actorartathleteauthorbizcrimecrosspostcustomerservicedirectoredufoodgaminghealthjournalistmedicalmilmodpostmunimusicnewsworthynonprofitotherphilpolretailscispecialisedspecializedtechtourismtravelunique

AcademicI'm Harold Pollack, a UChicago professor who created one index card with all the financial advice you'll ever need. AMA!

Apr 13th 2017 by Harold_Pollack • 32 Questions • 262 Points

My short bio: I was a senior about 7 weeks away from graduating when 4/16/2007 happened. I knew several people that were either killed or injured. There isn't a single week that goes by since that day when it doesn't cross my mind.

EDIT: Some additional insight so you don't have to dig through comments:

  • I was not in a classroom, and I was not shot. I was on my way to an unaffected class room.

  • I was good friends with one person that was killed, acquaintances with a few who were shot, and knew several others affected.

  • The top takeaways from the incident for me were:

  1. The media is an extremely sharpened double-edged sword. The same vehicle that generated a global outpouring of support also arm-chair quarterbacked their way into criticizing our school, and stalked students around campus trying to generate tears-on-camera. I was set to graduate with a degree in mass communication, but abondoned the media industry altogether after that incident.

  2. Virginia Tech is one of the most resilient, kindest communities I've ever known. Everyone parents asked us to "leave and come home," but not a single person I know did. We all stayed. Even the 20-or-so injured students all came back to school as soon as they could. Everyone wanted to be at school to help each other and not let something like this define who we were. One guy who was shot in the leg left his hospital bed against doctor's order on crutches, just so he could walk across stage at our departmental commencement ceremony. People gave him a full five minute standing ovation.

  3. I remember being rather hurt/upset that it can branded as "the Virginia Tech massacre." No one asked us (the students) if that was okay. I realize that's not historical labeling works, but it just always bothered me.

My Proof: http://imgur.com/a/XuFRS

EDIT 2: The intent here was to simply give folks a personal perspective on how a school/community is impacted beyond what you may recall hearing from the media. I care about my school and wanted awareness for my 32 heroes to live on a decade later. Even though I created a throw-away account and remained anonymous, there are redditors here who somehow believe I'm doing this for personal attention(?). There are certainly accounts and stories to be told of those "closer" to the incident itself, but I never claimed to be one of those accounts, so I'm having trouble reconciling some of the outrage and hatred in the comments.

With that, I'm going to stop responding to things now. My sincerest apologies if any one found this exploitative or disrespectful, it certainly was never the intent.

neVer forgeT.

Q:

If one index card is all that is needed, why should I read a 256 page book?

A:

Be honest with us. How small is your dick, Lil Dicky?


Q:

Out of all the characters you've voiced, which was the most difficult?

A:

hey jack, I know you don’t often have time to help with individual bookings, but I just wanted to say that I’m still so, so thankful for your help bringing my father get back home after his flight got cancelled in US last year. You seriously saved us from an awful situation and asked for nothing in return. I know your list is much bigger now, but I just wanted people here to know the kind of chap you are.

To ask a question – now that your club is so much bigger, what does your typical day look like?


Q:

Hi,

If you were to target me right now on a full blown Liam neeson assault (common user no special privacy measures taken) and all you had was this comment/username to start with;

A) how confident would you be of identifying me?

B) to what extent would you be able to 'find me'?

Edit: someone on a new account contacted me with my name and an address I have lived at after reading this comment :-)

A:

Did you move in right after you bought it or did you renovate first? How much of the work have you done yourself vs contractors?


Q:

What exactly is going through your head when you do think about it? How close were you to the shootings? Are you doing okay these days?

A:

Fair question, as the paperback is now out. Arthur Ashe was once asked how he beat Jimmy Connors in the US open. He said: “I hit the ball low.” A reporter asked: “That’s it? Everyone knows you’re supposed to hit the ball low against Connors.” Ashe responded: “I actually hit the ball low.” That’s where the skill is. People need a little help understanding when they are ready to by a home, how to start a budget, the differences between different kinds of IRAs, what kind of insurance to buy, etc. Our short book is pretty accessible and around ten bucks. I hope it is useful to people.
Since it’s Passover, I’ll add that the book is the Midrash to the card, for those observing.


Q:

2 inches soft, 5 hard, great girth tho.

A:

Terrence on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.


Q:

Hey so glad I could be of help there and it all worked out in the end. Travel is stressful enough - add a cancelled flight and can get bad. Thanks for sharing that and for reaching out about it.

edit: sorry answered the wrong question here before!

My day is insane these days:

  • 4-5 hours of searching using mainly ITA Software matrix (Google's back-end flight search tool - you can check it out on my last AMA for more details) and sites like Momondo and others. I also use SkyScanner a lot for weekend trip deals (2-4 day short breaks around Europe)

  • Around 3 hours of answering emails (scattered through the day). It's gotten to take a lot more of my time, but was always a goal of mine to have my subscribers be able to communicate with me anytime.

  • Then working on the other little things like new functionality developments.

  • Then at the end I sometimes eat too :-)

A:

I used to do this to trolls on YouTube all the time. There have been times when it's been possible. If you haven't left any clues in any of your comments, and you haven't used this username elsewhere, it can be next to impossible.

If you're an average user who doesn't take many privacy measures I'd feel confident I could identify you and possible get an address. A home town at least.

Depending on the bounty a hacker could discover vulnerabilities on sites you use to gain more information that would help.


Q:

The only thing I paid to have done was the roof, because it was cheaper paying a pro to do it than paying my friends to help me, although I have done a number of roofs.

I worked on it for about a year before I actually moved in.

A:

It's usually the reprocessing of the raw stinging feeling I felt once we all sat helplessly watching the same press conference that everyone else watched, knowing that it was happening just two blocks away. We all knew that a gunmen had fired some rounds off inside a building and had hit some people, but no one had any idea of the magnitude until the police chief--beside himself--said "in the ball park of two dozen fatalities." After that we all sank into an alternate surreal reality of denial and tried to understand how the fuck that was even possible. That stinging feeling, combined with the ensuing panic of everyone trying to scramble and figure out who all was killed/injured is what goes through my head still.

I was about 400-500 yards away from Norris Hall and walking in that direction to class when individual people started sprinting past me in the opposite direction. No one stopped to tell me anything, so it was weird, but at the same time, I was just far enough away that I didn't have any context to know why they were running. Finally I spotted someone I knew that was also running, stopped them, and he told me what was happening, so I calmly went back to my apartment (just on the edge of campus), and checked my school email, which just had a vague "incident lockdown" note.

I'm doing better as the years go on. There all kinds of moments though... pockets of life's accomplishments (weddings, child births, etc.) where I'll find myself reflecting "there are 32 people that will never have this opportunity, and there's absolutely no good reason why I could have end up being one of them."


Q:

Thanks for a great response. I completely agree that knowing what to do, and actually doing it are two different things.

As a professor, have you tried to get high schools to incorporate a book like this into a course on basic financial knowledge that every person should have? My friends and I have argued (on the same side) for years that some type of financial literacy course should be mandatory for high school students, to prevent the abuses of pay day loans, credit card interest, etc.

A:

Previously you came out with the STM music video which cost you $600. This time you spent nearly $700,000 on another perfect video. Why did you decide to splurge so much on the new project?


Q:

Hi Tara, thanks for doing an ama! Do you ever randomly do character voices in public and get weird looks from people? Do they ever recognize you from your voice?

A:

HI Jack, looking to go to Sri Lanka next year for the cricket. Anyways to bag upgraded flights cheap or is that a complete no go?


Q:

Is surviving jail harder for someone involved in a crime like this?

A:

Is it still possible to buy a house in Detroit for $500 today and would it be worth just to have and possibly fix in the future?


Q:

Hi, currently a junior at VT. Wanted to ask a more happy question. What was your favorite dining hall?

A:

I agree that financial literacy is important. I would focus on managing a realistic household budget, making it as tactile as possible for young people. Also provides an opportunity to promote basic numeracy. Incidentally, that is also part of my advice to teens to avoid smoking. That is surprisingly costly.


Q:

CGI man. CGI is so fucking expensive. when i talk about dinosaurs, you can do some cheap, cheesy animation, or try to make it look as real as the movies. to make it look as real as the movies, it's gonna cost you a pretty penny. i also have way more money in the bank to spend than i did when save dat money came out. so i could make these moves easier.

A:

Yes and yes


Q:

Hmmm not sure what you mean by upgraded cheap flights?

A:

Jail wasn't difficult no. I never had any issues. People used to constantly ask me if I can help them hack a bank, hack their way out of prison or other ludicrous requests. I didn't mix with the drug addicts I mainly mixed with the white collar criminals as they seemed to be more intelligent.


Q:

It is still possible, but much more rare. The best thing, if you want to do something like this, is to do it now. There are many people in Detroit, myself included, that have a hard time with houses that are purchased and then nothing happens to them, for a while, if ever. It keeps the people in the neighborhood from dealing with an abandoned house if it's owned and sat on, so I don't recommend it.

For example, an LLC used to own the abandoned house next door to me-- I shoveled the snow, I cut the grass, because they didn't care and I had to live next to it. The water runoff from the roof was ruining my foundation, so I had to put gutters on it. Suffice to say, I'm not particularly happy with the former owners, and it's not a good way to build community. The city owns it now, and I'm trying to purchase it from them.

A:

Great question! Haha

Day-to-day: Owen's. The philly cheese steak place was always spot-on, and the general tso's was surprinsgly on-point as well.

splurge-day: Of course West-End. I lived in East AJ, so it was all too easy to waste money and get fat there. The London Broil and Buffalo chicken wraps were my jam.

Such a great array of food options there, though. Even when I lived off campus, I still paid for a meal plan for that very reason.

I haven't been to the new dining hall they built behind the drillfield though, how is it?


Q:

If you were advising a 2020 Presidential candidate, what policy positions would you advise on personal finance and healthcare?

Is there anything people aren't thinking about as much that could make a big difference for the average person?

A:

Hey there, LD. I love your AKA's. Any chance I can get one?


Q:

Have you ever improvised lines or do you stick 100% to the script at all times?

A:

Business class / First etc?


Q:

How has the whole experience affected you? I know I would he scarred by getting in that kind of trouble. Are you doing alright? Is prison like they show in the movies or better/worse?

A:

1)Most houses sold so cheap in detroit because of the back taxes, you didn't have to pay any of that for the house?
2)Not worried about getting robbed/shot yourself or having to pull a John Wick?
3)Do you have any legit neighbors? And if so did you talk to them before buying/moving in?


Q:

Do you get random bouts of survivor's guilt?

A:

On personal finance, I would pretty much advise the photographic negative of what Republicans are trying to do in DC. I would include stronger enforcement of the fiduciary standard, as President Obama was set to do. That’s important for small investors and ordinary people. I would allow states to offer simple IRA-type products for people who can’t otherwise gain access to these things. I would support ways to help young people with student loans. And I would support higher taxes on people like myself, for example by limiting tax-advantaged savings vehicles. On health care, I’ve proposed many incremental fixes to ACA. https://tcf.org/content/report/key-proposals-to-strengthen-the-aca/ Right now, Democrats should push the idea that everyone over 50 should be able to buy into Medicare if he/she wants to. I would also push the Trump administration to actually do its job and support the marketplaces. The threat to sabotage them as a way to pressure Democrats makes no sense to me. Because Republicans control everything in Congress, they are effectively holding themselves hostage. We’ve seen this before. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_JOGmXpe5I


Q:

AKA ketchup packet

A:

We get to improvise a lot.


Q:

Ah - there's a chance, but honestly most of my deals tend to be economy as you'll see. I'll try to spot something if I can. Fingers crossed :-)

A:

It has affected me negatively. Some would agree I deserve everything that happens to me in life. And that's the problem.

