Writing - Kanye and Fallout 4

Our daily writing has been evolving has been evolving in interesting directions. Each night, I find an interesting essay on a controversial topic, and then we argue it.

Writing - Kanye and Fallout 4

The traditional approach to creating a gifted writer is many years of reading followed by many years of writing. Somewhere in that time, probably during the years of writing, maybe earlier, the author develops some interest worth writing about. It seems to me that the ability to generate something interesting (at least to the author) is the key of writing. Why write if it's boring?

Our writing program meanders through each of the sub topics of writing such as paragraph layout, crafting a well-crafted sentence, evaluating another author's faulty logic, choosing the right word. Given the recent homework load, my teenager and I do our daily writing at 9 pm, and therefore, writing has of late been talking. Each day I search for a well crafted editorial or commentary essay on a topic that might interest either a 13 year old or his dad. Each night we read it, followed by an exercise to provide insightful and interesting commentary that proves to me a) you read and understood the topic and b) you can put together a coherent thought on this topic, articulate it, and defend it.

I'm taking the side of Kanye West

Google seems to think I'm interested in contemporary culture and video games. I wonder why? Regardless, it doesn't take long for me to find something worth debating. Earlier this week, we debated Kanye West. I'm took the position that Kanye West is right. I didn't exactly win the argument, but together we're going through the basic problem solving mechanics of putting forth and defending an argument. 4 more years of this and either I'll produce a conservative republican or a student who doesn't suffer from writer's block on his AP English essay test.

Here's what I've got so far. Kayne West has stated that Trump should ease up on his criminal policy because, to paraphrase, and you have to paraphrase to make sense of Kanye's comments, "In another multiverse I would be in jail." I will translate this into white conservatism for you: "There but for the grace of God go I." This is called empathy for the less fortunate. Go Kanye. Two points for me.

I would love the opportunity to stand next to Kanye like a signer or UN translator and translate his words into the greek philosophical tradition from Plato through John Locke. He's been accused as being illiterate. If this is true, this makes him a genius because he's nailing the great arguments (with a bit of paraphrasing) without being aware that the arguments were previously made, and he's putting it into contemporary language for his own audience. I don't allow my debate partner to contribute to my blog, but you can imagine his counter-argument with a bit of 13 year old histrionics.

Video games are fair game

We are authorities on all of the hot new video games, the companies behind them, the history of video game development, video game news, and video game blogging. That's a lot of video gaming.

It's not video game playing, however. It's video game research. It's video game research at the graduate thesis level because a certain parent got involved and raised the bar.

The hot new game that little kids don't play but are nonetheless experts on thanks to videos and blogs is Fallout 76. Reddit is full of essays proving that the Brotherhood of Steel could in fact have been present in 2076 despite 5 game releases of canon that make this unlikely. Reddit is a great source of well articulated logic - both sound and faulty. When a video game topic is the subject of debate ('is this author correct when he asserts that Bethseda has violated their cannon?') our adult level discussion usually goes an extra hour and requires additional wiki-ing and other research.

In both all cases (Kanye or Fallout), I'm subjecting the future AP English writer to we crafted arguments by various authors as the subject of our nightly reading. In a few weeks I'm going to change the rules a tiny bit - instead of telling me your argument, write it.

Does God matter?

So far, I'm losing this argument, but I've got about 4 more years to research and prove my position. The title of this argument, supported by whatever essay I can muster, is this: If most of your friends and their families do not practice religion, and they are doing quite well in life, both parents and child, do we really need faith, or religion or God?

Does anyone have good argument to share?

The daily effort rule

Once again, we're following the rule that whatever you spend a little time on each day, you will eventually get a lot better in that domain. 30 minutes a day will likely lead to the 99.9% level. We found this out doing a little math each day in Kindergarten. I think this rule originated with me. It's like the 10,000 rule for kids.

This rule is magic. There is no need to hurry, to focus, to practice, or to worry. It just magically happens. In writing, we meander from one sub-skill to the next and back. Eventually, all of the pieces will be in place. The Bronte sisters famously parlayed story telling into classics. We are going to parlay debate into something. I'm not quite sure what yet.


  1. Yes. God matters!
    Most people say we need to have faith in God. My argument is, most people need God to have faith. Faith that things will be alright, faith that someone will protect you. Essentially God and religion are tools to achieve that faith so that your mind is not consumed by all the possible infinite undesirable outcomes, to help you deal with uncertainty in this vastly uncertain world. It is a powerful form of hypnosis, to calm the mind down and get you more focused. The extent to which a person needs this faith (and believes in God, practices religion ) depends on their mental state. Some people need more, some people need less. Even for the same person, it can vary based on their circumstances, the more they are in control the less they need.
    For example, you need to walk from point A to point B, and you are told that there could be land mines, who will have an easier time accomplishing the task? A person who has faith that there are no land mines or a person who is unsure? Obviously a person who has faith/believes there are no landmines will have an easier time - an atheist by channeling their mind to focus on the task, a religious person by having faith that God will protect him. Two different paths but both achieving the same result.
    In short, many humans need God (as a tool to have faith) to keep them sane.

    1. Thanks for your comment. This isn't a blog about religion, and I'm not an expert on God, but you were nice enough to share your opinion so I'll share mine. God is a person, and if you want to know who he is (or she if you want), you can just ask him. If God is super powerful and loves us like children, then worrying and knowing God are incompatible. If you don't know who God is, but you know he exists, that's pretty scary and faith is more important. But, if I walk through a land mine field and step in the wrong direction, I will lose my leg, and the super powerful, totally loving God will be like 'What the heck are you doing? I told you to walk around the field. Why don't you listen to me', and I'm like 'because you're silent and invisible. You have a huge marketing problem.' and he's like 'I'm everywhere, why can't you hear me.' If, on the other hand, you don't believe in God, you probably wouldn't walk through the mine field anyway. But in that case, God will follow you around hounding you to see him until you relent. Because he also has infinite patience.