There is something about Aaron Abernathy such that every conversation with him regardless of setting or subject results in me feeling smarter. Aaron's power to relate ideas combined with his overall sense of empathy and easy-goingness make him a genuinely a great person to talk to.
Recorded on 2019-01-27
Speakers: Joseph Weidinger and Aaron Abernathy
So, Aaron Abernathy, The first time I met you was about ten years ago. You were one of my older brother's roommates on High Ridge Circle, and you guys were down in Vienna at my parents house for the day. We started talking you and me at some point about boy state. Um, all things, probably because I had just recently participated in it. I was telling you about the position I had a city treasure and how competitive it was to get higher positions like mayor, attorney general, for the very top, the governor.
And when I finally get done bragging about my stupid accomplishments, I asked you what you did there when you went. And you told me, Governor and I was in such disbelief that I ran downstairs to my computer. Found an archive of the governors of past Missouri boy states ensures how you were there. Erin J. Abernathy, two thousand two, from Columbia, Missouri. However, looking back at this memory, it doesn't strike me as surprising anymore after being familiar with your raw and select inability to communicate ideas clearly.
And that's why I'm still excited to talk to you here today. Aaron. Thanks for joining me. Happy to be here, do we? We want to clear up in this conception that I was actually competent and that that's why I got elected governor. Have you heard that whole story you were competent? No, no, no, no, no. I said I went too fast. A said we could clear up any misconceptions you have about, like, me being competent or charismatic.
And that led to that because it was a total cluster Fuck to me being governor. Have you not heard the stories, so? No, no. Yeah, I think you've told me before, but when I was writing this, you know, interview these questions, I was like, I can't really remember how that came to be. But look, no matter how much of a cluster fuck it is, it like takes so much skill to work your way into that position. I just remember my ears and how, like, organized and and, ah, you know, it was and how professional was.
And I'm like, man, these people are just light years away of of most people here, including me, in terms of they're just ability to communicate ideas so clearly and convincingly like what was the story then. So the story is actually that I was the party chairman. So to give everybody a little bit context for those who aren't Missouri High School mock government Boy State is a program where they take a couple of kids from each high school.
Fairly competitive selection process, but gotta, like, apply and want to do and what not. But you in opponent college campus for a week over the summer and you form like a mock state government kind from the ground up the guys who you live with on your door mar your city and you elect a mayor. And maybe the most important guy that you elect is like the guy that actually sell sodas and runs like your local concession stand.
But so you you work up from the city level to the county level to the state level, and you know you got guys who are the quote unquote highway patrol that can write you a ticket for walking on the grass instead of using the sidewalks or whatever, Like we really try to take. It's like mock state analogy and it works, and this happens in five days or less whole thing happens in five days. So you're doing this from the ground up.
You start with the organization and you end up with, you know, hopefully a fully functioning Legislature and executive and everything else within five days, judicial system as well. For that, you go to law school stuff. So I actually end up working behind the scenes because I don't think of myself as a particular, charismatic or likable or electable person. I think when I was younger, I certainly have those aspirations.
But I now realize that I'm probably a better lake in adults terms. I make a much better chief of staff that I make political figure might be a good way to put it, and I'm coming to terms with that reality. At least that's how I see it. So I wass moved up not on the political side or on the in office side, but on the political party side. So whenever you show up, you just counted off one, two, one, two, one, two basically, and you split into nationalists and federalists as parties, and these parties mean nothing.
They have no pre generated platform. We just say, like, Let's be arbitrarily tribal because the American political system is artificially tribal. So I ended up as THIE state chairman for now. Forget whether I was a federalist or nationalist because I'm old and it's been that long. But I was the state chairman and I actually tried, like some really horrible maneuvering to go from a primary system to a caucus system.
Four offices because I thought that caucuses would lead to more considered deliberation and actually getting better candidates on the ballot. So instead of having everyone vote, I was going to say it like ten people would elect one representative to go to a caucus and that caucus goers would vote in your primary. That's what you were trying to do in that week. That's what I was trying to do in that week was and change that system.
Yeah, that was my life. Is that the system of boys state like, does it? Doesn't have a state Doesn't remember like sorry, I'm thinking like a program here, like from year to year. If you were able to change something that year, would that change the way all future boy states went? I don't think so now. And what was your motivation for doing this like, why would you want to change it? My, my thought at the time as a high schooler was that when you look at the way that like these high school election, because I didn't you think government and some other stuff in student government that fundamentally, whenever you make people stand in front of a microphone for three minutes and that's the key thing that you're deciding or at least that the marginal voter who will decide the election is deciding, based on that you end up collecting the most charming guy who makes the funniest joke or looks the bastard whatever.
And instead of that, what I wanted was to actually have better candidates coming up. And so if I could control the primary process to be based on a caucus where ten people had to tell one guy, Hey, I really like this guy and they had to have a discussion where those ten people told that one guy. Well, I like Bob because of this, and I like Steve. Because of that, you have to hash it out, decide whether or not you thought Bob or Steve was really better at the office instead of just going, Oh, Steve had a better joke checkmark privately in your booth.
And so my thought was that by forcing that deliberation at a caucus level, all of and let's just say I was a nationalist, all of my nationalist candidates would be the competent people who were selected by deliberation. We'll be running against a bunch of federalists who are just the guys that told the best jokes. And then, on the day of we would consistently have the more qualified a better person and we would outdo the guy who just had a couple of good joke lines.
And somehow you wound up as governor. So one. That plan, although ratified by my state committee, ended up getting turned down because a couple of my state committee members and, like, stab me in the back and voted it down. Two. Our I actually tried to run for the Senate. Governor didn't even win the primary. But our gubernatorial candidate that year dropped a couple F bombs in his speech whenever he was running for governor.
And so the next morning, they woke up me the party vice chair and the party secretary, and they said, Hey, your gubernatorial candidate has been asked to leave Boy State. You guys should probably have a good material candidate. Who should it be? And you know, I named I think I liked, like the party secretary or my city's mayor. Somebody like that. The vice chair in the secretary said, No, Erin, you should do it because I was literally so unpopular.
State chairs were introducing the candidates for each office. I was getting booed by seven hundred of thousand people, a boy state just walking up to a microphone, saying, And now our candidate for treasurer, Bob Smith. And you're getting booed for that's getting food for that. It was so bad that the other party chair turn to me and said, Hey, man, all introduce your candidates for you if you want Teo like he just, like took pity on me.
And he was like, This is like wrong. Like, of course, he's, you know, like, yea, my guys were going better, but like I was just that hated a figure, but it also made me recognizable. So the next morning, whenever they said, Hey, who should run the party vice chair on the party secretary said it's you And I said, Well, I'm outvoted two to one. I guess I'll run for governor. I had about an hour to prepare a speech for the thousand guys, a boy state.
I went back and made some notes. They let me eat with adults so that I could have just like a little space and a little table toe to make my notes and put a speech together, gave a decent little speech, and then one with, like, three hundred out of a thousand votes because there were so many write in candidates and everything else that that it fractured the vote so that three hundred one thousand was enough of a plurality tow.
It was you were the most popular. Next one was less than three hundred. And so it must have been a hell of a speech, though, from going to someone who is the most hated are always got booed by a thousand people. Teo getting the most votes out of all of them, I guess. You know, I mean, I think there were a lot of people probably got some pity votes if I had to guess, just like you know, there's also some, like, Oh, this guy can deal with it.
You know, he can get booed by seven hundred people and come back the next day. And so, you know, I guess you get some respect that way. There were, you know, the fifty guys in my city that liked me, and I was, you know, generally a pretty decent due to them at least a ce faras I knew. But, yeah, the most important thing to come out of all of that wasn't being governor because that actually did it being the same week as debate nationals.
So I ended up going to debate nationals next year instead of going to boy state and actually serving as governor. But it became my Harvard application essay. And I'm pretty sure that that application essay was what distinguish me from a lot of the other people. If I had to guess so at what point during the week were you like, I'm going to do I'm going to go all out, and I'm going to try to I'm going to be ambitious.
I guess. I don't know is it took me a few days to get into that, and I'm like I guess I'll run for city treasure. You know, like, how do you decide when I mean, I probably hit the ground running. I knew I knew I'd done a lot of stuff like this before, you know, like you and stuff, and I run for things there. So I figured like I've got enough of an ego. I'll tryto, you know, when something's on DH. So I tried to win some things.
Do you remember anything about your speech? Very little. I remember that one of my and this was probably a repeated strategy, because I think it probably helps. My lieutenant governor run in youth and government as well was to make it about more than that week, you know, to say, like, Hey, what are you gonna do for the program? How are you gonna raise the prestige of boy state so that this is a more meaningful thing to everyone else's college application?
You know, you try to make it, because here's the thing. Like like if we pass a little resolution saying taxes should be lower or taxes should be higher. Doesn't matter which way you go. Met our mock legislature. Passed a thing saying taxes should be lower, higher. But if we could do something that makes the program have a meaningful different impact on the guys who go there, then that really matters. So that was usually the thing I would focus on wasn't so much howto what to do with the program itself or what my beliefs would be.
As a legislator, working or an executive working with Mark Legislature, I always do and said, say, What will I do on a meta level as an officer of this programme, to make the program better? And are you good at speaking? I mean, I'm probably not the right person to answer that because I'm one of the few people who doesn't hear my own speeches. When I give them what you said a little earlier, they at you had a little ego, so I was hoping that you'd give me some.
