Thursday, 31 March 2011

What the shepherd learns in the fields (Part 8 of 8)


Hesiod's poem was called "Work and Days." His conclusion was unmistakable. A wise man should buy sheep in the summer at a low price and wait for the winter's cold weather to bring back high prices and the opportunity of a profitable sale.

When Hesiod finished his performance, the audience remained silent. Half of the jury members were in favour of Homer, but Amiphidamas' preference allowed the young shepherd to carry the day.

Hesiod's rhyme had been awkward and his presence on stage unexciting, but the judges had found his poem "highly instructive for ourselves and future generations."

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by rchmj under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

What the shepherd learns in the fields
(Part 8 of 8)


Hesiod's poem was called "Work and Days." His conclusion was unmistakable. A wise man should buy sheep in the summer at a low price and wait for the winter's cold weather to bring back high prices and the opportunity of a profitable sale.

When Hesiod finished his performance, the audience remained silent. Half of the jury members were in favour of Homer, but Amiphidamas' preference allowed the young shepherd to carry the day.

Hesiod's rhyme had been awkward and his presence on stage unexciting, but the judges had found his poem "highly instructive for ourselves and future generations."

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by rchmj under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

What the shepherd learns in the fields (Part 7 of 8)


It was the story of a farmer who lost half of his herd every winter due to extreme cold. In his poem, Hesiod noted the scarcity of sheep in the winter, their over-abundance in the summer, and how sheep prices oscillated with the change of seasons.

"I asked the oracle for an answer," recited Hesiod, "but he told me to look for it myself." At that point, part of the audience murmured their disapproval. Undaunted, the young poet questioned his public. "What to do in face of winter scarcity? Should man suffer passively the caprice of the Gods?"

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by antkriz under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

What the shepherd learns in the fields
(Part 7 of 8)


It was the story of a farmer who lost half of his herd every winter due to extreme cold. In his poem, Hesiod noted the scarcity of sheep in the winter, their over-abundance in the summer, and how sheep prices oscillated with the change of seasons.

"I asked the oracle for an answer," recited Hesiod, "but he told me to look for it myself." At that point, part of the audience murmured their disapproval. Undaunted, the young poet questioned his public. "What to do in face of winter scarcity? Should man suffer passively the caprice of the Gods?"

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by antkriz under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

What the shepherd learns in the fields (Part 6 of 8)


Homer recited a poem recounting the Trojan war and his performance galvanized the young. His strong voice and impeccable speech brought the audience memories of long-forgotten Gods and glories. When he finished his declamation, the jury nodded satisfied. Nobody doubted that Homer would come out winner.

Then the young shepherd Hesiod came to stand before the public. "How hard life is," he started, "and how recurrent our miseries." Puzzled by the unusual beginning, the audience held their breath to be able to hear better. What was this poem all about?

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by not a hipster under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

What the shepherd learns in the fields
(Part 6 of 8)


Homer recited a poem recounting the Trojan war and his performance galvanized the young. His strong voice and impeccable speech brought the audience memories of long-forgotten Gods and glories. When he finished his declamation, the jury nodded satisfied. Nobody doubted that Homer would come out winner.

Then the young shepherd Hesiod came to stand before the public. "How hard life is," he started, "and how recurrent our miseries." Puzzled by the unusual beginning, the audience held their breath to be able to hear better. What was this poem all about?

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by not a hipster under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Sunday, 27 March 2011

What the shepherd learns in the fields (Part 5 of 8)


Amiphidamas, who was the mayor of Chalces and the president of the jury said that he liked Hesiod's poem. "That shepherd has interesting ideas," he told the other judges of the contest. In a way, Amiphidamas' view was not surprising, since he owned the largest herd of the village.

In the evening, torches were lighted to illuminate the theatre. Peasants from surrounding villages had come to Chalces to see the poetry finale, which featured Homer against an unknown shepherd called Hesiod. The result of the contest was predictable and Perses bet heavily against his brother.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by ingridtaylar under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

What the shepherd learns in the fields
(Part 5 of 8)


Amiphidamas, who was the mayor of Chalces and the president of the jury said that he liked Hesiod's poem. "That shepherd has interesting ideas," he told the other judges of the contest. In a way, Amiphidamas' view was not surprising, since he owned the largest herd of the village.

