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CGP Grey
CGP Grey stick figure.png
The stick figure Grey uses to represent himself in his videos and elsewhere
Personal information
New York, United States
ResidenceLondon, United Kingdom
YouTube information
Also known asGrey
Years active2010–present
Subscribers4 million+ (CGP Grey)
170,000+ (CGPGrey2)
30,000+ (CGP Play)
Total views470 million+ (CGP Grey)
7.8 million+ (CGPGrey2)
455,000+ (CGP Play)
Associated actsHello Internet, Brady Haran, Myke Hurley, Relay FM, Cortex
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2012
(CGP Grey)[1]
2016 (CGPGrey2)
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2013
(CGP Grey)[2]
Updated 18 October 2019

CGP Grey is an American-Irish educational YouTuber and podcaster who has been posting on YouTube under the channel name since 12 August 2010.[3] Grey also posts videos on his secondary channel, CGPGrey2, and livestreams gameplay on another channel, CGP Play.[4][5]

His YouTube channel mainly features short explanatory videos on varying subjects, including politics, geography, economics, history, and culture. The channel's most popular video is an explanation of the terminology of the British Isles, which went viral in 2011.[6] Grey's videos have since received increasing attention, and have been reviewed in several publications, including Business Insider and The Washington Post.[7][8]

In addition to video production, Grey is known for creating the audio podcast Hello Internet in 2014 with fellow educational YouTuber Brady Haran. Since 2015, he has also hosted the audio podcast Cortex with Myke Hurley of Relay FM.[9] Along with Philipp Dettmer and Dave Wiskus, Grey started the company Standard Broadcast LLC, which provides production and administrative support to digital creators.[10]

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    5 446 142
    1 580 203
    8 645 299
    6 144 072
    8 923 013
  • ✪ The Better Boarding Method Airlines Won't Use
  • ✪ No Flag Northern Ireland
  • ✪ The Rules for Rulers
  • ✪ Death to Pennies
  • ✪ American Empire


