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View count:17,091
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Duration:1:20:24
Uploaded:2021-07-06
Last sync:2021-07-06 23:45
Support a stronger healthcare system in Sierra Leone: http://pih.org/hankandjohn

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 (00:00) to (02:00)


Hello, hello.

Welcome to the livestream. I'm sorry there wasn't a vlogbrothers video today.

There is ... the number of things kind of like coalesced to make a vlogbrothers video not happen, which is usually what happens. Like, I mean at this point I think I've taken, I think this is my second vacation week of my three vacation weeks that I get per year without a punishment. And, you know, like one of them was planned. This one was not planned.

But like we got back late last night, and I had to go to the doctor today, and it was sort of stressful, like I'm a person who does not experience like zero levels of stress while going to the doctor. And then also I didn't have a video script and I tried to write one and it wasn't very good because I was like trying to write in a hurry about what it means to be the citizen of a nation, which is like not really a topic that one can handle, um, I'm probably just stating the obvious here, um, in a dashed off script that hasn't been very carefully considered. So I was like I can make some jokes about ...

I'm drawing circles, by the way, if you can just, if you can see the top of my increasingly gray hair, that's because. Here, I'm wondering if you can see this. Maybe we'll just show you that for a minute.

This is one of my circle drawings. This is the one that I'm doing right now. It's for a donor to The Project for Awesome.

Um, we earned about maybe, um, I don't know, uh, three dollars an hour for Partners in Health for this drawing. Um, it's a laborious process, but one that I really enjoy. I enjoyed it a little more when the, um, tendon that goes to my pointer finger worked, but I still enjoy it quite a bit.

So anyway, I was going to write this video about nationalism and sports and the ways that like maybe, sometimes at least, sports can be a healthy expression of nationalism, or a healthy way to understand

 (02:00) to (04:00)


the relationships among nation-states.

But then I was just like, you know what, man. That's a big topic, John, that you've bitten off, and you think that you're going to write this at like 10:45 on a Monday night.

Really? And then I was, like, you know, I think I just want to draw circles, nostalgic for the times in my life when I could just draw circles for hours and hours. So I'm back at it.

Um, what you see here is about eleven thousand circles and I'm trying to do around fourteen to seventeen thousand circles per circle drawing. I'm starting to, so they're not finished when I fill the entire page with circles, because they're over-finished then. Let me show you a finished one.

Like, this one is finished. It doesn't have too many circles, but it also doesn't have too few, and that's the key. By the way if you like, there's a link in the dooblydoo to support Partners in Health, our project with Partners in Health Sierra Leone, that I'll give you some updates about a little later in the show.

And I do want to answer your questions and you can also Super Chat, I think. I'm not positive. I tried to make it work, though, and if you Super Chat, I'll give the money to Partners in Health, but honestly, donating directly at pih.org/hankandjohn is the more efficient way because Google does take a percentage of the Super Chat money.

But I'm not going to turn it down, either. I know that some people just have a great love of Super Chats and I, I support this love. It's not the least efficient way to help creators.

The least efficient way to help creators is TikTok's monetization strategy. So, yeah. But, yeah, so there's no vlogbrothers video today, and I do feel really bad about it.

Um, I don't like to not make vlogbrothers videos but I also want to be realistic about what my body can handle, um, and what my brain can handle right now. It's been both a really good month and a really difficult one to be honest with you. It's been a really good month in the sense that, like,

 (04:00) to (06:00)


this book that I worked really hard on has been received better, probably better than any book I've ever written, um, and, uh, it seems to have done the work that I hoped it would do in the world, or at least is off to a good start on that front.

Like, I really think the success of a book is not judged in its first month but in its first, like, ten years. Like, is the book still in print, is a much better gauge for me after ten years than whatever can happen in the first month.

But that said, what's happened in the first month has been incredible and it certainly has been amazing to have the people respond to the book so generously, and it's meant the world to me, and I feel like, um, I don't know, I feel, uh, I was really scared to write something so different. I was scared that people were going to say that I was a sham, or that I should have stuck to what I know, or that I was an idiot, or that I was an idealist, which is perhaps the worst insult of all. And, um, a few people have said I was an idealist, but mostly it's been very, very nice, so, yeah, it's been really lovely.

And, um, that part's been really good, but at the same time the nature of writing and publishing a book is that it took over my whole life for the last six months, which also meant that when I returned back to life, there was a lot that I'd missed out on and a lot of work that needed me. And, so, that's been the challenging part of the last month. But it's a lot easier to do that work having had a positive reaction to The Anthropocene Reviewed book than it would be if I'd had a negative reaction.

So today I'm working with two different colors...

Or a mixed reaction or anything other than like what's happened instead, which is that it's by far my best reviewed book on Good Reads, the irony of which is not lost on me.

 (06:00) to (08:00)


Maybe in the last half of the show I will, uh, review some of the five-star reviews of my book of five-star reviews. Um, I've been thinking about doing that for a vlogbrothers video, but then I was like, is it both like too meta and too self-absorbed? Like, does anyone else actually care that The Anthropocene Reviewed is by far my best reviewed book, or is it only me who cares? Probably, it's only me who cares, you know. Like, that's like a me thing, and it's a nice thing for me, but it's not something that I need to, like, make an other people thing necessarily. But maybe I'll do it anyway, because it's a live show and the rules are different. We can do whatever we like.

I can see that nobody's Super Chatted, so maybe it's not possible.

Um. Yeah, somebody wants me to do it for the podcast which there's absolutely no way I'll do. Um, yeah, so, uh, all right. Um. Do you have - okay, I want to answer some questions, but there are so many things.

Um, do you have a vision of the finished drawings, or do you just draw circles and see what happens?

Um, what writing utensil do you use for writing books? For writing in books? Oh.

Um, I am very disorganized. I'll talk about that, though.

Super Chat isn't possible. Well, guys, you know what. I did my, I did my level best to make Super Chat possible, and I'm just, I don't have the, uh, I don't have the expertise but if you can donate to Partners in Health just directly, it's pih.org/hankandjohn. There's really cool stuff happening at PIH, um, right now, really encouraging stuff. So for those of you who don't know, Dr. Bailor Barrie, who has been on several live streams and is a Sierra-Leonian doctor, he has an incredible personal life story, he really wanted to become a physician, he grew up extremely poor, um, in Sierra-Leone.