In the evening, torches were lighted to illuminate the theatre. Peasants from surrounding villages had come to Chalces to see the poetry finale, which featured Homer against an unknown shepherd called Hesiod. The result of the contest was predictable and Perses bet heavily against his brother.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by ingridtaylar under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

What the shepherd learns in the fields (Part 4 of 8)


At the beginning of the contest, the jury separated the participants in two groups, one for the morning session and the other for the afternoon. After that, the winners from both groups would face each other in the evening finale.

Homer achieved an easy victory in the morning competition, but the jury deliberated long before picking the afternoon winner. Who was this youngster Hesiod? It was the first time that anyone had ever heard a poem about sheep in the mountain.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by lifacolor under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

What the shepherd learns in the fields
(Part 4 of 8)


At the beginning of the contest, the jury separated the participants in two groups, one for the morning session and the other for the afternoon. After that, the winners from both groups would face each other in the evening finale.

Homer achieved an easy victory in the morning competition, but the jury deliberated long before picking the afternoon winner. Who was this youngster Hesiod? It was the first time that anyone had ever heard a poem about sheep in the mountain.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by lifacolor under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Saturday, 26 March 2011

What the shepherd learns in the fields (Part 3 of 8)


In Ancient Greece, winning a poetry contest was a ticket to fame and opened the door to a political career. That year, competition was particularly fierce since Homer, the most famous poet of the time, had come to Chalces to take part in the contest.

On the eve of the competition, Perses asked his brother to which God he would be devoting his poem, as it was customary to do on such occasions. Hesiod smiled and shook his head. "My poem is not about Gods, it's about sheep." Perses stared at his brother incredulously, but did not make any comment.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by SearchNetMedia under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

What the shepherd learns in the fields
(Part 3 of 8)


In Ancient Greece, winning a poetry contest was a ticket to fame and opened the door to a political career. That year, competition was particularly fierce since Homer, the most famous poet of the time, had come to Chalces to take part in the contest.

On the eve of the competition, Perses asked his brother to which God he would be devoting his poem, as it was customary to do on such occasions. Hesiod smiled and shook his head. "My poem is not about Gods, it's about sheep." Perses stared at his brother incredulously, but did not make any comment.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by SearchNetMedia under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Friday, 25 March 2011

What the shepherd learns in the fields (Part 2 of 8)


As a result of adversity, Hesiod soon acquired first-hand experience in all kind of farm labours and gained expertise in breeding goats and sheep.

"Watching the sheep kindled my ambition," he recorded. "I realized that, unlike sheep, I had the capacity to take control of my future."

During the winter, Hesiod witnessed how the cold temperature in the mountains of northern Greece often culled herds by half. Later on, he would write that the destiny of animals, unlike that of human beings, is fully dependent on the weather.

The young shepherd spent a long time preparing himself in the solitude of the mountains until, one spring, he walked to Chalces, a nearby village, and enrolled in the annual poetry contest.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by sskennel under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

What the shepherd learns in the fields
(Part 2 of 8)


As a result of adversity, Hesiod soon acquired first-hand experience in all kind of farm labours and gained expertise in breeding goats and sheep.

"Watching the sheep kindled my ambition," he recorded. "I realized that, unlike sheep, I had the capacity to take control of my future."

During the winter, Hesiod witnessed how the cold temperature in the mountains of northern Greece often culled herds by half. Later on, he would write that the destiny of animals, unlike that of human beings, is fully dependent on the weather.

The young shepherd spent a long time preparing himself in the solitude of the mountains until, one spring, he walked to Chalces, a nearby village, and enrolled in the annual poetry contest.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by sskennel under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Thursday, 24 March 2011

What the shepherd learns in the fields (Part 1 of 8)


Reading History is the ideal remedy to discouragement and dissatisfaction. During difficult periods, man can gain perspective by learning how his ancestors turned problems into opportunities.

Past centuries have repeatedly shown how individuals with limited resources can face life's challenges and overcome extraordinary obstacles.

Hesiod, an Ancient Greek poet, recounted in the year 770 B.C. that "the world did not welcome me when I was born and each season brought nothing but problems and difficulties."

