Sir Gene Speaks

0091 Sir Gene Speaks with Yet Another Dude Named Ben

November 10, 2022 Gene Naftulyev Season 2022 Episode 91
Sir Gene Speaks
0091 Sir Gene Speaks with Yet Another Dude Named Ben
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Gene:

Gene again here. And joining me today is Ben. Ben. How are you?

Ben:

Good Gene, how you doing?

Gene:

I'm doing pretty well now. Ben, you seem to have a different accent.

Ben:

That's, I mean, yeah, a little bit

Gene:

it's the, it's the same accent for you. It's just a different accent for a person named Ben that I, I was talking to last week or the week before that.

Ben:

Oh, well, maybe I'm just you know, throwing the, throwing the accent on, trying to throw everybody off,

Gene:

Maybe. Maybe.

Ben:

no.

Gene:

So, who are you, Ben?

Ben:

hi I'm so Ben. Well, one of the, Anyway, sorry, I'll start all that again. Hi, my name's Ben from Australia. Also a dude named Ben. So work in it. I think this is my second time on the Seine speak. So,

Gene:

Yeah, glad to have you back. I know I had you with the other dude named Ben, so this time we can talk directly without him interrupting. So, but yes, I'm, I'm happy to have you back on here. This will be a fun episode. There's a lot to talk about, obviously relating to US politics, and I'm curious to see what, what your thoughts from, you know, all the way around the other side of the world are, but also I want to hear about what's, what's the latest in Oz because in a lot of ways, we only get news about you guys when there's no news here. So everything falls to the side when there are things happening in the US and, and it covers the entire news cycle here. So, that, and then you also mentioned we started talking about video games before I hit the record button. So, I was, I was saying how, you know, I've been playing video games for a damn long time, but I've yet to forget a way to get paid for it. And I did try YouTube. Now, admittedly, this was years ago, but I, I seriously tried it. Like I, I did it for about, I think either three months or six months. I can't recall where I was posting an episode every other day, which I, I figured was the, like, the least that I could do. I, I, I would ideally it'd be every day, but that would be a crazy amount of work. But what it came down to, at least the way I was doing it with 4k, I was one of the first guys doing 4K gaming episodes was, it was literally an eight hour workday to put up one 40 minute episode. And Twitch I think is easier because Twitch, you just turn things on, but also, In Twitch, It's more like live radio than a podcast, because you have to not make as many mistakes. Either that, or you can just double down on the mistakes, and some people on Twitch do that and just, you know, demonstrate how horrible they are for the enjoyment of the viewers.

Ben:

Like the the girls on TikTok who cut off their fringe and it's terrible, but they, for some reason, they still edit and post the video anyway. Yeah, and I suppose my only experience with, with that, apart from playing a lot of games over the years is, you know, watching a couple of the, the streamers who, who went from nothing to everything. So, you know, I like, I like Daisy for example. And you know, for people who, who might also be familiar with Frankie on PC in 10 80, so he was like a, a daisy daisy streamer way, way, way back in the day when it was an Armor two mod and, and all that sort of stuff. And then also

Gene:

didn't know that Z was arm two mug. I totally didn't know that.

Ben:

yeah, yeah. So the, the guy who was originally

Gene:

two.

Ben:

Yep. The, the guy, I can't remember the name of the day original Daisy programmer, which is probably highly offensive that I can't do that for the Daisy community. But anyway, so he was originally in the New Zealand Army and, you know, so obviously playing Daisy is like a thing that, that happens there. And he went, Oh, I reckon I can, I can make this slightly cooler. And he started making a, you know, survival horror thing, and turns out that ended up being quite popular and then it, it slowly migrated to to Armor three. And then whatever the, the studio was you know, bought the, the rights to it. And then it got, you know, was Dave Solo for a very long time, and it was completely horrific. And the, the early release on Steam was terrible. But anyway, we're getting a little bit off. Yeah. So those guys, so like, I,

Gene:

fine. I, I'm happy to talk video games. I don't play the Z for one. Simple reason is that many years ago, I just felt like an overload of zombie shit. And I don't wanna read about 'em, I don't wanna watch him on tv. I don't wanna play video games with him. It's just, we've gone overboard. Like there are more interesting opponents than zombies out there.

Ben:

Yeah. Oh,

Gene:

interesting bad guys.

Ben:

definitely. Like, there was, there was definitely a what's the phrase? Definitely a hor of zombie zombie movies, Zombie

Gene:

and games and everything else.

Ben:

Pun, pun intended.

Gene:

away from it. And, and it's really, I mean, one of the distinguishing characteristics, they move slow and you can only kill 'em if you blow their head off or chop their head. And there's a lot of them. And like, I think that is a very limiting thing to put into a game or a movie, I suppose, as far as parameters for the bad guy, you look at something like I don't know if you've ever seen the thing,

Ben:

Yes.

Gene:

yeah, the, like back, I think it was in the eighties movie obviously a book before that, but, or, or even Alien, like either one or two. After that they kind of started going downhill, but, but man, you could do something that's way scarier, way more like, just creates goosebumps on you Then fricking zombies,

Ben:

Well, but it's a,

Gene:

zombies are, are are people with less capacity,

Ben:

Yeah, but it's an easy and, and funny you should say that, like, you know, have you heard of the UN plan for a zombie attack? I think it was the un.

Gene:

I, I remember a few years back, there were some exercises that were done as a zombie attack, but I don't know if that was just a tongue in cheek thing or what.

Ben:

Well, because it's, it's actually a really good analogy. Like how a, a zombie mob, a zombie hoard whatever operates, like basically moving, slowly moving through an area and just trampling and destroying, you know, everything. Right? It's actually a, apparently a really good analogy for mass starvation, right? Cuz that's what, you know, like starving people are not gonna move particularly quickly through an area. There is gonna be a lot of 'em, and any area that they move through is just gonna be completely stripped bear. So I, I think it was the un that years and years ago had like a, a zombie, you know, attack plan or, or defense plan or something or other. But it was actually like a, a way of, of gaming out mass. You know, what would happen during mass starvation, but in like a fun way that nobody thinks, oh gee, the UN's planning for everybody to run outta food, You know? So

Gene:

I think that's only localized though because we've had mass starvation in Africa for, you know,

Ben:

Oh yeah. But that's, Yeah, but that's, that's in Africa. Yeah.

Gene:

real

Ben:

yeah, but it's not, you know, nobody cares about Africa. Like, geez. Especially in the UN God, no.

Gene:

Well, oh, China owns it. So why, you know,

Ben:

Yeah,

Gene:

outside of Western purview at this point.

Ben:

Yeah. If it's not the French, it's the Chinese. Yeah.

Gene:

Yeah, well, it used to be the French

Ben:

Yeah, no, they've still got, they still do have a bit of influence around the place and you know, like, I think the longest internal flight in the world is from like Paris to an island off the coast of Africa, because it's still actually part of France and it's like an

Gene:

I'm pretty sure it's inside of Texas. Although, although, you know, you, you guys have some pretty long range distances there with nothing in between either

Ben:

Oh, yeah. West Australia. Like one of my, one of my favorite statistics is you can literally drive for, I think it's four days or five days or something in the same direction at a hundred kilometers an hour, and you are still in the same state. You know, I think there's like, like 1, 1 1 electorate. You know, you can, you can spend an entire day driving at a hundred kilometers an hour and you're still in the same electorate, like, Yeah.

Gene:

I think, I think if you go from the eastern border of Texas to El Paso and the western border of Texas I wanna say it's probably about 20 hours

Ben:

Yep.

Gene:

of driving at you know, a little over a hundred kilometers. So it'd probably be about 115 kilometers. Because from Austin where I am, which is kinda in the middle a little bit towards the east it's still about eight and a half hours to get to the western side of Texas. So from where I am, I, I can drive south for seven hours west for eight and a half hours, or east for about seven hours, and I'm still inside Texas.

Ben:

Mm. Yep. Yep. Now, I once once upon a time I went to, to pick up a, this is when I was living in Queensland I went to, to pick up a, a little tinny a tiny little boat off my, off my uncle who lived very, very north Queensland, sort of in inland of Townsville. And I was living around Brisbane at the time. And I did that drive with a friend. So I think we stopped somewhere near Gladson. And then I got, I got sick of the, of stopping and sleeping and all that sort of stuff. So I think I drove, drove from, from Gladson to Townsville in land to where he lived, and then back and down to Brisbane in one go, just stopping for, for

Gene:

how, how far is

Ben:

That was about how far it was. It's like thousands of, of kilometers. It was 20, 26 hours. Just drive driving nonstop was,

Gene:

Are the speed limits faster once you get out to Western Australia? Cause I, when I was in Melbourne, I was very surprised at how low the speed limits

Ben:

Yeah. No, no, no. Northern Territory used to have unlimited roads. I'm not, I'm, I know they, they kept removing them and putting, you know, it's 110. Is the, the maximum that you normally get. And then one, you know, that's, that's out in the, out in the sticks. And then a hundred is, well, major highways and, and things as well as out in the sticks. And then a hundred is normal everywhere else. But yeah, Northern Territory used to have unlimited speed roads and, and because it's also extremely hot, like a lot of car manufacturers used to come over here and do, do tests and my, you know, like they'd drive around in 50 degree heat at a, at a car towing, something really heavy, driving 40 kilometers an hour just as a massive stress test. And then at the same time, you know, belting down as fast as they could get the thing Yeah. At 50 degrees and, you know, 0%

Gene:

A hundred even. 110 just kind of feels like that makes sense for cities, I guess, but low for,

Ben:

oh yeah. Yep, yep. And, you

Gene:

the people drive faster or do they stick to the.

Ben:

It depends on the state. So again, I've, I've lived, I've spent a huge number of years in Brisbane also in Melbourne, and now I live in, in Tasman, so that's since I was on here last I moved from

Gene:

Oh, you're waying the south.

Ben:

Yep. Oh, yep. Yep.

Gene:

Oh, cool. I didn't realize that.

Ben:

Yep. Well, Tasmania their policies when they handled Corona was the, the best and they also had the best outcomes. And this is also despite Tasmania having the highest average age population, which should have been meant you were affected more, but. It wasn't the case. And yeah, definitely after living under Dictator Dan, like screw that. No, we, we got out as soon as we were able to basically after that, which is really disappointing cuz I, I used to really love living around Melbourne, well, I was in regional Victoria, but we still have access to Melbourne and I used to really like it, you know, it was great. You know, the food everywhere was fantastic. The, the scenery was pretty, you know, most of the people were nice. Yeah. And, and Dan's just, just ruined it. But yeah. Anyway, anyway yeah, so,

Gene:

I've been out there, but yeah, I, I thought and then the only city I've been to is Melbourne and just driving around the, the coast a little bit there. But the I think that was my biggest complaint though about everything is just, it really felt like the, the, the speed limits everywhere were just too damn low

Ben:

Yeah. And the, and the standard, the standard of driving in around Melbourne I found is, is pretty bad. Like the people, you know, it's not quite as bad as, as like if anybody's ever driven around South America, like holy cow, like my God, like, you know, and, and I've got, oh, I've got some great stories about that. But anyway yeah, so the actual standard of driving, like people just, there's knowing the road rules, right? And there's not giving a crap about the road rules and just doing whatever

Gene:

following and knowing,

Ben:

Yep. Yep. Melbourne lacks both of those. The people either don't know the road rules or they could not give a shit. Right. Whereas in Queensland, so you know, there's not a lot of speeding on the, the Ring Road. People are sitting at 80, 80 kilometers an hour on the Ring Road, like all the time, you know, And then also the standard of the road is also terrible around Melbourne too. Like, even though they've spent however much money, you know, building these highways, you look at that, you compare that to the highways that are in Brisbane, and the highways in Brisbane are fantastic. Like there's this thing called the Riverside Expressway. Basically, if you are in the Brisbane cbd, you're literally in town hall. And then you can be, you know, doing 80 kilometers an hour on a highway within a minute. Because the, you know, Brisbane being on the Riverside, there's a, there's a, a highway in expressway. That's right. They built on top of the mangroves in the river. So, and all of the one way streets coming out of the city just dump onto this expressway. So it's, you know, within a minute of being in the cbd, you can be traveling at a hundred kilometers an hour you know, 80, a hundred kilometers an hour and you're just out. Right. Melbourne doesn't have that, Doesn't even have a ring road, complete ring road. So it's just, it is shocking, you know? Yeah. And then also because it's a lot of inner city driving, you know, people who drive in a lot of windy, twisty roads out on the country, obviously that gives you a bit lot more practice at driving at windy, twisty roads. So that also improves your driving skills. You know, I've found driving around Tasmania, the, maybe not the road rule, the knowledge of the road rules is as high, but definitely the, the standard of driving, you know, like, yeah, main, staying in your lane, for example, being able to do the speed limit, you know, not, not cutting people off and you know, doing all that

Gene:

I'll tell you the biggest contrast with that that I remember in my life is crossing the border from Austria to Italy. And, you know, in Austria, they're all very proper. And it's you, you've got the, the, you, you never are in the left lane unless you're going you know, over 160 kilometers an hour. It's just everybody follows laws that don't even exist. Then you cross over into Italy and the

Ben:

and

Gene:

literally no one drives inside the lane. Like the lane markers are just sort of suggestions, but you see entire patterns of cars sort of just slowly drifting left, drifting right? And, and there are, you don't know how many lanes are on the road because in one place there's two cars next to each other, another place, there's four cars next to each other, and they're, they're literally in the same road. So it, it was crazy. That was, I love Italy. I've, I've lived there for a little while. It, it's, it's a great country. I have it, it's a place I've always kind of threatened to retire to, is just moved to Italy when I retired. But man, the car driving there is absolutely insane for Europe. Now, I've, I've also spent time in Central America and stuff, and, you know, I, I expect the driving to be worse there because it hasn't been as many years since they've went from horses to cars. But in Italy where, you know, Ferrari are manufactured, I kind of would expect people to be a little, little better at driving. But no, I mean, we, they, I, I remember staying in a hotel in Rome and we had a view, it was, it was about two blocks from the US Embassy. And we had a view of the intersection sort of a big intersection that was close to the US Embassy. I don't think a single day went by when I was there that I didn't hear horns and then looked out the window and saw a car accident, like every day there was a car accident there.

Ben:

mm Yep. Yep. Well, I think I had the attitude explained to me once by somebody, you know, like, I'm, I, my taxes pay for the whole road, so I'm gonna use the whole road. You know, whether it's a side, whether it's a, I'm just, I'm filling the road with my car and, you know, stuff that I've paid for this.

Gene:

Well, and I, I, I, I am a little biased being from Texas here, and especially the Austin area because we have literally the highest speed limit in the country. 85 miles an hour, so it's probably about 140, 150 kilometers an hour in that range.

