I just posted a bit of an self-reflective video on my Youtube channel discussing my vision for the channel and this blog, and arguing that even a slow solver can be a solid and relevant contributor to the community:
The rough script is below.
Hello, Youtube. It’s time for me to come clean: I suck at 4×4.
So, you may ask, why do I have a painfully slow more than two-minute 4×4 solve in the background of this video? Partially because I’m a fan of irony. And not Alanis Morissette irony. Eating soup with a fork sucks, but it’s not at all ironic.
Irony, real literary irony, is when the implied meaning is opposite its literal. And that is definitely the case with this video.
The other reason is actually to highlight that, yes, I’m slow. I’ve never run from that fact. I’m a 25 second 3×3 solver on a good day, and I’m not really getting any faster over time.
There’s a certain freedom in admitting that no one comes here to watch a fast speedcuber. I can post slow videos like this one without feeling the least bit self conscious.
That’s not why you should be here, and that’s not what I’m catering to. Instead, I would like to think people subscribe and watch my videos because I’m a decent instructor. Because I have decent production. And because I specifically target an audience that is learning. If you’re already a 15-second solver, you don’t need my channel. And if you’re in search of fast solves, you can find Feliks’ and Mats’ world record solves in about 10 seconds on Google. But if you want to learn along with me, if you share my obsession with finding the easiest algorithms for cases (which often are not the most popular ones or the ones first listed), and if you just want some validation that you can very much enjoy this hobby and be a full-fledged contributor to the community without being a competitive solver, then I would like to think that my channel has something unique to offer you.
But perhaps the biggest contribution I make is not through this channel at all, but instead through my blog at adventuresincubing.com. Almost every one of my videos has a complementary blog post that gives more background and dives more deeply into the topic. I’m a writer by nature, not a videographer. And I think my best cubing work is written, not spoken or filmed.
I think the single best example of that is a post I wrote nearly a year ago on 4×4 parity. I produced a quick video teaching the PLL and dreaded OLL parity algorithms, but lots of others have done the same. Having researched the hell out of parity, and finding most of the information out there terribly confusing, I wanted to write a clear and concise article really unpacking what parity truly is, what causes it, and why the parity algorithms work. Re-reading that post now, I think it accomplishes what I had hoped, breaking down a terribly complicated subject into digestible parts and illuminating it with a useful metaphor. Please go check it out. I think you’ll dig it. And spend some time poking around the rest of the site while you’re there.
Until then, enjoy this painfully executed H perm.
And a quick P.S. I’ll roll some file footage in the background to keep this going.
The video was totally edited, uploaded, tagged, ready to publish. And then I stopped when I saw Kit Clement’s most recent Cubing World video. And I thought it was worth coming back to re-edit this video and add some further commentary since something that Kit said really resonated with me.
Kit talks about how he used to be a very active part of the cubing community and then had sort of backed away for a while and stopped cubing. And that was when he became alienated by the development of what he termed a meritocracy. Basically that people had become consumed by speed and that they had become consumed by who was the fastest, often to the neglect of really important contributors to the community, whether it was through software development, or new solving techniques of just being a friendly welcoming part of the community.
And that really resonated with me particularly because I’m not all that fast but still think of myself as a contributor to the community. I enjoy the hobby very much even if I’m not that fast. And I just got some validation — not that I was looking for it — but I just got some validation from Kit’s video and and I thought I’d mention it. So go check it out. Maybe after you check out my video on partiy. And thanks for watching.