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Annotated captions of STEPHEN FRY: WHAT I WISH I'D KNOWN WHEN I WAS 18 (Peter Samuelson's interview) in English

Last Modified By Time Content
liquidgold 00:05
00:11

Technology is like a mirror. If an idiot looks in, you can't expect an apostle to look out.

earlyadopter 00:11
00:18

It's, it's... I remember when I first saw some Photoshop,

liquidgold 00:18
00:22

the very first version of it called Pixel, in fact a very early version,

earlyadopter 00:22
00:25

and I saw some things it could do, and I couldn't wait

earlyadopter 00:25
00:27

to put it on to floppy disks into my computer

earlyadopter 00:27
00:31

and I raised my fingers and I thought:

earlyadopter 00:31
00:37

"Oh, I don't have any artistic talent. Ha-ha-ha... what's the point?"

earlyadopter 00:37
00:42

It's like if you get a great keyboard, but you got nothing to express musically

liquidgold 00:42
00:44

it doesn't matter how good midi is

earlyadopter 00:44
00:49

and how many synthesized sampled instruments you have, it facilitates it.

earlyadopter 00:49
00:52

The great thing about social networking,

liquidgold 00:52
00:55

which at the time we're talking of course is still growing in what seems an exponential rate

earlyadopter 00:55
01:04

all the time upper curve of it is that everybody has a talent to interact with other people

earlyadopter 01:05
01:07

short of being on autistic spectrum of course,

earlyadopter 01:07
01:15

which is something many people are in very small ways or in greater ways.

earlyadopter 01:15
01:20

And even that could be helped by the interactions off the internet.

earlyadopter 01:21
01:25

And I think, forgetting the technology, forgetting what your device can do,

liquidgold 01:25
01:29

forgetting how good the camera is or anything like that,

earlyadopter 01:29
01:32

the most successful usage you can make of for example Twitter or Facebook

liquidgold 01:32
01:36

or any of those social networking services

liquidgold 01:36
01:41

are completely down to your personality, absolutely to do with who you are.

earlyadopter 01:42
01:46

I think, particularly in America, it's common more across the World

earlyadopter 01:46
01:54

there is this yearning for people to find answers to techniques that will make them happy or rich.

liquidgold 01:54
02:01

In fact probably the other order: rich and then happy, because of course richness gives happiness, doesn't it? Hm...

earlyadopter 02:01
02:12

Well, to me... if I had known when I was younger, chasing technique, chasing an answer is fatal.

earlyadopter 02:12
02:16

And I would say this, and many people will scream in disbelief,

liquidgold 02:16
02:20

the worst thing you can ever do in your life is set yourself goals.

liquidgold 02:21
02:27

I think goal orientation is absolutely disastrous in life.

earlyadopter 02:27
02:30

Two things happen: one — you don't meet your goals, you call yourself a failure.

liquidgold 02:30
02:34

Secondly — you meet your goal, you go: "Well, I'm here, and now what?

earlyadopter 02:34
02:43

I'm not happy. I've got this car, this job, I'm living in this address, which I always thought the place I wanted to be, and... what?"

earlyadopter 02:43
02:46

Because you're going for something outside yourself, and that's no good.

earlyadopter 02:46
02:50

My favorite quotation almost (or at least for the moment) is from Noel Coward

earlyadopter 02:50
02:56

who's very great actor, producer, writer, musician,

liquidgold 02:56
03:01

he is all around, he is known as the Master by everyone who knew, because he is so good in everything

earlyadopter 03:01
03:06

and he said: "Work is more fun than fun."

earlyadopter 03:07
03:15

And if I have known that real joy in life is work, and if you

earlyadopter 03:15
03:18

can say of the work you do that it's more fun than fun, then you're in the right place.

earlyadopter 03:18
03:22

Most of us of course don't have that all the time,

earlyadopter 03:22
03:26

but every time you look in the bathroom mirror in the morning,

earlyadopter 03:26
03:28

if you can say: "Is my work — more fun than fun?

earlyadopter 03:28
03:34

Or is it dreddy water, is it getting me to a wage package, which allows me to go to bars,

earlyadopter 03:34
03:40

and buy things." If that's it, then that's bit of a treadmill I think.

earlyadopter 03:40
03:46

And everyone has in them to express themselves that fundamental thing that they know they are inside

earlyadopter 03:46
03:53

that rather beautiful afraid person, which might get translated into aggression or silence

earlyadopter 03:53
03:59

or shines or all kinds of other things, but inside we know we are huggable, lovable, we want to love and be loved.

earlyadopter 04:00
04:07

That person is yearning for fulfillment to be the person they know they can be.

