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MLA Full: "I Don't Know What Work Is." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 9 November 2018,
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APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2018, November 9). I Don't Know What Work Is [Video]. YouTube.
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This video is kinda all over the place...I hope it makes sense.

The Census!

The Pizzamas!

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Good morning, John.

In the year before my book came out, I became obsessed with the idea that the science fiction world- like the community of people who write that stuff and read that stuff- would see me as like an unwelcome YouTuber interloper? That was the thing I was afraid of. And so I convinced myself that a very good use of my time would be to read like 45 science fiction novels. That way I could tweet about the ones that I liked and demonstrate that I cared about that community but the thing is, I do care about that community and I love reading science fiction novels.

So it was actually just like a wonderful way for me to spend time. And there was a piece of me that was just like so happy that I had found a way to make doing this thing that I love into something that felt "productive."

Basically, I turned reading novels into "work". Just like starting VidCon meant that watching YouTube videos was work. And SciShow made being obsessed with science work. And Vlogbrothers has made being really interested in online communities work. And Dear Hank and John has made being dumb with my brother work.

The question, then, that I might -should- ask myself is: is this a good habit? That I can turn the things that I love into work so that I can support my family and work with amazing people and create great stuff. Or is the root of it something a little bit gross? Like that I'm trying to justify my joy. That just doing something I love because I love it isn't enough, I need the cultural feedback of like monetization to make it feel "worthwhile" or "productive."

That's a question that's too big for one video, maybe a question that I wrote a whole book about? So I'm not gonna answer it right here, though I imagine that there are elements of both. But, John, I don't think that you know how important your perspective has been for me in how I live my life.

I'm not humble enough to pretend that I don't put off a lot of energy. But for all your joking about poo-pooing on my ideas over the years, your energy added to mine, but also the focus you've given me, I don't know what I'd do without that. I don't know what I'd be without that.

Back in 2011 when YouTube was considering funding a bunch of higher-budget channels, you and I had the opportunity to pitch some ideas. And I recently uncovered a chat that we had back then when we were trying to decide what to pick. Unsurpisingly, I'd come up with like 12 different ideas. Everything from like top 10 list shows, to like Pilates. And I was jumping all over the place, mostly focusing on the ideas that I thought were gonna get the most views. And here's a thing that you said to me. Quote: "I don't inherently disagree with you but I want to do things that A. change the world and B. YouTube will buy into. So like for the next three or four days I want to concentrate on ideas that YouTube will pay us for. That will also change the world." And then I replied: "ok. DFTBA University then!" which is what we were at that point calling Crash Course.

John, I have never had too few ideas, but you helped me realize that a good idea isn't good unless it's gonna do good. And I'm so happy to have found things like that with you. Every Pizzamas we get to commission amazing art from great designers and we get to pay them for that work. I get to pay people to write about science, and educate people for free. I'm really excited to try something new with Truth or Fail, I'm so excited about working with WNYC Studios on podcasts. I'm very excited that this is what the Dear Hank and John website looks like. And on many evenings, I get to go home and uncover the absurd and vital lives of fictional people who I love.

I don't believe in these ideas because they're good businesses, I believe in them because they are sustainable engines for doing something good. And also because they bring me joy, and if that means that I don't exactly where the line between life and work is, maybe that's because, like, work is part of life.

So John, uh, like thank you and stuff. Of course it's also more than just me and you doing this, which is why every year we do a census of Nerdfighteria. And it's happening right now so that we could better understand where we're all at, what we want, and what we're going to do with this thing in the future.

The census is live now. We've shortened the census significantly since last year, as it was getting way out of hand. And I am very thankful to anybody who lends their time to it. Everybody, thank you for a wonderful Pizzamas, it's coming to a close so if you want some Pizzamas products, and John, thank you for everything and I'll see you on Tuesday.