You go there. I haven't guessed. So, like, I if you want to hear a really egocentric statement, I'm not so sure that I'm good at it. I think everyone else is just really, really bad and are really afraid of it. So they've never done it. And someone who's thoroughly mediocre like myself looks comparatively pretty good. No, no, I was just hanging out having some beers of people after work the other night and like, Oh, you're so eloquent came up and I'm sure that's like, on a certain level, just drunken praise from a fellow server at a restaurant.
But But, yeah, I definitely have done enough public speaking that if I'm not better at it than average, that would be pretty sad, right? So in other words, you put in the work over the years, even before Boy State in various roles to get to get those skills. Yeah. Yeah, that's fair. I mean, you know, speech and debate with stuff like that, we're even in the politics, though. I mean, I cared. Yeah, I was super engaged.
I was frustratingly far right to a lot of people in high school, and I start talking, you know? I mean, I Why don't you clear this? I was both naive and genuine, which I think is one of the only ways that, like, ah, young conservative makes sense because it was things like, I just really, honestly believed that if taxes were sufficiently low and we didn't think that there was a government backstop against poverty, that everyone would be generous enough, that we wouldn't have poor people and that the reason we had poverty was because everyone said, Oh, I'm already paying enough in taxes that poverty shouldn't be a problem.
Of course, I'm not going to help the poor because I pay my taxes and the government does that. And my point is like, well, the government sucking at it. We're giving them tax money to try to your poverty. They're not. Maybe they should just not collect the taxes. And we should be nice to our poor people. Look out! That was the the logic of conservative high school Aaron so you'Re s o you give speeches. You You can give a decent speech when you need Teo, but you're welcome to contradict me on that.
If you're just like, dude, you need to own that thing. Totally, totally think that you're going. You're just good at communicating things in general. Like I'm not sure right if getting up there on stage and telling a bunch of jokes is your forte. And but you certainly had the right idea going with the boy state thing of, like, making this larger than just boy state, because that's that's you're miles ahead of the competition at that point, because everyone else is just trying to come Of all these stupid reasons why they should vote for him because it's a stupid ma cover was in the lunch line.
Oh, there's no girls anywhere on this campus. Yeah, the lunch ladies there were OK with the lunch. Ladies like the staff of Remember that whole week being a giant sausage fest. It is. That's why that's why the, like, sixteen year old girls that air serving in the lunch line at the college, who I'm sure none of us would give a second thought to if we met them now, a decade later. Okay, well, we're I mean, just to clarify we were seventeen at that age.
Exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sorry. Not not trying to be pedophiles, right? You know, the only thing I really remember about Boys State was I thought, like I'm going to do a sport. And, uh, you could swim, that there was one of the big competitions. And like, I can do that, you know? Because the other sports, maybe basketball and there's just everyone's huge, you know, a thousand people, there's gonna be some good fast ball players there.
But I was like, I can swim, like, how hard can it be? And so I got in the pool and like, everyone drops, they're close to this nice swimming gear. And all I have is he's like, trunks on. I'm like, Oh, shit, this is really this is really swimming and I got it. It is. You're supposed to do it down and back like four times or whatever. And I just went down. And by the time I got back, like everybody else was done, Basically.
So I just like quitter, and that was just like walked out. But as you get older. But anyways, so one thing that I also want to explore in your ability to communicate things and negotiate Ah, I don't think of you as necessarily a wheel and deal and negotiator or like a ruthless competitors which are qualities that I would think that any like, governor, for example, of the mark government would need tohave toe like, beat out all the competition.
And we discussed how you did that. But anyways, going back to your days, living a high ridge, I do recall some frustrated roommates when Monopoly was played, apparently you one pretty much every time. And when I was asking someone one of them, why they finally reason that you would always made deals in the mid game with other players and they seem like really good deals. But they always benefited you very slightly more, and you eventually won with all those slight advantage is Is that accurate?
And where do those skills come from? Oh, gosh. Um, yeah, I'm okay at monopoly to I'll say that, Frankly, I think my unique monopoly philosophy come for the fact that my dad was kind of a hard ass like even when we were kids. He would be serious when he played monopoly and wouldn't just let us win. And and fundamentally, ifyou're goingto if monopolies going to be interesting. The interesting point, a monopoly is the trades.
Right? Because there are trivial games of monopoly. We're like, okay, one person gets a natural monopoly no one else does. And then that person is able to win because stuff with hotels does te next the damage financially. And if you're the only person with any hotel in the game, eventually you're gonna win, right? Um, right. Assuming that that doesn't happen if you're not in a situation where only natural monopolies exists, the only way they happen is by trades.
And thus those trades are the only deviation from the otherwise random or semi random outcomes of the game. You know, you can make some smart choices, like staying in jail at the end of the game, right? Yeah. The jail strategy is get out. Just pay early game. Stay in jail as long as you can. Late game. If you're thinking. I was never heard this tragic. But that's pretty billion. Yeah, Makes sense. We think that the incentives because really, game you want to buy stuff and or get around the board a lot because that extra hundred bucks matters late game.
There's a lot of minefields in terms of other people's property that you could run into. So if you could just stay in in jail indefinitely and everybody else had to go around the board at the end of the game, you'd win by default. So if it's if it's the and thinking in a very game, theoretically about it. If that would be an ideal winning strategy, even a playing it for a couple of turns is usually going be advantageous as well, right?
But you'd have to have some property, obviously, Yeah, what's this? Once it's built up again, it's an end game strategy then, is it really, you know, you just can't go to jail whenever you want. You can't do it on demand was saying, If you could put a Jonathan, you would do what every turn. So there's no reason to get out of jail when you don't have to late in the game. But anyway, I think that's probably a fair system.
I don't know that we played that many times. So there's probably also just an element of luck. You know, when three or four people play monopoly, one guy can win two games in a row one out of nine times, just by dumb luck, right? But but, yeah, I would bet. And the other thing is, when you're when you're doing dealmaking with people, you want to understand how much they value the short term versus how much they value the long term and how much you value each of those and you want to try to give, you want to give them the thing they care more about and ideally, give up the thing you care less about.
So if I could tell that that person is just obsessed with getting three hundred bucks a short term gain, and because of that three hundred bucks they'll let me make two monopolies to their one while we're doing it, then you know you go for it. Or if you realize that someone's too broke to build houses and hotels, then maybe you give them the Green Monopoly because you know that your little orange and light blue monopolies will bankrupt them before they're able to like, actually set up shop and take advantage of that.
So even if it's a quote unquote fair deal in terms of total value, if they're not assessing the short term, long term nature of it, you can still come out ahead slash rip them off, depending on how you want to say it. You know what? I'm kind of discovering more, more? You're listening, Teo. Talkabout this way is that you're just on a different level of monopoly playing compared to the other people in their teens or twenties drinking beer and having a good time like you.
You like you said with your dad, like he always took it seriously and didn't just let you win. Ah, there's something nice about a game where you can just any game where you can just zoom in and be really serious about the experience until it's over. And it's just like, Okay, back to normal, huh? So that's really cool, Phyllis to explain it that way. I won't talk about Test prep now. So you taught test prep on and off for years.
Remind me. Which test Utah s o for Kaplan. I taught the Jerry the Air the Let's go in order and high school prep. No, Jerry. Gee, Matt and l sat for various grad schools and then the M cat. I taught half of idea the physics portion and verbal. There's a physics portion. William Katt. Yep, There is a It is one sixth of your total points in a lot of the M Cat is just like complete jargon of medical nonsense.
It's actually Maura Underlying assessments. So back when I taught it in, the M, Cat underwent some pretty heavy changes two year, two or three years ago that I haven't really kept up with. Back in the day it was one third was your verbal score, so that was one section. Then you would have a section that wass biology, organic chemistry in genetics. And then you would have a section that was physics and chemistry.
And so physics was half of one third of the tests. So it was one six and that was actually just straight up, like the ball rolls down a ramp and hits a spring. How does its energy compare when the spring is fully compressed toe when the ball started or whatever, like very, very conceptual physics. Wanna one basic basic kinetics and basic nm kind of stuff. You know, an electron is going through this magnetic field in this direction in what direction is going to be pushed or something, huh?
Well, I have no idea. And you taught test prep, and I assume that you obviously kick butt taking tests when you're in high school Stuff. Uh, were you just naturally good at taking tests, or did you work hard to be good at it? I'm sure there's a little both I want to give due diligence to the natural side, though. I walked into Kaplan thinking I was going to be an instructor. They heard that I had taken some engineering classes, made me take the M Cat.
And because I scored well enough thie Kaplan standard was you have to score in the ninetieth percentile on the exam. In order, be able to teach it. I scored well enough on the physics part and the verbal part to start teaching the M cat. And they were just desperate for him. Cat tutors. So I did that. I'm sorry. There And then I did that for probably a year. And then, to be real honest, what happened was just kind of like every time a teacher quit, they would say, Hey, Aaron, take the blank and see if you can score, qualify to teach it.
So we lost our L sat teacher and I took the l sat and scored above the ninetieth percentile. And then, hey, we lost our Jerry teacher, and I'd take the cherry and score above the ninetieth percentile. I was in school at the time, so I would like to know I was thinking and being academically rigorous on a day to day basis a lot of the time, but I definitely have a brain that seems to be just a lot more naturally inclined to do well on standardised tests that most other people and does that make it hard to teach?
It's like when you ask some people go, how do you do that? And they're like, I don't know, I just do it and it's like, Well, that's not really good teaching. I can't benefit from this, but I know that you're a good teacher. So, um, what I'm asking, I guess is is a challenge to to teach when what you're good as so comes so naturally, I guess. I mean, I want to be sympathetic to people who say that because I know that they really are good at what they do, and teaching really is just hard for them.
