Saturday, 24 June 2023

Being Wrong is an Important Part of Being Right.

People like Dillahunty SHOULD have the strength to say, "I know this is stupid and bad and wrong and I'm doing it anyway out of weakness".

This is parallel to admitting that you know alcohol causes brain damage but you're drinking it anyway (out of weakness, in brief).  Don't try to offer an insincere (or pseudoscientific) argument that alcohol is harmless, or that the harm is less than the benefit (and BTW, why do we hear so little critique of alcohol from someone like Cosmic Skeptic, who is concerned about the waste of even a single dollar that could be donated to a hypothetical humanitarian cause in Africa, but who apparently cares nothing about the self-inflicted brain damage incurred by his expensive cocktail habit, in his eminently utilitarian "pleasure-pain calculus"?).

Instead, he (Dillahunty) has to insist that the very apogee of rationality and philosophy is to make excuses for an atheist Christmas.

In parallel, I've never paid to sleep with a prostitute, but if (in future) I did, I wouldn't make an ideology out of it as Dillahunty does, I'd just admit it was a sort of weakness on my part, etc., and I wouldn't insist that sex work is "a net positive" for society as a whole, etc.

Are we supposed to pretend that we learn nothing from being wrong?

Being wrong is an important part of being right: if you can't admit that you're wrong about anything, it doesn't count for much to go around boasting that you're right.  The two are reciprocal and dynamically inter-related.  Practically everything I'm right about now I can remember being wrong about (at some point) in the past, and that memory helps me to sympathize with people who are still wrong now.

Sympathy is an analytical tool; self-righteousness is merely a fashion statement.


Thursday, 22 June 2023

How many hours per year do I spend fighting Youtube's censorship and copyright system?

[I probably spent two hours doing this TODAY (both dealing with censorship AND copyright, entailing separate pseudo-legal processes).  How many hours does it add up to in a year?]

This concerns my parody video found on YouTube: 

This is a parody presenting original lyrics over a familiar melody for purposes of comedy and social criticism: there is absolutely zero ambiguity as to how American law and YouTube policy apply in this case.

Representatives of your organization have filed an erroneous takedown notice that will remove this video (from public view) within seven days.

Quoting Cornell University's Legal Information website:

"In the United States, parody is protected by the First Amendment as a form of expression. However, since parodies rely heavily on the original work, parodists rely on the fair use exception to combat claims of copyright infringement. The fair use exception is governed by the factors enumerated in section 107 of the Copyright Act: (1) the purpose and character of the use; (2) the nature of the original work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the original work used; and (4) the effect on the market value of the original work. Generally, courts are more likely to find that a parody qualifies as fair use if its purpose is to serve as a social commentary and not for purely commercial gain."

Quoting Wikipedia:

"Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569 (1994), was a United States Supreme Court copyright law case that established that a commercial parody can qualify as fair use.[1] This case established that the fact that money is made by a work does not make it impossible for fair use to apply; it is merely one of the components of a fair use analysis."

Note that this court precedent (510 U.S. 569 (1994)) directly concerns a parody song (original lyrics over a beat/music owned by someone else).

This is the most clearly protected form of freedom of speech under (1) Youtube's own policies, (2) U.S. law and also (3) Canadian law. Youtube has its own guideline videos on "fair use" and "transformative content" that explicitly protect this form of free expression —and it is even more expressly protected when the purpose is political commentary social criticism.

If it were not legal to create original lyrics over an established melody (or beat) that would have a chilling effect on both comedy and political discourse: it would create two classes of speech, one that can be criticized, and one that cannot (indeed, the latter class could not even be quoted without violating copyright).  Fair use is not a trivial concept, ethically, legally or politically; parody itself may seem trivial, but the suppression of parody through the misuse of copyright claims on youtube is a substantial violation of civil rights.

Tuesday, 20 June 2023


[Fan:] Can you comment on Neil deGrasse Tyson supposed cosmic perspective about veganism from his book "cosmic perspectives" including releasing mice from basements and hypothetical sentient plant people? I wrote this before but ig it got deleted because I added links to videos where he discusses this; humane hancock channel for example


[Me:] I do a whole lot of work pro bono, but it is neither reasonable nor ethical for you to ask me to do this for free: I'd have to receive donations tantamount to minimum wage multiplied by the number of hours reasonably required to read the book —or perhaps double that rate— to compel me to do it.  I did read and review Stendhal for free, recently… but Tyson is not Stendhal.


