Thursday, 26 January 2023

Will I be able to attend my own mother's funeral? Yes or no?

Gail,

I am asking you this directly, and this is not the first time.


Will I be able to attend my own mother's funeral?


Yes or no.


I was not invited to attend my father's funeral.


I was not invited to attend my sister's wedding —and this is a directly related example.


Gail: many people throughout the family hate me because of lies that you told about me.


You and Barry both told lies about me.


Beth, also, told lies about me.


These lies were —for you— utterly self-serving.


Other people in the family have told me —verbatim— what those lies were.


I am not using my imagination.


So: will I be able to attend my own mother's funeral, yes or no?


Gail: you beat me and screamed at me throughout my whole childhood, and this only ended when I was physically large enough to stop you from beating me.  Those beatings (and the endless hours of screaming) were often insane, and often had nothing to do with me (they were not some carefully measured out punishment because I'd done something wrong).  You know this.


You and Barry both were willing to make up an astonishing array of lies to cover this up, and to silence me if I dared to mention it, and you were equally willing to lie to cover over much more trivial "inconveniences", such as rats living in our kitchen: you have denounced me and defamed me for my entire life (even when I was a teenager, it's amazing to say) and you have always been eager to claim that I'm the cause of every problem —even when I was eight years old (etc.).


[Footnote: the reason why the rats in the kitchen are mentioned here is that it is one of the few examples my mother is willing to admit to.  She and my father both told many, many people that I was hallucinating and insane because I factually (and calmly) reported very obvious (verifiable) evidence that we had rats living in the kitchen (and, also, I had seen the rats directly).  The evidence included, for example, a bag of bagels that had been gnawed into by tiny teeth and claws.  My mother absolutely insisted that I was insane and hallucinating (again: saying this to many, many people) and then —nevertheless— was screaming and weeping very much like an insane person when she finally discovered the corpse of one of the rats herself, inside a kitchen drawer.]


Beth has imitated you in this respect: she also lies about me, blames me, etc., and you (and Barry) have been willing to pretend that her lies are believable (although they are not).


Not a single one of my brothers or sisters sent me a single email in reply when I sent them photographs of myself holding my daughter (as a new born baby) in my arms: not one of them sent me an item of clothing or a toy for the child.  Not one.  I was the youngest child in the family: none of these people have ever behaved like an older sister toward me, none of these people have ever behaved like an older brother toward me.  Never.


I was not invited to attend my father's funeral.  I was not invited to attend my sister's wedding.  I know why.


Many people asked about me at Beth's wedding: they asked why I was absent, and they told me the ridiculous lies they were told in reply.


Will I be able to attend my own mother's funeral, yes or no?


Gail: if you don't think about this now (and if you don't act on this now) there will be negative repercussions that are really quite predictable.


E.M.

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Then, and only then, you will begin to change the world.



——— On Compromise. ———

Q: I'm going to forgive imbeciles.  I'm going to work with despicable people.  I'm going to compromise, and I'm actually going to change the world.  You can be alone if you wish.

A: On the contrary, you will try:

you will try to work with imbeciles,

you will try to work with despicable people.

You will try to compromise, and you will fail, and you'll feel the bitterness of knowing how much better off you would be (and how much better the outcomes of your project would be) if you had been uncompromising, if you had held others to the same standards as yourself.

And then, only then, you will begin to change the world.

Q: How many people will actually change the world, with or without compromising? […]

A: Those who will change the world choose themselves.  Both the many and the few: they choose themselves.

And they choose themselves because they know themselves.  First know, then choose.

I am not entirely unprejudiced, HOWEVER…



On the importance of NOT moving to Germany.

[You should read this with an awareness that the fellow whom I'm replying to here made a tremendous effort to both speak to me in depth (about the possibility of helping me) and to actually offer real assistance ("help" in the strictest sense of the term). Do not assume that I am reproaching him.  However, it is true that he is totally unknown to me: I have never seen him in a youtube video, and I have never seen a photograph of him on Instagram, and he only started writing to me a few days ago.]


—————


(1) A disclaimer:


I am not (in the paragraphs below) engaging in a criticism of your character…


and I am not engaging in a criticism of your motivations.


