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Home » Products » Podcast » Season 9 » S09 E02 – Wiki

S09 E02 – Wiki

In this episode of the Tao of WAO podcast, Laura Hilliger and Doug Belshaw discuss a range of topics including the Six Degrees of Wikipedia tool, feminism and the divergence of Gen Z’s political views by gender, conspiracy theories and Taylor Swift, as well as their personal experiences and thoughts on Wikipedia and AI. They also touch on the misconception of feminism in younger generations and the media’s role in amplifying controversial figures like Andrew Tate. The conversation ends with a lighter topic, discussing a website dedicated to monumental trees around the world, sharing personal anecdotes and concerns about the preservation of nature.



Find all of our guests’ reading recommendations at our The Tao of WAO book club.


Important note: this is a lightly-edited AI transcription of the conversation. If you require verbatim quotations, please double-check against the audio!

Laura Hilliger: [00:00:22] Hello and welcome to the Tao of WAO, a podcast about the intersection of technology, society, and internet culture with a dash of philosophy and art for good measure. I’m Laura Hilliger.

Doug Belshaw: [00:00:33] You said that in a really kind of like downward voice, but I’m going to say I’m Doug Belshaw. This podcast season is currently partially unfunded. You can support this podcast and other we are open projects and products at

Laura Hilliger: [00:00:48] I feel like I’m usually the one that’s like oh my god. Hey guys, what’s up? So I’m going to be really low key today okay.

Doug Belshaw: [00:00:57] You do that then okay. So this series is all about having a ramble chat. Yeah.

Laura Hilliger: [00:01:01] Yes. And I um, just this morning, listened back to the first episode, which we have not posted yet, and we’re recording the second episode, even though we haven’t posted the first one. Um, and I was really enjoying our ramble chat. We talked about some fully random stuff. It was great. I thought it was pretty funny. Um, so yeah. So it’s a nice, uh, nice change of pace from season eight, where we were very organised. Um.

Doug Belshaw: [00:01:27] I enjoyed season eight, but yeah, you’re right. It’s good to have a change of pace and things, and maybe we’ll invite other people into our ramble chat in future. Maybe we’ll do that.

Laura Hilliger: [00:01:36] We should do that, yeah.

Doug Belshaw: [00:01:38] Where do you want to start today? What’s. What’s on? What’s top of mind?

Laura Hilliger: [00:01:41] Well, the first link on the list, um, I actually cut out of the last episode because there were some internet issues. Um, but we did already talk about six degrees of Wikipedia, but only for a moment. And it was, you know, the audio was crap. So want to start there because it’s still funny.

Doug Belshaw: [00:02:01] Yeah, sure. Okay, so we’ve got some stuff to talk about or Wikipedia actually, since we last recorded, I think, I don’t think we talked about when Adam Proctor tried to make a Wikipedia page for me.

Laura Hilliger: [00:02:10] No we didn’t. And yes. So let’s start with six degrees of, uh, Wikipedia, which, dear listeners, is a very cool website, And basically you can put in two concepts, two words, two people to whatever, uh, and the tool will find the shortest path from one thing to the next. So I just put in, uh, the word robot and William Shakespeare. It’s only two degrees of separation. Uh, so, yeah, the history of science fiction. And that apparently links over to William Shakespeare.

Doug Belshaw: [00:02:46] So I’ve put in verifiable credentials, which was the last Wikipedia page that I edited. And I’ve put in bonobo Monkeys, those very horny monkeys. Uh, which one of my favourite musicians is named after?

Laura Hilliger: [00:02:59] Okay.

Doug Belshaw: [00:03:01] Um, so it’s creating the links. And there’s a lot of links. There we go. Um, and it says there are 352 paths with four degrees of separation from verifiable credentials to bonobo. And there we go.

Laura Hilliger: [00:03:17] Four degrees. That’s kind of cool. Yeah, I, um, mine, I like this one. It goes from robot to dementia to William Shakespeare.

Doug Belshaw: [00:03:29] Who knew? Yep.

Laura Hilliger: [00:03:31] That makes me want to read all the pages. Um.

Doug Belshaw: [00:03:34] Anyway, when we were talking about Wikipedia last week and we were, you know, I had a conversation with Adam. Hi, Adam. If you’re listening, who’s one of our gaming buddies and all around top person. Um, you mentioned that you edited Wikipedia for an entire year, every single day, and no one ever commented on it that. Like what? Tell us about that.

