1.25 Something to Hide
INTRO: Welcome to the BiCurean podcast. Where we explore and embrace the seeming contradictions of life. What actually is BiCurean you ask? What's happening right now in terms of the divisions between us is a focus on that which is different. And lack of understanding and empathy for people's beliefs is no longer an excuse. And it is in the differences we carry in ourselves that we find the BiCurean moment. When you really dig into something you are going to see some depth to it. It's not just a race thing, it's not just a conservation thing. It's letting go of the 'or' to make room for the 'and'. We embrace all of you.
A: Hello, I am Aicila.
E: And I am Erik.
A: And we're very excited today to introduce our guest, Emily [Yu]. Hello Emily can you ... tell our listeners a little bit about yourself.
EM: ... Sure ... I'm a privacy attorney out in ,,, Silicon Valley. I work for a prominent tech company that makes hardware for technology. ... And I'm really pleased to be a guest on your show.
A: Thank you so much for joining us today. ... Emily is ... associated through a colleague of mine. And I was talking about the recent data breaches. And Erik and I were talking about privacy and privacy matters and Emily agreed to sort of lend some of her expertise to that conversation. And one of the things I wanted to start with is a little bit of the philosophy of privacy. Something that I've heard a lot, and I think you have some really good ... points around this, is if you don't have anything to hide why do you care about privacy? And I would love for you to speak to that a little bit.
EM: Yeah I've heard that as well. I mean I I I do a lot of like privacy attorneys and privacy professionals. So we don't really talk about that stuff as much anymore because we assume that privacy's really important. But yeah the whole notion of ... there's nothing to hide why do I care about privacy. I mean just because we don't have anything to hide doesn't mean that ... you shouldn't care about your your your intimate details. I mean it doesn't mean that you want to go out you know in the middle of like a mall or something and start like you know using the restroom in front of everyone. Or to talk about your medical details infront of complete strangers and things of that nature. So ... I think that whole notion ... I can understand where it's coming from where people are like well I don't have a criminal background or anything like that why should I care? Like but everybody in their day to day lives has things about themselves that they don't necessarily want everyone to know about you know. Those things that we hold intimate and ... that keep us as individuals. And so ... just the idea that I think it it only skims like the surface of the information about us. It doesn't really cover like really all the things that happen even you know Monday through Friday and the weekend what have you. And ... I don't think it really seriously contemplates what kind of information we could lose to the general public or the companies to the government you know, so.
A: Yeah live I read an article and I've been trying to track it down ... on the psychological benefits of privacy a few years ago. There was the gentleman who was writing about how if people don't feel a sense of being able to be alone they're less likely to risk. ... There's like the the social norms and social pressures that we live in that that creates some of the social cohesion that we need also have had sort of a downside in that people conform and so innovation and like personal expression and art and things like that can be inhibited in a society that doesn't have the benefit of privacy. So that was one of the like social and cultural benefits that I recall. But I because I can't find the article I hesitate to put that out there. Is that something that you also have seen or understand from your experience that there's like there's an actual of not just nothing to hide but also there's actually value to it?
EM: Oh yeah! ... So you do kind of maintain both a sense of individuality as autonomy with respect to keeping certain things private. And I think that ... I mean we've all become familiar with the idea of .. mob mentality. And so the more and more we kind of are forced to reveal about ourselves, we end up unintentionally conforming with one another. And you just end up losing a lot of ... those individual identifiers or pieces of individuality by by through that conforming right? So ... I think personally essentially like we you know should value those things that kind of make it individuals. And keep those things to ourselves so to speak. Because ... otherwise like when you have companies that kind of like ... take a lot of that information for the purposes of social media. You'll even see it on like Instagram and Facebook and stuff like that. You'll notice that like more more people who use it and are kind of exposed to it end up kind of becoming the same type of thing. Like people will pose in the same way and show off the same things And that in and of itself kind of like a loss of identity and a loss of individuality. So I really think that's important to keep and maintain. ... With you know being able to protect all that private data.
E: Yeah well.
EM: Does that make sense?
