Solution: The Corporation [00:16:49]

Solution: Critical Thinking [00:37:22]

Solution: Cuteness [00:55:59]

Solution: Boxes [01:04:14]


The Biggest Solution in the Universe - Episode 8


Transcription courtesy of: Megan Pennock


(heavy metal theme riff)


Maddox: Welcome to The Biggest Solution in the Universe, I'm Maddox. With me is Dick Masterson.


Dick: Hey!! What's up, buddy? (smiling)


Maddox: And Sean, our audio engineer. Poor Sean, who nobody can spell his name correctly. Everyone in the comments is an idiot. You have misspelled Sean's name every possible misspelling that there is. S-H-A-W-N, S-H-A-U-N...


Dick: C-I-A-N. I saw that, I think.


Maddox: Yeah.


Sean: No. (scoffing)


Dick: No, I didn't. 


Sean: You can spell it S-H-A-W-N. I mean, not MINE.


Maddox: Not yours! It's not your name! And you know what's weird too, is that we consistently spell it correctly. Dick, am I spelling it wrong in the posts in the...


Dick: No! 


Maddox: ...the episode? I'm not, right?


Dick: No, I got an email though regarding "Maddox" spelled M-A-T-T-I-X? Or something like that?


Maddox: Ma-..."Mattix."


Dick: So it's catching on. 


Maddox: Oh, he spe-...he misspelled MY name?


Dick: He spelled your name wrong.


Maddox: What a fuckin' idiot!!


Dick: Yeah. 


Maddox: You can't! It's in the URL for my website! (Dick laughs)


Dick: I don't know.


Maddox: What are you goin' to,


Dick: I don't know!


Maddox: Douche.


Sean: I think people are getting less and less detail-oriented.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Yeah!


Sean: Like the...they don't pay attention to the little shit.


Dick: Is that a problem, Sean? (grins)


Maddox: It sounds like a big problem, Sean!


Dick: Are you bringing in another problem? (laughs with Maddox) Less and less detail-oriented?


Sean: Maybe!


Maddox: Ahhh, yes. ('ding!' sound effect)


Dick: Okay, so before we start, before we start with the "who won last month"...


Maddox: Nobody won.


Dick: ...uh, I've been teasing the Sean problem. I teased it last week, I think I teased it a little bit before that. (Sean exhales irritatedly)


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: But the Sean problem where Sean brought in a problem, he deleted it in post, and then I went back, I pulled it out of the garbage -- I pulled the audio files out of the backup -- and I had them...I transcribed them, and I had them read by another person. Because my theory is when you hear your own words read by someone else, your, uh...your filter, your judgment of those words will be different. That's my theory. Because Sean, you're a very hard judge on yourself. Is...would you say that's true?


Sean: Yeah, that's true!


Dick: Yeah.


Sean: For good reason!


Dick: Well, okay. (Maddox laughs) But we're gonna see! So I got another guy to read your words, almost seamlessly. Like, you can't can barely tell it's another guy, which -


Maddox: (interjects) Dick, you played a sample of this for me, and I couldn't tell. I thought, "Well, what's the difference? What have you...what have you changed here?" (smiles)


Dick: Would you like to hear a samp-...another sample of it? I've got a new one.


Maddox: I would love to. Let's hear it.


Dick: Okay, here is the intro from the fateful show where Sean's problem was deleted.


Maddox: This was the anniversary episode, correct?


Dick: Yes.


Maddox: Okay.


Dick: I'm gonna play it right now, and you tell me where the real Sean ends and where the fake Sean begins.


Maddox: Alright. (chuckling) [Dick plays altered clip from Episode 52]


(regular theme riff)


Maddox: And this is "Shawn" with S-H-A-W-N, right?


Dick: Yeah. (laughing) Yes.


Maddox: The fake Sean, yeah.


Dick: Yes. (both laugh)


Maddox: Welcome to The Biggest Problem in the Universe! With me is Dick Masterson.


Dick: Hey! What's up, buddy?


Maddox: And Sean, our audio engineer.


Voice Actor as Sean: (extremely deep voice, sounds like Barry White) Hey, gentlemen. (Dick and Maddox laugh hysterically)


Maddox: We have made it...guys, gentlemen, we have made it one year old this episode! This show is one year old. (clapping sound effect)


[clip ends]


Dick: You can't even tell!! (Maddox still laughing) Sean, you can't even tell! (laughs more)


Sean: Sounds just like me.


Maddox: Wait, did you...did you play the clip, Dick? I'm confused! (both crack up again) What happened? What happened?


Dick: Alright, so I'm gonna play...I'm gonna play some more of that this bonus episode, and then we'll...Sean, I told you, if you want this madness to stop, you say "stop." 


Sean: Stop. (Maddox laughs)


Dick: But I, no, not... (cracks up) Lemme g-...lemme...


Maddox: He didn't say "Dick says."


Sean: Wait wait wait, wait, wait.


Dick: I wasn't done!


Sean: Wait wait, wait a minute. (clears throat) STOP. (Maddox laughs more)


Dick: No! You have to give it a chance, though! I want you to hear these words not said by you, because when, I can't hear myself say anything. Every time I hear myself talk I'm like, "What a fuckin' idiot. Just stop. Stop talking." 


Maddox: I...and that's exactly my thoughts every time I hear Dick talk too.


Dick: God dammit! (Maddox and Sean laugh loudly) I'm gonna replace both of you with cool black guys!


Maddox: Ohhh. Whoa! 


Dick: What??


Maddox: Nothin'! I think that, uh... (Dick giggles) 


Dick: What was that?!


Maddox: I think that'd be awe-...that wasn't a BAD thing! I think that that's awesome!


Dick: Yeah, alright! (laughing)


Maddox: Yeah! That would ma-...that would be a step up in this show, huh? Just a couple cool black guys talkin'. (both crack up) Uh, Dick, last episode Polio...the last bonus episode, Polio was the only solution that we brought in -- that you brought in, I guess -- that, uh, that ranked in the positive territory. Everybody thought that Riots, Dumb People and ESPECIALLY that horseshit Apple Watch...


Dick: Hm!


Maddox: ...were problems, voted in the negative territory. (Dick sighs) I got a comment from Charles Jackson Fairchild. He says, "It says solutions, but they look like problems. Especially the Apple Watch." And you know, Dick? I've been waiting a MONTH to bring in this shit...


Dick: Jesus Christ. (amused)


Maddox: ...because immediately after we recorded that episode, because that was the same...I believe, the same week where we talked about bachelor parties?


Dick: Yes.


Maddox: I went to a bachelor party...


Dick: Ohh!


Maddox: ...and I would say about 4 or 5 of the guys there had the new Apple Watch, because they're all Apple fanboys. You know...


Dick: Well, alright.


Maddox: ...heads shoved FIRMLY up their asses, so they're -


Dick: (interjects) Up Steve Jobs' ass.


Maddox: Yeah!


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: So they can che-...and maybe...who knows, maybe they have Apple Watches up there too. Maybe that's what they were checkin', is the time.


Dick: Yeah. (sneering)


Maddox: All these fucking idiots were walking around like Dick Tracy all weekend, (Dick cackles) looking at their watch and trying to talk into their watch with that shitty speech recognition, which is worse than the iPhone!


Dick: Oh, it is.


Maddox: All day long, all I heard was, "Navigate to Sunset Cafe. Go to Sunset Cafe. Map of Sunset Cafe. SUNSET...CAFE. SUNSET..." It just, over and over!! And then finally out of frustration, people would take out their phones from their pocket and just type in "Sunset Cafe," just like a normal fucking person would.


Dick: Hey, look man, was a theory! Alright? (Maddox laughs) I spelled out what my theory was.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: I thought it would help, you know?


Maddox: Mhm.


Dick: The good people at Apple, maybe they thought...


Maddox: Oho! 


Dick: ...maybe they thought that was a...they were fixing a problem too...


Maddox: Yeah. (sarcastic)


Dick: ...and we'll see if it works out! Now we got -


Maddox: (interjects) Yeah, they're fixing a problem of not havin' enough funds in their bank account.


Dick: You throw it at the wall, you see what sticks, Maddox.


Maddox: Sure!


Dick: That's how progress is made. Hey, speaking of Dick Tracy, somebody sent in a... (Maddox laughs) ...a picture of me. Apparently I was in Dick Tracy. Did you guys wanna see that?


Maddox: (still laughing) I saw this! This is the funniest thing. Uh, it... (laughs more)


Dick: Does that look like me? 


Maddox: It looks exactly like you, Dick! It's a picture of, uh, what's his name? Tiny Face, from Dick Tracy?


Dick: I think it was...was it Tiny Face? I thought it was Big Balls Guy.


Maddox: Nope, Tiny Face.


Dick: Oh. (smiles)


Maddox: "Tiny Face, Small Pecker," I think is his name. Um... (both laugh)


Dick: Here's a voicemail about last month. [plays first voicemail message]


Voicemail (male caller): Hey guys, Samuel L. Jackson here. Big fan. (Maddox and Dick laugh hysterically) Uh, I'd just like to say, uh...Maddox, you got the wrong show. You brought in, uh, two fuckin' really big problems. 


Dick: Yeah.


Voicemail: Thought this was a show for solutions. I look forward to hearing your solutions next month: uh, the Holocaust, 'cause it helped with overpopulation, and uh... (Maddox and Dick laugh) ...9/11, 'cause now we have a shitty museum in New York. (Dick cackles) Thanks!


[message ends]


Dick: I think we got too cute last...last bonus episode.


Maddox: You think so?


Dick: Yeah, we brought in...


Maddox: Too cute?


Dick: You know? Like, when you have this idea you're like, "Oh, this'll be a real good twist." Like, "Look, we brought in all these things that seem like problems, and we're gonna try to flip the script and make them seem like solutions."


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: And we both did that independently, which is weird...


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: ...and then it kinda...I think it backfired a little bit.


Maddox: You know, I got some comments from that episode from people who have been longtime fans of this show, and they said that was our best Solutions episode yet. 


Dick: Oh!


Maddox: Believe it or...yeah! People really liked that episode. They said it wasn't as funny, and I...I think you and I, after we recorded that episode we both felt a little deflated because it wasn't one of our funnier episodes, but we...but uh, I had some people who commented. They said genuinely, they thought that we both made good points during that episode.


Dick: Huh.


Maddox: I even got a comment from Alexander Canterbury. He first he says, "Uh guys, you brought your problems to the wrong show." 


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: Then he says, "Edit: Now having listened to it, Polio and Dumb People have good points but...I think maybe the cons might outweigh the pros." But uh, yeah! A lot of people went back and forth about that. They said that at a glance these look like problems, but then once they listened to the episode...


Dick: The biggest problem with that episode was that was where the whole broken window fallacy shit started.


Maddox: Mm. 


Dick: And continued for a month.


Maddox: I think that, uh, that actually started in the 1800s, (Dick laughs) where it belongs. A relic of a theory.


Dick: Oh, SHUT UP!


Maddox: Archaic shithead. Bastiat..."Bastiat"? Basti-...? Bastard.


Dick: I got a comment from...remember we were talking about the, um, the atomic bomb? And how it did not end World War II? That was my position.


