This is the same Sam who reviewed my book, No More Manifestos, many months ago.
Thursday, 14 September 2023
When I was living in Yunnan many (many!) years ago, I bought just two shirts manufactured by Duxpeer —a brand name so obscure that you can hardly get a single google search result for it to this day, and there was no trace of it on the internet at the time— that I have worn in hundreds and hundreds of videos.
I do not identify as a minimalist, but it is a strange irony that so many people preach this doctrine of minimalism while owning and wearing a tremendous variety of clothes (even on camera, etc.) while I've worn the same two shirts (one red, now very pale red after so many years of washing, and one yellow) until they've fallen apart over the last seven years. For me, this is not a case of "practicing what you preach", because I do not preach minimalism: I think both the doxis and the praxis of minimalism is complete bullshit, but nevertheless I would seem to be "more virtuous" in this way than many of the people who preach it, but who have amassed (and worn) so many different clothes on camera in the same span of (shall we say) seven years.
I think the red shirt had its final day on camera today… I do not know if the yellow shirt is quite so close to falling apart… yet… but perhaps for symbolic reasons I should retire them both at the same time. ;-)
I have never owned a car; I have never driven a car; I did not own a cellphone until well past the age of thirty (the first cellphone I ever owned was acquired, likewise, when I was living in Yunnan, long after the start of my youtube channel). I don't think that any of this is worth boasting about: all possessions should be regarded as pens, pencils and paper used up in the production of some book you're drafting, i.e., own things so that you can accomplish things, rather than owning nothing while accomplishing nothing —or owning as little as possible while accomplishing less than you could.
Thursday, 7 September 2023
Tuesday, 5 September 2023
Saturday, 2 September 2023
To be unique is to be an orphan; to be a conformist is to be interchangeable with an approximately infinite number of nearly worthless siblings.
Friday, 1 September 2023
[This is the denouement to an earlier post titled, "I rarely use the n-word, BUT WHEN I DO..." If you haven't seen the correspondence this is a sequel to, here it is: http://a-bas-le-ciel.blogspot.com/2023/08/i-rarely-use-n-word-but-when-i-do.html]
I am not sure why you are speaking to me in this way. "A fucking coward and a pussy" This is not something that inspires creativity or generosity in me. Even if you are right, and even if I have acted out of fear. Your language is proving that fear right.
Given that, I am still willing to discuss your work with you. I also have works that I am producing... it is for these that I have passion and motivation. You have great passion and motivation for your work... as you should.
However, I am not scared off by your behavior. Only because of your giftedness and how you have helped me through your videos. But I doubt I would continue to work with someone who was cursing and using slurs.
Yes, you are right. You are correct. But nothing creative or positive would come from me in such a toxic interaction. That is why I told you the story of the Mayor. She was so gifted and smart about our town. I came to recognize that. But she allowed her pride in her own insight to convince her that she could mistreat people. Even in a noble cause.
Please let me know if some kind of dialogue interests you. A creative dialogue. If something more came from that in terms of me helping you, that would be one lovely outcome. If you're really not interested in that, that is obviously fine as well.
Why can I not give you my name? Because I have completed 300,000 words of my first draft and am now working on the 2nd draft. If you knew my name, my writing future could be in ruins. Even with such a short interaction, I feel your venom.
I want to let you know that I am attending a book conference tomorrow and Saturday and be unable to respond.
Let me ask you a really simple question: are you writing to me, offering to help me…
or are you begging me to help you?
In your mind, the two are one and the same; in reality, they're two diametrically different things.
The purpose of this conversation cannot possibly be to make you feel better about yourself: you've known about my youtube channel for five years, and you've never yet lifted a single finger to help me.
You should re-read this correspondence from beginning to end: there is something important for you to learn from it.
And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, for me to learn from it.
Re: "But I doubt I would continue to work with someone who was cursing and using slurs."
(a) We have not begun to work together: therefore you can't continue.
(b) And you never once ask yourself why it is that I would want to work with you: why do you imagine I'd have some kind of respect for your opinion, in this "creative dialogue" that you're fantasizing about?
Quote: "Please let me know if some kind of dialogue interests you. A creative dialogue."
In the last five years, what has your relationship to me been? You take and take and take; you give me nothing in return. What do you think is going to change in the next five years? Nothing. Nothing at all.
Here is your rather surreal offer of assistance, in your original words:
"As I have been quietly watching your channel for more than 5 years, I am surprised that you do not have a massive following. I would be willing to dialogue with you on how to solve this."
That is not the problem I'm complaining of in my "desperate cry for help" videos. And that is not a solution I could possibly expect you to provide: I am not asking you or anyone to provide me with "a massive following", but it is especially bizarre to imagine how you (you of all people!) would actually be able to provide that —especially through "dialogue". It is a surreal offer that I am eager to refuse.
