Archive

Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

Interesting YouTube Channel: Rambalac

October 3, 2018 Leave a comment

As some of you know, the majority of JBloggers and Jvloggers are white attention-whores using Japan (and Japanese people) to build up an internet presence- especially on YouTube. Did I also mention my disdain for click-baity content? There are only so many times you can watch a white guy or girl visit japanese restaurants, traditional hotels and nightspots before it becomes boring.

But once in a while, you do come across a YT channel which actually has unique, interesting and well-shot content. The channel linked to in this post contains a number of long walks through various locations in Japan. It helps that the videos are well stabilized, without commentary and have footage of locations that are normal rather than touristy.

Link to YouTube Channel: Rambalac

Clip # 1: Backstreets of Japan at Night. Not sure about the precise locations shown in this sequence, but the photographer displays a high degree of familiarity with this area. Two things struck me about this video: a] Even the low-rise parts of Japanese cities are pretty crowded with buildings and b] Even these less busy mixed-use parts are really clean and well maintained.

Clip #2: Morning Walk through Yoyogi Park. Contains footage of a large and picturesque park during the cherry blossom blooming season. It is interesting that they can build and maintain such nice public places in Japan, especially when you compare it (and others like it) to the dismal state of equivalent public spaces in USA. Says a lot about the priorities of both cultures.

What do you think? Comments?

How Elliot Rodger Became the Archetypal ‘Incel’ Rampage Killer

May 23, 2018 26 comments

As some of you might know, today (May 23rd) is the fourth anniversary of Elliot Rodger’s killing spree in Isla Vista. Elliot was the inspiration for Alek Minassian’s recent infamous drive through Toronto- something I have written about recently (link 1, link 2). Those of you who frequent 4chan, 8chan and certain other parts of the internet must also be aware that Elliot Rodger has a pretty large and still growing name recognition in those regions- which is odd considering he killed himself immediately after committing that rampage killing. So how does a guy whose final body count did not even touch double digits become such a major cultural icon after his death? To make matters more interesting, Elliot Rodger was hardly the only ‘incel’ rampage killer in USA within the last decade.

As I have pointed out in a previous post, the majority of men who go on killing sprees in USA are either completely or functionally incel. And yes, I know about the few prominent exceptions such as Stephen Paddock and Omar Mateen. The vast majority of rampage killers in USA such as Seung-Hui Cho, Adam Lanza, Nikolas Cruz, James Holmes, Jared Loughner and Dimitrios Pagourtzis had abysmal luck with finding female companionship for years prior to their rampage. In fact, with the possible exception of men who went on killing rampages for religious reasons, almost every one had a history of sexual rejection from women. Yet for some reason, Elliot Rodger has had a far bigger cultural impact than men with many times his body count. But why?

Part of answer to that mystery is alluded to in the picture posted above. To refresh your memory, it is a screen shot from one of the YouTube videos he uploaded before his rampage in which he talks about the many reasons he was angry with women of his age and wanted to kill them. To make a long story short, he was a half-white/half-asian who was born into a rich family who was extremely unlucky with women through a combination of his shyness, his perceived non-white status and a family that pretty much ignored his emotional needs. But those videos were only a small part of what assured his posthumous and still growing fame.

The single biggest factor which has made Elliot Rodger famous, and the archetype for ‘incel’ rampage killer, was his long and very well written manifesto. In it, he describes in great detail the conditions and circumstances of his upbringing and environment that led him to do what he finally did. Do read it, if you have not done so already. It is that manifesto, more than any other thing, which made Elliot Rodger the cultural icon he has become since his death. And one more thing.. Elliot Rodger was perhaps the first rampage killer to methodically and explicitly make the connection between being consistently rejected by women and forced to be incel with his actions.

Elliot Rodger was the first self-identified incel rampage killer in our era, though Marc Lepine sorta said something similar in 1989. Of course, Marc Lepine suicide statement was much shorter than Elliot Rodger’s one hundred and eight thousand word production and the public internet did not exist in 1989. Furthermore, incel-dom was far less common in North America in 1989 than in 2014 or 2018. To put it another way, Elliot Rodger’ cultural impact is a combination of what he did and when he did it. And yes, I have written a few posts about him in the past (link 3, link 4, link 5). Curiously, most normies dismissed his manifesto at that time. The course of events, however, had other plans and his manifesto quickly became a staple of internet culture.

And that is the short version of how Elliot Rodger became a cultural icon of our era. You can try to mock him, ignore him, defame him.. and it won’t matter. The fact of the matter is that he has become far more famous and influential in death than he was in life. If it sounds like something one might say about a saint or religious figure, you are half-right because Elliot Rodger has sorta become the patron saint of incels. And just like other religious figures and martyrs from the past, those who have read his manifesto harbor a very different image of him from those who have not done so. To be clear, I am not suggesting that we will see a church of Elliot Rodger anytime soon, but the magnitude of cultural effect he has had is equally undeniable.

What do you think? Comments?

On Linkage Between Nasim Aghdam and YouTube’s Monopolist Policies

April 5, 2018 6 comments

I am sure that, by now, most of you heard about the shooting at YouTube’s headquarters by Nasim Aghdam. Regardless of what you think about her personality, the unintentional meme-friendliness of her videos or her general mental stability- its is clear that the incident in question was triggered by YouTube’s (and by extension, Google’s) completely unaccountable behavior towards its content creators and users. In that respect, Google is part of the general trend of Silly Valley corporations being monopolistic, autocratic and totally unaccountable. Given the amount of online hate about YouTube’s corporate behavior, policies and decision-making, I am surprised that such an incident did not occur sooner.

