism. I mean, never it's in your family tree and you'll and you'll bones. Probably. But did you do nothing else beforehand? I went to school, and I really wanted to be an honest. I really didn't. I didn't want to be journalism. Somebody in my family are and I will be nepotistic, and I wouldn't be as good as them. So you know, you saw who is cursed if you try and do your parents do art school, and it turned out wasn't very good really liked to had like a real in easier for it. But wasn't very good at it. And someone hired meets d three weeks. Like solve interning doings of grunt work when the garden new section called communist free starting. Good. I still going. It's called opinion. Now say juicy comment, maybe just comment him anymore. And so I did three weeks packing up, mugs, and diaries and stuff. And and it's over from there they kept so extending my contract, and I was over twenty one bit law. So I didn't know what else to do. So just do this for a bit. And then I'll go back decently, creative more creative in my mind. And it never happened. And I think with journals Amigas suck it in. And then it becomes kind of your identity. I guess I was I was fighting against that already long time. But but here, I am and you'll pieces resonate with so many people. I mean, I think I had on another interview that harkens commission. The Burke was one piece was at a few different one. It was one piece actually a piece about how when I was feeding side. The only thing that really helped was exercise, and I just wanted to an article about it. And then go an Email from someone Hopkins about it was only it was about. Six months later. He emailed and said originally, and I think it might might be a book, and I just went. Oh, gosh. Okay. I'm so it went from there. So yeah. I mean, you never realize when you're wearing something because I wasn't primary rights. I was editor editing is amazing pretty fun. But when you write something, you don't realize how amazing me in it can resonate with seventy people until till you start gang feedback from people and not as an amazing these special. I mean, you must get the puck cost and perks. But you know, that people get in, touch, and and you realize what what difference episodes made or Burkle, I feel like people when they say when they say they feel like they know you I'm not will maybe do about actually because this is how I am. This is how I speak on. I feel like in your writing. Obviously, no one knows you'd like your friends do. But even just reading one article is like, wow, you've really let me in. And you're being really honest. And I think that's why I love to book so much is because along version of that. And I just I wanted. To know whether you. Allow that freedom to be yourself in this book. He went edited too much. No, I wasn't she. And I I've never been edited ready before I was always editor. And I sort of sense of thinking a K that it's going to be really heavy and they're going to really move things around. And so Trump things out, and I was bracing myself a bit for, you know, this is not the direction of the book. And actually, they were they were really lie edits and really nice suggestions. And so, you know, maybe I missed out on to mention, but it was a little more like pointers and directions. So actually, yeah. There wasn't any kind of show. You wanna say or you know, this doesn't work. It was actually a really mild perseus. And the the worst thing about it was just my grandma that you know, that was the really scary bit when the Celebes kind of went in and on oh, golden so stupid. But yeah, it was actually it was remarkably kind of say what you won't really say good as looking at the cover. I know the I've got my proof which got really attached to that dog. In the ball. But it doesn't say memoir on the front does that. But it is a memoir, I guess it is a memoir. But I remember in the first meeting head about it. The the pusher said, it's because you know, interesting, and he meant by that, you know, you'll thirty I won't whoever older was at the time. You know, you haven't done that much in your life. That is kind of noteworthy you don't run on lines. And I thought that was really good advice because I actually I don't wanna ride kind of misery memoir, all like, you know. And then the next day I did this. And you know, give you a chronology of the past five years because he was right? It's not that interesting. So it's kinda part memoir, and then lots of other people's stories and information about mental halls and studies earn overlook exercise. I tried this of their offense different directions. I love the honesty and at and I want it was hard to write get head space yet. I think I've always been a massive over show the way I try. Make people be my friend is to kind of tell them everything I can think about me, and sometimes that works and sometimes they back away from me kinda literally may my sister was been like that. I think we get it from the Scottish side of our family. That will vary like outgoing gregarious. And so I've always been like, let me tell you everything. I'm there's no secret here. And so I think that was probably just naturals. Are you know, how I wrote the book was just to kind of think I wanna tell you everything because if I don't tell you like the properly bad bits, then this is just another kind of anodyne Burke about you know, maybe you you feel a little bit anxious. And and I think as I get older, I think mental health we have to be kind of brutally honest about kind of the weirdest. Scariest bits because otherwise no one else. Ends up. Feeding. Oh gold. I'm not alone. Whereas if you say, this is the worst thing in the world, someone feels better they just do know fills worse from that. And I think that's why the book so powerful is because there's there's lots of moments in the book where that fragility. Of human life comes across in light your things of fine. And then someone dies you'll find again. But they're not really you're ready shit breaks up. All there's all there's these peaks and troughs, and I feel like you're not alone in that the law of people try and hide those bits. I think whereas your just like hair is and and actually the one constant was running. Yeah. I think you know, I think I try and highways biz. I mean like the last two weeks three weeks since the became been quite hard. I've felt quite anxious, and it's quite overwhelming, and yet, you know, have been doing publicity smiling through and, you know, so even I'm guilty of doing what we all do which is kind of get get through insurance per smile on. And and yeah, so in the book, I charge. So of be like, this is how is behind those things because I think that's just a psycho instincts. Do that isn't it? None of very good at. Oh, yes. Really haunt. You know life is really fragile. And and those things will just confront you has a bit this pulse. Pulse. Couple of weeks you need to suddenly feeling like oh God in a sliding backwards. But yeah, I will still run because I have no now the that's the one thing that can kind of stay with me. Even even if I feel that everything around me is kind of keeping slipping from my girls. Yeah. It's so interesting that bodily reaction as well. Because I remember university. I went through a break up, and I don't want to compare it. Because it was like he wasn't even my boyfriend, really. And I remember just waking up and getting my running shoes. And I almost my body when an I didn't even think and I was on went Southampton university and just like on the common running. What is that about? That's really interesting because that's how people describe their first runs is like it's sort of like an hour body thing. You'll body just takes over and propels you do. And I think I think t- things I think firstly I. I think with with a run like that you're trying to get away from something, you know, you are literally running away. But I think we running the best thing about running is that you you run away in order, the econo- come back in a way, you know, you run you get out of your house. You get away from everyone you use of cut through your misery and enables you to to join your life up again Yucel thing, I'll take an hour out come back. So I think that's really important. And I mean, the other thing is I think when we're THAAD, especially after the break 'cause we do cost around for something new don't we something's something? Some sometimes something punishing that might hurt your body or in a good way not in a negative way. But you know, I really want to change something get hair call for Ron or whatever. So I think after a breakup understandable that people of suddenly find themselves gravitating towards some trainers. Do you think that's why the reactions being so great as I mean, I said this g before we start started recording. I been running again. And it's because if you'll book, and I think it's just resonated because you're not trying to be this perfect. Guru would actually really like to be a perfect. It makes me so her p when people say that they started winning because that's just I'm so unimaginative. I didn't even think that that would be a side effect of the book or any kind of result. It might make some people feel less alone. Anxious wise people now tell me like you did that you run. That's the best thing in the world. And yeah, I think it's because like we discussed before we start including that that lots of exercise is presented in a kind of elitist way and quite kind of competitive way. And you know, we see lots of images online excise Instagram, and it just seems kind of scary. I think especially the people who might never have exercised in their lives or given out for a long time or not found the one they really love. And I think when you see that stuff it can just they just think, well, I would think there's no point in starting because I'm never going to. I'm never going to be. So what's the point? And I think with running the reason I think running say brilliant is the if you lucky enough to be able bodied anyone. Can do it. And we need is