Open video chat — tonight, 9pm Central

All the cool kids on YouTube do these conversations with their followers, so I thought I’d try it. Except I’m not one of the cool kids. I don’t even have that many subscribers, I don’t think. So this might totally flop, and it’ll just be lonely, boring me staring at a camera and picking my nose, or something similarly embarrassing. You can watch the ‘show’ here:

I guess if you watch it on YouTube you get a text chat window and you can snipe at me with your words. Also, if you email me and tell me what you want to talk about, maybe I’ll send you a link so you can share the screen with me.

9pm tonight, in about two hours from when this is posted.


  1. kebil says

    I am interested. I am hoping there are some of the angry people. Maybe you can help us understand them.

  2. nomdeplume says

    Stephen Gould, yes, excellent, all his earlier works. But, but, but “punctuated equilibrium”?! I guess everyone is allowed one mistake./..

  3. nomdeplume says

    Incidentally, am using this venue, not the chat function in youtube because I don’t want the app “sharing information about me” when I sign in. I guess PZ will check comments here later, but I don’t know if he can during the broadcast.

  4. Usernames! 🦑 says

    I don’t want the app “sharing information about me” when I sign in
    —nomdeplume (#3)

    All you have to do is create a “burner” account, log in and chat all you want.

  5. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    If you can create multiple accounts on your computer, and you should be able to do this easily, create a separate log-in just for using in situations like this – where you want to use some app or feature that can track you far too easily.

    Create the burner e-mail from within that log-in.

    Create a burner youtube account from that burner e-mail.

    Use youtube account.

    If you like you can then keep it around as long as you never access that account from your traditional log-in. The tracer cookies can’t trace across your different log-in accounts unless you’re using the same accounts that install the tracers from both log-ins.

    There are other security concerns as well, but the massive data-gathering systematics use cookies extensively and it’s easier to uninstall actual malware than it used to be, so this should be good enough for many people in your situation.

    Since I don’t know your exact concerns/needs, I don’t know if it would be enough for yours. STDerr, I think, does cybersecurity. You could ask someone with more knowledge in this area if you like.

  6. nomdeplume says

    Thanks Crip, will give it a go. If PZ is going to continue these fire-side chats it would be nice to contribute!

  7. says

    Crip Dyke’s suggestion is good and would be adequate against non-state attempts to backtrack.

    If you want to improve your chance of not being fingerprinted, use a different software mix on your burner account. It’s pretty easy to fingerprint someone as “uses same IP cloud as Marcus, also uses firefox with adblock plus and noscript, and types ridiculously fast; that’s Marcus.”

    The next level beyond that is to set up a virtual machine image on amazon cloud services, with a whole linux or windows instance, then remote desktop into that and drive it from there; either reset the VM when you’re done, or leave it around in case you need it again. Again, usr a different app mix. That approach can also be defeated by governments (they just ask the cloud service nicely)

    Beyond that, you’re left doing stuff like looking for open wifi where you can hook in with a hardened laptop running a some flavor of unix, and making sure you’re wearing sunglasses and a hoodie and take public transportation and put the hoodie on when you are in a crowd… “they” can still backtrack that but it’s harder if your tradecraft is good.

    Short form: do what Crip suggests.

  8. Usernames! 🦑 says

    Um, ok, but still not confident it doesn’t link back to me…
    — nomdeplume (#5)

    Along those same lines, if you aren’t using a VPN, password manager (with different, LONG passwords for every site you have an account on), and two-factor authentication for your email account(s), now would be the time to start.

  9. nomdeplume says

    Thank you all. Increasingly clear that I am stuck in the computer dark ages of the 1990s and need to jump a couple of decades!