Folktellers : Stories to be Shared

Welcome to the Folktellers podcast, where whomever holds the story wields the power. What do building marketing tech for blockbuster movies, playing professional basketball, and writing award-winning young-adult novels all have in common? Stories - a lot more than you can ever imagine. Come join us as Kurt David, Stephen Sadler, and Josef Bastian share a few tales, have a few laughs, and interview some great people, while trying to uncover the mysteries and wonders behind every great story.

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Stories That Really Sing

Monday Jul 10, 2023

Monday Jul 10, 2023

Our folktelling three explore stories in music, questioning whether we have lost the richness, depth and communal spirit that great music brings. Our harmonious hosts also connect the dots with KISS and INXS business manager, Angus Vail, who shares his perspective on all things lyrical and loud.
Folktellers Universe
Well,welcome everyone to the Folk Tellers Stories to be shared podcast.My name is Joseph Bastian.Today we are talking about music as story and I'm also here with Kurt David and Steve Sadler,the Mali Lewis gentleman.You,you guys,I,I made them look that word up last week.So look up Mali Les,if you don't put that one,please.Well,today,so we've got a guest,uh a very cool Angus Vale who is the financial manager for Kiss and was for in excess and he's building a Shakespearean theater out of shipping containers which so uh he's gonna talk to us about music and the communal nature because one of the things,one of my questions,so I kind of want to begin with this.This is sort of a,a clarifying quote uh by Victor Hugo.So Victor Hugo says,music expresses that which cannot be said and on which is impossible to be silent.So let that soak in a little bit.Give me a few hours.Yeah.So that's,that's our clarifying thought for the day.And uh I think our challenge is,is my challenge statement is I'm gonna put forth to you two gentlemen,to the audience that music has lost its communal spirit and its storytelling power.And I say that and I want,I want you guys,I wanna talk about this.Uh I think with music when music went digital,when we lost albums and we lost artwork and liner notes and people began just putting ear buds in their ears and listening to music a alone.Uh We lost that.Uh A lot of that storytelling power in my mind.Storytellers are the ones that stood out in front of the fire and people gathered around the campfire.Well,when you talk about music,I mean,it dates me back as well to those album covers,right?That was a story in itself.You always looking forward to what's gonna be on the album.What's the story behind that album cover?What is,what is that album cover telling us as a story?I mean,just that visual alone if you don't get nothing else.But uh I think somebody mentioned also um about the,the storyline inside it,it was insert that was how were you getting your music,Steve,where were you getting your music before you could get it online when you were a kid?What,where were you getting your music from the record store?And so where,what did you do when you heard a new album went out?Well,obviously there was radio back then too today.So are you sure you're not that old and it was ok.Radio's been around.Ok.No,no,there's,you,you hear the song on the radio and then you're off to the record store and when you're looking for music,you're not just looking for a specific song.You're actually,there's a,an experience of flicking through all of the albums in a certain,you know,um,uh,indexing of letters.Right.So,if I'm looking for in excess,I go to I,and there's all the eyes,I'm looking at all the albums and,and,and the artwork,you know,which is obviously the marketing part,but it's more than marketing uh look at the Journey album covers,for example,they were amazingly done and they told a story like right in it,it was very science fiction and that type of thing.Um I can remember one in specific and being uh you know,growing up in Canada is uh is laying on my bed and opening up,you know,rush 21 12,throwing the record on there and as soon as it hits,you know,you turn the lights down,you open up the cover and,and you start to,to read and 21 12 is literally a story,especially the first side.It's,it's,it's a complete story,you know,and that experience to me went away after C DS um because you really lost the combination of the art and the music together as one which created a beautiful package,a comp a beautiful user experience which everyone talks about these days.I mean,being from tech,it's all like,oh,we need to have a really nice UX on this app that we're building or this website.It's like,well,yeah,you're worried about that.But what about the content?Where is the user experience gone on the content?It's all based on the workflow now and it makes no sense.But to that point too,Steve,it wasn't an overnight transition,right?We went from album covers,right?With the art,whether it be a or,or a graphic art to then the C DS,right?So we had C DS for a while and they still had some graphic art on them.But then the,as you mentioned at the beginning,Joseph was the full transition to digital.Took that communal experience away for the story for the communal experience with music.Yeah.Yeah.For,for me,it was uh you would hear an uh a song on the radio or you'd an album at someone else's house and you go,I gotta get that.And then it was a trip up to Harmony House in Detroit.That's a,there's a blast from the fact.Going up to Harmony House and Harmony House had,you could listen to it.They had a turntable with headphones.You could sample like if you're buying a 45 or you're buying an album,you could you could,you could listen to it 1st.45.What's a 45?Oh,yeah.Well,yeah,a pistol.No,no.And then,like,you would go,I would,I would go up there with my friends and then it was,you know,we're all going to someone's house and we're sitting in the room and they got the,the big speakers and the liner notes are out and someone brings food in and,I mean,it was like a little,you know,a little party and I think,you know,we've lost that and,and,uh,well,I remember going to my older brother's friends,my older brother and his friend used to hang out and I remember going to their house one time and,and listening to that Kiss album,right?That,that it's like,oh my goodness.Look at that,look at the album cover,listen to the music,right?How impactful that was because there was story behind the cover.There was story in the insert like you mentioned Steve and there's certainly stories in the song,right?So now,so now Rock City is a,is a story.It is not a good ending,but it's,uh,but the whole song is a story and then they made,they made that into a movie.Yeah.What was the ending?That was so horrific about it?It's a car crash and that sounded like a car crash.It was a car crash.It was a car crash.Yeah.Not like,hit your car crash,that you just said we would have to bring that up.Yeah.And the deer is gone and the car is gone as well.That's a different story.You're here and that's the most you're here and you'll get a new car in Detroit.And I think with musics like that too,you think about in a song,like how it begins and how it ends is sometimes it's not what you expect,right?Just like,just like life.And it's funny just yesterday I was my,so,uh,my kids are 20 something and they're a couple of my boys are like music files and they're like,you go into their room and,uh,it looks like the 19 seventies,I mean,the,the artwork,they've got the big speakers,they're all,all albums and they've kind of,they're like a throwback to having that communal experience,which is really nice to see which got me thinking about,you know,this,this whole topic of,of,of where we are.And I was so I was listening to this Grateful Dead Song ripple and my son tells me,uh,the,one of the guys who is a non musician,uh,but is accredited with the Grateful Dead.His last name is Hunter.I can't think of his first name.He was a lyricist.All he did was write lyrics and he did,he was not a musician,but he wrote this,the,the,the lyrics to ripple and this just struck me,says if my words did Glow with the gold of Sunshine and my tunes were played on the harp unstrung.Would you hear my voice come through the music?Would you hold it near as if it was your own?It's a hand me down.The thoughts are broken.Perhaps they're better left unsung.I don't know why I don't really care.Let there be songs to fill the air.And it just,I was like,wow,I mean,to me,like here you've got some,a non musician who's a lyricist for The Grateful Dead who writes something like that.And to me that's the connection of story and music.I mean,it's like,it's like poetry.I was just gonna say that I was just thinking that it's like poetry in music,right?In other words,you have the,the,the musical aspect of the lyrics and then you have the lyrics,I think to me in music,the trick is connecting those two,right?Making the lyrics attached to the music itself.And it's funny.I was so I'm,I'm a,a word.I and I,I just look,II,I like,look through the dictionary because I love etymology.I love words.The word lyric is Greek and it comes from the word liar and what's a liar?Not a liar.Like you've been called the,like the string,the stringed instrument.So I mean,the,the connection is there.It's not the layer,isn't it?Liar?It's not liar.It's la tomato,tomato.Steve guys are tomato.It's like Americans trying to say British words.I mean,well,where do you,where do you live now?I don't know.Do you,do you live in England now?So,I,I think when in Rome it's,yeah.And it's all Greek to me.So,but,but,but no,what,you know what we were saying about the,you know,now we're talking about the roots,the roots of music is storytelling.It is poetry and we,we've lost it.It's like,I,I feel like it's like just a formula now,like there's a formula for a pop song and you digitize it.And now,you know,we had talked in a previous podcast about A I and you got,now they're using A I to have,I just saw Frank Sinatra singing Michael Jackson.Uh and it's just like,OK,this is like hot garbage to me.How do we,you know,how do we rectify this?And I,you know,we'll ask Angus some of these questions too when we have them on,how do we get back to that communal storytelling,musical experience?How do we,how do we,it is it uh can we get back there?Yeah.Well,I,I think you shared that example with,with um what you experienced with the albums and stuff in your son's rooms,right?That you saw that and that they are literally flipping through the albums.They have the big speakers,they,so somehow someone is connecting to that again and,and I don't know,you can see them starting to be for sale again.The album covers the albums,they,they're starting to see them out there more and more whether it be on Amazon,but it's more than just trying to recreate what's already been done in the past.I mean,that's fine.You can do that.But remember the very first podcast that we did way back.What was it about?I,I don't know,cheese cheese cheesy metaverse.So the storytelling.So as things develop,I think that we need to be able to take these user experiences and be able to combine them into the new technologies that are coming out which then redefines,you know,some a new type of medium,whether that is on the metaverse or whatever the metaverse becomes in the future,but it should be a combination of all of the different art pieces.Yes,the music,the,the high resolution graphics like these headsets aren't good enough yet.I don't care how good Apple says their head.New headset is,it's not good enough.It's not as good as where it needs to be for us to have that,that experience that we had by laying on the bed as a kid and opening up that Rush album and seeing that beautiful artwork and reading the text and I should say the story and,and listening to the music and allowing your brain to absorb all those senses.That's where we need to get back to.Yes,I believe it can be done.And I,and I believe it's the metaverse.OK.So you're hitting on something this,I think this is really critical.So just sort of um validate what you're saying is we still need,we,we need to get back to that sort of organic interpersonal experience,but you can't go back in time.So there has to be some sort of fusion with the new technology like the metaverse.And then it's like,how does that come together?Because I was thinking about,we were talking about the packaging,the way albums were packaged.So you had,you had the artwork,the album,the,the physical,you know,cardboard,right?Then you had,you pulled out and there were liner notes and there was the lyrics and all the notes on how the album was made and,and whatever,and then you did a back story about the band or something.Yeah.And then you had the actual music.So now um you could still have that.But now if you bring in like new technology,it's really what's the balance between that organic interpersonal,visceral feeling and experience.That's the humanity of it with sort of the bells and whistles of NFTS and,and uh you know,to whatever crypto,whatever it is.So we've been,you know,folk tellers.So,and,and Steve,you could probably talk about this.We were,we were,um we were talking to a company that works in the,the metaverse space and we were talking about doing um versions of virtual concerts that were a combination of live concerts and artists.So you could actually be there and then there was a component of in the,you know,in the metaverse.And what does that,what could that look like?And what was exciting was um you know,we were working on this project with um black artists from the 19 thirties to the 19 sixties in venues that don't exist anymore.And in the metaverse,they're like,well,we can recreate those venues,like we have all the photographs and the layouts and so we can,we can create that club down in Atlanta or the,the flame bar in Detroit or,or,or,or wherever and we can kind of recreate that in sort of this,in this modern thing.So,uh we were like,wow,like that's cool.So there's something,I mean,Steve really tapping on to something like there's something there,but it's like,what is that balance?And I don't think anyone's figured it out yet.No,it's not figured out yet.I mean,as I said,it takes some old people like us to sit around and figure out,hey,what was really cool in the eighties.And what did we really love and how do we bring those experiences back?Um,and,and have the expertise to be able to put them into new technology.And,you know,and I think,you know,with a lot of startups,you get a lot of young kids that are,you know,out there,it's like,hey,this is my new startup,but the wisdom is gonna come out of the older people.You can't forget what we really enjoyed because,uh,a lot of the kids that I coach soccer,a lot of the kids are,they,everything that they do,all their shoes,everything.It's all eighties.I mean,there were Nikes and converse that I wore,you know,like late seventies,early eighties,something worked during that period.Guys,it was amazing during that period.The music was amazing.The artwork was amazing.The,the shoes were amazing.The clothing I'm wearing a,what am I wearing right now?I'm wearing a 19 eighties concert jersey.You know why?Because it's cool like it.I know.And,and I think that,you know,we can't lose those things and every single period has things that are cool going all the way back to Shakespeare.I mean,that's there too.Well,two things about that.I mean,our,our teenage daughter asked me to see eighties pictures of me pictures from the eighties and,and I thought,oh,ok.That was kind of cool.She wanted to see when I was younger or her motive was she wanted to see what people were wearing during that time.That was the,well,the funny part is I said,well,I got some pictures of when I was playing professional basketball.I can show you those and ironically and,and kind of,sadly,she goes,well,you look like you were a lot of fun back then.Like what happened,what happened,what happened?But,but here's what my takeaway is from this conversation.One is that digital is not going away,right?We know it's not going but we also know the need for communal um connection is also there.That's,it's a human need,right?And so to me,for,for me,music inspires me.It,it,it moves me,it,it,it causes me to um be,be happy.It sometimes it brings me sadness,right?When I think about a song.And so how do you tie that together with?You have the music side of it,of movement of the feeling of movement.You have the visual side which we talked about from the old days with the album covers,the inserts.But you also have this new wave of digital.And how do we attach all this to me?The headset is not the answer that's not communal.To me,it's virtually communal but you're,it's not physically communal,right?Holographs or whatever technology comes out like new,different new displays,like,say,for example,the three of us are sitting here right now and I,and I,I say I had my phone that had an app on it and all of a sudden I hit a button and the muse my music playlist,which I sent to you guys the other day pops up with artwork in between us,right?And we could all see it from different angles and I could spin it around and we all experience it and I play the music and then maybe a little video pops up or whatever,right?That would be a hologram of a