Laura Hilliger: [00:03:58] Uh, okay. So this was early in my internetting, I guess, like maybe 2010, 2011. Um, a new year came around. I had been at some open event and had met a couple of Wikipedians, um, and I was like, okay, well, you know, New Year, like New Year’s resolution. I’m going to edit Wikipedia. Um, so I started and I made it through the entire year. Um, I never told anybody about it. Didn’t brag about it until now. Like over a decade later. Hey, everybody brag. Um, yeah. And I, you know, I just went in and I, like, did lots of formatting stuff, what we call wiki gardening, uh, all kinds of different pages. It was. Yeah. And I and I racked up, um, actually more than 365 edits because, like, you know, it saves every, like, every time you save. It’s an edit. Um, but I just set aside, you know, ten, 15, 20 minutes a day to do a Wikipedia edit and, um, made it through the whole year and never actually heard anything from anybody. I don’t know if it’s because I was editing all kinds of different random pages or.

Doug Belshaw: [00:05:11] Well, I was going to ask you, what kind of things are you doing? And you mentioned being a wiki gardener. And when we’ve had Badge wiki, which is using the same software, we’ve explicitly created badges, haven’t we? For like a wiki fairy making things look better, wiki Gardener making sure everything’s in the right place and all that kind of thing. So it’s good to know that your gardener offline and online.

Laura Hilliger: [00:05:29] Yeah, well, I mean, at the beginning, you know, the first couple of months I really tried to make, like, good edits, but then it was like just this compulsive. I have to do my edit today. And so the later in the year it got, the easier the edits. So by the end, I was just like, you know, making this should be a header. There should be a, you know, a content split here, whatever. Like easy.

Doug Belshaw: [00:05:51] Is it a bit like Duolingo, like you start off doing loads of XP and all these things and then eventually you’re just like, oh, what’s the shortest path towards me completing my streak?

Laura Hilliger: [00:06:00] Yeah. And what what’s your what’s your what number are you on nowadays with your Duolingo Streak.

Doug Belshaw: [00:06:05] 266, I want to say.

Laura Hilliger: [00:06:09] I am beating you. I’m on 274. Yes. And I am definitely, you know, every day I’m like, ah, man, I haven’t done my Duolingo. Hold on. Uh, I’m going to do it, like in two minutes while also cooking dinner.

Doug Belshaw: [00:06:24] Oh I know you have to have a routine, so I didn’t do it just there. But usually when I have lunch and I sit down for lunch, I do Duolingo while I’m doing that, which is sad because it means I have lunch by myself. And I used to have lunch with my wife back in the day, but now we don’t coordinate lunch time, sadly.

Laura Hilliger: [00:06:40] Mm mm. Maybe we should have a second lunch.

Doug Belshaw: [00:06:44] Well, I had two breakfasts today, so I had my two.

Laura Hilliger: [00:06:48] Pre-breakfast breakfast.

Doug Belshaw: [00:06:51] Well, so I’ve got this new thing, right. So there’s a website which people in the UK might know about called hot UK deals. And I’m sure I’ve mentioned it to you before Laura. So this is literally I love this website. There’s, I could talk about this website all day. So not only is it a great place to find good deals for stuff, but the knowledge within that community and we’re talking millions of people have got accounts, the knowledge within that community of like, well, yeah, it’s cheaper, but actually it’s not the best product in this category. What you want to send is this. And you learn all this kind of stuff. And the third thing is like, it’s really well designed as a website like to get you to the stuff that you want and the structure of the data and whatever. Um, anyway, on hot UK deals, I found this deal on Amazon for branch chain amino acids. So bcaas, which are zero calories and help build muscle. And also just if they got all the right nutrients and stuff together make you feel amazing. So I had a strawberry kiwi and banana smoothie like with this stuff this morning. And I don’t know if you’ve ever like you must have done when you’ve had smoothies yourself. Like afterwards you feel a bit zingy, like you feel like you’ve got like your fingertips are fizzing and stuff. I felt a little bit like that. And so when I went to the gym, I managed to leg press 280kg, which is three times my body weight, which I don’t know if I’ve told you this already, Laura, I think I have, but, um, I’m quite impressed by myself.

Laura Hilliger: [00:08:15] Um. What does this have to do with second lunch?

Doug Belshaw: [00:08:20] Um, so that was my first breakfast and I came back and had second breakfast, and then I had an omelette with leftover stuff inside for lunch. Yeah.

Laura Hilliger: [00:08:28] Okay, so. But you’re still not answering the question. Why? No. Second lunch. Are you full or. You’re never full, you’re always eating. So.

Doug Belshaw: [00:08:37] Yeah, but here’s the thing, right. Let’s say you have a snack mid-afternoon, right? Depending on the size of that snack, you could call it second lunch. But second lunch isn’t really a category that people use. Second breakfast is a category that people use, so I feel like maybe we’re inventing second lunches here.

Laura Hilliger: [00:08:55] I feel like we should just have second, any meal time, second lunch, second snack, second dinner. Why not? Well, I mean, I don’t eat, you can have.

