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Request[AMA Request] James Murphy and all of LCD Soundsystem

Jun 27th 2017 by tleigh821 • 22 Questions • 48 Points

Greetings reddit universe!

This is my second time doing an AMA, very glad to be back! I've been deep in the labs working on a zillion tunes and gearing up for the madness of summer festival season… I’ve been preparing both ends of the spectrum: left-field freestyle events, as well as massive anthems for full power broadcast, and now i'm hitting the road full steam and launching into GO MODE :) figured i'd catch up here first: what's on your mind?

**Proof! https://twitter.com/bassnectar/status/880131777649549313

UPDATE: Thanks so much for joining this experience! I'm signing off now, I'll see you guys soon :)

Q:

Unlikely but would love to see this!

A:

When you first started Futurama, how many seasons did you think it would last?


Q:

Like many show writers, do you already have plans for the "Final Gathering"?

A:

I need a change of career, but I have no idea what I want to do, just that I want to do something else. What's your advice on seeking out a new career?


Q:

Thank you for sharing this personal account. Do you think it was best that the teacher grabbed you and brought you to the room or would it have been better to keep running to the parking lot with your brother and his friends?

A:

When you eat a steak does it also make you crave cock?


Q:

Nootropics is a very growing market. What are your thoughts on the use and/or the regulation of nootropics?

A:

[deleted]


Q:

When you first started Futurama, how many seasons did you think it would last?

A:

Hello!

To get my gushing out of the way, I'm a huge fan and have been for a little over a year. I plan on showing my daughter your videos when she's a bit older as an introduction to skepticism. You have some seriously incredible content, thank you for producing it!

I have a few questions.

-What do you immediately look for that makes a video suspicious?

-What are some YouTubers you enjoy watching?

-Any plans to work with James Randi again?

-Finally, and absolutely most crucially, what exactly did Captain say to poor Alan in that Skype call at the start of "Amazing Feats of YouTube Debunkery?"


Q:

Like many show writers, do you already have plans for the "Final Gathering"?

A:

Agreed, but Wishful thinking!


Q:

27 years. - John

A:

ill die first :)

and i plan to die when i am 123 years old [peacefully with a smile of gratitude on my tattered face] so we have a ways to go


Q:

One exercise we go through with candidates is identifying different family friends within your network. What professions do the people around you have? Aunts, uncles, friends of your parents, older alumni from your high school or college, etc. Grab a coffee or a beer with them and really pick their brain.

You'd be surprised by how much people love to give advice and guidance for someone interested in their field. Don't be too shy to reach out!

A:

I think I would have a lot less issues if I was able to leave when i wanted to. Most of the fear comes from sitting in that room for hours.


Q:

Not anymore

A:

There are a host of chemical agents people consume with the goal of improving their cognitive function. It’s estimated that the sale of such drugs from improving cognition is a billion dollar a year business in the world. Most of these drugs and supplements induce the actions of natural neurotransmitters and modulate plasticity in ways that impact brain function. The drugs that are used off-label, designed to treat ADHD, are a case in point. A drug like Adderall is a stimulant that has the same general effects as the natural neurotransmitter, norepinephrine. There are about 20 chemical agents overall that are relatively well-known, distributed for sale and studied on some level, that are being sold in the nootropic marketplace. There is a significant body of evidence that at least some of these agents (not all) have positive “performance” or “cognitive” enhancing impacts. On the other hand, they are in a sense mind-altering and one consequence of their use is the downregulation of the processes that produces natural brain-generated transmitters. There are two consequences of this. You need to continue to take the stimulate or the boosting drug and you need to progressively increase the dosing of it to have a stable amplifying effect. When you’re off the stimulant, everything is turned down. Artificially establishing a situation over time in which you must have a stimulant to perform at a high level is a rather questionable life strategy.

We know that you can drive changes in the brain that are equivalent to taking a stimulant drug through an intensive brief period of brain exercise. I’ve earlier described brain exercises that we apply that are specifically designed to upregulate norepinephrine. We’ve shown that if you work at an exercise for a few minutes, before you enter a learning cycle, it accelerates learning rate and increases asymptotic learning achievements across a period of tens of minutes. If you do this everyday for several weeks, the upregulation of the release of the stimulant from the natural processes of the brain appears to be sustained out to the future. The difference? It’s all natural and it operates 24/7.


Q:

yeah I am in the process is actually analogue at first, and then everything is scanned and put together in photo shop and after effects. The pencil drawings are the way that I liked to work. we did a john Henry like race, animating in photoshop and adding texture, and the scanned pencil drawings won. but the breath is on photoshop with a wacom,

A:

27 years. - John


Q:

Thank you!

  • It really depends on the nature of the video. Sometimes it's nothing image-based, but more of a "is this physically possible" and then I go from there. Other times, I recognize the effect preset on the first viewing.

-I just took a stab at answering that somewhere above

-I'd love to work with James Randi again. I do not meet him often. Whenever I do, I always assume he won't remember me, but he raises his hand in a mock salute and says, "Captain."

-I'm afraid it's too vulgar for the Internet.

A:

ill die first :)

and i plan to die when i am 123 years old [peacefully with a smile of gratitude on my tattered face] so we have a ways to go


Q:

So I think the Series end was great, but if given the chance, would you do new episodes for streaming services like Netflix or Amazon?

A:

With Bass Center 2016 being absolutely MASSIVE with 25k+ attendance each day and camping, why the move to Hampton this year with less than half the capacity and without camping?

In the final moments of Basslights 2015 you called the Coliseum “one of your favorite buildings in America”. Why?


Q:

How should I respond if they ask me about job jumping (I.e. Switching jobs every few years)? Companies aren't loyal to you anymore but expect you to be, and the only way to move up is by leveraging your current position to land a better one elsewhere.

Is it appropriate to ask an interviewer for feedback to improve myself for the future?

A:

What is the process of visitors being able to enter your school? Usually for us, you can just enter through the main office without a problem. After the shooting, did this change?


Q:

Do you feel you look like more of an albino orca, Lebanese house maiden, or morbidly obese Mexican?

A:

Good Morning Dr. Merzenich! Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA! My question is about brain health and it's role in education. NPR recently did a story on a school that is beginning to utilize an understanding of neuroplasticity and brain health in the classroom to combat the effects of poverty and chronic stress on the brains of school children and to eventually improve educational outcomes.

The role of neuroscience and plasticity as applied in the traditional model of education seems so limited given what we know about the brain and what we are still learning. Talking about brain health in a school setting feels so taboo. Why do you think that is? What are some ways that we can bring more awareness of neuroplasticity to teachers? And if the principles of neuroplasticity and brain health were implemented in classrooms what might that look like and do you think we would have better educational outcomes? Thanks again for your time!


Q:

What are some lesser known, or outside of the mainstream animated films and animators that you would recommend to someone interested in more obscure or artistic animation films?

Why do you choose this clearly more difficult process over easier modern methods of animation?

A:

So I think the Series end was great, but if given the chance, would you do new episodes for streaming services like Netflix or Amazon?


Q:

Hey Cap! How did you get started doing what you do? I saw the video about your early film projects and now I'm curious as to how you migrated towards Youtube as a content platform.

Also, I'm curious as to the origin of your sign-off phrase "love with your heart; use your head for everything else." Did you come up with that, or did you get it from somewhere else?

Love your stuff; keep it coming!

A:

With Bass Center 2016 being absolutely MASSIVE with 25k+ attendance each day and camping, why the move to Hampton this year with less than half the capacity and without camping?

In the final moments of Basslights 2015 you called the Coliseum “one of your favorite buildings in America”. Why?


Q:

Yes, it was my favorite show and I have real separation anxiety about it - BW

A:

this is a LONG answer, and it involved a lot of really crazy background stuff [multiple insane camping festival sites that fell through last minute and a ton of different ideas which were all being juggled] ... and essentially Hampton Coliseum really wanted me to come back, and it seemed like a great opportunity, and also i wanted to try something a bit more intimate and left field in Colorado... having pulled off the biggest show of my career in 2016 in Colorado [and not only big, but AMAZING... the crowd was so incredibly loving and kind, the vibe was SO next level, the camp ground was SO lovely, the fans left the site SO clean, it was amazing] i wasnt thinking "yes! bigger is better! now i gotta come back and play to a hundred thousand people!!" AHHH... i dont want to take over the world

as it happens we have this AMAZING camp ground in Colorado which we are working on something for 2018... its just all SO much work to pull this stuff off... so while we are working on that, i got to put together something im arguably even more inspired by:

FREESTYLE SESSIONS!!!

this is something i hope to do all over, and basically turn the Creativity Knob up to max... getting to just dj in a freestyle context [like what would i play at a house party] mixed with all the magic of how our shows have evolved... its super inspiring

we are setting up the room differently than a show [diminishing the stage, creating a space which feels omni directional] and i have been working OVERTIME to dig up so many old gems and throw backs and basically remixing constantly...ive remixed HUNDREDS of old classics from my record collection... its just gonna me a free for all musical orgy of some of my favorite music, as well as tons of left field stuff, and even new music ive never played before - plus any other track i wanna drop ;)


Q:

This is a tricky question to tackle broadly since every industry has different norms and perspectives on tenure.

For example, a 12-24 month tenure in some industries (consulting, early-level investment banking & private equity, large tech) is perceived as normal, while it would be shockingly short in pharmaceuticals.

Our advice is generally you want to be testing your market value and opportunities for promotion constantly, but be sensitive to your industry's norms.

The standard answer that does not raise eyebrows during an interview is along the lines of "I was able to land a position that offered more responsibility, opportunity and career development."

A:

I left the school after sophomore year but initially after the shooting I didn't really notice much more security other than a couple more police officers.


Q:

I knew this was a bad idea but #2, a lebanese house maiden

A:

One of the reasons people don’t think about brain health very often is because there has been no medicine to address issues of brain health. The child goes to the doctor, the doctor asks how they are, the child indicates that they’re fine, and the doctor concludes the child has a healthy brain. We also tend to translate brain health in terms of academic performance. The brain is a vascularized physical organ that can be in a sense flabby and in bad organic shape, just like any other organ. So inside every classroom at school, there are almost certain to be children in front of the teacher that have a very unhealthy brain. We know that the brain is degraded in its operations in ways that impact its general health by ongoing high stress in childhood. A child who has to live with high stress is impacted in ways that will frustrate their success in school and in life. A standard approach to this has been to blame the child for their failures and misbehavior. Now that we know so clearly that in fact their failures are substantially due to the neurological injuries that comes from very difficult childhoods there is a moral imperative to help them. Intensive brain-plasticity based restoration is a large part of the answer. I applaud any school site that understands this and undertakes the important task of helping these children to come back to the mainstream. It will be a better world when we identify every child that has this kind of unfortunate history and do whatever we can to help them be one of us.

Posit Science’s research team is conducting studies in very severely Adverse Childhood Experiences Impacted using a combination of meditation related practices, computerized brain training, social attachment related therapy, and life coaching. They’re seeing high success in helping these children in this large cohort. If you’d like to know more about that send me a PM.


Q:

Jeremy Clapin, Sean Buckelew, Joseph Pierce, Suzie Templeton, Mikey Please, and a crazy motion comic-animation I love is Tatsume

A:

Yes, it was my favorite show and I have real separation anxiety about it - BW


Q:

I always liked filmmaking. In high school I was in a TV production class. In college I majored in film production. I made a few short films throughout that time and then went on to work in various freelance capacities - filming, editing, doing effects on - small and slightly less small. YouTube seemed like a fun way to be creative so I tried it. But I continued to work as a freelancer for years.

As far as I know, I made up the catchphrase. The script of the very first episode was originally a sarcastic blog post on MySpace and that's how I ended the post. It just kind of popped into my head.

A:

this is a LONG answer, and it involved a lot of really crazy background stuff [multiple insane camping festival sites that fell through last minute and a ton of different ideas which were all being juggled] ... and essentially Hampton Coliseum really wanted me to come back, and it seemed like a great opportunity, and also i wanted to try something a bit more intimate and left field in Colorado... having pulled off the biggest show of my career in 2016 in Colorado [and not only big, but AMAZING... the crowd was so incredibly loving and kind, the vibe was SO next level, the camp ground was SO lovely, the fans left the site SO clean, it was amazing] i wasnt thinking "yes! bigger is better! now i gotta come back and play to a hundred thousand people!!" AHHH... i dont want to take over the world

as it happens we have this AMAZING camp ground in Colorado which we are working on something for 2018... its just all SO much work to pull this stuff off... so while we are working on that, i got to put together something im arguably even more inspired by:

FREESTYLE SESSIONS!!!

this is something i hope to do all over, and basically turn the Creativity Knob up to max... getting to just dj in a freestyle context [like what would i play at a house party] mixed with all the magic of how our shows have evolved... its super inspiring

we are setting up the room differently than a show [diminishing the stage, creating a space which feels omni directional] and i have been working OVERTIME to dig up so many old gems and throw backs and basically remixing constantly...ive remixed HUNDREDS of old classics from my record collection... its just gonna me a free for all musical orgy of some of my favorite music, as well as tons of left field stuff, and even new music ive never played before - plus any other track i wanna drop ;)


Q:

How much money would it take to crowdsource more futurama episodes?

A:

If you weren't making music, what would be your 9-5?


Q:

I'm an older worker (60) who has spent most of his life as a janitor or janitor supervisor. I have other skills, but I feel most jobs won't even consider me due to my age or because I'm a janitor. Is there something I could put on my resume so a company would at least give me an interview?

A:

Were you offered counseling services? Are you able to receive ongoing support for your PTSD?


Q:

Hi Bobby, #Big fan! In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, what messages were those aliens sending you?

A:

I'm a teacher. Are there lessons I should teach about brain health to my students (next year I'll be teaching first grade)? Are there activities I should have the kids do to increase brain plasticity?


Q:

How did you choose the planets this story is set on? As an animation filmmaker how have you chosen your style? As someone who believes the major animation style, whilst changing, has not improved over the last 15 years, how has technology impacted on animation style? Finally, how does the comic book industry affect your work?

A:

How much money would it take to crowdsource more futurama episodes?


Q:

Love your content! I absolutely adore all the details in your videos, so my question is which subtle visual effect in one of your videos was the most complicated?

A:

If you weren't making music, what would be your 9-5?


Q:

How much money you got? - John

A:

i think either a high school history teacher or a guidance counselor... OR! i would love to do preschool or kindegarten, i got my teachers degree when i graduated [was busy with a minor in education, minor in electornic music, and a major in Community Studies] and just wanted to work with music and social change, and inspire/protect/guide people who needed friendship and support.... id also love to write novels...like stories or something


Q:

It's definitely not impossible for older job seekers to make career changes and find something new with their experience. Make sure you are CURRENT - create a LinkedIn profile if you don't already have one and take the time to fill it out and put in a nice, professional headshot. You have a lot of work experience that can be relevant to other fields, so research the positions that you'd like to work in and emphasize how your background will help you to fulfill the requirements of the position. Be prepared to be flexible in terms of payment, don't undersell yourself but realize that if you come off as an expensive hire, you may be passed over for a younger worker willing to settle for less money. Finally, tap into your network, talk to friends/past colleagues or anyone you know working in the industry you're looking to change into. This can be a great help in landing a new position.

A:

Counselors, therapy dogs and all sorts of people were at the school for the remainder of the year. I only really took advantage of the therapy dogs. I would skip class just to hangout with them.

Right now I currently see a psycho-therapist and personally choose to no longer take medication. (I tried Prozac, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin)


Q:

I just spit my water out

A:

Every first grader, every second grader, and in fact every child in school at every level, should understand that their brain is plastic. The basic lesson is for them to appreciate that however they are doing in school, it can be a lot better, next week, next month, next year because they have a plastic brain. How terrific is it that they are built to change for the better? No child should regard themselves as a probable permanent failure. It’s all about a continuous possibility of progressive advance.

People have tried to formalize these lessons in a variety of ways. There’s an education team in the state of Oregon who have tried to provide lessons to children at different age levels. I’m sure you can find references to their strategies on the web. A research team lead by the Standard psychologist Carol Dweck has conducted important studies on child motivation that have applied brain education strategies to highly effectively motivate children. I know that her team has produced strategies that are available at least to some children of some ages. There are probably other good models out there. For children that really struggle, or are subject to fits of anger or hyper-reactivity, understanding that it is their brain - and not them - that is doing this can be transformative.

The “count to 10” strategy applied in different forms can have marvelous positive impacts in such a child by allowing them to learn to control their fits of anger or upset. One of our collaborators gives a hyper-reactive child a snow globe and when the child goes off the rails, they learn to evert it and wait until all the snow falls to the bottom (because that minute is the time it takes for the storm in their amygdala to pass over the horizon). It’s your amygdala, Billy, says the teaching with a smile. You just have to wait until it quiets down.

Any child of any age will be fascinated by the brain and its complexities and marvels. If you can’t find good information at any of these sources, contact me and I’ll try to help.


Q:

It started from three threads. Chicago disasters, my interest in Psychiatry , and the notion of the lost traveler, things like the franklin expedition, and the Boris Karloff thread came in one day while animating and listening to an old Lights Out program. The planet I made up, because I did not want to be tied to facts about a particular planet, I wanted to have room make things up, it has elements of several moons, though I do give it an atmosphere, and a relatively earthlike gravity. I also like the idea that it is maybe 10 15 miles in diameter so you can kind of hide, but not completely. you cannot escape yourself .

A:

How much money you got? - John


Q:

This is a great question and I really wish I could remember the answer because whenever I'm working on the effects, I'm thinking "this is the hardest thing I've ever had to devise and no one will even notice this part". At the moment, all I remember is in the most recent video, when I talk about the trick with the color-changing ukulele, I needed to actually change its color. But I couldn't do it via color-correction because the YouTube video was way too compressed to do it cleanly. So I ended up hand-rotoscoping the ukulele and EACH STRING throughout the shot. What am I doing with my life?

A:

i think either a high school history teacher or a guidance counselor... OR! i would love to do preschool or kindegarten, i got my teachers degree when i graduated [was busy with a minor in education, minor in electornic music, and a major in Community Studies] and just wanted to work with music and social change, and inspire/protect/guide people who needed friendship and support.... id also love to write novels...like stories or something


Q:

For John Dimaggio, I remember in one episode Bender ran into Jake from Adventure Time, Jake asked him "What time is it?" and Bender told him "Time for you to shut up!" Did anyone working on Adventure Time or Cartoon Network comment on that?

A:

Can you speak a little deeper into what your inspiration was for 'Was Will Be' ..?..

this song is super duper spiritual, and I know it goes deeper for you than what you explained on the EP cover.


Q:

Cover letters -- how important or not important are these actually? I'm sure it varies greatly by industry and maybe even by geographical location, but in general what are your thoughts on writing them, and ideal length?

A:

have they discussed possibly trying EMDR (non medication based technique) it is supposed to help a lot with PTSD.

Glad to hear you had initial support and have ongoing support.

Hope your recovery continues smoothly.


Q:

Hi Bobby, I love you on the Chip Chipperson Podacast! Have you ever thought about doing stand up comedy?

A:

What do you think about brain training companies like Lumosity?


Q:

What was it like working out the deal for you to use Boris Karloff's voice for your Bison?

A:

For John Dimaggio, I remember in one episode Bender ran into Jake from Adventure Time, Jake asked him "What time is it?" and Bender told him "Time for you to shut up!" Did anyone working on Adventure Time or Cartoon Network comment on that?


Q:

Hey Captain D! Big fan of your work, I'm actually in the middle of another marathon of your videos lol.

My question is: What made you decide to create your Captain Disillusion videos?

I know its been acknowledged in the video comments before that its really impressive how complete the Captain Disillusion character and layout seemed from the very first video. While you have added to the background of the character and more story elements, most of your show details have been there since the beginning.

Thanks for your time! :)

A:

Can you speak a little deeper into what your inspiration was for 'Was Will Be' ..?..

this song is super duper spiritual, and I know it goes deeper for you than what you explained on the EP cover.


Q:

Pendleton Ward is a big fan, and Matt is a big fan of his. - John

A:

i love that you ask that!

so musically, the inspiration was to recreate the vibe from Expanded, Breathless, and my Plugged In remix... something like "into the sun" but in that halftime drum & bass vibe. i was working on this for about a year, and actually it was gonna be TKO at one point...as odd as that may sound.

but the music is and was so uplifting, and i always make temporary "work in progress" song titles for my tracks... i started calling it Was Will Be, which is kind of a nod to Present Past & Future...to feeling a sense of timelessness... and that is very humbling and euphoric and mesmerizing at the same time

because i realize im just a tiny blip or spark on the wheel of time, which spins infinitely, but my spark is just a split second during one of its revolutions... so anyways, i could wax poetic about that forever, but ... speaking of which i was gonna CALL the song "Forever" at one point.... then i started sending it out to vocalists... Lupe Fiasco, Zion I, Rye Rye, all kinds of people made really interesting concepts to it, but the one Mimi came up with was so haunting

she and i love to work together on concepts and lyrics, and although the song has very few lyrics, its super powerful to me

there are basically 3 phrases:

Feel It

Healing

Forever

and i just had to rinse that over and over and have her sing it all different ways and try each way over the various melodies of the song

i get goosebumps every time i hear the track

i played it the first time ever this past weekend, and it was my favorite moment of the set, i felt overwhelmed and i inhaled really suddenly and tons of my own hair went into my mouth and i could barely see or breathe but was just like singing the lyrics in my mind and getting teary eyed haahaha :)


Q:

Great question! We've worked with over a dozen career counselors here in the Bay Area and maintain a large network of recruiters -- the direction the hiring industry is moving towards is placing more emphasis on customizing covering emails -- cover letters are seen as a prerequisite and are often unread.

Nevertheless, it's good to include one as it passes a minimum bar -- we recommend 2-3 paragraphs and a density of roughly 75% of one full page. Mirror the header that you use in your resume.

A:

I haven't heard of that before, I'll make sure to look into it.

Thank you!


Q:

No. That's a homerun you cock sucka

A:

One way to evaluate the claims of the available brain training programs is to look at the underlying research. Independent researchers (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28092015) recently published the first systematic review of the science behind commercially available brain-training programs. They identified 18 companies and found that 11 companies had no clinical trials or empirical evidence indicating that they helped with healthy aging. The remaining seven companies were classified into three levels of evidence with the highest level requiring at least two well-designed randomized controlled trials, at least one of which met gold standards. BrainHQ outranked Cognifit, Cogmed, BrainAge2, My Brain Trainer, Dakim, and Lumosity by a large margin, with more than twice the number of highest-standards controlled trials than any other commercial competitor. Lumosity actually came in the bottom bracket of those companies shown to have evidence.

This work clearly demonstrates that when it comes to brain training, not all programs are alike. At the same time this does not mean that there is no value to the training exercises sold by these companies, it simply means that they sell things for which they have limited hard evidence that they actually work.


Q:

was not a deal, I was blindly falling deeper into it, and then I sent a long email, about what I was trying to do with the film, and how I felt it would honor him.. sometimes that is all it takes, I have had people have things like that work out with famous musicians IE, can I please use your song... answer... yes

A:

Pendleton Ward is a big fan, and Matt is a big fan of his. - John


Q:

Thanks. I think it might just be my own stubborn unwillingness to change things :) I picked an outfit and a corner of a room and I kept filming it until the audience relented and started saying to themselves, "Ok, maybe there's something to this. Otherwise, this guy is just crazy."

A:

i love that you ask that!

so musically, the inspiration was to recreate the vibe from Expanded, Breathless, and my Plugged In remix... something like "into the sun" but in that halftime drum & bass vibe. i was working on this for about a year, and actually it was gonna be TKO at one point...as odd as that may sound.

but the music is and was so uplifting, and i always make temporary "work in progress" song titles for my tracks... i started calling it Was Will Be, which is kind of a nod to Present Past & Future...to feeling a sense of timelessness... and that is very humbling and euphoric and mesmerizing at the same time

because i realize im just a tiny blip or spark on the wheel of time, which spins infinitely, but my spark is just a split second during one of its revolutions... so anyways, i could wax poetic about that forever, but ... speaking of which i was gonna CALL the song "Forever" at one point.... then i started sending it out to vocalists... Lupe Fiasco, Zion I, Rye Rye, all kinds of people made really interesting concepts to it, but the one Mimi came up with was so haunting

she and i love to work together on concepts and lyrics, and although the song has very few lyrics, its super powerful to me

there are basically 3 phrases:

Feel It

Healing

Forever

and i just had to rinse that over and over and have her sing it all different ways and try each way over the various melodies of the song

i get goosebumps every time i hear the track

i played it the first time ever this past weekend, and it was my favorite moment of the set, i felt overwhelmed and i inhaled really suddenly and tons of my own hair went into my mouth and i could barely see or breathe but was just like singing the lyrics in my mind and getting teary eyed haahaha :)


Q:

How many butt tattoos of bender have you had to look at?

A:

Hey Lorin! Really, really, really thankful that I have this chance to reach out to you after missing my last opportunity. To quickly preface, I’m 23. Up until age 21 my life was a constant whirlwind of misunderstanding, disconnection, and an absolutely morbid yearning to remove myself from this world permanently. Your philosophy and intention allowed me to find my own path, and these things truly opened my mind, tipping the balance for the better, allowing me to overcome the dark years of my life, a constant struggle with suicide. I am excessively excited to continue having a similar impact on other people as you did for me. 

