Why I Am Not Posting Videos

So let’s talk about the elephant in the room. As you can follow from my tweets, posts, and channel comments, I honestly thought I would be making videos again by now. But, so far, life has had other plans. Let me explain why.

Another Personal Transformation??

So I became a Christian again. ba dum tss.

Seriously, though, as I am sure many of my fellow deconverts can attest: deconversion is not necessarily the end of our greatest personal transformations. And I continue to be blown away by the colossal shifts in my perception of the world and my resulting growth as a human being. Right now I am experiencing those shifts at break-neck speed primarily on a social and professional level.

In terms of my social identity, I am improving things about myself that I never before knew could be improved nor how to improve them. It is a domino effect that rocks the way I have perceived social situations since I was a child. Needless to say, such a shift is going to be time intensive at first.

I would love to make videos about it someday. However, even after I finish this chapter of transformation, there is another issue.

I Don’t Want Money to Matter, but It Does

Whether I want it to or not, money matters. I’m now living in a city where the rent prices are so high they give any normal, sane person an aneurism on their first exposure. I’m also now paying back the student loans that I racked up while getting my PhD and making the original Evid3nc3 videos.

I think it is awesome that my videos are free to the public. I have received so many messages from people who have told me that my videos changed their lives, gave them guidance, changed the way they think, helped them empathize with Christians, or showed them that they were not alone in their deconversion.

However, the reality is, each one of those videos takes weeks of painstaking work. Work that I’m not sure I can afford to invest uncompensated anymore. But how could I get paid and still make the material widely accessible? This is something we are trying to tackle as a society with freely accessible Internet content in general. And, as Sam Harris has touched on, the problem hasn’t yet been solved in a way that satisfyingly meets the needs of creators and audiences alike.

But wait, Chris, you may be thinking, why don’t you just become a YouTube partner? I can’t. Which brings me to the final issue.

The Current Systems for Licensing Music Are Rigid and Antiquated

This is how music licensing should work: I should be able to license a song for use in my video and, if I make money off of that video, the creator of that song should receive a percentage of my revenue identical to the percentage of the video that their song contributes. For example, if someone uploads a video that just plays a song and does nothing else, the song creator should receive 100% of that person’s revenue. Or, if it is background music, as in my videos, the creator should only receive 5-10% of my revenue, since I am doing by far most of the heavy lifting in writing, voice work, graphics, and video production. Determining those percentages is not trivial but I am confident algorithms can and will someday be made. Startup ideas, anyone?

Anyhow, right now, if I want to license a song for use in my videos, I have to drop hundreds or even thousands of dollars before I see a dime of revenue personally. Which, as an independent amateur video producer, is absurd.

I am currently able to use music in my videos only because the content is free and for educational purposes only. As soon as I change that, licensing becomes an issue.

Why don’t you make your videos music-free?

Well, one reason: too late. The music is already there. So I would have to take the videos down and reproduce them without music and my time is already constrained. Also, music is just too powerful a tool for communicating human emotions. I feel like I would be letting go of too much of what I want to communicate if I left the music out.

Why don’t you use copyright free music?

I haven’t found a consistent set of high quality copyright free music that I like. Also, using scores that people are familiar with from feature films or general popularity adds a depth of meaning that I can’t necessarily get with lesser-known artists. I’ve also experimented with making my own music but it is too time consuming.

I can’t help but be frustrated at how mutually beneficial it would be for myself and song creators if licensing worked the way I outlined at the beginning of this section.

So That’s It Then? No More Videos until These Problems Are Solved?

Not necessarily. The responses I’ve received from people have convinced me that the videos are important and helpful enough to continue whether or not I receive monetary compensation for them directly. And if working on the videos seems like the best next step in my own tumultuous series of personal transformations, I will.

Also, if you have ideas, experience, or expertise for solving the above problems, I do welcome them.

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49 comments on “Why I Am Not Posting Videos

  1. Gwyn says:

    I wish you the very best in your endeavors!

  2. hey man! You were always a big inspiration to me once I discovered your videos!

    I have run into the same problem as you, working in the industry I was so disillusioned because there are so many great videos out there, yours included, and there is no proper market for it currently until a system can be set up, like streaming channels, online versons of TV networks that make it easier for producers and not restrictive but at least returning on the investment! This will take a few marketing/business geniuses to pave the way… but in the meantime,… it’s like, all there is is disgusting adware, cookies that put ads all over the place like Brightcove streaming solutons (I looked them up once and they are all over every webpage… maybe useful if I had even some cash.)