concert.But here's so if you're listening to this podcast today and you want a startup company,take that idea and go oh yeah,Steve.Steve,I hope you're right.The pattern here,here's,here's the risk,here's the risk.So,you know,my day job,I'm an instructional designer.So developing learning and training programs and one of the things you do for a live workshop,the way you use technology is you use it as a front and,and a back end.So on the front end,you,you use it to get people to register or do some sort of pre work or whatever and they do it online and there's,you know,it's,it's using technology and on the back end to do any sort of reinforcement or communication.But the idea is that your book ending the live experience because you want to optimize when real people are together,doing real that you're optimizing the communal.And I think the risk with music,you,you,the risk you run with technology is you begin to dilute the experience of the human being,engaging with the music and engaging with the story with all the bells and whistles.And I think that's the,you know,that's the risk.Um How does it,how do you Yeah,I,I don't know how you resolve that.And I think the other thing is,is money.Like I keep thinking like there was a Snoop Dogg did a interview and he's just like,where's my money?He goes back in the day I sold an album and I got a percentage of that album.Now I sell a song digitally and I get 0.000001% of a cent of whatever.He's like,where's my money?And that's the other thing that will drive.I think whatever this,whatever the new musical storytelling is gonna be.Um,however it shakes out or whatever that mix is,it's gonna be driven by dollars.I mean,we're using Spotify and other,you know,channels to be able to broadcast what we're doing right now.What are we on right now?Let's talk about we're on Spotify.I Heart Radio app.Yeah,I mean,it's not a bad thing.I mean,it still is not a bad thing.So,it's not like we're saying that.Oh,yeah,we need to get away from that.It,it's about how,how do we take this,these user experiences from the past and bring them into the future and allow people to be able to enjoy all of the arts together.I don't know who you guys,if you remember having a turntable,remember the,you know what the original playlist was,whatever it was on the,uh the turntable.Yeah.So remember the turntables where you got all your buddies around,right?And you had the ones where they actually,that was the original playlist and,and that was done.Like if my part when I'd have a party at my house,it's like,OK,so which album do you want?I want this one,I want this one.I want this one.Why don't I make a playlist?Now?I make it myself.No one's asking me.I'm not asking anyone else.So you've lost that communal part of it as well.Yeah.The community of choice of choice.It's like,no,it's mine.I'm the,I am the DJ and parties were really good in the eighties.That's all I can say.Yeah.So you probably got a lot of scratched records,right?A lot of those records get scratched.I have all my albums from way back,you know,when I was seven.No,actually from 14 on I would say,and most of them are playable,but there's a lot of scratches on there.They've been played thousands and thousands of times.I mean,but back to the storytelling part of music though,I mean,put aside the visual,the album covers,the inserts.What,what do you think has changed in your opinion of the storytelling in the songs themselves?Right.We talk about throwback.There's still like,use rap,for example.Right?Rap is poetry.Everyone's like,oh,it's rap.It's like,well,no,rap is poetry.Poetry is stories.I mean,you know,Eminem a lot of it is stories and what he,what?Yeah,for sure.Right.So,it's not that,that's changed.I mean,with some of the pop music,yeah,I guess you can say there's no stories behind that.But I don't know,I can't really say that because I haven't really took the time to look at the lyrics and,and,and,and to understand that.But why haven't I taken the time because you don't have the ability to do that anymore.People,people haven't prioritized music.I think the storytelling aspect of it.They used to set aside time.I mean,you know,we're,we're in a society of immediacy,like,like instant gratification,right?And,and I know you guys aren't country music fans and,and for the,well,the five people that are out there or maybe more,I don't know,they,they don't wanna offend anybody.But my dad growing up always told me a country song tells a story,right?The true country songs.Always.If you listen to the lyrics,you hear the story,which I don't know if this is a good time to tell my joke or not.I tell you,I tell you,it's a good one.So,you know,and many people probably have already heard this except for you two for whatever the reason.But,uh,you know,what do you get,when you play a country song backwards,you get your dog back,you get your truck back,you get your girl back,right?And so yeah,but there's a story about the dog,about the truck,about the girl.And so that's always inlaid in that music.And so the stories like you mentioned can still be there.It just may not be the depth,but it's missing the communal visual aspect of it.I'm a very visual person like I,I need to see things to get them.And so,uh you know,missing that,like when you listen to a song,that's one thing.But if I see something attached to it,a visual of some type,whether it be even just lyrics,right?Something as simple as lyrics that does make a difference for me and I have experience,all right guys.Well,we're not gonna resolve this amongst ourselves,but it's a good discussion,but I think we should bring a music expert in.We've got Angus Vale who is the financial manager for Kiss was the manager for in excess,has worked with a number of musical artists,but he's also a storyteller,a Shakespearean expert and he's building the Globe Theater,a version of the Globe Theater out of shipping packages in the parking lot of a defunct hospital right here in Detroit.So talk about music and storytelling.I think Angus will give us a really cool perspective on what we're talking about.Joseph.You had me at manager,financial manager or kiss,right?I mean,I had all these other things now to in excess and,and uh you know what he's doing here in Detroit.That's exciting.Yeah,Angus has a very colorful background in music as well as in storytelling.Um I don't want to uh steal his thunder,his thunder from down under.Um So,so look that one up.Uh So Angus,what we wanted to know today.So you're in the music business,but you're also getting involved with Shakespeare and building theaters and,uh you managing Kiss and in excess and we kind of want to understand like what your journey was that?What got you into the music world,your love of music and then your love of Shakespeare and theater.Um Well,I'll just clarify that.I um I,I look after the business office for Kiss.Um There's another manager,uh,Doctor mcgee who looks after Kiss but yeah,I started,um,yeah,I,I just really loved music,um,punk rock was a huge influence on me.Um,and so when I was,you know,I spent some time as a banker in London and in Australia and I just didn't love it,to be honest.And,um,and,uh,so I ended up,uh,just banging on the door of everybody in the sort of music business in Australia,which wasn't in the eighties,it was late eighties.It wasn't that big and it wasn't like America.And,um,and it happened to,uh,in,we were looking for a business manager and,uh,we were all in our twenties and idiots.And so we,uh,we,uh,we all started to,you know,uh,working and,um,and then they took off in America and,um,yeah,so I had a great sort of five year run with them,um,and sort of learned and then the music business from that sort of 100 miles an hour.I,I,I'm sorry,I have to ask you though.You said you were in the banking industry right before you get into the.So,so what was,what was the response by your colleagues in the banking industry when you talked about that transition to doing what you're doing with the music,um,amusement.Um,you know,I mean,I mean,it's funny actually I sort of banking.One of the things about the banking thing was that the reason I got,ended up getting into Shakespeare as well was that I worked in the city in London,you know,downtown London.And I used to cut through,there's a thing called the,which is a big sort of arts complex in London.And I used to cut through the bar on the way home.Um,because,you know,it was cold and I,and that with the Royal Shakespeare company would be having their,their London performances and the Brits,what I love about the Brits is that they have the system,you know,that you can get these sort of stand by tickets.So I still want to pass and go,oh,what's on tonight?And they go,oh,it's Jeremy.I doing Richard the second and I was like,oh,ok.I'll go and see that for a fiver and it was amazing.Oh,ok.Well,what's on tomorrow?I got Julius Caesar with blah,blah,blah.And so a lot of times it was just,and so I came to Shakespeare as an idiot.You know,it,it just not studying it.Not,um,you know,I came to it as a groundling as a,as a,as a person who just would turn up and watch really good Shakespeare and I,and,you know,some,some of them I walk out and go,well,I understood about 60% of that,but it was so good that I would keep coming back.And so I,my exposure to Shakespeare was as a,um,as a,as,as a theater goer,you know,just as a,from the ground up.Not as a,not as a,not that it was,you know,I studied a bit at school but like I said,as an idiot,you know what I mean?And that's why I believe that's why it sort of inspired me a bit because the other is that,you know,we have gone to the Globe,you know,the Recreation Globe in London.And when you're standing in the yard watching Shakespeare up close and personal,very visceral and very much like being in the,of a,of a band,you know,you up close to the band.It's a very similar experience.And so my sort of weird love of punk rock plus getting the Shakespeare virus,there is a sort of,I sort of consider Shakespeare,Shakespeare a bit of a punk rocker of his time,you know,he just,he did things like we do time transitions where everybody go.Oh,what do you mean?Seven years in the future or he would do Hamlet?Oh,this guy is talking about it in a dialogue,you know,and people would,he's this full staff guy.So,you know,he anyway,I sort of rambling.No,that's real angus.That,that's great.And you had said,uh when we had talked previously about Shakespeare being a punk,that there was a punk aspect of Shakespeare.And one of the things that we were talking about was how storytelling,like music has lost its communal spirit.And,uh you know,when you had record albums and you had uh with liner notes and artwork and,and when music went digital,it,it went from the communal experience to sort of that one on 11 to 1 with just your headphones in.It's just you and the music and you lost that,that performance and that,that community where people were gathered uh to hear songs and to see artists and you know,I mean,you're kind of in the middle of that.It feels like you're trying to bring a lot of that spirit back with what you're doing with uh with the Globe Theater.II,I,yeah,I am II,I sort of missed that experience of,you know,um II,I don't know if you guys saw the fantastic uh David Bowie exhibition where they had uh one of the things was they had um Bowie when he appeared on,I think it was one of the Sunday night shows in Britain,I think old Whistle test and that,you know,um Star man in the outfit and everybody in,on Monday in England was talking about it.You know,everybody was just like,what the hell was that?And a little bit like when the pistols played on,you know,you saw everybody had communal or,or shared experiences and the same thing when you go to the theater,you know,you just go and see,um,live theater.But the difference with the Glover is when you go in London,you know,in the way that Shakespeare was done was the actors are on a stage.It's in the daylight and,or,you know,and the audience is right there in front of you.It's not out in the darkness.It's not.So when Hamlet is saying,you know,my uncle killed my father and now he's sleeping with my mom and,you know,life is pretty crappy.Should I kill myself?You know,should to be or not to be.He's not staring off into the distance.Is there some sort of,er,he's,he's looking,Hamlet is looking into the eyes of the people in the audience and going,you know,what should I do?And so there's,and people,you know,I've been to the globe when people yell stuff out or they can,you know,and,and that dynamic with the audience means it changes every single performance sometimes during King Lear in the storm scene,there's a storm because it rains,you know.And so,you know,you get the,you get the elements,you get the,um,I mean,there was one time of the globe,it fantastic where,you know,it was the,um,the line,you know,uh,you know,man,France's time up on the stage and right then I sort of pigeon landed on the stage and sort of strutted across the stage and then it flew off and then the next line is,and then I see no more.It was just,you know,anybody.Yeah.You know,so it's that sort of,it's that communication with the audience.It's that this is that connection.It's the variability from the elements from the makeup of the audience of the day.And so,you know,it's not like you're just going grinding out Hamlet every day and it's going to be the same thing where the audience sits passively back in a dark theater,you go and see something that changes a lot and,you know,actors,it's a challenge to perform at the globe,you know,but it's great.That's why I love it and having the experience of going,seeing the clash or going,seeing,you know,bands.Now,uh when you're in the audience and you get a real connection and it's a shared story,you know,it's a very similar thing and I just don't think when you go to a regular theater,when you're sitting passively in the darkness,you know,you're not,you're watching something,you're not participating in it.So,you know,so you're becoming part of the story.If you are at a venue like the globe or if you're at a venue with a band and there's a connection between the band and the audience.You,the story is shared.Not just it,it doesn't just go one way.It goes both ways.So that's what I think.Absolutely.What it reminds me of is the Rocky Rocky horror picture show you're sitting there and you actually,it's very,very similar to that.It's probably,they probably use that as a model.Um,when they did that,I mean,I remember the first time that I went to that show,I think it was in Godrich Ontario.Give that,give that little town a plug.Um And um I was just blown away like,you know,all the different things that you had to bring and throw at the screen and,you know,it was just lots of fun and that it,it's,it all boils down to the fun.Seems to have gone out of things.It's gone out of the,you know,the experience of the album cover,the experience of the,of the concerts and,and the total engagement.I mean,everyone's trying to get engagement now through digital,but back then it was very more personal than what it is.Yeah.So Angus,Angus,how do we get that back?I mean,what are some ways you think that we can kinda bring music back?Bring the story back,bring that communal spirit back.Well,the evil plan,this is the evil plan is that,you know,we're building this globe theater out of shipping containers.So that's,you know,normally to build the theater of this size,it would be,you know,30 20 you know,30 $40 million mine's a lot cheaper.Um,it's what actually,what it also does is it,it brings people together,they right close to the stage.Normally the cheapest seats in the theater,right in the normal theater are away at the back in the g,the cheaper seats or they're not seats but you stand in the yard.So that means that most of the people who go to see a performance of Shakespeare or,you know,contemporary theater or whatever are younger people,they're at the front because they are the ones who can stand to the performance.And so you get,you know,you get that a younger audience at the front with an older audience may be sitting in the,in the seating around it.So it changes the,that changes the dynamics,it changes the participation and it changes the economics of the whole thing.So,but what the evil plan is is that,um because I think that venue,you know,I've got a rock and roll background and I love,you know,and I,you know,I love early hip hop because I think early hip hop is totally punk rock.I love punk rock,I love,you know,I love music,I love dance and,and I,and I,I love Shakespeare obviously,and I think that if people come along and they might see a punk rock show or they might see a death metal show or they might go and see,you know,contemporary dance or ballet or whatever,a little bit of,you know,um,opera.What the hell?And then they'll go,oh,this is an interesting venue and we'll come back and see Hamlet or come back and see Love Las Lost.And some of them might come back and they'll have that same visceral experience as an idiot.Like I did that.They go and see something and go,oh,this is a cool venue.This is weird.Let's go and give it a go.And so it's,it's more that the,the common thing amongst all those sort of things,Shakespeare dance,uh classical music,contemporary theater.I mean,you can imagine doing 10 Williams in a,in a globe environment,you