Amazon, Paypal, Facebook and pretty much every other large Silly Valley corporation have, in recent years, displayed very similar behavior when it comes to acting like autocratic monopolies. I hope to, soon, write a more detailed post about my views on the effect of such behavior as well as the kind of pushback it will eventually engender. Having said that, I am sure that this little incident is unlikely to change the attitude at Google anytime soon. Many of you must also be aware that YouTube is soon going to ban channels about guns. Surely such a move will be hailed by the public as an uncontroversial “common sense” decision without any pushback..

Link 1: Tragic YouTube shooting casts new light on creators’ “adpocalypse” complaints

As news unfolded about Tuesday’s YouTube shooting, a chilling motive emerged. Ahead of the incident, the alleged shooter had posted videos maligning the service—doing so as a former money-making user of the site. “I’m being discriminated [against] and filtered on YouTube, and I’m not the only one,” alleged shooter Nasim Aghdam said in a video that was shared after her identity as the shooting’s current, sole fatality was revealed. “My workout video gets age-restricted. Vegan activists and other people who try to point out healthy, humane, and smart living, people like me, are not good for big business. That’s why they are discriminating [against] and censoring us.”

YouTube’s automatic filters have wreaked demonetization havoc through a wide swath of video types, including those about conservative politics and LGBTQ issues. However, keeping track of which videos are impacted (and for how long) is itself quite difficult, owing to how many channels may be temporarily hit only to have those strikes reversed after an inefficient reviews process. The above-linked video about LGBTQ videos, for example, was itself demonetized when it was uploaded; it has since been whitelisted for ads.

One video made by alleged YouTube HQ shooter Aghdam, which was successfully archived before most of her online presence was wiped, focused primarily on YouTube flagging a video she’d recently made. Her complaint video included footage of the demonetized video, which showed a fully clothed Aghdam working out via sit-ups and leg lifts, as well as an allegation that YouTube rejected her appeal, telling her that the video was “inappropriate.”

Link 2: Livid over site’s policies, YouTube shooter trained for attack, shot randomly

Barberini provided a few more details about the incident, confirming that she was upset with the company’s “policies and practices.” Earlier videos—which have been removed from YouTube and Facebook but remain scattered in other places across the Internet—include clips of Aghdam railing against perceived grievances concerning age restrictions and demonetization. Last year, Google overhauled its age restriction rules and enforcement policy. This resulted in a wave of videos being demonetized, which angered YouTubers who could no longer attach money-making ads to their videos. Ruchika Budhraja, a Facebook spokeswoman, confirmed to Ars that the company had deleted Aghdam’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and wrote that the company would also “delete content that praises or supports the shooter or the horrific act as soon as we are aware.”

Link 3: YouTube shooter IDed as woman angry at site’s “age-restricted” policies

The San Bruno Police Department has identified the suspect in Tuesday’s shooting at the YouTube campus as Nasim Aghdam, a 39-year-old woman from San Diego. The confirmation came hours after numerous media sources had initially named Aghdam as the suspect. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Aghdam’s car was towed from the YouTube parking lot. Aghdam seemingly had a website in which she promotes numerous YouTube channels, including ones in English, Turkish, and Farsi. All of her social media channels appear to have been deactivated or removed. The woman seemed to be upset at YouTube over what she called “age-restricted” policies.

Link 4: YouTube Attacker’s Complaints Echoed Fight Over Ad Dollars

While the police did not specifically say what those policies were, they likely had to do with a concept called “demonetization.” In response to pressure from advertisers and consumers, YouTube has been pulling ads from thousands of videos that it decides do not meet its standards for content. That has sparked an outcry from many of the people who post videos to the service. One of those creators was Nasim Najafi Aghdam, the woman the police said had shot YouTube employees in San Bruno, Calif. She frequently posted videos to several YouTube channels and had become increasingly angry over the money she was making from them.

When YouTube pulls ads, it tells creators which videos violated the standards, though it doesn’t elaborate very much on what they did wrong. It’s unclear whether YouTube pulled ads from Ms. Aghdam’s videos.The anger around demonetization has been growing for more than a year. One of YouTube’s most popular personalities, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, who goes by PewDiePie, posted videos with Nazi imagery, including a sign that called for “Death to Jews.” As a punishment, YouTube demonetized some of his videos in early 2017, though it didn’t outrightly bar him. Mr. Kjellberg, now calling himself “family-friendly,” still posts regularly and has a booming business on the platform.

A wide spectrum of YouTube creators, from the conspiracy-minded to the most popular stars, have been vocal about what they see as censorship on YouTube. After a popular video blogger who posts about news, Philip DeFranco, saw his videos demonetized, he called demonetization “censorship with a different name.” On Twitter, he wrote: “Producer just got off the phone with Youtube and it wasn’t a mistake. Feels a little bit like getting stabbed in the back after 10 years.” Luke Rudkowski, an independent journalist who describes conspiracy theories to his more than 500,000 subscribers on YouTube, has repeatedly complained about the site pulling ads from his videos.

In August, he posted a video criticizing news that YouTube would start removing more terrorist content. “We are seeing the purging, the cleaning of this major online institution to be more favorable towards corporations and governments,” Mr. Rudkowski said. “Now that’s why I think we’re finally reaching the end time of this beautiful and amazing platform.” A few days later, he said YouTube had pulled ads from 660 of his videos, “basically eviscerating my main source of revenue for this news organization.”

What do you think? Comments?