Overarching vs Precision

I recently made an unusual decision: splitting a video into 3. I was originally going to do The History of Africa: Every Year, but the shape of Africa proved to be too tall with too many countries within for me to prevent some countries being blotted out or text labels being too small to read.

A continent with a similar vertical over horizontal shape was South America, but they have far less countries than Africa now or historically. Heck, precolonial Africa had more states than it does now. It’s hard for me to sacrifice an overarching detail achievement of showing the entire continent of Africa in one video, and yet in this case the precise detail will be more important. After all, showing history means nothing if no one can actually read it.

I considered perhaps doing Saharan vs Sub-Saharan Africa, but that doesn’t exactly cut the continent clean in half, more like 1/3 vs 2/3. I considered perhaps doing a weird diagonal slice through the continent to make two videos for North and West Africa for one video then East and South Africa for the other. Finally, I thought about doing a Western, Eastern, and Southern Africa videos. I added the latter 2 options to a twitter poll for my fans to decide.

They chose the three video option at around 2/3 of the vote.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, as on their end they get more detail and more videos to watch. I’d have chosen the same thing if I was a viewer. And ultimately, that’s more important than a silly “cram as much on the screen as you can” type goal.

Whenever I get around to making a video for the entire history of the world, I have no idea what I’ll do.

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You know, I feel like people take definitions for granted.

Words mean something.

But also, people are used to buzzwords and generalizations to conform definitions to what they think of. For example, the definitions of liberal and conservative aren’t left wing and right wing, but we think that’s what they mean. We think that communism is the Soviet Union and that democracy is the United States, because after all they call themselves those things so that must be what they are. Well, they’re not those things.

When it comes to important terminology, I would call myself a definitionist. I stride to defend and follow the actual definitions of words. Buzzwords merely make things more confusing. Language can evolve with things like slang, but if we allow words for politics, philosophy, and even everyday verbs to be generalized and changed, I worry that’ll lead to things from 1984: Freedom is slavery. The idea of doublethink where any word can mean anything you want it to mean.

Maybe I’m worried too much? Perhaps.

But I will continue to stand up for the definitions of words.

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My Take on the Illusion of Numbers

One of the oldest philosophical debates is on the idea on the reality of the concepts of numbers. That seems awfully silly at first glance. Why are numbers illusions? We use them all the time, not to mention mathematics contains so many things that are, well, true. But one of the arguments, going all the way back to Ancient Greece, is whether they exist naturally. Sure, we’ve created mathematics and like many tools humans have invented, it has helped with many things. But do they exist naturally?

Think of the number 2.

You’re either thinking of the written number 2 or the doubling of an object, say, 2 apples.

The written number 2 is just a symbol we have created for two, but isn’t actually 2 itself. When you think of a wolf, you don’t imagine the word: “Wolf” itself, you think of an image of that wolf itself. Natural things have a depiction, ideas do not. There is no physical and natural manifestation of an idea like democracy because it is an artificially created concept by humans to define an advanced idea.

If you’re thinking of 2 apples, or some other doubling of an object, that doesn’t quite work either. You’re thinking of apples and there happens to be 2 of them, but it’s not the natural representation of “two-ness”, it’s just apples. Plus, what about something like 2 meters? That’s a form of “two-ness” that isn’t two objects but a measurement that can be applied to anything that matches, since we also invented measuring.

Not to mention math is a system made by humans TO work. So 2 + 2 only = 4 because we said so and because we want it too. If we switched 2 and 3 on the number line, 3 + 3 would = 4. If we used binary, 2 wouldn’t exist and would in fact be 10.

So when someone says it’s as natural, it’s really not. They’re using a language that was invented and taught to them. Animals may eat 2 apples but that doesn’t mean they’re, as far as we know, aware of the number 2 or using it for anything. If humans were never here, 2 would never have existed.

My final point is that ultimately, 2 is a value and is therefore even more artificial. All value is artificial because we are ranking something based on opinion or artificial ideas. “Best-ness” doesn’t exist naturally, “rich” doesn’t exist naturally, these are all words and phrases with relative meanings sure, but also real concepts. They’re just only real because we assigned artificial ideas to them. 2 is also a value, you’ve even likely equated numbers as a value in math class at one point.

But remember, the idea of 2 not being natural does not mean it isn’t real. Of course it is. I’ve typed it several times now. But it’s artificial just like language.


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The Many Complexities of Mapping Historical Southeast Asia

I promised a video over the History of Southeast Asia: Every Year for my channel for the end of February / beginning of March. Doesn’t look like that’s gonna be quite on time, which isn’t the biggest surprise since my big projects always seem to be harder than expected. Or school gets in the way. Or both.

Anywho, I figured for this blog post I’d post a few of the headaches that have been occurring while working on the project.