[Inaudible airport announcements] [Grey sighs] What’s the fastest way to board an airplane? I mean, you can’t just throw open the gates like funneling cattle into a chute. That’s not for us. We’re primates, after all! So let’s put our monkey brains to work to tackle this queue which is what boarding groups do: Prioritize, plainly packing primates precisely. (Primarily) Ok, we have a suggestion: pour people into the plane back to front. This is an intuitive solution to fill a cylinder. But there's almost a law of the universe that solutions which are… …the first thing you'd think of and look sensible and are easy to implement are often… … terrible, ineffective solutions, once implemented will drag on civilization forever. :: Cough, voting systems, cough :: So it should come as no surprise that this method is… … not good and also what most airlines use to board their planes. Let's watch it in action: The first boarding group walks to the back of the plane. Everything is smooth right until the first to go reaches their row and starts to stow. So slow. And for passenger two, while their seat is in view, there's nothing to do. The aisle's one queue, where all can naught but stew, stuck like glue until this guy's through. :: Phew :: It's bags. Bags cause most of the delay boarding a flight. Like with this: a full-stop stow. When it happens, everyone boarding the plane within and without must wait until one person finishes stowing their bag. Can you feel it? The aggregate lost seconds of human life piling up like a bounty for a delighted reaper? Of course you can. You can feel it with every bag. :: Uhhh :: What was I saying? Right, back-to-front boarding groups have a lot of full-stop stows, and very few of what you want: … pullaways and parallels and parallels and pullaways. Pullaways turn one queue into two. And parallels decrease total bag stow time and are super satisfying. The rare triple partner parallel invoking a double high-five at the sheer pleasure of its efficiency. But loading back to front lets few of these happen. Now say you weren't just… not good at designing boarding groups,… … but you were malicious and wanted to maximize the amount of human life wasted upon a flight. What would you do? Not back-to-front but front to back -- the smaller the boarding group the better. This makes almost every tedious shuffle forward result in a full stop stow,… …because most of the line waits by rows already full or outside the plane. Look familiar? This is where we acknowledge the class structure of airplanes. Real planes look like this and first class boards first, front to back, … … before the pro-conomy file in back-to-front. So, excluding pre-boarding, all airlines start with a little of the slowest boarding method you could intentionally design. Now, obviously, this video will soon reveal faster boarding procedures. And you will wonder, “why don't airlines use the faster methods?” One possible answer is economic incentives. First class pays for perks -- sometimes breathtaking perks for breathtaking amounts. And boarding first is one of them. Also, airlines give everyone loyalty points that move you up the class structure the more you fly with that airline. Which gives airlines another good reason to group people. And probably helps explain why they switched away from the older faster method you won’t believe they used to use: [Grey on microphone]: "Hey, everyone. Plane’s here. Go ahead." Doing nothing and having people board the flight in whatever order they show up… … to get their assigned seat, is faster than organizing tidy boarding groups. This is because random people are spread, well, randomly, … … increasing the chances of pullaways and parallels, unlike the more orderly methods airlines have switched to. Man, it's always frustrating to know that to literally have done nothing … … would be faster than the something that is done. But surely there's a better boarding group order to be found if we can just subtract malice and add thinking to this problem. Ahh! Three groups: window, middle, aisle. In that order. This is really the same as doing random thrice, one for each column of the craft ... … but the reason it's a smidge faster is because it eliminates the other source of boarding delay: Seat shuffles. When people board randomly, seat shuffling is going to happen a bunch. And when people spill into the aisle, it slows the queue. Ordering everyone by window, middle, aisle ensures a seat shuffle will never happen. This seems like it should be a big improvement. But when you simulate boarding an aircraft with a ton of real math … (rather than just animating it in a dramatically simplified fashion) … or do actual experiments, the seat shuffle just isn't a big deal compared to bag stowage. People wrangling their one bag that won't possible fit, … … or trying to get onboard with three bags because they don't think the rules should apply to them, … … who then also fiddle around getting their laptops out after stowing them. Those kinds of delays count for much more. So, Window-Middle-Aisle is maybe a smidge faster than random, which is good … … and some airlines use this method, which gets their planes turned around faster than back-to-front … … while still giving them boarding groups to play games with. The vast majority of airlines use either back to front or window-middle-aisle. So keep an eye out next time you’re boarding a flight for which is happening to you. But can we go farther? Leaving the real world: with its class systems and people, and untidiness and smells, … … ascending to the platonic plain of physics, … … where cows are spheres and people cellular automaton who will execute instructions perfectly. Here, in the Celestia, what is the theoretically fastest way to board a plane? On this level, here is what’s possible: [The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a: VIII. Waltz of the Flowers] To achieve this ballet, there are no boarding groups, but everyone stands in an exact order. Back-to-front in alternating rows, on alternating sides, windows in. This maximizes pullaways and parallels. Pristinely packing people in a pinch. Witnessing such glory is too much for mortal minds to bear for long… … so we are forced to descend back down into the meat world. The cacophony! The smell! Where we must stuff monkeys into a tube. Monkeys with families, where separating their young invites chaos and cleanup. Where economic incentives divide and profit. And where, even at their best, the human inability to follow instructions is breathtaking. Here, people, upon seeing 'boarding group 123', would flip the hell out. Let alone the impossibility of trying to get them to stand in line in order. And where even if faster, like watching seconds of a clock, people would complain it was slower. [Grey sighs] Such gifts we were not meant to have. But is there a way we can modify this perfection to improve our lot on this plane? Yes. Instead of exact order, boarding group the first would be all one side of the plane in every other row. Boarding group the second, the other side, then back, and back again. One, two, three, four. We can't ask people for more. This shadow of the perfect method has a chance of working in the real world with benefits like: letting humans with families and friends board together, … giving airlines boarding groups they can still play with, … and still being faster than the current methods. Reaching for perfection, we will always come up short. But perhaps we can manage to get closer in the process. Thanks to Skillshare for making this episode happen in a quite literal way … … by having a deadline looming over me by which I absolutely had to get it done. What’s Skillshare? Skillshare is an online learning community with over twenty thousand classes in: Design, Business, Technology, and more. Say for example you wanted to learn how to actually create your own animations, … … like the ones used in this video. Skillshare has courses on After Effects, even specifically how to create your own explainer videos. Skillshare is here to help you improve your skills and satisfy your curiosity. And it’s super affordable. An annual subscription is less than $10 per month. And Premium membership gives you unlimited access to high-quality classes. The first 500 people to sign up at\cgpgrey2 will get 2 months of Skillshare for free. That’s\cgpgrey2 Don’t forget the 2. The 2 is very important. Go there or click the link in the description to get started learning whatever you want to learn today. And to let Skillshare know that you came from this video. Ohhh, before you go! Let me leave you with an annoying thought. You know how boarding a flight from front to back row by row is the slowest possible method? The reaper method? Well, after your flight, when the plane pulls into the gate, … … and everyone ignores the flight attendant’s admonishments to wait until the fasten seat-belt is off to grab their bag, … … and the door opens, how do we de-plane? That's right: front-to-back, row by row. No slower could we go. ♪ Why are we still here? Just to suffer?