Maddox: That was your position, yes.


Dick: That was my crazy conspiracy position, right?


Maddox: And to your credit, Dick, I looked online...afterwards I thought, "Well, am I an idiot here? Am I wrong?" And I just looked online for, uh, historical -


Dick: (interjects) You don't have to be an idiot to be wrong, you could just be wrong! You could be a smart guy but you're totally wrong.


Maddox: Good point, I agree. So I looked online; I thought, "Am I totally off base here? Is this one of those things that I'm just completely misinformed? Is it US government propaganda?" And I looked everywhere, and I couldn't find people corroborating -- other than, like, conspiracy theory websites...


Dick: Okay.


Maddox: ...people corroborating your point of view.


Dick: I got an email from, uh, Campbell Tyson. "Hey Dick, I was listening to the most recent Solutions episode with my Japanese wife. She agreed with you on how Japan was definitely gonna surrender before the bombs were dropped." (Maddox chuckling)


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: "The general belief across Japan is that Japan had already surrendered before the bombs were dropped."


Maddox: Uh-huh.


Dick: "At the risk of sounding like Jesse Ventura, I'll say every nation rewrites history." (Maddox laughs) Uh, "But America had no..." No, people were saying that the only reason...uh, here we go. Ciaran Clark says, um...nononono, lemme find a good one...go ahead. Somebody was saying that -


Maddox: (interjects) I looked everywhere online for information that corroborated that point of view that, uh, that Japanese wife and you said, that Japan had already surrendered and that the bomb was dropped out of malice or whatever. I looked everywhere online! The only website I could find was a website that was on Anonymous. It was like or .cz or some, like, Czech website or somethin' like that. 


Dick: Yeah. (sighing)


Maddox: And it was a quote that was taken...there's no source for it. It just says, "Japan had already surrendered!" But then every other history book and every other history text that I looked at said they hadn't, and that they, uh...that that was the catalyst for them surrendering.


Dick: Well, not that they were...had already surrendered, but they were GOING to.


Maddox: (chuckles) Well, "going to" and doing it are two different things! They DID it after the bomb was dropped!


Dick: you -


Sean: (interjects) After the second one.


Maddox: Yeah.


Sean: Publicly. Hirohito addressed the people after Nagasaki.


Maddox: Right. Yeah!


Sean: But I don't know if they had know, quote-unquote, "in private." You know, to the -


Maddox: (interjects) They hadn't. They hadn't...they hadn't surrendered in private.


Dick: No, they hadn't surrendered yet, but everybody else was gone. The Soviet Union turns around and says, "Hey Japan, now we're gonna fuck with you as well. What do you think about that?" They had lost all their territories in China.


Maddox: Yeah, but the thing you don't understand about, uh, about the...


Dick: I love when you start sentences like this. 


Maddox: ...their culture... (cracks up) Bro, listen.


Dick: Yeah. (smiling)


Maddox: The thing that -


Dick: (interjects) The thing I don't und-...please, mansplain it to me.


Maddox: Yeah, okay. (Dick laughs) Uh, have you ever been to an Asian country?




Maddox: I have. I've spent a significant amount of time there.


Dick: Does Koreatown count?


Maddox: Koreatown does not count. I'm gonna give it...I'm gonna -


Dick: (interjects) Oh. Does Pasadena count? (Sean laughs in the background) I'm pretty sure that's...


Maddox: (buzzer sound effect) NO.


Dick: ...predominantly Asian.


Maddox: No, dickhead. But many Asian cultures, they -


Dick: (interjects) I've fucked a girl sideways! Does that count? (cracking up)


Maddox: Okay. (Dick and Sean laugh) DICK... ('boo' sound effect) Maybe you... (Dick snickers, loses it again) (Sean cackles in the background) Maybe you will be bringing the Holocaust in as a solution. You and Samuel L. Jackson. 


Dick: Alright. (smiling)


Maddox: Uh, in many Asian cultures they believe in saving face, and saving face is more important than almost anything. They will...they will die rather than lose face.


Dick: Huh.


Maddox: So without the atomic bomb being dropped on Japan, the emperor having conceded a loss...


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: ...first of all, is unprecedented.


Dick: Uh-huh.


Maddox: And the emperor at the time hadn't even been seen by most Japanese people.


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: So this was a HUGE thing, a huge thing he had to swallow, and he had to realize like, "Okay, we...if we believe what the Americans are saying, they have 11 more bombs they're gonna drop on our cities. We have to take a long hard look at ourselves and concede."


Dick: Okay, here's's my "what if."


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Right?


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: What if we wanted to strike fear into the hearts of our allies?


Maddox: Eh! Okay.


Dick: We looked at the Soviet Union and we said, "Hey, you guys better check yourselves, because after this is done we still got 11 more of these."


Sean: Well, I think that was part of it. 


Dick: I think that's a BIG part of it.


Sean: I think that's been documented, where it was like, "Yeah, you show your military might to the rest of the world." It's a nice byproduct, I think, is how it's put.


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: It's possible. Um, I got a comment from Lewis John. He says, "Maddox, did you edit this to make Dick sound like more of an imbecile than usual?" (chuckling) 


Dick: What the fuck?


Maddox: "Like someone who consistently fails to comprehend that morality isn't a binary good-vs-bad system in which all bad things are of equal weight, like someone who can't even begin to grasp that the lesser of two evils is a concept that exists, or is he just a fucking moron?" Lewis John. What do you think, Dick?


Dick: Uh, I don't know. What did he, just get out of his first day at Philosophy 101? (Maddox laughs)


Sean: It sounded like you added that last part.


Dick: Yeah. (smiles)


Maddox: No! (laughs more) 


Dick: What?


Sean: You read it that way.


Maddox: I add nothing! It's just a copy and paste!


Dick: "Morality isn't binary, wluh wluh buh-duh buh-duh." (dorky voice) (Maddox laughs) Okay!


Maddox: And by the way, he's, uh...this is his occupation: he says he's a "Goddamn sound wizard, worker of miracles, doer of the things at M.A.D."


Dick: I love, on the Facebook comments, reading what they do.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Reading what commenters do, 'cause there will be like a 2-page thing about how stupid I am and how I don't understand, and then it's like, "Freshman - Physics" at, like, SUNY University.


Maddox: Yep! (both laugh)


Dick: Like, why am I...I'm getting shit from an 18-year-old?! FUCK YOU, KID! (laughing)


Maddox: Um, I got another comment. Remember I was saying that a lot of people liked the last bonus episode?


Dick: Yes.


Maddox: I got one from Alix Dubernard Miguel. She says, "I actually thought both of you made great arguments for all your solutions this week. I don't know, maybe most people commenting are part of the dumb people." 


Dick: Could be! Uh, speaking of...well, I got an apology from Evan Wiebe. You remember how I busted that Demolition Man boob myth?


Maddox: Yeah. (chuckling)


Dick: Well, he sent an apology. "Hey Dick, I usually pride myself on my boob-related pop culture, but I have to give it to you this time. I think I watched it on TV and the boobs were cut out." 


Maddox: Ohh, okay.


Dick: And that...that explains it.


Maddox: Yeah. Someone comm-...someone posted a link in the comments on the last Solutions episode to the boob shot from -


Dick: (interjects) I brought it.


Maddox: brought it?


Dick: Yeah, yeah.


Maddox: Uh, great!


Dick: See?


Maddox: Oh, awesome! (Dick laughs) Oh my god, that was so worth the 2-minute setup, Dick. Thank you. (sarcastic)


Dick: Kinda, I'm disappointed!


Maddox: Yeah, it is!


Dick: I remember these boobs being spectacular, man!


Maddox: That's because you were a fuckin' 14-year-old kid and you hadn't seen boobs before! It was exciting!


Dick: Oh, I had seen boobs before.


Maddox: Yeah! It's like high school sex. It SUCKS. Um... (cracks up) I just, I...I got more on the Apple Watch, Dick. I forgot to mention this. (both laugh)


Dick: Oho, god.


Maddox: I was doin' more research. It doesn't...did you know it doesn't work well with people with hairy arms? It doesn't work! The sensors don't work, and then it doesn't work -


Dick: (interjects) Good! Go back to the zoo, you gorillas.


Maddox: Ha hah. (sarcastic) (Dick laughs) Okay, I...that's hate! That's hate speech right there!


Dick: Yeah, sure is!


Maddox: Yeah! Um, it doesn't work with tattoos, doesn't work well with tattoos. Apple forces you to install an Apple Watch ad in iOS 8.2 that shows a bunch of videos showcasing what the Apple Watch can do that you can't delete! Did you know that?? 


Dick: I hate when they do that.


Maddox: Apple did that horseshit again! First a U2 song, and now you have Apple Watch ads in your iPhone! Garbage!


Dick: Well, know, the fans have spoken. It's clearly a...a problem.


Maddox: And one of the biggest complaints I'm finding? People are saying that the battery keeps draining and dying immediately. It dies under a day, which means you can't even use the...use it for a watch! You can't look at the time, and it takes 7 to 10 seconds to open up apps, including the weather.


Dick: Well, I'll be honest with you. I could never trade my Omega in for a computer. I just couldn't. I wouldn't do it.


Maddox: Your Omega?


Dick: My Omega watch.


Maddox: What is that?


Dick: It's my watch! It's a beautiful watch.


Maddox: Omega's the brand?


Dick: Yeah!


Maddox: Uh-huh.


Dick: It's James Bond's watch. Er, the new James Bond. It used to be Rolex.


Maddox: And what is it...what does it do, just tell the time?


Dick:, it does two things. It tells the time, and it, uh, it lures bitches over.


Maddox: Oh, okay.


Dick: It's really a remarkable, uh, timepiece in that it can do both of those things


Maddox: Uh-huh.


Dick: 'Cause they walk up to you and then they'll say like, "Oh, nice watch."


Maddox: Peacocking.


Dick: "I really like your watch." 


Maddox: More peacocking.


Dick: Maddox, yeah, I'm a...I'm a man. (Maddox laughs) You gotta mix it up, baby.


Maddox: Okay! (laughs more)


Dick: You gotta get out there and show off that plumage, man!


Maddox: Uh-huh. (smiling)


Dick: Don't be ashamed of that!


Maddox: No!


Dick: You gotta spend money to make money!


Maddox: That's, uh, that's Pickup Artist 101, right?


Dick: Yeah!!


Maddox: Yeah. Alright Dick, let's...should we get to the solutions?


Dick: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh wait, I got one more comment that's pretty funny. Somebody sent in a picture of what your wife would look like in the Oculus Rift.


Maddox: Oh, great. 


Dick: You wanna see it?


Maddox: Yeah. She better be hot.


Dick: Well...


Maddox: She better look like me!


Dick: It's a picture of Maddox in a wedding dress.


Maddox: Yeah. (Sean laughs in the background)


Dick: I'll let you decide.


Maddox: Lemme see. (bursts out laughing)


Dick: What do you think? 


Maddox: What a babe! Oh man, I'd do that babe sideways. It's m-


Dick: (interjects) For some reason. Why were you wearing a wedding dress? 