know,it would change the whole,you know,doing,um view from the bridge on a global stage instead of a stage,you know,definitely changing all those sort of things,you know,like throwing a wrench into the,into the normal theater engine and seeing how it,what happens,you know,and if we fail the other thing about it is because it's a cheaper theater.We're not driven quite so much by the profit motive of having to put on,I'm not putting down the Lion King or I'm not putting down,you know,cats or whatever.But all those sort of things that normal performing art centers have to put on this repertoire you know,Christmas car on and all that sort of stuff.We can,we,we have the,a little bit more potential failure with things so we can sort of,you know what I mean?We can fail with some stuff.Give it a go.We do some community theater and if it crashes and who cares?You know,it's not,we,yeah.What I hear you saying,Angus is,is that the community is not necessarily the band or,or the one performer.It's the,it's the venue,right?You're making the venue,the community where they can come in and taste different types of music or different types of activity.That's your focus.It sounds like the venue is just the environment.It's that it's just a place where people can,you know,there's,well,you've been,you know,I don't know if you've been to it but,or the Globe in London,but,you know,the closest person but the person is,you know,they're still very close to the actors or the performers.So it's,you know,you can get the eye contact,you can get the,the,just more participation and more communal experience.Yeah.It's a very much more intimate than it would be in a stadium or a,or an arena.I just have one question.Really.Can we throw tomatoes?Absolutely.You might get,you get,yeah,you get out of here for more.Don't have a problem with that.So,where can people find out more information?Yeah.Well,yes,we want to find out.So here.So we are in,we're in Detroit and I,I have to say when we went down and saw you putting this together.So for people listening,Angus is actually building the globe theater out of shipping containers in the middle of a defunct hospital complex,parking lot in Detroit.It's like it's so cool,so crazy.So,I mean,why,why are you doing this in Detroit?I mean,we love it and we love it and we think this is cool but like what drove you,you're in New Jersey,you're traveling the world.Um And here you are flying in to Detroit when you can to,to,you know,to put this thing together.Why?Well,first of all,because,um when I first started Detroit is really good at doing stuff with big metal things.So they were the ones that were,you know,I found a place that was uh uh changing the containers and then,uh you know,modifying the containers into seating containers or the stage containers,all that stuff.So,you know,welding that whole sort of infrastructure but also going to Detroit,you know,it's got that whole legacy of Motown.It's got,you know,that whole,you know,the Detroit 1967 you know,the whole Black Panther,the whole,you know,um MC five Iggy pop punk,you know,American punk rock.Background.It's got,it's gritty,it's got the whole techno sort of side of it.Um,it's got space and,you know,and it's got,it's a different vibe than,you know,and it's,it's got a much more,uh,I would say,um,supportive vibe and,you know,if I was doing another theater in New York or in New Jersey,yes,it's just another theater.Sure.You know,a bunch of hipsters might love it and whatever.But in Detroit people.Oh,yeah,this is cool.It's grungy.It's,there's a,there's a grit to it.There's a,um,in,in just the share space in the environment in the hospital.You know,it's an old classic Al Albert K building.It's got,well,you've seen it but it's,the environment around.It is,is perfect.Um,and I don't think you could find that you could possibly find it in other cities in America.But,and also it's Detroit,man.It's Motown.Motown is just down the road.You guys love your music,you love your sport,you love your entertainment,you guys love your,you know,it's,it's got a vibe to it.And,uh,you know,that I love and what I thought was really interesting is that when I went to London,when I first came up with a crazy idea and I went to the globe in London and,you know,the globe in London and one of the sort of big dogs of World Shakespeare,you know,and I went to them and said,look,I've got this idea to do a Globe Theater out of shipping containers.And they went,uh,then they went,oh,that's great.And they went,where are you going to do it?And I went Detroit and they went,oh,yeah,it's not L A,it's not San Francisco.It's not Seattle,it's not New York,it's not DC.You know,it's Detroit,you know,the arsenal of democracy,the,the place where,you know,that whole,you know,the,the politics of Detroit,the whole history of Detroit,the whole,what Detroit is,you know,it's,it's so different,it's different.It's its own thing which I've got to learn and appreciate over the last sort of eight years of doing this damn thing.Well,that's,that's awesome,Angus.And just to wrap up,we appreciate your time.But um where can people learn more about uh the Globe Theater,what you're doing?Uh And,and what's happening here in Detroit?You know,the probably the thing that gets updated that most often is um is the Instagram,you know,just look up,contain a Globe and it'll come up um because we're so focused on actually getting the thing built and getting the containers and all the engineering done is that one thing we do fall down on a little bit is that social media.Um And so Instagram is probably the best way to keep an eye on what's going on.So,um,yeah,there is,we've got a website,the container globe dot com.Um,and you know,if they search on the Container Globe on youtube talk,we're here for you next time you're in town.Um,we'll bring our,we'll bring in our jeans and our gloves and help you move stuff around and whatever you need.But he might be,he might be given a paintbrush or uh you know,hey,when we get stuff done in this town,we're trying to contain ourselves right now.Yeah.All right,beautiful.Absolutely.Yeah.Give us a shout.Uh,when you're in town and we'll get together,take care.Cheers.Bye bye.

Science Friction

Monday Jul 03, 2023

Monday Jul 03, 2023

Our storied trio discusses the implications and recent obsession with  AI ( Artificial Intelligence), exploring its ramifications in storytelling, marketing, entertainment, and a whole lot more. 
Folktellers Universe
Hey,everyone.Welcome back.I got the Folk Tellers here,Joseph with Kurt David.I'm here.Uh second week,second time.Happy to be back again.And who's across from me is the,the malu like that's my favorite word.I understand technology.But you would know way too many words for me,man.It's a compliment.It's a compliment.It is a compliment in today,by the way,is that,well,if it is,well,actually this is not,I,I,I've already lied because I,this is not me.This is a I Joseph talking.Uh we are all a I here because we're talking about what we're calling science friction and the rub between what is fiction and what is real in this world because who knows anymore?So we're gonna get,we're gonna get into that a little bit about.So we were talking about already about A I It's everywhere,it's infiltrated everywhere.So where's the science friction coming?Because A I,you know,yeah,we're gonna get into this and I'm really excited about talking about it.But what's the science friction part of it?Do you think?Like I,I feel like we're living in a fictitious world now,like this is stuff you read about and HG Wells and Jules Verne and the early science fiction Isaac.As,what about for those of us that didn't read at that stage?Right?Or didn't read those books?What was it about those that?Ok.So there's a book by Roald Dahl.Everyone knows Roald Dahl from uh Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.He wrote a book called The Great Gramatica I think or The Great Chromatic Machine.I'm not,there's no computer in front of me.This is just my brain.This is my A I brain.So cut me some slack.But this,it's a short story and what it's about a machine that has a bunch of different lovers and with your feet and your hands,you can write a novel.So by different kinds of pressure,the great chromatic and you can,you can write a novel.Well,now you can without your feet without,without your feet,you will prompt a prompt.So Steve,OK.So Steve's gonna Steve,will he jump in without even a prompt?Because he was texting me and calling me when he got on Chad GP T or whatever.He's like,do you know what this thing can do?And then he's like sending me books like I just gave it.It's,it's all about the prompts and he like,he like blew my phone up for like three days.Yeah.Well,he got on the inside of some,something,something.But what was it,what was it for?I can tell you,I'd have to kill you.Let's back up a little bit.And I'm a IA,I stands for a,I stands for artificial intelligence,meaning,meaning what,what's the artificial part of it?Ok.There's,there's no intelligence,there's no intelligence,intelligence,it's not real.Is that what artificial?I mean,when I think,think of the word artificial,I think of something not real.Right.Right.And so we're talking about not real intelligence.Well,let's defer exactly.That's my point.He's the engineer,he's the,he's the technician.How would you,uh,what definition would you give a,I,I wouldn't call it A I,what they're calling A I today I wouldn't call it A I,it's machine learning.Maybe that,that ties into big data databases and,um allows people to run certain queries and they get certain results back based on what,you know,you've,you've entered,but I wouldn't call it artificial intelligence.It's definitely not terminator two type stuff where we should be afraid and,and worried that,you know,some type of robot is gonna come and kill us and,and sent in and,you know,that type of,that's a great point.Not when did this happen?That it became a IP instead of machine learning because it,it's,it's marketing,it's,it's,that's literally what it is.Someone decided.Oh,it's gonna be,we're gonna call this artificial intelligence.And we've seen that,you know,many times in movies.So because of that,where brains join the dots,it becomes marketing.It's the stories,we always go back to stories.It's the stories that we've been telling,you know,about this technology.The technology's been around for years,like in the fifties,you know,they've been working on it.The thing is now it's coming into the consciousness of the general public.And so now we're all worried about it is because now we see it for what it potentially could do.So,to me,when I use a program that creates text,that doesn't make any sense or lies in many cases.Right?I'm not too worried about that.Ok.So linguistic A I is what they call it.I,the people that have concerns about it,I wouldn't be too worried about it.Ok.So wait,because then what do we need to because your word,because your word program is not gonna come out of your computer and beat you over the head and kill you.All right.So,so don't worry,is it gonna put you out of a job?Um,well,if people want fake stories.Yeah,absolutely.It could put you in that way.Now.Uh Yes.And in many cases,I think that,that they have been producing that and that,and,and,but the thing is we know as humans,what is real and what's creative,it's not,hang on.I have to challenge you with that because I don't know that as a fact that we know as humans what's real and what's not right now.I mean,honestly,because,you know,we were talking earlier when I asked about the definition of what is a i,it's artificial intelligence which means it's not real intelligence but what is real and what's not.Right.Let me rephrase it.We know what's good and bad.If I watch a really bad movie with a bad story,I know that.Right.Yeah,but that's,that's subjective course,of course.OK.So here's what I would argue.I would argue and argue a little um as a writer if I my,my commercial work is formulaic writing.So I'm writing marketing company or copy or I'm writing um copy for a medical device company or I'm doing legal.Um A I can do that with the right prompts now,I'm out of a job as a right now.Creative writing.Yeah,it'll have a tougher time.I mean,it could,it could,it could model my writing style.I'm less concerned about that,but I'm more concerned about as a,as a profession.If you're doing anything where that can be replicated in a formula of fashion that spooks me.Let's use legal for example,because you just mentioned that right?There's been templates for legal documents for years.Did it put lawyers out of jobs.No,I mean,is this linguistic A I gonna stand in court for you and represent you?I don't think so.OK.So then what you're saying?And I've heard other people say this is if you as a professional,if you lean into it and use it like,OK,so for creative writing,I've heard people,it's great for idea generation.Like if you give it the right prompts,it can give you ideas,it can give you sample writings.Um It'll kind of sharpen your pencil for you.I,I read a very interesting article recently by Richard Branson,um who Virgin Airlines.He's dyslexic,right?And the article that he had wrote was talking about how A I could be uh uh aggregate for people with dyslexia,other challenges as far as putting those thoughts on the paper.In other words,you know,struggling to say,how do I put what I have in my head on this paper?Well,if I can use A I as an aggregate to begin that it's not gonna take the full creative aspect of it,but it's gonna,at least with the right prompts as you said,you're gonna get that started.And I think about,you know,Asperger's,I think about people with autism,I think about people with a DH D,you know,getting those thoughts on the paper can be challenging and if it's a tool which I would see it as is a tool that can be used in education to help with that.That's a benefit then.Yeah,I think,I,I agree.I think it's all in the way that you're gonna use it.I mean,I'm a proponent of Human Centered design.And the,what does that mean?Human Centered,Human Centered design is the idea that whatever you're designing or building,it begins with the human component,the human interaction,it started from architecture,like there's a out in San Francisco,there's uh an association called ID O and they design buildings and work spaces and public spaces.They begin with like,OK,who are the human beings that are gonna live there?Yeah.And they build the space around it.And so like when I,when I write or whenever I create anything,like especially my commercial workers all in learning performance and education,I do it from Human Centered Design.So like,what's the learner like,who are they,where are they,what are they doing those type of things?And I think like a I could,if you take a Human Centered design approach,the human beings really become the curator.So you've got this tool that can generate a lot of content based on prompts.And so it can give you that information back whether it's accurate or not is not right?Relevant,but um that you could um curate that then and say,OK,now I'm a human being looking at this and I'm gonna decide I'm gonna separate the wheat from the chaff.So,but,but you have to think and,and,you know,use your intelligence to do that.Some people take things at face value.That's the problem,the bingo because if I go to a,I,and I type something in and it spits back,you know,three or four different paragraphs of content if I'm not wise enough or that they're able to discern enough.I might think that's true.So,you know,and it's the,the fact of the matter is it's not true.In many cases,you can actually play with the accuracy of the results.There's a,there's a setting for them,you can manipulate them is that you can say more creative,less creative.Did you know that?Yeah,you can.And so what does that really mean?II,I look at it as a lying toggle.It's like lie to be more or lie to be less.But either way what you're getting back is BS,it's not real information now,can it help you,um,with the idea,uh,idea creation?Yeah,sure.It can.But a lot of things can,I mean,I can open up a book and I can look at something.A matter of fact,I don't,not sure it was HG wells but it,it could have been.But a lot of them,when they're writing,they will fill the room with all kinds of different artifacts.So their,their offices are like,complete messes,right?To inspire,well,to give them ideas.I mean,your brain,that's the way your brain works is you look at something and go,yeah,that and that,and that,and all of a sudden,you know,you're writing a science fiction novel or whatever.Um,but,um,but this is no different.I,I mean,but if you're going to rely on it,like it's actual real information that is the scariest component to A I.And I don't even like to call it A I because it's not,it's machine learning.Yeah,with,with a,with a,with a data set like GP T three has a certain size data set behind it,right?GT four has a larger data set.So every time they come up with another version of this,it's gonna be based on a more on more data.However,it's not coming up with the stuff.We are still feeding it the data.So it's making it out of the stuff that we already know it's pre existing information,whether it's music,whether it's an image,whether I mean,and GP T is for,for linguistics.But like there's other algorithms specific