Early life and career

Grey grew up in the Long Island suburbs of New York City. He went to college in upstate New York, earning two degrees – one in physics and another in sociology.[11]

His grandmother was born in Ireland, and when he was a child, his father had applied for Irish citizenship on his behalf; Grey thus has dual American–Irish citizenship.[12] This enabled him to look into opportunities in the European Union, and its largest city, London. He later said that if he had not lived abroad while "still free of life's anchors", he never would later in life, which made it all the more reason for him to go. He attended a masters in economics program in London, and stayed in the city for more than a decade.[13]

Grey decided to become a physics teacher in the UK; he went through a one-year course to earn a physics PGCE, and graduated being qualified to teach physics in England and Wales. He taught on and off until his career as a YouTube creator became reliable. Since January 2014 he has co-hosted a general discussion podcast, Hello Internet, and began a second podcast, Cortex with Myke Hurley of Relay FM.[14]


The YouTube channel CGP Grey features, among other things, Grey Explains, a series of explanatory videos[15] on a range of subjects, including politics, geography, economics, and British culture. The videos feature Grey narrating over animations, stock footage, and still photographs. While nearly all of Grey's videos feature his voice, his face has never been shown in his videos, and Grey almost always has his face obscured when appearing in other people's videos;[16] he generally uses a stick figure with glasses to represent himself.[17] Grey has stated that the presentation style of his videos is influenced by that of Yahtzee Croshaw's Zero Punctuation series.[18][19]

Grey records his voice over the music playing in the background on Logic Pro X.[20] The backing music of his early videos is usually credited to Kevin MacLeod. Since 2016, most videos contain music written by David Rees. He used to use Inkscape to make the key frames of his videos and Final Cut Pro X to edit them together from 2010 to early 2016; but now he uses Adobe After Effects to do both. The switch is primarily because he now works with other animators on most of his videos, and they use After Effects.[21] Videos are released on the channel significantly less frequently than other YouTube channels; Grey has said that this is due to thorough research and scriptwriting, with the majority of videos never being finished.[2]

Grey's video that debunks popular misconceptions has been featured on CBS,[22] as has his video about the history of the British Royal Family.[23] Two videos differentiate London, England and the City of London, while explaining certain oddities that arise from the ancient customs of the latter.[24][25] Another two videos explaining copyright law and the Electoral College have been featured on Mashable.[15] The channel has also explained the economic disadvantages of US one-cent coins, in a video titled Death to Pennies.[26][27] Other videos, including How to Become Pope, have received media attention and used in instructional settings.[8][28]

Several videos under the collective name "Politics in the Animal Kingdom" explain some differences between various election procedures, and are critical of first-past-the-post voting (gerrymandering, minority rule, lack of Condorcet winner, two-party system, spoiler effect) and discuss the advantages of instant-runoff voting, mixed-member proportional representation, and the single transferable vote.

Grey's video Humans Need Not Apply was positively covered by Business Insider[7] and Huffington Post.[29]


Hello Internet

The logo of Hello Internet
The logo of Hello Internet

In January 2014, Grey launched the podcast Hello Internet along with cohost Brady Haran, another YouTube educational content creator. The podcast peaked as the No. 1 iTunes podcast in United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Canada, and Australia.[30] It was selected as one of Apple's best new podcasts of 2014.[31] The Guardian included the podcast among its 50 best of 2016, naming episode 66 ("A Classic Episode") its episode of the year. The paper described the podcast as having "in-depth debates and banter that is actually amusing."[32] Grey reported a podcast listenership of approximately "a quarter million" downloads per episode as of September 2015.[33]

The podcast features discussions pertaining to their lives as professional content creators for YouTube, as well as their interests and annoyances. Typical topics include technology etiquette; movie and TV show reviews; plane accidents; vexillology; futurology; and the differences between Grey's and Haran's personalities and lifestyles.[34] Grey's and Haran's opinions and comments on feedback usually starts the next episode of the podcast. As a result of their conversations, Haran has been noted for reappropriating the term "freebooting," among other words, to refer to the unauthorised rehosting of online media.[35]

The podcast has an official flag called the Nail & Gear which was chosen from five candidates with a postal vote by the podcast's audience using an instant-runoff voting system.[36][37][38]


On 3 June 2015, Grey launched his second podcast, Cortex, with cohost Myke Hurley of Relay FM. Each episode, they discuss the methods and tools they employ to be productive and creative, and how they improve their self-employed lifestyles.[39] Frequently revisited topics of discussion include time management, workflow automation, and Apple products.