Doug Belshaw: [00:09:04] So you can have breakfast. Second breakfast. Um, a elevenses you could have. I guess you could have lunch. You could have, um, high tea. You could have, uh, tea, then dinner, then you could have supper, and then you could have a midnight snack. So there’s lots of options if you’re in the UK for for eating.

Laura Hilliger: [00:09:29] Dear listener, I am just staring at Doug with all of his opinions on food. So let’s go back to we were going to talk about Wikipedia because you finally got a Wikipedia page that was immediately taken down.

Doug Belshaw: [00:09:43] For 30 minutes. Now, we’re not going to name any names here, but we both know somebody who spuriously got a Wikipedia page because they invented, and I’m putting scare quotes around that that you can’t see, dear listener. Um, but they invented something which was just basically putting two things together. Now, the reason that that happened was because if you invent something, you’re notable enough to have a Wikipedia page, but it was completely spurious and hacking the system. So that person is no more famous than I am or Laura is or whoever, but they’ve got their own Wikipedia page now. Do I need my ego stroked by having a Wikipedia page? Yes, I do so.

Laura Hilliger: [00:10:21] I mean, you did invent the eight essential elements of digital literacies. Like that is an invention. It is an invention of a framework. So, well.

Doug Belshaw: [00:10:31] As I tell my kids all the time, I’m kind of a big deal on the internet, right? Like, so, uh, so it, it would be nice to have a Wikipedia page, Stephen Downes. Right? Because it’s not the done thing to create your own Wikipedia page. Right. So Stephen Downes, who has one now, he basically said, look, here’s all the information you need in one place if you want to create a Wikipedia page. Now here’s what in his 60s has invented co-invented the theory of connectivism done loads of important stuff. I’m being a little bit facetious when I’m talking about myself. Stephen Downes definitely needs a Wikipedia page. Maybe that’s a way of going about it now. Adam Blessum just went a bit Leroy Jenkins and just started creating a Wikipedia page for me. Instead of doing the thing which you’re supposed to do, which is create a sandbox, add all your evidence to all this kind of stuff, and then got a little bit upset that, you know, someone took down the page for me not being notable enough within about 30 minutes. I just think it’s funny, although I would like a Wikipedia page one day.

Laura Hilliger: [00:11:34] Yeah, I don’t know I. Everybody wants a Wikipedia page. Like, we don’t have to pretend that our egos are, you know, so non-existent today. Although my ego is a lot different than it was 15 years ago. Um, but, yeah, it would be nice. I think there’s a way. What else we got? Anything else on Wikipedia?

Speaker3: [00:11:53]

Doug Belshaw: [00:11:54] For anyone Listening, i think there’s a way to do this. Right. And I think the way is this. And you and I could totally do this ourselves or whatever. So if you you can create links on Wikipedia to pages that don’t exist, only pages that should exist. Right? So for example, on the web literacy map page which exists, and I created that back when I worked at Mozilla. Um, it doesn’t mention me, but it could just do double square brackets, Doug Belshaw, and that page doesn’t exist. It would show up red, and if you clicked on it, it would ask you to create that page. Then I could mention myself on the page around digital literacies and web literacy and open badges and verifiable credentials. And eventually. Someone might go, oh, this person keeps popping up, let’s create a page for them. I think that’s the way to do it, potentially. So yeah, I might do that because yeah, again, I’m not going to pretend that I don’t want to want a Wikipedia page. Of course I do. I’m human.

Laura Hilliger: [00:12:48] Mhm. I don’t know, I feel like sprinkling your name in everywhere is more work than it’s worth. Like what’s the benefit you get a Wikipedia page at the end. But, like I said, you know, you can go and edit edit pages all you want. It’s not like, but you’ll notice. So you might be waiting for that red link for a long time. But anyways. Moving on.

Doug Belshaw: [00:13:11] Yes. Moving on.

Laura Hilliger: [00:13:12] Do we have any other Wikipedia related talky talk?

Doug Belshaw: [00:13:16] Errr.

Laura Hilliger: [00:13:17] I wish you would have got it in fibre today.

Doug Belshaw: [00:13:21] Well, I’ve got half of fibre. Um, so they eventually after this is the third attempt. They have now done the external work. Um, the first two times they brought a ladder, which wasn’t long enough. And the second time they brought those what’s called a cherry picker. The little lift that takes you up, you know. But they didn’t have a third person to stop the traffic while they did that, so they couldn’t do it then. And then this time they’ve come along and they still haven’t got a ladder long enough, apparently, but they’ve decided to put the wire a bit lower. So that’s the external work. The internal work is being done tomorrow. And then since we recorded the last podcast, I think we’ve bought a house. So we’ll be moving out of this place in eight weeks time anyway, so boom.

Laura Hilliger: [00:14:05] And the new house already has fibre.

Doug Belshaw: [00:14:08] The new house because they’ve only recently cabled the area. The new house can get fibre, so we’ll just move the account over. Yes.