It angers me that people involved in pedophile cases, rape cases, GBH and even some manslaughter cases are given less time than I got. They leave prison, return to life and are forgotten about. I can't even go to an interview without them Googling my name beforehand.

As a result I ended up suffering with depression very badly. Many cases having to claim Government benefits. When instead I could be earning a salary and contributing in taxes and putting my skills to good use.

It's tough. But as many say, I deserve that treatment for what I did. I have to live with my actions I guess.

Prison isn't like the movies. At least not in the UK. I watch a lot of prison documentaries from the USA and those prison seem brutal in comparison. You don't really have a gang heirachy in UK prisons. They exist, but they're not well known unless you're in the know. I stayed away from that stuff.

Thanks for a good question :)


Q:

Because it had been abandoned for more than a decade before I bought it, I was able to purchase the house at the base price they sell them for in the county auction-- $500, so I didn't have to pay any of the taxes.

Sometimes. Detroit is a dangerous city, and someone did try to kick in my door one night-- It's a story I tell in the book. But I think what makes me the most safe is a good relationship with my neighbors. They look out for me, and I for them. I can't say it won't ever happen, as almost all of my neighbors have been broken into, but not a lot of people want to steal the tools from the guy fixing the elderly lad's fence down the block-- that's someone's auntie or grandma. So it helps to help people out. I also have a giant dog and do own a gun and I'm a boxer, so there's that too.

As mentioned above, my neighbors are great, wonderful people. I really do love them. Many have owned their houses for decades or generations, and it takes a lot to have made it through the 80's and 90's in that neighborhood during crack and mass incarceration and devils night, etc. They are some of my favorite people in the world. And yes, I made sure to speak to everyone to see if people were OK with what I was doing. They looked at me funny at first, but then saw I was for real and accepted me.

A:

One additional survivor's guilt story: I lived next door to a first responder EMT. Loud jovial lumberjack type, loved everyone and everything. He did not even come out of his apartment for 10 days after that. It was the most broken I have ever seen a human being.

Later (much, much later), we talked about that day. He said he was "walking through a sea of corpses, and it was completely silent, with the exception of cell phones going off constantly, with parents and friends trying to reach someone." He said he can't even hear cell phone ringers the same anymore.

He's gotten a lot better, but he truly hasn't been the same since. I can't process how haunting something like that must be.


Q:

Hi Professor - thanks for doing this AMA!

In my budgeting, I'm struggling to decide between using debit cards or credit cards. I find it easier to save with debit cards - I can limit my spending by only putting a certain amount from each paycheck into my checking account. However, given that I have been lost a card here and there and been a victim of fraudulent charges, I'm inclined to use a credit card for more robust protection. You mentioned that credit card reward programs cause us to spend more money, and I'm certainly a victim of that type of thinking. I also find it easier to control my budgeting when I'm "counting down" from a certain amount in my checking account rather than "counting up" my balance on my credit card.

What is your take on credit vs. debit cards for budgeting purposes?

A:

If you could collab with any artist, past or present, who would you pick?


Q:

As a voice actress mainly, are you recognized in public often? When you are recognized, do you here things like "do the Timmy Turner voice" a lot?

A:

I hope this isn't an inappropriate question, but you mentioned that this is now your full time job.

How do you make money from a newsletter?


Q:

Do you effectively leverage your jail time in job interviews for the security consulting jobs?

A:

How giant is the dog?


Q:

How long did it take you before you were comfortable again on campus?

A:

I agree that the debit card is nerve-wracking in its lack of protections. It also doesn’t always work for some purchases like car rentals. But if it helps you to manage your money to use a debit card, that’s a huge plus. You might set up a separate account with $500 or whatever for this purpose. That allows you to limit the damage if someone gets hold of the card.


Q:

biggie

A:

Yes and yes!


Q:

I have a premium option for those who want to get some extra perks like more weekend trip emails and get ALL the deals. There's also a free version which gets a deal or two a week :-) The premium one helps me pay the costs to keep sending emails to so many people, as I don't like ads and prefer not to work with affiliates like other sites

It still doesn't pay what my job used to and I work twice as much, but it's 100% my fav type of work!

A:

No. The jail time has ruined any chance of me getting a full time job in security. I can't get security cleared. I was offered a job mid last year for a large well known company. The role required writing software to run security audits and lots of pen testing. But, it required the highest level of clearance. I can't gain employment because of jail time.


Q:

100 LBS give or take

A:

Everyone was comfortable being on campus pretty much that same night. In fact, for many of us, it was the only place that actually felt comfortable, because it was the only common space we could all grieve together.

The weeks that followed actually became more uncomfortable to be on campus simply because there were reporters doing any and everything you could possibly think of to score an interview or gain a reaction on camera. The Corps of Cadets were ordered to stop wearing military uniforms simply so they would "blend in" while on campus.

The drillfield (where the memorial now is) pretty much became a giant ceremonious visitation gathering spot though, so everyone naturally congregated to it in the middle of campus, despite it only being 100 yards from the building where the shooting took place.


Q:

Hi! I signed up for Reddit just to participate in this AMA! My question is, if you could give millennials one piece of advice regarding their finances, what would it be and why?

Thank you, professor!

A:

Do you still go on a lot of tinder dates? Not in this AMA's title anymore


Q:

Ever catch yourself singing songs from the shows you voiced for?

A:

So you can also pay rent and all your bills from this?

Is there any advertising?

Thanks for answering :)


Q:

What safety measures do you take for yourself when your just at home browsing the web?

A:

I know a lot of neighborhoods like the one you moved into are basically "food deserts" without access to reasonably priced groceries. How/where do you and your neighbors shop?


Q:

Current senior Hokie here, are you going to come up for the 10 year anniversary?

A:

I will cheat and give two: Pay off your credit card in full every month. And start to save early. When I was that age, I didn’t invest in my 401(k). The Dow Jones average was less than 2,000. Make compound interest your friend.


Q:

i dont tinder as much, no.

A:

Yes


Q:

No advertising - just word of mouth really so far. People tend to share a lot when they score a deal, which is nice!!

I can pay my rent/bills if I live frugally in cheap(er) countries, so that's what I'm doing these days until hopefully we grow a bit. Can't complain as it beats a 9-5 and travelling is my passion anyway!

A:

Sorry for the long response. I was caught up responding to other comments and didn't realise this was at the top.

On my main machine I use QubeOS. I use Tor (via an old Dell machine) and a VPN. I set up the VPN myself and regularly set up new servers and switch them. I adopt different personas and never link anything back to my personal accounts. Just little habbits.

I have some things like my Soundcloud, Github etc that I'm not too concerned about. Stuff like that I don't mind if it's out in the open.

My machines use full disk encryption. If possible I will use public hotspots and randomly change my mac address so that no little clues are left on the router to confirm my machine connected to it.

I try to do as much as possible to keep certain things private and unlinked. I'm only human though.

I don't do anything illegal these days though, so I'm not as worried about having to hide certain bits of sensitive or incriminating data :)

I'll come back to this later if I have time. I need to answer some more comments.


Q:

This is a good question. And, yes, it is considered a food desert. I have to drive quite a ways out of the neighborhood to get to a good grocery store. Mostly I shop in the enclave city of Hamtramck, or at a local Grocery store in Southwest Detroit.

A:

I really wanted to, but I don't have anywhere to stay, and none of the people I was closest to can make it (they're spread all over the country now). I haven't entirely ruled it out, but as of now, I don't think I will.

I made it back for the Spring Game last year and was able to pay my respects, though.


Q:

I am a high school senior who is committed to UChicago. My questions is: As a teenager who comes from the lower-middle class at best and a low resource school, what are some classes and activities I should take to adjust to independence and the change in rigor?

A:

The real question is does your tinder profile really say that you're 6'?


Q:

Are there any roles where you use your natural voice, or does every role have some kind of inflection that you bring to the table?

A:

You staying in Chiang Mai (Thailand) by any chance? That's how Uber did it.


Q:

What is the reason you did those hacks, just because you could or there was some reason behind it?

A:

Do you get mail? Would Amazon prime make sense or would those packages take too long to get to you?


Q:

How did you keep your Hokie passport in such good shape after 10 years?

I graduated in 2006 and within 5 years that shit was pretty much completely faded.

I admire your dedication to keeping your Hokie passport.

While I wasn't there since I had already graduated, many of my friends were still students and one was in Norris Hall that day (the one where they barricaded the door with tables and chairs to keep the gunman out as he was firing inside).

It was one of the most stressful and horrific days of my life. Glad you are doing well. I'll never forget checking the news online that morning at work and seeing that 2 people had died and me thinking it was some tragic but contained situation. Then seeing the count go up and up and me just panicking in the middle of work.

A:

Great question! Come visit the school and arrange to speak with faculty in your interest-area. What is your likely major, if I may ask? There are great resources here to help you along the way. Might also speak with current freshmen about their experiences and their advice.


Q:

yes. it does

A:

Batgirl is probably the closest to my real voice.


Q:

No, not Chiang Mai, but I've been and can see why they did it there!

I spent last month in Mexico and am currently staying with a friend in Ukraine actually. Hoping to move onto somewhere with a beach soon!

A:

It was nice to feel a part of a community that recognized my skills, and to feel like a valuable member.

I have Aspergers, and to this day I still spend most of my time at the computer. I don't have any friends in real life so it was nice to be part of a community who were just like me. That was the main reason. But yes, also because I could.

I had no issues committing illegal activities at the time. I was mentally unstable, drinking heavily, smoking too much weed and getting very reckless.


Q:

I don't generally order packages to my house for fear of theft.

A:

Haha, I keep it behind my driver's license in my wallet to avoid exposure I guess.

Also: FREE PASS ON THE BT WHEN I VISIT!! :)

I wonder if they've since changed the design, because they still don't have "expiration dates" on them.


Q:

That's one of my biggest problems. I was dead set on comp-sci and math for the past three years but now my interests vary greatly.

A:

What is your favorite album? What makes you like it so much?


Q:

Have you ever gotten emotional when voicing a character for whatever reason?

What was your favorite character quote you voiced for Season 7?

A:

Hello from Ukraine! Life is quite cheap here nowadays, as you may've noticed.


Q:

This is unrelated, but how do you think smoking weed affects your Aspergers?

A:

La Colemena?

;)


Q:

Current sophomore at VT. Hokie P hasn't change, I would post a pic but mine is literally the worst picture ever taken of me haha

A:

That’s fine. You are young. You’ll learn a lot about the world and yourself when you get here. Whatever you do, pick a solid major that you like a lot and really commit to it. That matters a lot more than the prestige of the school.


Q:

college drop out. i love almost every song, it came out when i was like a junior in high school, i had never heard of kanye before that obviously, it was just a perfect storm.

A:

I cried when the Joker died in Arkham City.


Q:

Indeed - not a bad place to stick around if you are trying to save and come from abroad! Thanks mate!

A:

Previous to smoking weed I was on SSRI's and other medications to help deal with what was then undiagnosed Aspergers. They never really helped.

I started smoking weed and noticed I could think more clearly. My thoughts wasn't racing around my head 24/7. I was able to focus on what I was doing and relax. It almost feels like I'm normal and I can function somewhat normally to the rest of the world.

Without it I find it hard. They say weed causes anxiety and other mental health issues. It does the opposite for me so long as I smoke in moderation.


Q:

Oh yeah. And Bozeck's in Hamtramck

A:

Continued free BT rides it is!! WOO!!


Q:

Hi Harold, big fan. I follow you and Atul Gawande on Twitter and saw a YouTube video of a lecture that Atul was presenting where you were there.

My question is who are the people that you think we should be listening to on various topics, such as Atul on healthcare and you? Perhaps people who have a slightly lower profile but are producing interesting work. Thanks

A:

Dave!