    I never put any time into anything I did with videos because it didn’t make me money and I am super poor. My computer is from 2003 that I edit on! But seeing your videos, you really made me think that I need to hold myself at a higher standard whether or not I am making money, and why make anything? Because I enjoy doing it. So I am learning to enjoy making things and not worry about money or time, and do it because I feel it is important! I am still learning how to express myself properly, like really let go of time and money as it really holds a person back. You are a big inspiration to this way of thinking! Thank you! You are one of the great minds of our time! It would be a shame not to hear more from you.

    I hope to pursue philosophical blogs and videos more in the future and I hope you do also! Money is a sad excuse not to help people I always say… maybe don’t make your videos so shiny! haha.

  3. 2greatlights says:

    I feel your pain man. Being a father of three and working full time, it’s nearly impossible to create anything dynamic. I have so many ideas I’d really love to transform into video, but I just can’t seem to find the time. For the time being, I’ve decided to just post text articles on my web page. Maybe if they generate enough interest, I’ll make an effort to create video versions.

  4. My sincere commiseration. The video’s you’ve made so far are fantastic but – and I feel safe speaking for others – we get you also have a life and responsibilities. It’s a damn shame you find yourself unable to continue with the outstanding work you started but as they say, it is what it is.

    I will continue to hope for a new video though.

    Be awesome.

  5. Jeff says:

    How about a kickstarter?

  6. Robert Bently says:

    How can I donate money to you? I’ve followed you for years and would be happy to drop $1k or so. I know that’s enough but if there are others who feel the same, it could help.

  7. Prpl Fox says:

    I think there would be a lot of viewers who are talented musicians and would want to support you by sending you original compositions for free. I wrote the music for my videos, but I hear what you are saying about quality and familiarity in the music as elements to the videos. I don’t think becoming a YouTube partner is the answer. Turn to the internet community. Launch your videos on kickstarter. If you put it out there that you want to make a video on the topic of X and need this many dollars to do it, the people who know how valuable your work is to the world and have the means to do it will support you. It’s ok to ask for money, People understand, and would feel great about contributing to what you do.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Thanks for taking the time to post. Regardless of how I move forward with the series, I appreciate your efforts for the community, friend.

  8. Nix Dorf says:

    Man. I so understand you. I tried myself to create my own video series and it’s very, very, hard. I was planning to subtitle your series in Spanish and I end up stuck. If it’s hard to just do a simple subtitling (where all the production work is done), I can imagine the production work. It’s a full time job, to produce with the quality level that you did.

    Best wishes, and I hope that you be able to figure out a way to produce more videos.

    If I may suggest… Create a channel like DarkAntics is for Darkmatter2525. On that channel you could put some simpler vlog style videos with no music, just you talking to the camera. Turn on the YT partnership, and let your thoughts be heard.

    Once you get enough subscribers and viewers you could start to make more elaborated videos. You have a brilliant mind, and people would hear you anyway without fancy graphics and musics.

    Regards,

    Nix

  9. Neil says:

    Wow, you didn’t even ask for donations. I admire that.

    “Also, using scores that people are familiar with from feature films or general popularity adds a depth of meaning that I can’t necessarily get with lesser-known artists.”

    I thought of One-Winged Angel.

  10. Charles Hawtry says:

    I wasn’t even aware that you were a musician! Your video series about your deconversion is wonderful, I have re-watched them a few times over the years, ..you have a very unique cadence to your voice which really adds to the video.

  11. wnymathguy says:

    I can totally see your dilemma. I’ve done tiny works on YouTUBE; they are not production quality, and they still took time to make them not completely suck. Just getting my own CC text right takes 7 to 15 times longer than making and posting the video. I have many things I want to produce, but as you, time ran out, and life steers me away. Sticky notes that I barely understand anymore are the only tell tale signs I have that show I wanted to do more.

  12. Aaron says:

    Your videos changed my life. I’ve watched them so many times!

    My wife and I are professional musicians and we have music on iTunes and other places that are downloaded frequently. The irony is it’s a Christian album! lol

    Anyway, my wife has written about 80 plus songs that are all copy-written and we could or would write new and fitting background music for your new videos and future project for only 5% of the revenue. Win/win situation. Let me know if you are at interested and thanks for making those videos Chris!! :)

  13. evid3nc3 says:

    I want to thank you all for your offers to help and your ideas for moving forward. Time constrains me even from considering ways of moving forward but I am much more optimistic and have many more solid ideas after hearing some of the things that have been suggested and the support I see for them.