all trainers to start with. And so it doesn't need to fill. Intimidating. You don't have to give anything up to run. And you don't have to have to run marathons you can't just going to go for a job, which is what job on run on that wouldn't have been. I know they were like if it comes in America, we cannot call it. You're gone. No one in the science department knows what on earth that means. Right. Is very British jab on. What is Johnny funny when they strip how all the bridges stuff from folks? But then they Americans watch downton abbey you say with you're right. They probably will change. But I wanted to ask you about your relationships social media because I feel like exercises like fetish is to bit online. And I don't know if I want to Instagram my runs like my runs, the private, and that's a personal choice, but de sink. It's like, how do you do you like to share or D? Let's call that back or how how do you use media these days, especially now, you're getting lots and lots of messages, I find social media really challenging and my opinions change about it all the time. Like, I deleted Facebook a year or two ago. So I don't have that. I've always used Twitter as journalists kind of parties are fun. Be snarky. Love your Twitter. Not I'm very snarky on Twitter. And that's probably like the distilled me really is like me being over bits nog. And it's great because I'm freelance now, so I don't have to abide by kind of any en easel company protocols of Duns. Also, I saw sometimes I panic, and I think that has all my Twitter for me is really fun in that way. So I really liked to instant like Willie. I was stoked copy is ago by someone he found me on Facebook randomly and who ended up going to jail for years. So for long time that made me really creeped out by social media. And so I had a very private Instagram account, and I really locked down any mention of my personal life or surroundings because really I suddenly realised how unaware we are of that stuff. So so I went through a phase of that. And now, I have an Instagram which Ovalles started when the came out, and and is kind of quite a few follow his now, I'm relaxing a little bit about that. And I saw, you know, try not to show like my bestself all the time. I don't want to shit anything. And I didn't wanna make anyone feel worse about themselves. So I'm still getting used to that. I guess is the answer of like, you know, I'm still not one hundred percent sure what the right tone is. I don't want to curate it too much. But so I feel like, you know, got some sort of responsibility not to exploit people with that. Because I see Instagram saying this to someone yesterday that the, you know on Instagram, I'll look kind of I look attend to look at old vintage dresses like from the Victorian era, very niche. Interiors my like what people reading and yet I still on my front page of instrument, and if you do as well, just get women with six packs and Fung's on beaches on that discovery on the page, and I thought about was kinda tailored to you know, what you like. And I still images of women like less than nothing. It's not their fault. But like they make me feel about. And I don't know how you escape that really identify us gape session media making you feel bad. I know what you mean. 'cause I the happens. And I'm like, this is this outward them's wrong because I don't I don't really want to look at this. She tried to hide it. Yeah. So you can click see less of this. So I clicked Konovalov that and I still get it. And I think is that because most of Instagram. No because it's telling us that we should begin to the gym more. Don't I know? I know olds as well with. I think what people really want because I was hooked on your Instagram store. QA you in a pub just just on your own absolutely like fine answering these really interesting questions. And I was like I want to I actually made a Cup of tea and watch the whole thing much rather watch that. Yeah. And people as she said the office, I've never done that needs to more. I didn't even know you could do that. And I saw someone else doing, and I cable I'm in the minimum might maybe few people might have running questions. And then I go something like a thousand questions. Oh god. And then just kept coming. I. I realized after all that most people that do that delight ten questions, and I just can't. And then when I well you've really not not stopping. Oh, I think I'm breaking some kind of personal now I let like loser. But it was really fun. And like, you know, I think if you're going to use show media like that he saw do have to be as as possible. And that doesn't mean you have to give everything about yourself away. You know, you can cheese much. You wanna give? But that curated thing of you know, you look at someone's picture anything took that picture sixty five times, or you know, we see in the street doing it. You know, people taking photos fifteen times, I don't really want any of that. And I can see how I could get sucked into. I'm not saying I'm better than that. Because I could see how how easy it must be together. Geez. By that. But I'm ready. I'm really going to try not to do that. I think more than anything is probably unhealthy for the person doing it rather than I mean because it reminds Matt she watching all the Q nails in king. That's the closest like the most honest thing actually 'cause 'cause literally you're in the pub with Utada felt like oh so of just saying there having Warren chatting away, I wasn't. So it didn't feel. I guess that's very modern thing. I'm trying to think twenty years ago. What if I told myself, not you're going to be talking strangers on your phone in a pub, but finally natural again, let you know you've done it once and it, and it feels really fun. And then you don't wanna ruin that by so doing it more consciously again, you kind of want it feels right? Yeah. I didn't. I mean, I find such media. Terrifying. And weird. I'm in imagine a fifteen year old feels he's known it forever. Just god. Same. I mean, speaking of social media because you in the news a while ago when you got married again. Yes. And it's funny. I bet it's funny for people who kind of know you and your husband kind of separately fuel separate things, and you're like, wow, using and then I notice people on Instagram quite like Bantry as a couple you guys. And I wanted how you feel about that. Do you mind that is weird because for a long time? I didn't tell anyone that we were dating. I mean, obviously, I friends and stuff, but I wasn't so on Instagram being like. His my boyfriend and he didn't do either. You know, I was never under his page or anything. And then we go engaged and people he's over nnounced, you know, the, and then we got married, and so and then it was a bit kinda council the bag not in a kind of we were trying to keep a secret. We're not interesting. But now people know the I am married to him. And people knew that he's married to me. We do get more kind of together. And it's nice people. In is no one's ever solve mean. I guess sometimes we might have different different people that like us for different reasons. And then there is an overlap, but I'm not celebrity like, I'm a journalist in a and so is a bit where like a defined a bit strange like we got we got like Pfizer graft on the red carpet ones. And that was just really like I should not be hit. This is wrong. Like it. Jay, thank because you're journalists as well. That's always going to be that like I know what you'll doing like if someone's trying to get you'll pinch. It's almost like you're you're in the world. Like, you know, this is all about. Yeah. And I think I have this huge degree of cynicism about it and kind of like roof, you know, celebrity. What does this mean, you know, this is terrible. And so a bit pompous about it. And like, you know, but then again, like he's not every night like a big event also like putting his name to a bunch of stuff. So he's really low profile. So it's kind of fine. I guess, you know, if he was made in Chelsea it would be much weird. But I guess he has a bowl costing job. And he sees as job. So I guess that makes it easier. But yeah, being a journalist is definitely is definitely a weird thing to also. You know, be married someone who's over bit more public Jellison aunt really in a normally we'll bit scruffy in. And in the power, not really likes of people that people say they really fancy awebber not really like Sarah, his funny. I feel like sometimes it's two extremes with them. I'm either on my own crusty hoodie at home like looking disgusting. And I will go to the looking LA as in known cast atoll all I'm doing a talk to an audience, and it's like there to extremes, aren't they? And it's almost like a switch something in your brain. And then it's really nice today. She's a really great dress. I went on BBC breakfast this morning either. Great. I had to make up. I was gonna say he really Buta rewire, especially if you're gonna freed on saying, I basically like the biggest gruff bowl. So we'll get ID for Warren during the day in like the oldest today. I have unlike my husband's trial, and my sister says that I have the the best she's ever seen someone to look only terrible, unwary, noise and the. In between. I feel like either a skill though. You know, just like you either the worst you've ever worked or we sort of kind of go all trigger. I'm like you say if you're giving talk on that I'm not able to do the middle. Because I I'm I'm quite enjoying your outfits of late gonna admit. But again, those are like the ones where I'm like, I ended up going out, you know, Olo someone Kumi vapid and said, you know, while you posting pages of your outfits, and I saw oh God, you said don't be don't be one of those Instagram. I don't fit people, and I thought okay that's fair enough. You know, don't want to be tapped for details. But also thinking, you know, can you have a brain unlike Clinton, I know. So I'd been fittingly shit that we can I remember just thinking like, okay, I'll go get dressed up tonight and of go out and I saw. You feel