Thanks for Doing the AMA man.

My biggest question is...

Are you actually as frugal as Save Dat Money suggests?


Q:

Hi Tara!

When you record, are you typically with your castmates or do you record alone? I've seen a bit of both through behind the scenes of Archer, Moana, I Know That Voice, etc.

A:

I get that you can save me money, but how can you save me from being beaten senseless by an airline?


Q:

Not him (obviously) but I am also diagnosed with Asperger's and I used to be a heavy weed smoker. I would say that it generally helped me to be more sociable but also dulled that "intellectual" side of me that autistic people are known for. In short, I feel as if weed helped me to "grow out of" my condition to a large extent. Even though I don't smoke it anymore, nobody IRL ever guesses I have Asperger's unless I tell them.

A:

If you met someone and got married, would you stay there? What about with kids?


Q:

How was it going back to the "normal daily routine" after a couple of days/weeks??

A:

Atul Gawande is my spirit animal. He’s actually the perfect person you meet the first week of college who aces all the courses, is the crush-object of all the young women. And you want to hate him except that he stopped by your dorm room because he saw that you needed some help getting your wi-fi to work. Of course my co-author Helaine Olen tops the list! Some others I follow: Rebecca Traister and Katha Pollitt are great on feminism. Jamelle Bouie, Jelani Cobb, and Ta-Nehisi Coates are excellent on race issues. On health care, Tim Jost, Ezra Klein, Hank Aaron, Brian Beutler, Sarah Kliff, Greg Sargent, Steve Teles, Jonathan Cohn are essentials. So many good people. Of course I am leaving people out. I read the Monkey Cage and the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law religiously. I am intrigued at the intersection of health policy and political science.


Q:

im pretty cheap yea. i drive a 2002 toyota avalon. i do spend recklessly on food though. i just get so hungry

A:

It's a mix.


Q:

Disclaimer: not being beaten is not guaranteed with purchase of airline ticket.

A:

Exactly how it makes me feel too.


Q:

Oh, yeah. This is my home. I can't see being in love with anyone who wasn't into Detroit, and making things, and living a slightly unconventional lifestyle.

As for kids, many of my friends do it, and I would do it as well. It takes more effort, I think, but from my view it seems to be worth it.

A:

Since I was only in town for 2 months after the fact (I graduated), there truly wasn't enough time to resume a "normal daily routine" for me. I'd be curious to know that from someone who still had 1-3 years left to go, though.

But when the time did come to leave Blacksburg, it hurt bad. It felt like I was being forced to abandon something in need of help that I had no choice but to leave behind. The months that followed were routinely painful as I went to job interview after job interview, and got asked the same exact sequence of questions in the middle of a job interview:

<looks at resume> "Mkay, I see here that you majored in mass communication at Virgin...oh. you were there? Did you know anybody?..."


Q:

I might be misremembering, but I feel like it was a while ago that your index card was first publicized. I think it's great advice and am glad to say that I have followed a lot of it! Now that I have a bit more money, however, I wonder if you think there is still never a place to buy individual stocks, or if you think using a service like Morningstar can be helpful to the intermediately-skilled investor?

A:

Hello David.

Have you ever met the legendary Larry David? If not, what would you want to go do with him should you meet in the future?


Q:

Hi, and thank you for everything you've done.

Is there a role, voiceover or otherwise, that you didn't get and really wanted or that you took and regretted?

A:

Hi Jack,

If you're ever hiring, keep us (me, strictly me and only me) in mind.

My questions, where do you see this going? Are there any major milestones you would like to reach?


Q:

How did you originally get involved with Anonymous/Lulzsec?

A:

How's your internet?


Q:

Im so very sorry for the loss and trauma each of you experienced that day. I want to ask though, how do you feel when you reflect on Cho personally?

A:

My entire investment portfolio is spread across maybe five index funds. There is almost never any reason to buy individual stocks or actively-managed funds. Today’s WSJ included a statement that >90% of actively managed funds under-perform their corresponding indexes. If skilled fund managers can’t beat the market, it’s silly for intermediately-skilled investors to play that game. Save your time and energy for your day job, your family, and friends….


Q:

no but holy shit, yesterday, i took a meeting in his office. the guy im making my tv show with makes curb with larry. and it's the same office they shoot in for curb. i felt like i was really on the right track in life.

A:

I didn't try out for it but it would be nice to be on The Simpsons!


Q:

hehe will do. Send me an email and I'll put a star next to it if it ever comes to that! Fingers crossed we get there!

A:

A friend was pestering me to idle on the Lulzsec IRC servers. I got chatting to a few people over time and it went from there.


Q:

Aside from on my phone, I don't keep it at home because it's a distraction. I spend a lot of time reading. I'm at a coffee shop now.

A:

It's hard for me being so close to it, to evaluate him in an unbiased way. Frankly, most of us refuse to even utter his name.

My roommate had a small intimate (12 person) creative writing class with him. He once stood up and basically shared a fictional free writing assignment about how he would murder people. So there were plenty of signs and cries for help that we should have all taken more seriously. My roommate still carries a sense of failure in that regard.

I still feel sorry for his family, and for anyone struggling as an outcast or with a mental illness, but as you can imagine, it's very difficult for me to muster any sympathy for him directly.


Q:

Could you name some index funds you like or talk about how you go about choosing one?

A:

When you were on Jake and Amir's podcast "If I Were You" you said your dick was too small to have sex from the side, but in your new video, it shows you doing so. Has your dick grown since the podcast?

Also, will you make another appearance on Jake and Amir's podcast? Thanks!


Q:

What is your favorite and least favorite part of going to cons?

A:

Describe in one word what you think of United Airlines?


Q:

How were you arrested?

A:

What are your thoughts on how Detroit has handled recovering from the outright devastation of the auto industry's pullout with the issue of gentrification? I read an excerpt of your book where you bought your neighbor's home at auction to keep them from being evicted by real estate profiteers. Apart from caring about your neighbor's fate, was your purchase motivated more out of cultural preservation or as defiance against twenty-something upstart community "revitalization?"


Q:

Fellow Hokie here, class of '08.

I feel conflicted about this and similar AMAs. On the one hand, I bristle at the notion that my / our experience with the massacre would be of any note to anyone. "Hey look at me, I was near a thing that happened." On the other hand, I think people need to understand what goes on in those kinds of situations. There was so much confusion, so much uncertainty and panic in the hours following, that in the moment I could hardly process what was happening.

So maybe I'll just sum it up here:

Two of my friends died that morning. I was in the building next door, and was able to evacuate the area without incident. I heard the shots but didn't realize at the time what it was. That day will forever suck -- it will never be "okay".

What I remember most clearly, though, is how the community changed. Of course there were big things happening, like organizations coming in to provide services and counseling. But it's the little changes that stuck with me: people offering help to strangers with no expectation of return; drivers waving each other on in traffic jams; offering kind words, and meaning it. I can't be the only one who saw this -- did you also notice the town's transformation?

Blacksburg was always one of the best places to live, but it became much more than that. The community was faced with absolute evil, deep tragedy, loss... and from that loss came perspective, and kindness, and understanding. Y'all can ask me anything as well, but my response is probably going to be the same for most questions:

Just be good to each other, there's nothing more important than that.

A:

A total stock market index fund with low fees is good. I don’t want to endorse a particular commercial product here. But the biggest firms have low-fee versions of this. No reason to pay over 0.2% per year for this. Make sure to look up all the fees.


Q:

i knew this would get called out. it kind of is too small most of the time. but sometimes i can pull it off, if the girl gives me the right leverage.

i hope i do, i love those guys.

A:

My favorite part is meeting the fans. My least favorite is getting pretty in the hotel room...and smelly people :-)


Q:

Wankers.

Edit: But seriously, for whatever reason, overbooking seems to be a lot more commonplace in US than it is elsewhere and it a bigger issue, even though it is technically legal in most regions. Overall I think US-based airlines are the worst globally, both in service and the way they treat customers. What United (and the police) did there was inexcusable. You’d think the guy had a weapon the way they threw him out of the chair. Completely fucked up.

That email from the CEO was just ridiculous really!

A:

I was arrested at my home at 1am. I was in bed with the laptop running an automated attack against a company. I heard a tonne of car doors closing outside my house. I assumed someone had a party and people were leaving.

The next moment I hear huge bangs as they bolstered my door down. I initially though my house was being broken into because I had some expensive music equipment in my house.

I left the laptop and dashed out of bed to grab something incase it was burglars. I totally forgot to pull the plug out of the laptop I was using. It had no battery and one pull of the plug would have erased all evidence on that machine (unless cold booted, unlikely). I didn't expect it to be police.

And from there I was held with tasers, handcuffed, and made to sit in the main room with police watching me whilst they went through my home with a fine tooth comb. From there I was arrested, remanded in custody and sent to jail.

I was never charged for the attacks I was running on the laptop. The never recovered any forensics from my machine to charge me with their other claims.


Q:

I just didn't want my neighbors out on the street. They've been really good to me, and it was just one small thing I could do to try and improve the world, just a little bit. I forget the years exactly, but the county foreclosed on one in four houses in Detroit. This is wild (and also where the Buffalo statistic comes in-- in home foreclosures, not water shut-offs), and I just can't stand by and watch things like that happen.

And pretty much everything decent I do is in defiance of something.

A:

YES!! The change is what I'll remember most as well! It was like going from one extreme experience to the other. It was like everyone became an inseparable family overnight.

FWIW, I was conflicted too. I was convinced to do this AMA, but I stayed anonymous because I don't need/want this to be a fame-generating event. I just wanted public awareness.


Q:

UChicago is all about the evidence, right? Does the book provide any evidence suggesting that these financial strategies actually work if followed appropriately?

A:

Do you eat ass?


Q:

Giant snake, birthday cake, large fry, CHOCOLATE SHAKE. Oh man I loved the Fairly Oddparents! What's your most fond memory from the show?

Also, I've been interested in voice acting for kid shows since I was a kid. How was it you cracked into the business?

A:

So given the hysteria around United Airlines at the moment and your vast knowledge of the air transport system, do you think a boy will be born who can swim faster than a shark?


Q:

Why does unplugging it erase evidence?

A:

How did (or didn't) your background and education prepare you for your time in Detroit?


Q:

Hi fellow Hokie. I was a freshman at the time. It feels so odd that the massacre was 10 years ago.

It was by far the most defining day of my life, as it was for many. At 18 years old I felt myself change from child to man almost overnight. How did you change, on a personal level?

A:

There is significant evidence that index funds outperform more than 90% of actively managed mutual funds. Just today in WSJ is a pretty typical finding. https://www.wsj.com/articles/indexes-beat-stock-pickers-even-over-15-years-1492039859 My financial-economist colleagues have read this over pretty carefully. That’s all for now, but this is evidence-based. See also Helaine’s book Pound Foolish.


Q:

no i havent, but my bitches ass's still look juicyyyyyyy

A:

I started when I was 13 and I always knew that I wanted to be an actress. I took many acting classes, singing lessons and my first audition was for Hello Kitty.


Q:

Yes.

Also aquaman already exists and I can only image how many mermaids he's knocked up to date.

A:

Sorry I forgot to add I was booting from a live disk. The existing hard drive in the machine was encrypted and rarely used for anything. Evidence could still exist in the RAM for a short period of time.


Q:

This is a good question, and a tough one. On one hand, I had a basic understanding of how race and class work in America-- but most of that came from books and the classroom. What wasn't obvious to me then, when I was 21 or so, was this doesn't always equal actual understanding. I never stopped reading, but I try to allow experience to guide me now, rather than be the soul teacher. I think people are the experts on their own problems, and I do my best to listen closely and carefully.