 (08:00) to (10:00)


He sold, uh, y'know, popcorn and other stuff, um, on the street to uh, to passing busses so like, the busses full of people, uh, when he was a little kid uh, and he was able to go to school, and as a result of being able to go to school he graduated from high school and he was about to start medical school or had started medical school when the, when the civil war broke out and he eventually, um, like a lot of people had to escape Sierra-Leone due to the extreme violence of the civil war. He lived for a time in a refugee camp, um, but he did eventually finish medical school, did eventually become a licensed physician, and, uh, has chosen to uh, while continuing his education he's getting a, uh, a Ph.D. at uh, Harvard University right now. He is also, um, I think it's at Harvard, he is also, uhh, take, he has also taken on the huge task of improving, uh, healthcare and *stammers* healthcare system in Sierra Leone starting with the Wellbody Clinic, which he founded, um, with help from uh, with help from some other folks uh, which has quickly become the best clinic to recieve primary care, uh, I think it's safe to say in the country and one of the best in the region, um, and using this Wellbody Clinic as a model, so like, for context, one in twenty women in Sierra Leone can expect to die in pregnancy and childbirth and until, uh, last year that number was one in seventeen. So, progress is being made, but not, not fast enough yet.

 (10:00) to (12:00)


so, maternal mortality is infuriatingly and unacceptably common in Sierra Leone because of the weakness of the healthcare system because so many women who need emergency c-sections are unable to get them in a timely fashion so we lose a lot of moms and kids to lack of access to good maternal and prenatal care. And Well-Body clinic, which Dr. Berry founded, has not had a single maternal death in over four years. They have really good, really innovative strategies for helping moms, even living in extreme poverty, to find ways to deliver safely. And him being at the helm of PIH Sierra Leone - I'm a really huge fan of the person he replaced, who is John Lasher and who did an amazing job - but Dr. Berry being at the helm of PIH Sierra Leone is really good news for the people of Sierra Leone, is great news for us as supporters of PIH , great news for the Ministry of Health, which has a great relationship with him, and just all-around great news. We are working hard on raising the twenty-five million dollars that PIH needs to raise to support the Maternal Center of Excellence and the neonatal intensive care unit at Koidu Government Medical Hospital over the next five years, the building and maintenance over the next five years. But I want to be more ambitious than that and I want to be helping PIH and the government also improve the primary care system. Because right now there is the Well-Body Clinic, which is amazing and you get great care, and there are lots of other primary health care clinics, that could be just like Well-Body but instead they have essentially no medicine, they have very little staff, and what staff they do have is volunteers,

 (12:00) to (14:00)


Many of them don't have electricity or running water inside the clinics which, you know, of course, limits your ability to perform safe- I mean, among millions of other things, they don't labs either, so it's hard to diagnose illnesses, but even if you can diagnose them, you can't write prescriptions, because there's no pharmacy, so, uh, and there's no climate control for a pharmacy even.

So, um, so these are big problems with primary healthcare centers right now, and they're solvable, and all that is standing between those primary healthcare systems and being as good as Wellbody is having the kind of support staff stuff and systems that Wellbody has, and so that's part of what Dr. Barrie is aiming to do. And I think it's really important, and I think if we can support that work alongside supporting the work of the Maternal Center of Excellence, that would be amazing. It's not gonna be easy, of course, because we still have money to raise for the MCOE, I just think, like, we need to be ambitious, because the size of the problem demands a big, long-term, open-ended solution, so, yeah. 

Um, I was gonna answer a couple questions, but anyway, if you can donate, if you can become a monthly donor to that project, it's pih.org/hankandjohn. I'm gonna answer a couple of questions, and then I'll move on and answer some more. Oh, I'm not showing you the circle drawing, which is the whole point of this. I'm just drawing circles, but they're not, I mean, I'm drawing failed attempts at circles.

So somebody asked if there's a plan. There's not a plan. I draw with two different, um, two different kinds of pens, one is very thin and the other is, like, slightly less thin. As far as the, like, patterns that emerge, they surprise me as well as they surprise you. I don't have a set intention of them. I like to draw spirals,

 (14:00) to (16:00)


you know? Like, I always have. I'm interested in spirals. I think what I'm gonna do here actually is I'm gonna close this up, and then this one might be over. It's possible that this is gonna be, if I close this in, that this will be the end of the whole painting, although maybe I should go down here a little bit, too. I don't know. I'll figure that out as I go. There's no reason to be in a hurry or to, like, judge or to pre-judge the drawing.

I do this to calm myself down. I've been doing it for a long time, and it makes me happy. I also do it because I'm interested in the fact that it's impossible to draw a circle. You can only draw, you know, figures that resemble to a greater or lesser degree a circle, but, like, because of the human hand, it's impossible to draw a circle.

And, like, one thing that I, the other thing that I almost made a video about today, in addition to almost making a video about the complex relationship between nationalism and sports, I almost made a video that was about how, for so long of my life, I lost track of the fact that I am a biological process and that, you know, for instance, when I'm, like, pecking at my phone with my finger, it's not like I am a chicken hunting for a worm. I essentially am a chicken hunting for a worm, right?

Like, I am using these biological structures inside my brain to accomplish a goal that my brain has, which is to, like, get periodic, random rewards or, like, somewhat randomized rewards, in precisely the same way that birds get periodically randomized rewards by hunting through dirt for worms.

 (16:00) to (18:00)


And I think, like, for a lot of my life, I focused so much on mechanizing as much of my experience and myself as possible, because I found the biological reality of myself to be deeply upsetting and, like, really gross, partly because of mental illness stuff and partly because it is objectively gross to have a consciousness contained inside of a sweating sack of meat.

But now I'm starting to understand, especially with the mechanization of so much human experience, the virtualization of so much human experience, the de-biologic-ification of human experience, I'm starting to think differently about it and starting to think that there's maybe a lot of value for me in thinking of myself as fundamentally biological, you know, as primarily an organism and that attempts to, like, de-organism myself are, like, maybe not as good for me as I once thought they were.

But then I was like, that's also not a very good video, because it's also pretty hyper-specific, and I just, like, covered the entire point of the video for you in 45 seconds, and so, like, making it four minutes long would have felt, I don't know, kind of, like, punishing and maybe preachy. And I'm, like, these days especially, trying to be hyper-aware of not being the wise old fish that fully understands the strange water in which we're swimming, because I have no fricking idea what is going on in the world, and I don't even have any fricking idea what is going on inside of my particular self. What the hell is this?

 (18:00) to (20:00)


Why am I drawing circles? Why am I doing it live on YouTube? What the flippin' heck?

So, I think that's enough- So this is like, this is what happens when I try to draw a spiral, but you can see it doesn't look like a spiral. It looks like a circle, which is precisely what I don't want it to look like. Um, or I mean it actually doesn't look like a circle, it looks like a failed circle, so that's the deal.

