Thursday, 17 January 2019

…my point is, rather, "I'm asking the right questions".

Q: "[how] do you see creating fine art and music?"  This is the part few people suspect: I'm extremely self-critical, and I really do openly discuss (also) the extent to which even learning languages and doing humanitarian work is a waste of time (I think that, e.g., a military veteran could also talk about both the ways in which being in the army is edifying, and also the ways in which it is a waste of time).  I regard your question as legitimate and as giving rise to several interesting answers (and I probably have talked about it a few times, somewhere in my trail of 1,200 videos) —but I also enjoy genuinely reflecting on (e.g.) the extent to which the most sincere efforts imaginable at "improving yourself/society" (through reading or humanitarian work) can turn out to be a waste of time.  I think the whole discourse would be meaningless if I proceeded from a dogmatic position of, "I have all the answers", but my point is, rather, "I'm asking the right questions".

Link 1: The Philosophy of Stupidity: Video Games vs. Books vs. Reality.

Link 2:

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Highlights of my latest attempt to convince "Ask Yourself" to be LESS RACIST.

"Ask Yourself" is the name of a (vegan) youtuber who has been accused of racism many times; after discussing his views at length with him directly (and cordially) I made many attempts to encourage him to address the allegations/rumors against him —and this is partly because I know, directly, that they are not baseless allegations/rumors (he has made many, many statements that outsiders correctly view as racist).  Here are some highlights from my last/latest attempt to encourage him to be less racist, via Facebook message (these are only messages from myself to him, none vice-versa, as I would not violate his privacy).

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Vegan Activism and/or/as Humanitarian Work.

[Reply to a question from a viewer.]
I can make a video in response to this question,  but mebbe you should reply to a few further emails.
Please note that if/when I make a video in reply I will render you anonymous (so feel free to mention the particular job-qualifications/education you have here in this email: I will not repeat the details in a video response to it… I'll make them vague enough that the advice could apply to anyone / any number of people).
There is a major, implicit problem in your email:
(1) You say that you have no job (no current career-path or ambition).  That's fine.  That's not a problem "in itself".
(2) You then talk about vegan activism.
(3) Is the point, implicitly, that you want #2 to be a substitute for #1?  Do you want to try to make vegan activism your source of income and primary/only career?

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

"Not everyone can be lucky (nor beautiful!), but everyone can be virtuous".

Putting this headline on today's youtube video reminded me of one of the first sentences I ever "wrote" in Chinese (back when I didn't know the language at all: just using google translate and a dictionary, with assistance from a native speaker to fix the result).

"Not everyone can be lucky, not everyone can be beautiful", vs. "Not everyone can have luck, but everyone can have virtue".  And yeah, the sentiment is much the same in today's video.

Uh… and the Chinese was… ? 不是每個人都有幸運,但是每個人都能做好事,每個人都能助天道。

Sunday, 2 December 2018

As Dominoes tend to fall in one and the same direction…

Many of you have known me over the internet for 4 years by now (some for 2 years, and so on).  Things have only gotten worse.  They're still getting worse.  There's no reason to interpret that sequence of dominoes as indicating that things will suddenly get better.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Writing to an atheist podcast about the problem of replacing Christmas.

Hi, I'm a nihilistic atheist (I reject much more than just monotheism) and I'm writing with a topic suggestion for your consideration.  I can volunteer to help, but I assume the help would be unwanted.*

The topic is: how do we try to NOT celebrate Christmas with our children, but to provide something better / different for our children.

* (My youtube channel has 3.2 million total views… but that's been gradually acquired over 4 years… I assume you'd just be interested in the topic, and not in my actual collaboration).

What makes this topic so interesting is the level of defensive hostility this raises amongst atheism-activists (and as someone born Jewish, it is parallel to the topic of circumcision amongst secular Jews, I'd say).

I have yet to have a single atheist activist or youtuber respond in a sympathetic way to the fact that I have a 5 year old daughter and I'm going to make the effort to try to have some kind of gift-giving holiday that is NOT Christmas, because I actively reject Christianity.

When I ask them, "Would you have this same attitude if I were an ex-Muslim, explaining to you my struggle to NOT celebrate Ramadan despite tradition, cultural expectations, family, etc.?", they suddenly have nothing to say.  And I don't just use Islam as a contrast, I also refer to Hinduism, Communism, etc.

As with excuses for circumcision (amongst atheists), there is a deep-seated tendency to excuse and preserve what's familiar, even if that preservation makes hypocrites of us all.  People treat me as if I'm a troll in raising an issue I'm really sincere about: my parents were both Communists, and I have lived in two different Communist countries (plus one ex-Communist country)… it is a significant decision NOT to celebrate figures like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Marx, when you live in a culture that does celebrate them.  It's a significant decision to NOT celebrate Christmas.  And apparently this challenge (in pursuit of cultural change) is just too much for many atheist activists to deal with.

My video on the topic (reaching a modest 1,000 viewers… an unpopular topic by any measure) is here:

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Sarcasm for Social Change. :-/

Apparently nobody has made a t-shirt that reads, "Sarcasm for social change" —so I have to do it.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

A Funny Story From My Time as a Denizen of the Chinese Language School.

The tale of a doomed gym romance, in the distinctive setting of Keats Language School (of Kunming, China).







以后,他对我说明这个情况,因为他邀请我替代他。也许他感觉内疚,也许他想想象别一个男人,有道德的人,可能变成她的第一次爱。但是,我对她没有兴趣。  [End.]