Thoughts on: The Story of Civilization, Vol 3: Caesar and Christ by Will Durant

Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, this book is not read one either. It’s thousand pages covers almost all aspects of Roman civilization.
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The broad scope is both it’s biggest strength and it’s weakness. While philosophy and statemanship holds my attention, Rome’s pottery and poetic traditions does not. This leads many highs and lows, but also to a holistic understanding of the workings of the empire.
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📝 “A great civilization is not conquered from without before it has destroyed itself from within.” 💥
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📝 During this Saturnalia festival the relationship between slave and master was inverted. Slaves could disobey ordered without punishment. Sometimes they changed clothes with their master. They where served food and wine.
The masters “didn’t eat until all their slaves where filled.”. A great way to keep control the slaves. This temporary relief must have kept the slave/master dynamic from reaching a boiling point.
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📝 “Moreover, I consider that Carthage should be destroyed.” – the line Cato ended all his speeches with in the Senate. #Montaigne more humble adage was “what do I know?” . I wonder what my adage will be? 🤔 😆 I want one!
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📝 Caesar epic nickname: “The Bald Adulterer” 👴🏻
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📝 Caligula. the megalomaniac, took baths in perfume; had habitual incest with his sisters; sprinkled golds to the masses; ordered all
bald men to be sent as food for the gladiatorial animals when animal food was in I’ll supply.

📝 Marcus Aurelius: Slept on the floor while his mother asked him to get on the coach. “He became a stoic before he became a man.”
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📝 Historically the belief in heaven and the belief in utopia are like compensatory buckets in a well: when one goes down the other comes up.
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NEXT UP:
The Story of Civilization: Volume 4: The Age of Faith.
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⚖️ VERDICT:
I love that I’ve read this book but I don’t necessarily want to do it again. 😬
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3/5

For more book reviews and book tips check out my REVIEW LIST

Thoughts on: The Republic by Plato

Did you know that Plato was my rapper alias back in the day? I was 16 and had a gangsta rap group with some friends. Lol 🤙
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In hindsight I find the alias quite suiting as Platon seems to have been the OG of political philosophy.
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This book is a Socratic dialogue where Socrates and his crew discuss theideal state: the perfect republic.
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📝 “One man, one role”. Key ingredients to Plato’s Republic seem to be that people know their place, focus on their strength and mind their own businesses.
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📝 Socrates “controversial” idea:
Women are of the same nature as men and should have the same education and be able to take on the same work.
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📝 The strong should breed with the strong and have the women and children in common.
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📝 Socrates talks about the inherit contradictions of the soul: A man struck by grief holds it back in public but indulge in it when no one sees. Might this contradiction be a reason for coming up with an all-seeing and omnipotent god? If all is seen by god then maybe men would behave the same in public as in solitude?
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📝 The Noble Lie:
The lie Plato propose should be told in order to convince people that society is naturally divided. Peoples souls are of different calibers: gold, silver, or a mix of brass or iron. The lie was designed to convince people that the republic is best divided into the 3 groups: the producers, the military and the rulers.
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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:
I really enjoyed The Allegory of the Cave that portraits the effects of education and reasoning, as compared to our lack of it in our natural state. It’s an impressive picture and well worth a google if your not familiar with it!
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⚖️ VERDICT:
It has been claimed that European philosophy “is only a series of retweets and replies to Plato.” and that’s one of the reasons I’m extremely happy to have read this one. It will be foundational as I continue my journey through the history of thought.
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I enjoyed the ride, managed to absorb parts of it, and came out on the other side a bit more educated.
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4/5
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⁉️Which is the oldest book you have? ⁉️

Thoughts on: Lifespan by David A. Sinclair

This book will blow your mind with the latest research in the field of longevity. It talks about aging as a disease caused by loss of information—and that aging is not at all inevitable.
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Rather, it’s could be much easier to cure aging itself than it’s symptoms I.e. cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

📝 Death and aging are not one and the same. “Aging is a disease.“

📝 Until today the molecules we have found that promotes longevity has been found by serendipity. Imagine what will happen when we intentionally start looking for them? There are so much going on in the field of aging that if only a fraction of the ideas works out, it will still have a profound impact on how we view aging.

📝 When self-driving cars eliminate most of traffic accidents then where will we get our organs from? Today most organs come from crash victims. An uncomfortable question that needs to be solved. 🤯😅

📝 Aging and Inequality:
Just by living longer the rich are getting richer. And by getting richer they are living longer.♻️

📝 By engaging our bodies survival mechanisms in the absence of real adversity we will be able to push our lifespans far beyond what we can today. The question is how we best do that?

💭 THOUGHTS:
Honestly, one reason why I’m so pshyced about the possibility of a longer life might be that I feel like I wasted a decade of my life by derping around—but also because life is so wonderful now that I’ve stopped derping!

💥 ACTIONS TAKEN:
I started intermittent fasting (16:8/18:6) because it’s very likely to promote longevity. A surprising side effect has been that it also frees up time in the morning (no breakfast, no dishes etc.)

⚖️ VERDICT:
The book is a bit too evangelical in it’s positive outlook on things to come. Regardless, I rank this as one of the most important and thought-provoking reads of this year.