Laura Hilliger: [00:14:17] Oh yeah. Mhm. Cool. All right. Well what do we want to talk about now.

Doug Belshaw: [00:14:25] Right. Well here are some things which put up for.

Laura Hilliger: [00:14:26] Do wonder what listeners think about these ramble chats. You know, I wonder if people, uh.

Doug Belshaw: [00:14:36] To some extent.

Laura Hilliger: [00:14:37] We have internet issues.

Doug Belshaw: [00:14:45] Um, I could put my, um, hotspot on as well, although I’ve nearly run out of data for this month. There we go. I’ll do that. Where were we up to?

Laura Hilliger: [00:14:58] Uh, just cut that out. I’ll cut out a few minutes here from us talking over each other.

Doug Belshaw: [00:15:05] So in terms of where to go next, um, I have moved thought shrapnel from WordPress to, and I’ve started posting some stuff on there. And, um, there’s a few things I’ve put on there about UK schooling and the clusters vide and how they’re trying to get around that. Um, which is actually more interesting than it sounds. Um, OpenAI’s woefully inadequate, uh, um, uh, attempts to stop information, electoral, electoral disinformation. Um, we could also talk about Taylor Swift and deepfakes and all that kind of stuff, which might take us into the feminism stuff and the death of Consensus reality, which is reflections on an interview with Asa Raskin, who was at Mozilla at the same time as us, and Nita Farahany. Yes, that’s how you say it. Who was the person who spoke in that episode on their podcast, your undivided attention last summer that I sent to you? Because it was great.

Laura Hilliger: [00:16:07] Yeah. I actually, um, just the other day listened to the Your Undivided Attention episode that you recently sent me and Stephen Downes on Mastodon about, um, looking at AI development through the lens of storytelling and myth. And I thought that it was really interesting, um, that like. There are just so many interesting little bits and bobs in that in that episode. And I’m thinking the thing that struck me the most was the, the, the part where he said, we have to ask ourselves why we’re trying to create an intelligence that’s greater than ourselves. And, you know, which just sent me on this whole philosophical like, it really is a philosophical question. Why? You know, because he just like he he talks about the idea that a lot of tech bros and a lot of, like, AI enthusiasts or general intelligence AGI enthusiasts, um, you know, say, well, if we just had something smarter than ourselves, we’d be able to solve all the world’s problems. And in that episode, he says, we already know the solution to the vast majority of the problems that we have. We just choose not to solve them. We make that choice like we make poverty. And and I thought that was I thought that was great. And I very much enjoyed that episode. Um, and then I that was a bit.

Doug Belshaw: [00:17:29] There was a bit in that episode where, um, the guy, what was his name? Josh, Josh Schrei? Um, he and he’s got his own podcast called The Emerald Podcast or whatever, but he was talking about how, you know, if you take everything to its logical conclusion, which you kind of need to when you’re dealing with people who are very powerful and or very rich because it’s easy to think, oh, well, because they’ve got some kind of status, they must be right. But if you take their ideas to the logical conclusion, they’re. They basically want to replace humans or a lot of humans. Not maybe not including themselves. Maybe they want to upload themselves into the machine with, um, with machines, with artificial intelligence and kind of a transhumanist kind of approach. And that’s a bit worrying, I would say, like transhumanism is on a spectrum, for sure, but the far end of that spectrum is like an elite of, of humans directing machines, which is kind of a position which I’ve only recently discovered is called kind of antinatalism, where you you think that it’s not a good idea for the human race to keep on expanding and having more babies, because actually, either it’s not a good place to bring people into or that’s not what we’re trying to do in life. You know, like I think it’s very interesting when there’s ideas behind the ideas which are being shared. Um.

Doug Belshaw: [00:18:59] Their most recent episode of their podcast, which I haven’t listened to yet. Episode 83 is called Taylor Swift is Not Alone The deep fake nightmare sweeping the internet.

Laura Hilliger: [00:19:09] Yeah, it just read it. Um, somebody, uh, wrote a post about, um, the, you know, how the the Maggas in the United States are freaking out about, um, the Super Bowl and Taylor Swift and, like, basically, there’s a conspiracy theory that, uh, the Biden administration and like, the Democratic Democrats, uh, and that entire apparatus has rigged the Super Bowl. Um, and it’s the I guess the theory is they’ve rigged the Super Bowl so that, um, you know, the Taylor Swift and whatever her boyfriend’s name is for whatever team, uh, that they can then endorse Biden, um, and try to swing the election with their endorsement, which is silly. I mean, it’s silly because, like, Taylor Swift endorsed Biden in 2020. Anyway, um, you know, and the way that she has spoken about politics has been, you know, more on the Democratic side. She I mean, she trolled Trump on Twitter back when it was called Twitter. Um, and I just thought that was really funny that there’s apparently like this big uproar, uh, about Taylor Swift. It’s like people have nothing better to do than come up with random conspiracy theories about famous people.