quite noise now. And so it was it was sorta mental health thing. You know, it was so of I feel better go put bonds may happen. And obviously she couldn't have known that wasn't have follow anything. But I remember just thinking, oh, you know, can't get it. Right. It's quite hard decision media thing. But that is that is so true that on the days when I feel the west I like on a red lipstick, and it's an it's just an almost isn't it. It's it's I'm going to try today completely. It's like I need something else to cover this up. You know need to kind of front out a bit. And that makes things feel better get my nose painted kind of ridiculous color because that way if I looked down I'm a bit of chedda sound silly small things. But sometimes that's your brain has the capacity to do when you're feeling shit is is paying now's slap on some kind of realistic. I learnt so much in your book about mental health and tips on not hip, so it's not as. Pose, but just ways of making us feel better. And I love the research and the book like the quote, Ellen Morgan. And I love that you mentioned that Horiuchi Murakami book, which are really wanna read those loads of things in the book. I almost felt like you recommending things then go and look them up as well. But with the book of being really out there right now, do you find if you had good boundaries with mental health because that's something that I? Have only recently learned like I don't have to be accessible will the time. Yeah. I think I think because I hit such long time. No kind of deliberate way, but just did not approach with people. And and didn't know the right woods for an and things. Like that that I probably I probably go east just dealing with on my own. And I think I was really happy talk about it. When in the Burke, and and try, and I mean, I let let's just by researching stuff, you know, it was brilliant reading other people's books about mental health, and so of their journeys as well since it's come out, lots of people have contacted meets Tommy their stories, and so of their stories of you in many ways much harder than mine, and it's not Trump's, but some of them we'd need you think while you're you're stoning the E so have been able to tackle this. And so I think because people have trusted me with stories, I really tried to reply to everyone. And I think I probably go rebalanced that a bit boundary wise because I think absorbing yachts of other people's sinuses. And I'm not complaining about it. Because it's kind of an amazing honor that telling me about it, but I'm not professional. So I haven't had that training in kind of how to walk away from someone else's problems. Once once I've been talking about them this episode of control delete is brought to you by skill share. This podcast is all about learning being more creative, and including more things you love doing into your life. So I'm very very glad to be supporting and spreading the word about skill. Share skill share is an online learning community full craters, it has over twenty five thousand classes in design business. And I shall media marketing, creative writing even illustration and calligraphy you can discover. Absolutely anything to fuel your curiosity creativity. And your career is that keep you learning and keep you striving towards those new year goals. There is a class on school share for absolutely everyone. I personally got a lot from a recent class. I took all to do with Mel chimp, and how to design and build a newsletter that people will want to read really recommend that one. But get looking searching and you'll definitely find something for you. So I have a really exciting offer four Mike control out delete listeners, which is getting two months of Scotia full free. So if you want to join the millions of students already learning on that and get access to twenty five thousand causes for free. Then just go to skill Shad dot com forward slash c a day. And you can get started today with your free, two months. Sequester of them stayed with me and release sunk into me and an not my friend that can't help them properly. So I think I saw of needs to get better boundary around kind of trying to help other people say recognizing the I am not professional con actually, give them advice because that would not be good for them over me. So that's a new one. That's quite an interesting one for me. It's going to be waiting through at the moment. Yeah. That's pretty interesting and at sham when I interviewed Matt Haig. He said that. Yeah. I can imagine. He gets kind of all the time is loan. He said the when he right reasons to stay alive, the emails he got almost retrieved him. And it was just like, okay. I've I've got to protect myself. But I totally understand why they do because you know, if you say, you read mount Haig, and you know, it's the first time that anyone's were in about of suicidal thoughts and depression the relief that you would feel from the would be so immense that I can tell you understand where he'd reach on say. Oh my God. This is how. Me so much 'cause partly you're saying thank you, and partly you just saw trying to relate someone I think I've had a lot of that with Artie and people suddenly realizing that they've suffered for mercy do or not. And and so I totally understand why they would do it. And I I love the fact that they feel like they can trust me. It makes me signed that the I might be the first person they've told because I think gold, you know, you must have people love Yoon scares me that you've not told them or professional an yes, always understand. What why why people do it? But I think someone's that's me the exchanges the book, you know, you you you wrote the book exposed yourself like this. And then if someone Reeser that's kind of the exchange, and you don't necessarily have to engage after the fact, but but everyone's been lovely. I haven't had a message thing. New silly idiot in this book is terrible and not help me. So I sort of. So of wanna price. Why preach, and so if they let's continue this conversation in some way, I just haven't figured out how that is. Yeah, I'm rambling, but that makes total sense. Also, people listening need to check out a car. Remember way race it now. But you did an amazing article on how to help a friend. Oh, yeah. I read that for refinement Winston. Yeah. Because I think that I was really bad about run. Maybe because I a fixer like I like to be like, right? Let's have a plan of action and reading your pace and also reading other things of actually we realized over the last few years that it's just about listening, isn't it is bond. I didn't use to be too much because actually at my lowest points the most relief. I've had is someone like the person in my life saying, okay? Well, I've made an appointment to go to the doctor, and and then we're gonna do this and some. Sometimes, of course, maybe that's overwhelming. But my dad was always that person. He didn't understand kind of mental health stuff, particularly does more now. But then he it was it was a bit of a mystery. But he would just say dumber research of call my brother. He's a psychiatrist. He's recommended this person you're going to see them on cheese day. And in a way, if you are a do it like that, you know about thing, honestly, like being a deer is better than being someone that says buck up if you'll saying I recognize you have a problem I recognize the series of. This and we're gonna get you help. I don't think there's anything wrong with them. Yeah. It was really great piece. I think you balanced outright. While of you know, just this is the right thing to do yen things. Not to say really helpful not to say yet here up love. Yeah. To up love is the worst up in don't be sad. Sometimes no reason. But but look how good things of you. You know, not it doesn't work like that. Don't you know that you know, someone said that she in in Acuna yesterday with me, she said, how do you help a friend? You know, what do you do? How do you bring up? And I said if you're if you're asking me, then you already know that that person has a problem, and you know, that you have to do something. And it's it's always better to have an awkward conversation. Even if you're ham fisted about it than to not mentioned at all, which might be leaving that person in assault, dire straight. So even if you're it badly that piece was not trying to warn anyone from doing you'll do it. It doesn't matter how well you to have to make that call in a way to show up totally and this link light, you'll send with mental health. You know, there is no link between what past what peasants life looks like on paper. Like, for example, people might look at you and think, but your your life is so amazing. Why would you ever struggle same with like when Prince Harry came out and said, also, Kate Middleton's, brother? And it's also, you know, the news around recently about like people at Kate Spade. And like all these really sad stories, and it's like fame money power. Success doesn't equate being free for mental health problem north who I mean, obviously, there are says you're gonna make groups that are more likely to do with mental health problems. And and that's in its due poverty. And you know, the kind of the hits that you take in life from an early age racism sexism, you know, there are things that which will make it more likely. But he of course, like we have to we still have to get to a point where people don't think they they're fine on the outside. They've everything they won't because trust me, those people know that I know the it seems ridiculous on paper that I should ever have had kind of any credit struggles. And yet I still had these Simpson these these worse than so he's kind of a very small toiled. And and I think it's ridiculous that I have them in a way. There's no point in insult berating myself wondering why because I know lots of people do analysis is trying to figure out why. But I'm past that, really. And I'm just like that's why I've gotten. Yeah. We could send more empathy about kind of Nigel Lawson. I'm always saying this