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A new section from Stewart Brand's Maintenance on Books in Progress
Stewart Brand continues his digression on manuals to Youtube, our new source of information for maintenance:
IN THE OLDEN DAYS before the Internet, when some device of yours had a problem, you had to seek out its manual (probably long misplaced) or some expert repair person.
Now you just go online and enter a few search words. Instantly, there’s the manual for the make, model, and year of your device—even if the manufacturer no longer exists. It’s probably worth having a look at the troubleshooting section. More likely, though, you’ll be drawn to a swarm of relevant YouTube videos begging for your attention. When you tell the search engine what kind of problem your device has, the videos offered become even more relevant. As soon as you pick one to sample, YouTube’s recommendation engine shows you an array of related videos. After a bit of shopping among them, you’ll probably find exactly the lore you need to figure out your device’s problem and several demonstrations of how to fix it. All for free.
YouTube is a damn miracle.