Maddox: Oh, it's 'cause this bridal website sent me a...they sent me some spam a while back asking if I wanted to review some wedding gowns, and I said, "Have you seen my website?" and they said, "Yes, we love all your material on your website." (Dick laughs) And I said, "Okay! Send me the wedding veil, idiots!"


Dick: Ahhh.


Maddox: "I'll review it." So I bought a wedding dress. There's a whole to-do. I did a video about it.


Dick: Alright. Uh, do you wanna go first or do you want me to go first?


Maddox: Yeah, why don't you, uh...why don't you go ahead?


Dick: Alright! I'm gonna go first.


Maddox: Start us off.


Dick: My first solution -- and it's a real solution this time -- is...the corporation.


Maddox: The corp-


Dick: (interjects) The idea of the corporation. The invention of the corporation. 


Maddox: Okay.


Dick: You know what a corporation is?


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Right?


Maddox: Uh-huh.


Dick: It's's an entity, a legal entity, that allows people to do amazing things, Maddox.


Maddox: I guess, sure!


Dick: It allows people furnish the world with all these technological wonderments...


Maddox: Ohh. (amused)


Dick: ...that we take for granted.


Maddox: Sure!


Dick: It allows people explore the world!


Maddox: Like, uh, like what would you say would...can we say thanks for corporations for?


Dick: Everything!! Everything around you! See, I was gonna bring in something like, you know, planes or -


Maddox: (interjects) Like penicillin, maybe.


Dick: Uh, yeah! (Maddox laughs) Sure!


Maddox: Nope!


Dick: That's what...


Maddox: Nope. (laughing)


Dick: Absolutely!!


Maddox: No, wrong.


Dick: It was invented, but how do you get penicillin everywhere? A corporation brings it to you.


Maddox: Or NGOs.


Dick: MG-...what's an MGO?


Maddox: 'N', NGO. Non-government organizations. Non-profits. The guy who invented -


Dick: (interjects) A non-profit is a corporation!


Maddox: No.


Dick: Yes, it is! It's a 501(c)!


Maddox: That's...that's not...that's not a traditional corporation. It's not a profit, for-profit corporation.


Dick: That doesn't matter! 


Maddox: Oh!


Dick: It's still a corporation! The point of -


Maddox: (interjects) So you're saying even charities are corporations?


Dick: Of course they are!


Maddox: Okay.


Dick: That's what I'm...that's what I'm saying! It's the IDEA...


Maddox: Uh-huh.


Dick: ...that you can engage in a business venture with your fellow man, and not be hanged if you screw up!


Maddox: Uh-huh.


Dick: That's a great thing! 


Maddox: Oh.


Dick: It's responsible for ev-...for all of civilization. 


Maddox: So you're saying limited liability that is entailed with corporations is a good thing.


Dick: Yes!!


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: It's essential!


Maddox: Okay.


Dick: It's essential for progress. That's what I'm saying.


Maddox: I don't know if it's essential, but it's important. I'll give you that.


Dick: Well, without it...let's say you, uh, let's say you're doing a podcast.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: And somebody says, like, a bunch of horrible, insensitive things.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: They could come over and say, "You know what? You're guilty too! Actually, we're gonna hang the both of you!"


Maddox: Let's not talk about this. (both laugh)


Dick: Yeah. Um, so I started doing this 'cause corporations get shit on a lot. 


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Obviously.


Maddox: Right.


Dick: Especially on the Internet, and I started typing in some stupid research, like "are corporations bad? are corporations good?" and I find these dumb polls online...


Maddox: Uh-huh.


Dick: ...where people vote, "Are corporations bad or good?" They are all split right down the middle!


Maddox: Huh!


Dick: 50/50. 50/50 corporations are bad, or corporations are good. The things...the thing that lets...the things that are responsible for computers and the Internet, the thing that you're typing this on, planes, TVs, cell phones...


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Everything!


Maddox: But those aren't necessarily...those aren't...corporations aren't people, and they don't...and I'm not talkin' about the legal definition of a person for legal purposes of a corporation. They're not people. They are not innovators. They may...what they do a lot of times, they hire people and then they absorb their patents. They absorb their ingenuity and they take credit for those people's, uh, those people's hard work. Like for example -


Dick: (interjects) Well, they pay 'em for it.


Maddox: Apple's a great example!


Dick: Ohoho. 


Maddox: Um, Steve Jobs? Steve Jobs hasn't invented jack shit. All Steve Jobs did...first of all, he's a great marketer, but he's also good at picking out devices that his underlings developed. When he died, they listed all these articles about Steve Jobs and all the different patents that he had his name on, but every single one of those patents has another name on it...


Dick: Sure!


Maddox: ...and it's the engineer who actually developed it.


Dick: So are you upset by that?


Maddox: Well, yeah! Because -


Dick: (interjects) 'Cause otherwise, that engineer would have had...he woulda had to do that work for free with no funding!


Maddox: OR, or he could've done that work on his own and not been beholden to a corporation that took credit and...that corporation's name is valuable now. That engineer's name, I can't even fuckin' remember.


Dick: See, I knew bringing this in was a good idea precisely because of that 50/50 split.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: I had a feeling you would be on the wrong side of this one.


Maddox: Well Dick, why do you think...I mean, 50% is a significant amount of our population. Why do you think that 50% of people think corporations are bad? Why do you think that is?


Dick: 'Cause they're dumb.


Maddox: They're dumb?


Dick: That's the dumb half of the bell curve.


Maddox: Okay! 


Dick: Yeah!


Maddox: Alright! 


Dick: 50% of people are dumb!


Maddox: Well...


Dick: 50% are smart!


Maddox: No!


Dick: They're on the right side; 50% are dumb.


Maddox: Dick -


Dick: (interjects) That's ca-...that's a fuckin' curve! If you're in the middle, you're...uh, there's nobody in the middle. Everybody's either on the 50% dumb side or the 50% smart side.


Maddox: Dick, I'm gonna bring in... (Dick laughs) I have a comment from a fan. He's Lewis John. He says, "Maddox, did you edit to make Dick sound like more of an imbecile than usual, because he thinks that there's some kind of, like, binary good versus bad system." I literally just read that comment at the start of this episode, Dick! 


Dick: So what are you saying? What do you mean?


Maddox: You are saying that there's a binary "dumb or smart." It's not! There's less smart or less dumb, there's more dumb, more smart; it's not binary! It's not like 50% of people are dumb!! It's -


Dick: (interjects) Yeah, it's pass/fail!


Maddox: No!


Dick: That's an 'F'! 


Maddox: No!!


Dick: If you got an 'F', you failed the "smarts."


Maddox: No, there's degrees!


Dick: If you got a 'D' or above...


Maddox: There are degrees of 'F'! There's 'F+', there's 'F-'! Haven't you read my book? (both laugh)


Dick: The corporation limits your liability. It's's a way for society to evolve!


Maddox: Oh, oho.


Dick: Think about this!


Maddox: Okay.


Dick: A new corporation comes along with a better way of doing something, a more efficient way of doing something. The other entity dies off! It's great! We can't do that without a corporation!


Maddox: I'm not sure that that's necessarily evolution, and I'm not sure that that's a good thing. You're're assuming that just because a corporation exists, because a corporation outlasted another corporation, that the one who survived is necessarily the best. Sometimes the one who survives -


Dick: (interjects) More efficient! More efficient.


Maddox: Or brutal! 


Dick: Well...


Maddox: Or inconsiderate of human rights!


Dick: Ehh... 


Maddox: Hmm? Fox...what's that, Foxconn, whatever? The one that makes all the, uh, gadgets that we use in China?


Dick: Hey, so stop buyin' from them. 


Maddox: Well...


Dick: Who's the brutal one now?


Maddox: No, but I'm saying that their existence isn't because they're necessarily the best; it's just because they are the most brutal. They're the ones who are the most cutthroat.


Dick: Well, I'll...I'll give you this: it is in China. 


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Like, they...there's a lot of jiggery-pokery going on there. (Maddox snickers)


Maddox: Okay.


Dick: That makes competition unfair. 


Maddox: But -


Dick: (interjects) You know what I mean? Like, a startup can't make a better cell phone in China. The government will crush them.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: 'Cause Foxconn's just way too powerful.


Maddox: Right.


Dick: But you can do that here, like Uber! Uber's like 4 years, Uber has decimated taxi cabs! They're at like 40% of rides...


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: ...done in the US now.


Maddox: Yeah!


Dick: That's a corporation!


Maddox: Well...


Dick: Thank a corporation for that, Maddox.


Maddox: M'kay. Yeah, 'cause corporations sat around thinking day and night, like, "How can I make can I solve this problem?"


Dick: If you didn't have a corporation you couldn't do that, because everybody would be liable for everything!


Maddox: But they still are, Dick, and I think that liability ensures that people will not be fuck-ups and they will try to make the safest product, a product that's not gonna screw over the consumers. People are scared...I think lawsuits -


Dick: (interjects) So you think fear is a good motivator for safety?


Maddox: Yes, sometimes.


Dick: I don't, I disagree. I think it makes you panicky and jittery and MORE prone to error.


Maddox: Uh, well, that's al-...that can also possibly be the case, but I think that a lot of times fear of the bad repercussion, like that a customer's gonna come sue you, will make sure that someone working at the factory line isn't going to fuck up and he's going to put poison in your food or your baby formula or whatever it is. (Dick laughs) Right?


Dick: I don't know, I think they're already puttin' poison in that.


Maddox: Well maybe, but the guy on the factory, what incentive is there other than lawsuits? If it protects -


Dick: (interjects) To what?


Maddox: If we...what incentive is there for people to not fuck up and not to take advantage and not to exploit the citizens and consumers if there weren't lawsuits?


Dick: That's a pessimistic way of looking at things, though. (Maddox scoffs) Don't you think?


Maddox: Well, I...pessimistic or optimistic is irrelevant!


Dick: But that's like, um...


Maddox: I'm asking you, what incentive do people have to do the right thing without lawsuits?


Dick: Yeah, but you're framing it in a way that's pessimistic at its core.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Like, the...a -


Maddox: (interjects) I agree, it is. It is pessimistic.


Dick: that's like religious people always say, "What's the incentive not to kill and murder without God?" 


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: And an answer to that is like, "I didn't wanna do that in the first place."


Maddox: Right, but that's n-


Dick: (interjects) "'Cause I'm a human being." But what you're saying is what's to stop people from doing bad things without the threat of a lawsuit, and I'm saying, you, doing bad things is rarely the way to maximize profits, in my opinion. Like, people don't always just wanna do bad things to squeeze out that last penny.


Maddox: Yeah, that's true, they don't always. But again, if you don't have that incentive there, if you don't have that club as know, your example? We're gettin' into some heavy philosophical stuff. 


Dick: Well...


Maddox: But that example that you gave about, know, Christians or people who are religious say, "Well, without the fear of God sending you to hell with eternal damnation, what's stopping anyone from doing anything?" Right?


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: Well, I think that's not necessarily a good argument, because I think that, uh...that evolutionarily speaking, we have...


Dick: Right.


Maddox: ...we have a benefit to doing things that are conducive towards society, right?


