A while back I shared a fascinating video of a guy doing his job, which I labeled “Competence Porn”. I found another such example the other day, and since this new guy’s videos are mostly shorter than that first one, I’ve watched more of these. I’ve “gone down the rabbit hole”, as the kids say (in an allusion to Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland), and this is something that interests me in itself. During our COVID-19 isolation times, I’ve seen a lot of people discover new things and delve into them a lot more deeply than they might have otherwise. Baking is one I’ve seen a lot (especially sourdough starters!). Ditto knitting, and other hobbies. Gaming. Cooking. Home brewing. And in my case, going deeply into music again, and hitting the books hard.
And…”competence porn” videos!
In my earlier example, that’s a guy doing his job. This one is a hobbyist…with a very interesting, strange, and useful hobby. This fellow likes driving around on very rainy days, finding flooding streets, and unclogging the storm drains. And that’s it! So why would I find this fascinating?
Well, these videos are pleasant sonically. I have always responded quite happily to the sounds of rain, rushing water, splashing, and all the things that water does. I just like listening to this guy’s videos. But he also says interesting things along the way, pointing out the physics as to how this stuff works, why the water does what it does, what the design flaws are sometimes in the drains he encounters, why the drain pipe runs this way and not that, and sometimes how dumb and inconsiderate people can be (a couple videos have cars deciding they don’t want to drive through the flood so they go around it…on the sidewalk).
Anyway, here’s a guy unclogging a street drain. What rabbit holes have you gone down lately?