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ScienceI'm a scientist who studies sleep, attention and consciousness in animals. Ask Me Anything!

Jan 31st 2018 by QldBrainInst • 41 Questions • 1747 Points

I HAVE BEEN ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW. DESPITE OCCASSIONAL SUGGESTIONS OTHERWISE FROM FOOLS ONLINE, I AM DEFINITELY NOT SOME SORT OF FOREST PREDATOR WEARING A SUIT HE FOUND IN THE TRASH. ATLAS OBSCURA HAS BEEN KIND ENOUGH TO ALLOW ME TO HOST THIS AMA IN EXCHANGE FOR AN UNDISCLOSED SUM OF HAM

https://twitter.com/sickofwolves/status/958404662318657536

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeoBJHeAB2r/?taken-by=itsdansheehan

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ASKING ME QUESTIONS WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE WE HAVE HAD

I AM ON TWITTER AT @SICKOFWOLVES

OR YOU COULD CHECK OUT @ITSDANSHEEHAN

AND SINCE I AM A HUMAN MAN I OBVIOUSLY HAVE A PODCAST

THAT CAN BE FOUND AT WWW.WESTILLLIKEYOU.COM

PLEASE GO OUT INTO THE WORLD AND BE BLOOD SOAKED KING OF THE FOREST THAT YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD

Q:

This might be a stupid question, but are there any biological similarities between daydreaming and dreaming at night? Like, are the same connections happening in our brains or whatever?

A:

Are there aspects of hyper capitalism that you think are best understood via cartoons? Or really hit home through a visual medium? Thanks!


Q:

Are you happy? Looking back would you do anything different?

A:

Can you name some organizations that condemn your work? Why?


Q:

What do you do in order to stop the fainting? Just sit down and take a minute?

A:

Do you celebrate Canadian or American Thanksgiving?


Q:

What is your favorite cut of steak and how do you like it done?

A:

That is actually an excellent question and I do believe serious research is being done on that. It would be great if we could accomplish some sleep functions while we are awake. Maybe that is what happens during meditation, and many people say that meditation is important for their well-being, making them feel refreshed. It could thus be accomplishing deep sleep functions. On the other hand, daydreaming could be accomplishing some REM sleep functions, which might involve emotional learning. Not sure about the neural correlates though, both are essentially wake-like states. One could look if certain brain structures, such as the pons, are behaving in a similar way.

One aspect of your question is actually of great interest to me: are sleep and wake really all that different, in terms of brain functions and processes? We think they are very different because when we wake up we have a conscious experience of changing states. But maybe the brain was doing something very similar all along: blocking out the world, just a little bit more during sleep. Maybe we have been blinded by our fixation on our own consciousness, which is not the end-all of what a brain does.


Q:

I guess I've staked my career on the idea that nearly everything is better understood via cartoons! I think there's something about seeing impersonal forces (giant corporations) embodied in a character (the endless giant millipede Algi) that puts some emotional punch into what otherwise might be a dry or overfamiliar account.

A:

I am definitely happy. I know it sounds contrived or easy, but I wouldnt change a thing


Q:

Iran and China block us. I suppose that rises to condemnation.

A:

I am told by different signals from Adele to stand still, sit down or lay down depending on the severity of the alert. I am only allowed to move when she tells me I am safe to do so. Adele is my Boss.


Q:

haha Canadians have a tendency to steal American holidays and make them before the American holidays. It's very a very cunning form of fest that only Canadians can pull off.

A:

WHOLE COW RARE


Q:

Thanks for the reply!

A:

What was it like having Jackie O as an editor on the first volume? Was it as surprising for you as it was for me to hear that she was such an enthusiastic supporter of the project? Did she mention if she had read many comics before?

And this isn't a question, but thanks for all the years of great work!


Q:

What do you feel is the biggest misconception about you?

A:

Would it be possible to publicly share a hypothetical response to a secret government warrant? Like a made-up user with made-up searches and show us exactly what would be handed over to the government? I remember Open Whisper Systems did that for a Signal user and it was really cool to see.


Q:

Adele is my Boss.

We're still talking about the dog, right? :)

A:

Which comedian makes you laugh the most?


Q:

Do you think you'll get married and settled down sometime?

A:

Here is some work being done at The University of Queensland, related to this:

https://qbi.uq.edu.au/article/2018/01/can-sleeping-while-youre-awake-boost-brain-function


Q:

Thanks for your thanks. The first time I flew to NY to meet her, I was a little airsick during the descent. As we approached JFK airport, I thought, "she used to be married to the guy this airport was named after!" and I about barfed right then and there.

Then it turned out that I actually met her on the 25th anniversary of the assassination, Nov. 22, 1988. It was telling, I think, that she was at work like any other day.

The short answer to what she was like to work with is: GREAT. You couldn't ask for a better supporter within an organization. She had clout, and she had tremendous political skills. Kind of flirtatious, too.

She was the editor of the second book, too, but she died before it came out.

A:

My youthful wit and charm


Q:

We really have nothing to hand over to the government since, unlike say messaging or email, we don't need to collect or share any personal information at all. That's one great thing about web search, that all searches can be independent and so you don't need to save anything about the person searching after the search.

A:

Yes, Adele is my Boss. She is wise when it comes to saving my life and I always do as she instructs.


Q:

Of all time, Richard Pryor. At this moment, Brian Regan.

A:

EVERY TIME I GO OUT WITH A HUMAN THEY’RE ALL

HEY TAKE OFF YOUR TRENCH COAT

AND

WOW IT SEEMS LIKE YOU HAVE SOME SORT OF HORRIBLE SECRET

SO I FEEL LIKE I JUST NEED TO FOCUS ON ME RIGHT NOW


Q:

How come some animals sleep for much longer than others? For example a lion sleeps for around 20 hours a day but a cheetah sleeps for 12 hours.

A:

Is there a topic you would really love to cover but have not gotten a chance to yet?


Q:

If Wes Anderson sends you another script, would you say yes?

A:

How do you guys make money? I did a quick scan of the web site and only saw donations mentioned. I love your product and it is the default search for all my browsers.


Q:

How often do you tell Adele that she's a good girl?

A:

What are your favorite fruits and vegetables?


Q:

Why are horses so shifty? They always look like they’re planning to destroy something

A:

This is a big mystery. Even worse, ungulates (cows and antelopes and such) only sleep for a couple (3-4?) hours. At the other end, some bats sleep about 18 hours. Flies sleep about 8-10. Clearly this has nothing to do with intelligence or brain size. It all relates to the multiple functions of sleep, and how these can be accommodated into an animal's specific niche. We can talk about those hypothesized functions.


Q:

There are topics I'm drawn to but have avoided because they're changing rapidly. Trying to do updates and rewrites when you have to coordinate with a coauthor is a bitch. Neuroscience is an obvious one. I'm also hankering to do more political cartooning, although frankly there's a chance it may turn into a dangerous job, as it is in other dictatorships.

A:

Im no fool in patrick stewart voice


Q:

It’s a myth you need to track people in web search to make money. We primarily make money by serving ads just based on the keyword you type in, and not any personal information or search history, which we don’t have per our privacy policy.

For example, if you type in ‘car’ you will get a car ad. It’s that simple. For more details see our help page on the subject.

A:

Multiple times an hour.


Q:

I guess Richard Simmons and Terri Schiavo, I'm now using Bob Hope's old writers.

A:

I AM SO GLAD SOMEONE FINALLY ADDRESSED THE HORSE MENACE

WE ALL NEED TO DO OUR PART TO DEFEND HUMANITY

HORSES ARE TOO BIG AND ANYTHING THAT CAN KICK YOU TO DEATH SHOULD NOT EXIST

LOOKING AT YOU, CASSOWARY


Q:

Why do we sometimes not remember our dreams?

A:

Have you ever tried using a butt plug while you jerked off?


Q:

What's your favorite Christmas movie?

A:

How else do you make your money since you said "primarily"?


Q:

How does she alert you that you need to stand still, sit, or lay down? Does she stop moving? Lean against you? Start barking? Your story is incredible by the way, it is wonderful you two could find each other and she could have such a big impact on your life.

Edit. A word.

A:

All your fans love your podcast. David Letterman, your hero, loves your podcast. Everyone seems to love your podcast. Why do you seem so embarrassed by it, or like you hate doing it?


Q:

Which is better, head scratches or belly rubs?

A:

We don't remember most of our dreams! For example, the ones at the beginning of the night after your first deep sleep cycle, that you just slept through. I bet those were pretty interesting, but they are lost forever. One important thing to keep in mind about dreaming is that it probably has less to do with the narrative content you remember than the neural activity that is happening at the time, which is probably maintaining some crucial function in the brain, like emotional balance.


Q:

Ah, the question I've been waiting for! Thanks for the suggestion!

A:

Duh


Q:

We make a small amount from affiliates, also anonymously -- see our help page for details.

