Learning to Start Cheating

Let me tell you a story about how I didn’t learn to draw.

If I’d taught myself to draw by copying other pics, this is one I would have copied.

One day when I was about 13 years old I went over to a friend’s house and he showed me a poster-sized illustration that he was working on. I was impressed by the smooth, bold lines and the sheer size of the work. It was still in-progress, but I knew that it was going to be great when it was done. I was intimidated until I saw a magazine page lying on his desk. I realized that he was copying the image, and in an instant the mystery evaporated. Even I could do a decent drawing if I had a source image. Therefore it couldn’t be magical. Therefore it wasn’t really art. It was just cheating.

When he showed the finished product off to some mutual friends a few days later, I refused to say a word to detract from the accolades, but I felt like a clean bike racer competing with Lance Armstrong. I wanted to draw too, but I wasn’t willing to stoop to the level of copying what others had done. So I quit drawing.

And here is the story of how I stopped writing poetry.

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Red Mars – An Accidental Tyranny

I did not like Red Mars (by Kim Stanley Robinson or just KSR) very much. I was pretty clear about this in my Goodreads review, where I gave the book a solitary star. I got a couple of responses to that review, and they asked me to go into more detail about the problems I had with that book. So, in this post, I shall. Along the way I can promise fun with economics and political philosophy for everyone!

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