What happens after an advice columnist signs off on our news show? Dear therapists for My Heart Radio, we find out. I'm Lori Gottlieb from The Atlantic.
And I'm Guy Winds from Ted. And each week we sit down with a listener for a consultation. Then we ask them to come back on and tell us what happened. You can email us with your own dilemma at Lorean guy at, I hope, media dot com.
Listen to dear therapists starting July 30th on Apple podcasts. I heart radio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Hello, friends. We have a book coming out finally. And it is awesome. You're going to make me say the title again. Yeah, fine. It's stuff you should know. Colon, an incomplete compendium of mostly interesting things. And get this, Chuck, you don't have to wait to order until the book comes out. You can do what we in the book biz call, preordering it.
And then when it does come out, you'll be the first to get are among the first. Well, and not only that, you get a preorder gift. You get this cool custom poster from the illustrator of the book, Carly Manado, who is awesome. We worked with another great writer who helped us out with this thing. A great deals name is Nils Parker. And it was just sort of a big team effort and it's really, really cool.
We love how it's turning out, yet we do. So anywhere you can buy books, you can go preorder the stuff you should know. Colen an incomplete compendium of mostly interesting things. And then after you do, you can go on over to stuff. You should read books, dot com and upload your receipt and get that preorder poster. So thank you in advance for everybody who is preordering. That means quite a bit to us and we appreciate you.
Stuff you should read. Books, dot com preorder now.
Welcome to stuff. You shut down production of radios HowStuffWorks. Hey, and welcome to the podcast, I'm Josh Clark. There's Charles W.. Charles Charles in charge. Bryant, me and I, we might need to take this one over again. Chuck, I don't think I've ever laughed like that in my entire life. Yeah. And you can't link me to Scott. God.
Oh, that's true. That's true. Well, because of his acting or. I don't like him in real life. I'm just kidding, I know. He was great. Is Bob Loblaw. No, that's true. I'll give him that. Okay. That's the common ground we can all reach on scot-Free.
Blah, blah, blah. Yeah. So this is the stuff you should know the podcast now about Scott Baio, but about something that I would wager. There's about a 96 percent chance that Scott Baio has used.
That's right. Cell phones. But before we talk about cell phones, we do want to address a cheese controversy. I hope not.
You know, we got a book coming out this fall. The stuff you should know. Colon not the least efficient.
I always get this wrong. What's my problem?
The Iraq stuff. He should know Colon. A great book about lots of great stuff. Now it's called. It's called. And you came up with the title, for Pete's sake. I know I always get confused when I'm in the moment. Took an incomplete compendium of mostly interesting things. And we've been plugging this preorder gift, which is a cool little custom poster. And we just learned recently that if you live outside the U.S. as of now, that is not available to you.
And we're trying to make that available to people outside the U.S. and we're working on it. And it's complet more complicated than you would imagine. It really is. We don't like things to be complicated. We just like to be able to say things and then they become true. Yeah, but that has not happened in this case because we've run into the juggernaut. That is the international intellectual property rights.
Yeah, it's weird. It's different. But we're trying to but we don't want to dissuade people outside the U.S. from preordering because preorders are very meaningful to booksellers and book buyers. And it means it means a lot to us. So.
At the same time, Chuck, we just laid it on the line to not cheat people out of something they thought they were going to get. So I feel like we're standup guys here. We're doing our best. Yeah. So we'll try to do what we can. But in the meantime. Yeah, I mean, you're still gonna get the book even if you don't get the poster. How about that?
Yeah. And the book is really kind of the good part. Sure. The poster is cool too, but the book is really what's going to knock your socks right off your feet. That's right.
In one day you will even be able to read this book on your mobile phone. Segway complete colan. I mean, period, period. So we are talking mobile phones and this is like such an enormous behemoth of information that we just, first of all, have to say hats off a million times to our buddy Dave Ru's, who managed to, like, whittle this down into a manageable shape and a still a pretty comprehensive shape, if you ask me.
Yeah, I agree.
And he starts off with stats, which is one of my favorite things. Yeah. Because I always wonder, like, how many people have smartphones and cell phones at this point and 96 percent of Americans have cell phones in this day and age. Yeah, I imagine adults is in a lot of kids, but I would assume this is an adult average.
I would think for everybody because kids have their own phones these days, too. It's nuts.
Yeah, but I don't think they would factor in like three year olds, would they?
If the three year old has a phone, why would you go through all that? You know, I'll tell you what.
I got a five year old and she can certainly use it. Yeah. Yeah. But I mean, there's that whole screentime thing, too, that you've got to be concerned about, too, right now. Not really.
I mean, not all day long or anything, but we grew up on screens here. Discredit her.
That's true. Let me ask you this, though. So is is she Generation Z or is she something brand new?
I don't even know. Well, I don't know what GenZE is. I guess that bond right. By Millennials.
Yeah. No, I don't think she would be then. I don't even know how that stuff works. It's all fake. We'll find out and report back some time. So one thing I want to I want to throw in there, though, Chuck, is by the way, generations are not fake. We did an episode on it. Yeah. Is a good one, too. And I think we conclusively establish that they are real. But the the worldwide cell phone ownership is something like sixty one point seven percent.
Wow. Yeah. Yeah. And that's just that. Cell phones though. Like smartphones. It's it's less but it's just a little less. Especially considering that smartphones have only been around a relatively short time compared to cell phones, which, by the way, as we'll see, have been around since the 70s. Yeah, I think it's smart.
