Saturday, 11 April 2020

à-bas-le-ciel responds to his harshest critics (re: the "raw" policy statement).

[This is directly following up on the discussion already posted to this same blog as two immediately-prior text postings.]

Zdan ~  8:08 PM
As per what Eisel wrote above - I do not think that is needed here. This space focuses on something I deem unrealistic for the majority of people. If people manage to live that sort of life Eisel proposes - more power to them. They are clearly better human beings than myself. My interests lie elsewhere. I will still watch Eisel because I find value in his videos and approaches. That is all.


kovy_17 ~  8:12 PM
Regarding some of the stuff Eisel said above , I definately don't think it is good to have an overly positive attitude when discussing things, but at the same time it seems like a lot of people will be completely turned off to the conversation if you don't. But I think you can still at least attempt to be "polite" if you will ( lay off personal insults for example ) and still be very hard on your critique of someone . But yeah as it's his space so it's his call .
(Regarding "coddling" )


Azihayya ~  8:26 PM
@a-bas-le-ciel (Youtube name) Eisel--if you're holding yourself to a high standard, then I'd ask you to uphold the qualities of grace. As much as you might know, as much as you might have experienced, you aren't except from treating people with kindness or understanding. If to change people's hearts is truly your goal (as is mine, to change your heart), then I'll let you know: there's a better way than yours. 

If you live by your philosophy for five years, what's the outcome? And if you live by mine… ?

samtc ~  3:01 PM
Great vids :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Tobin ~  3:03 PM
i agree practical philosophy always appreciated.

samtc ~  3:08 PM
If only I knew what I wanted to be, and what it means to be good :laughing::disappointed:

Tobin ~  3:10 PM
i believe ur supposed to try things and see if u can see urself doing that for the next 5 - 10 years and decide if your contribution would be meaningful
s/ to be good is virtuous lol its so obvious

MattOverDriver ~  3:12 PM
Who doesn't do that though :joy:

Witty_Fool_63 ~  3:22 PM
Re: "Escaping the Cult of Happiness: the Product of How You Spend Your Time is YOU."

It gets worse than music. I once in my Buddhist days knew a Sri Lankan woman who was a family friend, and she was a mother. (In many Asian cultures we would refer to her an an aunty, but we are not related.) So this aunty told me she would go to the Temple to chant in Pali, and I asked her if she ever chanted in Sinhalese or English, she said no. I asked if she at least knew the meaning of what she was chanting, she said no. And she said she felt happy, peaceful and calm. If my mother weren't there with me, who recently after a time of great abuse she inflicted upon me, I would have strongly reprimanded her like the Buddha would reprimand foolish disciples in the suttas, yes the Buddha reprimands many for having stupid ideas and behaviours etc. I could appreciate if it were the case she didn't have the time, ability, recources amongst other things to learn scholarly languages for Buddhism, but I could not appreciate her choosing not to read the suttas of the Early Buddhist Texts, as it was the case for the majority of Buddhists I came across.

Jonmonji ~  3:31 PM
@a-bas-le-ciel (Youtube name) I would love to hear what your thoughts are on reading a work of fiction and if that's a waste of time, or if even creating such a work would be a waste.

When it comes to the distinction between a game of chess and (or in my case, a grand strategy game like Civilization IV) and a racing game, I would think that the decisions that those types of games force you to make would be what gives those activities value. I inclined to think that the balance that the player has to strike between long term planning and reacting to unforseen circumstances would provide the type of stimulation that could serve as a form of mental exercise.

From my experiences playing civ 6, the activity where some of my bias is held, I've felt many moments of indicision where I had to compromise and make a decision in an unideal situation, while trying to consider what impact that decision may have on other systems in the game. I would like to think that those types of mentally straining situations would reflect to some degree in my ability to do things like: juggling multiple partially related factors when decision making, putting together plans that don't pay off until much later in the future, sacrificing short term payoffs to be able to fulfill those those longer term plans, and sacrificing the potential to complete certain objectives that would have been nice to see in order to accplish something else that represents more value.

Sorry for how wordy this post turned out to be, these last couple videos have me really intreuged, and though I'm not yet fully convinced of every thing that comes with this form of this perspective, these last two videos really do have me reassessing how I think of the activities that make up my life. I'm super exited to have joined this discord

MattOverDriver ~  3:34 PM
When you say you'd like to think Civ 6 translates to decision making outside of the game, have you noticed that or?

a-bas-le-ciel (Youtube name) ~  3:35 PM
@Friedtofu You are in the same position as a crackhead saying, "You don't know how wonderful it is to get high every day for two months straight... If only you tried it... You'd realize that you were as ignorant before as an illiterate reviling Aristotle".

Dude, when I say the most pathetic people of all are the ones who are happy I AM TALKING ABOUT YOU.