I had the benefit of the you know, the first time that I was really teaching. I had a whole teacher's manual, and they sort of helped you break everything down into steps and say, like, Hey, you know, step one, what's the question? Really asking step to categorize the types of answers you're looking at, you know, can you get rid of something just because it has the wrong units? Or can you tell by estimation, that answer has to be between one hundred and a thousand so you could get rid of the fifty in the five thousand kind of a thing.
So they had I had a lot of that stuff given by default. I also think that in my case, I really understood that my job as a teacher is to get you to do the problem correctly, and I don't think of myself as like a particularly emotionally sophisticated person. And so one of the ways that I've compensated with that in life is by being very intellectually empathetic and trying to put myself in another person's position and seeing you know what air their incentives here.
How are they thinking about this? What assumptions are they making? And that worked really, really well as a teacher because what I could do was try to say, OK, the student is telling me, you know, either the wrong answer or they're getting the wrong answer and, you know, Step three of seven in the problem, and I can try to understand why they're doing Step three instead of Step seven. And because Kaplan emphasizes like a very Socratic dialogue kind of thing, the right way to answer that student is to say time.
You know, Suzie, did you multiply by two there and she'll go? Yeah, and then you'll say, like, Well, why were you multiplying by two? And you try to get them to recognize their own mistakes. And so because I was coming up in a teaching system and teaching philosophy that emphasize student correction, you really couldn't just be one of those people who just kept throwing crap on the chalkboard and hoping that it stuck.
So I know I lucked into a scenario that had a really good, you know, pedagogical structure, and for me being so good at the exam, met that I could really focus on my pedagogy instead of focus on the questions so well said so in the software development world, we often write tests alongside our code as a way of verifying that our code does what we think it does. And when we add new functionality to the code base, it helps us know quickly if we're breaking some functionality that used to be there.
How does this compare to standardize academic testing? Yeah, that's a great question. Um, on a really small level, you're going to try to keep that right. You are, as an instructor, going to attempt to jump in and stop bad thinking processes at the earliest possible point. Right? Because fundamentally learning is a combination of being able to make your brain do new things and being able to correct bad habits that your brain already has and replace it with a better one.
And so, whenever I can see someone who used to be factoring correctly now for getting out of factor, like in an ideal world where I'm doing nothing but looking over your shoulder, seeing what you're writing down and asking you questions, I can get the on that immediately on that immediately, in the same way that you know a test would catch up. Oh, like you converted that string to a number. And so now this thing breaks down the line or whatever.
Unfortunately, we're often not able to do that, And so you at least get feedback. Whenever you're doing, like a practice section or something on exams at any kind of a computerized back end, they'll tell you you're normally really good at strength and weekend. Questions, but you did a lot worse this time. So you've at least got some idea that there's a question type. You know, you can't get in your head and tell you you're struggling at that because you're not summarizing it correctly vs.
You're not correctly identifying the conclusion of the passage. You know, it can't give you that level of detail, but it can at least tell you focus on this or here's where the next possible point is. Um, the thing about Test prep is that instead of being kind of backward looking, you're always saying, How do I get the next point? How do I get the next point? How do I get the next point? And so even for someone who's in a really remedial state like there were people that came to me for Jerry Prep, where I shit you not, my advice to them was, Hey, you've only got three to five pieces of working memory.
You're using a lot of your memory, and a lot of your thinking just multiplied numbers. So you really need to, like go get multiplication flashcards and remember, rise your times tables in order to free up enough working memory to focus on the question. And so you're always trying to identify where the student is going to tell them. Hey, can you get to the next place once I know that my student has been right there Times table.
I'm not super worried that in the next three months they're going to forget it, you know? So there probably are people, and maybe the whole industry should be more wary of. Okay, I taught you how to identify a conclusion two months ago, going back and checking. Are you really still doing that? But normally it's more about Okay, let's keep going. And the thought would be that if you stall out and you aren't getting that next possible point, then we know that you still haven't mastered the skill that we thought we were working on, and we'll just keep working on it.
But there's very little looping back to that skill two months later because some new skill you picked up has screwed up a skill I thought you had. So in a broad sense, tests either standardized tests or really any test like just brings out how well a student is has remembered something that they previously learned at some point or it's just verifying. Verifying that the process is still there. Whatever.
I'm trying to make it a CZ biggest possible Here are abstract eso you asking what these tests really measure? Yeah, maybe that's Yeah. Let's let's talk about that. Um, you know, what do they show on? What don't they show Yeah s o to be really clear about my biases. I like standardized tests. I think they're useful piece of information. I think they are probably overused and over stressed about. And I think that we do a really poor job of helping people who have barriers that prevent them from having the test be accurate.
Right. So, like, if you're a DHD is so bad that you can't pay attention for four hours, then the isn't a fair measure of your academic ability. Instead, it just confirms yes, Bob can't pay attention for four hours. You know, that's that's really all the information I'm getting from a low score of a smart person with with th that can't be contained for hours. And they're doing better with trying to have accommodations and stuff.
But they're still people for whom there are non academic things that artificially limit your score on the low side, I would contend it's pretty hard to regularly get a higher score than you deserve. You know, like if you're if you're really supposed to be a fifteen hundred students, the odds that you can pull off a sixteen hundred or pretty darn low. And that's because most of these tests aren't just testing knowledge, right?
Very few exams asked. When was the battle of Hastings? You know, most exams air instead saying, Here is a triangle inscribed inside a square, and I'm going to tell you the length of one side of that triangle. I want you to tell me the area of the square, and so it's Yes, it's testing your recall of, like, some triangle facts and some square fax and some facts about area and perimeter. But it, more importantly, is asking you to do those in a certain sequence and to be able to connect that knowledge and employees of skill.
And so, especially where these exams are more skills based like, say, the science section of the I think they're doing some really interesting, really important things that are predictive of how people would do in the future. Right. I like how you brought up like just pure knowledge versus ability to reason about something. I remember one time talking to Clay about a math problem, and I can count the number of times I went to Clay for a problem and I got a solution.
But I remember them all distinctly. I feel like it's just like using his computer or something. It's just like something you think about asking all the time, but almost never do. And when you do, you almost never get a chance, you know, that sort of thing. But it required knowledge of some just random math equation, like a squared equals B squared plus C squared or something, whatever it is, except there's more complicated.
And he didn't know where I he forgot that equation was able to derive it from just like starting farther back. And that was just a wonderful skill to just like see someone just like reason about the problem in such a way that you don't you can skip the memorization part or the that. What year was about all Hastings? And it's cool that witness that a mobility in your right tests like being under a time factor.
They're all under some sort of time factor. They It's just there's that pressure where it's like how can this person performed? And you're right. The person with eighty eight, she just can't concentrate for four hours, and it makes it very difficult. Um, and so you're those are. Those are the problems of tests. But for the most part, it's a pretty good measure of someone's intellect, I guess. Well, the other thing, and this is probably drawing on being an economist.
My question is, what's your alternative? You know, there's a very altruistic argument about not altruistic, egalitarian argument about tests, which is this is the one way for a really smart kid from a really crappy background. A show. He's really smart. All right. If some kid at school in the projects with no money, where the heaters don't work and the chalk boards or cracked and are going to get replaced for a decade and the text books there fifteen years old shows up with a fifteen fifty score, damn well, better believe somebody's going to notice, you know, And so no.
If the grades are inflated at that school where his G P A doesn't mean anything. The one way that he could maybe get some attention is by showing on the standardized exam him good now. That said, these tests are also really, really highly correlated with parental income, which I think shows that there's stuff that you're learning out. But it also means that there's a discriminatory element to it because poor kids consistently do worse.
You know, we can have big, long arguments about to what extent is sorting occurring? To what extent is the test supposed to be predictive and if rich kids or picking up pro social behaviors, or are more willing to follow systems and rules and structure and so will perform better in college? And that makes it more predictive, like weakened way to go down? As far down that rabbit hole is, you want Teo. But again, I think the test is a world in which the test exists and provides those outcomes, especially the positive ones, is worth it because a kid with a great G P A who struggles on the can probably still go to their good state school.
No, if you're legitimately a smart kid who has test anxiety, you know in Missouri, you'll still get a twenty four, you'll still be able to go to miss you, and you can have a perfectly happy life, you know? And if you're not able to, if you're a smart person who can't get a twenty for in the city, probably really need to deal with, like, whatever medical and psychological issues are stopping you from getting a twenty four on the I think it's performing a valuable service by highlighting that.
And if you compare it to a world where you don't have that information, what do you use? You know you don't magically create spots at Stanford just because the doesn't exist. You just have to use even more subjective, potentially arbitrary measures. Toe let kids in, and I think that probably only lets you throw more money at the problem. That's interesting. I like how you relate to it. It's like an X ray to showing something is wrong or something can be improved.
And it's like, if you're smart and you're getting a little score, there's something else in in the equation that is bringing the number down more or less. And those Khun B, uh, fixed more or less, I guess, or dealt with dealt with. And it it probably also helps to show that, like, gosh, spending four years of your life in an environment where sitting down to take a test for two hours at the end of the semester determines half your grade might not be exactly what you want to be doing.
All right? Maybe maybe you're a really smart, really creative person on DH. You'd be better off focusing on screen writing through an internship than going to college or whatever, You know. I mean, there's a tendency when ever you're good at something to say that this really matters and everyone should do it. And so I try internally to fight the idea. I'm really good at sitting down, looking at a piece of paper and giving the answers that r right slash a teacher once you marked correctly.
