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View Poll Results: Can you?

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  • Yes

    7 58.33%
  • No

    5 41.67%
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  1. #11
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    WEll, the original essay concept was basically to write something "for fun" -- with no need for research but more of a rhetorical thing, and the voting was going to be "blind," and anyone can vote for anything based on how they felt like voting.

    In other words, the activity was casual and fun, not a serious endeavor per se unless someone really wanted to invest time in writing it.

    I'll write an essay for fun, but I don't have the time nor energy to commit to a serious essay writing "competition."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #12
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    WEll, the original essay concept was basically to write something "for fun" -- with no need for research but more of a rhetorical thing, and the voting was going to be "blind," and anyone can vote for anything based on how they felt like voting.

    In other words, the activity was casual and fun, not a serious endeavor per se unless someone really wanted to invest time in writing it.

    I'll write an essay for fun, but I don't have the time nor energy to commit to a serious essay writing "competition."
    Was the topics supposed to be intellectually stimulating? Or anything goes?
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  3. #13
    Member Beyonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    If this were to be started today, can you guarantee that you'd submit an essay within two weeks?
    I could, yes. But what's the goal? To convince, inform or entertain? Or do you want a polemical one? If the topic isn't too esoteric or if it's freeform, yeah, I probably can.

    You know what, I'll just slap one together, right now (I'm a rhetorician, so it's no big deal to me)

    On the modern renaissance man

    In the past, there have been various people with skills in many fields, ranging from Aristotle to daVinci and Leibniz. These polymaths, next to making significant contributions to specific fields, also where in a position to 'read between the lines' of the respective fields they mastered or dabbled in, resulting in very productive outputs, throughout their lives. In more recent times, some people have made the claim that this would be impossible, because of the large amount of data available. In this essay, I'll argue that it's not only possible, but that in our present age, it's even quitte easy to do. "Jack of all trades, master of none" so to speak, yes, but "almost always better than a master of none."

    Aristotle, for example, didn't only had to study, he also started various fields of investigation; a feat wich would have taken a lot more intellectual power than just getting acquainted with, and understand, various fields or traditions. Aristotle's contributions to fields such as philosophy and rhetorics still are hard to overlook, while his Nicomachean Ethics was voted to be the most important book in philosophy by Dutch professors, a few years ago.

    Though it might be true that in our modern age, becoming familiar with everything ever said in a specific field already is a daunting task, this wouldn't be as important to our aspiring polymath; becoming a specialist in various fields isn't what that's about, and actually specialising to such a degree in not just one, but multiple fields would take a lifetime. This would leave very little time for our aspiring polymath to pick the fruits of his labours, so to speak.
    Though studying would have to be an ongoing task for our potential polymath, specialisation would have to be forsworn in favor of a more general approach; this isn't a problem in our current age, since acquiring a cursory, though well-versed understanding is tailored to by various sources.
    One thing I would advocate, though, is having an organon, that is, an intellectual toolkit, consisting of various more specialised fields of investigation; the more cursory understood fields can be used in a more canonical way, as building stones in whatever our polymaths current project is.
    "But," one might object, "wouldn't this take up a lot of time, even before being able to actually apply what is learned?" Yes, but no-one ever said that becoming a polymath isn't a full-time job. The studying never ends, and in our current age, it's not even possible, due to the information overload, so to speak. But this information overload can also be regarded in a positive way, since this would also mean that our polymath can constantly improve, and with this improving of knowledge, also the endproducts being created...

    It might not be possible for our modern renaissance man to become proficient in all important fields, though. But this can hardly be expected in our modern age, from a single individual. A more realistic goal would then be to 'follow ones heart', so to speak, and though not accepting mere "discovery channel" levels of education, still being able to become quitte proficient in more than one field. A dilligent study in whatever is held to be of interrest not only creates a solid footing for one to build up from, it also imbeds a personal intellectual environment wich creates constant levels of creative expansion for the individual.

    And on a final note, aren't we all already halfway there? We get information from all kinds of places about all kinds of topics. The average modern day person already is more 'polymathical' than his or her ancestor at that same age... It seems like becoming a renaissance man or woman not only is possible, but is being tailored to by our present day, western society. It would only take a few more steps for the average (intellectually inclined) person to actually become what was in previous ages a mere ideal; it would seem that not only are renaissance people a serious possibility, but an actual 'neo-renaissance' is slowly becoming a fact.

    Note that, due to some rhetorical decisions, not all opinions expressed in this essay are actually held by me. Also note that, due to me slapping this together in less than an hour, there might be some sloppiness in argumentation. Kthnxbye
    Last edited by Beyonder; 05-13-2007 at 10:31 PM.
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  4. #14
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Was the topics supposed to be intellectually stimulating? Or anything goes?

