The Death Spiral of Paranoia

Hey folks, I found this random article on ABC News recently on a mom’s obsession with QAnon and how it gradually consumed her life. This article was really interesting to me because it shows how the slow progression of an idea can become all-consuming to the point that it consumes a person, cutting them offContinue reading “The Death Spiral of Paranoia”

Cicero and Catiline: A Big Political Mess

In light of the terrible events this past week, I felt like looking to the past for similar events in history, and the Catiline Conspiracy came to mind. This was an attempt by Lucius Sergius Catilina, who lost the consular election that year, to (quite literally) overthrow the Republican government. One fo the two consulsContinue reading “Cicero and Catiline: A Big Political Mess”

Poverty and Crime

From the 14th century Japanese text, “Essays in Idleness” (tsurezuregusa 徒然草) composed by Buddhist monk Kenkō: I believe therefore that it would be better, instead of imprisoning thieves and concerning ourselves only with punishing crimes, to run the country in such a way that no man would ever be hungry or cold. When a manContinue reading “Poverty and Crime”

Election De Ja Vu

So, how about that election huh? 😅 Anyhow, on the lighter side of things, I found this post on Twitter: This is a spoof account of the famous 16th century Japanese warlord, Ishida Mitsunari, who commanded the “western army” (seigun 西軍) lost a decisive battle at Sekigahara to the “eastern army” (tōgun 東軍) of TokugawaContinue reading “Election De Ja Vu”

War? No Thank You: Wise Words from the Buddha

With all the talk lately about the US and Iran, I thought about this quote from a Buddhist text called the Dhammapada. The Buddha, said in the Dhammapada, verses 129-132: All tremble at violence; all fear death. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill. All trembleContinue reading “War? No Thank You: Wise Words from the Buddha”

The Hellenistic World: Ancient Greece on a Wider Scale

When most people think of Ancient Greece, they think of ancient Athens with its democracy and philosophers, or Sparta with its militaristic culture.1 But Greece was a much larger and more complex culture, and no where is this more evident than in the Hellenistic Period. The Hellenistic Period, covers a broad period from the deathContinue reading “The Hellenistic World: Ancient Greece on a Wider Scale”

Gauls in the Roman Senate: A Cautionary Tale

Recently, I was reminded of an anecdotal tale from the early Roman Empire about the introduction of Gauls to the Roman Senate.  The anecdote is also frequently alluded to in Professor Mary Beard’s excellent overview of Roman History titled SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome. In 48 CE, Emperor Claudius was trying to convince theContinue reading “Gauls in the Roman Senate: A Cautionary Tale”