  14. mikethetv says:

    You’re always going to have irons in the fire, buddy. You either work around them or don’t, but they’re not going to go away. So suck it up, buttercup.

    In any case, I think you should make a book when you’re done, in the same visual style your video series is presented in. It would look awesome in print.

    Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

  15. I just wanted to tell you that your videos have clarified a lot of my own confusions about belief systems and helped frame my uncertainties in better light…

    while watching your videos years ago, I thought that no one would have explained it better, what I loved most about your approach is its sincerity and the respect that you gave to religious belief and the extreme detailing you went into..

    After the clouds of doubt cleared up and the skies became clear, I felt an extreme sense of loss with that clarity, and I also felt stuck, I started wondering if there is anything beyond.. I guess that existential void that sincere religious belief once filled was replaced by culture.. but it became superficial.. yet because it was familiar it was comforting..

    hearing that you are going through yet another transformation makes me really curious to hear about it..

    Even if you have no time for videos, maybe you can write a few posts whenever you have free time?

    I wish you all the best and hope those difficulties will get sorted out soon..

  16. wnymathguy says:

    I can imagine you saw the 43 Alley video already because you are mentioned in it, but if you didn’t…

  17. bruce says:

    When i watched your original series it was an one who had already gone through the same process and who would have liked to make similar videos. You did such an amazing job organizing and presenting the information i doubt I could have done nearly as well. I was amazed that someone else analysed the world in such a way as I do. I just wonder if you have started to tackle the crazy bizarre religion of money and consumerism that, in my opinion, is a much more powerful force in our society than even Christianity? Pope Francis recently issued a statement warning of the false idol of money, in effect calling it a cult.

    Only its much harder to leave this cult because most people do not recognize this as a belief system. But this idea that everything must be monetized is driving most of our problematic behaviors. We can never solve our environmental dilemma if we keep believing that the natural world exists so that we might convert it to money at an ever accelerating rate. Making money (which is just another way of saying “converting all nature, selves and interactions into money”) is the cause to which we should all be slavishly devoted. Only in this belief system there is no external hell to which we will be banished to in the afterlife, there is a very real and threatening hell that we call poverty. If you fail to be sufficiently devoted to the making of money you will be banished from society. The poor are not just people without money, they are also, in some ways, morally deficient. The rich are not just people with more money, they are like a priesthood whose judgement is unerring. Money is not just a bookkeeping tool to help us manage our resources, it is an artifact that grants its owners all power.

    Your problems with copyright, paying back student loans, high cost of living, etc… all stem from this system.

    • Replying to Bruce – I agree. And I believe this is the problem we all will run into regarding right and wrong. To fix this depends on our judgement to choose neither to not take from others or not allow others to take from us. I believe that is the judgement I was anticipating for morals aside from religion…

  18. saminmpls says:

    Dude, I hope these issues get worked out such that you are able to resume your videos.

    Even if you don’t resume them, I think you have a talent for this format and could probably get work as a professional narrator.

  19. Ms Teresa A Strong says:

    I think you are the most brilliant human I’ve ever “met.” You are amazing and you are not a dead philosopher or an abstraction–you are real and that is so incredible to me–and there’s a possibility that you might even read this.. You hit the nail on the head on so many topics. You could do so much good for this planet–reform education, help all humanity rise above war–so much potential is in that incredible brain of yours. Maybe what you are experiencing now is the “after the enlightenment” stage–where the reality of day to day existance increasingly takes over your mind. I personally think capitalism is the worse construct ever made by man. It brings out the worst in people; it crushes anything that doesn’t help one survive within it. Maybe capitalism is just one evolutionary stage of religion? Maybe you are going back to religion to explore how this evolutionary path happened or to explore what other paths there might be? You speak in your earlier work of a craving to get back to that sense of connection with God as it increasingly got away from you. Maybe your religion is your home base that you have to return to because that is where all your thinking actually came from. My dad, a devout catholic, often said to me that I would know that I was on the right path if I felt happiness.

    I am a teacher and I am just blown away by your ability to think and to teach. How can humanity lit itself up from this place we now find ourselves in? Wrap your incredible brain around that one. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on that one question.

  20. Francis de la Cruz says:

    Royalty free music you can make money with…
    Two words: Audio Jungle.
    Get an extended license, you’re good to go. The lowdown: audiojungle.net/licenses/extended
    I, personally, would love to have you back in youtube. Your videos have make a big impact in my deconversion.

  21. I agree with many of the people here, kickstarter is the way to go. If you make some time for it I will too and we can talk about it. My mind just started raising around the possibilities.