earlyadopter 04:07
04:11

And that's a constant journey, a process.

earlyadopter 04:11
04:17

It's not about acquiring this thing, and then that thing, getting to this place, learning this technique,

earlyadopter 04:17
04:22

finding out how this works. It's about, I suppose to me

earlyadopter 04:22
04:27

it's about the fact that other people are always more interesting than oneself.

earlyadopter 04:27
04:32

And if there is a thing... Let's forget what successful people have in common,

earlyadopter 04:32
04:35

but if there is a thing what unsuccessful people have in common - it's:

earlyadopter 04:35
04:38

they talk about themselves all the time.

earlyadopter 04:38
04:43

"I need to do this. I need..." — the first two words are usually "I need",

earlyadopter 04:43
04:48

and that's why nobody likes them, and that's why they'll never get where they want to be.

earlyadopter 04:48
04:54

Because it's "I need, I, me, I, my..." —

earlyadopter 04:54
04:58

there is an English word for that: egocentric or egoistical or egotistical.

earlyadopter 04:58
05:01

That all of it from "ego" that I think of an "I"...

earlyadopter 05:01
05:04

and if you just say "I" all the time, you'll get nowhere.

rogneda 05:05
05:10

If you interested in other people, if you use your eyes to look out, not to be looked into,

liquidgold 05:10
05:12

and then you connect, then you're interesting,

rogneda 05:12
05:15

then people want to be around you,

rogneda 05:15
05:18

and it's about the warmth and the charm you can radiate

rogneda 05:18
05:21

that is real because of your positive interest in others

rogneda 05:21
05:29

and if you expected to come to you "I've never had this" or "I was..." you know, you hate people...

earlyadopter 05:29
05:33

You know I happened to love... I know a lot of people don't.

earlyadopter 05:33
05:37

But I happened to love the works of William Shakespeare, the poet and playwriter,

rogneda 05:37
05:41

I think they are amongst the greatest things humanity has ever done.

liquidgold 05:41
05:45

Up there, with the Pyramids, or whatever it is you want to choose.

liquidgold 05:45
05:49

You know the number of times you hear people say "Oh, it was ruined for me at school"

liquidgold 05:49
05:58

and I, I tend to say to them "Yeah, I don't really like the Grand Canyon, or the Lake District, or the Mountains Of Scotland

rogneda 05:58
06:01

because I’ve had really bad Geography teacher so I don't find either of it very beautiful"

earlyadopter 06:01
06:03

I mean just non-sensical.

rogneda 06:03
06:09

You just.. It's a sign of people stopping back and blaming something else rather than just saying

rogneda 06:09
06:12

"Oh, I wasn't ready for that, maybe I never will be,

rogneda 06:12
06:15

but I'm not gonna blame someone else for it".

rogneda 06:15
06:19

It's.. It's attitude of looking in wounds

rogneda 06:19
06:21

and American television is filled with people

rogneda 06:21
06:23

sitting in chairs on it's sort of afternoon talk-shows

liquidgold 06:23
06:28

going "I need"-whining, whining about their lives.

liquidgold 06:28
06:30

"I'm beautiful, I'm lovely and yet nobody... You know, I'm special, I have needs..."

rogneda 06:30
06:33

Oh! Shut up, stop whining.

rogneda 06:33
06:36

Just grow up and get a life,

rogneda 06:36
06:38

and look around you to other people,

rogneda 06:38
06:41

and don't expect other people to care,

rogneda 06:41
06:43

don't expect people to be interested.

earlyadopter 06:43
06:47

Who, who'd you feel more sorryful, who'd you actually want to hug?

rogneda 06:47
06:49

The person you happen to know

rogneda 06:49
06:52

has a tumor and he just getting through life

liquidgold 06:52
06:56

not talking about it, smiling, trying not to embarrass anybody about it,

rogneda 06:56
06:59

or that kind of person "I have a leg that hurt, that one..

liquidgold 07:00
07:03

and I have this pain here, and doctors don't know what to do about it, and I get these flashes.."

rogneda 07:03
07:07

Oh, Christ, I'm sure it's terrible for you, dear, but shut up!

liquidgold 07:07
07:12

You just don't... No, of course, we do our best to feel sorry for all kinds of people

liquidgold 07:12
07:18

or we show sympathy, but the real heroism of people who quietly get on with their lives

liquidgold 07:18
07:21

and think of others should be ruled and usually is

liquidgold 07:21
07:26

by the fact they are liked and if you like people want to be with you, people want to be with you,

rogneda 07:26
07:33

they show opportunities with you, and you observe the way they do things and your life can open up,

liquidgold 07:33
07:35

and there are opportunities everywhere, whether it is a small town

rogneda 07:35
07:40

or a tiny apartment in the huge city - there are opportunities.