The problem that I am asking for help with (in my "desperate cry for help" videos) is stated very clearly there, and it has been briefly restated here, along with a few examples.
The difference you can make is what matters more than the difference you can't. You have —presumably— heard me say that many times.
You write to me telling me that my philosophy has given you so much (that it's so meaningful, that it's transformed your life in so many ways). That is what my philosophy means to you, that is what my words mean to you (that is what my books are to you, that is what my videos and podcasts are to you, etc.). And what does your philosophy mean to me? And what is it, now, that you're supposed to give?
Re: "You began this conversation by admitting that you're not even willing to risk revealing your real name. Dig deep. Look in the mirror. Figure out what the fuck you are willing to do."
You have not answered this question: it is a question you must demand of yourself —and without cowardice.
I laughed when I saw this post. Not able to make much sense of it. It's clear that your rage leads you to believe you are above everyone else. I think I will take this time to reevaluate my opinion of your correctness. If you can be so totally wrong (ie using racial slurs, misogynistic language and being verbally abusive), this extremism must bleed through in other ways. Boy am I glad I never told you my name. I am sure you would have blasted me too by now.
Re: "Not able to make much sense of it..."
I know you're being honest:
I know you're genuinely too stupid to understand what's being said to you (and why).
You can spend the rest of your life pretending that your incomprehension marks you out as morally superior to me: it doesn't. It's just stupidity on your part: it's stupidity and selfishness and laziness and cowardice.
Sunday, 27 August 2023
Stuart, [a.k.a. "The Unrepentant Atheist" on youtube]
I've made a few comments on your channel raising the question of, "To what extent do we reason things through WITHOUT evidence?" because you do (so often) say that this matter of evaluating religion simply comes down to "the absence of evidence" for the existence of god, heaven, hell, etc.
When I speak to Communists, they do not hesitate to claim that their plan for utopia can work now, and that the evidence of what happened when the same plan was implemented in the past is irrelevant: they can't be talked out of their beliefs by indicating the evidence —and their beliefs are "materialistic" in a sense that explicitly religious beliefs never are.
Buddhists can say fairly easy, "The world would be a better place if everyone believed this tenet that I believe", and that may be quite difficult to refute in terms of evidence, too —whereas it is very difficult for a Muslim to argue that the world would be a better place if everyone believed in circumcision, jihad, child marriage, [the sexual enslavement of conquered enemies in war,] etc. The arguments for or against Buddhism are unlikely to be on the basis of evidence.
Yes, insincerely, Buddhists will claim there is scientific evidence that supports the "medical" (or psychological) value of meditation. They are not shaken out of their faith when contrasting evidence is presented, or when their evidence is debunked.
What I'm saying here —so briefly— augments (but doesn't overlap with) the critique of stupidity in my book Future of an Illusion. Obviously, that could be a much longer book if it included a generalized critique of religion, or a nihilistic critique of faith (something that's quite easy for me to write about).
In one of the comments I already sent you, I asked about the hypothetical scenario of your older brother (presuming you have a brother) presenting you with an idea for a new business that he wants you to invest in, and you're outright hostile toward the proposal: neither side of the argument is likely to rely on evidence. [Note: implicitly, this is an original business idea that has never been tried before, not something with "a track record" that can be appealed to as evidence.]
People fall in love and get married without evidence: we make judgements about a person's character and trustworthiness (and talent, etc.) very often in the absence of evidence —teachers, co-workers, etc., even more often than inamorata.
A boring but salient example: will my life be better or worse with the compromises that a (permanent) relocation to Japan would entail? The answer to this question doesn't really proceed from evidence: it is in many ways just as speculative as the questions of religion are for the average ἰδιώτης.
I have more experience deprogramming Communists than Religionists: most of my experience with talking to religious people face-to-face is that they find everything I say devastating and they're deeply shaken by even a very brief conversation with me —even when I'm being affable and genial in talking about religion. [Note: Melissa and I spoke to just one "true believing" Communist in New York at length and he, likewise, found the conversation emotionally devastating, and complained directly to me that the discussion was "humiliating" for him, along with several other synonyms for "humiliating".] I think that if I were trying to engage with religious people I would talk about the history and philosophy of each religion in terms of the historical development of the literature: understanding Christianity as the work of authors in a particular setting and language, and understanding that literature as emerging from an earlier literature. In this way, fiction is revealed as fiction.
Can I produce evidence that the story of Noah's Ark is fiction? In a sense the answer is "no": in a sense you can say, "Any moron who exams the relationship between Noah's Ark (in the Bible) and the parallel precedent in the Epic of Gilgamesh must understand that both stories are works of fiction" —but this is not really "evidence" in the sense that I think you presume in your discussions. If someone asks you to produce evidence that Shakespeare's Hamlet is fiction you may be flummoxed, although it would be extremely difficult (conversely) for someone on the other side to produce evidence that Hamlet is non-fiction.