Oh man, I really miss super chats. I want- I don't know how to turn them on. Um, does it matter if I didn't use the Hank and John link to donate? No, you can use any link to donate. If you send the money, if you wanna send the money to our project in Sierra Leone, though, you do kind of have to, you have say Sierra Leone, but our project supports all their work in Sierra Leone, so.

Um, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah. Alright. (blows air through lips) Okay. 
Alright. How do you avoid carpal tunnel? Not very effectively, as it happens.

Um, there's so many questions. Using a brush pen could help. No, I don't, but I like, but I like, I don't want it to go fast or be beautiful. I just want it to, I just want it to go my way. Um, do you feel that The Anthropocene Reviewed is actually your best book, or has it just been the most well-received? That's an interesting question. Um, what team are you cheering for in the Euros? Another great question.

Okay, um, do I think that The Antropocene Reviewed is my best book? I don't know. I mean, to be honest, like, they are each responding- You know, here's the thing about writing a book for me, is that, like, a book is inevitably responding to the moment in which it is being written.

 (20:00) to (22:00)


And then, like, it, in very rare cases, like, the book becomes more relevant, because the moment in which it was written is, it turns out to be a moment that was, like, bigger, you know, bigger and more interesting and more important. Like, to use a really, like, like, like, to use the example of arguably the greatest American novel of the last, well, maybe arguably the greatest American novel, period, one of the greatest American novels.

I don't really like this ranking of great American novels. It feels very like debating how many angels you can fit on the head of a pin. Like, whenever people are debating which novel is the greatest American novel, I always wanna say, "You do realize we can read more than one, right?" Like, there's no rules here.

But Huck Finn is certainly one of the most important novels in American history and one of the ones that's hung around for a while. It's been in print not just for 10 years but for, like, 155, and it's, you know, it's good. It's a flawed novel, like all novels are, but still a really good one.

And, you know, I wrote a lot about Mark Twain when I was younger, and I was really obsessed with Mark Twain, especially when I was in college, and, you know, Mark Twain certainly didn't think that Huck Finn was his greatest book, and I also think that, like, in his lifetime, Huck Finn was important but maybe not considered the most, like, interesting or important work that he did to a lot of people.

And, you know, like, his travelogues and his nonfiction were seen as really good, were seen as really important. His speeches were seen as, like, the best in the world, 

 (22:00) to (24:00)


and all this stuff. And that's not to say that, like, Huck Finn wasn't recognized as being a major work or anything, just that, like, it wasn't as obvious as it is to us now that Huck Finn was Twain's best book, and Twain certainly didn't think it was his best book.

And so if Mark Twain isn't gonna be a good analyzer of his own work, I rather doubt my ability to be a good analyzer of my own work. Because I think the thing is that, like, books are written in a certain context, and then they're read in a different context. And the hope is that the book can continue to provide value to readers even after context has changed, but, like, sometimes it doesn't, and that's not necessarily the fault of the book, like, or maybe it's the fault of the book.

Maybe it's the fault of the book for failing to see, you know, the ways that the world would change or whatever, but, like, I don't know. I don't think it really is. So that's all a long, roundabout way of me saying that, like, I really don't think that authors are the ones who decide the quality of their work anyway. It's a reader-driven decision, and I feel a lot more qualified to comment on Mark Twain's best book or even, you know, like, a friend of mine's best book, than I do to comment on my own best book.

I think that, um, I mean, I think that The Anthropocene Reviewed is the book that's responding to right now, and so it's the one that people are connecting to deeply right now, and I'm really, really grateful that they feel like it articulated something about this most, most difficult time that we are sharing, and I hope that it did. That was certainly my ambition with the book,

 (24:00) to (26:00)


was to try to make a time capsule, I guess, of what this, uh, you know, what this absolute strangeness was like. And in saying that, it may sound like I think this absolute strangeness is over, which I don't. I mean, I think that I'm hopeful that the pandemic will be much better six months from now than it is now, but I think that, you know, COVID is a huge shared threat for as long as COVID is running rampant in communities, and it will run rampant in communities as long as there is insufficient vaccination.

Now, in the US, most people who aren't vaccinated are not vaccinated by choice, but in most of the world, most people who aren't vaccinated aren't vaccinated because they don't have access. So I both hold out hope that more people will make the choice to get vaccinated, but I think it is perhaps even more important to make sure that everybody who currently wishes to get vaccinated but can't, which is almost every- well, not almost everybody, but at least, like, you know, a lot of the people who would like to get vaccinated currently can't. Very low vaccination rates in Sierra Leone, for instance.

And so I'm hopeful that, like, when that changes, or as that changes, COVID will become less of a threat and something that we are more able to situate in our minds as a primarily, if not exclusively, past tense experience. We will, at some point, think of the COVID years as part of history and not part of the present. I don't know when that will be, but I wrote the book with the hope that it could be a kind of time capsule for myself, for my kids, for other people I care about,

 (26:00) to (28:00)


for Nerdfighteria, a sort of time capsule of what this time was like or at least what it was like for one person. And so I think, like I said earlier, the measure of the book is not, like, did it stay on the bestseller list for six weeks, although I'm certainly delighted and surprised that it has. The measure of the book will be, like, how well did it speak to whatever this moment was in a way that people of the future will be able to- will be interested in it.

And like, that, I think, is, you know, that almost never happens. Like, you know, like, books are almost never important outside of their historical moment, and that's okay. Like, I don't- That's not something I lose sleep about, but yeah, so I think that that's unlikely, but that's, it would be cool if it happened. So, yeah.

But I had a lot of fun writing it. I don't think it's my best book, because, you know, it doesn't have a story. Like, it's a, you know, there's a lot of things that it does, and I hope it does those things well, but I like novels. I like stories. I think, like, what novels can do is particular and interesting and important, and I really, I wanna keep, if I can, I wanna write more fiction at some point. But for a variety of reasons, a lot of them extremely personal, I just felt like there was absolutely no way that I was gonna write fiction in this period of my life, and so I think I made the right call for myself in this time.

Uh, do you watch Bojack Horseman? Yeah, but I don't, like- I think, like, I maybe need less of a reminder than a lot of people do of, like,

 (28:00) to (30:00)


what parts about being famous suck, so I think I might relate to Bojack Horseman a little too much to fully enjoy the show. (laughs) Yeah. Okay, who am I supporting- Thoughts on the new Bo Burnham scandal? I don't- Is there a scandal? I don't know about the scandal.

I don't know that I need to know about every, uh, every scandal, but I thought Inside was really good and really beautiful, and I liked it a lot. It broke my heart and made me feel a lot for young people. Like, obviously, getting, you know, getting famous when you're a teenager is extremely desirable, and I understand why teenagers desire it, and I understand why they look up to, you know, success- Well, I understand what's desirable about fame, I think.