Doug Belshaw: [00:20:26] But conspiracy theories are really interesting. So actually, the one that I read, which you might have read was from Garbage Day. Is that the one that you read?

Laura Hilliger: [00:20:35] Uh, no, no, because I yeah, I got off Substack and, um.

Doug Belshaw: [00:20:41] Oh, well he’s I think has he moved here or he’s gone to anyway.

Laura Hilliger: [00:20:44] I don’t know, I haven’t gotten any email updates, but I left Substack and then suddenly my inbox no longer has tons of the newsletters. Oops.

Doug Belshaw: [00:20:53] Okay, so I haven’t left Substack yet because I haven’t sent out my first newsletter from Microblogs. You have to wait 30 days before you can import, um, your subscribers, but the one that I read was called on garbage day. It was called Taylor Swift Versus the manosphere, which I thought was an interesting title. And it talks about. There’s a whole bit about it that I just send people the link and stuff, but it’s basically like how she’s not fitting into people’s norms, like you said, like started off in terms of like doing country music and being like, you know, um, traditional, you know, woman settled down with a man, you know, white, you know, white woman, whatever. Then all of a sudden, all of a sudden inverted commas, she’s doing all this stuff about feminism and and this and that. Um, and the guy, Ryan Broderick behind Garbage Day is hilarious, especially with the way he deconstructs what is going on. It just sounds absolutely ridiculous because it is. But conspiracy theories are interesting because they’re invented to try and explain the world in a simple way for people who don’t understand complexity.

Laura Hilliger: [00:22:06] Mm.

Doug Belshaw: [00:22:07] So, for example, at my daughter’s football, there’s one of the dads who is a conspiracy theorist, and he’s not stupid like he’s got a professional job, but there’s definitely something going on, um, with him. And other conspiracy. Conspiracy? Conspiracy theorists have come across. My dad has been a conspiracy theorist at different points in his life. Um, but I think we all believe certain things which we possibly at our heart of hearts know aren’t completely true. It’s just that this is a little bit more budget. So, for example, people who believe that diesel generators are in wind turbines because they’re actually making the wind turbines work rather than just starting the blades. Um, when there’s not very much wind is a crazy idea. People who think that, like, um, Covid is implanting chips into our bodies is crazy. I noticed that everyone thinks that that’s terrible, but when Elon Musk literally wants to put a chip into our bodies with Neuralink, that somehow cool, like it just shows the difference between people’s worldviews and frames of reference. But let’s keep on going on the Taylor Swift thing. Because there’s the things I think we both put a link in about, um, about feminism and about some polls which have been done recently. Yeah.

Laura Hilliger: [00:23:31] Yeah, I recently read, I don’t know actually, how I accessed it, but I read an article in the Financial Times that was not behind a paywall. It’s now behind a paywall, and web archive wouldn’t spit out a link for me either, so I can’t actually revisit what I read. But it was talking about some research that showed that Gen Z, uh, political views well, not just political, but political, social, economic views, um, are are diverging by gender. Um, and it was showing that, like, young women tend to have more progressive views and young men are starting to form more right wing views. And there was a, there was a, a graph that was showing, uh, this research and it had two arrows, you know, and, and and they were just like completely divergent. And I thought that that was really interesting because it seems like, um, the state of the world today, um, is actually causing people to have different views based on gender. And I wonder what the link there is with, you know, with the MeToo movement blowing up, with feminism becoming something that’s quite mainstream, um, the amount of gender discussions that’s happening in the workplace and the schools, etc.. Um, and how that’s actually, you know, I’m always interested in how the topic of feminism is impacting, um, also the way that men feel.

Doug Belshaw: [00:25:00] Mm hmm.

Doug Belshaw: [00:25:02] So I have some thoughts about this. Um, the so the first thing, if you’re listening to this and you’re thinking, oh, that’s a bit rubbish not being able to go into the Financial Times website. Um, there’s a Chrome extension and although I use Firefox, but there’s a Chrome extension, which is useful you can use on any Chrome based browser. So I use arc for example. And it allows you to bypass the paywall. Um, I’ll let you decide whether that is an ethical thing to do. Um, especially given that this was previously available. So I have no qualms in doing that. So two articles then this one and the Financial Times that you’ve just summarised, which has these graphs and which I’ll just talk about in a moment, but then I’m going to link that to another article which is in The Guardian, which should be accessible to everyone, and that one’s called Gen Z. Boys and men. More likely than baby boomers to believe feminism is harmful, says Paul.

Laura Hilliger: [00:25:53] Uh, trigger warning there’s a picture of Andrew Tate. If you know who Andrew Tate is and are physically disgusted by his existence, then FYI.

