Corporate Self Preservation

I was thinking about big oil.


I’ve been really honest
with a very weird

thing to sit around
thinking about, but I think

about big oil and how
they miss an opportunity.

And this sort of goes
into a couple episodes ago.

I talked about in shitification.

This relates in that I’m also
thinking about self-preservation.

So I’m going to start
with big oil companies.

They are going to die out.

We have all the climate crisis.

We have the energy crisis.

Oil is a finite resource.

So eventually it will run out.

And that should have
been the thought they had.

They knew this back in the ’70s.

They had models of
how long oil is going to

last, how long we can
extract oil from the earth.

The impact is having on the climate.

They knew all this in
the ’70s and ’80s and

just decided to keep
it quiet and move along

with the status quo
as if nothing was wrong.

And that to me, it was a
distinct lack of foresight.

Because if at that time
the big oil companies

weren’t thinking of
themselves as oil companies,

as energy companies,
they could have been at

the forefront of developing the
new technologies that we need now.

So imagine if Exxon, I
don’t know if Exxon’s

a company anymore, BP,
anything, just a big oil company.

Back in the ’80s had said,
we’re not just an oil company.

We are an energy
company and take a minute

amount of their profits,
because we know they

make billions and billions
of dollars every year.

We put it into alternative energy research.

So they could have been the ones in the
’90s, in the early 2000s, to come out with

feasible solar panels,
a new grid that works

off of their technology
that’s proprietary.

So they own it.

They could have ended up being the
foundation for all energy at the moment.

They could have created hybrid systems.

So as oil became
less viable, their other

technologies could grow
and they would never

lose any of the profits that
they so desperately want.

Now there is a
short-sightedness in that,

well, 20, 30 years from
now, I’m going to be

dead or I’m not going
to be in this position.

All I care about is money and power.

That’s fine, but it shows
that you’re not really

thinking about the
future because if climate

change strikes us all
down in the next five

years, whether you’re
rich or not isn’t going

to matter very much, you’re
still going to be involved.

I also did an episode about
billionaires trying to make bunkers.

And the obvious failures there, again, show
a very distinct short-sightedness when they

should be trying to solve the problem
not just trying to survive the fallout.

But if they had
done this, if the big oil

companies had thought
of themselves as energy

companies and created
new energies in the past, so in

the 70s and 80s and 90s,
they would have maintained

a dominant market share
essentially for all of eternity.

And the oil companies
that didn’t think forward,

that didn’t try to develop
anything new, would die out.

And then you would
end up with one massive

company that controls
all the energy in the world.

And that is what they want.

So they actually missed by not innovating.

They missed the opportunities to be the
like despots they really, really want to be.

And now we’ve hit this weird stage
where we can see storms have increased.

Huge chunks of the earth are on fire.

And this is happening
more and more every year.

We have record heat waves.

But then we have the
recent Republican debate.

The legitimately saying, I want to
be president and this is what I think.

The ocean hits 101 degrees
off the coast of Florida.

The climate change.

The climate change.

The climate change agenda is a hoax.

But you don’t have
to be a scientist to see

that there are changes
of foot, that weather

has changed in the
last 10, 15, 20 years,

that things have gotten
noticeably worse, that

water in the ocean is
hotter than it should be.

And again, this is
talking about short term

gains at the risk of
self preservation in the

future because I don’t necessarily
just want to be successful now.

I want to be successful
into the future so

much so that my kids
can be successful in the

future and other generations
that follow their end.

I guess I don’t know, call me selfish.

I don’t know.

There are other ways
this is manifested as

well that I’m really enjoying right
now because we’re seeing Trump.

And recently, Giuliani
went to court and since

Trump isn’t paying legal bills
anymore, everyone’s rolling on him.

So Giuliani goes to
court and admits that he

lied and all these other people are
going to court and admitting their lie.

They lied.

And that is because
you have Trump, he said,

like, oh, if you don’t support
me, I will take care of you.

But we’ve seen he doesn’t support anyone.