And it looked a lot of life my life in that setting, both as a student and has a test prep professional. And so I have to remind myself that, like that's that's not all there is to it. There are other things that are good and valuable and someone can suck it taking tests and still have a rich, rewarding life, you know? And I think sometimes the test prep debate almost assumes that isn't the case, you know, speaking of of teaching and great teachers.
What? Switching subjects a little bit. What makes a great teacher cash? Um, let's see. Are you look like you looking for? This is going to sound really nerdy, looking for necessary conditions or sufficient conditions. Why? I'd say by using the word great, I mean, to imply that they're good or they have a reasonable standard of not just like passing the bar but also exceeding them. So, like, you know, the common thing and all great teachers is filling the plane.
Got it. So so to get to that Minbar, I think. And then that'd be the idea of necessary conditions. Right? So probably just doing what all sat prep. I just assumed that I could use that vocabulary when I can't in day to day life. A necessary condition is a thing you have to have in order to reach a state. Whereas a sufficient condition is a thing which by itself, will get you to that that state. So, for instance, Wow, you're dealing with an internal combustion engine.
Having gas in the tank is a necessary condition for a car running, right. If that car is running, you know, it has some gasoline cylinders. Now, if you put gas in an engine with a blown rod, it won't run. Gas isn't sufficient to make the car run, but it wasn't necessary. Oh, I see. Okay. You know, yeah. I didn't really know what you're talking about. Yeah, so, So, so nerd clarification. Hopefully, that gets cut out, but whatever.
No audio. That is why in the example that you back that up with is why I loved talking with you. While teaching gives you the skill of knowing you need to use examples a lot, so I try to keep him super available. But I would say that if a teacher knows about their subject and and like not just the bare minimum, you need to know more than you're teaching in a kind of same way in preparing for Senator, You're like, I want to have twice as many questions as I'm going to really ask so that I can ask the good ones and go where the conversation goes.
And I don't feel like I've only got these ten questions. And so regardless of how it goes, I'm gonna ask him. But if you know more about the subject, then you're teaching, and by a bigger margin, the better. You also need to give a shit. I really, really think that, you know, if I was forced to teach a subject that I couldn't find value in that, I really think I would be a bad teacher of that subject. So even if I knew it really well, if my students just knew that I didn't find it valuable, worthwhile or think that it was worth our time to be sitting around studying it, I think that would be enough to ruin it.
So you've got to know your material. You've got give a shit and find what you're doing valuable. And then I think you have, Tio, be focused more on the students than on yourself. And what I mean by that is am I Am I imagining what I think are my students thought processes and ableto work from their perspective so that I see how they're seeing this instead of just thinking about my lesson plan. Because if I really get what my students are doing, then whatever, all of them look up at me quizzically, I go, Oh, I made too big a logical leap.
I need to go back and fill in that track or whenever they're all just like tapping their thumbs and looking, you know, having their fingers looking bored. I could I'm moving too slow. I gotta I gotta give him a heart problem. And so I think that combination of know your shit, give a shit and be dialed into your students and understanding what they're thinking and how they're feeling. I think if you do those three things, you'll probably be a good teacher.
Well said. And who are some of your favorite teachers in high school? High school? So I had a really great Cal teacher. Mrs. Niedere was Mike Alk. Bc teacher My junior year. It was just really good and really straight forward. It was just kind of like the no frills version of calculus. She was really good getting you to focus on what mattered, keeping things constructive, understanding that she was dealing with all the like, you know, type A people who are taking Calcutta, BC probably a third or half of us our junior year in high school.
And so she still found ways to challenge us. There's no feels mean. Um, she wasn't focusing on stuff on the side. So frills are like little accessories on bobbles that aren't necessarily necessary, right? Okay, so it's like I mean potatoes, just exactly. Exactly. She was a meat potatoes. The essence is a perfect a synonym for no frills down. So she did that really well. Hank Landry was my AP U. S history and golf teacher who encouraged a lot of debates in class who just had a lot of knowledge so that he could actually lecture from this outlines.
He didn't have to have a ton of notes in front of him. He was the kind of guy who, when I wrote a paper, even if he really loved it. He would call it a ninety seven instead of a one hundred just to make me keep working on it and get better. No. You know, I still have coffee with him every so often because he lives in Colombia here. So, you know, we wouldn't grab barbecue for lunch two or three weeks ago.
There's good times. Other high school teachers. Those those are the two that I remember most clearly. I also had a middle school teacher, Mr Minx, who understood that I knew seventh grade math before seventh grade math began. And so he let me just kind of, like work at my own pace, out of an entirely different book for the entire year. Wade got along really well. I really respected him. I think I think I'm interesting.
Trick from him. Which was? Mr Minx by the end of the year, was the teacher everybody loved. On day one, he was the hardcore teacher that gave homework that everybody thought they were going to hate. So he, you know, he created a very like, regimented environment where people knew the expectations and knew they were going to have to work and could then step back from that and relax as opposed to being nice and likable, unapproachable from day one, which I think is a cool long term strategy.
You've taken away from him. Yeah, I recognize that. Some of the teachers that I like to, uh, that quality and I liked how you said that one of the most important elements of a good teacher was, I think, was the third reason he gave which was ability to be inside your students heads into just know what they're thinking more, less and where they're at and be in tune with that. And then you backed it up by saying, basically, you're two three favorite teachers or ones that more or less just understood you got you or your special class of people who are ahead.
Are what not you dears on the same page and didn't have to go through the whole pomp and circumstance of being a teacher. Ink instead, uh uh, Help everybody get better a while. Not without all the saints. I haven't losing the time, losing my ability to articulate here, but I think I know you know what I mean. Yeah, I mean, what you know, it's all good. Having put you it's good So you've already spent a lot of your life teaching test.
Is your goal to be a teacher at a like a university? I think so. I think that's the job that would make me happiest. I don't know. I'm kind of a clueless thirty four year old in that sense, Yeah. If I could get a gig teaching at a university, I think that would be something I would enjoy. Cool. When I reflect on my own education, I recall always feeling pressured by my family to get nothing less in. And you've already mentioned this in a way.
Ah, I've always kind of was thinking, Is Erin more the kind of just that the lazy guy who shows up to class and just like gets perfect scores on all the tests and then and then But his g p a in high schools, like a one point Oh, or whatever, but otherwise does, like, amazing in testing, Or is he the guy that well, it works his butt off, too. And like you mentioned, you got ninety seven inspired you, or your teacher did that just so that you would push harder.
And and I guess, Ah, I'm trying to to negotiate these too feelings of on people who pursue Hi GPS, more or less. And people who think that spongy bullshit, it doesn't matter and and like, are confident in their own intellect. I guess, um, and my question is, Which one are you basically. So which one were you? Did Did you work hard High school for? Oh, yeah. My grades and stuff like that? Yeah. High school I was just, like, insanely working hard for stuff.
I had a lot of other people that were generally my intellectual peers. So, like, there was competition to be able to do better than them on. So you're are competitive. Yeah, I've tried really competitive. I've tried to mellow out, You know, in some ways, like the story of my life is thinking that I wass ah, hyper competitive, ego centric asshole when I was in high school, and a lot of my life since then has been about trying to fix that.
So I don't know whether that's accurate or not or the extent to which it is. But it's definitely course correction that I've gone on. But, yeah, I definitely worked really, really hard in order to be able to do those things and kind of burned out so that I didn't work as hard as they should have in college. And, yeah, complacent with the fact that, like, oh, I'm a genius world acknowledged that I proved it to you.
I'm done being up at midnight doing triple in a girls in order to prove that to you. Right. So I I've been on both sides of the coin at different times in my life. And right now, like with your you're getting your master's and economics broadly or economics economics proudly looking, I definitely care more about Micro. I know I am not a macro guy. There are a couple of interesting things within Macro like like labor search models and money search models and search models and matching or interesting.
But macro prediction and macro trends are just not things that I'm either good at or particularly care about. To the layman. Can you explain the difference between micro and macro economics? This is coming from someone that I don't remember taking either. Although I feel like I was required to take back Tony, Remember it. So basically, think of micro economics as the things that either individuals or firms could do, which won't affect the economy as a whole, right?
So there are things that Carfax could do to write more code or better code, or make more revenue or less revenue. But that would not affect the national economy, you know, generally perceived, whereas if the Federal Reserve raises or lowers interest rates, they have the potential further activity to have an economy wide effect, and you know what it is affecting people who don't directly relate to interest rates.
You know, baby sitting wages might go up or down because ofthe changing interest. Okay, so the but in like it almost seems to me it just might get reaction of this is that macroeconomics is just a big everyone I feel like is more or less guessing when it comes to macro and please prove me wrong. But like, you know, I feel like the political discourse in the last couple of decades is always like we need to raise taxes so that you know, so that lower middle class people will be more prosperous or we'll have more money or something, and then they're like, No, no, no.
We need to lower taxes so that there'll be more problems prosperous and cause will trickle down Or, you know, like and I can't help but get the feeling, and I don't pay attention that some really ignorant. But like that. I like it when there are some things are guaranteed when the Federal Reserve raises the interest rate. But there's so many like unintended consequences of of raising that number that could possibly happen.
It just seems like it's kind of Ah, what's the expression? You're just throwing dust in the wind and opened. It goes in the right direction, more or less. I don't know, though, prove me wrong. So one I completely sympathize with that frustration because I think what one of the problems that macroeconomist deal with is that everybody looks at the mean of their predictions of, like the ranges of their predictions it.
Also, if you're expecting a number, is growth going to be three point six percent or three point eight percent? You know well, whoever makes his predictions usually making as the mean and its centre in a confidence interval in Gary, Indiana. But can't think about statistics, right? That's too complicated. Fivethirtyeight has actually done some really interesting stuff about jobs, numbers where they literally have a template.
