I have 400+ subscriptions to channels on Youtube. Most of those channels don’t produce content any more. Of the ones which do, a number of them cluster on certain subjects I’m interested in: guns, e-cigarettes, science and engineering, computers (particularly old ones), Linux, etc. And a number of those offer frequent live broadcasts, which are frequently referred to a “podcasts”. These programs are one to two hours long, and feature shout-outs to users who are currently online, responding to on-line comments, and random chatter amongst the hosts of the shows. Despite liking many of the channels they’re on, I don’t care for podcasts. I’ve often wondered why it is that I don’t like podcasts, and I think I just realized why. Almost all the folks who carry out podcasts are hobbyists in whatever field their channel covers. In particular, I find this true for e-cigarettes and Linux. As hobbyists, they tend to have their noses in every nook and cranny of the field their hobby is in. For example, e-cigarette hobbyists get samples of every new product coming down the pike and do reviews of a lot of them. They know the names of every new mod and topper and coil which comes on the scene. They sample new flavors of e-juice all the time and can tell you which ones came from which company. Linux podcasters see a new version of Ubuntu or Mint or Arch or Gentoo, and they are excited to open a temporary partition on a random machine and try it out. Then they review it for you. This is a hobby for them. It’s what they spend their spare time doing. They’re total geeks for that thing. And here’s the problem: I’m not. By their measure, I have no hobbies. I spend the vast majority of my time programming or watching movies. The watching movies part is just pure entertainment. I don’t try to analyze films and I don’t do reviews of them. As for programming, I’ve been doing that for over 40 years. There are guys who’ve been doing this for a long time, and can and will spend 24 hours a day working on game code because they love it. They love to play the games, they love to program the games. They love to talk about the games, etc. It’s more than just a job or a vocation for them. They live and breathe it. Whatever else it is, it is also a hobby for them. Programming is not a hobby for me. I don’t sit down and think to myself, “Gee, I love to program, and I’m out of projects. What can I program next?” I program in order to complete or update working programs which will be of use. Payroll, Customer Relationship Management, statistics, budgeting, job tracking, accounting and bookkeeping, and the like. I don’t do it for fun, even though I enjoy it mostly. I do it to make a final product that I can use. The first program I ever wrote was one to figure mortgage interest. This is why I don’t code games. I play games only occasionally, and I consider them optional. Plus, the guys who are good at game programming have been doing it for a long time. And it would take me months to catch on to the point where I could do that kind of programming. This “programming for usage” or “programming for functionality” dictates the language I code in, and the type of code I write. For Linux, I decided on the distro I like long ago: Debian. And I run slim desktops like LXDE and XFCE4. I’m not continuously reconfiguring things and tweaking the system. I figured out what works for me, and that’s what I do and use. I’m not interested in Ubuntu or Arch or Slackware or any of that sort of thing. So I’m not a hobbyist for any of this stuff. I do what I do because it results in something more useful in the end, or for pure entertainment. Therefore, I don’t care to to sit around and listen to people just randomly chit-chatting about a field I’m interested in. They know a whole lot more about that field than I do because they pursue it to a much deeper extent. I know as much as I need to know about the field, and really no more. I could visit all the esoterica of programming, for example, but why? I don’t work in a university and experiment with different theories of programming. I use mostly one language, and I mostly solve one kind of problem with it. My interest is entirely practical, not theoretical or experimental. So there you have it. I’m not a hobbyist and I don’t like podcasts. They seem a waste of my time. And the above finally seems to explain why. (Incidentally, the reason this comes up is that I’ve always felt bad that in these fields, all these people seem to know so much more than I do. I felt kind of like a dilettante. No more.)