My thoughts on YouTube
The first thing I must say is that I think there is a serious effort underway to discredit YouTube as an educational venue by drowning it in absurdities. First among these is the Flat Earth videos. There is a way around this. See “Refining Your YouTube Recommended Videos” in the next section. Having said this, I am no little impressed by the fact that a major U.S. corporation is allowing us this freedom of expression. Say what you want about Google, but I love them for this. YouTube, when properly used, is indeed the new Library of Alexandria. I am learning to make my own YouTubes. Until then, I have started adding “Vetted YouTube Videos” sections to my pages. They will make it much easier to navigate YouTube and find the best videos on a given subject.
Refining Your YouTube Recommended Videos
First you need to create a YouTube account if you do not already have one. You will also need a YouTube ad blocker. I use Firefox and uBlock Origin. Assuming you have a YouTube account, go to your “YouTube Home” page. There are always two rows of “Recommended” videos at the top of the page. This is the only place you can do this that I know of. You cannot do it in search results. And you cannot do it while watching individual YouTube videos (more on this in a moment). Before you watch anything, look at all of the recommendations. If any of them are for a “Flat Earth” video (or whatever noise you are trying to eliminate), point at the video name and three dots will appear to the right of the name. Now click on the three dots, select “Not Interested,” then select “TELL US WHY,” and then finally indicate that you are not interested in anything from that channel. Do this as often as possible to refine your recommended videos. Overtime the recommendations will become more and more relevant. If you are not sure about a channel and need to watch the video before deciding, you must right click the video and open it in another tab or window. Otherwise if you realize it is a channel you want to block, when you press the back button you may be looking at a different set of recommendations. Then you will not be able to tell YouTube you are not interested because recommendations are the only place you can do this. The opportunity to block that channel is then lost until one of their videos is recommended again. You have no control over when that may happen. Trust me this exercise is well worth the effort.
Essential YouTube Videos (i.e. A Playlist for Thinkers)
These are YouTube videos everyone should watch. They are in no particular order.