Ben:

Yep.

Gene:

Whatever the conversion is, and. And so when you're used to driving that, everything else just feels ridiculously slow. Like why? Why do they force everyone to drive this slow? Why don't people just learn how to drive faster?

Ben:

Yeah, Yeah. I, I sort of understand the reasoning, like, you know, it's, and, and they do this, you know, I'm not sure if we have this in America, but there's, you know, so there's your normal speed signs in Australia you know, the white with the red circle and the, you know, black, but then there's also yellow speed signs, right? And what, what they mean is they're the recommended speed. So like, hey, if you've got, if you've got the worst car ever, or if you've got a heavily laid in, you know, the most heavily laid in truck that we allow on the roads, then then the recommended speed is what you should probably be doing, Right. So I, I do sort of understand, because they have to account for every terrible, shitty car that's, that's on the road, and they, they don't wanna be held

Gene:

people forget it. It's called a speed limit, not a minimum.

Ben:

yeah. Yep. I,

Gene:

so, you know, you like if you do have a crappier car or, or you just, you know, had a few too many drinks, don't drive as fast, that's okay. It's a, people will pass. You just stay in the right lane. So I, I think this idea of like, well we have to make sure that a hundred percent of the population can, is able to do this is ridiculous. You, that's what the right lane's for

Ben:

Yeah. Well, it's the,

Gene:

lane is for everybody who knows how to drive

Ben:

yes, the, the nanny state versus personal responsibility. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And, and like the, you know, so where, where I am now you know, obviously there's, there's, and I'm right an like, I'm, I'm on starlink right now. Like, that's, that's how for far out I am from, you know, civilization these days. So we've got

Gene:

How's your experience been with Starling? I,

Ben:

fantastic, fantastic. Really good. So it's, it's better than the a DSL two, which was, you know, for the Aussies listening, it was fiber to the node. It is much better than the a DSL two that I used to be on. So I think 3, 3 50 down is, you know, the maximum I think I've seen. And it's been a pretty steady 50 up no matter what. And reliability, you know, reliability has been rock solid, I think. I think maybe. There might have been like two dropouts and they've been for minutes or something. You know, I originally did a, had a, a fallback cause I wasn't sure how all this was gonna go when I moved here. So I had a fallback of nbn sky Muster, which is just god awful. Like my, it was unusable. I, I just I cannot understand like a worse than dial up for example, but yeah, but Starling, you know, and I thought, Hey, I'll, I'll get Sky Muster as a, as a backup because it's like 40 bucks a month or whatever on the, on the cheapest thing. But even that, it was, it was just not usable. So, and Starling ended up being really reliable. So I've ditched the Sky Muster altogether and yeah, and this has worked really well and we've got, you know, two kids who watch a lot of Netflix and YouTube and, and that sort of stuff. And I, I work in it and, you know, download big databases a lot for, for my work. So,

Gene:

And what kinda latency are you getting? Like to local places?

Ben:

two local, like, so that's the only, certainly the only real difference. So ADL I was getting you know, probably, definitely less than five Ping. You know, most of the time it was two, three, you know, maybe a bit more, something like that. Here though, starlink is 30 Ping, you know, and NBN Sky Master was a minimum of 500. Most of the time it was up to around the two and a half thousand,

Gene:

Yeah.

Ben:

which just un unusable onus. Like, and even, even the little pings that, that are, you know, devices, testing, connectivity, like, am I connected to the internet or not? Most of them were failing all the time on Skymaster anyway.

Gene:

I, I don't know if I need to geek out this much or nerd out, but I I am kind of curious to see what the trace route is from you to hear, because the audio quality is great and knock on the wood and the latencies doesn't seem to be noticeable whatsoever. So I'm, I'm wondering what our actual

Ben:

Yeah. Okay. Well I'll, I'll just do a quick, There you go. I'll just do a quick ping to google.com and I'm getting 46. 43

Gene:

Ping let's do something in Austin, Texas. Let's do a,

Ben:

Is, is there an An

Gene:

that's why I'm trying to find someplace that'll guarantee go to Austin as. Oh, you can just ping austin.com, which is a the city website here.

Ben:

Unless it's hosted in a AWS distributed, Yeah.

Gene:

Good point.

Ben:

Well, so that routes to 1 7, 2, 6, 7 1, 7, 6, 1, 8, 3. I dunno if that's And 42, 43. Yep. 49.

Gene:

a trace route. Yeah, let's get real nerdy. Do a trace route.

Ben:

Yep. Okay. Trace. Trace our t. austin.com.

Gene:

Yes, I know there's nothing more enjoyable than listening to a podcast where people are waiting for numbers to come back from from commands But I am curious. So let that run. And then you mentioned let's just wrap up gaming. So you mentioned one game. What else do you play?

Ben:

So me five at the moment cyberpunk and Supreme Commander, the FAF community, if anybody, you know, Forged Alliance forever. You know, so that's probably the, the three streamers that I really watch. So there's the the Running Man's e a guy called Gele who's a commentator for some of the, the faf Ladder games, which is, is surprisingly entertaining, you know? And yeah, so Frankie on PC back when he was streaming, and he like, literally ran off to Africa with, with all, all of his money. And, you know, that's, and he's, he's kind of given up since then. He tried to come back, but then I don't think he really liked it anymore, and he's just sort of given it up. Yeah. But anyway, that was the original story. We never even finished that. So I suppose I've, I've watched how those guys have built up their communities over the years, you know, starting, I was watching Frankie when, from when he started, and, and I think Running Man, I found him for ages as well. It takes a really, really long time. You have to be extremely dedicated. And yes, the editing, they constantly complain about the editing. I know Frankie, you know, got somebody to edit his videos from really early on and Running

Gene:

that's what I've noticed. A lot of the newer guys, they like, they'll have a thousand followers or a thousand subscribers on YouTube, and they've already got somebody editing. I'm like, Jesus, now. Now you're actually spending money.

Ben:

Yeah. Well, you know, if it doesn't seem like they're obviously not allowed to talk about how much, you know, money they, they make. Right. But as, as an example another channel I watch Beard meets food, so he does eating comp, eating competitions. And within the space of a few episodes, like you, you, he, all of a sudden, you know, his, his wife who drove him to some of the eating competitions, she all of a sudden started driving a Lexus. Right. And it was a, a CT 200 H you know, cause I like my, I like my Alexa. So recognized it fairly obviously, like, okay, that's not exactly a cheap car, you know? And then a, a few episodes later, he's driving around in a Tesla. Right. So, so, you know, that the, like the, that's, that's pretty much his job is, you know, And he and he, all of a sudden

Gene:

to Social Blade, you can look up what people are making.

Ben:

really? Oh God. Okay. I don't, No, I don't wanna know that actually.

Gene:

Social Blade is the analysis tool. It's third party tool, but it's very well tied into YouTube. And you can,

Ben:

Oh, geez.

Gene:

it does all the analysis and I mean, they're not like pulling their actual revenue numbers, but they're giving you, and I've talked to a number it's Social Blade, I think.com or.net, I don't remember, but if you just Google Social Blade, you can find it.

Ben:

Oh, no, I don't

Gene:

I used to, I used to have a podcast called New Media interviews. And I interviewed a number of people. In new media, including like, a guy that just started doing a gaming YouTube channel with, and he was, I think at 10,000 subs when I talked to him. Another guy that was at just over a million subs when I talked to him, another guy that was at 3 million subs. And all of them said social blades numbers are actually quite accurate.

Ben:

Mm.

Gene:

The, the, the thing with YouTube revenues is it's, it's continually going down. So let's say six, seven years ago, if you had a YouTube channel that was a million subscribers that was generating about 350,000 US dollars a year. I mean like substantially more. Definitely top 1% numbers. Today a channel with a million subscribers, you may be as low as 65,000 a year.

Ben:

mm.

Gene:

It's the, the rates that YouTube is paying, which I think someone is tied to the, what they're getting from advertisers has really gone down because seven years ago there was, Excuse me, there's an awful lot of not even so much bots, just empty accounts.

Ben:

Mm. Bots.

Gene:

Yeah. They're not even bots. They're just, you know, accounts that were set up, subscribed, and then left alone for five years that do

Ben:

So, so NPCs, is that

Gene:

I mean, like, I've got I think seven or eight YouTube accounts. I only use one, and I'm sure the other ones are still counting as subscriptions for people that I subscribe to when I was using them.

Ben:

Mm,

Gene:

It's, it's not even nefarious. It was just, you know, realistic. Nobody was tracking it,

Ben:

yeah. People

Gene:

Nobody was saying we only count accounts that someone's logged into in the last 30 days.

Ben:

Mm,

Gene:

Oh, I get your trace route. Very cool. So, yeah, that's, that's I think that's actually a local, that probably is Amazon, cuz that looks like a local server in Australia.

Ben:

Yeah. It, it goes straight from, from net.au to destination. And I'm like, Okay. No, no, no.

Gene:

Yeah. Well I guess the easy way is I could have just looked up my own goddamn address and giving you that to trace route too, but we won't bother doing that while we're recording. They'll need to bore people

Ben:

I mean,

Gene:

while waiting for things like

Ben:

Yeah, suffice to say it's plenty fast and, and we are talking right now. I can't even tell that there's a delay. If there is one and it's, you know, this is, and I, I spend my days in, in meetings these days anyway, so, you know, my experience has been very similar to what, what we're we are seeing right now. Like, it's actually, it's, it's really good. I'm, I'm very, very happy with Starling and it costs about the same as the, the NBN plan that I was paying anyway, so, Yeah.

Gene:

So what is that in Australian? How much do they charge you guys?

Ben:

139 a month.

Gene:

It's pretty close to us prices, I think. So you're probably getting it cheaper then. Cause I think US is one,

Ben:

Yeah,

Gene:

either one 19 or 1 29.

Ben:

no, it's like five, $139. Australian is like five bucks us at the moment, isn't it? I think, I think that's a

Gene:

Five bucks. You mean the other way around?

Ben:

no, the no, the exchange rate isn't the exchange. Well, I mean, I haven't really looked at the US exchange rate in a while, but it was, it was pretty horrific there for a bit. Yeah. That's another, let's not, let's not

Gene:

Australian dollar is 66 US

Ben:

Yeah. See that's see it wasn't so long ago. I remember parody, like, I remember when it was dollar for dollar. I think we even got to 1 0 1, you know, a little while ago. That wasn't that long ago. Right. Cause I, I, you know, we'd, we'd, I was traveling with my wife when, when that was happening and we were having a fantastic time, you know, with, with that back then. And geez, to go back to 60 C Oh my God.

Gene:

66. Yeah, that's number. Dude. We were at parody with the Canadian dollar, which having grown up in the US the Canadian dollar, like you always,

Ben:

been like

Gene:

I grew up close to Canada. It, well, it was always like between 65 and 85% of the US dollar. So anytime you went to Canada it was always like, just buy things that you don't really need cuz they're so damn cheap. And cuz the quality's the same, everything's the same. And, and the, certainly back in the eighties, nineties even early two thousands, really kind of pre nine 11 the prices in Canada were pretty much the same but in Canadian dollars. So everything was at a discount.

Ben:

Yep. Yep.

Gene:

post nine 11, I think Canadian prices more equalized. So when the, you know, when something would be $1 in the US it would cost you a dollar 25 in Canada for the same thing. But But then you know, during Obama we had parody with the Canadian dollars, like, what the hell is going out here? So the Canadians were crossing the border to the US because then it was all of a sudden cheaper to buy products in the US for them.

Ben:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And, and does not, you know, especially with the, the Australian parody, like it didn't, it didn't really seem connected to, to reality. Like nothing really changed to, to cause that, apart from, ah, so that was the, you know, I forgot to talk about this last time and dodgy. Yeah. So that was during the Julia Gillard when time, when she was pm. So, and then once she, once she finished being pm I thought I found this a while ago, but I thought I found evidence of this a while ago. But I checked her, her wiki recently, and it doesn't seem to be there anymore, but I thought she went to work for the Clinton Foundation after she was pm

Gene:

Oh, it wouldn't surprise

Ben:

Yeah. And she also, like the, that labor government gave, you know, a, a bunch of money directly to the Clinton Foundation. Now the, the liberal parties know better because what's his name? Turnbull was trying to, to give $400 million to, to save the Great Barrier Reef. Right. But, but the company that they were gonna give this to, who was gonna save the Great Barrier Reef, had ties to the Clinton Foundation as well. So that was, that was basically just another way of Yeah. Of, of routing the, the money back. So,

Gene:

I, I do have to say that I think. It really is too bad that Hillary ended up on that side of politics because I think the whole Clinton Foundation was her. It wasn't Bill. And she has some really good business acumen, but she is on the wrong side of politics and that's very unfortunate because you know, she could have very well ended up being sort of the Margaret Thatcher of the US had she been on the conservative side.

Ben:

Well, well, I mean from, I don't know if I can I dunno if I think the same about that because, you know, you, you see the, the sort of stuff, you know, stories of her early life and you know, the, the, she was part of the Watergate investigation, right? So like, she was a trainee lawyer or something like that during the, the Watergate. And she was, she was unceremoniously let go. And there was rumors, I'm not sure if it was confirmed that, that somebody said she was extremely unethical from, you know, even from such an early age. So like, I'm not sure if, if saying, oh, if she was, you know, if she was just batting for my team, she would've been good. Like, no,

Gene:

Oh, I don't care if she's ethical. I just want

Ben:

Oh,

Gene:

who's good at stuff on my team. Don't get me wrong here, I'm just, I'm just

Ben:

Oh no.

Gene:

I don't want the other guys to have people like that that that's the issue.

Ben:

Oh, okay. All right.

Gene:

No, I'm, We got plenty of ethical people. We don't need anymore We need our people that are good at what they do, which unfortunately, and this is maybe a good, good time to jump into the US politics with the midterms,

Ben:

Oh, Jesus.

Gene:

Is, you know, people that can actually achieve things that they set out to do because the, the whole talk of red wave. And red tsunami even really just reminded me that, Oh, that's right. These are the same people that, that kept bringing up with q the, the fact that the government's gonna get turned around after the fact and, and Trump will be back in office. It's like, guys, you're living on hope, not reality. You can't be drinking hopium.