A:

Adele will stand in front of me to stop me from taking another step. She would rub her muzzle against my legs, front to stand still, side to sit down and back of leg to lay down. Thank you. I am honored to be able to share her incredible abilities.


Q:

I did my podcast in order to see if I could host a talk show. And I think I succeeded and have now been offered a talk show by Netflix. All the podcasts were rehearsals.

EDIT: To be clear, I'm only in negotiations. There's no show yet.

A:

THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE QUESTIONS BECAUSE ON ONE HAND BELLY RUBS ARE MORE SATISFYING OVERALL BUT THEY LEAVE YOU INCREDIBLY VULNERABLE TO ATTACK SO I WOULD HAVE TO SAY HEAD SCRATCHES BECAUSE YOU GET ALL THE SATISFACTION WITH NONE OF THE STRESS


Q:

Has my dog given me a name, and when someone is outside and he is barking he is actually barking out my name to come look?

A:

What's next for you?


Q:

What are your favorite ways to help non-security-aware people that this is a thing they need to not only think about, but implement?

A:

If you could ask Adele only one question that she would answer in English, in detail, and truthfully (based on her own knowledge), what would you ask her?


Q:

Norm, what is your opinion of Gene who works at The Washington Post?

A:

Is a hot dog a sandwich?


Q:

Don't know much about barking dogs, except that they don't do it in the wild. I wish they were all wild.

A:

Lunch probably


Q:

Just today I did a short video address for Data Privacy Day on this issue. The two issues I highlight that I think resonate (as they should) are:

  • Google is now tracking you on 76% of websites, with Facebook lurking on about a quarter. The data they collect as you browse the web, combined with your search history, likes, and other information, leads to huge personal profiles that are used to target invasive ads at you across the Internet.
  • They also are used with sophisticated AI algorithms to put you in the Google and Facebook Filter Bubble, in which both companies show you biased results based on what they think you want to see, filtering out things like opposing viewpoints.

In terms of help we suggest:

  • Get the DuckDuckGo browser extension and mobile app that blocks Google and Facebook trackers across the Internet along with other privacy essentials.

  • Switch away from Google to private alternatives.

  • While Facebook is harder to leave, it's worth trying to live without Facebook, freeing yourself from their invasive ads and the Facebook Filter Bubble.

  • Secure your devices.

A:

Do you understand how grateful I am to you?


Q:

He's the greatest.

A:

WOAH WAIT WHAT IS A HOT DOG


Q:

Aside from quitting my job, what can I do to best mitigate damage done by shift work related sleep disruption?

A:

how on earth did you get the bunnyears.com domain in 2018?


Q:

As someone that only recently began using more secure internet practices is there anything that I can do about the profile that Google etc have already build on me?

A:

What do you wish more people knew about or did (or didn't do) around service dogs?


Q:

What has been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your career?

A:

What is your favorite banana bread recipe? This is an important source of conflict among many humans. I will need to make yours to be sure you are, indeed, not a wolf.


Q:

Not worry about it. You will get the sleep you need. Most of insomnia is sleep anxiety, worrying that you are not getting enough sleep. Sleep is a homestatically regulated, it adjusts itself in most of the time because it is such a powerful drive.

A:

Practice


Q:

Yes, we have an article about deleting your Google history.

A:

I wish people would respect the please do not pet rule for service dogs. It is never to be mean to the human or the dog. It is simple because when people distract the service dog they are putting the humans life in danger.


Q:

Due to multiple herniated discs, my pain level on a normal day is through the roof.

A:

HAHA YEAH I KNOW WHAT BANANAS ARE AND AM DEFINITELY NOT GOOGLING THEM RIGHT NOW


Q:

Which animal dreams the most?

A:

I know you directed an incredibly deep-pan short film about your adventures with a slice of pizza but have you ever thought about working on a full feature film as a director?


Q:

Do you use the verb "Google" in conversation?

A:

What do you do when you get a warning and you're in the middle of doing something or in an inconvenient location?


Q:

Which four comedians would be on your "Mount Rushmore" of stand up comedy?

A:

Hi, you're my favorite twitter account to follow. Thanks for keeping the world informed on your v important non wolf activities. <3

• What is your opinion on three wolf moon shirts?

• Do you like watermelon?

• Did you catch the super blue blood moon last night?


Q:

The natural history of dreaming is a fascinating question. Recent work shows that even reptiles dream. I'm not sure which animal dreams the most, but I've heard that echidnas and marsupials in general have a lot of REM sleep. Within humans, it is known that infants (even already in the womb) dream a lot more than adults. It all begs the question what dreaming is for, if it's in most animals and exists even before humans have narrative experiences they can talk about.

A:

Yeah, sure; haven't we all? Nothing to report at this moment, though


Q:

I personally don't, though I don't get offended when people do. It has become a generic term like Kleenex at this point.

A:

I stop whatever I am doing until it is safe to continue.


Q:

Richard Pryor, me, Steve Martin, Brian Regan.

A:

HEY IF YOU CAN GET YOUR ARMS THROUGH SHIRT SLEEVES I SAY YOU CAN PUT WHATEVER YOU WANT ON THE SHIRT ITSELF

I AM A HUGE FAN OF WATERMELON, ITS LIKE IF APPLES WERE BLOOD

I DID NOT SEE THAT MOON BECAUSE IT WAS CLOUDY BUT THAT MAKES SENSE BECAUSE I FELT WAY STRONGER THAN USUAL LAST NIGHT


Q:

For infant animals (such as humans) prior to birth, I wonder if what is showing up as dreaming is actually when DNA is writing instincts. Sort of an initial formatting of brain data with basic skills. Such as self-preservation, communication, emotions, and so forth.

A:

Hey! Thanks for the AMA. What's your favourite city?


Q:

Would you ever cooperate with government bodies to create a backdoor to any of your programs?

A:

How long have you had the condition before you met Adele? And to keep it light up in here, where's the most embarrassing situation you've fainted in?


Q:

What are you reading right now? Do you have any thoughts on Thomas Pynchon?

A:

Bathing suit season is just around the corner, do you have any tips for keeping a trim figure?


Q:

WRT emotions, think of what emotions do for you. They are a way to attach value to prediction errors, when something doesn't go according to some internal model. That allows the brain to make new memories and prevent that error in the future. The first source of all prediction errors and internal models isn't the visual world or human interactions, it's all about motor learning in the womb. Where does my body begin and end? What is a consequence of my actions (sucking my thumb) or another's actions (mother rolling over)? I think this may be why infants 'dream' more, they are making those models of the world and assigning value to them. I think this is sort of what you are getting at as well, with 'instincts'.

A:

I dont want to be "that" guy, but yes; Paris.


Q:

No.

A:

I have fainted since I was a baby. HHHmmm...most embarrassing place I have fainted? Lucky for me after I would faint, I didn't always remember fainting, so, I was never really embarrassed.


Q:

I'm reading "Search for Lost Time" by Marcel Proust.

I find Pynchon to be the most knowing writer of our time.

A:

FEAST ON THE BONES OF ANYONE WHO CRITICIZES YOUR FIGURE


Q:

When my son was less than 3 months old he was dreaming and bust out in pure joyous laughter at such a young tender age. I’ve raised three kids and never heard something so pure and raw come from a young infant. How would it be possible for an infant to dream and laugh??? What could be funny to them at that age or was it more instinctual?

A:

The hotel that you stayed at in home alone 2 does not actually have a pool. What do you have to say for yourself?


Q:

so does DDG have a Government Privacy or other Warrant Canary?

A:

Wow, interesting condition and I'm so glad you're able to find such great results (and I assume a great friend in the deal!)

She was able to sense when I was about to faint and alert me so I could give my heart chance to recover.

Can you elaborate? What does "about to faint" look like to Adele and what does she do to alert you?

How does her alert allow your heart a chance to recover and prevent the fainting?


Q:

Norm to what (if any) extent do you portray a persona whether that be on stage or in various interviews?

I've often seen interviews where the hosts seem shocked at some of your answers such as saying you don't participate in sex because you find it boring or your love for Russian literature etc.

I tend to take it at face value because you seem sincere when talking about these things - so, am I the idiot for believing you or are others the idiots for not?

A:

Do you think wolves should be reintroduced to Scotland?


Q:

See my answer about prediction errors above. Laughing is the quintessential prediction error, funny jokes always have an expected twist, and it is a way for us to communicate that we have been surprised in a good, non-harmful way. Your child had a dream that evoked that, and he communicated that to you in his sleep. They do it all the time while awake; the easiest way of making my kids laugh was doing something harmlessly unpredictable, like putting a teapot on my head.

A:

A pool is wherever you want it to be


Q:

Warrant canaries are problematic for a number of reasons, but in our case it is irrelevant because we do not store any data so there is nothing to hand over. Case in point, for the ten years we've been around, we haven't received any warrants.

A:

I believe Adele smells a chemical or electrical change that my heart is sending out. She has taught me that doing as she commands prevents me from pushing my body too hard.


