Biggest Problem in the Universe – Episode 92
Transcription courtesy of: Laurie Foster https://www.patreon.com/lafmodel
Today’s show is brought to you by Harry’s! Please visit http://www.harrys.com and use the promo code BIGGESTPROBLEM to save $5 off your first purchase.
(Biggest Problem theme riff starts)
Maddox: Welcome to the Biggest Problem in the Universe, the show where we discuss every problem in the universe, from Crib Death to Crystal Meth!
Maddox: With over 5 million downloads (giggles), this is the only show where you decide what should or shouldn’t be on the big list of problems. I’m Maddox. With me is Dick!
Dick: Hey, what’s up, buddy?
Maddox: And Sean, our audio engineer.
Maddox: Welcome back, gentlemen. Episode 92.
Dick: Creepin’ up on that one hundo!
Dick: Sean, are you gonna bring in a problem for that one? By the way?
Sean: Well, probably not, given my track record.
Dick: Ohhhh. (sad) You’re fucked.
Sean: We’ll see.
Dick: What a pussy.
Maddox: Maybe Cool Sean will make an appearance.
Dick: Yeah. Maybe Cool Sean…
Sean: (interjects) Yeah, where is he?!
Dick: …is cool enough to bring in a problem.
Sean: I thought…
Maddox: (interjects) He’s banging…he’s banging some chicks in a hot tub, Sean.
Sean: Cool Sean was supposed to back, like, you know, several episodes ago.
Dick: Alright, well, that’s on…
Sean: (interjects) Several dozen episodes ago.
Dick: Yeah, that’s on me. Okay. (giggles) Let’s calm down. (Sean giggles) How did we do last week, between Q-Tips, Food Waste, and Nobody Teaches You How to Fuck Good.
(Sound effect: Drumroll)
Maddox: Yeah, Dick. The biggest problem from last week was Food Waste.
Dick: That’s good.
Maddox: Cleaned house. And then No One Teaches You How to Have Sex Good. No one teaches you how to fuck…
Dick: (interjects) How to fuck good.
Maddox: How to fuck good, is how Robin…
Dick: (interjects) That was what she said.
Maddox: Yeah. And then dead last was Q-tips, which was in the negative, which nobody thought was a problem, apparently. (annoyed) ‘Cause you guys are all idiots!
Dick: Yeah. (skeptical)
Maddox: I warned you! I warned you. Go vote up Q-tips. Q-Tips are the new Monkeys.
Dick: I got some comments on that.
Maddox: The Q-tips?
Dick: Yeah. Zack Zintel says, “Hey, Maddox. Q-tips may not be great for your ears, but they’re good for cleaning video game cartridges.” (grins)
Maddox: Yeah, that’s true! (grins)
Dick: That’s true! That explains the negative! Jamie Pennington says, “Maybe if you don’t jam it in your ear like you’re loading a musket, you won’t injure yourself.” (they all laugh) “Don’t be a spaz and do it gently.” Uhh..I gotta agree with that. I did look up what you were saying. No doctors wrote in, unfortunately. I did look up what you were saying, and right past, like, the article of doomsaying that you’re gonna make yourself deaf by using a Q-tip.
Dick: At the very end, it’s like, “If you must use a Q-tip, just put the cotton part in your ear.” And I was like, “Oh, okay. Well, I do that.” Like, I do that. Like, I don’t jam it…I’m not spelunking with my Q-tip. Right?
Maddox: Yeah, but…(stammers) think about how you’re gonna get wax out of the ear. Think about the process.
Maddox: The Q-tip is not a hook. It’s just a knob. You’re just PUSHING it into your ear. (Dick groans) You’re just compacting it into your fucking ear. And all these doctors are saying people go into the offices and they’re constantly having problems with compacted ear wax and ear infections, and the tips getting dislodged…
Dick: Just the tip…yeah.
Maddox: Just the tip getting dislodged in your ear. (Sean chuckles) Big problem.
Maddox: I got a comment…
Dick: (interjects) I think you’re taking lessons from Trump, over there. “People are CONSTANTLY saying…” “Doctors are CONSTANTLY having all of these problems!!” (grins) I didn’t hear a number, though.
Maddox: It’s a big problem! (imitates Trump)
Dick: Yeah. (laughs) Huge problem! My…
Maddox: (interjects) Q-tips are nasty. They’re nasty. (still imitating Trump)
Dick: I’m not saying it’s the biggest problem, but it’s one of the biggest. That’s one of his moves.
Maddox: It’s one of the biggest problems. (Trump) They’re nasty. They’re bad. (Dick laughs) They’re bad things. They’re not good.
Sean: It’s YUUGE.
Maddox: It’s HUGE. Q-tips are huge.
Sean: No, yuge, with a “y”.
Maddox: Yuge. (laughs)
Sean: That’s how he says it.
Dick: What else you go?
Maddox: I got a comment from Anthony Giuliano. He says, “Someone said it in another episode when Dick said that people making X amount of money shouldn’t be teaching about finance.” And he made a good point. He says, “Someone being able to live comfortably off of $30,000 to $40,000 is exactly the type of person I want teaching me about personal finance.”
Dick: Oh, well you’re in luck. There’s a lot of people in the world living on, like, 20 cents a day. Go get some lessons from them on your “personal finance.”
Maddox: Yeah. I mean…
Dick: (interjects) Like, he is…
Sean: (interjects) Well, I’ll tell you what. You can’t do that in big cities.
Sean: Not without help. Not without a roommate.
Dick: No, of course not.
Sean: Not without a wife or husband.
Maddox: Not in big cities. But also, the cost of living is different in big cities. You…the economy…
Sean: Well, that’s what I mean.
Maddox: …scale changes. You make more, you spend more. You know.
Sean: Well that’s it, but I’m talking about his $20,000 to $30,000, or whatever. Yeah, you can do that maybe in the mid-west or the south.
Sean: But you can’t do that on the coast.
Maddox: Right. He’s talking about the average. Like, in the mid-west. I mean, studies have shown that…
Dick: (interjects) Uh-oh.
Maddox: …people live happily and comfortably at around $75,000 a year. And more than that doesn’t increase…
Dick: That sounds about right.
Sean: No, that’s…
Maddox: Doesn’t increase your happiness.
Dick: I read something else.
Sean: It can rent some first-class affection.
Dick: Are you talking about hookers?
Maddox: Okay, Sean.
Dick: Yeah? You ever…you know what?
Sean: Sorry, go ahead.
Dick: That reminds me of something. Do you remember when we went to the Red Light District?
Dick: Yeah. And Sean…Sean was the only one who would go ask a hooker how much she cost? This was a LONG time ago.
Maddox: Where was this?
Dick: Do you remember that? In Amsterdam.
Sean: I was just curious.
Dick: Oh, yeah.
Sean: I wasn’t gonna do it. (Maddox giggles)
Dick: No, no, no. None of us were. We were all just curious.
Maddox: (chuckles) Sure.
Dick: Yeah. We were all just very curious about it. (grins)
Maddox: I would put money that you’ve been with a hooker, Dick.
Dick: No, no, no. Come on. Come on.
Dick: Let’s…let’s get back on track here.
Maddox: Okay, what were you gonna say? You said…
Dick: (interjects) With affluenza, yeah. I read this other study that said the reason money doesn’t make people happy is because they’re not spending it on the right things after a certain point.
Dick: Which was interesting. Um…(stammers) but that seems like that whole affluenza thing. I don’t wanna get into that. I have way more important issues to talk about.
Maddox: Oh yeah? I do, too.
Dick: Like what is a stop.
Maddox: (stammers) More of this?! Okay, let’s hear this horseshit!
Dick: Yeah. More of this. (grins) Here’s…this guy is a professional driver who disagrees with you, okay?
Maddox: (laughing) Professional driver? What the hell?
Dick: With…with a resume.
Maddox: Is this Tim Changzzz calling in from Lyft, ‘cause that’s also technically a professional driver. (chuckles)
Dick: He’s already discredited. I don’t even wanna play his voice mail.
Maddox: Yep. (laughing)
(Voice mail: male voice: “As a professional driver, I worked for 30 years driving professional in a fleet vehicle. I have a completely clean MVR and was trained how to drive by multiple people. Um…”
Dick: An old man. (giggles)
“The definition of a stop, to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, is very simple. One, you don’t move. That’s it.”
Dick: That’s a professional driver.
Maddox: Yeah. Taught by multiple people.
“Don’t move. Come to a complete, whole stop. Wheels aren’t moving. Nothing is moving. And then once you’ve gone…”)
Dick: No, alright. Here, I got another one.
(Voice mail: male voice: “Goddamnit, Maddox!! You have no fucking idea if your bumper is gonna move up and down when you come to a stop at 5 miles per hour!”
“You’re SO sure, but you didn’t do a single test. You just used the weird video game physics engine in your brain…”
Dick: Yeah, it’s true. (Maddox cracks up)
“To come up with some bullshit.”
Dick: He’s got you there.
“I was just driving, listening to the podcast, and I tested your stupid argument, and guess what? My bumped moved up and down. Fuck you.”
Dick: Yeah. Of course.
Maddox: Yeah, but that depends on your shocks, you fucking…you fucking chimp!! Your shocks….
Maddox: They’re not gonna make a law based on the stiffness of your shocks, idiot! (Dick giggles) They’re just not. That’s just absolutely…can we throw that out the window? Look. You wanna tell me that stopping means coming to a full stop for some amount of time that’s greater than an infinitesimal amount of time. Fine. I’ll buy that argument! But don’t fucking feed me this line of shit that your bumper has to go up and down!!
Maddox: They’re not gonna make a law based on the stiffness of your shocks, idiots! You’re all idiots!
Dick: No, hold on, Sean.
Sean: Okay, go ahead.
Dick: Because…unless your socks are made of a cinder block, your car will go down and up when you stop.
Maddox: Not necessarily in a perceptible way!
Dick: Yes. Absolutely, yes.
Maddox: No, it’s not!
Dick: (interjects) Absolutely yes!
Maddox: It depends on the speed, your momentum, the inertia that your car has.
Sean: It also depends on how hard you put on your brakes.
Sean: ‘Cause I can do it at idle speed, basically.
Sean: Where you just let your foot off the brake and the car goes.
Dick: Yeah, you make the car dance! A-lum, a-lum, a-lum. (making car bounce sounds)
Maddox: Sure, Sean.
Sean: More than perceptibly.
Maddox: And also, if your car has hydraulics in it, and you happen to hit that button as you stop!? (Dick cracks up) What, are the cops gonna be like…
Dick: (interjects) This is real!! (laughing)
Maddox: “Well, his bumper moved!” (stupid voice, inaudible) “Buh, buh, buh, buh, bumper!” Idiot!
Maddox: You guys are all idiots! (stammers) (laughs)
Dick: Doubling down! (grins)
Maddox: I already thought low of you guys, and now I think less.
Dick: If there’s any engineers in the audience…(Maddox laughs) who wanna rev up their Wolfram alpha accounts, send it…send in the explanations!! I got one for Robin. Robin, what a great guest.
Maddox: Great guest. People…
Dick: (interjects) She always brings in sex problems, but she’s a very smart woman, as well.
Maddox: Those aren’t mutually exclusive! Smart people like to bone, and she posted her video on…we posted the video on our website. Check it out. The Wheel of Fortune…her Pat Sajak Vanna White boning theory. And she has the smoking gun in this video. And our fans loved the video.
Dick: Yeah. Oh, yeah.
Maddox: I highly recommend you check it out.
Dick: Yeah. It’s not one of these, like, meta pieces.
Dick: You know, that these comedians do, they think they’re so fucking funny.
Maddox: Oh, God, yeah.
Dick: And self-aware.
Maddox: Right. Oooh…
Dick: (interjects) I don’t even know if I’m joking or not. That’s how funny I inherently am. Robin’s not like that.