E: You it does and you just brought up an interesting word. One that that I I find myself in a love hate relationship with which is Facebook. Because people are now becoming aware that you know Facebook's customers are not them. Facebook's customers are the people that Facebook sells all this information about the users to. And we're finding out I mean we you know we find out that they have their own data breaches or ... they were indiscriminate with the way they were sharing information. ... Turns out they gave ... access to people's private messages to you know companies like Spotify and Netflix.
E: And it's like you know I I've always lived in this philosophy of like anything you put on the internet just expect that everyone can see it. But people don't tend to actually live in that world. They don't think that way.
EM: Right. It's becomes so comfortable I think that people really forget what they put out there. And even the fact that ... companies like a Facebook are tracking not just what you put out there publicly that you know it's getting plastered on somebody else's wall. But your behaviors online as well. Like if you pause to look at one news article over another they already get a whole bunch of data about you and what you're preferences are just from just a pause you know. And it- it is troubling and I think that ... among privacy professionals there's this rise of what is now known as data ethics or big data ethics. And so it's kind of about how companies should morally you know make decision and treat data ... especially when they get such a large bulk of data about so many people. And I think one of the things that is the most troubling about this whole Facebook situation ... especially with the Facebook Cambridge Analytica ... scandal is that you know we saw a company that had a ton of data and they kind of indiscriminately gave it away to third parties that were their customers. Us being the product of course. And from that you know they're able to change election results essentially. And they're able to start political movement that could topple over governments.
E: And and and that's not even talking about the manipulation from you know Russia and things like that, right?
E: That that's that was this was all pretty normal usage of data without even the psychological manipulation factor.
EM: Yeah exactly. It's just , it's so-
A: I was reading a commentary from a gentleman who was saying that there was this sort of quote unquote reassuring ... attempt to say oh no like Facebook doesn't listen your conversations. They they happen to be able to predict your your data your your behavior because of their data. And he was talking about how he and a friend had been talking about some new product that he was interested in and like the next day it showed up in his Facebook feed. And and he said and that's when I decided to quit Facebook. Not because they're listening to my conversations, they're not. It's just that because they have so much data on me they can actually predict what I'm interested in talking to my friend about. And he said and that's terrifying. Like people put that out there as reassuring oh no no, they're not listening. That's not reassuring.
EM: Right exactly. Like even if you have like let's say you and your friend are just talking about stuff and your both carrying cell phones. Like that cell phone data has like your precise geo location. And then your friend goes and starts googling something about like candles or whatever. They already know, they're like oh they must be talking together because they are near each other and one googling about candles and that means the other one might also be interested in those products. So we're gonna start pushing ads on it. And so it's as if they're listening. And they're still getting that data about you. ... And I think what's really- what scared me was when we're going through those congressional hearings when they were asking Mark Zuckerberg stuff. One thing that scared me was that our congressmen don't really have any idea about this type of technology. They're very novice at it. They're- and they don't know what's going on. They kind of have an- I don't even know if they have a basic understanding of it. So that was one terrifying thing. But the other thing that I found terrifying was the realization that even if you don't sign up for a product like Facebook they are still building a profile about you. Because of all the things that you already do online. So unless you like live in a log cabin and aren't online and or on phones or anything. I mean they're- they're already collecting information about you. They already know who you are.
E: Yeah well and- and so ... kinda near and dear to my heart you're you're in Silicon Valley. I work for a tech startup based in Silicon Valley but we have an office here in Colorado. ... But yeah we're we're good old fashioned Palo Alto company. And ... what we do is we make a web development platform. So we build a platform for people to build websites on. Makes us a lot less culpable in this because, to be honest, about the worst thing we generally deal with is phishing sites built on our platform. And you know we'll get cease and desist notifications to shut those kinds of things down. But in in reality like I'm- I've seen first hand how some of the stuff can get abused just by the customers that I deal with. And again you know it's a platform that they're using to build websites. But one aspect that's really caught my attention you kind of alluded to this is geo fencing. And I've heard a lot about this. You know it's you've got these companies now that are trying to figure out based on your phone location if you're in the emergency room so they can start sending you accident attorney information immediately. And it feels so violating to think that that's a possibility.