I can't say that I grew up in a particularly diverse area, but my parents worked very hard with what they could to provide me with a broad worldview. I didn't understand it at the time, but they would do things like send me to visit NAACP meetings in my small town, or save their pennies to take me to places like the Capitol or Colonial Williamsburg, so I had a sense and history of the world. I was extremely lucky in that respect.

A:

<3

I have to say one of the best things to come out of that was how respectful and mindful future generations have been since we've left Blacksburg. Everyone time I've gone back to visit, there are current students there at the memorial paying their respects, reading the placards. It's nice.


Q:

happy passover, prof pollack! i'm unfamiliar with yr work, so forgive the naivete.

as a u of c student likely majoring in the humanities, what are good first steps to take in re: learning how to manage money? i do my best to be frugal, and my biggest expenses are laundry and supper when the dining halls are closed (which is to say--not much). but i've never had a 'formal,' or even informal education in this sort of thing.

thanks v much! enjoy the music (this guy is from chicago and kicks ass--such a beautiful song)

A:

Hey man. Real talk. You have the hottest chicks in your videos. What steps do you take to make sure you don't pop a boner on set?


Q:

You have always seemed to creep into all the things I like some how, both shows and games. What was it like voicing Harley Quinn in the arkham games? What is your favorite Joker?

A:

Hi Jack. I got your Paris - Tokyo - London deal as soon as it came out so am really looking forward to that!

Have you got tips for Hong Kong flights? It's rare I see them coming in too cheaply from London


Q:

The real question on everyone's mind: Vim or Emacs?

A:

Was the split on occupied vs non-occupied houses on your block when you moved in? What is it now?


Q:

Did you know the shooter? If so, what were they like?

A:

Pay cash as much as possible. Write down everything you spend money on for the next two months, and make sure that you are spending money on the things most important and gratifying to you. Watch peer pressure to spend more money than you are comfortable spending, too. Think hard on the income side, too. Plan ahead for the summer, things like that. That’s a good start.


Q:

jerk off every morning before you go in...but honestly, i get boners. i can't help it. i tell the girls "i'm sorry if i get aroused, and i'm sorry if i don't." pretty cool line right

A:

I love doing the Arkham games and there is only one joker. His name is Mark Hamill.


Q:

HK has come up a few times before, usually on an awesome non-stop from London with Cathay (#1 airline last year I think), but we're overdue for one now I'd say. Have an amazing time on your Paris/Tokyo trip, that was a popular one, you never know you might be sitting next to another JFC member :)

A:

Vim all day long! I was hoping someone would ask this.


Q:

When I moved in, including my house, there were five abandoned houses and two occupied.

Right now, there is one abandoned house, right next to mine, and now three occupied homes, including the same two and myself. Originally there would have been 12 homes on the block.

In the eight years or so I've been there, there have been four significant structure fires within just one block of my house, though. There aren't too many abandoned homes left in the neighborhood actually, due to fire and demolition.

A:

I had one class with him, but it had 300 other people in it so I never met him.

I knew two close friends (one was a roommate) that had small classes with him, though. They said he hardly ever spoke, and when forced to speak, seemed "angry but restrained."


Q:

As a an early 20's male just starting off. Should I pay my credit card bill all at once, once a month, or should I pay it off anytime I see a balance?

A:

Being a Richmond, VA native, I am curious as to why you chose UR over all of the other schools. It is an incredibly nice school, but why did you choose UR specifically?


Q:

What was your experience like when you were playing Paz in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker & Metal Gear Solid V? Thanks!

A:

JFC members will be an easy group to identify on that flight cos we'll be laughing the whole way over!


Q:

What is your stance on the new-ish privacy laws coming into effect/being thrown around in the US? Should we be real butthurt about this? Or were we damned from the get go?

A:

I can't imagine the pain that you carry everyday. In the ten years since this occurred do you feel people for the most part treat you differently because you were there?


Q:

Pay at the end of the month, in full. And pay cash as much as you can. Ignore the reward program. Good luck!

A:

i wanted a pretty campus, somewhere not too far from home (philly) but not too close. and a good school, with a small undergrad total. checked all those boxes


Q:

Those sessions were EXTREMELY LONG but VERY rewarding.

A:

Seriously if you ever run into another one, I HAVE TO know about it!


Q:

They make me angry. The UK is going the same route by the looks of things. I write this if you want to give it a read.

People should be very concerned. Slowly but surely the Governments are pushing their bills through to remove privacy online. I wish more people would stand up and fight against this. They don't understand how serious it is.

A:

Not anymore. Definitely the first 2-3 years afterwards they did. It was impossible to get through a meet and greet without answering the "Yes I was there, yes I knew people questions."

But now that there's been 2-3 generations of Hokies go through the school since then, no one thinks to specifically ask "Oh, were you there?"

I usually don't volunteer the information that I was there, unless the topic of gun control or school shootings comes up, just to allow someone awareness in preventing them from saying anything they'd later regret.


Q:

Professor Pollack, I was wondering what advice you have for those self-employed or in graduate school who have to buy their own health insurance. Healthcare and health insurance are a substantial cost for my wife and I. How should I think about finding health insurance and choosing health insurance until I have a job providing it as a benefit?

A:

Did you really use your bar mitzvah money to the get the rap shit started?


Q:

Hi, Tara! What was it like working on Drawn Together? Do fans ever still mention the show to you? It was a fun series that deserves more of a cult following.

A:

Holy fuck!


Q:

RIP Aaron

A:

Did you or any of your classmates encounter the sides of the internet that were either joking about the shooting, or glorifying Cho? How did you/they handle that?


Q:

Much depends on your individual circumstance. If you are a graduate student, speak with your university benefits office. They often have good advice. Self-employed folk should get on their ACA marketplace and comparison shop for a silver-tier plan. As you go through the website, you may qualify for financial help or for Medicaid, depending on your income and your state. Make sure to shop around every year. And please don’t go uninsured. That’s a very bad idea.

A:

yes


Q:

YES! I wish we could do more. It was so much fun!

A:

It's as low as £248 right now if you book it for winter 2018


Q:

Aaron Swartz in an inspiration. RIP

A:

Yes.

The Penn State ass clown that dressed as a "Virginia Tech Shooting Victim" as a Halloween costume that fall was probably the most faith I had ever lost in humanity, and several us were deeply offended that someone would find that as an acceptable halloween costume (myself included). Which was unfortunate, because Penn State in particular was enormously supportive as a school, and everyone realized that it was not reflective of Penn State as a whole.

Fortunately, he was universally condemned and even lost his job.

There was also someone who created a video game on newgrounds.com where you could re-enact the path as the shooter and murder named victims in the order he murdered them in. Just fucking disgusting.

Several of us emailed newgrounds.com admins but we never got responses. I don't know if it still exists today or not.


Q:

Former SSA student here. Feeling anxious re: Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Should we depend on it to be there or start hedging bets?

A:

How much your Bar Mitzvah money, and what specifically did you invest in with the money to start off your career?


Q:

What's your favourite part of voicing Raven on Teen Titans Go?

A:

I've actually never flown with them, but my father has. He describes it as the most terrifying experience in his life. Granted this was back in the 90s when they were widely known for being genuinely scary.


Q:

1) What was your technically most sophisticated hack?

2) Did all the 0day you find in FOSS get patched or do you still have some laying around? ;)

3) Does it bother you that Sabu is working for a security consulting company and has no problems being back in the industry?

4) What do you do for work now?

A:

I had just graduated from PSU the year prior, moved to a state and a job with a ton of Hokies, and felt so, so, so goddamn angry and ashamed when that asshole did that.


Q:

I hear you. That is a source of anxiety. I believe these options will be there, despite the shambolic behavior of the current administration. It would be incredibly stupid and politically counterproductive to mess with that. I would follow the three points I mentioned above on student loans. There’s not much else you can do there.

A:

it was like 6k, and it was about 2k per video back then, so it bought me 3 videos. and my microphone.


Q:

Being with the cast. We have been together for about 16 years and we all really love each other. Plus, I get to slack off with my vocal chords.

A:

Aeroflot had their own planes in the 90s... I would be terrified as well!!


Q:
  1. Probably what I'm working on now. I've managed to reverse engineer and crack a piece of software called MaxMSP. It's expensive software, I'm just finishing up and I'll send them PoC so they can fix. To me it's an achievement because it cost me many hours and loss of sleep.

  2. The dog ate them :p

  3. It does. He was responsible for a lot and he got to walk away and rebuild his life whilst those working "under" him got made examples of. I guess being a snitch does have it's benefits.

  4. At the moment nothing. I'm finding it hard to gain employment due to mental health issues, and the criminal record.

A:

I would too in your situation, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how much our entire school fell in love with Penn State after 4/16. The support your school gave was just incredible. You gained several thousand Penn State fans for life.


Q:

What's good Mr. Leftward-Sloping Penis! What in your opinion was more iconic: rapping with Snoop, or getting head from Juanita in his office?

A:

How awesome was it getting to voice Ashi for Samurai Jack Season 5? Did you get to record with Phil LaMarr? Will you be watching the next 5 episodes and how excited are you for them?


Q:

I booked your last offer to Tokyo via Paris on the outbound and Amsterdam on the return. I've wanted to do to Tokyo all my life and had always put it off because of the cost but to get a return for basically £300 meant it was finally achievable. Thank you

A:

Did they let you use a computer in prison?


Q:

April 15th, 2007:

I was struggling through my second semester of general engineering as a freshman at VT, I never planned on going to college, honestly I thought I'd be in Iraq with the USMC by that point in my life, but a wonderful hippy high school girlfriend talked me out of that, and I made it into VT early decision by the skin of my rural Appalachian teeth. I'd snagged a job at West End Market in the pizza shop with a gaggle of hilarious frat boys, community service workers, and some genuinely good people. One of them was Leslie. I remember how excited she was for her soon, oncoming 21st birthday that night, and she also lucked out into working the register that night. The cushy job, way better than the serving lines where students wouldn't listen as you called out their orders and it was a regular 90 degrees behind those catering racks.

We had just entered the evening dinner rush, so pasta, bread sticks, garlic bread, pizza, and calzones were flying off the serving line as fast as we could make them. Except strombolis, no one ever ordered those bready abominations. I felt a sneeze coming on, a pretty wicked one, and I managed to rub it off into my sleeve a few times, but I couldn't hold it any longer. So I had two options, blow aerosolized mucus all over the serving line, or turn and shoot it into the sink. I made the obvious decision.

Unfortunately Leslie also decided that would be a good time to run some pizza orders back to our pizza tossing guy, and, well, world's collided. I sneezed all over that poor girl, to that point she was without words, and I was completely horrified. Then she started laughing, not cursing, not yelling, but laughing. Because that's who she was.

I apologized, our group of misfits survived another dinner rush, and then I apologized again, because what else can you do in that situation? We finished cleaning up, I wished her a happy birthday in absence, and said I'd see her next weekend for our shift. One step closer to finals and finishing the academic year.

April 16th, 2007

Fuck. Fuck. I had an 8am geography exam that I hadn't studied for, thanks Mario Kart. But hey, I could do rocks, walked in, answered some questions, mic drop, time for some DX breakfast. On the walk up towards Dietrich Hall I noticed the unnecessarily large group of police cars gathered around West AJ, didn't think much of it, and got my biscuit and retreated to the comfort of Pritchard Hall, 7th floor. Then the emails, texts, and calls started. It was almost impossible to contact anyone that morning, every cell tower was over loaded. We all knew it was bad, but we just stayed in our lounge, where we could kind of see across the drill field to Norris, and waited and hoped for it to end.

I didn't learn the damage until about 5pm that day, but Leslie was murdered, as well as my friends Mary and Jarrett. I remember feeling numb for the rest of the day, my friends knew I was fucked up, and took me to Hokie Grill to get some dinner. I remember eating a Chic-Fil-A sandwich (no pickles) and losing it. All self control gone, just weeping without end into a goddamn fried chicken sandwich. My friends got me out of there as soon as they finished dinner and I just collapsed in my dorm room on the floor.