I feel that what I’ve needed for a long time has been the opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You will always be in my heart, and know that every single day I strive to fill the hearts of others with joy, to be there for others in times of need, and to set an example that will live on through others.

As far as this post goes, it seems I have to ask a question. What's one of the most beautiful moments of your life so far? I'd love to know.


Q:

How difficult is it for someone to get hired in their field again if they're coming off of a year "sabbatical" or similar? Does it change by experience level? I have 3 years of experience in my field, and would really like to do some traveling...

A:

I'm very sorry for your experience. PTSD and anxiety can cripple someone mentally and I'm touched to hear you tell your story openly, thank you. The picture of you and your mom is powerful.

What are your plans for the future? Are you working, going to college?


Q:

If you had to pick one cast member from MTV's Jackass to have sex with your wife while you watch, who would it be and why?

A:

Are there any domestic type of exercises that you'd endorse? I've heard there's lots of proof that learning a new language helps keep the brain fit. Anything else you'd recommend, besides exercise?


Q:

Did you have scientific consultants or researchers to help with the Space and Astrophysical side to this story? Why Russian Cosmonauts? Why 100 Foot Bison voiced by Boris Karloff? Why psychotherapy? What the hell is going on in that scene where the lecture hall is chanting "I'm too sexy for my books"?

How does your creative process work, bringing all these things together for you? Pretty much everything about this movie seems to intentionally evoke a question, although I'm sure it all adds up somehow. Is that your intent to kind of put the viewer off balance?

Saw that your first film took 15 years to make... can you talk about that process and dedication from inception to completion and finally, it seems, success?

A:

How many butt tattoos of bender have you had to look at?


Q:

Hi, Captain! Two things:

  1. who's that Alan guy who gave your presentation in your place at QED? He looks a lot like a more awkward and more pink-skinned version of you. Is he an awkward person generally or was that just a bit of stage fright? And if yes, is his awkwardness part of the reason why the show is hosted by a chrome-faced hero?

  2. I see that you're a Patreon supporter of RedLetterMedia. I think they have quite a bit in common with you, aside from the snark: you're both independent creators who have found a niche audience who admires and shares your passion. Some people (like me) see this kind of content as the future of entertainment, just because the traditional gatekeepers (TV, mostly) can't keep up with the demands of its audience. Do you feel the same way? In other words, do you think that independent online content is "the future", so to speak? And related to that: does the way you see your position in "the grand scheme of things" of entertainment affect your creative decision-making process?

A:

Hey Lorin! Really, really, really thankful that I have this chance to reach out to you after missing my last opportunity. To quickly preface, I’m 23. Up until age 21 my life was a constant whirlwind of misunderstanding, disconnection, and an absolutely morbid yearning to remove myself from this world permanently. Your philosophy and intention allowed me to find my own path, and these things truly opened my mind, tipping the balance for the better, allowing me to overcome the dark years of my life, a constant struggle with suicide. I am excessively excited to continue having a similar impact on other people as you did for me. 

I feel that what I’ve needed for a long time has been the opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You will always be in my heart, and know that every single day I strive to fill the hearts of others with joy, to be there for others in times of need, and to set an example that will live on through others.

As far as this post goes, it seems I have to ask a question. What's one of the most beautiful moments of your life so far? I'd love to know.


Q:

Many, many...too many... I've seen more asses with a Bender tattoo than toilet seats. >John

A:

THAT IS SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! :)

i have experienced deeply moving and cathartic experiences of growth and change...painful upheavals, frightening chaos, isolation, confusion, deep fear...and also beauty, sunrise, mystery, awe, connection... i think it moves in cycles

and we all get to play a part in each other's stories, to whatever degree we wish [which is why Random Acts of Kindness is so fun and important]....its why i never understand when someone says "im bored" its like...youre what?

every single moment of life is a chance to breathe in the beauty, the mystery, the awe of life... we are miracles, even at the WORST times, the most painful and awful, its still such a crazy coincidence that you were even born at all... its a CRAZY FUCKING MINDBAFFLING COINCIDENCE THAT YOUR PARENTS WERE EVEN BORN! much less survived everything under the sun, and made it to the point where there created you and now YOU have all these insanely complex nuances and ideas and opportunities and experiences...how can someone be bored

and beyond bored, how can someone be self destructive? there are so many constant opportunities to give that even in the darkest of times, you can still make a new friend, you can still marvel at nature, you can still give countless gifts of kindness to others...

i have had a lot of people reach out to me about suicide, well over hundreds, so probably several thousand, in the last few years. I've known several dear friends who have gone through with it or attempted it, and I am not trained to counsel about it, its so tender and sensitive. I used to work with this service called 211, which was like 911, but a national service for suicide prevention, but i would just direct people there and sometimes i would call three ways, but i feel and felt like i had no business really professionally counselling [not yet at least]

so instead of that, i chose to just reflect kindness and and try to be as encouraging as i can be [nobody is perfect and its not always easy] but as with politics, i just drifted to a place more general and deep: human connection... i want to reflect that and i am overjoyed that you received that transmission

hopefully as you move forward in life you too can reflect compassion and kindness and tender sensitivity toward others... reaching out and making friends and looking out for fellow humans who need a helping hand: thats what lifes about :)


Q:

We work with many clients who are returning to the workforce or have gaps in their work experience. It is important to mention the reasoning for any of these in BOTH the cover letter and any warm introductory emails you send during your job search.

If the gap is less than 6 months, it is fairly normal and most hiring managers will not mention it in an interview. Given there are non-competes, garden leaves, and other common reasons for a gap, you'll only really need to go in depth if you are not working for over a year.

A:

I graduated this year. Im planning on attending community college in the fall. Not sure what I want to study.

Thank you for your kind words.


Q:

Johnny Knoxville, cause I know his dick's broken

A:

See earlier responses, for example: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/6k1k3a/i_am_neuroscientist_dr_michael_merzenich_a/djk94gz/?st=j4k3tcla&sh=38874a3b

Language learning is a good form of exercise but only if you take it seriously. The brain only changes for the better when it matters to you. Try every day at whatever you're learning to be just a little bit better at it. And then quite a bit better next month. An advantage of a form of learning in something like language is that the learning is staged and requires cross-modal integration. It requires that you refine your listening, your vocal control, the visual operations that contribute to reading it, and the translations of sound by letter - initially all at a slow rate with high error and ultimately at speed and accuracy, initially as a relatively passive receiver but ultimately in highly-flexible high-speed interaction as a receiver and producer. All of this is very good for your brain.

But of course there are thousands of other things that start simple and become beautiful and sophisticated at speed if you just think about them from that perspective and if you take the mastery of them with some level of seriousness.


Q:

To be honest the short answer is, because it felt right, the longer answer is that I always have several stories floating down this flooded river in my head, and I pick them up, and find relations, because they came into my head through some common thread. for instance my father died in 1969, as did Boris Karloff, and in some way a conflated their loss. this one is going slow, but not as slow, the Bison is just a crazy idea that flew into my head. something that is too large to share its love, like in mice and men.

A:

Many, many...too many... I've seen more asses with a Bender tattoo than toilet seats. >John


Q:
  1. The nervousness was an act, but I am informed daily that I did it TOO well and for too long. In my next presentation, either I or Alan are going to impersonate the the Fonze.

  2. I think RLM are brilliant and the original Mr. Plinkett Star Wars reviews changed the way long-form movie reviews are done online.

I think traditional television and the best of web series are converging somewhere in the middle to form the future of entertainment. And it's called Netflix.

When I make my videos, I tend to put them through a mental checklist, something like:

• Do I like this? • Will an average YouTube viewer be able to tolerate this all the way to the end? • Is this going to be in any way relevant a week/month/year from now? • Does this meet TV broadcast technical standards?

And I do my best to check all the boxes.

A:

THAT IS SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! :)

i have experienced deeply moving and cathartic experiences of growth and change...painful upheavals, frightening chaos, isolation, confusion, deep fear...and also beauty, sunrise, mystery, awe, connection... i think it moves in cycles

and we all get to play a part in each other's stories, to whatever degree we wish [which is why Random Acts of Kindness is so fun and important]....its why i never understand when someone says "im bored" its like...youre what?

every single moment of life is a chance to breathe in the beauty, the mystery, the awe of life... we are miracles, even at the WORST times, the most painful and awful, its still such a crazy coincidence that you were even born at all... its a CRAZY FUCKING MINDBAFFLING COINCIDENCE THAT YOUR PARENTS WERE EVEN BORN! much less survived everything under the sun, and made it to the point where there created you and now YOU have all these insanely complex nuances and ideas and opportunities and experiences...how can someone be bored

and beyond bored, how can someone be self destructive? there are so many constant opportunities to give that even in the darkest of times, you can still make a new friend, you can still marvel at nature, you can still give countless gifts of kindness to others...

i have had a lot of people reach out to me about suicide, well over hundreds, so probably several thousand, in the last few years. I've known several dear friends who have gone through with it or attempted it, and I am not trained to counsel about it, its so tender and sensitive. I used to work with this service called 211, which was like 911, but a national service for suicide prevention, but i would just direct people there and sometimes i would call three ways, but i feel and felt like i had no business really professionally counselling [not yet at least]

so instead of that, i chose to just reflect kindness and and try to be as encouraging as i can be [nobody is perfect and its not always easy] but as with politics, i just drifted to a place more general and deep: human connection... i want to reflect that and i am overjoyed that you received that transmission

hopefully as you move forward in life you too can reflect compassion and kindness and tender sensitivity toward others... reaching out and making friends and looking out for fellow humans who need a helping hand: thats what lifes about :)


Q:

How much fun was it recording the DVD commentaries?

A:

Saw your show at Electric Forest this past wknd. "It's Just a Ride" was the most powerful moment of the wknd for me - it left me in tears, and it's still giving me chills. Thank you for imploring us to choose love! I noticed before your show, they were playing John Lennon‘s "Imagine". I was curious if that was intentional, given his prominence in the "Just a Ride" montage?


Q:

[deleted]

A:

Thank you for sharing this. I know this is something tragic, but you wrote it beautifully. What has been the most helpful technique or skill you've learned from therapy?


Q:

Would you rather be fat and dying or skinny with aids?

A:

Just want to give everyone a heads up that Dr. Merzenich is leading the design of BrainHQ, as is stated on their website: https://www.brainhq.com/

I'm not implying or stating that Dr. Merzenich is advertising or promoting BrainHQ, just saying that it's worth mentioning that he is directly involved with it, and for whatever reason didn't state it in the above reply. My personal opinion is that he likely wanted to mention he is involved, but for whatever reason did not.


Q:

Did you have scientific consultants or researchers to help with the Space and Astrophysical side to this story? Why Russian Cosmonauts? Why 100 Foot Bison voiced by Boris Karloff? Why psychotherapy? What the hell is going on in that scene where the lecture hall is chanting "I'm too sexy for my books"?

How does your creative process work, bringing all these things together for you? Pretty much everything about this movie seems to intentionally evoke a question, although I'm sure it all adds up somehow. Is that your intent to kind of put the viewer off balance?

Saw that your first film took 15 years to make... can you talk about that process and dedication from inception to completion and finally, it seems, success?

A:

How much fun was it recording the DVD commentaries?


Q:

Just wanted to say, I saw your video on a post yesterday and instantly went through tens of videos of yours. I love your content and it's easily the best OC I've seen on youtube. I love how educational it is and your sense of humor. I'm flabbergasted by how much I didn't know on all those viral videos I see shared. You have a fan for life Captain

Did you learn all of your film tricks in your now non existent school or did you learn your skills afterwards? Any professional experience or all self taught?

A:

Saw your show at Electric Forest this past wknd. "It's Just a Ride" was the most powerful moment of the wknd for me - it left me in tears, and it's still giving me chills. Thank you for imploring us to choose love! I noticed before your show, they were playing John Lennon‘s "Imagine". I was curious if that was intentional, given his prominence in the "Just a Ride" montage?


Q:

It was a total party that would later pass as 'entertainment'. - BW

A:

hi! thanks!!!!

I try and plan the 'tweener music' between each set or before each set [every once in a while it doesnt happen and some sound tech will blast surf rock, which is also cool] but like last weekend i made a mix of Minecraft music, and mixed it into Imagine, and a few other doozies :)

i ahve tons of little micro-sets of old records i like to give to the sound tech to play before the set begins

and YES YES YES! you should watch ZEITGEIST MOVIE!!!! ITS FREE AND ONLINE! Its amazing!

that part sampled is from the end of the 1st version [i think there are 3 full length episodes/versions]

within the first version, the bit about religion is what i found most touching, but also it gets philosophical at the end :)

very important stuff :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrHeg77LF4Y


Q:

Reaching out to your network can be a great way to break into your industry, and it can be useful when trying to overcome the hurdle of a lack of experience from not being able to find a relevant job. If you are still acquiring skills in your unrelated job that could be relevant to a position in a different industry, talk about that. Reach out to people on LinkedIn. Talk about your career goals in your summary. A lack of work experience is definitely a big obstacle but it isn't the nail in the coffin of your job search - you'll just have to find creative and more direct ways around it, like direct outreach.

A:

You're very kind, thank you.

I haven't really found anything that has helped a lot. It's a very slow process. I think one thing I always try to remember though is if I feel panicked I try to ground myself and look at my surroundings and remind myself that I'm safe.


A:

You’re right, I assumed people would understand that BrainHQ represents an important aspect of my own life’s world. What I realized about 30 years ago is that the translation of our science out to the potential benefit of human populations who struggle had become a moral imperative. I tried my best as a scientist to conduct studies that guided the intelligent and effective translation of brain-plasticity based strategies that I was certain could help. In these efforts, I required that no program claims would be made without supportive research trials. Most of the money in company development was spent in outcomes research. I was permitted by UCSF to found 2 companies (Scientific Learning & Posit Science – BrainHQ) that undertook this translation, without their forcing me to leave my faculty position. I am the first faculty member on the San Francisco campus who was given such permission primarily because I convinced them that this effort was not about personal aggrandizement. Still, of course, I benefit in lots of ways by what these companies do. One way I benefit is by the fact that they give me immense pride in making a life effort to help people that struggle.

Some people think that a commercial effort is a basis of scientific contamination. I believe that if I hid the secrets of our science under a bottle and did not explain that BrainHQ represented my own best attempt to provide a strategy to help, I would be a moral coward.


Q:

accidentally I have become friends with Lindsy Elkins, and have watched her space science ventures (mission to psyche) and love to think about things like gravitational volvanism, and Gamma blasts

A:

It was a total party that would later pass as 'entertainment'. - BW


Q:

Thanks! Film school was good for learning the teamwork aspect of making movies/videos. But I would say most of the skills I use for Captain Disillusion I learned subsequently over the years. I have worked as a freelance camera operator, editor and visual effects artist.

A:

hi! thanks!!!!

I try and plan the 'tweener music' between each set or before each set [every once in a while it doesnt happen and some sound tech will blast surf rock, which is also cool] but like last weekend i made a mix of Minecraft music, and mixed it into Imagine, and a few other doozies :)

i ahve tons of little micro-sets of old records i like to give to the sound tech to play before the set begins

and YES YES YES! you should watch ZEITGEIST MOVIE!!!! ITS FREE AND ONLINE! Its amazing!

that part sampled is from the end of the 1st version [i think there are 3 full length episodes/versions]

within the first version, the bit about religion is what i found most touching, but also it gets philosophical at the end :)

very important stuff :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrHeg77LF4Y


Q:

After watching the live stream on Facebook last week I was absolutely floored by how many characters each of you voice and how you make them all sound unique. For the vocal actors, how do you find inspiration for each individual character you voice?

A:

Hi Lorin, my question: a lot of time I find there to be philosophical messages in your shows (first that comes to mind is Grand Rapids 2015 Ex Machina clip, a movie that focuses heavily on the philosophical Problem About Mary regarding AI and the philosophy of mind & consciousness) and was wondering if you have any favorite philosophers, philosophical works, and other quirky philosophical puzzles you think about?

Thanks! P.S. Glad you appreciate David Foster Wallace like I do :)


Q:

Any suggestions for linked in profiles? I am trying to find a new job that is more than a lateral move. I get a few inquiries through it every month but want to make it more effective

A:

I just want to second the comment about your writing. It's very very good, have you thought about writing professionally?


Q:

*would you rather be yourself or Jim Norton

A:

What is the latest research on reversing short term memory loss? Also in specific ,memory loss from damaged hippocampus. Thank you.


Q:

Hi Chris, Very excited about the upcoming film, already donated to kickstarter. My question is: Do you consider this film (and your previous film) as existing better in context strictly with other animated features (or shorts) or do you wish or hope that it will be considered alongside other independent live action films? (and as a potential follow up: is one better than the other?)

A:

After watching the live stream on Facebook last week I was absolutely floored by how many characters each of you voice and how you make them all sound unique. For the vocal actors, how do you find inspiration for each individual character you voice?


Q:

Do you have any other favorite Skeptic YouTube channels? Anyone in particular you admire or look up to (skeptic or otherwise)?

A:

Hi Lorin, my question: a lot of time I find there to be philosophical messages in your shows (first that comes to mind is Grand Rapids 2015 Ex Machina clip, a movie that focuses heavily on the philosophical Problem About Mary regarding AI and the philosophy of mind & consciousness) and was wondering if you have any favorite philosophers, philosophical works, and other quirky philosophical puzzles you think about?

Thanks! P.S. Glad you appreciate David Foster Wallace like I do :)


Q:

You can get it from the character bible, which is basically an outline of all the character's traits (his/her point of view). You get it from the drawing, voices that you've heard in your own past. There are many avenues of inspiration. > John

A:

i love Einstein... i read a book he wrote called "Thoughts & Ideas By Albert Einstein" and if you mix that with Ray Kurzweil's "The Age of Spiritual Machines" and the whimsy of Tom Robbins... thats kind of the philosophy which is echoing around in my brain :)


Q:

A few tips for Linkedin profiles - make sure you search for jobs and save ones that you're interested in, keep all your content up-to-date and formatted in a way that highlights your achievements, use a clear, professional headshot, and don't be afraid to reach out through the messaging feature to recruiters or other companies that post that they are hiring. It can be a great way to get a direct connection with hiring manager/recruiters/HR departments.

A:

Thank you so much!

I used to want to write professionally when I was little, haven't thought about it in quite a long time though.


Q:

See above

A:

Restoration of memory is commonly approached by applying either one of two general strategies. The usual training form is to practice remembering. This approach stems from a long history is cognitive experimental psychology where the natural therapeutic approach has been to address a weakness by practicing in ways that would be imagined to directly overcome it. For memory this means 3 things: practicing to remember longer strings or lists of information, practicing to recall things that you know belong together or that are associated, and learning tricks or strategies or methods to work around your failing memory. All of these strategies have compensatory value but none of them actually fix the fundamental neurological problems that usually apply to an individual with a failure memory. For example, older people lose their memory primarily for 2 reasons. The first is that the brain no longer represents information it's receiving or manipulating in as sharp or salient form. Because information is represented unreliably in a “fuzzy” neurological way it struggles to record it. Recovery of memory requires training that again refines, sharpens, increases the salience of, and recovers the reliability of the representation of the high-speed details of what you have just seen or heard or felt. Secondly, old brains are noisy and that nosiness results in problems of interference for any long sustained operation. It’s important that you train the brain in ways that suppresses and reduces that noisiness. All of these basic contributors to memory failure can be very positively engaged in most individuals by appropriate, intensive exercise. That exercise can come in natural forms or by engaging yourself in the right forms of computerized exercises.


Q:

Really relevent question, Consuming Spirits actually did much better in Live action festivals than it did in animation festivals, partially because it was a film playing in the wrong place (do this when ever you can) the critical praise for Consuming Spirits first came from live action critics, then animation came in more in 2013. Chris Robinson, Carolina Lopex, Nobuaki Doi, Jasmin Basic, Daniel Soldjek (zagreb) are programmers in the animation world who helped me a lot. But first it was Tasha Robinsin, A.O. Scott, Michael Phillips, who made people consider the film as a film, I hope for the same trajectory with The Orbit of Minor Satellites.

A:

You can get it from the character bible, which is basically an outline of all the character's traits (his/her point of view). You get it from the drawing, voices that you've heard in your own past. There are many avenues of inspiration. > John


Q:

This makes me feel like I'm having to list thank-yous in an Oscar speech in 30 secs. I... er.. I mean, Vsause of course, I enjoy the various Brady Haran-produced science serieseseses. Skeptics' Guide are consistently great. George Hrab is not often active on YouTube but I listen to his podcast every week. I like Julia Galef's YouTube videos because they make me feel intellectually minuscule in 3-5 min chunks. There are quite a few others - I'll have to get back to this when I think of them!

A:

i love Einstein... i read a book he wrote called "Thoughts & Ideas By Albert Einstein" and if you mix that with Ray Kurzweil's "The Age of Spiritual Machines" and the whimsy of Tom Robbins... thats kind of the philosophy which is echoing around in my brain :)


Q:

Loved the documentary you made, "I Know That Voice" by the way. Provides a lot of insight on this question and just generally showcases how impressive professional voice actors are.

It is a shame that big studios these days will just get big name stars to do a phoned-in performance for big budget animated features when there's so much talent in the VA community.

A:

Thoughts & Ideas By Albert Einstein

I believe you mean "Ideas and Opinions" by Einstein :)

Link for anybody interested!


Q:

I feel trapped in a career I don't like, at 27 I want to find something I can enjoy more and feel confident and happy growing within. How do I start and what steps do i need to take to get there?

A:

You wrote professionally when you were little?

Edit: I totally missed the word 'want'. My bad.


Q:

Do you get hard looking at sinks?

A:

Hey Dr. Merzenich, thanks for doing this AMA! And for all your important work. I've been interested in neuroplasticity for almost a couple of years now. I've also read Dr. Mlodinow's book on the subconscious and how your brain changes memories to create logic in your reality's syntax. I've also read Dr. Langer's book on Mindfulness, where she talks about how you view old age shapes how you age yourself. And as an Electrical Engineering student, I've seen first hand how positive neuroplasticty (via repetitive solving of math problems) can not only increase my intellect, but cognitive functions and general well being.

I would like to know how I can get involved with neuroscientific research on neuroplasticity and the evolution and longevity of the brain, given that I have a background in electrical engineering mostly. But an interest in computer data, analytics, programming, consciousness in nature, and transhumanism.

Also, I would like to to know your views on Elon Musk's recent venture, NeuraLink. Do you see devices that connect your brain to a machine intelligence disruptive in any way to the process of neuroplasticity?


Q:

Hi Chris, Very excited about the upcoming film, already donated to kickstarter. My question is: Do you consider this film (and your previous film) as existing better in context strictly with other animated features (or shorts) or do you wish or hope that it will be considered alongside other independent live action films? (and as a potential follow up: is one better than the other?)

A:

Loved the documentary you made, "I Know That Voice" by the way. Provides a lot of insight on this question and just generally showcases how impressive professional voice actors are.

It is a shame that big studios these days will just get big name stars to do a phoned-in performance for big budget animated features when there's so much talent in the VA community.


Q:

What started the idea of your... Get-up? The yellow jacket, sweatpants and silver makeup ?

Also, thanks for one of the greatest lines in YouTube history:

Give me black my son!

A:

Thoughts & Ideas By Albert Einstein

I believe you mean "Ideas and Opinions" by Einstein :)

Link for anybody interested!


Q:

Thanks so much, 5th anniversary of its release is coming up. >John

A:

you're right! i have a copy which says "Thoughts & IDeas By" and it has one picture of him, and then i dound "Ideas & Opinions By" and its the same text, differnt cover :)


Q:

Decide what it is that you want to accomplish in order to reach this feeling of fulfillment. Once you have a clear understanding of what it is you need to work for, you can start to figure out which positions and companies could help you fulfill this. Some people are born to be entrepreneurs and the only way to fulfill their career goals is to break out on their own and start a business. Other people get a great sense of achievement from working on a team and accomplishing a lot for a greater cause like a big company. It all depends on the individual. Once you have a clear idea of specifically what you need to accomplish in order to get this boost of confidence, happiness, and sense of internal growth, you can start to find positions that will help you get there. Make a list of your career goals. Research different companies and their missions and see which ones have values that align with your own. This is a great way to start and hopefully, you'll figure it all out a lot faster.

A:

No no as a child I dreamed that one day I would write and be an author.


Q:

The right sink

A:

See reply below for where to get some reading material. Also consider Norman Doidge’s book “The brain that changes itself” on Amazon.

If you communicate with me I will try to provide you with a short list of biomedical engineering programs where there are scientists trying to address neuroplastic-related issues from a neuroscience/psychology/engineering perspective. There’s lots of good work to be done and you seem to be motivated to make a contribution to it. Send me a reminder.

EDIT: The FB team has a bunch of engineers working to accelerate the transfer of information directly from the brain to a device without passing Go or collecting $200. And there’s NeuraLink and its imagined uses for directly linking the brain to devices for everyday practice uses, or to actually accelerating the rate at which the device is part of you and you are part of it. I have mixed feelings about whether this is engineering gone mad or possibly a basis of the still-further empowerment and enrichment of our humanity. If I had to guess, I would probably vote for mad. But I’m an older fellow and perhaps just can’t see the wave. At the same time, the dream that you can substantially accelerate the rate of transmission of information from your brain to your device so that you can operate with that device at much higher speeds seems to me to be impractical because the brain is limited in the speed of its operations by physical and chemical processes that have time constants. Until we evolve new ones, there is a limit to how far those time constants can be driven in an accelerating direction. As for driving plasticity in that accelerated direction, you don’t really need to be wearing an appliance that directly communicates with the tissues of your brain. You can train yourself to reach the max.

