I guess I’m doing this YouTube schtick until my face falls off from decrepitude

I put up this video on my YouTube channel yesterday. It’s short, only 2 minutes long, and is a basic introduction to me.

I was asked why — I’ve been making videos for a few months now, years even, isn’t it a little late to be putting up an intro video? I’ll explain.

  • I started this as an experiment, just dipping my toes in the water. I had no confidence that I could sustain it. Now I’m feeling like, yeah, I can put out one or two videos a week, no sweat, so let’s commit to the long run.

  • I’m also getting more confident that I can get better at this — I’m not claiming I’m any good at it, but at least I’m recognizing where all the flaws are and can work on correcting them next time. It’s a productive exercise for me.

  • There’s a provision in YouTube for including a channel trailer, that is, a video that is shown to unsubscribed viewers when they visit. I figured I’d finally get around to filling that slot.

  • There are video creators on YouTube who are confusing — they have so thoroughly absorbed the internet custom of constant sarcasm that you don’t know whether they’re mocking a position, stating a criticism, or are occupying some undefined middle ground where they make stupid arguments with plausible deniability. I hate those guys. So I wanted to stake out where I’m coming from with complete clarity.

  • Another thing I’ve grown to detest: people with crudely animated avatars doing all their speaking for them, with terrible names, like “The Adjective Atheist” or “The Pretentious Modifier Skeptic”. I hate those guys, too. So I’m using my real name, and I’m going to commit to at least begin all future videos with my real face on camera, even though it’s not going to win me any beauty prizes.

So now you know. The beatings will continue until you appreciate them more. Sorry. But I’m doing this for me, not for you.

Speaking of ongoing suffering, I’m planning to subject you all to another “Ask Me Anything” hangout tomorrow, Sunday, 1 July, at noon central time. To get the conversation rolling, I thought I’d share with you a couple of mail messages I’ve received in the last month. Real mail! On paper! With stamps and everything! Also, they’re not all bad, but there are a couple of creationist doozies in there.


  1. says

    There are many permutations of the naming trope. They’re all bad. Or if they’re not bad yet, they’ll sour eventually.

  2. OptimalCynic says

    “Another thing I’ve grown to detest: people with crudely animated avatars doing all their speaking for them”

    Except NativLang, he’s awesome.

  3. blf says

    For what it’s worth, by and large I largely dislike videos and similar as a means of disseminating information. You can’t search them or (easily) quote them, they take forever at. a. very. slow. pace., and they are too hostage to the technical gimcrackery of the times. Having said that, I have enjoyed a good documentary or investigation, albeit I don’t claim very good retention from such and similar.

    As a why of reinforcing information, such as — albeit perhaps not limited to — a (interactive) Q&A session, or a demonstration, they have their place. This seems not unlike conferences, it’s the paper which is interesting, and the presentation / seminar / whatever which clarifies (well, should clarify, I’ve been at enough obfuscating (not necessarily deliberately) talks &tc to realise that is an ideal / goal, not a given).

    (Apologies if I am a bit cranky — I’ve already snapped at several people today…)

  4. Phrenomythic Productions says


    “Another thing I’ve grown to detest: people with crudely animated avatars doing all their speaking for them”
    Except NativLang, he’s awesome

    I think PZ was specifically thinking of that army of anonymous SQW YouTubers using “funny cartoon characters” and a pretence of rationality/common sense to spread their regressive messages and thus basically doing lip service for the Alt Right.

    I mean, I use a “crudely animated avatar”, but I’m probably in the friend zone. :-)

    Loads of excellent, rational and progressive YouTubers use animated avatars for various reasons. Some are shy, some can’t figure out the technology with camera’s and lighting etc., and some just can’t stand to see video recordings of their own face. It took me a long time to get over myself and do a face reveal, but I’m slowly getting used to the idea of my face online.

  5. Phrenomythic Productions says

    @PZ Myers

    Doing regular uploads really boosts your channel in the algorithm, so that is probably why you’re doing great. You’re doing a lot better than I am in any case, if you compare us using this nifty website:


    I’m not currently able to do a steady uploading, so that is probably why I’m stagnant. Either that, or my videos are too boring to a general public. :-)

  6. says

    I’ve been sort-of trying to start making videos for a couple of months. I haven’t even recorded one yet. I’m facing the same problems that made me mostly abandon blogging. I really struggle to put my thoughts into a package that can be presented (socially) as a finished thing.

    I switched from blogging to writing my own wiki. It’s so much easier for me. It kills my perfectionism, because every page is a work in progress that I update when I have time.

    Still, I NEED some kind of social approach, otherwise my thinking won’t be seen by anyone, and will be of no use :(

  7. Marcelo says

    @2, PZ Myers, regarding the Godless Nouns:

    They’re all bad. Or if they’re not bad yet, they’ll sour eventually.

    I don’t know. The Godless Bitches podcast hasn’t sour on me yet.