  22. FawningFlapDragon says:

    Yes! If you were to do a kickstarter and each of your YouTube subscribers (I’m one among them) gave only 1 dollar each with the current numbers you’d have $37,753 to do with what you want and need. I’d love to see your “Why I am no longer a Christian” playlist released on DVD! I agree with Prpl Fox above that there is no issue asking for money and I’d be happy to support it. I’d gladly donate (more than 1 dollar) to possibly get your work out to a larger audience.

    • wnymathguy says:

      Nice math. I’ll see your dollar and raise you two! Hard for him to argue that. ;) I agree with the DVD idea too. I made my own playlist of his set just to make it easy to rewatch, reference, and pass on…

      (I hope the link made it post, post. If not
      my YouTUBE ID is WNYmathGuy and
      the play list title is “The Evid3nc3 Movie”)

      I have an Aunt that I wanted to show this series to, but I know she won’t sit in front of a computer like she would a TV screen. It’s about 2 hours as a contiguous set, so kindof movie’ish. I tried downloading and burning a DVD for her, but the multiple formats that Evid3nc3 recorded in thwarted my attempts. I gave up, but still want it on DVD.

  23. Samuel says:

    I think your Youtube videos are just plain worth money. Just put a discrete “donate” button on this page.

    It’s not begging – street musicians are not beggars either, it’s an honest job, and you did much more than they do.

    The money doesn’t even have to go towards new videos. You deserve this, and I would feel better if I could drop you a ten or so, for what is excellent entertainment at the very least.

    • I agree with Samuel. I know it seems wrong to you to collect money, but I’ve come to think of money as part of the energy that makes this man-made social ecosystem go. We all live inside this capitalistic system for now and you can’t live without money,just like a plant can’t live without sun. I see nothing wrong wth you putting a discrete donate button next to your work.. People that think your work energizes their lives in a good way will be glad to energize you back with the money you need to survive day to day. You must believe that what you ofer–your mind–is just as valuable as money. It’s an even trade. The only downfall would be if you relied totally on this site income and felt compelled to change how you think in order to get more money. Do you think you cold avoid this? Are you afraid to accept money because you think it might taint you in some way?

      • evid3nc3 says:

        This is encouraging to hear, from everyone. No, I don’t think I will be tainted by receiving money since I have day job for my primary source of income anyways. It is just a matter of figuring out how taxes on it would work with accountants and how exactly I could ask for it.

        • Samuel says:

          Well, I think the more prominent the call for donations is, the more people, sadly, will assume ulterior motives for you making the deconversion series. I don’t think many people will think so, in any case, but some may and that might give them an excuse not to take the message to heart.

          If I was in your position, I would start by just putting a discreet Paypal donate button on this blog, and see how it goes. If you need or want more money (again, no one here would blame you) you could point that link out at the end of the series, or even after every part.

  24. Had a thought recently.

    Most of your past work was brilliantly orchestrated, time consuming to produce, and deeply meaningful. It resolved every presented thought completely such that no further words needed be said. I’m fairly confident that not every thought you have is resolved at the moment you have it. You probably have many important things you think of, but then go back to your job, wife, kids, or whatever.

    Perhaps you could jot down the stray thoughts you have that you are too busy to resolve as you have them. Once a week you could do a no-budget YouTUBE video reviewing those unresolved thoughts; a five minute video would suffice. Set these videos to monetize with ads at the start, overlay, and at the end.

    This gives us a chance at handing you ad revenue without you asking for it, and it gives us all a fun forum to have mini debates solving the problems of the week, and you need not monitor our comment stream. That will be our playground.

    As a rule, I personally click through all ads of YouTUBE contributors that I like or respect, and click “Skip ad” on anybody I don’t like or don’t respect. Sometimes the ads I click actually interest me, and that’s a legit click through.

    I would hope you don’t respond to this comment or read it, and I would also hope that I’m asking you to do something you were already in the process of doing, that way none of my comments would have effected your decision to advertise, or any of your other readers decision to click through your theoretical future ads.

  25. portal001 says:

    Hi Evidentialism,

    Hope you are going well.

    I have recently watched a short critique referring to your video 3.4.1(2)Atheism: Objections to Evidentialism. You may have already watched this.

    I get the impression things are busy for you at the moment, but I would be really interested to read a response from you on this critique, if you do have time.

    Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P-K-3WOqas

    Your videos have helped my comprehension of maths in general, and for that I’m grateful.

    Thanks, and all the best.