Dick: Well, here’s a voice mail for her.
(Voice mail: male voice: “Hey Maddox, Dick. I love you guys, but seriously, fuck Robin for being heightist. (Dick and Maddox giggle) None of us short guys can do anything about our height, except stupid things like wearing lifts in our shoes.”
Dick: Well, you can do that.
“It’s a big fucking problem that I know you guys don’t have, but if your dating criteria…”
Maddox: This guy sounds like a short guy.
“…demands 6 feet plus only guys, then you deserve to be used up like a disposable fucking whore.”
Maddox: Whoaaaaaaaaaa!!!! (Dick laughs)
“Heightism fucking sucks. Nobody talks about it. There’s jack shit us short guys can do.”
Maddox: Whoa!! (Dick cracks up)
“So fuck you, Robin. No wonder your sex life sucks!”)
Maddox: Ohhhhhhhh!! (Dick laughs) Inappropriate!!
(Sound effect: ‘Wrong’ buzzer)
Maddox: You know what? Fuck that guy.
Sean: Fucking swinging for the fences, there.
Dick: That’s how you get voicemail on the show, guys. (they laugh) Just so you know.
Maddox: Bitter, angry. You can hear the desperation in his voice!
Dick: Well, he’s got a point. You know, all these chicks who say there’s a height requirement to ride this ride.
Dick: Okay, maybe the ride’s a little old. Maybe the ride’s been ridden a little too much for me.
Maddox: Blame society, what can I say? This is a cultural phenomenon.
Sean: They asked Nicole Kidman about divorcing Tom Cruise, and she was like, “Eh, at least I can wear heels now.”
Maddox: Ohohoho. (laughing)
(Sound effect: ‘Ding!’)
Dick: Just for the record, ‘cause Robin’s not here to defend herself, she didn’t have a height requirement.
Dick: That was you and I that added that.
Dick: To her re…like, all she…she said she’s only dated one guy taller than her, and that turned into a hundred guys saying, “What a bitch! She’s got a height requirement!!”
Dick: It’s like…guys. (Maddox laughs) I’m sick of being called a white knight on this show.
Maddox: Oh, yeah. You. (laughs)
Dick: Mostly because…well, you remember we did the live episode?
Dick: Then it’s like, “Dick Masterson goes full white knight.” And it’s like, “Okay, motherfucker.”
Dick: “I was on an internationally-syndicated talk show for five hours, doing…saying more misogynist things than you’ve ever imagined in bed, by yourself.” You wouldn’t say these things, you pussy.
Dick: Don’t you ever call me a white knight! (Maddox chuckles) Right? And I don’t wanna be called a white knight now, but Robin did not say she has a height requirement.
Maddox: Mmm, sounds like something a white knight would say. (they all laugh)
Dick: I mean, you can’t win, these fucking kids!!
Dick: What a white knight! What a white knight.
Dick: Like, kid, you wouldn’t DREAM of saying the things that I say on television! You wouldn’t say ‘em to a child!
Dick: You fucking pussy!
Maddox: Yeah. We brought in the Social Justice Warrior problem, and all these, like, same idiot pussies are like, “Oh, yeah, good problem. Yeah, social justice warriors are a big problem.” But then, when you mention ANYTHING in the opposite, or if you argue any other point, suddenly you’re a social justice warrior liberal cuck! That’s what they call you. That’s all they have. It’s the only ammo they have.
Maddox: It’s Confirmation Bias. Big problem!
Dick: You are a liberal, though.
Maddox: Fuck you!!! (they laugh) Alright.
Dick: You wanna hear one…I got…
Maddox: Let’s hear it, yeah.
Dick: One more. One more. Uh, there’s another Robin one. You wanna hear more about Robin, or you wanna hear more about brakes? (laughing) (background laughter) Or Q-tips? (Maddox sighs, annoyed) Here’s…let’s hear another Q-tips one!!
(Voice mail: male voice: (goofy, stupid) Ooooohhheheeewww!! (they all laugh) I can’t put Q-tips in my ears!!! What am I supposed to be using ‘em for?! (inaudible) (crying) this is a big problem!!! Waaaaaaaaah. (normal voice) That’s what you sound like. You’re such a fucking idiot. They’re Q-tips. They’re fucking cotton swabs, dude. You apply shit like liquids with them to other shit, like…”
Dick: Various alloys.
“…maybe a wound, or something. I don’t know. You could use them for all sorts of shit. Are you that fucking retarded? It’s cotton on a fucking stick!!”)
Maddox: Yeah, I get it, dipshit! But that’s not what people use it for! We’re having an “is” “ought” argument, you fuck!
Maddox: You need to look at how people are using them, not what they should be or could be using them!! Dickfuck. It’s not (goofy voice) “Uhhh, Maddox, you can use ‘em to clean cartridges!” “Uhh, Maddox, you can put aloe on my wounds!” Why don’t you put aloe on that sore ass of yours after I kick it, bitch? (Sean laughs)
Dick: Battle of the retarded voices!!! On this show. (Maddox laughs) Immediately. “Ooooh. Unnnnnnnngh.”
Maddox: “Unnnnnnnngh.” Alright.
Dick: I don’t know how people use q-tips now.
Maddox: They put ‘em in their ears!
Dick: I’m all confused. I don’t know.
Maddox: Look, man. Look. Chicks use them sometimes to clean off makeup.
Dick: Makeup. Okay.
Maddox: I get it. Yeah. Which they should. You know.
Dick: Yeah. They should do a little more cleaning up of the makeup.
Maddox: Yeah, more cleaning up.
Dick: As far as I’m concerned.
Maddox: It’s a little too thick, ladies.
Maddox: Eh? Right?
Dick: Yeah. Take one from us. (Maddox chuckles) Go…be naturally beautiful!
Maddox: Guy who hasn’t shaved in three days. Alright. I got…(giggles) We ready to move on to the problems?
Dick: Not time for the Harry’s ad yet!!! Settle down!!
Maddox: Nope. (laughing)
Dick: With your references!!
Maddox: I caught myself!! (they laugh)
Dick: Go ahead.
Maddox: Alright, guys. I got a big problem!!
(Sound effect: Drumroll)
Maddox: This week.
(Sound effect: Cymbal)
Maddox: Internet addiction!
Dick: Oh, God.
(Sound effect: ‘Ding!’)
(Sound effect: Clapping)
Maddox: Yeah. It’s close to home. (laughs)
Maddox: Internet Addiction, guys. Now, this sounds like one of those, like, goofy problems, but I watched a documentary…
Dick: (interjects) No, it’s the opposite!
Maddox: You think it’s…
Dick: (interjects) I’m sorry, I must disagree with you already! (Maddox laughs) But this is a major, major problem!
Maddox: That’s how I can get you to support my problems, is if I come out of the gates shitting on them, and then you’ll start supporting ‘em!
Dick: Wrong! (they crack up)
Maddox: Alright, guys. Internet addiction. Yeah, it is a big problem. Internet Addiction Disorder was originally proposed as a satire of the way people use the Internet back in 1995.
Dick: Oh, wow.
Maddox: Which, by the way, guys? 1995 is the same year I got my Xmission account and created my email address that I still use today.
Maddox: My email address is…what, 20 years old now. 21 years old.
Maddox: Yeah. My email address is old enough to drink, now. Anyway, there’s a…(laughs) There’s a psychiatrist, his name is Ivan Goldberg. He introduced the concept on his website, but shortly after he did, stories started flooding the news about kids who had serious psychological addictions to online gaming and the Internet.
Dick: This was in ’95.
Maddox: Yeah, ’95, this happened.
Dick: Wow, man.
Dick: Uh, the Internet really sucked in 1995, too.
Maddox: No, it was pretty cool. I would say.
Maddox: You know what? It got…it got really..
Dick: (interjects) I don’t know if cool is the word you’re looking for. Maybe another one.
Maddox: I really liked the old Internet.
Maddox: I connected to it…with dialup.
Maddox: And there were very few websites, and it was super fast, super easy to access, because it was mostly text-based. There were no images. There was no bullshit.
Maddox: ‘Cause I had to surf the Internet using a text browser.
Dick: Mhmm. Sure.
Maddox: And I would hop on IRC. I was able to…this is kinda funny. So my parents, to punish me, when I was 16 years old. Would take away my computer monitor.
Maddox: Which…pissed me off, because I legitimately used my computer to do homework. I would type up all my homework assignments and do programming, and things like that. So because I was using a text-based modem to connect to the Internet, I knew how to do that blind. Without seeing the screen at all.
Maddox: So I wanted to test my theory one day, ‘cause I was so bored. I would sit down in front of my computer with no monitor, ‘cause my parents were just being dicks. And I turned on my computer, and I’d listen for the memory test beep, and then I’d listen for the second beep when DOS loaded up. Then I knew which directory to go to, to launch my program. And I even knew the shortcut codes to dial in to my Internet service provider. Then I heard my modem kick on, and then I thought, “Well, I don’t know if I’m actually logged in or not.” So I thought, “I’m gonna hop on IRC.” IRC is Internet Relay Chat, for anyone who hasn’t used it.
Dick: Who’s cool.
Maddox: Yeah. The majority of people.
Maddox: So I hopped on IRC, and I thought, “I wonder if people can actually see me in the channel even though I can’t see them.” And I said, “Hey guys. I’m typing this to you blind. If anyone can read this, send me a Ctrl-E character.” Which makes your PC beep. And all of a sudden, I hear a little Crtl-E. A little beep. Like, “Wow, that’s kinda cool! I can hop on IRC blind!”
Dick: Yeah. Did that show your parents?
Maddox: No. (they laugh)
Dick: Hey parents, fuck you!! I beeped at my Internet friends without my monitor!
Maddox: Yeah. (laughing)
Dick: You better think of a better punishment!
Maddox: I can still get on the Internet.
Dick: You better start taking away the soup. (background laughter)
Maddox: Why don’t you take away my keyboard? My fingers?
Maddox: Anyway, yeah. These…so, stories started actually flooding the Internet about people who are addicted to it. Already. Like, back in 1995, when this guy came up with this theory…
Maddox: Um, in 2009, a 19-year-old kid named Ben Alexander got addicted to World of Warcraft and was playing it for 16 or 17 hours per day. He used it as a crutch for his intense social anxiety, according to CBS. And here’s a clip from NPR about it. Listen to this kid. He actually had to go to a rehab facility in Seattle and this is…this is the kid. Listen to this.
(Clip starts, male narrator: “Ben Alexander says he’s an addict.”
Ben: “Hi, I’m Ben, and I’m a gamer.”
Narrator: “He says around the time he went off to college, he got involved in an online game called ‘World of Warcraft’.”
Ben: It fairly quickly got out of hand, to where I was missing classes and…spending entire days just playing, and not doing anything else.”
Narrator: “About to flunk out, he asked his folks for help. His family is now spending $300 a day to keep Alexander away from the Internet.”
Dick: Oh, God!
Dick: Fuck you.
Narrator: “He’s the first client at a start-up detox program called Restart.”
Female: “We know that people tend to get hooked by things that are rewarding, but unpredictably so. And the Internet is just built around that principle.”
Narrator: “The Internet can be habit-forming, she says. Just like booze, or gambling.”
Female: “If you do it compulsively and in spite of the negative consequences, then we’d say that’s an addiction.”)
Maddox: So, that’s an addiction. If you do it habitually and compulsively in spite of the consequences. That’s how she defines an addiction.
Dick: Yeah, but not if it’s funny while you’re doing it. (Sean chuckles)
Maddox: What do you mean?
Dick: Like, I tell…I like to tell a lot of jokes while I’m drinking.
Dick: I get a lot of good stories out of it.
Maddox: Yeah, well…
Dick: That’s not an addiction if you do it, like, and you learn a little lesson at the end of every night.