Ben:

that was, yeah, hopium, like that was the, the word. So, funnily enough, like I've, I've actually read all of the, the Q stuff, like from the beginning I thought it was absolutely fascinating. Did I, did I believe it or not? Like, well, there was a lot of very convincing stuff there, right? But it's, it's part of the, the ethos that, that it's, it's meant to be obfuscated and, you know, it's, the true meaning is hidden underneath, you know,

Gene:

It's pseudo religious stuff, you know, It, it, it

Ben:

yeah, but that's, that's

Gene:

definitely conspiratorial

Ben:

Oh yeah, definitely conspiratorial, you know, and, and there was, there was a lot of really good information that did come out of that, like, you know, and it did wake a lot of people up and it, you know, one of the, the key tenets of it is, you know, do your research and don't trust anyone, basically. Right. And the, the people, no matter, you know, no matter who's on, on what political side, like they can be bad actors or they can be, you know, sleeper agents or, or whatever like that, that sort of thing. Which, which is good. Like you should never trust your politicians like,

Gene:

I mean it, there's nothing wrong with that, but there's two problems that I see. One is they all trust each other. And all the Q people are just buying shit with zero verification. And then the other thing is you know, while it's good to have a certain sense of mistrust there, just to make sure that you don't blindly walk into something there was also a. It, it was a lot more of a, I don't know, felt like a politic, It was like politics mixed in with high school. It was like, Oh, those, those athletic jocks. Yeah. You can't trust the damn thing they say. They'll light right to your face though. They won't. They're just stupid, man. They're not lying They just don't know any

Ben:

well.

Gene:

I was just, a lot of, a lot of, I think, assumptions about motive that were put together within queue that I just did not buy it all. I'm like, Dude, you guys are just making shit up. Instead of just saying, Well, it sucks, here's what happened. How do we move forward? It's like, Oh, you just wait. This is, well, this is not really what happened. Here's what really happened and here's what's gonna happen in the future.

Ben:

Patriots in control. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, now after, after this, like, I think it's, it's, Oh geez, definitely like, hey, you know, if Q makes another drop, like, Hey guys, like, it's time to, to put up and shut up. Like, this is ridiculous. The amount of, the amount of cheating that must have happened this time, like you see in Florida, right? So Florida is the example, is actually locked down, you know, a lot of the avenues for cheating mail-in voting, gone, you know, all, all that sort of stuff. And guess what? The massive, massive swings towards a guy that the public already loved to begin with, right? It was like, I, I think even in the, the deepest of D areas, there was still either a 12 to 14

Gene:

Miami which which has been the voting Democrat forever.

Ben:

Exactly, and that's probably because they've, they've removed a lot of the avenues for cheating. And you see the exact same thing that happened last time, like these huge spikes all of a sudden. And I think, and, and there's also, you know, the, they were also expecting a big red wave, right? Because there's some of the races that, that I was looking at, and there's like a huge spike up early in the night, you know, a huge spike up for Dems. But then no, no corresponding counts, you know, for, for Republicans, which is just not, like, that's just not possible. But then the, it keeps going up and they realize that, oh shit, we've overdone it later in the night. And then there's a huge spike down and it's, Oh, Jesus, come on guys. Like, oh, is like, Oh, oops, you know, we just miscounted a hundred thousand votes. Like, holy

Gene:

absolutely the case. The you don't have to be a conspiracy theorist, you just have to look at statistical results and the US election results look a hell of a lot more like South American election results than they do of more standardized, you know, European results.

Ben:

exit polling, right? Florida?

Gene:

But I don't know, I've never trusted exit polling cuz people will always say what they think others want to hear.

Ben:

well, yeah. I'm not so sure about that because you look at, you look at Florida, right? Florida's exit polling was actually very close to what the, the overall result was.

Gene:

Well, well, but it should be cuz he had a 20% difference there. I mean, that's a huge, huge lead. So even if people are, like, if they have family that are gonna vote Democrats, they're, they're less inclined to then lie about it because they know he's gonna win anyway.

Ben:

Mm.

Gene:

But in, in places where the elections are closer, I, I think a lot of people in exit polls that voted maybe what they wanted, but not necessarily what their families are voting I think they would tend to lie about the results.

Ben:

Yeah, I'm not, I'm not sure about, like, I suppose again, I'm looking from the outside and, and that sort of thing, but I'm not, you know, looking at the statistical analysis, if you get, all of a sudden the exit polling is accurate in Florida, after all these measures were taken to lock things down and the exit polling is, you know, nowhere near accurate, everywhere else. Like, geez, you know, and, and like federman, Like what? Like, I, I know there's a, there's like a, a, a, a bit of a running gag with Phil, like a bill burr. There's a, there's a famous recording of Bill Burr from back in the day when he did a set in Philadelphia. And it's just him going off at the audience because. They're, they're terrible for you know, they've been terrible towards him. And like the, the amount of of crap that he just heaps on them is, is hilarious. And anybody wants to find this thing, but, you know, and there's a running joke that the people from Philadelphia, you know, hate themselves and everyone else for, for whatever reason. Right. So, you know, even, even despite that, like they, they go, Oh, this is gonna be funny. Let's vote in the worst possible person. You know, like,

Gene:

Mm-hmm.

Ben:

you know, Yes. Okay, I can understand that. They might, might do that, but Jesus, like, Still, what? How, how guys like, come on, explain it to me.

Gene:

Yeah.

Ben:

ugh,

Gene:

Yeah, it, it's, I think that there's definitely some how, how do I say this nicely? Illegal activities happening in US elections now, you know, tho those, and I, I think that based on, again, statistical analysis, not on anything I've observed, so it's not like I've seen people doing anything nefarious. But I will definitely say that I've lived long enough to have watched elections now in the eighties, nineties, two thousands, 2000 tens, 2000 twenties, I actually ran for office back in the day. And elections right now with all the computerization that we have, Are a heck of a lot longer to determine the winner and seem to have a lot more spikes. And they just was not the case 20 years ago. Plus.

Ben:

witness. Yeah. Like a candidate who does a rally where 20 people turn up does not beat the person where 10,000 people turn up

Gene:

And in some ways, I kind of think maybe what happened 20 years ago started all this, which was the the very close election of George Bush against Al Gore, where

Ben:

Hanging chads.

Gene:

at the conclusion of that, the Democrats realized that, you know what, guys? We never want to have to go through this ever again. We cannot have another close race because the courts might decide against us. So we want to ensure that every future election is not going to be close.

Ben:

Yep. Yep,

Gene:

And, and I think that they did. Most likely they were doing things like that. Pretty much since that election of Bush. Now Bush just still had a lot of steam with the, the war situation happening in Iraq. So he won his second term, but then after that, of course, with Obama

Ben:

And they were, they were

Gene:

know, I think a lot of people did vote for Obama because they thought it'd be kinda neat to have a black president since there hasn't been one. They can tell their friends, Hey, I voted for the first black president. Which, you know, I think honestly for some people, like that's a good enough reason to vote for somebody.

Ben:

So there's a South Park episode.

Gene:

They don't care about their politics. What I said, I'm, I remember having these political conversations back in at that time, and what I said is I think it is pretty likely that Obama's gonna win because of that senti. But I also don't think he's gonna be anywhere near the Democrat that de Democrats are hoping for. And I was totally right. He continued on with all the military actions. There was no closing of Gimo, which is one of the things that he talked about before he was elected. Like a lot of the things that sounded, at least back then to be democratic related promises didn't happen. Of course today, George Bush has a hell of a lot more in common with the Today's Democrats than even Barack Obama because the Democrats, they are the war hawks.

Ben:

yep. And that was the closing of the gimo is, is what did it for me, because I, I thought, Yeah, hey, that sounds, that's actually seems like a good thing to do. And then as soon as he, as soon as he got into office, just it didn't happen. And when he, you know, the first two years they had, the Democrats had the House and the Senate and

Gene:

Totally.

Ben:

nothing happened. I was like, Oh, okay, hang on. Wait, something's not right. And then of course, listening to no agenda and the health insurance thing. And, and it's like, you know, and even, even my, my then girlfriend and her family at the time were like, Oh my God, isn't this great? They're gonna get us healthcare. And I'm like, No. Universal healthcare insurance, you know, You know, and they, they couldn't, It took them a while to,

Gene:

It was a mandate to have to

Ben:

Yes, it was. Yes, exactly. Like that was it. And I said, This is the biggest. And they, they couldn't, you know, obviously thinking I was, I was one of these crazy learns for, for say, for believing these things, but no, it was, yeah, a mandated purchase. You are being forced to give companies that profit of people being unhealthy, you know, like, just, they, they don't profit from making people better. They profit from you staying unhealthy. So like, why? Like, like it just, oh my God. Like you think about, you know, and behavioral, I've been a really great fan of behavioral economics for, for a long time. And one of the key things there is incentives, right? Like, so what, what is these economic principles actually incentivizing, you know, to, to happen? And, and it was, yeah, it's complete incentive for people to, to maintain being unhealthy. Like it's just, it was just the most nuts thing. And yeah, like this is, this is, you know, in the early days of no agenda, when I, when I thought I was, I was going crazy and seeing all this stuff in the world going, No, this is not like, what is going on? You know? And then luckily discovering no agenda and realizing I wasn't insane after all. So I was, That was really great.

Gene:

Yeah. And my sister has been working for an insurance company for like 20 some years, so I've, I've kind of heard about it for that long. And every year they have huge bonuses. They, they only work four days a week during the summer because, you know, the company's just making so much money, they don't care. They can afford to have people only working four days a week. She, she has I think, two months of vacation, which I know for you guys that may not be a big deal, but in the US it's almost unheard of for somebody to have even a month of vacation. She has two months a year,

Ben:

no two months. Like, I mean, the flip side of that whole whole month thing in Australia is, you know, unless you're in a profession like teaching and even teachers don't get the full school holiday, like they're still working their ass off. You know, in holidays doing lesson planning and all that sort of stuff, like the one month holiday is, is pretty standard across the board. Like you don't really get anyone who gets more than that. So saying two months is, I mean, that's, that's pretty awesome.

Gene:

It is crazy. I've never had more than three weeks vacation in my.

Ben:

Yeah. Geez,

Gene:

I don't, you know, I actually just don't work for large parts of the year, so I, I probably have a lot more than the month. I probably have like three months a year usually, but, but that is, I'm not getting paid during those three months. It just means that I get paid more during the, the rest of the year, the other nine months that I work, that I can take off a few months, a year unpaid. But and I, you know, I mean, that's a long story anyway. I've just, I, I, I have a personality that clearly doesn't do well when sticking, working with one company. And I figured this out in my twenties. And so I realized, well, there is a job called consultant that allows me to never work for one company for very long, but also not have to get fired So as long as I keep working for different companies providing them consulting services, then you know, I can, I can move on and, and, And I've worked for probably over 200 companies at this stage in my life.

Ben:

You get, you get changes of of scenery regularly.

Gene:

Yeah. Yeah. And, and it's, it, it's nice because the other thing at this certainly point for me is it puts me into a very, very unique position, or at least a very unusual position of having seen the insides of that many companies have looked at their books you know, looked at their, their procedures and policies and, and be able to then make recommendations based on that direct analysis of data rather than just something I read in the book or learned in college.

Ben:

nothing. Nothing. Beats experience. Yep.

Gene:

Now, now, and by the way, I did finally, I was able to do a ping to, and I'm getting 237 millisecond.

Ben:

Yeah. Okay. So that's not, No, we're definitely not delayed by, by that much. That would definitely be noticeable. So

Gene:

I don't know, 237, So that, that's a quarter second.

Ben:

Yeah. Oh, yeah. I would, I would

Gene:

a quarter second. You really? Okay.

Ben:

yep,

Gene:

All right. I don't know. I think quarter second is still pretty damn good for halfway around the world.

Ben:

yep. And, and space, you know.

Gene:

Well, and twice probably. It's going out to your startling, bouncing back terrestrially to be sent across fiber optic cables in the Pacific Ocean.

Ben:

Yep. Yep. So it'd be, yeah, going, going up to the, up to Starling you know, back down to Melbourne, I think is my, my closest bay station. And then, yeah, I mean, it's just normal, normal internet from there. But yeah, I'm very, it's been really great. I'm, I'm very happy with, with Starling. I mean, I do contention isn't really a problem again, because, I mean, Tasmania and like five people, you know, live here and the, the satellites are really only over Tasmania when they're over Tasmania, you know? So contention isn't

Gene:

Yeah. You've got exclusive use of them.

Ben:

Pretty much, although there are quite a few people around here like just talking to random tradies and stuff and, you know, and they, they run even in the, the closest, you know, major center which definitely would have, cuz Tasmania has fiber to the home. They were the first state to have all of the NBN rolled out, so the majority of the Tasmanians actually have fibers of the home. They still, you know, are using starlink for their, in their tradey office and they think it's fantastic. I think it was just a backup connection or something as well, but yeah. But it's still, I'm highly, highly impressed with it went much better than what I expected it to

Gene:

I, I'm gonna be very curious now. I haven't bothered signing up just cuz I, in Austin here, we're kind of a test bed for technology, so,

Ben:

Yeah.

Gene:

One of the first cities to have multiple fiber optic options. So I, I can actually pick from a variety of fiber providers here. And pretty cheap pricing. I think I pay $49 a month for gigabyte, gigabit,

Ben:

Oh

Gene:

And I could get up to five gigs if I wanted to, but

Ben:

yeah. We still only got the one gig maximum, no matter how much you wanna pay, unless you're on some crazy business plan in the city or something.

Gene:

Right, right. So I Plus I'm sure there's a ton of people that have Starling here because a lot of people like Tesla. Well, shit, I mean, Elon lives here, Our factory for Tesla's

Ben:

Yeah.

Gene:

I, I'm actually only like six miles away from the Tesla factory, so I'm very close to this stuff. But I, I'm sure I will get it eventually at some point just for, you know, traveling and, and other driving around reasons once they get that figured out a little more. But. I'm looking forward to what their original concept was. If they ever get that working, that'll be super cool, which is satellite to satellite laser transmission. So you could actually end up bypassing theoretically all the terrestrial connections and have your connection go from your house to starlink within starlink halfway around the world and then down to me from starlink direct.

Ben:

Yeah. So,

Gene:

not only is the security of that, holy shit, awesome, but you know, speed wise the, the speed of light in fiber optic cables is quite a bit slower than it is in.

Ben:

I mean, so if Elon does this and he, and let's say that he, that he, he's then got the ability, does he then have the ability to just turn up the lasers a little bit and, and put the earth in some sort of follian web? You know, to, to

Gene:

Of course that's the

Ben:

us to, Yeah. To do. No. And he buggers off to Mars and goes, Okay guys, now, now you're gonna play by my rules. All right. So,

Gene:

Mm-hmm. is interesting. I mean, I talked in the last, or one of the last few episodes, and one of the shows I do, I can't remember I talked about a Kepler Centro event, which should be, and since starlink is been classified as a military satellite system by Russia because they're essentially, they're using starlink

Ben:

Yeah. Because of Ukraine. Yeah. Because of Ukraine. Yeah. I'm like, thanks. Great.