for making an image or you know,music or whatever,but it's still using what we've already created to make something that they call new.Well,is it really new?I guess it is in a way but it's not new in the,in the sense of how we create.Is it true that by using the A I,you're feeding it,like,because you're expanding the data set by,it doesn't expand the data set.But aren't they,are you signing away your,by you by actually using it and putting your own stuff in it?Is that gonna feed the next data set possibly,or,or is it already fed from what's already out?Yeah,I mean,there's,it tells you it's only good up to like a certain date but you're putting,you're not just,um,acquiring,you're putting,you know,you're putting stuff in there what they're doing on the back end,you use a book to convert to a script as an example.Right.Yeah,I'm sure you're,you're basically putting all that data into their database,how they're using it.I have no idea.You'd have to get into the bowels of,of what they're doing or whatever.But there's a reason and,and that's a great point that you brought up,um,why they give it to us for free?Exactly.Nothing is for free.Facebook's not for free for a reason.I mean,they,they've got all our data but now they,they,they literally could take a lot more,a lot more things and when I say they,I mean,they,the people that are running those particular applications,right.And who is it?Well,it's a bunch of different people,people.So they create the application they put it out there.Like right now,I mean,I'm a,I'm a technologist.I,I am a technocrat.I mean,I,I don't like to say that in many cases because I don't like the,some,you know,what goes along with it goes along with it because,um,I believe that everyone's information is private,but when you put your information into these systems and you're signing all the terms and conditions,it ain't your data anymore.You've literally given it to them.Well,and I,I did a presentation last month at a technology,a large National Technology Association and,and leading up to that,I did some homework,right?Just enough to be dangerous.And one of the things I discovered is that Microsoft and Google are the two big A I players right now,they're rolling stuff out,right?And one of the things that I,I discovered there was a um 60 minutes did a segment with the Google CEO talking about A I and he talked about how I,I like what he said,he says A I,machine learning,whatever you wanna call it can be as human friendly or as detrimental to us as human allows,right?We,we were in charge of it.In other words,he says it's one of the biggest things since fire,since electricity,he sees this as being a really big deal.Um One of the things that was in that segment,that kind of alarmed me because we talk about,well,what's alarming about it?What is it that could be making it dangerous?He talked about even on the video side that I could take a video and I could have your image with your voice and it could say whatever I wanted to say.That's the part,that's the part that is scary,right?If,if I could take your video,my video,my image,my voice and it's saying whatever somebody else wants it to say.But is that a I?No that you're using a program to replace the face with someone else's face and someone else's voice.So it's not really a i it's just a program that someone,someone written to make videos that are fake.The internet and social media is just littered with fake videos and,and,and what do people do?It's like,hey,look at this video,you see this video.Yeah,this is true.It's like,how do you know it's true because it says it right here like,OK,stop click bait.I think it's called,right?There's a lot of click bait out there trying to get people to click and uh because of the whole political scene and everything,you don't know where,what anything is anymore.I mean,it,it's,it,it's impossible really to discern.And so so to me,I just back away from all of it.This is the science friction.That's the science,the science because so,wait,wait uh Running Man,the movie Running Man.Do you remember that ladies with Arnold Schwarzenegger?So that was a Stephen King short story.And in that short story in that movie Arnold Schwarzenegger is a cop who's being directed to fire on people and he refuses to fire on the people who are waiting in the bread line.It's this dystopia.And so what they do is they,they just modify the video tape and make it look like he did fire on the people.And then,you know,he gets thrown in prison and then he gets thrown in the game show and,you know,great,great action adventure.That was a science fiction movie and now he,that,that was in the eighties.Yeah,that was like 30 years ago,30 years ago and now it's real and now it's real.And I think Steve,you're hitting on a huge point.It's like,ok,the science friction is what,what's real and what's not.It's like.And now like,you know,so social media and media and they're using these tools,there's,they're using these morphine tools,these facial augmentation tools A I machine learning.So,you know,what,what are you supposed to believe it end well before we get to,I mean,this is a storytelling podcast,right?So II,I wanna tell a very real story about when I was writing my first book.I,I was writing a chapter about this former pro athlete that the first time I met him,I swear he had to turn sideways to walk through the door.His shoulders were that big,right?And jokingly,he wears a size 15 Super Bowl ring,which is like the size of my big toe.Ok.I'm getting ready to write his chapter and I was stuck.I was totally stuck.I'm thinking this guy won a Super Bowl.He's wide.Is that door?He has a size 15 Super Bowl ring.How do I open this up?How do I start to even breach this conversation about this guy?Well,because of the fact that I was reading another book at that time called The The Wisdom of Our Fathers.And it was about letters that were written about dads.And one of the things that I read,there was somebody that wrote about white collar and blue collar,but not in association with the collar Association for workforce.In other words,we have the blue collar and white collar workforce,but he talked about the blue collar and white collar hands that you could tell based on the fact that somebody has a certain type of hand that you can tell.Well,that's a blue collar hand,right?Or that's a white collar hand.Well,it struck me like a lightning bolt between the eyes.I said,that's it.So I opened up that chapter talking about white collar and blue collar hands.I kind of described that scenario and then spun it into this football player.But the reason why I bring that up is because of the fact that I was creating,right?And,and,and I think about this now,if I were to tap into chat or whatever to say,hey,create this chapter about this football player,here's some prompts.I don't know if it would have got that creative or if it would have tied those together and that's where the human factor is different than just what's regurgitating from this database.It has no soul that's going back to what I said when you watch a movie,you know,as a,as a human,whether that movie has a soul or not,the certain movies that we all know back in time it's like or a series or whatever,it's like that show had soul and you can feel it,it's the creativity that flows out of it when you're using programs and that to be able to,to,to,to write something,it doesn't have that soul,you can tell well,but in science fiction,let's,let's turn it back in science,there's a lot of things made up,right?Characters are made up,stories are made up in the sense of,of science fiction,so to speak.So how do you differentiate between that soul of being real and that when writing?Right?And telling a story,how am I supposed to know as a consumer.If this is really from Joseph Bastian or if this is some mechanical learning monster that just spewed this book out.This is complex because you can,you can manipulate people at a primal level and there's a formula and they do it in entertainment all the time.Really?So.Oh,yeah.Oh,yeah.Here's a,here's a great example.And military and military.Yeah.So what's that show?Extreme home makeover where they,where they do someone's house?It's a total formula.And my kids used to tease me because I,I my eyes would water every time when they move the bus,they move that bus and the family cry.Oh my God.It's so beautiful and like,but it was a,it was a formula and what they were doing,it was emotional manipulation because the whole format of the show was you had people in need which immediately if you're an empathetic person,you're like,oh man,you know,and,but now they're gonna get a new house and they're gonna have a new life and,and,you know,in,in a half an hour,undercover boss,that's another one.Undercover boss formula.So they know how to like the formula is,you tap into those primal human emotions.Um love,fear,joy,like,you know,the uh the basic human emotions and they know what people's triggers are.And unless you're like saying,OK,I'm being like manipulated here and I knew I was but I was still,you know,like Kodak commercials used to do that all the time.It's like the moments of your life.Kodak.It's like,oh,and it's like,oh,yeah,it was beautiful.But the point is my point is you have to have enough self-awareness to get past that to see because that can be faked it.And I mean,the,the A I or machine learning whatever isn't there yet.But it will be because that's,that's formulaic.So they know what the emotional triggers are but they can,it's only at a primal level.Like there's,I mean,we're a lot,the human mind is much more complex.So yeah,so once you get,once you see that,like,ok,you can get past that.And that's why people,you know,in storytelling,why people want to go deep because just sort of like boy meets girl,boy loses,girl,boy gets girl.It's like you see that enough.It's like,ok,here comes the prince,here comes the princess.I mean,there's times like like Christmas shows Christmas shows,it's like you want,you want them to be a certain formula because it's Christmas time.You don't,you know,you don't want the dog to die for God's sake.If he does,there's another dog and isn't the hero's journey a formula?Absolutely.There you go.I mean that we've been writing stories using that,you know,a story arc for,for years.So So there,those are archetypes,they're models and those models exist and they use them all the time.And the thing is,is to acknowledge that and eventually the science fiction will get better at working within those models.And it's up to us to say,OK,they're working in a model and I see it um the,the big thing.So as back to me,as a uh as a writer,I think the,the X factor is that uh when you're truly creative,you begin to make connections.Steve pointed this out like uh the people,the creative people who have rooms because he actually,he actually described my office.It's got all little like weird kick knack things around and things that don't make sense.What's the weirdest that you have in there?What is the hottest you would say in your office?Uh I've got a really cool,like African mask,like a carved African mask.But that,that's right next to,you know,uh a soccer trophy,rubber,rubber duck.I got a rubber duck in there.I got a,I got a,how do I know it's real?But it's not artificial.Uh You just have to rhetorical,silly,I guess,sarcastic question.Anyway.So,but the connection,it's about,it's about um when you're creative,you will make connections that are not necessarily logical,more emotional that could be.Yeah.Or,or it's a blend,might be more philosophical and that's what the machine learning can't do because it's gonna follow a pattern,right?And truly creative,people will often break the pattern and reconnect it.It's like a,it's like a tearing and putting together um multiple times over that.To me that's what like kind of creativity is.It's like,when,you know,when I'm writing a book and like people,like,how do you,do you,you know,do you write it from beginning to end?I said,no,like you have an idea and you like,you,you kind of beat on it.I said it's like a,it's like a,a rock polisher.Like I'll have an idea and I'll put it in the Tumblr and either it'll pulverize it or it'll polish it go prettier than ever before.Well,it's interesting because when I speak to,to kids,you know,two things.II,I always kind of look down your line,Steve,what you had shared about.I,I hated reading growing up.I really did.I didn't enjoy it.I wasn't dyslexic,but I just didn't enjoy it.Right.I just didn't have the focus for it.And thank God though,I had teachers that taught and,and,you know,talked about the stories,how to write a story,how to read a story because it came in handy.My third book coming out now,but my point is this,so what,whatever we call it,machine learning,artificial intelligence,unrealistic in intelligence,whatever you wanna call it.How does that apply to storytelling?How do,how does that apply?Because I'm thinking about the folks that are listening to this right now and what is it that would be important for them to understand about this,about this friction?And how do we resolve this?I,I saw an advertisement on Facebook the other day and it said,write a novel in 20 minutes using A I and I just started laughing and there's,I'm reading through all the comments on what people are saying.It's like,I can't wait to get this and be a novelist.And I'm like,you gotta be kidding me.And I said,so I actually did write in there and I said,you know what,write your own,it's more rewarding.So because I mean,it gets to that point where it's like,am I gonna put the time and effort to do something of high quality or b am I just going to take the short cut?It's like you playing basketball,Kurt,right?Formerly,right?But what I'm saying,I mean,you know,you could go around,you know,ways and be able to do the workouts or whatever.You gotta put the work in,you gotta put the work in and if you don't put work and you're not gonna get to that level of quality and I think the same applies to reading or whatever.So if I decide that,you know what I'm gonna I'm gonna use,um,A I or Chat G BT or,or whatever you,whatever you want and I'm gonna pull sections and,you know,and cut and paste it into my book.You're gonna tell,you're gonna be able to tell it's,it's a,it's a better polished turn.Exactly.Hey,so I'm surprised at this point and there,there hasn't been a,a book come out to say this is the first A I written book.Sure there is.Has it,has it been,I mean,if there is,I'm not aware of any or a novel or something,hey,this is the first A I,but everyone's trying to like,like what you just said about,you know,write,write your novel in 20 minutes,everyone's trying to monetize it.So it's a tool,it's a tool as we've all said.And other people are gonna say,hey,you know,I,I can,yeah,it's a short and there are no shortcuts like really un unless your end game is like,OK,I just wanna say that I wrote a novel,then you can do it where,where I see that it has applications is formatting.What do you mean by that formatting?Like I say,I want to use it to fix grammar or I want,I wanted to do stuff like that.I mean,it's,it,it works for that.So there might be a case II,I throw a paragraph in there and I say,you know,uh give me three different iterations of grammar on this.Fix the grammar.I mean,those,those are good things but it's not changing the context of,of what it is.Or if I'm um same formatting a script.And I said,I,you know,I wanna have all the proper script tags around this.You can use it for that.There's many things that are,that are good that you can use it for.But I don't call that artificial intelligence.I call that as tools.Well,the same,the same as if I was designing,using CAD and I was,you know,designing car parts and 3D there work benches and stuff that I used to be able to make it easier for me to design that model.This is no different than that.I mean,what you're literally describing is spell check on steroids basically is what it is.That's what it is.It's like,I'm just checking grammar,checking,spelling,grammar.For example,gram has been doing it a long time and you know,it's like a plug in that you can put it,you know,into your,uh into your browser and anything that you're,you're typing inside the browser,it'll actually,you know,fix the grammar and the spelling.But I guess that's a I if you want to call it A I,but it's not,it's a tool,these are tool sets that are,that are meant for doing things it reminds me of because now like you can do that with images,right?So you can do prompts for images and it'll create air quotes,it'll create uh you know,image.And I,you got me thinking about,you know,think about photography.So,you know,when we were growing up,you were using film and then now it's digitized and then you've got all the Adobe Photoshop Suite to do all the,it's,I mean,isn't it very similar to that?Let me ask you this because you just struck record with me.I was pulling up pictures of my dad on Father's Day from Father's Day on Google Photos.But what was concerning was it,it gives you when you do the search aspect of it in Google Photos,you literally,it gives you options of,you know,is it this person,is it this person this they've already identified the person that I could just click on that and then all the photos with that face imaging?Is that a form uh that's image recognition?I