Q:

No I'm absolutely sincere.

A:

ABSOLUTELY I THINK THAT WOLVES SHOULD BE INTRODUCED TO A LOT OF PLACES

-SCOTLAND

-SENATE

-THAT GAP OUTLET THAT I AM NO LONGER ALLOWED INTO

-SERIOUSLY WHY CANT YOU BRING HAM TO THE GAP


Q:

Do fish sleep?

A:

I had a huge crush on you when I was 10. Did you also have a crush on me too?


Q:

thanks for the explanation and the direct refutation of any government attempting to access your service through legal or non-legal means, its good to get a clear answer.

what is it about Canaries that makes them "problematic"?

A:

Does Adele chase cats?


Q:

What’s your favorite line to say in Mike Tyson’s Mysteries?

A:

Do you want a treat / ball?


Q:

Yes. All animals with a brain sleep, as far as this has been carefully examined. I think there may be a male bullfrog out there that doesn't sleep, but it's probably in a pretty ragged condition.

A:

Is your name Kelly Kapowski?


Q:

Here's a couple articles on the subject.

A:

Never. She loves all creatures.


Q:

I like the cursing that makes no sense and interjects itself, like "cock motherfucking son of a cunt bitch."

A:

I WILL NOT BE DISTRACTED BY THE PRESENCE OF SOME SORT OF BALL AND I WILL ABSOLUTELY NEVER CHASE AFTER IT BECAUSE SOMETIMES THE BALL HAS ACTUALLY NOT BEEN THROWN AND FRANKLY THAT VIOLATION OF TRUST IS WHAT PROVES THAT THE HEART OF MAN IS CORRUPT AND DISGUSTING

SOME BACON WOULD BE NICE THOUGH YES I WILL ACCEPT THAT


Q:

I've heard that hagfish were purported not to sleep, or not to rely on it like other fish. I'm going to go check now, but curious if you have heard about them, or know anything regarding them and their sleep habits.

A:

Do you have a favorite piece of memorabilia that you have saved from any of the projects you've worked on?


Q:

I just wanted to say thanks. I just checked and I bookmarked DDG on April 3, 2009, so I've been using it at least since then.

Also, sometimes I will link to a DDG search result here on reddit (for example, I love /r/whatisthisthing) and sometimes I get a comment like "Oh, DuckDuckGo? You're one of those types huh? How's that tinfoil hat fit you?"

Does it bother you as much as it bothers me that some people think taking reasonable steps to protect your privacy automatically makes you some kind of whack-job, terrorist, pedophile, or worse? Because it bothers me a lot.

I use that Snowden quote sometimes, "Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." It doesn't seem to help much against people who are determined to believe otherwise.

A:

Interesting! My uncle has the same condition.

Currently, I'm dealing with a different heart issue and no one seems to be listening because I'm an otherwise healthy 24 year old. Any advice on getting someone to believe that you feel like you're doing to die on regular basis?


Q:

Hello Norm,

Did you do your amazing Burt Reynolds impression before SNL? Also do you have any stories from celebrity jeopardy that we might not know about?

A:

How do you feel about the Samuel Johnson quote "(H)e who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man"?


Q:

Don't know. If they don't sleep, there will be a price to pay at some point. Some animals get all their mating done without sleeping much. The price to pay is an early death. This has not been a good evolutionary strategy in general.

A:

I have my platform shoes from Party Monster; I regret not saving my wheelchair from saved


Q:

Yes, that does bother me though thankfully this view is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. We've been doing research and have found privacy has really become a mainstream concern and growing fast. This past year has really pushed it over the edge with nearly daily headlines of data breaches, reports of invasive ad targeting, election meddling, etc.

A:

Don't give up! In my experience the ones who don't listen are generally the ones who do not know enough about the health issue. I went to doctors in Texas, Florida and Virginia before being properly diagnosed in Massachusetts.


Q:

I did do Burt Reynolds and that's why I created celebrity Jeopardy so I could do my Burt Reynolds. No one ever mentioned that I played Burt Reynolds as a 35 year old.

A:

HE WHO MAKES A MAN OF HIMSELF GETS TO STAY INSIDE AND EAT MELTED CHEESE


Q:

Do you get enough sleep?

A:

Hey man, just wanted to say you were great in Party Monster.

What's the craziest NYC club/party you've been to?


Q:

I've been using DDG for a long time, but Google's search results are often still better. No dead links and search results based on my context (e.g. software development) - how will Search quality be improved in the future?

A:

Is Adele a good dog? Can you pet her for me?


Q:

Norm, I love your book and loved the audiobook version the most. Is there any chance of the TV or movie adaptation happening?

Also, how's a fella go about getting you to sign his copy of your book at one of your shows?

(please come back to Jersey or Philly soon)

A:

What do you think of wolves?


Q:

30% of people in modern societies suffer from insomnia. Personally, I don't think I get enough sleep. Kookaburras start braying at 4:30am here in Australia, in summer. I try to go to sleep earlier to accommodate, but who wants to go to sleep ay 9pm?

A:

My bathroom gets pretty wild in the early am


Q:

Thank you for being a long-term user! We really appreciate it. We've been working hard on making our results better, and really think they have massively improved over the past years to the extent where they are on par for most users. Of course, there are always areas where we can improve, and really look at and welcome all feedback. There is a feedback box on the search results page that is the best way to communicate with the team.

Be rest assured, however, that we are constantly looking to improve search quality.

A:

Always good except when she is getting into trouble. I am happy to give her your love.


Q:

Yes, a movie adaptation is worked on as we speak. You could send the book to Mark Gurvitz at Brillstein Grey and I'll sign it for you.

A:

GOD WOLVES MAKE ME SO MAD

THEY ARE SO POWERFUL AND STRONG AND THEY MAKE ME QUESTION THE HIERARCHY OF OUR NATURAL CYCLE

UGH I GET SO FRUSTRATED THINKING ABOUT HOW THEIR POPULATIONS ARE DWINDLING

OR HOW DESPITE NEAR EXTINCTION IN CERTAIN AREAS THEY CONTINUE TO REGAIN THEIR STRENGTH


Q:

When I'm about to fall asleep, I think about the fact that I'm falling asleep, which takes me a few steps "back" into a more conscious state. This usually ends with me fully waking up and being unable to sleep.

Why does this happen?

A:

Assuming you are home alone right now doing this AMA..?


Q:

Do you struggle with context-based results because no data is stored?

A:

That's amazing! It's always so refreshing to hear about all of the different things we're able to train dogs for. Truly humanity's best friend.

When you first got Adele, what were some of your biggest struggles? Did it take you some time to bond? Was public access a breeze for you personally or did you encounter "Papers please" situations?


Q:

How close were you to becoming a late night show host?

A:

Who's a good boy?


Q:

Paying attention kills sleep. It's like the analogy of a butterfly landing on your arm. If you pay attention to it, it flies away. If you can just be aware of it without paying attention, it lands and you fall asleep.

A:

You wish


Q:

Not generally since most of the time intent is pretty clear from the search terms. In cases of ambiguity it is best to add another search term, and that usually clears it up.

A:

Adele and I took a few months to bond and about a year to learn each others language. I have only ever had issues with access when it come to taxi's. I have learned to get the number of the taxi and the company before approaching.


Q:

Razor thin close.

A:

WHAT MAKES A GOOD BOY? IS A GOOD BOY BORN OR MADE? DO WE NOT ALL CONTAIN THE RAW MATERIALS NECESSARY TO BE A GOOD BOY OR, GOD FORBID, A DIRTY DOG? IS THERE NOT A DARK PORTION WITHIN ALL OUR HEARTS?

ANYWAY I AM, I BELIEVE IT IS ME WHO IS THE GOOD BOY


Q:

Could our waking conscious experience be an extension of primitive REM sleep? Imagine primitive species with really basic neural circuitry that respond to a stimuli, then re-engage that circuity during a restful state to consolidate that response and make it more efficient next time. It would be advantageous in this case to engage that circuity without actually performing the action, in a similar way to REM. Maybe simulating the environment was such an advantage that animals spending more time in a 'simulated' state were selected. Fast forward millions of years... we spend the majority of our time in this simulated 'REM-like' state?

A:

With all of the speculation about drug abuse, how bad did it actually get? What were your drugs of choice?

Do you still use any drugs? Drink?


Q:

What thing on the web is something everyone considers “Safe” but is not actually safe?

A:

How was Adele trained? Were you part of the training process, or was she fully trained when you got her?


Q:

Norm, I love you. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

A:

What is the best way to eat a freshly killed cotton tail rabbit?


Q:

This is a very interesting idea, and I have some thoughts along these lines. Can I get back to you in a bit about this? Duty calls for my day job.

A:

Yes, I consumed and imbibed in drugs in my life. Never as bad as people said. Its not really a thing in my life right now. Im an adult.

I like to drink.