Doug Belshaw: [00:26:03] So, you know, if you do get to see the Financial Times graphs, um, there’s South Korea, the US, Germany and the UK. South Korea is the most extreme. Like, um, the the graph basically shows, uh, liberal going upwards and conservative going downwards. This is support for liberal and conservative parties based on polling. So women is going up towards liberalism and men is going sharply down towards conservatism in South Korea. Um, a little bit less pronounced in the US and in Germany. But basically what’s happening in all of these places, the women part of the graph is going up really sharply in all of those. Um, only in South Korea is it going down sharply. And if you look at the UK one, which is the link I want to make here, because I live here, and also the link to the Guardian, the men one like the it’s gone up towards liberalism. Um, in the last decade between 2010 and 2020 quite a lot. And then it’s just kind of stabilised. So to say that’s gone down is misleading. I would say the women one has gone up from 2010 to now, huge amounts. And I guess that’s because of me two and lots of things going on there and the internet just basically allowing women to realise that, oh, we don’t have to like take this shit anymore.

Doug Belshaw: [00:27:20] Um, but the Gen Z one in the Guardian, right. I thought was a way like it’s not incorrect, but I think this is misleadingly reported. Reported. Right. So they love both the Guardian and the BBC. Love talking about Andrew Tate because they get loads of hits on their website. They love it. Yeah. So the BBC interviewed Andrew Tate, um, because it got lots of his followers watching the interview and everything like that. So if you look underneath what’s going on here, there’s not a lot really going on. I’m a parent of two teenagers. I am always super concerned about them getting radicalised or going down the wrong way in life or, you know, being nudged in the wrong direction or whatever. But let’s just look at the kind of chart that’s in this, in this, um, well, you describe it to me, Laura. Like if you look at this chart, 1 in 5 men aged 16 to 29 who have heard of Andrew Tate say they have a positive view of him. How would you interpret that chart if you if it wasn’t in this article?

Laura Hilliger: [00:28:20] Well, I mean. First of all, um, we read left to right. You know, I don’t know. I don’t know if you’re aware, but here in English, we read left to right. And, um, when information is presented in a way that feels backwards. So this chart, dear listener, and I encourage you to go look at it like the big chunk of the chart is on the on the right side. Um, which leads you to believe that that, that, that actually matches the headline. The headline says, um, that 1 in 5 men have a positive view, but the chart, the actual the the big chunk is the unfavourable view. So like, it’s it’s kind of backwards. So you if you don’t pay attention to what you’re looking at, if you just kind of scan it, you might get the wrong idea about how, how many people actually have a, uh, very favourable view. Uh, so that’s one thing. But also like I, I honestly, I find it kind of incredible that this person, Andrew Tate, continues to get airtime, and I find it a bit irresponsible of the Guardian and the BBC to continue to give this person airtime, given what, like what he has been charged with in Romania, given the amount of links to sex trafficking and the fiercely, fiercely anti-women shit that he says like, why do we continue to put people like this on, like in our articles? This is this is one of those things where it’s like people who who are just false don’t deserve the same airtime. And it is inherently false to, you know, be for femicide.

Doug Belshaw: [00:30:02] So, yeah, this is a guy who says he is absolutely a misogynist. And, um, this just to quote from the article, before going to the the chart a bit more, Tate preaches that young men should take control of their own lives, shouting at them. In one recent video over footage of him vaping, firing a gun and driving a sports car. You’re not supposed to be happy. You’re supposed to be monumentally influential and capable. Now I’ve got a 17 year old son. Yeah. Um. Who? You know, I’m not going to overshare here, but, like, the pandemic was rough on all teenagers. And to then be telling teenagers that you’re not supposed to be happy is, like, quite worrying. Anyway, let’s go back to the graph. The chart. So this chart as. Yeah.

Laura Hilliger: [00:30:46] Go on. No I just noticed there’s a second one.

Doug Belshaw: [00:30:49] Yes it is.

Laura Hilliger: [00:30:51] I didn’t even scroll down. I just got hooked on the first one and then all angry about it.

Doug Belshaw: [00:30:54] Let’s let’s get to that one next. Right. So the first one, as you say, is a misleading way of representing data. So the grey box on here says that there was no response. Yeah. So you’ve actually got a decent number of no responses and also a decent number of neither favourable or unfavourable. Yeah. Which you know, like that skews the results a little bit as well. So if I think about what I was like age 17 like when is when are you likely given that men reach their sexual peak at age 17, right. And all of the hormones and the testosterone is going around, like, when are you likely to be most kind of like, oh, I’m a man kind of thing. It’s going to be at that age. And so to actually have a very unfavourable view or a somewhat unfavourable view, and we’re talking like 70% of people have an unfavourable view between 16 and 29 who are men like that. And then you’ve got this huge chunk of neither feasible nor unfavourable and no response. It’s such a small amount who are actually in favour that I don’t. I just don’t see what the news is here. I just don’t get it. And they’re not they’re not comparing it against like older men. They’re comparing it against all respondents. And I know for a fact that like men my age and also older men would be further over. I would think in my experience, there’s a lot more toxic masculinity in my generation than there is in my son’s generation. So that’s the first one. The second one is 1 in 6 British men aged 16 to 29 say feminism has done more harm than good. So that’s 1 in 6. So just to put that in perspective, that’s about what, 17%?