I am willing to assume that you are a good person, and I am willing to assume that you have good motivations…


HOWEVER


I do believe it is worthwhile to question the implicit assumptions "beneath" some of the things you are saying —and I hope you will not be insulted.


To give you an example: when I was at Cambridge, many Europeans talked to me as if I would (effortlessly) have a PhD very soon (within a few years) and when I explained to them that it was impossible (or NEARLY impossible) for me to get a PhD they absolutely refused to believe it.


Does this mean they are bad people?  Does this mean they have bad motivations?  No: but they have a set of assumptions that need to be challenged.  They are not willing to believe that Cambridge University excludes me.  They are not willing to believe that every university in Europe, America and Asia excludes me (and, thus, that there are no opportunities for me anywhere).  To them, this is unbelievable.


This is important to question.


(2) What is the life I would have in Germany for the next 5 years if I accepted this "deal with the devil"?


Let us round off my age and say: from age 45 to age 50…


if I accept this "job seeker" visa…


and I get a job working at a gas station or a grocery store…


speaking German every day…


living with the same status as a Turkish immigrant (or worse)…


what will my future be?


What is there positive about this scenario?


Now I will give you a contrast: if I move to Las Vegas, Nevada, my life will be horrible (in many, many ways!) but I can at least attend stand up comedy (in English) and possibly audition to do stand up comedy myself.


That is ONE positive thing I can say about Las Vegas.


There is not even one positive thing to be said about Germany.  Not one.


Not short term, not long term.


I know Germany well.  I know the German language well.  I know German history well.  I know German politics well.  I know German philosophy well (Hegel, Kant, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer… etc. etc.).


It's all bad, Alexander.  All of it.


Germany is not merely the worst country in Europe, it is the worst country in the world.  Germany is not merely the worst country at this moment: it is the worst country that has ever existed in the history of the world.


People pretend that Cambodia is morally despicable, but let's be honest: the Cambodians (in the paranoid massacres of their failed revolution) can never be compared to the evil of the Germans.  It is utterly laughable to pretend that the Japanese empire has a moral stain comparable to the stain that Germany still bears.


And you know: I look Jewish and I am Jewish —even if I am an atheist, I am Jewish enough that the Nazis (still today) will hate me.


What could really be a worse suggestion, for me, than Germany?


In every way, short term and long term?


I am saying this to challenge your implicit assumptions: I do not think your motivations are bad.  Perhaps you really assume I would have a wonderful life in Germany (for the next 5 years and the next 50 years, if I should live so long).



(3) You say that you are an intellectual.


Maybe so.


You say that you are studying to get a PhD.


Maybe so.


Most of the people I have known who have PhDs are stupid, crazy and malign.


Sometimes they are just stupid and crazy, sometimes just stupid and malign, etc., but very often they are all three: stupid AND crazy AND malign.


I have known many, many people with PhDs who are genuinely insane.  I have known many PhD students (whether or not they completed their PhDs) who were insane.


How many people with PhDs were NOT STUPID?  (Very few.)  How many PhD students were NOT STUPID?  (Very few.)


I have known these people all over the world, in many walks of life.


Do you actually believe that you are intelligent enough to sit at a wooden table with me for two hours and talk about politics, to record that as a podcast, and upload it for the world to hear?


IN NINE YEARS nobody has ever been willing to do that with me, including people with PhDs, and the most frequently given reason is: "I would feel stupid sitting next to you."


Many, many times people with PhDs (including my professors) have said to me (sometimes in words that are polite, sometimes in words that are impolite), "you make me feel stupid", or "I feel stupid talking about politics / history / religion / etc. with you".


It isn't subtle.  This isn't a matter of my interpretation.  This isn't a matter of my psychological "projection".  People openly tell me, again and again, that they feel I'm too smart (or too knowledgable) to work with —or, reciprocally, they say that they are too stupid (or too ignorant) to work with me.


Why do you think it is that after nine years I am still broadcasting TOTALLY ALONE?  Why do you think I've never had a news and politics "show" with just one other person collaborating with me, as an equal?  Why not two people or five people?  Why was it impossible for a-bas-le-ciel to expand in any area?