The reason for such lamentations was that a court decision in favour of his brother, Perses, had deprived Hesiod of his inheritance at an early age, forcing him to earn his subsistence by working in other people's fields.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by randystoreyphotography under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

What the shepherd learns in the fields
(Part 1 of 8)


Reading History is the ideal remedy to discouragement and dissatisfaction. During difficult periods, man can gain perspective by learning how his ancestors turned problems into opportunities.

Past centuries have repeatedly shown how individuals with limited resources can face life's challenges and overcome extraordinary obstacles.

Hesiod, an Ancient Greek poet, recounted in the year 770 B.C. that "the world did not welcome me when I was born and each season brought nothing but problems and difficulties."

The reason for such lamentations was that a court decision in favour of his brother, Perses, had deprived Hesiod of his inheritance at an early age, forcing him to earn his subsistence by working in other people's fields.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by randystoreyphotography under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The best time for entrepreneurship (Part 4 of 4)


Pietro Alvise's double-deck galley was financed, designed, and built in the middle of the worst economic recession that Venice had ever experienced. In June of 1314, the ship sailed away from the Venetian lagoon, arriving two months later in Bruges.

The trade expedition was a resounding success, turned around the economy of the area, and served as a basis for Venetian domination of world commerce during the following decades.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Jakob Montrasio under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The best time for entrepreneurship
(Part 4 of 4)


Pietro Alvise's double-deck galley was financed, designed, and built in the middle of the worst economic recession that Venice had ever experienced. In June of 1314, the ship sailed away from the Venetian lagoon, arriving two months later in Bruges.

The trade expedition was a resounding success, turned around the economy of the area, and served as a basis for Venetian domination of world commerce during the following decades.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Jakob Montrasio under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The best time for entrepreneurship (Part 3 of 4)


Undecided, the old Alvise stared at his son. Who could deny that the economic situation was catastrophic? "I know that it can be done, father," insisted Pietro. "We don't need the Fairs of Champagne. We can build larger ships, galleys able to sail around Spain and France. We will take leather, spices, and glassware to Bruges and return with a full cargo of cloth."

During the next weeks, Luigi and Pietro Alvise called relentlessly on other merchants in Venice until they managed to line up 100 investors ready to fund the construction of a double-deck galley. The new ship had two masts and weighed 500 tons, something unheard of at that time. Traditional Venetian galleys possessed only one deck and rarely exceeded 200 tons.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by jimbowen0306 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The best time for entrepreneurship
(Part 3 of 4)


Undecided, the old Alvise stared at his son. Who could deny that the economic situation was catastrophic? "I know that it can be done, father," insisted Pietro. "We don't need the Fairs of Champagne. We can build larger ships, galleys able to sail around Spain and France. We will take leather, spices, and glassware to Bruges and return with a full cargo of cloth."

During the next weeks, Luigi and Pietro Alvise called relentlessly on other merchants in Venice until they managed to line up 100 investors ready to fund the construction of a double-deck galley. The new ship had two masts and weighed 500 tons, something unheard of at that time. Traditional Venetian galleys possessed only one deck and rarely exceeded 200 tons.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by jimbowen0306 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Monday, 21 March 2011

The best time for entrepreneurship (Part 2 of 4)


Pietro Alvise, the son of a Venetian merchant, did not allow the situation to bring him down. Instead, he made a bold proposal to his father, Luigi Alvise.

"What you are proposing is impossible, Pietro," admonished the old man, shaking his head. "Many have tried it before and no one has succeeded. It's better if we wait until the market recovers."

Pietro looked at his father and took in a deep breath. It was imperative that he found the right words. If he could not convince his own family, how would he be able to convince anyone else?

"That's the point, father," he emphasized. "The market is not going to recover. Don't you see the rising interest rates? Aren't our friends going bankrupt one after the other?"

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by mehul.antani under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The best time for entrepreneurship
(Part 2 of 4)


Pietro Alvise, the son of a Venetian merchant, did not allow the situation to bring him down. Instead, he made a bold proposal to his father, Luigi Alvise.

"What you are proposing is impossible, Pietro," admonished the old man, shaking his head. "Many have tried it before and no one has succeeded. It's better if we wait until the market recovers."

Pietro looked at his father and took in a deep breath. It was imperative that he found the right words. If he could not convince his own family, how would he be able to convince anyone else?

"That's the point, father," he emphasized. "The market is not going to recover. Don't you see the rising interest rates? Aren't our friends going bankrupt one after the other?"