Dick: Yeah, we're all pussies. All the pussies evolved.


Maddox: Uh...


Dick: We all survived. We love each other.


Maddox: Yeah!


Dick: It's like...evolution.


Maddox: That's actually a good point.


Dick: Yeah!


Maddox: That is evolution. 


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: It's not survival of the fittest. Survival of the fittest is not evolution. You know that?


Dick: Well, the most...


Sean: No, that's the mechanism. 


Maddox: That's the mechanism. Correct, Sean.


Dick: Yeah, right.


Maddox: It is not...but it is not the same thing because survival of the fittest is, uh, one mechanism with which evolution can occur, but evolution can also occur by people being cooperative and people being meek. Not necessarily the strongest, fittest or fastest...


Dick: Sure.


Maddox: ...but people who are social and people who engage in social behavior that is conducive to all of society. So that's another mechanism with which evolution can occur. Back to corporations -


Dick: (interjects) I think you're proving my point! Saying that's what...that's what a corporation's made out of, these people who evolved with this mindset and these sensibilities.


Maddox: No, I disagree.


Dick: So who do you think runs them?? YOU have a corporation! 


Maddox: Right.


Dick: You run a corporation.


Maddox: Right.


Dick: Are you a bad guy?


Maddox: No!


Dick: Well, then where's the switch? What happens?


Maddox: Well, some corporations are good, some corporations are bad! I think that the corporations that are bad...first of all, the larger they become, the more faceless they become, the less accountable people become, and the more harm that they can do, and they can just kind know -


Dick: (interjects) So it's necessarily size. As it gets bigger, it gets more harmful, you think?


Maddox: No, not necessarily. 


Dick: Well, okay. Is there some kind of correlation in your idea? Or in your mind?


Maddox: No.


Dick: No?


Maddox: No, I don't think so. I don't think so.


Dick: Alright! Alright.


Maddox: No, no. But Dick, I'm trying to...I know you like to sweep with a...paint with large-sweeping brushes.


Dick: I just wanna get an idea of what you're talking about!


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Like, when do you think the switch is? You, good guy...


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: ...too good, in my opinion...


Maddox: Okay.


Dick: ...uh, run a corporation. When does it go from being a good guy to a bad guy?


Maddox: It goes from being a good guy to a bad guy when they put profits above people. Um, I'll give you a perfect example.


Dick: I don't know what that means.


Maddox: I'll give you a perfect example. At my old job at the telemarketing company, that was a brutal -


Dick: (interjects) They're gonna get emails about that.


Maddox: Good! (Dick laughs) Good, 'cause it was a shit company and I'll tell you why. Even though I worked for them for years and years, know, again, some good can come out of something bad or evil! 


Dick: Well...


Maddox: Uh, but... (stammers) It helped fund my entire website for years and put me through college. Like, I worked and I wouldn't be the person I am today if I didn't have that job that supported me, right?


Dick: Uh-huh.


Maddox: There was some good there, and most of the people I worked there with were awesome. But the people at the very top, like the guy who owned the company and ran the company, ran it with an iron fist and he didn't give a fuck. He would fire people a week before Christmas.


Dick: Uh-huh.


Maddox: He hired this guy...this guy was loved in our department and he had a family, and he planned this Christmas trip for his family and he was happy because they lured him from another job to come to work at this corporation, and what they did is they chopped him. They let him go a month...uh, a month before some bonus that they had to pay out because they thought, "Well, it's cheaper just to hire someone else" so they don't have to pay out that bonus. 


Dick: Yeah.


Sean: And he had already started digging a pool, right? This is Clark Griswold we're talking about? (Dick and Maddox laugh)


Maddox: Um, another example... (stammers) Another corporation -


Dick: (interjects) I mean, are you giving examples of, like, dickhead bosses?


Maddox: No, it's not just dickhead bosses. I'm talkin' about the corporations themselves. Another one? Another call center opened up, this was in Canada...or actually, it was in Washington. They opened up a call center...


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: ...they hired all these people, these telemarketers, right? They said...and customer service workers. They were, uh, they do call support, you know? Service calls. Any time you call tech support, you're...these are the people you're talkin' to. 


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: They say, "We're gonna pay you a starting wage of 7 dollars an hour." This was, like, in the '90s. "7 dollars an hour, then after 3 months - "


Dick: (interjects) That's a lot.


Maddox: "After 3 months we're going to give everybody a new wage of $9.50 an hour," and everybody thought, "Well, that's great! We're gonna quit our jobs now and we're gonna hang on for 3 months." Guess what happened at 2 months and 2 weeks in? They shut down the facility, opened up in Canada, did the same con, did the same scam, and then once that was done they closed up shop there. They just open up shops and they lure people into -


Dick: (interjects) See, I think in your mind you associate that with a corporation.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: But in the real world, the entity...the legal entity, the purpose of this idea, has nothing to do with these people being scam artists and assholes, and that's what troubles me. It's that 50% of people in these online surveys are associating bad behavior with this legal entity that is built to let them do business, to let them live their lives! That's...and that's what bugs me! These guys that you're talking about, this entity of a corporation lets you take them on in a marketplace and run them outta town! It's a great thing! Very powerful invention that we put together with the corporation.


Maddox: Yeah, I don't know about that, Dick. You haven't made the, why are the things that you're sayin' we owe to corporations only due to corporations?


Dick: Well, what do you mean?


Maddox: Well, what are you saying is the benefit of a corporation?


Dick: I...what else, you mean? The liability, the sha-


Maddox: (interjects) What do you think is...


Dick: Efficiency...


Maddox: What would you say the two biggest benefits of a corporation are?


Dick: Um, limited liability...


Maddox: 'Kay.


Dick: ...efficiency, and evolution of, uh, of ideas.


Maddox: Mhm.


Dick: Shareholder input? That's another big one.


Maddox: Okay.


Dick: Like a voting system that's, uh, dependent on...on how much you're literally invested in something.


Maddox: Alright! Okay, let's stop there. So #1, you said that it was limited liability.


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: #2, you said that it was the evolution of ideas.


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: That's a big "maybe." 


Dick: Maybe?!


Maddox: And then #3 is shareholders, right? Shareholder input? 


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: I'll tell you why, specifically starting with #3, it's a bad idea: because shareholders don't give a fuck about anything except their bottom line. They will...if you -


Dick: (interjects) But they're people like you and me!


Maddox: Yeah, I know, but people like you and me...again, when we're just looking at stocks, we're looking at a number and we just care whether it goes up or whether it goes down. We don't care -


Dick: (interjects) Not...that's a very big generalization!


Maddox: No, that's how...that's how shareholder...shareholders are huge swaths of people, Dick! And by the way, they're not people like you and me; they're people who are really affluent.


Dick: Although they're people like ME.


Maddox: Yeah, like you!


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: People who are really affluent and have enough money to invest, and they're the people who just care about their bottom line! They're a shareholder, Dick, you're not going to vote for something that's not going to...that's going to reduce the bottom line for the corporation, are you?


Dick: Maddox, the richest men in America are by huge margins the biggest philanthropists. 


Maddox: Right.


Dick: There's groups...groups of shareholders at MAJOR companies have pushed and argued and lobbied for the company to do things that they think benefit the world. Uh, a small group of shareholders at Starbucks forced and argued the entire company to start a huge, like, recycling campaign. I don't give a shit...personally, I don't give a shit about recycling, but you can look at it and say, "Those guys had good intentions that only cost them money." Maybe they were doing it for some kind of, uh, abstract marketing angle to increase their bottom line in some way, but I can't say...I can't in good conscience say that they're purely cynical about it.


Maddox: Well, those are...


Dick: (interjects) That, like, they only are worried about their profits.


Maddox: You're talking about PEOPLE, Dick. You're not talkin' about corporations. Corporations have no conscience.


Dick: They're shareholders! They're...they run the company!!


Maddox: But they are NOT the company. There is a distinction there. The company does not have a soul, they don't have a conscience, they don't...they're not gonna do right and wrong! They don't have an ethical code. A corporation exists for one reason, and that's to make money, period! And I'm fuckin' tired of corporations tryin' to pretend like they're people and they have good will. Like Honda, there's a Honda ad on TV right now; it's called the "Helpful Honda Dealer," and what they do is they go around and do supposed random acts of altruism. They just show up at a baseball game and say, "Hey everyone, we're buyin' you new fuckin' uniforms!"


Dick: I hate those commercials too.


Maddox: "Oh, there you go! Congratulations!" Thank you, fuckin' Honda! Lemme suck your dick! Fuckin' Honda doesn't have a sh-...they're not altruistic, they're not people. It's just a corporation tryin' to do it for marketing! They have no conscience, they have no soul! That's why PEOPLE are the important part of that equation. People are the altruists. People are the philanthropists. Corporations are not! Never!


Dick: Their purpose is to sell cars.


Maddox: Right!


Dick: What do you want them to do?


Maddox: Well, they're...bu-


Dick: (interjects) Like, that's their goal!


Maddox: But they're doing it under...don't you think it's dishonest and misleading, doing it under the guise of altruism as if it's a corporate person? Coming along and saying, "You know what? We're gonna find a baseball game and we're gonna buy them new uniforms. We're gonna find this kid and give him a free car wash," or whatever. Like,'s bullshit!


Dick: It's just marketing!


Maddox: Right! It -


Dick: (interjects): It's just, like, EVERYBODY knows that they're doing it to sell cars. No -


Maddox: (interjects) But it's misleading!


Dick: I don't see how! They tag it all over: "This is a Honda sale, Honda super sale. Here's something we did, hopefully, that struck a chord with you guys and makes you think that you should be drivin' around in a Honda," when realistically you could buy any fuckin' car and it doesn't matter.


Maddox: Dick, that's irrelevant! You're not...whether or not it's marketing. We're not saying it's not marketing. We know it's marketing, but it's...they're doing it under the guise of altruism, which is misleading. They're not altruistic; they just care about their bottom lines. Like, that's have a problem with the Dove campaign specifically for this reason, because Dove is trying to pretend like -


Dick: (interjects) I don't like seein' fat girls on billboards!


Maddox: Okay!


Dick: That's why I have a problem with the Dove campaign.


Maddox: That's the only problem you have with Dove? Not that they are using beauty as some kind of virtue that they're tryin' to sell to these women? 


Dick: Ohh!


Maddox: Not that they are pretending to care about these women?


Dick: Sure!


Maddox: They're not!! They don't care! They don't give a shit about anything but their bottom line. That's why Dove sucks, that's why Honda sucks, and that's why altruism is not part of this equation. Absolutely not.


Dick: I don't know...


Maddox: Corporations have no altruism.


Dick: SpaceX? Are they just lookin' out for the bottom line?


Maddox: Yes!


Dick: Google?


Maddox: Yes.


Dick: Google's lookin' out for the bottom line with self-driving cars?


Maddox: Absolutely.


Dick: So in your world...this is a serious question.


Maddox: Yeah?


Dick: In your world, what does anybody do then? What should Google and Honda and SpaceX be doing? SpaceX just comes out and says, "We're trying to make tons of money by bringing things into space, and there's no..." and it's all negative?? Like, it isn't...I'm struggling to imagine what you think it should be.