rogneda 07:40
07:46

You know, you can simply by talking more to the person in a coffee shop,

liquidgold 07:46
07:51

in a coffee store, in your Starbucks or whatever, simply by just having a few extra words...

liquidgold 07:51
07:57

they are probably doing a concert somewhere, in a little bar in the evening

earlyadopter 07:57
08:02

and you might go along and you meet there, and they need someone else and you might, you might…

rogneda 08:02
08:05

who knows... that's how some people become managers or musicians.

rogneda 08:05
08:08

They go out and they find talent, they look at it in other people.

rogneda 08:08
08:12

So that really to me... if life has any secret it's...

rogneda 08:12
08:17

it's abnegation of self, efface yourself, don't talk, just don't say,

liquidgold 08:17
08:20

if you can't stop saying "me" or "I" too often you are on the wrong track.

liquidgold 08:20
08:26

I think in the same way you turn in yourself

liquidgold 08:26
08:31

it is very negative and sort of... destructive to finding opportunity

liquidgold 08:31
08:36

simply staying in the same place and knowing what you know all the time

liquidgold 08:36
08:45

I once wanted to open a restaurant where you always get the dish that the person next to you have ordered

rogneda 08:45
08:47

because that is the one you wish you had.

rogneda 08:47
08:55

And I always thought this thing like Netflix they should send you a DVD

rogneda 08:55
08:59

the exact opposite to the kind that you like, last the way you look.

rogneda 08:59
09:06

So the Amazon said “I see you liked this novel by this novelist why not try this...”

earlyadopter 09:06
09:12

And you “Yeah, but this completely...” Yes, that is the point, it is completely different, it is not your usual thing.

liquidgold 09:12
09:15

You know how we always buy, you know how your partner always says

rogneda 09:15
09:17

"why are you buying that shirt, you got one that exactly like it",

rogneda 09:17
09:21

you say "it is not exactly like it, it has slightly different color".

rogneda 09:21
09:23

We like that in life, we tend to settle so quickly

rogneda 09:23
09:28

and the best way to stop that to keep reinventing oneself,

rogneda 09:28
09:35

I think travel is a fantastic way, that has never been easier, there are ways now, I think,

liquidgold 09:35
09:37

a lot of us try to be responsible in our travel because, of course,

rogneda 09:37
09:40

you know, what we do to the environment by travelling,

rogneda 09:40
09:43

but there are ways of sharing travel, travelling with other people, especially amongst the young,

rogneda 09:43
09:46

they travel around the world, they share books.

rogneda 09:46
09:53

This thing I only discovered a few years ago, this is very common in the places where young people travel a lot,

earlyadopter 09:53
09:57

like, say, in Inca Trail in Peru or in the South East Asia, you know.

rogneda 09:57
10:02

People just leave a book, and they leave the name on it and a little note,

rogneda 10:02
10:04

they just leave it in a public place, anywhere,

liquidgold 10:04
10:08

and someone picks it up and say “Oh, that is good”, and they read the last note, they read, and then they leave it.

liquidgold 10:08
10:12

These books have a magical history, going round.

liquidgold 10:13
10:19

Travel and reading to me are such extraordinary pleasures

liquidgold 10:19
10:23

I couldn't conceive a life without them. They constantly teach you

liquidgold 10:23
10:27

And they don't just teach you about the rest of the world, they teach you about where you come from

liquidgold 10:27
10:30

There was this saying... I think, that was Kipling who said it:

liquidgold 10:30
10:37

"What do they of England know, that only England know?"

mbravo 10:37
10:41

And what do you know about your own country if your own country is the only country you know?

liquidgold 10:41
10:44

You don't know America unless you've travelled outside and you see...

liquidgold 10:44
10:48

And then you think: "Oh! Gosh, we do things differently, I didn't know!"

liquidgold 10:48
10:52

"I thought the way we did it was the only natural and normal, but they do it completely differently!"

liquidgold 10:52
10:56

You learn so much about your own country by travelling

liquidgold 10:56
11:00

Also, I think, to me, the people I was in the head most..[]. I've had heroes

liquidgold 11:00
11:03

I'm sort of shameless about the fact that you admire other people

liquidgold 11:03
11:09

If there is a phrase that makes my heart sink, that's - "Not impressed".

liquidgold 11:10
11:13

People just say: "Yeah, it's so... I'm not impressed."

liquidgold 11:13
11:19

As if, well... who cares with your "impressed"? It's such a vain thing to say.

