When I was reading Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans some four years ago, I started making summaries of the extensive biographies to keep track of the important persons and their relationships. Here’s one that I found lonely and forgotten in the less used corner of my hard drive.
What’s the best way to understand and know a book? Apart from writing it yourself, the second best option is translating it to another language. If you do it mindfully, you will learn a lot along the way.
Many people don’t know what they want from life. And for those who do know, the journey isn’t always simple. If you have ever tried to plan your life, cross out items on To Do lists, force yourself to do “useful” but boring stuff and make decisions against your feelings, you are going to agree that this course of life is neither effective nor pleasant. But I came across a book that takes a radically different approach.
One of the most interesting books I have recently read is a sort-of autobiography by Emanuel Derman – particle physicist, Wall Street financial engineer and university professor. It is mostly concerned with quantitative finance, a field that developed in the eighties and today holds an important position in the financial world.
What is it like to be an absolute ruler? What do you have to do to retain power? The concept of dominance, government, and power is as old as the Nature itself. There have been many thinkers trying to grasp these ideas, to analyze them, and to define their rules. My favorite one is Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian writer who at his time came to be regarded as an agent of the Devil and whose book called The Prince shocked the whole Europe.