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by mehul.antani under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The best time for entrepreneurship (Part 1 of 4)

When everything seems lost is the best time for entrepreneurship. History contains many examples of individuals taking bold action and turning around desperate situations. You have more resources than you think. There are more possibilities around than it is apparent to the eye.

Take the case of Venice in the year 1314, with interest rates so high that made almost impossible for anyone to borrow money.

Since the King of France had forbidden Flemish merchants to take part in the Fairs of Champagne, imports of cloth into Venice had stopped altogether. Without Flemish cloth, Venetian dyers had been forced to fire hundreds of workers, pushing the economy into a deep recession.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by shellorz under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The best time for entrepreneurship
(Part 1 of 4)

When everything seems lost is the best time for entrepreneurship. History contains many examples of individuals taking bold action and turning around desperate situations. You have more resources than you think. There are more possibilities around than it is apparent to the eye.

Take the case of Venice in the year 1314, with interest rates so high that made almost impossible for anyone to borrow money.

Since the King of France had forbidden Flemish merchants to take part in the Fairs of Champagne, imports of cloth into Venice had stopped altogether. Without Flemish cloth, Venetian dyers had been forced to fire hundreds of workers, pushing the economy into a deep recession.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by shellorz under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Ancient teachings that still apply today (Part 6 of 6)


Living in accordance to Nature marks the path to happiness today as it did it in Ancient Rome. Logic and consistency remain the pillars of personal growth.

If you doubt that rationality is the best way to conduct your life, read History and study the dire consequences of prejudice and abuse. The events of past centuries prescribe that each of us should become entrepreneurial instead of expecting free help to come to us.

Instead of imitating others, let us learn the lessons of ancient wisdom and keep away deceitful theories that contradict the facts of History. We need to develop enough resiliency to avoid being overwhelmed by other people's opinion or lack of it.

Studying Ancient Rome is a very effective method of reinforcing the idea that we should not waste our time trying to establish paradise on earth.

Discarding new proposals that do not work and favouring proven systems is a sign of wisdom. The same logic applies to walking away from situations where people tell us that rationality doesn't count.

Let us avoid repeating the faults of the past and do what is right, even if it happens to be unpopular.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Bob Jagendorf under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Ancient teachings that still apply today
(Part 6 of 6)


Living in accordance to Nature marks the path to happiness today as it did it in Ancient Rome. Logic and consistency remain the pillars of personal growth.

If you doubt that rationality is the best way to conduct your life, read History and study the dire consequences of prejudice and abuse. The events of past centuries prescribe that each of us should become entrepreneurial instead of expecting free help to come to us.

Instead of imitating others, let us learn the lessons of ancient wisdom and keep away deceitful theories that contradict the facts of History. We need to develop enough resiliency to avoid being overwhelmed by other people's opinion or lack of it.

Studying Ancient Rome is a very effective method of reinforcing the idea that we should not waste our time trying to establish paradise on earth.

Discarding new proposals that do not work and favouring proven systems is a sign of wisdom. The same logic applies to walking away from situations where people tell us that rationality doesn't count.

Let us avoid repeating the faults of the past and do what is right, even if it happens to be unpopular.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Bob Jagendorf under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Friday, 18 March 2011

Ancient teachings that still apply today (Part 5 of 6)


[4] Salesmanship opens the door to tolerance and friendship. Ancient Romans learned the hard way that a commercial attitude was the only way to maintain a high standard of living. The first and the second century C.E. led to massive wealth creation due to an expansion of tolerance and entrepreneurship across Europe and the Middle East. Conflicts, although frequent, were limited in range.

In the present context, when millions of individuals across the world are devoting their creativity to international commercial ventures, rationality is respected as the cardinal virtue of those who achieve business success. Effective salesmanship is nothing but logic applied to commerce.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Antonio Fiol under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Ancient teachings that still apply today
(Part 5 of 6)


[4] Salesmanship opens the door to tolerance and friendship. Ancient Romans learned the hard way that a commercial attitude was the only way to maintain a high standard of living. The first and the second century C.E. led to massive wealth creation due to an expansion of tolerance and entrepreneurship across Europe and the Middle East. Conflicts, although frequent, were limited in range.