(Note: I could have expanded in atheist news, in Chinese news, just reviewing new books on political history, ecology… I could have hosted "a show" in so many different areas unrelated to veganism… do not presume I'm talking about veganism primarily or only.)


Why?


And now, simply, I have to ask you to calibrate your claim: yes, perhaps you are tremendously intelligent, perhaps you are an intellectual who can talk to me on an equal level, and perhaps my new friendship with you will transform my life —forever— for the better (and I should fly off to Germany just to meet you!).


But this seems incredibly improbable.


Where is your "proof of genius"?  Where is your Toulon?


I have been extremely positive and encouraging to people (like Tofu Goddess, etc.) who had no more "proof of genius" than a modest youtube channel where they expressed their frustrations.  But you, like 99.9% of the people writing to me, do not even have that.


Again: I do not say this to insult you.  I do not say any of this to insinuate that you have bad motivations.

Sunday, 15 January 2023

My ongoing crisis revisited: a Q&A on "A Desperate Cry for Help", etc.

Re: "If I understood you correctly, you're very unsatisfied with Canada for a variety of reasons, mostly because people are incapable of being real intellectuals even though they are engaged in universities or similar and they hate you because they don't like veganism and your nihilist philosophy because it's too demanding…"


I think you've understood me about 80% correctly, but I might as well comment on the other 20%, as it is somewhat interesting.

I am capable of having meaningful conversations and collaborations with people WHO DO NOT agree with my philosophy: I had plenty of experience with that in Hong Kong, Vientiane, Phnom Penh and even in England… it isn't the case that I require people to have ALL THAT MUCH in common with me to be my friends, colleagues or co-workers.

Is this a trivial thing to point out?  In my opinion, no, it isn't: the extreme laziness, fatuousness and drug addiction of my fellow Canadians makes them impossible for me to get along with…

…whereas people with remarkable differences in faith, philosophy and political values CAN get along with me (and I can get along with them)… if they have at least SOME redeeming intellectual, ethical and emotional qualities.

Canada has long, cold winters: it's possible that people here are just MORE DAMAGED by video game addiction and endless hours of watching television than they would be if they'd grown up in a warmer climate.  And even England is indeed "a warmer climate".  Trust me, I'd know.


Re: "In my humble opinion as a [_______] with formal education in philosophy and geography, the question is similar to the question "what is my favorite color?"."


With all due respect, that is blatantly untrue:

SHOULD I LIVE IN LOS ANGELES OR NEW YORK is not equivalent to "What is my favorite color?"

It just isn't.

Asking "Where do you think I can find a better film school?", or "Where do you think I can get a start in stand up comedy?", or "Where do you think I can have a future working on Chinese as a language or Chinese politics?" IS NOT REMOTELY COMPARABLE TO ASKING "WHAT IS MY FAVORITE COLOR?".

Friday, 23 December 2022

Full transcript of "A Desperate cry for Help".

People watching this in Europe, people watching this in Asia are going to have a very difficult time relating to what it is I'm trying to explain. In the United States and Canada, we live with a kind of hatred and self-hatred you can never imagine. 


I have a friend in Pittsburgh. When I tell her about how terrible my life is here, how I want to leave, how I want to escape from Canada, do you think she has ever once said to me, "Oh, your life would be so much better here in Pittsburgh"? 


I have several friends living in Los Angeles. Do you think any of them even once have said to me, "Oh, look back at the last five years of your life and think about how much better the last five years would have been if you'd have been living here in L.A. Look ahead to the next five years of your life. Think about what a wonderful, great, positive life you could have living in Los Angeles, California!" 


One of the guys I know living in Los Angeles today, in the past he lived in Hawaii. He's never once said to me I'd be happier living in Hawaii, and, you guys know, Hawaii has a reputation for being an Earthly Paradise. Never.


What we live with in this context, you know, is an awareness of the history of genocide, an awareness of the history of slavery, an awareness of the thinness of the culture that has been painted over that graveyard--the graveyard of extinguished cultures that were once here before, and I can honestly say even if you live in Auschwitz today, even if you live in Treblinka today you cannot relate to this strange sort of of self-hatred.