[Fan:] Well you dont really need to read the entire book. His arguments are pretty trivial and he basically summarized them in humane hancocks latest video which is like 50min. It boils down to "actually vegans release mice from their basements instead of living them in their basements so abusing animals is fine" and also "sentient plant aliens are as horrified about you eating plants as you are about me eating animals, also trees bleed btw"

Would be interesting to hear you tear him down as you do ofcourse but if you dont wanna I understand.

I definitely dont have the money to pay you for reading the book unless youre a real quick reader

I think the entire premise of this physics guy dipping his toes into philosophy or veganism and offering his entirely basic justification for abusing animals as some kind of "cosmic perspective" is hilariously stupid


[Me:] Re: "I definitely dont have the money to pay you for reading the book unless youre a real quick reader"  Start a fundraiser, open up a GoFundMe, and collect donations for all I care: I am telling you that it is immoral and inappropriate for you to ask me to do many hours of work for free. The fact that I so often do so much work for free only makes it more inappropriate that you're asking, not less.


[Fan:] Shitting on famous people for doing stupid takes that harm others is kinda your thing so I was kinda hoping it would be something youd like to do anyways...
But hey since you like vegan romhacks we can make a deal; If you comment on his cosmic perspective then Im gonna build a vegan mod for crusader kings 3. Or is it too new game for you?


[Me:] Well, I've got to give you some credit: you're the first computer programmer to attempt to BARTER with me.  ;-)

Monday, 19 June 2023

Armor, in battle, is worth more than a medallion for bravery: Fandar's allegations revisited.

[Martin writes in again:]

You are not talented, you are just another liberal diguised as an intelectual repeating the same cliches again and again in a echo chamber. So absolutely no opportunity lost.

Don´t wanna the respect of someone that says, how it was like? " If she is 16 it doesnt´matter"?

Game Over. You lost here just like you lost in life.

P.S. you havent answered my question: Do you have a real job? or you just leach from other people? (just like the pseudo-intelectuals in this part of the world)


[And I reply:]

If I am merely disguised as an intellectual, the disguise certainly is convincing: you should spend many years studying how to disguise yourself in the same way, as this outer raiment seems to be worth more than the thing itself —as armor in battle is worth more than a medallion for bravery.

Re: "Don´t wanna the respect of someone that says, how it was like? " If she is 16 it doesnt´matter"?"

Now tell me something Martin: has it occurred to even once that this could be an example of that notorious internet phenomenon of someone being misquoted in mid-sentence in a manner that completely misrepresents what they've said and why?  Are you so young that you've never once seen this phenomenon before?

In the hands of someone as deranged, dishonest and malign as Fandar, anyone can be made to seem to say the exact opposite of what they're saying: if you go back and listen to the source that he's quoting (but misrepresenting) you'll find that it's a long morality lecture that is perfectly consistent with dozens of other videos I've made on the subject (e.g. in criticizing Onision for his romances with teenage girls, etc., numerous videos talking about the perils of open relationships)…

…namely, "This is bad with someone circa 18, but it's also bad when we're talking about people who are in their mid 30s" —I have drawn attention to the extent to which people much older than 18 can be vulnerable in just the same way as 18 year olds, basically.

So, yes, you can cut someone off in mid sentence and misrepresent what they're saying (and, BTW, Fandar has actually apologized for this to me in email, but never deleted the video… or, in fact, I think he deleted the video and then later undeleted it)… but it takes someone as stupid and malign as you, Martin, to believe it.

Ghosts of Fandar: Every Month is Autism Awareness Month.

How old do you think this guy is?  I would have to imagine he's very callow indeed.  But, yes, the other possibility is that he's just as mentally disabled as Fandar.

Every month is Autism awareness month.  Every month, homie.


[E.M. writing to Martin:]

Dude, learn how to write a sentence: "Not yet having issues with amazon delivery" DOES NOT have the same meaning as "No, not yet.  I have been having issues with Amazon delivery."  Exactly one person wrote in to me saying that he wants to read the book but can't get it where he's living: I sent him the book as a series of text files for free (and no, he didn't even donate a dime in return).  Yes, on the one hand, if people have legit problems (and they're not autistic) I can solve them; but, on the other hand, you tell me, motherfucker, if you'd spent two years of your life writing a 600 page book that's the culmination of 20 years of research, how you're gonna feel about some anonymous nonentity saying that you should give it away as a fucking etext for his convenience.

You ain't writing to me about your youtube channel, your podcast, your book —nor about your "I.R.L." politics, ventures, or other achievements.

You want respect?  Push respect.