Q:

Oh man, these are large pet peeves of mine :)

I'll give you two:

  • So-called incognito mode doesn't do what most people think in that “Incognito” mode doesn't really make you incognito! It’s an extremely misleading name and in my opinion should be changed. All it does is delete your local browsing history after your session on your device, but does nothing from stopping any website you visit from tracking you via your IP address and other tracking mechanisms like browser fingerprinting. We did a study showing how much people misunderstand private browsing modes.

  • Browser "do not track" settings. You'd think if you turned on do not track, you might not be tracked? Not so. It is a voluntary standard and hardly any site does anything to adhere to it, including pretty much all of Big Tech. In my opinion it should be completely removed from browsers until it has mandatory compliance with regulatory teeth behind it.

A:

Adele was trained by Canine Partners for Life for 2 years before we were partnered. I spent a month at team training learning everything she was taught and how to work together for a successful partnership.


Q:

Immortality.

A:

I RECENTLY CAME INTO OWNERSHIP OF A SLOW COOKER AND FRANKLY I HATE IT AND I DO NOT KNOW WHY I AM SURPRISED BECAUSE ALL THE STUFF I DO NOT LIKE ABOUT IT IS RIGHT THERE IN THE NAME. A FRESHLY KILLED RABBIT SHOULD BE EATEN FRESH, JUST DIVE RIGHT IN. IF YOU WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO EAT RAW MEAT IT WOULD MAKE YOU SICK OR SOMETHING

OH IT MAKES THEM SICK? LIKE INCREDIBLY?

OKAY I’M GOING TO TAKE ANOTHER RUN AT THAT ONE

HEY PAL, I JUST GOT A SLOW COOKER AND I LOVE IT!


Q:

yeah of course. Thanks for your time.

A:

What made you decide to do an AMA? Also- Helloooo from northern Vermont!


Q:

What made you relate privacy with ducks?

A:

Such happy doggos!

When did you know that Adele was the dog for you? Do you have to try different dogs, or do you just get paired with one that knows how to sense your condition?


Q:

What is the most profound piece of life advice has a random stranger ever given you?

A:

Hi, pal!! Do you have any pets? And if so, what are their names?


Q:

I love your idea here. I think that key to it is what we mean by efficient. What I think we mean is that we learn better while awake, so we don't make maladaptive mistakes. I think this is where REM sleep plays an important role with regard to emotional responses. When something unpredictable happens in reality, it is surprising and this is often associated with a prediction error signal and an emotional response. The emotion ensures that a new memory is formed to make better predictions. The waking brain basically wants to become a prediction machine. The price to pay for this (there is always a price) is that the waking brain will become less and less surprised in the context where it exists. This erodes the very system that allowed that learning to happen. My idea is that this is where the 'alternate realities' of REM sleep step in, to curate the brain's valence (emotional) system, to ensure that the waking brain will always respond with surprise, so it can keep on learning effectively. I like to think about this in the following way: consciousness is adaptive, and dreaming keeps us conscious. If we didn't dream, we would become maladaptive zombies. Actually, we do.

A:

So you will check out my podcast and my website.

Please.

Im no fool


Q:

As you might have guessed, they are not related at all :).

I actually came up with the name DuckDuckGo before envisioning a search engine. It popped into my head one day on a walk with my wife, and I liked the name so much that I decided to use it for whatever I worked on next, which ended up being a search engine.

A:

Canine Partners For Life matched us as a team and they did a wonderful job.


Q:

A person once said to me that the homeless never get touched and that without human touch, the mind veers toward madness. So the homeless people I approach, I always give my money to, whatever it is I have, and I always hug them or touch them.

A:

I HAVE A GARY ITS NAME IS GARY

WAIT HONESTLY I PROBABLY SHOULD NOT SAY THAT CAN YOU DELETE

DOES THAT DELETE

IS IT DELETED

I HAD A FISH BUT HE DIED

YEAH I THINK THATS WAY BETTER


Q:

what do dreams 'look like' to other animals? Does my dog dream about chasing balls? Do they have weird trippy dreams like we do?

A:

How did it feel to be referenced in Summer Girls by LFO?


Q:

How do we know that you're not a secret Google project that reports everything to Google?

A:

at what point in your life/career did you realize you were not everyday person level funny, but comedian level funny?


Q:

What is your favorite kind of bird?

A:

The brain looks a lot like it's awake during REM sleep, even in other animals such as dogs and birds. I think the focus on dreams might be a bit distracting, it's just a human-centric, subjective angle that we've latched on to, just one sliver of what comes out of that sleep stage that is probably doing a lot of good things for the brain. That said, there is the possibility that we may be able to 'decode' REM sleep content in animals, because this has been shown to be possible in some human imaging. Verbal report always helps though, so we'd have to have imaging during behavioural experiments to know that these are being recapitulated in some way during animal dreams.


Q:

Both flattered and conflicted

A:

If we're a secret Google project, no one's told me about it :).

Also, I would hope it would be easier to get duck.com not to point at Google search and confuse people, easier to get us as a default search option into Chrome (like we are for Safari and Firefox), and easier to change the default search engine on the Android search widget, which remains impossible.


Q:

I thought I was comedian level funny during my first year of comedy. Five years I realized I wasn't actually that level of funny. But five years after that I realized I was comedian level funny. So 10 years into my standup.

A:

ANY FALCON

I HAVE NOTHING BUT RESPECT FOR FALCONS


Q:

Do drosophila show similar spontaneous sleep patterns during their instar stages? Or is it only in the adult fly?

A:

How's life man?


Q:

What's the story with duck.com?

Any short aliases to get to duckduckgo.com?

A:

How do you build the perfect taco?


Q:

Why are you yelling?

A:

It isn't known whether larval flies sleep, although key sleep-like functions probably happen during metamorphosis, as has been shown in the nematode C. elegans. These relate more to development, and deep sleep is like a mini-development in a way, with physical changes happening at synapses. Personally, I don't think fly larvae show spontaneous sleep patterns, I think that like nematodes their sleep-like functions are all linked to programmed developmental changes.


Q:

Pretty great. Im here, arent I?

A:

ddg.gg goes to duckduckgo.com. duck.com was inherited by Google in an old acquisition (of On2), predating us, but it used to point to a history page about the old company. Only when I inquired about it did it mysteriously start pointing to Google search.


Q:

You start with a Mexican guy and you pay him a $1.35.

A:

WHY ARENT YOU


Q:

Thanks for your answer. Following on for this would you say that as developmental 'complexity' of an organism increases, the need for sleep increases? Does the importance of sleep decrease in lower order organisms such as invertebrates with shorter life cycles? I would think that their biology would be skewed towards more 'core' functions such as reproduction?

A:

What was your favorite memory playing WoW?


Q:

How can a general young US citizen keep privacy today without being called into suspicion by means of "If you have nothing to hide then why not show what's inside?"

I've tried to understand a way to verbalize why that argument is a bad idea, however, I just don't have the words.

Also, any recommendations for a less "I'm watching you" PRISM/Echelon type experience? I know it's hard today but if there is a way to keep things like UI but allow for privacy, that would be great : )

A:

Did you ever carry around a tape recorder to take your 'notes to self' in real life?


Q:

Should schools stop teaching "Little Red Ridinghood" and other lit that teaches children to hate people who have more than two legs? Hate literature in schools is a very big problem in our area.

A:

I think that the key 'complex' point in evolution associated with sleep need is the brain that can selectively pay attention to the world. Before that, sleep 'functions' were just molecular processes linked to developmental transitions, often associated with quiescence. After that, sleep was also a need to acutely ignore the world for a while so as to be able to pay attention to it properly while awake. So it isn't so much a linear increase in complexity as a step function. That's a hypothesis, though.


Q:

When I was maxed out I could run Scarlet Monastery in two pulls

A:

Hi! Yes, the good news is that privacy is now mainstream and you needn't feel ostracized for wanting to reasonably protect your privacy. People recognize it is a fundamental right and you don't need to prove the necessity of fundamental rights to anyone. Also, it's a simple answer to say to people everyone wants to keep certain things private, and you can easily illustrate that by asking people to let you make all their email, texts, searches, financial information, medial information, etc. public. No one wants that.

In terms of having a more seamless private experience, that's exactly why we launched our new app and extension - check it out as it seems that is what you're looking for.


Q:

Yes I do. I'm constantly talking to my phone. Whenever an idea occurs. Sometimes I don't say enough. I'll dictate "large coffee cup" and have no idea of what I thought was funny about that subject.

A:

I THINK ITS PRETTY MESSED UP TO BE SUSPICIOUS OF A GRANDMA JUST BECAUSE SHE HAS HUGE AWESOME TEETH SO YEAH LETS GET THAT BOOK OFF THE SHELVES


Q:

How does what we expect to perceive change how we direct attention? Would you rate attention more bottom-up or top-down, is it more influenced by ones interna model of the world or the sensory input the brain receives? (I hope this is not A recurring questions :))

A:

You seem like a pretty chill dude. Can we hang sometime?