Every day I think about them, and every breath I draw I do the most I can for whoever I can. Because everyone likes to push the dead into sainthood, but those three were about as close to perfect as I've ever known. Kind, smart, and driven to help others. And that's how I plan to live and die, for those who had their lifes cut short.

And that's all I have to say about that.

A:

youd have to put them neck and neck, no pun intended


Q:

Super crazy awesome! Yes, I recorded with Phil. I'm very excited for them.

A:

Brilliant!!! Soooo many people booked this one - there are probably airplanes filled with JFC members lol


Q:

I wasn't meant to in prison, but nobody checked my records.

In the D Cat we got to wander the grounds all day. It's a low security prison. I used to walk to the library and spend my time there. There wasn't any internet so I just made JavaScript games in the browser to kill time. They had a copy of Flanigan's Javascript book in the library (a stroke of good luck!), so I used that to develop my JS knowledge.

I also alerted their IT department (I was on good terms with the guy that ran it) to many potential issues on their Intranet. He fixed them :)

A:

Thanks for sharing this. Really glad that you and your roommates had each other that day (and the impossible days that followed). I didn't know Mary, but several people I've talked to that did seemed to just love the mess out of her.

I can't imagine what all of this would've been like if we had to go it alone. <3


Q:

Do you think the seam between your nuts means that we were once two different people?

A:

What inspired you to audition for the role of a magical talking unicorn?


Q:

Hey Jack,

Some of your deals are a little bit creative, in the routes and specific flights you recommend. Do you have any personal rules that have stopped you sharing particular deals?

For example, you might have spotted a route to NYC for £275 but its 32 hours and has 4 changeovers so you don't bother. Forgive me if this is a stupid question I'm not sure how you actually set up the deals.

Great service I hope to be able to book on one of your recommendations later in the year

A:

[REDACTED]


Q:

Wow! I was also there that day. I was a graduate hall director at the dorm next to West AJ where the first shooting was and one of our RAs was killed. My masters's graduation was 3 weeks away and it was the most depressing graduation with all the posthumous degrees. I know victims' families who were upset at how the President handled the incident for not cancelling classes after the first shooting happened and they had no suspect in hand. What do you think about the university's decision to not let him go? Also - I can't believe it's been ten years.! That day haunted me for so many years. I was able to visit campus a few years ago again and they've made permanent memorials that are really great.

A:

i never thought about that. but no i dont think so


Q:

I didn't audition. Lauren Faust came to my house and asked if I could help her out with a pitch presentation.

A:

pretty much - I aim to balance great prices with convenience. I personally would avoid taking a flight that's £100 cheaper but has 2 long layovers or something crazy like that. Or if layovers are overnight in some city, there really is no benefit if you have to grab a hotel and a bus from the airport just to grab the savings.

Hmmmm I have a bunch more - will have to come back with those


Q:

Are you offering me a job Mr CIA :p

A:

Sorry, maybe I'm mis-reading but I didn't understand the "not let him go" question.

I lived in East AJ my Freshmen year and loved the East/West AJ bridge. Many shenanigans were had.

I heard that they renovated both buildings and are spoiled with HVAC now! Can you believe those whipper-snappers??!


Q:

Is brain going to feature on any new upcoming songs? Or was he just a one hit wonder?

A:

How strong are you? It's a bit bold to just have the last name strong, I feel like you owe it to us to prove you are strong.


Q:

What about people like me who love layover that are around ~24 hours?? I fly a lot and always try to get an extended layover in a new city on the route. Any tips?

A:

How are hackers perceived in prison?


Q:

Gobbles in support Hello fellow Hokie, I am proud to call myself a part of Hokie Nation. I'm a recent grad of 2016, but people I meet in the real world always ask me about the shooting, even though I was only in middle school.

My questions, how often do people ask you about the tragedy and how does the conversation go? Is it the first thing people ask about when you say you are a Hokie grad?

(Thanks for doing this ama).

A:

brain's been whippin it up


Q:

I'm pretty strong. You wouldn't want to take me on :-)

A:

I do a lot of deals that have a 'nice' layover. For example arrive mid-day in Amsterdam and spend 24-36 hours there before flying off to Bangkok or whatnot the following evening. Those are fantastic!

The ones I try to avoid are 12 hour layovers where you arrive in the evening and basically depart early morning. Not much you can do then apart from sleep at the airport.


Q:

People have a high view of hackers. To the average Joe they posses skill that interests and fascinates them. I didn't have any issues in prison.

A:

Hokie Hi!

Hope the real world is treating you well :) I remember wishing I could just live full time in Blacksburg instead of graduating. VT feels like a young adult retirement community by comparison.

It's interesting that you get asked that question still. Since it's been so long, I don't get that question anymore. 2-3 years afterwards, people asked me it all the time though.

Sadly, I think since other tragic shootings have happened since then, it's not as much as a 'novelty,' as messed up as that sounds.

Being the "worst mass shooting in America's history" was both a title that we never wanted, and a title we never wanted to give up. So Orlando's nightclub was almost just as dreadful for that reason.


Q:

LD, longtime Dickhead here, seen you twice live and you put on an amazing show. Two questions feel free to not answer both.

1) when do we get a new project from you?

2) any thoughts of doing something comedic outside of hip hop?

A:

Did you get to hang out with Mark Hamill while doing voice work for the Batman: Arkham City game? And if you did, what was it like working with a Jedi?

(Sorry if this question was asked already)


Q:

24hr layover in Amsterdam or Vegas? Hell yeah! 24hr layover in Doha, Qatar? I'll pass.

A:

What's the underground world of hackers like? What's interesting about it, what kind of people are they?


Q:

Well said fellow Hokie.

I get asked about it when I travel to non ACC states most often. I had an intetview in Minneapolis and I was probably the only Hokie they met, so they asked me two questions: one about the shooting and where I was but the other, "But what is a Hokie?"

I went full-freshman on them and said "I am!" It's cheesey, but it was a venue to explain the unique community and sense of respect we have, especially as Hokie that wasn't there at that time.

Thanks for answering!

A:

1) i don't know that answer. this stuff takes me a while. and i was touring a lot last year so ive only had the last few months to lock down in the studio. just be patient, i never ever wanna rush stuff.

  1. yes for sure. im working on my own tv show. it's just as important to me as music.

Q:

Yes and he's super cool.

A:

Yeah really depends!


Q:

For me it's a lonely place. My lifestyle is dreadful. I rarely leave the house, I spend up to 18 days sat at the computer. I do exercise, because I know this lifestyle is dangerous for your health, so I do my best to stay healthy.

Being able to manipulate a machine is fascinating. When you actually achieve the end goal the reward feeling you get is better than sex, or drugs. I think most hackers who are serious about what they do get this feeling. I've heard people say it before. You're basically chasing that high. To get that reward.

Most hackers are dull people. They spend most of their time involved in activities that don't interest most folks. I haven't met many hackers in real life so I don't know how they live, but that's how it feels for me.

A:

I still use the cheesy "I am" line too :) haha


Q:

How long do you think it will take for "SOMEBODY SUCCCKK MEEE" to catch on as a worldwide phenomenon?

A:

Hi Tara,

How are you in EVERYTHING?

Loving your role in the final season of Samurai Jack so far and my daughter adores MLP and Super Hero Girls.


Q:

How is ths any different to other cheap flights sites like Airfare Watchdog or Scotts Cheap Flights?

A:

How did you keep up your skillset while in prison? 32 months seems like a long time to be out of web development and security testing with how fast new techniques are released.


Q:

What class were you in during the shooting? My friend Leslie was killed and for a long time afterwards I searched obsessively online for accounts of the specifics of how she died but never found more than a brief outline of the sequence of events.

A:

mannnnn. hopefully not too long. do you like it. do you think it's funny


Q:

Thank you!

A:

Those are 2 slighly different categories there but Scott Flights are a great resource too - they started in the states and I started JFC here in the UK. We are similar in that we both find and send out lots of really cheap long-haul deals, but i try to cater JFC towards travellers like myself, who may take a trip or two per year to somewhere like Asia or S. America, but will also want to do a few weekend trips to Europe along the way.

Other sites make a big deal out of £25 RyanAir fares to wherever in Europe, but most of my subscribers can’t take a off 3 days mid-week to save a few £ on a cheap fare, so when it comes to quick getaways, I try to focus on balancing convenience and price and send out Friday - Sunday trips and focus on bank holidays. I don’t think there are many others doing that as it doesn’t give the same ‘wow’ factor.

Airfare Watchdog is another great resource for Americans as well, but I find websites in that category tend to push what I call ‘hotel spam’ and ‘car rentals’ as that is where they make their money. I try to aim for providing only useful info and cheap flights - no referral fees or commissions to worry about, so the incentives line up with what my subscribers are after


Q:

I served 12 months, and remained on license for the rest of the sentence. I was allowed to have books brought in from home. My personally library is huge so I had my partner send me some of my favourite books. They even let me have a huge malware analysis book ... which surprised me. I kept up to date, but it was frustrating not being able to practice what I was learning. I learnt how to dry run software on paper to help a little.

A:

I was on my way to a class in Squires, walking on campus. I wasn't yet inside any class room.

If you know which specific class she was in, it would probably be easier to find out details.


Q:

Hey David,

I get mistaken for you a lot, to the point that I have a whole shtick I run through where I just pretend to be you and go with it. Its shown me how terribly annoying being famous can be. I've started collecting pictures with "fans" calling them my #LilDickyPics

  • Do you cause this problem for a lot of Jewish doppelgangers?
  • Can we get a picture together to add to my #lildickypics?
  • Any tips for interacting with "fans" so I can make it more authentic?

Happy Passover btw. (I don't think we look too similar but I get mistaken for you 2-3x a week)

Edit: If we could get a picture or video with all your doppelgangers that'd be awesome.

Edit 2: for the people asking for pics do you not know how hyperlinks work?

A:

What was it like working on the Sabrina Movies?

Also super excited for the new season of My Little Pony and thanks for being the voice of just about everybody.


Q:

Hi Jack, been subscribed since your first Reddit AMA and love what you're doing!

Question: I've wanted for 16 years to go to Japan and can finally afford to do it now next year - Do you ever see error fares so far in advance? All the ones you email seem to be within the next 9 months or so? I'm hoping to go in either March or September 2018!

Thanks.

A:

First of all, thanks for making this AMA. Here's a few questions I could ask:

1.) At what age did you get in the hacking business?

2.) Where did you learn how to hack?

3.) What was the first hack you've ever performed successfully and its result?

4.) Would you hack anyone or any website just for fun? Have you?


Q:

Can you walk us through what it was like on campus that day?

A:

the funny thing is, i get mistaken for me a lot. like in the sense that people come up to me ALL the time and say "you look just like lil dicky". and i go, i am he. and then they go, no you aren't. and then i go okay. and then they go are you really him? i go yea. they go "rap". isn't that crazy?


Q:

SO MUCH FUN!!!!

A:

Amazing, you'll love Japan, worth the wait! Error fares appear randomly so it's hard to say when they'll come up but I've seen error fares that you can book ahead for a max of about 8-10 months.


Q:
  1. I've always been hacking things from a young age. Either in electronics, computers, toys etc. It's just something I've done.

  2. Books, HOWTO's, ezines, white papers, man pages etc. Just consuming as much information as I could and targeting the things that interested me.

  3. I hacked my school network back when we had Acorn computers. We've all done that right? That was probably the first "illegal" thing I did.

  4. I have in the past yes. Most times it's not about the target, but the challenge of getting into something. If I find a tiny issue on a website I'll pound it until I can exploit it, or leverage information that will help me gain access. These days I will report any vulnerabilities and I never cross that line into illegal territory.