[Martin writing to E.M.:]

First. I was typing from a fucking cellphone. 

Second I don´t accept impositions of morally inferior people (Yes, coincidentally, just so happened that I came across Fandar3 videos exposing you. You are, mentally and morally, fucked up).

If you took that long to write a book then you are not that smart as you pretend to be in your videos. ( Yes, I took my time to investigate further about you after your childish 5 year old angry reply).

20 years of research, C´mon! that´s part of the character you created all this time to justify your lifestyle and mistakes of your own past. As fake as the body language of many of your videos.

What do you for a living? Do you even have a job (any job)? Oh no that would be to low for Mr. Intelectual ooops don´t forget he´s vegan. Holy Shit the next Buddha right here ladies and gentlemen.

Who the fuck are you demand stuff from me (or anyone else)?. I live on my own and don´t depend from daddy and mommy funding me and I am younger than you. Already with that I am "I.R.L" miles ahead of you.

Since, you wanna interrogate me, someone told me about a video in which you (ex-buddhist and morally superior because... vegan!) claimed that your deserved more financial support than your brother who has a disability. How is that (Mr. intelectual and of course vegan!) something, morally superior?

By the way where´s the video in which you talk about your brother in such demeaning way?. I wanna show it to some people to warn them about these new breed of pseudo-intellectuals and morally bankrupt. (We had your type back in the days of  rise of tibetan buddhism in the west, years ago).

Haven´t you thought about why I prefer an electronic version (which I am willing to PAY BTW), let me give you a hint, Ok let´s go: books require ----->paper -------> requires chopping down trees (are you following me Mr. Intellectual).

Maybe there´s a more eco-friendly solution. Could that be an electronic version?  (I put some arrows (----->) in case the train of thought  is too hard to follow for you, just for you ;-)  )

Now Replying [to what you said earlier]:


"You ain't writing to me about your youtube channel, your podcast, your book —nor about your "I.R.L." politics, ventures, or other achievements.

You want respect?  Push respect"


I should thank you for your rude reply. Made me do a quick research which uncovered who you are really (thanks to that youtuber that exposed you). No I am not gonna share with you my politics, ventures, nothing! You are not worthy of any of them.

You want my respect, you just lost it for good.

P.S.  Don´t write to me with UPPERCASE mother fucker I am neither your employee nor your submissive (and sadly manipulated) girlfriend, which I hope, for her mental health, breaks up with you ASAP.

I saw you were satisfied to see a college professor in the hospital... and you speak about moral superiority. You want anyone´s respect? Fuck you!

You want respect? Earn it!  (getting a job, ANY JOB should be  a good start).

And have a nice a wonderful day :)


[E.M. writing to Martin:]

Eisel Mazard

Oh yeah, bro, Fandar = 110% legit source of information.


You could learn more about me from a casual reading of my own blog, or even my own Instagram.

Re: "You want my respect, you just lost it for good."

No, I don't want your respect: you've quite hilariously misinterpreted my message (and I can't even say that you've misinterpreted it in a self-serving way, so it is a peculiar error on your part).

I have never once been asking you to respect me: I have been asking you to provide evidence of who you are, of what you do, etc., so that I can respect you.  That was very clear throughout.

You want me to send you a free copy of my book as a TXT file?  I can do that, and I have done that (as mentioned) for one person who really was in a circumstance in which he found it impossible to buy my book on paper.  Look at how wildly unreasonable and malicious your responses have been: I am saying to you, "look, if your own behavior were 'on the level', and I had some sense of who you were, etc., then I would be willing to do you this favor" —it is not a tremendously high level of respect we're talking about.  However, doing such a favor for a faceless, nameless account on the internet (and, in your case, an account that has ONLY been an asshole toward me) is really a tall order.

Homie: talent is scarce.

When you look back on this five years from now, you're gonna have to ask yourself what opportunity was lost: what opportunity you'd squandered just to indulge your own ego and throw this little tantrum in front of me.

Saturday, 17 June 2023

Self-Portrait as a Pragmatic Centrist

Whereas, I suppose, my self-portrait as an uncompromising nihilist would look entirely different.

Sunday, 11 June 2023

The Black Hole Problem: Give, Give, Give, Take, Take, Take.

You really cannot imagine how much "reaching out" to help others I've done: the mention of talking viewers out of suicide may seem maudlin (it may seem like an exaggeration) but it is (1) literally true, and (2) figuratively gives a sense of innumerable situations in which I did indeed have to be very "giving" to help people —about whom I knew little more than that they needed the help.