  1. The British East Indies – Wait what? British East Indies? Well the Dutch East Indies were temporarily occupied by the British. Why? Napoleon. The Dutch became a French puppet and then fully annexed by the French Empire under Napoleon. As a result, the British had to occupy them to make sure they didn’t fall into French hands somehow. Having to change the color of 100 islands multiple times in a few short years was not fun animating.
  2. Siamese vassal states – So Siam (modern day Thailand) had this thing for expanding its empire by having a lot of vassals. That way they’d have to militarily occupy much less land but still theoretically controlled the territory. Siam as it turned out had several vassals along its entire northern border and in modern-day Laos, which changed often due to several rebellions. Ultimately Siam would get tired of having to suppress a rebellion in a vassal state or they’d be worried that the state might be swayed into switching allegiance to the British or French colonial empires, so Siam would finally end the vassal and fully annex the territory.
  3. Too many nations in Indonesia – The Dutch united hundreds of nations into the Dutch East Indies. As I work backwards and their colony recedes, more nations are spouted out. It’s amazing how many there are.

So overall, these things have slowed me down. But the video is still coming! Just thought I’d give a nice update.

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Working on an Album, a Real Album

Wow, this absence was even longer than the last one. A whole year! Well don’t worry I really want to keep this blog alive so I’ll post on it more. I’ll aim to maybe have one post per week whether it’s related to my youtube channel or something personal.

For this week, I’m talking about a personal project of mine, to make an album.

Now, if you follow me or my music channel, you’ll know I technically do have albums already. But this time I’m aiming for more of a real album. The previous “albums” I’ve made are songs I’ve made hastily on my phone when bored and might have taken a week to put together. Plus not all of the songs have the best quality. This time I really want to work on a legit album, one I can be proud of.

I recently acquired an electric guitar that I plan to use. Before I just used the electric guitar in garageband on my phone. While it sounds ok, it’s pretty generic and limited in sound. After a while it’s hard not to notice how fake it really is. Plus it can’t do cool tricks like string-scratching and in terms of pedal effects it’s very limited. So hopefully using a real electric guitar I can add more emotion and technique to the album. Plus my blue yeti surprisingly records its sound well.

As for what the album is about, I do plan to make it a concept album of sorts. It is my ultimate music dream to have a Pink Floyd-esque album I can be proud of, eventually make on vinyl, and keep a copy at least for myself as an archived work, a legacy of some kind. Not even legacy in the pretentious level of self-importance, but legacy in the sense of I’ll feel proud of what I’ve accomplished after being obsessed with music for all of these years.

Plus who wouldn’t want an album of their own music to keep? It makes it seem more real.

As I work on the album I’ll post updates about it here. Hopefully I can finish it by summer at least. Here’s to a productive year.

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2017 Projects and Their Progress

Wow it’s been a while since an update. Sorry about that. I’d thought I’d make a post talking about projects for my channel I’ll work on this year.


Main channel:

Projects I’m currently working on:

Other than a few secret ones, I am working on a “History of North America: Every Year” to compliment the South America video. I should have a preview out soon. I’m also working on a video about prohibition in the west, as I found a wonderful list of when each US state and Canadian province ratified prohibition as well as some referendums in Scandinavian countries which also tried prohibition for a few decades. Finally there is a video I’m working on and off about European currencies since 1850.


Projects I plan to work on:

– War of the Austrian Succession: Every Week

– War of the Spanish Succession: Every Week

– Great Turkish War: Every Other Day

– The Taiping Rebellion: Every Month

I had you guys vote which one you were interested in first, and you picked the Austrian Succession one, so I’ll try to get it out first.


Alternate history channel:

I’ve thought about redoing my original alternate history on there (Mexico entering WWI on the side of the Central Powers). Other than that, my main goal is to finish the Chinese America series.

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2016 Fan Survey Results

Sorry for nearly a year of inactivity on this blog. Hopefully that’ll change. But for now here’s the results of the 2016 Fan Survey.

1018 participants in total (compared to 1055 last year)

The questions are slightly different than last year’s in some cases. All questions were optional in answering.

1. Which previous surveys have you participated in?

None Until This One – 614 (61%)

2015 Survey – 258 (25%)

Don’t remember, but I have done one before – 151 (15%)

2014 Survey – 86 (8%)

2. How old are you?

13 – 18 years old – 714 (71%)

19 – 29 years old – 211 (21%)

Under 13 years old – 49 (5%)

30 – 39 years old – 24 (2%)

40 – 55 years old – 7 (1%)

Above 55 years old – 4 (0%)

3. What social media do you actively use?

Facebook – 395 (40%)

Reddit – 275 (28%)

Twitter – 227 (23%)

Instagram – 226 (23%)

What’s social media? – 139 (14%)

Tumblr – 46 (5%)

Pinterest – 15 (2%)

Other – 300 (30%)

4. Where do you follow EmperorTigerstar or subscribe to him at?

YouTube – 1007 (100%)

Twitter – 40 (4%)

Google Plus – 29 (3%) (Lol who uses Google Plus?)

