Ask Adam Anything: Learning from the Internet

Every week, Adam takes a question from the Tested Premium Member community in the comments section below or on social media (tagged #AskAdamSavage) and answers here. This week, Adam gets a question about a specific woodworking project, and uses the opportunity to talk about how he learns and finds answers online, oftentimes in youtube videos. It involves what he calls the rumpelstiltskin method.

Comments (11)

11 thoughts on “Ask Adam Anything: Learning from the Internet

  1. The “Rumpelstiltskin Method” is key. I don’t care if it is a certain part or a method you’re looking for. Until you know the name, you’re lost. I once took a still shot of a make video and highlighted a random part and sent the picture to the author and said “what is this and where did you get it?” It was a really basic part but I was new to the subject matter and didn’t even know what to search for. I got a reply and I was off and running.

  2. I spent so many countless hours at my small public library trying to learn things as a kid. Make-up, visual effects, robotics, you name it. I can’t imagine what kind of mischief I would have gotten up to with the internet at my disposal. I also find it endlessly mind-boggling that my kids take it for granted. They also take the tech at their disposal completely for granted (or gripe about battery life)

    I have an order of magnitude more filmmaking power in my pocket in the form of an iPhone than I had being a super-8 nerd. I would have happily sacrificed a number of body parts for this kind of capability at 12 years old.

    also, get off my lawn

  3. Hey Adam! My question is this: What is the best place to start Networking to get in with a company like ILM for instance?

    I work in the aviation industry as a maintenance technician. What I really wanted to do by going to A&P school (Airframe and Powerplant school) was learn as many different disciplines as I could under one roof (I.e. electronics, composites, paint, hydraulics, welding, sheet metal, Pnumatics etc. ) in order to get my chops up to work in the special effects industry or even work with you on MythBusters. Too bad the show ended before I got the chance.

    At home I may have all of the collective hobbies of the entire Tested crew ( 3d printing, laser cutting, sculpting, arduino, prototyping for some startups, plus all of the wood and metal work I can get my hands on. You even retweeted my shop pics a while back) and I really want to work in my dream job. Large scale animatronics.

  4. Exactly right.

    Unfortunately, it’s not really a “method” as the description calls it, since there is no procedure you can apply to the problem. Adam calls it the “Rumplestiltskin Rule” in the video. That or “Effect” are better terms for it.

    There may be hundreds of people on the net teaching the skill, demonstrating the technique, or cataloguing the objects you’re looking for, but they might as well be invisible to you, unless you know the correct name — and there is no single surefire way, no “method”, for finding out what it is.

    You mentioned one way in which you once found out a “true name”. Having a handful of similar approaches for learning terminology is a required skill if one wants to learn from the internet.

  5. Adam you are so right about learning new skill on youtube and how its fun and kind of ZEN to watch makers video.

    I began 3 years ago when I discovered your Tested video and I binge watched all of them. In one of them you talked about Mathias Wandel and how is video was inspiring. So I binge watched is channel too. And after that I was in a spiral of makers, down the rabit hole!

    Now I’m a maker my self.

    Youtube is awsome!

  6. You made a comment about visiting the question owner’s shop to problem solve with them. How about possibly doing a serious about visiting member’s shops or a contest to win a visit from you? Just an idea.

  7. The great thing in this generation of YouTube videos is that you can watch a master do something and learn from it. The unfortunate thing about YouTube videos is that you can watch a master do something and make yourself feel completely inexperienced and overwhelmed.

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