That applies the average level of uncertainty to the jobs report, and they just like literally. Every month, whatever jobs numbers comes out, they re print the same article. And so, saying jobs increased by sixty thousand. They'll say jobs increased by twenty thousand to one hundred thousand, you know, and embody the uncertainty that's inherent in those numbers. But the scientific thing that macroeconomist are doing, I want to give them credit because there are really smart macro economists that air doing a lot more than simple prediction.
And what they're trying to do is they're trying to figure out how the change in something that is effective, that the nation wide scale can be modelled on a micro level so that you have micro level certainty about what aggregates up to being a national effect. And so they are trying to find ways to say, Okay, Quinn. The Federal Reserve raises that that interest rate how many consumers now won't buy a house when those people don't buy houses?
How much does that change the wages for carpenters? When the wages for those carpenters goes down a little bit? How much less do they buy? How much does that have an effect on the rest of the community? And so it's It's kind of like a bouncing ball, right? You're saying like, Well, the first bounce is going to be what percentage of the original and so many of the debates in macro are things like? Well, if I give you a stimulus dollars, does the beneficiary of that stimulus dollar?
Let's even say that you just agree. They'll all go spend it like whatever you've got means that forced them to spend it. Question is the guy who gets that stimulus dollars from the original beneficiary. Do they go spending ninety cents or do they go spend ten cents right? Is the money multiplier Point niner point one. And how does that ripple through the economy? So these people really are creating complicated, rigorous models that try to answer questions.
The problem is just that there often so sensitive, and these questions are so hard to know the answer to that it can end up looking like arbitrary guesses. And then the other thing is that on top of that, you've also got other movements in the economy, right? If I happen to do a stimulus while the economy is already growing right, versus if I happen to do a stimulus while the economy is shrinking, we're going to have a big argument about what the trend line for that growth.
With what? The trendline for that shrink Wass to figure out where the economy would be without the stimulus in order to know what the stimulus actually did. Because economists, unfortunately don't have second universes that we can look at where we say, Well, here's what would have happened without the stimulus versus what happened with And so because we're always doing these counterfactual Sze. It's really, really hard to know exactly what's going on.
You know, with the exception of getting some really great natural experiments and we do all we can to take advantage of those when they pop up, so do I. Macro economists. They go study universities for years and get their degrees and then go work with federal ways. Or is that, like, eight career to direct trajectory for someone who works at a Federal Reserve? Yeah, totally. One of the guys. One of the professors that you worked at the Federal Reserve before you became a professor at resume.
You know, he got his phD. He was doing some research on money and banking first. Ph D you got to get the Federal Reserve's worked there for a few years and then came to the zoo as a professor. So, yeah, there are phD economists working at the Fed. They're also phD economists working at Amazon and working at Boeing. Right. Because Boeing cares about how the world economy is going to be for the next decade because they have such long lead times on plain purchases that now Well, how good is the European economy going to be five years from now?
Might be the difference in whether they, you know, build a new factory somewhere, not kind of a thing, where it's like the record small thing like you determine how many transistors were going to be on that ship in five years and you start building your invention. That takes five years to build based on that, um, that prediction, more or less. But what about micro economists that is it that different, or is it similar?
I mean, I probably know Michael a little better, so I think it's more varied and it is different. Different because you don't worry so much about all the knock on effects, right? I care about my little interaction. So if I'm doing the game theory, how our two companies going to compete with each other, I really just focus on those two companies because I've pretended that my universe is limited to those two.
And I'm usually not trying to model how the rest of the city we'll do it, or how the neighboring city will change. When those two right. I've decided to focus on a smaller thing and see those interactions, Holly. Because of that, you'll see people who are able to do stuff about, like decision theory, right? How to individuals decide stuff, and they'll try to create models for what really matters to people you'll be able to do stuff.
So gates like game theory would be one really big area. There's industrial organisation, which is how do you organisations behave right out of the business is organized themselves on How could those changes and how they organize themselves, make them more or less efficient? You'll find people. Focus on your mother's good areas to talk about in short. You'll find theorists who try to come up with new models.
So it's a lot of senator on models, basically, But sorry on the other side is Thean Pierce is the people who do things like Look at traffic stops. They compare the racial percentages of people who are stopped during the Davises during the night. And a weird fact. It is harder to racially profile at night than during the day, because it's harder to see the color of the driver of the vehicle. And so you look and you see, hey, are their differences and who we're stopping during the Davis who were stopping at night.
That's something that micro. So you're gonna throw Economist would look at what? Okay or you can look at people in the judicial system, right? And you might try to see on the other, really. So there's a theoretical side and there's an empirical side. And so the theoretical people are going to be coming up with and tweaking and working from models. And then the people in the empirical side are going to say, like, Let's look at all the people convicted of burglary in New York and let's compare the sentences for the white people, to the sentences for the black people to try to see if we're being fair and how we sent stuff the models come from come from.
You know, it depends models of very bad word, but like a model, could be created by computer from or from a neural network. What a model could also be created. It's basically an equation from that was crafted by experts, usually from empirical testing. Yeah, I mean, there's definitely the same thing that you know, you're a machine learning guy. You get this A lot of us were trying to do with a model is get it to fit to data.
But what you're trying to do with the model is make it as simplistic as possible, right? So the whole idea of a model is saying, Gosh, great. If I had a model of how restaurants in the city worked in a way that I could put on a piece of graph paper right or put into an equation, because in the real world, there's all these, you know, a huge number of messy factors that go into it. But if I could get it down to three factors per restaurant that tell you whether the restaurant's going to succeed or fail with a really high level of confidence, then that model is much, much easier to understand than all the restaurants in the city.
But the basic premise of a model for the purpose of a bottle brother is to predict future basically in all cases off. I mean, there's also an element of understanding the truth of the situation or to understand. So is it just explains the past, right? Sometimes I want to know why do criminals always rat each other out? And when you look at the prisoner's dilemma as a game, you can understand why prisoners always rat each other out.
And you know, you're sitting scratching your head, but like if they just work together, they all win. But by looking at the structure of that two by two game, you could really clearly explain. Oh, here's why they're always going to rat each other out. And then sometimes that lets you create, uh, really good policy if you have an appropriate model. So in hello, is it worth explaining what a prisoner's dilemma is?
I I kind of, Well, when you were talking about that, the first thing that popped in my head was a situation with on my friends who I will not mention. Ah, and this is an incident that happened years ago at a totally unrelated place. Uh, a place I am unfamiliar with. So But I just heard this story and they basically said There's an HR incident And where a guy said something, Whatever. Anyways, um, they brought, They know it would be a problem until all of a sudden, randomly, separately, someone came to them and said, Can you step in my office for a second when you talk about this and they're like, Oh, shit, you know, like what's gonna happen here and the light did such and such say this or whatever, And somehow, miraculously, everyone said, Oh, I don't know.
I've never heard that I don't know. No one ratted anyone out, basically, and I know that, and no one got fired. And it was kind of something that had a potential to some get someone fired over. But it was just, I remember being amazed. I'm like, That's probably not what happens in the real world like, but then again, no one was like up against the rope, either. The thing is, but I know how hard it is. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, Ah, the prisoner's dilemma, which I know nothing about it, is just when you're it's impossible to coordinate, huh?
And try to get everybody on the same page and believe and trust in this common goal, unless you get an outside mechanism that could do the enforcement. So you know, the really simplistic version of this is if you're in a criminal organization and you just say, snitches get stitches right then all of a sudden, whatever gained you would get by cooperating is more than undone by the fact that you're getting up in the hospital whenever you get out.
So they're able to force cooperation in not saying anything by providing an outside incentive in the form of physical harm for you to shut the heck up so and and looking and game theory does exactly that tries to say, Oh, well, how can we create? You know what happens if we have an outside force? What happens if, instead of doing a prisoner's dilemma, once we're going to do that prisoner's dilemma one hundred times, can we get some cooperation that way?
What would you know? Would that lead to it or not? Those kind of questions so way usually think about this stuff, really simplistic level. And then we get to Rio further and further out, and we get to, you know, talk about behavioral economics and those kind of things cool, By the way, that's how much time do you have? I'm not in a pickle. Hurry. Okay, cool. Because we have Let's see. We started way start over an hour ago, and like I said, I'm not even halfway through.
So I'm not going to get through all these things, but I want to ask a lot more questions, so keep going, then. I'm good. All right, sweet. All right, so you're really good. Explain things I want to have this tiny little segment called Aaron explains this's all on the fly. I did not prep you with any of these, and they're probably not that hard. I guess, uh, and they're kind of random, but I just wanted So you explain these things on the fly.
Anyways, Aaron explains when chicken is done. Oh, gosh, there's a number that your thermometer tells you when chicken is done right and that's that's when chicken is done, usually follow a recipe. But if you get a probe thermometer into the fattest part of your thigh or breast is going to be what cooks the slowest think that number's one sixty five off the top of my head for poultry. But I could be wrong.
What if you don't have a thermometer? If you don't have a thermometer, then one sheet by brining your damn chicken. So does that mean you're gonna how much chicken we're talking? Joe, let's say that it's just a whole chicken cold chicken. All right, uh, one don't cook the thing whole. Like if you don't, I find a whole chicken breasts. Yeah, well, I don't know. I was going to break the chicken down If you don't know how to cook a treat like when you don't know how to cook Something cooked smaller pieces because things were going to cook more evenly when they're more regular.