Maddox: You’re do…(laughs) You’re doing it…(background laughter)
Dick: And people are like, “Man, that guy was a real blast to hang around with.” That’s not an addiction.
Maddox: Yeah, but you’re doing it during your addiction. You’re doing it during your alcohol addiction.
Dick: Ach, I mean, I don’t know.
Dick: I’m not a doctor.
Maddox: Okay. (grins) No, that lady psychologist…a lot of psychologists disagree. It’s still a contentious issues. It’s being debated whether or not this should be recognized in the DSM manual. You know, the psychological manual.
Maddox: Where they diagnose people. Um, but that psychologist thinks that it is a problem, and…because, in 2009, this happened again. A 22-year-old mother in Jacksonville, Florida, killed her three-month-old son after his crying interrupted her Farmville game.
Maddox: She shook the baby, then went outside to smoke a cigarette to calm down. (Dick snorts) and came inside and shook the baby some more, before going back to her game.
Dick: To make sure it was dead?!
Maddox: No, she didn’t think it was gonna kill it.
Maddox: Yeah. Her child. But she killed her child.
Dick: She killed it.
Maddox: That was according to mashable.com. And then in 2010, a Bulgarian city council member lost his job and got demoted because he couldn’t stop playing Farmville during meetings!
Maddox: This guy lost his job!!! Like, he was so addicted to it! And then his defense, when they brought it up to him, they said, “Well, Councilwoman so-and-so is on level 40, she’s higher than me.” So why aren’t you going after her?! (they laugh) Idiot.
Dick: How many people are driving around, playing Farmville? Facebook? That’s what I wanna know.
Dick: (interjects) That’s very dangerous. Those people should be ashamed of themselves.
Maddox: Very dangerous.
Dick: Driving around…on the Internet. With their internet addictions.
Maddox: I feel like I’m listening to a confession here. (Sean giggles) I…I saw a dude on the freeway the other day, who was…driving very slow. And swerving a little bit, and I thought to myself, “I guarantee this shithead is texting while driving.”
Maddox: And I…drove up next to him, and sure enough, he was…his face was down in his lap the entire time.
Dick: Yeah. (scoffs)
Maddox: Looking at his phone. I honked, looked at him, and then I pointed to my eyes, like, you know, the eagle eyes, the…
Dick: (interjects) The international sign for “I’m looking at you.”
Maddox: I’m looking at you.
Dick: I’m looking at you. Yeah.
Maddox: So I pointed to my eyes, and then I pointed to the road with my fingers.
Maddox: And he looked at me, and he nodded…and then…
Dick: (interjects) And he said, “You’re watching the road! I get it, buddy! I’m watching my phone, no big deal!” (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: He…he nodded, and then I went up past him. I sped up. And then he sped up to catch up to me, and I thought, “Oh, here he is, he’s gonna flip me off.” And I look over to him, and he gives me a thumbs up, and an okay sign. He learned his lesson! I actually helped that guy. He’s like, “Yeah, you’re right.”
Dick: No, he was saying, “Take your thumb and shove it up your butthole.” (Sean cracks up)
Maddox: Oh, okay. (they laugh)
Dick: That’s what he was saying.
Maddox: Well, jokes’ on him.
Dick: I think you’re soft selling this problem, honestly.
Maddox: No, there’s…I got more. There’s…there’s tons.
Maddox: Another father abused his child because his kid interrupted his game of Everquest. The kid was locked in a closet for more than 24 hours, and then he came out fabulouuuus. (gay). (Sean and Dick chuckle) No, just kidding. His child had a broken collarbone and a punctured heart, and he actually died.
Dick: Wait, sorry, what?!
Maddox: Yeah. (cracks up)
Dick: How did he get…
Maddox: His father…
Dick: (interjects) How did he get that playing Everquest?
Maddox: His father slammed his kid into the closet for 24 hours.
Dick: For playing Everquest?
Maddox: ‘Cause the kid was crying that he was hungry and wanted attention.
Dick: Oh, and the DAD was playing Everquest.
Maddox: The DAD was playing Everquest, yeah.
Dick: So he locked him up like Matilda so he could keep playing Everquest?
Sean: How did that happen to the kid in the closet? He must have hit him first.
Maddox: He sl…yeah, he hit him. He slammed the kid into the closet, and the kid had a broken collarbone and a punctured heart.
Dick: Oh, man.
Maddox: Yeah, got arrested. Uh, for playing Everquest. And then a Korean couple. This is just…this is a worldwide phenomenon. A Korean couple also let their child starve to death while they raised a virtual child online in some stupid game.
Dick: Yeah, well…
Maddox: They go…
Dick: (interjects) That’s smart. Probably a better return on the virtual child.
Dick: New one comes out, ugly like you, stupid like you. The virtual one, you just put cash into it, it gets smarter and better.
Maddox: Right? So these, uh…this Korean couple, they’d go to Internet cafes for hours to play games, and they’d pop in occasionally to feed the kid powdered milk. And in a statement, the father said, “I am sorry for what I did and I hope that my daughter does not suffer anymore in Heaven.”
Dick: Oh, my God!
Maddox: Talk about leveling up, huh? Huh? (giggles)
Dick: What a weird quote.
Maddox: No? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, these people are addicted to the Internet.
Dick: I still think you’re soft selling it!
Maddox: Well..what do you want…(stammers)
Dick: ‘Cause these people are one-offs!!
Maddox: What do you wanna add?
Dick: Uh…how about that every motherfucker on Earth wastes, like, what percentage of their day on Facebook?
Dick: How about…you remember that domestic violence story that I brought in?!
Maddox: Which one?
Dick: I…I bet that was caused ‘cause that girl is addicted to Instagram.
Maddox: Which domestic violence story?
Dick: Well, the one where that girl came up to my apartment after she got her ass kicked.
Dick: She would NEVER get off her phone.
Dick: People are glued to their fucking phones. That is Internet addiction.
Dick: That promise of having some connectivity with another human that the screen brings you!? That’s what Internet addiction is to me, ‘cause you’re constantly jonesing for it. This is coming from an addict. That’s the feeling is, “God, just please give me more of this so I can get that high that I want.” None of it’s giving it to me. I’m gonna keep drinking. I’m gonna keep snorting blow. I’m gonna keep shooting it into my arm. I’m gonna keep looking at the screen and scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling, even though I NEVER get off from it! (yells)
Dick: That’s the addiction part. And everybody’s got it. Huge problem.
Maddox: HUGE problem. It is similar to…the dopamine hit that you get from heroin. Uh, the first time people take heroin, allegedly, I’ve never done it. Um…
Dick: It’s similar from the hit you get from everything. The entire addiction center’s wired like that.
Sean: Caffeinated soda.
Sean: Everything releases that dopamine.
Dick: Cleaning your ear with q-tips!
Sean: It’s the reward thing.
Maddox: It does become compulsive. It does become compulsive. To the point where I personally…I have become, at times in my life, addicted to Facebook and Twitter, especially because of what I do. It’s so difficult for me to ignore it, because part of it is having to post things on Facebook and Twitter, if I post a new article or if I have to interact with someone to bring in comments for the show, or whatever it is…uh, it becomes compulsive. So, sometimes I’ll just be pulling up Facebook, and I hate it, I hate everything I’m reading. I hate all your stupid opinions!!
Maddox: I hate all your kids. I hate all your dogs. I hate everything and everyone on Facebook, but I can’t stop looking at this garbage. And all the stories are stupid bullshit! #trendingtopics, which is always about Mark Cuban’s stupid fat face. (Dick giggles) And then I read this shit, and…and sometimes when I’m reading it, I get bored while I’m reading Facebook, and I open up a new tab…
Maddox: And I go to Facebook!
Dick: I need more Facebook!!
Maddox: Ugh!! Like…
Dick: (interjects) I’ll be on the computer, like, “I’m gonna shut the laptop down. I’m gonna go to bed. I’m just gonna pop up my phone for a LITTLE bit more Internet.”
Dick: Just a little bit more. Just a nightcap.
Dick: I’m done getting shitfaced at the bar, I’ma go home and have a couple beers in bed. That’s how bad the addiction is.
Dick: And you’ve got a built-in rationalization. You…you are in the red.
Dick: There is a scale of addict…possibility of being an addict. You are in the red.
Maddox: Nah, I’ll cop to that. It’s very difficult, to the point where…
Dick: (interjects) To the point where your book is super fucking late…(Maddox giggles) because you’re on Facebook all day, dicking around!
Maddox: Yeah, let’s not talk about that. (Dick and background laughter)
Sean: But he…you know what? He does it for the fans.
Dick: Yeah, yeah, exactly. (grins)
Sean: He does it for the fans.
Maddox: Thank you, Sean. It’s my sacrifice. That’s how I give, alright? So…I would create a script. I created a script a long time ago that would block Facebook and Twitter on my computer.
Maddox: And I’m a lazy person, so I like to make an efficient way to do that, so I don’t have to always go into the long directory in Windows to block it my host’s file.
Dick: You have a shortcut? Desktop?
Maddox: I created a shortcut, yeah.
Dick: Oh, okay.
Maddox: I created a shortcut for it. And then I realized I was using the shortcut anytime I wanted to check Facebook.
Maddox: It was super easy. So I deleted the Facebo…the shortcut. And then made it super difficult for me to block and unblock it.
Maddox: And that’s actually helped. That’s what I recommend to everyone. Block Facebook. Block Twitter.
Dick: Lemme tell you why this is the most dangerous problem and addiction that there is. Because all of the other drugs. Every other thing that people abuse to get high is to stop loneliness. And the Internet offers the problem of ending loneliness. You’re not dulling it! You’re not dulling the loneliness with liquor or drugs! You’re gonna fucking end it, because there are people on this screen you can actually interact with.
(Sound effect: ‘Ding!’)
Maddox: Huh. Dick, I was…that’s actually surprisingly astute, coming from you.
Dick: Yeah. (Maddox cracks up)
Maddox: How’s that for a backhanded compliment? (laughing) No, but for real, that’s the heart of the issue, here.
Maddox: Is loneliness. I thought you were gonna say…(stammers) be wildly off the mark here, but that’s exactly what it is.
Maddox: Uh…(laughs) Another 22-year-old Korean man killed his mother because she nagged him for playing too many games. He then went to an Internet café and continued to play, right after murdering his own mother.
Dick: Is this, like, on another timeline, do you wish that was you?! (they laugh) Taking tips from that guy?
Maddox: Nah, man. Um…then in 2005, a man collapsed in the city of Taegu for playing Starcraft for 50 hours straight. He went into cardiac arrest and died at a local hospital. He went into cardiac arrest while playing a game for 50 hours.
Maddox: And then, I knew…my brother had a coworker a long time ago, who was severely depressed, and the last time anyone saw him was…he called in sick to work, or something like that. He took a Friday off and he spent 72 hours in his apartment alone, didn’t leave, and the next time anyone discovered him was dead, because he just spent all that time playing World of Warcraft. Didn’t get up, didn’t leave.
Dick: Didn’t order any food?!
Maddox: Didn’t eat. I guess not, I don’t know.
Dick: How did he die?
Maddox: I don’t know all the details, it was a long time ago.
Dick: Ceiling fell on him. (they laugh)
Maddox: It was a warlock. A warlock spell. I don’t know how he d…(laughs)
Dick: What do you mean? That’s how he died?
Maddox: That’s how he died. In the game. Yeah. (laughing)
Dick: Oh. Well, I mean, like, how are you in the civilized world and you die in 72 hours in your apartment?
Maddox: No, I think…
Dick: (interjects) It seems weird.
Maddox: Now that I remember…now, I think I remember, I think it was a suicide.
Maddox: Because he wanted to join a clan to do a raid together.
