Monday, 21 November 2016

Eighth book by John Vespasian published today: Thriving in difficult times - Twelve lessons from Ancient Greece to improve your life today

Thriving in difficult times - Twelve lessons from Ancient Greece to improve your life today



Chapter 1 - The deadly mirage of continuity
Biological systems are non-linear
An important lesson from Teophrastus
How the riddle of the sphinx was solved
Lost techniques recovered after fifteen centuries
The wisdom of Greek merchants in Alexandria

Chapter 2 - Prejudice is harder than stone
Did Aesculapius speak out the truth?
A place to avoid at all costs
How to avoid repeating Cassandra's mistake
A strong warning from Ajax and Niobe
Why one man was killed, but another one was spared

Chapter 3 - The charms of biological imprecision
Probabilities are good enough as a guidance
Oedipus was unusually unlucky, but chances are you won't
Archimedes' pointless search for precision
How Antisthenes justified the importance of virtue
A good ending for Antigone: the philosophical lesson

Chapter 4 - Disruption is the big destroyer
Why Plato wrote about Atlantis: a point you shouldn't miss
The correct conclusion from Prometheus' story
Why there were few slave revolts in Ancient Greece
Demosthenes saw it coming: a crucial teaching
The phalanx strategy worked fine, but only for a while

Chapter 5 - The high cost of low alertness

The danger of getting used to bad situations
What Socrates was aiming at in his philosophy
Are you expecting Pleidippides to fetch some help?
The mistake that did Polyphemus in
Homer's heroes provide a compelling answer

Chapter 6 - Use your resources wisely
How a bunch of Greeks destroyed the mighty Persian fleet
Why the Spartans cultivated their most precious skill
The Amazons invented resource cannibalisation
Hector was pushing his luck to the limit
There is only one Adonis, but many potential brides

Chapter 7 - The soft way to produce strong results

Why harsh, rigid solutions are dangerous
Aristophanes' educational humour
For Draco, everything was black or white
Neither Lysander nor Alexander saw the end of the path
Penelope's cleverness delivers good results

Chapter 8 - How to forget about your problems
Zeno's simple formula for happiness: do and let go
Warning: stay away from Ares and Eris
Epicurus and the mindset of atarxia
Diogenes tells you to be self-sufficient
The hoplites' equipment was to a large extent defensive

Chapter 9 - Every system needs balance

Anaximander figured out that things come in pairs
Why the Parthenon's columns are not perfectly cylindrical
Posidonius' views on human irrationality
The dangerous imbalance created by Pericles
How Orestes got away with murder: ethical considerations

Chapter 10 - Principles are more reliable than beliefs
The correct diagnosis calls for the correct treatment
The universe is predictable, says Plato in Timaeus
Euripides' warning: stay away from violence
The persistent value of Greek coins: a justification
How much Cleobis and Biton got paid for their efforts
Achilles repents of his heroism: a major lesson

Chapter 11 - The dangers of unbridled optimism
Don't let Circe's tricks turn you into a pig
Are you planning to take refuge in a sanctuary?
Beware of prying into Aeolus' leather-bag
Only Amalthea was blessed with the cornucopia
Dedalus, the archetype of the practical man

Chapter 12 - The solution is called pronoia, not paranoia
The power of Hippocrates' soup and Dioscorides' herbs
Thucydides warns you against wild emotionality
Aristotle provided the tools, but will you use them?
Why Strato had no qualms about contradicting Aristotle
Philoctetes and the crucial ingredient


Recommended reading

Thriving in difficult times - Twelve lessons from Ancient Greece to improve your life today