What A Life?


Price of prices

recorded Nov 4 2015

Earlier this week we posted the first ep of this podcast

Ryan got a Google router and his network name is the surfer emoji

Ryan works at Bloomberg now, (spoiler: he no longer does)

Progress report

Paul worked hard (on this very website) and earned 3 guilt free hours

Ryan tells people to lie to him about deadlines so he can get things done ahead of time, upon retrospect , this is pretty immature, a real maverick attitude

Ryan finished episode three of the Trashcast

Ryan’s gf Ana did the graphic design for the website and podcast ‘skeleton on the cake’ artwork

How do you live without guilt?

PUMP TRACKS: The only fun thing in the world


capitalism : why does paul love it and why has Ryan been taught it’s evil?

We read “The Use of Knowledge in a Society” by Friedrich A. Hayek (1945) it’s about the magic of ‘prices’

And listened to an ep of the podcast “The Partially Examined Life” about this topic

Paul thinks the gov should back off, man

Ryan thinks prices sound like the simple rules birds obey when then swarm, called murmurations

Or the way plant intelligence is described in the book, “Brilliant Green”

Pareto Efficiency - an economic state where resources cannot be reallocated to make one individual better off without making at least one individual worse off. Pareto efficiency implies that resources are allocated in the most efficient manner, but does not imply equality or fairness. -investopedia

The ‘Fundamental Welfare Theorem’ doesn’t account for Marketing and Ryan thinks that marketing is too significant to not consider.

Century Of The Self” (2002) a BBC Documentary about Public relations by Adam Curtis.

Upon reflection, my example of why marketing is bad …is bad. i could do better -ryan still watch that doc, though

The Article From The New Inquiry “Know Your Product” by Rob Horning

Wow we understand nothing .

What’s the stock market?

Are Dark pools Bad?

VR interfaces

“The Backyard Computer” paul pretty much invented spatial computing


Let's make some magic!

recorded October 14th 2015

This time Ryan and Paul talk about some of their formative school memories. These are stories that made them the men they are today. Well, the men they were back in 2015 when this was originally recorded.

ana boils bones for the cats

Paul apologizes for being mean last week (I, ryan, didn’t notice)

paul keeps saying Garbage ryan is always saying trash

quick snap tip, double tap a persons name in the story section to direct chat

pauls raking in the sweet bread for his app, the content blocker

we froze!

sry this frozen edit isnt funny

paul says pico de gayo really perfectly 

Progress report

Paul did nothing cause he’s watching his brother and visiting his sister

Ryan obsessed over the trashcast ep 3 edit

Ana is playing with plotagon 

reddit plays pokemon twitch streams

paul wants a live internet website event

i think i know what he wants now, i should talk to him about this now

ryan clearly doesnt understand code 

we do a prompt

Talk about one grade of school, every story you can remeber from that one year.

paul was home schooled until freshman year of highschool, he talks about that year.

Pauls most traumatizing moment in school, “everybody knew it was me”

swing dancing club

hi this is ryan im a spaz,

sort of ryans emo origin story 

paul thinks home school worked out for him

Ryan talks about second grade when he started identifying as a nerd

heres a picture of him at the time

look at you; miss america

inside jokes have more JOKE HEAT

i go back and forth about this whole podcast being horrible or great

ryan misspoke, the bridge he loves is in “they’ll need a crane” “where your eyes don’t go”


we dig deep into song lyrics and song writing for some reason

man, i was hyped this week!


doing economics for real next ep we read the first couple chapters of “Flash Boys” to understand the stock market

Pauls reads this quote from hitchhikers guide

“Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the NON-existence of God.

The argument goes like this:

‘I refuse to prove that I exist,’ says God, ‘for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.’

‘But,’ says Man, ‘The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.’

‘Oh dear,’ says God, `I hadn’t thought of that,’ and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.

‘Oh, that was easy,’ says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.”


Do plants dream of information theory?

Actually this one was recorded on Oct 8th 2015, last one was Wednesday Sept 23rd whoops! The one after this is Oct 14th, sry. Also also Ryan finished editing this over a month ago, but Paul just got around to uploading. Some things never change.

This week Ryan and Paul show up with great productivity reports. They’re being so creative! It’s almost like all this podcast-based complaining and navel gazing is translating in to real world lifestyle changes. Almost.

Also, do plants have feelings, and what even is information? Those are things that are explored in books that Paul and Ryan read. What a smart pair. Almost.