At the same time, there’s a big set of practical extensions of direct brain communication devices that apply to the world of neural rehabilitation. The Elon Musk and FB teams’ engineering efforts could be an important development in that sphere. In that special domain, I unequivocally applaud the efforts and am very excited that such heavy investment is being made to put them to practice. The promise is a new class of devices that can help the paralyzed individual move with greater and greater facility. It could help the individual to take care of their most basic biological processes, talk for the individual who can’t talk for himself, and help the individual trapped in a deep well of isolation because of his or her impairments.


Q:

and thank you!

A:

Thanks so much, 5th anniversary of its release is coming up. >John


Q:

I literally just picked random items I had laying around. I got the silver makeup prior to that, not knowing how I would use it. I think I found it was too complicated to make all of me silver so just settled on the bottom half of face. I tries to make a perfect black separation line, but it came out messy, so I added some dripping streaks to hide it.

A:

you're right! i have a copy which says "Thoughts & IDeas By" and it has one picture of him, and then i dound "Ideas & Opinions By" and its the same text, differnt cover :)


Q:

What made Richard Nixon a recurring character? Why not someone else?

A:

How do you come up with setlist?


Q:

How does one get around a college degree requirement? My friend has almost 20 years experience in his field and in management but has trouble being considered for positions outside his current company because he doesn't have a degree.

A:

Do you think your life can ever go back to the way it was before? Or at least similar?


Q:

Do you think it's to late to change your characters name on SDRR to Lards Ulrich?

A:

How do I increase (either temporarily or permanently) my brain plasticity to help me learn new things?


Q:

What an interesting storyline! What was your inspiration and how did this script come to be?

A:

What made Richard Nixon a recurring character? Why not someone else?


Q:

What video were you surprised to learn was actually real?

A:

How do you come up with setlist?


Q:

The writers liked a head in a jar that said "Arrrrooo". - BW

A:

its a pretty complex process for me, and insanely time consuming. i have multiple interfaces like spreadsheets [where every song in my collection is listed with notes about it, tempo, melodic information, other random notes] and text files with massive brainstorms, i make a brainstorm in writing before any set, and i have these saved for over ten years [sometimes before a big event like bass center, when i'm playing three consecutive nights and doing zero repeats, i need to go in hella deep and reference 'what did i play last time at bass center? what did i play last time in colorado? what did i play last weekend? what do i wanna play NEXT weekend in new york' etc] and so it starts to spread out into this fuckin INSANE matrix of overwhelming possibility!!!! then that's just the pregame daydreaming. then i go insane with Ableton... i countless grips of tracks and loops and samples all cut up in various ways, color coded, etc, and i start mixing and matching, and creating new stuff, and getting distracted, and blah blah blach....

eventually i will end up with a massive Ableton session, bursting with possibility, and i spend a large amount of the set strategizing and subtractively editing the incoming possibilities [like nah...i dont wanna play that now, or nahhhh i am not gonna play that tonight after all]... so i can often have a 5 hour set prepared for a one hour time slot.

in general the week before any set i am totally Charlie in this clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nTpsv9PNqo


Q:

Consider a local staffing company or recruiter. With 20 years of experience, education should be an afterthought.

A:

I don't think so.

The person I was minutes before the shooting and the person I am now are completely different.


Q:

You're too wordy. Have someone punch that up and get back, there's something there

A:

There’s a class of exercises that you can do that we know will upregulate the processes that control brain change itself. When we engage a brain to try to improve its faculties we are commonly trying to exercise this “modulatory control” machinery as a prerequisite as getting the most out of a brain training experience. In general, intensive, serious, new-skill learning commands the attention of the machinery that controls learning rate. If you’re a life-long learner, and especially if that learning applies to elaborating your operational skills and abilities it is likely that your brain plasticity / control machinery is in good shape.

Scientists have extensively studied the way this learning machinery is controlled. They’ve directly demonstrated ways to engage it that results in an amplification of its powers. We apply those strategies in specific brain exercises and have shown that when we precede learning by those exercises, learning is faster and asymptotic performance achievements are elevated. If you want to self-assess the status of this machinery consider your basic level of alertness, brightness, sparkiness, and connection with the world. If you’re on the sparky side of life this machinery is probably in pretty good shape.

One last point: a key neuromodulator of change in the brain is dopamine which is associated with pleasure, happiness, and positive good spirits. Generous people, people that are sympathetic to one another, people that are connected to one another with positive good spirits have healthy assets in this sphere. Be one of them.


Q:

see above, and then continuing on. I have always been interested in strange treatments. be it electro shock, imprinting therapy. or how trauma can sometimes release a mind. some one is badly hurt, and wakes up somehow healed of something else.the writing of the script then began to unfold, and I became interested in one room in the film being live action, that is an interesting part too.

A:

The writers liked a head in a jar that said "Arrrrooo". - BW


Q:

Most recently, that water slide clip where the guy zooms all the way to the edge of the pool and steps out. That looked so crazy, I studied it in every way I could think of and couldn't find anything substantially suspicious. Then someone posted a different video of a different person doing the exact same stunt from a slightly different angle. Now I kinda want to go to that resort in Jamaica and try it myself.... WAIT A MINUTE. I'VE BEEN PLAYED!

A:

its a pretty complex process for me, and insanely time consuming. i have multiple interfaces like spreadsheets [where every song in my collection is listed with notes about it, tempo, melodic information, other random notes] and text files with massive brainstorms, i make a brainstorm in writing before any set, and i have these saved for over ten years [sometimes before a big event like bass center, when i'm playing three consecutive nights and doing zero repeats, i need to go in hella deep and reference 'what did i play last time at bass center? what did i play last time in colorado? what did i play last weekend? what do i wanna play NEXT weekend in new york' etc] and so it starts to spread out into this fuckin INSANE matrix of overwhelming possibility!!!! then that's just the pregame daydreaming. then i go insane with Ableton... i countless grips of tracks and loops and samples all cut up in various ways, color coded, etc, and i start mixing and matching, and creating new stuff, and getting distracted, and blah blah blach....

eventually i will end up with a massive Ableton session, bursting with possibility, and i spend a large amount of the set strategizing and subtractively editing the incoming possibilities [like nah...i dont wanna play that now, or nahhhh i am not gonna play that tonight after all]... so i can often have a 5 hour set prepared for a one hour time slot.

in general the week before any set i am totally Charlie in this clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nTpsv9PNqo


Q:

What state is New New York in?

A:

Lorin, how many times have you seen Bassnectar?


Q:

When someone is trying to convey that they have managed high dollar budgets, is it appropriate to say a dollar amount, or is it better to just describe the resources you were responsible for? i.e. 10 fleet vehicles, or 30 employees payroll, 900 computers, etc.

A:

I recently moved away from Bellingham (to Charleston, oddly enough) and I remember hearing about this and feeling totally heartbroken for you guys. How are your fellow students/survivors doing these days?

Your writing is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story, I can imagine that was difficult.


Q:

how's your knee man?

A:

1) Do the quality of our thoughts also change our brains? Can having positive self talk etc improve our brains?

2) Can I become smarter at 25 given I've been cognitively stagnant for the past 9 years? Is it possible?


Q:

What an interesting storyline! What was your inspiration and how did this script come to be?

A:

What state is New New York in?


Q:

Hey Captain! I've been a huge fan for a while, I've watched every one of your videos, many of which more than once. There are many people who believe that your channel would be even more popular if you abandoned the Captain D character, but left literally every other aspect of your videos exactly the same. They feel like the facepaint is a little strange, that it might be a little off-putting for new viewers, and it can be harder to get people addicted to your videos. Personally, I've gotten past the initial weirdness of it and I've fully embraced the character. I would never suggest that a creator change their content to maximize views, subscribers, etc., nor should you if you don't want to. But I think these opinions might actually be accurate, even if it's something you'd never consider doing. So, my question is: What would you say to someone who thinks that abandoning the character would be better for your channel? Do you agree with that assessment? Would you ever even consider doing that?

A:

Lorin, how many times have you seen Bassnectar?


Q:

New Jersey - John & Matt

A:

i have never caught a show, and i would love to be able to catch one, one of these days...


Q:

Dollar amounts tend to catch the eye of a reviewer first, and I would always include them if it is not confidential information.

Generally it is recommended practice to include 2-3 KPIs for each role, so including supplementary numbers on resources and staff is a positive!

A:

Thank you for the kind comment.

A lot of the kids I grew up with also suffer from PTSD or other forms of mental illness due to the shooting. We've all graduated now and have moved on, but it's still a very strong thought in our minds. I can't speak for everyone though.


Q:

I broke my knee dude

A:

Can you get smarter at 25? Half of the variance of adaptive intelligence is explained by variance in brain speed. Can your brain speed be accelerated? Not a problem. The right kind of brain exercises on a computer, or the right kind of natural activities, can contribute to an acceleration of the natural processes of your brain at every brain system level. When scientists studying intelligence tried to understand other factors that contributed to adaptive or fluid intelligence, they added 4 or 5 other key factors to that list. Fortunately for you, they are also all plastic. So can you recover your brain power, and make yourself “smarter”? Get to it. I should say that psychologists that study these issues have wrestled with the mutability of intelligence for a long time. There is still a strong body of psychology deniers, sort of like the global warming deniers, that seem to lack a full appreciation of our capacity to change our neurological abilities to change the machinery of our brain, by engaging in the appropriate forms of exercise.

In time, they will get over this.

As for changing your attitude, to change your capabilities; can you talk to yourself and drive yourself into a ditch? Or to improve your performance abilities? Learning and achievement is contextual. If I simply explain to individuals – adults or children – that they have a clear capacity to change their brain for the better, I increase the likelihood that over time, they will be better. If I simply educate children in the fifth grade that their brains are plastic, they will do better in the sixth grade. This is well-established science. Of course, the same applies on the negative side of life. My dear sweet mother-in-law, a master pie maker, began telling herself at about age 70 that she could no longer make a good pie. Pretty soon, she couldn’t. It is a very good idea to live life with a positive attitude.


Q:

I was just seeing if I could make that square go away but I can't oblivion then.

A:

New Jersey - John & Matt


Q:

Thanks! I don't know the answer to this. I made up the format and the crazy look both to stand out on YouTube, but ALSO because it jolts me into being creative and interesting and feeling like I know what I'm doing. There are many YouTube channels (and YouTube EMPIRES) I like where charming people casually chat on camera about interesting stuff. And that's great! But I don't think I don't think I'm capable of doing that genre well myself. If anything, I'm more interested in taking the series in a more stylized direction of having other whimsical characters and space adventures. I might never make it into the top 10 most popular channels of all time, but I'll thoroughly enjoy myself.

A:

i have never caught a show, and i would love to be able to catch one, one of these days...


Q:

What year does the bending unit come out? I'm thinking of preordering but idk

A:

Thank you for doing this AMA and for being so personal in communication with your fanbase!! We appreciate the self-written letters on your website and the Twitter DM's from time to time :)

  1. What kind of zany happenings in the crowd have caught your eye while performing up on stage? Curious how things are from your perspective at an event.
  2. Will we ever see another Bassnectar tour in the future? This would be a blessing to all of us commonly stuck at home due to life/work/school/responsibility etc.

Q:

Thanks for doing this again! I'm in the process of reworking my resume and it's a struggle.

How do I illustrate that I want a company that's willing to teach and train me in my industry, without sounding like I'm incompetent?

A:

What are your thoughts on gun control and mental health care before and after the shooting?


Q:

Yeah, how's your knee dude?

A:

Sorry for bombarding you with questions!

Do different parts of the brain express different levels of plasticity? If yes, what makes some parts more plastic than others?

Also, are NMDA and AMPA receptors absolutely necessary for plasticity? Do non-glutamatergic synapses exhibit plasticity as well?


Q:

How did you decide to dedicate yourself to a career in animation as opposed to non-animated films?

A:

What year does the bending unit come out? I'm thinking of preordering but idk


Q:

Captain,

Have you ever thought of re-uploading some of your older videos? I've gone through them all and they're great but it's painful nowadays to watch a 240p video on a 4K screen. Do you have the original files in higher quality?

A:

Thank you for doing this AMA and for being so personal in communication with your fanbase!! We appreciate the self-written letters on your website and the Twitter DM's from time to time :)

  1. What kind of zany happenings in the crowd have caught your eye while performing up on stage? Curious how things are from your perspective at an event.
  2. Will we ever see another Bassnectar tour in the future? This would be a blessing to all of us commonly stuck at home due to life/work/school/responsibility etc.

Q:

That's an Elon Musk question. - John

A:

Thank you! :)

  1. when you say 'zany' do you mean insane? or explicit? perverted? righteous? stupefying? unbelievable? awesome? its an absolutely INSANE view, but honestly i am very busy up there, and every set is over in the blink of an eye. its like multitasking and sprinting and hyperventilating and day dreaming in FAST FORWARD while the world slips into slow motion...very trippy! its always nice to see smiles and its awesome to watch the crowd heave and churn as one unified being

  2. the question of a Bassnectar Tour...thats a long answer. I gotta say our tours evolved into something so special and unpredictable, and for many years both state of the art and WAY ahead of its time [aka eons before 'dubstep' or 'edm'] ...we basically started touring as a rock band in like 2005... before that for about 10 years most of what i did was grass roots and self booked. in the 90's i did not have a manager or agent, and i was mostly focused on making events happen [we did free outdoor fullmoon events everymonth on the beach or in the woods] and making music for fun, not really to DJ. when i would play a set it was super organic, and never on a stage or anything... at the turn of the century burningman was exploding as an out of this world canvas for me to paint on [as was Shambhala in Canada] and i started booking myself to fly out to play art parties in art wharehouses all over... i would play 150+ shows a year, mostly in small clubs or wharehouses. in 2003 i think i was in France, Germany, England, Ireland, Spain, New Zeland, Australia, Japan, and all over the states, but it was SUPER fucking low key and ULTRA underground.... by 2005 we started playing in rock clubs in the states, touring with a small crew as a rock band would [sound guy, tour manager, lighting dude, etc] and id be doing a pizza parlor in Arkasa on a Tuesday, some weird rock club in Tennessee on a Wednesday, off to Mississippi for a Thursday night in like a dorm room, etc etc... and then that just got more and more intense for 10 years straight

the last time we did an actual TOUR was 2014 when we played Madison Square Garden and at that point it was SUCH an undertaking, and so exhausting and so expensive [its unbelievably expensive to haul 4 or 5 semi trucks full of gear with 2 massive tour busses, and 25 crew members, plus plus plus alll over the place, and set up a show, run a show, tear down an show and COMMUTE] 5 or 6 times a week... it was just loco

maybe i will do it again, but the way i have it dialed now is WAY more fun, and WAY more inspiring....

and honeslty a lot of my focus this year is about taking off the bassnectar suit and exploring life off grid as a human... then when i come back on grid its super full power and stunning as an experience...and again insnaely inspiring

:)


Q:

Hi kiranrs!

Interesting question...this sounds like something you would mention in a cover letter or introduction instead of your resume. Are you using an objective in your resume? I would encourage you not to; professional summaries have replaced objectives over the past few years.

Training and professional development are highly dependent on the culture of the company. I would suggest getting through to the interview stage and then seeing if they are a good fit for you. If your background is completely unrelated to the field, you'll have to do a lot of research to properly be considered.

For example, if a candidate is looking to break into the field of finance but lacks experience, he/she must write the resume to highlight tangential skillsets, informal education, and side passion projects related to finance. No doubt it is very challenging to start from scratch, but you should not mention you are completely raw and need to learn on the job!

A:

I struggle with forming an opinion on gun control, honestly that mostly stems from not being super educated on the subject.

As far as mental health goes, I think they did all they could after the shooting. Nobody really knew what was best for everyone.


Q:

I broke my knee dude, it's doing fine

A:

There are very substantial differences across brain system levels in the extent to which plastic change can be induced by engagement or training. The way that the brain can change at any level is controlled by the sources and distributions of inputs to each location on that level. At lowest brain system levels those input distributions are relatively constrained. As you move up in cortical systems, more complex integration over greater representational distances, are in play. At highest-brain levels, connectivity effectively delivers information from almost all sources very broadly all across large functional brain regions. Very complicated integrated products can be represented at the top of brain systems. By contrast, at the entry levels, refinement is on a far more constrained and local scale. Still everything is plastic and as I acquire any ability I’m actually changing everything, at every level, all across engaged brain systems. Think of a simple behavior in which I am distinguishing whether I see the outline of a pear or other fruits. At the top of the brain, I am holding the expectation of a pear -like image as a constant-present memory (“working memory”) which is actually a representation of the expectation of the occurrence of a pear. By that process, everything across the brain system below, from the entry levels of the brain to this highest level, are going to be modified to improve my abilities to distinguish pears from other fruits. I’m going to refine the details on the bottom level, just as I refine the rapid recognition of pears or non-pears. It is the system that is plastically remodeling at every level. An important aspect of this process is the fact that the brain from the top, where things are most flexible, is actually broadly controlling what is permitted to change across the system by holding an ongoing representation of the “right answer” in memory. The brain is continually weighing success and when it identifies an achievement of success it releases those neurotransmitters that enable change at every system-level. The bottom line? The most magnificent plastic changes are expressed on the highest levels of brain systems. But at the same time, in any learning progression, important things are changing at every level, even though at the bottom those changes are far more constrained.

From another perspective, as the brain is engaged in early life, it generates highly reliable “mini-columns” that represent the details of what you see or hear or feel in a highly devolved way. The initial maturation of a reliable analytic machine is a product of coincident input-dependent (Hebbian) plasticity. As the internal coupling in mini-columns grows, the cooperativity of the mini-column produces a more powerfully coordinated output. At the same time, these same changes are also read by brain processes that are contributing to progressive myelination. As these changes occur to confer reliability at the entry level of the brain system, they enable the same process to occur at the next system level. This plastic “maturation” is expressed level-by-level across brain systems. Everything sweeps forward.

Why is the teenage brain still squirrely? In a sense it’s because these changes have not progressed to a level in which it has become reliable and predictable in its operations at the higher brain levels. In this sense, you can think of the areas of the brain that are the most plastic as varying as a function of an individual’s age. Finally as you age, this process rolls backward. The highest level of operation in the brain becomes more plastic again. This time, it is expressing a weakness and not a strength because counterbalancing plasticity has degraded higher-order reliability.


Q:

somewhat accidentally, It started with a crush on Sue Bachmin, who was taking an animation class (isn't that how many things start) but then I made my first animated and when I played it in a room full of people I realized that the assembly of people taking in a piece of art is what I wanted, I did live action film, video, and performance, but animation was in many ways what people responded to the most, and granting agencies also, so it became my trade, it is lovely and very painful also. your mind is going like a bird, and your images develope as slow as trees. I love the feeling of losing yourself in a crowd that is experiencing the same thing you are, and letting your Ego quiet down and just take something in, I like being on both sides of the screen the melter, and the melted.

A:

That's an Elon Musk question. - John


Q:

The earliest, awkwardest videos were shot in SD and exist in only slightly higher quality than what's on YouTube. I feel it wouldn't be much of an improvement to re-upload them. But a few years ago, I put them on a DVD that you can get on m'website... (not trying to push merch)

A:

Thank you! :)

  1. when you say 'zany' do you mean insane? or explicit? perverted? righteous? stupefying? unbelievable? awesome? its an absolutely INSANE view, but honestly i am very busy up there, and every set is over in the blink of an eye. its like multitasking and sprinting and hyperventilating and day dreaming in FAST FORWARD while the world slips into slow motion...very trippy! its always nice to see smiles and its awesome to watch the crowd heave and churn as one unified being

  2. the question of a Bassnectar Tour...thats a long answer. I gotta say our tours evolved into something so special and unpredictable, and for many years both state of the art and WAY ahead of its time [aka eons before 'dubstep' or 'edm'] ...we basically started touring as a rock band in like 2005... before that for about 10 years most of what i did was grass roots and self booked. in the 90's i did not have a manager or agent, and i was mostly focused on making events happen [we did free outdoor fullmoon events everymonth on the beach or in the woods] and making music for fun, not really to DJ. when i would play a set it was super organic, and never on a stage or anything... at the turn of the century burningman was exploding as an out of this world canvas for me to paint on [as was Shambhala in Canada] and i started booking myself to fly out to play art parties in art wharehouses all over... i would play 150+ shows a year, mostly in small clubs or wharehouses. in 2003 i think i was in France, Germany, England, Ireland, Spain, New Zeland, Australia, Japan, and all over the states, but it was SUPER fucking low key and ULTRA underground.... by 2005 we started playing in rock clubs in the states, touring with a small crew as a rock band would [sound guy, tour manager, lighting dude, etc] and id be doing a pizza parlor in Arkasa on a Tuesday, some weird rock club in Tennessee on a Wednesday, off to Mississippi for a Thursday night in like a dorm room, etc etc... and then that just got more and more intense for 10 years straight

the last time we did an actual TOUR was 2014 when we played Madison Square Garden and at that point it was SUCH an undertaking, and so exhausting and so expensive [its unbelievably expensive to haul 4 or 5 semi trucks full of gear with 2 massive tour busses, and 25 crew members, plus plus plus alll over the place, and set up a show, run a show, tear down an show and COMMUTE] 5 or 6 times a week... it was just loco

maybe i will do it again, but the way i have it dialed now is WAY more fun, and WAY more inspiring....

and honeslty a lot of my focus this year is about taking off the bassnectar suit and exploring life off grid as a human... then when i come back on grid its super full power and stunning as an experience...and again insnaely inspiring

:)


Q:

What was the inspiration for Zapp Brannigan? And what led to giving him no pants (genius by the way).

A:

Why were you not on the Shambhala 20th anniversary lineup this year?


Q:

This seems to me like a common situation but one that I can never find a good answer for: I'm currently switching careers after twelve years as a licensed massage therapist. I'm doing excellent (4.0) in my studies and my major is computer engineering (beginning jr year this fall).

I know it's important that I have internships to fill out "related" work experience on my resume, and I've also heard the mantra that "just showing you can hold a job is a good thing," and certainly my employment history shows that, my work history includes two positions that I stayed at for over five years and have glowing references from. I'm also doing personal projects with hardware and software and documenting them to put on a sort of resume/portfolio website for when I begin applying for internships and jobs.

So here's my concern: I'm worried that by having what's perceived as either such a blue-collar service industry (at best) or "wacky new agey" (at worst) previous career that I won't be taken seriously by prospective employers. I'm worried that despite a solid education at a good school and with (hopefully) some internship experience that they will see the words "massage therapist" and go "what is she doing applying for this engineering position?"

How would you approach a situation like mine? What advice can you give? I can write a damn good cover letter, but I'm hoping for some insight beyond "just lay it out in the cover letter." I honestly wish I could ignore my previous career entirely on my resume without making it look like I sat on my butt doing nothing for the last twelve years.

A:

What are your thoughts on School Shooting Memes?


Q:

Do you really need 12 open mic comics on the same podcast?

A:

I recently started a Paleo / Ketogenic diet and while the weight loss has been fantastic, the real amazing part for me has been the mental focus I've recently acquired. Things that I have struggled with work wise for months are suddenly clear. Can you talk about the relationship of the diet to memory and focus?


Q:

Thanks for taking your time in this AMA! I'm an animation student from a country where animation has no future, any advice on how to obtain a job in animation in America? I mean, obtain it while living in another country. Is it worth it to immigrate first in other thing and then apply for animation jobs? Or should I be noticed somehow? How?

A:

What was the inspiration for Zapp Brannigan? And what led to giving him no pants (genius by the way).


Q:

Your channel is spectacular. In our click-bait age, your videos aren't just entertaining, they are important!

That said, your channel is slow growing. Numbers are not the most important thing in the world, however you provide quality content deserving of a larger audience.

My question is, what are your thoughts and feelings regarding other channels that have little to no talent and yet have far larger subscriber counts and video views? Again, I know numbers are not important, but from a personal view on the issue, it's gotta be aggravating right?

A:

Why were you not on the Shambhala 20th anniversary lineup this year?


Q:

He was based on a few big dumb announcers that I used to hear when I was growing up who would make a one syllable word into four to fill the air with their beautiful, wonderful, dumb voices. - BW

A:

we had other plans but i've played 12 or 13 of them, and am DEAR FRIENDS with dozens of the humans who work on that each year, we will be back again and again in the future...there is no place like Shambhala, no place like the Kootenays :)


Q:

Hi! We recently had a candidate in a similar situation -- he was a field engineer for an oil company for 15+ years and decided to pursue software engineering. He's been fortunate to land a new role, but what was most effective for him was sending emails en masse to hiring managers. Your background may be interesting to a variety of startups, for example.

What's great about engineering is the interview process is more meritocratic than most -- there's a fairly standard set of technical screens and tests you'll want to prepare for.

A:

I don't really have an opinion about them either way, I try to laugh about it but it always kinda sends me back for a second.


Q:

First of all, no. Second of all, I only have 3 comics on - 3 limit.