But the reality of celebrity is so different from the portrayal of celebrity, and I think that that's something that Burnham has thought a lot about in his work, and I think it's an important issue, and it's gonna be a lot more important as there's, you know, a bigger and bigger and bigger group of people, tens of thousands of people within 10 or 15 years, who experienced a measure of celebrity in their teen years and are now trying to figure out how to navigate that in adulthood. And I worry that it will not be an easy thing for them to navigate.

I mean, frankly, it has not been an especially easy thing

 (30:00) to (32:00)


for me to navigate, and I'm, like, 43 years old and have a ton of stability in my life and, like, importantly, also have had a ton of stability in my life from pretty much the very moment I became famous, and so that made both the, uh, the journey up the mountain and, perhaps more importantly, the journey on the other side of the mountain a lot easier.

And I know that, for a lot of people, you know, so much in their identity, their friend groups, their relationships, are all wound up in, you know, being content creators, being celebrities, and, you know, that's a- (sighs) I think that's tougher than it would seem, a lot tougher, I think, than it would seem. And maybe we'll get better at talking about that. Like, there's this- One of the weird things-

This is another thing that I will not make a video about because I don't wanna deal with the response to it, I guess, but, like, one of the weird things about, uh- Like, it's hard, it's really hard to talk about, and this is something that I like about, um, this is something I like about Inside a lot, and I liked about Burnham's previous special, as well. It's really hard to talk about celebrity and performativeness and entertaining without sounding, like, wildly out of touch and ungrateful for getting to have, you know, all kinds of wonderful things that almost everyone would want.

And so it's really hard to talk about, like,

 (32:00) to (34:00)


"Oh, woe is me, this part of being famous is so hard," or whatever, because, like, these are not real problems. Like, they are real problems, because they're your problems, but, like, they aren't real problems compared to, like, the problems that, like, real people are having.

That said, like, I've had a lot of unpleasant things, I mean, certainly not all of the unpleasant things happen to me in my life, but I've had a lot of, you know, pretty unpleasant things happen to me. I've had my, you know, I've been sick where my life was in danger several times, and I've, you know, I've, uh, I've, like I said, I haven't survived everything that a person can survive, and there's certainly a lot of bad things that haven't happened to me, but I've had a number of bad things happen to me, and honestly, nothing was as weird or as scary or as destabilizing as the famous parts of being famous.

It was really, really hard to manage and deal with, and, you know, I wasn't a 16-year-old. I was a grownup, so I do have a measure of sympathy for these young people who are thrown for a loop by this very difficult, uh, difficult experience. So anyway I really liked the special. I thought it was beautifully done. I thought, um, yeah. I thought it was- I thought he found a way to be honest about it without seeming, like, self-congratulatory or out of touch with the realities of human suffering, so, yeah, I thought, I liked it a lot.

Are you gonna delete this livestream? No, I'll probably just make it unlisted, but now that I've talked about that,

 (34:00) to (36:00)


I might make it private. (laughs) I don't know. I don't- And I totally get why, like, people- And I feel safe talking about it here, because, you know, this is, uh, this is 99.9% people who, whether I talk about it or not, are conscious of the fact that it happened to me because, you know, you're in our community and you pay attention and everything.

But, uh, yeah, I mean, it's a very hard thing to talk about publicly, and I don't know how to talk about it publicly well, because, like I said, I mean, I, you know, how can someone who has benefited so, so, so, so, so much from the internet ever complain about the internet? Or benefited so much from this celebrity industrial complex ever complain about the celebrity industrial complex? 

But the last thing that I'll say about it, unless it comes up in another question, is that there's two reasons why we kind of, like, agree as a collective- So what I'm gonna do, just to lay it out here, I'm gonna go here. I'm gonna do that, okay? But I'm gonna do that in, like, two lines of the darker one and then two lines of the lighter one, and then I'm gonna close this out, or mostly out, and then it's done. That one's done. That's what I've decided.

There's two reasons we can't talk about it, and one is the very obvious reason that, you know, these are beyond first world problems. These are incredibly fortunate problems. You know, that's a little bit of a lie, though, because, like, they really suck, and I've had, like I said, I've had big problems, and there are problems with being famous that really, really suck and that are really destabilizing and suck.

 (36:00) to (38:00)


The other reason, though, and the, like, messed up, corporate, capitalist reason is that we can't talk about it because the whole, like, ecosystem of the, the whole, like, capitalist ecosystem of the creator economy is contingent upon the idea that this job of being, like, a professional famous person is the best job in the history of the world. And if people start to say, like, actually it's not that good of a job, the market can collapse.

And so I think, like, there are structures that get built in to make it undesirable to talk frankly about that stuff, because if everybody talked frankly about it, the market might collapse a little bit, or at least shrink a little bit, which would result in, you know, less money and resources and time going into, um, going into this independent creator economy. So, yeah, so I think that's the other thing.


Anyway, the other question was who am I supporting in the Euros? I am a Danish citizen. This is what I was gonna make my video about. I became a Danish citizen 13 days ago. It just sort of rolled over me. It was sort of more of an emotional experience than a legal one, and so I'm supporting Denmark. So, yeah.

Any opinions on Bo Burnham's special Inside? I just talked about it for 20 minutes! I'm sorry you came late; I feel bad. I liked it. I thought it was very good. Can somebody else summarize my opinion on Bo Burnham's Inside for me?

Um, yeah. Yeah. So, again, I'm not, like, a citizen of Denmark in the sense that,


 (38:00) to (40:00)


you know, like, I could go to Denmark or that I have a passport or anything like that, but, um, I have had an emotional, I've had an emotional, um, nationalistic identity wash over me over the last 13 days. And then, um, and then I expect it to sort of dissipate by early tomorrow afternoon, yeah. But we'll see. Who know? I don't know how long I'll be Danish for. I'm excited to find out.

I have really enjoyed watching Denmark at this year's Euros, except obviously for the first game, which was the most horrifying thing that I've ever seen on a football field. I guess it's tied for the most horrifying thing that I've ever seen on a football field, because I also saw Fabrice Muamba, the great Bolton player, have a heart attack on the pitch during an FA Cup game, which was, it was also terrifying.

And in Muamba's case, his heart stopped for, I think, like, over- His heart was not beating on its own regularly for over an hour, and he lived and is still living, thank goodness. He did have to retire, but I guess it's not yet clear whether Christian Eriksen will have to retire, but the response of the Danish team to this tragedy, the way they play together, it's just been beautiful to watch. It's an incredible Cinderella story, one of the best Cinderella stories in sports.

