MCAT CARS Skills—The Engines of Infatuation


Session 14

Reddit and YouTube are commonly used internet sites. Follow along and see if you find the main point the author is making about these two internet giants!

Jack from Jack Westin joins us once again as we dive into another great article from Wired Magazine. By the way, Jack has another course coming up which offers a more in-depth process, teaching you how to think through the passage and use that information you understand to answer the questions. It helps develop your ability to capture the right information. The course also focuses on timing, accuracy, and the entire exam. Email [email protected] for more information. It’s a university level course that includes live office hours and you’re going to be able to walk through the course with Jack himself.

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Link to article: https://www.wired.com/story/youtube-reddit-rabbit-holes/

You want the real windows into someone’s soul? Look at their Reddit subscriptions. It’s all there: their passions, their hobbies, their ideological leanings, their love of terrible haircuts and sublime anonymized cringe. And if they’re anything like me, those subscriptions also tell the tale of a life spent diving down rabbit holes.

Origami. Board games. Trail running. Pens. Cycling. Mechanical keyboards. Scrabble. (I know. God, I know. There are jokes to be made here. Trust that I’ve already made them all myself.) Whenever my interest attaches itself to a new thing—which has happened my entire life, cyclically and all-encompassingly—I tend to develop a singular, insatiable appetite for information about that thing. Hey, you know what the internet is really good at? Enabling singular, insatiable appetites.

Especially since 2005. That’s the year Reddit and YouTube launched within months of each other, and obsession became centralized. You had options before that, blogs and message boards and Usenet forums, but they weren’t exactly magnets of cross-pollination. They didn’t fully open the floodgates to minute details and the masses yearning to pore over them. Then, on opposite sides of the country, two different small groups of twentysomething dudes created twin engines of infatuation. Between their massive tents and their ease of use, Reddit and YouTube tore away the guardrail that had always stood between serial hobbyists and oblivion.

For all the hand-wringing about both sites—YouTube’s gameable recommendation algorithm that can radicalize dummies at the drop of a meme, Reddit’s chelonian foot speed when dealing with bad actors and hate speech in the more noisome subreddits—both are incredible resources for the participatory realm. Watching more experienced people do what you’re trying to do, sharing setups and techniques, even getting support and commiseration from those who are similarly, rapturously afloat in the same thing you can’t stop reading and thinking about: It’s not just a recipe for intellectual indulgence, but for improvement as well. (On YouTube, that value comes from the creator; on Reddit, it comes from the comments. Swap the two at your own peril.)

Rabbit holes are what make Beauty YouTube such a colossus, why the Ask Science subreddit has 16 million subscribers. But they also hold a secret: The deeper you go, the tighter it gets. That’s because a rabbit hole is a filter bubble of sorts, albeit one that’s labeled as such and explicitly opted into—you’re there because you’re interested in this Thing, as is everyone else, and under such celebratory scrutiny that Thing distends, its perceived stature far outweighing its real-life impact. Just because there are a million opinions about something doesn’t make it important to anyone outside the bubble, let alone crucial.

[07:45] Paragraph 1, Sentences 1-2

You want the real windows into someone’s soul? Look at their Reddit subscriptions.

Jack says:

The author says that if you want to look into someone’s soul then look to what they subscribe to in Reddit or what communities they’re involved in on Reddit. It seems weird, We don’t exactly know what they’re talking about. But when they talk about window, it could mean an opening into someone’s soul and understanding their soul. This can be more philosophical for some students to understand.

But if you didn’t know what Reddit was, it’s saying a subscription of some sort. So maybe it’s a magazine subscription or a newspaper. We don’t know exactly but it’s some sort of subscription.

[10:21] Paragraph 1, Sentence 3

It’s all there: their passions, their hobbies, their ideological leanings, their love of terrible haircuts and sublime anonymized cringe.

Jack says:

Their telling us about what Reddit subscriptions would be about.

[10:43] Paragraph 1, Sentence 4

And if they’re anything like me, those subscriptions also tell the tale of a life spent diving down rabbit holes.

Jack says:

A “rabbit hole” is an idiom which means you kind of get lost chasing something and getting distracted. The author is saying that the subscriptions on Reddit are telling us about these people chasing rabbit holes.

