[You should be able to easily imagine what the questions are that I'm answering here, given the title and what ensues below. The person writing to me has devoted some small amount of time and effort to the study of Pali, and he/she is wondering if he/she should devote many years to it… or not.]
Re: "…but I'm still trying to assess whether it’s worth it for me…"
Read Appian: read just the few pages about "the brothers Gracchi".
Read Sallust (his complete works are pretty brief, frankly, so I don't think I need to recommend just a few pages).
There are interesting things to read in Japanese, too, for example —Russian entails its own portion of comedy and tragedy.
Should you learn Pali?
The short answer that I have to offer is, "no".
Pali was part of "a package" that included humanitarian work in Cambodia and Laos (etc.) that made it more meaningful for me. Pali was part of "a package" that included the study of contemporary politics in S.E.A., and the hope of changing the world, in some small way, through that knowledge.
In the absence of that "package", no: you shouldn't study Pali.
Is some other package possible? Yes. In theory, you could put together a package that involves the modern politics of Maharashtra or Myanmar, for example.
The cost of this decision is tremendous. The rewards are few to nil.
I know nothing about "the rest" of your life. However, if you read No More Manifestos and Future of an Illusion, it is fair to say: I am telling you DO NOT BE A SCHOLAR. I'm setting out a path of being a dissident intellectual that has more to do with the creative arts (and even stand up comedy, etc.) than it has to do with the "ancient, narrow path" of scholarship that I followed when I first taught myself to read and write Pali.
[Or, I suppose I could say, sincere answers to insincere questions.]
Jon Reeves, I presume?
Yes, I think so, somehow.
I really haven't got anything to say right now, primarily, I would've thought. But carry on!!
Oh, you said Marcus Aurelius tortured Christians-- yet typically, historians say he wasn't directly involved in that. So where did you get that information?
I noticed that you're estranged from your parents in Vancouver so why do you need to fly back to them? No disrespect. Or perhaps you just have other interests in Vancouver that don't concern your parents.
Um, I basically just subscribe to you because I need something to listen to when I'm doing various tasks and you're pretty interesting. Thanks.
I mean I can't listen to a moron like Joe Rogan
You come off as a sort of vegan revolutionary who still is vegan and I respect that
I thought you had serious ego issues and it's just boring to hear you talking about how you don't like video games and marijuana
Anyway, answer my questions-- immediately.
Re: "I noticed that you're estranged from your parents in Vancouver so why do you need to fly back to them? No disrespect. Or perhaps you just have other interests in Vancouver that don't concern your parents."
My parents have never lived in Vancouver (i.e., not at any stage of the past, and not now).
I, also, have never lived in Vancouver, unless you count the FEW WEEKS we were there for baking school.
And, yeah, the book is short: circa 100 pages long.
Hello dude, thank you for these convincing corrections regarding your parents, etc. I don't think you can compare what happened with Dubya to the Roman Empire though, because society was much less organized then. The top review is suggesting that your book is mainly just an attack on pet-owning vegans. If not that for that review, I would spend the money on it. But that review is there. Bahahahahaha. Take care
Have some respect for yourself, and stop selling these books, son.
You should make them freely available.
The fact that you don't, is a clear warning.
Your parents are deeply wealthly.
Anyway, I know you're gonna block me now and I'm cool with that.
Have a good one.
As we understand it, your mother spent a lot of money to help you learn Chinese but you struggled with the language and didn't have the discipline to really focus on studying it.
But that's neither here nor there.
You haven't really succeeded academically, they say.
But don't get angry at me-- don't hate the messenger.
There's a whole lot worth reading in that short book.
And it is $1.08 via Kindle.
Re: "As we understand it, your mother spent a lot of money to help you learn Chinese…"
I think everyone in the audience has a better grasp on the timeline of my personal, professional and education life than you do ("no offense")… and it will probably be entertaining for you to figure it out (and fill in the gaps).
(1) A short video, covering the situation at the university here in Canada:
"Self-improvement", as a concept, has become culturally estranged from becoming a better person —despite the closeness of the two in denotation. Someone could become vegan in order to become a better person, hypothetically, but for the most part, real vegans are people who've already become good people, and that very goodness leaves them no other choice (i.e., other than to become and remain vegans, as a corollary).
Melissa just pointed this out to me: just a few months ago (before the Russian invasion of Ukraine) the price of an airplane ticket from Vancouver to Bangkok was approximately C$900 (i.e., Canadian dollars).
And now? After the invasion both fuel and flights increased in cost: the same flight ended up costing me C$1700.