Progress report

Ryan finished plant book

Ryan edited one ep and listening to himself, he thinks he’s a mean person {a year later, I still do think im mean, maybe thats who i am}

We talk about how we want to catch up to real time. {we’re over a year behind now} Paul wrote a snapchat explainer based on things Ryan told him and his small amount of experience

Ryan doesnt text anymore, he snaps videos to people

Paul understands the snapparatus

Ryans been saying he was going to do a snapchat ‘brain dump’ for almost two years now and he’s too afraid of being criticized to finish writing/researching it.

Paul wants to build a game that’s like qwap but for skateboarding in vr

This is qwop

Paul can’t stop dancing {making things for the web}

Ryan started a video podcast with his brothers and girlfriend called “trashcast” that he describes as ‘The TMZ of social media’ and ‘the worst thing on the internet’


Ryan watched a bunch of videos of kids grieving over the death of a young family vlogger boy

He talks about it on this trashcast

Neither Paul nor Ryan can process anything through sadness. We are afraid that our emotional cognition is not compatible with or out of tune with reality. We fear we’re different from what would be considered functional or normal. There is a long silence in our discussion of death and grieving that confirms this.

An important conversation

Ryan finished the plant book and talks about how plants are like the internet. Also how music helps them in many ways

Plants sleeeeep

For a hundred years, no one believed the venus fly trap was intentionally eating insects. They thought perhaps the flies were committing suicide

Paul explains some information theory to ryan and ryan doesn’t get it totally {but now im in the future re listening to this while editing and i get it now, sorry paul, you did a good job, i just needed a second listen}

the information

Shannons law

Ryan thinks what paul is explaining about signal strength and being able to withstand information loss is like this idea that “it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae”

We’re both trying to get to the essence of what we’re interested in, ryan is trying to get to the core of intelligence and paul is trying to get to the core of information

Paul’s reading Permutation City

Ryan wants an expanded sensory cocktail

He wants to start making alien art for other senses like neil says

Our friend’s podcast Tuner

Art is a stack of references

Were mathematics discovered or invented

Paul thinks Neil deGrasse Tyson is full of shit

Passage from “Brilliant Green”:

“Animals use the matter and energy produced by plants. Plants, in turn, use the sun’s energy to fulfill their own needs. Thus animals depend on plants, plants on the sun.

This brings us to a more general conception of plant life and to an understanding of its role in the biosphere: plants are the mediators between the sun and the animal world. They— or rather their most typical cellular organelles, the chloroplasts— are the link connecting the activities of the whole organic world (that is, of everything we call life) with our solar system’s energy center. Thus plants have a universal function for life on our planet. Animals don’t.

The most recent studies of the plant world have demonstrated that plants are sentient (and thus are endowed with senses), that they communicate (with each other and with animals), sleep, remember, and can even manipulate other species. For all intents and purposes, they can be described as intelligent. The roots constitute a continuously advancing front line, with innumerable command centers, so that the whole root system guides the plant like a kind of collective brain— or rather a distributed intelligence— which, as the plant grows and develops, acquires information important to its nutrition and survival…

For centuries, animals, too, were considered unthinking machines. It is only in the past several decades that we’ve begun to guarantee them rights, dignity, and respect: animals are not things anymore. This change in perspective has led nearly all the most advanced nations to enact regulations designed to protect and defend animals’ dignity. Nothing like this exists for plants. The discussion of their rights is only beginning, but it can’t be put off any longer.”


Paul assigns ryan to listen to this episode of partially examined life about the free market there’s a part 2 also… fyiii

Ryan just wants paul to get broody about capitalism so he says he should watch the corporation and listen to Fugazi

Bonus link I sent to paul after we stopped recording “Century of the self” documentary about the history of public relations


The Attention Vampires

“What is your VR utopia?”

Does it involve Ryan ASMR? Does it involve Ryan losing his recording from last week so we have to recap what we talked about? (Comics, mostly). Does it involve waiting an entire year for Paul to post the episode?

All that’s real. We make your VR dreams come true.

Ryan is recording with two microphones taped to opposite sides of human head sized jelly filled smiley face stress ball.


it’s really annoying sounding. there was a dumb adapter that was buzzing, but i didnt hear it, i thought it sounded cool. hahaha. its so annoying to edit this.

thats the buzz maker.

Lost episode recap

we talk about Frank being beautiful “he’s got a dangerous imagination” - paul

paul says By this You Shall Know Him seems like a Veganism creation story “preachy”

Garden by Yuichi Yokoyama is very cool and reminds Paul of how mine craft bend the rules of reality using waterfalls as boat elevators. Ryan wishes Snow Crash’s Matrix was more like Yuichi Yokoyama’s world in garden.