My Blog – 7 (1%)

5. When you see an EmperorTigerstar video you like, what do you do?

Like the video – 740 (77%)

Comment on the video – 191 (20%)

Do the twist and get down with your bad self – 188 (20%)

Tell a friend/family member – 119 (12%)

Share it on social media – 20 (2%)

Gotta say. I wish you shared it on social media more. Oh well.

6. Are you subscribed to my alternate history channel EmperorTigerstarAlt?

Wait you have an alternate history channel? I had no idea. – 368 (36%)

No – 306 (30%)

Yes – 298 (29%)

I used to be but not anymore – 41 (4%)

Well since I posted this survey I earned 74 more subs on that channel. Glad a lot of you ended up checking it out! I wish I was more active on that and I plan to have more stories on there over the summer.

7. Of the types of videos I make, what do you want to see more or less of?

To make it simple, here are the ratings averaged out of 4. The closer to 4, the more they wanted it. The closer to 0, the less they wanted it. I will also indicate the most chosen category.

Videos on empires – 3.54 / 4 – Make more (57%)

Videos on regional history – 3.29 / 4 – Make the same amount (45%)

Videos on wars – 3.62 / 4 – Make more (65%)

Everyday type videos on wars – 3.41 / 4 – Make more (51%)

Analysis videos – 2.84 / 4 – Make the same amount (44%)

Book reviews – 2.37 / 4 – Make less of these (32%)

Alternate history videos on my alt account – 3.17 / 4 – Make the same amount (44%)

I’ll definitely make less book reviews then.

8. Where do you find out about updates for the channel?

Update videos – 942 (96%)

Word of mouth, actually. No I’m serious – 53 (5%)

Blog – 7 (1%)

9. Which country/region do you live in?

United States + Canada – 449 (44%)

Europe (excluding the former USSR) – 390 (39%)

Australia + Oceania – 51 (5%)

Asia (excluding middle-east and the former USSR) – 35 (3%)

Mexico + Central America + South America – 30 (3%)

The former USSR – 26 (3%)

The middle-east (excluding Egypt, including Iran) – 23 (2%)

Africa – 3 (0%)

The Caribbean – 2 (0%)

10. What gender do you identify as?

Male – 984 (97%)

Female – 9 (1%)

Questioning – 6 (1%)

Other – 12 (1%)

11. What do you watch my videos with? (Select all that apply)

PC or Laptop – 855 (84%)

Smart phone – 561 (55%)

Tablet – 239 (24%)

TV – 53 (5%)

Other – 20 (2%)

12. How did you find my first video?

Randomly – 857 (85%)

Don’t remember – 86 (9%)

Someone showed me – 25 (2%)

Reddit – 16 (2%)

From an online article mentioning you – 15 (2%)

My teacher showed my class at school – 12 (1%)

13. Has a teacher showed my videos in your class?

Not that I know of – 928 (93%)

Yes – 69 (7%)

Better than nothing. I hope my videos are great for educational purposes with teachers.

14. When did you subscribe to EmperorTigerstar?

2015 – 393 (39%)

2014 – 188 (19%)

2016 – 172 (17%)

I don’t remember, sorry – 135 (13%)

2013 – 69 (7%)

2012 – 21 (2%)

2010 – 11 (1%)

2011 – 10 (1%)

2009 – 6 (1%)

I’m glad more people keep joining. I’m also glad that some fans have been loyal subscribers since by beginning in 2009. I appreciate every one of you guys.

15. How would you rate the following out of 5?

Visual video quality – 4.3 / 5

Educational quality – 4.55 / 5

Music in the videos, when used – 4.03 / 5

Overall averages of the above 3 – 4.3 / 5

Thanks for the positive ratings!

16. If you happen to have a YouTube channel, how many subs do you have?

0 – 50 subs – 677 (83%)

51 – 100 subs – 52 (6%)

101 – 500 subs – 37 (5%)

501 – 2,000 subs – 19 (2%)

Over 100,000 – 13 (2%)

2,001 – 5,000 subs – 8 (1%)

10,001 – 20,000 subs – 2 (0%)

20,001 – 50,000 subs – 1 (0%)

50,001 – 100,000 subs – 1 (0%)

17. What should I do about my documentary?

Keep at it. It doesn’t have to be super detailed and perfect – 364 (36%)

Eh, I don’t really care – 302 (30%)

Go ahead and do a documentary about your channel – 264 (26%)

Do a documentary on something else entirely – 68 (7%)

I’ll see what I can do about the documentary. Hopefully I’ll have that out by the end of summer.

18. If you care, rank the presidential candidates for the US election from first choice to last choice.

The answers are given an average out of 5. The closer to 1, the more popular. The closer to 5, the least popular.

  1. Bernie Sanders (Democrat) – 1.94
  2. Gary Johnson (Libertarian) – 2.97
  3. Jill Stein (Green) – 3.29
  4. Hillary Clinton (Democrat) – 3.36
  5. Donald Trump (Republican) – 3.43

I’m so proud of my audience. At least a good majority. ;P

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