They're not open mics, they're middlers

A:

I’m not familiar with the details of the arguments about the influence of a Paleo diet to memory and focus but people I respect have made arguments on a serious level and have related them to both brain and physical health. See Robert Lustig: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM See Dale Bredesen: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/paperchase-aging/pdf/NjJf3fWGKw4e99CyC.pdf


Q:

The great thing about the animation world, is that it is an international world, and you can reach out wit ha film and be heard in other countries, the most lo fi kind of film you can make (equipment wise), is stop motion . with single frames on any devise. Most important , make something amazing.. also check out sites like Cartoon Brew, all the information on festivals and artists there, also I love animate projects, website from Britain.

A:

He was based on a few big dumb announcers that I used to hear when I was growing up who would make a one syllable word into four to fill the air with their beautiful, wonderful, dumb voices. - BW


Q:

I think it's all fine. We're not fighting for airtime. The existence of clickbaity channels doesn't affect my ability to post things and have them seen and the fact that they exist and are successful means people want to see them. There's plenty I could learn from the daily-posting channels in terms of marketing and audience engagement. But I also want to feel good about what I'm making and hope that it has longterm entertainment value.

A:

we had other plans but i've played 12 or 13 of them, and am DEAR FRIENDS with dozens of the humans who work on that each year, we will be back again and again in the future...there is no place like Shambhala, no place like the Kootenays :)


Q:

Bill West, do you think you'll sound like the Professor when you're an old, senile, 160 year old man?

I'm a HUGE fan of your work by the way sir. And Jon.

A:

When is the next mixtape coming out?!?! Mixtape 13 wasn't a "real" mixtape like your old ones were, and the Night Owl Radio one was more of a podcast and radio show. I want Immersive Music part 3 or a massive Reflective mixtape!!! Please and thank you :D.

Much love from Ohio.


Q:

Is there a common mistake that a lot of people make when looking for a new job?

A:

Why did that teacher not let you go? Were you not close to being out and safe?


Q:

How hot does magnesium burn?

A:

For those who can't afford BrainHQ, what other domestic methods do you suggest to make their brains perform better and repel degradation?


Q:

Thank you for this AMA, very interesting answers!

I am wondering how did you finance your first projects and how are you funding your current projects? Only through kickstarter?

thx!

A:

Bill West, do you think you'll sound like the Professor when you're an old, senile, 160 year old man?

I'm a HUGE fan of your work by the way sir. And Jon.


Q:

Hi Captain D, thanks for doing this!

I've always wanted to ask you this question but never got the chance, about how many hours do you spend on each part of making a video?

A:

When is the next mixtape coming out?!?! Mixtape 13 wasn't a "real" mixtape like your old ones were, and the Night Owl Radio one was more of a podcast and radio show. I want Immersive Music part 3 or a massive Reflective mixtape!!! Please and thank you :D.

Much love from Ohio.


Q:

Well, let's see. I'm 65 and I can do a 25 year-old's voice...so by 160 I shouldn't have a problem doing the voice of a 120 year-old. - BW

A:

the technical answer is that technology is changing and i can't tell where someone is allowed to post a "real" mixtape... to me mixtapes are CHALK FULL of samples, just like DJ sets are, and you just mix music the fuck up hella freestyle and have fun. but now you can't really post that anywhere without getting takedowns, so... find a place to post them and ill post them :)

otherwise im just making mixtapes live each night when i play a set

every single one is super creative and freestyle and i'm editing or remixing or remastering EVERY track i play

alot of times ill do an edit and someone will say "this sounds just like the original" and im like SMH... dude slap the 2 versions into a sequencer and A-B compare them

i put IMMENSE work and time into crafting custom designs on any song i play, always working to make the heaviest, warmest, deepest version possible... so live sets have really become my new playground for mixtapes :)


Q:

A big mistake is not doing sufficient research on the new company/position that they are looking to fill. This can cause blunders during the interview if you're asked specific questions about the position and the mission of the company, i.e. "why do you want to work HERE?" and it could also lead to regret if you aren't really sure what you are getting yourself into when making a transition into a new job.

A:

I think it's was part of the procedure to just get as many kids inside and in a locked classroom.


Q:

First off, how do you spell magnesium. But if I were to guess approximately 3100 degrees celsius

A:

Please take a look at my response to /u/venomeater69 for natural ways to maintain your organic brain health.

We very much wish we could provide it to every citizen in the world for free and hope that at some point in the future something close to that will be achieved. A BrainHQ subscription costs about $14 a month which is not too many cups of coffee and a person can do a lot in a month. Why not think about a several week long bootcamp once or twice a year where you take full advantage of that relatively small investment. If there is a reason why someone is devoid of resources, write a note to me and I’ll try to help.

Also note that quite a few public libraries now offer BrainHQ for the citizens of their community or town for free. If you’re lucky maybe your library can provide that for you. If not, you might ask them to consider providing that service.


Q:

my other projects where funded by art grants and my job, but the last three grants I recieved, where once in a life time Grants, so there is no returning to them, I think this is actually good. but I have to find other means.

A:

Well, let's see. I'm 65 and I can do a 25 year-old's voice...so by 160 I shouldn't have a problem doing the voice of a 120 year-old. - BW


Q:

I spend an embarrassingly long amount of time just researching and writing the script of a video - sometimes nearly 2 weeks. Filming usually takes half a day, sometimes a full day, occasionally a couple of days. Editing, effects and sound design take every last second of whatever time remains in the month after all of the above.

A:

the technical answer is that technology is changing and i can't tell where someone is allowed to post a "real" mixtape... to me mixtapes are CHALK FULL of samples, just like DJ sets are, and you just mix music the fuck up hella freestyle and have fun. but now you can't really post that anywhere without getting takedowns, so... find a place to post them and ill post them :)

otherwise im just making mixtapes live each night when i play a set

every single one is super creative and freestyle and i'm editing or remixing or remastering EVERY track i play

alot of times ill do an edit and someone will say "this sounds just like the original" and im like SMH... dude slap the 2 versions into a sequencer and A-B compare them

i put IMMENSE work and time into crafting custom designs on any song i play, always working to make the heaviest, warmest, deepest version possible... so live sets have really become my new playground for mixtapes :)


Q:

With Futurama leaving Netflix, I can't believe I must revert to using my DVDs. So, my question is this: What is this, the middle ages?!

Also: with Futurama off the air, what's it like being a bunch of total Zoidbergs; desperately poor AND miserably lonely?

EDIT: Rad! Thanks David.

A:

Do you ever get tired/embarrassed/frustrated with your hardcore fan base and some of the shenanigans that they pull?


Q:

I'm in Seattle, and there is a lot of work available and there are a number of staffing companies, especially in IT. However, there seems to be a real disconnect between what recruiters think a job entails, and what the hiring manager is looking for. Here are some questions related to that issue:

  • Why do businesses generate such long and convoluted requirements for their positions, when they are really just looking for someone who can quickly adapt, onboard in a convenient timeframe and operate semi-autonomously?

  • What is the most common X-factor omitted by managers and applicants?

  • Are jobs morphing to match human requirements, or are humans compensating to meet job requirements? Can big-data assist in niche-matching position requirements with not only profiles, but personalities?

A:

Thank you for sharing this, even though i know this is hard for you. Your story is so strong that it made me cry on the metro. I just want to say that your'e an survivor, you're strong, and you're loved. And trust me, I know it is difficult to feel like it. My question is harsh and i don't know if I should even ask this, but here we go.

Have you ever felt driven to suicide?

Best of luck in your life, i promise it will get better <3

Edit: Spelling


Q:

Is this your year? Are you finally going to make it?

A:

Two questions. First, what is your opinion of nature vs. nuture? Do you think we all start out with tabula rasa, or are some of our quirks pre-determined? Second (and arguably more important) question, are you a 49ers or Raiders fan? Thank you very much for your time


Q:

With Futurama leaving Netflix, I can't believe I must revert to using my DVDs. So, my question is this: What is this, the middle ages?!

Also: with Futurama off the air, what's it like being a bunch of total Zoidbergs; desperately poor AND miserably lonely?

EDIT: Rad! Thanks David.

A:

Have you been "threatened" by any producers etc for any of your work?


Q:

Do you ever get tired/embarrassed/frustrated with your hardcore fan base and some of the shenanigans that they pull?

A:

On a related note, I was re-watching some of the old episodes recently and enjoying seeing the various outdated technologies like floppy disks and VCRs that they still use in the year 3000. But it's also very confusing because I remember that even then, we were writing some of those things into the scripts because they were ALREADY comically outdated and we thought it was funny. But now I can't remember which ones were hilariously outdated and which ones were just the actual cutting-edge technologies of the time. The information has gone into a black hole. - David X. Cohen


Q:

honestly i LOVE the enthusiasm of the bassnectar community. i have never seen anything like it in my life and i am so proud and honored by what has so organically developed and evolved.

There are elements of the punk rock scene and even the death metal scene from my high school days, where nerds and rejects and outcasts and people who don't belong find a home, find common threads.

there are elements of Insane Clown Posse, The Grateful Dead, and Phish, where totally different people from totally different walks of life find common themes of passion and joy and develop a family which gathers to celebrate those common themes.

there are elements of my own day dreams of art colonies and cultish communes where strangers and artist collaborate and interact in some kind of Science Fiction utopia to make reality into a interactive work of art.

But all the while the people are so genuine and gentle and respectful and diverse.

As with any large, anarchic group of people, there is a spectrum of behavior... and i have always encouraged people to be INCLUSIVE and ACCEPTING so any random person can show up and act like a clown but in general i am constantly humbled by how kind and loving everyone is

An din comparison to the PHONY mass-marketed mainstream fan bases out there, this is so genuine... its made of humans, who like you and me, are imprefect and constantly growing and learning

i know anyone reading this has made stupid mistakes, thought stupid thoughts, tried dumb things, and lived to tell about it... that's life

but it's FAKE NEWS to say bassnectar fans are anything but ultra amazing, dedicated, beautiful... that comes from jealous haters, or wannabees..that comes from someone who wishes life was different and tries to tear down something else which is beautiful. and i have love for those people, but no patience for their fake news.

For any random story about this or that conflict, there are THOUSANDS of stories of random acts of kindness, of loving friendships which have formed, of deep and meaningful experiences

and that's beautiful :)

compared to any fanbase of a sports team, or any group at a college or university, or any fanbase of a musical act, it's a non issue, if you have been a member of the community you know this is special.

and just as with anything [Burningman, high school, Phish, Metallica, hip hop, college football, casions in Las Vegas, taverns in Holland, traffic jams in New York City, beaches in Miami, movie theatres in Colorado, shopping malls in Seattle, forests in vancouver, whatever] as with anything there is a myriad of behavior

there are REALLY nice people, there are outspoken people, there are shy people, there are inexperienced newbies, and tired old veterans, there are high octane OVERLY INSPIRED enthusiasts, and there are poeple who are moving on to new things

so as with any community YOU HAVE THE POWER to influence, and when you see newcomers, greet them with love, and when you see negativity, either extinguish it with love, or leave the scenario

one thing i can say is if you want to feel happier:

spend less time online

spend less time posting statuses of yourself

spend less time trying to broadcast

spend less time complaining about negative things

spend less time trying to call someone out for mistakes they made

spend less time listening to those who have no credibility

spend more time tuning into sources of thought or information who have EARNED credibility, who are authentic and trustworthy

spend more time interacting with live humans who live their lives in ways YOU want to live yours

be friends with people who have personalities which are like WHAT YOU WANT TO BECOME

spend more time giving and less time taking

and buckle up for a long, strange, beautiful ride :)

A:

This question itself is complex enough it could become it's own reddit thread =)

I'll offer another perspective:

With the average job posting receiving over 300 applications, companies have convoluted requirements on purpose -- to filter candidates. Yes, it's frustrating -- but unfortunately, companies are incentivized to make it difficult to apply to a position.


Q:

Heavy question.

The answer, sadly, is yes.

Not directly driven from the idea of the shooting itself, but from the PTSD that has come from it.

Thank you very much for your kind words.

A:

No, absolutely not


Q:

That’s a complicated issue. Of course many books have been written about this. All of your refined abilities, all of those things that define the operational person that you are have evolved in your brain by change within the course of your lifetime. On the other hand, we all inherit strengths and weaknesses that tie us to our ancestors in a broad general sense. We all operate as humans with behavioral characteristics that apply to our species of course. And humans come in lots of detailed genetic varieties. At the same time, all of those characteristics that really matter to us are pretty much elaborated, refined, put in place by the brain changing itself as a function of our experiences across the span of our lives.

I have enjoyed watching the Raiders win right up until the time they decided to move to Las Vegas. That’s when I temporarily jumped off the ship.

A:

On a related note, I was re-watching some of the old episodes recently and enjoying seeing the various outdated technologies like floppy disks and VCRs that they still use in the year 3000. But it's also very confusing because I remember that even then, we were writing some of those things into the scripts because they were ALREADY comically outdated and we thought it was funny. But now I can't remember which ones were hilariously outdated and which ones were just the actual cutting-edge technologies of the time. The information has gone into a black hole. - David X. Cohen


Q:

Never. Not yet, anyway. I like to think most people who make stuff for public consumption understand that it may be praised, criticized or adopted into other derivative creative works. I try to be fair, good-humored and inventive about the way I present the subject in a video. It's as much an expression of admiration as it is a "debunk".

A:

honestly i LOVE the enthusiasm of the bassnectar community. i have never seen anything like it in my life and i am so proud and honored by what has so organically developed and evolved.

There are elements of the punk rock scene and even the death metal scene from my high school days, where nerds and rejects and outcasts and people who don't belong find a home, find common threads.

there are elements of Insane Clown Posse, The Grateful Dead, and Phish, where totally different people from totally different walks of life find common themes of passion and joy and develop a family which gathers to celebrate those common themes.

there are elements of my own day dreams of art colonies and cultish communes where strangers and artist collaborate and interact in some kind of Science Fiction utopia to make reality into a interactive work of art.

But all the while the people are so genuine and gentle and respectful and diverse.

As with any large, anarchic group of people, there is a spectrum of behavior... and i have always encouraged people to be INCLUSIVE and ACCEPTING so any random person can show up and act like a clown but in general i am constantly humbled by how kind and loving everyone is

An din comparison to the PHONY mass-marketed mainstream fan bases out there, this is so genuine... its made of humans, who like you and me, are imprefect and constantly growing and learning

i know anyone reading this has made stupid mistakes, thought stupid thoughts, tried dumb things, and lived to tell about it... that's life

but it's FAKE NEWS to say bassnectar fans are anything but ultra amazing, dedicated, beautiful... that comes from jealous haters, or wannabees..that comes from someone who wishes life was different and tries to tear down something else which is beautiful. and i have love for those people, but no patience for their fake news.

For any random story about this or that conflict, there are THOUSANDS of stories of random acts of kindness, of loving friendships which have formed, of deep and meaningful experiences

and that's beautiful :)

compared to any fanbase of a sports team, or any group at a college or university, or any fanbase of a musical act, it's a non issue, if you have been a member of the community you know this is special.

and just as with anything [Burningman, high school, Phish, Metallica, hip hop, college football, casions in Las Vegas, taverns in Holland, traffic jams in New York City, beaches in Miami, movie theatres in Colorado, shopping malls in Seattle, forests in vancouver, whatever] as with anything there is a myriad of behavior

there are REALLY nice people, there are outspoken people, there are shy people, there are inexperienced newbies, and tired old veterans, there are high octane OVERLY INSPIRED enthusiasts, and there are poeple who are moving on to new things

so as with any community YOU HAVE THE POWER to influence, and when you see newcomers, greet them with love, and when you see negativity, either extinguish it with love, or leave the scenario

one thing i can say is if you want to feel happier:

spend less time online

spend less time posting statuses of yourself

spend less time trying to broadcast

spend less time complaining about negative things

spend less time trying to call someone out for mistakes they made

spend less time listening to those who have no credibility

spend more time tuning into sources of thought or information who have EARNED credibility, who are authentic and trustworthy

spend more time interacting with live humans who live their lives in ways YOU want to live yours

be friends with people who have personalities which are like WHAT YOU WANT TO BECOME

spend more time giving and less time taking

and buckle up for a long, strange, beautiful ride :)


Q:

On the episode "Fear of a Bot Planet", the mayor remarks that it's been 146,000 days of the annual human hunt with no success, and they before mentioned the planet was taken over by robots 400 years prior.

146,000 days equals 400 years. Love the math jokes more than anything.

A:

LORIN!!!! I've always wondered, what sort of diet do you follow? are you a vegetarian or vegan? What is your guilty pleasure in terms of unhealthy food that you like to indulge in every so often?


Q:

At what point in someone's career is it considered worthwhile to go > 1 page on a resume? In the US, are CVs ever useful outside of academia in your opinion? What should be included on your resume if your work is more visual and lends itself to a portfolio better?

A:

Hi Bobby. I hope the answer to this is yes. Do you ever think about your miserable childhood and how your mother literally gave you away and get so sad that you eat even though you aren't hungry?


Q:

Is there a level of plasticity that can occur outside the brain? For example, given enough time (even if longer than a typical human life span) could a paraplegic reroute certain functions via peripheral nerves to reconnect below the point of injury? I know in cases of heart blockages there is often evidence of angiogenesis trying to route blood around the blockages. Anything like this in the neural arena?

A:

On the episode "Fear of a Bot Planet", the mayor remarks that it's been 146,000 days of the annual human hunt with no success, and they before mentioned the planet was taken over by robots 400 years prior.

146,000 days equals 400 years. Love the math jokes more than anything.


Q:

Any funny behind the scenes stories?

A:

LORIN!!!! I've always wondered, what sort of diet do you follow? are you a vegetarian or vegan? What is your guilty pleasure in terms of unhealthy food that you like to indulge in every so often?


Q:

Can't write Futurama without a calculator! - David X. Cohen

A:

i grew up in a commune and my parents ran a health food store, then in high school i started smoking weed and eating junk food, then when i was 17 or 18 i became a vegetarian, more for political reasons, and started going back into ultra health food, i quit smoking pot, i lost any interest in getting faded or high [except i LOVE strong green tea, and i like a good glass of wine at the right time]

mornings i like 2 poached eggs, steamed spinach, and brutally strong green tea

lunch is mellow and whatever, salad, or something basic

dinner ideally is wild rice, ginger, organic chicken, steamed greens

but i also do eat out quite a lot while travelling, and like to try new foods :)

i love health food :)


Q:

Good q's - rule of thumb is if >10 years of experience, 2 pages is OK, but US preferences will always be 1 page - CV's only if you are published - If you're in the design/creative space, portfolios are expected. Make sure you have a separate document that can parse through the automated screens on job apps though.

A:

Your wish is granted. Yes


Q:

Of course plasticity is occurring on a substantial level within the spinal code and brainstem, that is to say below the forebrain itself. And peripheral nerves and sensory organs do have some level of regenerative power. It’s possible that some level of rerouting can occur but I can think of no illustration on a scale equivalent like that recorded in the tissues of the brain itself. I’ve long believed that it’s an understudied scientific issue. For example, we know that the quality of information from sensory receptors in the skin and internal organs progressively deteriorates as they die off at older ages. Is this die off use-dependent? Could we be doing things that better sustain them? We also know that we can recovery the integrity of the autonomic nervous system by brain exercises. Here we can see strong effects in the physical body expressed by changes in the power of actions recorded of course far outside the brain. These are not the kinds of things people have considered plastic but they clearly are.

A:

Can't write Futurama without a calculator! - David X. Cohen


Q:

Most of the time it's just me trying to get a cohesive sentence out over the course of 12 takes, so the atmosphere is pretty boring. But the times when I have guests is really fun. Paul Zaloom (Beakman) kept making us laugh throughout the day. Erica Linz, the Cirque acrobat actually demonstrated the stunt she refuses to do in the episode, as a bonus video for us. When I film with Lauren, who plays Holly, it's just a non-stop litany of bickering and making fun of each other's performance.

A:

i grew up in a commune and my parents ran a health food store, then in high school i started smoking weed and eating junk food, then when i was 17 or 18 i became a vegetarian, more for political reasons, and started going back into ultra health food, i quit smoking pot, i lost any interest in getting faded or high [except i LOVE strong green tea, and i like a good glass of wine at the right time]

mornings i like 2 poached eggs, steamed spinach, and brutally strong green tea

lunch is mellow and whatever, salad, or something basic

dinner ideally is wild rice, ginger, organic chicken, steamed greens

but i also do eat out quite a lot while travelling, and like to try new foods :)

i love health food :)


Q:

Thank you guys for never truely letting this show die. As a fan it is great to see the people who made it care as much as the fans, even years after it ended.

My question is more of a plea: Will you please release an official Comrade Greeting Card. I have been sending my mom gifts with that poem on it for years, and I need an actual card to give to her. Also, Who wrote the birthday song?

A:

Hi Lorin! Huge fan, can't wait to see you at Bisco & I was at Basslantic City which was also fucking amazing.

I was just wondering with how long you have been producing.

  1. How many GB/TB of unreleased music do you have? (Rough Estimate?)

  2. Has the evolution of technology made it easier for you to create the music that you do? (Compared to 10+ years ago)

  3. How have I seen you 5 times live and you have never once dropped "Loco Ono"? When was the last time you played that in a set?

Can't thank you enough for the AMA


Q:

Make sure you have a separate document that can parse through the automated screens on job apps though

Can you elaborate on that?

A:

Is there a correlation between rising ocean levels and your wading in the shallows?


Q:

How can I know if I'm at risk for Alzheimer's?

In my mid 30s now, and noticing I'm not remembering things as well as I used to. Not sure if this is just a normal part of aging. I've done a commercial genetic test (23andMe), which was negative for increased Alzheimer’s risk, but my understanding is that Alzheimer’s is not strongly linked genetics anyway. Is there anything else I can do to get a sense for my current brain health, and potentially spot early warning signs of dementia?

A:

Thank you guys for never truely letting this show die. As a fan it is great to see the people who made it care as much as the fans, even years after it ended.

My question is more of a plea: Will you please release an official Comrade Greeting Card. I have been sending my mom gifts with that poem on it for years, and I need an actual card to give to her. Also, Who wrote the birthday song?


Q:

Do you ever get disillusioned (ha!) that no matter how many times you go over a topic, people seem to ask the same questions and are tricked by the same tricks over and over again?

A:

Hi Lorin! Huge fan, can't wait to see you at Bisco & I was at Basslantic City which was also fucking amazing.

I was just wondering with how long you have been producing.

  1. How many GB/TB of unreleased music do you have? (Rough Estimate?)

  2. Has the evolution of technology made it easier for you to create the music that you do? (Compared to 10+ years ago)

  3. How have I seen you 5 times live and you have never once dropped "Loco Ono"? When was the last time you played that in a set?

Can't thank you enough for the AMA


Q:

(Birthday song) Group effort by the staff. But Patric Verrone gets the check!!! >John

A:

hey dude :) thank you! unfinished miusical ideas? TONS on my PC i have enough to make several albums, but its just too messy to finish anything... its like wandering through an old photo album or getting lunch with a best friend you havent seen in years, its overwhelming

technology: yes, god bless its heart

Loco Ono: that's strange, because i drop one of 4 versions pretty often. the original is very noisy and bezerk, i collaborated with Stylust Beats on a heavy lower octave version which i play alot, and JCO made a groovy version i just played last weekend :)

almost every track i play is subkect to heavy sampling though, so i love to sample the vocals from one track, or the instrumental from another, or the sound effects from another, etc :)


Q:

Certainly! Most companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to manage their hiring pipeline. When you go through a job application and see that certain fields are automatically filled out for you based on your resume, that's when you know your resume is being parsed properly.

However, if you're in a field that requires portfolios, you need human eyes. Email, email, email! Follow-ups are not considered rude, and jobseekers tend to be too shy.

A:

Fb fans are awesome, reddit fans are trolls with different names. I get it, it's a moon joke. I'm as big as a planet, I get it


Q:

Almost everybody is at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. Or to put it in another way, risk is defined by (A) genetics (B) several hundred known vicissitudes that add to your risk of onset, (C) how you live your life in relation to the health of your brain. In the last case, how do you think you stack up? If you’re like 99% of the people in the world, you don’t really know what your brain is asking you to do to sustain its health and functionality. Genetics IS important and can clearly put you in a higher risk population but genetics is rarely definitive. We know that people in very high risk populations CAN sail through to the end of a long life without falling over the cliff.

Everyone should be monitoring their brain health from at least the middle of life onward. Calibrate yourself. One way to do this is to go to BrainHQ.com and complete exercises in the speed and attention categories. See how your performance relates to other individuals of your age. More generally, you can assess your speed of operations in any task that challenges you to recognize and respond to things at high speed. If you’re fast afoot, things are probably pretty ok inside. If you’re not, think about changing your approach to life with an ongoing consideration of brain health. I offer advice about this in a book I wrote called Soft Wired which you can find on Amazon. You need to adopt a life of continuous new learning. You need to challenge your brain to improve the very elementally faculties that control the speed, accuracy, and reliability of its operations. Even if you’re very slow and losing it, the brain is usually capable of relatively strong, even dramatic, restoration. I believe that recovery of speed with sustained accuracy is a pretty strong biomarker of recovered organic brain health.

Final point: If you have confirmation that you carry the APOe4 marker, take brain health exercises especially seriously. You should be working everyday deploying strategies designed to sustain the elaborated, healthy, high-speed operation of your brain.

