C.G.P. Grey
December 1, 2011 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Here is Coffee: The Greatest Addiction Ever and other neat videos by C.G.P. Grey who explains non-obvious aspects of science, history, geography, elections, and economics in entertaining and clear ways. posted by Blasdelb (20 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite

 
*Makes another cup of Stoke Roasted Espresso*
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:23 PM on December 1, 2011


Watch the penny one. It convinced me.
posted by wittgenstein at 12:32 PM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I love this guy's stuff (and it led to me making an AskMe at one point not too long ago.) I was wanting to send my mom the videos on the Alternative Vote vs. First-Past-the-Post, so thanks for reminding me.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:47 PM on December 1, 2011


No, alcohol is the greatest addiction ever.
posted by Decani at 12:49 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


The one on the UK, GB and England is awesome.
posted by jquinby at 1:01 PM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's one that is apropos to another recent thread: U.S. Median Income.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 1:07 PM on December 1, 2011


No, alcohol is the greatest addiction ever.

If this was a joke, it fell a little flat. I have a caffeine addiction, as many of us do, but when I detox, I spend a couple of days feeling crappy and then I'm free and good to go. And the worst my espresso fix does is make me a bit jittery and jumpy if I overdo it.

I have friends who are alcoholics. I drink, pretty regularly, and I'm not addicted, but I've known those who fight it, and it is not a pretty thing. It's ugly and awful and wrecks lives fast. A pounding caffeine headache is nothing compared to the life-ruining power of alcoholism.

I have a pretty dark sense of humor - I'm the Jewish grandson of Holocaust survivors and I have a fine stock of concentration camp jokes at hand - but this isn't dark humor, it's just incorrect.
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:13 PM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow, this guy's an excellent presenter and would likely wipe the floor at 3MT (3 Minute Thesis), if he had a halfway interesting thesis.

I'm assuming that he's an American (?) - the Democrats should hire him as The Explain-It-To-The-Average-Person-On-The-Street Guy.
posted by porpoise at 1:35 PM on December 1, 2011


It looks like he is an American, and he works as a time management consultant who is undoubtedly photogenic, but less so than he thinks he is.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:58 PM on December 1, 2011


In "The True Cost of the Royal Family Explained" he says Americans think French castles are stinky and British ones are great, but the example castle for the UK is actually Mont Saint-Michel, which you will be aware is in France.
posted by biffa at 3:15 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the coffee one was neat. But the one on the US debt crisis seems like scaremongering. "If Uncle Sam raises taxes, people will have even less money to spend." Well, yeah, if you raise taxes for people without much money. But obviously that's not the taxes that should be raised/loopholes closed.
posted by Listener at 3:19 PM on December 1, 2011


"Yeah, the coffee one was neat. But the one on the US debt crisis seems like scaremongering. "If Uncle Sam raises taxes, people will have even less money to spend." Well, yeah, if you raise taxes for people without much money. But obviously that's not the taxes that should be raised/loopholes closed."

That video was made by a totally different dude, not the one featured in the FPP. For some reason the YouTube algorithm must think their audiences are similar and so puts a link to it in the sidebar of most of his videos, but its a totally different thing.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:40 PM on December 1, 2011


I'm puzzled that the coffee video basically treats coffee and caffeine interchangeably. No love for Camillia sinensis?
posted by BrashTech at 4:05 PM on December 1, 2011


At 2:08, I do believe he coins a term to call Queen Victoria The Epic. Hats off, Sir!
posted by whuppy at 4:26 PM on December 1, 2011


I feel a bit silly for asking this, but I was wondering if anyone could explain how these videos are produced?

On the one hand, they seem like reasonably simple screencasts of powerpoint presentations with voiceover. On the other hand, the production quality is just high enough that I sort of doubt they are just simple screencasts.

I'd like to produce a few videos like this, and was wondering how to do better than slapping together powerpoint slides and recording myself talking over them.
posted by achmorrison at 4:29 PM on December 1, 2011


No, alcohol is the greatest addiction ever.

MMmmmmm and I'm going to say no. OK, maybe, but the thing is that you can produce alcohol anywhere you can produce fruit. The amazing thing about caffeine (whether in coffee, tea, or chocolate form) is that it is only the product of plants in certain very specific global zones. And as soon as it was introduced to cultures that could not grow it, it almost immediately totally reformed those cultures, in a way that is so profound that you can legitimately claim that it transformed the entire Western world, fueling political change, developing brand new trade relationships that led to empires, and changing the relationship of cultures to more traditional intoxicants. Now that I work in a museum of global trade, I've been kind of in awe of the degree to which coffee and tea, and chocolate as a beverage, actually kind of determined the course of the last 500 years. Introducing caffeine to Western culture was pretty freaking powerful - and if anyone reading this had a cup of coffee, tea, or chai today, it's pretty clear we've never for a moment even considered going back.
posted by Miko at 7:23 PM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Miko: "No, alcohol is the greatest addiction ever.

MMmmmmm and I'm going to say no. OK, maybe, but the thing is that you can produce alcohol anywhere you can produce fruit. The amazing thing about caffeine (whether in coffee, tea, or chocolate form) is that it is only the product of plants in certain very specific global zones. And as soon as it was introduced to cultures that could not grow it, it almost immediately totally reformed those cultures, in a way that is so profound that you can legitimately claim that it transformed the entire Western world, fueling political change, developing brand new trade relationships that led to empires, and changing the relationship of cultures to more traditional intoxicants. Now that I work in a museum of global trade, I've been kind of in awe of the degree to which coffee and tea, and chocolate as a beverage, actually kind of determined the course of the last 500 years. Introducing caffeine to Western culture was pretty freaking powerful - and if anyone reading this had a cup of coffee, tea, or chai today, it's pretty clear we've never for a moment even considered going back.
"

How is that an argument against coffee being the greatest addiction?
posted by Hargrimm at 7:40 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The argument is against wine being the greatest addiction.
posted by Miko at 8:13 PM on December 1, 2011


If this was a joke, it fell a little flat.

Decani is often trying - and failing - to be funny.

CGPGrey is kind of amazing. He's a compelling enough explainer for me to sit through his history of the copyright, and his complaints about the electoral college, both subjects I'm very familiar with. Thanks for showing this to me. It'll help me explain some thorny concepts to people in the future.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 11:43 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh. C.B.P. Grey zeitgeist. I was just about to post the DST one ... eh, let's see if it flies ...
posted by mrgrimm at 12:34 PM on December 2, 2011


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