Losing grip – Intrinsic hobby values
Happy Friday everyone! Today, some of you might quit reading after about five sentences. I’m going to elaborate on a topic that’s been swimming around in the back of my mind for quite a while, eluding a firm grasp up until the last few days. Nagging me, a slippery thing that I haven’t quite been able to stick any words to. Until now:
Extrinsic versus intrinsic hobby values.
There are numerous articles and essays in well regarded journals about intrinsic and extrinsic values written by minds way brighter than mine, but few if any of them relate these values to the RC hobby. So, here goes nothing.
Still here? That might mean you’re not all lost in the extrinsic, or external, aspects of this hobby. The extrinsic values of this lovely hobby are the ones we immediately see. On Instagram for example. What do we see there? Things that makes us want to buy things. “Look at this shiny new thingy I’ve installed”, “Look at this shiny new car I got”, “Look at how cool this looks throwing roost in slo-mo”. Cool stuff, but without any intrinsic value.
You’ll certainly see them in this column too, I have done numerous reviews and features on all kinds of upgrades and such. Extrinsic values are very easy to communicate – a picture is all it takes, and a picture is consumed in less than ten seconds. Then we’re ready for the next one. Just look at your Instagram feed and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The intrinsic values, those that are good in and of themselves, are the ones that brought me into this hobby, made me stay, and made me start writing this column. At their simplest and best, I’d like to say they are the aspects of this hobby that make us smile, that bring us peace, that bring us closer to one another. They are good in and of themselves – unlike the extrinsic ones. A brass steering knuckle is in essence a dead piece of metal with an odd shape to it. The intrinsic values are difficult to communicate, be it in a column, or an Instagram post. They are not money makers. They can’t be consumed and then swiped away for the next pic. They are, essentially, experienced.
A couple of days ago me and my son were drifting in the botanical gardens when we happened upon a family we haven’t seen in a long time. As I got talking to the parents, I saw their ten year old daughter eyeing my car and immediately handed over the control telling her “Just have a go, you can’t break it”. She had a great time*! As I had just before, taking turns drifting with my son, commenting on each other’s driving and having a bit of a laugh. It was good, in and of itself. The RC hobby as a means of playing with my son.
Am I making sense? Do you catch my drift? If not, that would sort of prove my point. I cannot share all the different joys that are to be found in this hobby in the same way as I can share the pros and cons of two different ESC’s. I cannot make you feel them. I can probably make you want to buy something though.
My point being? Well, do go ahead and buy whatever you think you need for your rig, but don’t forget to search and savour the more elusive, but deeper, happiness this hobby might bring you. Go for a trail drive, enjoy the scenery. Grab your tools, wrench, let your mind wander. Drop your phone, call a mate, go driving, have fun together.
Don’t forget the intrinsic values – in the end, that’s what it’s about.
To read another column, hit the link!
* Actually, turned out she could break it. Left rear wheel won’t move anymore, think there’s a rock stuck somewhere – she hit the flower beds more than once…
My son (in the background) and I had good fun taking these pictures, him trying to drift around me, me dancing around in a squat with a heavy finger on the camera trigger. I need to work on that car’s stance, look at how the front end lifts!