A:

(Birthday song) Group effort by the staff. But Patric Verrone gets the check!!! >John


Q:

Yeah, sometimes. But it's usually easy enough just post a link to an existing video. What frustrates me sometimes is how the more detail I explain about something, the more things people point out that I didn't mention (even if it was a purposeful editorial choice). It's like, "the debunk of the gaps."

A:

hey dude :) thank you! unfinished miusical ideas? TONS on my PC i have enough to make several albums, but its just too messy to finish anything... its like wandering through an old photo album or getting lunch with a best friend you havent seen in years, its overwhelming

technology: yes, god bless its heart

Loco Ono: that's strange, because i drop one of 4 versions pretty often. the original is very noisy and bezerk, i collaborated with Stylust Beats on a heavy lower octave version which i play alot, and JCO made a groovy version i just played last weekend :)

almost every track i play is subkect to heavy sampling though, so i love to sample the vocals from one track, or the instrumental from another, or the sound effects from another, etc :)


Q:

What the hell does "nine, ten, a big fat hen—the name's Bender" mean?

A:

For those of us that can't make it out to Colorado in time for Freestyle, what can we expect at Bass Center X?? Any NYE clues? 😋


Q:

How long should I keep putting Eagle Scout on my resume before it begins to seem old/childish?

A:

Who were you more scared to sit next to at the Cellar table, Patrice or Colin?


Q:

I used to be deep in the whole nutrition/homeopathy cult and now I tend to discount anything that even remotely sounds like woo. So I can't tell you how much it bothers me that every article I've seen on mindfulness meditation shows it produces positive changes in the brain as determined through fMRI studies in illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. Could you elaborate on how a simple exercise of consciously focusing on your breath with a quiet mind is able to change how the brain unconsciously handles business?

A:

What the hell does "nine, ten, a big fat hen—the name's Bender" mean?


Q:

What first made you interested in debunking stuff? How long have you been involved in the skeptic community?

A:

For those of us that can't make it out to Colorado in time for Freestyle, what can we expect at Bass Center X?? Any NYE clues? 😋


Q:

It means we were stuck on a line for awhile, and Bender had to get us out of the scene. If you were looking for deeper meaning, look elsewhere. - writers

A:

Bass Center is without a doubt the creative pinnacle of the year for my entire team!!!! It wasn't always like that but after last year, it really became a chance for me to take the deepest dive possible into 'bassnectar' and reinvent it live while ripping into the past and flinging it into the future. its like the quintessential "ok i am involved in every tiny aspect of this event" so i just obsessssssssss over it

i'm talking OBSESSIVE. COM. PULSIVE. so im basically just terrorizing my team for a year about this event. and ironically, lots goes right, lots goes 'wrong' and lots of stuff which goes not as planned ends up better than planned... this year our chocolate didnt show up and got melted, but we got a great new twist on it through the chocolate making team for next year

but im getting distracted.. bass center: yeah so i am like working nonstop hours with the lighting team, designing how to approach the room into the exact visual experience we want, going into the greeters, and the team who works the door, working on the lines, making the outside 'line' area blend into a larger kind of event carnival, maybe kind of like a Grateful Dead lot of the 1990's meets an ICP show, meets a free outdoor day party in Golden Gate Park... so we are working on every tiny element, plus we have musical guests who i am just RABID about

and taking over Labor Day weekend [likely will not happen again] is unique because its 3 nights of intensive activity, and we are basically planning shenanigans from Friday Morning through to Sunday Morning...

then in terms of the music...for anyone who is like "why dont you tour anymore" ...those three nights are like fucking tour.

when i used to tour I would have an A set and a B set, and i would alternate each night, back and forth. there would be some creative flexibility from set to set, but for the most part the 'tracklist' of A set was very similar. and the "B" set was very similar

for Bass Center, across three nights, I will conjur up 3 totally distinct sets which feel like the full throttle tour sets, which a totally unique and independant of each other, with all my favorite music, remixed into new versions, going NUTSO on the request line, and basically taking every request that comes in...with a twist :)

i was just really excited about last year's event...beyond excited by it. and i am SO fucking amped to return to Hampton Coliseum again, that room CRUSHES... the floor is so massive, and we are making the stands wrap around so you can spend the whole night running in circles if you wish :)

but actually fuck all that, dont expect anything, just come join us and dive in deep :)


Q:

If the skills you gained/used as a scout are relevant to the position that you are applying to, it's fine to keep it on if you highlight how it makes you a better candidate for the job. If it's just extraneous information about your extracurricular involvement, it's not necessary to include in your resume.

A:

Patrice cause he's dead


Q:

The brain has evolved strategies to control its state of arousal and alertness, flexibly living from a high-alert to a pensive thoughtful, quiet pre-sleep moment. The ideal brain can move under direct control to deal with high operational powers on either the quiet or the lively, active, noisy sides of life. Many people struggle in controlling their reactivity in managing to operate effectively in a noisy higher-anxiety world. One of my favorite studies of meditation was conducted in a wonderful laboratory at the U of Wisconsin to determine whether or not meditation altered processes that impacted anxiety or arousal in the brain. The initial study indicated that the responses recorded in practiced meditators were no different in control subjects. Surprised by this outcome, the researchers looked at the responses of individuals who sought meditation training. They immediately discovered that their machinery was distorted and sustained their ongoing higher-anxieties. When they were trained their brains were dramatically changed in the normal-ward direction. Because these shifts in neurological engagement are so powerful it’s a great advantage for a brain to be able to move at will to a quiet, uncluttered, thoughtful, highly-focused mode. If you practice this as a habit, you have the power to move from active engagement in the world to the thoughtful quiet moment. And you’re far better off for it. Not every citizen needs to engage in meditation practices but if you’re on the anxious side of life, it might be a very useful aspect of how you think about neurological self-improvement.

We’ve conducted several studies, and are conducting an ongoing study in an aging population, on the separate and integrated benefits of meditation and brain training. Everything to this point indicates that they might have even more value together. A holistic approach might be greater than the sum of the parts in at least many individuals.

A:

It means we were stuck on a line for awhile, and Bender had to get us out of the scene. If you were looking for deeper meaning, look elsewhere. - writers


Q:

I enjoyed making-of programs and science shows like Beakman's World and Bill Nye the Science Guy as a kid. Later I enjoyed shows like Penn & Teller's Bullshit. I think I started looking up some of the people featured on that online, including James Randi. When I was figuring out what to do on YouTube, I thought a skeptical approach with a dash of sarcasm would be fun. Then one day James Randi CALLED ME ON THE PHONE and said he likes my videos.

A:

Bass Center is without a doubt the creative pinnacle of the year for my entire team!!!! It wasn't always like that but after last year, it really became a chance for me to take the deepest dive possible into 'bassnectar' and reinvent it live while ripping into the past and flinging it into the future. its like the quintessential "ok i am involved in every tiny aspect of this event" so i just obsessssssssss over it

i'm talking OBSESSIVE. COM. PULSIVE. so im basically just terrorizing my team for a year about this event. and ironically, lots goes right, lots goes 'wrong' and lots of stuff which goes not as planned ends up better than planned... this year our chocolate didnt show up and got melted, but we got a great new twist on it through the chocolate making team for next year

but im getting distracted.. bass center: yeah so i am like working nonstop hours with the lighting team, designing how to approach the room into the exact visual experience we want, going into the greeters, and the team who works the door, working on the lines, making the outside 'line' area blend into a larger kind of event carnival, maybe kind of like a Grateful Dead lot of the 1990's meets an ICP show, meets a free outdoor day party in Golden Gate Park... so we are working on every tiny element, plus we have musical guests who i am just RABID about

and taking over Labor Day weekend [likely will not happen again] is unique because its 3 nights of intensive activity, and we are basically planning shenanigans from Friday Morning through to Sunday Morning...

then in terms of the music...for anyone who is like "why dont you tour anymore" ...those three nights are like fucking tour.

when i used to tour I would have an A set and a B set, and i would alternate each night, back and forth. there would be some creative flexibility from set to set, but for the most part the 'tracklist' of A set was very similar. and the "B" set was very similar

for Bass Center, across three nights, I will conjur up 3 totally distinct sets which feel like the full throttle tour sets, which a totally unique and independant of each other, with all my favorite music, remixed into new versions, going NUTSO on the request line, and basically taking every request that comes in...with a twist :)

i was just really excited about last year's event...beyond excited by it. and i am SO fucking amped to return to Hampton Coliseum again, that room CRUSHES... the floor is so massive, and we are making the stands wrap around so you can spend the whole night running in circles if you wish :)

but actually fuck all that, dont expect anything, just come join us and dive in deep :)


Q:

What is the favourite musical number that you've recorded for the show? I'm a big fan of the Devil song with the Beastie Boys

A:

Have been tuned in for a little over a decade now and have gotten to witness your projects beautiful metamorphosis. As more people have also tuned in, the events your team has organized in the past 5 years or so have generally tended to be much larger in scale and less frequent; necessitating people “comin from miles around” to share in the experience.

 

What would your sentiments be regarding community members organizing small “Bass Center” inspired events, where local Bassheads, visual artists, VJs, musicians, and DJs can share their love for the project by working together to curate their best version of a “Bassnectar” event?


Q:

My mom has been unemployed for more than a year, and simply can't seem to find a job. She sends out applications all day, gets interviews, and has been a final candidate on several occasions, but she still hasn't landed a job. She's 58 years old with many years of journalism/communication experience, and has won multiple awards for her writing, so her resume is quite impressive. She and I both believe that there may be some ageism at hand, though of course we can't be sure. What are some things she may be able to do when applying and interviewing for jobs that could help her stand out amongst younger candidates with similar resumes?

A:

Who is the next BIG comedian to die, and why is it Artie Lange?


Q:

I apologize if this is somewhat broad, but could you discuss the role of neurotrophic factors in plasticity and adult neurogenesis?

A:

What is the favourite musical number that you've recorded for the show? I'm a big fan of the Devil song with the Beastie Boys


Q:

How do your parents feel about Captain Disillusion? I know you said your dad helps film when you talked at QED.

A:

Have been tuned in for a little over a decade now and have gotten to witness your projects beautiful metamorphosis. As more people have also tuned in, the events your team has organized in the past 5 years or so have generally tended to be much larger in scale and less frequent; necessitating people “comin from miles around” to share in the experience.

 

What would your sentiments be regarding community members organizing small “Bass Center” inspired events, where local Bassheads, visual artists, VJs, musicians, and DJs can share their love for the project by working together to curate their best version of a “Bassnectar” event?


Q:

Singing with Beck was pretty killer. - John

A:

i mean, any DIY events people want to produce amongst their friends: thats the beautiful anarchy of life... i hope its as raw and fun as the death metal and punk rock shows i used to organize in the public library basement when i was 16

:)

but as for people actually trying to emulate, or brand, or immitate, ...i think people can do better than that. don't try and create a bassnectar or bass center event.. create a YOU event.

dont grow your hair out and try and play music that sounds like bassnectar [grow your hair out and play music that sounds like YOU]..dont play rippoff 'tribute sets' for a band or music project that is still very active... make something new and fresh and meaningful

again, i dont mean that negatively, i am trying to encourage you that it will be more enjoyable and authentic and meaningful if you make it about YOU

everything is reflective. so obviously if you are influenced by 'bassnectar' thats great.. i bet you are influenced by a lot of things and a lot of music... stir that all up in a pot and let that be YOU

DIY art is where its at :)


Q:

Joining a shrinking industry is definitely a challenge. Media & journalism has been disrupted heavily, and since we're in an age where no one is accustomed to paying for writing, I completely sympathize. If she's been a career journalist, then she'll have to rely on recommendations rather than cold applications to get through the final round.

We've seen folks pivot their media backgrounds into successful careers as marketing directors, B2B communications & strategy roles, and (more sales-y) account manager roles. PR is tricky since it involves maintaining your network, which at 58 may be too late to try. I would recommend she start branching out to companies that have a core enterprise business model (ie sells things to large companies) where they value a more experienced voice in the conference room. Best of luck!

A:

I love Artie I would never say that to him. Keep all the mean shit to me you piece of gaaaarbage


Q:

Neurtrophins are key enablers of plasticity and sustained brain health. Measures of neurotrophins are canaries in the coalmine for determining the physical and functional status of your brain health. In almost every clinical indication, in which people are neurologically and psychiatrically struggling, the production of these “growth factors” is downregulated. And in condition after condition, that relatively consistent finding has led to the hypothesis that that downregulation is central to all kinds of neurological weaknesses and diseases. Healthy brains make more neurotrophins. When we exercise the brain extensively, we need upregulation of neurotrophins and once it’s upregulated we see that its production is sustained over the longer term. Neurotrophins are one of the primary chemical indices we use – on that long list of chemical and physical changes in brains – to demonstrate that we have driven the brain in a positive brain-health-recovery direction.

I could of course talk about this in a lot more depth in a nerdy extension in neuroscience. If you’re interested in that ask me a follow-up question privately.

A:

Singing with Beck was pretty killer. - John


Q:

I think my experience is typical of most YouTubers in that my parents were cool with what I was doing, helped any way they could, but also... continuously told me that I'm wasting my time :)

My dad operated the camera on all of my early videos and still does it on occasion today. He ran the camera and the teleprompter on this most recent Will Tsai episode!

I could never have achieved any of this without him.

A:

i mean, any DIY events people want to produce amongst their friends: thats the beautiful anarchy of life... i hope its as raw and fun as the death metal and punk rock shows i used to organize in the public library basement when i was 16

:)

but as for people actually trying to emulate, or brand, or immitate, ...i think people can do better than that. don't try and create a bassnectar or bass center event.. create a YOU event.

dont grow your hair out and try and play music that sounds like bassnectar [grow your hair out and play music that sounds like YOU]..dont play rippoff 'tribute sets' for a band or music project that is still very active... make something new and fresh and meaningful

again, i dont mean that negatively, i am trying to encourage you that it will be more enjoyable and authentic and meaningful if you make it about YOU

everything is reflective. so obviously if you are influenced by 'bassnectar' thats great.. i bet you are influenced by a lot of things and a lot of music... stir that all up in a pot and let that be YOU

DIY art is where its at :)


Q:

So, we know Mom's first name is actually Carol, but do her, Walt, Larry, and Igner have a last name?

A:

Do you have a hobby or interest non music related that you aren't super vocal about? For example, is there a secret knittingnectar or pastrychefnectar we don't know of? Also, gotta say thank you for bringing an amazing community together. I honestly believe the combination of the music and overwhelming support from the people I've met through this community have changed my life and made me a better person. Much love!


Q:

I am trying to get a job in a city and a country 3000 miles away(where I am originally from). At this point I am pretty sure my resume gets trash binned as soon as my address is seen. One imagines your clients encounter this and other similar problems as well, advice?

A:

I'm sure you've gained a lot of new fans here. My question is, is the festival exclusively for laughs, or is that just a marketing ploy?


Q:

Hi Dr. Merzenich!

Was wondering if you have studied brain plasticity as it relates to hearing loss. There is some interesting research regarding the reorganization of the brain following a hearing loss and following amplification. As far as I know, there is no definitive link between hearing loss and mental decrease but I am taught that a loss may in fact be linked. What is your opinion on this?

Thanks!

A:

So, we know Mom's first name is actually Carol, but do her, Walt, Larry, and Igner have a last name?


Q:

Do you ever plan on doing more story based content? You're a really funny guy and I think the "Undebunkable" is one of my favorite episodes. I feel like you could write/direct something really clever.

A:

Do you have a hobby or interest non music related that you aren't super vocal about? For example, is there a secret knittingnectar or pastrychefnectar we don't know of? Also, gotta say thank you for bringing an amazing community together. I honestly believe the combination of the music and overwhelming support from the people I've met through this community have changed my life and made me a better person. Much love!


Q:

Patric Verrone wrote the episode in which Mom first appeared, and he named her Edna Miller (his mother's name). We changed the first name to Carol, so there you go. Another useless Futurama factoid! Sincerely yours, Matt

A:

haha well, in terms of "my life outside of bassnectar" that is an entire universe i am VERY excited to explore! in 2015 I kind of had an American Beauty Moment... i felt like i had "been in a coma for about 20 years, and im just now waking up"...

i felt like i had been in a daze for 10 years and the world blurred past, and although i had lived every bassnectar dream and then some, i hadn't had much life outside of music. i am a total workaholic, and i eat, sleep and breathe bassnectar as a 'creative art project'...

i realized that 'bassnectar' was like a superman suit, and that i was just a mild mannered human, like Clark Kent. When i strapped on the suit i could fly through these crazy worlds, but i hadnt taked the suit off in ten years.

i didnt want to retire or give up or stop, i wanted to respect the power and integrity of the art... but i wanted to ALSO explore life as a human being

so instead of "turning down the intensity on bassnectar" i decided to leave it as it naturally is: pulsing with intensity!!! but to just spend less time of each year wearing the suit.

So if my life is a pie chart, each year 98% of the pie chart was Bassnectar, and 2% was left over for everything else. I made a goal to transform that to a 50/50 balance, so 50% of the time i could wear the suit, and during those times, it can blast as full on an intense as ever, but when i take it off, i can just be simple mild-mannered Clark Kent, and in those moments, i have no desire to broadcast my personality on social media or anything, i like to unplug

i love spending time with my family, who i love beyond words. i love spending time with dear friends, many of whom I have known for 20 years. i love learning and thinking. i love playing Pente. i loooove nature, and i love walking and exploring. i love meeting new people without introducing myself, just being kind to an old sweet gramma at a cafe, or a tired looking waiter at a restaurant... i love visiting with my neighbors, or studying and learning new things...i love thinking constructively, and creatively, and i love debate...i debate with myself or my friends a lot, because its a great way to improve you persepctive, by enriching it and scientifically testing your beliefs... i do it for fun, i watch documentaries..

i love playing Skyrim and Minecraft.

my dad said "there are only 2 things to do today: Relax and Be Kind" and i love that

he also said that aside from all the ever-changing advice you get from the world the 3 most important things each day for self care are getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and excercise... so i focus on that as well

then again, although i took off a ton of time this winter, i was buried in the studio almost every day

i'm working on countless collaborations year round, im always messing around with old 'never-finished albums' on my old computers

im lovviiiiiing NAUX FAUX, which is a downtempo project i have with my friend Craig, i love working on music with Dorfex Bos, i love just jamming on new sounds and ideas for a few hours, then deleting the project and startin over again :)

lately, any time i hang with Dylan [ill Gates] instead of making music we just goof off, talk about life and the world, make each other laugh, record a bunch of noises and talk about music from a Present Past and Future approach, where nothing lasts, but everything is kind of existing in multiple states of existence

where was i?

oh yah...hobbies and interests...

:)


Q:

This can be a problem due to applicant tracking systems (ATS) but there are ways around it. In your summary, you should make it clear that you are looking to relocate. Also make a point of mentioning your desire to relocate in any cover letters.

A:

That was too intelligent of a joke for me, dumb it down stupid


Q:

Actually there is quite compelling evidence that hearing loss, or the chronic tinnitus that is often associated with it, are very significant risk factors for the early onset of dementia. Language listening is obviously one of our most important sources of incoming information and play such a central role in the maintenance of our social cognition powers. As language listening and usage are degraded the higher level machinery that supports our language-related manipulations and thoughts are impacted. In hearing loss, as with almost any other serious vicissitudes, a person should be especially concerned about assuring that their life strategies include some level of natural or regular computer-based brain exercise.

When you lose your hearing, your neurological representations of language necessarily adjust and now in a sense you’re recognizing what you hear with new machinery operating in a new way. If I attempt to correct that hearing by amplifying sound, either by application of a hearing aid or by introduction of a cochlear implant, I enable a correction. However, merely amplifying sound is just stage 1 of recovery. Most people don’t realize that beyond turning on the hearing aid the brain has to make large-scale plastic readjustment to maximize effective hearing aid use. Given the hearing loss, hearing aid or cochlear implant-based correction is a very good idea. With or without that aid, continuous brain training to get the most out of your residual hearing should be a part of your life.

A:

Patric Verrone wrote the episode in which Mom first appeared, and he named her Edna Miller (his mother's name). We changed the first name to Carol, so there you go. Another useless Futurama factoid! Sincerely yours, Matt


Q:

Thank you and yes, I am interested in doing this very thing. I enjoy explaining stuff, but I also love telling stories. I feel like my content is 70% former, 30% latter. I'd like to bring it closer to 50/50.

A:

haha well, in terms of "my life outside of bassnectar" that is an entire universe i am VERY excited to explore! in 2015 I kind of had an American Beauty Moment... i felt like i had "been in a coma for about 20 years, and im just now waking up"...

i felt like i had been in a daze for 10 years and the world blurred past, and although i had lived every bassnectar dream and then some, i hadn't had much life outside of music. i am a total workaholic, and i eat, sleep and breathe bassnectar as a 'creative art project'...

i realized that 'bassnectar' was like a superman suit, and that i was just a mild mannered human, like Clark Kent. When i strapped on the suit i could fly through these crazy worlds, but i hadnt taked the suit off in ten years.

i didnt want to retire or give up or stop, i wanted to respect the power and integrity of the art... but i wanted to ALSO explore life as a human being

so instead of "turning down the intensity on bassnectar" i decided to leave it as it naturally is: pulsing with intensity!!! but to just spend less time of each year wearing the suit.

So if my life is a pie chart, each year 98% of the pie chart was Bassnectar, and 2% was left over for everything else. I made a goal to transform that to a 50/50 balance, so 50% of the time i could wear the suit, and during those times, it can blast as full on an intense as ever, but when i take it off, i can just be simple mild-mannered Clark Kent, and in those moments, i have no desire to broadcast my personality on social media or anything, i like to unplug

i love spending time with my family, who i love beyond words. i love spending time with dear friends, many of whom I have known for 20 years. i love learning and thinking. i love playing Pente. i loooove nature, and i love walking and exploring. i love meeting new people without introducing myself, just being kind to an old sweet gramma at a cafe, or a tired looking waiter at a restaurant... i love visiting with my neighbors, or studying and learning new things...i love thinking constructively, and creatively, and i love debate...i debate with myself or my friends a lot, because its a great way to improve you persepctive, by enriching it and scientifically testing your beliefs... i do it for fun, i watch documentaries..

i love playing Skyrim and Minecraft.

my dad said "there are only 2 things to do today: Relax and Be Kind" and i love that

he also said that aside from all the ever-changing advice you get from the world the 3 most important things each day for self care are getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and excercise... so i focus on that as well

then again, although i took off a ton of time this winter, i was buried in the studio almost every day

i'm working on countless collaborations year round, im always messing around with old 'never-finished albums' on my old computers

im lovviiiiiing NAUX FAUX, which is a downtempo project i have with my friend Craig, i love working on music with Dorfex Bos, i love just jamming on new sounds and ideas for a few hours, then deleting the project and startin over again :)

lately, any time i hang with Dylan [ill Gates] instead of making music we just goof off, talk about life and the world, make each other laugh, record a bunch of noises and talk about music from a Present Past and Future approach, where nothing lasts, but everything is kind of existing in multiple states of existence

where was i?

oh yah...hobbies and interests...

:)


Q:

Could we please make a monument in your honor, Matt Groening?

A:

A lot of your hardcore fans will point new listeners towards a mixtape or a live show instead of a Bassnectar album.

Do you think the music that is put out on albums is a good representation of what Bassnectar is or is only a piece of the puzzle?


Q:

Hello my name is Jose Palacios I am a Labor Consultant based out Los Angeles, Ca. I been self employed for over two years now. I notice that I am able to receive more phone calls from cold calling whenever I use the name Joe Palace. What would suggest for brownies like my self in order to stand out and not be stereotyped?

A:

You're a delightfully lovable creep, Bobby. What was the meanest thing you said about Vos at the roast the other night?


Q:

Does your work in neuroplasticity extend to the idea of changing from a "talent" to a "growth" mindset, or is it more concerned with actual medical conditions like Alzheimer's? If it does extend that far, do you have any advice?

A:

Could we please make a monument in your honor, Matt Groening?


Q:

Hey Captain D! Just wanted to stop by and say what a huge, massive fan I am of your work. I am continually in awe of the amount work you put into each video. The quality of the production, effects, and script are upper-tier. I've been a Patron for a while now, and you're the only content creator I've felt comfortable giving my money to because you so consistently put out such high-quality, pertinent content. Nowadays people will believe anything they see on the internet, and your sceptic's approach to it all is so logically and helpfully informative. Just, thanks SO, so much.

Anyway, if I have any burning question, it'd probably be about whether or not you have the motivation or intention of trying to go bigger with Captain D. Would you ever consider some kind of TV series, or online partnership? I just wish your stuff could be seen by more people!

A:

A lot of your hardcore fans will point new listeners towards a mixtape or a live show instead of a Bassnectar album.

Do you think the music that is put out on albums is a good representation of what Bassnectar is or is only a piece of the puzzle?


Q:

Too late, I'm sculpting my own. - Matt G

A:

as long as its not setlists or clips on youtube im fine ;)

i would say come to Freestyle Sessions or Bass Center if you are really curious, because those events are created from scratch, and we are all obsessing over every tint detail, living and breathing EVERY detail with so much love and imagination

if you find yourself on a forum with bozos debating a setlist, that sounds like the most boring life ever, so keep them away from that nonsense :)


Q:

Hi Jose, good question. This is a hot topic of debate within the recruiter community currently and hiring managers are definitely becoming more aware of their biases. There have been a number of studies proving that yes, discrimination does exist; here's a recent one:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2017/05/17/minorities-who-whiten-resumes-get-more-job-interviews/#49ba55c57b74

In general, we don't recommend changing the last name on resumes as it creates problems during the hiring process. However, if you are comfortable going by Joe at the workplace, that is completely acceptable to use on your resume. We often utilize this practice for Asian legal names when the candidate goes by an American name.