Maddox: Dick, lawsuits were created so that you can get some kind of reparation for harm done against you. 


Dick: Correct.


Maddox: They're a good thing, right? And assuming that they are not done, uh...if you're not extremely litigious and you're trying to just sue and trying to make a profit and take advantage of somebody. Lawsuits, at their heart, are a good thing.


Dick: Yeah!


Maddox: Right?


Dick: It's a good solution, law!


Maddox: Right!


Dick: Bring it in.


Maddox: Right, sure! Um, so when you limit that liability of a corporation...


Dick: Uh-huh.


Maddox: Like, to answer your question about SpaceX,, SpaceX doesn't care about anything. Elon -


Dick: (interjects) They killed people!


Maddox: Elon Musk does, the founder of SpaceX! He's the founder, right? Elon Musk?


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: Is that him? So he may care! Or is it, uh, Virgin?


Dick: No no, it's, um...


Maddox: What's his name, uh...


Dick: No, it's not Branson. It's another guy. It's a guy...nonono, Elon Musk founded Tesla. Branson did Virgin Galactic. I don't think he...I think -


Maddox: (interjects) No, I think he's...Elon Musk is SpaceX. 


Dick: Oh, I don't know. Maybe he is.


Maddox: Well, whatever the case, Elon Musk may be a good guy and he may be an altruist, but to say that the corporation is good for that reason is absolutely BULLSHIT. A corporation may be the's like saying roads are virtuous because you can drive to church or you can drive to donate something or whatever. Roads by themselves are not virtuous. That's the mechanism. If you wanna say corporations are the mechanism with which...


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: ...huge charity and good things can come about, sure, but they are not the reason. They're not the cause.


Dick: Alright, well, for a guy who brought in addresses, (Maddox laughs) I think the corporation belongs on here, but that's enough. That's enough.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: That's enough outta me. Oh, here's something to dispel a myth!


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Oh well, you know, I don't care. Go...go ahead.


Maddox: No no, what's up? I wanna hear it.


Dick: That they don't sit on that much cash! 


Maddox: The corporations?


Dick: The corporations, yeah. They're only sitting on like 13% of, uh, of their annual revenue.


Maddox: What's that based on?


Dick: What do you mean? The books.


Maddox: Is that an average of some corporation, or...?


Dick: Yeah, yeah yeah yeah! Like...


Maddox: 'Cause some corporations have...


Dick: Nonono, like, in America.


Maddox: Right.


Dick: Historically, it's around 10%; currently, it's around 13%. But there's this myth that they're, like, hoarding cash, and it's wrong. It's all these -


Maddox: (interjects) A lot of 'em are though, I believe. 


Dick: Well, but that's the number! The number's 13%.


Maddox: Wait, where'd that number come from?


Dick: The Internet? I don't know. (Maddox laughs) Some fuckin' place. 


Maddox: You don't have a don't have a...?


Dick: Probably Forbes. 


Maddox: Yeah, Forbes? Do you have a site?


Dick: I didn't write it down.


Maddox: Yeah, I'm curious about that, because I think that some corporations do hoard a lot of their money. I don't think they spend nearly as much as they should. But you know, Dick? You know why I... (sighs) ...I, um, I presented such a fierce debate about your corporate problem?


Dick: 'Cause you're a dick? (Maddox laughs loudly)


Maddox: No!! (buzzer sound effect) Asshole! It's because I'm a critical thinker! (Sean chuckles in the background)


Dick: Oh, god. (laughing)


Maddox: Critical thinking, that's my solution! ('ding' sound effect) Yeah! (clapping sound effect) Smart. (Sean laughs)


Dick: Why do so many of your problems and solutions...are you being so great? (Maddox laughs) Why are all of them, like, how smart you are?


Maddox: Ahhh. (smiling) Ahh, good-looking.


Dick: God dammit. (laughing)


Maddox: Here we go. Critical thinking, Dick. You know what critical thinking is?


Dick: No.


Maddox: Yeah. (both laugh loudly) I wish I had a quote from you that just says, "Maybe I AM as smart as I think I am." (Dick laughs more) It's the first smart -


Dick: (interjects) What is it?


Maddox: That's the first honest thing you've said. Um... (both laugh more)


Dick: What's critical thinking? (grinning)


Maddox: Um, I like to s-...there are a lot of different definitions I read online. A lot of people say what critical thinking is. I'm gonna tell you my definition. Here's what I think it is. 'Kay?


Dick: Okay.


Maddox: It's just very simple: it's always questioning everything. That's critical thinking.


Dick: Yeah?


Maddox: Always questioning everything.


Dick: A.Q.E. That's your motto?


Maddox: A.Q.E.! "AQE." ('ache')


Dick: Always question everything. (smiles)


Maddox: Yeah, always question everything. Dick, did you know I didn't learn critical thinking until college?


Dick: Uh...what?


Maddox: Yeah, uh-huh!


Dick: Okay.


Maddox: I was never taught...I was never taught critical thinking. I never even heard of that expression!


Dick: Hm.


Maddox: And actually, I dated a teacher for a while who...


Dick: Whoa!


Maddox: ...decided to...yeah, she decided to teach critical thinking to her 5th graders, and it is -


Dick: (interjects) This was in college?


Maddox: No, this was in 5th grade.


Dick: You were in 5th grade dating a...?


Maddox: Nonono! (sighs) Dick... (Dick giggles)


Dick: You dated a teacher recently? It was...?


Maddox: No, a while ago. It was a while ago.


Dick: Oh, a while ago, a while ago. As an adult?


Maddox: As an adult, yes.


Dick: Alright.


Maddox: Yeah. Because I like good sex. Um...and that's what adults provide, is good sex. Not high schoolers.


Dick: Alright. (exasperated) Please...please go.


Maddox: Anyway. Uh... (cracks up) So this is something that they...that, uh, that teachers are starting to introduce more into the curriculum, especially through Common Core, which everybody shits on. Common Core is not bad. All these -


Dick: (interjects) It's awful.


Maddox: No, it's not. No, it's not! All these moron dullard parents who don't understand that their children are learning something that they don't know? Good! That's the fucking point of school! They're teaching your kids information and new ways of thinking that you don't understand. That's a GOOD thing. That you don't understand it is a good sign.


Dick: I can't wait to bring in Common Core and show you how wrong you are. (Maddox scoffs)


Maddox: Alright, bring it, buddy! Anyway Dick, assumptions are the foundation for fucking up, and that's what critical thinking is battling, is goin' against. When you assume something, you are coming to a conclusion about what that thing is without having considered the reason. Right? That's the problem with assumptions.


Dick: Alright.


Maddox: The most important question to ask about something is "why?" Even what I'm saying should be questioned. Like, even the words that are coming out of my mouth right now should be questioned. If you don't question everything, that means you take conclusions for granted. But questioning everything isn't the same as disagreeing with everything. That's what a lot of people confuse critical thinking with, is just disagreeing. It's not! Nor is it the same as being a contrarian. So Dick, somethin' that I do on this show that annoys you a lot is when I play devil's advocate, right?


Dick: Yeah, I hate that.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Everyone hates that.


Maddox: No. (Sean laughs in the background) No, they don't! (Dick giggles) No they don't, Dick. 


Dick: Even God hates that. He doesn't make popes do it anymore. (Maddox and Sean laugh) That's true!


Maddox: Great. Probably 'cause the word "devil" is in it. I don't even know what I'm saying! (Dick cackles) What are you...?! (sighs exasperatedly)


Dick: That used to be part of the papal selection process! A cardinal would play devil's advocate and say what a dick this other cardinal was. He was...


Maddox: Ohh, oh, oh.


Dick: And they said, "Eh, we're not doin' that anymore."


Maddox: Yeah. Okay!


Dick: It's too... (stammers) They were probably havin' too much fun with it.


Maddox: Too critical.


Dick: No, it was probably working too well. (laughs)


Maddox: Yeah, it was probably workin' too well!


Dick: Like, "Oh, this guy molested 1,000 kids! Oyy, oy oy oy oy." (uneasily)


Maddox: Yeah!! Yeah, yeah! If you don't examine the reasons that you do something, you just start doing things for granted.


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: You start takin' things for granted and makin' assumptions. And the reason I do it, Dick, the reason I play devil's advocate so much is because I'm often doing so because I wanna see if you've reasoned through the criticisms of your position, not necessarily because I disagree with you. I've often debated issues that I agree with because the person defending them is doing so for the wrong reasons.


Dick: Oh, that's... (under his breath)


Maddox: And that includes -


Dick: ...very annoying. 


Maddox: (scoffs) (Dick laughs) Oh, sorry that I want to get to the TRUTH. I want to understand if the person agreeing with me understands my position! I don't want somebody to just agree with me blindly!


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: That's why I think a lot of my fans are idiots! They agree with me because they like me, because I'm a charismatic person, because I'm personable, because I'm funny, or whatever. Whatever reason they like me for, that's not a reason to agree with me. You should agree with me because I'm right, not because you like me.


Dick: Yeah, but who's got time to do all this thinkin'?


Maddox: Everybody!


Dick: Well... (exhales) I don't know, man. It's hard work.


Maddox: Well, here's -


Dick: (interjects) I'll just take your word for it.


Maddox: Oh. (chuckling)


Dick: I'd would rather do that. (Sean laughs in the background)


Maddox: Great.


Dick: Like, "Oh, Maddox, he's usually right." (Maddox laughs)


Maddox: Well, here's an example, Dick. I brought in a real-world example. Um...well, I don't know how real this is actually, but here's a... (Dick laughs) Here's a conclusion, 'kay? "Police brutality is bad." Would you agree with that?


Dick: Uh, yeah.


Maddox: Yeah! Most people would, right? Most people would agree that police brutality is bad. However, someone could make the case that police brutality is bad because there isn't enough of it, so if someone sitting across from you in a room says police brutality is wrong and you simply just nod in agreement like an idiot, you might be agreeing with someone who's a jackass. That's the problem, when you don't -


Dick: (interjects) Oh, they're a jackass for talking about this in a group. (Maddox chuckles) Already.


Maddox: Well, we're talking about it! Are we jackasses?


Dick: Yeah. 


Maddox: Okay. (both laugh)


Dick: I can critical think my way into that one. (smiling)


Maddox: Great. Anyway Dick, uh -


Dick: (interjects) So wait, wait. Why is there...why is it 'cause there's not enough brutality?


Maddox: You could make the case.


Dick: How is that critical thinking?


Maddox: Well...


Dick: Go ahead.


Maddox: So for example, Dick, you brought in a problem on this very show a long time ago where you said there's not enough Black Friday violence, right?


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: Which at the outset, anyone seeing that would disagree with you because they say, "Well, violence is bad..."


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: "...and if we have more violence, that's more bad."


Dick: Sure.


Maddox: "So therefore, more Black Friday violence is bad!" But you, by the way, made an argument for why violence...


Dick: Yeeeah! (grins)


Maddox: ...on Black Friday is good, because it takes these dumb people out of the population! Right?


Dick: Yeah, that's funny. 