I mean, I know that they're, like, the 10th ranked team in the world, but it's still- They've won a bunch of games that nobody, I think, expected them to win, certainly that I did not expect them to win, and so, yeah, I'm rooting for Denmark. That said, if England win tomorrow,


 (40:00) to (42:00)


I will be very happy. A lot of my favorite players play for England, and I of course would be happy for England. I'm happy for Italy because of my friend Enrico, who some of you will know. My friend Enrico is a big- I actually have a big English, a big friend, one of my closest friends is from England, and so I don't even know who I will root for in the final, because I need both Craig and Enrico to continue liking to hang out with me in order for me to have a happy life. So I don't know what I'm gonna do on that front.

Alright. What did I say I was gonna do during the second half of the show? Answer questions? What's going on tonight? What is this all about? Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? I can't seem to remember any of it.

I think I said that I was gonna talk about, uh, well, jeez, I really don't remember. But we'll figure out something. Maybe I'll just keep answering your questions. This is gonna be nearly the last part of this little artwork here, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna do two more lines of this that will kind of, like, track along this line, and then I sign the back of it, because I don't wanna ruin it with my hideous signature.

I'm just gonna do two more lines like this, with this littler pen. It's a littler finer. And you can see that none of these circles are circles, and that's the charm of this is watching each circle fail in its own particular way. It's real good. So I'm gonna do this one, and then what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna work my way back. Like, I'm gonna snake my way back, like, watch this.

 (42:00) to (44:00)


I'm gonna go there, then I'm gonna go there, and then I'm gonna go there, there, there, there, there, there. And the idea of doing that is that it becomes less obvious that I had made this decision. Hopefully, for the viewer, looks more, like, organic and spontaneous than it actually is. And then I'll try to do some good circles since I just did a bunch of bad ones, and I feel guilty and I feel like the person who gets this is gonna be like, "Oh my god, he didn't put everything into those circles, and I can tell."

And then there's gonna be one last row here with the darker pen, the thicker tip, where I go like that, that, that, that, that, that, that, that. Hoobity, hoobity, and I'm gonna be done. So that'll be good. And then we'll find out what I'm doing for the second half of the show, because I also don't know.

Okay. Maybe I'll just close it off a little bit there so that it looks a little, yeah, looks a little less, even less intentional. Okay, so, this is the artwork. I may cut off this part, because it looks weird, but I don't wanna draw any over there, because I like the shape of this thing. So that's what it is. You can see that they're just made of circles, or failed circles, and that one's done.

I will sign the back now. Which way is the top? That way is the top, so I will sign over here. What's today's date? It's the 6th.

 (44:00) to (46:00)


Great, okay, so just 10 more of those, and I'll be done with the circle drawing for the Project for Awesome. I've already started the next one. That's what that one looks like, so. It's got some promise. I kinda like these that are like rivers that don't really- that just go off the page, but more needs to happen, like, both up here and down here, and then more needs to happen in here and maybe in here. So that's the- that's the job maybe for tomorrow. I don't know.

Um, yeah, they're all mildly fish-like. I think there's something inherently about the kind of, like, pointillist drawing that is vaguely, uh, calls to mind, like, some kind of, like, creature or some kind of, like, biological process. Um, yeah, so.

Oh, are you ever gonna sign 250,000 times again? No. No. No, no. I did the thing that I wanted to, um, I did the thing that I wanted to do with the signing, and I don't think I need to do that thing again. I also think, like, everybody who wants a signed book from me kinda has one now, and I don't know. I think I did it. I think I pulled it off.

I mean, I might sign, like, some, you know? Like, I don't know, like 50,000 or something, but I'm not gonna do what I did again. It wasn't, uh, it wasn't fun at the end, you know? Like, I hurt myself, and like the last 100,000 or so stopped being a little-

 (46:00) to (48:00)


yeah, just became a little less fun.

Emily says, "I just read the chapter in your book on staphylococcus aureus. I'm a med student at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, which is where Alexander Ogston worked. How does it feel to know how far your books go?" That's really cool.

Yeah, so, I mean, that infirmary is where Alexander Ogston worked. It is where he tore down the sign above the operating room that said "Prepare to meet thy God" after, with the help of Joseph Lister and lots of other people, antiseptic practices made surgery vastly less deadly, and it's a really important place in his life story and also, like, the life story of our understanding of bacteria and infectious disease more generally, so that's really cool.

It's so lovely to know that the book has gone to all these places, you know? Like, it's hard to express how lovely it is, especially at a time when I haven't travelled, you know? But to hear from people, you know, like, I heard from somebody who, I might have mentioned this before, who listened to The Anthropocene Reviewed on their transatlantic sailing trip before it was a book, who listened to the podcast.

And, you know, hearing from you, knowing that you're there in that place that I tried so hard to imagine when I was writing the book is really lovely, and I've seen people take copies of the book to my old high school and to the Ocala National Forest where I saw Halley's Comet with my dad and all these important moments in my life that I put in the book, and it means a lot to me for two reasons, I guess.

First, because it's just lovely to know that the book is out there and being read and being shared. I mean it's so, you know, what really decides the life of a book,

 (48:00) to (50:00)


like, reviews are great, and they are really important, and, like, I'm not gonna lie, I'm super, super relieved that The Anthropocene Reviewed book got good reviews, and I mean, like, good reviews from critics, but also, like, I'm super relieved that it has, you know, this incredible whatever rating on Goodreads that people are and my publisher are excited about.

And I think that's great and I'm really happy about it, but what really decides the life of a book is whether it gets shared, you know? Like, the reason The Fault in Our Stars became The Fault in Our Stars in the end, like, did not have a lot to do with me. It was almost entirely readers recommending it to other readers, kids telling their parents to read it, kids telling their friends to read it, parents telling their, you know, nieces to read it, and that was the story, and remains, really, the story of that book and the reason that, you know, I got to be the tail to that book's comet, I guess.

And so it is lovely to hear that the book is going to so many places, and then it's lovely lovely to hear when people are sharing the book with people they care about, which takes the book to new places, which gives it a new life that it otherwise couldn't have had. Um, yeah, it's just really, that's really lovely and nice to think about and a source of immense consolation and encouragement to me.