Phones in 2019 was about 81 percent in the U.S., up from 35 percent seven, eight years previous to that. Yeah.
And I think it's about 45 percent worldwide. So a lot of people have a phone, I think is the overall point we're trying to drive home here.
Yeah. And we'll get into phone addiction late in the episode. But I did see stats that people look at their phone and check it 80 times a day and touch it or.
I'm sorry. Yeah. Touch it. Twenty six hundred times a day. And the math there works out to about 35 touches per check, which seems about right.
Oh, OK. That makes sense. It didn't I thought touches like when you reach for it and touch it.
So this this is like see you people did that. Twenty six hundred times a day. Yeah.
But then they only actually interacted with the thirty five of those times. That's what I thought.
Now I think it's 80 times you'll pick it up and touch it. 35 different ways which is. Never mind that. But he but it's like Kamasutra SC l. That's where I was headed. It really a way to put it. Did I really read your mind. Well it was sexy in nature. Sure. Okay. Sure. Well if I, if I can't read your sexiness on your mind, I don't know what I can read about you, you know, and you're just in one ear hole.
That's true. Same same to you, buddy. Me get my on your left here. You're right. I have an ear but in my ear left ear. And we don't even look at each other when we do these. You're on my left right now too. This is you know, that means we're in love yet.
So I think we should dive into this history. I thought this. I frankly thought all of this was super fascinating because I learned a lot of things in a lot of it was just simple stuff that, you know, I never knew what G stood for LTE or a lot of this stuff. It is never really even knew what it stood for.
I know it's pretty awesome. So we can finally tell everybody the G and all of like the cell phone and cellular technology scenes for Gary. Oh, I thought it was grandma. That's had different research. No, it's Gary. So you have first scary second Gary, third Gary and so on, all the way up to five, Gary, which we're about to really start to get into.
But, you know, five Gary started coronavirus. It did. How so? Well, that's one of the conspiracies, about five G.
Out of all the wacky conspiracies, about five G. That's right. Is that it started Corona virus and then was put in place to keep people at home while they secretly go out and install a bunch of five G things. That's how the world works.
So five, Gary, is it's all five Gary's fault. So this Gary guy, we need to have a talk with him, especially because in reality, G stands for generation. Sorry, Gary, but which makes a lot of sense. But a generation is not just like it's often applied to specific technology, like a 3G cell. iPhone is the third generation iPhone, but it was technically a second generation mobile phone, which gets a little confusing. But when you're talking about mobile phone technology, you're talking about generations.
A generation basically defines all of the underlying technology from the network to the actual devices that are designed to operate on that network. That typically describes a generation when it comes to telecommunications technology. And they can come really fast. They can come achingly slow like the 5G is right now, but they do come eventually. And they seem to be worth waiting around for because they have advanced us by leaps and bounds as far as being able to sit around and touch our phones 35 different ways.
Twenty six hundred times a day goes.
That's right. But we can go back to zero G if you want to talk about the origin of a phone that was mobile. We have to go back to the 1940s. And, you know, this sort of made me think of army phones like phones.
I was like, what were those things operating on? And, you know, the ones in the tent that you see with the general are, you know, wired. But the ones out on the field worked on radio waves. And my dad actually had a couple of those when I was little that we used when we were camping.
Really? Yeah, it was neat. It was sort of a later model.
It wasn't like a World War Two thing. That was a big block with a handset that you stick on. It was it looked like a giant walkie talkie, basically.
I think I've seen what you're talking about. And I mean that that kind of technology, it just basically used the same kind of radio wave that you would use to broadcast like, say, a ham radio, except it was a much more portable technology. And actually, we use that that technology like analog radio wave technology for our cell phones up until I think basically that the 2000s maybe. So this initial like we weren't lugging around these clunky radio phones.
We weren't using radio phones that were basically like mini radio broadcasters, but we were using the same form of technology, which is an analog radio wave. That was the whole thing. But what set the radio phone, apart from what would later become a cell phone, is the kind of network that the radio phone interacted with, right?
Yeah. The first radio telephone network was in St. Louis in the mid 1940s, and that just had one radio tower could handle about 25 calls at once.
Mm hmm. And they're you know, they're routing this thing. Operators are routing this thing to landlines, basically, or other radio phones.
But they were like, this has got to change. Like there's if we want a mobile phone, we got to be able to call from anywhere.
And then I think 47 Bell Labs was working on a project and a man named d.H Ring. Believe it or not, wrote a memo based on some, I guess, research by a guy name an engineer there named William Ray Young that said, hey, what we need to do is build a network of these towers. Lay them out in a hexagonal pattern and they'll just hand off basically, you know, as you move around, they will hand off the signal to the next tower.
And that's that was the first sort of network created. Right.
Which which I mean, that would make a mobile phone, an actual mobile phone. You didn't have to basically stand just in proximity of that radio tower. You could move around. You could actually be mobile. And that was, would you say, 1947?
Yeah. I said created, I should say. The idea was created. It was a long time before it was actually created. Yeah. Because that memo, it was just a memo. It was published internally only at Bell Labs. But it is, you know, definitively the the first idea for a cell phone network. But it wasn't until, like you said a little while later, until the 60s, that some more Bell lab engineers, a new generation of them, if you will, a new Gary Bell lab engineers were feeling that's going to stick, came along and they they said, hey, this is really good.