Although an idiom, the MCAT doesn’t really focus on idioms. An idiom is something that has meaning behind it that may not be directly obvious. So when you go down the rabbit hole, you go into this new world just like the story of Alice in Wonderland. It’s not clear why or how but they’re trying to say that Reddit gets you caught up immersed in something different, unique, and magical in some ways, or psychologically impactful.

[12:49] Paragraph 2, Sentence 1

Origami. Board games. Trail running. Pens. Cycling. Mechanical keyboards. Scrabble. (I know. God, I know. There are jokes to be made here. Trust that I’ve already made them all myself.)

Jack says:

It’s a list that’s telling of the passions, hobbies, back in the first paragrpah. So Reddit has something to do with your passions and hobbies, your idealogical leanings. They also bring up terrible haircuts and other stuff. Now, their bringing up origami and board games. So it seems like they’re very specific and unique stuff. So maybe the rabbit hole contains all these little things.

[14:35] Paragraph 2, Sentence 2

Whenever my interest attaches itself to a new thing—which has happened my entire life, cyclically and all-encompassingly—I tend to develop a singular, insatiable appetite for information about that thing.

Jack says:

This explains everything about these different hobbies or activities that you need to know. Everyone has found some kind of interest where they were obsessed with it. And it seems that Reddit helps expand on that or supports this. So we know that Reddit contains our passions that have something to do with our ability to focus on it.

[16:02] Paragraph 2, Sentences 3-4

Hey, you know what the internet is really good at? Enabling singular, insatiable appetites.

Jack says:

We now know that Reddit is some element of the internet. And we probably didn’t know that before, but now we do. So far, we talked about certain specific activities that you’re interested in and the internet supports that.

[17:04] Paragraph 3, Sentences 1-2

Especially since 2005. That’s the year Reddit and YouTube launched within months of each other, and obsession became centralized.

Jack says:

They’re continuing this thought about the internet. Now, they’re considering Reddit as important as YouTube. And pretty much everyone knows what YouTube is. So both have similarities which are both internet companies that may contain information that help with your passions.

[17:52] Paragraph 3, Sentence 3

You had options before that, blogs and message boards and Usenet forums, but they weren’t exactly magnets of cross-pollination.

Jack says:

Before these two, there were other things on the internet but there was something lacking. This is the big picture. And so Reddit and YouTube are fulfilling something that wasn’t there, which is something that is unique, new, and important. The actual “magnets of cross-pollination” makes no difference. But it probably means the forums and message boards were not able to communicate with one another.

[19:21] Paragraph 3, Sentence 4

They didn’t fully open the floodgates to minute details and the masses yearning to pore over them.

Jack says:

Pollination in the previous sentence just means interactions between one another. And now, they’re saying that the floodgates, being analogous to information or anything being released through the gates. Floods are very heavy and waters that come through certain gates. So Reddit and YouTube are releasing this information that was once maybe limited. So both are opening up the gates so this information or “water” is coming through. So here, cross-pollination mentioned previously may not mean people interacting but details and data being released everywhere.

[21:30] Paragraph 3, Sentence 5

Then, on opposite sides of the country, two different small groups of twentysomething dudes created twin engines of infatuation.

Jack says:

The MCAT could easily break what they’re talking about and go into a whole new discussion, just like this. So be prepared for that. It doesn’t have to happen in a whole lnew paragraph. It could happen within the same paragraph. That’s where focus on reading for understanding can help a lot. So here, they’re now talking about small groups of people who created “twin engines of infatuation” – the twins being Reddit and YouTube, and engine refers to power. Again, we’re talking about passion so maybe YouTube and Reddit have something to do with our passions and how that is being sped up or powered through.

[23:06] Paragraph 3, Sentence 5

Between their massive tents and their ease of use, Reddit and YouTube tore away the guardrail that had always stood between serial hobbyists and oblivion.

Jack says:

Serial hobbyists refer to specific people interested in specific hobbies. So Reddit and YouTube are allowing people to really focus on certain hobbies. And to others, it may not be that important. All you really need to know is that Reddit and YouTube have become central places where people are obsessed over things.

[24:44] Paragraph 4, Sentence 1

For all the hand-wringing about both sites—YouTube’s gameable recommendation algorithm that can radicalize dummies at the drop of a meme, Reddit’s chelonian foot speed when dealing with bad actors and hate speech in the more noisome subreddits—both are incredible resources for the participatory realm.

