The world is based on mathematics. I once got an
O-level GCE in Eng. Lang. with an essay on that
YouTube understands me well. For six years it has helped me learn how to sing. V is a terrific teacher but she is a soprano and I’m a baritone. If I need a baritone version of say, Schubert’s Du bist die Ruh, which I’m studying with V, YouTube has a slew of examples.
But I have other interests. When I open YouTube its all-knowing algorithms offer me “trailers” of many subjects in which I’ve previously shown an interest. For example: Putin’s rhetoric in his public announcements, technicalities of indoor wall climbing, stand-up sections of Jimmy Kimmel’s TV chat show from LA, dialogue between airline pilots and air traffic control, how a light-emitting diode works, “The Ten Things All Flat-Earthers Say”, many aspects of motor-bikes, etc.
Please, please don’t jump to conclusions. Showing an interest in something doesn’t mean I support its aims. Googling serial killers isn’t proof I always carry a machete. Only that I disapprove of ignorance.
But YouTube goes further; it identifies topics which I only dimly perceive. Things I might respond to if only I were a better version of myself. Linear algebra, for instance. Not to be confused with plain algebra.
It’s harder. Fundamental in modern presentations of geometry, it is often used for dealing with first-order approximations. Already I detect – telepathically – your eyes glazing over. Me? I’m flattered YouTube has this view of me. I click on The Big Picture of Linear Algebra by an MIT professor.
Quickly I’m lost. But the professor, Gilbert Strang, is a good teacher as the video’s comments proclaim. He backtracks and summarises. Uses conversational English. Tiny flashes of comprehension occur. I’m no mathematician. If only I’d taken that other road when I was 16… Ah, Wilderness.
Books couldn’t have done this. YouTube, I wouldn’t be without you.