to everyone constantly time. Tweet on mental health is saying it was it was more eloquent than this. But she basically said you be kind to to every stranger because you never know hot as for anyone to get through the day. And and that's because we will be good at ping not that brave face. Actually, you know, we we could we could take a leaf avenue Jeddah's book in more ways than one. Oh, yes. In every way, but pages skin-care highness. Yeah. Everything everything I I really wanted it like how eight now today these in close up now. How is she? She so beautiful. It's like absurd. How useful? She is. Like, you know, there's people that you see in a crowd, and you're like, you're a movie star. Like, you're the most beautiful thing. Ever seen? She's got out. Just incredible present time Jennifer now, and I'm just like in this own, but yeah, no. That's really I think so true about not allowing the guilt and the shame to make us spiral further. So just lastly like torch you for hours not that two thousand nineteen is like new year new youth thing, we're not full map. I'm sure but what about this year? What would you think will is two thousand nineteen have is is it and think fee Christian? I'm really supposed when the new his. I know that sounds ridiculous, but people joke it takes six months to to remember that it's thousand nineteen. The words twenty twenty three the other day. And I literally when a you set at then it was about TV concert at them because that's ridiculous. Like t- far in the future. Like as if I thought they were going to be horrible. It's like, yeah. Like, very ridiculous. So I don't ever make news resolutions. Don't do anything George. I knew I don't believe in wellness. And and I don't want to let myself down in. Anyway, what's on gaze at this year? She wasn't making any reservations, I thought it was quite good. But I hope that I can write more because it's something new and exciting for me that you know, I've done bits and pieces of in the past. But I set my heart on maybe doing a bit more full-time now. I hope that in some way of the back of the book that I can Di something around anxiety and exercise if I kind of you know, like I said she the idea the run because the book is the best eating in the world. And if I can solve if I can get more people running this year, I feel like that would be an amazing nineteen for me personally surveys. If I would love, but this is also because I was saying to Bella how mazing voices can you make some running content. So I can listen to you all running. So someone's this like depot caused as something it was like, I think we'll poco Sadan like I'm Scott don't get done is that so many good ones. Like, I'm you know, I'm just it's just it's just the link between podcast and running association is I mean, all I do is when I'm running. Good. For the run if it comes out on Wednesday, but that will be amazing for on some polka somebody good for running and some annoy ios. It's great because they interviews. And I think he's really well for running not so much. The kind of this woman died in nineteen seventy six looking we're gonna twenty five episodes Hamadeh, a never tell you. He did a I think there's a less good. But pocus yet amazing for an you must have less people to say listen to you when they're on. And I listen to interviews when I'm running. Soak it animal. Yeah. And I actually really listen me to really good head space for doing it when you brand emptier and Yucel just on the road listening to people's voices. Like there is basically they're entertaining. You will you run great. Yeah. This is making me wanna go for a run. And I can't believe I'm even saying that this is this is my favorite thing is the best thing I can hear will day. This one wants to go run on going to go run and don't necessarily want. The other thing I love the honest about that you're jumping out the house every day. Might you say, no, I should have done this morning and procrastinated to the point where I came to to to you. And now, I have to run a four useless. Well, thank you so much. This is crazy. Well wins time for Ye side. HHS running is always fun for me. Don't worry. Thank you so much.
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Meet the Neolithic!
What's that one language? You've always wanted to learn a spaniel for say deutscher well, with Babel, you can be speaking your new language within weeks. The lessons are designed to get you speaking confidently and actually remember what you learn. That's what makes it the number one selling language learning app in the world. Go to babble dot com. That's b. a. b. b. e. l. dot com and use offer code curious to get fifty percent off your first three months that's offer code curious, bay spite. Have you loud and clear. Welcome. That is the same physics medicine nature brain the universe. This week, we go back in time to meet the Neolithic people to find out how Ron on sisters changed the world and how Oculus a- digging up the secrets, Georgia mills, and this is the naked scientists. Naked scientists podcast is powered by UK. FOSS dot co don't UK. Each week on the naked scientists. We talk about the most exciting technologies uninventive of the day humans a managing to three d, print organs, glossed rockets into the sun and make rowboats who can play football. Some of those things I'll move. I told another's, but all of our current technology know-how lies on the foundation of thousands of years of innovation, and I'll be the most important period of innovation in our history was the Neolithic. Neolithic literally means new stone. It was the final period of the stone age, beginning around twelve thousand years ago. It brought with it. Some of the most important developments of our history stone tools control over fire and the advancement of farming. So this week rather than looking to the future, we're taking a trip through history to try and find out what the Neolithic of ever done for us. Professor Esca Willis love is a geneticist on an expert in human evolution. While the new league people seems to be a group of people who have invented agriculture coming from the Middle East and near east becoming farmers basically. And then they're moving up through Europe, bringing that new lifestyle with them, right? So they started in the Middle East, but they spread across the world bringing their ideas with them, and they were. They weren't separate species from us. They know it's also an atomic modern humans. Basically, of course, they have different genetic composition than the Honda galleries that are living in Europe at the time when the insuring and this is why which knitted can observe the entrance into Europe. How do we understand that movements from that genetic? Well, it's because as I say, they have a different ancestory from the Honda galleries. And therefore when when you sequence the genomes. Of engine individuals there you can see that some of them are completely different from the contemporary hunter gatherers. And some you can say, mixtures between hunter gatherers and these newly farmers. So we can see we can basic observe genetically how they're moving across euro approximately what time injuring the different parts of Europe. And to what extent they have genetically influenced the local hunter-gatherers they brought within the advance of agriculture. What else made them special? Well, I mean they had both aquiculture. They had to mystic animals and they were living in a different way. You can say that this recites included more people than super cool, hunter, gatherer groups, which were probably something like twenty twenty five people most of the year. So these were you can say, had real settlements. They also were none mobile to the. I mean. Didn't have a mobile lifestyle to the same extent as as the Honda gallery. So so they had a very different way of life, but also at different food source. Of course. I mean, you know the people in Europe that they were meeting giving from mainly hunting animals and fish, and berries, and nuts and things like that, what you would call it typical Palo tired I today and these hunter gatherers were basically living from something much more similar to prison. They muesli. And therefore the also we can see that this is a very drastic change in lifestyle. I mean, when we're going from hunter gathering to farming, it's potentially the most severe change in lifestyle that we have undergone as humans. And we can see that the Vic Shen even in the genome in regards with things that associated with diet. So for example, these fats regions of the gene that I involved in transforming shelter fatty acids into long-term. Fed as this is something we need long chain fatty acids. For example, our brain, and we're getting them rectal through and fish. But if you are doing bread and carbohydrates unique to basically change the show chain, fatty acids into long chain, fatty acids, and the fats rich of the genome is involved in that, and we can see has been selection on those parts. So it's something that that transition also effected not only in terms of admixture with new people, but the it's also affecting, you can say, biologically, if you want and the starting to live in these sort of large static settlements in fact, susceptibility to disease as well different. I mean, we don't know yet with a these agriculturalists pro diseases with them. We have some suspicion that this might be the case, but it certainly you can see at least during that time or slightly after that time. Where we start seeing the first day makes plague, epidemics example. I mean, we see it already in the wrong sage, which is the period just following the cultural arrival into Europe. And so this change of lifestyle, of course, where you have more people to is creating the background Foale epidemic outbreaks such as plague. Why is important to study them to understand in many ways, the are providing the fundamental, the modern lifestyle. I mean, we see too many people would Accu you know that the agricultural revolution in Europe is really the creating the