Jack says:

YouTube’s “gameable recommendation algorithm can radicalize dummies at the drop of a meme” can sound negative. But you may not know that. Chelonian refers to turtles, which means slow when dealing with bad actors and hate speech. It’s saying it’s noisome so maybe it’s something that’s irritating, which can be negative. And even if they have these issues, they’re still great and awesome! They’re telling us that they’re participating. So Reddit and YouTube has some kind of participation factor into it. Maybe that’s going to be important but overall, nothing has changed. We’re still talking about Reddit and YouTube and how they’re helpful for us.

[27:03] Paragraph 4, Sentence 2

Watching more experienced people do what you’re trying to do, sharing setups and techniques, even getting support and commiseration from those who are similarly, rapturously afloat in the same thing you can’t stop reading and thinking about: It’s not just a recipe for intellectual indulgence, but for improvement as well.

Jack says:

Somebody is using Reddit or YouTube to do or learn. If you do all these things, it can help you. This is the kind of sentence that a lot of students can get lost. Even though they think they find the passage interesting, they don’t necessarily understand the sentence. And that can mess with them when they get to the question.

[28:56] Paragraph 4, Sentence 3

(On YouTube, that value comes from the creator; on Reddit, it comes from the comments. Swap the two at your own peril.)

Jack says:

It’s the comments from people that’s where the value comes from. And they’re educating us on the importance of Reddit’s comments, which are comments on the internet. Within four paragraphs, we now know what Reddit is. They explained it well that Reddit is a place where you go find specific information and it has comments as discussion boards and things you can ask questions to experts and get sympathy from other people. All that is explained in four paragraphs but it was done passively. It’s not like a textbook that explains things in a very active manner. For CARS, they explain things over time and over the course of the passage and they expect you to pick up on things. Your sharpness is very important here. Their leaning, direction, and arguments or tone become very important.

[30:28] Paragraph 5, Sentence 1

Rabbit holes are what make Beauty YouTube such a colossus, why the Ask Science subreddit has 16 million subscribers.

Jack says:

People going down these rabbit holes are what makes these two different channels so great will so many subscribers.

[31:25] Paragraph 5, Sentence 2-3

But they also hold a secret: The deeper you go, the tighter it gets. That’s because a rabbit hole is a filter bubble of sorts, albeit one that’s labeled as such and explicitly opted into—you’re there because you’re interested in this Thing, as is everyone else, and under such celebratory scrutiny that Thing distends, its perceived stature far outweighing its real-life impact.

Jack says:

This second sentence is very hard to understand and you can get sentences like this on the CARS. But the last part explains everything you need to know. The sensor perception of Reddit and YouTube far outweighs its really life impact, so maybe, the stuff you’re doing on Reddit and YouTube is not as important as you may think it is. And that’s maybe what they mean by “the tighter” the rabbit hole gets. It’s maybe because you’re becoming more focused on it. And it’s only for you. So it seems like there is a disconnect with other people that it’s really focused on you and it’s not as impactful to everyone. Or it may not even be impactful to you, for all we know.

[34:09] Paragraph 5, Sentence 4

Just because there are a million opinions about something doesn’t make it important to anyone outside the bubble, let alone crucial.

Jack says:

It’s ringing in some kind of negativity here. Maybe, the more specific you get, the fewer people care. People don’t care as much or it’s not as important.

[35:13] The Big Picture

The author is trying to say that YouTube and Reddit are sites people go to as they’re focused on their obsessions or fixations. They’ve mentioned positives and negatives so the author overall, seems a little bit neutral on this. They don’t make a very clear distinction on which side they agree on. They just mentioned both sides. But ultimately, they’re saying these things are focused on what you’re passionate about.

[37:01] Check Out Jack Westin

If you’re looking for some more personalized attention with your MCAT CARS strategy and prep, check out Jack Westin and learn about his MCAT CARS strategy course. Get a $100 coupon and get access to over 70 hours of instruction to learn, to master the critical thinking skills necessary to get the CARS score of your dreams. Get personalized attention and gain confidence with clear, proven methods. Or text CARSCOUPON to 44222 and we’ll send you the link as well.

Links:

Jack Westin

[email protected]

[email protected]

Link to article: https://www.wired.com/story/youtube-reddit-rabbit-holes/

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