My Three Brains - The Pod Of Alan - S1:E3

November - 2021
You can listen here or on Amazon, Apple, Audible, Google, Overcast, Spotify, or pretty much any other podcast app. (Please let me know if you find an app that doesn't have the show.) If you need the raw feed, it's here.

Topics Include:

  • Having a Tweet go viral
  • The tweet itself: I'm "still afraid to use spaces in file names" years old
  • I try to explain the joke to non-technical folks... Not sure I did a great job of that
  • The three different versions of me (and my brain)
  • The mental capacity and energy required for learning
  • A little history of my bipolar experience over the past few years
  • Removing "just" from our teaching
  • Doing something that fails vs being a failure
  • Exits without edits


NOTE: This is an auto-generated transcript. Sometimes the computer gets the words wrong. Let me know if you see anything weird.

00;00;04;18 - 00;00;16;13

I completely forgot what I was gonna say, I had like a thing to start this one with, but I can't remember what it was. So we're just going to kind of keep it away. I do remember something to the effect of a funny thing happened on the way to the internet today.

00;00;16;29 - 00;00;31;29

And the reason I say that is I had a tweet go viral for the first time, which was kind of cool because this like format tweet thing that's been around for a while where it is, I am blah blah blah blah, or I am da da da da da eight years old and you insert da da da

00;00;32;00 - 00;00;49;26

with whatever your particular thing as though you're kind of making fun of. And so the one I did last night was something like, I'm afraid to put spaces and file names years old. And that's a computer thing where it used to be that you couldn't put a space in a file name because it would just break a

00;00;49;26 - 00;01;03;08

bunch of stuff. Well, it turns out on some of the tech stuff that we still use today that can still be a problem most of the time. If you're making word documents, it's not a big deal. But if you're doing some of the behind the scenes stuff and some of the more technical stuff and sometimes stuff on

00;01;03;08 - 00;01;20;26

the web or with apps, that's still a problem. And the reason it's a problem is when you're issuing commands to a computer, you will say, like, Hey, computer, I want you to copy this file from here to here, and you put a space in between the first here and the second here.

00;01;21;03 - 00;01;35;13

So the computer knows, oh, the first one is where I'm starting and the second one is where it's going. Well, if you have a space in the file name, it sees that space and it thinks, oh, that first part of the file name is the first thing that I'm supposed to look at.

00;01;35;13 - 00;01;53;09

And then there's a space and then whatever the second word of the file name is, is a second thing, and I can cause all kinds of really annoying and sometimes painful bugs. That tweet took off. You got passed around Twitter a little bit, and then a friend who's another streamer threw it on to this site called Hacker

00;01;53;09 - 00;02;06;09

News, which is a pretty big site and gets a fair amount of traffic from computer evokes. And it made it to the top page of that. And then just a whole bunch of people liked it. I think it's almost 20,000 now, which is fine.

00;02;06;09 - 00;02;19;26

Like, it's so fun. It's also kind of amusing because I just started doing this podcast thing and I've actually put out a couple of episodes in a behind the scenes way or like in a not secret but like secret, like I've published it, but I haven't actually like, promoted or really pushed it out anywhere.

00;02;19;26 - 00;02;34;00

I've just like, shared it as like, sneak peek. That's the term I'm looking for, but I haven't really like, pushed it out. It would have been really good timing if I'd actually had the podcast all up and ready to go and the first episodes are out there, and then you could click on the links and have them

00;02;34;00 - 00;02;46;26

go before 20,000 people hit the tweet. But it's funny because it also kind of brings up the topic of those type of stat because I was talking with people at the office and their Oh Your Influence dialog. Yeah, look at me.

00;02;46;26 - 00;02;59;22

I'm an influencer, but a no because I had one tweet take off. I'm not going to be getting calls from fashion companies being like, Hey, you should put our watch on and when you're doing your tweets and do the thing or whatever.

00;03;00;03 - 00;03;13;27

Clearly, that's not the case. Like nobody being serious about it. But the other thing that got me thinking about is like stats and numbers and analytics and where I'm kind of looking for these things to go with this podcast, with my streaming, with whatever.

00;03;14;25 - 00;03;35;11

I have this interesting take on this, which is I kind of don't care. What I want that to be popular, but not like to make money like I just like it comes down to the motivation for me, for this is I want to make a thing that I like and I hope other people like it to.

00;03;35;24 - 00;03;50;12

And this kind of secondary aspect to that, which is I want to make things that people who stuff I like. They like my thing. So if somebody is somebody out there and make something that I really like, I would like to impress them with the thing that I make.

00;03;51;00 - 00;04;01;25

That's kind of my driving force with a bunch of the stuff. I'm not in it for stats. I'm not in it for money, and I'm fortunate enough to be able to say that I don't have to try and like, ride this to go and make dollars off of it.