Maddox: Which is -


Dick: (interjects) I do think that, too.


Maddox: And yet argued against my riots solution last episode, last bonus episode. Well, well, well.


Dick: Yeah, 'cause I think that those people are real bad. 


Maddox: Yeah. (sneering)


Dick: I really have a problem with those rioters.


Maddox: Ohoho, really?


Dick: I really have a problem with their sanctimonious attitudes too.


Maddox: Yeah? Well, why don't you guys start bein' sanctimonious next time supposedly white people go rioting after a fuckin' basketball game? I don't see all the fuckin' tweets -


Dick: (interjects) Yeah, but the problem is those usually end right away. Like, it's just a buncha drunk yayhoos...


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: ...who, like, sober up or get tired or get their ass kicked and go home. 


Maddox: Okay. (skeptical)


Dick: These rioters are fueled by, like, I, dysfunction in their minds.


Maddox: Uh-huh.


Dick: And they go for weeks and just destroy...


Maddox: Oh, weeks? How many weeks did the, uh, did the riots occur in Maryland most recently?


Dick: What do you mean? The Baltimore ones?


Maddox: Yeah, the Baltimore ones.


Dick: I have no idea. How long are they?


Maddox: Less than one.


Dick: Less than one week?


Maddox: Yeah, yeah.


Dick: Okay. 


Maddox: In fact, the majority -


Dick: (interjects) How long did the LA riots go?


Maddox: The LA riots went for a while, but they majority of the rioting...the majority of the rioting in, uh, in Baltimore occurred over the course of one or two nights and the damage really wasn't that high.


Dick: Hm.


Maddox: Compared to the rioting that was done after a fuckin' basketball game, or a hockey game in Canada.


Dick: They just flipped some cars over! What did they do at...what did they do in Canada?


Maddox: In Ohio, I think this was the 1986 riots after a was, like, a Kansas City game or something that happened in Ohio and after that, every single window in the city was dest-...was broken. (Dick cackles) Yeah! Laugh it up, dickhead! Where's the sanctimony there? 


Dick: No, there's...


Maddox: No white people sayin' "Where are their fathers??" 


Dick: No, them...I don't like that THEY'RE sanctimonious. I don't think sports fans think they're in the right by destroying buildings. I think they're just being assholes.


Maddox: Yeah, but the same people who are criticizing the rioters in Baltimore weren't sittin' there...they're not goin' to fact, just recently in Texas when they had that giant biker gang riot? Basically a giant fight?


Dick: Oh, I saw that!


Maddox: Yeah! 186 bikers, or 192 of 'em were arrested, some insane amount...


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: ...and like 9 people were killed. Where were all the people...where were the white people comin' on the media sayin', "Well, where are their fathers? You know what those guys need? They need good father figures in their lives. Where are their fathers?'s because they have low-income housing." Where was their sanctimony?


Dick: Well, I think what you're seeing here is people understand sports riots and, like, biker gang riots and...and honestly, people don't understand what', what the deal is with, um...inner-city riots.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Like, they don't understand how to fix it, they don't understand where it comes from...


Maddox: Sure.


Dick: ...they got all these theories, and then the news just preaches to whatever their segment of people has preconceptions of why it's going on, but there's a confusion there that makes it interesting...


Maddox: I agree.


Dick: us.


Maddox: I agree! And that's a problem that we should look at critically. (Dick laughs) Dick, you know what?


Dick: Alright. (laughing)


Maddox: You know what... (cracks up)


Dick: Where's the part where it's how great you are for being a critical thinker? How were you taught to be a critical thinker? I wanna hear that.


Maddox: It was in...


Dick: Like, in college.


Maddox: It was in college, I took a class. It was a writing class, and I've talked about this, I think, on book tour, but...


Dick: Oh.


Maddox: ...this, uh, this professor came into my class. First of all, I...when I was at the University of Utah, they made me take a writing placement test to see my writing proficiency, right? And they put me in the most remedial writing class that they had.


Dick: Have you taken that since?


Maddox: No, not since.


Dick: Ah, I really would like to see that. (smiles)


Maddox: However, I did... (both laugh) I did mention the University of Utah in my New York Times bestselling book.


Dick: Yeah. (smiling)


Maddox: I said that...I mentioned how I failed that writing test in that book as a big "fuck you" to them.


Dick: Yeah. I mean, the Twilight woman would probably fail that too, and she's a bestseller.


Maddox: Well, okay. Oh, that's a good point. (Dick laughs) Um...


Dick: I'm just thinking critically about...things.


Maddox: Yeah. Fuck you, Dick. (Dick and Sean laugh) (buzzer sound effect) Asshole. (muttering) (baby laugh sound effect) (Dick still giggling) Tired of this shit!


Dick: I hate that baby. (Maddox laughs loudly)


Maddox: I found that the first day we were recording and I'm like, "Ah, I'm gonna use this forever." Anyway Dick, uh -


Dick: (interjects) So he taught you...?


Maddox: Yeah, I took this they put me in the most remedial writing class that they had.


Dick: Oh, god.


Maddox: And I'm sitting there in class waiting for the teacher to show up. He's like 5 minutes late.


Dick: There's, like, a kid with his jacket on backwards and one with a helmet. (Maddox laughs) Stabbing pencils into his head. (giggling) 'Cause it's, like, the remedial class.


Maddox: Why are you such an asshole?! (Dick cackles) Such a dick!


Dick: There's a kid eating a book. (laughs more)


Maddox: Such a fuckin' asshole. I don't need this shit, this abuse. Um, so this professor...the professor walks in; he's not wearing shoes. He's... (both laugh loudly)


Dick: Continue! (squeaking)


Maddox: And he sits on his desk...t ON his desk. Not at his desk, on it. 


Dick: Oh, Jesus. (still laughing)


Maddox: Cross-legged, with no shoes. Kind of a hippie. Kind of a hippie-lookin' dude.


Dick: Uh-huh.


Maddox: He had this huge frazzly beard.


Dick: Okay.


Maddox: It looked a little bit like Bob Ross, and, um...and the first thing he says -- he had kind of this Kermit the Frog kinda nasally voice -- he goes, "Oh, some of you may have noticed that I look like Karl Marx. That was not an accident." (everyone laughs)


Dick: "Cool, man!"


Maddox: Yeah, real cool. (Dick still laughing) And so -


Dick: (interjects) "Lemme just get back to eating my book over here."


Sean: Karl Marx, who just lived off his friend's father for most of his life.


Dick: Oh, is that true?


Sean: Yeah, Engels or whatever his name is. Yeah, he was just kind of a...he sat and thought a lot. Didn't do a whole -


Dick: (interjects) He was a bum?


Sean: Didn't do a whole lotta work.


Dick: He was a hippie?


Sean: Yeah.


Dick: Huh!


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: How 'bout that?


Maddox: Well, lemme tell you. This guy, this Karl Marx dude, was probably one of the best and only good professors I had at the University of Utah. I had a handful of good professors at the University of Utah. This guy was one of 'em. Another one was this other lady who taught me my final class that I ever took at the University of Utah. She taught it in such a good pedagogical way. She used the Socratic method, which is actually one of the tools of critical thinking that I'm gonna talk about. But this guy, this professor in my writing class, he taught me critical thinking! He brought in advertisements, and he showed us these advertisements and he just asked us in class, like, "What do you guys think of these ads?" 


Dick: Right.


Maddox: And at first everybody in the class thought nothing of it. They were just ads for detergent and ads for, know, food and cars and things and we thought, "Well, nothin'. It's just a picture of a car. What is there to think about it?" And he said, "Well, that's the problem. You SHOULD be - "


Dick: (interjects) The new Mustang was comin' out around then. 


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: It would've been the new Ford Mustang ad.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: Well, so he taught us to look at these advertisements critically, and he said, "Everything in the advertisement is there for a reason. Nothing is there by accident, including the print, including the type, including the position relative to each other inside an advertisement." And then I started staring at these advertisements in a different way and I realized, "Oh my god, this is...what he's saying is correct! It's true! Everything in this advertisement has been meticulously crafted for a reason. Nothing is there by accident." And so that's when I started thinking critically about pretty much everything, and then he taught me how to write critical papers, and I wrote a paper in that class that was...that is pretty much the template for every essay -


Dick: (interjects) Yeah, you said that in the first...I think the first bonus episode.


Maddox: Yeah!


Dick: I wanna see it, but you didn't wanna give away your secrets.


Maddox: No.


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: I'll tell you the tools that you need to use. It's just the Socratic method. That's it.


Dick: Is that why you hate ads? 'Cause of this guy?


Maddox: No, I don't hate ads because of this guy. I hate ads because they're mostly dishonest and misleading.


Dick: Eh, I don't know. What do you think about art then? Like, when you go to a museum, do you look at a painting and say that it's dishonest and misleading?


Maddox: It depends! Depends on the, um...on -


Dick: (interjects) Oh, interesting!


Maddox: Yeah. It depends on the intent of the artist.


Dick: Okay.


Maddox: 'Kay? If the artist -


Dick: (interjects) What if it was painting of you looking, like, really muscley and ripped?


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Would you say that was dishonest and misleading?


Maddox: I'd say that's super honest.


Dick: Okay.


Sean: How can you honestly tell his intention?


Maddox: Well, you would have to read and you'd have to know what the artist says, and you'd also have to make a value judgment on whether or not the artist is being honest! Sometimes artists say one thing and they do another. Like for example, trolls online? A lot of people say they're trolls after they get caught doing something shitty.


Dick: That bugs me too, yeah.


Maddox: Yeah. In fact -


Dick: (interjects) You're right.


Maddox: I'm crea-...I'm working on a project, Dick. This is a big project I've been workin' on for a long time, but it's going to solve this problem of unintentional trolling.


Dick: Mm.


Maddox: Because trolling requires intent. Anyway, we're gettin' way off topic here.


Dick: Oh yeah, I know...I know somethin' about trolling.


Maddox: Oh yeah? (chuckling)


Dick: Yeah!


Maddox: Yeah? Anyway Dick, we're gettin' way off topic here. I wanna talk about the Socratic method. This is a form of inquiry based on asking questions and answering them to stimulate critical thinking. This is what of my good professors in college taught. Uh, she -


Sean: (interjects) It teaches you not to wear jackets. (Dick giggles)


Maddox: Sean! (annoyed) I REASONED my way into not wearing jackets. You know what, Dick? Why don't you play a fuckin' -


Dick: (interjects) And to fuck teenage boys, right? (Maddox laughs) Did you go all the way with your Socratic method or did you stop at just the thinking?


Maddox: No, dickhead.


Dick: And the jacket wearing? (grinning)


Maddox: Shut up. (Dick laughs) It involves a discussion in which the defense of an argument is questioned. If the person being questioned contradicts him or herself it may strengthen the inquirer's position, hence the reason I ask you so many questions, Dick, sometimes even when I agree with you. If he or she has a position, it could strengthen it, right? Or it may strengthen the defender's argument by demonstrating that all the loose ends are considered. And I just have a couple quotes, and I'll end this, uh, this solution here. This one's from Seneca, a Roman philosopher in 4 B.C. He says, "He who decides a case without hearing the other side, though he decided justly, cannot be considered just."