So, like diced chicken cubes are going to cook more evenly than a whole chicken and pieces like a breast or a thigh or going to cook. You know more evenly than trying to cook a whole chicken. So s a break thing down in the individual pieces. No brine those individual pieces, which means take like a gallon ziplock baggie. Put a couple of cups of water and a few tablespoons of salt and maybe a little bit of sugar.
And if you want, you could throw in like some ginger or some other spice that would pick up fairly well. And what you're going to then do is you're going to make that you going to drive a lot more water into the chicken itself by having that hyper tonic more salutes outside and inside anyway. So you're going to make it go. Who? Let's get some more water into this. You got this like, nice, plump, juicy, brined piece of chicken, which then lets you overcook it without it drying out as much because it starts with more moisture to begin with, let's tip one.
Wow. You know, follow the recipe. However long it says to cook thing on aside, I've got it so much. I just do it by sight. Now. Site meaning color, Yeah, color, color, color, color and smell. Oh, yeah, that's right. You and your color blindness. A lot of it is just experienced, man. You know, I don't know the safe way to do what I guess would be that, like, cook it till it's overdone and you're confident that it's done, and then just keep slowly dialing it back.
Every time that you cook until you get sick until it all until you get to a sufficiently moist point again, the correct answer is, use a damn thermometer like if you say so. All right. So in other words, spend that spend that ten bucks on a thermometer really is worth it. Attacking how to cook Aaron explains how a carburetor works, which, by the way, I found a hilarious having prepared that this question.
Ah, and then you mentioned, like internal combustion engine earlier. Anyways, Aaron explains how a carburetor works and white one is important. I don't know that I know this particularly well, but what I believe carb raters air doing is what is now done by fuel injectors, and they're creating a fuel air mix. So what is happening in an internal combustion engine right is you put a little bit of fuel in with the right amount of air.
Spark goes off whenever you're at the top of the stroke that drives the engine back down, a serious of valves opening close, getting the exhaust out, getting more fuel and air in. It does. Only one of the two strokes is a power stroke, usually in a four stroke engine, which is most of what we use. And so then it's able to do one unpowered, and then you reload it with fuel and error, and it compresses it again, and you spark it at that compression point, and it explodes again.
So a carb rater is making sure that the right amount of fuel in the right amount of air go into the cylinder, so that right, just like your usual combustion equations. You want the right amount of oxygen toe except carbon atoms and makes a tune. Is it just a bit of that that has some some of some substance in it that's somehow like the substances force enough or whatever that somehow regulates? I really dont know, man.
Like I don't understand old engines as well as I understand that was well explained in ways you sums up perfectly, I think, by with the limited knowledge that you have. And of course, I have extremely looking knowledge, You two, you something you're able to explain where it's at in the process and right. It's been replaced my fuel injectors. But I don't know anything about those, either. But basically they both do the same thing of Karina mix.
What's funny is that when I was writing that question on my phone, which I don't talk to my phone to chop down questions, I was in line that seasoning sixty three Chinese place. And after I do that quietly, there was a bunch of people in line. Uh, a minute or two later and make small talk to the guy who's in front. Me who's American on? He was asked me, You know what's good? He's like, So you want to know what a car breaker was?
And and I'm like, No, no, it's just a question. And then he explained it to me. He's like, Oh, I think it's what fuel injectors do or whatever I'm like. Well, it's a fuel injector usually I don't really know. Oh, my God. But anyway, so it's funny having that exact same no situation have. Anyways, uh, Aaron explains the economics of gift cards and why they're beneficial for companies. So there are a couple of answers.
They're the most important one is that a lot of gift cards go unused. And so if I run a pizza place and I sell a fifty dollar gift card, I make that fifty dollars. As soon as you put that fifty dollars in my hand, right, that's in my cash register. I can go do whatever with it. The perfect thing from the restaurant's perspective to have happen to that gift card is to have it immediately go into a shredder and never be used right, because now they've just been given fifty bucks for the cost of handing you a piece of plastic, and some percentage of gift cards are always going to go unused, so there's an advantage there.
Um, you know, they're also useful as a way to generate new customers, right? If I really, really love Shakespeare's and I think my dad doesn't get out enough and I want him to understand what good pizza isn't just buying two giorno all the time, I might give him a Shakespeare's gift card whereas handing him twenty bucks and saying, You must go to Shakespeare's is a lot less attractive. Even if every gift card were redeemed, Obviously they're willing to sell goods and services were given price.
So they're willing to let you were doing the gift card and they'll still make money. And then they also could make money during the float period, right? So they're they're accelerating their cash flow. So let's say you buy a gift card for someone in April and they don't use it until October, right? For those couple intervening months. They've just got that fifty bucks so they could throw that in a savings account or something and make money off of that gift card for this.
So that's it's like having money for free and letting it get interest for free for a couple months that I had never thought about that way. Wow. Oh, I was thinking the inflation would be only other one because that money just keeps going down. But that's very interesting. If they gap in which they use it. Not only does that value decrease because of inflation, but it could also increase because what they do with the my head it's really interesting.
Gift cards or kind of an interest free loan entered is free. Um, all right, one more. And I just realized like that that we could do this for two hours and I'll be happy. But Aaron explains how the Internet works. Oh, gosh. So, like, this smart part of me just wants to let you do this instead, because, you know, this is a test. Now I wait. The last time I was like, Well, I kind of know how this one works, so I'll actually see if he's bullshitting me or not.
OK, so, uh, and my very simplistic understanding I have a computer and that computer would love. Be able to get information from a lot of different people, maybe from the guys at Wikipedia, Maybe from the guys at the IRS whenever I want to do my taxes, maybe from the local movie theater, so that I know what they're showtimes are. So my computer has a connection to an Internet service provider, which has its own set of servers and everything.
And do I need to get into, like how I use WiFi or whether I'm plugged into the Internet or anything like, Do we need to talk about modems and routers and all that jazz a little bit? Okay, routers. Maybe not necessarily how WiFi works, but, you know, the router could be potentially interesting here, this conversation, because that's how you connect the eyes. But not so. That's a technical details. You mentioned that the first stage is the connection between your computer and your eyes.
P. That's good night for me. Okay, cool. So I got to get back to my right, and the reason that you need a nice P is because that is optimized for going out and using the the great registry that probably I can puts out there of where all this information lives. And so we've got this understanding of like I go to wikipedia dot com, but wikipedia dot com is really and I P address on the back end, right? No, yeah, yeah, yeah, So So there's some, you know, like probably the analogy to go after thing.
I do. Well, it would be like a bunch of addresses. And so there's a big registry of addresses. And we say the Wikipedia information lives on this block, and the Amazon information lives on this block. And then, you know, the little slashes within those domains are how you could go, Teo, different parts of Amazon parts of Wikipedia or whatever, and so your ISP is really good at navigating down toward that information is their servers talk tio the providers of that information data.
And so whenever I type in, don't give me that wikipedia dot com. Yes, I talked to my P. My P knows where Wikipedia is. It goes to that address and says, Hey, they've also probably got a lot of really fancy ways to deal with the fact that information that's lost and So there's all sorts of fun coding stuff about how to deal with packet loss on DH. You know, those issues that we're not really getting all the data to come across, and so we have to send much duplicates and seems we have to encrypt that stuff and put it behind, you know, layers of security so that people can't just read all of it.
My eyes talks too over, you know, by the fiber optic or copper cables, the rider of the information that I want to get Teo it, then serves it up and pack it ties. Is it back in a little tiny bits so that it can shoot it back down to be? And I can read it on the surface of my laptop Reasonably close? Yeah, no, no, I'd say it's very that's very close, you know? Are you place a lot importance on the way. And yes, it is obviously important, but mostly it's like you're just creating connection between you and some server.
Okay. And so it's just, uh, mostly about resolving the address, like you said. And so you have a direct connection. More or less. It's not direct. There's nothing direct about the intimate, obviously. But you have what appears to be a direct connection between your computer and the server that you're talking to. But yeah, dude, pretty, pretty darn close overall. And I don't even I'm and secure by my own understanding now that I think about it.
So cool. All right, Game. I've never done these things by the way, but I figured I just have a little fun here before, Uh, Alright. So without letting me know your personal position on the stance, can you give me one good reason why people think global arming Israel and one good reason why people think it's a hoax? Oh, gosh. Um, well, see? I'm really cynical on this one, and I think that most of people that want to say that global warming isn't really want to say it because of what I'm gonna call the wish fulfillment bias, which is this that if something is really, really painful or you don't want it to be true, then you don't believe it is true.
And so I think that's what's actually motivating. A lot of people who are against global warming is they just don't want it to be the case. And so because they don't want it to be the case, they say that it isn't the case out. The other thing that I think probably leads to people that they might point to is, but they don't understand the difference between weather and climate. And so they'll be able to say things like Colombia just got twenty inches of snow two weeks ago.
And that's a historically huge snowstorm. And the weather right now is twenty degrees below normal and death a death that it, uh and they're unable to abstract up from that day to day feeling of. Sometimes it's still really cold to the reality that average temperatures are substantially warmer than they were fifty one hundred thousand years ago. The reason people believe global warming is true is because it is the best currently available site data.
And the I P C. C is not a really good job of collecting a lot of temperature observations and showing us that, you know, I'm gonna murder the stats slightly. But it's things like eight of the ten warmest years in recordable history have occurred within the last decade, right? Which is just statistically really, really anomalous if we're not actually getting warmer way. See general trend lines of warming temperatures for the last, you know, one hundred years that we have good data for stuff like that.
So all the trend lines point to earth Being warmer is why people think Earth is getting warmer. Yeah, I liked all your explanations there, but I somehow got the sense of what opinion What side of town? That's okay, though, uh, last one is without telling me how I feel about the issue. One good reason why abortion should be illegal in one good reason why it should not be illegal. Well, I think what side of that issue you land on is almost purely and answer to the question.