Gene:

Yeah, exactly. Because of that because Russia's been jamming GPS signals the whole time in Ukraine, so they're using Starling instead. And you know, I mean, I don't think they would do this, but theoretically either Russia and China both was as the ability to us probably does as well. We just, you know, not told about it. To have satellite killer satellites out there that can start removing other satellites.

Ben:

The X 37 B, like, that's, you heard about the, you know, about the X 37 B, and hopefully I'm

Gene:

Well, it, it, it flies. I mean, we don't know what's in there, but Sure.

Ben:

Yeah, that's, yeah. So the x, yeah, it definitely, like it went up and it stayed there for who knows how long, wasn't

Gene:

I think that's two years.

Ben:

Wasn't reported what it was doing, but it was definitely up there and was definitely doing stuff the whole time. And it, and it can, it can carry a payload, you know? So Yeah.

Gene:

Yeah, but it's not very big. What I'm talking about is, is more of a shotgun approach.

Ben:

yeah. So you're

Gene:

much lower tech, not stealing a satellite or trying to stick a bug onto a satellite. I mean, like, you know what China did just a few years back, which is take it one of their own satellites and then shoot it and then create a whole bunch of debris.

Ben:

yep. Yeah, yeah. Gravity. The movie Gravity. Yep. Yeah.

Gene:

Kind of. Kind of. Although that was completely wrong because one of the things is well, there, okay, critiquing the inaccuracy of science in movies is kind of a pet peeve for me. I do that all the time and most of my friends tell me to shut the fuck up because

Ben:

isn't it part of the isn't it part of the NASA entry exam? They have to list all the scientific inaccuracies in Armageddon.

Gene:

Oh, that would be hilarious. That would be hilarious. But the thing that happens, if you do have something that is an acceleration in space, like an explosion the debris very little of it is gonna end up in orbit, but in the same orbit, I should say. Because if something is moving in the direction of its orbit anyway, and it's moving faster, then means it's going to increase its orbit. And so it'll be in a whole different orbit. And if it's moving in the opposite direction, it's gonna decrease in orbit. And within one revolution, it's gonna burn up in the atmosphere. So it's not quite as dramatic as like, oh, all this debris is just spinning around. And the debris that stays relatively close to the. Is really moving at, you know, maybe five meters per second. It's not very fast, It's not like it was in that movie. But it's still not a good thing. And certainly if you have enough debris that's gonna keep you know, replicating itself with other satellites, turning them to debris. Yeah, cascading. But really what you end up with in that, in a kes, in a True Kessler event, what you end up is a cloud of debris. That's about 250 kilometers deep. And it's not to say that it's a cloud that's like blocking out sunlight. And no, definitely not. It just means that anything you send up into that general orbit has a, a fairly high chance, a fairly high percentage of getting hit by debris. Because even if something is at a higher orbit because it's not placed into a, a perfect spherical orbit. You may just get unlucky and something that has a high apoapsis may have an persis, which is its slowest point right at the point of your satellite. And at that point it's moving significantly faster and at a lower enough you know, the height from the earth at a, at a low enough pair apps is that it will hit you with a significant force, but it's not nearly the way that they're portraying in the movie the way they're portraying in the movie. It's just sort of like, have an explosion on earth, but take gravity away so it keeps moving sideways at that same crazy fast

Ben:

mm

Gene:

And that's just not realistic.

Ben:

Should have they, The really fast debris should have just flown out of orbit.

Gene:

Yeah, yeah. I mean, at some point, yeah, it's, it's gonna have an orbit that'll leave the earth and, and, you know, either go around the sun or be at an orbit that the moon starts attracting it.

Ben:

Mm.

Gene:

But either way, it's not a good thing.

Ben:

Yep.

Gene:

And I, I think that is something that probably was one of the concerns that Musks people had and urged him to try and say, Hey, United States, you know, we're donating this stuff. It'd be good if you start paying for it. I don't think it was about the money. Those satellites are really up there, like it's costing them virtually nothing to provide service over Ukraine.

Ben:

Yeah, It doesn't eat.

Gene:

what they did realize is that these things are now classified as military assets. And if it's a military asset, it's not going to be excluded as a civilian. Like destroying a satellite of Musk is not a what's, what's the favorite phrase the Western countries keep using lately it's not Terror against humanity or something? What, what do they call 'em? Illegal, you know, illegal warfare. There's a whole slew of, of words that are being used to somehow dis distinguish legal war from illegal war acts. It's like, well you can't bomb this building, even though that's where the Ukrainian gas snipers are because the building was built as a kindergarten.

Ben:

Yep. Oh.

Gene:

no, you're not destroying it. You're destroying a building that used to be a kindergarten that is now housing snipers.

Ben:

yeah, but some, some kid eating at a cafe. No, that's fine.

Gene:

Well, that, I mean, the US does no

Ben:

Yeah.

Gene:

That's the first law of being a partner of the U us. There's one of the shows I was watching the other day talked about in the last 30 years, the US has been involved in 17 different. What would be called wars if it was somebody else calling him, but the US just called them actions.

Ben:

Yep. Yep.

Gene:

The 17 different countries with sovereignty that had US military presence actively killing people on

Ben:

Mm yep. Yes. Yep. And that's, and that's just the you know, the, the

Gene:

the ones we know

Ben:

Yeah. The, yeah. The military action that you know about, like the, you know, the, the

Gene:

Not including the, all the CIA

Ben:

Yeah. The School of Americas. Yep. Sure. Like how many countries have been influenced by, by that is, is just probably most of them. Like, I don't know how it couldn't be. Most, most countries in the world don't have, you know, a, a, an unacceptable level of shenanigans

Gene:

And I think this is the danger of power because I think all these things were, were created in the US for a very good reason.

Ben:

Mm-hmm.

Gene:

It was created to counter the spread of communism, which is an evil, horrible system. And you know, it ranks right alongside Nazis in my book.

Ben:

Yep. Killed, killed more people. The

Gene:

yeah. Killed more people. And certainly if you, I think more people just in Russia, but certainly if you combine China and Russia way, way, way more people than

Ben:

Oh yeah.

Gene:

But, but you know, once you have it, and this is where the kind of, you start, kinda look at it from the Snowden perspective. It's like once you have the technology to look at everyone's email and look at everyone's phone call, it is so tempting to start using it for other things than fighting communism.

Ben:

Oh, just, just

Gene:

It is so tempting just to give, you know, Oh, we like this guy more than the other guy. Let's just give him a,

Ben:

Well, I

Gene:

an advantage.

Ben:

even simpler than that, like, these guys can, can get some of the best stock tips in history. Like you just look at fricking, even, even Pelosi, who, who, you know, doesn't have direct or who, who probably

Gene:

for five years.

Ben:

Who probably doesn't have, Yeah. Probably doesn't have direct access to all of the, the, let's say, the nsa, you know, data to see this stuff. All she is is in briefings and her stock portfolio, like the, the, the, the rate of success for her stock portfolio is just phenomenal. She's one of the most, Mag, her and her husband are one of the most magnificent stock traders in history. Right. And I think there was even a Twitter account that was just tweeting out, like, Hey, she's just bought this, or the husband's just sold that, or whatever, which is like, Yeah. Which,

Gene:

And I think that accounts, the, the people that are buying just a, it's essentially a fund of whatever the Pelosi

Ben:

yes. Yeah.

Gene:

like 170% a year every year.

Ben:

Well, I think her, oh, one of the, I think one year she had like a 400% or something like

Gene:

Mm-hmm.

Ben:

Like just, Yeah, exactly. And I'm pretty sure that the Twitter account, like instead of anything being done about the dodgy stock trading, I think that Twitter account got shut down. Like Yeah. And the same one there was, there was another Twitter account that was posting the, the, where all the private planes, where everybody's private planes were flying and that got shut down.

Gene:

right. Well that one's back

Ben:

I was back on.

Gene:

that, that he he tweeted about it. Yeah, he said that, you know, even though it's actually potentially compromising my safety, cuz it was listing him and his plane, he said, I, it, I, this is, this account should be allowed to be on.

Ben:

Yeah. I mean, you know, if, if we have to Yeah, thanks Stavos. If we have to buy Ban private car ownership, then why don't we ban private plane ownership first? Like, isn't that statistically worse per person? Like per person that's traveling?

Gene:

So, yeah, a little hiccup there. It's kind of goofy. Anyway I, I think it was small enough. I'm not even gonna bother editing anything out. But you, but you were saying that I should ditch my windows box and just use back, Huh?

Ben:

Yep. Yep. Well, being a yeah, well, we, we run it, it,

Gene:

I, I know the other Ben would definitely get in a fight with you over that.

Ben:

Oh really?

Gene:

He, he thinks they both suck. He's a total Linux.

Ben:

Yeah. Well, okay. So, so that's, I mean, yeah. This is a, a work thing I suppose first going into Well, I mean, I've used Linux since I think I installed Slack Wear 1.0 back in the nineties. You know, to play around when in, in high school and stuff, and have just been, you know, sort of that way inclined ever since. But definitely osac because it's got all of the, the ease of use things and pretty stuff. And, you know, it's, it's nice. And, and a lot of, you know, you don't have a lot of dependency problems and all that sort of stuff. It's just, it's just generally a lot easier to, to

Gene:

Now you're talking about Mac, or

Ben:

Mac, Mac,

Gene:

Yeah. that's what I thought.

Ben:

So, you know, it's, it's just like the, the easiest way to. To like, it's just nicer overall to, to use and to work with and than a lot of the time straight Linux, you know, because there is, you know, because you can pick your own flavor and then there's dependency stuff and you know, definitely in, in it, you know, world, all the it world that I've experienced anyway, like the, the, you just don't want to bother about fixing your, your OS or, or doing dependency stuff. You just want things to work so you can, you know, bust out applications and stuff. So that's why OSX has been, but with the apple silicon, that, that has really screwed us pretty hard because we're all like, it's all

Gene:

But even before that, Apple hardware was always better.

Ben:

Well, I mean, I dunno about better because it was just the same as the other, the other hardware, like it's still an Intel chip. You know, there's still

Gene:

no, no, no. It was, they, they were the first to have, they were the first to have a bunch of stuff. I remember. So I, I've been using Max since 86, so long time I, Yes, I'm old. And but what happened was in would've been 1994. I, I kind of got a challenge from my boss, the company I was working for to get certified as a Microsoft engineer and mcse. And, you know, being a mad guy, he thought this was hilarious as a challenge and I thought, Well, fuck, this can't be that hard. So I did what every geek does if he's a true. I ordered a bunch of parts and built my own first pc, and I think it was a Pentium running at 166 megahertz, not gigahertz megahertz,

Ben:

Mm,

Gene:

Which was like the fastest thing you can get at the time.

Ben:

mm

Gene:

And built it. I think NT 3 51, I believe was the first operating system that I. And I pretty much pretty much said, Okay, I'm not buying any more Max. I need to get good at this. This is good for work. And so I went exclusively PC from about 94, well, I'd say 95 until 2004. It was after jobs was back and it was after. The, So my first Mac of that generation was a black MacBook laptop. So it was whatever year that black one came out, which I think was 2004, 2005,

Ben:

the, the

Gene:

right around

Ben:

She.

Gene:

No, no, no. It was not a clam. It was the first professional one, like they were goofy looking plastic, shitty, you know, bright candy looking things before that. And this was the first one that they, that Apple finally, once again, Made for business. Cause I'd had other Mac laptops in the, in the past, but this was The, first one the, first bus business, one post Steve Jobs,

Ben:

Mm

Gene:

and I originally got it because guy that was working for me just kept raving about it and, and kind of said, Well, you know, you used to be a Mac. It's probably, it's well, Tried it out again. And then I pretty much just been, you know, using both ever since. But when I was doing PC only like I had super exotic gaming rigs. Like I had a, in, in the early two thousands, I was running a over four gigahertz liquid cooled.

Ben:

nitrogen cooled.

Gene:

computer. Yeah. because it, I, because it gave me an advantage in in, in video games and I, I did some competitive gaming back then, so it was you know, like, at least that's the excuse I I, I gave my wife for spending the money.

Ben:

I just say,

Gene:

like, No, really, I mean, this is, yeah, this is, this is, I, need this, I need it. But I was also,

Ben:

that's the same.

Gene:

on a T1 line back.

Ben:

Yeah. That's the, this is the same excuse I use with my tax accountant for for, for buying all, all these service stuff. No, I need it for work. I definitely need, I definitely need 100 terabytes of hard drives for work.

Gene:

Oh, yeah. Yeah. totally. Dude. The, the amount of storage space that people on No. The social have, if you combine it all together is insane.

Ben:

yeah. Yep. Well, it's, it's definitely a, a culture of, you know, say saving offline. Right? Like, you don't, don't trust even the way back

Gene:

mean, a lot of these, like, I don't know, I've, I'm, I haven't really updated my na storage in quite a while, so I'm still running at like 40 terabytes, but a lot of these guys I'm talking to and they're like 200 terabytes, I'm like, Jesus

Ben:

Yep. Yeah. I'm one 50 something.

Gene:

Uhhuh. It's, it's it, and it like, you can tell that a good chunk of the listeners are dues named.

Ben:

Yep. Yep,

Gene:

Because no sane, normal person has more storage than the entirety of large corporations 25 years ago. You know,

Ben:

Yep.

Gene:

it's, it is kind of absurd, but yeah, it's affordable now.

Ben:

Yes. That reminds me that that's the other downside with starlink. For, for what I would ideally like to use it for,

Gene:

Mm-hmm.

Ben:

it's the cg nat right. Network address translation that carry a grade network address translation doesn't do port forwarding at all, you know, and, and it's permanent dynamic ip. So,

Gene:

okay. But how long does it keep it for? 24 hours a week. A

Ben:

oh, actually I haven't really checked because like the, I mean we,

Gene:

Cause you could set up a dynamic dns. It's not a big deal,

Ben:

Yeah, but it, No, the,

Gene:

port forwarding definitely is an issue.

Ben:

Yeah, the, the, yeah, the port forwarding, the connectivity of a dynamic DNS also doesn't work for me. Like even, even just that little bit of changeover like yeah, causes, causes problems for the sort of stuff that I, that I serve. Yeah. So, I mean, but, but the easiest solution though VPN VPNs work, work really well. So, just set up like a, a, a VPN here and you connect to it and it's, it works really well. Like, that's, that's just it. So that's a way around

Gene:

just encapsulating through a tunnel?

Ben:

Yep. Yeah, exactly. So, you know, if I'm, and if I'm out and about and I need to, like next, next cloud, I run a next cloud instance for, you know, a bunch of stuff. So if I need to access that when I'm out and about, you know, which is not particularly often, then yep. Just connect to the VPN and away you go. And the same thing with, with Liz as well. Like, you know, set it up so she can, she can do it pretty easy. Yeah, so, so that's the only other downside I forgot to mention before for other people who might be considering it. Yeah.