I really loved writing the book, and, you know, I don't know if I'll write another book of nonfiction, but, you know, it's rare that, and maybe it's partly because I wrote it over, you know, three and a half years, and I was able to

 (50:00) to (52:00)


get a lot of feedback along the way, both by, like, reading unfinished essays to y'all on livestreams, but also by releasing episodes of the podcast and everything, but, you know, usually, honestly, when I finish a book, I can only see the things that are wrong with it, and it's pretty painful to read or think about. (laughs)

And with this book, that really has not been the case at all. Like, it's been really, really lovely. It's just been great. It's been amazing, so what else, you know, like, I don't know. I mean, it just, yeah, it's just been incredible, and I feel like I did most of what I set out to do. I'm still not gonna, like, reread the book or anything, because I don't wanna find out about all the mistakes that I made, and I'm sure I made a ton of them, but, like, yeah, it feels a lot better than certainly any other book ever felt.

I mean, frankly, like a month after Turtles All the Way Down came out, I was nothing but stressed out about the book, and a month after The Fault in Our Stars came out, I was nothing but stressed out about the book. So it's been like 10 years since I was able to, you know, have an experience like this where it's just really lovely.

Did you watch the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest? I did. I did watch it, and I was again struck by the fact that, in all the good ways and in all the terrible ways, it is, if nothing else, a hell of a good metaphor. (laughs) It seems to me like it is mostly a metaphor rather than an actual event as such. Yeah, yeah.

 (52:00) to (54:00)


So I don't know. Every year I'm like, "Wow, that is, uh, that is something."

Do you talk to the translators when they work on your books in other languages? It depends on the translator, but I talk to a lot of them, and I'm always happy to talk to anybody who wants to talk to me. I think sometimes translators, like, don't want authors to get in their way, and I'm sympathetic to that position, because, like, authors are persnickety and weird and have strong opinions often about things that aren't very important.

Like, one thing about authors, in my experience anyway, is that, like, the people who write books very often do not understand what is good in them or what is bad in them, and so if I were a translator, I'm not sure I would reach out to the writers, but I do love talking to my translators, and I'm really close, I mean, good friends with some of them. Elide, who is my Dutch translator, you know, I've known for 15, 16 years, since before I had a YouTube channel, same is true of my German translator Sophie Zeitz. 

You know, so I've been lucky to have these really long term relationships in publishing, which, you know, most people don't have. Like, its very unusual to be in the position that I'm in where, like, all of my books are published by the same publisher and edited by the same person.

In fact, like, I don't know of anyone else who's had the same editor for like 20 years in a row, and so even though The Anthropocene Reviewed is a nonfiction book and is a book published for adults, both of which make it different from my previous book and, like, changed the way that the books are marketed and sold and where they're stocked and all kinds of other boring things that don't actually matter to readers but matter a lot inside, like, the little pond of publishing, even with making that big change I was still able to, you know, have, it still says, you know, it still says Dutton on the side of the book, which is the same publisher of all my other books, and it was still edited by Julie Strauss-Gabel.

And so, you know, for me, the internal experience of writing it was,

 (54:00) to (56:00)


in those ways anyway, quite similar, but that's really unusual, and it's unusual, I think, probably also to have these really long term relationships with foreign publishers, but I've been really lucky in those respects. A lot of people taking care of my- a lot of people caring about my work.

I mean, the cool thing about it for me is that most of these people are people who cared about my work before it sold, you know? Like, I mean, that- Sophie and Elide both translated my books such that those early books were much more popular in the Netherlands and Germany than they were in the United States, so yeah, those are special friendships, and it's a cool thing that can come out of writing a book. You know, I never thought, I mean, I never, never, never thought that my books would be published in multiple languages or anything like that. Like, just seemed totally impossible, but I've just been incredibly lucky. Yeah, yeah.

"Would you ever bring back The Art Assignment?" asks Amy. I mean, I loved making Art Assignment videos, and I could make Art Assignment videos very happily as my job, but I have other jobs I wanna do, and I know Sarah has other stuff she wants to do, so. I miss making videos about art, but I still write about art. I still think about art. I just do it in a more private way for now, and that's been really helpful for me, to be able to work privately, I guess, a little bit more, and to be able to engage, yeah, to be able to, like, write and be okay with people not seeing it, so.

Do I style my hair like this?

 (56:00) to (58:00)


No. No. I just get out of the bathtub.

Okay, let me answer some questions. How did you come up with the chapters of The Anthropocene Reviewed? I didn't really. Most of the- So, I mean, Julie and I had this idea from the beginning, right? Like, so just the physical act of opening the book, you see these circle drawings that are very similar to this circle drawing, because, in fact, this - you can see it really on this page - this circle drawing is taken from this circle drawing.

So we had this idea that, like, you know, you open the book, and there's this personal thing. You know, this was made by my hand. It's my attempt to, like, reckon with the size of the shift and the size of the loss that happened in the last year and a half. It's a very personal thing, and then you have this page that I touched, which is also, like, quite a personal thing. So we wanted that to, like, set the tone for the book in the sense that there's really two arcs that the book is trying to chart in the way that it's structured. 

One is a journey from childhood - watching Halley's Comet with my dad - to adulthood - being a father myself, learning from my children just as, you know, 35 years earlier, I'd learned from my father, and then a second arc that takes us, just as this goes from childhood to adulthood, this goes from

 (58:00) to (1:00:00)


a kind of hope to despair and then writing my way back toward hope, which was, in a broad sense, like, sort of my experience of growing up, right? Like, as a kid, you know, I was able to, especially initially, I was able to find a lot of, like, comfort and hope that made even the painful parts of my childhood, and there were definitely some tough ones, feel like I could get through them.

And then slowly that hope began to wear thin and seem a little flimsy or cheesy or easily won and so easy to discard, and then I, you know, had a pretty long period of, I guess, like, in and out, not consistent, but I had a long in and out period of really, really battling despair. And then, in the last part of the book, I wanted to write my way back to hope with, like, the sycamore trees and a little bit with Young Farmers, with the QWERTY keyboard, what we can accomplish together, and then especially with the world's largest ball of paint that we are all contributing to and that's precisely what makes it so beautiful and valuable.

So those two, like, those two arcs- Like, every one of my books, in my mind, has a shape, and I don't think the shape matters to anybody else, but, like, Will Grayson, Will Grayson is obviously shaped like an X, because, like, two characters start out, they don't know each other, then they meet each other, their lives sort of intertwine, and then they go their separate ways. But like, you know, just as everything before the intertwining was headed toward the X, everything after the X was headed away from that, like, intersectional moment.

 (1:00:00) to (1:02:00)


Yeah, so they all have, like, shapes in my mind that I find helpful in trying to, um, trying to understand, like, what I want the book to do and how I want it to- the drive or energy I want it to have for the readers. And so this book was sort of football-shaped (laughs), because we wanted those two arcs to happen at the same time, so that's how- I mean, Julie did 90% of the actual picking of the chapters, but that's what we were going for, so.

