A lot of people these days don’t like to read, which is fine. The way to consume information these days has shifted to a more audio-visual experience. The TL;DR generation doesn’t want a fat book on philosophy. But luckily, there are PLENTY of videos on YouTube covering every topic under the sun.
While the short format videos are great, there is a lot of meat in the long format videos. Now, you’ll say, “Hey man, I don’t have time in the day to listen to a 90 minute lecture. And especially if it’s all audio, how can you expect me to sit there through all of it?”
Well there is still a way to bring philosophy into your life in such a way that you don’t have to sacrifice your free time. Follow the below steps.
- Find a video that you want to watch/listen to. Many of the philosophical discourses available are just audio. Even the actual videos are basically of one person delivering a lecture. Hence, these things can be listened to without the need to be watched.
- Download the video by your favorite method. I prefer en.savefrom.net or clipconverter.cc. You will get the video in a neat, tiny 360p .mp4 file.
- If you want, you can convert the video into an audio file. You can search for “.mp4 to .mp3 converter” and use any one. You may have to download and install it, which is ok because these have very low space requirements.
- Put the video or audio file on the portable device of your choice: your phone or iPod, etc.
- Now the listening part: Most of us have to do some mundane activity during the day that doesn’t require our full attention, such as washing the dishes, riding to and from work on the train, folding fresh laundry, etc. Most of our mental energy during these times is given to inane daydreams anyway. So this is when you can squeeze in some philosophical discourse. You don’t need to finish an entire video in one sitting; I find that I can complete a McKenna lecture across two days if I plug in while doing the household chores. And if you commute to work in a bus, cab, or train, that’s even better. You don’t need to stop listening to music, but perhaps maybe you can listen to music on the way to work in the morning, and get some philosophy on the way back in the evening, or vice versa. You just need to find something that works for you. Also, you won’t have to sacrifice the time in which you completely free. So in your chill time, you can go ahead and watch that movie, or read that book, or knit that sweater, whatever you like (as opposed to listening to an hour of Alan Watts).
If you are into constant meditation, and say that you want to be engrossed in whatever activity you are doing and therefore cannot listen to a discourse while performing even a mundane task, I think that is great and more power to you. But most of us, let’s be honest, during these chores we give our mind to semi-entertaining nonsense of our own creation. Which is not a bad thing, but I really believe this is an excellent way to get knowledge and ideas into your life with no sacrifice of free time.