January 5, 2020

Nobody Knows Best - EP 1: Terms of Service

Welcome to the first episode of my new podcast, Nobody Knows Best. In this episode, we go into the origins of the name of the podcast and what best really means.


Armory: Alright, let’s get this show started.

Intro Music

Armory: What’s up everyone? This is the first episode of Nobody Knows Best and we’re just going to roll in there. I already did this once before and of course I was like…

Armory: “Hey, I want to get all of these notes together and try and be all cool and professional and sleek” because this is technically a pilot episode.

Armory: And if I’m doing my job correctly and you’re doing your job correctly, if you’re brand new to this, this should be the very first thing in the feed that you see. So it’s kind of my duty to…sell you a little bit, give you that elevator pitch or whatever and be as clean as I can.

Armory: But that’s just not me. I don’t work like that. I have no idea what I’m doing.

Armory: The only thing that I have is that a long while ago, I had a podcast that was pretty small, didn’t really go anywhere, but I kind of did it [anyway]. And the idea behind that one was, I was going to talk about some game industry topics in a very concise way that people could consume.

Armory: And I did that for a little bit and it did way better than I thought it would ever, especially for how little effort I put into it. But there were people that liked it and then unfortunately just due to time and life and some other rumblings, I was like…

Armory: “You know what? Maybe I should just shelve this for the time being and sort of take care of other things.”

Armory: But here we are again. We’re doing it. It’s happening live…right now in this moment.

Armory: So, before I get into the weeds shoutouts to the handful of people who know who I am that don’t know me in real life…[laughs]…who are listening to this. Also, shoutouts to HR in advance because I already know that if I’m doing this new podcast properly, I’m going to be in a lot of trouble. I understand what it’s like for you HR people. You see a candidate; they have all of these terms that match like a job description that you’re looking for and you’re like…

“HR”: “Yeah, that looks technical and that kind of looks like that. So, I’m going to sign him up for this thing and move him on top of the stack. But first let me go on the internet. Let me troll a little bit. Let me see what this person is all about.”

Armory: I’m sorry, I, I’m sorry. I’m just going to apologize right off the bat. Because there’s going to be weird titles and weird out of context quotes and I don’t want to waste your time, you don’t want to waste mine, but I know you have, like, positions to fill, but I understand the risks. So, let’s just save, let’s just save both of us that trouble. Alright? Just-just take that, that resume. Just throw it into the abyss. Tell the other recruiters or HR people that I misspelled something so..[laughs] I didn’t care…enough. [laughs]

Armory: And then maybe if I’m in your city, or town, we could grab some coffee or something. Be adults. Get to know each other a little bit. No strings attached of course. No business, it’s just getting to know each other. You know what I’m saying? So, what I recommend you do is pretend that this is the entirety of what I’m doing right now and just hit the pause button and then for like…the five or so people who are listening to this, you can stick around, but just for your sake, just…just pause right now. And if you really want to, the only thing that I ask for you, the one thing that I request, is that I don’t want to see a passive aggressive tweet or some weird recruiter moment LinkedIn post where you put like 50 hashtags on the status for high visibility and treating LinkedIn like Facebook even though it’s not, but you kind of have to because you have to network to grow your pool of potential job applicants.

Armory: I get it. Let’s not beat around the bush. Just DM me, send me a message and just be like…

“Recruiter”: “Hey, I saw your resume. I think you’re a cool guy, but we can’t move forward.”

Armory: And then I’ll reply and be like…

Armory: “Thanks for the heads up! I know. Good luck in your search.”

Armory: And then we both kind of have comfort in a way. I understand what I’ve done, and you don’t have to feel bad. So, if you haven’t already paused when I asked you to pause before [laughs], please pause now. Have a wonderful day. I wish you all the best. I hope that whatever current year is for you that you’re having a good one. And maybe, I’ll see you another time.

Long pause

Armory: Alright, they’re gone.

