Re: Scooping Up & Blending Knowledge

Dan Fabulich (
Mon, 28 Sep 1998 23:16:02 -0400 wrote:
>I find Shakespeare incomprehensible. His writings may have been original 500
>years ago but today they are completely trite, and I have no idea why anyone
>except a historian of literature or a poseur would find them interesting.
>Even a mediocre author like Stephen King can do better then Shakespeare, and
>certainly even the worst of Kurt Vonnegut's novels is better then
>Shakespeare's best play.

Yes, but that's like criticizing Leibniz for not also being Lagrange. Shakespeare is not the last word in English literature, but he is arguably the first. Shakespeare is Vonnegut's foundation. I assure you just about any "original" plot you try to create, unless you take the modernist approach of eschewing plot altogether, has already been done before, by Shakespeare. Why reinvent the wheel?

>The same goes for philosophy. I'm reading
>Descartes' "meditations on the first philosophy" for a class and Paul
>Churchland's "matter and consciousness" for fun, even disagreeing with most
>of what Churchland says, I can't deny that he is making his case ten times
>better then Descartes. At least I have to think to refute Churchland. I
>could also say that Descartes' is arguing ten times better then Plato, who
>was basically laying out dogma.

Philosophy, however, is a different matter; in this case, I must agree with you that there's very little in ancient or even more recent philosophy that can be salvaged... except to the extent that we argue that science is the philosophy of prediction.

"Decay is inherent in all compounded things. Strive unceasingly."