Q:

If I were to search for "isis bomb making videos" from my home IP with no VPN using duckduckgo, should I still expect a knock on the door? This is hypothetical, but I'm serious about the question.

A:

Norm, have you ever listened to your farts, I mean really listened to them, to see if you can hear words within them that could serve as a warning of something horrific to come?


Q:

What's your favourite item of clothing to wear on a night out?

A:

Great question. It probably evolves through life, starting with mostly sensory input and moving towards models as we gain experience. Some models are already there from the start. Is it a coincidence that REM sleep ontogeny shows this trend as well, changing through life? Maybe this is a clue as to what REM sleep does: curating our models of the world, and how we respond to prediction errors.


Q:

Im busy that day.

Also what are your feelings on the word Literally.

A:

No, you should not expect a knock at the door. We've been around for about 10 years and have heard about no such knocks.

The connection between you and us is encrypted, so no one in between you and us can see your search terms. Then, we don't store your IP at all, so there will be no record of it after your search.

Note, though, a lot of sites off the search engine could be monitored, and if you want to browse completely anonymously, Tor is a good idea.


Q:

I'm speechless.

A:

GOD THERE ARE SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM, I AM CONSTANTLY USING THE MONEY I EARN AT MY CORPORATE JOB TO BUY CLOTHES TO WEAR IN MY FREE TIME. RECENTLY I BOUGHT A SWEATER AND THE OTHER DAY I BOUGHT A VEST BUT IF YOU SEE ME OUT ON A FRIDAY NIGHT I WILL LIKELY BE WEARING SOMETHING THAT RESEMBLES A SUIT I RETRIEVED OFF A DEAD MAN AT THE BEACH AND I WILL ALSO PROBABLY BE PRETTY SURPRISED TO SEE YOU BECAUSE USUALLY AT NIGHT I KIND OF HAVE THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE


Q:

What is somethiing striking (similarity and/or difference) in the travel times of PNS stimuli signals and brain region activations in primates vs non-primates? IOW, do touch/pain signals travel faster or slower? Do other animal's PNS behave like ours, in that, does a pain signal reach the spinal cord and then a "flinch/withdraw" signal get sent to the motor neurons in order to decrease exposure to the source of the pain stimulus?

Are there animals with a disproportionate balance of myelinated vs unmyelinated nerves?

Is there anything that you did not at all anticipate or anticipate but did not show up?

Has your work influenced or been influenced by works of philosopher and cognitive scientists like Dr. Dennett from Tufts University? (I know he doesn't much care to be known by the latter title)

A:

Do you still have and/or use a Talkboy?


Q:

Thanks for the response!

As a follow-up, what would you say if someone were to challenge you on the ethics of not policing or flagging searches and potentially allowing a user to use your site for ends that could endanger the public at large?

A:

Do you have more fun performing stand-up or hosting your talk show?


Q:

 

 

 

 

                    How do I convince people that white space is important in drawing attention?

 

 

 

 

A:

I'm not sure about the PNS. Dennet's book, Consciousness Explained, hasn't explained much as far as I can tell. Maybe worrying a bit too much about the human experience, not enough about how this phenomenon might have come out of evolution, as an adaptive feature of the brain.


Q:

Yes; thats what we record the podcast on every week

A:

Real, sophisticated bad guys can easily make their online activity anonymous. These technologies are readily available across the world and can be used with or without DuckDuckGo. We allow everyday people to keep their sensitive information private, out of the hands of advertisers and Big Tech.


Q:

I have more fun hosting my talk show because I've already perfected standup.

A:

USE A TON OF WHITE SPACE AND GET THEIR ATTENTION


Q:

Can you explain what happens to the brain through the process of sleep deprivation? Would everyone eventually go crazy if they were not allowed to sleep? Would they die at some point or just pass out?

A:

What is the most important thing in your life currently?


Q:

Any plans for additional duck duck go services such as email?

A:

Will there be a Dirty Work 2?


Q:

What are your thoughts on furries?

A:

Rats have been shown to die of sleep deprivation before they die of starvation. Not exactly sure what they die of, and that says a lot about our not understanding the various functions of sleep yet. Cognition suffers first, but then cellular and stress pathways go off. This probably relates to both REM and deep sleep functions; you can't do away with them. You'd die.


Q:

to destroy my enemies, seen them driven before me and to hear the lamentations of their women

A:

Just last week we launched our first new product that extends our privacy protection beyond the search box while browsing, available for all major platforms. With that, we're going to have our hands full for a while.

However, we do have a list on our blog of Google alternatives for email and other services.


Q:

There are people who want to make it but I've yet to make up my mind.

A:

KEEP DOING YOUR THING


Q:

Interesting. So, how long, on average, for an adult human to die of sleep deprivation. Thank you!

A:

playing any video games right now?


Q:

What is your goal for this year? What is DuckDuckGo's endgame?

A:

What is the best and worst part of doing stand up comedy?


Q:

What's the hardest part about being a wol perfectly normal human?

A:

Total sleep deprivation, without microsleeps? The number I've heard is about 15-20 days, but don't hold me to it...


Q:

Starfox64

A:

Our goal this year was kicked off last week and is to help people more easily protect their privacy as they search and browse the web, no matter where they go on the Internet. In particular, we've made a new app and extension with all the privacy essentials in one seamless package: tracker blocking, upgraded encryption, private search, and more. It's available on all major platforms and the idea is on any device you should be able to look up DuckDuckGo and be easily protected with one download.


Q:

The best part is standing on the stage with your comedy being able to turn a passive audience into an unruly mob. The worst part of standup comedy is the insane pressure on the spine and lower back from standing up for so many hundreds of hours.

A:

LISTEN BASICALLY THE WHOLE HUMAN EXPERIENCE IS SUPER DIFFICULT AND THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS I DONT UNDERSTAND BUT I THINK THE HARDEST PART IS PRETENDING THAT I “GET” TWIN PEAKS I AM SO SORRY I JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND MAYBE THERE IS SOMETHING I AM MISSING HERE PLEASE JUST DO NOT HURT ME I HAVE COME SO FAR


Q:

sleep deprivation studies in animals seem to result in death but is there any way to factor out the excessive use of stimulants involved?

A:

What book inspires you in your life?


Q:

on the DDG Answers API page there's a line

For the same reason, we cannot allow framing our results without our branding.

What does "framing" mean here? (i.e., what sort of things are not allowed?)

Also is there any hope that we might have a full search API in the future?

Thank you for providing such an excellent service.

A:

Do you have a favorite story of messing with a talk show host?


Q:

Why are your favorite techniques of dealing with the totally normal stresses of being a typical human man in a not at all confusing modern world?

A:

Yes, you stimulate them twice as much, but let them sleep in between. This controls for stress, a regular protocol in our lab.


Q:

When I was younger I used to get "The Little Prince" in the mail all the time.

When I was in my teens, fans sent me Catcher in the Rye.

In my 20s, It was Alan Moores Watchmen.

Now its just letters from Prison

A:

You're very welcome.

What that means is to make an iframe of duckduckgo.com and make it appear as if it is another search engine, i.e. white-label DuckDuckGo. Does that make sense?

A full search API is not on our roadmap right now.


Q:

I've never messed with a talk show host. I'm just trying to make my segment as spontaneous and interesting as I saw talk show guests be when I was a boy.

A:

GREAT QUESTION PAL BECAUSE BEING ALIVE IS INCREDIBLY STRESSFUL

I TEND TO GET MY PEACE OF MIND THROUGH SWEET SWEET EXERCISE BECAUSE IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT CAN YOU EVEN REMEMBER THE LAST TIME YOU RAN AS FAST AS YOU POSSIBLY COULD? I CAN. IT WAS NOT THIS MORNING IN PURSUIT OF PREY, I JUST ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO HIT THE TRACK AT MY LOCAL COLLEGE CAMPUS

ALSO I HAVE BEEN PLAYING A TON OF STARDEW VALLEY LATELY THAT GAME IS INCREDIBLY CALMING


Q:

Do animals experience REM?

A:

Could you have played Wallace in Scott Pilgrim vs the world better than Kieran?


Q:

Have you always been a privacy advocate or events you can mention made you notice the importance of not letting your data public for anyone collect it?

A:

Where do you get your ideas from?


Q:

What about your human teen years?

A:

Yes, definitely. See above.


Q:

Absolutely not. He totally killed it

A:

I've always been into personal freedom, and I believe having privacy is a fundamental constituent of being free. I came across the more nuanced issues with privacy and the Internet in grad school; I went to the Technology Policy Program at MIT.

With search privacy in particular, I hadn't considered the full implications until actually seeing search logs and seeing how truly private they are. People ask their search engine their most intimate questions, such as medical, financial, and political. Those should be private, and studies have shown that people actually curb their searches once they realize they aren't totally private on other search engines.