EM: Yeah. I totally agree. It's really creepy and ... it's super intrusive and I feel like ... it's kind of in the same way you know we would feel if someone were out there stalking us you know? And kind of following our every move and watching us when we eat dinner and things of that nature. I mean it gets to that level of intrusion and people- most people I don't think think about it because you know they're just using their cell phone or they're using this free product they found online like some application or something and they don't realize that the reason that it's free is it's being paid for by these companies that are farming that data, right?
E: Nothing's free. Nothing is free.
A: Except a free lunch., right?
E: So ... one other thing and we were talking about this right before we we we began the show. ... GDPR. So you know it's it's a good entry way and kind of you know you're talking about data.
A: Can you actually say what those words are?
E: You probably remember it. I've been seeing the acronym since February of last year.
EM: Oh yeah. General data protection regulation. ... Yeah it's really interesting it has actually a really interesting background. Europe does consider privacy a fundamental human right. ... And it arose from a long history of like legislation ... there was a directive that came forward even. And ... it's there to kind of normalize and regulate or become a regulation across all of the
E. U. members. ... What's really interesting and I don't think a lot of people know about this but ... the history why this law road arose actually stems all the way back to ... the effects resulting from the Nazis in Germany and World War II. ... And that is because a lot of the ways in which ... the Nazis were able to kind of isolate and pinpoint ... Jewish household as well as other minorities is by taking ... the census data ... that they collected. They would go door to door and collect information about all the households within Germany. And then from that data that they would pull like a list of you know candidates I guess you could say where they can go ahead and discriminate against them. And they'd also pull the companies in Germany to do the same. So a lot of that personal information about like what ... ethnicity you are, what religion you practice, and all that even ... trade union membership ... all came into play during that time. And so that's why ... these types of laws kind of started arising was to protect that and from never letting that happen again. ... And then they also look toward Silicon Valley is being this area where there's a ton of technology that's being invented and you know one technology is piggy back off of another and all this. And so they were really worried that there is a chance where we have a bunch of companies that have a ton of information about us and it could be used to harm us and discriminate against us. Which I mean honestly is kind of happening ... like we talked about it like ... recent elections. And I know internationally there've been a lot of election that have been affected. And then all that psychological manipulation with the Russian involvement ... in our past like twenty election. So ... yeah it's a very real fear and it's understandable why they'd come up with the you know heavy thought out framework and regulation. ... Because they want to protect it protect us from having the Nazis kinda happen all over again.
E: Can you go into some details on like what sorts of things that law actually covers? Like ... again I'm I'm familiar with things cause our platform, we had to build it. We had make some adjustments to it to make sure it was able to be compliant but you know and then our own company compliant. But maybe go over some of the just top level details.
EM: ... Sure so essentially it's ... a framework that's based on a number of different principles ... such as like data minimization and accountability and things of that nature. And what it does it ... basically it demands that companies ... do certain things to protect the data. ... They have to have security safeguards and technological safe guards in place. They have to use tools to protect private information such as encryption. ... They you know they need to go about treating the data very you know carefully in certain respects. ... And they also have to ... honor the rights of individual. And those rights can include the right to be forgotten. ... In other words having the data deleted. Or the right to be able to access your data or change and correct that data. So it gives individuals all in Europe ... the right certain things with their personal information that companies hold. It also helps companies ... remain accountable. So I give you or my company gives your company data and then we have an expectation of certain things that you have already in place. And that you know you won't deviate from the instructions I provide to you ... for the purposes of treating that data in a certain way, And so it's pretty over arching **involved will date** there's not a ton of like detail as like you have to use this level of encryption or anything like that. It's up to the company to decide that. But ... it is there to fundamentally protect those those rights of those individuals.
A: And it sounds like the consequences of of you know not doing it well are pretty significant. Is like something-
EM: Oh yeah.
A: Intense fines and-
EM: Yeah you get up to like four percent of your company's global turnover. So it's not just for Europe it would be for the company's ... overall revenue for the prior year. So that can range in the hundreds of millions of dollars for some companies.
E: Yeah I I felt like it was definitely like the fines were of a scope to target the obvious people a Google, Facebook, and things like that.
A: No and that's really well and also-
EM: Oh yeah, I mean, oh go ahead sorry.
A: I was just saying like that like that's an incentive, you know when you have profit based companies if if their profits are gonna get genuinely hit then the cost analysis let's do this well. So it seems like they really created a good structure for this.