If you're having a wonderful meal, you have so much food, and it's food such extraordinary quality, and you get a phone call from a friend of yours who happens to be in the neighborhood you might say, "Hey, look, why don't you come over, why don't you pop in and enjoy some of this food, this food I have, there's so much of it, and it's so exquisite, it's so wonderful, I have something to share."


If you live in Pittsburgh, you don't think you have a wonderful life to share. You don't think you live in a wonderful place or a wonderful culture that you can share with someone else, and if you live in Los Angeles you don't think you live in a wonderful place, that you have something to share, right? 


Anywhere here: Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Alberta... where you live is just something you have to learn to put up with, to cope with, to tolerate. And if anyone says to you, "Oh, hey, I'm thinking about moving to LA," or "I'm thinking about moving to Toronto," any of these places, you respond by thinking about and talking about how hard that's going to be to cope with, what it's going to be like to put up with it.


People born and raised in Bangkok don't think that way, they don't feel that way, even though Bangkok is in some ways a kind of terrifying city. They think they're in the most wonderful place in the world! Bangkok, Thailand. And they will boast to you, "Oh, people from all over the world come here, and it's so wonderful, and it's so exciting, it's so great," you know?


People from Hong Kong, when I was living in Hong Kong I mean, maybe it's changed a little bit now because of political conditions, but people from Hong Kong absolutely believed they were living in the most wonderful city in the world. They thought everybody on Earth envied them. 


You can be from a small town in Italy, you don't have to be from a huge city like Hong Kong or Bangkok, you can be from a small town in the countryside in Italy and feel that you're from this uniquely wonderful place. You feel that when you sit down to eat, you have something to share that's wonderful. Your culture, your home, your place. It's not even that it's something you take pride in. Pride is a different matter, nationalism is a different matter. Empire and imperialism, there's something there you want to share with others, there's something wonderful, whether you think of that qualitatively or quantitatively, that you have so much great food or just the quality of it that you want to invite other people to sit down and and dine at your table. You're living in Trieste, you say, "Life is so wonderful here, why don't you pack up and move here?"


Above and beyond that kind of shame, that kind of hatred and self-hatred we live with in the United States and Canada, you know, um, every day that I am in Canada, I am living in a place where everyone hates me. I don't mean this on a shallow, surface level of people judging you based on your appearance, people hating you without knowing you or people hating you because they misunderstand you or because they don't understand you. No.


Inasmuch as people know me, they hate me. Inasmuch as they understand me.

The more they understand me, the more they hate me. It's a very different thing.


Beautiful women still try to flirt with me, still try to start up, initiate. I don't go to nightclubs, I don't go to coffee shops, I don't go anywhere to meet women. Just a couple days ago I had this beard, but it was a bit shorter, a couple days ago, a woman, a gorgeous, gorgeous woman, tall, slender, looked like she used to be a professional model, I would guess 25-26, completely strikingly gorgeous woman tried to hit on me. She tried to initiate with me just when I was walking on the sidewalk, and I was utterly dismissive toward her. Without getting into telling that story, let me just point out that woman, if I had carried on the farce of flirting with her, you know, if I had advanced the conversation, the flirtation... What do you think she would have invited me to do? Perhaps to go to a bar and drink alcohol and eat meat and watch ice hockey on the television set at the bar. Just think culturally what her assumptions are about me, about who I am, about the life we could have together. Whether you think of that as, like, the far-flung future, like if this woman actually gets married to me and raises kids with me, or. like, if she just gets to know me over a period of two weeks. There are a lot of assumptions she's carrying into this, right? And on every single one of those assumptions she's going to be disappointed, she's going to be shocked, she's going to be horrified because that's not who I am. 


Who I am, if she gets to know me, dealing with white English-speaking Canadians, the primary fact is that I make other people in this culture feel bad about themselves. I make university professors feel bad about themselves no matter how kind and helpful I am towards the professors, the other students... It's not envy, like it causes real self-loathing for them to be around me, you know. They hate me for what I represent, they hate me for the challenge to their own values and assumptions, you know, that I represent. They hate me for how I make them feel about themselves, and then, apart from that, more deeply, and I kind of respect their judgment in this sense, I don't think they're wrong, these people hate me for who I really am. 


The anti-intellectualism that exists in this culture, combined with the post-genocidal, post-slavery, post-british Empire racism, cultural poverty.