00;04;02;03 - 00;04;19;20

I'm not interested in doing that, and I was actually talking on the stream about this the other night where if I could do Twitch streaming without having the subscription thing, where people subscribed to your channel and give you a few bucks, then then they get some extra stuff for the chat, for the like, for their interactions.

00;04;20;01 - 00;04;35;17

Like if I could just give people that interaction stuff without doing the money, I would 100% do it. Now part of that is because I have 300 followers or something right now, which is not a tremendous amount. If I had 50,000 followers, maybe I'm going to have a different opinion about this.

00;04;36;11 - 00;04;47;05

It's unlikely I'm going to hit that particular number or any numbers like way up there. I'm not particularly geared towards going that way. I don't expect like, I'm not really pushing for it. I'm not trying to grow followers or whatever.

00;04;47;05 - 00;04;59;25

I'm just doing this stuff because I dig it. If I could take that, the money out of it, I 100% would. And it was kind of interesting cause I was talking with him in a chat about this. And that's not a standard response or that's not a standard take.

00;05;00;18 - 00;05;14;13

It feels to me like very few people these days are doing stuff like this just because they want to do it. It's like we have this kind of cultural pressure of the side hustle. Everything's going to be a hustle and everything's got to be going and whatever.

00;05;14;13 - 00;05;24;22

And like, I am very fool me. Let me restate this. I am very fortunate in that I have a gig that I don't have to worry about doing a side hustle. I could do side hustles and I could try make more and could do whatever.

00;05;25;10 - 00;05;41;22

That's actually harder for me to do now based off the medications that I'm on. Like, I just I don't have to do it, so I'm not going to do it like I'm just not interested in it. Now, five years ago, before I had my diagnosis of bipolar disorder and I was on medicated, then I was side hustling

00;05;41;22 - 00;05;53;08

all over the place because that's a thing that can happen there. Looking at it now, like that stuff was also just exhausting. one of the things that's interesting me about this arc that I've been on or gone through were the journey, right?

00;05;53;14 - 00;06;04;19

And like, Oh, I wish Journey didn't have such a weird connotation. Weird, like going on a journey. And it's like, it sounds kind of like hippie dippy, but like it's accurate. But also it sounds kind of hippie dippy.

00;06;04;19 - 00;06;15;11

So let's just look on an arc like we all have story arcs. We are the center of our own stories. We have this arc that is the arc of our lives and is the arc of the story is the main arc from birth to death.

00;06;15;20 - 00;06;28;09

And then there's all these little bitty arts like high school. That's the arc of high school and then the arc of your senior year, the arc of that one class that was really a pain and I don't know, chemistry in high school or something.

00;06;28;25 - 00;06;46;05

one of the interesting things about my run through this life, I've kind of had three different brains. My initial brain, which lasted for my first 42 years, was undiagnosed bipolar. Lots of folks have this perception of bipolar disorder being like angry and agitated.

00;06;46;06 - 00;07;02;06

I was more that than I realized, but that was not the way that I presented. I was just really active and energetic. Thankfully, I was not angry because there can be anger associated with that that happens. I was fortunate enough that that's not what happened with me.

00;07;03;00 - 00;07;19;28

And it's actually probably one of the reasons that I went so long without being diagnosed. After that, I had a major manic episode in me up in the hospital for a while. one of the things that often happens after a major manic episode a bipolar disorder is a depressive episode like a major depressive episode.

00;07;20;14 - 00;07;41;24

The crappy thing is like the manic episode peaked for a couple of weeks. The depressive episode lasted for like a year or two or whatever, so I went from having this just nuclear reactor of a brain. With terms of energy and excitement to like major depression, which was just.

00;07;42;20 - 00;08;04;07

I really I don't have the language to describe depression. If you've not had a major depression, I don't know how to communicate to you what that is like. The closest thing that I can think of. Is partially if you've ever stayed up like way, way, way too long, I mean, like.

00;08;05;08 - 00;08;21;19

All of one day into the next. And the way that it's hard to think that is a small aspect of it not being able to think not being able to, but it's so much more than that and it's so much more Earth, so much less than that, it would be the better way to say it.

00;08;21;28 - 00;08;36;20

You can't think stuff just hurts and is miserable and like, but it's maybe not hurting, I don't know. And thankfully, I don't have tremendously good memories of it, which is a blessing. I'm not having to like relive all that in my head, which is I am very thankful for.

00;08;37;12 - 00;08;49;04

But that was so that's kind of the second brain and like that was when I really realized because I always thought, Hey, we're talking to people on like, especially with coding, there's this big thing about like, Oh, anybody can code.

00;08;50;00 - 00;09;09;23

And I used to believe that because I could code and I had all this manic energy, and I'm a relatively intelligent dude. It was hard for me to conceive that people wouldn't be able to do that. Then I had this depression, and the two realizations that I really had with that were one.