I really want to know the shapes of your other novels now. Well, I don't know that I can remember all of them, to be honest with you. What is Looking for Alaska shaped like? What is Looking for Alaska about? What is Looking for Alaska about? What happens in that book? I don't think I can do this game, because I don't remember what happens in any of these books.

I think Alaska is broadly about, um, I mean, I haven't read the book in, like, 17 years, so you'll forgive me if this is completely wrong, but I think basically it's about a kid who thinks that he is doing himself and this young woman a favor by romanticizing her and idolizing her and thinking that she's so amazing, but in doing that, he fails to meet her where she is and to listen to her as who she is and fails to take her pain seriously, and that is catastrophic. That is my memory of that book, anyway.

I don't know what shape I had in mind, though. I do have a pretty good, yeah, so I have a pretty good sense of, like,

 (1:02:00) to (1:04:00)


what the, um- I don't- yeah. So I'm not sure I can answer the question, because I would have to, like, go back.

Hofsa asks, "Can you make female protagonists actually normal?" Yeah, I mean, if I did my job, I mean, certainly if I did my job, Aza is, she's not normal, but, you know, she's seeing herself from inside of herself, and so, if I did my job, she comes across as pretty fully human, and so does Hazel, because she's also seeing herself from inside of herself.

But when I was writing Alaska and Paper Towns, I was writing from the perspective of teenage boys at a time in history, at least, when I felt like teenage boys were very commonly romanticizing and even objectifying girls and almost treating this as if it was some sort of positive to put someone on a pedestal, to treat them as if they're more than human, that this was, like, almost, like, a way of expressing a trueness or faithfulness in their affection toward this person.

And I think that's such a hugely destructive force, and so that's what I tried to write about in Alaska, and then I felt like, because Alaska was also about a lot of other things, that maybe people didn't totally pick up on it, and so I tried to really write about nothing except that in Paper Towns. And maybe people still didn't pick up on it, or maybe people did pick up on it but, you know, identified me with Quentin, which is, yeah, definitely not something I, like, saw happening in 2008, because I just didn't understand how deeply the relationship between authors and fiction was changing.

But yeah, I mean, for me, those books couldn't have "normal" characters in them precisely because the female characters were being viewed by these boys

 (1:04:00) to (1:06:00)


with really unhealthy ways of looking at women. I tried to make it really clear in both those books that, you know, the book was aware of this problematic way of looking at it and not, like, approving of this problematic way of looking at it but instead trying to call attention to what was so horrifying and dangerous about it.

You know, I think, in Paper Towns, he's not able to find Margo at all until he stops thinking of Margo as some, like, beautiful riddle to be solved and starts to understand that Margo is just a person, and that Margo's life is not about Quentin, and that Margo, like, is doing her own thing and having her own life. And, you know, I think he gets pretty explicit about that, and then certainly in the last chapter, she gets very, very explicit about it, hopefully, if I did my job, which I might not have.

So yeah, that's why those characters are the way they are, but the way we look at ourselves is just different from the way we look at other people, and I think - I mean, maybe I'm wrong about this - but I think novels have to acknowledge that, at least novels that are written deeply inside of one perspective, so yeah.

Okay. There were some other questions. But I also think, like, you know, readers' relationships to those books change. You know, I think it's probably different to read those books when you're 17 than when you're 12, and I did not imagine 12-year-olds reading those books, so that was a surprise to me, and I think it's hard for 12-year-olds to pick up on a lot of that stuff, even if it's pretty hammered down, because they're also living inside of a, you know, they're living inside of a social order that tells them that these ways of, like,

 (1:06:00) to (1:08:00)


experiencing romance are healthy when they're not and they're really actually quite destructive.

Ahmed says, "How did you quit smoking?" I chewed Nicorette for seven years until I was, like, chewing so much Nicorette that I was chewing the equivalent of, like, three packs a day of nicotine, and then my doctor was like, "You have to quit chewing Nicorette," and I said, "Okay, I will." And I did. So, yeah.

"You talked about the experience of fame- Your talking about the experience of fame was really interesting. Can you do that more?" (laughs) I don't know, man. It makes me uncomfortable, because I don't wanna- the thing that I most don't want is I don't want to come across as ungrateful, because I'm not. Like, I am immensely grateful, and I like my life a lot, and I am very grateful for it.

And, you know, there are certainly things that came with that kind of experience of being pretty close to the center of pop culture that were really unpleasant, like, beyond unpleasant. Painful, I guess, is the only word for it, in that, like, there's a reason that I, you know, didn't move to LA and did kind of retreat a little bit - I mean, retreat a lot, actually - after the Paper Towns movie came out.

But it is also true that, as a result of that time, you know, we're able to make this gift to Partners in Health as a result of that time. Honestly, if The Fault in Our Stars hadn't been commercially successful, I would not have been able to throw myself into Crash Course for two and a half years,

 (1:08:00) to (1:10:00)


starting really, like- So Crash Course debuted, like, three or four days after The Fault in Our Stars was published, and because that book was selling well, I knew I had a little bit of time to not have to write a book, which meant I had a little bit of time to be able to focus on making Crash Course as good as, you know, I could- helping in whatever ways I could help.

And so I look back at that time, and I think, like, yeah, you know, I mean, to be honest, the famous parts of being famous suck and are really difficult and are not- and that's- Not everybody experiences it that way, but that's how I experienced it. But it also gave me a ton of freedom and opportunity and connection. You know, during that time I formed relationships that are still really important to me, and so I look back on it as a complex time, as I think you look back on any part of your life.

But I'm really- The thing I most don't want, though, is I don't want to sound like I'm ungrateful for that having happened, because I am grateful. It has allowed us to have a comfortable life. It's allowed us to, you know, take on new kinds of work like Crash Course without having to worry about how that stuff's gonna make money - which is great, 'cause it doesn't - and it's also allowed us to, you know, do other stuff that's interesting to us and to have less pressure on me to write at a certain schedule.

So a lot of things have been really good about it, and if I sound conflicted, it's 'cause I am conflicted. But I will say, right now is great, because I get to, like, do work for people who care about the work, and I don't have to do too much other stuff, and that's really, really, really, really

 (1:10:00) to (1:12:00)


lovely. So, yeah, yeah.

Okay. Okay. Couple other things. Worm Dance says, "When I was 12, my dad made me put back Looking for Alaska because it was inappropriate, so I've never read it." Well, Worm Dance, you're not 12 anymore, and I think now's the time. I think today's the day. It's literally like $6, Worm Dance.

And I don't have a huge financial interest in you reading this book, I think I get 60 cents, but I still think you should read it. I still think you should read it. I hope you'll read it. I need that 60 cents, Worm Dance. Or you can just get it out of the library. That way you don't have to worry about the six bucks.