Let's let's figure out how to actually make this work. And so they took d.H ring and Willie Ray Young's design and turned it into the first, like actual. Here's how you do it. Kind of. Paper in research. And I couldn't see that they coined the term, but they they seemed to be credited with, if not coining the term cellular, at least describing something that would very soon become known as cellular. Because it's not the phone that's cellular.
It's actually the network.
Yeah. And here's the thing. If you want to. Well, actually, here's two things at your next dinner party in two years. You can you can be this guy or that guy. And that's gender neutral, of course. Sure. You can be the guy that says, you know what they call them cellular networks, because they were laid out in a grid hexagonal grid that look like cells in the human body. And people will say, that's so cool.
I never knew that. Or you can be this guy who says a test. So technically, it's a mobile phone communicating over a cellular network, not a cellular phone. Right.
Don't be the second guy. Don't be that guy. No, I mean, he's right. And he'll probably get into heaven just for being right all the time. But people won't like him here or there, you know? Yeah. So you've got a cellular network that's starting to be developed in the 60s. And I guess word started to get out because the the U.S., I guess the FCC started working with Bell Labs and they started to say, OK, we're going to build this network.
Everybody get to making devices. They can work on this. But it turns out I don't know if they were inspired by it or if it's just kind of like a side track or this is all going on the same time. Like there seems to be some sort of ripple in the ZAKK guys at the time that everybody wanted to develop a mobile phone network. And it wasn't Bell Labs in conjunction with the FCC that created the first one. The first one wasn't in America.
It was actually, as far as anyone can tell. The first genuine mobile phone network was in Finland. Their audio radio pouilly. So I think I just nailed it because I made it sound like Bjork at the end there. Yeah, they were the first ones. And, you know, they have the advantage of being much smaller, obviously. But that was the first nationwide mobile phone network in 1969. Right. And by the late 70s, I think they had everything covered with 140 stations.
Yes. And 35000 users in the mid 80s. Which is not too bad. Which is it's nothing worth sneezing at. But it's still technically not a cellular network. It's a radio phone network because they just had a bunch of radio phone towers that were placed far enough apart that you could kind of move around. It was not a cellular network. So we do go back to the United States now and find the first cellular network developed in the world, as far as I could tell.
But astoundingly, as that word got out that everybody need to start developing devices that could work on cellular networks. They actually got the car ahead of the horse. And the first cell phone actually debuted before the first cellular network in the United States.
Yeah, it seems like I've never had a Motorola, but it seems like they've always kind of been on the forefront of things.
Sure. Without a lot of hoopla. Like the Razr was a big deal. And the I think they they had the first brick phone and bag phone. Even I didn't know about the bag phone, but they definitely had the brick phone. The one that Zack Moore has had. The Duyen attack was the very first cell phone at the very least. Ever make a cell phone call in the United States?
Yeah, that was 1973. And this guy, Marty Cooper, had been an engineer engineer there for a long time and big competitor with AT&T, obviously. And so this he took this two and a half pound phone that's ten inches long. Everyone knows that great, beautiful brick phone. And went out on a street corner in Manhattan, supposedly, and called Joel Àngel, which was one of those two guys. I don't think we mentioned them by name, who kicked off AT&T s program.
And he was, I guess, sort of the arch rival at Bell Labs. And he called them up. And I don't know what he said, like, hey, sucker, what do you think of this?
Yeah, chump. Want to peel yourself off of the ground and get to work for me. And I saw there's a great popular science cover from July of 73 with that Dyna tech phone on it. Yeah. And it said the new did you see this thing, the phone or the cover. The cover. No, I haven't.
It said the new new take along telephones. And I just thought how funny that would be if that stuck, you know? And we would be like, have you seen my take along? I can't find it anywhere. My cell phone. And we had the exact same kind of cell phone, like it never evolved past the dying attack.
That would be even better. And by the way, another story in that issue was solving the mysteries of the Northern Lights. Are they God? Sources say yes. So we've got finally we the first cell phone. We still haven't gotten the first cellular network, apparently. Marty Cooper possibly made a call in Manhattan connecting to a radio tower from from Bell Labs. We're not sure. But he still came over the first cell phone. It wouldn't become a genuine, bonafied cell phone for a few more years, though, until 1983.
And I see because we've finally reached the first generation of cellular networks. Chuck, we should probably take a break. All right. Let's do it.
What happens when two therapists walk into a podcast and then hold people accountable for their advice?
Hey, I'm Guy Winch. I write the Dear Guy advice column for Ted.
And I'm Lori Gottlieb. I write the dear therapist advice column for The Atlantic.
And we're the hosts of a new podcast from I Heart Radio called Dear Therapists. One of the most frustrating things for us as advice columnist is that afterward no one gets to hear how the advice worked out.
But on our show, you will we guide people through a consultation and then have them come back to tell us what worked or didn't and what we can all learn from it.
And I'm glad in a way that it did happen this way because I've learned more about myself and what I will and won't stand for in a relationship.
I don't want to lose sight of the negative feelings that I caused her. I just hope that at some point she can forgive me if you would like to walk into a podcast.
E-mail us with your dilemma at Laurieann Guy.
