Monthly Archives: January 2017

West Civ^2 Blogging (L90)

(2) What was the basic message of the utopian socialists?

Utopian socialists constructed blueprints for their own societies. They thought competition in business was inefficient and unnecessary. If only society would agree to a single plan (their plan), then their community would be prosperous and flowery. However, the more planning they heaped upon small test communities, the faster they crumbled. Free speech was forbidden, all goods were obviously shared equally no matter who did the work, and private property was nonexistent. The people in these small socialist groups quickly learned to despise the socialist plan–as should we all.

(3) What were the characteristics of neoclassicism? Give one example of neoclassicism and show how it embodies at least one of these characteristics.

Neoclassicism is 18th century cultural movement that emphasizes reason, order, serenity, and proper decorum. Paintings were balanced and symmetrical. Classic themes such as those in Rome predominated. Sculptures were filled with “noble simplicity.” In literature, things were done just so and following the rules exactly. Grammar books for instance were published and read for pleasure so as for everyone to know exactly how to write. Continue reading

Western Literature^2 lesson 65

“After Satan’s rebellion, Satan was motivated more by his envy of God than his jealousy of God: true or false?”

The epic poem Paradise Lost was written by John Milton in 1667, ensuring his name would be forever remembered in the history books of the Western World. The poem describing Milton’s theories on Satan and his cohorts’ fall from Heaven is still read today by anyone studying Western Literature. Satan rose against God full of jealousy, but after mounting a hopeless attack against the angelic kingdom, the bitterness of his defeat ignited the envy within him to hurt God by attacking his most prized creation—man.

Jealousy is defined as coveting something in the possession of someone else, but envy is simply defined as wanting to tear someone down because they have something that you want. Motivated by his unquenchable thirst for power, Satan amassed an army and rose up to seize God’s throne. Unsurprisingly, he failed spectacularly, for how can one stand against God? Although he motivated his army of demons (and randomly inserted gods from other cultures) to keep fighting, his council of brother demons, including Mammon, Belial, Moloch, and Beelzebub, offer increasingly brainless ways to win the fight. Ultimately, they settle on an approach introduced by the biggest browbeater of them all—Satan himself. It is at this point in the story where Satan’s envy of God obviously overpowers the jealousy. As the smartest of them all, Satan realized that the one creation that God loved above all others could be corrupted in his favor to wound God. The rest of the story is dedicated to Satan escaping from hell and bringing the downfall of man in way that would devastate God like nothing else. Continue reading

Civ^2 Blogging (85)

(1) What does the evidence show about education in England before the compulsory state system was established?

Before compulsory state education emerged, people were free to seek education however they chose. Despite no forced education, England produced the most literate society on the earth for that time (over 95% of 15 year-olds). In 1870 an act was passed to “fill in gaps where there was not enough education in the private system.” By 1880, education became compulsory, and in 1891, state schooling became funded solely by tax-payer’s dollars. Compulsory education laws never had and never will increase the amount of children attending school despite the misleading figures that inform us otherwise. The only thing that grew was the amount of people in the West due to decreasing death rates, and the government’s influence over the people.

(2) What is classical liberalism?

Modern liberalism and classic liberalism are extremely different concepts, essentially opposites. Modern liberalism is a little something I like to call hipster socialism and is represented by all of the Hillary supporters rioting due to Trump’s election. Classic Liberalism can be summed up in four words:  individual liberty and limited government. Classical liberalism supports freedom of speech (although technically free speech, hanging a figure of Trump from a noose off the side of your house in a neighborhood full of children is both offensive and extremely inappropriate) and freedom of press. Religious freedom is also an essential idea in classic liberalism–forcing someone to attend a mass does not convert them and only forces them to become liars or hypocrites. Reason and rational discussion are the only viable ways to argue your beliefs and they are two things that modern liberalists are entirely incapable of (as evidenced by their beliefs). Continue reading

Biz Blogging (L55)

“What can I cut out of my weekly schedule in order to increase my efficiency?”

I have noticed that lately, I always doodle when listening to Lit or Civ lectures. While I enjoy this time to do something I love every morning, not drawing would probably increase my efficiency in the end of the week papers. Drawing does not mean I can’t listen, just not nearly as well as if I was taking notes for instance. If I took notes, then at the end of the week, I would not have to pick as many facts that I cannot remember from articles or listen to the conclusions of lessons again to write them down for future reference. However, if i cut out the drawing time from my day, I would probably go insane and then I would not be able to listen to lectures at all. A compromise would be to put aside my drawing for the final review lessons of each week and take notes those days, but leaving the rest of the week to doodle while listening.

Lit^2 Blogging (L85)

“Why did [Robinson Crusoe] take the coins off the ship?”