The fundraiser will probably NOT cover the entire cost of the trip, given that I have to travel over land from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and back again, I have to move between Victoria and Vancouver (and back again)… and I have to pay for a series of hotels along the way.
In 2019 they received A$598,566 in donations (i.e., this is in Australian dollars).
In 2020, they received A$1,366,885.
"The total remuneration paid to key management personnel of the Company [in 2020 was] $230,000 ([whereas in] 2019 [it was] $187,000)."
It is unclear (to me) if this is just the sum of the salaries for Paul and Asal, or if it is just Paul's salary, or if the list of "key personnel" would include a few other people. It seems to be intentionally unclear, in just this regard, so that donors cannot really guess at how much money Paul and Asal are making out of this arrangement.
They spent A$853,544 on "contractors". That's a whole lot of contracting.
I wonder if anyone, anywhere, can point to what was accomplished (by all that contracting) during a year of quarantine (when there was nearly zero travel, zero street activism, etc.).
(Touring and events nevertheless cost them $79,844.)
And, yes, I wonder if yet more imbeciles will donate yet more money to Paul Bashir in the years to come, with yet lower expectations as to what is supposed to be accomplished with all of this money.
Meanwhile, you can take a glance at their (one and only) youtube channel, to see just how little interest these millions of dollars have bought them:
(That includes his livestreams, playing video games, etc.)
it's now fair to say…
Vegan Gains, also, is a small youtuber.
In the past, I made videos attempting to quantify the truly unimaginable decline in the number of viewers Freelee brought in, and drawing attention to the decline in the sum total of views for vegan channels —although this can only be imperfectly tallied up.
Although the continued success of Unnatural Vegan might seem like a counter example, in fact it is not: as recently as 2019 she had numbers in excess of one million views per month (sometimes exceeding two million views per month) whereas she's now at 300,000 and 400,000. (Again, cf. Socialblade.)
Does it matter? Yes, it matters.
The death of the genre as a whole is, also, the death of an opportunity for eccentrics on the cusp of the genre, like myself (even if people like myself are, to some extent, subverting, challenging and criticizing the established assumptions of the genre).
Veganism Declined by 50% in Two Years: A Warning for the Movement.
This is Egerton Ryerson writing about "the final solution" for Canada's indigenous people (First Nations, "American Indians", etc.) in 1847.
It is, therefore, necessary that the pupils should reside together. Hence the necessity of providing for their domestic education, and for every part of their religious instruction. The last, I conceive to be absolutely essential, not merely upon general Christian principles, but also upon the ground of what I may term Indian economics, as it is a fact established by numerous experiments, that the North American Indian cannot be civilized or preserved in a state of civilization (including habits of industry and sobriety) except in connection with, if not by the influence of, religious instruction and sentiment but of religious feelings.
The theory of a certain kind of educational philosophy is falsified in respect to the Indian: with him, nothing can be done to improve and elevate his character and condition without the aid of religious feeling.
The animating and controlling spirit of each industrial school [i.e., the establishments now known, in retrospect, as "residential schools"] should, therefore, in my opinion, be a religious one. The religious culture in daily exercises and instruction should be a prominent object of intention… [and] sacred vocal music should form an important branch of their education.
In the contemplated industrial schools, I understand the end proposed to be the making of the pupils industrious farmers, and that learning is provided for and pursued only so far as it will contribute to that end.
[Educating them to be "carpenters, cabinet-makers, shoemakers, tailors, &c." would be too expensive and difficult to manage, therefore:] …the great object of industrial schools should be to fit the pupils for becoming working farmers and agricultural laborers, fortified, of course, by Christian principles, feelings and habits.
I think that any attempt to carry on these establishments by providing merely for secular instruction, and that any attempt to separate the secular from the religious instruction, will prove a failure; and that any attempt on the part of the Government [as implicitly opposed to churchmen, receiving taxpayers' money] to provide religious instruction will prove a failure.
[The recommended relationship between government and "the religious denominations" that would operate the schools is then described in detail.]
The religious character of these contemplated schools and the religious influences which must pervade all departments of their immediate management, in order to ____ [sic., one word missing] their efficiency and permanent success, have been sufficiently remarked upon in the former part of this communication.
It was the piety and judgement and example of the late excellent Mr. de Fellenberg more than any code of rules that rendered his agricultural school for the poor at Hofwyl [now spelled Hofwil], near Berne, in Switzerland, a blessing to hundreds of peasant youth, and a model for all similar establishments.