I hope media dot com subscribe now and listen to Dear Therapist starting July 30th on Apple podcast. The I Heart radio app or wherever you get your podcasts. OK. We just leapt friends from zero G to one G. We're fine. Gary's one, Gary. We're finally at our first Gary and he's doing great. Nineteen eighty three. He's showing a lot of chest hair. Got a couple of medallions. He's just auditioned for a new show called The a.T.M.
Doesn't get it, but he still feels pretty good about the work that he put in in the audition. I was just trying to call up the faces, name the actor who played him, Dirk Benedict. Oh, wow. Is that it? Yeah, I just see Gary like going Dirk Benedict, you always getting my parts?
Well, they looked a lot alike. They did. Especially in 1983. And like you mentioned earlier, this was still on analog radio signals at this time. Right. No, no, just not great. Oh, yeah. You're right. I'm sorry. I'm right. So, yes, it was analog signals to you to say you're right. I'm right. Yeah. Everybody wins. It was it was analog signals. But now these radio towers, we're all part of a genuine cellular network.
So, yes, you're right. It was a analog for sure.
Yeah. Which is, you know, analog is great in a lot of applications. If you're talking about guitar amps, tube amps and things like that. Analog is great shot in record players. And there's a good argument to be made for analog technology. Yeah, but if you're talking about cell phones, they can only handle a certain amount of calls. There's no like virtually no security. You can tap into one of those calls back then pretty easily if you know what you're doing.
But it was you know, it was the first attempt. It was. And from what I saw, the sound quality is actually clear. But the problem is it's clear because there's not as much loss because you're not compressing anything. Right. And that makes sense. Yeah. And so, so analog had a lot of drawbacks. And it still has a lot of drawbacks whenever it's used in it. But it would stay that way for quite a while, actually, I think in till the early 90s.
So we went from 1983 where the first cellular network was set up by AT&T into the early 90s, a good decade, where everybody was just using analog cell signals. And finally, some time in, oh, I guess about 1990, one or two. The second generation came along and this is an enormous leap forward as far as telecommunications technology went like zero G to one G was kind of edging forward and it was mostly about the creation of the cell phone and then figuring out how cell phone network would work to G was like, OK, let's see, we can do with this puppy in and taking a of a dumpy loser short order cook and turning them in to to.
Dirk, what's his name? Benedict. Yes. I don't want insulting short cooks out there.
No, no, it's those are my are gone. You know who I was describing his bath from? You can't do that on television.
I thought you're going to say the guy from Alice. Vic Tayback was not dumping my friend.
So to gee, what they did was they digitized everything and they squeezed all that stuff down and all of a sudden apparently could fit about 10. And this is a rough estimate, but about ten digital phone calls into that same bandwidth as the one analog call. And this is a big leap forward. And this was in Europe is where things got started. And and also where text messaging got started. I didn't know what semester for until yesterday. What do you think it's true for?
I had no idea. I never see. I just never tried to figure this out. I never thought about any of this stuff.
I yeah, it didn't really matter to me. This stuff we think about either. I have too much to do. You know, what is anyway stands for.
I want you to. No, I think you should. All right. It stands for short message service because the first texts could only be 160 characters. Sounds from this was, like I said, rolled out in Britain. And when I think back to my my first European trip in 1996, that is when I first saw widespread cell phone use. Yeah.
Was in England. Yep. Yes. Like, what is going on here? They're like, oh, it wasn't ubiquitous. But a lot of people were using cell phones in the mid 90s. Yeah. And using them to text too. Right. I guess. I mean, they were. I didn't really you know, I couldn't I didn't know what texting was at the time. Sure. But they had the ability to. Yeah.
You me spent some time in Japan in the 90s. And she said, like, it was just nuts what they were doing with cell phones, especially texting, and then came back to the states and had to wait like a couple more years before it really caught on here, because apparently it was the epicenter was Europe, thanks to some some engineers with what's called the group special mobile, which was formed back in the 80s to like create a euro, like a Europe wide cellular network.
Well, one of their engineers created SML. So it started to take off there. But apparently it took off in particular because of Vodafone, which is like a pay as you go phone service. And the first estimates a message ever sent was sent in 1992 by a Vodafone engineer, from what I understand.
Yeah. And I was at the one where he sent Merry Christmas to his boss. Yeah, he did. And his boss said, I'm Jewish.
You're fired. Get back to work. Correct. Yeah, but you you mentioned the pay as you go. I think that's sort of democratized it in that all of a sudden you didn't need a credit check or you didn't have to have this recurring monthly payment drawn from a bank account or credit card or something. Right. You could just if you had some money, you could get a phone. A lot of times for free and just pay for the the calls and the texts that you made and that that really made it spread kind of far and wide.
Yeah. And if you a criminal, you could pay for your phone in cash and use it until you figured the cops had a beat on you and trash that one and get another one. What are those called burner phones? That's right. So the SMI started to take off in part because, like you said, the cell phone itself was democratized, but also because they started adding like alpha numeric keypads, not just numeric keypads. Yeah, because initially when you wanted to text, you had to you had to just use a keypad just like you remember when you had to spell out something with a rotary phone like ABC were associated with one.
Yeah, you do that. And so everybody's like, I'm not texting. And in fact, at first, apparently in 1995, if you're in America, you sent about point four texts a month. You didn't even bother to finish an entire text or even half of a text in a single month. And then just in a few years, five years, four years later, it was up to something like, I think 35 texts a month, which is still pettily compared to today.
But you can see how much it took off because they started to add those alphanumeric key pendants. Yeah.
