Another YouTube list? Yes ;-)
I found myself watching YouTube a lot during the worst of the pandemic, and as I saw the world falling apart in many ways. YouTube has been something of a lifeline in the past years, helping me find stuff I actually want to watch, which (mostly) doesn’t have all the fake crap that’s on TV. I must say though, that I loathe and detest the apparent trend towards
#shorts - I really don’t see the point of them!
The channels I chose at this time were to help me understand something of what was going on in the pandemic and in world politics, and a few gave me some distractions from it all.
This is a fairly short list that I’m sharing; I could list quite a few more, but I thought some of these recommendations might be of interest to the HPR audience.
Just Have a Think
Dave Borlace, the host, talks about climate and sustainable energy.
The episodes are well researched and explained clearly, and I find they can often give out some hope that we can lessen the effects of the climate change that is certainly coming.
Recent episodes have covered: the IPCC Survival Guide, plastic eating enzymes and CO2 removal from the oceans.
Undecided with Matt Ferrell
Matt Ferrell, the host, looks at how smart and sustainable technology impacts our lives.
Another clear-sighted and well researched look at technology, particularly in the current world context. There’s also a podcast Still To Be Determined where Matt and his brother Sean have a conversation following on from the shows on YouTube.
Recent episodes have covered:
- An improved method of generating green hydrogen
- Using machine learning to boost renewable energy generation and reduce costs of wind farms
- Plastic recycling is not as we’ve been led to believe.
A channel devoted to education and analysis of current events from a Socialist perspective.
My Socialist, anti-Capitalist sympathies fit well with the contents of this channel, and I’m learning from it. It’s very well done, and has obviously taken some effort to produce.
Some recent episode titles:
- What if we just stopped working?
- How Consulting firms secretly run entire countries
Democracy at Work
Channel description: Democracy at Work is a non-profit 501(c)3 that produces media and live events. Our work analyzes capitalism critically as a systemic problem and advocates for democratizing workplaces as part of a systemic solution. We seek a stronger, fuller democracy – in our politics and culture as well as in our economy - based on workers’ equal collaboration and shared leadership inside enterprises and throughout society.
The insights shared by Prof. Richard D. Wolff in particular help me to understand a lot of what is going wrong in many countries in the world, though he concentrates on the USA. You will hear him speaking at events, on the radio in the USA and on other YouTube channels and podcasts. There are other presenters on the channel, particularly: Dr. Harriet Fraad (Capitalism Hits Home) and Prof. David Harvey (Anti-Capitalist Chronicles)
A furniture restorer, Ahti, located in Estonia
The quality of the workmanship is wonderful, as can be seen when he turns what look like ruined pieces of furniture into beautiful items. Some restorations are for clients, some for himself.
Recent episodes have covered:
- Restoration of an Art Noveau chair
- A mirror seat with water damage - the client doesn’t want it to look new though
- A 19th century coffee grinder
From the channel description: I started this channel to share my ideas, creations, adventures and to show people how easy it is to live off the grid & save money.
Marty, the host and his family live in the north of the south island of New Zealand (Marlborough Sounds1). Marty shows how he recovers old abandoned machines like tractors and excavators and puts them to use on his land. They are off-grid and their electricity comes from a turbine he built from an adapted scrap washing machine. I find it fascinating to watch the resourcefulness of the people in this part of the world.
Some highlights in the past year:
- Salvaging an Abandoned TD9 Bulldozer from the Forest. Will it start??
- Salvaging an Abandoned Vintage Tractor - David Brown 25
Lots of stuff of a technical nature, often involving the Raspberry Pi, but not exclusively.
Lots of great projects and ideas to learn from. For example, he has championed the Turing Pi a board which can take multiple Raspberry Pi Compute Modules to form a Pi cluster.
Some highlights in the past few months:
- Top 10 Raspberry Pi Projects for 2022
- The Petabyte Pi Project
Ocean Conservation Namibia
From the description: Ocean Conservation Namibia is dedicated to the protection of Namibia’s marine wildlife. OCN was started by Naude and Katja Dreyer in January 2020 to create global awareness of ocean and plastic pollution and its horrible and avoidable impact on animals and specifically seals.
The team manage to produce a brief daily video where they rescue seals which are entangled in plastic and other items. The seals find these things, such as spools or bundles of fishing line, and tend to play with them, and eventually the loop or spool gets stuck around their neck, which can cut them badly and eventually kill them.
Recent highlights have been:
- Rescuers Use SAW To Save Baby Seal
- Hook in Seal’s Eye Tied To Another Seal!
- Seal Entangled in Ball of Fishing Line
I hope you find these channels interesting and useful yourself.
IPCC: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.
Richard D. Wolff: Wikipedia page
David W. Harvey: Wikipedia page
Marlborough sounds, New Zealand: Wikipedia page
Fur seals: Wikipedia page
In the audio I said Marlborough Sounds was in the North West of the South Island of NZ, but in fact it’s in the North East. See the Wikipedia article for more information.↩︎