Dick: Ohhhh, yeah, okay.
Maddox: And they did it without him, or…I mean, this is, like, serious, serious stuff. I have a friend who was visiting Los Angeles and she…she said she had to leave early. And she said she had to go back home, and she had an important thing going on. And I said, “Well, you’re already here, there’s all this fun stuff going on this weekend, what’s so important that you have to go back so quickly, so suddenly?” And finally, she confessed. She goes, “Well, I have a raid.” And I’m like, what? A what? She goes, “It’s a World of Warcraft. I’ve scheduled a raid and I have to be there for it.”
Maddox: I’m like, are you…(laughing) Are you out of your mind!? You go back home to play a raid in World of Warcraft?!!?
Dick: Yeah. Don’t you wanna go to this adult coloring book polyamory party with me? (they laugh)
Maddox: Fuck you. In…in China, the addiction is so bad amongst its youth that they’ve opened up over 400 rehabilitation centers to help these kids. 400 of ‘em!
Dick: Do they work?
Dick: I don’t think rehab works.
Maddox: …to an extent. Some of ‘em do. Some of ‘em do.
Maddox: Yeah. There’s a documentary called Web Junkie. It came out in 2014, I believe. It’s a fascinating look at what goes on behind the scenes for these kids. So, some of these kids in the facility played for 40 days in a row. One kid spent $8500 in a month in an online game. And some of these kids are so addicted that they don’t even get up to go to the bathroom, because it’ll affect their performance. So they wear diapers.
Maddox: They sit at these Internet cafes in diapers.
Dick: Diapers, that’s cool.
Dick: What’s wrong with that?
Maddox: They don’t even wanna get up.
Dick: Nascar drivers wear diapers, too, presumably.
Maddox: Do they?
Dick: Do they? Yeah? Don’t they piss in their…don’t they have, like, piss suits?
Sean: I don’t know. I think they do. I think they do.
Dick: Yeah. Astronauts piss in their suits. That’s cool. So what? What’s wrong with that? (Maddox scoffs) (Dick laughs)
Sean: You should wear ‘em!!
Sean: Dick should wear ‘em to save his underwear.
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah.
Dick: I mean, how do they rationalize it?! Like, at what point are they just playing computer games and all of a sudden, they’re sitting there, like, “Well, you know what? I guess I’m just gonna put a diaper on today.” Like, this is the day. Today’s the day I’m starting to wear the diapers.
Maddox: Yeah. They…I don’t know how they rationalize it. These kids, first of all, none of ‘em…they speak just like addicts. In this documentary. I highly recommend you guys check it out. It’s called Web Junkie. It’s about one of these rehabilitation centers in Daxing. It’s a province of Beijing, in China.
Maddox: And they rationalize it by saying, “I don’t have a problem, I just like to play video games.” And…they don’t even realize the insanity that’s coming out of their mouths. One of the kids was, like, “Yeah, I only play 10 hours a day.” ONLY?!
Dick: Oh, my God.
Maddox: Only play 10 hours a day? Another kid was crying and screaming on the phone with his mother, saying “Please bring me back home, I promise I’ll just play 4 hours a day.” (scoffs) He said he’s gonna cut down to 4 hours per day if she brought him home. And then these kids, some of ‘em got so desperate to escape from this facility that they would sneak out the window. They put, like, light bars and stuff on the window. It’s not quite bars, it’s kind of like a metal mesh, so they couldn’t get out the window.
Dick: They put, like, children’s playground equipment that they have to climb over. (Maddox chuckles) And do basic exercise to get out of the facility. (Sean laughs)
Sean: Yeah, which none of them can do. (Maddox laughs)
Dick: They’re all terrified of. They won’t get near it.
Maddox: Yeah, they all look pretty pasty. Uh…they all look like gamers. And so this kid…one of the kids, like, I guess removed the metal mesh and climbed out the window. Seven of ‘em escaped. And the facility was panicked.
Dick: Yeah! (giggles)
Maddox: All the instructors were running out, they’re like, “Oh my God, these kids escaped.” So they were looking for the kids.
Sean: They caught ‘em three days later, like 50 yards from the facility, like, wheezing.
Dick: (laughs) They sprinkled…they sprinkled, like, PSPs around the perimeter of the facility just in case there’s any breakouts! (Maddox and Sean laugh) And they trap ‘em, like land mines, like, “Uaaaaaaghhhhhhh!!”
Maddox: You guys are actually not too far off. (Dick laughing) They caught the kids three or four hours later at an Internet café.
Dick: At an Internet café!? (cracking up)
Maddox: Yeah. (laughing)
Dick: Fuck you kids!!! (laughing) You fucking suck!
Maddox: These poor kids are so addicted, they got on…they took a cab. The first cab they could find, and took it straight to an Internet café.
Dick: Straight to an Internet café.
Maddox: Yeah. It’s so sad, man. These kids…I mean, it’s a serious addiction. And then the parents are at a loss for what to do. There’s psychologists in the school and they’re even not sure whether or not this is an official diagnosis, because it’s…it’s mixed. The psychological community is mixed on whether or not to diagnose this as such.
Sean: But it’s addict behavior.
Dick: Yeah, of course.
Maddox: It’s very severe addictive behavior. And so they encourage the parents, even, to come down to the facilities and stay with the kids. And it’s so sad. One of the kids was…just felt really unloved and detached from his parents, so one day, his dad…the kid’s dad, wanted him to stop playing a game, ‘cause he’d been playing for five or six hours. He said, “You need to turn it off and go to bed.” The kid wouldn’t do it, so the dad came over and just turned it off.
Maddox: And the kid lost his fucking mind, and ran over to the window and was trying to throw himself out the window. (Dick cracks up) And the mom…
Dick: (interjects) That’s funny.
Maddox: The mom…the mom grabbed the kid and pulled him back in. He was half out the window. And the dad…I mean, it became really intense. The kid was like, “Do you want me to die?!” and he goes, “Go ahead, kill yourself.” And the dad was upset. The dad had…was at wit’s end. So this is a very last resort thing that they’re doing.
Maddox: Is putting these kids into these rehab facilities, because they don’t know what else to do. And there’s a scene in the movie where the kid has to tell his father that he loves him. And the father…they both, like, break down. It’s so tough to watch, because the father doesn’t know what to do, and the psychologist in the school eventually talks to the parents and they have a couple of theories on why this is happening, especially in China. It’s a big problem in China. And they said that part of it…
Dick: (interjects) Is it ‘cause China sucks?
Dick: And, like, life sucks there, so it’s better, so they like escapism more? Like, that specific kind?
(Sound effect: ‘Wrong’ buzzer)
Dick: I dunno.
Dick: I would want a fake world if I was, like, breathing in soot.
Maddox: It’s not…I mean, that’s not the c…this is still a minority of people who have this problem.
Maddox: But the…the psychologist’s framework for why this is happening in China more than other places is possibly in part due to the one child policy. So the children…they said that the children are just looking for some kind of online connection.
Maddox: And they finally got one of the kids to confess. He said, “When I’m online, I can talk to someone else who understands me, and gets me, and they are my buddies, they are my friends online.” And so they have an intense addiction, not necessarily to the game, but to the social aspect of it.
Maddox: With other people. Because these people in real life have no social skills. They’re not able to look anyone else in the eye. They’re not able to make friends. They’re not able to be productive and keep jobs and stay in school, that sort of thing. These are people who have, maybe a psychological disorder, but it’s very deeply steeped in loneliness.
Dick: Everybody’s got it. And…when they have those friends, like, those text friends, ‘cause I get a lot of emails from guys who are trying to pursue these weirdo long-distance relationships. It’s like, “Well, we talk every day.” It’s like, “Dude, none of it’s real. None of it’s fucking real.” Like, the idea you have in your mind of these words you’re reading on the screen are, like, this weird, idealized conception you have of another person. They’re not like that. Like, this is a fantasy. You are living in a fantasy.
Maddox: That’s what the instructors and parents would tell the kids in this facility.
Dick: Of course!
Maddox: That this is not real. This is fantasy. But the kids actually think the opposite is true.
Maddox: They say that reality…
Dick: (interjects) ‘Cause they’re stupid.
Maddox: Yeah, they say that reality is more fake than the online virtual world. And if you think about it, if you have time to craft your statement and image to another person online, you can make it look and seem however you want, and make it seem…it’s an idealized version of you.
Maddox: Like, if you stutter in real life, you’re not going to stutter online if you’re typing.
Maddox: If you don’t look good in real life, you can make your avatar be whatever you want in real life.
Maddox: That’s why when I brought in the Oculus Rift, I know. I know myself and I know that this is a very…I have a somewhat addictive personality when it comes to technology. I know that I’m gonna get sucked ALL the way in.
Maddox: Full in.
Maddox: I can’t wait for it. And I’ve never played World of Warcraft SPECIFICALLY because I know that I might get addicted to it.
Maddox: I’ve avoided it entirely. Because I know that it’s…it’s one of those things that can just suck you in and not let you out. And I just want to end it on this one last note. One of the fathers was so desperate to get his son back from an online game that he hired assassins to kill him…(Dick cracks up) (Maddox laughs) IN the online game.
Dick: Right, right, right.
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah.
Dick: We all went there! We didn’t need…
Maddox: Okay, yeah. (laughing)
Dick: We all knew that was where you were going!! (laughing) Ohh, OHHHHHH!!!
Maddox: Ohhhhhh!!! (they laugh)
Dick: As in the GAME, oh, I see. I see. (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: So I saw this news report. And it’s actually in the trailer…at the end of the credits in this movie, Web Junkie?
Dick: Yeah. Huh.
Maddox: The news report talks about this father who hired these assassins, and the kid got suspicious because these guys were following him from server to server…
Dick: Oh, my God, that’s funny.
Maddox: And there’s, like, five or six of ‘em constantly killing his son and only his son. (Dick guffaws) And finally he…
Sean: (Interjects) Did he call the virtual cops?! (Maddox laughs)
Dick: Yeah. (laughing) He called the Tumblr police.
Maddox: Yeah. No, he called his own assassin crew. No, he actually confronted these guys and he’s, like, “Guys, leave me alone. I don’t have a problem. It’s not an addiction.” And of course they all say that. They all say that. And they think that these facilities are trying to brain…
Dick: (interjects) Yeah, they do. It’s disgusting.
Maddox: (laughing) They think that these facilities are trying to brainwash them.
Dick: The kids think?
Dick: That the facilities are trying to brainwash them?
Dick: Well…I mean, that’s true.
Dick: You gotta fight a brainwash with a brainwash. The best way to get over drugs is Jesus.
Maddox: Uh…okay. (giggles)
Sean: Well that’s…yeah, it’s super common. Yeah, trading one thing for another.
Dick: Yeah! (scoffs) Yeah.
Sean: Extreme behavior.
Maddox: I guess, but…
Sean: (interjects) But see, those sudden changes almost never last.
Sean: You have to learn it over a gradual period of time.
Maddox: Well, Sean, these facilities, what they do is they take the kids and they have them in a very rigid, structured environment where they have times that they have to do things. They have to do very basic tasks. They teach them how to make their bed, and these kids, a lot of times, in these Internet cafes, they’ll go 30 days without showering.
Dick: Oh, my God!!! (laughs)
Maddox: They’re basically like homeless people.
Dick: That’s disgus….well, it’s like an opium den.
Dick: It sounds like.
Maddox: It’s…weird. It’s a culture that we don’t really experience in the US, because we don’t have that dense impacted environment of people who a) don’t have a huge living space, and b) don’t necessarily have enough money to invest in a high-end computer, so Internet cafes are very popular in certain provinces in China, and certain provinces…it’s actually big in Japan as well.
Maddox: People just spend days living in these cafes.
Dick: You know what these kids need?
Dick: Burning Man.
Dick: No phones, man.