Your bullshit justification for playing classical music: you're every bit as pathetic as the churchgoer in rapture...

a-bas-le-ciel (Youtube name) ~  3:38 PM
@Friedtofu In your case, it's even worse, because you don't even perceive your beliefs as faith: you're so committed to this bullshit that you think the "superiority" of J.S. Bach (Mer Han En Neue Oberkeet) over rap music is some kind of objective reality...

...rather than just an idol you abase yourself in front of.

Friedtofu ~  3:38 PM
I mentioned opera and ballet, neither of which Bach wrote any of

a-bas-le-ciel (Youtube name) ~  3:39 PM
Chess was simply the video game of its day.
Whiskey was the crack cocaine of its day.
To think you're doing something"refined" by listening to Opera (songs about boy loves girls, etc.) as opposed to listening to contemporary music is the most pitiable self-deception.
You think Opera and Ballet are superior to Britney Spears?  It's the same garbage, at a higher pricetag. @Friedtofu
If you're not actually racist against black people, how could you possibly regard rap music as LESS meaningful than that horse shit?
Swan Lake?
The video is a direct attack on YOUR delusions,
But your ego is so strongly attached to these excuses that you can't even hear it.
"Oh no, I would never use cocaine like these young people, I only drink whiskey while listening to Opera like my refined ancestors..."

YOU DON'T see how the critique I've already offered (in 20 min total) directly applies to this attitude?

Policy Statement: À-Bas-Le-Ciel is Going to Give it to you Raw.

This is quoted from a very lopsided discussion on my Discord server: here I'm quoting my "conclusion" (or policy statement) at the outset, and then, below, you'll see the context it emerged from following, quoted in sequence.  Basically: people some people have now joined the audience who are really unaware of what the M.O. (or "policy") of the channel has been from day one.
a-bas-le-ciel (Youtube name) ~ 7:38 PM
@Azihayya The reason why I'm tempted to kick you out of this discussion forum is this (this is brief, but I'd encourage you to read to the end before replying).

You're coming into a "server" (Discord discussion group) that is EXPLICITLY COMMITTED TO being anti-video-games.

There's absolutely zero ambiguity in my message on this issue.

This forum is also EXPLICITLY COMMITTED TO "a meaningful life" and the repudiation of "the unexamined life" more generally —and here there must be some ambiguity, because some of the philosophical ideas are ambiguous or debatable. Still: if you've watched my videos [i.e., in general], there's not much ambiguity left.

I criticize others, holding them to a high standard… and I always have (examples within the vegan movement are numerous).

AND (as explained in that video [linked to] above)… I encourage people who want to criticize me to ALSO rise to a similarly high standard.

Nobody's perfect, but if you want to have your own opinion on Aristotle, read Aristotle yourself, and then make your own video showing that I'm wrong (and you can replace "Aristotle" with many other topics I've covered, etc.).

So the question becomes, @Azihayya, WHY THE HELL would you come into the ONE AND ONLY tiny corner of the internet that is devoted to these things…

and beg (let alone demand) that I (or we) have some kind of positive, coddling attitude toward playing video games?

What the fuck is wrong with you, and why would this forum have any reason to exist (and why would my youtube channel have any reason to exist) if the point were for me to have the same bullshit "encouraging" attitude toward things I regard as truly evil?

You're in the position ( @Azihayya ) of a meat eater who sits down in a vegan restaurant and eats beef steak (purchased as take-out from another restaurant) in front of the other patrons (AND I HAVE WITNESSED THIS). You might say to this person eating beef, "In this whole city, every other restaurant is pro-meat except this one… why do you have to come here to eat meat?"

Every other place on the internet is pro-video-game, and pro-unexamined life… I seriously have to ask you @Azihayya… How dare you? I really would like to ask you to quit, rather than banning you:
How the hell did you get this sense of entitlement, to come in here and tell me that my purpose is to make video game addicts feel better about themselves? You might as well tell me that I should be encouraging toward people who smoke marijuana, gamble or eat beef: if you subscribe to à-bas-le-ciel and you join this discord server, YOU ARE SIGNING UP for one of the few moderated discussion spaces with the opposite bias:

I am deeply committed to confronting, debunking and discarding all of these things.

If someone comes in here who supports the use of SSRIs, and they just want to offer a bunch of excuses and rationalizations for anti-depressant use, I think I'd have to say something similar: "Look, almost every single Facebook group and Discord forum is just going to give you 'encouragement' and echo back this sort of bullshit… but you can't demand that I (Eisel Mazard) or any of my fans be 'encouraging' to you… because you have signed up for the one place where we are going to GIVE IT TO YOU RAW, and directly fucking tell you that you're getting brain damage from a drug that was already debunked as pseudoscience in the 1980s."