Hacking in some stories like neuromancer is like a internal drive or force. just “wanting it more”

paul thinks we need a unified legal matrix with consensual rules and history. local blockchain type relations to keep everything under control but without the need for central control.

Progress report

ryan quit his job and is off this week.

he’s an attention vampire so he’s dancing on periscope. it’s sad or fine.

Paul wrote a plugin that blocks content. a content blocker called “Discontent”. {ad blockers were big in the news in the fall of 2015} stop wasting your time on ad supported BULLLSHITTTT

Carles(formerly hipterrunnoff) carles.buzz, the site is down now but i found his e-book “Nothing Matters” posted here

carles writes semi regularly for motherboard now

“something thats not actively nihilistic just doesn’t sound very useful” - paul

An important conversation

Whats your personal utopia? Build your custom matrix.

Pauls gonna fuuuckkk

ryan wants peoples attention. he’s building a binary matrix: one world like yuichi yokoyamas garden, where he’ll creatively navel gaze into the infinite and invite people to admire it and hang out, then another world where everyone looks and sounds exactly the same so everyone is neutral (i know this is a flawed idea, this is a fun podcast where we can talk about anything)

Rust nude bald man war

Ryan’s anonymous matrix might be VR 4chan and very very bad

“no matter what we build, and no matter what we try to do, were going to find a way to um…make it horrible” - paul on the concept of utopia and kind of everything

Ryan talks about his unfinished movie about the singularity that he wrote in 2008, it was maybe called ‘the artilect’ Please don’t rip it off unless you give me a lot of money please.

the book about plant intelligence ryan reading so he can maybe understand alien civilizations (a year later i can say it just made me understand people and life on earth in a different way). its really good

paul said ryan’s movie is reverse eden

The last question is probably the way to end the movie

paul wants cool and different physics

paul just wants to give people to ask for advice and to be celebrated for his good advice.

the new rockstars are reality creators and a new world opening is like an album release.

Let it be known, paul was very hyped on the AR aspect of pokemon go a year ago.

this is the end of season 1


Ryan’s gonna read “Brilliant Green”

Paul’s Reading “the information”


God is my alpha

This was recorded September 2nd, 2015. That was a long time ago

Maybe instead of asking “why do something instead of nothing,” we should be asking “why should you upload podcast episodes you’ve already recorded instead of not upload podcast episodes you’ve already recorded.” It’s a tough question, and it will obviously take months more of quasi-philosophy by your main bros Paul and Ryan to figure it out.

Fun trivia time!

Vangelis and Kraftwork (kraftwork and vangelis started goofing with electronics at PRETTY MUCH the same time, so ryans theory is wrong. they’re just different)

Pauls favorite street in new york nonsensical road by grand central??

We’re solving productivity, personal happiness, then world happiness

Progress report

paul can’t finish a draft of an article

ryan made a video of his family vacation video

defining your audience might be the key!!!?

todd Teere “its album time”

pauls review of tree of life


my brother and me t shirt, home made

me ryan teaching paul and my brother to edit in premiere

hi, thanks for reading the show notes

Homework town? What is this part called

authenticity is negging reality?

we’re all lookin for something to be our dad

do we have to be our own alpha?

is god a placebo allowing you to become your own alpha?

if you could change one thing about god, what would it be?

paul explains spirit biology/physics maybe

the holy trinity

plz plz let heaven be real


Sleeping on a warm pile of mall pretzels

Hey, you think Paul will ever finish this project he’s working on? Probably not, but let’s keep our fingers crossed!

even though ryan is currently embarrassed by ep 7, at the beginning of episode 8, he remarks that ‘last week, ep 7, is where we hit our stride’ … WHAT?!

u can get high and talk to us, but not too high

there’s a bunch of conflicting evidence on asking coworkers about their pay, it leans toward ‘do it’, but recognize it’s touchy.

Progress report

paul’s thing on wifi

nobody wants creativity 4 real. I think i heard it on a podcast? But heres a slate article that says the same thing pretty much

ryan is still very this week, sry about my tude, idk, maybe thats just really me, im lookin at the , man in the mirror


We talk about paul’s note solution and ryan’s note beginnings

Feel free to take paul’s notes categories:

  • notes
  • programming
  • philosophy
  • science
  • ethics
  • god

Feel free to take ryan’s notebook categories

  • animals
  • bees and pollen
  • biomimicry
  • cancer
  • dna
  • dolphins
  • global warming
  • meat
  • general
  • space

paul’s notes fail him, rly hard

idk about this dolphin research, no reaaalll progress since i first heard

pauls reading comics, ryans reading snow crash

Idea zone

‘you can throw that idea away’ is harsh but heres a persons recap of the ep with clips and she recreates a photo???

some fan art making her look like a bratz doll??

hi, boys

sleeping on a bed of mall pretzels

illegal for dogs to use the internet

reproducing amazon boxes

raptors tearing up legal docs in the back of a truck

we didnt add free ideas as a regular part of the show

Well I, ryan, don’t like myself again. I think the numbers are waning, that’s good


Are we livestock in a content farm?