Dick: Hm.


Maddox: I totally agree with that, because you know when I brought in the problem of unint-...of well-intentioned idiots?


Dick: Yeah!


Maddox: The dancer, the big dancing guy who was made fun of supposedly?


Dick: Uh-huh.


Maddox: He had his big dance party, and a lot of -


Dick: (interjects) No, let's talk about that in the regular episode though.


Maddox: Okay. Well, I just wanna say -


Dick: (interjects) Yeah, 'cause people want an update.


Maddox: Yeah, I'll just say this, that a lot of people sent it as kind of a "fuck you" in my face, right? I said, "Guys, the outcome is irrelevant, because they couldn't have known anything going in." And then one -


Dick: (interjects) Not in the real world, it's not.


Maddox: No, but it is.


Dick: It's relevant.


Maddox: No, it's not.


Dick: Yeah. (smiles)


Maddox: And there is another quote by Ben Franklin. He says, "When these difficult cases occur, they are difficult chiefly because while we have them under consideration, all the reasons pro and con are not present in the mind at the same time." That's why it's difficult to do critical thinking, 'cause you really have to look at both sides. And I just wanna say that critical thinking is the ability to look at both sides of a debate, consider the pros and cons, weigh all of your options, and surface hidden assumptions made by the debater. It's a super important thing that we need to...that everybody needs to do. It can make you a smarter person, it can improve your life.


Dick: And like everything else, it should be done in moderation. 


Maddox: No! (both laugh)


Dick: Do I have that right?


Maddox: Nope! (Dick keeps laughing) Ass!


Dick: Have you ever read...what's the...what is the Plato book where he, um...he writes out a fictional conversation between Socrates and, like, Th-...Thalmides or something? Some other Greek asshole. It's one of Plato's bigger books.


Maddox: Mmm, I don't know.


Dick: Where it's a demonstration of the Socratic method that supposedly happened between Socrates and, like, some other...


Maddox: Plato's Apology? It's not his Apology.


Dick: No. Uh, I don't know.


Maddox: The Republic or something?


Dick: I, it's not The Republic. I don't know but I read it, and it's,'s exactly what you're describing.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: The way he's debating with this guy?


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: And when I got done with it I was like, "God, I never wanna be this asshole." Like, he's SO annoying. (Maddox laughs) The way he's pestering this guy?


Maddox: Oh man, that guy's so funny. Socrates is so fuckin' funny, dude.


Dick: So funny? (laughing) Alright.


Maddox: He's so witty. Anyway man, I really think that critical thinking may be the biggest solution in the universe.


Dick: Yeah?


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Or we'll see if it beats out hemlock! Right? (Maddox laughs loudly) 'Cause that's on the list! 


Maddox: You know, an antidote -


Dick: (interjects) Euthanasia! Isn't it?


Maddox: An antid-...yeah. It is.


Dick: Yeah! We'll see if Socrates' critical thinking beats out Socrates' suicide. (grins)


Maddox: That was not euthanasia, asshole. That was murder. He was murdered.


Dick: Nonono, he drank hemlock!


Maddox: Well, yeah, but he -


Sean: (interjects) No, they made him, didn't they?


Maddox: Yeah, they made him. He had no -


Sean: (interjects) He was convicted for, like, corruption of the youth.


Maddox: Yeah.


Sean: Wasn't he?


Dick: No, they were...yes, but they wanted...I thought they wanted him to die a different way and he's like, "I'm dyin' my own way. Fuck you guys."


Sean: Eh, that could be true, but...


Dick: Like, he could've said "I'm innocent, and I just...hey guys, all that stuff I was sayin'? I was just trolling."


Maddox: Yeah. (laughs)


Dick: Like, "LOLZ, I'll see you guys later. I'm gonna get outta here." But he was like, "I'm totally guilty. I'm gonna martyr myself by drinking this hemlock."


Maddox: Yeah. I think that's what happened, but it was kind of a false choice. He didn't really have a choice. He was gonna get killed in a brutal way.


Dick: He could've just said he was kidding. (Maddox giggles)'s that for critical thinking? (Sean chuckles in the background)


Maddox: Yeah. I -


Dick: (interjects) I'm questioning...


Maddox: You know, Dick, it's hard for you to relate to somebody who would die for their principles.


Dick: Yeah!! (Maddox laughs more) It is, 'cause I would never, ever do that! (shouting)


Maddox: I know!


Dick: And I encourage everyone to not do that!!


Maddox: Hah.


Sean: He's just like the old Italian guy in Catch-22. 


Dick: Yeah, whatever! 


Sean: He was like, "Yeah, when we're winning - "


Dick: (interjects) Whosever in charge, I don't care!


Sean: "When we're winning, I'm for Italy. When we're losing, I'm for the winner." You know?


Dick: Whoever! I'm for the aliens! I DON'T CARE. (Sean laughing) Just leave me the fuck alone!


Maddox: Fair-weather debater, Dick Masterson. (Dick guffaws) What's your next solution, Dick?


Dick: Alright, my next solution is cuteness.


Maddox: (buzzer sound effect) (everyone laughs) Fuckin' bullshit! ('boo' sound effect) Get OUTTA here.


Dick: Okay, I'm -


Maddox: (interjects) Alright, that's our episode. We're... (everyone laughs more)


Dick: I'm sure everybody knows that cuteness is why we don't murder our babies.


Maddox: Wrong!! 


Dick: What do you mean, "wrong"? (stammers) Cuteness, like a baby's features, seeing that as cute? The same thing we see in, like, animals and other shit? Cars sometimes? (cracking up)


Maddox: Dick, there are all sorts of ugly babies that don't get murdered. 


Dick: No, nononono, but it evokes...their, like...their small jaws, their big foreheads and their oversized eyes evoke feelings of caring for them. (Maddox scoffs) 


Maddox: Oh. Oh, s-... (laughs)


Dick: No, this is, like, a scientific thing! I didn't know you didn't...I thought this was widely accepted!


Maddox: I'm sorry Dick, can you repeat that? The size of your ovaries bursting was too loud. The sound of your ovaries -


Dick: (interjects) Oho, you're so manly...


Maddox: Yeah. (grins)


Dick: can't even imagine, like, a cute baby? Like, that's...


Maddox: No, I don't think babies are cute! I just don't! I think they're just obnoxious little things.


Dick: What about a baby you? 


Maddox: A ba-


Dick: (interjects) Oh nonono, wait!! Nonono, that's my point! 


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: They ARE obnoxious and horrible...


Maddox: Yeah!


Dick: ...and they puke all over everything and they destroy things and they ruin your life!


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: The reason we don't kill them is because of the "cute factor." 


Maddox: Well, what -


Dick: (interjects) Like, the way they look...the way they look, even if it's someone else's baby.


Maddox: Dick, have you ever seen a baby with Harlequin's disease?


Dick: What... (laughs)


Sean: Oh yeah, don't Google "Harlequin babies." Yeah.


Maddox: Don't Google it. Do NOT Google it. I'm gonna explain it -


Dick: (interjects) Is that when they're turned inside out?


Sean: Those are awful.


Maddox: Basically, yeah. I'm going to explain it in as much detail as possible, in the hopes that you won't Google it. It''s awful. Their eyelids are peeled inside out. Their skin's, like, all throbby and red. They look basically like, abortions that weren't completed all the way. Their -


Sean: (interjects) No, their skin hardens into, like, plates and cracks. 


Maddox: Yeah.


Sean: They look like they have rhino skin, and if they move...


Maddox: Yeah, it's terrible.


Sean: splits.


Dick: Why the fuck do you know so much about this?


Sean: Because somebody told me to Google it, and I wish I never had.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: And then you, like, read the entire Wikipedia about it and memorized it? 


Sean: Well, I have know me. (Dick laughs)


Maddox: Yeah, you're curious. No, seriously, I saw this thing and it looked like an alien species! I'd never seen anything that looked so horrendous, and I thought, "Well, I gotta know what this is. I need to know if this is a prop from a sci-fi movie or if it's a real thing," and it turns out it's a real thing and it's so horrible. Why do we take care of babies like that, Dick?


Dick: Well, I wouldn't! 


Maddox: Ohokay.


Dick: But so you're saying there's a difference between a cute baby and one that looks like a monster?


Maddox: Barely! (laughs)


Dick: And you don't wanna care for them. (cracks up)


Sean: Yeah, but those babies die in like 1 or 2 days.


Maddox: Yeah.


Sean: Usually.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Yeah, like in the 300, that movie with the Spartans? They kicked that weird guy out, remember? At the village, 'cause he was deformed.


Maddox: Yeah, the hunchback. I remember.


Dick: Yeah. Alright, um...


Maddox: Cuteness! Cuteness -


Dick: (interjects) Cuteness is a subjective term describing a type of attractiveness commonly associated with youth and appearance, as well as a scientific concept first introduced by Konrad Lorenz. He proposed that it's a set of facial and body features that make a creature appear cute, and that's another interesting part of it, 'cause humans, um...lemme see. We mature...our brain is like only 40% complete when our bodies are adult sized. A 10-year-old...or, like, a teenager can't fend for themselves.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: So we lose our cuteness, we lose that baby cuteness much later in life so adults will still wanna take care of us as children and teenagers. How 'bout...that's interesting!


Maddox: That is interesting.


Dick: Yeah!


Maddox: If -


Dick: (interjects) So apparently we evolved into, like, men-looking things.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: There was a group of humans that evolved into men-looking 13-year-olds; killed them. (Maddox laughs) Nobody took care of them!


Maddox: No. (laughing)


Dick: They only took care of the ones that looked cute.


Maddox: No, it's kinda true. I guess a lot of times you will find...I've noticed that I have some friends who are short, (Dick giggles) and because they're short they kind of have more childlike features. You know, the shorter limbs and whatever, and people treat them differently. They treat them a little bit more protectively.


Dick: Yeah!


Maddox: I don't know what it is. It's kinda...but it may be that you feel like somebody who's smaller than you may be weaker, even though whether or not that's the case is irrelevant. But you may feel like they may be weaker, which may kind of kick in some kind of, uh...


Dick: Logic, you're saying.


Maddox: ...paternalistic or maternalistic instinct.


Dick: Okay, here's something you might find interesting: a study found that cuteness improved performance. So they took a bunch of people and they made 'em do,, a test with their fine motor skills. They made 'em manipulate a bunch of shit with their fingers. They showed them pictures of cute animals, like baby animals, and they showed them pictures of normal animals. And the people who saw pictures of cute animals did 45% better on the test, and the people who saw just pictures of normal animals did 15% better.


Maddox: That pisses me off, man.


Dick: So cute...looking at cute animals boosts your productivity! They did the same thing with a numbers test, like a thinking test?


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: And then, a "make sure you don't fuck this up" test.


Maddox: Uh-huh.


Dick: And the people who saw cute shit performed better on all the tests.


Maddox: Oh, wow!


Dick: Isn't that weird?