I don't know why you know this,but I actually have a patent.One of my patents is on uh image compression.What does that mean?Well,basically looking at the pixel level and you know,making we,we basically used it initially to make images smaller.That's,that's initially what why we we wrote it.It was built into the ignite software that we had.But you know,when you're basically doing image recognition or facial recognition.You're,you're looking for shapes and all it's doing is looking at the shapes of the pixels and every image has all kinds of different shapes.So those shapes all match right across the board.The algorithm says,yep,this is all Kurt or this is all A I Joseph and you know,and,and,and it pops them up on your phone.So it's like,you know,that that's your dad or you,you or whatever,I mean,um that's what it is.But is that something we're talking about?Science friction,right?Is that something we should be scared about?No,it's a tool that they're just tools,you know,I mean,so where is the friction?Where,where is it that we start getting concerned about this machine learning,artificial intelligence,unrealistic intelligence,whatever you wanna call it,we should be worried about the truthfulness of the content that's being indexed into Google and you,you've got Google and you know,all these guys like,hey,yeah,we wanna make sure all their information is correct.No,they don't.That's fact checkers,I think is the term that we hear more and more fact checking.You.Can,you,I,I,if that was the case,there'd be no such thing as a a I just think about that for a second because if I can actually take,you know,a uh a journalistic article for example,and I can make four or five different versions of it.And then I can literally dump those into Google and get them indexed because of they're a new press release or whatever it is.And it has a search engine optimization,you know,capabilities of one or whatever,right,which puts you to the top.I can literally control search all day long.Now,Google and these companies,they allow certain people to do that.Usually the media based on how much money they,it's just based on who they are.And that's where,that's where they get situated when they.So that's a scary problem because the way that the Google algorithm works is this indexing all of those keywords,right?So if I'm using A I to make generate content and I and I have a very,very good,you know,surp rate on Google all of a sudden I everything that I do,I'm controlling search and what is,what is that doing?I'm controlling the population by doing that.You control the story,you're controlling the story.So this is that's what's the tagline for the folk tell you.So you've got problems with Facebook and social media,you can control search and there's two types of search,right?You've got or you got the traditional search engine and then you've got real time search and real time search is social media.It's like,so for example,on Twitter at Twitter has a search engine,it has a feed that pops up.OK.Whoever,whoever said it last,they come up first,it's the frequency that puts you first on Twitter.And then obviously there's other things built into the algorithm relative to the amount of likes and retweets and all that stuff.But all those factor into your position.But on Google,it's not about whoever said it last,it's just,it's about whoever is the best at the algorithm of and figuring that out.And,and to me with all the stuff that I've done in Hollywood when I look at that and I look at a I,that's the scary part.So,so the tagline for the folk tellers universe is whoever holds the story wields the power.Yeah,and,and leaders as well.I mean,it resonates across as a leader.If I can tell a good story,if I can tell a good narrative,I can lead better as well,right?In sports,like I,I mentioned in our first episode that that sports uh you know,stories are used to motivate and to inspire and to pull together,right?People together as a result of those stories.And so,but if the stories may not be true or there's the truth that is uh deformed in those stories,right?That's the concern.So,so this is the,this is what's going on right now,right?There used to be something called article spinning where you could just take an article and you could actually spin it through.We'll call it low level A I or machine learning or whatever you,you spin it through an algorithm and it would spit out four or five different versions of that paragraph.And then you could use those to create different landing pages to,to control uh search engines.Right.Well,this is our A I now,if we call it A I,this is that on steroids because now I can make tons and tons of content rapidly.OK.Relative to whatever story I want to tell.Right?And then get just basically cut and paste that and put it into a landing page.It's click bait,they're looking to get,I mean,you're impressing clicks by doing different versions of it too,right?You're appealing to a wider audience of some person might like this.I mean,not to get political but to get political.Think about how that could be spun into politics.And it is,it is absolutely for that.So this begs the question because I always say like,well,what's the solution?And to me it goes back to curation.So someone so what who is the authority?Who's gonna say?Yeah,this is,this is accurate is Elon Musk.No.And that,I don't think there's an answer to that because it used to be,it used to be,you know,back in the day you had organizations that were highly trusted,whatever side of the aisle you're on.You're like,yeah,that's,you know,we,we,this is an absolute,this is,yeah,we,we trust this organization and what they said that this is valid or invalid information.Um,and,and it used to be,it used to be higher education,you know,like if it was coming from,from a university,if Harvard said it.Yeah.But I mean,I think,I think a lot of that is just kind of,I don't wanna say it's fallen completely by the wayside,but it,it a lot of it's been diluted and a lot of credibility has been lost for a lot of reasons.And I think this whole,that's another part of the science friction is,you know,technology is,is amplifying,it is amplifying the so what it boils down to me is what is truth,right?Because that's what's pulling up,what's the real story,real truth,what everyone wants,right?Like what's,what's the real story?And,and how do you,how do you get to the real story?And I think again,this comes back to the,the human being and it's the the gift of discernment.It's like a now,now the onus is on me as an individual to look at things from a balanced approach,knowing that there's a lot of misinformation um that there's a lot of joke out there and I have to find some way to sift through it is it does,it boil down to intuition,like my human intuition of saying boy,just something doesn't seem right here.Is that what it boils down to?I think so.I think,I think the number one skill in the future is gonna be discernment.Yeah.Meaning what define that?Your ability to be able to discern what is true,like what you just asked,you know,what is truth and it's gonna be,it's a,it's a skill that I,you know,a lot of people are gonna need.Yeah,it's a higher level skill because this goes back to those primal triggers because the information sources now are all playing on your fear,love,hate all those primal but those other emotions,reptilian brain,right?Your,your reptilian brain like and that's how we're gonna get one side against the other.We're not,there'll be no discussion,there'll be no middle ground.You are either for us or against us and here's all the information why you should be for us or why you should be against us.And you know,so so if I see videos or images or memes or whatever that,that create an immediate emotion to me,I'm shut off by it because to me that's immediate trigger that they are trying to manipulate me.That's discernment and that's discernment.That's the beginning of discernment.Yeah.Say,wait a minute,this looks like emotional manipulation.Everyone should do that.And like if you're reading something and it's like,oh you know,ok.But you know an advertisement does it all the time.Yeah.But I have to ask you because what if it's something that I would deem good?What if it's for a good cause or it's something?But you know,but you know that based on your,on so,but it's ok to have that emotion though.If it,that's the difference,I guess.How do you,this is something you,you look at something you go,um,that really makes me angry.Right.Right.Yeah,that happens all the time.Yeah,I mean,you see these,these,uh,I don't know what association it is with the,with the animals,the dogs,right.You see those commercials come on and they're,I don't know,those are probably the longest running commercials that I've seen are animals that are in,in trouble and distressed and having to save him.And,yeah,because people were being knuckleheads and why are they showing you that?Because they want me to pay money,they want me to,to spend the money.There's a,there's an emotional manipulation with a call to action when you see that,that should be a red flag.Like,ok,I need to and I'm not saying those aren't good associations but it's,it's,it's a,it's a cheap quick play to play upon that.You're talking about your primal emotion.It's,it's harder when you're looking at things that don't have a call to action.And when they have a called action,you know that there's money involved,right?And you're trying to get your money,right?That's,that's kind of easy.But when it's things that are uh literally doing divide and conquer,which is right across the board,I mean,we're dividing everyone into every different sec section sector we can possibly.And uh and that's sad.I think that right now to,if I'm gonna say anything,the biggest discernment we should have is like if this is separating us from other groups,it's manipulation.Yeah.And this goes back to story what we,what we tell the school Children,right?It's like all these individual stories that we all have,they all feed up into the community which is humanity and that's undeniable.We're all,we're all human beings and we're all here.So,you know,if there are ideas or images or things that are divisive and are separating us,we should be questioning that if we're not allowed to have a dialogue,if we're not allowed to different to,to have difference of opinion,those should be red flags for us.So if I digest all this from our conversation,one of the things I'm thinking about is,you know,I,I think about the folk tellers,right?That,that the telling of stories of over history and time and,and the the contradiction of the artificial,the machine learning,the the spewing of information based on a database it,it's almost like uh because I see this more and more especially currently where the people are trying to,to remove stories from our society,certain stories they're like,well,we need to remove this story because of this reason,right?This,this that story that's been around for 500 years or 200 years or 100 years,we wanna remove that story from society because of this reason is that in order to integrate the artificial in,into the fake,I mean,that,that's kind of a higher level question.Yeah,that's my question.You know,because it,it's like,boy,you know,we have these legacy stories that we've heard since we were kids and people beyond that even.And it's just a matter I hear talk of,well,let's remove those because of this reason.Is it to implement the artificial then?Yeah.II,I think that's probably part of it.I mean,there's certain stories that don't resonate in modern times that that doesn't mean you should get rid of them,you should keep them and look at them in the context in which they were,they were written and told.Um,you know,I think that's what real history is,right?It's trying to look at things in the context in which things were created or things and what we can learn from them.Yeah.Not in the lens of wherever you are now.I mean,that's so,is it rewriting history could.It potentially does science fiction,rewrite our history.It certainly could.And as I was saying,when you're using A I and it's pumping out this content that can be indexed into where people are searching,then some people are gonna do a search.This text that's been created in A I is gonna pop up,someone will read it and go,hey,this is the truth just because they read it and it,and it was high up on the ranks and it's just,it's just absolutely ridiculous.But you got me,you got me thinking.So I was in,in,in college,I thought I smelled something over here.And you think it's my A is and uh,yeah,there's an electrical fire in my,my processor.Uh,you had to go to the library,right?And we actually,the first time in the library they showed us how to use the Dewey decimal system.So you could actually the Dewey decimal system that's still alive.But probably you had card catalogs back then,you know,before the,before the,the internet.But,um,so you had to go look up your sources and find your sources that were in a book that someone took republish.So you talk about curation.Um,the fact that someone went to all that trouble to make that book and bind it and put it in a library and put it in a card catalog.Odds were,um,it was a it was a valid source.And I still remember I had AAA class on the Civil War and uh the professor said he was,he was from the South and,you know,we're up here in Michigan and talk like this and uh he was such a hard ass.It was a great class.I got ac on my paper because it was on General mcclellan.No,it was,it was a history class.It was a civil war,civil war history.So he,uh,he's reviewing our papers and,uh,you know,we had to go to his office and he smoked a cigar.I mean,he was like the southern gentleman.He had the cigar and everything.And,uh,so I'm sitting in his office and,uh,he goes,Joseph,when I said cite three sources,I meant the best sources and that was it.That's,that's why I,that's why you got to see.And I said,how am I to know what the best sources?That's what you're in school for?Well,that's the question.Now,now,what is the best source?Yeah.What is the best source?Right.So I picked three sources out of the Kresge library up at Oakland University and,and they were,they weren't the best sources on General mcclelland.I wonder how he'd handle A I today if students are looking up and doing prompts to look up information off of it.Yeah.So here's what I think is gonna happen with education,it's gonna,it's gonna flip and you're gonna have the human component so that there's this whole concept in learning.I was thinking about a decade ago,they called it the flip classroom they were trying to do in high school.So basically you do all your um book work and lecture outside the classroom.So,you know,you use video and whatever and e-learning and so you do assignments and stuff and the classroom then is meant for the interaction and collaboration,the collaboration,working with your,you know,we used to call that cheating when I was growing up in school.But now it's a collaboration team working together,right?You can take a test together these days even now.So now I,I think it gonna,it's gonna go to that.So like it's like,yeah,go do whatever you're gonna do outside in the classroom and like testing now maybe it's gonna be oral testing,you know,maybe it's gonna be OK or,or more like case studies,you know,where now you have to present your case,you know,and uh you,you're doing it in the classroom,you're doing it live.And now it's much more about human interaction than uh trying to measure someone's knowledge like soccer or basketball.I mean,if you're gonna test someone,you're gonna have them go and do the schedule in front of you.I mean,um hard to do that with mathematics and yeah,So I'm,I'm thinking about the folks that are listening to this right now and what are the takeaways from science friction?That could be a positive takeaway from this?What is it that you see?Because you know,we can talk about the things that are challenges and a danger and a potential.But what are some of the takeaways that folks listening could,could walk away with something positive in your opinion?Well,as I said,uh it is a tool,right?So as long as we,we look at it and we use those tools to,to help us with our daily lives and that,that,that enriches our lives and makes our lives better then,then that's a good thing.Um But as with anything,I mean,that's why I started writing that one science fiction book.Um people can take technology and they can flip it and they can use it for good or evil.I mean,it's,it's one or the other,right?And um so,you know,time will tell it does with,with all pieces of technology.But to me at this point in time,it's not artificial intelligence,it's not something that we should be getting this worked up about.Um It's uh especially the linguistics side of the A I I would say,um there's a lot more things in this world going on right now that we need to worry about other than that.So for me,I think that what you can get out of the science fiction?That's good is it puts the onus and the responsibility back on the individual which a lot of people don't want.You know,it's,it's kind of like uh the blue pill or the red pill.Do you really wanna know?You know.But I mean,if you,if your glass is half full,it's like I,I am empowered and I am accountable and to me that's a very good thing.