liquidgold 11:19
11:25

If your standards are so high that you need to be impressed, "to impress me you've got to be damn good",

liquidgold 11:25
11:31

I mean, there are things we don't like, there are things we think of as substandard or ordinary which we can turn away from

liquidgold 11:31
11:36

But it's wonderful - the rush, the headlong of something with enthusiasm, like a puppy

liquidgold 11:36
11:39

for things you admire and people you admire.

liquidgold 11:39
11:45

Sometimes they'll disappoint you, some great singer or some fabulous painter or writer

liquidgold 11:45
11:50

may turn out to have a pretty horrifying private life or do unpleasant things to animals

liquidgold 11:50
11:55

or whatever, but to admire is enormously helpful.

liquidgold 11:55
11:58

I think because it's one of the most natural things. And mentoring is, of course

liquidgold 11:58
12:01

at the heart of these most natural things

liquidgold 12:01
12:06

is to sit at the feet of a master and to learn, you know, you see it in all cultures.

mbravo 12:06
12:09

In the Eastern cultures you see a particular image of the, you know,

liquidgold 12:09
12:16

like a kung-fu or something, you know, with a grasshopper sitting at the feet of his Shaolin priest,

mbravo 12:16
12:20

teaching him so many things about mind and spirit and body and so on

liquidgold 12:20
12:25

but also if you wish to learn, say, the guitar,

mbravo 12:25
12:28

if not exactly a master then is usually a friend

liquidgold 12:28
12:34

and they hand you, like, "Put your finger like that, play that, and then play that in that rhythm,

mbravo 12:34
12:37

and then it's time for the change, and then that one, eh?"

earlyadopter 12:37
12:43

and then you play awhile and say: "Wow! I found a new chord, and look at this, and oh, it's very good"

mbravo 12:43
12:47

And slowly you're learning the guitar and the time may come when you know enough chords

earlyadopter 12:47
12:54

"I should take a book or a video or take proper lessons" - if you wanted proper lessons in that way,

liquidgold 12:54
12:59

But you're learning with friends, you're showing each other, you're learning together.

liquidgold 12:59
13:01

And that's really what education is. To me

earlyadopter 13:01
13:07

if I was go back to me after I got in university and there were some splendid professors there,

mbravo 13:07
13:10

magnificent, world-renowned people.

liquidgold 13:10
13:13

And they were charming to talk to and they knew a lot of things.

liquidgold 13:13
13:15

But all the learning I really did was

liquidgold 13:15
13:19

sitting with coffee in a room with friends talking about everything -

liquidgold 13:19
13:28

cosmos, and God, and Marxism, and history, and psychology, and truth, and lies, and honesty -

liquidgold 13:28
13:32

all the things that seemed very pretentious later on, they seemed a bit over-earnest, perhaps.

mbravo 13:32
13:37

but you may [] with your friends, you learn of each other, you take pleasure,

mbravo 13:38
13:43

like, say, "Have you seen this new chord?" and some new ideas you've picked up

liquidgold 13:43
13:46

So, again, - learning is all about other people.

mbravo 13:46
13:49

It's not about yourself with your head in a book. I mean there are things you can learn of course,

mbravo 13:49
13:54

i.e. dummies' guides and serious instructional works, but

liquidgold 13:54
13:59

I don't think that many people I know who've mastered anything have done so from that.

liquidgold 13:59
14:02

They've done it through their interaction with others.

liquidgold 14:02
14:14

I would say that probably one of the most wonderful things you can be given in life is the ability to give.

liquidgold 14:14
14:22

Sometimes, because I've had a lucky life, I have an opportunity to give something, whatever,

liquidgold 14:22
14:27

it was time or money or whether it might be, or presentation, or speech, or something,

earlyadopter 14:27
14:31

[and people say... which I guess is ...] Which would you rather be?

liquidgold 14:31
14:35

Would you rather be someone who asked for help or money

liquidgold 14:35
14:38

or would you rather be someone who is in the position to give it?

liquidgold 14:38
14:43

So obvious, which it is. No one wants to ask, everyone wants to give.

earlyadopter 14:43
14:52

And it's astonishes me when I do meet people in my profession who are closed to turning up to anything.

earlyadopter 14:52
14:58

I mean I can understand somebody who wish to guard their privacy and they don't want to be on a red carpet just because it is a charity event

liquidgold 14:58
15:07

but there are so many ways you can use any accumulated wealth or reputation or influence

liquidgold 15:07
15:10

you may or may not have, that are helpful for other people!

liquidgold 15:10
15:14

And that's just most natural and wonderful thing to pass it on.