EM: Yeah. And I think it had a lot to do with the fact that you know in prior years before the GDPR they would like issue fines against companies and there'd be a cap. You know a company like Google you know ... like a big company and doesn't care about those types so they're not going do anything right? So they wanted to make sure that the fines for the GDPR really had a bite to them.
A: Yeah. So something you mentioned earlier that I just I think is really important is you talked about data ethics. And you know from my perspective, this technology isn't going away. And this is- at least not anytime soon- and so in order as you said like it if you want to participate in the in the global experience in terms of social or economic contributions and interactions, you're going to be part of you know Google or Facebook or something. And and so instead of railing against it, you know, how do we normalize principle based behavior? And you know just like any technology comes with its downsides and then there needs to be some adjustment socially for that. It sounds to me like maybe data ethics is the it's the legal ... or you know philosophical approach to normalizing perhaps behaviors that counter some of the downsides. And so I'm just curious like is that something that is primarily amongst lawyers or is it you know would would it be a legislative thing? Are there other movements? Are there movements in America around technology based data ethics that you're aware of?
EM: There's like actual legislation with regard to data ethics. But ... just because of the fact that GDPR hit and it was so impactful ... we do see a lot of other legislation globally and even in the US that's been ... added and been enacted. So one example would be the California consumer privacy act. And I you know how my own personal qualms with that. It's difficult to operationalize but at the heart of it again it's just the notion that we need to give people the right to know what's being done to their data. Who it is being sold to. ... You know what's going on with the data? What type of third party ... have access to it. And so it has a lot of requirements put in place for that. And ... in a lot of ways California has a tendency to do these things first and other states follow and so I think coming from that there's also been a lot of talk about ... whether the US you can have a federal privacy law. And a lot of companies honestly are actually all for it. And I agree with them to some extent too. Because ... when you have like fifty states it's difficult to do everything you need to do to be in compliance with all fifty if the requirements are different. So to comply with federal law would be a lot easier. But we also see other countries as well like Brazil came up with their own version GDPR. ... I think Argentine- Argentina is looking at ... binding corporate rules which is something that's kind of European based as like a good you know transfer mechanisms for personal information outside the country, stuff like that. So we're going to see a lot of ... regulations that come up come about abroad as well as ... in the US that- that's going to be very similar to what GDPR does.
E: So, so far we've actually kind of been focusing on what people are doing with our information that we're willingly putting out there and maybe not willingly ... sharing and they are. But there's another aspect to this and that's when the companies are unwillingly sharing information. IE getting hacked and data breaches and things like that. Which is a whole nother aspect because I mean it's it's the endless cat mouse game of you know companies raise security to a certain point. People figure out security. And they continue to raise security but you know I don't hear about it as much. And I don't feel like that's for any for any reason other than the fact that it's become more normalized but identity theft is still a thing.
EM: Yeah definitely.
E: Well you have your own story on that.
EM: I actually recently experienced identity theft. And it probably arose from on of the more breaches that we had. ... And so like my name, address, phone number, social security number- .... all of that was taken. And there's like a rush of ... applications to various credit cards that I had to go chase down. ... I had to call my own credit card companies like especially store credit cards, cause they could just go into a store, claim to be me, and the only check that they'll have is like what's your social security number? Or what's the last four digits of your social security number and your birthday. And so it was really easy for them that just start charging like thousand dollars in my name. And fortunately, at least for me, I caught it in time because I was ... I was getting weird notifications and started calling around and found out all of this. So I've been really carefully monitoring my my credit card statements and stuff like that. And not taking some of those things for granted as spam. So ... fortunately I was able to kinda nip it in the bud. But ... that's something I would definitely say for everybody out there, especially this holiday season ... or the past holiday season ... is that you definitely want to watch your credit card statements. And make sure that stuff hasn't been .... basically attacked or anything. ... Because it's easy to kind of fall into that. It's not like I lost a credit card of left something like my driver's license out or anything like that. I'm very protective of that stuff. But you know we give all this stuff to companies ... even like the ... companies that supposed to protect our credit information and
E: I know yeah.