Monday Jun 26, 2023

Kurt, Stephen, and Josef contemplate the meaning of the metaverse and where it fits within the physical, digital, and storytelling universe.
Folktellers Universe
I never met a verse.I didn't like what,what is a meta verse?What is a story verse?What is a story?I'm Joseph Bastian.And Kurt David is here also as well.And our,our friend from Nottingham Stephen Sadler is in the house.He is in the house.So,so,OK,this is the first time doing this.We're all kind of staring at each other like who's gonna say what?But I kind of wanted to start with,you know,this is the Folk Tellers podcast and,you know,we started this whole folk tellers crazy thing.Oh my God,I've been at it a decade.Steve's been at it a little bit less.Kurt's been at it a bit less than that.He's like,still like,what,what am I doing here?Yeah,exactly.I kind of wanted to like bring this,like launch this with uh so from the first book,that kind of launched the folk to set the tone.So and this,this will be,this will like launch us into deep conversation.So the whole universe opens up with this little rhyme and the rhyme is there's a story in the story like a wheel within the wheel spiraling forever through the world we see and feel there's a tail within the fable,like a gear within the gear marking time forever until the secret is revealed.Why?Why is this important?Why is storytelling?Because we're all here for the same reason?Right?It's stories,telling stories and living stories and having storytellers with us.Why is that important,Steve?What do you think?Why are,why are stories important to you?Well,they bring the past into the future.We allow you to basically reflect on things that have happened.Uh It allowed you to be able to join time and space,uh,in your own mind.Um,some of the stories that I end up writing,but you actually helped me write Joseph.Um,they have been very,uh,they've helped me heal in many ways and,um,I think that's why when you actually reflect on something and you write it down and,and it becomes,um,real.Um,that's really when,when things actually change in your life.Um,there's a reason why and we won't get biblical,but you've got the word of God when you speak it and the word comes out and it gets written,it becomes true and that's the power in,in storytelling,I do believe.Yeah,I,I totally agree.And so that's how this,this whole thing got started for me.It was,yeah,it was over a decade.Ago.And uh what was the connection?What was it?That was the,the aha moment for you,you know,so this idea of stories within the story,like what if you created a metaverse,a story verse that was all about stories and the power of stories.So,you know,I,what I did was,um I had always been interested in folklore and mythology and back during the great recession of 2007,uh I got laid off and so like everyone else,I was in the coffee shops,uh filling out resumes and padding my linkedin profile.And uh but I also had time to write and I came across this old Detroit legend of the Rouge,which is French for Red Dwarf.And I was like,what?And what is,this is,this is real,this is a real legend,didn't I tell you this?I got the hat,I got the That's right.Well,you're looking at me like,like you didn't know what the hell I was.Um Yeah,so it's this 300 year old legend that the French brought over when they founded Detroit,I was born and raised here.Never heard of it.So I started to do some research and yeah,so this red Dwarf appears as a harbinger of doom just before bad events.And I was like,wow,this is like a lost legend.And then I was like,well,I got some time since I'm not working.Why don't,what if we like,what if all the trouble we,what if we resurrect this,this legend and um bring it to the modern world?So,um I wrote the first book.It did really well.It ended up 2nd,3rd,a graphic novel and then we danced around with uh doing a feature film.So,you know,it was,it was a local regional success.But what it taught me was,there's got to be these other sort of hidden legends and those tales around the world that are either they either lost to history or they're so embedded in a specific region that people outside the region don't know about it.And sure enough that was,yeah,I mean,like you said,it's 300 years old but people don't know about it,didn't hear about it.I mean,I come from the world of sports and to answer my own question about stories and storytelling to me in the sports world,stories have motivated stories have inspired stories have connected people together,right?And that's why it's so important to me because that's an important aspect of sports.But to your point,Joe is that,you know,the the people that talk about these legends,this folk tale uh that is happening that people have lost,right?They have,they've lost it,whether it be biblical or something legendary from 300 years ago in Detroit,that uh is kind of not told anymore.Yeah.So I called it crypto folk,which was what on earth is a crypto crypto that was before anyone was talking about crypto.So crypto means hidden.It's Greek for hidden.So this money is crypto.Money is hidden.Money is no kidding.OK.All right.Learn something new every day.So I coined it crypto folk and I started doing all this research and,and so this kind of started this whole folk tellers.This idea of what if there were these people who existed across time,who were the keepers of the stories.And their,their job was to tell the stories that people needed to hear,to fulfill their destinies.And they began interacting with these other creatures and things from myth and legend that had been lost.So that was sort of the universe uh that I could continue to create.And so to this day,right?Yeah.But the foundational it's,I'm so,I mean,it's a,it is a me,it's a metaverse because it's about,it's a story about stories.And for me what,um you know,I kind of had this vision,like what if and Steve and I have talked about this at length.So,you know,you think of the,the verse or the universe like the Marvel Universe,like everybody knows what that is.And I always,my argument is the Marvel Universe is only a universe in the rearview mirror because the way that came to be was,you know,in the sixties when they started Stan Lee and,and uh Jack Kirby started doing these superheroes and they started crossing the storylines and over time,the story lines crossed enough,that's like someone looked back and Disney is the one that's,you know,pull it all together,pull it all together and looked back and said this is actually you have a whole universe because these superheroes all exist within the same,basically within the same universe.So there's a lot of now,there's a lot you can do.Now,you basically have built a platform.I was like,what if you did that instead of the rearview mirror?What if you did on purpose?So the storytelling around not just writing books,but you know,my whole thinking was people interact and engage with stories in different ways.Some people like to read books,some people wanna watch a movie,some people want to play a video game.Um So what if you designed a universe,a trans media universe where you were telling the stories across media,multimedia type of?So like you had a basic story,but you the way you interacted with the media would change the way you interacted with the story.Well,and I heard you say a couple of times to this word metaverse,right?Metaverse.And you know,what is that?I guess what is,how do,how would you guys define that?Because to me that can mean a lot of different things.I mean,you talk about universe,you talk about that being the rearview mirror,right?But this metaphors help me understand that.So,meta,if you're using the noun version means between or after,I mean,there's some other words that explain it as well.But if you just use those two,it's kind of like the glue that bonds things together.So if you're looking at metaverse,it's a,you know,it's a 3d world which is in parallel to our world.Um that obviously they've used gaming engines to be able to do that.But where he's using it in relative to what he's doing is obviously you don't need to have technology to,for it to be a metaverse.Uh It could be several different things because it's often referred to in technology,right?Metaverse is in that format is correct.Yeah,which,which comes from video gaming and there was a technology many years ago called Second Life.I don't even know if it's still around anymore,but that was like one of the most original uh meta verses where you could,you know,literally go in there and create your own avatar and wander around and talk to people and that type of thing.And I used to play around with that,you know,probably 2005,2004 before all of this all started and it all ran on,you know,the same gaming engines that they're using today.So,um but,um,but yeah,that was really my experience in,in the Metaverse.But when I met Joseph in 2017 or 16,that opened my eyes up to a lot of other things relative to storytelling.And once you layer storytelling on top of the metaverse,then the whole thing changes because when you're dealing with second life back in the day,there's no story there.You're wandering around aimlessly like a lot of people do in life,you know?But in this particular case,there's a story to it.There's a purpose which I believe that's going back to.What is the,what the,what's the meaning of,of,of,of storytelling?It's to be able to show purpose in our lives.What is the purpose of why,why we get up every day?Why are we here?I mean,there's so many different questions that,that pop up.And,um,if you would have asked me when I was a kid,if I would have got into storytelling,I'd have laughed at you because I was,I was dyslexic.I mean,I couldn't,I couldn't read,I mean,I used to get stuck out in the hallway because,uh,I couldn't,I couldn't read,probably hated stories.I hated reading.I hated books.I,uh,until the Phantom toll booth until I got,that's a story.That's a great story.That's a story in the story.But so OK.So here's a good story how Steve and I met,I was gonna ask that because that came up earlier about,ok,when,when you two first met,let's talk about that.Let's hear that story.That's a,that's a good story.So,uh I'll tell,I'll tell it first half and he can tell your version and then Steve,you have to tell your version.Well,that,that's the thing about stories is a different version from every perspective we did meet at a bar.So you just spoiled the whole punch line right there,I think.Yeah,let's just say I was wearing something.Well,I'm glad if you met at a bar,I am glad that you were wearing something.That's a good point.This is definitely an alternate metaverse that I don't want to go to.Yeah.Yeah.Yeah.OK.So actually it was much more so a man walks into a bar.Oh,no.OK.Is that how it starts?So it was an investor meeting.So this the whole thing I described about building this folk tellers universe.So we were bringing in investors and we hadn't even put the first book out,but a lot of,a lot of the groundwork had been laid.And so uh so we're bringing investors in and I knew everyone in the room except Steve.So there was this guy who came in and he's just sitting there with his arms crossed like this.He's just staring.So,and we had all the book covers done in advance because the books were written.They,we just,we,I purposely didn't want to publish anything until a big chunk of the work was already done.So I,I'd always already been years into it.And so Steve's sitting there,you know,you've never seen him before?Him sitting there with his arms,closed his arm and he's just staring at the screen and just,just like like poker face like no,no.Was it like an angry look or just,you know,I like,I like this guy is either gonna walk out or he's gonna punch me.That was kind of my feeling it like he,it's all perception.It's all he looked.Well,when you hear his side,you might,you might get a little bit more uh a bit of a better understanding.So anyway,so he's,he's sitting there,his arm cross didn't say a word like no questions.I like there are any questions people ask their questions.He still hasn't said anything.And then I'm like,OK,how many people were in a room at that time?Was it like a small,small,there was only like eight.Yeah.So it wasn't like there was 80 people and he's one guy and I knew everyone else.And so,you know,the people were asking questions,whatever and he's still today.And then at the end I said,OK,no more questions and he's like,yeah,I got a question.I was like,yeah,what,what's up?I'm like,where is this gonna go?He's like,why don't you take this to Hollywood right now?And I was like,what he goes,yeah,I said,well,we haven't even put book one out.You know,we're,we're looking for seed money here and he's like,no,he goes,he goes,I see what you've got here.Like,I think you should take the arms uncrossed by that point then at least,um no,I think they were still folded,but he was much more animated.So then he like the caps.He goes,well,he,we can talk about this later and he gives me his card and it's like this black card with no information on it.It was,it was just a black card and then you flip it over,it just had his name.And I was like,what do I do it?I just said it said Steve Sadler,that was it.And I was like,oh,ok,he goes,you'll find,you'll be able to find me.And that was it.Like I didn't want,I didn't want to confuse you.This is too much information at first.It's like,ok,this is like the,the man of technology or did they have like a chip in it or something or something that he was gonna find you?So this is the reason why I made cards like that because I would always go when I was working in Hollywood,I was always say that I'm very good at doing digital and they'd say really?Yeah,here's my card.If you want to find me,you will be able to find me.So that was like the carrot or the,the intrigue.So if they went to linkedin or wherever,I mean,my name,what if they found the wrong Steven Sandler?I always came up first and,and that,that was the,that was what I help,you know,Disney and other companies do for many,many years.I've been in a lot of very high level meetings in Hollywood.Um I won't get into the details of them but all the way to the very top at Warner Brothers at Disney at,uh I think you need to get to the.And so when I came back that day,I was flying back from Los Angeles and a friend of mine,uh Terry bean who we all know,uh called me up and invited me um over to the office to see this presentation and,and I was tired and I,I'm like,no,no,no,no,no,I'm not going to that.He goes,no,no,he goes,I really think that you might enjoy this presentation.I said,ok,and I think the presentation was like seven or eight at night.It was late,it was in the evening.So anyways,I came right off the plane.I drove right there.And so that was probably why I looked like I was pissed off,but I wasn't really pissed off.I was very,very tired,but I was also intrigued in what I was watching.And the reason being is because the artwork and the way that was being presented to me was,was very,had big impact.For what,for what reason was it?Because it looked intriguing because all the work that I had done,like I worked,we worked on basically 50 movies doing the marketing for Disney.We worked on to for uh DreamWorks and Awesomeness TV,which were combined and we worked on uh the Limitless movie for uh relativity.So we did digital marketing for all of those things.So I,so I had seen a lot of,I've seen a lot of things,but I wasn't into production.I was just seeing it,you know,from the marketing side,what trailers were being made and,and all that and all that stuff.I mean,and,and we did,we did a lot of work during that.So I got really exposed to things and one of my business partners at the time,which people have,have obviously heard of.Um and he's still a partner to this day on the one technology and that's a Met Zappa.Um He opened up the doors