Oct. 1st, 2009

ericcheung: (Default)

The other day, my brother found a commencement speech by Bill Watterson, from the commencement at Kenyon College 1990.  Matt's rediscovered Calvin and Hobbes recently, as the well-drawn, even cinematic, and intelligent portrait of a six-year-old's interpretation of the world and his philosophical musings with his friend that's only imaginary depending on the eye of the beholder.  After all, the two main characters were named after John Calvin, (the 16th century philosopher who believed in predestination, and was a huge influence on early Puritan settlers in America), and Thomas Hobbes (the 17th century philosopher and author of Leviathan, who believed that humankind's natural state was one of war), respectively.

If you've read Bill Watterson's thoughts as communicated in his commentary in the Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book, you'll recognize his philosophical and ethical leanings in the commencement speech linked above.  It reads as genuine, not only because the point of view is spot on, but because the speech reads smarter than even his strip or previous musings do, if only because his audience isn't as broad as usual--not that he's ever been known to dumb things down (even within his strip, Calvin, the troubled student, has the hyper-literate vocabulary of a well-read grown-up).

Watterson's thesis can be found in the following paragraphs:

Read more... )



In addition to this speech, someone else pointed me to the below video.  I think it's a good example of well-reasoned argument, and suggests how open-mindedness is a necessary trait of any debate participant.  I've been looking for an excuse to post it, and I think this will do.





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