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From the Notebook

The Seven Liberal Arts by Marten de Vos, 1590

The Seven Liberal Arts by Marten de Vos, 1590 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been extremely sick over the last couple of weeks, feeling better now though, but I’m way behind in all those household chores and other projects. Not to mention the novel, which is still on track to be published shortly.

– I think I already wrote a quick post on this already, but I’ll say it again: The liberal arts have become a joke degree because the liberal arts are not about looking stuff up on Wikipedia, stealing the sources, rewording the articles and getting college credit for “learning”. The liberal arts are about an intense exploration of the great ideas and the great books. And this has been lost from the modern curriculums. The liberal arts are about lots of reading, lots of thinking, and even more reading. Since modern technology has made it possible to get a liberal arts degree without actually pursuing the liberal arts, and combine that with the watered down curriculum, and the idea of going to college to get such a degree is foolish on the face of it.

– After the novel is done, I’m hoping to write a series of posts giving tips and pointers on how to write a novel, since it’s something I get asked a lot about.

Self education:

– Completed the Discoveries Playlist on Khan Academy. These are groups of short videos containing almost no dialogue. They present the various possible ways things were discovered in human prehistory, including magnetism. Interesting stuff, good in conjunction with the more traditional science videos.

– Completed all the Reverse Engineering videos on Khan Academy. I really enjoyed these. Basically, a dude took apart some household appliances and showed how they worked. Good stuff.

Books Read:

Worthless by Aaron Clarey. Some of us made a huge mistake in the majors we chose to pursue in college. We were given no guidance, and we were not warned of the economic forces about to destroy the idea “Any College Degree Equals Comfortable Middle Class Existence.”

The Bubble Gum Card War by Dean Hanley. This was an interesting book, not only for the information regarding the creation of the modern baseball card, but for businessmen as well. How can a startup company defeat an established company? The right people, the right product, and a little bit of luck.

Medititations on the First Philosophy by Rene Descartes. This is the first step toward existentialism in Western thought, as well as an interesting introduction to skepticism and ontological proofs for the Divine. While the ontology part of this work is now discredited, the first parts dealing with “what can we know and how do we know it” are still considered essential philosophic reading.