I was way, way late to texting. I remember when I was working as a P.A. with my little handheld Nokia, which was great because he didn't have when I first started paying, you had a pager and they would pay you and you would have to stop and find a pay phone and called the production office. He had this Nokia and all this time I could talk to them, but I remember them sending me text occasionally. Mm hmm. And I was one of those is like, I'm not going to take time to go, you know, hit number one three times if I want the letter S.
Right. And when the smartphones came out, I wasn't even texting it for a while. And I was a little annoyed that people were texting. And I was like, I don't want to do that, can just call me. So I was kind of a holdout. And finally I was like, All right. And I gave in. And now I totally see the value in it.
Sure. You know, it's to talk to anybody. Exactly. You have long fights on a text. Man, that's the worst. Those are those were pretty bad.
Do you remember those lame those who associated texting with with being girly up until now? Oh yeah. Was the thing. Was that a thing. Yeah, it was a thing. Now like. I mean girls. Yeah. So like I'm not going to text because I'm not a girl. And then now they're, they associate like recycling and other like eco conscious things with with girlishness, which is super healthy for our system. Gotcha. Okay.
And you're talking about now, but ironically they express their disdain for recycling via text to other dudes.
So maybe they'll eventually come along and now they text pictures of their barbwire tattoo on their bicep. Are people still doing that or is that just a throwback thing?
Oh. No. I just saw a funny meme today that said you're anti masker starter kit and it had a barbed wire tattoo, a pair of vocalese sitting on top of the head. Yeah, a goatee. And then those big chunky white tennis shoes that I'm not even sure who makes them. But you know what I'm talking about.
I think every brand there is makes them has one of those. Those are the ones that float with decent articulated feet in in the. What's that. S body of water off of British Columbia. Oh yeah. Yeah, I know what you mean. Yeah.
Hey, one of the best starter packs I ever saw, it was the. Oh my gosh that smells amazing. What are you cooking. Starter pack. And it just had a picture of a garlic and a picture of an onion.
I love that so much.
Is that it? Is that a meme starter pack. Yeah. Okay. I don't know about that stuff. So apparently you do cause you know, like they a.m. starter pack thing. I just saw it today. Breaking news. Good for you. You should text it to somebody.
So after text, we're still not done talking about text. Everybody just buckle up. Because at first, if you want to take somebody like you said, you had 160 characters, you couldn't even text from your phone. Your phone could get a text like some some dumpy bath SC pager. Right. But you couldn't actually do texting even if you wanted to go to the trouble of just using your numeric keypad. So eventually we started to leap forward. The big leap forward was going from s.m s to M-m s, where all of a sudden you could now text more than just text.
You could text pictures, you could text music, you could text all sorts of stuff in the person on the other end. Had to spend days upon weeks downloading a single file that you sent. It would frequently get interrupted and it was one of the most aggravating things you could possibly engage in. But it was like the promise of this future where this was an aggravating and it was ordinary and everyday to do.
Yeah. And the first camera was the Sony Ericsson T 68. I had an attachable camera, which is adorable. And I remember seeing some of those early pics that were very cratty and grainy, very sweet and small, but it sort of just married the idea of a camera with a phone. But I have to say, man, when I look at those old when I see that Sony Ericsson, I'd long for that thing.
Oh, you can get those. They're called dumb phones. And they a lot of people, as we'll see here, are kind of making the switch over that just because they just want a phone that can maybe text, maybe take a picture and make calls.
Well, there I found one that I might get. There's something called the light phone. Have you seen that? No. So the first version of the light phone had I think you could make calls and it had. Maybe a clock and an alarm. And that's it. And the idea was, is that you use it as a companion phone. So you still have your smartphone. But leave that thing at home a lot of times when you go out.
Take this light phone and engage with the world. And now the light phone, too, is out. And it can actually text and it has a clock. And I think a minimal direction book, Twitter. No apps at all still. But it does a Bluetooth and a headphone jack. And it's meant to just sort of replace the smartphone for people that are kind of done with the distraction of it.
I don't know, man. It sounds like the life phone is is going down a slippery slope here.
Yeah. I mean, I started looking at my phone. I was like, what do I really need? Like, I would want to call text. And take pictures. What about e-mail and directions and get e-mail, right? And I think I could live without the rest. So, like, what do you use for directions? What app? I just use the maps app on the iPhone. Do you? I use Waze only exclusively. Yeah.
Because I almost never walk. You know, Atlanta is not a huge walking town. So when you when you drive, Waze is definitely the preferred app.
Well, I don't ever drive very far. So Waze didn't really come in. But I'm looking at all these dumb apps and all that stuff could wait really for me.
Oh, totally. They're distractions. Yeah. I could wait till I get home to check my laptop for the most part. So I need I need a web browser. Phone. Text. An email, I could probably do fine with that. It would be nice to have ways, but you can always just get like a, you know.
At the Web browser is all those things. The app just makes it easier to do. No, it's true. It is true, I guess. Yeah. I'll give up my web browser. Okay. Now you don't have to know. Answer to doing it too late. I already said I was going to.
All right. So let's let's get back to it here. Where are we. Here are we are we're at 3G now. We're at three galleries, I think. Yeah.
So. So second second generation leapt ahead in a lot of ways. And then third generation basically took it and kept going. And this was the generation that really said, oh yeah, that that whole like texting video and pictures and music and all that. That's a really good idea. How can we improve on that? You know, if if the first or the second generation was all about, you know, kind of leaping forward with these bright ideas, the third generation was all about like perfecting them.