Gene:

so we talked about, you know, US politics, what, you know, we're kind of in a bubble here of our own

Ben:

yes.

Gene:

in a lot of ways. What's going on in Australia because, you know, during Covid I was like, I can't believe that Australians have let it get this bad.

Ben:

Yeah. Yep.

Gene:

where are things?

Ben:

Well, so I think since I was on last, I think we had the federal election after we spoke last time, and yes, the, the liberal party got kicked out and it's the Labor Party, so that's the, the same you know, basically the, the equivalent of the, of the Democrats, although not, not, and nowhere near is insane are elected, you know, but they're, they're definitely more friendly towards China than the liberal party

Gene:

Now you guys have two parties or more?

Ben:

no, we have more, but there's, there's two major parties. So the, the, the liberal party,

Gene:

you don't really have coalitions. You still have one party, that just kinda grabs

Ben:

well, funnily enough, the, the liberal party is, is when they win government. They, they are called the, the coalition because the, they have got a longstanding agreement with this party called the National Party who are basically farmers and, and regional areas. So I think I spoke a little bit about this last time that. You know, if you are the national, if, if you get to sit in a safe seat in the National Party like you are, you are guaranteed a job for life. Like, it's just, Yeah. Yeah. So, and the, whoever is the leader of the National Party by default gets to be the deputy pm when the liberal party wins. Like, that's, that's how their coalition works. And then, you know, so such as when Julia Gillard who was in the Labor Party when she came to power she had a, a hodgepodge coalition with the Greens and other you know, other independents. So that forms a minority government. So you still need the support of these other parties to get literally anything done. But she was either, you know, depending on what camp you believe she was either a good enough negotiator or corrupt enough that she could, you know, get other people to agree with what she wants. So even though she had a minority government, she did actually pass quite a lot of legislation and, you know, which was all immediately rolled back by the liberal party when they got in. So that's,

Gene:

Okay. Gosh, I wish, I wish we had that. Nobody ever rolls anything back here.

Ben:

Really

Gene:

Whatever happens just is pretty much left

Ben:

no, didn't Biden roll back like, one of the not noble ones was

Gene:

executive orders that Trump

Ben:

Yeah. The, the insulin one, which was great. It rolled it back. Insulin place shot up,

Gene:

you diabetics.

Ben:

Then he put a cap on it and it was like, How great am I saving you money on insulin? Like, And now he's saving you money on fuel too by, by dropping it from $5 to $4. Isn't it?

Gene:

I have, I have yet to see a cap on freaking insulin. I'm, you know, I'm an insulin. I've been the diabetic for many years cuz I enjoyed food.

Ben:

Geez.

Gene:

And it really? I mean, that's the thing. Insulin is not a drug. It is just adding more of a hormone your body produces because your body's gotten way too used to the normal quantity, so you gotta do mass doses of it. But so it works like magic. I mean, swear to God. Like when I first got it, I was like, Holy shit, why didn't I do this a few years earlier? But so you could live a totally normal life if you're taking insulin, but

Ben:

yep. I know.

Gene:

I started taking insulin, it, the price went from a hundred dollars US per month for a month supply to now one and a half thousand dollars per month supply.

Ben:

that's, I mean, that's

Gene:

This is during the time where this drug is getting like older and further away from the time that it was panted

Ben:

Yeah. I

Gene:

So it's not like it's some brand new thing you have to pay a lot of money for. this is just gouging.

Ben:

Yep. Like, it's just so crazy. That's

Gene:

Yeah it, it is, it is pure gouging. And it's all, you know, it's purely profits for the insurance company as far as I'm

Ben:

Oh, no.

Gene:

drum companies are not, you know, they're, they still have a piece of default in the here, but I think most of it's been driven by the insurance

Ben:

Yeah, But wasn't, wasn't there I think, I think No agenda talked about this age ago. Wasn't there a, like a middleman thing between the insurance companies and the drug companies who, you know, did a lot of price fixing basically, and gouging and stuff, and then Trump did an executive order that got rid of all of that, and that's when you

Gene:

It didn't get rid of it, Got rid of it for a few different specific drugs.

Ben:

Yeah. Ah, okay. So it

Gene:

It wasn't the whole system-wide thing. Now the drug lobby in the US is one of the biggest lobbies that we have and it's crazy cuz you know, I kind of joke about like when I go to Mexico, which I, I think I got another trip coming up this year yet, but when I get down there buying drugs in Mexico, just about pace for the

Ben:

Mm, Yep.

Gene:

it's kinda like flying to Europe. Used to be before the Euro, I used to fly to Italy because if I flew to Italy from the. And I would buy two, two pairs of shoes and a suit. The, the savings would cover the cost of the trip

Ben:

Mm. Yep,

Gene:

because I could get shoes there for about 110, $120 a pair. Those same shoes, if I were to buy 'em in the US were 450 to $600 a pair.

Ben:

yep. Yep.

Gene:

So it like Italy with, with back when they had the. Was awesome and I, I, you know, I lived there as a kid for a little bit. I, I just really like Italy in general and this was a great excuse cuz I could pay for the tickets just by buying clothing. And incidentally, people are, if someone's going well, what the hell? Kind of, you're buying $500 shoes. You're insane. Here's the thing, you know, you buy a good pair of shoes. This is a lifetime shoe. Like those shoes will last easily. Seven years of wearing. And if you resold them, they'll last, you know, 20, 30 years. So I, I, I probably still have like 10 or 12 pairs of dress shoes, which of course I never wear because now I live in Texas where it's hot and I never wear a suit anymore. I, I spent the first probably 35 years, 40 years, maybe even of my life. Well, not, not the first, you know, teenage years, but but the, my professional years, let's say from 20 to 40, I, I spent wearing suit and tie every single

Ben:

Yep. Yep.

Gene:

I, I was going through a lot of shoes when I ran for office in, in the US here, I went through two pairs of shoes, like Two Souls because the way you do it here in the US is you literally walk down streets, knock on every door to introduce yourself, say hello to. And I, you know, I mean, it's like every single day so that hopefully before the election happens, you've literally met every person in your district. Now, not for national races, obviously I'm talking about like state races. This is a traditional thing that's kind of expected is that people will get to meet the candidates face to

Ben:

Yep, Yep. Now, I, I once upon a time had a job in, it was a sales job that I won't describe an awful lot about, but yeah, same sort of thing. You work in a local area you know, going, I started out going door to door, you know, this is, this is before the

Gene:

You're a vacuum cleaner salesman.

Ben:

so something along those lines. Yeah. Yep. And, and I think, and I actually kept all of the, the old shoes that I went through just as like a, you know, I can't believe that this has happened. I think I have seven pairs of black lace up, you know,

Gene:

There you go.

Ben:

And that was just four years. Like, I only did that for four, no, five, four, somewhere in there. And that's, so that's

Gene:

you were in much better shape. Bag bet back then.

Ben:

Oh yeah. I was, I was in amazing shape. Oh, for sure. Yeah, definitely. I've, I've

Gene:

same thing. I I look at old photos, I'm like, God damn. You know, Easy living is taking its toll.

Ben:

about 30 kilos. Better shape, I think kilos.

Gene:

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Ben:

Yep. Yeah. Gee, And isn't that another, like, economic principle? Like the, the, because you can buy expensive shoes, you know, you, you end up spending less on shoes throughout your life than, than people who have to buy, you know, the $5 pair of shoes versus a hundred dollars pair of shoes,

Gene:

Walmart shoes, are Yeah, the throwaway shoes. Exactly. Yeah, it's it's, it's totally true. I think. It's like there are people that have talked about it plenty of times that I don't need to repeat it, but the difference in price between something that is usable and something that is high quality is sometimes substantial, but the utility of that item is also much, much higher. Now, when you go from, from a, an item that. Really well made to an item that is just cosmetically expensive. Like for example you know, difference between an Omega watch, which is say three to $5,000. And a I'm trying to think of an expensive watch brand like a. Felic Patel or something, or Felic. Pat Patek, I can't

Ben:

Yeah. Patek.

Gene:

Yeah. Yeah. Like $150,000. Watch that. That $150,000 watch is not $145,000 better than Omega. It is simply, it has diamonds and more expensive things on it, and there are fewer of them made. So by wearing that watch, you're saying, I.

Ben:

Mm

Gene:

The cost of, well, it used to be a house now, a car on my wrist. So that's a more impressive

Ben:

Yeah, the silver, silver spoon. So that

Gene:

but the difference between like a Casio and or not, let's say a saco, a saco automatic watch, not an electronic. So manual, automatic watch. And in Omega manual automatic watch. like the, the, Omega is just gonna be a better manufactured quality automatic watch than that. Sacco. The Sacco's gonna cost you $200. The omega's gonna be three to 5,000, but it's gonna be more accurate. It's just gonna be a nicer watch, not just physically, but in terms of quality of product. But again, you know, there, it's a, it's a what What is that curve called? That kind of starts off flat and then has that inclination point and then goes straight

Ben:

you mean? Like a exponential logarithmic, the.

Gene:

Yeah, yeah. Like a, Yeah, like a, I guess a Parabolic. Is that the

Ben:

Parabolic. Yeah, well, parabolic sort of goes up and comes down. But yeah, the,

Gene:

Oh Yeah. No, not, Yeah. The one that just goes up. So there's, there's diminishing, The bottom line I'm trying to spit out here is there's diminishing returns to money, but that's not to say that it's linear, it's, or that it's completely a waste of money to get anything beyond what you buy at

Ben:

Oh, not, yeah, not exponential, cuz that, that continues to increase as you're going up, but yeah, like the, the arcing, I know what you mean. Yeah, no, and, and like, this is the, you know, again, John c Toorak, you know, driving his, his old Lexus, so,

Gene:

He's on his next one though. He doesn't have his

Ben:

Oh, he doesn't, uh

Gene:

No, no, no. I had, I remember when I had dinner with him when he first had that original nexus, probably, I don't know, 10, 12 years ago, something like that. I was out in San Francisco, met up with him for dinner and yeah, that was I mean, I remember those Lexus, when they came out, they looked like they were underpriced because it literally looked like a Mercedes S class

Ben:

yep. Yeah. The LS 400.

Gene:

and it was as, as nicely built. And and they were selling for like, I don't know the 60% of what the Mercedes went for or even less. They were like selling for what kind of Hyundais sell for now

Ben:

Yeah. And,

Gene:

to get a really nice Hyundai and it's. 40% cheaper than the equivalent class Mercedes.

Ben:

Yep. Well, that, that sales job that I was, I was talking about, so I didn't reasonably well in, in that. So, and this is, this is literally 20 years ago. And so I, I bought Alexis then after my, my first three months in that job. And I still have, I still have it today, 20 years later. And the best, the best statistic that I like about it is I, I have yet to even change a single light bulb in the car.

Gene:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ben:

is, it has been so amazingly rock solid that it is just like, I, I even, I can't believe it now, 20 years. And I've still got the original, like headlight, you know, not headlight, but the, the, the interior light near your head, Like that's still the

Gene:

Yeah, yeah,

Ben:

like, you know, and it's just

Gene:

that's, that's pretty

Ben:

Yep. And

Gene:

Japanese quality's always been very good.

Ben:

Yeah. Mm. Try,

Gene:

boy. Something that something is happening. Cuz usually if I have this little hiccup on Zencaster, it only happens once during an episode, but, Hmm.

Ben:

Yeah. Get that fire, that Mac mini up.

Gene:

Ah, I could, I, I need to do that. I mean, I just, I don't know, it's just laziness. I, I cuz I, I would use it once it's up. and running. I, I bought a monitor for it. I've got a monitor, I've got a monitor. What I don't have is the empty space on the desk for it. So I need to clean the desk first. Once it's cleaned up, then I can put the lap or the, put the Mac mini down and then get it set up. But anyway the we're talking about cars. I said in general, I think Japanese cars Are good, in particular, Toyota's good. And then this, of course, Lexus's, Toyota's pride. Top of, you know, the top of the food chain. So I would fully expect the, quality to be really good.

Ben:

Yep. And in particular, the, that we're getting into my, one of my other favorite topics, the eighties and nineties Toyotas are just, are just magnificent. Like, I used to have a I used to have a super before the, the Lexus, funnily enough. And yeah, the eighties and nineties, Toyotas are just

Gene:

What, what year?

Ben:

They went 89,

Gene:

Okay.

Ben:

so was the, the square looking one. You know, still target, top digital, dash, you know, Turbo, you know, just, yeah, So

Gene:

I had a particular smell that I remember.

Ben:

Velu,

Gene:

that wasn't the smell. I think the smell was the, the, the leaks from the turbo filter. But it was it was a

Ben:

they were, Yeah, they were infamous. Those Mark three supers were infamous for doing head gaskets.

Gene:

Yeah.

Ben:

that that normally had a

Gene:

My neighbors had one. I remember that. Yeah. cuz it was I was, I was very jealous. I had a Saturn, you remember Saturns?

Ben:

I don't think we

Gene:

Oh, you guys didn't have Saturns?

Ben:

Unless they called it something else. Cuz they, they do that a lot. They called it

Gene:

Maybe it was a General Motors division. But Saturns were they came out in 90, 19, 90, maybe 91. And it was the first sort. Next generation car from General Motors. So they were all plastic. The entire body was plastic. There was no metal or aluminum or anything except for the hood. The hood was metal cuz for the heat. But everything else was plastic. And they were much lighter than the other cars. And they just had one engine, which was a straight in line four. And. the that was my first car that I ever bought that was brand new from the dealer. Cars before that were just, you know, used cars. I bought, or my, my parents bought the first one, obviously, but then after that, that I bought, But this was the Saturn was the first car that I actually bought myself, and that was a, I wanna say it was in 1994. And it was $17,000, which was not cheap for that timeframe,

Ben:

1994. That's

Gene:

but it had everything. It had sunroof, leather it had the flip up headlights, which I thought was the coolest thing,

Ben:

Yep. Oh, of

Gene:

have your headlights disappear and have the body be slicker when it's you know, when it's daylight.

Ben:

the, if you play with the wiring, you can get it to wink, wink as

Gene:

There you go. Yeah, do one of 'em. But it was absolutely not a performance car. It was just kind of a, it was good mileage cuz it was light and it was a relatively fun car again, because it was light good handling. But the engine was very anemic. It was just a little for banger. And so it was a it was not a car you were gonna beat anybody. Anybody with, unless they were driving like a station wagon. But my neighbors had a, a super, and I was like, Oh god damn, that's a nice car. I remember those things.

Ben:

Yeah. Huge amounts of

Gene:

Yeah. And I think it was like a, like a 91 super or something.

