Monday, March 2, 2009

Delayed Recall: The Instance

THE INSTANCE #137 "Come On Down!"
27th February, 2009

I actually was there for the live chat on this episode and haven't listened to it since.

Whenever I do things these days, as you might imagine even if you haven't yet "crossed over" into your 70s, the thought I always seem to come back to is that I have already lived more years than I have left. And probably by a long margin in my case. So I have little time for bullshit.

In fact, as the philosopher Harry Frankfurt argues, bullshit is a more insidious threat to humanity than lying, because liars at least respect the truth (that's why they lie). Bullshitters don't care what's true or not, it's all about framing the story in order to posture towards some selfish endgame result. They use truth and lies indiscrimentley. Therefore, liars are good-at-heart, bullshiters are evil-at-heart, and yet as a society we tend to hate liars and put up with bullshitters. This has to change.

Getting back to reality, the guest host was Tom Merritt. I had never heard of him before and he didn't seem to know much about World of Warcraft. I think he admitted to not even knowing what DPS was until he was into his 40s (level-wise) but 'm fuzzy on that. Seems odd, that's a core system component. I was catching the vibe that he wanted to differentiate himself from a "crazy hardcore gamer" and so to me he gave off an "us vs. them" vibe when commenting about members of the live chat.

The fact that he didn't say much seemed to jive well with Randy Deluxe. I remember a show some weeks ago where Randy became testy and pouted "if I can get a word in edgewise" when the guest host guy was actually contributing to the show. Can't remember who the guest was, but I actually enjoyed that episode a lot as he seemed to get on well with Scott Johnson.

Scott moves the show along when it needs it, and skillfully at that. He kept saying "a new car!" in that Price is Right announcer voice which I imagine is where the clever title came from. I can't recall if they said "Come On Down!" but I guess they did?

The chat was pretty lively. Over 250 viewers, probably more I just remember seeing that number when I first got onto ustream. Some funny lines were about the WOWMatrix MMO, and someone mentioned that WoWMatrix created the internet in the 1980s which I took as a dig at Tom Merritt who was ridiculously schooling all of us young children with communications 101, namely that the internet has been around longer than 5 years. I think Tom unintentionally offended some gamers with his wanderings into the psychology of gamers, which always had a "to be clear, I'm not one of those crazies" feel to it for me.

Summary: Didn't like this show. I know I'm not supposed to do any research or follow-up or anything for this column but when I saw tweets from Scott saying it was one of his favorites of all time I wondered if it was just a generational thing. My question would be... which part?


  1. Tom Merritt is a host of "Buzz Out Loud", a very popular tech podcast. Scott wants to be on BoL (again/more) and really wants to be a part of the technorati. I believe the only reason Tom was even on the show was in hopes Scott would be invited back to BoL.

  2. Thanks for the info xabbott, I'm certainly not up on that sort of thing. It sure didn't seem to make sense to me to have Tom on after I realized he might know less than me about WoW. But I was okay with it because so few podcasts have a "clue the newbie in" sort of section so I thought that's what was going on. But later when I saw a tweet from Scott saying it was one of his "favorite Instances of all time" I became suspicious about what was really going on there.

  3. I suspect that what was "really going on there" was that Scott enjoyed MAKING that podcast more than he enjoyed others. Scott is not a particularly Machiavellian guy, at least as far as I can tell.

    And yes, I'm an admitted fan of the show. Your criticisms have some merits, but I still enjoy it regularly.

  4. Thanks for the comment. Remember I heard it live, didn't take notes, and then stewed for a couple of days too so this is fog of war recollection at best.

    To be honest I think it's a way for my colleagues here to humiliate me.

    Anyway, the five of us have spoken about it before and we're all fans of the show. I think it's easily one of the top WoW podcasts and has been a model for many. Just didn't care for this episode.