June 21, 2022 7 min read
There Is No_System: Transmission Seven
In Case of Emergency Break Glass
When the beat changes you have to be listening close enough to change.
Every Frame a Painting - The Art of the Gag
I Love Lucy - “Job Switching”
An Insight Into the Concept of Normalcy Bias in Psychology
Written and performed by Brian Behm
Music (unless noted) by Brian Behm/No_System
Take a look at No_System’s apparel and accessories at nosysknows.com ——-
Transcripts available at nosysknows.com/podcast
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There Is No_System is a production of Brian Behm Creative.
0;9 - 0;19;23
Hey, it's Brian. We'll get the episode started in a second, but I wanted to ask you for a quick favor. If you've been listening for more than an episode and you're really enjoying it, would you think about telling a friend? I think that's the only way things are going to grow, and it would mean a lot if you would help out.
0;20;21 - 1;09;00
Transmission seven: In case of emergency: break glass. How often have you seen that fire alarm that says in case of emergency break glass? I know that throughout my life I've heard the siren song to find out what would happen if I broke that glass. And yet I also mostly haven't had to. Well, at least not that kind of emergency button. I don't think that we often acknowledge how much we should appreciate the normal things.
1;10;06 - 1;44;06
We can't help it because we have a cognitive bias towards assuming that whatever is usual is expected. That can be really dangerous because if we assume that just because something was something will be when something isn't well, that could put you in a situation where you end up dead The other day, a friend reminded me of just how primal our brains are and it's an easy thing to forget in our modern world.
1;44;27 - 2;17;24
We all have one point or brains that grew up and were created in a world that we don't really inhabit. Seth Godin has spent a lot of time writing about one part of our ancient brain, the lizard brain, due to evolutionary processes. We've got different brains that have developed independently, and they're used for unique tasks. We all think, ironically, that we have one brain, and at least from a grammatical perspective, that's not wrong.
2;17;25 - 2;47;13
But our brain is much more of a distributed network of interconnected systems. It's not inside out, but it's also not not inside out either. The amygdala and lizard brain, depending on what you want to call it, wants to protect us. It's the fight or flight part of our brain. According to one of the Today articles, a dug up while working on the episode, it's responsible for fight, flight, feeding, fear, freezing up and fornication.
2;48;03 - 3;05;19
And I don't know about you, but that makes it sound like it's a George Carlin routine.
(George Carlin Quote) But I was just trying to find out which words they were appreciating. All of them. I wanted a list because nobody gives you a list. That's the problem. They don't give you a list when you think it'd be normal if they didn't want you to say something to tell you what it is.
3;06;03 - 3;29;19
It's also the seat of emotions. And aside from the fact that it's ancient, it's called the lizard brain, because the limbic system is about all of the brain power the lizard has. I bring it up because I really want to focus on how we engage when things go wrong or right in a way that ends up causing more stress
3;29;19 - 3;50;29
Than initially expected. For example, have you ever seen that I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and her friend go to work in a candy factory? I know it's an old show, but it's always in syndication, so there's a good chance you've seen it. To set the stage, Lucy and Ethel work together in a chocolate factory and things haven't been going well.
3;51;15 - 4;15;12
They have one last chance. They have to wrap all of the chocolates before they go to packaging issues. If they miss one, they're fired. But also, nobody mentioned what the tempo was going to be. We get used to a cadence in our life. But when the beat changes,and things get faster, you don't have the same amount of time that you have.
4;16;26 - 4;46;18
And as the lizard brain figures out that it needs to intervene, it's going to unleash its basic programing. Maybe you get angry. Maybe. And this really holds true for me You freeze up. A lot of the responses are, in their own way, kind of appropriate. They're things we've inherited because they worked for our ancestors in the past, but because they're from the past, they're old and they're not getting service patches like windows to us.
4;47;05 - 5;09;10
OK, that's that's a horrible analogy. Maybe we should be happy our brains aren't getting Windows Service packs. If you've been paying any attention to the life of the company, and I wouldn't blame you if you weren't, but if you're here, you're among the small number of people who probably do, you know that things went a bit haywire in a positive way?
5;10;05 - 5;32;03
We're not big. I know that's probably not a huge surprise, but precisely zero of the four of us are full time. You know, I've got a full time job that I care a great deal about. Iris oure amazing operations person (and the one who really keeps the train on the tracks) She's not full time. Cassie, who answers customer service chats?