Saturday, 21 December 2019

My Chinese handwriting, 2019 sample.

I've had a lot of frustration with pens this year: here I'm using a very large pen, writing at a large scale… but the line-style still isn't really working for me.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

On academia itself. Reflections, now at more than 40 years of age.

[A reply.]

My own experience with universities (plural) is so astoundingly negative that I try not to generalize about it.

You mention Hobbes as an example.

At Univ. of Toronto (supposedly the best university in the country) I enrolled in an advanced course on Hobbes (meaning 300 or 400 level, and only specialists are permitted to enroll).

When I mentioned the name of Cromwell, i.e., Oliver Cromwell, the professor said angrily, "WHO?"

I asked how she could be teaching a course on Hobbes if she did not know the name Cromwell.

She instructed me, both before and after that dialogue, that I ought to drop the course because it would be "an open reading", and should be unencumbered by knowledge of facts of any kind.

She started the class by asking if anyone had already read the book (Leviathan) and then instructed me, at that moment, that I should drop the course, for these reasons.

This experience was, in fact, extremely upsetting to me at the time (i.e., for many days after).  I am 41 years old now, and have suffered in both great magnitude and great variety, both depth and breadth, so to speak; today, such a thing might just inspire me to laugh and make some jeering remarks, however, it was really a disturbing experience at the time.

My experience with universities, then and now, was simply of a corrupt oligarchy of bullies defending their positions of unearned authority by denouncing and exiling anyone who challenged their authority —including, e.g., offering a "challenge" by daring to actually read the "required reading" book.

The accumulated "wisdom" even on the most mainstream philosophical questions (e.g., Aristotle) astounds me in much the same way, so that, after decades, it ceases to be astounding: the same corrupt oligarchy accomplishes nothing over many decades, so that when I search the archives for "progress" (again, even on the most mainstream of research/historical questions imaginable) I find instead "regress".  The computerization of past research makes this kind of survey now easier to do, and the embarrassment at the intellectual poverty of our institutions harder to endure.

In an area as obscure as the politics of Laos, the endangered language Cree, or the archaeology of the Pali language, one begins such a search with the excuse of "obscurity" in hand; but I find the intellectual quality on mainstream subjects (from Aristotle to the use of "Extraordinary Rendition" (i.e., torture) by the United States in recent years, or the reforms to the Chinese medical system) to actually be worse than the research in the many obscure fields I applied myself to before.


Thursday, 28 November 2019

More lies and bullying about Copyright on Youtube.

[Message from Andrea Materia, 1 of 2.] 

Since you disputed the claim, there's no other course allowed by YouTube system other than a copyright strike.

However, I manually delayed this for 7 days before it takes effect. It will not, if you retract your dispute. It's how YouTube copyright system works.

It's not at all important my background (I have a degree in Law as a matter of fact), but what DMCA requires. Usage of copyrighted works without a proper license in a publicly distributed audiovisual content, specifically a commercial video, is not allowed.

You haven't asked for permission to the TV producers of the show, nor obtained an agreement in writing. Which would be exactly what a TV station offering a critique of Star Wars would immediately do, even before starting filming that critique segment.

In any case, I'm cc'ing a representative from The Dr. Oz Show online team, if you want to reach out to them.

Your freedom of speech is not impaired at all and we haven't blocked your video, but you cannot monetize works including copyrighted footage, notwithstanding the intrinsic cultural value of your commentary. It is indeed one of the four factors of the Fair Use doctrin: usage must be NON commercial in nature.


[Message from Andrea Materia, 2 of 2.] 

Let me say something. . 
Blocking the monetization is not blocking you from showing the videos. Many channels bloc their videos making impossible for other channel to show their videos even if they use few seconds of their video. The problem is not the right of speech. Is the “right to monetize”. By the way I understand that this part has been used within a longer video. So it’s useless to discuss further. 
You will retract the dispute  and we will manually take the claim away so that you can monetize your video. 
Have a wonderful thanksgiving. 


[My reply.] 

I will reply to both of you.

Please understand that I am explaining the sense in which you are "incorrect": this is a matter of being right or wrong.

Re: "Your freedom of speech is not impaired at all and we haven't blocked your video, but you cannot monetize works including copyrighted footage, notwithstanding the intrinsic cultural value of your commentary."

This is untrue: in the American legal tradition (and it is similar in the British Empire tradition, i.e., England and Canada) the right to earn money from your speech is identical to freedom of speech.  For example, if someone prevents a newspaper from earning revenue (from advertising) because of their political message, that is legally tantamount to repressing their freedom of speech.

If the government prevents a newspaper from selling advertising because it is too left-wing (or too right-wing) in its (editorial) political views, that is (legally) repressing the newspaper's freedom of speech.

