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Dear Hank and John (our podcast) is on iTunes and Soundcloud and wherever podcasts are free.

In this video I start out thinking about how easy it is for me to forget how cool my life is and then extend that to all of humanity because I think that this is kinda how humanity is. Now, I don't think the way we focus on problems (or are focusing on problems right now) is necessarily the most effective, but it's undeniably human. I think we need to focus less on who are opponents are and more on what we are actually trying to achieve. More and more in America, I see the discourse as "The problem is those people who are in the way of us solving the problem" rather than "The problem is the problem." It turns out solving problems (especially human problems) is very complicated and it's very easy to misunderstand the stakeholders and people's worldviews and human nature and to think that the opposition is evil when in fact the opposition is simply different.

I dunno...this year is going to be really hard. If you think the campaign rhetoric is toxic now, wait until next October. Ugh...terrifying. Let's try and do nice things for each other and get outside of our bubbles and try and understand that other people are people and they've had whole lives of maybe bad experiences and maybe bad conversations that have led them to think maybe bad things.

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Hank: Good morning John

I've spent a bunch of time at the DFTBA warehouse this week because its getting into the busy season. Not that they don't have it handled, I just mostly sign stuff. It's a really big place filled with really cool stuff. We work with a ton of creators now: Hannah Hart, & Rhett and Link, & GloZell Green, & Minute Earth, & This Star Won't Go Out. And we sell shirts & hats, posters & mugs & tea. And I'm just happy that we get to send people stuff that they like & help creative people do what they want to do for a living.

And today, the day after Thanksgiving, I'm actually recording this on Thanksgiving, and also the day after John you made a video about we are apparently incapable of understanding how good the world is comparatively. I got to say I sometimes it is hard to keep in mind how nice your life is. Like thought experiment here: say we cure cancer tomorrow, mass celebrations right, people would not be able to stop smiling for days and for days we would continue feeling the amazingness of that achievement. But twenty or thirty years later we would still know that it was great, there would be less suffering in the world, less death. But we would normalize, we'd just live in a world without cancer. How do I know this for sure? Well its happened before; I mean we used to live in a world without antibiotics & vaccines, those things have saved millions, billions of lives and yet we go on every day just sort of you know, antibiotics & vaccines, they're nice. But we aren't deeply & emotionally touched by the magnificent magic that is the ability to not die the way that humans always used to die. 

Another example, I was born into an America where two people could be denied the right to marry because of their gender & so was every one else watching this video, unless you are less than six months old, in which case, (baby babbling noises). But we've already kind of stopped being excited about that & maybe that's good that we're not designed to say, "well I guess we've done pretty well, we'll stop progressing."

Objectively on average this is the best time to be alive in human history. I mean I know I say that as someone who is literally wearing like the most preppy thing I've ever worn on a Vlogbrothers, its Thanksgiving, I'm dressed up. But we have achieved so much to decrease the suffering of people.

During my grandmother's life there was a war in which 60 million people died, 60 million. My mother was born into a America were black people had different schools & different bathrooms. But it's impossible to go through life feeling all of these accomplishments every second, & maybe we shouldn't. Maybe its beautiful that we move on from our success & immediately fret over the next giant, magnificent problem that we have to overcome. If we never look back & never think about what we've done, then it all looks hopeless, it looks impossible. Which is why it has to be a mix of dissatisfaction with the way that it is & how it could be better & we have to work for that, and also recognizing that we've done a great deal of remarkable things as a species & as individuals. Like I get to live in a world without smallpox & in a world with 21 pilot songs & pumpkin pie.

On day a year of thanksgiving is not enough days of the year, this is something that I think really is powerful & motivates me & makes me happier & more effective. Just to be thankful for the literal billions of people who have worked hard to make life better for their children... because I'm one of the children. And I hope that I can honor the memory of those people with appreciating what they've done & also building on it. 

John, I'll see you on Tuesday.

In addition to everything at being 20% off this week, we also have bobble John & also bobble Hanks, aahhh! Why do you look so grumpy. My hair is very very nice. You can make us kiss, aw that was actually eugh... Don't do that !

(Dear Hank & John theme music)
Hank: Hello & welcome to Dear Hank & John 
John: Or as I prefer to think of it Dear John & Hank
Hank: It's a comedy podcast where me & my brother John answer your questions, give you dubious advice & bring you all the weeks news from both Mars & AFC Wimbledon. Today we're doing it  
John: Live!
Hank: Together!