Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The effective way to financial security (Part 5 of 10)



Safety made its entrance in man's life together with agriculture. Land cultivation and animal domestication brought us a steady supply of wheat, rice, corn, and cheese. On the other hand, they also brought us smallpox, influenza, malaria, measles, lice, and vermin.



As soon as human beings built permanent dwellings, rats became their companions. Insects multiplied fed by our blood. Bacteria found a fertile ground to grow; viruses procreated and mutated. Sickness turned to epidemic, illness to pandemic, and disease to morbidity.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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


The effective way to financial security (Part 5 of 10)


Safety made its entrance in man's life together with agriculture. Land cultivation and animal domestication brought us a steady supply of wheat, rice, corn, and cheese. On the other hand, they also brought us smallpox, influenza, malaria, measles, lice, and vermin.

As soon as human beings built permanent dwellings, rats became their companions. Insects multiplied fed by our blood. Bacteria found a fertile ground to grow; viruses procreated and mutated. Sickness turned to epidemic, illness to pandemic, and disease to morbidity.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The effective way to financial security (Part 4 of 10)



Prehistoric hunter-gatherers moved around frequently, carrying their household items with them.



A varied diet and daily exercise kept them healthy. Tribes rarely stayed long in one place; their changing habitations made them difficult targets for parasites.



In those days, man lived on the alert. The world was unsafe; the environment, disorderly; man's attitude, entrepreneurial.



Each season brought him new challenges, each territory fresh scents and herbs. To danger, he reacted with prudence; to opportunities, with self-reliance.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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

The effective way to financial security (Part 4 of 10)


Prehistoric hunter-gatherers moved around frequently, carrying their household items with them.

A varied diet and daily exercise kept them healthy. Tribes rarely stayed long in one place; their changing habitations made them difficult targets for parasites.

In those days, man lived on the alert. The world was unsafe; the environment, disorderly; man's attitude, entrepreneurial.

Each season brought him new challenges, each territory fresh scents and herbs. To danger, he reacted with prudence; to opportunities, with self-reliance.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Monday, 29 August 2011

The effective way to financial security (Part 3 of 10)



Safety is presented as the perfect answer to all questions. It is the one solution that fits all types, the one preference that always satisfies.



Temporary approaches are considered unwise. Anything transient is to be revised; anything incomplete, despised. Long live the mirage of permanence and safety.



How wrong and how historically false. The truth is that human beings have been leading predictable lives for less than 10.000 years.



During the ten-times larger period that preceded agriculture, men and women had few routines and were, in certain aspects, much better off.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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

The effective way to financial security (Part 3 of 10)


Safety is presented as the perfect answer to all questions. It is the one solution that fits all types, the one preference that always satisfies.

Temporary approaches are considered unwise. Anything transient is to be revised; anything incomplete, despised. Long live the mirage of permanence and safety.

How wrong and how historically false. The truth is that human beings have been leading predictable lives for less than 10.000 years.

During the ten-times larger period that preceded agriculture, men and women had few routines and were, in certain aspects, much better off.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Sunday, 28 August 2011

The effective way to financial security (Part 2 of 10)



The groundless preference for tall, wide, and long applies equally to space and time.



In cities, residents like tall buildings better than small houses. In the countryside, hotels are built next to wide lakes, not little streams. In literature, readers prefer long novels to short stories.



Our belief in permanence and safety is the culmination of our cultural bias towards everything tall, wide, and long.



Children stories such as Three Little Pigs teach infants the desirability of solid homes. Career advisers encourage youths to choose well-established professions. Dietitians recommend patients to keep a constant weight.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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


Saturday, 27 August 2011

The effective way to financial security (Part 1 of 10)



Prosperity and happiness would be easy to achieve if we could make correct decisions all day long. Imagine how efficient we would become if we never succumbed to lies.



How far could we go if we never got distracted by irrelevancies? How much would we profit if we never wasted time chasing what cannot be accomplished?