00;09;11;02 - 00;09;25;29

And so I kind of also knew this, this first part before, which is like some people can't learn to code or can't learn a thing or can't learn whatever because they really aren't afforded the opportunity to do it in terms of time, energy, space, a standard thing that you hear people say is like if you're working three

00;09;25;29 - 00;09;47;06

jobs your mental energy, your mental kind of capacity to try and learn a new thing is going to be greatly diminished regardless of who you are. Some people can still do that. I can tell you I would not be able to do that, especially now I only have.

00;09;48;13 - 00;10;05;20

And this is one of the contrast that is super interesting to me is I have such less mental capacity now and mental energy that I really understand in a way that I never did before because I've lived in these few different worlds that, oh, wow, this is really a very different thing than I got.

00;10;06;09 - 00;10;30;19

It's almost, you know, I really do consider like I've been three different people as part of this. It's still all me, but manic me, depressed me and now stable me all have different abilities to think, to concentrate, to focus and the impact that those abilities have or those the calibration of those abilities has on my ability to

00;10;30;19 - 00;10;50;07

do anything, everything and all the stuff is way more impactful than I would have guessed, because again, it's still me. When I was in the depressive state, like when I was in a major depression, I couldn't learn. And I mean that really literally I was unable to learn new things.

00;10;50;19 - 00;11;07;17

I would try and I could kind of hang on to it for a little bit. And this is a problem because part of my job is learning stuff. By the way, super grateful that I have a really excellent boss, really excellent coworkers who helped me work through all of this stuff cannot compliment them more or oh, the

00;11;07;17 - 00;11;18;20

more, I guess. But I would try and learn new stuff, and it just it would not stick with so hard to concentrate and it was so hard to focus on something. Are you reading some documentation about some process that we were trying to do?

00;11;19;01 - 00;11;33;28

That would read it five times, and I would have no idea what I read, and then I would kind of click around and maybe get some stuff and kind of go forward. And like, slowly but surely, I could maybe figure out something that I needed to do or how to do it, but then it didn't stick.

00;11;34;25 - 00;11;46;22

I'm a huge fan of taking notes. The only way that I got through a bunch of that stuff was by taking a whole bunch of notes so that when I would go have to try and interact with the same piece of software, the same whatever.

00;11;46;22 - 00;11;59;29

Again, I had these notes to kind of get into and mess around with. I'm actually working on upgrading my notes stuff right now. I was going through and like, ran a count of them. I have 7800 or something notes personal notes.

00;11;59;29 - 00;12;11;02

It's tech nerds. It's just my note thing. I call my grandma, by the way, which you will hear me talk about in general. Grandma is a book of magic that is what I call my notes app. It is the book of magic.

00;12;11;05 - 00;12;21;25

It's kind of my outboard brain, which I think is a term that Cory Doctorow, Dr. Drew. I don't know how to say their name coined. And though it's funny because I actually saw somebody talking about the term second brain.

00;12;22;24 - 00;12;31;06

They're pointing to somebody who might have coined it like 2018, but I'm like, I'm pretty sure that term has been around longer than that. But whatever. Like without those notes, I would not have been able to do this stuff.

00;12;32;08 - 00;12;47;20

That has helped me get over it or get through it, not over it, getting over, it sounds like, Oh, you've I'm getting I've moved past it. And I guess that is kind of true, but like it wasn't an over over feels like you jumped around the thing or you jumped over the thing.

00;12;47;29 - 00;13;09;07

You weren't just absolutely clobbered by the process of having to just slog through it, which is what the depression was like. Quick content warning for super dark thoughts is I actually had to go to the hospital at one point because I was at the point of depression that was going to be the end of the depression.

00;13;10;05 - 00;13;20;24

I went in for suicidal ideation. I had to stay there for a while, came back out and did some therapy, and part of it was my brain was still healing because it takes a while for your brain to heal after depression.

00;13;21;27 - 00;13;42;02

That was a big part of that, too. Again, thankfully, I don't have tremendous memories about all that stuff, but it was absolutely. I don't know how I made it through other than support of friends, family and therapist meds to on top of that, but like, I couldn't feel the magic the mojo was.

00;13;42;05 - 00;14;00;14

It was that external support and friends, family, coworkers and employment basically to because if I had worked for a different organization and I'd worked under a different employer or a different boss. There's a high likelihood I would have been fired that would have been a bad cascade like that was one of my big triggers and fears with

00;14;00;14 - 00;14;17;11

the depression stuff was like, I can't think. And this was the cascade. I couldn't think I couldn't learn. I couldn't think and like that not only was central to my job, but that was central to me. That's like a thing that I do that was gone when that was gone.