liquidgold 15:14
15:18

Almost everything that I do, I sort of aim at my 14-15-year-old self

earlyadopter 15:18
15:22

I had a very troubled childhood - it ended up with me going to prison

liquidgold 15:22
15:28

I still want to talk to that young me, I still want to do things for him

earlyadopter 15:28
15:36

And this is the book I would like him to have read when he was 16 - so the thing I write

liquidgold 15:36
15:39

Not that I hope that my books are preachy or teachy

liquidgold 15:39
15:48

But I just think - sharing the benefits of life *is* the benefit of life, oddly enough.

mbravo 15:49
15:56

I think probably everybody watching me now has more power, in any real sense, in which power matters,

liquidgold 15:56
15:59

than, say, Louis the XIV or Napoleon

liquidgold 15:59
16:05

without the power of life and of death, which is probably what we don't want, so it is quite good

liquidgold 16:05
16:08

just in times when Napoleon wanted to know something

earlyadopter 16:08
16:12

even he had to send some people out to Egypt and bring him back stones or something

earlyadopter 16:12
16:16

and scholars will gather and talk about it and similarly, if he wanted the spice,

mbravo 16:16
16:21

he'd ships go away and come back and we could go to a store in a corner of the street

liquidgold 16:21
16:25

where the bounty of all five continents is heaped up in ways that never been known.

liquidgold 16:25
16:30

We have access to everything. And most importantly, to information, to knowledge.

liquidgold 16:30
16:35

But is it knowledge? And where does it come from? How can we trust it?

liquidgold 16:35
16:37

And is knowledge the same thing as truth?

liquidgold 16:37
16:43

Is knowing that the Spanish Armada attacked Britain in 1588, actually knowledge,

liquidgold 16:43
16:46

or is it simply, in today's technology terms,

liquidgold 16:46
16:50

a sort of piece of metadata that just flagged in history?

liquidgold 16:50
16:51

It's really no more than that.

liquidgold 16:51
16:59

Without knowing what that means - 1588, Armada - it's pointless - or 1776, or whatever date you choose.

liquidgold 16:59
17:08

And for me, I think, the history of the world that has arrived to this point where I can speak and it can be watched

liquidgold 17:08
17:11

by people in all kinds of ways and with all kinds of devices,

liquidgold 17:11
17:15

and can stay for eternity, [rest you on service] and who knows where

liquidgold 17:15
17:23

[the whole things] - it all comes from inquiry, it all comes from open inquiry.

mbravo 17:23
17:30

And the word really is "empiricism," which is a strange word, but what it means is testing things.

liquidgold 17:30
17:34

You don't take anything on trust. You test it out.

liquidgold 17:34
17:43

If a book says, like: "You shall have no foreskin," or "You must not eat shellfish,"

liquidgold 17:43
17:47

you can choose to say: "This is the Word of the Divine Being," if you like.

earlyadopter 17:47
17:50

It doesn't really get you very much forward,

mbravo 17:50
17:54

but it can connect you to the history of your people. I'm not here to disrespect that.

earlyadopter 17:54
18:05

Those happen to be a lot of that for my people, as it happens in -- I don't know -- [] that I have no choice and I eat sea food... whatever

liquidgold 18:05
18:12

But for the rest, I need to know why is that, why somebody's telling me what is the case.

liquidgold 18:12
18:20

I need to question it and to test it. Authority comes from the validity of information,

liquidgold 18:20
18:29

being repeatable, being open, being free, and not coming with a threat,

liquidgold 18:29
18:36

and not being just told: "This is the case, and you must believe it - or you die."

liquidgold 18:36
18:40

which is, as we know, probably the biggest problem facing the world, the people who says things like that.

liquidgold 18:40
18:45

And unfortunately, it's the young they appeal to.

liquidgold 18:45
18:51

You're unlikely to find a 50-year-old being converted to a fundamentalist belief in something

mbravo 18:51
18:54

which means that they think people should die for, not

mbravo 18:54
19:00

believing the right thing, or using casual language about their divinity, or whatever.

liquidgold 19:00
19:05

You won't find a 50-year-old who - you may find one who's grown up, but try to persuade a 50-year-old

liquidgold 19:05
19:08

They just know the world too well, they'll go "oh, come on!".

mbravo 19:08
19:15

But unfortunately, a 18-year-old, who's lost, or feels that the world is unjust - he's right, you know, it *is* unjust -

liquidgold 19:15
19:20

it might be better, if we all ordered and well-behaved. It might be!

liquidgold 19:20
19:24

But we know that "ordered" is a dangerous word.