    It was like the story contest -- someone picks a general topic and perhaps an item or two for inclusion, and everyone has to write about the topic and include the said items... but otherwise, anything goes.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #15
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It was like the story contest -- someone picks a general topic and perhaps an item or two for inclusion, and everyone has to write about the topic and include the said items... but otherwise, anything goes.
    I've done something similar to that exercise before, only there wasn't a topic it was just five random items and we had to write a story including them. Mine ended up being about a little girl who died in a car crash on Halloween.

  6. #16
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beyonder View Post
    I could, yes. But what's the goal? To convince, inform or entertain? Or do you want a polemical one? If the topic isn't too esoteric or if it's freeform, yeah, I probably can.

    You know what, I'll just slap one together, right now (I'm a rhetorician, so it's no big deal to me)

    On the modern renaissance man

    In the past, there have been various people with skills in many fields, ranging from Aristotle to daVinci and Leibniz. These polymaths, next to making significant contributions to specific fields, also where in a position to 'read between the lines' of the respective fields they mastered or dabbled in, resulting in very productive outputs, throughout their lives. In more recent times, some people have made the claim that this would be impossible, because of the large amount of data available. In this essay, I'll argue that it's not only possible, but that in our present age, it's even quitte easy to do. "Jack of all trades, master of none" so to speak, yes, but "almost always better than a master of none."

    Aristotle, for example, didn't only had to study, he also started various fields of investigation; a feat wich would have taken a lot more intellectual power than just getting acquainted with, and understand, various fields or traditions. Aristotle's contributions to fields such as philosophy and rhetorics still are hard to overlook, while his Nicomachean Ethics was voted to be the most important book in philosophy by Dutch professors, a few years ago.

    Though it might be true that in our modern age, becoming familiar with everything ever said in a specific field already is a daunting task, this wouldn't be as important to our aspiring polymath; becoming a specialist in various fields isn't what that's about, and actually specialising to such a degree in not just one, but multiple fields would take a lifetime. This would leave very little time for our aspiring polymath to pick the fruits of his labours, so to speak.
    Though studying would have to be an ongoing task for our potential polymath, specialisation would have to be forsworn in favor of a more general approach; this isn't a problem in our current age, since acquiring a cursory, though well-versed understanding is tailored to by various sources.
    One thing I would advocate, though, is having an organon, that is, an intellectual toolkit, consisting of various more specialised fields of investigation; the more cursory understood fields can be used in a more canonical way, as building stones in whatever our polymaths current project is.
    "But," one might object, "wouldn't this take up a lot of time, even before being able to actually apply what is learned?" Yes, but no-one ever said that becoming a polymath isn't a full-time job. The studying never ends, and in our current age, it's not even possible, due to the information overload, so to speak. But this information overload can also be regarded in a positive way, since this would also mean that our polymath can constantly improve, and with this improving of knowledge, also the endproducts being created...

    It might not be possible for our modern renaissance man to become proficient in all important fields, though. But this can hardly be expected in our modern age, from a single individual. A more realistic goal would then be to 'follow ones heart', so to speak, and though not accepting mere "discovery channel" levels of education, still being able to become quitte proficient in more than one field. A dilligent study in whatever is held to be of interrest not only creates a solid footing for one to build up from, it also imbeds a personal intellectual environment wich creates constant levels of creative expansion for the individual.

    And on a final note, aren't we all already halfway there? We get information from all kinds of places about all kinds of topics. The average modern day person already is more 'polymathical' than his or her ancestor at that same age... It seems like becoming a renaissance man or woman not only is possible, but is being tailored to by our present day, western society. It would only take a few more steps for the average (intellectually inclined) person to actually become what was in previous ages a mere ideal; it would seem that not only are renaissance people a serious possibility, but an actual 'neo-renaissance' is slowly becoming a fact.

    Note that, due to some rhetorical descisions, not all opinions expressed in this essay are actually held by me. Also note that, due to me slapping this together in less than an hour, there might be some sloppiness in argumentation. Kthnxbye


    I am really not sure.. if it was my call I'd say the goal would be the search for truth... so inform rather than entertain... but it may just be either one...I appreciate your endeavor though..perhaps we will strive for a compromise between informative writing and entertainment.. Though I do hope that in the end we will have a serious essay writing competition..
    Last edited by SolitaryWalker; 05-13-2007 at 10:06 PM.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  7. #17
    Senior Member outmywindow's Avatar
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    I would as long as the assigned topic interested me.
    INTP

  8. #18
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    I think its probably best if the writers pick their own topics as long as the essay ends up being intellectually stimulating and yields accurate insights.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

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