Monday, February 8, 2010

Some Very Large Shoulders

My learning didn't really start until I was in my mid-twenties. By random reading, I found some giants who let me sit on their shoulders. To them I am grateful.

Ayn Rand--She taught me that words have an exact meaning and that our lives are guided by philosophical principles whether we examine them or not.

Richard Mitchell--An English professor at a college in New Jersey introduced me to the rich world of metaphor. He also taught me how to think by clarifying concepts, so that I might be able to choose the better from the worse. That ability to choose is the only purpose of an education. Everything else is training.

Frederick Bastiat--A 19th century French writer showed me "what is seen, and what is not seen". The unintended consequences of laws, when those laws stray from their original purpose of protecting rights, usually do more harm than good.

Socrates--Showed me how a well-ordered mind comes to understanding, by quietly asking and answering in turn.

Malcolm Wells--My friend Mac, an architect in Cape Cod, showed me that every inch of this earth should be living, not asphalt, lawn, and tile-roof covered. I so agreed with him that I built, and am living in, an underground home.

My blog name, Underground Carpenter, only partly comes from the fact that I live in an underground home. Malcolm Wells, after 1964, only designed underground buildings, and Richard Mitchell published a newsletter called The Underground Grammarian.

Happy 200th post, Dave.



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