liquidgold 19:25
19:31

And the riotous, chaotic freedom we enjoy, which causes so much of a headache for all of us,

mbravo 19:31
19:36

is infinitely better than rigidity of tyranny and control.

liquidgold 19:36
19:41

And religious fundamentalism is just another kind of fascism, it's another kind of communism,

mbravo 19:41
19:44

it's an extreme, dictatorial way of telling people how to behave.

mbravo 19:44
19:55

And given that my power comes from a book, whether it's Karl Marx or it's a holy text - that's, to me, the dangerous thing.

liquidgold 19:55
20:00

The truth is [bully] and complicated and difficult and all but an [ "oooh, huh..."]

liquidgold 20:00
20:05

I trust people, you know, the great, one of the wisest heads who ever lived on this planet

mbravo 20:05
20:09

was a philosopher called Socrates, and he's famous for asking questions

mbravo 20:09
20:11

he never gave answers

mbravo 20:11
20:15

but the questions are so acute; the innocence of a Socratic question:

earlyadopter 20:15
20:18

"I wonder what we mean by that." You know?

mbravo 20:18
20:21

and even down to, you know, ethics

mbravo 20:21
20:27

at what age might it be right ever to abort a foetus, on what age?

mbravo 20:27
20:30

if you did it on Wednesday, it would be child-killing

mbravo 20:30
20:33

if its on the Tuesday before, it's okay, how can that be?

mbravo 20:33
20:37

You know, these things are very complicated, and never stop thinking like that!

mbravo 20:37
20:41

Never stop being a child, who says "Why? Can that be right?"

earlyadopter 20:41
20:44

There's Zeno, one of my favourite philosophers,

mbravo 20:44
20:47

had a pupil next to him and he gave him a bean and said

mbravo 20:47
20:50

to put it on the table in front of him and said "Is that a heap?"

mbravo 20:50
20:53

And the pupil said - "No!" So he added another one, "Is that a heap?"

mbravo 20:53
20:55

Pupil said "No, it's not."

mbravo 20:55
20:57

He kept adding and eventually pupil said - "that's a heap"

mbravo 20:57
21:00

So then he says, oh, then the heap is 17, I take this away, it's not heap anymore.

mbravo 21:00
21:04

Is a heap 17? And he was making that exact point

liquidgold 21:04
21:10

"Oh, I see, this number of days is a life, take one away, it's just a mass of chemicals"

mbravo 21:10
21:14

Life is full of these complexities, like age of consent is a similar one, you know?

mbravo 21:14
21:20

the police enter a room and there's a couple making love and

mbravo 21:20
21:27

if they entered the day before it would be statutory rape

mbravo 21:27
21:30

but because it was the day after the birthday - it wasn't

mbravo 21:30
21:33

now, it's such a peculiar way to order a society like that

liquidgold 21:33
21:38

and I think that sort of flexibility, of being able to

earlyadopter 21:38
21:41

to think openly about all kinds of problems

mbravo 21:41
21:47

is really important for one's happiness and one's sense of self and connection with other people

mbravo 21:47
21:51

I think, one of the interesting things about social networking

mbravo 21:51
21:58

is what it's doing to democracy and how it is reactivating many sides of democracy

earlyadopter 21:58
22:01

that both internationally, when there is, you know

mbravo 22:01
22:06

it's not necessarily changing the world in one fell swoop but I think

mbravo 22:06
22:11

politicians have to be so much more careful now, because what they say is not just in the hands of journalists

mbravo 22:11
22:15

who, after all, trade favours with them and may will let this one off for saying this

mbravo 22:15
22:23

but we're all citizen journalists to some extent by blogging or microblogging which is what Twitter is

liquidgold 22:23
22:28

and I think it allows us to engage more in politics and I think in young people

mbravo 22:28
22:33

there of course still is same level of cynicism which is a perfectly justified level to some extent

mbravo 22:33
22:35

who call it realism more than cynicism

mbravo 22:35
22:41

??? the human beings in these positions of power and

mbravo 22:41
22:48

you can take silly, sort of conspiracy theory view, be paranoid about it and all, but

mbravo 22:48
22:52

actually, we know, because we were at school with some people who are now

mbravo 22:52
22:58

politicians of my age running the country, and we know how stupid they are

liquidgold 22:58
23:03

we know how stupid we are! And the idea that they are clever enough to conspire in some

mbravo 23:03
23:08

brilliant way to, you know, with heads of business to keep secrets...

mbravo 23:08
23:14

they can't keep what they do in their trousers a secret, the idea that they can keep anything serious a secret is absurd!

mbravo 23:14
23:20

And I think they have to be so much more honest now... openness.