He doesn’t take care of anyone.

He doesn’t spend any money.

You can go on the Internet and find all the
stories about people who have done work for

him contract work and
he just doesn’t pay out.

He just doesn’t pay them
and he holds them up in

courts for years and years
and then pays a fraction.

There was one I listened to.

It was this morning or
yesterday and it was a guy telling

a story of his friend had a
$3 million contract with Trump.

He just held off not
paying, dragged him

through courts and whatnot
ended up offering 1.5 million.

That guy went and paid off everyone who
had worked for him and then killed himself.

And he was, people were saying, like,
why don’t you give Trump a chance?

And he’s like, well,
because essentially Trump

inadvertently murdered
one of my friends.

What Trump is missing is
that by not taking care of

these people around him,
he’s not preserving himself.

Those people aren’t
going to take care of him.

It’s not going to go
forward into the future.

He’s not got a protective group
around him that’s going to hold.

And that’s what he really needs.

So, I mean, I don’t
know what’s going to

happen with the courts
and whatnot in America.

I’m very interested to see.

I would really like to
see Trump do jail time

because it’s so obvious that
he’s committed so many crimes.

I don’t know if they’re going to do it.

Like the worst thing
they did to Nixon when

he broke the rules
would say, like, okay, you

have to not be president
anymore, which is

scary because it means he
can commit all these crimes.

But because he was president,
he’s not going to go to prison.

I would really like to see him in prison.

Certainly another version of the same thing
is lack of self preservation and relates to

the in certification
episode streaming services.

We are watching streaming services
suffer the same fate in real time.

We had TV and then
we had cable and then we

had streaming streaming
was good and new and exciting.

We had movies on our
TV and it was really cool.

Then very recently, all these companies
are like, well, Netflix is working.

So I want to make our net fix.

Netflix we’re going to make Disney plus.

We’re going to make HBO.

We’re going to make this.

We’re going to have a million services.

Now I have to pay for packages.

So now it comes to,
well, let’s screw the

users, the stuff that
they liked that way

they were paying for
that they’re happy about.

Let’s screw it because
I’m not getting a

big enough cut for
myself, which means these

streaming services have now
broke themselves up into cable.

New year TV is less than 50% of TV now.

It’s down 12.5% compared to last year.

Cable makes up one third of TV time.

Broadcast TV makes up one fifth.

YouTube and Netflix makes one
fifth or more in most households.

But I can tell you I have two teens.

My two teens watch TikTok
and YouTube almost exclusively.

They barely watch television.

This is not the world
that streaming services

want because these kids
are growing up with this.

A world where you don’t pay for content.

Now, of course YouTube
has YouTube premium TikTok.

I’m sure it’s going to go paid someday.

But on the Internet,
what happens is they

get supplanted by another innovator, another
service that comes up with something.

TikTok is three, maybe four years old now.

It’s in its infancy.

YouTube’s been around since 2004.

But it’s the grandfather
of all these services

and other services have
come up to try to take it on.

They just haven’t quite hit it yet.

But it will happen.

I don’t think YouTube
can maintain the market

dominance because
it’s refusing to innovate

and is going through the
in-shitification process.

The problem is YouTube
like Facebook is so big

it’s going to take that
much longer for it to die.

Then what is the appeal?

All these services.

Netflix, Disney Plus, cable.

They all see YouTube and TikTok as the
main competition, the ones they have to be.

The problem is the appeal for people in
YouTube and TikTok and for the companies is

they appeal of creator
personalities and it’s

incredibly cheap and
it’s incredibly fast.

So volume is the key to success.

We saw Netflix for a while.

There was actually the
joke that Netflix would

greenlight any project
and put it out and

they put it out really fast
and it wasn’t very good.

They were essentially going for the
YouTube model of content creation.

But the problem is they
had to pay money to do it.

If you get a bunch of amateurs and you have
them make a movie, it’s not going to be

very good but then people are going to be
very forgiving because it’s very sincere.