An exalted view of permanence and safety can be a constant source of erroneous choices.



Human beings seem to suffer from a persistent cognitive distortion that makes them favour all things that are tall, wide, and long. If you think about it, you will find few exceptions to this misconception.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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

The effective way to financial security (Part 1 of 10)


Prosperity and happiness would be easy to achieve if we could make correct decisions all day long. Imagine how efficient we would become if we never succumbed to lies.

How far could we go if we never got distracted by irrelevancies? How much would we profit if we never wasted time chasing what cannot be accomplished?

An exalted view of permanence and safety can be a constant source of erroneous choices.

Human beings seem to suffer from a persistent cognitive distortion that makes them favour all things that are tall, wide, and long. If you think about it, you will find few exceptions to this misconception.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Friday, 26 August 2011

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 9 of 9)



A teleological morality based on reason provides a frame of thought that encompasses all of man's decisions and actions.



This system of ethics aims not only at keeping you out of trouble, but also at helping you make the best of your life. The list of teleological virtues includes not only honesty and justice, but also independence, ambition, and persistence.



If you want to make optimal choices, you should adopt a teleological system of ethics based on reason.



Other approaches to morality are workable in certain conditions, but fail to pass the tests of universality, permanence, consistency, and comprehensiveness.



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



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

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 9 of 9)


A teleological morality based on reason provides a frame of thought that encompasses all of man's decisions and actions.

This system of ethics aims not only at keeping you out of trouble, but also at helping you make the best of your life. The list of teleological virtues includes not only honesty and justice, but also independence, ambition, and persistence.

If you want to make optimal choices, you should adopt a teleological system of ethics based on reason.

Other approaches to morality are workable in certain conditions, but fail to pass the tests of universality, permanence, consistency, and comprehensiveness.

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

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

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 8 of 9)



[3] Teleological systems of ethics are the best that philosophy has produced.



On the one hand, they go beyond the isolated commandments of partial morality; on the other hand, they aim at providing a comprehensive and consistent methodology, just like logical ethics.



In addition, teleological systems render morality alive by linking it to an overriding goal, namely, happiness.



The word "teleological" comes from the Greek term "telos" which means purpose or goal. Advanced systems of ethics go far beyond "do not steal" and "do not murder."



They view the human condition as a complex combination of factors that need to be judged according to general values and prioritized according to individual objectives.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 8 of 9)


[3] Teleological systems of ethics are the best that philosophy has produced.

On the one hand, they go beyond the isolated commandments of partial morality; on the other hand, they aim at providing a comprehensive and consistent methodology, just like logical ethics.

In addition, teleological systems render morality alive by linking it to an overriding goal, namely, happiness.

The word "teleological" comes from the Greek term "telos" which means purpose or goal. Advanced systems of ethics go far beyond "do not steal" and "do not murder."

They view the human condition as a complex combination of factors that need to be judged according to general values and prioritized according to individual objectives.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 7 of 9)



Nonetheless, these morality systems suffer from an inherent weakness. They are superior to partial ethics because they are non-contradictory, but internal consistency does not guarantee usefulness.



Kantian morality is an intellectual clockwork foreign to the richness of human experience; it is a cold machinery that functions without feeling, ambition, passion, or hesitation.



Categorical imperatives forbid man to attack his neighbour but they won't tell him what he needs to do to be happy.



Logical systems of ethics deal with the psychological aspects of human action only to a minor extent. Kantian morality won't provide you guidelines on how to define personal goals, allocate resources, and deal effectively with adversity.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 7 of 9)


Nonetheless, these morality systems suffer from an inherent weakness. They are superior to partial ethics because they are non-contradictory, but internal consistency does not guarantee usefulness.

Kantian morality is an intellectual clockwork foreign to the richness of human experience; it is a cold machinery that functions without feeling, ambition, passion, or hesitation.

Categorical imperatives forbid man to attack his neighbour but they won't tell him what he needs to do to be happy.