And this is where the first smartphone started to come in.
Yeah, I feel like this is when they were like, you know, everyone really loves the Internet, so let's put it in your pocket.
Exactly. Because everybody was really super into the Internet in the late 90s. Everybody's like, I love this. Ask Jeeves thing. He knows everything. She's.
I love Lotus Notes, C.C., or whatever it is, their email. I hypothecation like people were into the Internet and like this idea of moving it onto your phone, it just just seemed like a good idea to everybody.
Isn't it so weird that we can already have nostalgia for early Internet? Isn't it weird that there's entire groups of people who are now adults that have never lived in a world without the Internet?
I know. Hey, actually, hold on. I need to go get my Web van order. Right, order my Web van. That's going on today. They were just ahead of their time. Oh, yeah, of course. Poor guys. So one of the big things that allowed, like the third generation to move everything forward was there were some people working on how to get basically faster speeds in the late 90s. There was something called the Third Generation Partnership Project, and they created two things that really kind of changed everything.
Something called wideband code division, multiple access and high speed packet access. And basically, these were just ways that figured out how to take the information that you were sending, compress it and transfer it into smaller pieces so that you could transfer more information faster, which is the whole point of of moving forward generally from generation to generation, figuring out how to move more information or data at faster speeds. Because the more you can do those two things, the more connected the world can be, the faster everything moves.
And that's just basically the steps that we just keep taking with each new generation.
Yes. So 3G brought her down, brought around a true mobile broadband network. And it really kind of set the stage for that first smartphone, even though in the mid 90s we did have the Simon and we had PDA and stuff like that. Yeah.
So it was pretty awesome, actually. And it's kind of cool. But did you look it up? Oh, yeah. Okay. I like the syma. I mean, it was genuinely the first smartphone is from 1994. Had a touch screen, for Pete's sake. Yeah. Had an interactive touch green screen.
Yes. But in 2007, with the launch of that first iPhone, as when that first big splash was made because of a lot of reasons. But one of the biggest was the introduction of the App Store and apps. Right. And I remember the app. I mean, people still use their apps. But at first I remember just all those dumb apps that everyone was just like, look at this super cool app that does this really dumb thing that you'll do once and then never do again.
The laundry minder.
And now, like my apps, I have a lot of them, but they're all just useful interactive things like Venmo or my Sonus app or my Delta app, stuff like that. It's none of them are. I feel like the early apps were just kind of dumb.
Yeah, for sure.
But I mean, that's how technology happens. Like somebody has an idea. It's not the best idea, but it's a it's a proof of concept. And then other people say, oh, that's a great idea. That in particular was a terrible idea and you need to retire. But we're going to take your idea and convert it into something that people actually want. That's how it happens. You know, that's how it happened with devices. That's how it happened with the networks.
That's how I happened with apps, too. Shall we take another break? Sure. All right. We'll take another break and we'll introduce you to a little guy name for Gary right after this.
OK. We finally reached the present. Actually, sadly, because we entered Forgy in about 2009, we've been languishing in hell there since because we're technically still in the Forgy era. And the 4G era didn't do a lot except increase speeds and it increased speeds a lot. But that's really basically the defining characteristic between 4G and 3G.
Yeah, it was about 10 times or is about 10 times as fast as 3G was. And what this brought about, the kind of the big thing it brought about, aside from just transferring pictures and stuff quicker, was you could actually finally stream.
HD like live sports and HD movies and stuff like that. If you want to watch something like that on your phone, which I never have or want to, but a lot of people do for sure. And the the big technology associate with 4G is called LTE, which stands for long term evolution. Didn't know that rate.
And LTE, at least in the U.S.. That's the big 4G technology. But LTE basically runs on to kind of breakthroughs in data transfer technology. One's called orthogonal frequency division multiplexing can get a GLAVAN, please. Hey. And the other hand is called Memmo. Multiple input, multiple output, which makes a lot of sense because basically what it is, is multiple antennas on your device, say your router, your phone or whatever, and it transfers data from the device and accepts data incoming to the device at the same time.
It doesn't like switch back and forth like do you remember back in the 90s, early 2000s when you could watch data transfer going on if you had something uploading and downloading it same time you could watch your computer's little's taskbar. That's not what it's called. What's the thing? The bar that kind of grows is status bar. Maybe that is bar. Yeah. You could watch it flip between uploading and downloading. Well, that all went the way of the dinosaur when Memmo became prevalent or widespread because you could do both at the same time without sacrificing speed, which made your change mission speech a lot faster.
Yeah. So Mimo is the human centipede of cell phone technologies.
I forgot all about that movie. Like, I literally forgot in my head that that movie existed and there was a good one, too. I didn't see it.
But when I saw multiple input, multiple output, that is the very first thing I thought of somehow.
Huh. Oh, you should see it for sure. I think every human alive should see Human Centipede at least one time.
Every human over the age of 18. Sir. How about this? Every human that has a phone. Oh, boy.
So technically, my daughter has a phone. I gave her my old phone. Just took everything off but the camera so she could take pictures and stuff.
Very cute. She's like wises cracked and you never fixed it.
Now it's not cracked. It actually works pretty well. That's impressive. I honestly, I've never seen a cell phone that's not in use anymore. It doesn't have a cracked screen.