Ben:

Yeah, that, that the, the mark three and the mark four, just two of my, my favorite cars ever. And I never should have got rid of it. I sold it to a, to a friend and yeah, that was a, a huge mistake. I, I should never have done that, especially since they now you know, have, have like tripled or quadrupled in price here from, from when I, when Oh yeah. They, they've, So I think I, I, I bought it four bought it for about 10 grand I think, and I spent about $4,000 fixing it up and doing things. And then I sold it for 10 grand. So and then now, like I'm, I'm looking at them now and they're like 50, you know, to, if, if I wanted to buy the, the, something that's not as good because finding one that's, that's a target top and digital dash. And it was an Australian delivered target top and digital dash as well. Like, finding one that's not an import is just, is just impossible, you know? So, yeah. I, I never should have got rid of it like I should have. Yeah.

Gene:

know, a lot of people don't realize That cars in the eighties, a lot of the, certainly the higher end cars all were digital. The there was a move back to analog in The nineties and the early two. thousands, the, and then by the late two thousands things started going digital again. But Yeah. I remember quite a few cars that were in. Early eighties. Mid eighties like I remember the Nissan 300 z was one of the first cars that had a folded shell dash and

Ben:

The, the mark, the mark two super the mark three super. There was an Aston Martin that had this really funky, you know, digital dash as well. Yeah, the 300 Z

Gene:

this is what I love about cyberpunk cuz we didn't talk about the game a whole lot, but that's a game that both you and I have been. And I love that cyberpunk is the 1980s version of the future of

Ben:

yeah. Yes. A lot, a lot more punk than

Gene:

Well, and then like the cars are literally eighties cars. If, if you're a. Imagining like what would be cooler than the current generation 80 car would be faster and it'd be like more mean looking and it would have fatter tires. And that's about it. Like the interiors still look just like an eighties car, except with more digital displays them. It, I don't know. I just really have enjoyed that game. I'm glad I waited the extra year and a half before jumping into. I took advice that was in all the YouTube videos were like, Ah, it's too early. They, they shouldn't have released it. Wait until they get some updates. And then I kind of forgot about it, honestly. And by the time I remembered about it, it was like, Oh yeah. I guess I did buy this. Well, I should probably play it now. And I was like, Holy shit, this is great.

Ben:

Yep. Because of the, I've also played a lot of, of Witcher, so cd, Project Red, like, you know, I was perfectly happy with giving them more money. So yes, I did, I did pre-order and I'm like playing it on release day and oh man, it was, there was some problems. Gee, like there's still, I think I've still got, like, because I'm running, I'm still running the original character and stuff, like trying to get everything completed and I think there's two quests that are just never gonna get completed. Oh yeah. Cuz I don't, you know, I, I don't get to play,

Gene:

very often.

Ben:

much as I really want to. And I do play other games and

Gene:

Well, I think you, you probably missed a whole bunch of the updated missions if you never Restarted.

Ben:

Yeah. I know I gotta, I gotta go back and do it, but, and yeah, there's still, I think I've still got two quests that are just completely bugged out and I can't, I can't go back and finish them. And that annoyed, the completionist, you know, in me is very annoyed by that. So I will have to go and do it properly again, but then I'll, I'll miss out and I, I won't have my, my car, which I was only able to, to afford because of a bug. Like the most expensive current game, The Aurora or something or other, the, the obvious Spaghetti Vaon.

Gene:

Oh.

Ben:

Because there was a, there was a bug early in the

Gene:

It's, it's only like 150,000, I think.

Ben:

But there was a bug early on in the game in the development where you could get this one picture and you could you

Gene:

sell it?

Ben:

sell it multiple times. So Yeah.

Gene:

bug.

Ben:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, like you

Gene:

really not that big a deal. I like the first Playthrough. I did definitely, I was very, I felt like I was very poor. And then the second playthrough, it was like, Oh, I can manufacture guns and sell 'em. So that kind of keeps my money spy up. And by the third and fourth and fifth play through, You can tell I played this game a. I was like, I don't need to do any of that. I don't need to sell guns or anything because the missions themselves bring in enough money. I just have to make sure I look through everything and take every, every little piece of money that's left sitting there.

Ben:

Yep. And either sell it or, or whatever. Yeah. You, you just get, yeah. You just get more efficient at knowing what's, what's good and what's not, cuz you like, collect everything and try all

Gene:

strip mine. Everything, everything gets collected, all the the weapons I don't need get, get converted into raw materials. I don't sell 'em at all. and but the money is enough cuz the, the thing that you do when you first start playing is you wanna try everything. so you spend money in everything By the time you do, you know, your fourth, fifth play through you kinda know what you want and need and consequently, You don't need to buy all the crap that you didn't really like the first few times. And there's a lot less to spend money on. I mean, honestly, there's only really one car that I buy and there's only you know, I don't buy the blades, so I just, if I buy any of the hands, it's gonna be the

Ben:

the gorillas.

Gene:

now, I, I did the gorilla thing. I just don't like being that close cuz the whip. thing is my, what do they call it? Microfiber or something?

Ben:

Nano fiber.

Gene:

it's, yeah, Nanofiber, Yeah. it's it's the furthest distance thing that you can have and that it hits multiple enemies at the same time. That's always, So everything else, like, like the grill of fists you're only hitting one dude at a time. Same thing with the blades. Really, you can only hit one enemy at a time. The the rocket launcher thing, you can hit multiple, but it's not very efficient unless you use it as a stung. You know. Or a you know, sleeping dart or whatever. But in that case, you have to be accurate and you can only hit one guy. Whereas the whip thing, you got three enemies standing there. It was like whip, whip, whip, you're done. They're

Ben:

Yeah, I suppose that's my, the, you know, didn't go the whip, but the, the gorilla and the reason why is you know, my normal sort of engagement distance is, you know, like a, like a sniper rifle or, or either a pistol with, you know, a scope on it and, and engaging at that sort of distance. If somebody, if somebody can get, can get that close, then you know, it's only gonna be one or, or two of them. And you know, the gorilla because you'll make sure that, that they, that you deal with them really quickly in that case. So most of the time it never really even comes up. It's all just pistols and long guns and, and that sort of stuff, So,

Gene:

Well, and, and really if you're playing, like I, I think my favorites, which was the first game I did and the last game, and I tried different combinations in the middle, but the first and last game were maxing out my intelligence to do all the hacking stuff. And you, you don't have to get anywhere near close with the hacking stuff. You can stay very, very far away. But there are certain elements within the game in missions where you have to take all your weapons off and so you're gonna be left to either using fists or, you know, blades or, or. Nano strength thing or whatever, nano wire. So, and in that case, I, I do like the ability to have something that'll, that works a little longer, further out distance and hits Multiple. people. You're basically anybody within about a 90 degree arc of you is gonna get hit,

Ben:

Mm.

Gene:

which is You know, it kind of simplifies. And while they're getting hit, they're not shooting at you. It's disorienting 'em, and they're not making noise which is not something I. can say for the gorilla arms,

Ben:

Mm.

Gene:

but, and I'm sure now we've, like, I totally lost people that don't play this game. What the hell are you talking about? Girlilla arms, Dana. Wire, wire. It's a fun game. If you, if you have any inclination at either. Playing a beautifully made, like, it's just gorgeous. It's one of the prettiest games I've ever played. Recreates a living city, extremely well. You can get into an awful lot of places. Not every store has a door you can get into, but a lot of 'em do way more than any other game. And I come, you know, from playing Star Citizen, which I also think is one of the prettiest games out. Just absolutely beautiful renderings, but it in star citizen, like Area 18, which is their version of the cyber park world, is nowhere near as beautiful and full as Cyber Park 2077.

Ben:

Yep. And it's, and it's got, you know, like the, the RPG elements, it's got shooter elements. The, the driving is also really good. Like, you know, the, what was it? Not need for speed, but there was another driving game years ago and the, and it felt like you were, everything was driving a brick, you know, these, these, these cars feel really good, really

Gene:

they do. And They sound great. They, I watched a background video where they literally are like, went through and recorded a bunch of cars and motorcycles, actual sounds during their whole different RPMs that they're running and everything on a dino. So it, it does sound Very realistic. There's

Ben:

well, very well polished. Very well polished game in the year, like, once they got over a couple of the, the bugs and, you know, there was some presentation cos and that sort of stuff. Like, Yeah. Very pretty game. You know, very well made, but, and Whicher three, everybody forgets. Whicher three was exactly the same as well, like when it first came out, there was a lot of bugs and quirks and stuff. And, you know, with through the DLCs and, and the updates and things over the years, like, it's just, you know, one of the great,

Gene:

And a well written storyline too.

Ben:

Oh yeah. Great. So good. Yep. Definitely.

Gene:

not gonna give anything that way,

Ben:

Anyway, we got off. I didn't even finish talking about Australian

Gene:

Oh Yeah. yeah, Let's wrap that up. And I, I, we're going for close two hours here, so Yes. Let's, What about Australian politics? What's the latest.

Ben:

well, so yeah, so the federal election happened, the liberal party got kicked out. A guy called Peter Dutton, you know, obviously Scott Morrison, s Gomo, you know, you know, is no longer the head of the liberal party cuz that's just what you do when you lose, you resign. So now there's a guy called Peter Dutton who, who is literally Cole Pilkington. If anybody wants to watch any shows about Cal Pilkington like Peter Dutton is, is there the only you know, Saving Grace is he's got a really, he's got a really strong attitude towards you know, illegal immigration and. You know, border security and stuff. But, but unfortunately that, that goes so strong that, that he borders on, you know, proper frigging Nazis as well. Like, he, he changed the uniforms when he, when the liberal party was in power, he was, he created a super portfolio which handled all of the security services, basically. Right. So instead of different ministers looking after, you know, one looked after the Coast Guard and one looked after the, the federal police and stuff. Like, he, he just went, No, I'm the security guy, you know, and, and he rolled all of the security stuff into his portfolio. So, and he also changed the uniforms of the Australian Federal police to, to be just, I mean, they looked so much like the, the proper SS uniforms.

Gene:

Well, but you gotta admit, those were the most beautiful uniforms of any

Ben:

Oh my God.

Gene:

Hugo Boss is a brilliant designer. He did a great

Ben:

Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Gene:

There's, I, I don't, I mean, stay what you will about the Nazis, but they did have the best uniforms.

Ben:

That's style. Yeah. Okay, great. Yeah, but it's still, it, it's like politicians who, who even use the word the words new world order. Like, like you cannot, how can you be in politics and not know that if you use those words, they are tied with sitting. If you can wait, even if it's just in the conspiracy, you know, theorist world, like you, you have to, you cannot be a politician and know that, that you, when you say those words, that there isn't gonna be a large group of people who go, Whoa, you know, it's the same sort of thing. Like, don't, even if it looks stylish, like don't replicate that. You just, you just don't want to you. Yeah. So anyway yeah, so he's now the, the leader of the opposition. And yeah, just doing, doing nothing. And I don't think the liberal party is ever gonna win again while he's still in power. So he'll, he'll stick around for a little while and then, and then get booted. Yeah, and the Labor party with, with Albanese, at least Albanese, he's in charge because he's, he's, he has been one of the, the, the, you know, basically people can't find any evidence that he's been involved in any, or that I've heard anyway, that he's been involved in any sort of corruption or dodgy dealings or anything, which is, you know, a bit on the rare side for the, for the labor party at times. You know, like you can throw aspersions about. You can throw as you know, the, the evidence about Julia Gillard being associated with the Clinton Fund and, you know, the, the Turnbull and the 400 million Great Barrier Reef, you know, that sort of thing. But yeah, there doesn't seem to be anything like that for, for Albanese, but he does seem to to be, you know, bullied by Daniel Andrews in, in a few, in a few aspects. Like, you know, the, all of the rest of the states seem to be trying to get rid of all of the, the Corona restrictions. Daniel Andrew is still hanging

Gene:

Are they still. Summit there o.

Ben:

Oh yeah. There's still, yeah, like, it's, it's nuts. Like the emergency declaration is still in Victoria even though we're heading up to an election, you know, which he, he needs to win and if he, if he loses, I, I really hope that there will be a Royal Commission into the, the handling of Corona in Victoria, cuz he, he will get absolutely ripped to pieces like you. He's made so many people, even his own ministers turn on him, you know, because he's obviously, he just see him in press conferences. Like, he's obviously just a dick. Like, you're just like, right. You, you were the sort of person who was bullied a lot at school and, and now you've, you've turned into a bully yourself to, to get back at the world that, that treated you wrong or whatever. And there's also a lot of evidence that he's, he's actually a proper, proper misogynist as well. Like, not like the, you know, hilarious. Oh, he thinks women should be in the kitchen. Like, no, like a. Yeah, a proper asshole which is not, not great. And you, you look at the cabinet that he originally came to power with, and I don't think a single person is actually still in his cabinet. Like he's just chewed them up and spat them out and, you know, it's, Yeah. And it, Anyway, he's just been

Gene:

be a a, I'm sure you've seen a kind of a. A movement by the people that were full on into the, the Covid mandates to say, Well, we, we need to have a oh, what's the word? Uh uh,

Ben:

A, a a, a Crimes Against Humanity

Gene:

No, No, They're saying we need to have a C Amnesty, Yeah.

Ben:

No. No.

Gene:

No, you don't get that. no, you fucked up. Now you're gonna be labeled with that. I, I would love to have permanent tattoos on these People in the shape of a mask on their faces. So you could tell the who they are, it's it's just. like, no, you don't get to fuck with a human rights. And then, Oh Yeah. well let's just amnesty and then, you know, let's all get to get along.

Ben:

Hab, iso

Gene:

Yeah.

Ben:

vu. Yeah. No, not really. People aren't really talking about it. So, And this is the other thing, like why Albanese is being bullied by by Daniel Andrews, because he's, Yeah. Albanese is like authorized the fifth fucking booster or whatever it is these days, you know? And, and Daniel Andrews has still got a, a jab mandate for health workers and government workers and things. Right. Even though, even though, even though we now know that it's complete bullshit, and his, his exact, he, he even said once during a press conference, right? If you, if you, this is during the lockdowns, If you go out this weekend, you will end up in hospital. Like, that's a literal quote from him. It's like, Why, Dan, are you gonna, are you gonna beat us up yourselves, mate? Because it's not, that's not gonna work otherwise, you know? And so, you know, after all that, nobody's really confronting him. Like the, the journalist is so weak. Like, nobody's really confronting me and saying, Hey, like, you, you literally lied. And he is like, I followed the science, you know? But okay. Show

Gene:

you don't know the signs is what you're saying actually. Then

Ben:

Yeah. Yeah. Like, I follow the science. Okay. Show us the science. No, it's classified. Like is is basically the thing. Yeah. Like, yeah. Like, Oh, it's all,

Gene:

the US created it in a, in an China couldn't keep it in a lab. That's the

Ben:

Well, Well, my, my favorite one about that is the it actually started before they said when it did, right. So, there's a, a reporter, Tracy Beans for Uncover dc she did some analysis way back in the early days showing that, that there were a large, a, a way more than normal number of flu-like cases in in areas in the United States where large military bases were. Right. So that's, you know, so, so obviously something was giving this really heavy flu-like stuff, which sounds an awful like Corona. So this is late 2019. And what you figured out is, is there was, there was this thing called the World Military

Gene:

Mm-hmm. Yeah, I remember

Ben:

like the, Yeah. Which is basically the Olympics for armed services. The World Military Games was held in, I think it was September or October of 2019, Right. And in November and December is when all these cases started to come up. And this is in, I think, the CDCs own data that they found all of this right in, in the areas where there's large military bases in the United States. Do you wanna guess where the World Military Games was held in October of 2019? Which city?