base for the creation of civilizations and our civilizations with the other. People have argued, of course that it's the worst thing that happens to humans because with the newly cessation, there's also a lot of problems coming with this change in lifestyle. I mean, people have occupied doing that are offering from diabetes and other lifestyle diseases is really result off the. The cultural revolution and that we are as a species still trying to tap to that change in lifestyle. But however you're looking at it was a positive nicotine. We've been, it's certainly an event that changed the way we are both living as humans. It's advent the chains, our ancestry in Europe, and it's been that that ultra chains infected our biology. That was professor escape. Willis left from Cambridge University and the university of Copenhagen. As I said, the Neolithic spread all around the world, but to get to know them intimately. I'm going to team up with a group of archaeologists and spend some time with just one settlement, an extremely exciting site that made the headlines. And of course, the naked scientists last year. Really have earliest evidence of wine production in the world. The expedition, which is the great project aims to find out about the origins of wine. And the sites in question are shoot vary and gotta truly in Georgia, which is a country squeezed between Turkey and Russia by the Black Sea straddling the east in the west. And if you're a knock eulogised whom to some of the most well preserved Neolithic sites, I went along with the project to that dig site to find out more about the Neolithic, but also find out how to be an archaeologist. I mean after watching Indiana Jones who hasn't wanted to donate a bull whip and fedora DOJ ancient traps. Well, kicking the occasional Nazi. But well, it turns out that's almost no time for that as a day in the life of knock eulogised is pretty full on. It's an early start at five AM. So if you're a student or an excitable reporter, you wastefully regret drinking Chacha the night before and get on the bus to the dick site. You about the tops, protecting the dig site and stock at into work and forget a hat and a whip. The tools of the trade, a little less dramatic or most important tool is our trowel. That's an Italian Hunchback, a PHD student at the university of Toronto, and of course a trial. This is slayer. You're welcome to wield her today, and this is your child's nickname, is slayer. It is. Yeah, we've been through some stuff together. She slayed some things for me. The second tool that we use quite a bit is a small pick not just to break up the soil, especially when we're I starting to dig the whole thing that is very important to us as a brush. It's important to be able to see what you're digging because you're moving onto dirt off of looking at this point to keep the old dirt off the new dirt. Keep all your separate. We follow what's called a probe in peel method. So what we do is. We start in a small area of the square and bring it down until we find a change in the soil, some new architecture, something along those lines. So we're not digging blind across of five by five meter space, just maybe a ten centimeter by two meters space. Once we find some of that information, we then extend that small holy made across the whole square because soils build up over the millennia. Each layer of soil represents a different point in time. So this in peel method excavates a bit by bit. So you don't miss anything, but it certainly no easy. Little bit the ankles and the knees and the back and for long periods. You don't find anything except the occasional rock. The terminal is at a rock. It's an artifact. Over all the creepy cruelly. On the brick. Do they bite. Maybe, but I'm bigger than but every now and then. Oh, wow. Look at that. Now. That is a huge look at that. You hit the jackpot tool Bonaparte and then you extract it very carefully and it's all time Jim banked for its long trip through science and as well as the artifacts in sleight like this, you'd also keep lookout for big bits of Choco. Yes. So these are all sort of carbonized wood, which is awesome because it tells us that there was definitely burning here, but it also is what we hinge our carbon dates on, which is how we put the site in an absolute time. So a lot of the artifacts just do their characteristics. We'll tell us that their meal thick based on whether on the ground, but also how they relate to other sites in the area, but are really big question with the excavations here at got a truly and over at Shula. Very is, where does actually fit on a real time scale? How far back are we talking about when we say origins of wine people using. Hi, it's possibly domesticated dogs. Like, what does that actually mean? And book him buckets of soil, the are removed to Somboon and sifted to collect any Snoopy's that may have escaped cheap all the while as you go, you record draw and photograph everything you can every single time we move even just like a speck of dirt. We are technically destroying something that sat in place for anywhere from ten thousand years to a couple of months, but we are very much disturbing everything that we touch. So it's very, very important for us to make sure that we maintain meticulous notes because as soon as it's gone, it's completely gone. At the end of the day, they even take a photo of the whole site using drone Parni in pre drone days. They tried everything from to Sophie six to get this done and often many hot hours of graft. It's back to h keyed. The students start drawing labeling and sorting that fines ready to go into the lab for analysis all under the watchful eye. Of project mascot looney. Others go out on a survey walking over wilderness, looking for anything that might indicate an interesting place today feature all the while of waiting the local snakes, which I'm told a liable to coil up in spring. You terrifying slinky's. I don't know whether to believe this once again, finding genuine faxes pretty rare. I uncovered some Soviet metal one livid school in and you guessed it more rocks. Return ably call it interesting. Turkish xanada. Pretty stone stone tools Moebius like right then names on them. Then it's back to base time for a quick dinner and off to bed ready for another five AM start trying to get a good night's Kip through the thunderstorms allowed enough to shake your bones and the order quake. Apart from the snakes only a passing resemblance to Indiana Jones movie really set up false expectations for me. You just can't trust Hollywood that was Natalia Jack with day in the life of an archaeologist. What about the people whose lives that taking up the artifacts? All tell stories. But the first thing you notice on the dick side, all the remnants of the houses. Stephen butterick is an with the great project from the university of Toronto, and he's been digging Shula very for a number of years and gave me the tool. This is your standard truly reddish show move village. So what you have is a series of circular structures, varying incised from one meter to our largest one is close to seven meters. They're clustered together. Sometimes you have buildings that are clustered in a figure, eight pattern, these two large ones over here so that you have the figure eight pattern or you'll have the MIR by. And you'll also see circular walls that will join them as well. And they'll form sort of small clusters almost a little like a household area where you have a couple of structures in an enclosed courtyard if you will. That's sort of. General pattern that you see and what you're looking at two in these squares. You can see that some of them are different levels. You're looking at different phases of construction. So what the lowest one would have been built first and then later they build that on and then add on overtime. So these these families, if you will would have been expanding over time and what would the houses themselves made out of? Well to Mancini is an archaeologist from Italy also working with the project. Is sample of a break from the lower level of the site so that these French mudbrick expert can analyze it and Telus you know something about them right. Mudbrick has what they've been building. These. The people here left head. What Bill everything over. Looks like the clay brick and there are sunbaked in see the Luzinski's here inside the clay. This is definitely mudbrick. And all these holes legal that you can see here are pretty much the Cade organic material like plans which are funding the clay and makes together with the clay to compact rematch demont brick and making more more solid as well as plant material like wheat, the mud bricks, mixed together with poop on occasionally bone to make them stronger. It may not sound like the most enticing to build your house from, but the Neolithic knew they were doing these things could really lost most this giant wondering about this. It looks like a non hill just slightly told them me behind me. What is this? This is one of the earliest structure that we have on the side and he's one of the most well preserved and what we did last year was to Beeld a sort of colder with clay. But fortunately collapse. Here. So maybe we didn't get the right amount of clay or the right proportions. The ten thousand year old structure stood up in one guys made fell down. Newfound respect for the Neolithic for sure. I've got to say, I've been on the full good Indiana Jones hot. Some haven't seen any vetoes is closest to congratulate you on your hot game. Thank you so much so fast. I, I concerned fashion icon wall to Monchy Nida. So they had these study houses, but what was life like in the village to Steve? Well, it would have been pretty tight clustered houses. So people would have been pretty much on top of each other as you can see, the houses aren't that large, they would not be doing a lot of their activities inside. They'd been doing them outside specially in those courtyard areas around the houses. You would have had agricultural fields that would have been immediately around, and