Dick: No Internet! No, like…
Maddox: No showers.
Dick: Uh…you can rig up a shower. (Maddox scoffs, Sean laughs) But you go…this is honestly true. ‘Cause I think the Internet, mostly socially, only serves to make people feel bad about themselves. And going without it for, like, ten days, or a week, or whenever I go, I feel like a better person after I do it. Like, I do think Internet addiction, whatever degree, not to the degree where people are going in closets and getting their heart stabbed, or whatever happened to that gay kid. (Maddox giggles) I think it’s ruining…it’s ruining people’s lives. Like, it’s making life WORSE.
Maddox: Why? Because…
Dick: For everybody. More miserable, more disconnected. Like, um….the urge to compare yourself to the time everyone else is having is always there. Like, okay. Here’s a study that I read that makes me think of it. Guys were asked to rate the attractiveness of, like, their partner, or a girl. Based on not seeing anyone at all.
Dick: And also seeing a bunch of, like, hot chicks.
Dick: And they always rated their partner or the selected girl WAY lower after seeing a bunch of hot chicks.
Dick: Like…it’s making everyone more dissatisfied with their lives.
Dick: ‘Cause all you see is a flood of other things.
Dick: Like, it’s not even necessarily an…not even, like, a palpable envy. It’s just you SEE them. You’re exposed to ‘em. And it makes you appreciate everything you have way less.
Maddox: Yeah. People go out and they have a fun time on their vacation, and they post all those pictures, and you see those pictures and you compare them to your life. And you realize, “Well, my life kinda sucks in comparison.”
Maddox: And some of those…
Dick: (interjects) You download the pictures of THEIR wife in a bikini.
Maddox: Yeah. (background laughter)
Dick: To use later.
Dick: And you’re like, “I think my wife’s hotter, but I don’t know now. I got this other fucking picture.”
Maddox: Or something these pricks come back from an awesome vacation at Burning Man and all they post are fucking pictures of Burning Man!!
Dick: Yeah, it’s horrible. (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: (they talk over each other)
Dick: I hate it too! I hate it too, but I like being totally disconnected.
Maddox: You know what, Dick?
(Sound effect: ‘Ding!’)
Maddox: Vote up Facebook. That’s exactly the problem! Vote up Facebook. I brought it in as a problem.
Dick: Yeah, but they’re making Oculus Rift.
Dick: I dunno.
Dick: But they remind you when your friends’ birthdays are. That’s pretty useful.
Maddox: Yeah, so does a calendar. (they chuckle)
Dick: Alright. Speaking of waste of paper.
Dick: Uh…(Maddox laughs) My biggest problem in the universe is Receipts.
Dick: Yeah. How many receipts…how many receipts have we got in our lives? Like a billion? How many times have you ever used a receipt, twice?
Maddox: Yeah, maybe.
Dick: Three times?
Sean: Very rarely to return something.
Dick: Never. Never.
Dick: But I have a whole c…I have a trash bag of receipts dumped out in my car that looks like I’m…looks like the guy from Seven’s notebook library got shredded into my car. I always have clumps of wadded up paper in my jeans. I’m…you get receipts that are three feet long that you have to fold up like a wallet.
Dick: And stick in your pants. Why? Why do we have…why do we need proof that we bought this thing?
Maddox: Do you…have you heard that Mitch Hedberg joke about donuts?
Dick: No, what is it?
Maddox: He had a joke where he said, “I walked into a donut store and bought a donut, and he gave me a receipt.” And he thought, “At no point in my life…”
Dick: At no point in my life.
Maddox: “…do I need to issue documentation that I purchased this donut.”
Maddox: He said, “You give me donut, I give you cash. End of transaction.”
Dick: That’s it!
Maddox: I don’t need documentation of this purchase.
Dick: No. Why does McDonald’s even give them?!
Dick: When is the one instance in history where someone has needed to prove that they bought an apple pie?
Sean: You know, Starbucks asks you whether you want a receipt or not.
Dick: That’s more offensive!!! They…it should be on YOU! The onus should be on you for asking something that’s totally weird.
Sean: Yeah, that’s true.
Dick: “Hey, can I have proof that I bought this latte?” Like, “I guess I could get a manager to, like, fill out a permission slip that you purchased a coffee here.”
Sean: Well, you would only need it if you need to be reimbursed. Like a runner for a recording studio or something like that.
Sean: You go out and get coffee for all the clients and the band and the engineer and producer and stuff, and then you bring it back and they reimburse you.
Sean: That’s the only time you would need a receipt.
Maddox: Right. That’s the time…and also, the IRS is a big problem here, because if you have to write things off…
Sean: Oh yeah, write-offs.
Maddox: If you take a lot of clients out for dinner. If you buy products for your business, or whatever it is. You have to have documentation that you purchased it, because apparently, your bank statement is not enough?!
Dick: Well, exactly! Like, every time I go…if I ever want to return something, I’m like…”Oh, you got the receipt?” “No. You have my credit card. You do it.”
Dick: You do the fucking legwork.
Dick: Don’t put this on me! You wanna know how much…I did some, like, like…ecology? What do you call it, when you’re trying to save the environment?
Maddox: Uh…(they giggle) you’re just an environmentalist?
Dick: What is that called? I did some pussy research.
Maddox: Pussy research, yeah.
Dick: Oh, environmentalist research. (Sean giggles)
Sean: Pussy research!! (giggles)
Maddox: Environmentalist pussy research.
Dick: Here’s how much waste goes into receipts every…
Maddox: (interjects) Did you…did you…
Dick: (interjects) 640 tons of paper was used for receipts in 2010.
Dick: Yeah. That’s a lot.
Maddox: That’s bonkers.
Dick: That’s 10…that’s 11 billion trees. I don’t even know how many trees that is! That’s a lot of trees! (Maddox chuckles)
Maddox: I think it’s 11 billion.
Dick: It’s a lot of trees.
Maddox: (laughing) Um, Dick, if you…
Dick: That’s one tree for every seven people on Earth! WHOA!!
Maddox: More than that. It’s like…1….1 point…
Dick: (interjects) Oh, you’re right.
Maddox: Like, 1.3. 1.4. Something like that.
Dick: You’re right.
Maddox: Dick if you…are you in favor of emailed receipts?
Dick: No. Those are more offensive to me!
Dick: I don’t want the receipt in the first place.
Dick: I definitely don’t want you to have my email address.
Maddox: Yeah, that’s true.
Dick: Because the whole point of the fucking receipt game is that they print coupons on it now!!!
Maddox: Yeaaaah. I hate it.
Dick: Like, CVS figured it out, that they can scam you into…the system. By giving you, like, these little pittance amounts off of, like, bubble gum or lotion, or whatever.
Dick: Never anything good. They’re never giving discounts on whiskey or beer.
Maddox: What’s worse is that they give you discounts to competing products! “Oh hey, we noticed you’re buying q-tips. Why don’t you buy this other brand of q-tips?” “We noticed you’re buying this shampoo. Buy this other shampoo.” I don’t fucking want this other shampoo! (annoyed) And it’s this endless reel of coupons that just prints out!!
Maddox: I was at…
Sean: (interjects) Why would you pick shampoo? (Dick cracks up loudly)
Maddox: ‘Cause it always seems to be shampoo…
Dick: (interjects) The coupons.
Maddox: Coupons. Yeah.
Dick: The coupon is always worthless to you.
Maddox: Yeah, it’s worthless.
Dick: That’s what you’re getting at. (Sean giggles)
Maddox: Oh, I see what you’re saying, Sean! FUCK YOU, SEAN! It’s not funny! (Sean cackles)
(Sound effect: ‘Wrong’ buzzer)
Maddox: It’s not funny, asshole!
Dick: No, I agree with you! I agree with you! ‘Cause I’m always getting shit like, “Here’s 30 cents off a douchenozzle.”
Dick: Or condoms. (Maddox laughs) Like, I don’t fucking…what in my buying history of grapefruit juice, whiskey, and, like, laundry detergent, makes you think that I want any of this shit? (Maddox laughs)
Maddox: Some coupons for Prozac? (laughs) (background laughter)
Dick: 1.2 billion gallons of water to process all that paper into receipts. WHOA.
Maddox: That’s a LOT. Yeah. That’s a lot of water, a lot of paper being WASTED on this shit.
Dick: And the thermal ink is BPA-based. You know what that…
Maddox: Is it really?
Dick: Yeah. So it’s, like, making you less of a man.
Dick: That’s what that…that’s what BPAs do.
Dick: They shrink your dick, or something. I dunno what they do. They’re very bad to have around kids, though.
Maddox: Well, they’re…so there was that big movement to get BPAs out of plastics and things like that awhile back, right? Are we talking about the same thing?
Dick: Yeah, yeah . So they said, “We did it. We fixed ‘em.” You know what they replaced ‘em with?
Maddox: Yeah, something way worse.
Maddox: Yeah. Which is…
Dick: (interjects) And they don’t know what they do.
Maddox: No. (laughs)
Dick: Well, we got rid of those BPAs.
Dick: And everyone’s like, “Awesome, we nailed it.”
Dick: Way to go, Social Justice Campaign! (grins)
Maddox: Same thing with this…with the whole gluten thing. Everyone was trying to replace gluten with something else in the products, and they were trying to find things that make your food kind of have that elasticity to it that gluten would add.
Maddox: And the things they’re adding to the food are WAY worse for you!
Dick: Yeah. Rubber.
Maddox: Just about, yeah.
Dick: We did it. Fixed it.
Maddox: It’s like these weird polymers and chemicals and things that don’t exist in our universe, and now they’re putting them into the food. That doesn’t necessarily make ‘em bad. I’m not one of these “natural” apologists, where everything has to be natural and from the Earth, ‘cause there’s a lot of things from the Earth…the majority of things from the Earth will KILL you.
Dick: Molten lava.
Maddox: Put that in your fucking burger, idiot.
Dick: (giggles) Oh, man. I really hate receipts. Nordstrom’s has it figured out.
Dick: They put a stick on your item.
Dick: And then they scan the sticker if you bring it back.
Maddox: Dick, were you gonna…are you gonna mention this? The most egregious thing, to me.
Maddox: About receipts, is when they wanna check them as you’re leaving the store.
Dick: Didn’t even think of that, but yeah. I’m incensed by that.
Maddox: I am INCENSED. It’s fucking total bullshit.
Sean: Yeah. Home Depot. Best Buy, places like that.
Maddox: Best Buy.
Maddox: But the SMARMY Best Buy fuckers piss me off the MOST, because they see you!
Maddox: Best Buy, the way they have their lines set up to check out is through this maze, which I’ve been wanting to do a video about this. They create this maze…
Dick: (interjects) You don’t like that maze?
Maddox: No! This maze of merchandise, which is a fire hazard! It’s a fucking fire hazard!!
Maddox: They’re not allowed to CORRAL you through a maze of merchandise! Of film, and snacks, and DVDs that no one fucking wants.
Dick: It’s true. (grins)
Maddox: And all these last-minute purchases.
Maddox: Batteries. All this shit! They’re corralling you through this maze of bullshit, so you’re standing there for a fucking hour!
Dick: It’s a death trap!
Maddox: Yeah. It’s a death trap.
Maddox: If they set up the store like they do those fucking mazes that they have? That they herd people through? They would get shut down in an instant.
Maddox: But for some reason, all the fire codes overlook this big fucking maze that they put in at the front of the store. So those Best Buy fuckers see you walking through this maze for an HOUR, until you get through to one of their dipshit checkers, who don’t understand how to check people out, and someone…OH GOD, they’re paying with a check, so you’re gonna be there for another fucking hour! And then you finally get to the front, and then, “Oh, can I check your receipt?” (angry) Shithead!! Didn’t you just see me walk through the whole fucking line!? What are you gonna check for?! No, you can’t check it!! Did you see me shoplift!? Then FUCK OFF! You can’t check my receipt!
