Monday, 17 December 2012

Marcus Aurelius's Approach To Online Videos

So, it's working right now:

but that may be a blip and it doesn't mean it'll continue to work at this level.  I should learn from what i've done of course, and try to do more of the same, but if the views go down, they just do, though i need to think about that.

In the meantime, here's today's offering:

This is in fact the second in my Christmas series, the first being this:

I'm planning to make twelve of these and have various ideas.  The thing is, the elephant in the room phenomenon loomed again.  Releasing one video a day means that the closer i get to Christmas, or rather the Midwinter Festival, the weirder not mentioning it seems.  The trouble with that is maintaining interest after Christmas - topical video views drop off fast, so you have to make a constant effort to come up with new stuff without getting any support from older videos.  This is still to some extent true on this channel, for instance Patrick Moore is someone in whom interest will, sadly, probably decline.

Rudyard Kipling was a well-known author and poet of the Imperial Era of our history.  He's a bit of a mixture because in part he's disturbingly pro-imperialist, but precisely because he is, he's quite influenced by Stoic philosophy.  This can be seen in his poem If-:

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:

This is Stoicism, as practiced by Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca, which is also sometimes seen as influencing Christianity, though that's clearly also quite heavily influenced by Cynicism, as has Stoicism itself.  The British seemed to believe that in order to emulate the Romans, they needed to adopt their philosophy of life.  Stoicism was the dominant such approach in later Roman times.  Stoic physics is remarkably up to date, though not Einsteinian or having anything to do with quantum physics, and its psychology includes the belief that one can deal with life by recognising that unhappiness is caused by passion, and that the one thing one has control over is one's inward reaction to external circumstances.  It's quite Vulcan in fact.

My views on it are mixed.  Shortly before i returned yet again to the Church, i adopted a Stoic approach to life.  However, i found that there was in fact a problem with it.  Whereas i found it relatively easy to pursue an approach where i was able to deal equably with situations, i also found that i was missing out on an important part of my life, namely the passions, which are part of being human, and that it was somehow incomplete to ignore that side.  Therefore, i gave up and decided i preferred being miserable.  Being Stoical has a lot to recommend it but i chose to reject it as a complete philosophy of life.  I see Christianity as closer to Cynicism.

Having said that, a Stoical approach has its place.  One such place is in my approach to YouTube.  Those figures may fluctuate up and down wildly, and if they get low again i should presumably do something about them if my priorities remain in that area, but at the current low level it makes little sense to worry too much about relatively small fluctuations.  Such fluctuations used to occur a lot in the turnover of our business and it was really to do with the noise level of what in the end was a very quiet system, that is, it was so small anyway that arbitrary fluctuations were easy to mistake for more significant trends.  It's now smoother, so maybe if we can just hang on for a bit longer, we'll get into a steadier upward trend on this.

Anyway, on a slightly different subject, people are supposed to be promoting charities on YT.  I haven't done that and am ambivalent about many charities, particularly medical ones, but it is possible the Alzheimer's Society are relatively OK, though i haven't checked them out.  Save The Children is also apparently relatively good.  Therefore, this may be a bad idea, but here's one of my favourite people again, talking about the Alzheimer's Society:

I suspect that if i had realised people were doing this i would've done the Children's Society but i don't know - i should probably be less cynical, ironically.  It's very hard for me to do anything because of this stuff.