I, ryan, would prefer if no one listened to this ep cause he’s embarrassed about his bravado and know-it-all demeanor. please skip this episode or just stop listening to this show all together. paul was good though.

I, paul, am currently employed in content and hope I didn’t say anything I’ll regret.

This episode was recorded in like August or September of 2015. That’s a long time ago!

Special ASMR Edition

asmr mr rogers

“It’s like the two most polite people the world has seen got together to make a vase.” - Ben Potter, a youtube commenter and probably a human.

re-foleying the matrix w/ asmr sounds

commander mark aka Mark Kistler

Progress report (it goes on for a while because we didn’t have homework)

ryan’s steppin high and broods about life on ‘the content farm’

he did not continue his show ‘walk show’ much longer “idk why” -me almost a year later

We try to break down the farm metaphor

we hurt everyone around us

ryan’s got a hard tude

casey neistat

conan string dance

advice for casey neistat

caseys studio

ze frank brain crack


ryan doesn’t like the word ‘creative’

paul thinks Ridley Scott’s Legend has the best visual aesthetics for medieval times

i feel bad that i was making it seem like it was okay to be mean to people even if you feel like you’re doing great art

Homework for next week

paul said “Snow Crash” has a good metaverse descriptions

Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge

Frank by Jim Woodring and the other comics ryan sent to paul

“Garden” by Yuichi Yokoyama

and “By This You Shall Know Him” by Jesse Jacobs

you’re so small that even if you lost your job, or you’re a bum, or you’re super rich, look it still doesn’t matter, you’re nothing


Tavi for President

We talked about The Denial of Death, a book. It gets a little heavy. Paul maybe thinks casual sexism is funny. Tavi Tavi Tavi.

This was recorded in August 2015. Ryan still worked at The Verge, Paul still lived in Washington with his parents.

Progress report

writing down vignettes

frog girl drawing (attached)

learning cinema 4d

dota 2 vive vr

i think i did a good job on this vid about the matrix effects dude

trump drama? megan kelly yelling black lady rant , the other one always agreeing with her. v watchable.

Homework town

denial of death

we’re masses of men sweating in the nightmare of creation

(“agape complex” is not a thing)


tavi early profile

tavi is great

tavi for president 

as above so below

aka macrocosm and microcosm

role conflict

your shirt is sexist

guy who said men and women shouldn’t work together

blood cement / covenant of gangsters

the sculptor, by scott mccloud

who is my god?

Immortality project

david brin existance

“i got a little bit screamo about it” - ryan

Homework for next week



Leonardo da Vinci’s Brand Activation for Pepsi at SXSW

The name pretty much says it all. Really this episode is about how we read Plato’s Republic and we took it very seriously we swear.

Progress report

paul’s math

levitated mass

gaudí church

throwback video game style


norwegian wood by the beatles

4th time around by bob dylan

Homework town

plato’s republic (we listen to the abridged audiobook)

plato’s timocracy

hitchhikers guide, ruler of the universe

overton window (adi’s article)

overton window wikipedia


brand activation

leonardo da vinci

Homework for next week

the denial of death by ernest becker


Ryan says “deference,” like the word, “defer,” ex. “to defer a student loan,” and that’s not actually a word. He meant “transference” when talking about the “the denial of death.” Transference meaning transferring the terror of death onto a manageable thing like a job or washing your hands a lot (in the case of OCD).

Paul says Euler like “Bueller” but really it’s supposed to sound exactly like “oiler”.


Drink Authenticity™

Paul’s sorry this took so long to upload, and he hopes Ryan will forgive him.

Also oh my gosh Paul why did we let you eat on this episode. This is terrible for ears. Whyyyy.



minion mania



Progress Reports

Paul: 80%, 0.5% of the time

Ryan: ???

the art of procrastination

verge news podcast

walt mossberg describes his earliest memories



billy disney

Ryan’s “snapsheet”


The rubber hand experiment

(Originally recorded July 2015)

This is our second episode. We recorded from our respective homes, on the opposite of the country. Paul says he was really nervous.


What A Life?

(Originally recorded June 2015)

This is the first episode we recorded. We were in the same room, and we used handheld mics and sat across from each other and talked. Nobody knew what would happen next.