When Robinson Crusoe was searching the ship for supplies to take back to the island with him, he came across a small amount of gold coins. He hesitated, knowing the coins would be of no use to him on the island, but took them with him anyways. In Cast Away, which I mentioned in my last Lit^2 Blog, Chuck Noland (the main character) saved a pocket watch with a picture of his fiance because it symbolized what he needed to live for. Even if in the logical part of his brain he believed that he would never be rescued, some part of him clung to the idea that he would make it back to his fiance–or in Robinson Crusoe’s case–civilization. Without that illogical hope, both would have given up and become insane with nothing left to live for. The simple action of taking the coins off of the ship was the one thing that saved Robinson Crusoe’s life in the end.


Western Civilization^2 lesson 80

According to Deirdre McCloskey, why do some of the traditional explanations for Western prosperity fail, and what in her view is the major, unique ingredient that accounts for it?

The West’s prosperity sustained an incredible rise of success over time that began in the mid-18th Century, exploded in the 19th Century, and continues today. In fact, income rocketed from $3 a day in the 18th century on average to $33 presently. Explanations for the boom of Western prosperity that began in the 18-19th Centuries vary from an abundance of natural resources, kings being forced to abide by laws, protection of private property, and imperialism; but on closer inspection, none of these theories hold water. All have been present in countries around the world, and yet no other countries shared the West’s explosion of affluence. Finally, Historian Deirdre McCloskey has deduced the single key reason for the West’s prosperity: a difference in the way of thinking about the working middle class. This middle class was composed of the factory owners, overseers of enterprises, and the people who organized production. These people were the ones responsible for the Industrial Revolution. Before the 18-19th centuries, the working class was snubbed by the aristocracy and unavailable to entry by the peasantry. The former despised the working classes due to the fact that they were arrogant snobs, whereas the latter, too busy subsisting, were jealous. Because they had a long established history of rights for all men and much less governmental regulations and interference in business, Englishmen were already way ahead of Europe in their attitudes. When the common person began to easily afford common goods, they realized that the working class was responsible, and acceptance slowly replaced hatred. The flare of prosperity in the Western World might’ve been caused by many factors, but without the acceptance of the hard-working middle class, it never would have been possible. Continue reading

Lit^2 Blogging (L80)

“How important for the narrative are the descriptions of the storms?”

In Robinson Crusoe, the storm is much more important than it seems. It gives the reader a sense of foreboding and disaster and of fighting against the inevitable. In Cast Away, a modern interpretation of the book, the airplane flies into a storm. The watcher (it is a movie instead of a book) has the slightest spark of hope that they can avoid the storm and make it out because we know how deadly the storm is and if they cannot make it out, there is no hope. Unfortunately, they crash into the ocean nonetheless. The storm also has a practical aspect to the story. In Cast Away (and in Crusoe), because of the storm, the plane is taken far off course and no one knows where the wreckage is or even if anyone survived the crash. So we can see that the storm is an extremely important part of Robinson Crusoe and without it, the story would not have the same influence over readers that it does.



Lit^2 Blogging (L75)

“In what way did Mandeville lay the foundation for Darwinism?”

Darwinism is defined by google as “the theory of the evolution of species by natural selection” which pretty much translates to “an explanation of the world without the influence of God.” Darwin’s theory was based on the research of 18th century Scottish philosophers. But where did they get the idea of “spontaneous natural order?” From Mandeville of course! His work, the Grumbling Hive, influenced every single contemporary writer from his time. Even though considered a bogey man by Christian families, his writing still had influence on even them! Pretty impressive…

Western Civilization^2 lesson 75

(1) What, in a nutshell, was the Industrial Revolution?

The Industrial Revolution took place from the mid-18th century to the mid-19th century, beginning in Britain and spreading like wildfire through the rest of Europe and the Americas soon after. The explosion of technology and inventions heralded a new age for the western world. With machines and mass production of goods taking a huge burden off the shoulders of the people, the standard of living skyrocketed. The population boomed, income increased dramatically, and agriculture no longer required that almost all of the populace farm, so the masses were free to sell their labor in factories. Textiles were the first industry to be revolutionized with the invention of the spinning jenny and the cotton gin. Mills were invented soon after but since they lacked the vital quality of mobility, another invention soon took its place: the steam engine! Along with the steam engine came the locomotive; a speedy and efficient way to transport the common folk. For the people of the 18th century, this was as monumental a deal as the invention of cell phones! Coal and iron consequently evolved into their own mammoth industries. The Industrial Revolution was such an extreme influence on the world that it is second only to the domestication of animals and plants. It was not just a revolution for the rich, but literally changed the world for everybody. Continue reading

Sweatshirts are Finally Printed!!

Sometime way back in the school year, I basically designed a sweatshirt for my school. (I say basically because someone came up with a rough idea sketch first–I’m not a graphic designer!) They finally got printed just in time for Christmas to roll around by the very cool and highly recommended A B Graphics & Printing. Soooooo here’s the final product:picture367 picture369

If anyone wants to buy my artwork before I become rich and famous and dominate the world with my talent, I’m considering setting up a redbubble shop or something like that. So give this post a comment if you think I should start to sell prints or maybe even *gasp* commissions. Or, you know, don’t comment like you nonexistent readers always do. (But seriously if anyone is reading this please tell me if you or anyone you know would be interested in buying any of my artwork.)