Gene:

I don't know where.

Ben:

Wuhan.

Gene:

Oh, nice.

Ben:

So, yeah. So that, that sort of, it, it might not have actually been an accident. It might have been like a lot earlier than what we thought and completely not an accident at all. And yeah, it's

Gene:

I don't really buy the idea that you're going to genetically modify a virus to be much more aggressive in order to see what happens so you can prevent it from happening. I'm Sorry. It didn't work that

Ben:

no, no, no, no. It's, it's, it's weapons. It's weapons manufacturing. Like, come on, let's not, let's not kid ourselves like, geez,

Gene:

You think about it, like think like, just take all all screwup balls away, all kind of, you know, inhibitions. Think what? What would be the best way to fight a war is to have no casualties on your own

Ben:

Yeah. To,

Gene:

and to not have to bring any troops over. Right?

Ben:

Yep, yep. Like the, you know, and, and they leave and they, and then they leave the infrastructure all in place. You know, you can just walk on in why, why neutron bombs are a, are a very enticing thing as

Gene:

Yeah. Yeah. But this is even better. I mean, if you can have something that targets one particular demographic, which is the research they were doing in Ukraine let's just kill the Russians. Fuck everybody else. You know, it's, we can do that. It'll be a natural disaster for them. And then we just swoop in with our. And take over the place.

Ben:

mm.

Gene:

I think there's a, you know, you can make fun of it, but I think that the Russian governments and pre previously the Soviet government's rationale was that everything they're doing is defensive because they know that the US was working offensively.

Ben:

Mm. Yep.

Gene:

I think that, you know, it's easy to make fun of that. It's like, Oh, paranoia, you know, they're crazy. Come. And, and as I said earlier, I think the US was absolutely doing the right stuff. Fighting communism. Communism is a cancer society, unfortunately now that cancer has managed to spread to the United States as in growing here. And it's, this is the, the irony of it is us at this point today is much more communist than Russia was. It's a, it's a country where, The government takes care of more things and prevents you from doing more things on your own. Now, there's still certain things that are tied to the constitution, like our, our love and ability to utilize guns. That unfortunately you guys lost, that we still

Ben:

I've got Nerf, I've got Nerf guns. Hey. All

Gene:

Nerve guns. Yeah. But meanwhile, Russia just loosened some gun laws. They, they now are allowing pistols where in the past they were only allowing rifles and shotguns. They've just introduced legislation that allows now private ownership of pistols. they're moving in the right direction. they're not perfect by any stretch. And it'd be great if it wasn't Putin. If it was somebody else, then they had a new president, but somebody that really liked the Russian people the way Putin does, that would be even better. But still on, you know, on average you'll look at the movement, the direction of Russian politics, where they're heading is, it's heading where the US was heading back in the seven. Which is you know, a country that is really striving for doing what it can for its people getting rid of the problems that were pausing the country from growing. Like, I think there was serious racial problems in the United States, but after they were solve, Nobody stopped trying to solve them. And by doing that, by going overboard, they've created a whole slew of new racial problems that never existed. so, it's unfortunately I think now we're paying for it. The United States Day is not the place that it was in the eighties or nineties. Vastly different and a a lot more social.

Ben:

mm.

Gene:

mean, nobody's truly ever communist that. that's, just the theoretical everybody. China Rush, the old ussr, they were all socialists really, even if they had the word communists in their name. But, uh uh, but the US pretends like, it's not socialists, but every year is, it's growing more and more socialists.

Ben:

Yep, yep. And like the, you know, and that's maybe why, you know, things got, cuz they, they, the good stuff that United States did, finding communism, you know, back in the day, like the, the ussr the, the actual closer to communism, you know, properly collapsed and people started getting freedom and, you know, Berlin Wall and all that. And then, you know, China, China was never really like communist communists. It was just a way to, the, the easiest way to get the, this one political party that could rule over everyone. So ma could be a king, you know, that sort of thing. So, and then, and then once saw that, so I'm sure that they never really saw China as an actual threat, you know, as, as a form of communism to be fought aside from, you know, having your, your, your military industrial complex wars like Vietnam to, to keep the, the show going. You know, so then what, what do you do when you've got all these apparatus, you know, set up for this monitoring and maintenance of, of this you know, threat that doesn't really exist? Well, you, you use it to just make money, you know, the stock tips

Gene:

Well, you sure as hell? Don't stop nato. You don't get rid of NATO after you won the war on communism. You instead you grow nato. It's like what?

Ben:

you, That's bureau. Yeah. But that's, they set up a bureaucracy and bureaucracy's only goal is to, to enhance itself. Right. So yeah. And then, then what happens when you're just about making money? Well then that's the easiest thing in the world for corruption to slip in and then things get taken advantage of. And then once somebody starts being corrupt, you never, It's very rare to, to just stop being corrupt. Right. Cause you, you're constantly, you know, getting people to continue to cover up all of your shady shit that you've done, you know, for years and years and years. And then you get blackmailed into doing more shady shit, and then you have to do shady shit to cover up that, that shady, Like, it's just a never ending thing,

Gene:

Epstein didn't kill himself.

Ben:

Yeah. That's, yeah. That's a, that's a Christmas decoration for, for this year. This, this decoration did not hang itself. So yeah. So that's, and, and that's how the, these then it makes it easy for these systems to, to get infiltrated with corruption. And then, you know, they, it purposefully falls apart, you know, like the education system in America. Just, just going downhills basically since the, the eighties and nineties. Right. Which is why

Gene:

me ask you this. Here in Texas there's a very strong independence movement. Over half of people living in Texas when polled support the

Ben:

Yeah. Want, wanna succeed? Yep.

Gene:

Is there anything like that in Australia? Is it Tasmania, want its freedom or anything?

Ben:

No, there was a, in I think it was 19, I wanna say 1911, or might have been 1901, there was the West Australia campaign. So that was where Western Australia was going to become its own country, you know? And, and really like every, every single state in Australia could be self-sufficient. Like there's, there's a massive farming everywhere, you know?

Gene:

Did you know. farm the, the poisonous bugs and the snakes?

Ben:

Oh, definitely. Yeah. Like,

Gene:

isn't, isn't the vast interior of, of the constants just in the hospitable desert.

Ben:

Oh, true. Yeah. Like if you, There's actually, I found on Amazon video there's, hopefully it's available in America, but it's about the GaN train line. So that's a train line that runs from Adelaide to Darwin going via Alice Springs. And it's, it's a three hour long thing. The train trip itself is like 50 something hours and it's a, the, the documentary is like three hours long, and it's just basically footage of the train going along. So if anybody wants to see what, you know, a, a huge part of the interior of Australia is like, just find that, that the GaN documentary on, on Amazon Prime. And yeah, like, you see, it's, it's. Really very inhospitable. So basically grass planes and, and trees, you know, sort of one tree every a hundred square meters, and the tree would be a maximum sort of two and a half meters tall sort of thing. So that's, you know, and then rocks and sand, you know, like, Yeah. And you, and you see that's all the way from Adelaide to, to Darwin. Yeah, that's, that's pretty much it. And there's some salt flats in there as well, so

Gene:

Hmm.

Ben:

yeah. That, that'll give you a good idea. And yeah, it is, it is pretty, you know, it is, it is quite inhospitable and it's a, it's a huge challenge. There is a, a specific driving track where you can go from Queensland across, so driving e east to west via airs rock and, you know, it's sand track the whole way. And it's hugely, hugely risky because if you run out of full fuel or your car breaks down and you can't fix it, you know, you are screwed.

Gene:

How many Tesla stations are on there? That's what I'd like to know, Is there like one every 200 miles or

Ben:

yeah. Yeah. I mean, unless you, unless you're towing a, a solar panel with a, a three phase plug on the, on the end of it, like, no. And yeah, like you see the, the people who spend months and years preparing to, to make this trek because it is an amazing thing to do. And the, the four wheel drives like the, you know, lift kits on the suspension, you know, two or three spare tires, multiple jacks, multiple sand mats, you know, the, the massive amount of jerry cans of water and fuel, you know, hanging off the

Gene:

I would love to do

Ben:

Oh, it would be, Oh, yeah. It, it would be like, it's, geez, like if you, if you like your, your four wheel driving, then Yeah. Like doing that track is, and I'm sure there's a name for the track. I've just, I've just forgotten it, like Yeah. It, it would be one of the most amazing things to do. Yeah. But it hugely, hugely risky.

Gene:

Yeah.

Ben:

goes wrong and you, you can't fix it, you are,

Gene:

And I think here in the US we've got a little, like a small version of that with Death Valley in California.

Ben:

Mm.

Gene:

Which has some of the highest temperatures in the United States.

Ben:

Yep. And, and literally has never rained. Yep.

Gene:

And what, what I think is interesting, I watched a video on it recently and the, the guys that did the video ran across maybe six or seven people, a few of whom they had to help on this track, Not a single. They were all from either Europe or

Ben:

Yeah. Yeah. Well,

Gene:

are you people doing?

Ben:

No, it's, it's usually the tourists that we are bloody rescuing over here, mate. Like, geez, you know, like, oh, I remember I was, I

Gene:

They're taking rental cars.

Ben:

well, like, for example, right? There's a, there's a, a famous bush walk in in Tasmania, which is Lake Sinclair to Cradle Mountain or, or vice versa, right? Like this, this takes four days to, to walk from top to bottom or bottom to top, whatever way you're

Gene:

How big is Tasmania? Just to give people a sense of size.

Ben:

So you can drive from, cuz it's like the shape of an apple. You can drive from the top western corner to basically the bottom eastern corner. So Hobart ish, not quite the most southernly point, but it's like the, the longest distance that you can drive in the same direction in Tasmania, that's probably about five hours drive. Yeah,

Gene:

hundred kilometers an hour.

Ben:

yeah, a hundred hundred and 10, you know, off the road all hours. So, I mean, yeah, that's another thing we're talking about speed sign before, there's a speed sign that you see in Tasmania that you don't really see in Queensland or Victoria. It's, it says 100, but there's a special warning, you know, when conditions allow because you know, the, the windy roads that aren't really maintained all that well and it gets both extremely wet. And can also get a little bit warm, you know, not too warm though. But yeah, so you can get extremely wet and

Gene:

at like the 40th parallel 40, 42nd parallel, something like that out

Ben:

I'd have to, I'd have to check. I haven't looked at it.

Gene:

So climate wise, it's comparable to probably like Northern United States,

Ben:

Well, so it get, it does get down. So where I am and I'm, I'm the north east ish so, you know, Tamar Valley around sort of there and,

Gene:

Are you by Ben

Ben:

does get Yes. Sort of that, that's a, you know,

Gene:

I figured your name being Ben. that's probably where you lived. So

Ben:

Yeah, well, if you want to go, you know, there's another thing. So from, from where I am, you know, we can go to, there's a surf beach within an hour, hours drive. That's really fantastic. And there's also a ski field, you know, in Ben Lamond. So, Yeah, no, it's, it's fantastic. Yeah, so, hang on, what was I saying? Yeah, so the temperature, so it does get down into the negatives, like the negative one, negative two. You know, ice is a problem. And I, I have, I've been told by the locals that it has got to 35 degrees here once, but you know, so far it's been a, it's been a maximum 24 outside. And it is, it is just

Gene:

So it is, it is very similar to like the Seattle area, probably like Northwest or Northeast United States.

Ben:

From what I've, Yeah, like, it, it looks a bit sort of Seattle, like, it's, it's very, very green. And you know, stuff

Gene:

Plenty of moisture. Not too hot, but doesn't get too cold either

Ben:

Yep.

Gene:

because in the Central America like I grew up in Minnesota, which is right in the middle. The range of temperatures is insanely huge. It, it, it goes from 110 degrees in the summer Fahrenheit to minus 40 degrees in the winter. So it's, it's really 150 degree range in Fahrenheit. And you could do the conversion but I think it's probably from, well minus 40 is minus 40. That's the. In the winter, and then 110, I wanna say is like 42 or something.

Ben:

Let me just check. Yeah. Something like that. 43.3. 110 is 43.3.

Gene:

Yeah. So imagine that range from plus minus 40 degrees

Ben:

Yep, Yep.

Gene:

It's, It's very bad on cars, I'll tell you that.

Ben:

yeah. Yep. Yeah. I like the Yeah, and, and putting, putting salt on the roads

Gene:

Yeah, yeah, yeah,

Ben:

Yeah. When it gets really cold that, that's probably the thing that's really bad for cars

Gene:

Well, it, it is, but I mean, just for any kind of construction you have very few substances. Don't change their size with a change in temperature. There's expansion in contraction. And anything that is held together by screws or rivets is gonna be experiencing that as well. And those things over time have a tendency to come loose.

Ben:

mm

Gene:

Now, if you weld it together, that's different. Of course.

Ben:

Yeah, there's a, there's a bridge near here and I think the, the expansion gap is like a foot, something wide on it, because it also, it also goes a little bit, you know, bends a little bit,

Gene:

Exactly. So, yeah, that sounds pleasant. I've never, never been there. But I think Tasmania for multiple reasons would be a very fun trip.

Ben:

Yep. If you like beef or

Gene:

Who doesn't like beef Come on.

Ben:

Yeah, I know. So where, where I live is famous for black, Black Angus cattle and white wine. White wine. So I know they don't really sort of pair together, but I mean, the, everything is still delicious. And even because everything's so fresh, like, you know, the, the air is literally the cleanest air on the planet. Right. Because the, the last time that the, the southerly winds, you know, the, the only time before they hit Tasmania that they hit any landfall was like South Africa. I think it might

Gene:

Really?

Ben:

America. Yeah. Cause you, you look at the globe and how low down we are and the, the winds that just go around the, the bottom of the globe

Gene:

So your

Ben:

to east, you know,

Gene:

east to west or west? East.

