Tag Archives: Twitter

Go beyond yourself

When Students cheat on exams it’s because our School System values grades more than Students value learning.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, on twitter

I’ve failed.  I’ve done it often and will do it again and again as long as there is breath in this body.  I hate it when it happens, but love what I get out of it for the next try.  Cheating my way through an experience would deny me the ability to move beyond myself as I am now and discover some unknown ability (or inability) that can help me advance as a human being.  It would deny me my evolution and thus deny any contribution I could have offered to the real advancement of humanity.  When YOU cheatYOU deny us all the contribution your real efforts would have accorded humanity.  You are not cheating the faceless institution.  You are cheating yourself and all of humanity.  When YOU accept cheating as normal or a necessary evil, YOU are trading the value of experience for smoke and mirrors, for an illusion of a world that cannot exist where cheating is the norm.  

There is room for success and failure in this world.  Without them both, there is only the status quo.

Becoming a better writer?

 Jon Winokur (@AdviceToWriters)  2013-02-17 19:37  The only way to become a better writer is to become a better person. BRENDA UELAND #amwriting #writing

I ran across the above tweet yesterday and was immediately struck by the wrongness of it, though it took me a little while to understand why it was wrong.  In concept, it should be a true statement.  Shouldn’t the best way to become anything better be to become a better person?  Shouldn’t that be a fundamental truism across the board?

Yes, it should be true.  Yet, looking back through literary history, there is not much evidence to support it.

Artistic ability does not really seem to be associated to being a better person.  One could argue that there is a tie between wanting to be better or at least questioning what it could mean to be better, but I don’t see how being a subjectively better person makes you better at the art and craft of writing (or any artistic endeavour for that matter).  It does, however, still make a great sound bite, and I won’t argue that it doesn’t do any damage to let it run wild.  The world could use some “better people” right now.