it also seems that they would have had vineyards around here as well. Some of the work while the Georgians have done. We have an excellent palynology who works at the Georgian, national museum where she's been collecting soil samples from either outside. Courtyards inside the buildings, and she's been able to actually find great pollen if vine polling sensually. And she's also done other studies with modern vineyards and realize that the great pollen doesn't go very far. So for to be in these houses, the vineyards had been either close or they're collecting the flowers or whatnot and bringing them nearby. So they're probably were vineyard within the immediate vicinity. And then couple that with the motif of the grapes, the sorta led to the idea that they were probably drinking wine in here as well. So it would have been simple agriculture village, growing wheat, barley other legumes, but also undertaking horticultural practice. This evidence full coach, I'm wine is what makes these sites so important loss shit. They found with a residue containing a combination of acids which indicates wine, which have been dated to around eight thousand years ago, which pushed the date back for the Elliott winemaking Byron, two thousand is and that's not to viticulture going vineyards would have been the main things. And then also it now seems based on some of the new evidence that we have APPA cultures. Well, basically they would have been caring for bees, if you will. This is one of the things that we're presently working on is we also have the evidence earliest evidence for Honey foam. Does that take? It's the same person are pollen specialists. She was looking at a sample from its comes from the site of Shuai where we're also working. Basically it's a trash Pitt from hearth. And so somebody's been cooking and cleaning all the ash and everything like that. And so she was looking at it and is the sample that she had had this incredible. Well, this clustering of pollen of a very diverse variety of basically meadow plants and also our boreal flowers according to Pullen specialists like this is a signature of Honey because I should also add that they were also insect legs like Honey legs that were still caught in this as well. You will not have such a diverse collection of of pollen like that. If it's from. If it's an enter genyk thing because we can't collect that. We normally collect that diverse of pollen or flowers if you will, but Beezer going from flower flower. All across the please within. I think it's a seven kilometers range. They can collect that great variety and that's represented. That's the signature if you will, Honey of having that great variety of pollen. So they didn't have much space to move around and they had wine and they had Honey site life. My been quite good wouldn't have been that bad. I imagine is the site one singular sort of settlement over time or is it several? Well, this is actually one of the interesting things that we've started to understand just really sort of this year. But you do have is if you look across the landscape, you have our Mt. You can see another amount over there. That is the humidity's Gorda. It was also excavated in the nineteen sixties. Then off over there to Colombia's away is the opponents of Shula vetted Gortat which had been excavated in the nineteen sixties. Bye bye. The Georgians and what you seem to be looking at is a cluster of sites, but they're all occupied at different time periods over the two thousand years of the Shula berry show. Culture is seem to be a total mystery. The Neolithic people would building these perfectly good mudbrick houses staying for a couple of hundred years and then suddenly taking leaving forming a new settlement if you kilometers away. But why? Well, the onset may light with a key bits of information. We know about farming, how it griffis is professor of plant ecology at the university of Cambridge. So when farmers crop land for too long, you tend to get the one crop uses similar months nutrient year on year. So you tend to get progressive impoverishment of the soil and also tend to build up pathogen. So the two things tend to mean the progressively yields tend to decline with time, right? So if I'm having a field of wheat that I wanted to run through year after year, the wheat would eat the same nutrients. Again, and again, out of the soil that wouldn't have any way of replenishing them on the same diseases that like the wheat as well would building up on you. Actually, what we see in East Anglia hit where we have a Tikal which progressively reduces wheat yields, and that's why we have to rotate crops. So what's protection? Well, basically, it means under the current example, you grow a single crop perhaps for two years at most before switching to another crop to allow the soil to recover, how does the soil nutrients back? Well, to is really one is that the increased weathering brings in more nutrients from the bedrock and not physical helped by the roots, which actually helped to digest some of the Roques with the acid waters going down through otherwise through fertilizers that come in some naturally as a result of lightning, bringing nitrogen others, of course through manures, and that's where progressively early man probably would have learned fairly quickly that some form of manure would. Would aid crop productivity, and if you replaced wheat with something else than also the bacteria or whatever it was that was feasting on the week top, nothing to eat and hopefully disappear as well. Yes sounds the general idea yet. So it just gives a break and so then the land is healthier and more nutrient rich ready for the crop when you replant it, how long does it take for soil to recover between wheat's? Well, as a currently, I think it's in the region of between a about a year or so or year or two following intensive cropping. Although I believe in the in the eastern England, there are some farmers that are able to get through this kind of rather impoverished time on grow wheat continuously, but it tends to result in lower yields, and this is exactly why the Oculus just think the settlements moving around the landscape. They had only just started to come hit on this idea of probation, but they would finding a yields unless unless each year, so. After using up all of the land around a settlement, it was time to move on. We'll kind of things. Were they falling back to Howard? Okay. We'll the evidence suggests that we, we started to select early weet varieties as at one verdict on unkown, which has it sounds like it just as a single grain in its. We quite surprising because if you look at wheat and I guess you don't realize you can turn into tasty tasty, bread and pasta. It doesn't look sort of immediately useful. I'd much rather something I could eat straightway well, like all of these things. One does how much of this was found by accident in conjunction with leaving grains near the fire and so on. But we we do know that the Neolithic man had breads had found ways of grinding grains to to make flour. So rapidly became adopted as a staple. We have weight and Bali early domesticates, but also things like poppy and flax and some legumes as well. So lentils and vetches and so on. Those are the earliest crops how have themselves been changed by repeated foaming of them have they would? Would they be recognizable? I suppose it's an interesting question. So the accent is whether the the seats actually increase what we, what we certainly have managed to do is select grind with increasing yields. But at the same time, we've been able to build on a number of chance hybridization 's whereby to grosses accidentally merged genetics genetic basis, and that led to this hybrid effects with increased yield and not ultimately is let us to with the characteristic waited that we now recognize. Whereas if you saw one of those early weeks, you'd scarcely recognize it as a a crop that we'd recognize as we today and in terms of the foaming itself, how's that developed sin? The last ten thousand is I imagine quite of it. Well, indeed, I mean, there's a lot of debate in in the UK about the send. The forest were initially cleared in what's what's the stone age, but. I think in the UK certainly we think that the choke was cleared. I, which would been the uplands because of the lighter soil. So it's easier to plough with early early sort of stick Prowse and so on, and that would have been cultivated. Initially, the argument is that it was only later. About. Thousand years base e also the on showed plow, came in from Belgium, Belgium and so on, and that then that to the heavy clays being tilled what is telling well, basically it's a question of having cleared the basic forest. It's then at question of creating a seedbed because what what growing crops is all about his creating a monoculture and in fact funding some of the earliest Neolithic sites have seeds of weeds very characteristic as well. So I'm sort of speed wells that we can't really find it all flowerbeds and so on today, presumably they were weeds that were growing amongst the crops, the Bali and wheat that being cultivated by those earliest color pharma's how Griffith that from the university of Cambridge, the naked scientists cost is produced in a sociation with Spitfire cost-effective voice, internet and engineering services. UK businesses find out how Spitfire can impel you'll company at Spitfire. Coach k.. This week on the naked scientists. You'll with me Georgia mills, and I'm probing the pasta and finding out will the Neolithic have ever done for us. We've built up a strong a picture of life. If he years ago they were living in secular houses may largely from us with a little hint of poo and bone. I'm with farming the surrounding lands, enduring bread, Honey, and wine for dinner. But to find out more, it's time to move place. Lee at some of the artifacts team has been finding and was one that caused considerable excitement in the square Natalia Hunchback was supervising and apologies. Archaelogist have potty mouths. Look at that. So even