A Radio Interview with Tomasio Rubinshtein (English Subtitles Included)
Updated: May 14
Shortly before Israel was quarantined due to the Corona Virus, Radio host and musician Nir Forrai has interviewed me in his internet radio show "A Cup of Coffee with Nir Forrai", an interview that lasted 10 minutes, where I talked about philosophy and generally introduced myself. Below is the audio recording in Hebrew that I have translated in English for general accessibility. Enjoy! The translation is below the video.
Forrai: Now, dear listeners, I'd like to interview Tomasio Rubinshtein, a philosopher who has published six books. We're happy to have him here and we'll be asking him a few questions. Hello, Tomasio, welcome to the studio.
Rubinshtein: Thanks a lot, hello. Glad to be here, drinking coffee with you.
Forrai: You're welcome. First, I'd like to ask you where you are from in Israel, what you do today, and tell us a little bit about yourself.
Rubinshtein: As you said, my name is Tomasio Rubinshtein, I'm from the central district of Israel. I'm currently a website manager, and I recently completed an entrepreneurship course for people with disabilities, organized by a company called WinWork. It really helped me, and I'm currently awaiting its next segment.
Forrai: Very nice. So, you're a philosopher and a writer. Tell us when you started writing, when you learned the subject, and what your philosophical statement is. Feel free to talk freely.
Rubinshtein: I started writing when I was a child, and I've always been interested in philosophy. I learned the subject mostly on my own, but I've also taken some classes and workshops. My philosophical statement is that the purpose of life is to find meaning and purpose. I believe that everyone has something unique to offer the world, and that we should all strive to live our lives in a way that is meaningful to us.
Rubinshtein: Gladly, of course. I started in my philosophical endeavors originally during my teenage years. Questions on life were very interesting for me, and I wished to solve the so-called "absurd" element in human existence.
Nowadays, I write and upload articles to my website and answer questions from people around the world on Quora, an international social network where anyone can ask and answer questions. My main focus is on a philosophy I created called Rubinshteinic Individualism, or Solitary Individualism, as it is named in my books.
To put it simply, I believe that solitude is important and should be valued, especially in these days of the COVID-19 outbreak, where we should isolate ourselves from the world and avoid unnecessary travel outside our homes, so that we can protect ourselves and others, and generally, so that we can increase our freedom as individuals from other people. I believe that there is a strong connection between solitude and liberty.
Forrai: So, what you're saying is that some people don't want to be alone because they want to avoid loneliness and solitude is bothersome, and you're claiming that solitude is a part of something that is indeed vital and positive, even possible to develop. That's your thesis.
Rubinshtein: Definitely. I believe that solitude is something that can be managed, not necessarily through escaping to the company of others. The negative aspect of solitude, AKA loneliness, could actually be a product of an inner void, and if we are to fill that void independently, not only will we increase our freedom from others, but generally become happier beings.
Forrai: Very well. I have another question to ask you. What books have you published thus far in philosophy, and where can they be bought?
Rubinshtein: Well, as a matter of fact, I have published 6 books, 4 in Hebrew and 2 in English. The books in my native language cannot be bought anywhere in the world, but I did pay for them in my own money, and I give them to others independently, since they were published privately and not to bookstores.
The books in English, on the other hand, contain much of the content I provided to the internet, to Quora, available to any English-speaking reader. Furthermore, there's also much content available for free on my website, called "Philosocom", just look it up on Google, and it contains as of now over 200 articles for anyone with internet access.
Forrai: Alright, very interesting, very fascinating philosophy which comes from the mind. Now I'd like to ask you what is your dream in life, what do you want to happen to you later in life?
Rubinshtein: Generally, beyond my ambition to be globally recognized as a philosopher, my ambitions are quite humble. I just want to come to a state of being where I'll be able to make a living out of my website, from the content I provide to the world, and ultimately that I'll be able to live on my own and spend the rest of my life in peace and harmony with the world.
Forrai: It can indeed be claimed that many people would aspire to just that. Now, how does your personal life mix with your writing, what can you say about their relations with one another, and generally tell us more about yourself, so we'll be able to know you better.
Rubinshtein: As a matter of fact, I am on the autistic spectrum, or more specifically, I have Asperger's, which in other words is defined as high-functioning autism. Indeed, there are times where in my writings I also include this side of myself; how do I cope with being on the spectrum.
Unfortunately, when I talk with others and I hear their responses, there isn't that much awareness to the topic of autism, and especially its high-functioning aspect. It is unfortunate for me to see that even to this day people use words such as "autist" as a slur, when in fact it's not a curse at all, just like the word "retard" and so forth.
These are not words that should be used offensively. These are states of beings some people are actually in throughout their lives; states they are very likely to not ever recover from. When I was in the course I told you about, the people there really helped me with my condition, and I was glad to find a place where I could express just how it is like to be with a disability.
Indeed, I'm glad to be able to combine in my philosophical writings, the importance of standing on your own ground and explaining yourself to people that wouldn't know if you didn't do so. Even if you are disabled, there are disabilities that are completely unseen by others, and not everyone with a disability necessarily uses, for instance, a wheelchair.
Hence, the importance of, as an example, when you are in a supermarket, with a disability certification card, you need to gather up your courage and use it to pass the line when it's too much for you to wait, for this is your government-given right! You need to be aware and use your rights as a disabled person, so you'll be better able to adjust life in a way that will better suit your special needs, while at least trying to make others better understand you, if not tolerate you.
Forrai: Tomasio, what you say is astonishing. Not many people have the ability to express themselves in such a way. With your writings, you can help make society a better version of itself. I respect you for doing so.
I'd also like to tell you that as someone who also struggles with mental health issues, I know how it feels to have those thoughts of how people will receive you and what they will think. What you're saying is very helpful for me as well. I think that many of us think that everyone else is completely okay while we are the different ones, when in reality, practically everyone is different to some extent.
Very well. Since I am enjoying interviewing you, I would like to conclude this interview by asking you if you have anything else to say.
Rubinshtein: Gladly. If you'd like to read my content, and you know English, or you have an application on either computer or phone that allows you to translate the content I provide to you in other languages you're more proficient in, feel free to take a look at my articles on Philosocom.com, there are many articles to be read, and recently I also wrote some articles on the Coronavirus, and the connection between isolation and the COVID-19, and the importance of being alone in these severe times we are in. And yeah, thank you very much Nir for inviting me here to your studio.
Forrai: Yes, indeed, Tomasio. Thank you for being here.