Revenge of the Boring Man

My wife, when having trouble sleeping, would sometimes ask me to tell her about the overtone series. She needed something that would bore her to sleep and she of course knows that I’m a compulsive explainer.

Unfortunately for her, one night she made the mistake of actually listening to the explanation. Then it stopped working.

A couple of months ago, a video showed up in my YouTube feed. It’s linked below. It’s called Polyphonic Overtone Singing. I had a look. The woman singing was really good. It occurred to me that most people seeing this probably didn’t have a clue what they were watching so I, a compulsive explainer, having time, wrote a rather long comment: “For those of you who don’t understand what she’s doing….” I explained what harmonics/overtones are, that she was isolating them, that she couldn’t just pick any upper note because they had to fit into a series, etc. At the time I got a couple of likes and was informed by an email from YouTube that I had a comment. YouTube informs me about comments and likes, but they’re really not consistent about it.

This morning I had a like and, when i get a like on a YouTube comment, I drop in and see what’s going on, see if there are comments in the sub-thread I don’t know about, etc.

Fourteen new comments and 447 likes. People are apparently actually reading this. Sometimes if I get a lot of likes on something I’ll look at the comments around me. I’ll have a dozen likes and the guy before me has a couple of hundred. It can really depend both on traffic and on how early after a posting you comment. The last time I saw that video there were some others who had maybe a dozen likes while I had one or two. They’ve generally still got their dozen or so likes, so my likes are not due to just general traffic. By the way, 447 is way higher than I think I’ve ever gotten on a YouTube thread, probably better than double my next best total.

I guess that explanation is good for more than putting people to sleep.


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