Please understand: you are factually incorrect about this (in the legal and policy context of youtube).  In Communist China, there is a different legal tradition, but this is irrelevant to the discussion of youtube policy in 2019 (under American law, for the most part).

Re: "You haven't asked for permission to the TV producers of the show, nor obtained an agreement in writing. Which would be exactly what a TV station offering a critique of Star Wars would immediately do, even before starting filming that critique segment."

This is completely, factually untrue (both in principle and in practice).

TV stations do not require permission to criticize a clip of Star Wars, nor a clip of Donald Trump speaking: they DO NOT need to get an agreement in writing for this type of broadcasting (and they never do so in the United States).

Use of footage of a private individual is somewhat different (e.g., if you had "hidden camera" footage of a non-famous, non-political person who did not agree to participate), but any "public figure" is fair use and fair game.

I do not know how you made this error: you are both very badly mistaken about the basic reality of "fair use" law in the American tradition (and apparently you have no experience working in the media… whereas I do!).

Again, you can familiarize yourself with the principles and practices in the American tradition via Wikipedia:

"[A] reviewer may fairly cite largely from the original work, if his design be really and truly to use the passages for the purposes of fair and reasonable criticism. On the other hand, it is as clear, that if he thus cites the most important parts of the work, with a view, not to criticize, but to supersede the use of the original work, and substitute the review for it, such a use will be deemed in law a piracy ..."

That's the deal.

Using a one minute quotation from Jordan Peterson (a public figure) in the context of offering a political critique of Jordan Peterson is very clearly protected freedom of speech both under American law and under youtube policy.

It is astounding that you have failed to recognize this.

Re: "By the way I understand that this part has been used within a longer video. So it’s useless to discuss further. You will retract the dispute  and we will manually take the claim away so that you can monetize your video. "

This is a somewhat bizarre statement: are you (or are you not) admitting that you have been wrong in every single statement you made above?

Are you, in fact, going to cancel your malicious and false copyright strike against my channel, and the repression of my free speech through the intentional misuse of youtube's copyright system?

You say, "and we will manually take the claim away so that you can monetize your video."

We'll see.  Either you'll do it, or I'll see you in court.

You CANNOT win in court, do you understand this?  I won't even need to hire a lawyer: the only possible argument you could offer (legally) would be that "one minute" of the video is so extensive that it replaces the original TV program (akin to playing the whole of Star Wars in reviewing Star Wars), and you know very well that you could not win with this argument.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Every day I have to deal with (false) copyright claims against my channel.


we will give you 7 days to retract your dispute before issuing a copyright strike.

You're severely misunderstanding how copyright law works.

We haven't removed your video from YouTube, nor prevented you from presenting your commentary and voicing your freedom of expression.

We have on the other hand claimed the part of your video which uses, WITHOUT a proper license, an entire minute of our property, since we manage all of Dr Oz assets on YouTube on his behalf.

Fair Use does allow your to transform the original, as you say, and indeed you have NOT received any copyright strike yet.

But it doesn't allow you to monetize intellectual properties not of your own. You have to negotiate an appropriate license for that.

I hope you will appreciate the fact that we try to reach out to Creators instead of just managing copyright and sending out notifications as all of the other networks do.

Thank you.


Andrea Materia

Greater Fool Media Srl, CEO


[My reply.]

You are incorrect on every point of fact here —including your
statement that you have NOT made a copyright strike against me (you

Re: "You're severely misunderstanding how copyright law works."

No, I might say these same words back to you: I'd encourage you to
consider both youtube's own guidelines and to just glance at a few
wikipedia articles on the "Fair Use" case law (court precedents) that
both define and describe what the American tradition is.

Please ask yourself this question: would a T.V. station be allowed to
play "an entire minute" (as you say) of the film Star Wars, in the
process of offering a critique of that film?  Yes, they would.  That
is fair use (a.k.a. "fair dealing", etc.) —and it is a clearly
protected form of freedom of speech.

Please ask yourself: would I be allowed to play "an entire minute" of
footage of Donald Trump speaking (that I did not record myself, but
someone else owned the rights to) in the course of offering a critique
of Donald Trump?  This is the most clearly protected use of freedom of
speech in the United States (and in most western democracies likewise)
and I am protected even in broadcasting on television and even in
offering advertisements (in a newspaper, on television, or on youtube)
because a law to the contrary would have "a chilling effect" on
freedom of speech.

You say that you are a C.E.O.

May I ask what university education you have?  My major was political
science.  I understand your (stated) good intentions, but you're wrong
on this: if you take me to court, you'll lose (a very casual glance at
Wikipedia-level summaries of salient case law will make this clear to
you, if you have some education in the field.

Thank you for your time, and by all means, please do cancel your
copyright strike against my channel.  Otherwise, yes, I'll see you in