Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cicero's "In Defense of the Republic": Against Verres (Part 2 of many)

"For if there were no courts, then every individual would steal only what he felt was enough for himself and his children; now, because of the state of our courts, each one steals what will be enough for himself, his patrons, his supporters, the praetor and the jurors..."

- Cicero, Against Verres I

Against Verres I isn't so much against Verres as it appears to be against the rampant corruption of the Roman courts.

Some "History of Ancient Rome" music for interested audiences...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cicero's "In Defense of the Republic": Introduction (Part 1 of many)

Book two of my summer reading is "In Defense of the Republic," a collection of the great arguments of Cicero.

Part 1: the introduction.  I.e.: The Romans were some freaky, freaky dudes.  No, seriously... freaky dudes...

Bust of Sulla (Wikipedia.)  It was under Sulla's dictatorship that Cicero first gained prominence as an orator.   Cicero lived during a particularly turbulent time in Rome.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Villainous Fantasies, Part 4: Villains I Want the Good Guy to Fight

Like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, my villains trilogy now has four parts.  And some notes on the Don Giovanni problem...

Sarcastic mathematician v. Tyrannosaurus rex: it doesn't take Freud to figure out why I think this is cool .

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Death of the Autonomous Man?: A Review of BF Skinner's "Beyond Freedom and Dignity" (Part 2 of 2)

Wrapping up the chapter summaries and some thoughts on Skinner's world view...

Leonardo da Vinci's helicopter.  Although in many ways a brilliant design, da Vinci's helicopter would not work because it lacks a second, antitorque rotor.  The antitorque rotor applies an opposing force to the torque created by the rotor which provides lift.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Death of the Autonomous Man?: A Review of BF Skinner's "Beyond Freedom and Dignity" (Part 1 of 2)

Apparently my metaphysics are somewhat different from BF Skinner's.  However, he does make fascism sound appealing...

René Magritte's "The Son of Man"