[In fact, the Hofwil schools were already failing and shutting down at the time this document was written in 1847, i.e., soon after the death of the aforementioned Fellenberg in 1844. Ryerson's awareness of the reputation these schools once had is apparently several decades out of date. It does not occur to him to compare the budget for the Hofwil school (located in an aristocratic estate, and supported by aristocratic patronage) to the paltry sums the Canadian government would provide for the average "Rez" in Saskatchewan or Northern Ontario. There were factors other than piety and faith that distinguished the Canadian example from the Swiss —and, as already mentioned, the seeming success of the Swiss example didn't last long.]
In regard to the pupils, I think the time occupied in labor should be from 8 to 12 hours per day during the summer, and instruction from 2 to 4 hours, and that during the winter the amount of labor should be lessened, and that of study increased.
[8 to 12 hours per day of child labor? Only 2 to 4 hours of actual education? This was his vision for Canada's indigenous people, inspired by the Swiss model at Hofwil?]
[They should] rise at five in the summer [5:00 A.M.], attend to the police of the house, and have prayers and lessons in the school until seven, breakfast at seven, labor from eight until noon, dinner and intermission from twelve until one, labor from one until six, supper at six, lesson until eight, have prayers and retire to bed between eight and nine. On Sunday the hours of rising, prayers, meals and retiring to bed [should be] the same as on other days.
In the intervals of public service, both in the morning and in the afternoon, they should have lessons in sacred music, the catechism, &c.
I think it would be beneficial to allow each pupil, say a penny or so per day, for work, allowing twelve hours' labor for a day's work; and paying him the sum thus earned at his leaving the school to set up for himself.
Of course, no age can be prescribed at present for the admission of pupils into the industrial schools. In general, I think they should remain there from four to eight years… [I cannot imagine any valid reason why the age of beginning and ending studies at such an institute would not be "prescribed"; perhaps he doesn't want to admit to himself the absurdity of "conscript labor" being applied to children at such a young age as his plan would entail.]
If I have omitted to notice any points which you think of importance, I will readily supply such omissions, and will be ready at any time to do what I can to promote the objects of these contemplated industrial schools.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
[Although I have not read the report myself, as early as 1858, allegedly, internal investigations and commissions (within "Indian Affairs") declared Ryerson's approach to be a failure.]
[Most of my viewers are neither intelligent nor well spoken. Even if I exclusively made videos about Aristotle, I wouldn't be able to expect any better from my audience. This is something that authors, creative artists and "content creators" need to be prepared for… but we are, perhaps, born unprepared.]
I take it the deletion of my comment is your warrant canary kind of acknowledgement?
No, that is neither an intelligent inference on your part, nor a reasonable one.
Who cares, you didn't answer my question in the comment. And if you gave any thought about it, you'd have looked up my email. So much for common courtesy these days. Don't you think good manners matter?
Re: "Who cares…"
How "laconic". I don't care about how I got your attention. I did get your attention. So your reply is moot. You're completely missing the point just to make content out of this. All I wanted was "Thanks for your email". Or is that too much to ask? Why be belligerent to strangers for no reason whatsoever?
Re: "Why be belligerent to strangers for no reason whatsoever?"
i. You are being belligerent to a stranger for no reason whatever. You have been throughout this correspondence.
ii. I have not been. Not yet.
Go ahead. Re-read the messages we've exchanged if you don't believe me. It is not a terribly verbose correspondence.
Re: "I don't care about how I got your attention."
And you have to.
Because it forms my opinion of you.
Re: "You are being belligerent to a stranger for no reason whatever. You have been throughout this correspondence."
This must be a terrible misunderstanding on your part. Jumping too fast to conclusions and assuming the other's stance. In no conceivable way could anything I have said be understood as offensive to any impartial observer. You on the other hand have started off with unnecessary adjectives in your first message. Instead of addressing the purpose of the message.
Regardless, offense is taken and not given. I don't care about "not a terribly verbose correspondence" we had. My objective was to determine if you got my email. I will take the liberty of assuming you did. But you lack a sense of gratitude.
Re: "You do. And you have to. Because it forms my opinion of you"
Awfully narcissistic of you to think I care about that. Again, you're jumping to conclusions.
In any case, I've enjoyed your last few videos about Sam and I hope my dollar will be helpful in education repayments. Keep up the good work. Tally-ho!
Re: "In no conceivable way could anything I have said be understood as offensive to any impartial observer."
No no, not "offensive": the word was "belligerent".
Far be it from me to suggest that you've said a single word that was offensive.
