Do you ever pick up an everyday object like a fork or a phone charger or a box of cereal and think about how that object came into being? It's amazing that we have gone from primitive tools to complex manufacturing plants in a relatively short span of time.
In the scope of human history, it wasn't that long ago that if we wanted something we had to figure out how to make it ourselves by hand. Innovation and industry have completely altered the way humans live, and though there are certainly some downsides to industrialization and mass manufacturing, the fact that we've figured out how to make machines reliably and consistently do precise work for us is incredible.
So incredible, in fact, that videos showing machines at work have become popular entertainment. The Canadian TV series "How It's Made" took something that has often been thought of as basic and bland—factory production—and turned it into fun family viewing. I can't count how many times I've found my kids watching YouTube videos of machines making something, calling them "so satisfying."
"Satisfying" is exactly the right word. Not sure why or how, but seeing the repetitive precision of things being made is mesmerizing and calming at the same time.
The Twitter account How Things Are Manufactured has been sharing brief videos of everyday things being made, and people are loving it. Most of them are shorter than a minute, so a nice, quick manufacturing fix.
Check out how these different shaped pastas are made as one example:
\u201cHow pasta is made\u201d— How Things Are Manufactured (@How Things Are Manufactured) 1659781300
Why is that so fun to watch? (And do people really eat black pasta?)
How about how cookie cutters are made? This one is is hard to look away from:
\u201cHow cookie cutters are made\u201d— How Things Are Manufactured (@How Things Are Manufactured) 1659865505
Ever look at a chain link fence and wonder how it came about? Here you go:
\u201cThis is how hexagonal wiremesh is made\u201d— How Things Are Manufactured (@How Things Are Manufactured) 1659606473
It's not just manufacturing that wows, though. Machines that make other things easier, like farming, are also fun to see. For instance, check out this carrot harvester:
Again, so very satisfying.
Sometimes it's also fun to see how things used to be made, though. This traditional method of making noodles in China is so simple, yet brilliant:
\u201cTraditional way of making noodles in Chongqing, China \ud83e\udd24\u201d— How Things Are Manufactured (@How Things Are Manufactured) 1659087599
And for those of us who grew up in classrooms with a globe from the 1950s, watch how they were made by hand. Who knew so many people were part of the process?
\u201cThis is how handmade globes were made in the 1950s\u201d— How Things Are Manufactured (@How Things Are Manufactured) 1659931508
Humans are so fascinating, aren't we? We love the wild beauty of nature and yet we are also drawn to the purposeful precision of human ingenuity. We like to marvel at the magnificence of mountains and gaze at the gargantuan night sky, yet we find wonder in our own creativity and innovation as well.
Now if we can just find the balance between the usefulness of innovation and industry and the protection of our planet and people, that would be truly satisfying.