Logical systems of ethics deal with the psychological aspects of human action only to a minor extent. Kantian morality won't provide you guidelines on how to define personal goals, allocate resources, and deal effectively with adversity.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 6 of 9)



The "categorical imperative" originated by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is the best known system of logical ethics.



According to Kant, true principles of morality must be universal, non-contradictory, and recognizable by reason. Decisions and actions are considered virtuous if they can be elevated to universal rules for all men.



"Do not steal" and "do not murder" are just two specific applications of the categorical imperative.



Kantian ethics do not address simply a few situations, but all alternatives of human action. Logical ethical systems do not just provide recommendations for isolated cases, but a complete thinking methodology.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 6 of 9)


The "categorical imperative" originated by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is the best known system of logical ethics.

According to Kant, true principles of morality must be universal, non-contradictory, and recognizable by reason. Decisions and actions are considered virtuous if they can be elevated to universal rules for all men.

"Do not steal" and "do not murder" are just two specific applications of the categorical imperative.

Kantian ethics do not address simply a few situations, but all alternatives of human action. Logical ethical systems do not just provide recommendations for isolated cases, but a complete thinking methodology.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Monday, 22 August 2011

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 5 of 9)



[2] Logical systems of ethics represent a major step forward in human thought. Their purpose is to create a morality that answers all questions, a method that can be applied to all events without incurring contradictions.



In History, partial ethics often evolve to logical moral systems after it becomes obvious that man cannot make rational decisions on the basis of isolated precepts.



In contrast to partial ethics, logical moral systems are consistent. Their principles and guidelines are linked to each other. Their conclusions aim at universality in space and permanence in time.



A well-rounded moral system should be able to guide individuals in any situation that they may encounter in their private or professional lives.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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


The link between ethics and happiness (Part 5 of 9)


[2] Logical systems of ethics represent a major step forward in human thought. Their purpose is to create a morality that answers all questions, a method that can be applied to all events without incurring contradictions.

In History, partial ethics often evolve to logical moral systems after it becomes obvious that man cannot make rational decisions on the basis of isolated precepts.

In contrast to partial ethics, logical moral systems are consistent. Their principles and guidelines are linked to each other. Their conclusions aim at universality in space and permanence in time.

A well-rounded moral system should be able to guide individuals in any situation that they may encounter in their private or professional lives.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 4 of 9)



If your only ethical principle is to help other people, how do you determine which individuals you should assist with priority?



If person A is expected to help person B, is person B required to help person A? What happens if B has a different opinion? Who will settle disagreements on the meaning and scope of the word "help"?



Partial ethics are unsatisfactory because they do not work in all circumstances. Principles such as those mentioned above are correct if applied in a certain context, but cannot be stretched to a full-blown system of morality.



Life is too complex to navigate if you know only one thing. Man requires a thinking methodology, not just a list of unconnected precepts.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 4 of 9)


If your only ethical principle is to help other people, how do you determine which individuals you should assist with priority?

If person A is expected to help person B, is person B required to help person A? What happens if B has a different opinion? Who will settle disagreements on the meaning and scope of the word "help"?

Partial ethics are unsatisfactory because they do not work in all circumstances. Principles such as those mentioned above are correct if applied in a certain context, but cannot be stretched to a full-blown system of morality.

Life is too complex to navigate if you know only one thing. Man requires a thinking methodology, not just a list of unconnected precepts.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 3 of 9)



As examples of two well-meaning commandments, take for instance "protect the planet" and "help other people."



Individuals who advocate such ethics usually possess good intentions, but their formulations are so fragmentary that cannot be implemented consistently.



If you want to protect the planet, you have first to define "planet."



Does it involve only mountains or also animals and trees? If the concept encompasses animals, should it not include human beings as well? If plants and micro-organisms are both part of the planet, should you protect them from each other?