Laura Hilliger: [00:32:45] Yeah.

Doug Belshaw: [00:32:49] Now when I again talking to my son, to my son, I mentioned the word feminism and he said, oh, isn’t that just like, uh, women want to be better than men? And I was like, oh my goodness, I’ve done a terrible job of bringing you up, first of all. And secondly, like as soon as I explained, like, that’s not what feminism is. He’s like, oh, cool. So if schools aren’t teaching what feminism is, yeah. And obviously terrible parents like me aren’t telling their kids at home, like, what does the word sound like? We’ve talked about this before. What does feminism sound like if you don’t actually know what it is like? I just think it’s a non-story and it’s ridiculous. Yeah.

Laura Hilliger: [00:33:31] I haven’t read the article. I’m just amazed that it is on the on the Guardian. Um.

Doug Belshaw: [00:33:41] I have actually noticed that the Guardians a little bit more like rage baity than it used to be.

Laura Hilliger: [00:33:55] Uh, well, I mean, to be fair, anything with Andrew Tate is going to induce rage in anybody who actually knows what feminism is. So there you go. I guess they do get some clicks with that.

Doug Belshaw: [00:34:06] Well, look at the related stories. Right at the bottom. 1 in 7 hr heads believe men are better suited to top jobs. So again, that’s what, 14%?

Laura Hilliger: [00:34:20] Yeah. Yeah, it’s. Yeah.

Doug Belshaw: [00:34:22] It’s just ridiculous. Yeah. Anyway, let’s move on. Unless you want to say anything else on that.

Laura Hilliger: [00:34:29] Yeah, no, I mean, I can talk about, um, feminism and gender issues all day, but, um, before I start ranting and because we’re already, you know, a good half an hour into our ramble chat, let’s end with something that is not triggering for 50% of society.

Doug Belshaw: [00:34:49] Were gonna of end already?

Doug Belshaw: [00:34:50] Are we really that far in? My goodness. It seems like wow, I.

Laura Hilliger: [00:34:54] Know, I feel like we just opened up the room and we just started chatting. We have way too many links per day. But okay, so we talked a little bit about AI and um, about how, you know, the the philosophical quandary about that. So great podcast. Great link for that. Uh, talked a bit about, uh, conspiracy theories and Taylor Swift. I’m definitely going to read that garbage day, um, newsletter in a minute. Talked about, um. Crappy presentation of data and, um, in relationship to feminism. And we’ve talked about Wikipedia. That was not in any particular order. So what should we what is this? Monumental trees.

Doug Belshaw: [00:35:39] Let’s finish by talking about trees. So someone shared this on the study verse. Um, and it’s basically, you know, like big trees that might be famous in their local area for being very old or very big or nice shape or whatever. It’s basically like a database of these monumental trees from around the world.

Laura Hilliger: [00:35:55] That is. So cool. I love that. I wonder that makes me want to check and see if my local big tree. I have to go look up the name of it though, because I can’t remember. And you can add a new tree.

Doug Belshaw: [00:36:09] Yeah. So if you go to like countries and then I’ve gone to United Kingdom and then you can zoom in. So I’m zooming in where I live in Morpeth and there’s one in Rothbury. And what does it say? Western hemlock on the grounds of Cragside House. The girth of the tree measured a height of 80cm, is 7.11m in August 2013. As this is a tree with multiple trunks, the girth can be larger than what would be expected of a tree of its age.

Laura Hilliger: [00:36:41] Cool.

Doug Belshaw: [00:36:42] So it’s got some photographs. All that kind of stuff. I actually know exactly where that tree is.

Laura Hilliger: [00:36:52] What’s the, uh. Have you ever seen a giant sequoia?

Doug Belshaw: [00:36:56] Not in person? No.

Laura Hilliger: [00:36:58] I got my hair cut yesterday, and on the counter at the hairdresser place, um, was a pine cone that was probably about two feet long and like, almost as big as my head. And the only time I’ve ever. I didn’t know if it was real, and I didn’t touch it because it was like far away and it was covered in dust. But, um, I the only time I’ve ever seen a pine cone of that size is in, um, the sequoia forest, um, near Fresno, California. Um, yeah. There’s some. There’s some great trees in California. We should go there. Uh, we need to. We need to find a cool project to work on that requires us to go to California. Because I haven’t been to California in a while. I’d like to see some big trees. Um, and there’s some great diving out there, too. So that’s my 2024 goal when.