Canada is a country with opera houses, but no opera. I was in Nanaimo years ago now. Nanaimo, British Columbia. There's an opera house. Here in Victoria, we have several opera houses. Downtown Toronto there's a huge opera house. Several. Oh yeah, you know, once in a while they might have some opera performers visit from Italy so you can hear Italian opera performed in Canada. There is no Canadian opera, there is no Canadian architecture, there is no Canadian cuisine, alright?


And, hey, the most pathetic of all is there is no Canadian language, right? Our indigenous languages have been driven to extinction. What we can call a Canadian language, right, what English? French? These aren't Canadian languages.


You know, I think there is a bit of a cause and effect relationship. The shame we have about our own history, right? Well how can you be an intellectual in this climate, in this cultural context, without questioning, without investigating, without looking into precisely those things we are the most ashamed of? You can't really build yourself up as an intellectual without negating the compromises and the mythos that your fellow Canadians live with.


What's the minimum commitment Canadians have to have to Canada? Canadians need to believe that the life they have in Canada is better than the life they could have in Los Angeles, California, or in Florida, or even in Pittsburgh, right? Because for any Canadian there's always the temptation and there's always the option of moving to the United States of America. If you think you could have a better life there, there's the temptation of moving back to Europe! If you don't like it, why are you in Canada at all? There's the temptation--I saw this when I was in Toronto, at that time, in huge numbers, young white English-speaking Canadians were signing up to teach English as a second language in Japan, in Taiwan, in South Korea. 


If you don't like it, why don't you get out? Well, each and every Canadian here has to live with some set of excuses, some rationale, and, of course, the truth is very likely to be that they just lack the ambition, right? They never wanted to take on the challenge of surviving in New York City, of surviving in Los Angeles. It was more comfortable, it was more convenient to just remain in a relative backwater, a second rate or third rate city in Canada and to try to convince yourself that you're not a second rate or third rate person living in a second rate or third rate country. 


It's hard living with the awareness that everyone here hates you, and that the exceptions are only out of a kind of ignorance, you know, and wishful thinking from people who like your appearance. But, like, even if this woman flirts with me, and she hits on me, as soon as she gets to know me, she gets to learn the first thing about me, she's gonna hate me, and, guys, within Canada, there's no way out. There are no exceptions, alright? It's not the case you can say to me, "Oh, but if you were amongst intellectuals at a great university campus it'd be better!" No, there are no intellectuals on our university campuses. It's not that you can say to me, "Oh, but, if you were involved in the arts, in the theater, in museums and galleries, in stand-up comedy, and music, that there's some artistic community where you'd be appreciated, you'd be among intellectuals." 


No, there's no intellectual alternative. It's not that you can say to me, "If only you committed yourself to a political cause like veganism, if only you committed yourself to a political cause like indigenous peoples politics, First Nations politics, First Nations languages then you'd be around highly motivated, politically engaged people, perhaps slightly intellectual..." No, no. There is no way out but out.


I have been trying to escape from Canada for my entire adult life. I was trapped here and became a prisoner of my passport only because of the coronavirus. I was living in Taiwan when coronavirus made it impossible for me to stay in Taiwan, and, guys, I've gotten to a point in my life where--where am I supposed to run away to?


Like, should we do a poll? Do you guys want me to move to Japan? I was looking at airplane tickets to Tokyo today. You want me to move to Japan?


You know, what's the justification?


If I move to Japan, it's not Canada. 


I mean, I can say that for it. Is there a better life I'm going to live in the next five years if I go to Japan? Is there a better person I can be five years from now if I go to Japan? And can I know people of real substance colleagues even if those are colleagues who work on comedy videos with me or record comedy songs with me? Colleagues I can work with in any capacity as a creative artist, as a filmmaker, politically or otherwise? Is that life in Japan? Because I've got to tell you something guys, I can't rationalize, I can't justify moving to Los Angeles anymore. It's not about a lack of courage on my part, you know, I had enough courage to move to Cambodia, okay? I had enough courage to move to Saskatchewan too. I've relocated again and again and again, and when you get to be in your mid-40s, you know, you have to start asking yourself: when is it my last roll of the dice? That was what made me willing to pack up and move to Israel, that was what made me willing to apply for Israeli citizenship. The possibility that in Israel just one person in a thousand would be a real intellectual of substance because here in Canada it's way fewer than one person in a million. We have no intellectuals at all. Moving to Israel, I mean, in case you haven't been following Israeli politics where Benjamin Netanyahu just took over  government again whereabouts in Israel where about 65 of people will hate me because I'm an atheist, you know, just for that alone, like the percentage of Israelis who are really serious, right-wing, religious nutcases, you know?