What I pointed out is that you've been belligerent. And you have indeed been belligerent to a complete stranger. And you have done so for no good reason. While complaining to that stranger that he has been belligerent to you, as a complete stranger, for no reason.
And this asymmetry continues in our still-not-too-terribly-prolix correspondence.
"My objective was to determine if you got my email. I will take the liberty of assuming you did."
No, that is neither an intelligent inference on your part, nor a reasonable one.
"But you lack a sense of gratitude."
I suppose you will soon insist to me that it is absolutely impossible that an impartial observer could think these words would describe your behavior, rather than mine, in this short correspondence.
This is a recurring pattern.
"Awfully narcissistic of you to think I care about that."
It would certainly be impossible for someone to read this correspondence and interpret your character as narcissistic rather than mine. Or would you like to explain this to me, as I do not think it is true?
Well colour me impressed by your ability of psychological projection and deflection. Not to speak of impeccable self expression!
But you have to admit that continuing all this is childish and unproductive.
You know what to do to prove me wrong. Or right. But who cares, right? I've had my dollar's worth of entertainment. Have you satisfied your ego?
Re: "But you have to admit that continuing all this is childish and unproductive."
So… the scenario we're in right now is that YOU COULD HAVE just asked me if I'd received an email from you (that I evidently didn't receive / don't know about).
And, instead, you've sent me an unbelievably belligerent series of messages, asking "Don't you think good manners matter?", stating that I'm a narcissist, reproaching me for lacking gratitude, etc.
And the answers to your two questions (that, again, were neither stated in a manner that was intelligent nor reasonable) are (1) no, the deletion of your comment neither indicates (implicitly) that I receive a lot of hate mail (I don't), nor that my email address isn't working, and (2) no, I don't recall receiving an email from you (nor from anyone with a similar name, etc.).
(What it is that I supposedly should feel gratitude for that I'm failing to feel gratitude for is impossible to imagine at this point.)
You seem to have put considerable energy and initiative into convincing me that you're a person of both very poor intelligence and very bad intent. And you did this, in your own idiom, by being belligerent to a complete stranger for no reason. In trying to justify yourself, you say that I used "unnecessary adjectives" in a single message (that is a single sentence long), but you find nothing unnecessary in your own absurdly truculent messages to me (demanding to know why I don't care about manners —whereas supposedly you do, in your own absurdly ill-mannered correspondence— and why I don't feel gratitude toward you, etc.).
If you want to communicate with a complete stranger, generally, or with a youtuber specifically, you have to put some effort into letting them know (1) that you are intelligent, and (2) that you are writing with good intent (otherwise, you will not receive a reply). You have instead convinced me of the opposite.
I would recommend you spend some quality time with my old video, "90% of People Are Stupid and Malign." You're in the 90%, old boy.
Re: "You seem to have put considerable energy and initiative into convincing me that you're a person of both very poor intelligence and very bad intent."
That is neither an intelligent inference on your part, nor a reasonable one.
Re:"If you want to communicate with a complete stranger, generally, or with a youtuber specifically, you have to put some effort into letting them know"
No, I do not. Because I simply do not care about anyone's self-aggrandizing behaviour. If they are too asinine to read between the lines, and make an effort to become offended, they are only good for laughs. Instead, maybe you could try clarifying the situation instead of putting your considerable energy and initiative at showing your poor intelligence and bad intent. But I fully understand your behaviour, it is very typical among many narcissists. So please do not assume I am in any way offended by our correspondence. It is intriguing to see how strangers show themselves in private.
Re:"I would recommend you spend some quality time with my old video, "90% of People Are Stupid and Malign." You're in the 90%, old boy."
Laddie, if I cared about your opinion (or your opinion of me specifically), we would not be here in this predicament. To me your life is as unimportant as anyone else's. You are light entertainment. I am under no obligation to extend my benevolence to the likes of you. Neither are you (which you have aptly demonstrated). Your way of conducting yourself in this correspondence has been very amusingly revealing. Now I can listen to your ramblings knowing who you truly are. So carry on! Give me more laughs!
I will remove the word "seem" from my earlier statement:
as a matter of fact, you have indeed put considerable energy and initiative into convincing me that you're a person of both very poor intelligence and very bad intent.
Re: "No, I do not. Because I simply do not care about anyone's self-aggrandizing behaviour."
Whereas you seem to presume that I would be fascinated by your self-aggrandizing behavior, demonstrated throughout this correspondence.
Re: "So please do not assume I am in any way offended by our correspondence. It is intriguing to see how strangers show themselves in private."
On the contrary, absolutely nothing about this correspondence is private.