Towering Mountains of Ignorance

This was a somewhat challenging topic to take on in four minutes, so here’s a little more explanation. 

I’m not saying that we don’t know things…we know lots of things. But particularly when it comes to social and cultural and economic stuff, we really don’t. It’s so hard to run experiments on the real world, that we tend to do the studies and then no one changes their mind and everyone explains the data in a different way. 

But you can run the “Harry Potter” experiment again with different inputs because “Harry Potter” can only happen once. 

Of course, there are people who are much better at guessing than other people because they know much more about the situations. People who understand, at least, what is and is not possible (which is an excellent place to start if you’re trying to, say, create an independent Palestinian state.) 

Same goes for running a business…you will never take the most successful course, because there are infinite courses and only one maximum one. But some people are very good at finding good courses because they understand their customers and their markets and their employees and have fairly accurate constructions of reality as it relates to their business. 

But the idea that it is the responsibility of every person to have an opinion on everything that matters…and then cling to that opinion as an important part of their identity, sucks. I don’t like it. 

I would rather we discuss these things in terms of values, which is really where our opinions tend to arise from anyhow. So when asked “how do we create more jobs in America” we don’t really try to answer that question. We try to answer the question “How do we create more jobs in America while promoting our own personal values?” 

For things like “How do you end a war” or “How do you feed hungry people” or “How do you eliminate poverty?” I’m going to admit straight up that I don’t know…and defer to the experts because they know a heck of a lot more than me. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. So, yay, I DON’T KNOW!!!


Ambiguous Victories and Real Progress: Behind the Beautiful Forevers

In which John continues the Nerdfighter Book Club’s discussion of Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Are there unambiguous victories? How should we approach our understanding of and relationship with charities domestic and international? I look forward to reading all of your thoughts in comments when I get back.



So I got a little confused about who owed what punishments and then we went a little overboard and with the help of a team of Nerdfighting researchers rooted out the cause and effect of EVERY SINGLE PUNISHMENT ON VLOGBROTHERS SINCE JANUARY OF 2007!

Here’s a playlist of all of those videos.

The thing I realized while doing this is that we have been doing this for a very….very….very long time. Holy monkey butts…a long time.



"People alone are beautiful, but nothing is more precious than the beauty that happens when people come together."

I’ve always loved John and Hank Green’s “Thoughts from Places” videos, and nothing prompted a video of my own quite like a trip to the Windy City. The adventures of three University of Michigan students in beautiful Chicago, Illinois.

Feel free to like and/or reblog! :)

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Music by Incompetech!


Exciting Announcements and Mosquito-Borne Illnesses 

In which John discusses his forthcoming trip with Bill Gates (yes, that Bill Gates), his health anxiety, the worldwide threat of mosquito-borne illnesses, health anxiety, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, the tyranny of Hollywood in re haircut frequency, and the arrival of pre-roll advertising on the vlogbrothers channel.


The Future of Nerdfighteria

SURVEY! On advertising and education (THANKS FOR TAKING IT!!) 

In which John discusses dragons, dinosaurs, and the future of the nerdfighter community, including more IRL nerdfighter gatherings, more ways to learn through Crash Course, more charity projects year-round, thinking about how and whether to add pre-roll advertisements to the vlogbrothers channel, and the fact that WE ARE GOING TO BE ON AFC WIMBLEDON’S SHORTS. What would you like to see more/less of in nerdfighteria in the future? Let us know in comments.

Crash Course on Khan Academy

The World Cup fundraiser for sarcoma research


(Source: mentalflossr)



In which John suffers an injury in the most humiliating manner possible.

Our World Cup fundraiser for sarcoma research

The AFC Wimbledon Wimbly Womblys

Watch the World Cup with John


How to Make Cinnamon Toast (two ways)

In which Hank demonstrates how to properly (AND IMPROPERLY) make cinnamon toast. Do it right, and it’s the most delicious thing that ever happened. Do it wrong AND YOU WILL CALL FORTH A DEMON FROM THE PITS OF HADES TO DEVOUR THE FLESH OF ALL MANKIND!

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