Maddox: Well, I guess women must be the most productive on Earth, huh? The most productive people on Earth, 'cause that's all they're fuckin' lookin' at is fuckin' pictures of dogs and cats. (Dick laughing) And every time I hop on Facebook I must be SUPER productive, because that's all I'm seeing. Snapchat? More dogs and horses!


Dick: I brought in some examples of cute baby animals, if you wanna look at them.


Maddox: No!! (both laugh) You fuckin' asshole! I will NOT! This is my new Titanic.


Dick: Just one, just one. Here.


Maddox: Well, okay. Let's see it.


Dick: Ahhhahahah. (smiles)


Maddox: What is that? Is that an elephant penis? 


Dick: That is a rhinoceros's penis. (Maddox giggles) Fuck you.


Maddox: That look kinda cool, actually. (Dick laughs) It looks like looks like an orchid.


Dick: Alright, that's my...that's my problem. Oh, and, um...they're making...they're finding that products that look like cute babies, like cars...


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: ...are selling more, are more po-...have more of a positive response than cars that look normal.


Maddox: That's... (annoyed)


Dick: Like, incorporating this shit into products. So in the future, everything's gonna look like a baby. Like, your iPhone's gonna have eyeballs on it. (cracking up)


Maddox: They already do!! Everything already looks fuckin' cute and it's horrible! Dick, I can't stand things that are cute. (Dick laughs) I really d-...I CAN'T.


Dick: 'Cause they make you feel a loss of control! That was another thing! 


Maddox: Is that what it is?


Dick: You know that impulse people have, like, "That's so cute I wanna squish it"?


Maddox: Yeah. (chuckling)


Dick: So you know that response?


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Like, "Oh, that..." People get like, "Aghhh!" 


Maddox: Yeah, yeah.


Dick: "I see something so cute I wanna crush it!" They're saying...they're theorizing that that's because you feel a loss of control of your biological response...that seeing the cuteness makes you feel a loss of control, and that makes you, like, kind of angry.


Maddox: Makes me wanna shit my pants.


Dick: That you wanna crush it.


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: Yeah!


Maddox: Yeah, man!


Dick: Yeah, there you go! It's very powerful. Very powerful thing.


Maddox: You know, Dick? Um... (sighs) Things that are cute piss me off, and I can't... (Dick giggles) Maybe it's what you just said, it's a lack of control or something. I don't know what it is, but the colors I like to surround myself with are blacks and grays and reds and things that know, like, kind of neutral colors.


Dick: Like the Nazis.


Maddox: No! (Sean laughs loudly in the background) Well, I guess. (Dick giggles) Yeah, you...okay!


Dick: "I guess, exactly like the..." (laughing)


Maddox: Yeah, like the color palette of the Nazis. (Dick guffaws) 


Dick: Okay.


Maddox: Hey, broken clocks w-... (cracks up) (Dick cackles) Even a broken clock's right twice a day, dickhead!


Dick: Yeah. (grinning)


Maddox: Nazis...Na-


Dick: (interjects) Unless it's an iWatch. 


Maddox: Yeah. (chuckling) Well, that can' can't even tell, 'cause the fuckin' battery's always dead. (Dick laughs) Every fuckin' iPhone user: "Oh, can I borrow an iPhone 5 charger? Huhh?" (stupid voice) So you can be tethered to a wall like a slave? Anyway Dick, cute things...cute things upset me, and you're tellin' me essentially that I have intentionally done 15% poorer on tests all my life because I look at monsters. I like monsters!


Dick: Yeah! So you're -


Maddox: (interjects) Monsters...I think monsters are awesome!


Dick: Nah, doesn't help your brain though. (Maddox stammers) That's not what the study...the study even put FOOD in there. It looked at pictures of food...


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: ...and people didn't do...people was, like, close to the control group.


Maddox: Did they put pictures of monsters and tits in there to see what that would do for your productivity?


Dick: Let's do it. Let's...let's write a white paper on... (chuckles)


Maddox: Alright. (grins)


Dick: They didn't do that, no. 


Maddox: Dick, cuteness is obnoxious. I think it's probably...I'm gonna bring it in as a problem. I think it's a horseshit -


Dick: (interjects) You should do it while you're working on your book! You should take a cute animal break.


Maddox: Ohh. (sarcastic) Yeah. That's every...


Dick: Cute Overload break every 15 minutes or so. According to the science, you'll write better!


Maddox: Uh-huh. Oh, that's every fuckin' time I open up my phone! Every time I pull up Snapchat, more fuckin' dogs and babies and cats and horses! (Dick laughing) Every time I look on Facebook, more fuckin' kittens!


Dick: Yeah. (amused)


Maddox: Ohh my gosh, Cute Overload! Have you seen that website, Cute Overload?


Dick: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Maddox: Yeah.


Dick: I know that site.


Maddox: Yeah. (muttering) I think I'm cute. Anyway Dick, are you done with your solution?


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: Your problem?


Dick: I'm done.


Maddox: Your problem? (Dick chuckles) Yeah.


Dick: We'll see.


Maddox: Dick, I got the real -


Dick: (interjects) I mean, it's no "Riots," but... (laughs)


Maddox: No, it's no-... (cracks up) It's no "Riots." Riots aren't cute. Riots are fuckin' cool.


Dick: Yeah. (dismissively)


Maddox: Um, here's... (chuckles) Here's a real solution, Dick: boxes! (Dick giggles) ('ding!' sound effect) Yeheheheeah! Boxes. (clapping sound effect) What a cool...what a cool problem. Boxes. Er, cool solution. 


Dick: You have a conversation with yourself every time you bring in a problem about how great it is. (cracking up)


Maddox: A solution!


Dick: Yeah, a solution.


Maddox: Yeah!


Dick: Yeah, anything.


Maddox: 'Cause this one is a real good pro-...or good solution, Dick! Boxes are the containers used for storage... (Dick bursts out laughing) (Maddox giggles)


Dick: In case you don't know!! (both keep laughing) 


Maddox: They're used for storage or for temporary carrying parcels to transport contents from one place to another! They're super useful! (more laughing)


Dick: Yeah...


Maddox: Right?? 


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: Sean! Sean has all this fuckin' gear that he hauls in every time for the studio. Our...what is this, a proc-...processor?


Sean: That's a r-...


Dick: That's a rack!


Sean: That's a rack.


Dick: That's not a box.


Maddox: I don't...


Sean: It holds the equipment.


Dick: It doesn't have a front or a back! How is it a box?


Maddox: (yells) I'm looking at a box! Boxes don't have to have...they only need 4 sides. (Dick scoffs) You can have bowls in the boxes.


Dick: Here we go, immediately a problem! (Maddox laughs) Immediately some kind of impossible Loki's Wager problem! A box has to have 6 sides.


Maddox: No, it doesn't!


Dick: Well, then... (stammers) What' a piece of paper a box?


Maddox: No.


Dick: That has one side.


Maddox: Nope.


Dick: Yes, it does!


Maddox: Okay, yeah. (both laugh) No it doesn't, it has 2 sides! 


Dick: THAT -


Maddox: (interjects) Fuck you, it has 2 sides!


Dick: 4 sides is a tube. What Sean has is a square tube. It's not a BOX.


Maddox: Okay, call it -


Dick: (interjects) It needs to be enclosed! 


Maddox: Oh, okay. Potatoes, patatoes.


Dick: Read the Wikipedia thing again!


Maddox: Alright. Sure, dickhead. (Dick laughs) Dick, boxes are containers used for storage. 


Dick: Containers!!


Maddox: Is that the part you...? (cracks up)


Dick: That thing doesn't contain anything, 'cause it's open on 2 sides!


Maddox: It DOES, but it...there...look man, I'm not gonna fuckin' debate what a box is -


Dick: (yells over Maddox) Define "contain"!


Maddox: - you fuckin' asshole! (Dick cackles) Piece of shit! Aw man, I'm so fuckin' mad!


Dick: This is so fucked!! This is so fucked up! (still laughing)


Maddox: How is is this already a problem?! I'm just talkin' about boxes here! Shut up for a minute! (more giggling)


Sean: We haven't even properly defined a box yet.


Maddox: Do we know what a box is?


Dick: No!! 


Maddox: A box with a hole in it is still a box! It's a box with a hole in it, shut up! Alright. Boxes can be made out of wood, (snickers) cardboard, metal, paper, plastic, or just about anything.


Dick: Oh, wow! (still laughing)


Maddox: Sizes may vary from small, like lunch boxes, to medium for toasters, or large for computers and TV screens. Boxes come in all shapes and sizes. Actually pretty much one shape, which is, like, rectangular. (Dick cracks up again) Um... (giggles)


Dick: Yeah! That's...where did you get this information?! 


Maddox: I wrote it, dickhead.


Dick: "All shapes and sizes."


Maddox: It's just things I know! This came from my mind. You're welcome. (Dick cackles again) 


Dick: "Some boxes are even envelopes." (Maddox laughs hysterically)


Maddox: Why are you such a dick??


Sean: "Some boxes are homes!" (Dick and Maddox lose it again)


Dick: Ahh.


Maddox: Alright, man. One of the biggest innovations to happen to boxes was the corrugated box, which is used primarily as shipping containers for pretty much everything you order! These boxes were engineered to be light and strong! (Dick snickering) They're resistant to crushing and can be stacked easily. That's...that's an innovation, right?


Dick: Yeah!


Maddox: They're built with load sharing, which distributes the weight of a load along their surfaces. So cardboard is about half air, you know? Like, in...if you look in between a corrugated box, look at the cardboard, it's half air, which means that it's very light yet the strength comes from mini I-beams that are built inside layers of paper. They're just like trestles in construction sites.


Dick: Right.


Maddox: Like, little I-beams. They've made thousands of mini I-beams inside the layers of the cardboard, which makes it really, really strong for its weight. Cardboard is an incredible invention! It really is. People take it for granted 'cause it's everywhere.


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: Did you know that 95% of all products in the US are shipped with corrugated boxes?


Dick: 95?


Maddox: 95%! 


Dick: What's the 5...what's the other 5? Like, bags?


Maddox: No, I think the other 5% -- I was thinkin' about it -- is either...yeah, like Tyvek pouches.


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: Tyvek is also an innovation.


Dick: That's cool.


Maddox: Tyvek pouches or actual just, uh...not cardboard, but paper. Like paper boxes that say, for example, donuts come in. 


Dick: Oh, okay.


Maddox: Yeah. 


Dick: Yeah.


Maddox: Anyway man, 95% of everything you order online comes to you in a box. You're welcome. 


Dick: I'll tell you -


Maddox: (interjects) Boxes are our biggest solution.


Dick: I'll tell you why this is a bogus solution that you brought in. (Maddox sighs loudly) 


Maddox: What?? (snapping)


Dick: Because a box is nothing without tape. (Sean chuckles in the background)


Maddox: Dick... (annoyed)


Dick: Without tape, you just got a big cardboard tube.


Maddox: That's wrong!


Dick: It's nothin', man.


Maddox: Have you ever seen a pizza box? No tape, no adhesives. Fuck you.


Dick: Well, okay.


Maddox: (buzzer sound effect)


Dick: You got me.


Maddox: Yep! (laughs loudly)


Dick: That was it. (smiles) That was the only objection I had.