  1. ^ Grey, C.G.P. (30 January 2012). "One Year & 100,000 Subscribers Later (Thank You!)". Retrieved 15 September 2019 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ a b Grey, C.G.P. (20 November 2013). "Q&A with Grey #2 (One Million Subscribers)". Retrieved 15 September 2019 – via YouTube.
  3. ^ "CGP Grey/about". Retrieved 18 July 2018 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ "CGPGrey2". Retrieved 23 April 2017 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ "CGPPlay". Retrieved 23 April 2017 – via YouTube.
  6. ^ C. G. P. Grey (30 January 2012). "One Year & 100,000 Subscribers Later (Thank You!)". CGP Grey. Retrieved 20 January 2013 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ a b Love, Dylan (13 August 2014). "Not Even Doctors And Lawyers Are Safe From Machines Taking Their Jobs". Business Insider. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  8. ^ a b Aaron Blake (25 February 2013). "Why is the pope always so old? (Video)". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  9. ^ Hackett, Stephen (2 June 2015). "Introducing Relay FM's 2015 Summer Pilots". Relay FM. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  10. ^ "About Standard". Standard Broadcast LLC. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Q&A With Grey for 500,000 Subscribers". Retrieved 3 April 2017 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ "#26: Pick your Poison". Relay.FM. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Q&A With Grey #3: Millenia of Human Attention". Retrieved 26 March 2017 – via YouTube.
  14. ^ "H.I. #10: Two Dudes Talking". Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  15. ^ a b Allegra Tepper (24 July 2012). "These 10 Videos Turn Tough Topics into Child's Play, 7. C.G.P. Grey: Copyright: Forever Less One Day". Mashable. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  16. ^ Veritasium (28 June 2012). "Science YouTubers Unite! feat. ... CGP Grey". Retrieved 26 October 2013 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ "Numbers confuse Americans – Numberphile". Numberphile (YouTube). 25 July 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  18. ^ Haran, Brady; Grey, CGP (28 May 2014). "Nobody Owns the Facts". Hello Internet (Podcast). Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  19. ^ Grey, C. G. P.; Hurley, Myke (14 August 2015). "Cortex #10: Zero Artistic Skills". Cortex (Podcast). Relay FM. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  20. ^ Grey, CGP (6 April 2014). "Twitter / cgpgrey: Finally getting the hang of..." Twitter. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  21. ^ Grey, CGP; Hurley, Myke. "Cortex Episode #41: Spiralling". Relay FM. Relay FM. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  22. ^ Bailey Johnson (24 January 2012). "Eskimos do not have 100's of words for snow, and other myths debunked". CBS. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  23. ^ Savage, Lesley (17 July 2013). "How to become a British monarch and why it won't be you". CBS. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  24. ^ Kieth Shaw (23 July 2012). "Learn about the London inside London". IT World. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  25. ^ Sam Gibbs (20 September 2012). "How to Become the Lord Mayor of the (Secret) City of London". Gizmodo UK. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  26. ^ Mary Beth Quirk (13 January 2012). "The Case Against Pennies Might Make You Want To Send Yours Back To Uncle Sam For Something Useful". Consumerist. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  27. ^ Bailey Johnson (30 November 2011). "Death to Pennies". The Feed Blog. CBS. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  28. ^ Lindsay Jolivet (21 February 2013). "How to become pope instructional video goes viral". Yahoo! Canada. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  29. ^ "Why Robots Will Steal Your Job, In One Brutal 15 Minute Video". HuffPost. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  30. ^ "CGP Grey & Brady Haran – 'Hello Internet' American iTunes Chart Performance". Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  31. ^ Haran, Brady; Grey, CGP (25 December 2014). "Bumper Christmas Special". Hello Internet (Podcast). 46:30 minutes in. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  32. ^ "The 50 best podcasts of 2016". The Guardian. 21 December 2016. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  33. ^ Haran, Brady; Grey, CGP (29 September 2015). "Grumpy About Art". Hello Internet (Podcast). Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  34. ^ "Top 3 Podcasts You Must Listen To in 2016". Intention Deficit. 31 December 2015. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  35. ^ Oremus, Will (17 July 2015). "Facebook's Piracy Problem". Slate. The Slate Group LLC. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  36. ^ Haran, Brady; Grey, C.G.P. (16 December 2015). "Two Dudes Counting". Hello Internet (Podcast). Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  37. ^ "Hello, Hello Internet!". 22 November 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  38. ^ "Flag Vote". Hello Internet. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  39. ^ "Cortex". Relay.FM. Retrieved 29 March 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 18 October 2019, at 18:39
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