Q:

Ideas exist outside of man. And drift into one's consciousness if one allows it. None of these ideas are mine, I only take them from the ether and put them back out in a more solid form.

A:

AS A TEEN I OFTEN SPENT MY TIME LISTENING TO CONTEMPORARY MUSICS AND YELLING AT ONE OR BOTH OF MY PARENTS. I WOULD ALSO OFTEN THINK ABOUT HOW WOLVES DONT REALLY HAVE THE CONCEPT OF TEEN YEARS AND HOW ONE DAY THEY ARE BORN BLIND AND THEN THE NEXT THEY ARE EXPECTED TO JUST KILL STUFF AND BATHE IN BLOOD AND ALWAYS WORSHIP THE HUNT AND MAYBE SOME OF US WANTED TO LISTEN TO THE MOUNTAIN GOATS TOO BUT WE NEVER GOT THAT CHANCE BECAUSE WE LIVED IN THE GODDAMN WOODS AND HAD TO INSTEAD MURDER ACTUAL GOATS NEAR AN ACTUAL MOUNTAIN


Q:

What is the current research around segmented sleep patterns (bimodal, polyphasic sleep)? Is there any truth to the "efficiency" of these modes of sleep vs the way most of us sleep, 6-8 hrs straight?

A:

What's your biggest regret?


Q:

Ever thought about hosting a free private email?

A:

[deleted]


Q:

What is the best sandwich?

A:

I'm not very familiar with this field. However, I think that sleeping 6-8 hours straight is a historical oddity, as if we're all infants that need to be squared away for the night. Most cultures probably were a little bimodal or polyphasic. But then, maybe they also had really bad sleep, having to keep the fire alive, look out for predators, prevent toddlers from walking into the fire, get out of the rain, etc. Basically, sleep is homeostatically regulated and you get the sleep you need, whatever way it's made available for you. I think that's a good way of thinking of it, and also decreases sleep anxiety in general.


Q:

I dont have a biggest regret but most of my regrets involve women

A:

DuckMail has crossed our minds :), though no immediate plans.


Q:

In this day of political correctness, I suppose I should say nine grain.

But I won't. It's white bread.

A:

ITS ALL ABOUT WHAT MOOD YOURE IN

A DRUNK GRILLED CHEESE IS BASICALLY A SEXUAL EXPERIENCE

A GOOD STEAK SANDWICH WILL MAKE YOU SO FULL YOU GET TIRED AND THAT RULES

BUT REMEMBER THAT TECHNICALLY ANYTHING BETWEEN BREAD IS A SANDWICH SO GRAB SOME BREAD AND GET CREATIVE

WHERES GARY


Q:

How do you feel about Steve Buscemi?

A:

Which Google Services do you still use?


Q:

What's your favorite Phil Hartman memory?

A:

What are your favorite hair care products? Any tips on applying them for the most stylish results?


Q:

You mean, Uncle Buscems?

A:

None on a regular basis. Occasionally I have to go to YouTube when it is the only place a video resides.


Q:

He returned to host the show when I was a cast member. And I did a character that pinched girls's asses, and said "YOU LOVE IT." And he's a great fan of it and thought it was going to be a huge character. And then it didn't get past dress rehearsal. And he said, "That's showbiz."

A:

LISTEN SOME PEOPLE WOULD SAY THAT MY HAIR IS MORE OF A SELF REGULATING COAT OF FUR THAT HELPS STABILIZE MY BODY TEMPERATURE BUT HONESTLY I LOVE USING IT FOR FASHION REASONS. JUST GET A HUMAN PALM FULL OF SOME SORT OF CREAM OR GOOP AND SMOOSH IT ALL AROUND AND EVENTUALLY BOOM YOU JUST SPENT 30 DOLLARS TO MAKE YOUR HEAD LOOK DIFFERENT AND WHATS MORE HUMAN THAN THAT


Q:

Would you rather travel back in time and meet your ancestors or forward and meet your descendants?

A:

Where can I learn more about online privacy?


Q:

Do you still talk to Dennis Miller? I loved your appearances on his shows, and would love to see him appear on NML.

A:

Did you find Wolves of Wall Street misleading?


Q:

My ancestors are mostly Irish cops and fireman; I have a feeling theyd be pretty racist. So let's go forward; plus Im in the market for a hoverboard

A:

This past year we launched a blog at spreadprivacy.com with great information. In particular I'd recommend signing up for our privacy tips newsletter which will send them to you on a good schedule. All the content is also online here.


Q:

Yes I love Dennis Miller. Dennis gave me my first job for which I will be forever indebted. He's been kind to me since and I would love to have him on the podcast.

A:

ABSOLUTELY, I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE MORE OF A CONDEMNATION OF BELFORTS DESPICABLE BEHAVIOR BUT THEN HE MAKES A CAMEO AT THE END AND YOURE ALL LIKE “WHAAAA DOES SCORSESE ACTUALLY LIKE THIS MONSTER?” AND IT KIND OF SOURED THE WHOLE THING FOR ME BUT MAN ISNT THAT JUST CLASSIC CAPITALISM


Q:

What's your favorite memory of Michael Jackson?

A:

How do you see yourselves growing over the next few years?


Q:

What's your elevator pitch for the story of humanity?

A:

how do you feel about cats?


Q:

When I almost crashed my golfcart into his and he called me "Applehead"

A:

Our vision is to raise the standard of trust online. That’s what we hope to do long-term, and we are always open to and thinking about ways to further execute on this vision.

Our current plans on doing so include:

  • Continuing to provide a solid private alternative to Google search. Google has more data on people than any big tech company by far, and search data is arguably the most personal, as people search for their most intimate financial, health, and personal problems.
  • We just expanded beyond our roots in search, with updated mobile apps and browser extensions that protect you beyond search, wherever you happen to go on the Internet. See our announcement for more details.
  • Last year we kicked off a major focus on general privacy education, on our blog, newsletter, and social media.
  • We continue to make substantial donations to like-minded organizations.
  • We plan to continue doing our own primary privacy research and advocacy where we see we can make a significant impact.

Q:

Imagine a woman in a sports car, impossibly beautiful, speeding down a winding road and looking out her window at a man who is skiing down a mountaintop. And then the man comes to a stop, snow flies from his feet. The two lock eyes. And both know each will be the other's entire. And the car speeds off.

A:

AS FAR AS HOUSEPETS GO THEY ARE SMALL AND NOT AT ALL DESCENDED FROM MIGHTY FOREST CREATURES AND THEY SHOULD PROBABLY STAY INSIDE BECAUSE HONESTLY THEY HAVE A VERY SNACK LIKE VIBE ABOUT THEM

OBVIOUSLY I DONT THINK THAT

IF I WANT A SNACK I DO SOMETHING LOW IN CALORIES LIKE PIRATES BOOTY

BECAUSE A HUGE PART OF BEING HUMAN IS BEING ABLE TO EAT LIKE 60 OF SOMETHING AND NOT FEEL BAD

ANYWAY I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED TO MY NEIGHBORS CAT IT WAS PROBABLY SOME SORT OF INCREDIBLE BIRDS FAULT


Q:

What has been the highlight of your 2018 so far?

A:

Hey u/yegg, did you know it was your CAKE DAY?


Q:

What will be your pseudonym for your novel?

A:

What is some recommended reading you might have? Also where do you get your existentialist wolf-like philosophy from?


Q:

Yellow and Pink

A:

I do now :).


Q:

haha you clearly don't understand the nature of pseudonyms but I will publicize the book under a thick disguise.

A:

UNFORTUNATELY I FIND THAT BOOKS MAKE ME INCREDIBLY ANGRY FOR SOME REASON MAYBE ITS THE TINY WORDS OR THE PAGES IN CONSTANT NEED OF TURNING BUT EVERY TIME I GET CLOSE TO ONE OF THOSE LITTLE GUYS NEXT THING I KNOW ITS JUST ALL SHREDDED UP

AS FAR AS THE ORIGINS OF MY PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY I WOULD ATTRIBUTE MY OUTLOOK ON LIFE TO SUCH GREAT WORKS AS “SURVIVING THE WINTER” AND “LIVING WITHIN A CRUCIBLE OF LIFE AND DEATH ITSELF”


Q:

Hey, you were a massive part of my childhood!!

Could you say hello to my wife, Toni?

A:

Is there any plans on a website where new urls can be submitted to improve your search results? Like Google has.


Q:

In the podcast Geoff Edgers said you take a pill for anxiety, but didn't state what causes your anxiety. Was it wrong for him to mention that?

A:

Where did you grow up?


Q:

Hi Anthony!

And no. I cant.

A:

We generally pick up new URLs without submissions. However, if there are search results issues, the best way to report them is via the Feedback button on the results pages. They are all read and go to the right place in our systems.


Q:

Oh no. I suffered from panic attacks. Panic attacks as opposed to anxiety attacks are a feeling of impending doom. When one strikes you, you're paralyzed. One struck me directly before I had to do Weekend Update, and I understood I needed help. My doctor prescribed klonopin and advised me to take half a pill before any performance.

