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***Fahrenheit 451: - read along or else quite a few of our videos won't make any sense this summer!***

In which Hank talks about Flinch ( and Foo Camp and takes a very VERY cold shower.

This video, I admit, isn't terribly well held together, I go a lot of places, not including the shower. But my point is, we have to become more effective people not for ourselves, but because the world needs more effective people. Effective, intelligent, good-willed, and kind. That's what we need and don't have enough of.


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A Bunny
( - -)
((') (')
H - Good morning, John; it's Friday. Say hi, Ze.

Z - Hi, Ze!

So I was at Foo Camp last weekend, which as far as I can tell is just a gathering of cool people. You don't turn down an invitation to Foo Camp, but my first reaction - 'Oh, that sounds hard and scary.' Like riding a bike in this thing here.

You know, unlike riding a bike in that thing, there's a very low chance that I'm going to break my arm going to Foo Camp, but I'm clearly afraid of something - that I won't have anything interesting to say, that I'll be uncomfortable, that I'll be judged by all of these amazing people and found to be wanting, and we feel fear like that all the time.

I've been reading a very, very, very short non-fiction book by another Foo Camp attendee that, while limited in its scope, is pretty applicable to this. It's called Flinch and it's available for free on the Kindle store, and basically the idea is that we just need to get over our anxieties because they're stupid. They're vestigial.

We evolved not only in a world that was like never going to change during our lifetimes, like it would be the same when we were born as when we died; we were also born into a much more dangerous world where it was a lot harder to get food and shelter and sex and all of the things that we want and need as people. And so we're programmed that if we've found a good easy, comfortable way of doing things, we should stick with that. But the big secret, of course, that our subconscious can't seem to realize, is that we could be doing anything and there would be a very low chance of us dying.

The author has some homework assignments in the book and the first one is designed to help you identify what this feeling is so that you can know when you're experiencing it and move past it. And that's to turn on your shower, wait for it to get really cold, and then get in. So....

This does seem like an intensely bad idea. Oh, that's cold. You just do it! Okay. It's going to be fine. Overcome the flinch, Hank. Wow. Mmm. This is harder than it sounds. Alright.

*sounds of distress*

Enough, okay. That's long enough.

Hot water, coming out of your wall? That's just a wonderful convenience. We gotta just be thankful for that every damn day!

Once I was in, it was much easier to stay in than it was to get in in the first place. Even though, of course, it was much less pleasant once I was in. So that is interesting.

Foo Camp was a lot like a cold shower. It was never comfortable but it was quite refreshing and interesting and I certainly didn't want to sleep.

Nerdfighteria has always been like a primary source of inspiration for me, at least for the last five years. And I've also in the last few years become increasingly obsessed with ideas that can become bigger than us.

First you have to identify problems, second you have to think creatively and intelligently about solutions and then you have to act, and the acting part is probably going to be a lot more uncomfortable than a million cold showers.

We don't not volunteer because we don't have time or we don't believe; it's because it's hard and scary and we don't know what's going to happen when we go out and do that stuff.

So like I said, uh, starting with problems. I want people to leave the problems that they see. It can be stupid little things like 'the YouTube subscription system doesn't work very well anymore' or big things like 'there are hungry people.'

And you get points, you don't actually get points, but you should get points for being unique and you also get points for being someone who doesn't frequently comment on Vlogbrothers videos, because we know that there are a lot of you out there. I was just talking about you on my Tumblr.

And finally in addition to all that, yes we love working on things with Nerdfighteria, big and small, and so we are re-instituting the summertime Nerdfighter book club. So together we're going to be reading Fahrenheit 451. We're doing this book for two reasons: one, in honor of Ray Bradbury's amazing life and two, because apparently 50 Shades of Grey, which is basically Twilight fanfiction turned into a novel, has now sold more books than Ray Bradbury did in his entire life, and we think that that's messed up man.

So if you don't already have your copy order it now or go to your local independent bookstore and buy it. John, I'll see you on Monday.

Z - If you look straight down, what can you see? If you really like commit to it, if you really commit to it.

H - There's a bunch of twigs and stuff.