In the present context, when millions of individuals across the world are devoting their creativity to international commercial ventures, rationality is respected as the cardinal virtue of those who achieve business success. Effective salesmanship is nothing but logic applied to commerce.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Antonio Fiol under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Ancient teachings that still apply today (Part 4 of 6)


[3] Look for alternative ways to achieve your goals. In Ancient Rome, individuals with vision faced similar obstacles as nowadays. How do you fund trade expeditions? Which goods should you import and export?

Entrepreneurial men in ancient times quickly realized that the traditional Roman approach to business finance, a mortgage on a piece of land, was inadequate to conduct commercial enterprises. Through trial and error, they created different types of partnership contracts that have evolved through the centuries into our modern venture capital funds.

Do not give up when traditional methods prove unsuitable to carry out your ideas. Seek further until you find a practicable solution.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by randystoreyphotography under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Ancient teachings that still apply today
(Part 4 of 6)


[3] Look for alternative ways to achieve your goals. In Ancient Rome, individuals with vision faced similar obstacles as nowadays. How do you fund trade expeditions? Which goods should you import and export?

Entrepreneurial men in ancient times quickly realized that the traditional Roman approach to business finance, a mortgage on a piece of land, was inadequate to conduct commercial enterprises. Through trial and error, they created different types of partnership contracts that have evolved through the centuries into our modern venture capital funds.

Do not give up when traditional methods prove unsuitable to carry out your ideas. Seek further until you find a practicable solution.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by randystoreyphotography under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Monday, 14 March 2011

Ancient teachings that still apply today (Part 3 of 6)


[2] Devote your efforts only to feasible projects. There are more good ideas around that there is capital to fund them. Although the economy of Ancient Rome experienced sustained growth in the second century C.E., writings from that period show that it was not easy to obtain a loan.

Contemporary financial institutions are thousands of times more efficient than the modest mortgage markets of Ancient Rome, but the number of individuals looking to borrow money has also grown exponentially.

At any given time, there are always many more people in the world willing to borrow money than there are funds available. Do not waste your energy on projects that have no real chance of obtaining financial backing. Focus only on workable ventures.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by firmatography under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Ancient teachings that still apply today
(Part 3 of 6)


[2] Devote your efforts only to feasible projects. There are more good ideas around that there is capital to fund them. Although the economy of Ancient Rome experienced sustained growth in the second century C.E., writings from that period show that it was not easy to obtain a loan.

Contemporary financial institutions are thousands of times more efficient than the modest mortgage markets of Ancient Rome, but the number of individuals looking to borrow money has also grown exponentially.

At any given time, there are always many more people in the world willing to borrow money than there are funds available. Do not waste your energy on projects that have no real chance of obtaining financial backing. Focus only on workable ventures.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by firmatography under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Ancient teachings that still apply today (Part 2 of 6)


[1] You should aim at becoming an entrepreneur, irrespective of your social origin, since individual initiative has repeatedly proven to be the ideal tool to create wealth, independence, and psychological well-being.

During the golden age of Ancient Rome, the number of self-employed people grew faster than in any previous time in History, as large parcels of uncultivated land were put to agricultural use for the first time.

In the 21st century, the same phenomenon is taking place on the internet, which has become the great liberator of entrepreneurial energies without distinction of sex, race, age, or personal history.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by R_Pigott under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Ancient teachings that still apply today
(Part 2 of 6)


[1] You should aim at becoming an entrepreneur, irrespective of your social origin, since individual initiative has repeatedly proven to be the ideal tool to create wealth, independence, and psychological well-being.

During the golden age of Ancient Rome, the number of self-employed people grew faster than in any previous time in History, as large parcels of uncultivated land were put to agricultural use for the first time.

In the 21st century, the same phenomenon is taking place on the internet, which has become the great liberator of entrepreneurial energies without distinction of sex, race, age, or personal history.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by R_Pigott under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Ancient teachings that still apply today (Part 1 of 6)


The great period of Ancient Roman prosperity lasted only two centuries, until the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180 C.E. Nevertheless, the physical and intellectual assets accumulated during those years have allowed Roman civilization to exert its influence until our day.

The teachings of the past should never be forgotten, since the principles of how to achieve happiness and success are immutable. We don't need to waste resources making mistakes that can easily be avoided if we pay attention to History.

From the best times of Ancient Rome, we can learn important lessons about how to lead a rational life. Although technology and social context have evolved, we should still pay attention to recommendations of wise individuals who have learned from their errors, frequently after paying a heavy price.