Interesting questions, for which partial ethics cannot provide unassailable answers.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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


Friday, 19 August 2011

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 2 of 9)



[1] Partial ethics consist of one or several precepts that are not comprehensive enough to constitute a system of thought. The vast majority of ethical convictions held by people can be classified as partial ethics.



Let me underline that moral principles enunciated in this manner are not necessarily false. Sometimes, flawless albeit incomplete guidelines are predicated; on other occasions, utter nonsense is put forward as ethical precept.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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


The link between ethics and happiness (Part 2 of 9)


[1] Partial ethics consist of one or several precepts that are not comprehensive enough to constitute a system of thought. The vast majority of ethical convictions held by people can be classified as partial ethics.

Let me underline that moral principles enunciated in this manner are not necessarily false. Sometimes, flawless albeit incomplete guidelines are predicated; on other occasions, utter nonsense is put forward as ethical precept.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 1 of 9)



From all branches of philosophy, ethics is the most practical. Values connect abstractions to decisions and morality provides guidelines to surmount difficult situations. Ethical systems are worthless if they are not aligned with reality and validated by facts.



History has produced hundreds of different ethical teachings that work well in specific circumstances but fail catastrophically in other contexts.



Fortunately, we can see if those philosophies pass the tests of veracity and practicality without having to examine them one by one.



For the purpose of analysis, ethical systems can be grouped in three main types: the partial, the logical, and the teleological.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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

The link between ethics and happiness (Part 1 of 9)


From all branches of philosophy, ethics is the most practical. Values connect abstractions to decisions and morality provides guidelines to surmount difficult situations. Ethical systems are worthless if they are not aligned with reality and validated by facts.

History has produced hundreds of different ethical teachings that work well in specific circumstances but fail catastrophically in other contexts.

Fortunately, we can see if those philosophies pass the tests of veracity and practicality without having to examine them one by one.

For the purpose of analysis, ethical systems can be grouped in three main types: the partial, the logical, and the teleological.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A permanent source of inspiration (Part 8 of 8)



In fiction, we seek inspiration; in ethical ideals, validation. Blyton's stories awake moral reasoning in children, who understand the meaning without realizing the abstraction.



As children turn into adults, independent thinking and entrepreneurship are qualities to be cultivated further.



Blyton's tales have happy ends, where virtue triumphs over nastiness and deceit. Her characters, in particular the Famous Five, have helped millions of boys and girls around the world internalize ethical values.



Children stories, however, are insufficient to provide guidance to run our lives effectively. That task belongs to philosophy, from which the best is still to come.



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



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


A permanent source of inspiration (Part 8 of 8)


In fiction, we seek inspiration; in ethical ideals, validation. Blyton's stories awake moral reasoning in children, who understand the meaning without realizing the abstraction.

As children turn into adults, independent thinking and entrepreneurship are qualities to be cultivated further.

Blyton's tales have happy ends, where virtue triumphs over nastiness and deceit. Her characters, in particular the Famous Five, have helped millions of boys and girls around the world internalize ethical values.

Children stories, however, are insufficient to provide guidance to run our lives effectively. That task belongs to philosophy, from which the best is still to come.

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

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

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A permanent source of inspiration (Part 7 of 8)



The conclusion is unmistakable: readers, especially children, love stories whose main characters show purpose and resourcefulness, independence and entrepreneurship.



Let me also underline that Enid Blyton's books are remarkably non-violent. Physical aggression rarely plays a role in her stories, which focus more on the development of courage and self-reliance.



Will you follow the same principles the next time that you have to make an important decision?



Let yourself be inspired by Blyton's stories and learn from her characters how to face life courageously. This is what draws children to her books, teenagers to video games, and adults to philosophy.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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

A permanent source of inspiration (Part 7 of 8)


The conclusion is unmistakable: readers, especially children, love stories whose main characters show purpose and resourcefulness, independence and entrepreneurship.