What level of rights does a collection of cells in a woman's room? Half? Because if you believe that that is a full person with rights, you know, starting either at inception or at implantation, or when a heartbeat is presence or when there's neural activity, Whatever standard you want to put on it, you're going to say, Okay, well, at this point it has, Thies writes, and thus cannot be killed. You know, I really think that that's the side of the debate.
And so people who are against abortions happening in most or all cases they're going to say, Well, that is that is a person from the instant of conception or whatever else. And so because it's a person, we don't murder people. And so you can't, you know, do things so that fetus because you're murdering a person. Whereas others would say that is not fully a person and thus other issues, such as a woman's ability to control our own body.
What would matter more than what happens to a collection of cells Not like that? So cool. Thanks for doing that. Um, here's a bunch of random stuff. I know a few people who don't believe that income tax is legal. I I think I said that right. I think that's what they believe. Do you know much about this conspiracy? As an economist? I don't I know. Like I think I probably heard a podcast about it at some point, and I know a lot of these people are going to jail like one.
There's literally an amendment to the Constitution that says that we could have income taxes because the Constitution originally set up things like per head taxes. It didn't set up in income tax. And so whenever we started income taxes in the early twentieth century, there's an amendment so hard to understand how something that is explicitly an amendment to the Constitution remains okay. I always thought that was a great guy.
Maybe it's not income tax. I'm remembering it. May. I thought it was. People are like, it's not. It's not actually in the Constitution, it's a bubble. It's a scam or whatever. If you don't do anything, you can't do anything. They can come to your house and pull you out and thirty in jail or whatever, but it's like that probably does happen. I don't know if I'm gonna risk that, you know? Yeah. So it's, uh they're they're legit Cray, Cray and have been provided to such.
I would argue that, like, clearly, the intent is there in the Constitution to say that like, we're allowed to tax people in order to make the government run. And so, like, once you're doing that and the norm is, Hey, everybody pays their income taxes even if you really believe it's unconstitutional. The answer to do that is to continue paying your taxes like everybody else and try to win court cases that say it's unconstitutional, not be a piece of crap who doesn't pay their taxes and still drives on roads that the government builds.
So okay, again, people are our self interested and don't want to do things on. We'll come up with all kinds of weird reasons, so let them do the thing. They don't want Teo here, not pay taxes. Cool. Do you have time for a few more? Yeah. I'm literally just looking up. Which constitutional amendment was Oh, I see. Okay. No, worries. Yeah, Some of the some of my friends are a friend or two. Whatever that hold this opinion, I'm just like me.
And one day I'm going to I'm going to hear about our just, you know, walk in one day and they'd be like, Oh, such and such a gun. Don't know where he went. He's just disappeared and never see him again because of you. Oh, the government hasn't gotten a some money from them in, like, fifteen years. So that have gone now. Yeah, I was the I remember early twentieth century. More specifically, it is the sixteenth Amendment passed in nineteen o nine and reads the Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes from whatever source derived without apportionment among the several states and without regard to any census or enumeration.
Yeah, OK, so it isn't a Constitution diamond. Okay, well, I can't get more clear than that. Yes. Okay, Um, if God or if God or a God exists. What do you want? It's to tell you after you died. Oh, gosh. Like very selfishly. You just want to hear some version of, like, you're good. Like, you know, your eternity is going to be okay. Assuming you get eternity here, your continued period of life is going to be okay if you get something continued period of existence.
Like selfishly, that's definitely the most important thing to hear. Wow. I don't know, write like the really late answer is Oh, God. So knowledgeable, powerful. He'll know what to tell me in me thinking that I know, you know, to tell him what he should tell me. It's just stupid home, But that's totally against the spirit of the fun of the question. And so something like, you know, I love Tio Tio here in analysis of my life and you know, where really knowledgeable being says, Yeah, you did good.
There were really knowledgeable being says You fucked that one up from to get some external analysis. No. And I'd love for them to acknowledge what we're really if there are really like, What are the turning points in history? You know what you know? Sort of like I think it is like God's version of a buzzfeed article. What really are the ten most important event says God, like, you know that those kind of rankings could be fun to actually understand.
Cats. Buzzfeed dot com Check it's of a little man. Um, the American Indians in Eastern culture respect their elders, but here in Western culture, uh, we have a complicated relationship. Our view of our aging population. Can you explain why that is cool? Yeah, um not as well as I would like now, one of things that I'm starting to notice, and this is like very, very amateur foreign history understandings.
But I think part of it is that foreign cultures do a much better job of passing the baton in a way that American culture doesn't. All right. You look at our politicians on DH. They are really, really old people really hanging on to power, you know, whereas in China there are literally age limits. Or there were before she rewrote a lot things on how long someone conserve and the idea that there must be turned over in those ranks, you know, as as Millennials has started being eligible for good jobs at companies.
Out baby boomers who you said they were going to retire, haven't and they've stuck around a few extra years. And then that job gets changed from a job that paid two hundred thousand a year to one that pays one hundred twenty thousand year instead, you know, So I think that in particular, talking about like wire millennials and some extent Gen Xers not as deferential, Mom. It's like his baby boomers have screwed us pretty good and a lot of ways.
They they paid fairly low taxes throughout their life and now have a security system that we're going to have to bail out right. They paid in at rates of about six percent effectively, and you and I are paying in at a rate of seventeen percent, effectively, no, you know, and you don't have to do income adjustment because that's percentage of income. And so percentage of income, this self adjusting, you know, there's there's no need to inflate away were the others.
So I don't well, people love the stewardship of the baby boomer generation. You know, if if we're talking about older people who would like servant will or two or something, maybe they've got, you know, a chip on his shoulder where they could say, like, Hey, look at what we get for you Whippersnappers. I went in, got cholera in a trench and was shot at by literal Nazis. But you know, that's not what a lot of six year olds have done.
So there's there's not good power hand over like I see in some foreign cultures, there's not. There's often not a lot of generosity, or at least conscious, observable generosity and adulthood from the older generations. You know, I think when there is, those families tend to work better and having Stillson deference towards your family works. And the other thing is, we just haven't had a whole lot of old people.
And so understanding how to handle having older people around and as an ever larger share of the population in economy is kind of an unknown. So it's it's tough, well articulated for a hard question. Comparing kids. I'm giving you all the hard ones. Now I'm like scrolling down my list of questions like Let's just go with a really hard one comparing kids from broken families to kids from I guess and tack families.
I don't know what the cops said it was really, but what's one thing that a kid from an intact family I will never understand? Oh, that's a great question, Bob. And I'm asking this on a personal because of you know what there is since For us, I guess. I mean, I come from an intact family. I guess you could say maybe should have been broken. That I don't mean that, but And you come from winning your parents divorce.
My parents got divorced while I was in second grade. Okay, So pretty. So you have a good perspective? It wasn't like, Oh, when? That was thirty. Yeah. Yeah, I was. I was a seven year old that was asking Why don't mommy and daddy love each other anymore, right? Right. Yeah. So you're the perfect person? Asks come, at least for me, and I don't I don't even know how much this generalizes to other kids who have divorced parents and to keep this in context.
It was very, very clear that both my parents loved me very much for the entirety of my life. So I didn't have you know, any anything that looks like abuse or neglect and and those air different, much harder things that I want to make very clear. I don't have an ability to speak to, but just in best case scenario, divorces. I think one thing you lose and that I think probably still messes with my relationships to this day is just a sense of security.
You know, here's this thing that is supposed to be a lifelong bond, that people were committed enough to that they decided to bring children into, and it just ends, you know, And so I think in an intact family. Often you don't even have to think about like, Well, what happens if this dissolves right, or what do I have to do to make sure this person never leaves or or gets angry enough that they might leave or whatever, whereas I think I think I'm a lot more secure in a lot of relationships.
And I know that any relationship can be ended no at any time, and it makes it makes a lot of relationships a lot harder because of that uncertainty and on these. Yeah, No. Thanks for explaining that. That makes sense. What's the difference between rights and responsibilities? Oh, gosh. I want my things recently is talking about that. Those air flip sides of the same coin, right? You know. You'll hear trite phrases like your right to extend your arm ends where my nose begins, right?
You have a responsibility not to extend your arm with my nose, is there? Wow. And so no rights are things to which we would say all people are entitled or there is a burden on others to provide slash not take away those rights depending on whether it's positive or negative and its implementation. Where has a responsibility is a duty that you have two other people's other people, often in order to uphold their rights, you know?
So if you claim that everyone has a right to a certain amount of health care. Then there is almost definitional some group of people whose responsibility it is to provide that health care either directly. You know, like we have. We have enslaved state doctors, and these enslave state doctors will provide your healthcare or more saintly. You know, anyone above a certain level of income has to kick in a certain amount of money to help provide health care for themselves and others, you know, so in general writes, create responsibilities because, saying a right is version of saying I am entitled to, I am entitled to the ability to have free speech.
I am entitled to feel secure in the owning of my property, right? Well, feeling secure. Owning my property means things like having a police force that will attempt to find thieves, you know. And so it creates a duty on the police force and on certain parts of society to fund that police force. That what you're doing. Yeah, I means kind of opening it, obviously. And that's not necessarily even the direction I was thinking exactly, but I couldn't have.
I couldn't have said I could have given anyone of three minutes spiel any better yet, so I really liked it. Anarchy is making rules for yourself. Not others said that Utah folks who is entitled to make rules. It's one I'm going to disagree with his version of anarchy. But that's just because I think Anarchy is having like a sexy moment is a philosophy that it totally doesn't deserve. That's sure it's really just a well, you said a sexy quote that just prefaced the question.