Oh, really? And he should come over sometime and she'll take a picture of you. Okay.
I think there's anybody you can throw it down and break it right to be like now your norm here told you so.
So the big advantage of LTE, 4G, LTE, LTE, of course is capacity. And that is basically how many, how many calls you can serve at the same time. And that's a big problem. You know, depending on where you are. I remember even in recent trips in the past couple years to New York and L.A., I'm thinking, why do you people even have smartphones? Because none of you can use them.
It's so lame how slow it is. D.c.'s is pretty bad to actually it's just really, really slow because there's so many people all trying to use data. And I mean, on a transmission frequency, like there's only so much bandwidth. And if you, you know, out in Des Moines, doesn't matter. Nothing matters in Des Moines, really. But there's so few people who are trying to use it. Comparatively speaking, that, you know, you can have relatively good transmission rates in New York.
They have a huge network, but there's so many people trying to use the network it wants. It just drags the whole thing down. And everybody's Internet is really slow for now. For now, because I would suspect if it's not already going on, New York will be among the first cities that are ushered into the true bonafied age of five G. Yeah.
So that's the one big thing or actually two things that five G is going to help with. We mentioned capacity. The other thing that 4G improved upon that five Geary's. Really get improve upon his lower latency and latency is that delay when data is bouncing back and forth across the network? And you want to you want to low latency and 4G, LTE, LTE has a latency of about 20 to 40 milliseconds. Yeah, real time is 50 milliseconds. And that's what they're hoping that those five Geary's can accomplish.
And so the big deal with 5G is that it uses a completely different range of the spectrum, the broadband spectrum. Right. So it uses a between the 30 and 300 gigahertz range. And it's called the millimeter portion of the spectrum, because the wavelengths between those ranges are about one millimeter to 10 millimeters. So that's why they call it the millimeter wave portion of the spectrum. And because there's so much bandwidth between 30 and 300 gigahertz, you can have a channel that takes up something like 800 megahertz.
Right. That's a huge, enormous channel. Yeah. And because you have a huge, enormous channel and you have a bunch of them. What that now allows is that Houtte, that big next step forward of the same progression, which is transferring a whole bunch of information at really high speeds. Again, that's the progress of all telecommunications these days. It's where we're going. And so this 5G change over to the millimeter wave spectrum is is going to allow that.
So we'll be going from, would you say like 20 to 40 millisecond latency. Yeah. To something like less than one second for latency, which is that it's like happening in real time. Basically, it's reality, as if you were standing there watching something a foot away. It might actually even be faster than that.
Yeah. So I guess the idea there is you can you can send someone to a song and it you send it and they get it and it's done.
If you want to set your sights low. Yes. That is what it would do. It just sounded like a grandpa. I don't know what happened there. You could send a picture of your life phone to your neighbor and they'll get it immediately. The bad part or that gets the drawback about those signals is they don't travel that far. They travel about 800 feet. Yeah. So the idea with five G is, is we'll have these big cell towers, but then there will also be thousands of little tiny while they're not tiny but small low power transmitters kind of all over the place, buildings on rooftops.
I guess I'll climb pine trees and nail them in those.
But I think also remember our episode on the Internet of Things, how it's all made up of sensors and transmitters and just stuff that's aboard everything. I think that those will also double as transmitters, too. So it's kind of like, you know, those mesh networks that you can put together with your home router. I got one of those. I. OK. So I think it's basically that. But unlike a national or global scale where because of all these different sensors and interconnected wireless transmitters, we like everything will have that, which means everything will be connected, which means we'll be living amongst one big mesh, which means just walking into your kitchen will give you covered 19.
That's right. And I think in about 35 cities right now, they have the high band, five G as opposed to the low band, five G, which I think the low band is just sort of working off those 4G LTE towers.
And the the high band will be this this meshed network, I guess, where we're where everything's connected.
And because of the incredibly low latency where things just are communicating back and forth just faster than you can even describe it. We'll have things like that genuinely connected Internet of things where everything is constantly monitoring everything else in the background. And our our world is perfect, basically, which actually it sounds funny, but the Internet of Things is going to be the thing that lays the groundwork for an intelligent A.I. that can write on that Internet of things for us in the background, that can control things like the weather, where the temperature of the beach, the water at the ocean, like just stuff that we can't even begin to conceive of that will lay the groundwork for that.
And the shorter term, we're gonna have things like smart roads where your car is communicating with other cars so that you just aren't going to get in an accident because that low latency and ubiquitous connectivity means that that car will never come in contact with another car because they're communicating with one another constantly. While you're sitting there reading the paper, travelling in your car. That's a that's can that will happen very soon. That's probably a. Her fifteen year off thing, or you'll just be sitting at home going, oh my God.
Chuck just sent me a song. Oh. He sent me another song. Another song? Yeah. Or augmented reality. There'll be another one. Remember, we did an episode on that.
Yeah. And I was very skeptical and always have been about R and VR kind of overtaking the world. And there's an argument to be made that it hasn't yet because something like five G wasn't around and there are two speeds weren't where they needed to be. But I'm still skeptical for the reasons I outlined previously. I think we talked about that in the actual episode, too. But yeah, we did. So you you mentioned abuzz about people being addicted to smartphones.
And that's like, you know, that's a common concern, I think. Nicholas Carr back in 2009 wrote a really great Atlantic article. If you've never read it. Go read it. Now, it's called Is Google Making US Dumb? Yeah. Great legendary article. And that so that article, he basically says like a CUMA if we did an episode on it or not.