  26. Samuel says:

    Hi derezzed83,

    let me just take some time to criticize your video so evid3nc3 doesn’t have to take time out of his busy schedule.

    The largest mistake in your argument is, that you make a false dichotomy between statements supported by logic and statements supported by evidence. In fact almost all statements supported by evidence are supported by logic, in that logic is needed to get from the evidence to the statement.
    Example:
    Distant galaxies are redder than they should be + movement causes Doppler-shift in light color ~~(logic)~~> Galaxies are moving away from us.

    And by the way: you are using the physical evidence for evidentialism to read this comment right now. Evidentialism was required to deduce the movement of electrons and of the photons that allow this conversation. If you replace its view with an arbitrary different view, you can see where that gets you, but the physical evidence strongly suggests it flies some people into buildings, and none to the moon.

    evid3nc3 claims, as you correctly pointed out, that evidence is the only way to establish justified beliefs. But you are misrepresenting his argument. He does not say, that this follows from his hypotheses, he merely says that this is a comprehensive thesis, meaning that it is one way of explaining the world. In a way, it is just a restatement of scientific naturalism. It is a minimal explanation as it only requires one source of true understanding (evidence). This source is agreed upon by everybody, including Descartes. If you want to establish an independent source, you would have to answer the critical question “Where does that lead us?” “What does it explain, that evidentialism can’t?”. If your answer is “I dunno”, Occam’s Razor will cut off that extra source of knowledge in a heartbeat.

    You round the whole thing up with a nice ad hominem argument, that anyone who agrees with evid3nc3 must be lacking in thinking skills.

    In conclusion I would say that your video is a poor amalgamation of misrepresentations and non sequiturs rounded up with a personal attack. Actual arguments are sparse and correct arguments are nonexistent. I want my time back, please.

  27. portal001 says:

    Hi Samuel,

    Im not derezzed83, for the record.I had just watched his video and was interested in reading what evid3nc3 thought of it. Thanks for your thoughts though.

  28. portal001 says:

    Hi again Samuel,

    I do appreciate what you wrote though. I agree with you that almost all statements supported by evidence are supported by logic. I also think that derezzed83 could have made his points without implying that those who agree with evid3nc3 are somehow more lacking in thinking skills.

    kind regards.

  29. Mark says:

    You should look at subbable, many youtuber use it, and it wouldn’t make people have to pay for your videos but the ones who do whould get rewards that your would set.

  30. BlogMan says:

    Have you communicated with Seth Andrews of The Thinking Atheist? (thethinkingatheist.com) He makes videos and runs an amazing podcast and (I believe) he also has a day job to pay the bills. He might have some insights for you.

  31. Please provide an email address so I can send you free money to help fund your videos.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      My next plan of action is to talk to an accountant and/or tax lawyer about how to deal with taxes from donations. Please stay tuned and thank you.

      • Email me when you have an address I can send PayPal / Square-cash to. Hell I’ll even write a cashiers check if you provide a physical address.

      • Roel says:

        I would love to see more videos of you, I’ve been waiting for “forever” now. I’m not complaining, but giving praise. I really hope everything goes well with you.

    • Not to punch a gift horse in the mouth, but…
      The term ‘free money’ is widely used by confidence schemer’s. May I suggest in the future when you are trying to offer your philanthropic gratuity to worthy recipients, say “I would like to present you with a no-strings-attached donation to help your progress in the future; lets negotiate a more private method of contacting each other.”

  32. Georgina says:

    My suggestion was going to be to check with an accountant in order to accept donations, and I see you’re going to do that. Great! And as others have also suggested, another idea would be to release your series on DVD. The actual physical copy of the DVD would be a great tool for those of us who want to reach our loved ones who are still in the faith.

  33. SmokeyVW says:

    i just now discovered your videos on YouTube – absolutely fascinating on many levels. you do a great job clearly explaining and speaking. the graphics are superb. the music selections are spot on. WOW.

    as for music, many not-yet-famous musicians would probably be willing to contract original music for a small royalty, flat fee, or perhaps even for just 3 seconds in the credits.

    thanks again for sharing your journey
    Bill

  34. Ruben says:

    Hey Chris

    I know it’s been awhile since you originally posted this but, have you considered setting up a Patreon account? It probably wont help with the time issue but I’m willing to bet with the number of dedicated and eager followers you have that it would certainly help with the money situation. It seems to have caught on with a lot of Youtubers and they’re finding a good deal of success with it. Might be something to look into and consider…

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Ironically, I had been looking into Patreon specifically the last couple of days, as suggested by another subscriber. Thanks for the good will and further recommendation.

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