Thursday 24 March 2022

On being Canadian (with a cameo from Michael Mahung)

A link to his video (where I posted this comment) ensues at the bottom.

Contrasting perspective.  I'm Jewish and often (not always) perceived as white (trust me, I have lived in places where everyone lets me know I count as NON-WHITE).  When I lived in Germany, I knew several black Americans who thought that people were being rude to them because they were black, and I had to talk through with them (seriously, in detail) that no: the type of rudeness they were perceiving was 100% normal in German culture (that was the same way they treated me, etc.) —and, yeah, I witnessed a few of the interactions these guys were complaining about (strangers being jerks to them, basically).  It is really easy to attribute "cause and effect" to your own appearance, and to ignore the extent to which everyone is being treated like garbage (i.e., that you might face the same cold hostility if your appearance were otherwise).  I could tell a bunch of parallel stories from Cambodia: people who thought, "I am being disrespected for this specific reason", and I had to explain to them, "If you removed that reason, these people would find a different reason to disrespect you".  I realize this will be an unwelcome challenge to a set of observations and attitudes you've been cultivating for 27 years, but I think you need to re-evaluate the empirical data with these considerations in mind.  I have never been hated and mistreated in a foreign country to nearly the same extent that I was hated and mistreated in my own: Canada.  In Canada, everyone (including government authorities, professors, etc.) treats me far worse than the people (powerful or powerless) even in Communist Dictatorships —and white Canadians do indeed perceive me as "one of their own".

Saturday 19 March 2022

[ASOIAF:] My Interpretive "Warre" With Preston Jacobs Continues.

Broadly speaking, Preston is too much inclined to offer "in world" analysis, based on his perception of what would be logical (or inevitable) given the laws of physics that he imagines operate within that world.  My analysis, instead, is based on the will and intent of the author (George R.R. Martin), with the assumption that these "laws of physics" are his playthings that do not constrain him (in communicating whatever moral or message he wishes to convey).

My comment was posted to Preston's newest video, where (in the conclusion) he invites questions (or objections?) from the audience, here:

Thursday 17 March 2022

The Youtube Censorship Committee: Racism, Harassment and Hate Speech.

Hi there,

Thanks for your quick response.

I was able to read out your chat conversation with my colleague and from what I understand, your video was "categorized" as hate speech and violence. What I want to know is how this is affecting your channel? Are you concerned about the monetization status of these videos given the status that they have? Or did your channel receive a Community Strike because of that.

We can start on a blank slate so that perhaps you can explain to us better on what really is going on or we can continue from here.

I hope to hear from you soon.

All the best,



(1) My concern is not demonetization: my concern is the stated reason for the demonetization.  In other words: my concern is the categorization of the video as hate speech.

(2) Please note, for context, that I have had this problem many, many times before with youtube: one video was categorized as "racist hate speech" against French people, and I wrote in to point out that (2.1) my first wife is French, (2.2) my daughter is French, (2.3) my last name is seemingly French (Mazard) and (2.4) the name of my youtube channel is in French, and (2.5) the video shows me discussing my life when I lived in France, so therefore (2.6) it is extremely unlikely that the video is racist against French people.

EVENTUALLY the censorship of the video was ended, precisely because I wrote to someone like yourself to complain (again and again).

The other examples are equally absurd.

I do believe the fundamental problem is that the people employed in this process of review (1) do not speak English as their first language, and (2) do not actually listen to the videos: they respond to transcriptions of isolated keywords out of context (e.g., they just see, "this guy is saying something bad about French people", without any concern as to whether or not that qualifies as racist hate speech).

(3) It is not a trivial thing to have videos categorized as racist hate speech: this does, indeed, blacklist your channel.

(4) It is not a trivial thing to have videos categorized as harassment: this does, indeed, blacklist your channel.

(5) If there is some other reason to demonetize the video (e.g., categorizing it in another way, that is factually valid) then I would not object to it being demonetized.

What I object to, as you have seen in my earlier correspondence, is the following categorization:


Hateful & derogatory content

Hate, disparagement, or harassment towards a group or individual

Hate or harassment towards individuals or groups.



Situations showing hurt, damage, or injury

Raw footage focused on violent law enforcement; graphic dead bodies in a non-educational video; edited video gameplay that primarily focuses on graphic violence; domestic violence.


Both of these claims are factually untrue.

You cannot provide a time-stamp for even a single moment within the video in which I say something hateful, disparaging or harassing towards a group or individual.  You cannot provide a quotation (in context or out of context) that would have any such racist meaning whatsoever.

This is not a trivial point: this is of tremendous importance to recognize, and then amend the censorship decision accordingly (in keeping with both the letter and the spirit of the regulations).

With the second claim about "violence", please notice the specific assertion that this video is "non-educational".

The video reads aloud a police report, showing the evidence of a police investigation on screen, while explaining the contrast between the specific findings of that police report and what had been inaccurately reported by news organizations (and other youtube channels).

Is that "non-educational"?

The video is educational.  The video is both non-racist and anti-racist.  The video does not contain any scenes of violence whatsoever, and the slightly disturbing subject matter must be evaluated in the context of serious political discussion (i.e., a critique of the inaccuracy of journalism) that is indeed educational.

Thursday 3 March 2022

Dept. of "Where are they now?" Soycrates in 2022.

As a footnote to a footnote to a footnote to the history of the à-bas-le-ciel youtube channel…

I'd just observe that Soycrates has (recently?) become an occasional co-host assisting a hideously fat video game youtuber (and Twitch streamer) named Esfand…

(I dot not know if they have a personal relationship, or if it is a purely professional relationship)

…and the two of them have appeared together on HasanAbi's show.


This would seem to logically entail that she's currently living in Los Angeles… which is… kind of inconvenient for me…

I mean…

I guess I could move back to Taiwan, just to put an ocean in between us… but…

Dept. of "Where are they now?" Izzy Davis in 2022.

The strange fate of the formerly famous Isabella Davis (a.k.a. "Izzy Davis" and "Izzy D")…

…it is very strange to see her "leveraging" her past experience as a vegan activist as a claim to some kind of credibility in her new career…

…especially when you're aware that she subsequently became ex-vegan, and then went further to become anti-vegan (as you can see in an interview she provided to "Drew Morg" that, unlike the vast majority of her content, has not been scrubbed/deleted from the internet).