Let me also underline that Enid Blyton's books are remarkably non-violent. Physical aggression rarely plays a role in her stories, which focus more on the development of courage and self-reliance.

Will you follow the same principles the next time that you have to make an important decision?

Let yourself be inspired by Blyton's stories and learn from her characters how to face life courageously. This is what draws children to her books, teenagers to video games, and adults to philosophy.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Monday, 15 August 2011

A permanent source of inspiration (Part 6 of 8)



Meaningless routines do not make a world that children want to inhabit, nor any discerning adult for that matter.



Enid Blyton's message to every young reader is that he should not base his decisions on questionable traditions; that he should think for himself and check things twice; that he should do what is right, which is not necessarily what people expect him to do.



Is it then a surprise that her books continue to delight millions of boys and girls around the world?



As soon as a kid reads a volume of the Famous Five, he is hooked and won't stop until he gets hold of the complete series. Blyton's work originates the same fascination in young girls, who constitute 50% of the protagonists of her novels.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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


A permanent source of inspiration (Part 6 of 8)


Meaningless routines do not make a world that children want to inhabit, nor any discerning adult for that matter.

Enid Blyton's message to every young reader is that he should not base his decisions on questionable traditions; that he should think for himself and check things twice; that he should do what is right, which is not necessarily what people expect him to do.

Is it then a surprise that her books continue to delight millions of boys and girls around the world?

As soon as a kid reads a volume of the Famous Five, he is hooked and won't stop until he gets hold of the complete series. Blyton's work originates the same fascination in young girls, who constitute 50% of the protagonists of her novels.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Sunday, 14 August 2011

A permanent source of inspiration (Part 5 of 8)



Young readers around the world may feel little admiration for the traditional English society that she depicts, but this aspect is immaterial to the success of her books.



Blyton's skill consists of placing wonderful protagonists in constrained settings. She is a master at portraying boys' and girls' entrepreneurship against colourless backgrounds.



In her stories, Blyton uses culture, not as a summation of uncontested expectations, but as the ultimate literary ploy. Tradition is the giant to be fooled, the ancient clock that ticks aimlessly forward, the spider web that fills an uninhabited cave.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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

A permanent source of inspiration (Part 5 of 8)


Young readers around the world may feel little admiration for the traditional English society that she depicts, but this aspect is immaterial to the success of her books.

Blyton's skill consists of placing wonderful protagonists in constrained settings. She is a master at portraying boys' and girls' entrepreneurship against colourless backgrounds.

In her stories, Blyton uses culture, not as a summation of uncontested expectations, but as the ultimate literary ploy. Tradition is the giant to be fooled, the ancient clock that ticks aimlessly forward, the spider web that fills an uninhabited cave.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Saturday, 13 August 2011

A permanent source of inspiration (Part 4 of 8)



While tradition and routine filled a good part of Enid Blyton's life, her children books embody the virtues of independence and entrepreneurship to an extent that few writers have equalled. In her stories, kids explore the world on their own and girls face danger with incredible courage.



Blyton's under-age heroes make plans to achieve their goals, learn to deal effectively with adverse circumstances, overcome difficulties, and finally triumph. Even if some of her plots are slow, most of her main characters show relentless determination.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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

A permanent source of inspiration (Part 4 of 8)


While tradition and routine filled a good part of Enid Blyton's life, her children books embody the virtues of independence and entrepreneurship to an extent that few writers have equalled. In her stories, kids explore the world on their own and girls face danger with incredible courage.

Blyton's under-age heroes make plans to achieve their goals, learn to deal effectively with adverse circumstances, overcome difficulties, and finally triumph. Even if some of her plots are slow, most of her main characters show relentless determination.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Friday, 12 August 2011

A permanent source of inspiration (Part 3 of 8)



The only unusual event, considering the times, is that she divorced her first husband whom she had married when she was 27 years old. At 46, she entered a second marriage that turned out to be very happy.



She continued her massive literary output during the next decades, played tennis and golf regularly, and died at 71, shortly after her second husband.