The following principles summarize essential elements of how to lead a rational life and enhance our chances of attaining happiness.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by tiny_packages under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Ancient teachings that still apply today
(Part 1 of 6)


The great period of Ancient Roman prosperity lasted only two centuries, until the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180 C.E. Nevertheless, the physical and intellectual assets accumulated during those years have allowed Roman civilization to exert its influence until our day.

The teachings of the past should never be forgotten, since the principles of how to achieve happiness and success are immutable. We don't need to waste resources making mistakes that can easily be avoided if we pay attention to History.

From the best times of Ancient Rome, we can learn important lessons about how to lead a rational life. Although technology and social context have evolved, we should still pay attention to recommendations of wise individuals who have learned from their errors, frequently after paying a heavy price.

The following principles summarize essential elements of how to lead a rational life and enhance our chances of attaining happiness.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by tiny_packages under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Friday, 11 March 2011

How to avoid the doom and gloom of statistical thinking (Part 5 of 5)


[6] Trial and error are part of the natural learning process in any field of activity. For this reason, you should question the scientific value of any survey that enthrones a specific method of doing things. Are the conclusions based on local circumstances or do they have general application?

Has the study been conducted with impartiality or do you have reasons to suspect the existence of conflict of interests? Whenever you face a recommendation to narrow your field of inquiry, compare the statistics to what you know from experience, and see if the conclusion makes sense.

The purpose of surveys is to extract lessons from reality, but without method and logic, data cannot teach us anything of value. Place your common sense above all statistics and your reason above all calculations.

Trust your immediate perception more than a hundred volumes of allegedly scientific conclusions, since in life, you will have to pay for your own mistakes. Always check twice what seems to be lie beyond doubt and question what appears self-evident. Let your own independent judgement guide your life according to reason and reality.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by alpha du centaure under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

How to avoid the doom and gloom of statistical thinking (Part 5 of 5)


[6] Trial and error are part of the natural learning process in any field of activity. For this reason, you should question the scientific value of any survey that enthrones a specific method of doing things. Are the conclusions based on local circumstances or do they have general application?

Has the study been conducted with impartiality or do you have reasons to suspect the existence of conflict of interests? Whenever you face a recommendation to narrow your field of inquiry, compare the statistics to what you know from experience, and see if the conclusion makes sense.

The purpose of surveys is to extract lessons from reality, but without method and logic, data cannot teach us anything of value. Place your common sense above all statistics and your reason above all calculations.

Trust your immediate perception more than a hundred volumes of allegedly scientific conclusions, since in life, you will have to pay for your own mistakes. Always check twice what seems to be lie beyond doubt and question what appears self-evident. Let your own independent judgement guide your life according to reason and reality.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by alpha du centaure under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Thursday, 10 March 2011

How to avoid the doom and gloom of statistical thinking (Part 4 of 5)


[4] Statistics that prompt you to waste your resources or risk your health should be regarded with utmost scepticism. If someone proves to you with numbers that work and play are equally productive, you should not believe it.

If a survey tells you that it doesn't matter whether you take care of your health or not, you should stick to your salutary habits and rational good choices. Such surveys make the headlines precisely because they are controversial and contradict basic common sense. The data might be true if applied to particular circumstances, but the conclusions make little sense as general advice.

[5] Surveys that predict awful consequences from seemingly harmless activities should be assessed with caution. For instance, a study showing that people holding a certain type of job die young might reflect the statistical truth.

Nevertheless, if you read its conclusions in full, you will realize that many individuals in that profession live substantially longer than the average. Ask yourself what are the factors that make those men and women reach an advanced age and seek to draw lessons that you can apply to your life.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Alan.V under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

How to avoid the doom and gloom of statistical thinking (Part 4 of 5)


[4] Statistics that prompt you to waste your resources or risk your health should be regarded with utmost scepticism. If someone proves to you with numbers that work and play are equally productive, you should not believe it.

If a survey tells you that it doesn't matter whether you take care of your health or not, you should stick to your salutary habits and rational good choices. Such surveys make the headlines precisely because they are controversial and contradict basic common sense. The data might be true if applied to particular circumstances, but the conclusions make little sense as general advice.