mbravo 23:20
23:25

I think there's one thing that can really transform our lives

mbravo 23:25
23:27

it is increasing levels of openness

mbravo 23:29
23:34

it is really allowing transparency in the way people behave and transact

mbravo 23:34
23:39

in business and in politics at all levels

mbravo 23:39
23:43

and I think it's all to the good, I really do

mbravo 23:43
23:50

and I think the fact that it's harder to be private is something, of course, that we juggle all the time

mbravo 23:50
23:55

if all this openness is around, it's like we're all living in glass houses with no curtains

mbravo 23:55
23:58

and maybe people feel a bit exposed

mbravo 24:00
24:04

by participating in the openness of the world but in ten years time

mbravo 24:04
24:10

almost everything we do will be so locked in to electronic systems and it already is to a huge extent

earlyadopter 24:10
24:15

and even more so. I mean, just including the way we thought and

mbravo 24:15
24:17

so much information will be known about us and

mbravo 24:18
24:20

we have to just make sure

mbravo 24:20
24:24

and I think that's the beauty in it, there's lots of guardians for us out there

liquidgold 24:24
24:28

who do make a fuss when liberty is threatened.

liquidgold 24:29
24:32

The world is full and the history of the world is full of stories of people

mbravo 24:32
24:36

who feel out of place in some way

mbravo 24:36
24:38

either in their family or in their community

mbravo 24:38
24:43

that they just feel that the stork dropped them down the wrong chimney

mbravo 24:43
24:47

and, I mean, a very common one, like me, is - I'm gay

liquidgold 24:48
24:52

so, especially when I was growing up, it was pretty difficult to be open about being gay

mbravo 24:52
24:58

there were very few people in public life that were known openly gay but they were somewhat openly camp

mbravo 24:58
25:01

and it was a sort of an open secret

payalnik 25:01
25:02

But that's not what being gay is about

mbravo 25:02
25:05

Flouncing around in purple dresses isn't exactly the whole gay experience

payalnik 25:09
25:15

But also, there may be people who are born football player

payalnik 25:15
25:17

Who grow up in a family of musicians or belly dancers

payalnik 25:19
25:27

It's not all just bright sensitive artistic people throttled by the commonplace philistinism of their parents

payalnik 25:27
25:33

It can be quite the reverse, you can just want to be ordinary decent citizen

payalnik 25:33
25:37

who plays sport and isn't interested in all things that your parents are.

payalnik 25:37
25:40

You feel kind of trapped

payalnik 25:40
25:43

Most of us feel different, I think

mbravo 25:43
25:49

Teenagers in particular, but almost all life-uncertain people.

liquidgold 25:49
25:56

There is this tension: on the one hand, you want to belong, you want to be a part of the tribe.

liquidgold 25:56
26:06

You want to be enclosed in a community and feel the friendship and all the fellowship of being connected.

mbravo 26:06
26:11

And another part: one wants to stand alone, and be an individual who is utterly different from everyone else.

liquidgold 26:11
26:16

"They are the tribe -- they are the muddy philistines, and I'm the artistic sensitive soul."

liquidgold 26:16
26:19

See, you want to be a part of the tribe, but you want to be apart from the tribe.

earlyadopter 26:19
26:23

And it's that pull that I think gives enormous creative tension, that allows people...

liquidgold 26:23
26:30

It's that spark of electricity, if you like, that makes people creative.

mbravo 26:30
26:34

It's the desire to be absolutely unique but also a desire to belong.

mbravo 26:34
26:39

[That sense of...] so they understand other people, what is to be a part of the community.

liquidgold 26:39
26:45

But they also understand the status of an alien and an outsider.

liquidgold 26:45
26:51

And youth cultures that old people stupidly mock, 'cause they say: "Oh, you're trying to be different, but you're all just the same!"

liquidgold 26:51
26:56

Oh-ho-ho-ho. You just don't get it, you know, that's not the point!

liquidgold 26:56
27:00

They really do [here] [outsider] ['cause they think they're being] clever!

liquidgold 27:00
27:07

"Ha! You all wear the same... rings and gothic... whatevers, and now you say you just want to be different - well, you're not!"

liquidgold 27:07
27:14

No, it's not this. What they are doing - as I've described, they are belonging, but they're outside.

liquidgold 27:14
27:21

And it's that paradox [??] that counterflow

liquidgold 27:21
27:29

that I think makes life exciting and gives them [the rosin that our ballet shoes can grip the state with], if you like.

liquidgold 27:29
27:32

That's a strange metaphor, I don't know where it came from, but you know what I mean

liquidgold 27:32
27:41

I think, a very good point about technology is - yes, it connects you to people who may be as rare as you are.