More in-depth studies show that aligning your skills and interests to the norm is beneficial -- I hate that stereotyping is a large part of hiring and we wouldn't suggest "whitewashing," but try to align your profile to your industry.

A:

Bonnie was dating Nathan Fillion from Castle and Firefly, and she dumped him and ended up marrying Vos. I put up a photo on the big screen of Fillion and read his credits. Firefly, Guardians of the Galaxy and a network ABC show with 170 episodes, 100,000 an episode

Then I read Vos' that started with Maxwell's and Poughkeepsie - what a bad choice she made


Q:

Neuroplasticity has created within your skull that person that is you by massive schedules of change up to this point in your life. It has provided you with a machine that is the basis of you and that is absolutely unique in the world because it has been created through quadrillions of moments of change. You are incredibly highly specialized in all kinds of ways. There has never been anyone else in the world in its long history exactly like you and there will never be another. Still, you are a work in progress. Do you want to change what you are? Or how you operate? Or what you’re good at? Go for it. Dramatic transformation can often be achieved at any age. Many individuals squander this great human gift.

Many people seem to be endowed with special talents or abilities. It’s difficult to sort out the contributions on the path to special talent that come from life’s experiences from variations in genetics. But one thing that is certain is that high achievement in any domain is dependent on a heavy level of directed practice. That directed practice is all about changing, strengthening, refining, and increasing the power of that machine controlling those special abilities. No great artist, no great athlete, no great inventor arrives at that position of high achievement without a long history of progressive history of refinement and growth in their power. You distinguish growth from talent. I say talent is a product of growth. Growth is a requisite of talent.

A:

Too late, I'm sculpting my own. - Matt G


Q:

Thanks very much, I really appreciate it. Yes, I'd like to do more with the series. I think there are a few ways to do that. Trying to figure it out, while also making the monthly videos.

A:

as long as its not setlists or clips on youtube im fine ;)

i would say come to Freestyle Sessions or Bass Center if you are really curious, because those events are created from scratch, and we are all obsessing over every tint detail, living and breathing EVERY detail with so much love and imagination

if you find yourself on a forum with bozos debating a setlist, that sounds like the most boring life ever, so keep them away from that nonsense :)


Q:

Which would win in a fight, Luck of the Fryrish or Jurassic Bark?

A:

if you were to go back in time to experience one historical event what would it be and why?


Q:

What kind of advice can you offer this up and coming generation (millennials) that are trying to break into this job market for the first time?

A:

What was that weird noise you made getting out of the car that one time?


Q:

In terms of brain plasticity, what features must an artificially intelligent neural network be capable of to model the brains capability to adapt to the stimulus or environment with such efficiency?

A:

Which would win in a fight, Luck of the Fryrish or Jurassic Bark?


Q:

First of all, I want to let you know that I am an enormous fan of your work and have seen every video at least 4 times!

My question: What as been your favorite video to make and why? Was it one where you used more effects or did a hoax interest you more than others!

All the best! :)

A:

if you were to go back in time to experience one historical event what would it be and why?


Q:

Jurassic Bark. In the third round. - BW

A:

i love history! i am fascinated by it!!!! read A People's History of The United States by Howard Zinn watch "Untold History" with Oliver Stone on Netflix

pay attention because so much has gone down and then been forgotten about and HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF :)

as for being a time traveller, i would rather just be deeply awake and grateful in the moment :)


Q:

Stay open minded, there are many opportunities out there that could seem like they are unrelated to what you want in a career, but could lead to incredible options later down the road. Be prepared to work hard and show that you are interested in staying in the position for awhile - because, with the current job-hopping trend, many employers are hesitant to hire millennials if they are suspicious that they will leave within a year or two of employment. Reach out to your network, this is one of the most valuable tools you have as a young job-seeker looking to break into an industry. Focus on how you can make a big impact at your first employer right away - the more you can achieve in a short time, the better for making moves either up the ladder or into different, better positions.

A:

I don't know what that was, that was so weird


Q:

You ask a deep question that is difficult to answer in a few lines. It is difficult for us to know how open the simulation of the characteristics of an operational brain might be with a retention of its fundamental, almost unbelievable, powers. One class have thought about it and have attempted to construct artificially intelligent machines that operate very much like brains, with similar component processors and areas and devolution of actions. If you think about artificial intelligence as to produce a machine, that is equivalent to the human brain and its operational powers, then you can define a set of governing principles on a systems organization level that would need to be in place to make the machine work like the human brain. I view the models created by individuals like Jeff Hawkins at Numenta as representing an attempt to produce a machine in this form. At the same time, I have a strong personal suspicion that we could define the governing principles through some complex series of equations that someone could write down on a chalkboard and duplicate its powers in alternate ways. It is a little like imagining whether an evolved intelligence on another planet might have exactly the same form. But perhaps, in detail, outcomes substantially different detailed solutions, on the path to develop its evolutionary powers.

Great fun to think about! No clear answers here, pal. Maybe you are the individual who will sort it all out.

A:

Jurassic Bark. In the third round. - BW


Q:

Thank you very much. Some of my videos end up being in slightly different categories from each other so it's hard to choose. In terms of just a technical breakdown of VFX, I kind of like 'Miss Ping Debunk' and 'Brusspup Outgeeked'. In terms of examining a product claim, I'm pretty proud of the 'Cicret Bracelet Debunk'. And as an overall edu-tainment achievement, I'm very happy that I was able to get away with making the 'Beakmallusion' episode.

A:

i love history! i am fascinated by it!!!! read A People's History of The United States by Howard Zinn watch "Untold History" with Oliver Stone on Netflix

pay attention because so much has gone down and then been forgotten about and HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF :)

as for being a time traveller, i would rather just be deeply awake and grateful in the moment :)


Q:

is there any joke you guys put into the show that you were really happy/proud of that maybe wasn't noticed by viewers? or got the reaction you wanted?

A:

Lorin! HUGE FAN <3. 2 questions, what inspired freestyle sessions? And do you plan on having sessions in other locations?


Q:

Hello,

I'm a public health professional that just started a B school MBA program. I was tired of working 60 hours a week and getting poorly paid for 40. Do you have advice as two when I could/should start marketing myself to other fields? I am surrounded by pharma companies so those are the low hanging fruit. Are they other avenues I should also be looking at?

A:

Hi Bobby. I'm a huge fan and respect you as a human being. My wife is terminally sick and my family is having a really hard time coping. Do you have any words of encouragement?


Q:

Dr. Merzenich, At the age of 19 I contracted viral Encephlomyelitis from a presumed enteroviral source. It was a long and ardorous healing process, and I can tell it made changes to my memory. My visual memory seems to be taking over for the pneumonic memory. (I now recall test material better by "reading the words in the textbook again in my minds eye" during tests, as opposed to word memorization, which mine has deteriorated.)

My question is, can neuroplasticity be jump started by inflammatory challenges such as encephalitis?

A:

is there any joke you guys put into the show that you were really happy/proud of that maybe wasn't noticed by viewers? or got the reaction you wanted?


Q:

I've been a long time watcher, so of course I'm naturally skeptic of what I see on camera. That being said, are you made of flesh and encase your lower face in metal, or are you made of metal and cover the top half of your head in flesh?

A:

Lorin! HUGE FAN <3. 2 questions, what inspired freestyle sessions? And do you plan on having sessions in other locations?


Q:

We were stuck writing the scene in which the head of Henry Kissinger in a jar was negotiating with the Balls (in the episode "War Is the H Word"). It took two full days to come up with a single line for Kissinger -- two full days of nonstop unusable testicle jokes. We were going crazy, exasperated and fatigued with the all the balls puns that we were unable to stop making. Finally, someone wearily muttered, "This is not a productive area of discussion," and voila! Timeless comedy genius, plus we got to go home. Your friend, Matt

A:

yah my dream would be to do these on turn tables or CD-Js [not in the cheaty-ass 'Just PRess Play and stand on a table relishing the glory of EDM' way] but like SUPER DEEP way...i started DJing on CDJs in 1997 or 1998 i believe.. Denons and Pioneer. i had been using vinyl before but i realized i could remic my own vrsions of vinyl, or play my own music by burning a CD and didnt need to wait for a vinyl press, etc.. at the time that was very revolutionary, as vinyl DJs were confined to only what had been pressed to wax. so i was goin NUTSO in the alte nineties playing insnaely creative sets with tons of exclusive mashups and versions, and multiple times had some yahoo troll wingnut trying to yell at me that i should GTFO unless i played vinyl... anyhow...

so yah, eventually i would like to play these all with 4 or 5 turntables and do them in various cities in small rooms with no lights or anything, just bump crazy music in the dark :)

for this first one, i've just been focusing on the music nonstop: i have spent every week since february remixing old tunes, remastering my record collection, recording vinyl into the computer, recreating the drums and bassline, adding tons of effects and layers, or sampling the FVCK out of old classics... then just nonstop editing and re-cutting and customizing... every style, genre, tempo...

most of this music is deep and complex but not exactly what i would play at mainstage Bonaroo or in the peak moments of Electric Forest or whatever... its deeper

its what would i play if it was just you and me on a road trip, or if it was just us and a dozen friends drinking wine in a tree house, or if it was just us a 5 dozen friends going APESHIT at a house party and swinging from the curtains, ... just playing anything and everything under the sun, and focusing on the fun...

its not that i dont have fun usually, i definitely do! but the full on bassnectar sets like at bass center, that stuff is SO high octane and so over the top and immersive and overwhelming...its like drowning in lava or having massive tsunami waves crash down on your brain

freestyle is more like playing hide and seek in the dark with your best friends at summer camp, under a full moon, on Jupiter, with a few alien buddies joining along, while sipping mango juice, and then realiziing you are an alien and you were born on Jupiter, and all the kids you're playing hide and seek with are aliens from earth, so you are not actually an alien, you are a JUPITERIAN!!!!!

:)


Q:

Hi dopo, it's never too early to start the recruitment process in business school! We see candidates pounding the pavement as early as the first Aug/Sep of a 2 year program.

One thing we do consistently see -- the location of the business school is very correlated with the success of its students in landing a job. Take advantage of the network the school offers you first, as there are many relationships between the school and companies that may not be obvious to the student body. Good luck!

A:

I hope your fat wife dies. No I'm sorry, scratch that, I hope your whole family dies


Q:

We have studied brains that have suffered diffuse broad damage in an attempt to try and understand plastic changes associated with brain poisoning (e.g., PCBs, antipsychotic meds, antidepressants, chemotherapeutic meds, heavy metals, and brain infections like meningitis, encephalitis, cerebral malaria, tick diseases, et alia). We’ve also supported training studies conducted in a number of these populations including large trials in Canada and in the U.S. in individuals that have brains affected by HIV/AIDS, brains treated with chemotherapeutic drugs, and brains altered by very diffuse head injury (e.g., as occurs in professional contract-sports athletes). In all such instances, as has been well documented, almost every aspect of brain function is degraded by the infection or poison, although there is some differentiation by condition as a function of the specific drug, poison, viral or bacterial agent. Virtually every change that is expressed negatively can be improved by reengagement. It’s all plastic. These changes are best documented in breast cancer survivors where the “brain fog” induced by chemo has been described in controlled trials as almost completely overcome by intensive training. Importantly, in the largest and most controlled by these trials, the women who participated actually continued to improve substantially to achieve above-normal performance in a non-training period after an initial intense training epoch. Scientists have also recorded strong recovery of function in individuals whose brains have been broadly impacted by HIV/AIDS infections. In these and other studies, imaging and brain recording measures confirm a substantial physical restoration of brain health in these damaged-brain individuals.

It should be noted that when you have a history of brain infection or brain poisoning, that’s another of a long list of unfortunate set of happenstances that should focus some of your attention on brain health pretty much for the rest of your life.

A:

We were stuck writing the scene in which the head of Henry Kissinger in a jar was negotiating with the Balls (in the episode "War Is the H Word"). It took two full days to come up with a single line for Kissinger -- two full days of nonstop unusable testicle jokes. We were going crazy, exasperated and fatigued with the all the balls puns that we were unable to stop making. Finally, someone wearily muttered, "This is not a productive area of discussion," and voila! Timeless comedy genius, plus we got to go home. Your friend, Matt


Q:

Tsk tsk... This was pointedly addressed in two different videos... you must watch even more!

A:

yah my dream would be to do these on turn tables or CD-Js [not in the cheaty-ass 'Just PRess Play and stand on a table relishing the glory of EDM' way] but like SUPER DEEP way...i started DJing on CDJs in 1997 or 1998 i believe.. Denons and Pioneer. i had been using vinyl before but i realized i could remic my own vrsions of vinyl, or play my own music by burning a CD and didnt need to wait for a vinyl press, etc.. at the time that was very revolutionary, as vinyl DJs were confined to only what had been pressed to wax. so i was goin NUTSO in the alte nineties playing insnaely creative sets with tons of exclusive mashups and versions, and multiple times had some yahoo troll wingnut trying to yell at me that i should GTFO unless i played vinyl... anyhow...

so yah, eventually i would like to play these all with 4 or 5 turntables and do them in various cities in small rooms with no lights or anything, just bump crazy music in the dark :)

for this first one, i've just been focusing on the music nonstop: i have spent every week since february remixing old tunes, remastering my record collection, recording vinyl into the computer, recreating the drums and bassline, adding tons of effects and layers, or sampling the FVCK out of old classics... then just nonstop editing and re-cutting and customizing... every style, genre, tempo...

most of this music is deep and complex but not exactly what i would play at mainstage Bonaroo or in the peak moments of Electric Forest or whatever... its deeper

its what would i play if it was just you and me on a road trip, or if it was just us and a dozen friends drinking wine in a tree house, or if it was just us a 5 dozen friends going APESHIT at a house party and swinging from the curtains, ... just playing anything and everything under the sun, and focusing on the fun...

its not that i dont have fun usually, i definitely do! but the full on bassnectar sets like at bass center, that stuff is SO high octane and so over the top and immersive and overwhelming...its like drowning in lava or having massive tsunami waves crash down on your brain

freestyle is more like playing hide and seek in the dark with your best friends at summer camp, under a full moon, on Jupiter, with a few alien buddies joining along, while sipping mango juice, and then realiziing you are an alien and you were born on Jupiter, and all the kids you're playing hide and seek with are aliens from earth, so you are not actually an alien, you are a JUPITERIAN!!!!!

:)


Q:

Any chance we'll see more Futurama episodes or movies in the future? Please please please say yes!

A:

In places like tech startups, would you consider directly emailing the CEO with your resume as a smart move or not?


Q:

Do you actually do bang bangs in real life and if so what is your favorite cuisine pairing?

A:

How much do you think that genetics play a role in the overall brain functions? I know people that smoked , drank and ate extremely unhealthy diets for most of their lives . They still do that and they are doing pretty well (keep in mind they are over 50 years of age) .No symptoms of Alzheimer's or Parkinson's , no strokes or heart problems.

Another question I got for you is why clearing amyloid plaques would not restore cognitive functions? Wouldn't BDNF and NGF injections (plus brain exercise) help partially restore these functions once (or at least create new ones which can relieve some of the damage done by the disease) all amyloid plaques got cleared?

Also... There has been a ton of research focused on psychedelics ultimately. Do you think LSD got any potential in helping with brain plasticity? Maybe combined with specific brain exercises?


Q:

Any chance we'll see more Futurama episodes or movies in the future? Please please please say yes!

A:

What software do you use for your compositing? Is it all After Effects or do you use something fancier like Smoke?


Q:

There are no new TV episodes or movies in the pipeline at the moment... HOWEVER, here and now I promise a different avenue of exciting Futurama news later this summer, no kidding. Keep your expectations modest and you will be pleased, possibly. I am not allowed to say more or I will be lightly phasered. - David X. Cohen

A:

Yes, but make sure you do your homework about the story of the company and why you'd love it. Target the right person (CEO, CTO, COO) who would be the decision-maker for your role. Following up once or twice on the email is perfectly fine too. Don't be discouraged if they don't respond to your first or second try.


Q:

Yes unfortunately I have, it would have to be dinner then chinese

A:

A brain full of amyloid plaques has undergone massive physical change. Large numbers of neurons have died, there has been a great degree of connectional simplification with the highest of brain levels substantially offline, the machinery for controlling brain change and sustaining brain health is grossly dysfunctional, and the physical brain has shrunken ultimately dramatically. In many failed drug trials, scientists have sought ways to get rid of amyloid plaques, believing that they are an active source of disruption. But actually, once expressed most of the damage is done. The only possibility of substantial recovery of function would require the regeneration, regrowth, and restoration of recovery of all of that lost connectivity. Moreover, now it must be achieved with sparser, dis-elaborated, constituent neuronal populations. A massive amount of corrective change must be made. That’s why any truly informed integrative neuroscientist knew well in advance that the drug trials targeting amyloid bodies designed to erase them or stop their formation would not change the performance characteristics of the already-damaged brain. The notion that you would wake up after taking a drug in significantly better shape is ridiculous. 450 times drug companies have staked their fortunes on drugs that do something like this in AD-infected brains. The current success rate in these trials is 0/450.

Something is wrong in Denmark.

You’ve initially asked about genetics and their importance, and of course they are important. Good genes are a good thing. Bad genes are unlucky, of course. People with good genes still often end up in the home. People with lots against them often live longer, better, more successful, and healthier lives. Because your brain is plastic, whether you have good genes are not and because brain use related to brain health is under your control, YOUR actions make all the difference. Your job, regardless of how you think the likely power of your genetics, is to make the most out of your life (your brain) in any event. Too many people sit back and say “I have good genes” even while their brain is slowly going to hell. Too many people mope “I have bad genes” even while they could be doing a lot to make their life next year a very much better one.

A final brief point: yes, upregulating BDNF and engaging the brain is an emphasized strategy for recovery. At the same time, training itself results in BDNF upregulation. You probably don’t really have to take the shot.


Q:

There are no new TV episodes or movies in the pipeline at the moment... HOWEVER, here and now I promise a different avenue of exciting Futurama news later this summer, no kidding. Keep your expectations modest and you will be pleased, possibly. I am not allowed to say more or I will be lightly phasered. - David X. Cohen

A:

After Effects for the vast majority of it. I use Syntheyes to do more complex motion tracking. Also Blender for 3D stuff, although Videocopilot's 'Element 3D' plugin is awfully convenient!

I've dabbled in learning Nuke, but it's more suited for working on single shots. AE is great for compositing and timing many transitioning shots in a hurry.


Q:

Billy: What was your favourite voice to do on the show?

A:

Any advice on doing a Skype interview from across the world?


Q:

Were you drawing from personal experience with your scene in Sirens? It all seemed so real

A:

What is your professional opinion, and your personal opinion, about this little corner of reddit called r/Tulpas?


Q:

Billy: What was your favourite voice to do on the show?

A:

What's your least favourite video you've done? Do you have a favourite?


Q:

I can't say honestly, I loved everything I was given the opportunity to interpret - BW

A:

Make sure you go to a quiet place, have a good wi-fi connection and show up for the interview as if it was a live, in-person interview. Dress professionally, make sure your hair isn't a mess and have a bright attitude. It can be strange to have an interview through the computer but make it as natural as possible by treating it as if it were an in-person interview. Let your personality shine through and remember that they can still see your body language and get an idea of who you are through cyberspace.


Q:

Oh when I had the coke bottle stuck in my ass. No I've never used a coke bottle

A:

Isn’t the brain wonderful in its ability to create powerful and elaborate constructions that seem “real”? Hey, that’s all it does. Do you think the world out in front of you, with it’s bright and dull colors, is “real”? It is in the sense that our sensory organs provide us with, if not linear, at least systematic reconstruction of its physical dimensions and qualities. In every other respect, it is a neurological fiction. One of the greatest of its fictions is you. Isn’t it also great that it can attach you so strongly to the other fictional characters that you love (of course they have a physical atomic reality)? Do you want to create another one that has no physical atomic reality? That’s OK by me.

Brain plasticity applies to “mental actions” just as well as it applies to your operations in interaction with the physical world. When I rehearse my part in life’s drama I am changing by brain of course. Just as I change it I systematically improve my ability to use a tool or master a craft. It’s all plastic.


Q:

I can't say honestly, I loved everything I was given the opportunity to interpret - BW

A:

Ha, I'm the type of person who doesn't like their own work after it's done. When I post a new video, I watch it over and over for a day. Then I avoid watching it ever again. Some of the very early videos kind of make me cringe. A few hold up pretty well. I suppose I'm most proud of the Beakman episode as a whole.


Q:

Not sure if you were aware of its existence, but there's an entire subreddit of people who fall asleep to Futurama. I can't tell you how many times I've had a shitty or stressful day and put on an episode to help me go to sleep and try to make the next one better. Thank you so much for creating something that, when I didn't have any friends, made me feel like maybe I did.

Question: One $300 hookerbot or 300 $1 hookerbots?

A:

software portfolio is what my husband calls it, same as an artist might have, a sample of your own work.


Q:

what do you think it will take to leave your child without a father?

A:

For years, I have diligently recorded my night dreams in order to try to interpret them and learn from them, especially with regard to the emotions they reveal; what is your belief, experience and approach to the use of night dreams in changing emotional patterns in the brain?


Q:

Is there any particular episode that you're especially attached to?

A:

Some of the good folks at /r/magic are currently having a debate on a thread about the America's got talent video that you tore apart. Some are arguing that what you did breaks the magicians code because there was actual trickery involved, and the VFX just helped in post to account for frame rate differences. How would you respond?


Q:

It depends on if you have 3 bills or 300 bills. Act accordingly. - John

A:

Great answer!

To echo what face said -- we're based in SF and as a technology company, half of us are software engineers. If you want to be a developer, you definitely need to have project work to display. Some people learning to code commit to it and have a lot of material to show, while others are only dabbling. Even bootcamps can generate very uneven candidates and aren't seen as "enough" now since they've become so prolific. If you're starting out, there's no reason not to publicize your github.

That being said, web design, data analysis, and PM are all VERY different jobs. Encourage your friend to speak to some more people in the tech industry to see which would suit her strengths.


Q:

Lie - eggs whites with orange slices

Truth - two eggs sandwiches and a cuban cigar

A:

We know two things happen in sleep. By one process you are reinforcing changes that have occurred in experience in learning from the previous day in ways that reinforce a permanent record. But in dreaming sleep you’re probably primarily taking out the garbage for events that occurred in the previous day that are being removed or weakened from the permanent record (i.e., strengthening the good things and weakening what’s not valuable to save). Understand that this is an interpretation on my part of a complex scientific literature. On my part, I prefer to look at my sometimes-troubling dreaming as amusing and I hope they simply mean that somebody is doing a good job of taking out the trash.


Q:

As a true cartoon fan, the episode, "Jurassic Bark" blew me away. I never thought a cartoon would have the resonance to evoke such a feeling of sadness. I was really sad. And, then I got mad at myself for my eyes misting up. - BW

A:

I'm not a professional magician. I don't know Will Tsai, I didn't invent or design the trick, I have no inside information on how it's done and I just might be 100% wrong about what I explained (but I'm fairly sure I'm right). If simply presenting a hypothesis on how a trick is done (packaged in a humorous video with a little background information that's publicly available) constitutes a breach of the magicians' code... then... well, ok. Sorry. I'll assume I'm banned from the Magic Castle and won't try to visit.


Q:

You don't like asking hookers to make change?

A:

How have you helped fresh grads overcome the barrier of entering the job market which demand XX number years of experience in the field when they have little to none?


Q:

How long does it take you to scrape the barnacles off your face every morning?

A:

I agree with you 99% (I don't believe anything 100%, even that I am sitting here typing this). Here is my experience why:

I smoke pot and back on a day in 1983 I started thinking about how often I smoke weed and then fall asleep. I started thinking about how much money I was wasting, and every other con, to getting high and then falling asleep. It bugged me all day. It was like the worst case of a song being stuck in your head. I couldn't stop thinking about that singular issue. After that day forward, whenever I smoke pot, I would get hyper. I would have a tremendous drive to get up and do something. Falling asleep was not possible.

That experience has taught me how to use plasticity as a tool for rewiring my brain, pretty much, at will. You mention the "power to throw the plasticity switch from ‘decline’ to ‘grow.’" I contend that it is more than just a general on/off switch, and that it is an actual process anyone can learn to use to,essentially, re-program their brain at will. Do you have any experience with similar scenarios like this during your research and/or have you considered this as a possibility and/or what is your experience with it, if so?

Keep pushing on!

Followup: After several years it started to decline. After a couple decades it got to the point where I didn't fall asleep, but I would not get hyper either. After another couple decades it is just now starting to get to the point where I can fall asleep while high, but that could also be cause I am just getting old.

EDIT: This AMA deserves a lot more attention than it is getting


Q:

Is there any particular episode that you're especially attached to?

A:

Thanks for making me more skeptical in daily life Captain D.

What got you interested in effects, and what is your favorite effect that is used widely in your industry (professional artistic projects, like movies and TV)?


Q:

I don't like getting hit with rolls of quarters. - John

A:

A little bit of insight on how recruiters at companies think:

Typically jobs available for will be broken into a variation on three categories: Entry (students), Experienced Hires, and Executives.