A:

It was winding down to be the end of the school year, but ramping up to be end-of-semester exams. Because of that, there had been a few bomb threats just the week prior because a bunch of ass holes were trying to get out of exams. So campus lock downs were still an inert annoyance, at best.

Legitimate police activity was no stranger to us either though, because an escaped prisoner had recently terrorized the area as well.

So when it was a blustery cold damp morning that Monday and students got another lockdown notice, we all just sort of discounted it as an isolated incident and mild inconvenience.

When details started to break of an early morning shooting in West AJ dorm room, we then felt as though actual facts had been married up to the campus email notice, but still weren't certain on the details.

I felt as though that wouldn't possibly affect my specific classes, so I began walking around 9am towards my class in Squires Student Center, which took me right by the drillfield and Norris Hall. As I was getting closer to Burruss/Norris Hall, I saw people running in the opposite direction. They were running in isolation though, there was no mass exodus or groups of people running. That detail in particular struck me as weird.

I continued walking towards the area, but just remember being mildly confused. It wasn't until I spotted someone I knew running the opposite direction that I knew anything was happening. I stopped him and asked why people were running. He said that someone with a gun was inside Burruss and started opening fire (he mis-heard, mis-saw, as it was actually Norriss Hall, nearby). So I hurried back to my apartment just off campus where my roommates and then patiently awaited information on the University's website and our email inboxes.

We were able to get more information through the grapevine of text messages and student emails emailing one another than we were the university itself. They were wholly unprepared to deal with something like this.

Eventually, around 10am-ish (if i remember correctly), we were told that the entire campus was closed, and that everyone should return to their homes/dorms. From that email until the first press conference that afternoon, it was a massive panic of who was where and "why haven't we heard from person x."

Once the press conference announced "approximately two dozen fatalities" everyone's entire demeanor changed, and the mood shifted from panic to "there's absolutely no fucking way this is real life right now." There was just a constant sound of emergency sirens running about town, empty fields turned into satellite truck farms where news van after news van would just pop up out of no where.

Everyone knew someone. It was like a scavenger hunt from hell trying to piece together who all didn't make it. The student body had pieced it all together before the news had announced anything, but it still stung just as bad hearing their names read publicly.


Q:

Do you fuck with the war?

A:

Just a random question, but how big is your wardrobe? (I may or may not want to borrow a dresses few for mine ;D)


Q:

Thanks for replying! Now I don't know whether to book it asap or wait a few months and see if some error fares come up in my time periods? decisions decisions!

A:

Have you ever actually wore a Guy Fawkes mask while hacking? Asking for a friend.


Q:

Hello there. I was a victim of a high profile shooting as well (I did an AMA couple years ago), and just wanted to say I wish you well. I hope you don't blame yourself for the deaths of others like I do at times. It's certainly had a terrible impact on my life in some ways and it's so weird to go through life with this invisible burden on me (or us). I don't really have a question, just wanted to wish you well. I guess my question would be that: how are you now? Are you living as normal a life as possible? Do you have any personal advice to deal with it? Obviously everyone deals with trauma differently, so I'm just curious how you deal with it since you're putting it out there. Thanks

A:

no i dont fuck with the war


Q:

You can NEVER have enough cute things to wear.

A:

Did you see the comment about the open-jaw flights to Tokyo with Aeroflot? Those are now available in early March as well! I would wait another week or two and try to grab them for mid-March 2018


Q:

I haven't. The majority of the time I'm sat in my boxer shorts.

A:

So sorry you've had to witness that :( And I wish you the best as well.

I'm doing very well, all things considered, and I count myself fortunate to not have been in any of the classrooms that morning.

I have a reliable well-paying job, best wife ever, and my first child due in a few weeks, so I certainly count my blessings. This time of year though, as I'm sure is the same for you every year, is just difficult to think "that was another year that friends of mine will never experience."


Q:

When is the new music coming, LD? It's been almost 2 years since Professional Rapper came out.

A:

Tara what is the best part of being a voice actress?


Q:

Hi Jack! I actually came across you via Reddit from someone who recommended you. Just one question really - what is your ambition for the company? Is it scaleable?

A:

Two part question:

1.) Without further incriminating yourself, what was the most difficult challenge you faced during your time with Lulsec/Anonymous?

2.) As an IT technician I'm starting to see an uptick in the number of my clients experiencing attempts to infiltrate their systems. What are some good resources that I could use to learn to mitigate these?

Thanks!


Q:

I can't imagine what it would have been like. My Geoscience professor was telling my class yesterday about his experience in McBryde 100. I'll be attending the memorial.

As an attempt to lighten the mood,

Are you surprised to hear that we are still suffering with the Empo here at Tech?
A:

be patient, it takes me a while. i'm working all the time. it'll always be worth the wait, but rushing it and making subpar content is the last thing i want to do. i have really high hopes.


Q:

Getting to play all kinds of different roles that I would never be able to on camera.

A:

I hope so!

I just plan to grow and create a community of savvy travellers and JFC members. I DONT want to be like everyone else and start pushing hotel spam or car rentals or start taking commissions from booking sites that don't always offer the best deal on a particular flight.

We also plan to grow a bit - starting with Europe this year!


Q:

I didn't really face many challenges within the group. Technically I faced some challenges.

I was good at hacking web applications. I came from a web development background so I knew the ins and outs of how web applications were developed, how they worked, common pitfalls etc. I was able analyse source code for common open source platforms and find vulnerabilities that nobody else spotted. That was easy.

But some people were doing some crazy stuff. Reverse engineering, modifying firmware, malware development etc. That really interested me as I'd never really done any that in practice, only read about it. To this day I am still inspired by those guys and they're partly responsible for what I know today.

Regarding question 2, what's the responsibility of their systems? For example are they web servers and what operating system are they running? This will give me a better idea to answering the second question.

A:

The Math Empo was the most frustrating academic experience of my life. I can't believe they reduced human interactions to red solo cups on top of monitors.

I actually dropped my math empo calculus class... while IN THE MATH EMPO TAKING CALCULUS. I was that frustrated.


Q:

So like, we should check back again tomorrow? Or nah?

A:

Are you ever invited to do voice work? For example, with Ben 10, did you have to audition for the latest show or did the producers call you?


Q:

What's the tastiest error fare you ever managed to snag for yourself before Flight Club?

A:

Is there a hierarchy in prison based on your conviction sentence? If so, where did you sit?


Q:

How do you feel about that certain cards against humanity card?


Q:

I had to audition.

A:

I think I mentioned this one in the last one. For me £112 to Bali ages ago. Was one of the happiest days of my young life back then! :-)


Q:

Sort of yes.

My crime meant I was a low risk offender. This places me in category D which means I can be placed in an open prison. An open prison means you get a key to your "dorm", you can work outside the prison, but you have to return at 7pm every night. Lots of perks.

But, you still have to go through the prison system to get there.

When I was first placed into custody I was on remand. I resided in a category B prison. This is a high security prison, one down from max. My pad mate was in for murder. Believe it or not he was a cool dude.

I remained there for 3 months. I was sentenced to 32 months and they sent me back to the category B prison. From there I waited to be moved to a category C prison. It's still secure, but a little less secure then B. I remained there for about 4 months.

From there I went to the category D where I served the rest of my sentence until release.

A:

Yeah, I discarded that exact card immediately. I knew what I was buying when I bought it, but it hits too close to him, so I just leave that one out.


Q:

What's your favorite rap album of all time? Besides your own

A:

Hi Tara What's your favorite batman movie ?


Q:

We've just booked our Honeymoon to Bali and was hoping there'd be something like this come up recently. Just wanted to say thanks anyway as we managed to get all our flights for the entire trip (Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bali) much cheaper from playing around with the Momondo/Google combination that you seem to use. You saved us a fair bit, even without an actual deal.

I nearly pulled the trigger on that £97 New York fare last week but sadly couldn't go!

A:

My pad mate was in for murder. Believe it or not he was a cool dude.

This is something I wish more people understood. I spent 30 days in solitary confinement in Camp Pendleton Base Brig (very short story version: was in Marine Corps boot camp, decided I didn't want to be). Being a 19 year old who was the furthest thing from a hardened criminal, I got out of my cell to push the juice cart. The guy in the cell next to me shot his CO and XO. He was nice. Almost everybody is nice to people they don't have any beef with. Sometimes otherwise nice people do really horrible things. There aren't just a lot of cartoon villains running around in prisons.


Q:

I am a professor for a community college, and we have gone through a number of trainings and seminars to prepare us for an attack in the campus (gun related or otherwise). However, I find it annoying when I get criticized for coddling "snowflakes" with our safe spaces on campus. Frankly, I would rather have a student vent and talk about their issues with a coloring book and stuffed puppy than come shoot up my classroom.

My question is, what services do you think we should have on campus to help students with mental health issues? What can I do as a teacher to help my students (without being weird about it)?

A:

college drop out


Q:

I really like the original 1989 version.

A:

Sawweeeet! Well done using those tool... I find the best services I use also educate a bit, so I was really going for that when I started - even better that you were able to find your own deals really. I spent my honeymoon in Bali as well and it was amazing - I'm sure you'll love it!


Q:

So true.

A:

Great question that I'd like a solid answer to as well, but I'll try to answer it this way:

When I was distraught, shocked and grieving afterwards, I went to the Cook Counseling Center that offered licensed mental health professionals to students. I attended 8 sessions over the course of 6 weeks, was prescribed an anti-depressant, and came out of it much, much better. Once I was there, it was very easy. Everything worked the way it was supposed to: I no longer felt alone and scared, I got help from professionals, and assistance from medicine on an as-needed basis. None of that was difficult.

What WAS difficult, was just showing up. If we could find creative ways to remove the barriers of getting help, I think we'd be far better off. We need to start treating mental health the same way we treat the dermatologist: there's no stigma in going, and it's a small burden to remember to go every 12 months, but you don't feel "weird" for going.

However you can make students feel "normal" for caring enough about their mental health to just show up and ask for help is the solution we need.


Q:

LD! Grandest Fans here. We love how successful you have become, very well deserved.

Do you remember writing the ScanGauge Rap song for your Kickstarter?

We play it at every party!

A:

how often do you recognize one of your voice actor peers on TV/radio/games a day?


Q:

Uff so jealous. How do these things still happen with so much of it automated?

A:

This is from a wired article:

Monsegur (Sabu), for his part, claims he never identified any of his fellow Anonymous hackers to the FBI. His own defense attorney disagreed in his sentencing hearing, telling a judge his “assistance allowed the government to pierce the secrecy surrounding the group, to identify and locate its core members and, successfully, to prosecute them.” Monsegur calls that a political statement intended to lighten his sentence.

What's your comment on his statement? How or why did you give your real name and location to Sabu? When did you know he was an informant?


Q:

What's up Hokie, Hoo here. I remember our first responders in Charlottesville departing en masse immediately when the news broke, and I often think about what you and your classmates must have been going through and how surreal it all was. What kind of changes were made in your life the moment everything went down, and how have you approached even the smallest tasks in life with the memories you have?

I applaud you for this AMA.

A:

very very vaguely. im happy you guys liked it tho


Q:

I recognize them all the time.

A:

Massive massive complex pricing databases which are then forwarded to bookings agents who price based off of those and other agents which match fares of those agents and yada yada yada. One mistake by anyone, anywhere and it can get multiplied onto a dozen websites sometimes.

Big data = big mistakes :-)


Q:

I dislike him. I felt hurt by what he did. It literally felt like a friend had backstabbed me. I found out on the way to the police station in the back of the car.

I thought I could trust him. We'd spoke for long enough. I knew his first name. I knew his location. I'd seen his graffiti (if it was actually his). We spoke about personal things. I had no reason to believe he was an informant. He acted the total opposite. In some cases even posting information that would be considered illegal.