Thursday, 24 August 2023
I have been watching your channel for a long time. I am writing to you about videos you made earlier this year. In them, you have been asking for help and quite sure no one would reach out to you. 'Should you move to Japan? Should you learn Spanish?' You say people are dismissive and hurtful to you. Your emotion was like a wave off the screen. It actually made me pretty nervous to write to you, and I've written this draft months ago and just held onto it.
I want to explain why I did not respond more promptly. I am just a private person, not anyone special. Not an influencer. No channel. You get it. I see how you put influencers and commenters on blast. I did not want that happening to me. I am writing to you from an email that I made just for this purpose.
If I feel this way about you, why do I even watch your channel? Seems like I would just blacklist you in my mind, right? Well, your philosophies have had a huge impact on me. including veganism, pet ownership, atheism, drug and alcohol use. All of it.
Let me tell you a story about someone I knew once. Her story as I know it resonates with what I know about you. I was on my local town council. The Mayor of that council had been serving for many years, both as a council member and several terms as mayor. I came to see that she was usually right on every issue facing the town. Like every single time.
For example, our town is bisected by a large highway, and crossing it is a hazard for town members. It also separates the town community. The good side, the bad side, etc. Every so often a new town resident proposes that the town "underground" the highway. To make a tunnel. "It would be so wonderful" they say. "Both sides of the town could freely connect. We should form a committee."
According to the Mayor, this had already been studied twice under her various tenures and been shown to be very expensive. Far and away more than the town could afford, or even fund by other means. She was so frustrated at the thought of yet another round of proposals and research. So she broke the tie to deny the committee. In making her arguments, she publicly humiliated the new resident. The Mayor did use some very harsh language to embarrass the resident. IMO, that language was probably necessary to win the argument. That resident took it upon themselves to start an angry campaign against the mayor and she lost her reelection bid. Just one year later she moved out of the town and to a different area of the country entirely. (I was also kicked out in the same anti-incumbent fervor and because I am probably not suited to be a politician. So it was for the best.)
I feel that her story reminds me of you. Here's why: I find that you are almost always right on every issue. Even when I was 100% opposed to start. I wonder if sometimes that "rightness" leads you to say and do things on your platform and other socials that hugely offend and anger. As I have been quietly watching your channel for more than 5 years, I am surprised that you do not have a massive following. I would be willing to dialogue with you on how to solve this. But that is not at all my reason for writing. I wrote because I feel indebted to you.
Anyway, you do not have to answer. I am not really looking for an answer. Just to convey this story. And to thank you for the impact you have had on my thinking.
Monday, 21 August 2023
Monday, 14 August 2023
Sunday, 13 August 2023
Thursday, 10 August 2023
My own words are in italics, the (anonymous) commenter's words are in bold.
2:51 - are there still people who don't think replacement is happening...
The real statistics are presented here (around the four minute mark, although I recommend watching the whole thing from start to end). Mysteriously, you'll never see Lauren or Faith presenting (or being honest about) these statistics: https://youtu.be/_xJp2mEwyeY?t=247
@a-bas-le-ciel so your argument is it's happening in USA but not in Canada?
No, on the contrary: the per capita rate of real immigration to the United States IS MUCH LOWER than Canada, you're just someone who has chosen to imbibe (and utterly unconvincing and statistically falsifiable) fictional narrative that makes you feel morally superior to other people (who don't believe in the same fables that you do). Note the series of charts on screen here starting at the one minute mark: https://youtu.be/kRhZdmtw3Wg?t=63
Wednesday, 9 August 2023
Aaron, you're a scientist, but you never studied _political science…_ and you never developed any ("scientific") background in the study of religion. I would not lecture on the evolutionary links between "clades" of dinosaurs; but you have to be willing to recognize that you're far, _far_ outside of your area of expertise (and competence) when you talk about politics —and, to be blunt, when you talk about religion. And you've never been willing to talk to anyone who could have helped you in these areas because (in my opinion) it would require a kind of humility from you that's unfamiliar; I am not saying you're incapable of it, just that it's unfamiliar (whereas, e.g., I have to be prepared to humble myself every time I start learning a new language (like Chinese) and I struggle to speak at a child-like level, or when I start working on the history and politics of a heretofore unknown country and culture).
This was posted as a comment below the following video:
Monday, 7 August 2023
Saturday, 5 August 2023
[The person I'm writing to here speaks English as a second language: my own style of writing —in reply— is thus significantly different than it would be in writing to a native English speaker.]
You say that you are an intellectual.
You say that you are studying to get a PhD.
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."