If you're a fresh grad, you are looking for entry-level positions where ideally the work experience range is 0-3 years. There is some leeway around applying to roles that are 3-5 years of experience required if you have reputable internship experience, AND the years of experience are typically not a hard-and-fast rule for human reviewers, but we encourage you not to waste your time applying to the wrong job.

Talent acquisition staff will look for a few core things in a recent graduate's resume: skillset (education or self-learned), leadership experience, and related industry experience (extracurriculars or interests). Best of luck!


Q:

I get it it's a whale joke but too hacky, try harder

A:

I enjoyed reading your personal narrative. I’m not certain that I could provide any deep scientific interpretation of what you have established to be a valuable level of neurological control. Sounds like the basis of an interesting experiment!

On some level, you’ve conditioned your responses in a way that established a strong new level of control, presumably broadly expressed across your brain. We all have within us the capability of changing brain states relatively rapidly from the quiet to the active, from the active to the calm. You have obviously sorted out how to achieve this at will. Way to go.


Q:

I love all the anthology of interest episodes: Luck of the Fryrish, Jurassic Bark, and Roswell that ends well

  • John
A:

I've always liked visual effects ever since I was able to understand what they are. I think we should bring simple old MORPHS back. Like, Michael Jackson Black or White style morphs. They get a bad rap. Make America Morph Again.


Q:

Hey Futurama team!

I love the show and have watched all of the seasons several times, and one of my favorite things about the series is the plethora of interesting and funny side characters. Whether they show up several times, such as Nixon’s head, or only for one episode, such as the Monks of Dschubba, the side characters help to make the show what it is.

My question is, what is everyone’s favorite side character from Futurama?

My personal favorite is the greeting card from the “Mother’s Day” episode.

Oh, and for Mr. Groening: can you tell us anything about your new show coming to Netflix?

Thanks for doing the AMA, and have a good day!

A:

Any tips for a 30 something currently finishing an undergraduate in engineering to land internships?


Q:

Why do you love food more than your child?

A:

Can a neurological condition like ASD impact neuroplasticity (or vice versa)? If so, how?


Q:

Not sure if you were aware of its existence, but there's an entire subreddit of people who fall asleep to Futurama. I can't tell you how many times I've had a shitty or stressful day and put on an episode to help me go to sleep and try to make the next one better. Thank you so much for creating something that, when I didn't have any friends, made me feel like maybe I did.

Question: One $300 hookerbot or 300 $1 hookerbots?

A:

How do you feel that given you've been doing this for years, that people just recently started to start recognize your work?


Q:

That Greeting Card voice is amazing. And I see now it is mis-attributed on some internet pages. The actress who actually did that part is Nicole St. John! She also appeared several more times doing the heart-breaking voice of Sally, the orphan girl with the ear on her forehead. (Some internet sites mistakenly credit the card voice as Tara Strong... great actress who played Bender's tap-dancing rival Tonya in Futurama ep 7ACV25!) - David X. Cohen

A:

Network with your professors. This is one of the best ways for older undergraduate students to land jobs, especially in engineering/hard sciences. Because you are likely far more mature than some of your younger undergraduate counterparts, you can connect with professors or other campus faculties who may have connections either within your university for internships or work experience, or they may have external connections in companies that could help you out. They are your best resource to get started.


Q:

Stop with the fucking, stop getting real, don't make statements. Either be funny or fuck yourself

A:

Scientists have extensively studied the genetic bases of ASD and they have shown that it can involve aspects of the plasticity processes themselves. Because the genetics of origin of ASD are so complicated it is not at all clear that this is always the case but we know that it can apply in some ASD individuals. At the same time, ASD individuals have very plastic brains. Plasticity is the brain’s big trick and it takes a lot to completely block or frustrate it. We’ve trained tens of thousands of individuals in the ASD spectrum using our computer-based training strategies and we’ve been repeatedly struck by their capacity to learn, advance, and improve in their operational abilities for the better. Sometimes these changes are completely transformative. They’re almost always helpful. There aren’t very many brains in the world in which plasticity cannot by engaged to change a life very much for the better.

You can send me a note for more details if you have a specific subclass of ASD in mind.

Edit: added last sentence.


Q:

It depends on if you have 3 bills or 300 bills. Act accordingly. - John

A:

OUTSIDERS! HISSSSSS! No, it's great, of course. I'm really happy about it and I hope it continues. It inspires me to make better stuff.


Q:

Thanks for doing this AMA, meatbags!

Matt: If you could go back in time and make any changes to Futurama's characters/plot lines, what would you do and why?

David: Were there any challenges that plagued the writers in the writing room? What were they and how were they resolved?

Billy and John: What's the strangest vocal direction that you've received in the booth? (Not necessarily during the production of Futurama)

A:

I'm turning 30 soon and despite having a degreee in Hospitality management I've never been above minimum wage. Am I already doomed to fail?


Q:

Will you dress up as Victor, the Just for Laughs mascot?

A:

My father died from Alzheimer’s. Per your intriguing intro, will you help us understand how to throw the switch? What, exactly, should we be doing to sustain or even grow our abilities, to successfully manage our organic brain health, to improve our lot in life, and keep ourselves safer? Thank you!


Q:

You don't like asking hookers to make change?

A:

Your videos are all great and at highest quality point I can imagine, how long does it take to gather data for them? Is it only you or the whole crew you work with? If so, how many people stand behind Captain Disillusion?


Q:

"Do it louder, but make sure it's still soft." - John

A:

Of course not! Search for the list of successful businessmen & women who were successful later in life -- you'll be surprised to find that is the norm, and success before 30 is the outlier.


Q:

I think I already am. I look very similar right now. Just paint me green and take my clothes off

A:

We’ve conducted series of studies in animal models in which we’ve studied brains near the end of the animal’s life and contracted a long list of physical, chemical, and functional brain assets to the status of those assets in the brains of young adult animals in their “prime of life”. In those studies we’ve asked: “What’s different?” The answer: everything. Then we ask, “What’s stronger in an old brain?” Answer: nothing. Old brains are less reliable. They’re slower, less intact, less well-served by the vasculature of the brain. They’re less responsive to immunological challenge. They disconnect, simplify, chemically degrade, reduce in sophistication, dis-elaborate, and lose attentional control. Then we ask, “How many of these assets that distinguish very old brain from prime of life brains can be overcome by brain training?” The answer is all of them.

What do I need to do to drive these changes? Do I have a brain that looks like it’s approaching the cliff?

First of all, calibrate yourself. I recommend considering your brain speed as an index of your brain health, just as it provides an index of an animal’s brain health. When the brain is operating at speed with high reliability it means that your positive switch is still on. If you’re problem-solving and if you’re fast in mental operations then you’ve sustained your competitive edge. If you recognize any slowing at all and if your grandchild can now whoop you at a game then you probably need some serious brain work. If your situation is still relatively positive you can accomplish keeping yourself in a safe position by adopting natural lifestyle changes. If your situation is a little more questionable you might consider engaging in progressive computerized exercises designed to drive your brain speed and accuracy back to a youthful performance level. Fortunately, these elemental abilities are plastic and strong rejuvenation is commonly achievable. I don’t want to be too promotional but another simple thing you could do is visit BrainHQ.com and compare your performance to others in your age group.

In the ACTIVE trial computerized brain exercises focused on processing accuracy at speed were applied in a controlled trial conducted more 15 years ago. At the beginning of the trial the average age was around 74. Individuals who trained for 10 hours at the trial outset, then an additional 2-4 hours a year later and an additional 2-4 two years after that had strong improvement in everyday life. They were more active in their communities and had only around half as many driving accidents. They were significantly less likely to develop senior depression and significantly more likely to sustain effective control of their everyday lives. Ten years after training initiation and 7 years after the last “dose” of brain training (they only received 14-18 hours overall), scientists asked: “What happened to these people? What was their fate?” The answer: 48% fewer had developed dementia than in the random-assigned control population. While these studies are preliminary they’re consistent with our perspective that recovering and sustaining high-speed high-accuracy performance in a brain is a very good thing for all concerned. My guess is that this includes you.

P.S. on BrainHQ the exercise used in the ACTIVE trial is called “Double Decision”. This task was developed by Karlene Ball from UMB and Daniel Roenker UWK.


Q:

I don't like getting hit with rolls of quarters. - John

A:

Thanks. I spend almost half the time it takes to make an episode figuring out the explanations and writing the script.

Most of the time, it's just me and a person running the camera. But sometimes, when I'm doing something more elaborate or "guest stars" are involved, I involve/hire more people for the shoot. The biggest crew we've ever had has been 4-5 people.

I do all the post-production (editing, vfx and sound) myself. Long days.


Q:

For Billy: what do you think Fry's best attribute is?

A:

I do my own neurorehab using physical activity and using my own system for biofeedback (Heart Rate, skin respons, Blood glycos,muscle control) and I notice a correlation between having a sharp mind and getting better muscle control or not being able to think and no power to the muscles.

Basically I use existing physical activities with a different low load profile short duration, pacing, Heart Rate zone and daily repetition combined with extreme loading that forces shutdown muscles to engage.

Does it exits "neuro plastic" research that evaluate best practice physical training methods ?

My ANS function is effected and my sensory brain / vision/hearing is a limiting factor. Adjusted physical activity reduces pain and stiffness for me. How can physical activity/training replace computer based for brain plasticity training?


Q:

Hey Futurama team!

I love the show and have watched all of the seasons several times, and one of my favorite things about the series is the plethora of interesting and funny side characters. Whether they show up several times, such as Nixon’s head, or only for one episode, such as the Monks of Dschubba, the side characters help to make the show what it is.

My question is, what is everyone’s favorite side character from Futurama?

My personal favorite is the greeting card from the “Mother’s Day” episode.

Oh, and for Mr. Groening: can you tell us anything about your new show coming to Netflix?

Thanks for doing the AMA, and have a good day!

A:

What happened to Mr. Flare? He was always my favorite character besides the captain. Also, I like the numerous guests that appear in your videos. Have you made appearances in any other youtuber's videos? (Not counting the Ms. Ping reaction video where they hit you with a hammer lol)


Q:

His ability to become the central character of a cartoon show called Futurama. - BW

A:

I strongly believe that time best spend from a brain perspective are exercises in which you’re increasing the power of the brain to control your physical actions. The brain’s role in your physical life is as a master controller of moving and acting. The more you can elaborate those powers while you’re engaging yourself physically, the better. A more common physical exercise strategy is to pound on aerobics with exercise machines that actually promote stereotypical actions and control. Unfortunately, you’re repeating the same cycle of movements over and over. It’s better to master highly flexible control because that’s the form of engagement, command, and control that you brain was actually designed for. You want to engage your body at every speed and position possible. Go off-trail biking or skiing, walk barefoot across an uneven landscape, play a net game that increases in speed and difficulty. Any exercise form in which your movements begin slow and ultimately become fast and elaborated will help. At the same time, physical exercise does not provide all of the brain exercise that you need.

People that have substantial visual or auditory impairment are limited in the capacity to change their brain for the better, just like people who can’t control their actions. Every individual who finds themselves in this situation has to take brain exercises especially seriously. It’s wonderful that you instinctively understand this and are acting upon it on the basis of that understanding. Keep it up.

P.S. If you tell me a little bit more about the nature of your visual and auditory impairment then I may be able to provide additional information.


Q:

That Greeting Card voice is amazing. And I see now it is mis-attributed on some internet pages. The actress who actually did that part is Nicole St. John! She also appeared several more times doing the heart-breaking voice of Sally, the orphan girl with the ear on her forehead. (Some internet sites mistakenly credit the card voice as Tara Strong... great actress who played Bender's tap-dancing rival Tonya in Futurama ep 7ACV25!) - David X. Cohen

A:

Mr. Flare is very temperamental, so it's hard to book him. But I'm hoping he'll be back one of these days.

I've appeared on various podcasts and in this short Skeptics' Guide sketch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJHovezqRBw

But I don't live close to any YouTubers I know of so it's not easy to do collabs.


Q:

Why does Ross the largest Friend not simply eat the other five?

A:

What do you think of neuroprotective mechanisms following injury to the brain? Be it a concussion, stroke, or cardiac arrest, there have been studies showing a delayed onset of symptoms, approximately a day or two after injury. How do you think the brain is responding to this? Or, why do you think this delay happens? Sorry if this is too broad. Thanks!


Q:

Thanks for doing this AMA, meatbags!

Matt: If you could go back in time and make any changes to Futurama's characters/plot lines, what would you do and why?

David: Were there any challenges that plagued the writers in the writing room? What were they and how were they resolved?

Billy and John: What's the strangest vocal direction that you've received in the booth? (Not necessarily during the production of Futurama)

A:

Greetings from Venezuela, been following you since the beginning and I love your stuff.

Question: Are you aware of how big / small your global fandom is? Sometimes it saddens me not being able to share your work with more people because of the language barrier.


Q:

He did... obviously you missed the series finale. - David X. Cohen

A:

When you have a concussive injury, or a stroke, or often when you have a heart attack or heart failure, or spend a period in the ICU of a day or more and you suffer from delirium, these are commonly expressed by a compromise of the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier seals off the brain compartment from the blood compartment, which is important for brain function in two ways. First, chemical agents from blood change the excitability of brain tissues, and thereby disable them functionally. They radically increase the noisiness of the brain and the brain rapidly adjusts to this change by plastically changing its speed of operations. In all of these conditions, brain slowing is the signature aspect of the incurred impairments. It has to slow down to sustain control. A break in the blood brain barrier also enables the passage of infectious agents from blood to directly enter brain tissue. The brain responds by walling off viruses and bacteria, with amyloid – a natural brain chemical which helps protect the brain. Unfortunately, by that protection, it creates an inclusion called an amyloid body, which is a forerunner—an expression – of impending Alzheimer’s disease. This is why all of these conditions increase the risk of an earlier onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Basically, especially in older brains, they initiate the processes that put it into play. It is very important that you do whatever you can to sustain the integrity of your blood brain barrier!

We are conducting trials at Vanderbilt University in which we are trying to help people who have a scheduled serious surgical procedure in which we anticipate a likely compromise of their blood-brain barrier. We know that the barrier is plastic, and we know that we can probably increase its resilience to breakdown when it is put through the strings of a long and elaborate surgical operation. We will know soon whether we can decrease the probability of its compromise as a consequence of an individual going through this body and brain altering experience. We have also been applying training in individuals that have suffered from concussion and stroke as well as individuals who have been through a period of delirium in ICU, with one of our objectives being the restoration of the integrity of the blood brain barrier.

When most people think about brain remodeling or brain recovery conferred by intensive training, they think about it in neurological terms. It turns out that something is different about a relationship between the vascular supply to the tissue to the brain and the brain tissues themselves is also plastic, and can be very positively impacted by the right forms of intensive training. In an individual that is struggling because of such a history, the training has a dual purpose: a recovering high speed, high accuracy performance characteristics, and restoring this very special vascular to brain tissue relationship.


Q:

"Do it louder, but make sure it's still soft." - John

A:

Hi, thanks! Sometimes people tell me, in the way you just have, and the YouTube stats show a pretty good spread of what countries people watch my videos. It makes me happy. A few months ago, I enabled community subtitles on all of my videos and many people have added translations into various languages. Subtitles can always be submitted here: http://www.youtube.com/timedtext_cs_panel?c=UCEOXxzW2vU0P-0THehuIIeg&tab=2


Q:

Why is there a magician in Atlanta?

A:

In the early days of your research, the accepted idea was that the brain was static and that the only change in structure and function that occurred during mid-late life was degeneration. What was some of the early evidence and findings that led to the acceptance of the idea of neuroplasticity? What made you go against the largely accepted school of thought?


Q:

For Billy: what do you think Fry's best attribute is?

A:

How do you achieved your colab with Beakman?


Q:

Search for the lyrics for The Donovan Song, "Atlantis" - John & writers

A:

First of all, there were prior studies conducted primarily in the domain of physiological psychology that argued contrary to the predominant view that the brain was continuously plastic. They just weren’t taken very seriously by the neuroscientific mainstream. My transformation came from two sources: a research team that I lead at the University of California contributed to the invention of a device called the cochlear implant and we realized in its application that what can appear to be an almost miraculous recovery in listening ability must be attributed to brain remodeling. These devices shocked the sector of the hearing range that normally only represents highest frequency sounds with only a very crude simulation of the normal patterns of input representing intelligible speech. Not surprisingly, the speech that most individuals initially heard was very degraded. In time, a miracle occurred. They heard everything. And, they described what they heard as sounding completely natural, just as it sounded before they lost their hearing. This was not a miracle accounted for by our engineering. The brain did it by changing itself to account for this recovered power.

In parallel, we were conducting studies on the basic organization of great sensory systems of the brain and very early on showed that the changes that occurred following damage to a peripheral nerve innervating the hand manifested powerful adult brain remodeling. We quite quickly showed that we could drive such changes very easily by manipulating inputs from the skin, or by training in an animal of any age. That led us to conduct studies in which we trained animals to define the rules that govern plastic change. We saw that plasticity was rule-based, and following those rules, we could change the brain positively or negatively in performance and in its operational powers at will.

After a long series of studies designed to optimize this level of control, we have looked for models in which we could translate this science out into the world, to the benefit of struggling human populations. Initial focus was on children that struggle in their language abilities, and struggled to learn to read, and struggle in their cognitive development in school. Up to this point, we have trained more than 6 million such children in American public schools. Our interest then turned to individuals in the adult world, in adult populations, who acquire problems in life, expressed as psychiatric illness, or neurological injury or illness. Because everyone’s brain is plastic, every individual that struggles on planet earth can improve their functional abilities and brain health through appropriate forms of intensive brain remodeling.

Finally, it is not just about the struggling. It is about every one of us. It is about every individual making the most out of life. About working to improve their operational performance abilities; on the job, in life, in the things that matter to them. It includes you.


Q:

His ability to become the central character of a cartoon show called Futurama. - BW

A:

One day I remembered how cool the show was and was just browsing clips of it online. Then I found out that the actor, Paul Zaloom, still does appearances as the character in live shows for kids. I contacted him and after a while he got back to me, checked out my videos and agreed to do it. It took a few months after that to come up with the idea, write the script and arrange everything. It was quite and experience!


Q:

How do you feel about socks and sandals?

A:

Can you comment on how your findings could help improve brains of those with some form of addition? (alcohol, drug, video games,...) Given some research indicates their ability to reason diminishes. thank you


Q:

Why does Ross the largest Friend not simply eat the other five?

A:

do you use blender only for modeling or do you use it also to edit the clip where you use 3d models ?


Q:

Some people will eat anything - BW

A:

There are three aspects of related science in play that I can comment about. First, we know that a brain that has not evolved highly stable operations puts its owner at high risk for onset of a serious addiction. For example, children that have multiple adverse childhood experiences are delayed in their development and are left with brains that are commonly attentionally impaired. They struggle to control the child’s impulses. They struggle to suppress inappropriate responding. If a child in their early life has four categories of adverse childhood experiences against them, as shown by the Kaiser Health Initiative Research, they are 15 times more likely to develop a serious addiction as a teenager or young adult. So, the first line of attack in addressing issues of addiction are to strengthen those brains in ways that reduce the probability that addiction will be in such a child’s future. Second, we have been training individuals in small studies with ongoing addictions of alcohol or drugs and we now know that we can plastically drive changes in the brain that can plausibly help in recovery. For example, we have preliminarily shown that we can reduce craving for the addicted substance. It should be understood that we do not view brain training alone as likely to be effective in addiction related therapy because we think other life coaching and other cognitive and social therapeutic strategies almost certainly have to come into play.

Finally, the chronic addict has neurological changes that arise in their brain as a consequence of the addiction. Those changes weaken an individual operationally in elementary and in complex higher order processes. For example, ultimately, they slow down the brain and impair the individual’s cognitive and other abilities. Ultimately, they distort the machinery that contributes centrally to the individual’s sense of well-being and happiness. Things that should be central in the individual’s life and affections (like their marriage partner, or their child, or the natural beauties of life) can be weak as rewarding or stimulating sources of experience for them. And, the rebalancing and recovery of the rewards of these abilities is a very valuable aspect of recovery.

Scientists have shown that improvements in cognitive status resulting from therapy, directly predict that the person will stay off the drug or the alcohol once they leave the clinic and recovery of their attachment to the people that are at the core of their lives. Again, brain training and exercise in the appropriate forms can contribute to the recovery of these lost or degraded faculties.


Q:

He did... obviously you missed the series finale. - David X. Cohen

A:

So far I only use it for modeling and animating 3D scenes, but I know it has powerful editing and compositing features. I need to take the time to learn them.


Q:

How fleshed out were the characters initially and how much of their "growth" happened naturally as the series progressed?

A:

Thank you, sir, for this amazing post. What can be done regarding anger? Is this an inherited characteristic?


Q:

Why is there a magician in Atlanta?

A:

Any updates on the Cicrit Bracelet?


Q:

In the first season everything is kind of a work in progress, and ideas and voices morph over time. In other words, it becomes what it was supposed to be. - BW

A:

Anger is out of the immediate realm of my expertise. We commonly measure responses that relate to anger in individuals that we are trying to help. In general, we know that uncontrolled anger responses and expressions of hyper-reactivity emerge from the emotional control machinery of the brain, from the amygdala and the structures that feed it. This machinery can be quieted by specific forms of training. We apply that training, for example, in “wild children”, who cannot be sustained in a conventional home or foster care home because of their inherent strong emotional instability. “Mad all the time” or maybe more correctly, “upset all the time”, can describe many such children. In studies that we have supported in Australia, for example, the trainees are children who, because they have been in more than five foster care homes in the previous year, have been taken from them to live in a group facility where they can be minded 24 hours a day because of their ongoing, almost complete lack of personal control. Even in these extreme cases, these children’s brains can be plastically changed to get them past this completely self-defeating epoch in their life, in the great majority of cases.

What does it take to do that? First, we apply the kind of calming strategies that are commonly expressed within the science of meditation. Children are trained to understand that their brain is responsible and is highjacking them when they have an angry, out of control episode. That they simply must wait until it passes, until the brain storm, in their amygdala, moves out over the horizon again. Children are also trained in ways that are designed to positively reconnect them to other people, and to more accurately interpret where other people are coming from emotionally, that commonly lead to their misinterpretations that lead to their anger responses. I know this is probably not a very direct answer to your question about your own anger and the way it arises within you, but what I know for sure is that your angry moments are also subject to plastic modification. That you, too, can learn to wait until the storm passes. That you, too, can change your brain, and how you interpret the actions of others that reduce the probability that you respond inappropriately so often.

One last point. If, at some point in life, I poke my finger in your eye every so often, you might be inclined later in life to a bit more prone to be angry every once in a while. It’s very possible that in your early life, maybe without you knowing it, someone was poking a finger in your eye pretty regularly. It doesn’t actually have to be an outside agency, because you can often do the poking. When a child goes to school and is bullied or doesn’t do well in school, or feels inadequate or friendless, they can be poking their own eye. Something like this in your life might be the true origin of the moments of anger that are expressed later in life. Thank goodness you have a plastic brain, because if you live your whole life without doing something about it, shame on you!


Q:

Search for the lyrics for The Donovan Song, "Atlantis" - John & writers

A:

Not yet. GIVE THEM A CHANCE, MAN.


Q:

Is there any particular episode that you're especially attached to?

A:

You don't literally mean the eye poking, do you?


Q:

How fleshed out were the characters initially and how much of their "growth" happened naturally as the series progressed?

A:

Hey Cap, I've been a fan for a couple of years now and I was wondering, was there any specific works of visual media(films or tv shows) that made you interested in the visual effects world?


Q:

As a true cartoon fan, the episode, "Jurassic Bark" blew me away. I never thought a cartoon would have the resonance to evoke such a feeling of sadness. I was really sad. And, then I got mad at myself for my eyes misting up. - BW

A:

No, I do not literally mean eye-poking. I mean generating high-level stress in your life by their actions. Maybe they’re bullying you, maybe they’re abusing you, maybe they’re punishing you when it's not fair, maybe you know or believe the teacher thinks you’re a little loser, maybe no one wants to be your friend, maybe your mom wishes you weren’t underfoot, maybe things are really going badly almost everyday in the home you live in. All of things fall within my eye-poking category.


Q:

In the first season everything is kind of a work in progress, and ideas and voices morph over time. In other words, it becomes what it was supposed to be. - BW

A:

I grew up obsessed with all films of Robert Zemeckis. I can't think of any other filmmaker who uses more elaborate visual effects more invisibly in service of a story.


Q:

Is there any particular episode that you're especially attached to?

A:

Hello Dr. Merzenich. Can neural feedback sessions correct ASD and ADHD symptoms in adolescents? What is your view of the Qeeg as a valid test for understanding what aspects of the brain need treatment?


Q:

How do you feel about socks and sandals?

A:

Which film do you think has the best blend of visual and practical effects?


Q:

I love all the anthology of interest episodes: Luck of the Fryrish, Jurassic Bark, and Roswell that ends well

  • John
A:

The scientific reviews about the clinical uses of biofeedback for individuals with ADHD and ASD are mixed. Some reviews strongly support arguments about its effectiveness; an equally large number emphasis its lack of impacts in these and other subject populations. In my view, it is still somewhat of an art form; in the hands of an enlightened practitioner, it may be very beneficial. But how do you know that your child has been delivered to an enlightened practitioner? That remains a problem.