00;14;17;13 - 00;14;24;01

I would then cascade into, I can't think I can't. I'm not going be able to my job if I can't do my job and get fired. If I get fired, I will lose. My house will lose my house.

00;14;24;25 - 00;14;36;24

Who cares at that point? It just cascade down. And that's how I ended up in the hospital because I would just go through that loop over and over and over again and couldn't get out of it. Thankfully, through.

00;14;37;28 - 00;14;48;14

Graces of all the things that that was not a thing that happened. I'm no longer worried about that being a thing that happens, even though that can kind of still flash in my brain every now and then, which is really kind of wild.

00;14;50;12 - 00;15;09;04

To get through to this point of now, having this third brain and then being able to kind of see. And remember and feel the way that each aspect felt like and recognizing that, yeah, you know what? Not everybody can do coding.

00;15;10;12 - 00;15;24;20

But that's not necessarily a mental thing, it can be a situational thing. But also they can be a mental thing. However, the thing that I do think is cool and like just a flip it. The other direction is almost everybody is given the opportunity.

00;15;24;29 - 00;15;41;15

And given the the space like the given, basically, I guess the physical space, the mental space and the time space to do it can learn to code. It is tricky in lots of ways, it is hard in other ways, and sometimes it's really frustrating.

00;15;41;24 - 00;16;05;12

But it's a thing that is approachable and doable and knowable and solvable. one of the cool things about the code stuff is anything that anybody has ever written on a regular computer. I can also write. I can make the computer do the same thing, because at the base level, at the lowest level of this, there's this math

00;16;05;12 - 00;16;16;21

down there that ends up being just a bunch of zeros and a bunch of ones mushed together as long as you can make those same zeros and ones show up. You can make the computer do exactly the same thing.

00;16;17;06 - 00;16;31;10

I'll get more into that over time. But just as the as the highlight, it's anything that can be done on a computer. You can also make the computer do the thing, could take a stack of work and years to do it.

00;16;31;19 - 00;16;51;13

But because of the way that it's just a math that's underneath there and those ones and zeros, it's doable. And for me, that's just that's super cool. I have more something. I have more. I'm not going to say respect because that's not the right word, but I have more empathy for for folks who are on the other

00;16;51;13 - 00;17;06;10

side of trying to learn stuff and people who are out there who know it are basically telling them, Oh, this is easy. Just do this. That's not helpful. We collectively, you know what we're doing, need to stop with those words because.

00;17;07;18 - 00;17;21;26

Often times things are easy if you know how to do them. Sometimes they're hard, even if you know how to do them. But if you don't know how to do them and you're trying to spin mental energy and like the little bits of time and effort and energy that you have to do it, it can be harder

00;17;21;26 - 00;17;36;14

just because you're exhausted. That makes things harder. And also this term, just, hey, just do this, just do that. It makes it sound so simple. It makes it sound like, Oh, this is the thing. It's like, Oh, just take the top off of this thing.

00;17;36;14 - 00;17;58;06

Well, you know, I don't have pliers and it's actually on there very hard, so I can't just do it. There's all these implications and just that, and I'm as guilty of this as anybody that did not realize that on the other side of that, on the impact of that, the implication is or the like, the self-reflective implication

00;17;58;06 - 00;18;09;09

is basically like they're saying, just do this like it should be simple. I can't do. I don't understand what's happening. So clearly, I am not good enough to do this or I'm bad at this or I am a failure.

00;18;09;16 - 00;18;21;18

And that's another one that we'll talk about a bunch is the difference between doing a thing that fails and being a failure yourself and kind of where that line is. And by and large, no, you're not a failure or something just failed.

00;18;21;18 - 00;18;39;04

You happen to do it. That's fine. We can work on it and move on, but you are not a failure. But we don't really teach that. And so having that just mentality of like, just do this, just do that, just do that is really super detrimental to actually helping people figure out how to do the thing.

00;18;40;01 - 00;18;49;25

So I didn't really didn't know that one was going to go, There you go. I tell you what, we'll we'll call that one year I need. I need to figure out a better exit strategy for these. But like, I don't know how to like wind down from that.

00;18;49;26 - 00;19;04;22

Like, clearly we'll do the aftershow. But also, I felt very abrupt. Sorry about that. I mean, that's one of the tricks with this is if I was writing this, I could go back and edit. I could figure out how to like land it with the free form stream of consciousness stuff.

00;19;04;22 - 00;19;14;07

That's a lot harder to do. It'll be interesting to see if over time I get better at that. I know that I am better now than I used to be because I've been doing this for a couple of years, but haven't actually published them, right?

00;19;14;21 - 00;19;24;16

But they're still like, it's still hard. Like, How do you land these things? But we'll figure it out. That'll do it for now. You all have a good one. Take it easy. As always, be kind, and we'll see you next time.

00;19;24;27 - 00;19;25;05