mbravo 27:41
27:44

Gives you a connection used to be - for example, if you liked

liquidgold 27:44
27:50

a particular writer, or particular comic, you would have to go to the nearest big town where may be one specialist store

liquidgold 27:50
27:56

where you would hang around for a fat comic guy would come out, like, "Whaat are you peeople dooiing?",

mbravo 27:56
28:00

and you would say, "How much is that comic?"

liquidgold 28:00
28:06

and you meet other collectors, but then you had to go thirty miles out of town, [by home of your smaller town],

liquidgold 28:06
28:08

and you'd feel disconnected.

liquidgold 28:08
28:14

Now, of course, you're constantly locked with conversations with your fellow collectors

mbravo 28:14
28:19

and it could go down to the minutest form of specialization,

liquidgold 28:19
28:25

but it still could be three hundred people on the planet who have that, and they can now be connected to each other.

liquidgold 28:25
28:28

Which must be very exciting.

liquidgold 28:28
28:31

On the other hand, I suppose, if you've grown up with the Internet,

earlyadopter 28:31
28:36

as we now have of course - people in their twenties who've known nothing but the World Wide Web

liquidgold 28:36
28:43

- almost twenty years old, I mean - so that is a heck of a thought, isn't it?

earlyadopter 28:43
28:49

And maybe they are not so surprised, they just pick out that is natural, that have fellow interests,

liquidgold 28:49
28:52

Collect! And that's a miracle! It's a wonderful thing!

liquidgold 28:52
28:57

Of course, yes, against that there's a privacy issue and everything else, but

liquidgold 28:57
29:02

as long as... there are dark sides in the Internet - i mean, obviously -

liquidgold 29:02
29:09

it's not just the manifest [?] once to do with terrible pornography or whatever, but

liquidgold 29:09
29:17

there's real problems that come back to the personality disorders, if you like, of those who are obsessed with self.

earlyadopter 29:17
29:26

Either if I see a YouTube film or read a blog, my eyes go below to the bottom of the screen

liquidgold 29:26
29:30

Because I get so fantastically upset by people who write comments...

liquidgold 29:30
29:34

I don't even know anybody who writes comments! I think that's the point!

earlyadopter 29:34
29:41

The kind of people who put comments are themselves so weird and unhappy and alone and strange -

liquidgold 29:41
29:45

it's called 'trolling', you know, vicious comments about things

liquidgold 29:45
29:52

I mean, really weird. Either politically weird or religiously weird or just so intolerant or so desperate to be heard!

liquidgold 29:52
29:58

So offensive! Just pleading: "Please listen to meee!" - they're saying all the time. "Listen to me!"

liquidgold 29:58
30:01

And of course you don't want to, and if you do, it just gets upset -

earlyadopter 30:01
30:09

you might even be tricked into replying with an aggressive reply to some idiot, and with vile opinions about things.

earlyadopter 30:09
30:13

which they will use on a copmlete... it might be a puppy running around...

earlyadopter 30:13
30:19

Some random youtube thing, and it somehow manages to get a thread of nastiness into it.

liquidgold 30:19
30:26

and they just want to be heard, and they are so resentful, and so annoyed, especially due to other people's blogs

earlyadopter 30:26
30:31

the fact that somebody's reading someone else's blog and not theirs - is madly enough!

earlyadopter 30:31
30:33

And they may be like someone they hate

earlyadopter 30:33
30:38

And this even happens in technology - if you write

liquidgold 30:38
30:41

"Oh, I saw my friend the other day" [?]

liquidgold 30:41
30:45

[] like, two pages of anti-Apple madness - talk about 'get a life'!

liquidgold 30:45
30:51

But that all comes down to the same problem - these are self-obsessed people.

liquidgold 30:51
30:57

And because they are self-obsessed, they just [] build up these poisons, build up inside them, they have to get out.

liquidgold 30:57
31:01

Maybe it's better that they get out in the common pages of the Internet, than in violence on the streets,

liquidgold 31:01
31:04

but it's still distressing for us all to see.

earlyadopter 31:04
31:07

I suppose the thing that I most would like to have known or to be re-assured about

liquidgold 31:07
31:12

is that in the world what counts more than talent, that counts more than energy or concentration,

liquidgold 31:12
31:16

or commitment, or anything else, is kindness.

earlyadopter 31:16
31:19

And the more in the world you encounter kindness

earlyadopter 31:19
31:22

and cheerfulness (which is its' kind of amiable uncle, or aunt)

earlyadopter 31:22
31:25

the better world always is.

earlyadopter 31:25
31:28

And all the big words: [], justice, truth -- are dwarfed by the greatness of kindness.