Doug Belshaw: [00:37:53] I teach the American West. So when I, when I taught the American West, I’d still, I don’t think, ever been to America. Um, which is a weird thing to do to teach about a country you never been to. But I remember trying to help the kids who would have been like 15, 16, understand what it would have been like to receive messages about oranges the size of basketballs and, you know, peaches that are, you know, and you can just dip your hand into the stream and pull out fish and then like them saying that they’re building roads through trees because the trees are so thick like. And I thought, that can’t be true. And then you look it up. And of course, it is true that they were building, okay, single track roads, but like going through the middle of trees is kind of insane.

Laura Hilliger: [00:38:38] Also, route one in California you can drive through a giant redwood. It’s so cool. And actually on the front page, the the biggest tree in the world where I have actually been to a General Sherman in the sequoia forest, um, also in California. I was there a couple of years ago. I forget why, but, um, I was in California a few years back and went and saw this tree, but you couldn’t get anywhere near it because, um, like anything that is the biggest of its kind, it was crawling with tourists. Um, so, you know, I looked from far away and marvelled at how tiny humans are. Um, and then I went for a hike and saw also very, very big trees.

Laura Hilliger: [00:39:23] Yeah, it reminds me there’s a there’s a tree in Nottingham, which is where I was born and grew up until, until I was like 4 or 5. And there’s this really, really old tree and there’s like the myth of, like, Robin Hood hidden it or something, which is just bollocks.

Laura Hilliger: [00:39:38] Is that the one that some kid cut down?

Doug Belshaw: [00:39:41] No, no, that’s the one. Um, on Hadrian’s Wall. Um, which was it’s one of Sycamore Gap, which wasn’t that old, but was very kind of emblematic of the region. So this one in Nottingham, um, with Robin Hood and, yes, that tree was on Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, even though it’s a bit anachronistic, because there’s no way that you’d be able to get to that tree from where they were anyway.

Doug Belshaw: [00:40:01] That’s not how movies work.

Doug Belshaw: [00:40:02] I used to, I used to like, swing on, like playground and stuff when I was a little kid. When I went back with my kids, it was like guarded off, surrounded, had tree supports on all this kind of stuff, which I was really pleased with, you know, because you want to look after these things, but also as a kind of a shame that people have obviously damaged stuff to such a degree that they have to do that.

Laura Hilliger: [00:40:22] Yeah. This is like another thing that I find incredible is the amount of damage some like the the amount of damage that some people will do to the to natural things without without even caring, like with no thought whatsoever. It’s I don’t I don’t understand it although. Yeah. No. I was about to say, although I probably carved my initials in a tree at some point, but I actually never did.

Doug Belshaw: [00:40:50] That’s definitely carved my initials into it.

Laura Hilliger: [00:40:53] I’ve carved my initials in my school desks. When I was a kid.

Doug Belshaw: [00:40:58] That tree is already dead, though, so that’s a lot.

Doug Belshaw: [00:41:02] Yeah. Right.

Doug Belshaw: [00:41:03] So things we didn’t get to, which maybe we’ll talk about in a future episode, um, is stuff about copyright and, um, about a unified theory of physics. That was interesting one as well. Um, the stuff about consensus reality and disinformation and schooling and. Uh, blue sky launching RSS feeds. Did we mention last time we were on blue Sky? I think we did, didn’t we?

Laura Hilliger: [00:41:29] Yes. I joined it during the last show.

Doug Belshaw: [00:41:33] And have you.Been logging in.

Laura Hilliger: [00:41:35] Yeah, I have it open and stuff, but I honestly like I barely post to the fediverse. Um, like, I’m just, I, I don’t know, I just don’t have much to say most of the time, or I have tons of stuff to say, but I’m too lazy to say it on the web. I don’t know what my I’m not really socialising at the moment social media, but yes, I joined blue Sky, um, because you gave me an invite. That was something that happened live on the Dao of Wow, Laura joins blue Sky, so. But I haven’t looked at it since, and now I don’t even know.

Speaker3: [00:42:08] Most the people I’m following tend to be like Matt Dukes and like, doing stuff like in digital government stuff.

Laura Hilliger: [00:42:15] Yeah, yeah.

Doug Belshaw: [00:42:16] And there’s a few of the people anyway. Um, yeah. Let’s leave it there.

Laura Hilliger: [00:42:22] Yeah all right. Um, thanks for listening to episode two of season nine. Doug and Laura ramble ramble chat.

Doug Belshaw: [00:42:32] Rumble chat would be interesting to chat about Rambo.

Laura Hilliger: [00:42:35] Yeah. Maybe next time.

Doug Belshaw: [00:42:38] Yeah. Okay. Cheers for now. Bye!