Discover more from Search Engine with PJ Vogt
Why can't we turn all the empty offices into apartment buildings?
Plus, a house with a roller coaster in the backyard & some nonsense from the internet
Happy Friday, we’ve got a new episode for you.. This one started with a question from a listener named Julia. Julia wanted to know: “Why can’t we just turn the empty offices into apartment buildings?”
A beautiful question for Search Engine, and it sent us on a journey that goes as far back as 1904 Los Angeles. You can listen below.
As always, if you’d like to support the show financially please click this button.
Back in the Spring, when we were still working on the show but before we’d begun publishing, we used this newsletter to ask listeners for questions. We got so many, and we keep getting them, and I just want to explain what that has done to my life.
I have a relationship with my phone that I don’t love. I think it might be a familiar one to other people. When I’m bored, or when I have a feeling I don’t want to sit with, I have a habit of picking up my phone and looking at whatever is on it.
Often, that’s social media, and social media, as we all know, is designed to give us bad feelings we find addictive. Envy on Instagram, anger on Twitter, general loneliness across the internet.
Anyway, that was what my life once looked like. iPhone samsara. That was then. Now, when I do look at my phone, it often has an email with a question from one of you.
Some of these seem to me to be unanswerable: What happens in a baby’s nightmare?
Others make me laugh without filling me with the desire to track down their answers: Why do I often poop my pants when I’m pretty close to the toilet?
There are questions about death and families and break-ups and bananas. It’s like a library, except filled with things we don’t know instead of things we do.
And pretty much every single time, when I get one of these emails, just knowing that there’s another human being out there in the world, wondering about something they can’t know instead of doing whatever it is they’re supposed to be doing in that moment, it makes me feel more connected and more human and less lonely. Which – thank you.
Anyway, it would be selfish to just hoard these questions, so this week, we tried to answer one. It won’t be the last one we take, so please, by all means, keep them coming.
Search Engine on TikTok
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I mentioned several emails ago we had joined TikTok. We’re still there. The team over at Public Opinion, with help from Search Engine’s own Noah John has been turning our episodes into short TikTok clips to help people find the show.
I’m going to start embedding them in the newsletter sometimes, mainly because I like the funny little montages these Public Opinion fellows keep coming up with.
For people who are unused to watching words coming out of my face, I’m sorry, I know.
Stuff we picked from the internet
In the show, Search Engine producer Garrott Graham mentioned this very funny viral internet of a (fake? real?) bear in a zoo that went viral on Weibo.
Here’s the Times article with the note written from the bear’s perpsecitve.
Also, here’s a link to the video for “Planet of the Bass,” the viral fake 90’s dance song that my foggy, be-cobwebbed brain kept referring to as “the euro-song.”
I would be able to embed a video link here, but Twitter and Substack are in a fight still so that feature is broken. Ahh, the 2023 internet.
Search Engine is coming to Broadway!
No just kidding, sorry, that’s not even half-funny. I’m writing this on Wednesday during the mid-afternoon coffee slump and the dopamine that would make my jokes work is currently frozen. We’re not coming to Broadway. But you’re probably wondering, how can I support this show I’m enjoying?
Last week, I asked people to rate and review us on Apple Podcasts and to say “hi Nancy” to my Mom in those reviews. Well, people did that. It was a really nice thing for people to do. Please continue to say hi to my Mom in the podcast review store for Apple Computers.
Spotify reviews are great too, if you’re using the Swedish music streaming app, there’s just no way to say hi Nancy there.
And as always, if you’d like to support the show financially, here’s the button that’ll allow you to.
Okay. That’s it for us this week. See you next Friday,