(CS 1) Production Notes

Well, that hiatus went far longer than expected! I’ve had a lot of changes in my life in the last year that kept pushing this project further and further out. Most recently I bought a new-to-me townhome, which has eaten up much of my life in renovations, before catching on fire last week. Fortunately the fire was stopped before it reached my unit, but it still has put back moving in by several weeks, in addition to dealing with insurance and getting utilities turned back on and just everything.

And yet, I had announced a month ago that Crystal Society is launching first week of April, and dammit, it’s the first week of April, so here we are! :)

I am ridiculously excited to be doing Crystal Society, and wish to thank Max Harms again for giving me permission to podcast it. It’s a great story, and I’ve gone over the reasons why I love it in my review of the book, so I won’t repeat myself too much (if you’re interested, the review is linked). But in addition to my unabashed love of Face, I think this is a great exploration of an almost-human mind and helps to bring people to an intuitive understanding of just how difficult (and important) the AI alignment problem is. Even if we could make something that thinks like a human, encoding human values is *hard*.

I learned another frustrating lesson about language while editing this episode. I said “vista” like “vee-stah.” Literally everyone else in the whole world pronounces it “vih-stah.” And having just me saying “veestah” while everyone else says “vihsta” is really distracting and aesthetically unpleasant. I had to go back and re-record every single instance of my saying “Vista” in episodes 1 & 2 and splice in the retake, which is a giant pain. >< I hope the edits aren’t too noticeable.

Really wish someone would’ve corrected my pronunciation at some point in the last 30-odd years. :/ But on the other hand, aside from a few months in the late 90s, I don’t think I use the word “vista” more than once a year.

SFX: Warp Core, Flashback,

Intro/Outro – I Wanna Be Adored, by The Stone Roses

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I had to laugh at your commentary about the pronounciation of vista because as a non-native speaker I occasionally get corrected in teamspeak by my fellow space pirates when I pronounce something wrong and so we briefly talked about how the english language is often unclear about pronounciation. Take “mood”, “hood”, “flood” for example. So when you try to pronounce a word you have never heard before there’s a good chance you’re doing it wrong. Take the word “recipe” for example. I think you pronounce it “re-si-pee” but it might as well have been “ri-zi-pe” or a combination of the two.

    On the other hand.. are you not a Windows user? Between Windows XP and Windows 7 there was Windows Vista for a while, which is my ownly source of knowledge for pronounciation here but has been discussed a lot at the time (since it’s one of the odd versions that are better skipped..
    95 not so good
    98 good
    2000 bad
    XP good
    Vista bad
    7 good
    8 bad
    10 good (I think)

    It’s a bit like star trek movies.

    Soooo.. on to the actual commentary on the episode.

    Yay, it continues! You do realise that your podcast produces the best audiobooks in my opinion, right? The fact that you have multiple people voice acting*, that you add music when it fits and that you can express emotions well through voice make for a combination that runied a lot of other non-professional audiobooks for me and make some of the professional audiobooks barely tolerable because they just can’t match your podcast.

    *It was pretty good when you were doing all the voices too. I know you said something along the lines of people not having to suffer through you’re McGonagall interpretation any more but it was always clear who was speaking, what emotion they had (or at least what emotion they chose to let their surroundings notice in the case of characters hiding them) at the moment and .. I really thought it was pretty good at that point already.

  2. Just wanted to say thank you. Iam a regular reader of this site.

  3. Just a small word of advice. I took hooked on phonics when I was in grade school and one of the main rules they teach you, that is true most cases, but of course not always: is that a word with multiple vowels in it, if it ends with a vowel then the first vowel in the word is pronounced with its long version.

    So vista ends with a vowel ‘a’, So first vowel in the word “i” would be long (eye) so v-eye-sta. Like you stated, just slightly different pronunciation guide.

    So on the other hand the word visit ends with the “t”, a consonant, so the first(And if I remember correctly all following vowels, in the this case are the short version?) vowel. The first “I” is pronounced short. So viz-it, not v-eyes-it or viz-ite.
    Just thought I’d put it out there for some people it’s helped me a lot of times when I wasn’t sure it’s not always right but it’s a safer bet to go with this rule one unsure

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.