Dick: Yeah, and their reason is always, “Well, we’re just trying to make sure that you got charged for the right things.” Right? Have you ever asked ‘em?
Dick: (interjects) Cause I always like to get in people’s faces, you know.
Dick: Like, when that first started happening, I was like, “Why are you checking my receipt?”
Dick: “Well, we do it for you. To make sure that you got charged for the right things.”
Dick: Like, really? You guys got hired for MY benefit?
Dick: Was there, like, an epidemic of people getting overcharged for items here?
Maddox: Yeah. Mhmm.
Dick: At Best Buy?
Dick: And they determined that paying the dumbest people in the world to read a piece of paper and then glance at a bag like they’re, uh…Gizmoduck pretending that they can, like, count up everything that I have and verify that the….
Dick: Like, no, it’s not. You’re just doing this…I think you’re doing it so you can secretly profile people who are shoplifting.
Dick: Right? Like not…not me. They’re just glancing at mine. But, like, you know. Like a young black kid comes through. I think they’re putting a little bit more scrutiny.
Dick: And, like, holding him up a little bit so they can get a bead on what’s going on there. Um, yeah. I hate receipts.
Maddox: It’s like having a beard after 9/11. (laughs)
Maddox: You don’t…You guys probably don’t know this, but if you look at all ethnic, right after 9/11, I went to an airport, and I got so many “random” screenings, and I would walk over to the line of random screenings, and everyone in the line looked like a Sikh. (laughs) I thought, “Oh, you guys are also RANDOMLY being screened? Okay.” (chuckles)
Dick: Well, you guys should’ve looked into some razors! This show is brought to you by Harry’s. Visit http://www.harrys.com and use promo code BIGGESTPROBLEM to save $5 off your first purchase, whether or not you’re Muslim!! (Maddox laughs) You can use a Harry’s razor to shave your beard. It’s a GREAT feel. It’s the quality of the blade that I cannot stress enough. They’re German engineered, five-blade cartridges. A close, comfortable shave with no cuts or burns. You wanna go to CVS and dick around with receipts the size of the Bible in your pants? Or do you wanna place an order, online, not have to deal with anyone offering you a receipt, and just have it arrive at your doorstep?
Maddox: Yeah. That. I want that.
Dick: That’s obviously the choice.
Maddox: I want the second one. (chuckles)
Dick: Yeah. Why pay $32 for an eight-pack of blades and a receipt, when you can just get them for half the price at http://www.harrys.com.
Maddox: NO RECEIPTS! (laughs)
Dick: And no receipts. They won’t even email you a receipt! That’s not true. They’ll obviously email you a…
Maddox: (interjects) They’ll send you a receipt, yeah.
Dick: Because you can get your money back if you’re not satisfied.
Maddox: Hey, you…you know what? They…Harry’s leaves the choice up to you whether or not you want to print that receipt!
Dick: Yeah! (giggles)
Maddox: Yeah. (background giggle) What other company does that? (they all laugh)
Dick: You know what? I want them to start writing receipts. That’s how to fix this. Or I’m just…maybe the solution is to just throw the receipts!
Dick: Like, get it out of the machine, and then rip it up into pieces and throw it all over the store.
Dick: Like there…at what point does this cost more for you to clean up than it does for you to make?
Dick: I wanna find that point.
Maddox: Yeah. It’s probably already past that! Those POS machines, they have to have those thermal ink printers.
Maddox: To print those…those are expensive.
Dick: Those cancer printers.
Maddox: Oh, my gosh. And all the time, they have to go get another reel of paper. I wonder how many hours or productivity is wasted every year on refilling those fucking cartridges!
Maddox: Yeah. Billions.
Dick: Billions. Not the biggest waste, but one of the biggest.
Maddox: One of the biggest. (giggles)
Dick: Yeah. That’s the move. That’s the move.
Sean: See, Harry’s spends that time just making better blades.
Dick: They do make great blades. Go to http://www.harrys.com and use the promo code BIGGESTPROBLEM to save $5 off your first purchase.
Maddox: Sean brings it back! I was waiting for it!! Thank you, Sean.
Dick: What’s your next problem?
Maddox: Thank you, Harry’s, and thank you guys for supporting the show.
Maddox: It means a lot. And keep the tweets coming. Harry’s loves them. We love ‘em. Uh, it’s awesome product, awesome merchandise. Guys, great job! However, I got a real buzzkill. I got a real buzzkill of a problem.
Dick: You do?
Maddox: Yeah. CONFIRMATION BIAS!
(Sound effect: ‘Ding!’)
Dick: Oh, boy.
(Sound effect: Clapping)
Dick: That’s a big problem, though.
Maddox: Big problem!! (giggles)
Dick: You wanna bring in, like a small problem? (giggles)
Maddox: Nah, I can run through this pretty quick.
Dick: I don’t like when you run through it, though. You have so many good observations on things.
Maddox: I d…thank you, Dick. (they laugh) (Dick starts to cackle)
Sean: This is how well I know Dick.
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah.
Sean: Not even half a percent of that was sincere in any way.
Maddox: I know. I know. I know. (Dick laughs, sighs)
Dick: Ahh, come on.
Sean; Sorry to pull the covers, but…
Dick: Half a percent.
Dick: How many percents are there total?
Sean: Not that many.
Maddox: Lot of backhanded compliments in this show. Dick, this is from Science Daily. I know you’ll love this observation, since I have so many good ones. Uh, this is from Science Daily. It says, “In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias, or confirmatory bias, is the tendency to search for an interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions, leading to statistical errors.”
Maddox: Big problem!
Dick: Yeah. It’s the basis of friendship, though, really. When you think about it.
Maddox: Confirmation bias? (background chuckles)
Dick: Yeah. (Maddox laughs) I don’t wanna hang around people that disagree with me…too much.
Maddox: Yeah. Yeah, confirmation bias is a big, big problem. It’s a phenomenon wherein decision makers have been shown to actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis and ignore or underweight evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis.”
Maddox: This is…in essence why people believe in goofy shit.
Maddox: There’s two big reasons. First, they don’t research it. Second, confirmation bias.
Maddox: When they do research it, this is especially true of you conspiracy dipshits. The Sandy Hook truthers. The 9/11 truthers.
Maddox: The Oklahoma City Bombing truthers.
Dick: Yeah. I know what you’re saying.
Maddox: All the birthers.
Dick: (laughing) Yeah.
Maddox: If you have some goofy belief, like, especially for conspiracy theories, they’ll go to websites that specifically reaffirm their points of view. Look, guys, if your website…if your source has the word “world” or “truth” or “.tv” in it, it’s bullshit.
Maddox: I’m specifically referring to worldtruth.tv.
Maddox: Uh…(laughs) There’s also Infowars. All these conspiracy websites. Now, here’s…oilempire.us….
Dick: (interjects) Huffington Post.
Maddox: Yeah, Huffington Post is garbage!
Maddox: Here’s how you can tell if your website is garbage. If you go to one of these websites, say they’re an alternate news website, like worldtruth.tv or Info Wars. Look at the research that they have in there, right? They make a claim, and then they have to link to a source. I mean, they usually don’t, but if they do make a claim and they, once in a blue moon, link to a source. That source is usually another conspiracy website. So I did this research.
Dick: That links back to them.
Maddox: I did this research a while back, and I clicked on one of these links. It took me to another conspiracy website, and I looked at the source for them, and their source is the other conspiracy website! They’re just pointing to each other!
Dick: Rock solid.
Dick: Solid studies.
Sean: People don’t follow through. They find the answer they’re looking for, and then just stop there.
Sean: It’s like finding your car keys.
Sean: You don’t keep looking afterwards.
Dick: Hah, that’s a good point. Yeah.
Sean: I hope.
Dick: Yeah. (grins)
Maddox: When I’m doing writing or research, it’s very rare that I don’t look for information that is a conflicting point of view. Because you have to be prepared for that argument. ‘Cause it’s gonna come up.
Maddox: Like, for example, when I wrote the…my article about I Fucking Love Science, a long time ago. Where it said, “You don’t fucking love science, you love science photography.” In that article, I predicted the argument people were gonna make was, like, “So what?” People would just like science photography, what’s the big deal? And I addressed that argument in the article.
Maddox: Before people even brought it up to me. You have to do that research, because otherwise it doesn’t…your argument is not going to be strong.
Dick: I know what you’re saying. I did the same thing when I wrote…when I wrote Men are Better than Women, I read this book called, “The Top 1000 Female Inventors” in history.
Maddox: There’s such a book?
Dick: Just kidding. (laughs)
Maddox: Yeah, I didn’t think so. (Dick laughs) ‘Cause when I wrote the Alphabet of Manliness, in my Enlightenment section…
Dick: You like that one, Randy? (laughs)
Maddox: Yeah. No, this is actually a fact. I wrote this and I talked about this on public radio, on PRI? NPR, PRI?
Maddox: I went on this and I did an interview. And I told them how when I was doing research for my book, I was actually looking for female inventors, ‘cause in my enlightenment section, I said everything…everything anyone has invented worthwhile was invented by a man. And then I…I thought, “Well, just out of curiosity, I wonder what female inventors there are.” So I went to the Wikipedia page of female inventors. Guess what? Doesn’t exist.
(Sound effect: ‘Wrong’ buzzer)
Dick: That’s too bad.
Maddox: This was in 2004, when I wrote this book. That’s when I looked for this Wikipedia page of female inventors. It didn’t exist back then, and it doesn’t exist today!
Sean: You’re kidding.
Dick: It doesn’t exist today?
Maddox: Nope. It still doesn’t exist.
Dick: It hasn’t…has someone tried to make it and it got deleted?
Maddox: No! There’s no…there’s black inventors. There’s Muslim inventors. There’s even a page for ARMENIAN inventors! There’s no female inventor page on Wikipedia!!
Dick: What did they invent? How to make a BMW blue?
Maddox: No, shithead!! (they crack up) First of all, it’s Mercedes. Dick.
Dick: Oh, you’re right. I’m sorry. SORRY for shitting on your heritage and culture!! (Maddox and Dick laugh) How to hang blue curtains upside down!
Maddox: No, dickhead, that’s PERSIAN, asshole!! You’re getting all your stereotypes wrong!! (Dick laughs) (Maddox chuckles) No!
Dick: Wait, why isn’t there a page on female inventors?
Dick: ‘Cause there are…there are SOME.
Maddox: Good question.
Dick: Like, but…why isn’t there a page on it?
Maddox: Yeah, well…so I looked into it, and I did a lot of research to try to find these female inventors. There are some.
Maddox: Uh, the woman who invented…the person who invented Teflon, I believe, is female.
Dick: Yeah, Kevlar also.
Maddox: Kevlar? Yeah. Kevlar. The board game Monopoly. Although I don’t think she got credit for it. And then the person who invented the straw hat was a woman.
Maddox: Because most of the things that were…
Dick: Ada Lovelace invented…you know. Computers.
Maddox: Yeah, there is…there was a…who was it? No, she did a lot of the programming for…
Dick: Hedy Lamarr, I think, too.
Maddox: Yeah. She did a lot of programming for…what was it? The…
Dick: (interjects) Couple of radar things.
Maddox: Yeah. So anyway, I was on NPR, and I mentioned this fact.
Dick: Oh here you go, wait. Randy’s pulling this up. He says there is one.
Maddox: What, for…
Dick: (interjects) It says “Category: Women Inventors”
Maddox: Where? Lemme see.
Dick: He’s pulled it up on his phone.
Maddox: Oh, maybe they just added it.
Dick: I’m looking at it. Don’t grab.
Sean: No, but there’s no drop down.
Dick: What do you mean, there’s no drop down?