Choosing to move to a country where the majority of people hate you, in that sense, on that surface level, right? Just for the possibility of one person in a thousand being a dissident intellectual and a dissident intellectual who can speak English because obviously I would never achieve fluency in Hebrew, I'd get to only some basic level. That was reason enough for me to commit to leaving Canada and moving to Israel, but, guys, this video, in some ways, it's been a long way coming, but in some ways it couldn't have been made any earlier than today, um, it's not just the coronavirus restrictions, it's the fact that I myself have been so sick I'm still not breathing normally, I'm still really disabled by the long-term effects of the coronavirus strain I caught way back when I went to Thailand and came back, when I went for the court case. I've been very, very seriously ill, and, guys, I can't stay here anymore.


I'm making this video just to say: I have to leave, but I have nowhere to go. 


[This video above is more-or-less the sequel to the original "Desperate cry for help", replying to specific comments and emails I'd received, and discussing recurring patterns in the help I had and had not been offered.  Its title is, half jokingly: You are too stupid to watch this video (you're too stupid to help me).]

Saturday, 3 December 2022

Nobody is going to help me (a follow-up to "A desperate cry for help")

Note: this was written in reply to a specific Patreon supporter who was describing his own (ongoing) projects in life —projects that are partly inspired by my philosophy and are partly (of course) his own thing.  However, it works as a generalized statement so well that I can share it here without changing much of anything.

———

Look, here's my experience in life:


(1) Nobody cares about me.

(2) Nobody is going to help me.

(3) Nobody ever tries to impress me.

(4) No matter how low my expectations are, everyone lets me down —like, people are constantly turning out to be WORSE than I could have EVER IMAGINED them being.


Yes, this includes people very close to me (my parents, my brothers, the various women who have been my lovers, etc.) but it also includes more distant relationships you've seen on youtube.


Like…


Did I ever expect "Faraday Speaks" (a.k.a. Caleb Cain) would turn out the way he did?  I believe he has now deleted every trace of himself (from youtube, etc.) that he has the ability to delete (but videos interviewing him on other people's channels still remain).


Did I ever expect ModVegan would turn out the way she did?  (Again, she's deleted everything, etc.)


I could attempt to make a list of people I've known in humanitarian work, in studying Chinese, [in ecological politics, in Buddhist scholarship, in First Nations politics,] etc. etc. —but there's no point.


This is my experience.


And this disappointment is not limited to intellectual matters, it's not limited to political matters, and it's not limited to creative endeavors (like trying to get a storybook illustrated and published, etc., or trying to get someone to co-operate with me in making a youtube video, etc.)…


…dude, when I had a newborn baby in my arms, and I sent photographs of myself holding that newborn baby (as an e-mail attachment) to all my friends, colleagues, and relatives, what do you think I heard back?  NOTHING.  When I celebrated my 40th birthday, my 41st birthday, etc. etc., what effort did anyone make to show that they cared about me?  Who tried to surprise me or impress me?  And yeah, I could here specify NOT EVEN the people whom I've done tremendously caring and surprising things for (on their birthdays, or on other, similar occasions) made any kind of "reciprocal" effort.


Dude, that's my experience in life: I don't have any university professors to look up to, and I don't have any contemporaries or colleagues to look sideways at, as my equals.


Yeah, maybe it turns out you're gonna be the first exception to the rule, and your boasting IS NOT BULLSHIT: maybe you're really gonna accomplish something great.  It's very hard for me to be optimistic, just given my experience in the last 8 years, let alone the last 40 years.