Ben:

West, west to east normally. So, So the west coast of Tasmania gets absolutely smashed with, with huge storms and lots of rain.

Gene:

then Monta just blocks all that.

Ben:

Mount ssa no mounts. Tiny.

Gene:

Is it? Oh, What's the big mountain out there? What's the big tall

Ben:

Well, cra Cradle Mountain is, is a well known one. I don't know if it's the tallest, but it's a well known one. But yeah, that, that's over sort of the side. But I'm out, is pretty tiny. Like you can, you can walk up and we can walk up and down at end a day. Yeah. Yeah. I think I've done that. Yeah. And the, and over the East coast is, is all really nice and pleasant. It's, it's much better and more consistent weather than, than Victoria even, because Victoria just gets crazy wind patterns thanks to the hot

Gene:

I was on the tallest building in, in in Melbourne when I was down there while it, was quite windy,

Ben:

Yeah.

Gene:

could really feel it.

Ben:

Eureka Tower or Rialto

Gene:

can't remember what it? was called, but I'd had That glass platform where you can stand on a glass floor and look down

Ben:

was e and it was gold. Like there was a bit of gold on the outside. Yeah. That's Eureka Tower. Yeah. Yeah. That, that's freaky. And a friend of mine lives in a another tower that, that should be the next tallest building. Like they, they're still building it, but he's living in one of the lo lower floors and, and yeah, like it, it is when the wind blows strong. And you hear creeks coming through his microphone in a meeting. It is freaky. Oh yeah. I I could not, I could not do it. I would freak out cuz it's,

Gene:

it was yeah, I don't think I would wanna live there. I mean, I didn't mind going up there. I thought it was kind of cool. But you know when, when your eyes and what your inner ears feeling are two completely different things, your eyes are like, Well, I'm stationary. You know, I'm standing in the same place. In the same building. But your inner ear is like, Oh, you just moved like three feet over

Ben:

Yeah, yeah. It's,

Gene:

That would be a meter for you. yeah.

Ben:

Yeah. Yes. Thank you.

Gene:

You're welcome.

Ben:

Yeah. See? Yeah. You, you're making fun of that. Like, United States is like the, the one country in the world left doing things in ye old English.

Gene:

I don't

Ben:

hated the English. Yeah. You hated the English so much. You kicked him out and then you kept the system for hundreds of years later. Like, what are you doing

Gene:

crazy. I really thought that by the end of the eighties, everybody would to be converted to metric in the US and

Ben:

Oh.

Gene:

never, never.

Ben:

One, one of the favorite arguments, like, like I was arguing with somebody on the internet about this. Yes, I know. It was stupid to argue on the internet. And the guy's like, Oh, it's, it causes, you know, intergenerational issues to make such a huge change. Like people just can't handle it. I'm like, hang on a second. During, during my parents' time, we went from the Australian pound to the Australian dollar and did away with, with change from the imperial to the metric system. And nobody, like it was a complete, nothing happened, guys. Like, So you are saying that, that your belief is that justification behind this argument is that Americans are so stupid that, that this one change is gonna cause an intergenerational issue, you know, whereas it never happened anywhere else in the world. Like, come on

Gene:

it's, it's crazy. And the, the craziest argument I've heard is from a buddy of mine that does machining. Saying, Well, you know, the the Imperial unit system has better

Ben:

It's more divisible.

Gene:

Yeah, Measurements or parts. I'm like, that is insane. Just move it over. One decimal in the metric and you're there. It, you don't need to

Ben:

Well, it, it is. If you don't have a calculator, like, I, I understand sort of what he's saying and I, and I think what it comes down to is if you don't have a calculator, then work, working out those, those fractions is slightly easier when you're writing everything. Right. Or, or not even writing anything down when you're doing any head because, but

Gene:

think it is, man, you're going for, So my, my one 32nd? No, my four 30 seconds range. No, that wouldn't work. Five 30 seconds range. Didn't quite fit. What's the next one I should try?

Ben:

yeah, so, Well, I

Gene:

you gotta know that if, if you are using five 30 seconds range. The next one that you're gonna do, if you want to go down.

Ben:

10 sixteens.

Gene:

Well, it's, it's one eighth.

Ben:

Yeah. Like

Gene:

it's one eighth. That's your next step from one eighth is five 30 seconds. It's like, who, who can keep track of that shit? Why don't you just use millimeters? And if you wanna go below that, go below that and do halves, you know. But it just doesn't make sense. This is the one, it's, always been a pet peeve for me, but I'm biased. Like I, I grew up with the metric system, so for me it like made sense and then I had to learn the imperial system and I'm used to it. Obviously I can, you know, I can visualize everything. Cuz most of my life I spent with it. But also, this is where I love SpaceX, because when you watch a SpaceX launch, it's all

Ben:

Yeah, there's no, yeah,

Gene:

When

Ben:

Well, wasn't it, wasn't there that, that, that international satellite that was going to like an internationally you know, The Americans made the lander or something, and the European Space Agency

Gene:

yeah, yeah, yeah,

Ben:

and the thing crashed and burned because they didn't coordinate who was

Gene:

Exactly. Cuz The Americans, just take, assume everybody's gonna use theirs.

Ben:

yeah. When nobody does, guys like, Come on,

Gene:

it, it is, it is absolutely great. And then watching, like I, I love space in general, so I like ELA as much as you know, I like Tesla, but watching those ELA launches, everything is like miles per hour. It's like, what? Or miles per second. or, you know, feet per minute. It's like, what? How, Those are such stupid measurements. You can't convert them, you

Ben:

it's, and because in Australia, right, like obviously we're all metric, but we get a lot of engines, for example from gm, so the LS series engines, right? So, so I, I still have, you know, a whole bunch of imperial both the spans and, and whatnot. Yeah. Because every now and then you come across a fucking bolt somewhere that's, that's still imperial, because it didn't just

Gene:

gm? A company there? It's like Hurston or Hudson or something. Holden Yeah. Yeah.

Ben:

Yep. Yeah. And, and Ford as well. Like they, they, I mean they used to you know, the, the Ford and, and Holden used to be completely independent and make their own cars and that sort of stuff. But yeah, again, thanks to the, the, the liberal party who's supposed to be completely business centric, they caused the death of the local car manufacturing in Australia. So now we, we are really getting just overseas stuff, you know, when before it used to be the, the,

Gene:

Oh, they're not making anything at all in Australia anymore.

Ben:

no.

Gene:

Oh, that sucks.

Ben:

well, there's, there are some, there are some car factories, but I think like they, they're making,

Gene:

Are, are Teslas made down there? Do they have a factory or not?

Ben:

No, no, there's not a Tesla factory. No. Like the, I think Mitsubishi still makes, but, but like all of the Mitsubishi cars that are made here are designed and everything overseas, and they're just, and the parts I believe are also made overseas, and they're, they're just assembled here, you know?

Gene:

is very likely to happen I think Ben actually brought up dealer to show is that given the conditions in Germany, There will be more BMWs made in the United States than Germany. Next year

Ben:

Yeah, I heard that and geez, like, wow.

Gene:

we may be exporting BMWs to Europe.

Ben:

Yeah, I, I, and we should, and Australia should be doing it as well, like what we, we mine the iron or in Australia and then we ship it to China to get processed and then we ship the, the iron or back and then we try to make something out of it. Like we

Gene:

Yeah.

Ben:

we should have, you know, if you wanna be completely environmentally friendly, we should have giant solar panel array that, that powering smelting plants, you know? So it's a cheap,

Gene:

I mean,

Ben:

of energy and we process it all.

Gene:

one country that can afford to put up a arrays of solar panels without disturbing anything underneath them. Cause nothing lives down there.

Ben:

and even down here in, in Tasmania, like I've got, we've got 13 kilo kilowatts of solar panels on, on the roof here. Right. And it, it produces just a ridiculous amount. Like, I think, I think we got something in the region of, of 90 bucks, you know, fed back to the, we got 90 bucks back last, last month. Like, it's just producing a huge, and this is when I've got server, you know, 150 terabytes in servers and stuff running, running constantly as well, you know, so yeah, solar panel does make a lot of sense. Otherwise, Tasmania, you know, it's Well, it's on the, on the shed.

Gene:

Oh, okay. Okay.

Ben:

And also like, like hydro power. Again, like it, I always thought that the Australia's Silicon Valley should be in Tasmania because we've got, you know, cool cooling servers is a lot easier down here and we've also got an unlimited amount of clean energy effectively. But between hydro, solar, ti, and wind and all that down here, like it should be,

Gene:

Yeah. Hydro is, I think, genuinely. The least impactful to the environment. I mean, it does suck for

Ben:

Or Well, I mean, no, because there was so the snowy hydro scheme and the, there was actually one of the last major, you know, protests that, I mean,

Gene:

So what, where, what's the problem? What do they do Protesting.

Ben:

because you have to dam and flood huge areas to, for these, these hydro plants to, to work. And a lot of

Gene:

Well, yeah, but just once

Ben:

yeah, but a lot of the time that's, that's got really nice areas like the, the Franklin Dam, they were going to do that. And the, the protests, the last major political protest that, that, funnily enough, I was at in 1982. Yeah. And they, they stopped that, that dam, and there was gonna be snowy Hydro 2.0. In, in New South Wales, but that also doesn't look like it's gonna go ahead, thankfully. And they're, they're destroying, you know, huge amounts of area that you could use for farming or, you know, just generally it's a very unique, you know, area. So like Yeah, it's not

Gene:

Oh, fair enough. But you're creating a lake, so you, you can, you got other recreational uses

Ben:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like, like, you know, y and a dam outside of Brisbane is, is, you know, a great, is a really great area for, for social level. So, so y who dam worked really well, you know, so the area has to really suit damning. Like, you can't

Gene:

Yeah. Yeah. You gotta find a narrow you know, narrow mouth. Yeah.

Ben:

Yeah. So I mean, and that's sort of like, that's kind of, been done in, in most of the places. It's appropriate for as far as I'm aware in Australia at the moment. So, and yeah, solar panel, like solar power, there's, it, it's actually a viable thing, you know, solar power and, and batteries. Like there's a, the massive battery plant just outside of Adelaide that, that, you know, the, the energy companies were trying to pull basically an Enron style thing, right? They, they, they produce just not quite enough electricity to meet the need, therefore the price of electricity skyrockets, right? And they, they just make an absolute killing, right? So the, the premier of New South of South Australia literally contacted Elon Musk, like this was a Twitter exchange,

Gene:

That's usually how he communicates.

Ben:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And, and so they built like this massive battery. I think at the time it was the biggest battery plant

Gene:

I remember reading that. Yeah.

Ben:

Yep. Yeah. And, and what that did is that when these energy companies tried to pull that shit, the battery just starts discharging. And because they're, they always game the system by doing just not enough production, Right. All the battery has to do is output a little bit, and they, the price doesn't skyrocket anymore. And, and that, so that solved, you know, And, and they were also doing stuff like, like that then caused brown outs and blackouts and that sort of thing because they had been dodgy fucks and that this giant battery meant that they couldn't do that anymore. You know? So a few of those around, you know, like I, I would prefer to see nuclear power

Gene:

yeah. Nuclear

Ben:

it's also

Gene:

I, I totally agree. I think nuclear is the best way to go. The problem with here in the us, I think it's one of the worst places in the world right now for nuclears. We haven't had a new reactor built in about 18 years, I think because of regulations and.

Ben:

Well, and I think there was, there was one that they tried to build, they spent like a billion dollars or something and 10 years, and then they just went, Okay, we're giving up this, this isn't, we can't do this.

Gene:

Because the, the ones that were built prior to the 1980s, which are still operational, still running, everything's good. You know, they're really the last major nuclear push the US had when, when Nine Mile Island. happened in the us As, as is typical. People went into panic more, or three, sorry, three mile, nine mile. I dunno what the hell. I got that three mile.

Ben:

three ti it, it just happened three

Gene:

It grew, it grew in size and, and I think that was in New Jersey from her, right? But people just went insane and all. of a sudden all these crazy regulations kicked in and it was like, Oh, we can't have this. It's like nothing happened.

Ben:

yeah. And that's, that's the other, you know, linking back to Australian politics. The other disappointing thing that, that Al's done is like agreed to not do is either nuclear power or nuclear weapons in Australia as to not piss off Russia and China is the reasoning. I'm like, no, like that's, that is the exact opposite of, of

Gene:

mean that's a good thing for Poland not to be doing, but Australia is a ways off

Ben:

Yeah, Yeah. Ugh. So

Gene:

with that, you know, uninhabitable land in the middle of the continent, it's the perfect place to have a bunch of nukes,

Ben:

yes, yes. Like, it, it, it's never, yeah, it's never made sense. And plus we mine huge amounts of uranium here as well. And yeah.

Gene:

I think Russia and Australia are the two biggest uranium suppliers.

Ben:

I think Canada might be up there.

Gene:

But okay. Yes, yes. But Canada sold its uranium miles to China, so they're not really? exporting. They're just going to China.

Ben:

yeah. Yeah.

Gene:

sold them the mines.

Ben:

yep. Well, better than, you know, Hillary selling them to Russia.

Gene:

Well, I don't know. Would it be

Ben:

Well, no, she did, she did do that though. Like, that was the uranium one. Like she was Secretary of State when she allowed, you know, So it's funny, if, if there ever is like a, a nuclear war that, that Americans, you, you could be bombed with your own uranium. Like, it's just it's proper,

Gene:

this is a crazy thing. They can actually trace that shit. I remember reading an article, they can tell where which location Uran came from if it's

Ben:

level of impurities Yep. The level of impurities and the exact, you know, isotope signature and stuff. Yeah. Yeah. Yep.

Gene:

Which is crazy.

Ben:

Yeah. So, Yep.

Gene:

I mean, there's a lot of stuff like that that just, I don't know what the hell they're thinking because up until the, the end of the Cold War titanium in the US was like a, almost like gold, you know? It was a super expensive metal because it, it's not mine anywhere around. And during the Cold War and collapse thereof Uran or titanium opened up and now you can buy almost anything made of titanium here. But a lot of the raw materials that a lot of interesting and expensive things are made from they come from countries the US is hostile to. And I don't think anybody ever considered the idea that, Well, we can't get that anymore, you know?

Ben:

Yep. Yeah.

Gene:

Well, I know we've been talking for over a couple hours here so I appreciate you jumping on, I know our, like, we're eight or 10 hours off from each other, whatever timewise. So, I appreciate you making the time for it and always fun. We'll, we'll definitely set up a third time for you to be on in the future as well. Get an update about Australia and appreciate you being a, a listener.

Ben:

No. Appreciate it. Thanks Gene. Thanks for having me on and yeah, see ya. See you next time.

Gene:

All right. Take care.