Netflix is never going to feel sincere
when they make these cash grab movies.

You will notice that
every few years YouTube

creators start complaining about changes
to the YouTube algorithm or the YouTube

system or the YouTube advertising
so they make less and less money.

This is, again, the
in-shitification process,

YouTube is starting to abuse the
people that actually create the content.

Those people are going to start looking
somewhere else where they can make money.

TikTok came up.

It’s only four years
old and people are

already starting to make complaints
about the changes to the algorithm.

I am on TikTok and I am locked in the, what
they’re calling it, the 200 person jail.

None of my posts go viral in any way.

None of them get very big.

Unless it’s sort of forced on people.

So when I post something to
TikTok, it gets between two and

300 views and that’s the
algorithm at that point just drops it.

That is enough for a
small creator like myself

to keep going but it isn’t enough for me
to actually start making money off TikTok.

And that is actually the
place TikTok wants me to be.

They want to have creators making content.

Oh yeah, you are getting attention but not
enough that we can pay you sorry and then

we have few small creators
who have massive following.

And that is at this point very purposeful.

That is the first step in
the in-shitification of TikTok.

It’s four years old.

They are now starting to
abuse the content creators in

the, you know, so we can
manage this group of big creators.

We have all these other
people who are creating content.

So we’re going to pick
every time one of our big guys.

And trouble or disappears
or something happens.

We’re going to pick one
out, boost their content

and they will become
the next big creator.

So the volume of
content is now the primary

key to success in
content creation and having

a million amateurs like
me make content for your

platform means your
platform is full and it’s available.

And you know, the people can
actually decide what they want to watch.

The problem is these
viewing habits targeting

amateurs as the creators means
things like news now have less legitimacy.

I don’t know if that’s really
fair to say news source.

People’s viewing habits mean their
information comes from amateurs like me.

So I run a show called Ninja News Japan.

Ninja News Japan is news from
Japan and then I do commentary.

It’s supposed to be lightly comedic.

I try to make it amusing.

But it means any story
I put out there is out.

Now news sources
legitimate new news sources

pick up stories from
the Internet now because

they are trying to keep
up with amateur creators.

So recently little Tay the personality.

I don’t know if she
actually did a rap song.

Little Tay did I think it was TikTok.

Maybe it was Instagram.

Basically a 12 year
old looking kid made

brass statements about
how they make millions

of dollars and you don’t
would get in a car that

they can’t even drive
walk around apartment.

I mean I didn’t think
any of that was real

turns out that little Tay’s
mother was actually a realtor.

So they would go into
different houses and

just film because they had access
to these like pen houses and stuff.

And then claim it was theirs.

There was no way you couldn’t prove it.

Little Tay was reported to
be dead at like 16 years old.

A couple weeks later
little Tay comes back

on their own Instagram and
says my Instagram was hacked.

I’m not actually dead.

But legitimate news sources didn’t check.

They saw this story
running around the Internet.

So they decided, okay
well we got a report on this.

And that is the death of
investigative journalism.

Now I do an engineer’s Japan.

I feel enough of a responsibility that I
don’t just grab a story and run with it.

If I see a story and
I think this might be

a good story for an
engineer’s Japan, I have

a process I actually go through where I try
to find at least two or three articles from

different sources and compare them and
see if the facts are the same or different.

If the facts are all
different, either I won’t

do that story or
actually tell people what

the differences are and again
sort of a media awareness initiative.

So every now and then I’ll take, hey look
I got this story where they say A, I got

the same story on the
same topic where they

say B and I got this
third story on the same

topic where they say
C is in it interesting

that they all got slightly
different versions of the story.

US adults under the
age of 30, 25% of them are

getting their news from TikTok and
probably not like a news channel on TikTok.

They’re probably getting it from a
creator who is taking the news of the day,

acting it into something
that’s digestible and very quick.

I think also the way
they speak because when

I do an engineer’s
Japan, I don’t script it.

I have the stories, I
have the content and then

I start talking and that
makes it more organic.