A:

IN SUBURBAN CHICAGO THERE IS A MALL

IN THAT MALL IS AN ABANDONED SAM GOODY

BUT BEFORE IT WAS A SAM GOODY IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL FOREST WHERE ONE COULD LEARN NOT JUST THE CONCEPT OF RIGHT AND WRONG BUT APPRECIATION FOR NATURE AND THE BALANCE IT PROVIDES

BUT OBVIOUSLY I NEVER WENT THERE, I JUST USED TO HANG OUT AT THAT SAM GOODY A LOT, BUMMED IT WENT OUT OF BUSINESS


Q:

what is your all time favorite finishing move in wrestling ? <3

A:

What is your preferred web browser for a windows machine?


Q:

Hey Mr. Norm, this mystery has been keeping me up for years now...

What is your favorite cereal?

A:

What is your social life like?


Q:

The small package

A:

On Windows, Firefox, Brave, and Vivaldi are all good choices. I personally use macOS though.


Q:

Count Chocula. The least-respected, least-feared of all vampires.

A:

IT IS BOOMING

I HAVE TONS OF HUMAN FRIENDS WITH WHOM I CONSUME ALCOHOLIC DRINKS AND BRUNCH MEALS AND SOMETIMES WE EVEN GET TOGETHER DURING THE WEEK TO COMPARE HOW TIRED WE ARE


Q:

Hey Mr Culkin,

Are there any movies you passed on, or didn't get the chance to make for what ever reason, that you wished you would have taken?

A:

Preferred browser for macOS? What extensions do you use? :)


Q:

Did you enjoy making Stephen Merchant so uncomfortable?

A:

How would you suggest catching some sheep? Asking for a friend.


Q:

I was sent the script to Rushmore; I was still retired then.

That's a perfect movie

A:

I personally switch between those and Safari depending on the context -- and I use our new extension along with Lastpass and Pocket.


Q:

I was told later that Stephen was uncomfortable but I didn't mean to. The conversation just flowed to British children's entertainers being largely pedophiles and I don't know why Stephen Merchant was tiptoeing around it.

A:

WELL AS MY MOTHER USED TO SAY

EACH AND EVERY DAY YOU MUST JUSTIFY YOUR EXISTENCE TO THE CRUEL AND UNYIELDING HAND OF NATURE

WAIT SORRY

YOU CATCH MORE SHEEP WITH KINDNESS THAN WITH 300 PSI OF JAW STRENGTH

WAIT

BE NICE TO SHEEP AND MAYBE THEY WILL HANG OUT WITH YOU OR WHATEVER


Q:

How did you and Jim gaffigan get set up for working on his show?

A:

In another comment from you guys I found this link: https://www.google.com/maps/timeline Any other links to 'instantly' spread awareness?


Q:

Would you ever consider doing a sports show again? That show was awesome!

A:

Do you consider yourself an Alpha?


Q:

I have a friend who owns a comedy club; he reached out. I didnt answer his email till the last minute. We did one episode; I suggested that I come back as a background character sometimes. We ran with it. It was a lot of fun


Q:

I would consider commentating golf which I think I can do better than anyone except Jim Nantz

A:

OH HELL YEAH MAN. I LOVE BEING AN ALPHA MALE. IF YOU GO TO THE BAR, GUESS WHO IS THERE RUINING IT SURPRISE IT IS ME THE ALPHA MALE. I WILL ABSOLUTELY BE TALKING TOO LOUD. I WILL DEFINITELY WAG MY MONEY AT THE BARTENDER LIKE IT IS NOT JUST A FIVE DOLLAR BILL. AND YOU BET THAT I WILL BE STARTING A FIGHT OUTSIDE BECAUSE SOME GUY ACCIDENTALLY CAME WITHIN 10 FEET OF MY GIRLFRIEND. I AM TERRIBLE.


Q:

What was your experience like working on The Pagemaster? Did you have any involvement with the animation, or did you film your scenes long before the drawing began?

A:

could you please make "exact phrase" with "-" mean ACTUAL EXACT PHRASE BETWEEN THE " "'s please? it would be nice also if the -exclude this word ACTUALLY EXCLUDED THE WORD AFTER - PLEASE.


Q:

Are you still playing poker? Any favorite games / locations?

A:

What is your opinion on the moon? Additionally what is your favourite style of ham - honey baked? Maple glazed? Trench coat shaped?


Q:

Animated takes years to make; I pretty much just showed up in the studio, talked alot; and a couple years later it was done

WhoopieGoldberg
A:

Thank you for the feedback. Duly noted.


Q:

I play a high limit stud at Hollywood Park and in Vegas at the Aria.

A:

I WAS NOT TOO LONG AGO INFORMED THAT THE MOON IS NOT JUST A LIGHT SOURCE BUT IN FACT AN ENTIRE LOCATION AND HOLY HELL WAS THAT A GAME CHANGER BUT I DEFINITELY DID NOT THROW UP ON MY COUCH ABOUT IT SO PLEASE STOP INSINUATING THAT I DID

AS FOR HAM, I AM NOT SURE THERE IS A WRONG WAY TO DO IT PAL. RAW, BLOODY, STILL ACTUALLY JUST A PIG, ACTIVELY RUNNING AWAY FROM ME, FROM THE FLOOR OF THE BUS, WHATEVER STYLE ITS IN, I WILL ABSOLUTELY EAT IT


Q:

What's your best hangover remedy?

A:

Google has become a verb to search for things. How could you make DuckDuckGo into a verb?

Started using your search engine a couple of months ago. I hated that Google would track my location in maps and suggest Home or Work without me telling it to store those addresses against my name.

Now that Ive turned off the setting to monitor places I often visit, whenever I go Home or to Work, it asks me if I want to turn the setting back on. Only those two places. Bastards.


Q:

What is life's purpose?

A:

Hi, Are you a Wolf?


Q:

Whiskey.

Hair of the dog

A:

Hah, thanks for being a DuckDuckGo user! "Duck it," "DuckDuckGo it", "DDGd it" could be a thing :), but sadly I don't think we're going to get rid of Google as verb -- it's too ingrained at this point to the extent it is generic like Kleenex.


Q:

Well, it depends on your view I suppose but it's been my experience is that life's purpose is to suffer. To abide the inevitable pain and to bear it in a noble way.

A:

SEE I DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT YOU GUYS

I SIGNED UP FOR TWITTER, CLASSIC HUMAN BEHAVIOR

I MADE MY DISPLAY NAME NOT A WOLF SO THAT PEOPLE WOULD KNOW THAT I AM NOT A WOLF

I MADE MY USERNAME SICKOFWOLVES SO PEOPLE KNOW WHATS UP

AND I CONSTANTLY TALK ABOUT HOW I DO NOT LIKE WOLVES

AND YET PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS LIKE HEY DUDE ARE YOU SOME SORT OF SECRET WOLF BECAUSE THERES LITERALLY A RAW CHICKEN HANGING OUT OF YOUR BACKPACK

THE ANSWER IS NO NEXT QUESTION PLEASE


Q:

If you were offered a role in any comic book movie adaptation, what would you wanted it to be the most?

A:

will ddg ever be able to filter by dates beyond 1 month? filter by past year would be great. while i'm at it....how about showing web page dates in search results? i prefer using ddg and will continue to do so but dates are lacking. thanks!


Q:

What are you wearing?

Sorry, I meant wat r u waring?

A:

Is it just me, or does much of human folly leave you howling in the darkness for some sort of sense, and maybe a nice steak?


Q:

Longshot, cause he's lucky

A:

I hope so :). We are working on it. Past year (or better yet custom range) is closer.


Q:

I'm wearing sweatpants, and a T-shirt with beef stew spilled all over it. I had some beef stew for breakfast.

A:

THE KEY TO HUMAN FOLLY IS UNDERSTANDING THAT JUST BENEATH THE SURFACE OF YOUR SKIN LURKS A SKELETON THAT IS ABSOLUTELY STOKED ABOUT ONE DAY BEING FREE

IF YOU GO TO THE BANK GUESS WHAT THE SKELETON IS AT THE BANK TOO

IF YOU TAKE A BATH YOU ARE TAKING A BATH WITH YOUR ONLY ETERNAL FRIEND: YOUR BONES

ONCE YOU ACCEPT THE WHOLE SKELETON THING, GOING TO THE BANK AND STUFF IS HONESTLY A LOT MORE FUN, ENJOY THE SKIN WHILE ITS THERE


Q:

What’s your favorite ride at Disney World / Disney Land?

A:

Have you ever been contacted by bigger data-tracking services? Google or Facebook for example?


Q:

Who do you think does the best impression of you?

A:

If you were a wolf, what's the first thing that you would do?


Q:

The cigarette smoking area by the Haunted Mansion

A:

It depends what you mean by contacted. We've spoken to a lot of different companies in one way or another.