to,to many different things that I'd never seen ever in mind.That's Zappa's son.Yeah.And he's a,he's a really good guy.And,um,so when I was looking at what Joseph was doing through all of this lens,right.That,of experience that I'd had over,like,seven or eight years of doing that stuff.I thought this is kind of like meeting Walt Disney at the very beginning,the creation,the beginning of the creation,like,when,like going in and seeing the mouse move right back,that's the feeling that I was,that I was getting and it wasn't so much and I hadn't read his books.You had,you had,I hadn't,they weren't out yet,they weren't out yet.I was,I was,I was just looking at the way I was looking at the universe and to me coming from the tax side um and building a lot of platforms and having patents on building platforms,which I did for many years.This looked like a platform and when you can build a platform,obviously that it's scalable and they,so from a business perspective,you're not just writing a book,you're actually,it's not really,it's not a one off,it's not a one off.It's something that once you look at Disney,I mean,it starts as a mouse and it's a platform really and it just builds into the,the,the mega Goliath company that it is today,right?Um But um but that's what I saw with this.You saw the potential of it.I gotta,I gotta ask you though because you,you,you alluded to it a couple of times.It's Disney that,you know,you've had it very up to that point before even meeting Joseph at that with,with their blank card with their name on it.You were doing some amazing work,right?I mean,how,what was the connection of that?What uh what's the,how do you,how do you even get involved with that?Because there's gotta be a story behind that.Then we want to get back into our story though about how we all met.So I don't know when the first patent is that we wrote,I guess it be uh early nine,probably 1993 94.Um We wrote a patent on e-learning and one of the claims in that patent and we're talking like preface Pre Twitter,one of the claims in the patent,actually,the number one claim is the posting and sharing of knowledge content.What as I said,Prepa pre Twitter,like,what is knowledge like?I mean,that,that content is you get a patent on that?I mean,that's what we did and we,we built a whole platform on top of it,which was used by a lot of the O EMS uh for training.And a matter of fact,I'm pretty sure I met Joseph many years ago at a learning conference.I think we sat on the same panel because he came from the,the education space and I was making technology for the education arms crossed at that time too.When you guys met,I don't know,I was,I wasn't as interested as his arms being crossed as I was with the folk tellers though.Yeah.But,but what happened is um along comes um social media but no one knew what to call it.And we were actually calling these pieces of content ignitable and the ignitable once the term social media came up,I'm like,well,that's social media.We're,we're doing this and we went and presented at a conference in Silicon Valley  right after that youtube,everything like that was Zuckerberg in the audience.I have no idea there was hundreds of people at this conference,but we presented ignite cast and everything that it did.Um and took over from.And I'm not saying that,you know,you invented the internet,I invented social media,but I certainly have a pattern that's on,on the posting and sharing of knowledge content.That's a fact you can look that up in Google.So,and if it's on Google,it's gotta be real.Yeah.Yeah.So that got you tied in with Disney and all these others.Well,no.So what happened is um once the social media thing happened,we actually built a system called screen tweet on top of the ignite cast technology and it was specific for sending um videos and images to Twitter and because Twitter didn't handle videos and images at the very beginning,it didn't do any of that stuff.Yeah.And so there was others that popped up like Twitpic and some other things,right?Um But ours was screen tweet and we ran it out of here.We had it,it went very,it dropped to uh I think 25,000 on the Alexa rating.Alexa rating is like where,you know,Google's number one.So 25,000 is pretty good for uh a system that actually just sends images to Twitter and that's all it did.Um And there was uh a lot of,you know,crazy things going on in Iran at the time,people were posting stuff like that and it was getting large amounts of traffic.I'm like,holy crap.I mean,social media is amazing.I mean,it,it just literally blew my mind and,but there was no way to monetize it and the amount of cost that we're putting into these servers was absolutely ridiculous,you know,without really a plan of business,it's like this is cool.We were making money on e learning,right?And all of a sudden we're not making any money but we're getting so much traffic and,but how do you turn it?Those two?And the crazy thing is no one knows we're doing this out of Lake Orient Michigan.We're not in Silicon Valley.We're,we're here.And so anyways,I,um,I met a fellow by the name of Rick Rania and actually Terry brought Rick in and,um,Rick started looking,he's like,I wonder if we can actually,you know,do other things with this,you know,like in Hollywood and we'd actually morphed the system over from screen tweet to a system called buzz tweet and buzz tweet allowed you to be able to send messages out and create landing pages.And it was a very automated mark digital marketing system.And that's what we took to uh to Hollywood.And the very first company that we went to was Relativity Media and Limitless was the first movie that we used the technology on and it uh it drove them right up the ranks and who was rig.So Rick,so Rick ran,that's another story in the story and we go on here.It was the quick,so a quick r is Brass Ring productions.Uh Before,so before Ticketmaster,um he was,he was in the Midwest.Yeah,it was the,the,the broker was the main main concert promoter.I mean,any,any ticket stub that you had during that period was,was Brass Ring productions.I mean,I,I keep all my little Laurie does.She and my wife,she keeps all of the,the ticket stubs and stuff like that and they brass ring right on it.I mean,Rick was,uh,an icon back then and no one really knew who he was.He actually,he has a book in his office,the,uh,the History of Rick Karan or whatever,or the biography of Rick Rania,you open it up and it's all blank pages.And I said someday Rick someone's gonna help you out.He's mentioned in a number of,because he was an agent early on in the late sixties for Alice in,um,I think it was C MC five.Yeah.Yeah.Like back in the granny ballroom days,he thought that was a connection that you had met him.Yeah.So II I met him,he came into the office and,and um,he helped us raise some,um,initial seed money and,um,we turned it into buzz into buzz into Buzz Tweet and as I said,that launched it into Hollywood doing many,many movies.I mean,the,the first time that I ever went to Hollywood was with Rick Kevin Stein was actually the godparent of the Zappa kids.And he introduced me to Kevin and Kevin is actually working with us right now on a project.Kevin is a great person.Um,he worked,um for uh Viacom for a lot of years.I think he worked for Rolling Stone Magazine MTV VP MTV.And he,and he introduced me to a Met and I'm gonna say this really easy.I don't wanna you know,take over the podcast here.But too late when,when I met a mat,we became friends very quickly.What was the connection?What was it that?Oh,no kidding.He's dyslexic as well.And we were in a meeting with Disney I,which is the,the book company that was putting out his book and we were helping him market his book in the meeting.He happened to mention that he was,and I looked over,I said yes,so am I and all of a sudden,boom,we were connected and the two people that were in the room from Disney,it was like we forgot they were even there.So it,it's amazing how your weakness is becoming a connection.Like that is incredible.Oh,Richard Branson,right?Virgin Airlines.I mean,obviously,have you connected with them yet or not yet?Ok.All right.But he's dyslexic as well.Is he left handed?I haven't asked him next time I see him.I have a personal question.Oh,for Joe,for,for,for who,what hand you are?II,I like to go to the story that was told to me many years ago by a basketball player that played basketball in Michigan State for a guy by the name of Gus Kak.Gus Canak was a Greek coach in the big 10,which is unusual for one,but he also had his extremely,uh Rich Greek accent and this player that played for him said one time they were talking in the locker room before a game about this player that they were going to play and the,the coach in his Greek accent,the way he would say it is,this guy can go left.This guy can go right.He's amphibious.So since hearing that story,I'm amphibious is what I like to say.II,I prefer,right.But I can go left or right with shooting or anything of that sort.But so I like to be ambidextrous,I guess is the correct term for that.Yeah,amphibious.But uh you know,back to where we all met,right?We were kind of going down that rabbit hole and,and then the story kind of go going from there.I mean,you,I mean the the meeting between you two but,but Stephen at the unbelievable connections you had as a result of the technology and the marketing and,and how that,you know,spawned into what all of us are into now as far as just getting things out there and stories out there after that initial meeting of you two,how did it continue?Right?I mean,you,you like the idea,you're like,hey,go to Hollywood with this.Well,there,there's another sideline story that that kind of went along with that.I had a physical issue that started in around 2040 amphibious.Is that No,no,it it's called secondary addisons.So my Pituitary Gland had stopped working and,but I didn't know that.So around so in 2014,2015,when I'm flying back and forth to Los Angeles,I started writing a story that was in my mind.Um and I'm not a writer,I mean,I wrote a book in 2011,which is a self help book,but I'm not a novelist,but this story would not leave me alone.And so,um on the plane,I,I basically rode it.And then after I found out that I had this disorder and now when I go back and read that book,it's like I didn't even read it.What do you mean you mean didn't write it?It felt like you didn't write it or it feel it,it feels like I didn't even write it like it wasn't even you.No.For what reason?I don't know.I i it's,it's like the story came,was given to me was inspired,right?So,and so the other thing I wouldn't have understood what Joseph was doing unless I had written a book before like a novel,right?And it was that connection of everything that,you know,the we'll call it the outside metaverse or of a better term at this point.It was small metaverse,the,the big metaverse crypto metaverse crypto metaverse is that,I don't know if that's something we could throw in there now,but the U metaverse,but it's those,those things,they,they,they join all of those things together in your mind.And then so if you wouldn't have written that,which you felt like you didn't write anyway and attended this,there wouldn't be that connection.I wouldn't have been able to read it.You didn't quite understand it to that depth and everything.I mean,I understood marketing.I understand.I know,I understand that,you know,a platform,a platform like better marketing is,is,is better storytelling,right?We all know that now a lot of people,it is storytelling,right?They want marketing to tell storytelling,right?The narrative,correct story.So I think this is a good,no,this is,I think this goes back to this,this is a good uh time to like go to how we met you k because here if you fast forward,I'm already thinking about if you know,but if you,if you fast forward to now,so Steve and I,you know,we've been working together for five years.One of the things I've learned of the many things and working with Steve um in the past five years is so we've helped each other tell our stories because,you know,it's almost like you,until you can tell your stories,you can't help other people tell theirs.And now,you know,that's what I mean.And to me,like,I look back like hindsight's 2020 is the whole concept of folk tellers was folk tellers are people who help others tell their stories or share the stories that they need to hear to fulfill their destinies.I mean,I wrote that over a decade ago and now here we are like helping other people tell their stories.I mean,that's,you know,that's why I'm here.You guys have helped me tremendously tell the story and,and continue to do.So I know one of the things that,uh,you know,our story is not as sexy as you do with a card that just has a name on it.I'm sorry,I can't do any better than that.That,that's pretty amazing.But,uh,we met Steve first,you and I met through Terry Bean through social media,right through the metaverse and basically just,you know,hey,you know,you gotta meet each other.This is somebody that's interesting.He's doing some cool stuff.Oh,you know,Kurt's trying to do some cool stuff.You're doing some cool stuff.Let's talk.And so we start communicating and just,what was it for you?That,that was the first,like,oh,wow.Yeah,there might be something here.What was it for you?I'm curious.Well,I mean,we,we started talking back and forth on the phone at first and,um,you just,I mean,your morals and values just seem to line up with like,minded thinking.Yeah.Yeah,absolutely.So,that was the number one thing and it,you know,everyone likes to be around people that think and,you know,in the same way that they do,you know.Not that,that's that well,but we,we,in that case,we did have a lot of thinking but there was also very different,like,I,I,when it comes to technology and things like that,I mean,it's just,I'm 6 ft nine inches tall and that much gets above my head.That's like way above my head,right?I mean,the stuff you're talking about and the stuff you do,uh,there's no question.So,you know,we had enough differences.Well,you know,we like sports,you know,I like sports so we connected right away and,and just,you know,hit it right off in my opinion and put it in simple terms.And then we got introduced with Joseph,right?As far as talking about some ideas.And,uh,that's one of the doors that you guys opened for me was this change like a champion thought,right?Because up to that point,everything I was doing revolved around the topic of change and transition.But I was working with former professional athletes,uh,you know,had a book,had a couple books,got another book coming out and it was all about the topic of change and transition.But I had all these silos,right?All these different ways of me expressing what it is and what I'm doing.So I had the,the TV version,I had the book version.I have the speaking version.And,and so what you guys helped me do was put it all together into one brand that the red thread was all the way through it.And how did we do that?I think one of the first things because one of the first thing I asked you is like,you know,what,why,you know,why change,Why is that your,is it important?Why is that the flag that you're flying?Yeah.Well,for me,it all starts with my own transition and change,right?You know,I played basketball and got paid for a little bit to pay,play professionally and,and uh then I had the idea later years later to come up with this book of sitting down with other former pro athletes and interviewing them about life after pro sports.And more importantly how they recreated their success,right?I mean,just to throw out stats,I mean,100% of professional athletes ultimately lose their job,undeniable fact,25% of NFL players are broke within the first year,out,78% of NFL players within two years are broke,60% of NBA players are bankrupt within five years and 80% divorce rate.So