I make mistakes, I’ll
make jokes, I’ll back

up and say stuff again,
but it makes it very

sincere, which again
is what I’m saying is

the problem with Netflix
when it went through

its creator or creation burst phase where
they were green lighting everything saying

like what we need as volume,
but it was in sincere volume.

People want news
and entertainment from

someone they can trust and
that trust is really important.

Problem is, trust may
be the most important

part now and no one
trust these big companies

and corporations because
these big companies and

corporations don’t seek
out self preservation

in the long run, which
means they don’t engage

with the actual
individuals, which means

they run through the
in-shitification process

and are willing to
actually burn their own

core and attempt to
create more money or more

value for themselves
that’s not sustainable.

And that is the
underpinning of everything I’ve

talked about right now
is how sustainable in

the long run are the
things that these companies

are doing and what what
effect does it have on us?

Well, the effect on us right now is
we’re going through a climate crisis.

We’re watching the world
burn down around us.

We’re not even getting the
entertainment we need or once.

I guess yeah, we don’t need entertainment.

We’re not getting the
entertainment we want.

Maybe the entertainment we
deserve because companies are

now at the point where
either they’re making garbage.

I guess actually we’re not making
anything right now because of

the writer’s strike, which I’m
finding endlessly fascinating.

They want AI to step in
and replace all the humans.

You want insincerity.

AI is legitimately to me the
representation of insincerity in creation.

And what are people looking for?

They’re looking for someone they can trust.

But it leads us into
this very dangerous thing

where maybe someone you trust
doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

It’s yesterday an article popped up on
my feed and it said, “Science is say human

caused global warming
is exasperating natural

disasters such as
fires and floods around

the world, making them both
more likely and more deadly.

Do you agree?”

Now, I want to point
out the first part of that

sentence is, “scientists
say I am not a scientist.

Therefore, my opinion on this
topic is completely irrelevant.

I should be listening to the scientists.

This was when people
were saying that coronavirus

was a hoax or it
wasn’t real or anything.

I’m like, “Well, what
are the scientists, the

people who study nothing
but virus is saying?”

Well, they’re saying you
should get this vaccine.

So I went and got the vaccine.

Scientists say we should recycle.

Well, then I think we
should probably recycle.


I’ve never studied a vaccine before.

I’ve never studied a disease before.

I have no idea what
to do in that situation.

How do we save the Earth?


Okay, I’ll recycle.

I think the biggest
problem when it comes to

recycling, I’ve said
this in an episode in

the past as well, is that we’re holding
people to a standard that we’re not holding

corporations to and
it’s this differentiation

between corporations and
how they act in individuals

and how they act and how we
treat them as being disparate.

Coca-Cola corporation
produces, I don’t know,

25% of the plastic
bottles on the planet.

Maybe Coca-Cola corporation
should be responsible

for recycling a percentage of
those bottles every single year.

Maybe it isn’t on the individual.

Maybe Coke should be
held to a standard where

they create recycling
centers and cities.

Maybe Coke should be
responsible for developing

the technology to
improve recycling returns.

That seems like a very
reasonable way forward for me.

I also don’t think
it’s going to happen

because society is still built
on money in this corporation.

It’s powerful where the individual isn’t.

So they put the bonus
on the individual to do

all the work to try to
save the Earth while

the company is trying
to burn everything down.

While big oil and
companies like that try

to just forge forward
and make as much money

as they can in the
little limited amount of

time they have left to
squeeze the Earth of oil.

Why are we listening to people
when scientists are saying something?

Honestly because it’s
just more content because

they’re doing exactly what
the streaming services want.

They’re doing what TikTok and YouTube want.

They want individuals to create
content for them on their behalf.

And it’s hopefully going
to come from a source they

trust and then they’re
going to listen to them.

All we can do is hope
that that individual

actually smart enough
to listen to a scientist.

I’m not a scientist and therefore my
opinion on these things does not matter.

In fact, straight up my
opinion just does not matter.