to my very untrained I, I can tell this is something. It's it's thing leanness really. So what we're looking at here is a large obsidian blade and obsidian is volcanic flow that dried very, very quickly. So it has the appearance of glass essentially. So these are essentially used as blades as knives sickles, and we pull up quite a few of these from the square. This is our second or third one from this whole right now. And as you can see the edges look a little bit serrated they've been reworked telling us that this blade was probably used quite a bit and the way that there is this dividend. The edge also tells us that it was most likely used at some point before it was buried next to this wall. These obsidian blades turned up quite a lot with various different markings indicating they might have been useful. I'm perhaps the best way to understand how the Neolithic made and use these is to try it for yourself. Shawn Doyle is the projects, resident, Napa, which is not as I initially assumed because he slept too much. Napping k. n. a. p. p. i. n. g. is the general term used for the production of chip stone tools. But generally it's the tools that are made with solar material. Seditious the it is a very salacious rock actually, obsidian as a very high silica content solicit stone is stone where its main main component is silica. On obsidian is the thing that I'm on the day. We found lots of tools made of obsidian and massive roof of it hit and it's dock and black and shiny, and very beautiful. And I also know this is the thing that in game of friends very excited about the dragon gloss. So this is to me quite mystical object actually. Is it. First of all, I'm a big game of thrones fan, so I love me some dragging glass and if I can kill a white Walker one day twenty in our world, obsidian is a a stone that's formed in volcanic eruptions. You need a lover that has a really low viscosity, which means it's very fluid and liquid and it super cools very quickly. So quickly that the the elements inside don't have time to crystallize. So you end up with very homogeneous, natural glass material, the crystallization process kind of ruins predictability. So the more glasslike it is the more predictable it is and the more easily you can flake it into the tools that you want. Other Cilicia stones are Flint and various types of shirt, like Cal Cetinje or Opal, or some courts team between napping then how how would I go about tending this big. Rank into a nice lead in a knife. Basically just stare at your stone a lot until it speaks to you. Oh, wow. Very scientific. Yeah, that's the easy way to put it. But really it depends on what you're trying to do with the stone. If you're if you're just trying to take a flake that you can use to cut something with, you're just looking for an angle that's under under ninety degrees. This one hears about seventy and you're just looking for a flat strong platform that you can hit with the stone that will withstand the strike and allow the shock wave to travel through the piece. China like this. Eureko lots of really nice one. Nice, thick flake. You know, it's such a versatile material that you can pretty much shape it into anything you want. Once you know what you're doing once you know what you're doing. Being the operative phrase him that didn't stop me from demanding a guy, and I don't know why you'd have large chunks of obsidian lying around your house, but please don't try this home. I found out it's very easy to cut yourself. I have a few scars for my learning days. But every scars lesson, that's what I say speaks to me. Nice. He'll call the end. Well, it exploded a little bit. That's part of the learning process. Okay. What did I do wrong? A couple of things. Sorry, mentioned game before Valya. Could you make a sued out of this stuff? Would it what? Well, I could make a sword, but it probably wouldn't be the most practical thing. It would probably break in half the first time you try to hit something with it. It may be, but what it looks studying at makes up for in its edge, which I would say was raise a shop, but really it makes a raise look like a crown. Yes, obsidian is so sharp. It. A sharp edge can be something like two nanometers in thickness or something like that. So it gets so thin that you can cut between blood cells. Actually, obsidian is still used in some modern surgeries for that reason, but also because you can sterilize it really easily. It doesn't have the same pours as surgical or modern steel does, so you can sterilize release. The Neolithic faithful were using a physician. You know what they probably might have been. They used it for all sorts of different things, including scarf occasion, bloodletting maybe tattooing even yet it's a very versatile material. They even made mirrors with it. The person in the world were made from obsidian. You'll be pleased to know none of the team used at to any bloodletting, but one, George, knock eulogised Dima did actually manage to shave his bid with a blade again, please don't try this at home, but obsidian as well as giving insights into how the Neolithic lived. Can also tell us a bit about that movements, YouTube city and sources unique in in its in its chemical signature. Actually, that's why it's it's used very effectively in sourcing. So we can use various lab instruments like x Ray diffraction and others to addenda FAI. It's trace elements so that you can match artifacts in the archaeological record to the obsidian source that came from. Right. So people were trading with this, you'd know how hard moved. That's right. Yeah. And because it's such a homogeneous material, it's much easier to do that with then with safe Flint or church. Art. So you can tell exactly how far material was traveling in the past will help city. Then. All city. It's my favorite thing in the world. Me too. Now. Sean, Doyle, that Anapa thoughts with a k. and a dragon gloss wheel to so pot from these stone tools or litho cts an important group of evidence all the remains of animals, Steve Rhodes and the project to archaeologist for grape and what is a zoo. Oculus I study animal bones and essentially you human subsistence based on that we've got, we're in the lab now. It's lots of boxes, various things, and there's a lot of bone. So what kind of things have been have people been finding? Well, predominantly in terms of food animals, there are a lot of cap Brian's, mostly sheep, few goats, lot of pigs, a lot of cows. And then we also have wild versions as well as domesticated. So we have domesticated sheep and goat, but it looks like we have some some wild like found a very large. Horn core of what looks like a wild goat. And we also seem to have wild oryx which are wild oxen, progenitor of domestic cattle, very much larger and even possibly bison, which were native here many years ago. Some other interesting things. We have a very large catfish to the Wels catfish is the common name and they can get up to two or three meters long and have these bead objects here that were made from them that we're kind of curious about whether they were, you know, decorative beads or possibly years pools, or even been suggested they might have been spindle worlds for making fibers from wool or flax. Right? So it's it's kind of like a little bone doughnut, tiny thing from a catfish. Yeah, that's our best guess right now is catfish, it looks the most like. That, right? So these guys were having a lot of animals to eat and animals like the catfish which may be happen used in some kind of auto decoration. And then what else would they using animals full huge amount of their their technology, like their tool kit was made from animal bone, and it's more so than in other parts of the nearest that I've worked in the Levant where they have Flint and they make a lot of tools Flint. But here in eastern Georgia, there's no, there's almost no Flint, and it's all obsidian, but which is great for making some things, but it's not great for others because it's so fragile. So making a lot of tools out of it is problematic. For example, like we don't see any obsidian arrowheads and you know what I was thinking was that you know, maybe it's because when they hit the animal, they shatter inside it and fill your potential meal. With lots of shards of tiny little glass. So the people probably figured that it really quickly and what they do have our bone marrow heads which are quite uncommon and other places, but seem to be typical here. They also they seem to have been doing a lot of hide processing. So we have a huge number of all piercing tools that were made. They seem to have had a real consistent technique. So they have this really standardized, like hide production industry looks like across through at this whole culture. That's quite interesting. What hides pennies pencil predominantly flow? -thing, I would assume at this point because it doesn't seem like they were doing any weaving because we don't have really much evidence of that, and this would be very early for that. Probably using it for containers a lot. You know, for carrying water and things like that. Or you know, just general transportation of goods to hide survive. Long could could we have uncover one theoretically in this environment. It's not likely they have been found in places like bog deposits in northern Europe, Denmark, Ireland, places like that where mummified no in places like Egypt or high altitude sites and South America, places like that. But that's very different environment than what we have. So it's highly unlikely wherever gonna find that here not content to merely look at these binds at the great project. They really wanted to get inside the minds of the Neolithic. Case. There's a table covered in tiny sheep legs, students covered in blood. I wouldn't say covered what is going on. We are replicating some of the bone tools that we're finding. At the sites of Gada shrill Lee and Shula Varis that were excavating as part of the learning process. We're trying to learn how Neolithic people made their tools. Right. And so you're using an obsidian played today? What? Exactly I'm the sheep legs came with the skin on, so I, we have to remove the skin and the Becerra, and then we have to disarm late the meta podiums from the Lange's from the toes. 