On the one hand, it would appear that in the right hands, biofeedback strategies can improve the control abilities that relate to ADHD. Things are a little more obscure for ASD, and it is more difficult to talk about it because the expressions of deficits in the ASD cohort are so dramatically variable. Biofeedback specialists have begun to use elementary strategies to map strengths of connectivity in brain systems as a source of insight for clinical manipulation (qEEG). It is too early to evaluate the practical utility of this integrated approach. At the same time, hypothetically, looking at connectivity maps is a not unreasonable initial strategy for generating a first-level understanding of neurological strengths and weaknesses. These strategies are rapidly evolving in application, and are likely to be more widely and intensively used in the immediate future.


Q:

Some people will eat anything - BW

A:

Hmm, hard to pin down to a single movie. The directors that come to mind who do that particularly well are Christopher Nolan, Robert Zemeckis and Edgar Wright.


Q:

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

A:

Hi, Dr Merzenich. I am a student practitioner of The Anat Baniel Method. I have heard you speak a couple of times. The last time I heard you speak, you were talking about reversing the negative brain changes that come with age. At the end of your lecture you said something to the effect of - What can change in the brain? Everything. - I was very encouraged, particularly because I have a 3 year old with an intellectual disability, due to a chromosomal deletion (5p minus syndrome). My question to you is, do you think that it is possible for a child with a genetic syndrome's brain to make the same type of changes, to the point where there is no longer an intellectual disability? Many thanks.


Q:

Have you ever thought about a series dedicated to the life of scruffy?

A:

How do you find characters to assist you in making your episodes? Eg, Holly, your kid, Ellie?

Thanks for doing what you're doing!


Q:

Salted caramel. Bender's favorite flavor would be rust. - John

A:

We have been interested in this specific deletion syndrome because it is of a not-infrequent occurrence, and because the expressions of ASD that arise from it are so dramatically variable. We have actually used computerized assessments to evaluate nearly 50 different elemental neurological faculties in children with this deletion to try to create a profile that was intended to describe what is common to all of these kids. What we see, in fact, is extraordinary diversity in the expression of deficits in this very intriguing child population. They raise the question: how can the same genetic deletion result in differences in phenotype that result in relatively mild to relatively severe cognitive impacts – a child that may be very “autistic” to only relatively mildly impacted?

There is an underlying related second question, and that is that we know that autism is strongly inherited; more than 70% of children with ASD with an identical twin, share ASD with that twin; but on the other hand, around 30% do not. So, how can it be that two genetically identical individuals with a strongly inherited disease, can differ so dramatically? One child, strongly negatively impacted; the second, primarily merely language delayed and impaired? This is a question that has interested my colleagues and I for a very long time. We have tried to address it in two ways. The first thing that we have tried to ask is, do these children have brains that have the normal capacities for improvement or change that apply for non-ASD children? While the plasticity control processes may differ in some ways, we have repeatedly seen that the brains of these children are highly plastic – just as in any other kid.

Second, we try to understand what the basis might be for the expression of a strong negative phenotype in one child genetically equivalent to a second child in which the phenotypic ASD is weak. To study this, we created an animal model whose brain is struggling in the listening domain, a core common deficit in ASD, and then we ask, “what environmental factors can very substantially add to the struggling brain of this inherently impaired child? We examined a total of 6 factors that were chosen, because we believe they have all grown in modern cultural environments across the last 35-40 years. You could say that what we are really trying to understand is not just what accounts for the variation in the penetrance in impacts in different genetically identical individuals, but also what could account for a clear, unequivocal increase in the percentage of children across the last 30-40 years identified as ASD. Our factors include: (1) poisoning the infant with a breakdown product from flame-retardant chemicals (the fluorinated equivalence of PCBs), (2) heavy exposure in the third trimester to repeated ultrasound examinations of the fetal head and brain, (3) perinatal exposure to heavy metals, (4) rapid cord clamping that results in inadequate delivery of hemoglobin from placental tissues into the infant and later to oxygen deprivation in the developing brain (5) exposure to continuous noise in the postnatal environment, as contrasted with raising the newborn infant in quiet, and (6) exposure of the mother to SSRIs. Every one of these added burdens contributed very significantly to the impairments that had been initiated by the initial insult. Put another way, a whole series of environmental factors are probably contributing to strength of ASD expression and to the increased probability that it is going to be a part of the child’s life.

For your child, the water is already over the dam. Whatever may have contributed to the child’s present neurological performance abilities is established and in place, which may mean that your child is off to a little more struggling beginning in life for nobody’s fault than was absolutely necessary. But, that child’s brain, like every other kid in the spectrum, is just beginning in life to organize itself and its powers. And, fantastic things can potentially come from it. Your job is to do everything you can to grow its powers and to help that child be somebody who is very special.

A final note, I admire Anat Baniel and the therapeutic strategies implemented by the Anat Baniel Method. You and I know that this provides another important source of insight to you in understanding how to help your kid.


Q:

Dialogue would be a series of grunts and moans. And uh-huhs. >John

A:

Just people I know or have some connection to. Holly is played by Lauren Hardie (@warlaur on twitter and instagram) whom I've known for years. She has worked as an actress, television anchor and radio host and is [mostly] a pleasure to work with :P Ellie is played by an up-and-coming actress and singer Crystal Shannon with whom I worked for several years as a supervising editor on a kids' web series called HitStreak. My digital kid was played by the son of a former co-worker of my girlfriend. NETWORKING, BABY.


Q:

We're finally starting to see some manifestation of smart robots in the home (Roomba, Kuri, even Amazon Echo). What does Bender think of these robots, and the others that will eventually be his ancestors?

A:

There is a saying in academia that 'mathematics is a young man's game'. This is disheartening to many researchers who reach 30 without proving something important, and evidence seems to suggest that most of the best theorems in mathematics were proven by people younger than 30. Is this just a remarkable coincidence, or is something going on here? Maybe it is not related to cognitive ability, per se, but a willingness to take on a daring and seemingly hopeless task and keep at it for up to a decade. I'd be interested in your take on this phenomenon.


Q:

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

A:

As a huge fan, thank you for providing such high quality content :-)

What would you rather animate yourself fighting, 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck? And who would win?


Q:

Yea, I tapped them. - Bender

A:

I would like to address your wonderful question just a little bit hypothetically. So, as I integrate information and I advance my powers in thinking outside the box, it is an advantage not to know too much. It is an advantage to have a certain level of intrinsic unreliability. Because, in a sense, the more I drive structured representation in my brain, the more I imbed the rules of formulaic mathematics, the more constrained I am for engendering the truly original solution. In a sense, the older brain always bears the weight of its experiences, which can be constraining and limiting. We have a tendency to think that the more we know, the more original we will be. Actually, knowing a little from an isolated position (like, for example, working in the patent office, and not in the university laboratory) can be a big advantage. I have noticed that over the years, some of the most original scientific thought has come from the more surprising places where people have the advantage of a level of intellectual obscurity. On the other hand, you can go to a scientific meeting in my country and in my discipline, and find a thousand people who hold the same, virtually identical, scientific religious convictions.

I think mathematics might present a special problem in this respect, because it commands the mastery of symbolic manipulation that is rule based, that ultimately makes a hide bound creature out of an originally very open minded individual. I really don’t know any way to get over deeply established hide-boundedness. On the other hand, your brain is plastic. It is possible for old dogs to learn new tricks.


Q:

Salted caramel. Bender's favorite flavor would be rust. - John

A:

Thank you, you're very kind. Charged with such an elaborate animation task, I would of course build the scene in an efficient way that allows pre-rigged models of ducks OR horses to be swapped out as needed and their sizes adjusted with a single control.


Q:

In episode 2F09, when Itchy plays Scratchy's skeleton like a xylophone, he strikes the same rib in succession, yet he produces two clearly different tones. I mean, what are we to believe, that this is a magic xylophone, or something? Ha ha, boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder

A:

What modulates brain plasticity?


Q:

We're finally starting to see some manifestation of smart robots in the home (Roomba, Kuri, even Amazon Echo). What does Bender think of these robots, and the others that will eventually be his ancestors?

A:

As the writer of that episode I feel uniquely qualified to answer this. I'm afraid the person who got fired was me. For that error and a number of other, slightly less serious blunders, I was fired off the Itchy & Scratchy writing staff and had to go work on Futurama as a fallback. - David X. Cohen


Q:

The modulation or control of brain plasticity is a subject of thousands of scientific reports. There is a control system deep in the brain that releases chemical modulators – we call them modulatory neurotransmitters. Included on this list are the transmitters norepinephrine, acetylcholine, serotonin, dopamine, and endogenous opioids – along with two or three other minor players. Modulators are engaged as a function of behavioral context; you can think of them as having enabling power for plasticity. Or, they are released as a function of performance success – you could think of those as having “confirming power”. For example, norepinephrine broadly increases the excitability of responses across the cerebral cortex for those momentary times when it is released. When I am challenged to solve a problem, or challenged because something surprising has just occurred, its level of expression goes up. You could think of it as turning up the lights in the brain in ways that contribute to getting the answer right.

The neurotransmitter acetylcholine plays a different, crucial role. Acetylcholine is also released during moments of close attention – it actually increases the excitability of all of those things that are close to something I expect to occur, or something I am listening or searching for, or sensing to occur in my feelings. It actually allows the brain to change, to find a new solution, because the brain can actually engage the processes that can allow a substitution of what inputs dominate neural responses at each affected location. You can think of it as opening up the repertoire in the domain of possible change; once it is turned on, it gives you about two minutes to go through a behavioral cycle with the possibility of changing its effectively engaged neurons for the ones that were most valuable to improving behavioral performance.

Dopamine, another key neurotransmitter, is released as a function of the occurrence of a reward, or as the brain informs itself that it has responded correctly or made a correct judgment (a “self-recognized reward”), or by the expectation of a reward. That is to say, as soon as the brain expects you get the answer right, you get that rush of pleasure that tells you, “way to go!” – even before you respond to indicate that you know the right answer. Dopamine does two critical things: it modulates enduring change. Dopamine release does another wonderful thing; dopamine related processes actually change rapidly from having an initial positive plastic effect to having an immediately following negative plastic effect. What it is doing is strengthening all of those activities that contributed to performance success, then it takes the next moment in time to weaken everything connectionally that did not contribute. So, there is a positive and negative effect, which taken together, amplifies the power of change.

Serotonin and endogenous opioids and other modulators are also in play, but explaining their specific roles would take another page, or two…or three. I recommend Wikipedia.

In the meantime, think about the marvels of owning a brain that controls its own evolution and change. What do these modulatory neurotransmitters do in sum? They turn on your plasticity machine when something important is about to happen (or has just happened). They open up the machinery for broad change, just for those learning moments when change can be important or valuable to you. They evaluate the success of your behavioral “try” – if it is a good one, they save all of those changes that contribute to its success, and by doing that progressively and iteratively, they give you the power of master controller for even very complex activities. All of this occurs with the brain operating on the basis of enabling change that it interprets to be in its own best interest. What a machine you possess. What a wondrous thing. I sure hope you have a healthy one. I sure hope you are taking good care of your very own most powerful organ.

A:

Yea, I tapped them. - Bender


Q:

My toddler found Futurama on Netflix, on her own, and loves it. I'm very proud of her, and it's nice to have something I can stand to watch with her. Just thought you should know, there's a brand new generation growing up on Futurama. Has anyone else told you about their kids watching Futurama?

A:

Do crosswords work as well as the exercises in BrainHQ? Intuitively, it seems like directly engaging in exercises that are seemingly the most mentally difficult would be the best brain training exercises. Maybe things like crossword or logic puzzles, or games like Chess/Go, or vigorous debate, or some of the video games kids play these days. And yet, Double Decision seems so tame, simple, easy. It is hard to believe it is more effective at preserving cognition than some other tasks.

Also, like Arun, I am curious about dance. I know some geriatricians recommend to their at-risk Alzheimer's patients that they remain socially engaged by doing things like dancing or going to bridge clubs. Is there evidence to support such recommendations?


Q:

In episode 2F09, when Itchy plays Scratchy's skeleton like a xylophone, he strikes the same rib in succession, yet he produces two clearly different tones. I mean, what are we to believe, that this is a magic xylophone, or something? Ha ha, boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder

A:

You are a bad parent, and now the authorities know. Expect child services to be knocking on your door sometime soon. HUGS! - John


Q:

Actually, when we’ve done control trials in which we evaluate the effectiveness of brain exercises like Double Decision, in a number of studies we’ve used progressively more challenging crossword or other puzzles completed on a computer or phone as the active control task. Alas, it has little or no recordable neurological or performance benefits, except one: getting better at crossword puzzles. I might point out that I’ve completed the NYT crossword puzzle every morning for quite a few years and generally am very concerned about how long it takes me to complete it. You might be happy to know that this morning, I completed a Thursday puzzle 17 minutes faster than my average and I was really proud of myself. But alas, no benefit, except that it puts me in a good mood. Of course if I had been 17 minutes slower than the average I might be grouchier.

We’ve also used a wide variety of other computer games and control tasks and see strong differential benefits of BrainHQ over their use.

So the question is: what daily activities could matter? Your geriatrician is right about dancing. Progressive improvement in dancing is an example of an activity that adds value to your neurological life from 2 directions. First, it involves complex new learning in which you are complexly translating new information from the body, vision, audition, and memory into actions. You’re wakening up your learning brain. You’re elaborating your movements and their neurological control. You’re exercising complex sequential memory in a variety of ways that are healthy for your brain. Secondly, dancing is a social experience usually played out in the social arena where you are exercising your social cognition and control -- that machinery that is so close to the heart of the person you are. The more fun you have dancing around the floor, the healthier that core machinery is.

If you think Double Decision is always easy, perhaps you haven’t reached the highest levels. I find those to be pretty difficult. On the other hand, maybe you’re a lot swifter than I am in which case, way to go.

A:

As the writer of that episode I feel uniquely qualified to answer this. I'm afraid the person who got fired was me. For that error and a number of other, slightly less serious blunders, I was fired off the Itchy & Scratchy writing staff and had to go work on Futurama as a fallback. - David X. Cohen


Q:

For John:

Bender is my favorite cartoon character of all time and I quote him daily! What was your favorite episode voicing Bender?

For Billy:

What was your favorite moment from playing Nixon's head in a jar? Also I grew up hearing your voice as Doug and Stimpy, so thank you for being a part of me growing up!

A:

Hi Dr Merzenich, im asking myself how much information a human brain can handle? and what happens when it reach the limit if there is one.

Greetings from spain


Q:

My toddler found Futurama on Netflix, on her own, and loves it. I'm very proud of her, and it's nice to have something I can stand to watch with her. Just thought you should know, there's a brand new generation growing up on Futurama. Has anyone else told you about their kids watching Futurama?

A:

When Nixon proclaimed 'the great taste of Charleston Chew' - BW


Q:

You remind me of a famous cartoon of a child sitting at the front of his class, raising his hand, with the caption: “Mr. Shultz? I think my brain is full”.

I don’t think you’re in any danger of overfilling your own cerebral vessel.

Seriously, you have an enormous capacity for acquiring new skills and abilities and for loading your neurological encyclopedia with massive amounts of information. I strongly suggest that you take on these personally empowering activities with the greatest of earnestness.

A:

You are a bad parent, and now the authorities know. Expect child services to be knocking on your door sometime soon. HUGS! - John


Q:

Weirdest request ever: Sir Billy West, how much would you charge to call me on my birthday and say something to me in the Farnsworth voice? I could die a happy man after that, and it's been on my bucket list for awhile.

I'm totally serious, I would pay a dear price for such a favor.

A:

Hi Dr. Merzenich, do you have any experience with hemifacial spasm?


Q:

For John:

Bender is my favorite cartoon character of all time and I quote him daily! What was your favorite episode voicing Bender?

For Billy:

What was your favorite moment from playing Nixon's head in a jar? Also I grew up hearing your voice as Doug and Stimpy, so thank you for being a part of me growing up!

A:

Send me a bitcoin or I'll hold the voice for ransom. (Nixon voice) Rrrransomware - BW


Q:

Since the predominant hypothesis of origin seems to lie in the facial nerve (a nerve enervating the muscle of the face and not the brain) there is relatively little that I could say about it except that any widespread engagement of those muscles will result in a very powerful feedback from sensory receptors from muscles, skin and other tissues in the face to the brainstem (which could contribute to generating an enduring problem). I’m uncertain as to whether or not there might be a brain plasticity-related strategy to impact it but it’s not impossible to think there might be.

If I were you I would have someone stimulate the surface of my face (as I was blindfolded) and see if I could accurately reconstruct the locations of felt stimuli on the effected as well on the unaffected side. If you can’t, have that person help you with a 20-minute daily training session and see if you can improve your sensory feedback from the face. It’s possible that any weakening from that highly correlated activity fed back to the brain from skin and muscles could be on a path to at least limited improvement and generation of these strong co-contracting events. Of course you might also find that such an exercise is valueless. In which case, sorry for bringing it up.

A:

When Nixon proclaimed 'the great taste of Charleston Chew' - BW


Q:

Have you ever thought about a series dedicated to the life of scruffy?

A:

What are you thoughts on tinnitus and brain plasticity?


Q:

Weirdest request ever: Sir Billy West, how much would you charge to call me on my birthday and say something to me in the Farnsworth voice? I could die a happy man after that, and it's been on my bucket list for awhile.

I'm totally serious, I would pay a dear price for such a favor.

A:

Dialogue would be a series of grunts and moans. And uh-huhs. >John


Q:

Most people don’t realize that 1 in 10 of their fellow citizens has to live with chronic tinnitus and that for several million Americans tinnitus is a source of almost-continuous distress. Most people don’t realize that something as seemingly innocuous as ringing of your ears can destroy a life, degrade performance on the job, disrupt sleep, drive emotional and psychiatric changes, and accelerate a progression to dementia. Most people don’t realize that a large proportion of individuals who serve in the military or who are working life as police officers, are at especially high risk for tinnitus onset.

Trials have been conducted by an independent scientist, Jay Picarillo, from Wash U using our listening training programs. About half of the trained people have better control over their tinnitus and those individuals expressed strong gratitude for having established that control even while the magnitude of the tinnitus was unaffected. Because they can put it out of mind at will, they can live and sleep with it and this is a great relief to them. Although almost all say they would do it again, there is a subclass that showed little or no benefit from this intensive training. We are now revising our training strategies because we think we should be able to impact it more powerfully and help more people escape from the clutches of tinnitus.

I’m also excited by studies being led by a former fellow of mine (Michael Kilgard at UT-Dallas) who has been amplifying learning strategies to try and drive stronger and faster brain-plasticity based changes in tinnitus suffers. Maybe he’ll come up with the true answer. In any event he and we know that this population represents a very important target for brain-plasticity based therapeutics. If there is nothing else for you to do with your present tinnitus, do what Dr. Picarillo did in his outcome trial. Do 40 hours of training on the Auditory Intensive training suite. There’s about a 50/50 chance that it will make a big difference in improving your control of the ringing or noises. These scientists showed that even individuals that did not have significant benefits in establishing better control of their tinnitus had at least modest improvement in brain connectivity which were in a normalizing (albeit, still far from perfect) direction.

Here are the details of the paper: https://www.zotero.org/groups/301482/cognitive_training_data/items/itemKey/JDSF5FG2/tag/Tinnitus

A:

Send me a bitcoin or I'll hold the voice for ransom. (Nixon voice) Rrrransomware - BW


Q:

What the real percentage of metals that Bender is made out of?

You guys are amazing!

A:

Thank you for this AMA and for your work, and for your perseverance in getting this information known throughout the years.

I have sleep apnea (I am not the stereotypical person that has it) and almost died from empyema as a baby (I suspect they all may have an effect on my brain). My memory is noticibly worse the last few years and I'm in my 50's.

I am my mother's sole caregiver (her dementia is getting much worse and she is often angry). I would like the chance at a better life after. I'm upset and scared, I really had hopes for more education, etc., in the future, but worry this is all slipping away.

I tried BrainHQ last night but even the free parts won't load on my older phone. I can't afford a new phone nor the paid part of the program.

PLEASE tell me other courses of action--other similar programs more accessible to me, supplements, and other activities. I am just starting to feel like I'm worth it and am interested in improving myself and giving myself a better future. I am trying to take better care of myself and improve my brain.

What are all of the things I can and should do, please?

Many thanks in advance!!


Q:

What the real percentage of metals that Bender is made out of?

You guys are amazing!

A:

The formula is quite simple... for all metals X, 40% X. - David X. Cohen


Q:

Jurassic Bark. What the fuck man?

A:

First off, I cannot thank you guys and the entire cast and crew of Futurama for creating such a personally influential piece of (dare I say it?) art.

David: How has your academic career influenced your writing? Was a career in writing something you pursued during grad school or did it 'just happen'?

Billy & John: Your ability to just slip into your characters is nothing short of magic, but I've always been curious to know what you do to warm-up before VO sessions.

Matt: I'll be moving to LA in a few weeks. In the incredibly rare possibility that I see you in public, what should I absolutely, positively, not do if we meet?


Q:

Tell me bout it >John

A:

Just don't ask for a bite of my taco. Burrito, yes. Taco, no. Regards, Matt


Q:

First off, I cannot thank you guys and the entire cast and crew of Futurama for creating such a personally influential piece of (dare I say it?) art.

David: How has your academic career influenced your writing? Was a career in writing something you pursued during grad school or did it 'just happen'?

Billy & John: Your ability to just slip into your characters is nothing short of magic, but I've always been curious to know what you do to warm-up before VO sessions.

Matt: I'll be moving to LA in a few weeks. In the incredibly rare possibility that I see you in public, what should I absolutely, positively, not do if we meet?

A:

First off, I cannot thank you guys and the entire cast and crew of Futurama for creating such a personally influential piece of (dare I say it?) art.

David: How has your academic career influenced your writing? Was a career in writing something you pursued during grad school or did it 'just happen'?

Billy & John: Your ability to just slip into your characters is nothing short of magic, but I've always been curious to know what you do to warm-up before VO sessions.

Matt: I'll be moving to LA in a few weeks. In the incredibly rare possibility that I see you in public, what should I absolutely, positively, not do if we meet?


Q:

Just don't ask for a bite of my taco. Burrito, yes. Taco, no. Regards, Matt

A:

Old Crow. The secret to my success. >John


Q:

First off, I cannot thank you guys and the entire cast and crew of Futurama for creating such a personally influential piece of (dare I say it?) art.

David: How has your academic career influenced your writing? Was a career in writing something you pursued during grad school or did it 'just happen'?

Billy & John: Your ability to just slip into your characters is nothing short of magic, but I've always been curious to know what you do to warm-up before VO sessions.

Matt: I'll be moving to LA in a few weeks. In the incredibly rare possibility that I see you in public, what should I absolutely, positively, not do if we meet?

A:

Jurassic Bark. What the fuck man?


Q:

Old Crow. The secret to my success. >John

A:

Tell me bout it >John


Q:

For Billy:

Did you have to rest more than the other actors because you voiced so many characters on the show? Was there any character in particular that strained your voice more than the others?

If you have time for one more: Did it hurt to voice Jackie Puppet?

I'm a big fan of your work!

A:

For Billy:

Did you have to rest more than the other actors because you voiced so many characters on the show? Was there any character in particular that strained your voice more than the others?

If you have time for one more: Did it hurt to voice Jackie Puppet?

I'm a big fan of your work!


Q:

Thanks for being a fan! I'm not done yet so stay tuned. I'm a freak and I was basically designed to do that stuff- plus it's very cathartic to scream and yell in multiple voices. - BW

A:

Thanks for being a fan! I'm not done yet so stay tuned. I'm a freak and I was basically designed to do that stuff- plus it's very cathartic to scream and yell in multiple voices. - BW


Q:

This question is for Billy and John,

What advice do you have for an aspiring voice actor? Is being located in Los Angeles a necessity or is there a better way to be recognized?

A:

This question is for Billy and John,

What advice do you have for an aspiring voice actor? Is being located in Los Angeles a necessity or is there a better way to be recognized?


Q:

Well where the hell do you live? LOL

Being located in Los Angeles helps, or New York, or Chicago. But for the most part, the best way to be recognized is with your pants on. - John

A:

Well where the hell do you live? LOL

Being located in Los Angeles helps, or New York, or Chicago. But for the most part, the best way to be recognized is with your pants on. - John


Q:

My favorite episode is Roswell that ends well. What are your favorite episodes?!?!!?

A:

My favorite episode is Roswell that ends well. What are your favorite episodes?!?!!?


Q:

One of my faves. "Fry, you ever get the feeling you like girls cuz you're supposed to?" - John

A:

One of my faves. "Fry, you ever get the feeling you like girls cuz you're supposed to?" - John


Q:

Any Futurama fan knows there are some episodes that just sucker punch you right in the feels. As the writers/cast/crew, are there any episodes that were particularly emotional for you to create? If so, which and why?

P.S. thank you for giving me a show to feel at home with all my adult life. Futurama is love, is life.

A:

Any Futurama fan knows there are some episodes that just sucker punch you right in the feels. As the writers/cast/crew, are there any episodes that were particularly emotional for you to create? If so, which and why?

P.S. thank you for giving me a show to feel at home with all my adult life. Futurama is love, is life.


Q:

The last one. It killed me. >John

A:

The last one. It killed me. >John