Dude, how many people have made a youtube video in response to either one of my books?  We could add "podcast", etc., as it isn't just youtube videos that count.  AFAIK, the grand total = 1.  Think about how little effort that kind of video is, compared to other forms of collaboration.  And now think about how many videos you've seen on my channel in the last five years that anyone else contributed anything positive to, that anyone else collaborated in the creation of, in any way whatsoever.


Dude, I reached out FOR ANYONE to collaborate with me in studying Chinese FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS —including the years when I was in Taiwan and Yunnan (and years in Victoria in-between).  You wanna know how much positivity I got back?  ZERO.  Just women who wanted to have sex with me —white women (studying Chinese) just as much as Chinese women, I should add.


Money, fame, power, respect, sex —not necessarily in that order.  And the sad fact is, that so few people are even motivated by these things.  Most people are so intellectually inert, they can't be motivated at all.

[Link 1 of 2:] A desperate cry for help.


[Link 2 of 2:] You are too stupid to watch this video (you're too stupid to help me)

Monday, 28 November 2022

"Ain't nobody ever gave me any help." @4:52

"And let's be clear, help can include advice."  The link should take you to the 4:52 mark; if it doesn't work, click ahead to that point.

One of the viewers of the channel reminded me of this video from two years ago (!) that foreshadows my current crisis.

@7:00 "I now feel… and I know that not a single person out of my 10,000 subscribers is going to do anything for me, not even on the level of advice, not even on the level of care and concern."



Sunday, 27 November 2022

Should my books be translated into other languages?

[Someone wrote in proposing a Hebrew translation of Future of an Illusion, but this answer would apply (mutatis mutandis) to any and every possible language that either one of the books could be translated into.]


————


More people live in Beijing than live in all of Israel.


Suppose I had received a similar offer from a young man of the same age living in Beijing, offering to translate Future of an Illusion into Chinese.


(And this would be a lot of work.)


There is only one reason good enough to justify the effort: this young man thinks, "If I translate this into Chinese, and my name is on the cover next to the author, SOONER OR LATER it will bring me in the company of precisely the kind of people I'd want to meet."


He thinks, "Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but AT SOME TIME over the next 20 years, this book is going to get me invited into the company of some vegan intellectual worth talking to, some would-be revolutionary worth talking to, etc." —and perhaps this would be true.


Perhaps.


China has 1.4 billion people: perhaps within the span of 20 years there would be two or twenty dissident intellectuals worth meeting —and this translator would eventually be able to say (when he is 50 years old, in retrospect) that he is glad he translated the text because it brought so many friends/colleagues into his life (people he otherwise would not have known at all, or people whom he would not have gotten to know well).


There are barriers.  How would even 100 people end up reading the book (in Chinese translation) in China?  Perhaps he needs to advertise the book or give lectures on the book at vegan conferences, etc. —I have no idea.  There are barriers to even the humble estimate of 100 people in China reading the book in the span of 20 years.  If he promotes it, or if SOMEONE promotes it, yes, it could reach thousands or millions of readers —but just 100 (out of one billion) might be unattainable.


Can you name a single other youtuber who has promoted my book, Future of an Illusion?  Can you name a single vegan youtuber, speaking English, who has discussed the book?  Perhaps not a book review or a promotion, but can you name a single video in which a youtuber (or several, sitting together at a table) TALK ABOUT the book?  I believe the number of these videos —in English— is zero.


This reflects the overall death of the vegan movement —it actually DOES NOT reflect a decline in the quantity or quality of viewers on my channel.


So, is it a good idea for you to translate the book into Hebrew?


The correct answer does not depend on me, and it does not depend on you: it depends on OTHER PEOPLE who must remain unknowable and unknown.


Yes, it is possible that your translation of the book will have an impact with 100 Israelis, or 1,000 Israelis —and it is possible it will reach an audience of this size immediately (not over the span of 20 years).  That's possible.  But you must think about how disappointed and sorrowful you'll be if you struggle to translate the text into Hebrew and then it reaches only five people, and brings nothing positive into your life.


That is the only answer to your question that matters.


If I told you that I didn't want the book translated into Hebrew, but you were optimistic that the translation would bring just 10 new colleagues into your life over the span of 20 years, then it would be worthwhile for you to do it —and for you to do it for yourself, for your own benefit, not for mine.