Sean: I mean it’s blank, that section.
Dick: Oh, no, no, no. There’s a lot of em on here.
Maddox: Let’s see! I’m curious when….I’m curious when that was created.
Dick: Here’s one: Thomas Abbott. Uh-oh. That doesn’t sound…
Maddox: (interjects) No, that doesn’t…
Dick: (interjects) I’m just kidding. No, that’s not really on there. But there it is. Go look at it.
Maddox: Category. Women inventors. Oh, this is…yeah, this is new, actually. Pages and women.
Dick: Look, we did it. We did it, guys.
Maddox: 132 pages are in this category out of 132 total. This list may not reflect recent changes. I’m curious…
Dick: (interjects) 132.
Maddox: I’m curious when this…’cause this didn’t exist when I was doing the research for my book.
Dick: Okay, so…solved that problem.
Maddox: Anyway, so I mentioned this on public radio, and I got an email from this nice old lady who said that female inventors do indeed exist, and she wanted to send me a book. She sent me this book, it was something like 1800 pages. This giant book about women in history. And she had bookmarked one or two pages about the inventions that they created.
Maddox: Uh, and that was it. Even this book…that’s all they had in it.
Dick: Well, they’ve been busy with a lot of chores.
Dick: Let’s be serious.
Dick: No, that’s true. Like, the invention of the washing machine and the dishwasher freed up their time. (background groans) No, that’s NOT sexist!! That’s not…that’s literal…that’s true!
Sean: That they invented the washing machine and dishwasher?
Dick: The invention of, like, the thing…machines to take care of basic household chores.
Sean: Oh, oh, oh! Sure.
Dick: Like, that’s a tremendous amount of work! I mean, I don’t wanna get off onto a tangent.
Sean: I thought you were…no, no, you’re right. I thought that you were saying that they invented those things.
Dick: No, I don’t think so. Go ahead, go ahead.
Maddox: Real quick though, Randy interjected with some information about the…the female inventors Wikipedia page. It actually didn’t exist until 2012.
Dick: Okay. Thank God.
Maddox: This is a relatively recent phenomenon.
Dick: Okay. (giggles)
Maddox: For six years in between the time that I wrote that note, what was that…
Dick: (interjects) Your book?
Maddox: Eight years. Eight years it took, when I was doing research for the Alphabet of Manliness, there was no Female Inventors Wikipedia page.
Dick: So women figured out how to use Wikipedia in that time.
Maddox: Yeah. (giggles)
Dick: Dangerous. Dangerous signs….ahead. (giggles)
Maddox: So confirmation bias, guys. Big problem. (laughing)
Dick: And you can tell, because this conversation would have gone a lot different if Robin were in the room. (laughs)
Maddox: Yeah. Chemistry teacher, Robin. Very smart. Anyway, there’s a book called, “You Are Not so Smart”. It’s actually a really fascinating book about cognitive biases. I recommend everyone check it out. Anyway, there’s this section they wrote about confirmation bias. And it says, “The truth is, your opinions are a result of years of paying attention to information which confirmed what you believed while ignoring information which challenged your preconceived notions.” So he gave an example of the movie…he said “Sometimes you might think of an old movie.” Like the Golden Child. The Golden Child is a movie with…
Dick: (interjects) With Eddie Murphy?
Maddox: Eddie Murphy, yeah!
Maddox: The Eddie Murphy movie. He says, “Have you ever had a conversation in which some old movie was mentioned, something like the Golden Child, or maybe even something more obscure, and then you’re flipping through channels, like, the next day, and you might see that movie playing, and you read some news story about it the day after, and then you see some of the actors in it, in another movie? This isn’t the universe trying to tell you something. It’s called the Frequency Illusion, and it’s a confirmation bias.”
Maddox: It’s also like, in…Curb Your Enthusiasm…Larry David…there’s this episode where he starts driving a Prius, I think a silver Prius.
Maddox: And then everywhere he goes, he starts seeing silver Priuses.
Maddox: And he always waves to the other drivers. That’s confirmation bias.
Maddox: You notice the car that you’re driving on the road way more frequently than any other car.
Dick: Yeah, that’s pretty annoying to hear about.
Maddox: Yeah. Um…
Dick: It is.
Maddox: Confirmation bias is annoying, and it’s annoying enough when you’re arguing with idiots online, but it has some real world implications that can cost people billions of dollars. This is from a study from the University of Iowa, from Science Daily. They found that once people reach a conclusion that they aren’t likely to change their minds, even when new information shows that their initial belief is wrong, and clinging to that belief sometimes costs real world money. Equity analysts who issue written forecasts about the stock market may be subject to this confirmation bias, and they do not let new data significantly reverse or revise their initial analysis.
Sean: It’s almost like your ego gets in the way.
Maddox: Yeah! It has…it has something to do with that, Sean. Uh, confirmation bias in student traders participating in the Iowa Electronic Markets over a 10-year period, during which they bought and sold real money contracts to predict the four-week opening box office of receipts. Eh, Dick? Big problem. For new movies. The students analyzed markets for a total of 18 movies.
Dick: Oh, I get it. I got it.
Maddox: Yeah. (giggles)
Maddox: They analyzed the market for 18 movies released between 1998 and the year 2008, and the research shows that even as the key first weekend box office receipts were reported, the prices that they predicted stayed remarkably stable as traders ignored new value-relevant information and continued to rely on their initial estimates. This is…that has huge implications on the stock market. If these investors, right? They believe in a drug, or they believe in a product, they’re going to push it through to the bitter end.
Maddox: And part of it has to do with another cognitive bias called “Escalation Commitment”, which refers to the phenomenon of investors rationalizing their bad decisions in investments, in spite of increasingly negative outcomes. It’s related to the sunk cost fallacy, and has implications in business, politics, and gambling, and it’s also called the “Irrational Escalation Phenomenon”.
Maddox: Huge problem. This phenomenon was also seen in the US. Uh, the US’s involvement in Vietnam through the 60s and 70s. We spent so much money and blood and tears and sweat in Vietnam.
Dick: We watched our buddies die face down in the muck.
Maddox: Face down in the mud.
Maddox: Yeah. On marked gra…(giggles)
Dick: At _____, and _________. And Da Nang.
Sean: You’re not wrong, Walter. You’re just an asshole. (they laugh)
Dick: Yeah, I get what you’re saying. I think that some of this comes from, like, a human trait that is good. Wherein you just can’t give up. Like, the idea that it’s gonna turn around at the last minute, you know? You could say that…I get in the long run, maybe this shows that confirmation bias is bad. I don’t know! I don’t know if you’re bringing in those stats or not, but certainly, achieving something great takes a tremendous amount of dedication in the face of adversity. That’s what I’m…that’s the point I’m trying to make. And that drive, that makes tremendous things, you know. The drive that you could accredit for shit like setting off on huge explorations, like finding the country. Going to the moon. All this great shit that we’ve ever done, maybe comes from the same place a little bit, I think. Just…the idea of…”You know what? Despite what I see in front of me, I have faith that this is gonna get better. I’m gonna keep doing it.” Do you think? A little bit? Two sides of the same coin? And don’t you fucking dare say “No” in like two seconds, like you always do.
Maddox: No, I…(they crack up laughing) Uh, no. I think that confirmation…so, here’s the thing, Dick. You mentioned something. That confirmation bias can work to your advantage sometimes.
Maddox: There’s optimistic and pessimistic confirmation bias. This actually dovetails perfectly into this next source.
Maddox: This is from a book called Ethics and the Global Financial Crisis.
Dick: What was the first word?
Maddox: Ethics. Yeah, I know you don’t know what this is, Dick! (annoyed)
Dick: What’s eth…
Maddox: (interjects) You don’t know ethics or empathy! “The research on judgment aggregation makes abundantly clear that the order in which boards or other bodies deal with a particular item on the agenda radically influences the ultimate decision.” So this is a type of confirmation bias. They talk about optimistic and pessimistic confirmation bias in this chapter.
Maddox: And they found there’s…there’s research that shows that merely presenting. The order in which you present information changes the outcome.
Dick: Sure, yeah.
Maddox: Because whatever information you hear first, you’re more likely to believe than any information that comes after.
Maddox: Even if they’re weighed equally.
Dick: Yeah. And rhyming it! Rhyming it helps, too.
Maddox: Rhyming it?
Dick: Even if the rhyme’s stupid.
Maddox: That…that actually may be the case, because in the OJ Simpson trial, what’s his name…
Dick: (interjects) Doesn’t fit, you must acquit!
Maddox: You must acquit, yeah!
Sean: I was just gonna say. But the opening…his plea was absolutely 100% not guilty.
Dick: What do you mean?
Sean: That was powerful. That’s what he said! And that was…
Dick: (interjects) Oh that’s what OJ said?
Sean: And that was Johnny Cochrane’s…yes!
Sean: Instead of “not guilty”, he was very adamant about not being guilty, and that was…
Sean: You know, you think back to that, that’s a pretty heavy statement. It’s like, “Who would lie about that?” If you…
Sean: …you know, gild the lily to that extent.
Dick: It’s true.
Maddox: Yeah. That is a lot of gilding on that lily. Uh..(giggles)
Sean: Fuck you!
Maddox: (laughing) Fuck you, Sean!
Dick: Hey, you know what? Make Maddox frown. Vote this problem down.
Maddox: Fuck you, Dick! (Dick cackles) Eat shit.
Sean: Did you try to push the buzzer? (they laugh)
Maddox: No, I didn’t. I was thinking about it. Um, so the German Parliament in 1991 changed the order of proceedings during the vote that determined the future capital of unified Germany, and the outcome of which city got funded changed depending on the order that they presented it in.
Maddox: “Research in psychology has shown moreover that the mere order in which one receives information influences the beliefs one ultimately forms. The effect is an interplay of confirmation bias and the sunk cost fallacy and other phenomena.” So supposed that I’m neutral with respect to whether a product should be marketing, and I that I receive optimistic information concerning the product. Then I am on the whole more likely to disregard negative information about that product.
Dick: Sure. That’s confirmation bias?
Maddox: That’s confirmation bias.
Dick: ‘Cause you heard the first one first?
Dick: Oh, alright.
Maddox: And that’s why it’s notoriously difficult to get people to stop using the fucking iPhone, even though it’s a garbage phone. Today…
Dick: (interjects) Oh, here we go. (annoyed)
Maddox: Today, objectively, it’s a garbage phone. The battery doesn’t last long. It overheats. There’s a lot of features missing from it. It’s an outdated phone and they’re still playing catchup with other phones on the market.
Dick: (interjects) Yeah, but cool people use it.
Maddox: No. No cool people use iPhones.
Dick: Movie stars use iPhones.
Maddox: Zero. Zero. You like movie stars?
Dick: Well, they use them.
Maddox: They’re not cool.
Dick: They’re talking about them.
Dick: Musicians are talking about iPhones. They’re not talking about Androids. Please.
Maddox: No. That’s not true.
Dick: Right? I’m doing a jerk-off motion, you can’t see it.
Maddox: Yeah, no, you’re…
Dick: (interjects) I’m explaining to the people at home.
Maddox: Nah, cool people use Nokias. (Dick giggles) Nokias…Sonatas…
Dick: (interjects) Survey says………..BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. (‘Wrong’ buzzer imitation)
Maddox: Yeah. No. Nokias are the coolest.
Dick: Alright. Is that your problem? That’s a pretty good problem.
Maddox: Anyway, man. Yeah. Confirmation bias. Huge problem. And…it affects us all. Especially when you’re arguing with people online.
Dick: I got a real important problem, but, I mean, I don’t have the time for it.
Maddox: (scoffs, snorts) Let’s get to it.
Dick: It’s called Burning Your Mouth on Hot Food.
Maddox: Oh yeah?