Armory: Uh, so going back to that previous podcasting history. So, after that venture, I think the closest thing that I’ve done to podcasting was streaming on Twitch a little bit. And then a year and a half-ish or so I kind of did like kind of a podcast. It’s more of like an experiment where I was just like messing around like with music and kind of doing something in that vein. But it was me trying to dabble into doing this process for real and kind of figuring out sort of the ins and outs and the gotchas and how to plan and things like that. And now I think that enough time has passed, and I have enough experience to try and do this at least for one year.

Armory: And the way that I’m going to treat this is you got like your Netflix originals. Back in the day, they were just television shows, right? And you had your seasons and, in this world, since this podcast is mine, I’m essentially the EP…and the money people who are like…

“Producer”: “Hey, your thing looks cool, we saw your pilot, we see potential in here. We’re going to sign you on, here’s some money and we’re going to see how this season goes. And if it does okay then maybe we’ll continue for another season.”

Armory: And it’s funny that I mention that because I still haven’t given the pitch yet and I’m slowly losing more and more time. And if there was a new person who has no idea who I am, they probably stopped listening by now. But if you’re still listening, you’re already, come on, you-you’ve already invested this much time, right? You might as well just hear, just hear me out here. Now we’re in a new era, new decade, and I think that now is a good time to retry this adventure and kind of go back kind of to my roots in a way, but also to see what I could bring to this sort of format now.

Armory: And I guess I’ll summarize this by talking about the name of the podcast. And of course, like if you’re any sort of creative person or you’ve just tried to plan something, you have all of these various ideas and it sounds cool and you’re really excited for a moment and things feel like really fresh and new. And then there’s that anxiety period of like…

Armory: “Oh my God, there’s so much work I have to do. This is so much more than I thought. Is it really worth it?”

Armory: And then you have that back and forth before starting where this perfectionism comes in and then is like…

“Perfectionism”: “Well, if I’m going to do this, I need all of these things.”

Armory: And then if you don’t get all of those things done in the way that you planned in your mind, it gives you the excuse of like..

Armory: “Oh, well it’s not worth doing or I have better things to do or it wouldn’t have worked anyway.”

Armory: Or in the case that you do get all of the things that you want ironed out, you make up more requirements so that way you still don’t have to do it. And you get stuck in this analysis paralysis. And even in me making essentially the first episode of this thing, I fell into that trap again, of trying to make it perfect and over-engineer and be like…

Armory: “Oh well this isn’t perfect here or I don’t have a really strong concept here or what if I don’t make time” and all these arbitrary requirements, that are just excuses for me not to do this.

Armory: So why am I doing this? Let’s..let’s not get too lost now. First of all, I wanted to start sharing thoughts and opinions to the small group of people now who care and also potentially find some other folk, you know, your everyday average person out there in the world and try and maybe connect with them a little bit.

Armory: But here’s the deal. I don’t think I am particularly interesting, nor do I think that anyone should really care. [laughs]

Armory: So I’m really only doing this for me. It’s not about you. It’s really for me.

Armory: Nah nah, I’m kidding. But I think that there’s something powerful in that [connection]…that sort of wraps the theme of why I’m doing this and the attempt in 2020. So, if I’ve done my job correctly, not only should this be the first episode in the feed, but this podcast should also be named, Nobody Knows Best.

Armory: So what’s with that title? What does that mean? Why did I come up with that? The idea from for that title came a few months ago. When I was thinking of, honestly, I wouldn’t say it’s my top, but it would easily be in the top five or maybe even three depending on my mood that day. I was thinking about an anime known as FLCL written out also known as like Fooly Cooly [フリクリ]. And it was an anime, about six episodes, that came out in the early 2000s and it had this at the time, this crazy theme and had like this strong style and vibe to it and it was seemingly random and chaotic but also themed in a very interesting way and it had…and it was this interesting mix of this coming of age story juxtaposed with this alternative [rock] skin.