[5] Surveys that predict awful consequences from seemingly harmless activities should be assessed with caution. For instance, a study showing that people holding a certain type of job die young might reflect the statistical truth.

Nevertheless, if you read its conclusions in full, you will realize that many individuals in that profession live substantially longer than the average. Ask yourself what are the factors that make those men and women reach an advanced age and seek to draw lessons that you can apply to your life.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Alan.V under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

How to avoid the doom and gloom of statistical thinking (Part 3 of 5)


[2] Human beings become most effective when they concentrate on work they love, or at least, on work that matches their best talents. Do not decide on your career solely on the basis of statistics.

A survey might show you, for instance, what are the average salaries in different professions, but remember that, within each field, there are large differences of income due to individual expertise, ambition, and dedication. Take career statistics with a grain of salt and rather use your common sense to identify which professional path is suitable for you.

[3] In the same line of thought, try to acquire the mental fortitude to discard preposterous expectations. Never trust studies that provide evidence that you can make a quick fortune by entering a business field where you don't posses any knowledge or experience.

That kind of statistics, even if based on real data, frequently portrays a window of opportunity that has already closed by the time you hear about it. Be prudent and don't go blindly for things that look too good to be true.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Lullaby71 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

How to avoid the doom and gloom of statistical thinking (Part 3 of 5)


[2] Human beings become most effective when they concentrate on work they love, or at least, on work that matches their best talents. Do not decide on your career solely on the basis of statistics.

A survey might show you, for instance, what are the average salaries in different professions, but remember that, within each field, there are large differences of income due to individual expertise, ambition, and dedication. Take career statistics with a grain of salt and rather use your common sense to identify which professional path is suitable for you.

[3] In the same line of thought, try to acquire the mental fortitude to discard preposterous expectations. Never trust studies that provide evidence that you can make a quick fortune by entering a business field where you don't posses any knowledge or experience.

That kind of statistics, even if based on real data, frequently portrays a window of opportunity that has already closed by the time you hear about it. Be prudent and don't go blindly for things that look too good to be true.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Lullaby71 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

How to avoid the doom and gloom of statistical thinking (Part 2 of 5)


When it comes to determining the direction of your life, never trust other people's calculations without subjecting them to rational examination. No matter what results from a survey, its conclusions can never be as reliable as your own perception of the world. No matter how sophisticated a mathematical model may be, it will never match the accuracy of your direct inspection of the facts.

The following list presents six sensitive areas where you should be particularly attentive to check the logic of any recommendation that is presented to you.

[1] In general, you should not expect someone else to solve your problems. Statistics proving otherwise should be subject to close scrutiny, since they seem to contradict a fundamental aspect of human nature.

We all love to help family and friends, but should we believe any survey that promises uncertain help from indeterminate strangers? Check things twice before you act on such conclusions.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by holga_new_orleans under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

How to avoid the doom and gloom of statistical thinking (Part 2 of 5)


When it comes to determining the direction of your life, never trust other people's calculations without subjecting them to rational examination. No matter what results from a survey, its conclusions can never be as reliable as your own perception of the world. No matter how sophisticated a mathematical model may be, it will never match the accuracy of your direct inspection of the facts.

The following list presents six sensitive areas where you should be particularly attentive to check the logic of any recommendation that is presented to you.

[1] In general, you should not expect someone else to solve your problems. Statistics proving otherwise should be subject to close scrutiny, since they seem to contradict a fundamental aspect of human nature.

We all love to help family and friends, but should we believe any survey that promises uncertain help from indeterminate strangers? Check things twice before you act on such conclusions.

To be continued in the next post.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by holga_new_orleans under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Monday, 7 March 2011

How to avoid the doom and gloom of statistical thinking (Part 1 of 5)


If you are planning to consult statistics before making a major decision, you'd better check your sources twice. Many proclaimed truths are solely based on opinion. Countless times, surveys do little more than elevate preferences to models of conduct that are to be followed out of convenience or for personal gain.

Every morning, we should remind ourselves that serious errors have been committed in the past by placing blind trust in numbers produced by self-interested parties.

There is no future in repeating the faults of History. Our best protection against misguided statistics is not searching for alternative data, but using our common sense to interpret the conclusions presented to us.