that's the reality for these athletes.So one of my goals was to sit down with these athletes and interview them and talk about how they recreated their success afterwards.After such a uh a pinnacle of their career world Series championship Super Bowl championship,they go through this horrific transition,95% pay cut divorces,bankruptcies,but found success again.So that's,that's the part that really interest me because I thought,boy,if one athlete could hear a story from one of these other athletes and it helps them find success again after pro sports,that was my motivation And ironically,it turned into so much more,right?The book turned into a TV show,the show,you know,did very well in winning an Emmy.Uh we continue to try to scale it to a bigger level and it's just,it's,it's something that I'm very excited about.And then I started speaking on the topic because I saw a commonality of success of these athletes and also with businesses that were going through a transition.I mean,this is like the story of the fallen hero,right?And,and,and so I think,I think listeners will find that fascinating because for what reason,why do you think because it's the hero,it,it's part of the hero's journey and it's the hero that,that,that's fallen and then do they get back up again or,or,or don't they?Yeah.And I can tell you,um,I spent uh three years working with the NFL.We,we built a school in my corporate work.We built a school for at risk youth with the United Way with the NFL,studying in Washington DC with the Washington Redskins.And I got to work with,um,one of the retired Redskins who won a couple of Super Bowls,super great guy.We became friends.But what I learned was,it's a whole different world,not just the world of celebrity,but,you know,my wife said this,she said like if from the time you were 10 years old,someone was telling you how great and wonderful and special you are the best and then you're 13 and you're getting more of it and then you're 16 and you've got,you know,people showing up at your door offering you scholarships and,well,eventually at some point,you're gonna believe your own press,you're gonna believe.Wow,I really am special.I really am different.The rules really don't apply to me.And so,you know,I kind of,I,it's,I saw,I saw it and I'll tell you what I was a super sports fan.I played sports growing up.I was like,you know,loved going to the Tigers games and the Red Wings and the Lions.And,you know,I,I was,I was all in and that three year experience that I had when I saw the other side of it,um I felt like part of my childhood,I was just gonna ask,how did it change you?What did it do to change you?Well,because I saw,um,how someone who,uh,sees themselves as above,uh,treats other people who are perceived as below and not like they're looking down on you.It's just like,well,I am up here and you're down there and,uh,I'm part of the 1/10 of 1% for one.Right.Yeah.And so you're here for me and it's all about me and you're here for me and it's,it's the me show and to,to,to have that,like to be working with someone on a regular basis where that's the way they think.And I mean,it never in my career because like,you know,normally you're,you're in a working environment and everyone's supposed to be doing what they're gonna do and you have your,you know,your conflicts or whatever,but there's some sort of resolution but with this,it was like,no,it was just,this is it,this is,it,it's gonna be and,you know,multiple conversations with this individual,like,hey,man,you realize what you're doing here and they would look at me like,you know,who are you?Yeah.Like,do you know who I am?And to really,to look in someone's eyes and to see that they really don't and I felt bad for him to real,they really,like,did not see it.It wasn't just,it wasn't just like pure ego.It was like they had been conditioned over time that,yeah,it's,it's,it's,you,you just nailed it.I mean,since 10 years old,eight years old,they start setting themselves apart.Right.And,and rarely,every once in a while you get somebody,you hear the story about Jordan and even Buddha Edwards who we've interviewed with the TV show.I mean,they were 1/9 grade cut from their ninth grade basketball teams and those guys end up winning multiple championships,but usually early on they start identifying,right?They start realizing,you know,we had an Olympic gold medalist on,she said at eight years old in Russia,which is where she came from in Ukraine.She literally,they knew at eight years old she was going to be an Olympian,right?They just saw her,they were gonna groom her the rest of the way for being an Olympic athlete and so early on your ID,right?That's your ID.And it's ironic because that's the detriment that most when you talk about athletes struggle with the most because if that's their identity,when that's over,which it will be over,it will be over 100% of professional athletes are done.Even if you get to that highest level,their identity is all of a sudden gone.But like you mentioned,it's that hero's journey of,you're the hero,you're the guy,you're the woman and all of a sudden that's no longer there.The biggest thing that I hear is,you know,the phone stops ringing.Right.It gets quiet.You're used to being,I mean,one of the jokes of one of the former Detroit Red Wings,he's like,why when I'm making all this money,do I get free dinners?I get free suits.I get free cars.I get free this.But also I stopped making all this money and I gotta pay for everything.It's like,well,why is this backwards like this?But what's interesting is,you know,if I can lead into a story,one of the things there was a guy that I interviewed that he's from Ottawa Canada.He played hockey.He grew up,he literally had braces on his legs growing up,right?He had some type of physical challenge and uh had braces on early on,worked through that found out that,you know,his,his,his parents found out he had a DH D so he was just constant motion constantly.He said we got to do something and he got him into hockey.He started playing hockey and he started having success with it.And to the point where when he was 18 years old,he got drafted number two in the NHL draft,not number one,he wasn't the first choice.It was his second choice.He went from Ottawa Canada to L A with the L A Kings and Doug Smith is his name.Doug talked about how it was like a free fall.Like literally,he's going from Ottawa Canada.All of a sudden L A he said I got,I'm 19 years old,I got money in my pocket,driving a Porsche living in a condo on the beach.He said it was just unbelievable.Well,at 28 years old,during a professional hockey game,he went head first into the boards and snapped his neck in a heartbeat.He went from being a professional athlete,took the nothing from the neck on down.He says,he said,I,you know,over the months,he says I was so despondent,I couldn't even take my own life because I had nothing from the neck on down.Well,his wife got in his face and said,hey,listen,you know,I can't imagine what you're experiencing,but I uh you know,I love you.You have two beautiful daughters that love you.He said,Doug said that was a seminal moment of changing his attitude in the way he thought.And they took the next eight years after that to do research on spinal cord injuries and found out his spinal cord was still intact.And the reason why I'm telling you this story is because how it finishes.They found out that his spinal cord was still intact and through much therapy over the course of that eight years,he's not walking again.He's a motivational speaker and author in Canada.But his biggest sound bite that I've heard from him was actually on our show when he talks about being a pro athlete,he says when I was a professional athlete,my goal was to be the best in the world,right?That was my goal.I wanna be the best in the world.He said after my accident,he says my whole attitude changed.He says now my goal is to be the best for the world.And so that's that hero's journey.You talk about,you go from being the number two draft pick in the,in the,in the draft and you know,all this life that he was living and then all of a sudden it's all taken away.But then he found a way to say,you know what I need to be the best for the world and no longer the best in the world.But that's that journey.You talk about the story and the narrative changes,doesn't it?I was thinking about what's that line about?Some are born into greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them changes like that too.So uh you know,what's the um I was thinking,you remind me of two things like what Mike Tyson said is like um everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face,right?And like Steve,you were talking about your punch in the face,you know,with Addison's and then that story and yeah,I mean,um you know,you have your idea of what your life is but something happens and the narrative changes and then it's all how you,how you manage that change and that's kind of what you're like,what you speak about and what you're like,kind of your mission is what your story,I think about what Steve said about purpose.I mean,if you go back to storytelling,the power of real storytelling is,is helping you find your way and find your purpose through that change,through that transition through whatever it is that we're experiencing there or that journey.And so,but the metaverse,right?How does that all fit in with this?Then?What's the metaverse part of this?So this is how it makes sense to me.And because I,I,since I write for kids,I think like a kid and I was talking to you act like a kid.Is that what you saying?I think we all do.We all of us,you don't want to lose that and then you,yeah,and you just become old.But um so,you know,Steve and I will go talk to schools with um the other folk tellers and,you know,we have a whole literacy program and try to get kids excited about reading and storytelling.And um you know,one of the things we tell them and this is kind of the simplified thing of metaphors,right?So this idea,like we tell the kids at the end,we're like,think of your life as a story and every day that you wake up,ask yourself,what story am I gonna tell today?Because you own your story.It's your story to tell.The catch is if you choose not to tell your story,someone will tell your story for you and you're probably not gonna like it.And the other hook is you need to be respectful and you need to be able to listen.It's not all about telling,it's about listening.So you need to be respectful of other people's stories because the metaverse is everyone's story interlocking and intermingling and coming into one into the whole narrative,which is humanity.There's the human narrative as human beings.That's the thing that we all that we all share.So I like to simplify things.I'm a simple mind.I try to keep it as simple as possible.This metaverse that we've been talking about and describing in a practical sense is,is that social media?Is it,is it the the buzz tweet?I mean it,it can be.And what do you mean by that?Well,the metaphors can be many different things.But the one thing with the sitting here listening to you guys,the one thing that the metaphors does not have that a movie has is the end.What do you mean?00,that's a good way to describe it.And none of our stories in real life except for death,of course,is the end.But is it we don't know that.Right.We think not,you know,um,but definitely the end of a chapter,correct?But on the hero's journey,you have this rise and then you have the fall and,you know,and you have the end,you know,and the hero's journey and as you've seen in many cases isn't good.Uh We're doing this production right now called The Hero's Journey of the series.And we,when I took a step back and looked at,you know,these musicians and what had happened to them,the,the hero's journey wasn't good in the end.But I think the reason being is because they don't have people like you,Kurt that can come in and help them mitigate,you know,that,that,that,that the transition.Um So it's really what you are is you're,you,you help recovering people off the hero's journey.I mean,that's really what you do because they,as soon as that hero's journey is done a lot,you know,they're either depressed or suicidal.I mean,we're seeing that in the military right now,but you know what,we write stories based on the hero's journey on Joseph Campbell's process of what,that's how we write it.And then,but,and then all of a sudden we're watching the movie and the,the credits come up and it's the end.Well,the thing is we don't live in a movie.So the next day I can write my story I can get up and,and if you've got someone to motivate you,you can do your another hero's journey and another hero's journey.So that's,that's a great point because when I'm hearing that,what I'm thinking about is we have these Hollywood stories,so to speak,right?And,and you see the Hollywood stories and the girls and the princes and the princesses and you know the prince and the princesses and in all this.But,but in real life,it's an ongoing thing,right?There isn't always the happy ending or there might be an end of a chapter that isn't happy,right?But again,you can have control of writing the next chapter aspect of it,of that journey.And so to me,the,the metaverse and it,it can be a lot of things,but to me it's like sort of the human condition that's always,it's gonna go on and on and on and yeah,and there's the stories within that are our lives,those,you know,and how our lives all interact because we're all kind of bringing something to the table.Yeah.You know what,what I'm hearing and what I'm learning,um is that this metaverse is something that it's not an ending.It's something that continues.In other words,our stories continue,right?Our own personal stories continue,our own group stories continue,um you know,different than a Hollywood movie where the credit show and there's an ending there's a hard ending.It's like,no,this is continuous and it's real and whether it be something unsocial or something in,you know,the trans media world where there's multi different aspects of it.Uh To me,probably the biggest thing is understanding that it,it is a continuous that it's not a hard stop or hard end that it's a,a story that can continue even after we're gone,right?Because that's part of the legacy is that story can continue after I'm gone.Right after this last breath of this body expires.My story might continue somehow,right?Hopefully not in the locker room with a bunch of guys talking about a lot of bad things that I did.But uh you know about good things and good memories in my family and things is that well,yeah,because your story continues with the people whose lives,you've touched your family and friends and anyone that you know that you've uh hurt or helped along the way and,and,and say what you want about Facebook and social media.Um But when you look at those stories,everyone has a story and the feed is their story,right?And things pop up from three or four years ago or whatever.I mean,those are all stories,those are all things that happened.I mean,and um it's really no different than when people used to journal,but now you're journaling yourself by sharing all of your moments right?And the metaverse in this perspective is li is literally where you're binding these stories together.And that's what social media does.It really,you know,our technology does,it binds these stories together,which is I think why they chose the word meta because it's between or after or whatever.I think that's,that's why they did so.Yeah,and that's a great way to wrap up because in our next episode,we're gonna talk about technology and science friction and what,what all this,how it impacts the,the metaverse and even more so science friction there is the rub you rub me the wrong way.

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