Armory: And without getting too into the details of the series, there is this one character and one of many things that she does in that show is she smokes these cigarettes and on them it had the phrase “Never Knows Best” written on it, which was kind of a reflection of the character…and you sort of see how that plays out. Because she’s a teenager and she’s in that point in life that all teenagers face where they don’t know what to do. They’re just old enough to realize what the adults in their life or around them are doing and the responsibilities that are coming up. But they’re still inexperienced because they’re experiencing all of these adult things for the very first time. So, for the average teenager, it feels like no matter what they do, no matter what they think is the best thing to do, it never seems to be that way.

Armory: And then in her particular case, that’s reflected in her, her overall situation, kind of the world. And it gets into this weird area where you can kind of blame the environment and her, but even as I think about it now, well into being an adult, I disagree with that premise [“Never Knows Best”].

Armory: Because going back to the idea of the teenager, it’s not that they don’t know what’s the best decision. Because your best is defined by your knowledge and your experience. And ideally as you get more knowledge and more experiences, your best becomes better and better and better and you grow and you start making decisions that have outcomes that you expect. But when you don’t know anything and when it’s the very first time you’re experiencing things and you make decisions that end up hurting you or others that you didn’t anticipate, it’s very easy to be locked in the mindset of “It’s all my fault” or “There’s nothing I can do” and there’s…and I have no control over my life, or what happens to me, which can kind of create a very bad spiral where the internal is reinforcing the external that then reinforces the internal that creates like this spiral where that person feels trapped as if nothing can change. And usually when people feel that they can’t change, they do radical things to just see an effect on their lives and the environment.

Armory: Everyone knows best. It’s just that some people have lived longer than others or have just learned different things through history or school or through their family or maybe even a lack of family. So, then you might be saying,

“You”: “Okay, well you’re making the point that ‘everyone knows best’ because best is subjective and it’s based on that person’s knowledge or their experiences. So why are you calling this weird TV series podcast-esque thing ‘Nobody Knows Best’?”

Armory: And the reason why I named this, Nobody Knows Best, was a provocative statement. It’s not that “nobody knows best” in the sense of what their own best may be. But what I’m arguing is that no one knows what best means anymore. And the problem with that is that if you don’t know what best is, best becomes reality. And what has happened in my opinion, especially looking back on this last decade, is that best has become “right”. Probably or most likely it has become “absolutely”. And facts or the truth have become opinions that are widely accepted instead of facts. And what has happened is that since “best” has become “truth”, has become “right”, we’ve slowly seen a culture where instead of people growing and improving, instead they’re trying to prove why they were good all along. Which is inherently flawed and bad, and it completely ignores the human experience. Because as a human, and I’m going to talk about myself for a moment, there have been many people who have wronged me and there’s also been many times that I’ve screwed up. But I learned something. And from those mistakes I’ve made sure to improve myself and to not make those things…those same mistakes again. And through that process I’ve learned to be a more well-rounded person and hopefully be a better person than I was yesterday or five years ago or 10 years ago, et cetera. You get the point.

Armory: But the issue is if best becomes right, it becomes true, and those same natural human mistakes are happening, rather than trying to learn from them and growing, you hide them. And the easiest way to hide your own flaws, your mistakes, is to shift the blame on someone else. It’s easier in that type of environment to be like…

“You”: “Well, don’t look at my cracks because look at how wrong and twisted, and messed up this person is.”

Armory: And then if another person is thinking the same thing you are, they’re like…

Other “Person”: “Oh yeah, look at how bad that person is.”

Armory: And then they’re going to gang up on that person. And then before you know it, you have the whole village trying to cast out innocent humans making normal mistakes and trying to burn them at the stake like they did the worst or most impossible crimes. And that’s really unfortunate and I think that core thing has definitely shaped how we communicate with each other, how we interface with technology, how we read news or opinions, what we assume about people; a person who may have a label that imply something that may not even align with them.

Armory: So what ends up happening is that since no one can improve, no one can atone. And because no one can atone, no one can be forgiven. So, the easiest thing to do is to tear down people who may not have the same experiences as you; we’re just sending those people off to the slaughter. And then unfortunately, some of those people then create their own little circles fueled by anger and hatred and resentment. And the worst part about that is to the people who cast out those people when they see that reaction, instead of being like…

Other “Person”: “Did I cause this, that I trap this person or these people in their past and denied them an opportunity to grow?”