We should check if the recommendations match our experience and knowledge of the world. We should assess the consequences of the outcome of such surveys, ask ourselves uncomfortable questions, and take the necessary time to think things through.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by andre.tomasi under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

How to avoid the doom and gloom of statistical thinking (Part 1 of 5)


If you are planning to consult statistics before making a major decision, you'd better check your sources twice. Many proclaimed truths are solely based on opinion. Countless times, surveys do little more than elevate preferences to models of conduct that are to be followed out of convenience or for personal gain.

Every morning, we should remind ourselves that serious errors have been committed in the past by placing blind trust in numbers produced by self-interested parties.

There is no future in repeating the faults of History. Our best protection against misguided statistics is not searching for alternative data, but using our common sense to interpret the conclusions presented to us.

We should check if the recommendations match our experience and knowledge of the world. We should assess the consequences of the outcome of such surveys, ask ourselves uncomfortable questions, and take the necessary time to think things through.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by andre.tomasi under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Sunday, 6 March 2011

The simple way towards a long and happy life (Part 7 of 7)


4. When it comes to health matters, prevention should be your main concern. If we trust the waste-accumulation theory, the right behaviour should be able to keep away fatal illness until a later stage in life, allowing us to live longer and healthier.

5. You should learn to conduct your life in a way that minimizes cell exhaustion, aiming at extending your lifespan towards the ideal 120 years, which seems to be the limit for the human species.

6. What kills most people is a direct consequence of their wrong way of living. By correcting your mental patterns and daily actions, you can lead a much healthier existence and extend your lifespan.

Imagine the advantages if you could enjoy this world five years longer without being afflicted by debilitating illness. The inspiring aspect of the latest hypotheses about sickness and death is that they reinforce the idea that you, as a rational individual, are in control of your future.

We are still far away from understanding all the implications of the new paradigm, but it is clear that the latest scientific theories strongly favour the fundamental tenets of living thoughtfully and independently.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by RichardO under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The simple way towards a long and happy life
(Part 7 of 7)


4. When it comes to health matters, prevention should be your main concern. If we trust the waste-accumulation theory, the right behaviour should be able to keep away fatal illness until a later stage in life, allowing us to live longer and healthier.

5. You should learn to conduct your life in a way that minimizes cell exhaustion, aiming at extending your lifespan towards the ideal 120 years, which seems to be the limit for the human species.

6. What kills most people is a direct consequence of their wrong way of living. By correcting your mental patterns and daily actions, you can lead a much healthier existence and extend your lifespan.

Imagine the advantages if you could enjoy this world five years longer without being afflicted by debilitating illness. The inspiring aspect of the latest hypotheses about sickness and death is that they reinforce the idea that you, as a rational individual, are in control of your future.

We are still far away from understanding all the implications of the new paradigm, but it is clear that the latest scientific theories strongly favour the fundamental tenets of living thoughtfully and independently.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by RichardO under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Saturday, 5 March 2011

The simple way towards a long and happy life (Part 6 of 7)


If the theories of waste-accumulation and cellular exhaustion are true, we need to revise our mental representation of what it means to live, eat, and work. Sickness and death take a different significance when they are seen as part of a natural process which we might be able to influence to a larger extent than it is currently assumed.

The new paradigm would reshape our vision of life into a sequence of events in which we play a much more significant role:

1. You are born into a certain family and social environment, which do not always know what is really good for you.

2. You will be much better off if you live, eat, and work using reason as a standard, irrespective of what other people think of you.

3. You should learn how to live in a way that slows down the accumulation of biochemical waste in your organism, since your own behaviour is the number-one factor that contributes to keeping you healthy.


To be continued in Part 7

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by randystoreyphotography under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

The simple way towards a long and happy life
(Part 6 of 7)


If the theories of waste-accumulation and cellular exhaustion are true, we need to revise our mental representation of what it means to live, eat, and work. Sickness and death take a different significance when they are seen as part of a natural process which we might be able to influence to a larger extent than it is currently assumed.

The new paradigm would reshape our vision of life into a sequence of events in which we play a much more significant role:

1. You are born into a certain family and social environment, which do not always know what is really good for you.

2. You will be much better off if you live, eat, and work using reason as a standard, irrespective of what other people think of you.

3. You should learn how to live in a way that slows down the accumulation of biochemical waste in your organism, since your own behaviour is the number-one factor that contributes to keeping you healthy.


To be continued in Part 7

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by randystoreyphotography under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]