Great Big Story
To summarise the content: it is a set of mini documentaries showcasing “trivial” facts about human lives from all over the world.
In theory, I should hate the videos, being a cynical adult that I am. In actuality, it has the complete opposite effect on me.
I don’t know how they did it. But, every video successfully reminds me how the world we live in is inherently worth exploring. Every video successfully convinces me how even the most “useless” facts can enrich our lives.
No, it has nothing to do with the visual artistry. If anything, I find “shallow” videos with beautiful packaging infuriating; it is a pathetic attempt of overcompensating which only flimsy minds fall for.
So, why do I love GBS videos when they are beautifully-packaged and “shallow”?
If I want to apply Occam’s Razor to this, maybe deep down I don’t see those “useless” facts as useless. Maybe I am one of those nerds who believe everything is worth learning about.
But, that does not make any sense. Similar content is abundant online and most fail to inspire me. With that in mind, it is hard to believe I am one of those people.
I have a more abstract hypothesis: maybe it has something to do with the personalities behind the scenes.
When other media outlets make similar videos, the results feel less like mini documentaries and more like miscellaneous news reports. It seems they treat trivia as mere “fun facts” instead of things that can potentially broaden our horizons.
It is either the people behind the scenes perceive their audiences as shallow OR they themselves are shallow. It is the complete opposite with GBS, who assumed their audience are as inquisitive as they were.
Their inquisitiveness also makes me feel nostalgic. At one point as a young boy, I was genuinely curious about literally everything! I mean, my idea of fun involved reading encyclopaedia sets, watching science shows on TV and fantasising myself as a genius scientist/explorer who master every discipline imaginable!
In a way, I am being reminded that I should relive my childhood sense of curiosity and quit being picky about what I should and shouldn’t learn.
It is a shame GBS shuts down for good. Frankly, I wish it happens to CNN instead; I am sure the world would be just fine without CNN, if not better.
Oh, and one more rambling: the fact that GBS focuses on human stories also reminds me how exploration is an inherently human endeavour. Not only it is normal to be curious, it is also abnormal to not be curious.
I know that is a big stretch. But, that’s how my dumb mind works.
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