A:

That week was the week I stopped "hating" UVA :)

I still make fun of them whenever I can :), but seeing the response out of UVa brought me to tears more than any other school. Seeing the bridge you guys painted orange and maroon. That was an incredible, incredible feeling. On behalf of every Hokie, thank you.

I'd say the most significant, small change day-to-day is probably just thankfulness. I find myself being more thankful for interactions with people that I would have previously taken for granted.


Q:

If you had to get a tattoo of someone's face who would it be, where would you get it, and why?

A:

Will Crocker ever catch a fairy?


Q:

Yo Jack - I want to take my little brother somewhere in Southeast Asia (he’s not been yet), but he’s afraid of flying and hasn’t travelled much before, so I want to minimise the number of flights as much as possible and was hoping to go direct. Thinking late August or early Sept. Still not sure where, but maybe Thailand or Vietnam. Got anything for us?

Edit: Oh and we’re in London!

A:

1) did you finish your probation as well? Were there any other extra sanctions imposed on you as part of your conviction(preventing computer use while in the US?)

2) I heard some hackers plead guilty to their computer hacking crimes, and that helped them advance their career. Do you agree with that phenomena? If you agree/disagree, then why?

3) Did any of your perspectives in your values change before/after joining your group? What would you like to accomplish in your remaining years?


Q:

How has your every day life changed? Are you more or less likely to support something like concealed carry in hopes that it could have lessened the impact of this tragedy?

A:

hmmmm...maybe allen iverson's face on my heart. he just really impacted my life, growing up in philly.


Q:

I think he has caught fairies before. The question is...will he keep them?

A:

Hey man - awesome of you to take your little brother on a trip like that. I personally like Vietnam, but would probably choose Thailand for a first trip to SE Asia for your bro. These aren’t the best fares I’ve seen by a while, and they could still come down another £50 at some point, but EVA Air currently have some attractive non-stop fares which should make travel easier. It’s a top 5 airline with a direct flight to Bangkok - doesn’t get too much better than that for a first trip! :-)

Here’s a link


Q:
  1. Yeah I did. At one point my officer let me skip meetings because he wasn't concerned I would reoffend. I got friendly with my PO. He helped me a lot when I was diagnosed with Testicle Cancer. He later moved across the other side of the world and I lost touch with him. He was a great guy.

  2. I'm not sure how it is in the US, but over here if you get convicted of hacking they tend to see it as that person can't be trusted.

  3. When my depression started to get bad I was losing sense of any values/morals/ethics. Just weeks before I was self harming pretty bad. I was in a bad place mentally. Having reflected on what happened my values have definitely changed. It makes me cringe looking back on what I did.

I feel like I'm on a journey. I don't know where it's ending, but I will continue to learn and perfect my craft. I'd like to become an ASM wizard and be able to quickly read ASM as I can the English language. I'd like to make a small game with my son in ASM. We're going to attempt it on the C64 once my Final Cartridge 3 arrives. I have strange goals. Once I achieve that I don't know what's next. I'd like to gain full time employment one day.

A:

Biggest everyday life change is constantly being on the lookout for early indicators. For example, people I work with everyday, I'm far more cognizant of their demeanor and patterns of behavior. If I think they're silently resentful, I'll make attempts to talk to them, just to get them to speak. Even if I have no genuine interest in them. I just want to hear them communicate their own thoughts outloud.

Immediately after the shooting, each end of the political spectrum was convinced they had the correct answer and the other side had the wrong answer. I just wanted anything to be attempted. But nothing was done.

Anyone can still immediately buy guns at a gun show. Mental health records are still not factored into background checks. Access to firearms is as easy as ever. Nothing has changed (as evidenced by the several follow-on mass shootings).

I'm strongly in the "make it far more difficult to buy tools that are specifically designed to end someone's life" camp, but I respect the stance of fierce 2nd amendment defenders as well. I just don't want mentally ill people to have access to them. I realize that's easier said than done, though.


Q:

Hey LD, just wanted to say thanks for doing this and for finally releasing the Pillow Talking video - it was definitely worth the wait!

I'm assuming everyone else will ask about if/when you've got new music coming out, so my question is this: If you were trapped in an empty room with no doors or windows and only a perfect clone of yourself, would you fuck or fight the clone? You're released after an hour and no one will ever know what happened in the room.

A:

How do you prepare your self for the work day? Do you do voice preps? Any routines to get you ready? Also my kids recognize your voice across shows. Thanks for doing this AMA.


Q:

Thanks for doing the AMA, Jack!

A few questions:

  1. I assume this is now your full time job? What other jobs have you had in the last 5 years?

  2. Given you can probably work from anywhere in the world, how much of your average year do you spend abroad?

  3. Do you plan all your own travels around cheap tickets, or do you occasionally splash out and pay full-fare for convenience?

A:

Why didn't Anon make Sabu? There wasn't anything to make you think that somebody you might trust could be gathering and waiting for the right plea deal and price range? Any type of warnings?


Q:

I was on campus for one at NIU, a few months after VT. I remember a few people from VT sent messages to people through Facebook, and it meant a lot at the time.

I was fortunate to have not been too nearby (was eating lunch across the street and didn't see more than all the emergency vehicles arriving) and to not know anyone who was injured/killed personally. I did share a class with someone who was killed but did not know them.

But anyway, I know many of the feelings you describe. Every time I see one of these in the news, I'm right back there even though it was almost 10 years ago. I remember what I was wearing, I still have gloves that I spilled wax on during a vigil, I still remember that afternoon of not knowing. I don't think it's something I'll ever fully escape. My heart breaks that anyone ever has to feel the way I do or worse, because realistically, I was not directly affected. So many people have had to feel so much worse, to never really recover, or to not even get the chance to recover. I'm luckier than many, as much as this event still haunts me.

I'm sorry that you and your school and your friends had to go through that, too. I'm sorry that anyone does.

And because I think I have to ask a question and I don't feel like making it related: what's your favorite kind of cheese? I think I'm going to go with smoked gouda.

A:

i have to fuck him or fight him? only two options? id love to just talk to him...but if that's not an option. fight him. it would be such a good, evenly matched fight


Q:

I like to warm up with my singing teacher's exercises that I have saved on my phone.

A:

Hey thanks for coming by to visit! :-)

1) It is now - I've never worked this hard and never absolutely loved it. It's mental!

2) Well I only went full time a few months ago, but since then it's been basically 100%

3) I always fly as cheap as I possibly can, but not always with the deals I find - I have in mind where I think I want to go next :-)


Q:

No warnings at all. We used to chat for at least an hour a day. The last conversation I had with him he was showing me some images of graffiti he was doing. He was working on a track with me that he wanted to use as some sort of anthem. He was giving me instructions on how he wanted it to sound and I'd send prototypes over to him.

I didn't trust him at first, but over time he gained my trust. Looking back it did feel a bit like "grooming" tbh.

A:

I'm fond of most soft goat cheeses, I think.

I remember the candlelight vigil we had at our memorial for NIU. It's terrible that these things keep happening. Just awful. It's like you're thankful that other people know the feeling, but at the same time you feel terrible that they even know the feeling to begin with.


Q:

Hey Dave! I am a huge fan of both you as a rapper and as a person. I've been impressed with how real you still are despite being so popular. Do you feel like your fame has affected you much on a personal level?

Loved the pillow taking vid. It was truly the best music video I have seen. It was exactly as I envisioned the song so I can see why it took 10 months. Worth the wait! By far my favorite song of yours!!

Keep it real, LD.

A:

What moment was the highlight of your acting career so far? what are your thoughts ont he vast majority of your fans?


Q:

What's your favorite kind of cheese?

A:

How do I hack my own computer until it explodes?


Q:

I was on campus for a different school shooting. What I found most haunting was the sound of all the helicopters flying overhead. It was just like audio/video from the Vietnam War. What still haunts you about that day?

A:

i dont think my fame has effected me in the slightest. i honestly barely feel famous, compared to where i envision ending up. so, i just think to myself about how small of a scale all of the attention is now, to what it will be like in three years. ask me again in three years. hopefully ill be the same dude. i think i will be. ive always envisioned this life for me, so none of if surprises me


Q:

I have to say, ringing the Nasdaq Opening Bell earlier this week is definitely up there!

A:

Cheese strings (String Cheese in American). What does that say about me? lol


Q:

Push a screwdriver into the PSU whilst chanting "we are anonymous".

A:

That, the sirens, and all the field lights for live remote broadcasts, yes. It was like living in a hot zone, I agree.

That part isn't too "haunting" to me, for whatever reason, but yeah, those audio visual cues stick with me as well--hope you're doing okay.


Q:

Can you tell us more about the show you're working on? Id love to see you in a comedy show or movie.

A:

Omg I love you <3 Can't wait for your Harley Quinn in Injustice 2. What do you think of Harley Quinn?


Q:

Is there an optimum amount of time before the actual flight that you find your deals? I'm looking at subscribing in 3 or 6 month chunks but don't know how far in advance of my travels to begin the subscription. Or would you recommend 12 month subscriptions to take advantage of everything you find?

A:

What do you think of the TV shows 'Mr Robot'?


Q:

Of the many victims, is there one you knew well or one that sticks out in your mind?

A:

based upon my real life and true experiences. just me being me. a guy trying to be a rapper


Q:

I love Harley Quinn, puddin'

A:

It varies vastly by airline and season. Some of these new-age budget long-haul airlines like Thomson tend to have tonnes of last minute deals a few weeks prior, while major airlines usually have their best offers 8-12 weeks in advance and some scattered price drops as far as 11 months in advance.

Had a lot of members book that Hawaii trip for Jan 2018 recently!


Q:

It's great entertainment. Black Mirror is cool too.

A:

Ryan "Stack" Clark.

I'm sure there the other 31 were just as amazing in their own right, I just didn't know them as well as Stack.

I had a few classes with Stack. I was in the marching band with him. I ate lunch with him. That guy was a beacon of hope in an otherwise uncertain world.

He was just so damn fun I can't even put into words how much his fellow friends cared about him. I never met a single human being that had anything but smiles to say about the guy.

He had a voice that could penetrate and soar over top of an entire football stadium of people. It was a surprise to no one that he died responding to help another person.

He was pursuing multiple degrees, majors, and minors, all as an undergrad. He also decided to work in the dining hall to support himself. He also did countless other charitable work. No one's quite sure how he managed to do so much as a college student that most of us won't accomplish our entire lives.

My first "college party" experience was traveling as a Freshman with the marching band to the 2003 game on the road vs Pittsburgh. After the game was over (we lost) and the band went back to the hotel, stack grabbed me from my hotel room and said "hey, some guys from the Pitt band invited us to a frat party, let's go." (He didn't even know who I was at the time).

We were driven to this basement party downtown, where a naked man was playing Billy Joel's pianoman on a baby grand piano, and a homemade punch of some kind that tasted like cough syrup was being served to anyone entering the basement.

Before I could even ask anyone's name, Stack had me swaying and holding hands with Pittsburgh band members, singing Piano man, and drinking horrible mystery purple drink.

That was probably my favorite of many memories of him, but it was also the first interaction I had with him.


Q:

How do you come up with some of your AKA ideas?

A:

Did you ever think you'd be ringing the Nasdaq opening bell in the name of My Little Pony? What was that like?


Q:

Is it possible to rock up at the airport and get yourself a last minute deal if you are flexible on location or is the price even higher?

A:

Have you talked to Sabu since he allegedly snitched on you?


Q:

Since you were on campus on the day of that shooting and since it went down in history as the worst mass shooting in American history at the time, how do you feel when there are reports on the news of other mass shootings or terrorist attacks across the world? Do you feel stressed, sad, sympathetic etc.?