[Footnote: many, many people have actually said this to me, directly, this is not an indirect inference on my part.]
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).
[Footnote: and this has been in many different fields of study, including fields I had only recently switched to, such as when I'd first started on Chinese.]
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.)
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.
Tuesday, 1 August 2023
I’m 21 years old and from _____________. I discovered your channel about 10 months ago via the video “Ashley Elise: it's shallow and it's deep at the same damn time.” (I had searched her name, only to discover that her channel was gone) and I’ve been watching you ever since.
You have changed my life in many ways. I quit video games, started studying politics, history, languages. You are the only positive (active) influence to live like an intellectual that I have. I’ve read Future of an Illusion and I started No More Manifestos the other day. […]
[I mention that Ashley Elise actually wrote to me, requesting that I delete my video(s) about her. He says in reply:]
I can see why she might have wanted it to be deleted. Your video really exposed the shallowness of her thinking about Tinder/sex/relationships, and her pandering. I remember being maybe ~16-17 when I first discovered her channel and thinking “Oh yeah, this is good stuff! She’s really sticking it to the shallow women who won’t give guys a chance.”, but when I watched your video criticizing her, I immediately recognized how stupid I had been.
Your channel has been like a secret weapon in my “arsenal”. You’ve tackled so many false idols and taught me so much.
I’ve tried to show your stuff to my friends, especially the videos about quitting video games, and I haven’t had a single positive outcome from it (upon reading that, you might be thinking “think of how I (Eisel) feel”).
I’ve matured so much through listening to you talk about “real” topics, even if it’s just about nothing in particular. For me, the biggest thing I feel I’ve gained is a change in attitude (maybe “attitudinal learning”, but I don’t know if I’m using that correctly).
Your videos have led me to try to be critical about the concept of “required reading”, but I still sometimes feel pressured to read certain “highly regarded/foundational/important/insert any vague praise” books/authors.
Future of an Illusion, to a great extent, ruined a lot of other books for me. I had never read anything so well written, and haven’t since. I don’t know how much of this feeling is caused by me having been your fan BEFORE reading it, and having been excited to read it, but every page had unique ideas that I had never heard ever mentioned anywhere, and that I couldn’t even IMAGINE being mentioned (some of which (e.g. pet ownership, university education) I mentioned to my grandparents, who had completely negative, typical reactions).
As for Japan, I’m ashamed to admit that all I have to offer is my sympathy, which I’m sure, to you, is worth less than nothing at this point. [Hey, it's worth MORE THAN NOTHING!!! —E.M.]
[…] I can’t help you (or don’t know how) in the next chapter of your life. I don’t know anything about moving to other countries or about university programs. […] Thank you for all you’ve done for me.
[The first two messages, below, date from March 31st, 2017, and then we leap forward to the present day (the last day of July and the first day of August of 2023) in the ensuing messages. I have put Anna's text into bold italics throughout, to make the flow of the conversation easier to follow.]
We've stalled in donations and I don't want the case to have to be put on hold. Do you have any ideas as to how we can re-inject some life into it?
Sent from my iPhone
Re: "At the time, Charles was living with Will and had access to guns and neither my partner or I felt safe being near him as it was obvious he was using."
I used to live in Cambodia, Anna.
I dealt with very credible death threats from powerful people in Laos, and equally credible death threats from one utterly powerless person (who nevertheless had a machete in his hands and swung it at me) in Thailand.
I've dealt with threats from corrupt police and Communist government officials in a third world country, and so on.
Can you remember a more recent situation in which I received credible threats of violence?
Can you remember me facing up to someone Durianrider directly said would beat me up, face to face, in Chiang Mai? Depending on how you count them, I met up with at least two of those guys, perhaps four. One was very nervous and trembling when he met me, because he was aware that Durianrider had basically promised that he'd hunt me down. The first thing he said to me was that I was much larger than he'd imagined.
As you may recall: when Durianrider offered to meet me with a gang of thugs to beat me up, I replied by asking for the place and the time. He was quite unprepared for that, and I didn't back down: I had a public event (in Chiang Mai) and let everyone (including Durianrider) know where I'd be in advance, and so on.
Real people do real things.
I still have all my teeth. But I'm generous with them, these teeth. Anyone can take them away from me.
Oh, yes, I actually have a very amusing tale of my facing down a young man who threatened to kill me here in Canada, just about two weeks ago: we were standing right next to a bridge, and the death threats went on and on, it was quite remarkable. I assume he was high on cocaine, because I bumped into him a few days later, and he had no memory of ever seeing me before, but he was swinging his fists at me (and spitting on me) while explaining in detail that if he didn't kill me himself, I would be killed by his own father, who was supposedly some powerful person (whom he named, etc.) who had the ability to get away with murder in Canada. I have two witnesses to the fact that I wasn't afraid.