Dick: On food that’s too hot. (Maddox chuckles)
Dick: Too Hot of Food To Burn Your Mouth On?
Maddox: Yeah. Another…
(Sound effect: ‘Wrong’ buzzer)
Maddox: Another incompetence problem.
Dick: What do you mean, incompetence?
Maddox: It’s a problem of incompetence.
Dick: Maddox, who can resist a hot pizza? You think that’s incompetent?
Maddox: You just wait, like, 30 seconds.
Dick: But then it’s too cold, and it’s disgusting.
Maddox: No, it’s not too cold.
Dick: You could’ve had it when it was perfect and melty and cheesy.
Maddox: Is it perfect, or is it too hot, Dick?
Dick: That’s the risk you take! You have to b…’cause you don’t know until the top of your mouth melts off! Whether it was too hot or not. ‘Cause you can touch it with your fingers, but that’s different skin! Like, there’s…science has no way to tell you that…or the soup? Is that better for you?
Maddox: Yeah, fine.
Dick: The soup might be too hot. The coff…the tea might be too hot? The coffee might be too hot?
Maddox: Dick…it’s never a problem. You take a spoonful of soup, and you blow on it until…you blow on it until you feel like it’s too much. And then you put it in your mouth and see the temperature…
Dick: (interjects) Burned.
Maddox: And then blow it a little bit less next time, and a little bit less, until you get just the right temperature.
Dick: Maddox, you already burned your mouth.
Maddox: No…yeah, I…
Dick: (interjects) As soon as you put it in your mouth, it’s burned.
Maddox: I never burn my mouth, buddy!
Dick: I got an explanation from a dentist why that’s the case.
Maddox: Oh yeah?
Dick: It’s because the skin…the masticatory mucosa is keratinized, stratified, squamous epithelium, and it’s only a couple millimeters in thickness.
Dick: So it burns very easily. That’s what hangs off the roof of your mouth when you burn your mouth. Disgusting!
Maddox: Crystal clear.
Dick: And then you’re stuck…you can’t escape it! You can’t escape it for a week! It takes, like, a week to heal, and it’s in there dingling and dangling around!
Maddox: Yeah, so just don’t be a dumb shit and burn your mouth.
Dick: Okay. Don’t be a dumb shit.
Maddox: Don’t be a dumb shit! (giggles)
Dick: Don’t be a dumb shit and be a confirmation bias!! Like…
Maddox: What?! (laughs)
Dick: Don’t be a dumb shit and just look at all opinions equally. What’s the difference?!
Maddox: No, these are…ugh.
Dick: What’s the different? Don’t be a dumb shit and stay on the computer until you’re dead!
Maddox: No!! It’s…it’s a…
Dick: (interjects) Don’t be a dumb stick and jam a q-tip all the way into your brain!
Maddox: Is this a big problem, Dick? Are millions of people just burning their mouths, ‘cause they’re idiots, so they put food in their mouths too quickly?
Maddox: Billions? (giggles)
Dick: Of people are burning their mouths ‘cause they put food in their mouths too quickly.
Maddox: Yeah. Not raw. Not the raw diet idiots. Those blowhards.
Dick: Here’s some solutions for if you burn your mouth.
Dick: Some ice.
Maddox: Yeah. (giggles)
Dick: What’s the point of that? It’s too late. (Maddox giggles) I already burned my mouth, I don’t wanna suck on a bunch of ice.
Maddox: Yeah, and also, ice makes your mouth feel even worse sometimes, because it’s too cold!
Dick: Yeah. It’s much too cold. You’re making it worse. And it’s still gonna be in there for a week.
Dick: Being raw and shitty. Drink milk, this dentist says.
Maddox: That’s true.
Dick: What am I, a baby? (Maddox scoffs, laughs) Drinking milk over here?
Maddox: You drink it with a nice beverage.
Dick: Gargle with salt water. No one’s doing that. Dentists always say to gargle with salt water. No one ever does it.
Maddox: (sighs) Yeah. I’ve done that before. When you have toothaches, it sometimes helps.
Dick: That’s like a cartoon. A toothache?
Dick: Gargle some salt water?
Maddox: No, it helps with that.
Dick: Oh, I gotta mention. This problem was sent in by…Known As The Pro. Sent me that one.
Maddox: Known As The Pro.
Dick: These fucking names. Alright, that’s my problem. Let’s wrap it up.
Maddox: Okay. (giggles) You got anything else, Dick?
Dick: No, I don’t think I really need to sell this one. Everybody knows…a hot pie? Put a hot pie in your mouth?
Dick: Burned it. Gone.
Maddox: You mean like a Hot Pocket, type thing?
Dick: A hot…oh, my God!!
Maddox: Hot Pockets!
Dick: All the worst of these!
Maddox: Yeah, Hot Pockets…you know, it’s…yeah. Hot Pockets are the WORST offenders when it comes to burning your mouth. That’s something you can’t really tell the temperature until you bite into it.
Dick: Thank you.
Dick: Thank you for giving me that, at least.
Maddox: I’ll give you that. I’ll give you that. I’ll give you that, Dick.
Dick: You prick. (they laugh)
Maddox: I mean, what’s…this is such a silly…(laughing) What’s the worst you’ve ever burnt your mouth!?
Dick: That’s why my face is so small!! (they laugh) I burnt the whole thing off, I had to get a face transplant.
(Sound effect: ‘Ding!’)
Maddox: Alright, Dick. Good job!
(Sound effect: Clapping)
Maddox: Big problem.
Dick: Play the music. It’s a big problem. (Maddox chuckles) It’s obviously a big problem. How many…look, are you more at risk of getting your mouth burned on hot food, or by getting addicted to the Internet?
Dick: I’m never gonna play World of Warcraft. Never.
Maddox: But you’re addicted to Facebook!
Dick: I am n…I NEVER go on Facebook! NEVER!
Maddox: Okay. I don’t know what you’re addicted to, Dick!
Maddox: Yeah, there you go.
Dick: And drugs. (laughing) What do you mean, you don’t know what I’m addicted to?! (they laugh)
Maddox: Okay. I think that the Internet addiction…look. Burning your mouth is a minor inconvenience. I don’t think anyone’s ever died from burning their mouths, and if they have, it’s probably on the order of tens of people! But Internet addiction is something that they now have to address in rehabilitation. AM I REALLY DEFENDING THIS?!! Do I have to argue this point!?
Dick: Yeah, ‘cause I think you’re wrong! I think burning your mouth is a way bigger problem than some people in China getting addicted to the Internet!
Maddox: Yeah. Great. We’ll see what the…how the idiots vote this time. (Dick laughs) And go ahead! And punish me, punitively! Vote for Dick’s pro…I don’t give a shit!! You guys are all morons! (angry) I’ve already written you off, especially with that whole brakes fiasco! You guys are all idiots! Morons! Dipshits!
Dick: Send Maddox south!
(Closing riff starts)
Dick: Vote for Burning Your Mouth!! (rhymes)
Maddox: Yeah. (background laughter) Go fuck yourself, Dick! (Dick laughs) Go fuck yourself well!! (they all laugh)
Dick: That didn’t rhyme.
Maddox: Yeah, it didn’t rhyme! (they laugh) I don’t give a shit!!!
Dick: Ah, okay. Oh, my God. I got the most…okay. I’m just gonna play this. It’s the most interesting thing. This guy made a…Brent Moran. Uh, results of drinking and programming. Made with Markov processes run on transcripts of the show, simulating Maddox’s speech patterns. He simulated your speech using a Markov process.
Maddox: Fucking nerd!
Dick: The predicted t…okay. (sighs) Okay.
Dick: You’re calling someone a nerd?
Maddox: Well he predicted that, I’m sure, with his Markov model. Let’s see what…what do you got?
Dick: Let’s see. So this, for the people who don’t know, this is a predictive text based on what Maddox has said on the show.
Maddox: Let’s hear it.
Dick: Okay. Here’s the…I have two. Here’s the first one.
(Clip starts, Maddox’s robot voice:
“Hi. I’m virtual Maddox. This is how I talk. (Maddox giggles) Okay, but there are pedophiles out there. People get busted for, you know, child porn, and being attracted to kids all the time. They buy shows, and this is something that iPhone users cannot seem to, because…”
Dick: It’s true! (Maddox laughs) Yeah.
“…they love Jon Stewart so much. And say, “Oh, I won. I earned this.” (Maddox laughs) ‘Cause I didn’t. You didn’t.”
Dick: That’s true!
“If you benefit from nepotism, you didn’t earn your credit. That’s what Nic Cage has done. That’s what Sophia Coppola has done.”)
Dick: That sounded like you!!!
Dick: That was three pretty big you-isms!!
Maddox: Yeah. Well, he mentioned three of my problems I brought in. I don’t know…
Dick: (interjects) You talk about those all the time!! iPhones…
Maddox: (interjects) I’ve never mentioned Nic Cage on the show, or Sophia Coppolla. What are you talking about?
Dick: Well, you probably did on the Nepotism problem. These are from ALL transcripts of the show, he ran this on.
Sean: Yeah, you definitely did. I can remember that conversation.
Dick: There you go.
Maddox: Oh, okay, maybe. Look, I don’t give a shit. (Dick laughs) Shut up, Sean!!!
Dick: There you go!! (giggles) Citation needed.
Maddox: Tired of your little jabs! And also, one other thing, I don’t think I start a sentence. If I’m gonna make a point, I don’t say “You know…” That’s more of a Dick-ism, I think.
Dick: I don’t say “you know”.
Maddox: You say “You know”. And you also say, “That’s my point.” You say that a lot.
Dick: I say that, sure.
Maddox: And then you say…
Dick: (interjects) ‘Cause that hammers it in.
Maddox: “All I’m saying is.” Yeah, and then you say, “All I’m saying is…” and then you repeat yourself. That’s your Dick-ism. Does he have a Markov model for you?
Dick: No, no one cares how I talk.
Maddox: Yeah, okay. (scoffs)
(clip starts, Maddox’s robot voice:
“Hi, I’m virtual Maddox. This is how I talk.”
Maddox: It’s not how I talk.
“A vinyl moron…between every beat of a song, there is silence, right? Well, there is a reason. That was 11, and that’s because there were 11 tracks on the U2 album. Yeah, well, I’m not saying CEOs shouldn’t make any money, but this is a huge big deal.”
Dick: Oh, talking about CEOs.
“Right, of course. Right. Yeah. Okay. Well, because it’s costing them 8.5 million to clean up. So that’s without the ban. It’s costing them almost nothing in fuel. Right. Because unless this bag weighs more than, like, 20, 30, pounds, which most of them, like, a little carry on, they’re starting to create a new technology that…yeah.”)
Maddox: Oh, my gosh!
Dick: That is exactly like listening to you, isn’t it?!
Maddox: Yeah, yeah. Fuck you, Dick!! (they crack up)
Dick: There’s a lot more, but I’ll…
Maddox: (interjects) All that guy…
Dick: but I’ll put it on the website.
Maddox: All that guy did was just take quotes of mine, of course it sounds like me. They’re…they’re direct quotes of mine.
Dick: Look, I don’t know. I don’t know how he…how he established his processes, or whatever.
Dick: Maybe he can explain it.
Maddox: He just took sentences that I’ve said and then strung them together. I…I remember some of those quotes VERBATIM.
Dick: You’re calling him a fraud?
Maddox: I don’t know what the point of the experiment is.
Maddox: If you’re trying to mimic someone’s speech patterns, it’s pretty easy to do if you listen to a couple of their sentences.
Maddox: Because they…(stammers) especially what’s important to me, what’s interesting to me about that is the cadence and rhythm with which someone talks. You, Dick, have a much slower cadence than I do.
Dick: Yeah. ‘Cause I’m thinking a lot.
Maddox: And you can see it. Oh, yeah. (they all laugh)