A:

i just force myself to sit there and thing of random thoughts. and all these random words and nouns come into my head. and i write them down, and pick my favorites


Q:

No and it was honestly the most thrilling day ever! It was very magical.

A:

nah - very rarely will you score something like that. Usually you'll end up paying 2x the standard fare :-/

It does happen with some budget airlines, but even then very unlikely


Q:

No. I don't like what he's done.

A:

I feel a lot of things, but I'd say frustrated is the best word.

I see headlines like that, watch footage and think "how many more random innocent people have to die until we solve this as a society?"

It's really disheartening to know that nothing has changed since you experienced it ten years ago.

Sandy Hook in particularly really dug deep, just because of it being another school, and it being small defenseless children.


Q:

About how long after talkin wit a bitch did brain get to poop?

A:

Is Mark Hamill a secret brony?


Q:

What's the best way to learn "hacking" or programming? What's your opinion on cyber security ethics, regarding the openness between the government and private sectors or individuals? What's the best way to prevent someone hacking oneself? Thank you!

A:

I was there as well. Engineering '10. I was in Randolph 2nd floor. I heard all of it. Do you have any remorse over graduating? Do you have any reasons you would have liked to stay? Not for college party like reasons of course.


Q:

brain still gotta poop, look at his twitter @hardbodybrain

A:

Yes (but don't tell the internet)


Q:

Hacking and programming are two different beasts when it comes to learning. I'm mostly self taught and started reading books, HOWTO's, magazines etc from an early age so the knowledge has been accumulated over the past 15 or so years.

Programming wise I'd recommend to start with learning C. It's useful because it teaches you computer architecture. Memory management, the stack/heap, etc are useful for learning memory corruption techniques. If you want to go down the software hacking route it's a long road, but start with C imo. Learning C will allow you to learn other language pretty easily and is very useful for hacking.

Hacking is a broad topic. There's lots of different specialist areas. Most people these days want to know how to hack websites (which is only the tip of the iceberg btw). If you want to learn that, grab yourself a copy of the Browser Hackers Handbook, and Kali. Note: I do not advocate the use of Kali if all you're doing is running scripts and not understanding what's actually going on under the hood, but it's a useful place to start.

Regarding ethics, the Government has no business prying its eyes in anyones business. The privacy issues that are going on in the UK and the USA make me angry.

The best way to prevent yourself from being hacked is to learn how attackers can gain access to your system and implement the necessary protections to stop them :)

A:

Yeah, graduating and leaving felt weird at that time. None of us wanted to leave after something like that. It felt like we owed it to the university and each other to stay. It was like none of us wanted that moment to define us or the school.

It was too late to apply/stay for grad school, so I left, but I sure wish I could have stayed a little longer.


Q:

Hey Dicky, big fan.

In your Snapchat recently, you had a clip of yourself rapping along with what sounded like a sneak peak of a new song from you. Can you confirm this and possibly give any further details on upcoming singles/ album?

A:

Will there be any guest VA's in Season 7?


Q:

How can we secure our cellphones? Specially the cams and mics.

A:

im making new music all the time. some of it sucks. some of it is amazing. youll hear the good stuff only. been working a lot with brain lately too, he's been in the studio a ton. trying to get him out there.


Q:

Yes! William Shatner and Felicia Day.

A:

I can't comment. I do not own a smartphone. I use a Nokia 8310. I do not trust them.


Q:

How would you describe your relationship with James the squirrel?

A:

My kids and I love Teen Titans Go! Thanks for your sardonic and wry Raven!

Does Raven's attitude ever creep into your own daily life?


Q:

Regardless of what the law says is right or wrong, did you ever reach a personal moral barrier where you weren't sure whether to cross?

A:

very up and down, hot and heavy. he loves me, he loves me not type of thing


Q:

Whateverrrrrrrrrrrrr

A:

At that point in time my moral barrier was very low. Most times I didn't even consider the consequences of my actions if caught. I got too complacent.


Q:

Have you ever tought about changing your rapper name?

What did your parents and relatives say when u told them you're going to be a rapper named lil dicky?

A:

What sets people like yourself or Cree Summer apart in the animation voice over field?


Q:

did you detect and write the exploits yourself, or did you use someone else's work?

A:

i think i have to see it through as lil dicky. i truthfully dont like introducing myself as lil dicky, ill always say dave. but lil dicky is like batman, it's a symbol more than a person. know what i mean


Q:

We're very versatile, easy to work with and not too shabby looking. :-)

A:

I found them myself, but many times there was help from other members.


Q:

So I watched your freestyle on Sway in the Morning, and it was awesome! How memorable of an experience was that? Also side note, the line about Michelle Obama was incredible

A:

Care to share any thoughts on S7 of MLP? Maybe a small spoiler?


Q:

In the end of the article you wrote you said:

In my next article I will provide a complete tutorial on how the average Joe can secure their Internet connection and remain private from Government spying and data retention.

Are you still planing to do this?

A:

super memorable. i was so nervous. i dont know how i did so well. whenever i get scared about life, i watch that and remember how well i performed under pressure


Q:

Sure. It's going to be super adorable...lots of new songs...the premiere on Saturday is two back-to-back episodes. This season, we get to meet Rainbow Dash's parents, may adorable niece Flurry Heart and of course, William Shatner and Felicia Day are joining the herd.

A:

I am yes. I got caught up with other things in life. I lost my Dad at the start of this year and another family member the start of this month. It's been tough. But you just reminded me, I need to get that finished. Thanks :)


Q:

What's some advice for us guys with Lil' Dicks?

A:

Out of the shows you've been in, what's your favorite?


Q:

What's your go to linux distro?

A:

don't even sweat it. guys are lucky that girls value personality so highly. if she likes you enough, she won't even care. she'll be so moved by how much she likes you that she'll orgasm easier than she would with a guy with a huge dick who isn't as cool as you. you should also do a lot of foreplay.


Q:

The Little Mermaid 2!

A:

I feel like I should say Arch. Or Gentoo. Or LSF. All great distros but my gotos are good old Debian and FreeBSD purely out of personal preference because I grew up on them. My main machine runs Qubes.


Q:

Sup Dave?

Who was your favourite artist to collaborate with and why?

Also who would you most like to collaborate with in the future?

A:

What is your favorite part of the fandom?


Q:

What's your take on Edward Snowden?

A:

well, a bunch of collabs happened digitally. brendon urie came into my studio though, and sang it right in front of me. so that was my favorite. because as soon as he sang, i knew he was perfect and it was cool to witness the moment in person.


Q:

How adork-able they are. How generous they are. How inclusive they are.

A:

He's a legend :)


Q:

Lil Dicky,

I'm a huge fan of your work, but more of your skill set. I like pillow talk, but the antagonist was probably my favorite on the album. Do you have any plans to make a serious hip hop record in the future?

A:

So a lot of people have been posting fanart of Ashi and Jack together, either as a couple or as stepdad/adopted daughter. Where do you stand on Ashi/Jack without spoiling too much?


Q:

How fast can you type?

A:

if by record you mean song, yeah. but a serious album, i just hope to god nothing happens in my life that would ever have me making 12 unfunny songs. that's just not who i am.


Q:

I really can't say without spoiling :-)

A:

Never counted, but judging by the number of comments I'm going to have to increase my pace a little :)


Q:

Any plans to collaborate with Drake or Chance the Rapper? That would be crazy

A:

Can you share some details about the movie?


Q:

Whats your reaction whenever you see hacking scenes on the tv/movies?

A:

i'd love nothing more. hopefully one day


Q:

It's going to be VERY cute. We have a lot of wonderful guest stars and great songs. The coolest part is that we're going to have sea ponies.

A:

The new stuff is mostly overrated imo. Hackers is a true story. I love that film. Wargames is a classic I enjoy too. I'm not really into the newer films. Maybe because I'm from BBC micro era.


Q:

I love your music?

A:

So glad you're here Tara! You were my childhood! My little sister adores you as you voice Twilight, and Raven who are her favourite characters!

  1. Who is you're favourite background pony?

  2. Will you be attending any fan conventions in Canada such as Fanexpo 2017?

  3. Do you have an order of EG films that you like?


Q:

Was the post removed or just the description? Mods?

A:

thanks?


Q:
  1. Derpy
  2. Possibly
  3. No
A:

Lack of evidence. I'm submitting more now.


Q:

Has anyone ever sucked you off after you said "somebody suck me"?

A:

Hi, Tara! What is your favorite Teen Titans moment or episode?


Q:

never

A:

I love Lady Legasus and the colors of Raven. In the original series, I loved stuff with Slade and Trigon.


Q:

D, huge fan. What has been your favorite music video to make to date? They're all so clever and unique. Maybe share a cool story from one of the sets too?

A:

Hey, Tara!

Do you think that Raven and Twilight could get along if they were to meet?


Q:

ex boyfriend no question. cuz i just knew the whole time it would change my life. and it was fun. and back then, you didnt have to get permits, do things officially, you just ran around with a camera and filmed. shout out brian storm - my DP

A:

Of course! Raven loves ponies.


Q:

What are the chances of LD getting a Frank Ocean feature on the next album?

A:

Hi Tara! I'm a big fan, and I practically grew up watching your work!

I have a couple questions for you, If you don't mind answering!

  • What are your thoughts on Teen Titans Go!, in contrast to the original Teen Titans series?

  • Which character has been the most fun to voice?

  • Who is your favourite villain that the Titans have faced so far?

Thank you for taking the time for doing this AMA!


Q:

i should be so lucky. blond is my favorite album of the last 5 years.

A:

I love them both. It's a toss up between Power Puff Girls, Fairly OddParents and Raven. Probably Slade.


Q:

How does one compare apples to oranges?

A:

Who is your favourite pony?


Q:

easily. one is red. one is orange. one has one texture that's less juicy and slimy. the other is slimy. etc.

A:

Twilight duh!


Q:

Fucken loved this video, Dude. The production is sick!!! Especially loved all the attention to details you made, the shit on the side tables, no dabs shirt, but yo! the sound effects blew me away. Did you do those? Sounded so cray.

A:

no we hired a great sound design company, Voodoo Highway Music & Post Inc.


Q:

Hey there! I just want to say that "Pillowtalk" was actually the first song I heard from you. My friend played it in my car on our way to football practice and we were laughing the whole way there. Since then I've been listening to everything. Just want you to know you've got a lot of fans (at least around me) here in SoCal.

Anyway, my question: How does it feel to be a professional rapper?

A:

i respect that. i like that's the first song you heard. it honestly feels amazing to be a professional rapper. its a true dream come true


Q:

LD - how have you changed the rap game?

A:

i think im doing a lot of stuff, on a pretty successful level, that's never been done before. i rap about sucking my own dick, ya know? and i still went platinum. i think that's pretty sick.


Q:

Hello Mr. Bird,

Big fan! What was the process for filming this like? A few days of filming or did you practice and get it all shot in a day (minus CGI and shit)? BTS in the future...?

Sincerely, A Manilla Envelope

A:

this was 5 days of shooting. 3 for the bedroom scenes, and the set was built from scratch, we took the walls away during the cgi stuff and had green screens there. then we shot the soldiers stuff in one day. then we shot john c reilly one day


Q:

LD,

You are a lyrical genius and I love how your mind works. Love you lots.

My questionnnnn,

So ever since we met the Burds, I've been wondering if your mom has yet to have a conversation with Puff. Daddy's mom? Like have they been able to hash over the woes and worries of their rapper son's lives and did Momma Diddy get to tell momma Burd how she backs her the fugg up?

That would be a lunch I'd like to sit in on.

A:

no my mom has still yet to speak with mrs diddy. id pay so much money to see that. i say fugg too


Q:

What was it like working with Brain? He seems like a super cool dude.

A:

man it's a blessing. he's inspiring. so unique in his approach. just a blessing, and i rarely use that word