Real people do real things.
And I am 44 years old now. I deal with threats of violence face to face, on the streets, myself. Even now. At 44.
Tell me something, Anna: who has suffered less?
Who has suffered less, in trying to change the world, than you and I?
Name some revolutionary who had a more comfortable cave to live in.
If you want to do something to make the world a better place, ultimately, Anna, you have to risk your own life: all of us, each and every single one. And some of us risk it by merely mixing ink and paper.
I've suffered. I've suffered terribly. But tell me: who has suffered less?
Re: "I tried to reach out to numerous people to help raise the extra money, but it wasn’t possible in the time allotted."
I was one of them, remember?
You reached out to numerous people, including me.
And I sent you replies, and you didn't want to hear them.
Oh, and please refresh my memory: did you help me with my own fundraising efforts? At any stage, at any time?
Perhaps I don't remember: perhaps you held a fundraising party on Younow, and I just don't recall. Perhaps we recorded a podcast together. Perhaps you made videos about my case, and urging others to support me. Perhaps you've helped me in innumerable ways I don't know of, because you're so shy and bashful about what a generous and supportive person you are toward others.
It couldn't possibly be that you're someone who raised vastly more money in donations than I ever did, and that you collected vastly more in donations than Hannah Chloe ever did…
…and that you nevertheless had the attitude of taking and taking and taking, while showing absolutely zero human interest (or human decency) when another person was going through a (remarkably similar) criminal defamation case "elsewhere" in the vegan world.
Oh, I'm sorry, but you're ex-vegan, correct? So I suppose I can't quite describe "the geography" that way (as you weren't quite "in" the vegan world, hm?).
And tell me, Anna: who have you spoken to more often and more recently, myself or my ex-wife, Mireille?
And did you ask Mireille to help out with fundraising for your court case, too? I'm sure she could have been of tremendous help. I really wonder why you didn't ask her and her father to bankroll the whole thing, frankly.
Re: "What else should I have done? I had already exhausted my own resources."
Oh, I'm very forthcoming with good advice: look back at the email I sent you on April 5th, 2017. For some reason, you didn't reply.
If you go back and re-read that email now… what do you think?
Re: "I’m not sure what I’ve done to make you find me untrustworthy, but in the end, it doesn’t matter…"
No no, Anna: it doesn't matter TO YOU.
It's a matter of indifference TO YOU.
Not to me.
That's why you're supposed to care about it: being a good person, you see, involves caring about others, not just yourself.
Indeed, simply "not being a bad person" requires a great deal of that kind of… thinking. Making an effort along those lines, you know: short term, selfish thinking starts to resemble evil, with time.
Re: "[Zoom calls are] often used in court, so it was also shocking that I had was required to be there in person."
I'm an old political science major, Anna: I am not surprised that you were required to be there in person at all. I had to testify in Thailand repeatedly in the court case against Durianrider, at great inconvenience and at great expense. Take a vow on a stack of bibles and all that.
And tell me, honestly: if I talked to Bruce, you don't suppose I'd get a very different version of events?
The client may decide to terminate a court case for many reasons: a client may decide that the case is untenable because she can no longer afford the fees —and she may decide the case is untenable because of the poor quality of the lawyer, or for innumerable other reasons. You have already stated that you had SOME OTHER court case ongoing at the same time.
What I know about your court case (and how and why it ended) is based on no other source of information than you, Anna: I think you're kidding yourself about what a bad job you did of communicating what happened in the court case and why. It's quite possible that this was because you were struggling to maintain a working relationship with your lawyer (Bruce) while also trying to find a better lawyer (or a second opinion, etc.) as you've already described.
For whatever combination of reasons, you ended the case because you found it untenable: you explained that —publicly, on youtube, years ago— and you explained it very poorly. And so it is, now, that you're writing to me with this grievance.
Monday, 31 July 2023
Two emails in a row here. Another contrast is to Hebrew and Arabic: I would MUCH RATHER learn Latin than modern Hebrew and/or modern Arabic. Chinese isn't really a fair comparison because I've already sunk so many years into it.
You know, if there were anything positive I could do within Canada, I would do it:
I bought a huge stack of books on Latin (i.e., the ancient language, literature, history and politics) because it seemed like the only positive thing I could do if I continued to be trapped here in Victoria (i.e., there is a classics department at UVic, etc.).
If I believed there were a program in Cinematography worth doing, if I believed there were a program in "agenting" worth doing, etc. etc.
If there were anything positive I could do under any heading (learning Chinese, learning how to bake bread, anything) I would do it.
But there isn't.
I don't know what you expect me to do from here: we could (both of us) literally enroll to get university degrees in Latin at UVic…
but that would then create a new crisis at the end of the program / degree (several years from now) when we'd have to ask all the same questions again (we'd still have no home, no possible way of earning an income, etc.).