EM: Hacked and so yeah so that's that's kind of the result of that.
E: That's like the biggest betrayal ever is that the company that you know should be monitoring this stuff is the one that gets hacked.
E: Last year.
A: I signed up for credit karma/ I don't know if you've ever heard of them. And they seem to be pretty transparent about how they do it. They're like you know we they monitor your credit score and they also tell you if there's a breach attached to ... ... I should say, they tell you they tell you if there's breaches and suggest that you look into it. And they're like how do we make money with our free service? We recommend these products to you that we think you'll like based on what we know about you. But we don't tell the companies that information. We have - like there ... so I've been pretty satisfied with them. And I get a you know an email once a week that's like your credit score has gone up by 5 points or you know whatever. But just a couple days ago I got an email that said it's possible that these two breaches affected you. You should go check on that. And ... so I've I've felt like that was helpful. And I've you know I'm not you know once again it's another place for my data to be. But I felt like it was a helpful service in that way.
E: I even went one step further. And it's a very double edged sword. But I had my credit locked. So essentially no new accounts can be opened. Except for when I wanted to purchase a new computer and was going to sign up for an apple credit card. And it turned into a day of trying to call all of the right people to unlock it to open a new account. I mean it is it's it's it's like well at least nobody can start an account.
A: Because you can barely do it.
E: Right because it was hard for me to do it.
A: And I feel I feel like that is the sort of in this BCurean moment in this whole thing is the the tension between the efficiency of our data being out there. I'll you know I'll be honest I love it I love that my computer syncs things with my phone syncs with my tablet syncs with my Google assistant. And and you know I I love the convenience of it. I'm huge technophile. If I had unlimited money, I'd have unlimited gadgets. And I just I'm so into it. And I'm kind of a privacy hound. Like I don't like to share my information. And and so and I don't like the the vulnerability that exists. But I still use Facebook. I still put stuff out there. And I I feel like that's a tension of the difference between you know that the tension between security and efficiency and connection. Like I ... I there are some things about Facebook that I hate. And then I also really love that you know friends of mine from college that I haven't seen in ten years, we still chat. I know what's going on in their lives. And so you know once again I think we're gonna have to find new solutions to the this new influence of this new technology. And I know like my my friend lived in Korea which is significantly more populated the United States and ... and people there or maybe it was- there's also a better example of like India which is also highly populated. And there was a- a quote maybe it was Ghandi who said like while many people are are naked you don't look at it. Like they've they've learned how to be right up in each other's business without actually getting into each other's business. Like they have social structures in terms of their interactions to create privacy when they're all kind of piled on top of each other in these densely densely populated areas. And I just wonder if there's something to be learned from that around how we're using this technology. To learn how not to assume invitation ... just from a social side, not just the companies and their exploitation, but the the people and how that works.
EM: That's an interesting point. You know I was also thinking about ... China because ... I just learned recently like China you know that really popular messaging app that does a whole bunch of things. It's called WeChat. And what's really interesting is the Chinese government went kind of like the other way with things. And now they their use WeChat ID as like a national ID like you would your social security number.
E: Yeah I heard about us.
EM: And on top of that China's yeah they're now starting to implement what's called like a social score. Where they based on like whether or not you're a good citizen but that you're always like I don't know like sociable and popular and things of that nature they will judge whether or not you you're worthy of credit and other things. So it kind of went like completely like Black Mirror.
A: That's terrifying.
EM: Yeah. Yeah so I mean it's like okay well I think ... one thing I found also really interesting is like the younger generation cause I'm like you know ... a Gen X'er or whatever but ... like those folks are actually looking at technology that do more with like like the come the temporariness of things. Like you know Snap Chat's kind of like the most popular version maybe. But they either look at like Snapchat where the messages don't theoretically last forever you know I think they do. And then you've got like ... stuff like Discord where you're only talking with your select group of friends. And it's not going beyond that. So there are ways in which I think they've kind of adapted to this whole social networking environment where they're trying to you know minimize it and like these other types of technology that people like us don't really do as much of.
A: They're trying to have it work for them instead of having them work for it.
EM: Yeah exactly. So I thought that was pretty cool. ... But yeah I feel like China's like the dystopian future for all of us based on like what the government's doing with their social networking stuff and social IDs and everything.