"It" wasn't worth it because "you" weren't worth it.

Compare the reflections on my experience with Buddhism circa page 103 to 107 of Future of an Illusion: I quit that religion not because of the badness of its principles, its abstractions, its theories or even its rituals, but because of the badness of the people within it —I rejected Buddhists, as they really are, not Buddhism as it could be or should be.  And again, I may add, looking back at the decades lost: "it" isn't worth it because "you" weren't worth it.  The particular people weren't worth it.  I can say the same even for something as mainstream as the study of Chinese, and as non-esoteric as political science, etc.

Saturday, 10 June 2023

Comedy is Clothing for the Soul

And there is a kind of strength shown by those who remain well dressed in the midst of war and tragedy, and there is a kind of strength shown by those who stand naked.

Thursday, 8 June 2023

100% typical conversation with a longtime fan and supporter of the channel.

And in case you're interested in the link in the first image (to a playlist titled, asking the audience for help), here it is:

The image within an image that he's replying to at the very top of the first screenshot (before the words, "it's a shame, man) can be found here:

Tuesday, 6 June 2023

On the unusual popularity of, "Why I'm forcing you to read Aristotle".

[I received a question about this video, or about its unusual popularity, or about the unusual quantity of fan mail I receive about it.  What is it, exactly, that people like so much about the video?]

People like the idea that they can change.

Because they can't.

They like the idea that they can learn something from reading a book.

Because they can't.

People like the idea that they'll be a better person next year than they are this year.

Because they won't be.

That's the honest answer to your question: people like the video because it makes them feel good about themselves.  When they should really feel terrible about themselves.

On attracting an audience of intellectuals.

Creating videos of lean, fit people showing off their bodies does not attract an audience of lean, fit, healthy people —quite the contrary, it attracts an audience of people who see in that performance something they lack.

They only yearn for what they lack: so it is that highly intellectual content attracts an audience even more mindless than mindless entertainment.

I realize how difficult this is to believe.

You cannot raise the intellectual or moral caliber of your audience by raising yourself up: you can only attract an even lower audience that enjoys gawking at you from a greater distance. Their very inferiority will make you seem exotic in their eyes.

Sunday, 4 June 2023

Meditation: it's hard to accept that people are really this stupid.

People really are this stupid.


90% of people are really this stupid, really this crazy, and really this malign —even at Cambridge University…

ESPECIALLY at Cambridge University.

Here's the link if you want it: 

Friday, 2 June 2023

Two, three, many Vietnams.

Ten thousand phony revolutionaries preaching ten different phony revolutions. And I'm not one of them. Out of that cacophony will come a silence more terrifying still. Out of the failures of 2020 will come the failures of 2030, as impossible for you to imagine now as the violence of 2020 was impossible to imagine in 2013. Two, three, many Vietnams; two, three, many Voltaires.

Thursday, 1 June 2023

People want to lead a meaningful life and don't know why.

[Another Q&A on the life of the mind:]

Re: "… one fears a gunshot, because they don't want to get got; another desires sex, because their sperm/ovum is ready…"

No: people are afraid and don't know why —and they don't know what they're afraid of.  People are overwhelmed with desire and they don't know why —and they often don't know what it is they desire.  People run without knowing what they're running away from.  People run without knowing what they're running toward.  People struggle to be less ignorant, without an awareness of what there is —better— to be known.

Emotion is not the opposite of reason.

[A question from the audience:]

Hi Eisel. I want to share what I've been thinking lately. Each person's purpose is to become a mature human being, with the potency in their nature actualized. It's easy to see that the potency of intelligence is to grow and develop, but what is the potency of emotion? Looking at human development, emotion doesn't change, it just becomes more and more subordinated to intelligence, so is it's fate to eventually disappear? No, emotions are a part of human life. But what is their relation to intelligence (hereinafter called thought)? People say there are positive and negative emotions, so should thought be used to encourage one and diminish the other? Or on the contrary, emotions (including desire) should be suppressed to increase thought? The latter isn't as bleak as it sounds, since there's still imagination and creativity.

[My reply:]

Emotion is not the opposite of reason.  Emotional reasons are nevertheless reasons; and you can reason through and with emotions.  Numerals are not the opposite of reason.  Mathematical reasons are nevertheless reasons; and you can reason through and with numbers.  Feeling is not incompatible with thinking: the opposite assumption is very deeply wrong.


I have said many times that I am not the voice of reason, but the voice of passion —although in some contexts the people I'm arguing against may be so wildly irrational that it does not seem to be so.  ;-)