For whatever reason (I'm a software engineer), I particularly enjoy content about everyday physical goods. Knife steel has just been added to my bookmark list, but here are a couple more I think are worth sharing:
Making the ideal wool fabric for outerwear:
Choosing the ideal card-holding material for leather wallets:
The grades and quality of Panama Hats:
"Authenticity" is the word that usually gets wheeled out to explain why people want to spend time learning about, purchasing, and living with these goods, whether the goods are inexpensive, common but basic items or more expensive craft products. In the end it comes down to an ethos about quality, hand-made goods, often made locally, that seems to have survived through the 20th C in the high-end clothing and food industries. It's a form of commerce that people can get behind that doesn't involve mass-production by impersonal corporations.
It's a massive social trend.
It’s also a great article that reminds me of what I actually like so much about the internet. A guy, who’s passions are almost incomprehensible to me in some ways, who has this incredibly specialized knowledge that he wants to share with the world. So he makes a website and shares it. And if I ever want to get deep into this topic there it is.
In the age of clickbait and awful social media it’s useful to remember why we were excited about the thing in the first place. I literally have no demonstrated interest in knife steel but I still want to sign up for this guy’s Patreon just because I’m glad people like him exist.
Is there a blog/website/YouTube channel that aggregates this kind of content?
I love diving head first into this kind of stuff to, but it’s hard to search for.
As an aside, it is probably pretty hard being a metallurgist on the internet. There are so many people who parrot blatantly wrong info, and present themselves as authorities while having essentially zero training. I learned this the hard way by attempting to google comparisons of knife steels in particular, only to realize nearly every single resource gave different answers.
Additionally, I remember one very long thread in a gun debate, where several of these authorities were badmouthing Ruger for using cast vs forged parts, and how that seemed accepted as fact. One person took the time to write to a metallurgist at Ruger, who succinctly stated there was no inherent weakness to properly cast steel, and that their formulas are designed to exceed performance of plain forged steel(im leaving a lot of details out as im working from memory). It was a bit eye opening to me to realize these people who work behind the scenes existed, but at the same time how frustrating it must be to constantly be told you're wrong due to the nature of what you do. Luckily in CS we don't have quite the same issue. Sure people get things incorrect, but the barrier to entry is higher(using a computer and the internet vs using steel), and such a large amount of tech savvy people and CS profressionals exist that these are often cleared up or refuted. Metallurgists and other specialists don't have such a network to rely on.
Most recent tech is still under NDA and the people that do this stuff as their day job don't post on hobbyist boards and doing your own testing is prohibitively resource intensive compared to computer stuff. That's why you don't hear about recent tech until it's old. If you keep up to date on academic papers and industry press releases you can kind of get a fuzzy picture of what's going on.
Electrically adjustible shocks were all over race cars in the late 80s to mid 90s. Sometime around the late 90s, we realized a good static setup is easier to setup, more reliable, cheaper and better understood in most cases. While some sports like drag racing still ocasionally use the tech (due to differing forces during launch vs run). Aditionally, the bose system, in development since the 80s, never really materialized in useable form, despite some neat demos.
True, most roadracing leagues ban it as 'active', and being outside the spirit of the race. This was due to it potentially becoming an arms race of whose sponsor has the deeper pockets.
I do wish there were still a few 'unlimited' style races. Outside some hill-climb racing it seems most innovation is explicitly forbidden. Nascar has no relation to stock cars, f1 are not as fun to watch and have become a bizarre weird sidenote, e-racing is finally coming of age, but regulations are making for some monotonous designs.
I am sure there would be some interest in a no-holds barred race. Hell, there needs be no rule that the craft even needs to touch the ground (or not be sucked down to it). Lets open our collective transportation imagination...
I'd love to see this as well. I think you'd end up with an interesting racing league if you had the following rules:
1. There are speed bumps at the entrance and exit of pit row. (This is to prevent designs that could never work on regular surface streets, such as side skirts for ground effect.)
2. Losing teams can buy the winning vehicle for $100,000. (This is effectively a budget cap to prevent the best funded teams from dominating.)
You'd probably end up with all kinds of crazy designs: active aerodynamics, 6 wheeled vehicles… maybe even gas turbine electric drivetrains. I'd definitely tune in.
Don't forget about land speed racing, which is quickly gaining popularity on repurposed air strips. About the only rules are related to safety, though there are various classes with regards to engine size, fuels, induction type (supercharging, etc), body style and such.
Here are a dozen examples of innovation: https://www.hotrod.com/articles/12-ways-to-go-fast-in-the-st...
I'm pretty sure I'll end up making my own sooner or later...
Aside from the credentialing problem, you will get an amazing return on investment - just view it as buying hours of your own time _not_ wasted on @$@#$# youtube videos.
If you're an over-achiever, you might negotiate a lower price on the understanding that the curriculum he develops (with your feedback/experience) for you stays with him and he markets it on the forums he has credibility in.
cannot say if it actually delivers what it promises, but the video is interesting.