The thing is…
I have a much more sincere interest in Latin than I ever had in Chinese or Japanese…
it is REALLY interesting to me, and it would be REALLY rewarding for me…
(in terms of history, philosophy, politics, etc.)
but it's impossible to be optimistic about (1) the Canadian university system, and (2) any kind of employment ensuing thereafter.
Melissa asked me once (within the last few months) what I'd do (with my life and career) if we broke up and I was living here (in Victoria) alone and my answer was that I'd probably re-activate my student status at UVic and study Latin (and again: the huge pile of books on the subject is visible in the middle of our one room apartment at all times).
What's a worse use of my time, at age 44: studying Latin vs. studying cinematography, given that the university system is garbage either way?
And given that the film industry is (now) dying, in the same sense that book publishing (and magazine and newspaper publishing, etc.) died within my lifetime.
Saturday, 29 July 2023
Re: "You need to do some actions to help yourself"
I've already done everything I can do: I've already researched everything I can research.
Try —briefly— to remember the situation I was in when I was living in a small town in Taiwan (Puli was the name of the town, BTW).
At that time (BEFORE the coronavirus pandemic) I was already saying to you that I'd researched every conceivable option and there was no way forward.
Here, in brief, is what has changed since that time:
• I gave up on any possibility of higher education connected to Chinese, or anything else from my "academic" past (politics, etc.), having looked at every conceivable university program on the planet (and note that this even includes M.B.A. programs, masters of education programs, etc. etc., an enormous variety).
• We did all the paperwork to relocate to the USA, and a ton of research related to that possibility, ending when it proved to be bureaucratically impossible to do (and I made the very public announcement that all our assumptions about Los Angeles and New York being viable options for the two of us had turned out to be untenable).
• We did all the paperwork to relocate to Israel, and likewise gave up when that proved to be impossible to do.
• Having given up on a long, long list of education and career options, I started getting interested in (live) stand up comedy (and this relates especially to the pitiable state of cinematography as a discipline within universities, among other things)… but I've also had to give up on that entirely, as we can't actually live anywhere that stand up comedy exists (let alone a film industry, let alone the possibility of getting paid to write comedy, etc.).
Keep in mind, for example, that when cinematography proved impossible to do, I started looking into "agenting" (being a talent agent, being a booking agent) —this is a good example of the way in which I've really researched many different "branching paths" from each specific possibility (OVER A PERIOD OF MORE THAN TEN YEARS NOW!).
This (above) is not remotely a complete bullet point list: there was a time when I was putting all of my efforts into learning Chinese… and even Chinese wasn't my first choice but my last choice. There was a time when I was willing to start all over again with Latin, there was a time when I was willing to start all over again with Greek (in the same way that —years before— I'd been willing to start again with Cree-and-Ojibwe and actually did it). Generally, I'm someone who devoted his life to politics and political philosophy (in Canada and Cambodia alike) and it takes one hell of a lot of imagination to see how that can lead to a career in comedy, baking, etc. —but I have been willing to look under rocks nobody else (in my position) would have even considered.
I am neither saying this to complain nor to boast, but you seem to forget the circumstances that have produced the current crisis —and you seem to forget how many times I warned you this crisis was coming over the last year-and-a-half or so.
So, again, re: "You need to do some actions to help yourself"
Gail, I am really being sincere when I say: THERE IS NOTHING MORE THAT I CAN DO TO HELP MYSELF, and there is nothing more that I can research.
It is not the case that I'm one google search away from finding the solution to my conundrum. It is not the case that there's some wonderful university program (in Canada, in Europe or in Taiwan) that will solve even one of my problems, and that I've simply failed to google search the right combination of terms to uncover it.
I am really throwing myself at the feet of complete strangers and begging for help, because I am now (so to speak) helpless.
The situation really was dire eight months ago when I made the "desperate cry for help" video (that you chose to ignore)… and the situation has only become more dire since then, with the predictable necessity of actually buying airplane tickets (and moving out of this apartment) now looming over our heads when WE HAVE NOWHERE TO GO, and absolutely no positive future to hope for.
Again, this has been the most predictable crisis in the history of the world: I have been narrating it and analyzing it at every stage of its development.
And I have been saying, openly, "I need help", again and again and again.
Thursday, 20 July 2023
Humans make mistakes:
I have a video that was first banned for being racist...
I appealed, explaining that the video is NOT racist...
that appeal was accepted
after the video was uncensored for NOT being racist
a reviewer decided it contains nudity.
So the video was banned again.
Then I received an email from YouTube admitting that the video contains zero nudity, admitting that a mistake had been made.
Then (just as suddenly) I received an email that the video will be restricted to viewers over 18 because of nudity.