E: Yeah and then that- I I hope that that does not take off. And that we can all just sort of watch and learn how bad that actually is if we're lucky.
A: So as we were wrapping up here ... do you have any suggestions for people or words of wisdom favorite quotes?
EM: I think the main thing is that people just need to be more aware of what they have out there. ... I think there's just so much out there. ... And there are various tools that each of these platforms use. Like I know Facebook has its privacy dinosaur and with it a whole suite of tools and everything to kind of ... like I guess down play the amount of information they're collecting. But also just keep in mind, like just be aware of like you know your credit statement's and all that stuff. And you know you can even go to the extreme of like using throwaway like email address when you sign up for stuff. ... But yeah just kind of the awareness of I think the first step to all of the this. ... Getting more social and cultural awareness of what we're doing with our information I think what it is most important step.
E: Sounds like great advice and and I definitely would encourage everybody to just pay attention. Just know what's going on.
A: Thank you so much. We really appreciate you taking time to talk to us today.
EM: Oh yeah, thanks for having me.
A: So my BiCurean Moment, which I think we're gonna share?
A: Is specifically Rick and Morty, which is a cartoon. More generally this this concept of the new version of cartoons that is out there. I I would say for me that it started actually with Bojack Horseman. My- my son really want me to watch it with him. And I did. Because I'll do things for my kids that I won't do for any other reason. And I found myself really being impressed with the the writing and the themes and the satire and the comment- social and political commentary. And I really had to re evaluate. And I had resisted Rick and Morty. It just grossed me out. I'd see, you know I'd walk into the living room and someone would be watching it. One of my kids'd be watching it and I'm like oh my goodness what is this? And then I met you and you were like it's one my favorite shows. And I'm like well you have so many other things about you that seems so intelligent I don't know why you're into that. And I think some of it was I didn't I had it sort of a reflex you know cartoons are something I did when I was a kid. Like even though I liked animated movies there was something about the TV shows that was like juvenile to me.
A: Rick definitely seem quite juvenile when I caught him on the screen. And there's a way in which I didn't relate to the medium. I don't I don't know what that was but it just didn't quite invite me in.
A: And then between both my kids really being into and I do actually respect their judgment. And then you constantly talking about how much you liked it. And then this other friend of mine who was, he was wearing a Rick and Morty t-shirt. And he said oh you know it's- you have to get first past the first couple episodes it's really really well done and quite intelligent. I'm like how is some old guy walking around with vomit on his lips gonna be intelligent? And I now have four people who I really respect in terms of their ways that they go about life and their interest in art and their judgment about things telling me it's a valuable show. So I guess I'm gonna sit down watch it. And I've been unbelievably impressed.
E: I think some of the most intelligent writing going on right now happens to be coming out in animated form. ... For me I think it started with more adult oriented animated things. Futurama grabbed my attention early on. And I thought they covered things in a funny and interesting way that would be hard to do a live action. And ... you know and then you actually get some the depth of these things that are fantastical. But that's why the animated medium works for it because they get you to buy in to certain things that again you know if it was being shot live action would be tougher to deal with.
A: Well it's one of the things I love about like fantasy and science fiction is that the the ways that people can imagine a dystopian future or create a metaphor for something that's happening a lot of times we're not- we're too close. So we can't see the intensity of something in you know we're just used to it. And when you step back like we were talking about ... the WeChat thing in China and then after we ended the show with Emily we talked about the episode in the Orville where they took it to the next level this whole planet that had social media as a judgment. You could die if your social media score was too low. And and taking a step back or into the absurd kind of allows you to recognize that oh there's some things here we maybe want to question. And it seems to me like the cartoons are doing that in another way.
E: They are and it's kind of ironic because that is a Seth McFarlane show. ... You know the Orville if anyone hasn't seen it I I do highly recommend it if you're a fan of Star Trek and you want to see a little bit of a spoof on it. But it's oddly deep too. But Seth McFarlane is of course is the person behind Family Guy, American Dad, and all of these other animated shows. And this is his first foray into a show where he's doing it live action and it has that feel of what a lot of these animated shows have done. And in some regards it works. And in another regards there's little parts of me that sit around and say man if they had animated this they could do some things for effect that you know don't always carry over. So you know I think there's a place for all of that kind of thing but arbitrarily discounting ... animation I think is kind of you you're limiting yourself from a lot of different kinds of experiences.