What is remarkable of Enid Blyton's life is, of course, her adamant determination to produce volume after volume at a very high speed. All her books were written at a time when word processors did not yet exist.



The average novel for adults has about 90.000 words; in comparison, children novels tend to be short, less than 40.000 words. Nonetheless, Blyton's ability to produce hundreds of finished manuscripts during her lifetime is truly extraordinary.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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


A permanent source of inspiration (Part 3 of 8)


The only unusual event, considering the times, is that she divorced her first husband whom she had married when she was 27 years old. At 46, she entered a second marriage that turned out to be very happy.

She continued her massive literary output during the next decades, played tennis and golf regularly, and died at 71, shortly after her second husband.

What is remarkable of Enid Blyton's life is, of course, her adamant determination to produce volume after volume at a very high speed. All her books were written at a time when word processors did not yet exist.

The average novel for adults has about 90.000 words; in comparison, children novels tend to be short, less than 40.000 words. Nonetheless, Blyton's ability to produce hundreds of finished manuscripts during her lifetime is truly extraordinary.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Thursday, 11 August 2011

A permanent source of inspiration (Part 2 of 8)



Despite the fact that some literary commentators show little appreciation for Blyton's work, her overwhelming popularity leaves little room for debate.



Her readers, children in dozens of countries, adore her books. In our days, sales of her work continue to reach enormous figures, even though her stories play in a world without mobile phones and internet.



Most of Blyton's tales are set in an environment of rigid social classes and traditions, where people have pudding for lunch and tea in the afternoon. Her own life was relatively quiet, far from the ways and fashions of modern media celebrities.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A permanent source of inspiration (Part 1 of 8)



The work of British writer Enid Blyton (1897-1968) is one of the great literary achievements of the 20th century. She wrote mainly for children and produced an average of 2 books per month during four decades.



Her writings have been translated all around the world. Irrespective of your cultural background, chances are that you have read one of her Famous Five stories, which recount the adventures of 4 children and a dog.



To be continued in the next post.



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



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


A permanent source of inspiration (Part 1 of 8)


The work of British writer Enid Blyton (1897-1968) is one of the great literary achievements of the 20th century. She wrote mainly for children and produced an average of 2 books per month during four decades.

Her writings have been translated all around the world. Irrespective of your cultural background, chances are that you have read one of her Famous Five stories, which recount the adventures of 4 children and a dog.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The importance of discarding unworkable projects (Part 8 of 8)



The world is going to change during your lifetime, but you should not entrust your future to random events. When you make plans, adopt a prudent perspective. Quantify the time, define the space, and assess the resources.



Leave vanity to the foolish and focus on what you intend to accomplish. A workable plan is worth a million discussions.



If you wish to waste your life, devote yourself to debating what people will be eating two centuries from now and what type of cars they will be driving. On the other hand, if you want to attain a specific goal, walk fast but keep your steps small.



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



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

Monday, 8 August 2011

The importance of discarding unworkable projects (Part 7 of 8)


[2] Define the space: Objectives that are not circumscribed to a specific territory tend to be less attainable. Saying that you want to end hunger in the world denotes a good heart, but lacks a detailed plan.

If you want to do development work to help poor people, are you going to focus on Latin America or Africa? On which part of Africa? English- or French-speaking? What specific project do you want to implement?

[3] Assess the resources: For instance, if your goal is to make a living trading the financial markets, you should make a list of the necessary steps and how much each one is going to cost you.

How long a training will you need? What is the price of the courses? Are you willing to work as an apprentice in order to learn the business? How much capital do you need to make a living trading stocks or commodities?

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

The importance of discarding unworkable projects (Part 7 of 8)


[2] Define the space: Objectives that are not circumscribed to a specific territory tend to be less attainable. Saying that you want to end hunger in the world denotes a good heart, but lacks a detailed plan.

