I love Mythbusters. That's a tame statement actually, but human vocabulary is limited. Let's just say now and then when I fire up Netflix, the people I live with dread I'm going to watch some episode for the 3rd or 4th time. Seriously though, how can you not watch a hot water tank take off like a rocket again and again?
In fact, I love shows like Mythbusters, though they're my prime love. I love these oddball reality-esque shows that look at weird jobs, foods, areas, history, and more. You know the formula – get the right host with a good personality, a subject, turn them loose, and film the fascinating results. From blowing up toilets to eating tuna eyeballs, these shows are addictive to people like me.
You know, the information junkies, science addicts, and geeks who love anything odd, weird, and unique.
I also think these shows are not appreciated for their additional educational value, so let me pontificate, my fellow progeeks, on their hidden values.
They help you realize how the world works.
Mike Rowe doing disgusting things on Dirty Jobs? That reveals a huge part of the economy that people don't really appreciate or understand. He shows us things we don't know or we tune out or we make assumptions about.
Adam, Jamie, Tory, Grant, Kari, and the rest of the Mythbusters? They dig into what we think – and why it's wrong and right. They show you science and mysteries and things you never knew. Just the way they reconstruct myths gives you a tour of scientific knowledge, falsehoods, and some fascinating stores.
Bizzare Foods? Find out how people eat around the world or in your own backyard, and why they do it. How people stay fed is often moere informative, disgusting, and intriguing than you'd think – and why some strange foods are eaten is telling.
Shows like these and more tell us how the world works.
How does this relate to my focus on progeekery, beyond the fact that if you created a show where people busted disgusting food myths that it'd be a hit? It's because knowing how the world works is a big edge in your career and life. I've said it before – and will again – you need to know how our lives work, how we get our food, how we get our electricity, how people keep the world running, to succeed, survive, and do good.
You've been soaking up that knowledge with every dirty job, every dead pig carcass abused to bust a myth, every time someone eats boar testicles. You're learning here and there how the world works. Because of every disgusting thing eaten, strange job done, or myth busted, you learned a bit more of the big picture of our world.
So keep on doing it, keep on watching – and maybe save or Netflix that one show here and there that may educate someone else about the world and how it works (or in the case of Mythbusters, doesn't). Exploding toilets and calf's blood martinis can teach people more than you realize.