In this podcast we discuss Vladimir Alexandrov's book "The Black Russian," and what lessons we may conclude from it. Frederick Bruce Thomas was a black American businessman who made a fortune in czarist Russia in the early 1900s. His life is a fascinating one, and one that has much to teach us today.
Mais episódios de "Quintus Curtius"
The Gradual Slide Into Moral Corruption
12:02In this podcast we discuss Alexandre Moratto's 2021 film "Seven Prisoners." The movie describes the experience of a young man named Matheus, who is basically sold into a modern form of industrial serfdom in Sao Paolo. He tries to rebel at first, but quickly learns the futility of resistance. And being ambitious, he gradually begins a series of accommodations with his oppressors that strip him of his honor. What is the price of one's soul? What is the price of one's humanity? The loss of one's moral base happens slowly, gradually, and almost imperceptibly. A brilliant, morally profound film, and one that we should all reflect on.
Increased Opportunities, Increased Temptations
13:21When it comes to learning, were things better back in the 1980s and 1990s, or are they better now? How has the internet contributed to the "instant gratification" mentality? What are the parameters of the tension between the availability of resources, and the ease of gratifying our baser desires? We discuss.
Never Mind What Others Think...What Do YOU Think?
11:22Far too often, we base our opinions on what we absorb from others. But if you have done the homework, if you have done the heavy lifting, and if you know the material, you should have the confidence to form your own thoughts. People read your writings because they want to know what YOU think, not what some other nibbler thinks. A critical step in intellectual independence is having the courage to state your own opinion on some learned topic, once you have earned the rights to do so.
"Tusculan Disputations": What It Is About, And Why It Is Important
27:02In this podcast I discuss my new translation of Cicero's "Tusculan Disputations." The work deals with five critical problems that face all of us: the fear of death, how to endure pain, how to alleviate mental distress, the various disorders of the mind, and why virtue is important for living a happy life. What questions could be more essential and fundamental than these?
"I'm Thinking Of Publishing A Memoir"
14:50A veteran of Afghanistan has a memoir he is trying to put together. He's asking for some tips on how to publish it. We offer some suggestions and comments.
Coping With The Loss Of A Child
21:03In this podcast, we discuss a serious subject. A reader explains that his family has just lost a young child, and he is searching for advice on how to deal with this calamity. I offer some suggestions drawn from Plutarch's letter of consolation to his wife on the death of this two-year-old daughter, as well as anecdotes from other sources (e.g., the life of P.T. Barnum) and my own personal experiences. Fiat voluntas tua.
Illusions Of Fitness, Delusions Of Preparedness
19:59In this podcast we talk about the need for true, well-rounded fitness. Some think that getting bulked up in the gym makes them "fit" and ready to take on the world. While this may produce the appearance of fitness, it remains an illusion. Endurance-related activities promote mental toughness, the ability to withstand pain and deprivation, and a sharpening of the aggressive spirit. These are essential traits that will be needed for the struggles that lie ahead of you in life.
"The Black Russian": Lessons Learned From A Fascinating Life
29:36In this podcast we discuss Vladimir Alexandrov's book "The Black Russian," and what lessons we may conclude from it. Frederick Bruce Thomas was a black American businessman who made a fortune in czarist Russia in the early 1900s. His life is a fascinating one, and one that has much to teach us today.
Small Twitter Account Gold: Tweet Reading 1
21:12In this podcast, I read some of the recent great tweets I've noticed from small accounts on Twitter. Small Twitter accounts are a refreshing break from the contrived foolery of the mainstream blue-check accounts. They are an underappreciated gold mine of honesty, passion, and tortured grapplings with truth. Let's give some credit where due, and hear what they have to say.
Exploring Small Twitter Accounts
13:43I've been exploring small Twitter accounts lately. And when I say "small," I generally mean accounts that have less than 50 followers. You'd be surprised how much gold can be found hidden away in these accounts: they tend to be raw, honest, and unconcerned with saying the "right" thing. In this podcast, I discuss how I started doing this, what I've learned, and how I go about it.