If you want to do development work to help poor people, are you going to focus on Latin America or Africa? On which part of Africa? English- or French-speaking? What specific project do you want to implement?

[3] Assess the resources: For instance, if your goal is to make a living trading the financial markets, you should make a list of the necessary steps and how much each one is going to cost you.

How long a training will you need? What is the price of the courses? Are you willing to work as an apprentice in order to learn the business? How much capital do you need to make a living trading stocks or commodities?

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Sunday, 7 August 2011

The importance of discarding unworkable projects (Part 6 of 8)


What are the consequences of this principle? How can we prevent our goals from becoming destructive?

How can we avoid devoting efforts to seemingly important causes that later turn out to be worthless? Here are some practical ideas that you can use:

[1] Quantify the time: Goals that lack a temporal frame have less chances of success. Saying that you want to become a writer is meaningless if you do not come up with a plan.

How many years are you going to devote to writing? How many books do you intend to produce? On which subjects? How long will you need to complete your first manuscript?

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

The importance of discarding unworkable projects (Part 6 of 8)


What are the consequences of this principle? How can we prevent our goals from becoming destructive?

How can we avoid devoting efforts to seemingly important causes that later turn out to be worthless? Here are some practical ideas that you can use:

[1] Quantify the time: Goals that lack a temporal frame have less chances of success. Saying that you want to become a writer is meaningless if you do not come up with a plan.

How many years are you going to devote to writing? How many books do you intend to produce? On which subjects? How long will you need to complete your first manuscript?

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Saturday, 6 August 2011

The importance of discarding unworkable projects (Part 5 of 8)


The advent of the internet and low-cost mobile communications show the scope of change that we can expect to see within a generation.

Repetitive tasks can now be carried out in a faster and cheaper manner. Some business sectors have been favourably affected; others have become obsolete. In addition, the web has extraordinarily facilitated the spread of knowledge.

A wise man establishes his goals according to reason.

High ambitions are commendable, but grandiosity should be avoided. Persistence is necessary, but it should not turn into obsession. Attempts at improving the world will remain fruitless if they are not accompanied by a sound dose of realism.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

The importance of discarding unworkable projects (Part 5 of 8)


The advent of the internet and low-cost mobile communications show the scope of change that we can expect to see within a generation.

Repetitive tasks can now be carried out in a faster and cheaper manner. Some business sectors have been favourably affected; others have become obsolete. In addition, the web has extraordinarily facilitated the spread of knowledge.

A wise man establishes his goals according to reason.

High ambitions are commendable, but grandiosity should be avoided. Persistence is necessary, but it should not turn into obsession. Attempts at improving the world will remain fruitless if they are not accompanied by a sound dose of realism.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

Friday, 5 August 2011

The importance of discarding unworkable projects (Part 4 of 8)


These tragedies happen so often that we have grown desensitized to them. This phenomenon is so apparent that we have lost the capacity to see it.

Lack of perspective wrecks innumerable human lives. The seriousness of the problem is deeper than we are willing to admit; its size, bigger than statistics can register.

Leading a prosperous and happy life requires that we discard ideas that don't work. Trying to accomplish the unworkable serves to fuel vanity, not well-being.

Nobody will be helped if you attempt to accelerate change beyond what the environment can take. In contrast, many people will complain if you try to impose what nobody else wants.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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

The importance of discarding unworkable projects (Part 4 of 8)


These tragedies happen so often that we have grown desensitized to them. This phenomenon is so apparent that we have lost the capacity to see it.

Lack of perspective wrecks innumerable human lives. The seriousness of the problem is deeper than we are willing to admit; its size, bigger than statistics can register.

Leading a prosperous and happy life requires that we discard ideas that don't work. Trying to accomplish the unworkable serves to fuel vanity, not well-being.

Nobody will be helped if you attempt to accelerate change beyond what the environment can take. In contrast, many people will complain if you try to impose what nobody else wants.

To be continued in the next post.

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

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