But basically, he says, you know, we we have changed our brains. The way we absorb information is much more shallow. It's much less deep. So, yeah, maybe it is making us stupid. That kind of taps into this idea that we've become addicted to our cell phones, not so much that they're making us stupid, but that they've actually kind of rewired our brains in a way so that we rely on them to essentially get happiness. From that, we get hits of dopamine from things like getting a text from somebody that we're hoping for or hearing that we got an Instagram, like basically everything you can get a push notification for.
It's set up so that it maximizes whatever hit of dopamine it might release in your brain. And just on that very basic level, answers to the question whether we're addicted to our cell phones or not. And the answer is absolutely yes. It's actually designed that way.
Yeah. And I don't have any push notifications set. And I never I wasn't trying to make some stand against it. I just it never occurred to me that I would want to know when someone made a comment on an Instagram post or whatever people get notifications for. Right. Like, I will I'll see that stuff when I go to those apps, and that's fine. And I get my dopamine reward that way. I just I mean, my cell phone just doesn't make any noise unless someone's calling me or texting me.
Yeah. And in fact, I think people should hear what my text is. Can you text me real quick? Sure. What's your number.
Jerk. And I'll just hold it up. And here's my text tone. King. Here comes. Next man. Did you hear that? Was that Dirk Benedict? No, that was me. It's pretty great. Go on text man, but great man. Yeah, that's what I hear when a text comes through and I hear ring, ring, ring, ring. It's you in the ring, ring, ring. Yes, in a in a British accent.
And I try to figure that out cause I have I have my ringtone on like the regular one and I usually I just have my ringer off all the time. Zoll like sounds coming from my son now. Seiner same and but when it is on it's like ject all the way up because I could the internet darling say I'm mowing the lawn or something like that. And you mean, you mean like jumped out of her skin yesterday and finally was like OK I'm actually trembling here, can we please come up with another ringtone for you.
So we went over and came up with a much more peaceful one. It's just a normal ringtone, but it's like, you know, very tranquil. It's not like that ringing sound. So it should be all good. Now, I'm happy to report everybody.
Yeah, I've got text, man. I've got ring ring. And then the only other custom one I have is for Emily. I just got her to record her yelling baby.
So whenever a text or a call comes in from her, I know it's her. Very nice. And that was it. So my ringtones, those are great ringtones, Chuck. But just to kind of put a button, as they say, in Silicon Valley on the dopamine hit from your brain, at that in of itself is an entirely different podcast. I promise. I vow we will take up some day cause it's definitely interesting. It's worth looking into in-depth.
But in the meantime, just look up, say, Tristan Harris and some of the articles that were written on him in the last couple years when he was making the news cycle. And it'll be a pretty good entree into that subject if it floats your boat and you're wondering why you can't stop looking at your phone even if you want to. Yeah. In the meantime, that's mobile phones. Everybody take it or leave it. It was free, so just take it and stop complaining.
Agreed. I said stop complaining. It's time for listener mail, which also is free.
I got a call. This stalking us, but not really. Hey, guys. Been listening to a couple of years and it randomly happened upon your show.
One particularly boring day at work and I was hooked.
You're funny, charming way of explaining sometimes, quote, boring topics. Got me through a rough time in my personal life and work much happier now with both, although my new job, I don't have as much time to listen. I just want to say thanks for being those familiar faces during a crappy time. But I was listening to the insidious abuse of stalking and I had to giggle myself as I listen to you guys every day. I feel as if I know you quite well and couldn't help but stalk you both on social media.
Chuck, welcome to Instagram. Thank you. Chuck the podcast or on Instagram. I hope I hope you don't think I'm a creep, but it's nice to see a glimpse into your personal lives. I think that's what Instagram is all about. Right?
It's only fair for look into my personal life creeps a little peek.
I'm looking forward to your book coming out in November, although slightly pissed, I can't get the preorder post in the UK yet. I think we just addressed that net episode. She's drunk. Slightly drunk. That she can't get it.
Can I ask once the pandemic is over, you guys come back to England. I'd love to take my dad and sister to see you guys live. Death. Yes, absolutely. You can see it's probably four or five years from now. Yeah.
And she says, cheers, Nat.. P.S., keep those pet pics coming on Instagram. Nice nap. Thanks a lot. We definitely will do that. Where are you at? Chuck the podcast or at Instagram. Check the podcast. I met Josh Clark. He can find us both. You can find our pets. You can find we'll peek into our lives. I'm enjoying it. That, too, is free as well. And again, much appreciated.
That will definitely be over there in the UK again someday. And in the meantime, if you want to get in touch with us like Nat did. You can send us an email. Wrap it up. Spank it on the bottom and send it off to stuff. Podcasts and I heart radio, doc. Stuff you should know is production. I hate radios. HowStuffWorks for more podcasts. My heart radio. I hate radio at Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.
What happens after an advice columnist signs off on our news show? Dear therapist for My Heart Radio, we find out. I'm Lori Gottlieb from The Atlantic.
And I'm Guy Winds from Ted. And each week we sit down with a listener for a consultation. Then we ask them to come back on and tell us what happened. You can email us with your own dilemma at Laurieann Guy at, I hope, media dot com. Listen to dear therapists starting July 30th on Apple podcasts. I heart radio app or wherever you get your podcasts.