Q:

I don't like any impressions of me but since Jimmy Fallon is the best impersonator I've ever met, when he does it I must believe that that's what I sound like.

A:

IDK PROBABLY FIND THE HUNTER THAT KILLED MY BROTHER


Q:

Any chance you would collaborate with Redlettermedia again?

A:

Why is the US so far behind Europe on data privacy? While they're implementing GDPR, we're rolling rules that allow ISP tracking. Is it a cultural or political thing?


Q:

Hey norm. Big fan. Do you have any plans to do the Joe Rogan podcast? I would love to see you on.

A:

Are you always not a wolf, or only when there isn't a full moon?


Q:

I havent been asked but Im a big fan of what they do

A:

It's political. Culturally, the US is similar on privacy and in fact protecting privacy has truly become mainstream. I believe because the will of the people is there, it is only a matter of time until we follow suit.


Q:

I will do that.

A:

AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER I HAVE BEEN A HUMAN MAN

STRESSING OUT ABOUT MY COWORKERS OPINIONS OF ME

BRINGING UP BREAKING BAD ON FIRST DATES

THE WHOLE DEAL


Q:

What was it like working on a Frasier episode?

A:

Is there any desire for DDG to become politically active in any way, shape or form? Endorse candidates? Create forums for politicians to discuss and debate privacy issues? Also, what organizations do you believe are most effective right now in terms of fighting for privacy rights? (EFF and EPIC come to mind - any others?)


Q:

Back in August you said you'd been invited to meet with the world's greatest novelist. My friend thinks that means Cormac McCarthy or Thomas Pynchon. Me, I go with Rosie O'Donnell. Can you tell us who you met, and if they enjoyed your book?

A:

Can third parties use data from Atlas Obscura? Not the actual articles, but say, if I wanted a list of all the places you guys deemed interesting and put it on the web so you can search for places of interest on a map. What kind of permission/license would we need?


Q:

It was easy; I did it from my room over the phone.

I have no regrets

A:

We've been donating to organizations that share our vision and values for many years, and our donations page lists and links to a lot of great organizations that fight for privacy rights.

We've also become more active ourselves, such as signing on to court cases where we can add unique value or putting out our own statements. We would like to do even more though, and plan to step up these efforts over the next few years.


Q:

I'm not allowed to say. But it was one of the first two. And they invited me to discuss my book. Yes he liked it very much but had critical things to say that will help me out in future books. It was a very kind gesture.

A:

I DO NOT WORK FOR ATLAS OBSCURA THIS AMA IS ACTUALLY BEING HOSTED IN EXCHANGE FOR ME NO LONGER HANGING OUT NEAR THEIR DUMPSTER EVEN THOUGH I KEEP TELLING THEM I JUST GO THERE TO SMOKE TONS OF CIGARETTES AND I AM NOT AT ALL TRYING TO SEE IF THEY GOT ANYTHING GOOD CATERED FOR LUNCH TODAY, SOMEONE WILL REACH OUT TO YOU SOON


Q:

I always wanted to ask whats your favorite athlete?

A:

Big fan, Norm! Aside from your own book, what are a few personal favorite books of yours that you recommend like-minded individuals read? I'm looking to have my perspectives SHIFTED.


Q:

How do you tweet with paws?

A:

Chris Jericho. Cause hes a boss


Q:

The two greatest living writers are Cormac McCarthy and Alice Munro, so I would suggest a collection of Alice Munro short stories and McCarthey's masterpiece "The Road." My personal favorites are "War and Peace" and "The Death of Ivan Ilych" both by Tolstoy.

A:

WHAT THE HELL I THOUGHT WE WERE SCREENING THESE


Q:

On a scale of 1-10, how good a kisser is Har Mar Superstar?

A:

Hi Norm Macdonald and Gene at The Washington Post. Norm, did anyone ever tell you that you look like you're related to Bruce Campbell? Gene, has anyone told Norm that he looks like he's related to Bruce Campbell?


Q:

Hey are you a wolf?

A:

I give him a 16 and three quarters


Q:

I presume one person has but none before this morning.

A:

FOR REAL ARE WE NOT SCREENING THESE

I FEEL LIKE I GET THIS ONE A LOT DESPITE SPEAKING OFTEN AND AT LENGTH ABOUT MY DISLIKE FOR WOLVES


Q:

What's your favourite dinosaur?

A:

The greatest comedic novels (Don Quixote, Tristram Shandy, Pale Fire, Based on a True Story) all make heavy use of metafictional elements. I'm leaving out A Confederacy of Dunces because I hated that book. Anyway, were you consciously drawing upon that tradition in BoaTS? Or did the story you wanted to tell naturally take you in the direction of metafiction? I ask because you have claimed to hate meta.


Q:

Brontosaurus but we know thats not real anymore. Like pluto. Or math.

A:

I love all those books. I do hate meta but I was forced into by the scriptures of convention. I was hired to write a memoir, but secretly wrote a novel so I had to use the techniques of meta to mask it. I did it so well the New York Times called it a nonfiction.


Q:

What Is your current favorite band / artist?

A:

What does Bob Saget smell like?


Q:

I always listen to the Talking Heads but I've been listening to a lot of Beirut lately

A:

I will say about Bob Saget that he's so recognized it's amazing. And people come up to him and say "You're Bob Saget." And he says "thank you." I guess that's what fame is.


Q:

Snickers or Milky Way?

A:

What are your thoughts about separating artists work from their behavior? Specifically in cases of comedians like Bill Cosby and Louis C.K.


Q:

Snickers Snickers Snickers

also Snickers send me free Snickers

A:

I separate their work completely from their transgressions. Everything about their work is extraordinary. Everything about their transgressions is utterly ordinary.


Q:

Do you get sick of people talking about Home Alone?

A:

Normy Normy Normy!

Any chance you'll invite Conan to your podcast.?

Your book is phenomenal, and loved the audio narration. Stay amazing sire.


Q:

Its a self-answering question

A:

Yes.


Q:

Do you play videogames? If yes, which game is your favorite?

A:

Toe Jam and Earl; I play it on a daily basis


Q:

How's your mom's meatloaf?

A:

Meaty and delicious but not as good as Stew's moms.


Q:

Why bunny ears? What's wrong with koala ears?

A:

Nothing against other ears, but Bunnys happen to be the best


Q:

Every time I see a photo of you, you look hungry and it kicks in my desire to feed people. You're not hungry are you?

A:

No I have all the pizza a kid would ever want


Q:

Hey Macaulay, how was your weekend?

A:

Totally Rad. I loved the Royal Rumble this year. Big Nakamura fan.


Q:

What will it take to fully expose/overthrow the culture of exploitation in hollywood?

A:

The Illuminati/PizzaGate/Kony2012


Q:

Play any DnD? Favorite class/race?

A:

I always liked being a tank; something like a fighter


Q:

Macaulay... What's yr favorite kind of 🍕?

A:

It's always Joe's Pizza (in NYC), and not to be all normal about it, but I do like a proper plain. That's how you can judge a place. I've been with lots of vegetarians so I can get with that, but I wouldnt kick a pepperoni and sausage out of bed.


Q:

Has Matt managed to get you to watch any One Piece or any other anime?

A:

Not yet but on my list is One Punch Man, One Piece, FLCL, Cowboy Bebop- I have homework


Q:

Play any mmo's?

A:

Not anymore- Warcraft really took it out of me


Q:

Hey :) What is you favorite place in Europe? Greetings from north Germany :)

A:

Hello, North Germany.

Centre Pompidou in Paris. I know their collection inside and out.


Q:

Do you ever think you’ll return to acting or the movie industry?

And how did you get into podcasting?

A:

I do gigs here and there- its not a job. Its a hobby.

I just did Seth Green's directorial debut- "Changeland"- find it wherever Changelands are sold.

My buddy Matt Cohen hit me with a microphone and made me. Also I like the internet. And talking.


Q:

Where did we go wrong?

A:

I ask myself in the mirror everyday


Q:

Have you thought about doing theatre work again?

A:

I love doing theater- its my favorite form, however Im not really perusing anything at the moment. Not looking for any gigs.

But yah. Sure. What ya got?


Q:

What do you like most about podcasting? Why do you think so many people choose to do it?

A:

I like to talk at people and I like the sound of my own voice.


Q:

The first time you heard of/saw the Culkin Christ, what was your reaction?

A:

My first thought was "What took them so long?"


Q:

When I was a kid in New Hampshire (like 20 or so years ago) my friend was an extra in one of your movies. He said you ate lunch with him amd some others after an ice skating scene. I told him he was full of shit. Is there a chance he wasnt?

A:

Sounds about right.

Was she cute?


Q:

What two wrestlers, alive or dead, would you have play Harry and Marv so you can torture them in your funhouse maze twice?

A:

Heath Slater and Mantaur


Q:

I like your pizza box sign- is "Macaulay Culkinama" your Japanese pseudonym?

A:

Hai