A: I would say I was being close minded and judgmental. And I I feel sufficient sufficiently ... I wouldn't say, no one's chastised me, ... penitent. I feel sufficiently penitent for my poor attitude. And I am working to make up for it by a watching all of these animated shows so I can be culturally relevant.
E: Well that sounds like a positive step. So my BiCurean Moment does kind of tag along with this and that is that on the one hand I do love the shows but ... in the case of characters such as Rick he's really an anti hero. And I have heard tale, especially involving McDonald's releasing Szechuan sauce, which if you had seen the show you'd understand a show becoming popular enough to make McDonald's feel compelled to release a sauce from the late nineties for dipping your chicken nuggets in. That -
A: Now I want chicken nuggets.
E: So there was some cases of people being angry and emulating Rick in what they would expect his anger to be when the stores ran out of this. And it occurs to me that I think this is across media right now in general. I can't think of a show going where any of the characters are particularly loveable other than the fact that they might remind you of your old racist grandpa or something. I'd- I'd like of the characters. I like the comedy. But I certainly do not want to be a lot of these. And we are living in a world where ... I'm now rating shows like is there anyone on this show that's remotely redeemable. But that is where we're at. And I don't know if it's a reflection of the realism of the world. I've had somebody make an argument to me about that. ... Or just the fact that we like watching car crashes.
A: Well it's interesting in that I I do feel like we've reached a point in media where the flawed character- We're not looking for the unflawed hero anymore. And there could be some emotional maturity in that. And maybe you know there could be not I don't you know there's a lot to the psychology of of media and archetypes. I do know that in recently when I was watching Rick and Morty, I was- the episode he was being particularly vile. And yet also highly competent. And it's something that you know I experienced in my world is that that conundrum of this person is kind of vile and yet their competence requires that I work with them. They they are able to do something valuable or important that ... that while my experience with them is awful their impact on so many other people is going to be so positive then I'm willing to deal with it. I'm willing to deal with the vileness. And Rick accidentally does things that are genuinely helpful. It's just his intent doesn't ever seem to be really doing anything nice for anybody. And and I think that's a reality that we have to look that we all have had to deal with. You know we have to work with people who treat us badly or interact with people who are kind of vile. And we do it for the greater good for our family for the impact they have. And I don't see that changing.
E: Well and this actually can go a little bit deeper because there's that old adage that the world is filled with normal people until you get to know them and then you realize that they're not normal. ... You know they don't have a good relationship with their ex or ... you know they're they're-
A: That's pretty normal though.
E: Yeah but I mean you know like all of these things like or they're broken from a bad relationship. Everybody has these stories right? But when you've just you're going through the grocery store and you see a couple walking down the aisle grabbing things they're just normal people right? Not not people that you know are dealing with things. And so these shows dig into this real family life. And it does feel real. And I think you can actually, you can commiserate in some ways. And you can see those things. And we do. I mean we we we do that all the time. We've we've done our episodes on you know family dinners and how to avoid arguments and things like that. But realistically, what are we talking about there? We were talking about dealing with humans being humans. And in some ways maybe it's not bad the media's normalizing that humans are humans. Normal isn't normal. We we outgrew Leave it to Beaver.
A: Right. And I think there's something in that that it is helpful for people to realize that there isn't some idealized family situation that you're just missing out on. We actually are all dealing with our mutual dysfunctions and wounds and attempts to do well that may or may not go the way were hoping. And I think there's some value in that. And then also some value in calling it out. In a you know satire it's like the court jester. We need the we need the jester to mock the king.
E: It's true, yeah. And I think I think satire is something that we are desperately in need of right now.
A: Well I think that's what we have for our show today. So thanks for listening. If you have ideas, feedback, thoughts please find us on social media. BiCurean on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Or you can always give us a call at 720-507-7309 or email us at podcast at BiCurean dot com.
E: And if you like what we're doing please tell your friends about us. And share the episodes that you find most interesting.
A: Thank you so much and have a great week.