That's kind of fun. Anyway, the more I think about it. But I was a big fan of not catching measles as a child before I could be vaccinated on having a state that made that possible. So, you know. But if the bigger question is, who should have power to make rules? I totally get where people are coming from when they get angry at being over regulated and whatever else. And a principle that I've been mulling around more and more of late is the idea that your ability to make decisions should be proportional to your investment in the process about which decision is being made.
So, like shareholders in the company, Yeah, and, you know, shareholder, that's a pretty passive thing, you know? And how does that compare to the work that, you know, the actual worker in the company? I see. So you're getting more of it on the people who invest. Not I only have monetary investment, but time investment. This actually came from when I was a really angry employee when I was becoming a frustrated employee in a company that I know and outside Boss who would come and look at the problem for three minutes would try to tell me No, no, no.
This is the correct way to do this. I'd be like, I'm spending thirty hours a week thinking about this, and you're spending three minutes in this meeting while reading your email. Maybe you should just listen to me about how we should do these things now. But yeah, I think I think the people that make the rules should be the people that are invested in it. And so sometimes you're going to end up in a case like vaccines where it's very reasonable for a nation state to say, Hey, everybody has to get the MMR vaccine unless you've got a damn good reason not to, you know, whereas other times you know, stuff really is hyper local.
And what color shirt you wear is really only your business and maybe the school you're attending or the business that you work at, you know So only people who have clear and direct stake and have invested in making that steak, I think should be responsible for decisions. S o couple quotes where that people fear the government. You have tyranny, where the government fears the people you have liberty And this was twisted in the film.
Be for vendetta with people. Should not be. It wasn't twisted was just re articulated. People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of people. Um, where do you think we are now? With regards to people fearing the government versus the government, fearing the people, if that's even an appropriate way to categorize it. I don't know. I don't necessarily like the framing because it pretends that you can treat people as a collective and trying to get of the people to act as a collective is really, really difficult.
So I don't know. And I also think it. He collects the fact that sometimes I want people to fear the government. I want child molesters to fear the government. I want them to think a police officer's going to come and throw me in jail for the rest of my life because I molested a child. That is a fear that people should have if they're child molesters, You know, So, so neutering the government that it is afraid of a single guy with a large gun doesn't seem wise, you know.
I really try to be sympathetic to kind of like libertarian, anarchist Strand that people like who would say courts like that are coming from. And the only way that I can think to do it is that I've got a friend from the swing dance scene back in Seattle who says things like this but who is literally one of the best human beings you've ever met. You know, he's the kind of guy who, while biking home in the rain, we'll stop and help someone in a car change their tire.
You know, he's just that sort of dude. And so I understand why he thinks that like all stop pressing on me. I'm a good, responsible human being who would stop someone from being raped in a back alley. And I just have to explain to him like Sam, you're not Most people, like most people, will call nine hundred eleven. But they won't personally step in to intervene on DH, save someone for being assaulted or, you know, whatever that Linus.
And so I just kind of acknowledge that it's it's good to have a state powerful enough to make those things. And so the idea that I should never be afraid of my government, it just doesn't make sense to me because if I'm never afraid of it, then it can never intervene in a meaningful way against the people I wanted to stop. I really like Tyson well said. What is to our questions? Aaron. What is today's most important UN reported story, Josh Most important unreported stories.
No just does the degree of loneliness that people feel rise in the level of being a reported story. Or is that still not a thing? We talked about it enough. Yeah. I don't think we talked about it enough. Yeah, okay, Well, I just I mean, because, you know, there there's the occasional article, you know, But yeah, I really think I find in my own life those times, whatever. I have good, meaningful social interaction, Right?
Like not just small talk in line Wal Mart, but sitting down playing d d with my friends or seeing conference interview with you, having having a beer with somebody that you plan to have a beer with, you know, you're just going to be there for two hours. Chilling and existing. No, I think I think we do a really poor job scheduling and making things in life like that happen and that people are really suffering as a result.
Not that way. Necessarily, Justine. More human interaction, but that we need, you know, the whole more meaningful connections think gave you. The people have gone from having three close friends back in fifties or sixties whenever some of the first surveys were done toe having one in the eighties and nineties. And now many people report that they don't have one close friend that they could talk to about most issues.
You know. So I think that that thie collapse of close, meaningful relationships, whatever its cause, is something that we should talk about more and should be trying to find more solutions for other than just acting as if, like, put down the damn phone is a solution because it's not because all hello our lot of cultural things have changed. And if you just made someone walk around Colombia without their phone, they wouldn't magically have more friends.
Do you have a guess as to what the cause is? Not really, because I'm not much of an adult in a lot of ways, so I don't understand adult life as well as I think I should. I've got a lot of weird stuff that kind of feels like an extended adolescence, you know, being a grad student, not owning a home, moving between several different cities, things like that. But I still have at least Tio really good. I could fricking call with anything absolute friends, and then, like a tier below that, that I could I could do it.
You know, you couldn't do it, like, every week, but you could, you know, definitely call him up. And they have your back kind of a thing. Um, so food. I mean, there's definitely no element of if you're sitting around quote unquote on your phone all day. That's time. You're not interacting, and thus you're getting worse and interacting face to face with people. And so you're losing some of those skills. But wait, I'm asking for, like, the cause of why, like statistically, people used to have three friends and sounds like so anyway, there, caused by people who have three friends, very close friends that they could talk anything about.
And now and then one and then zero often like and not just like across the board as a society. Like what? What's the big force? So I think there's a decline of social skills, okay, as we do more things over text or email. No, those things haven't editing property that you don't have in direct communication. And that requires indirect communication. You, Toby, willing to be gracious, rightto let people stumble over their words tto take things back to go.
Oh, I didn't really think about that that way, right that you just don't have to text and email nearly to the same degree. And so I think because direct interactions are harder, we do fewer of them. And so we build fewer friendships, I think we perhaps now, and I don't know it. It might be that little people's values have changed. Maybe people value acquaintances more than deep friendships. And so knowing that you have well, here are my dog friends.
And here are my video game friends. And here are my work, friends. And here are my running friends and having five different sets of ten acquaintances you find more valuable and useful than having two or three friends that you, you know, fit in a lot of those, then diagrams so that you and doing a lot of things with them. Definitely people complain about feeling busier, you know? So is it because you have a lot of stresses that don't end?
All right, as you start to have jobs that you take home with you and perpetually in the back your mind do you literally just not have the mental bandwith Teo be able to devote to conversations and relationships? And so those conversations and relationships don't develop because you are perpetually distracted from them? No, I don't know. There's a lot of stuff we could potentially point to. This is all speculation, and I don't even know how you were tested to make it not, but just a thought Cool and the last question.
And if you were ruler of the world, what would you do on your first day? Oh, gosh. Hopefully, I'd like some time to plan to make it a very, very busy and productive day. Wow. One, I would probably set some, like universal standards for street signs. So, like they were always at least this big. They're always in this place, knows that you know where to look for them because I just wonder how many lives that would save and do it fairly cheaply.
So I put the world on, you know, twenty years street sign, replacement plan toe actually have clear street signs marked everywhere. I would take money that we're spending on things that I'm not really fond of and redirected two things I'm fond of. So, for instance, I think that we probably have far too generous a set of pensions and health care for old people. I'd be fine letting them know ahead of time they were gonna pay you a little less.
They're going be certain medical conditions were not going to care for that's it. And routing that money back into things like education, routing that money into research and development. Um, especially on issues like climate change in the eye that are going to be there. I would look at trade deals that have aggregate benefits. Small, agri, small have large aggregate benefits that are sort of small benefits to a lot of people, but they have very, very high costs to a very small group of people and try to find ways to smooth that harm.
So, like whenever we started trading with China in the nineties, a lot of textile factories in places like the Carolinas closed. So it would be things like Can we put a small tax on socks from me that we're now importing instead of making here that could go to retrain workers and sock factories? You know, because I think in general, in economics we do a fairly good job of saying, Here's the thing that does the most aggregate good.
But we're not good at some of the targeted redistribution. And very often the target of redistribution gets captured by small sets of really powerful interests instead of large sets of a few centuries. So, like we have sugar quotas that lead about a dozen families get really, really rich off of owning sugar plantations in the US, But make everyone pay more for sugar. Um, and we don't need those kind of rent seeking activities.
But we do need more things like targeted retraining for coal miners who have lost their jobs because they just don't have a lot of good options. And I especially want to help those people who made perfectly rational decisions at the time and couldn't have foreseen what was coming right. There's no way that when somebody who graduated high school in the mid nineties decided he was going to be a coal miner for his career, right, Like he consciously makes that, Sydney says, Well, I'm gonna I work in the mine the next thirty years could know that twenty three years later, in two thousand eighteen, that the sulfur content of his coal in West Virginia would be so high that even if you're going to mine coal, you're going to mind it in Colorado instead of Virginia right here.
This guy was thinking he made a good life decision and honest decision for a life of hard work, and now he doesn't have that option. And so helping people who made decisions where they couldn't have possibly foreseen the changes that have taken those opportunities away, something I think we should probably care about a lot more Oh, and you would have probably the busiest first date being leader of the world that I've ever heard about.
And, uh, it would be very compact, with lots of lots of things to do and lots of good ideas and talking with experts, which I feel like This is what this conversation has been. Lots of compact ideas. Document an expert here, basically, uh, so, Aaron, thanks for joining me today and doing this interview. Uh, with me. Thanks for having a job is a lot of fun.