The video contains ZERO nudity: it does not have women in bikinis. It is just a lecture against racism (with quotations from the racist people I'm criticizing).
I'm told the same thing you're telling me now: "all decisions are final, no appeal is possible."
Anyone who is not blind would agree: the video does not contain nudity.
I've brought more than seven million views to YouTube with the work of my hands.
Why should I be treated this way?
People like me now deeply hate and resent YouTube: we are all waiting for a competitive website to give us an alternative. The people who should feel gratitude toward YouTube instead feel hatred.
Your website now has advertisements on my video with over 18,000 views: you make money out of it, but I don't. You say the video is too provocative to monetize: but you've monetized it for yourself, while refusing to share the advertising revenue with me --while falsely claiming that the video is violent, racist or excessively sexy (and that the arbitrary decisions of your staff in India are final no matter how obviously false).
It is not possible to get a human being to look at a video and agree, "this does not contain nudity". It is not possible to get a human being to look at a video and agree, "Okay, I can see that you're quoting a Nazi while condemning Nazism, and that this video shouldn't be banned as if it were racist/pro-Nazi."
I had a video banned for being racist against the French, and I wrote in to explain that my own daughter is French (and living in France, etc.). I had a video talking about anti-Semitism with my daughter, in which I'm explaining to her that we're Jewish, and that we'll both have to cope with antisemitism our whole lives long, and this video was censored as if it were antisemitic.
In the past, appealing to human review was possible: now it is impossible. And YouTube is incentivized to steal from its creators by running ads on demonetized videos. It is not possible to get a human answer from a human being any more; and most of the employees are in India, and do not understand the English language (and American political subtleties) well enough to determine what is racist and what isn't (nor what is nudity and what isn't, what is educational and what isn't, etc.).
You have made your supporters into your enemies: this has become a company that creators hate.
11:21:17 AM Charles: Hi my name is Charles, how are you doing today?
11:21:35 AM Hello.
11:21:43 AM I need this escalated to management to review:
11:21:48 AM I have uploaded the same video twice
11:21:54 AM (it is exactly the same video in every way)
11:22:04 AM Charles: Hi there!
11:22:11 AM but one "version" of the video is censored, and the other "version" IS NOT censored.
11:22:19 AM Charles: I see that you would like to have another review of your video on the platform.
11:22:21 AM And again: the two versions of the video are absolutely identical.
11:22:23 AM (1)
11:22:24 AM https://youtu.be/0vH1KJpOMgw
11:22:27 AM Charles: I know how worrisome this can be for you as a creator.
11:22:32 AM Charles: I'd be happy to check this for you!
11:22:41 AM (2)
11:22:42 AM https://youtu.be/EUbyVBi8Ams
11:22:57 AM Charles: Can you tell me more about your concern on your videos?
11:23:04 AM That is the whole story. Let me know if you'll refer it to management or not.
11:24:01 AM Charles: Sure, let me go ahead and check this for you.
11:24:31 AM I have discovered (and I have proven) AN ERROR in your censorship system: either both versions of the video should be demonetized or NEITHER video should be demonetized. Right now there are two versions of the video: one is censored and one is not (one is demonetized and one is not). That must be an error.
11:24:41 AM Please refer this to management to correct the error. That is the whole story.
11:26:25 AM Charles: Thanks for confirming.
11:26:59 AM Charles: Are you able to send us a screenshot of what you are seeing from your end?
11:27:28 AM Your question does not make sense.
11:27:45 AM What would I send you a screenshot of?
11:28:48 AM Charles: The screenshot that you're seeing there is a mistake with the monetization of your videos.
11:29:05 AM Proof.png
11:29:13 AM ^ Behold. A screenshot.
11:29:28 AM Exactly the same video (EXACTLY). One "version" is censored. The other "version" is not censored.
11:30:12 AM Charles: Thanks for sending the screenshot.
11:32:50 AM Charles: Can you give me a few minutes to check on your concern?
11:33:40 AM I can.
11:33:58 AM However, this can only conclude in one way: you must escalate the complaint to management.
11:34:17 AM An error was made: this is the only way that the error can be reviewed / rectified.
11:38:35 AM Charles: It seems like I would need a couple more minutes to check on your concern.
11:38:48 AM Thank you for your time and consideration.
11:43:31 AM Charles: Thank you for patiently waiting!
11:43:41 AM Charles: Let me share more information about your concern.
11:44:06 AM Charles: I'll explain first why a video may get a yellow icon.
11:44:09 AM No.
11:44:13 AM Stop.
11:44:25 AM Do not share that information with me.
11:44:32 AM I have over 7,000,000 views.
11:44:43 AM I have been through this process more than 100 times, possibly more than 1000 times.
11:44:57 AM Please DO NOT "share more information" with me.