'cause we're not using the toes. We're just using this partier. And then after we've done this, we're gonna start breaking the bones because we have to break these bones in half in order to replicate the tools here. So we're going to be after we've got all the viscera off, we're going to be scoring them with a stone tool to guide the fracture when we break it and then breaking them open with stones with like a hammer an anvil technique and then finishing shaping them with with other ABS hitting leads. Go rework. I guess in one in one sense. But you know if you're Neolithic person, this would be nothing to you because you're used to living in the natural world. There were no butcher shops, you know, no restaurants that did everything yourself. Steve writes that with some gruesome experimental archaeology. And while we using the present to understand the past, I wanted to find out more about the discovery that made this site famous winemaking, because winemaking in Georgia is quite unusual, which may be tradition they've kept from the very start. Alexander tried site is the managing director at KT w group, which is one of Georgia's largest winemaking companies. So we're an interesting country in terms of why making because not only do wind by traditional way of European way. But we also do out on traditional way which is making wine enquiries, which are clay vessels, huge ones starting from maybe from. Litters going up to a couple of thousand liters. We pick the grapes and after hand baking out graves, we trust for it to our Maraniss where we have queries. Marini Maroney's a wine cellar in Georgia, very widespread than national treasury award for us. On the running up Moroni Merimee. Do you have a Maroney hit? Yes. Okay. Look through. Fantastic. There's a beautiful building, massive, Chet appearance. Wow. And now it's just opened up into this massive seller. Full of wine bottles of wine. You go ahead. What are these? What are these traps in the ground designed for people to fool down threats. We call them quivers these coverage. I'm going to stick my head one that only gush. You can probably tell from the sound just how big these and they act being kept underground fees, poor, and I guess you put all the grapes in the and then seal it up. And so putting wine and Kev that's quite a different method to the rest of the world. So what impact does that have on a flavor. Oh, it gives us throng flavored than regular method of making wine, but quiry is so different that I've never heard an instance where somebody tried quivering says, oh, that reminds me of something because it's just so different. It gives its clay like flavor, which is weird because we don't eat clay, but we, we have smelled it. We have experienced it than there is a saying that we use in Georgia that Klay makes wind better and almost as important as the wine making traditions all the wine drinking traditions our, yeah, our Supra, which is a fist is very interesting phenomenon. It's late by guy named Thomas who people choose before the feast. Even someone who leads the table Ritz the table by saying the toasts where he says a toast. Everybody has to say that toast maybe they can just. Sate come jobs, which means cheers, but they can also Ed something. And usually when we drink town says something, and then all of us just said something about that toast. It's not only drinking process. It processed goes into communication and you become close to each other after Joe JR face because you opened up about many things and you talk about different stuff is not like tears to tear sent drink. And sometimes we have a thing called the different when we introduced some weird stuff to drink out of kind sometimes be a huge clay jar or vase or. I don't know some people to encounter forgive Tara's well. Or a shoe. We don't do that kind of stuff mostly just something drinkable vase or huge glass or two like Ed, some kind of. New flavor to the fist flav, especially from a shoe. I don't like drinking from shoe. Alexander chide, say on George drinking traditions that so all the rest of us are less likely to drink it from shoot. Wine is incredibly popular across the world. But why really does it matter wherein when we invented it, why should we spend time and money digging up the pas like this Matala humpback tells us a lot about ourselves today. Yeah, absolutely. Especially as you get more into asking questions of the past, you realize that you're really asking the questions that are important to us today. So the questions that were asking might not even be relevant. People who live ten thousand years ago might not be something they think about the fact that is something that we're thinking about today tells us a lot about what it is to be a person in the twenty first century. So archaeology is fundamentally figuring out where humans came from and why we are the way we are today. So the materials that we look at, especially things like ceramics and plaster where investigating the first time humans made synthetic material. Title and synthetic material is a big part of our existence today. But Furthermore, things like ceramic and like obsidian are still used as components in tools we use today, which is very cool when you looking at things from United hundreds of years ago, de feel kind of connection with the post, absolutely pulling something out of the ground that hasn't been touched in ten thousand years gives you a really close and intimate connection with the last person who touched it, you might not know who that person is, but it's a kind of connection through time and a little bit through space between yourself. And essentially people who came before that made us who we are today. And I've been here for just under week, and so I haven't been getting up his Elliot's guys sort of five AM stars, backbreaking labor. What keeps you doing it because it's not easy. Is it? No, it's not an easy pursuit, but it's one that is incredibly rewarding. And part of it is that we work with people to get the work done. So you're forging human connections with people who you wouldn't. Necessarily work with daily. We are very, very lucky to work with incredible Georgian students, for instance, but also the experience of pulling something out of the ground and really revealing parts of the puzzle that you might or might not be able to put together in a coherent way sort of like catnip. It'll just keep going and keep you coming back for more gambling a little bit like camping. Natalia act then. So how different really always from on Neolithic on sisters back to Cambridge university's escape his lab. Those some some evidence suggesting the hunter gatherers. The originally came into your old appearance was quite different from today. I mean you had they had much stock skin. The had do agree ice so they would have different from from prison. They Europeans, they would have language, put. It would have been the hunter gatherer Lang, which was most likely be very different from the language we speak today because you know the UPENN which is I really getting coming into to Europe during early prongs with the United stanchion. They have Elise said boy in only innovations, but we know these days we know about farming. We have these sort of scientific reason behind, but they wouldn't have known any of this. How did they make so many innovative. What made the pharma so successful? Is that for some reason, you know, they must have had more children that survived. Basically. I mean, so the population growth of the farmers seems to have been Nacho then among the hunter gatherers. And it's kind of ironic in the sense that if you look at the health state of the farmers, it actually looks like the the health state is poor up among the farmers than it is among the hunter gatherers. So you can say in some ways, you know it was. It was probably and this. While they was this good life if you want. I mean, that's how it looks, at least from the skeletons. I mean, they have teeth problems. You know, the, the fantasy small, the backs are kind of affected. You know, by the line of lifestyle, the nutrition stage is not as good as as the hunter gatherers, but still they seem to be, you can say, in terms of numbers more successful than the hunter gatherers, the innovations they made. Like, for example, if you leave grapes out for while mates wine with this have been intentional accidentally while it's a good question. I mean, it's it's, it's not very clear exactly how to mystic Asian happened. I mean, those different theories on this. I mean, some believe is kind of very gradual thing. You know, while you're start nursing a little bit some wild crops and turning them into two mystics long period and something that happens vanish. Slowly others have accurate that it's much more focused and I don't think that's really resolved. But of course, when they're getting into Jural they to some extent Mazda this new way of life, at least to an extent way you can say it's successful and the make possible the sprit of that lifestyle and lifestyle. We have to thank from what in life today, the good and the Bod to brutally. If anyone went ask, we'll have the Neolithic have done for us. Just take a look around. Thank you to escape. Willis left from Cambridge University and to all of the guests this week. Alexander chide, say Natalia, Hanseatic, Sean, Doyle, Steve, right? Stephen butterick and Howard Griffiths and also a huge. Thank you to undo Graham and the rest of the great project. Do join us next week for look, the invisible substances that make the world go round from Jijel getting food to running out. 'cause we're taking a look at catalysts. The naked scientists comes from Cambridge University is supported by Rolls Royce on the SEC. I'm Jemil's and thank you very much for listening to. What's that one language? 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