5;32;14 - 5;57;22
Not full time. Angela, my amazing wife, And just for the record, amazing and wife are not mutually exclusive, but she happens to be both of those things. You know, aside from being a mom, she has another job outside of ensuring everything gets shipped. Anyway, it's a long way to say that when our friend Andy started covering the Johnny Depp trial, we couldn't have expected things to take off the way they did.
5;58;14 - 6;23;00
The only thing that saved us was that we work with great creators, and they're the ones that ensured everything didn't spin apart. They saved the day. You know, in its own way, that's a lesson about how to work around the lizard brain. If you freeze up, having people who are distant enough from the situation that they won't freeze up is a huge evolutionary advantage.
6;24;19 - 6;51;10
The four of us were kind of like Lucille Ball in that candy factory trying to keep up with the assembly line.
(I Love Lucy Clip) You're doing splendidly. Speed it up!
We've talked a lot about music in the series. And even here there's an analogy when things are normal and quiet and we're just chugging along building slowly and thoughtfully. You've got the time to to really build up the whole orchestra.
6;52;01 - 7;16;24
You can hear them warming up behind us. Can't you? When things change and there's an emergency, what happens? You try to keep tuning that orchestra. The short answer is that you're going to break it. so, you know, maybe we've exhausted the metaphor. Instead of the I Love Lucy quip. Let's talk about something even older. Buster Keaton's The General.
7;16;28 - 7;39;16
Brian (Alternate voice)
Seriously, I Love Lucy. It wasn't old enough so you need to go back even further?
Brian: Oh, shut up. Just because it's old doesn't mean it doesn't have a point. If you haven't seen the general and you're only exposure to a silent film happens to be Charlie Chaplin? Buster Keaton's film remains one of the greatest movies ever made. You know, they even crashed an actual steam engine as part of the production?
7;40;15 - 8;06;19
It was a total bust when it came out. But like most films that are truly great. Over time, it found its audience. Buster Keaton's comedy deals with issues of control or really being out of control. in the general, (which, by the way, is a train), All of those control issues revolve around that train. Buster Keaton's Johnny wants to enlist, but he's too important as a conductor.
8;07;11 - 8;26;26
He ends up losing the love of his life because it looks like he's a coward. There's a scene in the movie where Keaton ends up on a cow catcher in the front of his train. The tracks have been sabotaged with rail ties, and he has to move them so that the train isn't derailed. Honestly, watching it feels like one of those games.
8;26;26 - 8;47;18
Where you have to quickly hit buttons in a series to make sure something happens. Keaton did all of his gags live, and so he really was moving rail ties on the tracks. It's not to say that there wasn't movie magic, but there was a sense of reality to everything that he did and even with the film being a hundred years old, it still feels fresh.
8;48;10 - 9;15;01
I encourage you to pull up the every frame of painting episode linked in the show notes to discover just why Buster Keaton was so amazing. Tony Xu is much more eloquent than I am, but you've ended up in similar situations, right? OK, sure. You're not on a Civil War train, but you've been juggling responsibilities. For us, the podcast had to go on pause because we didn't have the time to warm up the orchestra.
9;16;05 - 9;40;16
The beat that we were playing to moved from orchestra music to jazz and and the only thing we had time for was to figure out how to grab our bass and play along. I guess what I want to encourage you with is that that's OK. When those things happen in your own life, it's OK to let go of the things that are important, but maybe not quite as important as getting people their shirts.
9;40;23 - 10;08;26
For us, that became the most important thing we could do. If you haven't read Gary Keller's book, "the one thing". that would have been the one thing If we do anything that is going to make everything else easier. In that situation, it was getting people their shirts. But we're not always going to do things in the proper way when things go to shit, certainly not going to be able to keep juggling everything we're juggling.
10;09;07 - 10;39;06
But what can you put into place in your life so that when things do fall apart, you can stick together? I don't think you should have my answer. And you don't need to even have your spouse or your friends or your partner's answer. It's going to be individual to you because your situation is unique. But it's worth thinking about because at the end of the day, well, there is no system.
10;43;03 - 10;46;06
I need to know. There is no system.
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