11:45:02 AM Charles: Oh, alright then.
11:45:11 AM I do not know how many years you've been working for youtube…
11:45:19 AM but it is possible I have been working with youtube for more years than you have.
11:45:59 AM Charles: Upon checking, it seems like the video you want us to review is not fully the same.
11:46:24 AM Charles: So there might still be discrepancies that may consider the other video for limited monetization.
11:46:27 AM It is the same:
11:46:35 AM Charles: Due to the nature of your video or video metadata, including your video title, thumbnail or tags, we've found that your content doesn't align with the advertiser-friendly content guidelines and may not be suitable for all brands.
11:46:40 AM the exact same video was uploaded twice, once at a lower resolution, once at a higher resolution.
11:46:46 AM The content of the video is identical
11:47:00 AM So is this your plan?
You're going to lie to me?
11:47:04 AM Charles: Certain questions would arise like, are the titles the same, how about the thumbnail and tags?
11:47:27 AM I have a very simple question: are you going to escalate this to management or not?
11:47:39 AM If you are not blind, you can see that the video is exactly the same (both uploads).
11:48:00 AM Can you see that I'm telling the truth? YES OR NO?
11:48:12 AM Charles: Yes, but how about the details of the video?
11:48:15 AM Either I am telling the truth or I am lying:
11:48:20 AM am I lying?
11:48:53 AM Charles: You are not lying but I have also shared with you what is included in the review for monetization.
11:49:01 AM If I am telling you the truth, there's a genuine reason to refer this matter to management (to "escalate the complaint"). An error has been made in the censorship process.
11:49:41 AM You are lying: it is laughably untrue to suggest that one version of the video is not censored (while the other one is) because of differences in the title and metadata.
11:50:23 AM Charles: Alright then.
11:50:34 AM Title: "Marijuana Causes Brain Damage: Scientific Facts."
11:50:44 AM ^ You think THAT TITLE is the reason for censorship?
11:50:55 AM Charles: It could be.
11:51:29 AM Charles: Metadata is indeed part of the review process.
11:51:31 AM So that is your reason to NOT escalate this complaint?
11:51:44 AM Charles: Let me also share with you an article about this: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/9269824?hl=en-GB&sjid=16600331730803901957-AP.
11:51:57 AM Charles: But I know how eager you are to have this reviewed again.
11:52:01 AM The possibility that the title COULD BE the reason = why you've waste 30 minutes of my time? This is why you're refusing to treat my complaint as legitimate?
11:52:04 AM Charles: So we could look for other ways for you.
11:52:34 AM We've been talking for more than 30 minutes.
11:52:39 AM Very simple question:
11:52:43 AM what are the outcomes?
11:52:47 AM What happens next?
11:53:07 AM Charles: You can refer to this troubleshooter link to have our internal team check your video again: https://support.google.com/youtube/workflow/13272149.
11:53:38 AM Charles: Rest assured that we'll get back to you once we have more to share about your appeal.
11:54:11 AM Charles: Hopefully you will get more understanding of the process on your future uploads.
11:54:22 AM Charles: Aside from this, do you have other concerns for today?
11:54:37 AM Wait.
11:54:41 AM Wait, Charles.
11:54:51 AM I have been here for 30 minutes:
11:55:00 AM you can wait while I use the "workflow" link to enter the URL…
11:55:05 AM and then report to you that it DOES NOT WORK.
11:55:31 AM Here is the reply, Charles:
11:55:33 AM "Error with workflow configuration. Please escalate the issue."
11:55:40 AM ^ YOUR OWN SYSTEM TELLS YOU TO ESCALATE THE ISSUE.
11:55:44 AM Charles: Are you able to share a screenshot of what you're seeing?
11:56:05 AM Here is the screenshot:
[Use your imagination.]
11:56:57 AM Everything I am telling you is the truth. Everything you are telling me is (1) a lie and (2) an excuse.
11:57:08 AM I do not know when youtube changed "the deal" with this appeal process…
11:57:16 AM it's totally insane that you waste my time for more than 30 minutes this way:
11:57:23 AM OF COURSE the issue should be escalated.
11:57:30 AM OF COURSE the appeal should be presented to management.
11:57:35 AM This is not even a question.
11:57:37 AM Charles: Thanks for the screenshot.
11:57:48 AM Charles: Let me go ahead and check this from our end.
11:58:00 AM No, Charles: you must escalate the complaint.
11:58:06 AM It's a valid complaint.
11:58:11 AM You are not blind:
11:58:16 AM you know I'm telling the truth.
11:58:17 AM Do it.
11:58:27 AM Do exactly what your job requires you to do AND ESCALATE THE COMPLAINT.
11:58:38 AM Eisel Mazard left the conversation
11:58:38 AM Eisel Mazard ended the conversation