Armory: Instead it’s…

Other “Person”: “Aha, I was right all along.”

Armory: And to me that’s the saddest part. So now, we’re at a point where extremes drive conversation and much earlier in the last decade, the more reasonable people were like, “Oh, okay, this is just internet nonsense, drama, I’m not gonna pay attention to it at all. I’m just going to enjoy my life, my job, my friends, and then I’m going to let the internet be the internet.” But unfortunately, as the last decade progressed, those extremes have ended up influencing reality and the news and what you see and what’s trending and what people are talking about. And then you have all of these people who are reasonable, who are so scared.

Armory: It kind of sucks.

Armory: And I was kinda joking about the whole like HR thing earlier, but there is a little bit of truth to that. When you deny the ability for people who want to make things right, who want to improve, who want to grow, who want to be better than they were yesterday or the day before, when you take away their best and you frame that as their peak, it should be no surprise to anyone why things are the way that they are. And it’s so sad to see.

Armory: So at a minimum, even though this is kind of selfish in a way, because what I imagine this being, as you know, more episodes come online. is a weird…a weird scrapbook. A weird scrapbook filled with a bunch of topics that I feel like talking about mixed in with some life experiences and outside of that I really don’t know. But the great thing about this is not only am I going to challenge myself and trying to be better and think through things and explain myself, I’m also admitting something with my title as well. Because I’m flawed too. I’m a human. And maybe just maybe by demonstrating what I think is best, acknowledging that…that may change in a year or 10 years from now, if things go correctly, I can see an even better version of myself in the future. And maybe someone listening to this, whether they stumble upon it now or for however long I keep this up, they can be inspired to do the same thing as well.

Armory: Because guess what? I am not going to do…okay, let me rephrase that. I am not going to say anything that I don’t believe at the time of me recording something.

Armory: And if that changes and someone wants to use that as a weapon against me or anyone, then that’s on them because I can’t control their perspective [or their actions]. The only thing I can do is maybe talk to them, have a coffee, come to them with love and respect and hope that they at least give me an opportunity to demonstrate who I actually am and what I believe. And if they’re not willing to do that, then it’s not worth my time to think about. Because, there are so many people now who are honest, reasonable people who are so concerned about asking reasonable questions for the fear of how it will blow back on them. So I’m gonna make it real easy. If things go according to plan, these [podcasts] should have transcripts with them. So, if you want them to really go in, I’m going to make it easy for you. Just look at a title, do that Ctrl-F, put in your favorite terms, take whatever line you want out of context, and run with it. Destroy me. I don’t care anymore.

Armory: And if you take away anything from this, if you decide just to finish out on this one and maybe not continue…or maybe you do continue, I don’t know, don’t let anyone use your old best against you. Because the thing about best and the hope that I have is that eventually everyone will know what best is again.

Armory: So with that all said, if that wasn’t an elevator pitch for you, I don’t, I don’t know what else I can do. I feel like I should have threw like more goofs in there, some more dry jokes. I don’t know. But regardless, I don’t want to give the impression that this is going to be serious. Obviously there’s going to be some serious topics mixed in here, but we’re gonna goof, we’re gonna laugh we’re gonna talk about experiences and what I hope, maybe, is that as I go through this venture, that some of you who may be listening to this reach out.

Armory: So if you’ve had any experiences where you were at one place and something happened in your life and you became more experienced, more knowledgeable, or in other words, your best became better, definitely let me know. Hit me up on the socials. I also believe, hopefully, that on my website, which can be found at misterarmory.com, should be a section there for sending questions or feedback or some other things I do as well, if you’re curious and want to browse around, but feel free to reach out because I want to make things a little more positive. But we’re gonna take this slow and steady and we’re just gonna see what happens.

Armory: So thanks for listening. I gotta go take this one in the shop, edit it up, make it all nice and clean, and then it will be delivered fresh.

End Music