"Do you still watch Nathan Zed?" Every single video. Every single video start to finish.

Okay, last question, then I gotta go, sorry. "How's the PiH fundraising going?" So well. So much better than we ever imagined. You know, like, when Sarah and I were in Sierra Leone, we were, at the very end of our trip there, Dr. Bailor Barrie, who I talked about earlier, and John Lasher and a couple other folks from PiH, like, sat us down in, I think we were in Freetown, and, like, put up a bedsheet on a wall to serve as a kind of, like, television or projector or whatever.

And then they, like, projected on an old school projector some slides about what the Maternal Center of Excellence might be, and, you know, at that time, it was a dream. Like, it was an ambition,

 (1:12:00) to (1:14:00)


you know, to have better maternal care in this one region that could then make the case that it's possible to have better maternal care in every impoverished community throughout the world and that it's not that expensive - it's certainly not that expensive per patient - and that it's doable.

And, you know, they showed us some early renderings of what the architecture might look like. In the end, actually, it looked even better than those, like, early imagined renderings. And then they showed us the cost on the last slide, and I, like, broke out into a sweat. Like, I was like, "Oh, god, this is so important, and this is so good, and this is such an amazing opportunity for our community and for this community, and for our community to feel more closely connected to this community and vice versa, and, like, this is such an amazing thing, and, you know, it could do so much good, but just how the frick are we gonna get $25 million?"

You know? Like, I mean, I was just like- And I even said that to them, I was like, "Guys, you know, we can't, like-" I was like, "I don't think we can raise 25- I mean, we can't raise $25 million. Like, that's like two and a half times what the Project for Awesome has raised in its entire history, and our, like, community is smaller than it was- You know, like, if you'd asked, if you'd said this in 2014 at the, like, height of The Fault in Our Stars stuff, I would have been able to say, like, 'Oh, yeah.'"

But still no, because, like, actually, during those years, like, we'd do the Project for Awesome, and it would raise less money than it does now or than it did before, so- Because, like, one of the great paradoxes of online experience is that, a lot of times, as communities become bigger, they also become less powerful, because they become less important in your life. Like, if everybody identifies

 (1:14:00) to (1:16:00)


as a, I don't know, 50 Shades of Grey fan or whatever, then, like, being a 50 Shades of Grey fan is not, like, a hugely important identifier in your life. It's just, like, what everybody is. And so, anyway, that's not relevant to the story.

So I was like, "Yeah, I mean, like, we want to help with this, but there's no way we can raise even half of that." And then I went home and I talked to Hank, and I was like, "Hank, I need a lot of money," (laughs) and he talked to Katherine, and Sarah and I talked a lot about what we could do and, you know, figured out that we could do more than we thought we could do, and we should still do more. We're still not doing nearly enough.

And then I had a bunch of meetings with Nerdfighters - there's some probably in this room, actually - where I had, like, meetings with people who expressed an interest in making a large donation to a project like this. And those meetings were really helpful for me even though most people who were in them, like, in the end, weren't in a position to donate, just because it was a way of, like, bouncing ideas around.

And also, like, hearing back from people on their concerns and their questions, it helped me, like, understand, you know, both, like, how to talk about this- It's so important to talk about it in a way that's respectful of the people who are doing the actual work, because raising money is not the actual work. And raising money is important. It funds the actual work, but it isn't the work, and so I think it's important to keep the people who are doing the work at the center of it and the people who are being served by, you know, this hospital.

But at the same time, like, figuring out a way to talk to donors in a way that would resonate with them, you know, that wasn't so inside baseball, that wasn't always talking about

 (1:16:00) to (1:18:00)


other metrics and projects that most people have never heard of and so aren't relevant to their- like, doesn't make them, you know- doesn't help them understand more deeply the problem or what the solutions to it look like.

So anyway, like, after all of those conversations, I was like- So we had another meeting with Partners in Health, and I was like, "Maybe we can, I don't know, maybe we can raise, like, 12, 15, maybe 15." And they felt like, if we could raise 12 or maybe 15, that they could maybe raise the rest, and we could maybe do it.

So it felt a little bit like- making that first video felt a little bit like jumping out into the unknown and having no idea what was gonna happen. I mean, I thought that it was as likely that we would raise- I felt that it was as likely that we wouldn't be within 50% of our goal as it would be that we would beat our goal. And admittedly, I'm always the cautious one. Hank was like, "We'll blow past it." (laughs)

But we did. You know, we did meet it, and now, if you assumed that the current rate of donation will continue throughout the remaining, you know, three and a half years of the project, or the three and a half years of the project that we've budgeted out for so far, because that's not the end of the Maternal Center of Excellence, of course, we're almost there. Like, we're past $23 million.

A lot of that money has come from Partners in Health and from Partners in Health donors, but most of it has come from us, from our community, and it's incredible. It's incredible. Like, you know, more money has been raised for this project than the Project for Awesome has raised in the whole time the Project for Awesome has existed, and that's been done by, like, about 7,000 people. Like, it's 7,000 people making monthly,

 (1:18:00) to (1:20:00)


ongoing, open-ended commitments to fight maternal and child mortality, and that's the difference that can be made, you know, if you're organized and you pick the right projects. So it's really special, and it's something I'm really, really grateful for. Yeah.

I will definitely be in Sierra Leone as soon as I can, you know, as soon as I can go safely and not be a burden to the folks at PiH and to the healthcare system there. And, you know, I think that that's still a ways off, unfortunately. You know, Sierra Leone is one of these places, one of the many places that's not getting anywhere near the quantities of vaccine that are necessary to bring the pandemic to an end.

But I'm hoping, I'm still hopeful that I'll be able to go, if not this year, at least next, not least because I think making videos, you know, where I talk directly to people who, you know, who are doing this work, I think that's hugely important. It helps bring it home for you and, you know, also really enriches my understanding of the, you know, complex set of challenges that they're facing as they work to get the MCOE and the NICU up online. So there's definitely still a long way to go, but there are a lot of reasons to be encouraged, and I feel really, really encouraged.

So, yeah, that's the news. I'll try to do another livestream this week, maybe with Sarah. It'd be fun to do one with Sarah where we could talk about- where we'll talk about all kinds of stuff. But we can talk about- Maybe I'll read you this bad draft of an Anthropocene Reviewed episode I have,

 (1:20:00) to (1:20:24)


and you can tell me how to make it better. But in the meantime, thank y'all for being here with us, and thanks for spending an hour with me. It's been nice. Hope you have a lovely evening wherever you are in the world and a safe sleep, and tomorrow we go again. Alright, take care. DFTBA.