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Kirk

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About Kirk

  • Birthday 03/13/1984

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    Plano, Texas

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    United States
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    Texas
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  1. I took a class in Greek tragedies, and every story was associated in some way with the Trojan War. In learning the family trees and other back-story, I got an excellent grasp on Greek mythology. Yes, they're all explicitly supernatural, but I don't think that diminishes their value at all. One of the great things about these myths is their moral clarity. You always know who your heroes are and who your villains are. Everything is on a grand scale (involving royalty and the gods), but the stories are elegantly simple, with clear cause and effect. This isn't to say there isn't any complexity; only that it's clever rather than convoluted. In short, these myths are a refreshing look at human action, with its glorious achievements and occasionally failures (which represent opportunities to learn). I suppose the best thing is the pure hero worship of the Greeks. Men fought bravely for honor and justice. We may not be fighting for such grand reasons, but we all have our own battles. Also, while none of the great Greek tragedies is necessarily Objectivist in nature, at least some is atheistic. Euripides, notably, was almost certainly an atheist. Some of his plays even have typical themes of the gods coming down to clean up the mess wrought by man, but are so ridiculous that they must be satire. He was even a proto-feminist.
  2. I read Les Miserables a couple of years ago. Unlike my normal plow right through it reading pace, I dragged it out for an entire school year (in which I took both 19th and 20th century European histories). The explicit philosophy espouses by the heroes of the book are, of course, antithetical to Objectivism. However, I think Rand was more concerned with the literary style and perhaps even the "sense of life" of the characters. Technically, a devout Catholic bishop is a death worshipper, but the character in the novel, as pretty much everybody else, loves life. I can't get too specific because the details are a bit hazy, but generally speaking people in the novel tend to work for the betterment of their lives and the lives of those they value. And there's another thing for Rand to love: working hard to achieve your values. Even if some of the characters have misdirected values, we are meant to admire the heroism of fighting for your values. None of us are going to fight in the French Revolution. What we take away from the novel is a heightened appreciation of love and noble pursuits. As an aside, I personally enjoyed all of the details about the revolution, even if I thought them somewhat inappropriate in a work of fiction.
  3. I've gone walking through downtown Dallas after midnight and felt totally safe. It is, as previously mentioned, a ghost town, at night. I walked from the West End north a couple of miles and saw only two people--a DART cleaning crew.
  4. I moved to Plano from Tyler a couple of months ago.
  5. It's rather difficult to summarize an esthetic theory in one sentence. She did, however, write an entire book on it: The Romantic Manifesto. In it she explains why esthetics is a fundamental requirement of man's nature.
  6. Kirk

    Writing

    Buy the Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style. It's less than $10 and worth ten times as much. It covers every mistake that anyone would ever notice and many more that you will begin to notice after reading it. It's an invaluable reference work.
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