4/5


⁉️What is the most thought-provoking book you’ve read this year?⁉️

How to Get More Reading Done – How I Manage to Read 40+ Books Each Year (VIDEO)

Want to get more reading done despite a busy schedule or complicated life situation? Here are 4 hacks that help me hit by reading goals each year:

I’m not a fast reader. To be honest my reading speed was below average last time I checked – but I have a few tips to share on how to get more reading into a busy schedule!
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Here are four key ingredients to improve your reading habits:
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🔹 Always bring a book 🔹
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I always bring books wherever I go. You never now when you get stuck waiting in line, the subway gets delayed or when your friend is arriving late. Opportunities for reading appear more often than you think – if you are prepared for them!
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🔹 Audiobooks are your Friends! 🔹
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The Audiobook is the most powerful tool to increase your “reading” capacity. Gym time, walks and doing shores – all those times when your hands are occupied can be turned into an opportunities for reading and learning.
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🔹 Have multiple books going! 🔹
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I usually have 3 to 5 books going at ones. Why? That way I always have something that suits my mood and the situation I’m in. Just have a few minutes to read? Pick up a collection of amphorisnms. 30 minutes? Read a chapter on neuroscience. 2 hours? A historical biography might do the trick!
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🔹 Consistency 🔹
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Read everyday. Find a time slot you dedicate to reading, whether it’s on your commute, the gym or the first thing you do in the morning. It doesn’t matter when, or how long. Ones you get into the habit you will be astonished by the amount of books you’ll finish in a year or two. It really adds up!
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What’s your best lifehack for getting more reading done? 🤔

Thoughts on: Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley

Being oversubscribed is about having more customers than you could possibly serve. Why would you want to be in that position? Don’t you want to be able to serve every possible client and make every $?
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Not necessarily. Being oversubscribed allow you focus on the clients you already have and spend less time hunting new ones — freeing up valuable time for you to innovate your business.
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Happy clients will rave about you and the limited supply of your product will make it more desirable; People will line up to do business with you!
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This book goes through both the theoretical and practical aspects for setting up oversubscribed business.
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📝 “It’s the tension of high demand and limited supply that creates the opportunity for profit.”
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📝 “Your value is much higher than you think to a small number of people.”
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📝 “Lean into the discomfort of how much there is to be done.” Business is hard. This is good news for you. It keeps the wannabes and posers away.
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📝 “Give away ideas, charge for implementation.” Information is cheap these days.
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📝 Question to consider: How many customers do you need per year and how much do they need to pay?
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📝 Question to consider: What “special edition” can you make of your product?
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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:
“Focus on your new paying customers instead of immediately looking for new ones.” Make your current clients happy, beat their drum, share their success stories, and they will sell your product for you.
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⚖️ VERDICT:
This is now my favorite marketing book and it will be my map and compass going forward in business.
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5/5
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⁉️What’s your side hustle?⁉️

Thoughts on: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

He laid down on the floor of the hospital corridor as security guard approached.
-“Sir, you can’t lie down here.”
-“I’m sorry”, I said, gasping out the words. “Bad…back…spasms…”
-“You still can’t lie down here, sir.”
-“I’m sorry but—IM DYING FROM CANCER!””
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David was just arriving at his destination. Years of study followed by excruciatingly long hours of residency was suppose to pay off in high salaries, a big house and fulfilling work at the cutting edge of neuroscience. Instead he got terminal cancer.
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📝 “If the unexamined life was the not worth living, then is the un-lived life worth examining?”
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📝 His WHY:
“What makes life meaningful enough to go on living.”
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📝 “In residency there is a saying: the days are long but the years are short.” 😂
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📝 “To study philosophy is to learn how to die” – Montaigne 🧐
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📝 “When Breath Becomes Air is in a sense unfinished. Derailed by Pauls rapid decline. But that is an essential component of its truth. Of the reality Paul faced.” He wrote relentlessly in his last months. What fueled this? Had his found a new passion? Or was this a causa sui project: A vessel that could create meaning beyond his own life? A way of coping with the terror of death?
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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:
Let’s say that in order reach a goal of becoming a full-time philosopher we have to resolve our financial situation in a way that money becomes a non-issues. Does this mean that we do best to by spending 100% of our efforts towards our goal of financial freedom? Or are we better off doing 20% philosophizing while we build our wealth? This way it takes longer to reach our finances goals, but at least we get some philosophizing done in the case that death comes early. 🤔 💀
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⚖️ VERDICT:
This was a good memoir that put me in a reflective state of mind. If you are in the medical field it’s connect even more!
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3/5
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⁉️What memoirs are on your to-read-list⁉️
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📸: @joshuasavage (Instagram)

Thoughts on: Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang

Is fear of being judged and rejected holding you back from greatness?
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In this book we get to follow Jia Jiang crazy rejection journey to desensitize himself and build resilience through an experiment he called: 100 Days of Rejection.
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The idea of rejection therapy is simple but powerful: get rid of fear of rejection by putting yourself in situations where you are very likely to be rejected. Do it on a regular basis. The frequent exposure to rejection is meant to desensitize you from the pain and shame rejection often bring.
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📝 “…people who, like me, viewed rejection as something so painful, so personal, and so negative that they would rather not ask for things, rather conform to the norm, and rather not take risks just to avoid the possibility of rejection.

📝 ”The worst part is that the “what if’s” that lingered in their mind were often caused by themselves because they didn’t even ask or didn’t even try.”

📝 The most common regret of the dying: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
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📝 As we grow older we learn that we can’t always get what we want. But sometimes the pendulum swings to far and we get overly careful and timid. “When the time is right” we will ask, but the “right timing” never comes.
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📝 Use rejection as a tool to learn, adopt and improve.
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⭐️ TAKEAWAY
By doing rejection challenges myself I realized that rejection and judgment was a bigger issue for me than I originally thought. I also quickly learned that exposure to rejection quickly builds confidence and lessen the fear. Furthermore I was surprised with how many say “Yes” when you ask. How much have I missed out on because I didn’t dare to ask?!


⚖️ VERDICT:
The book is not a masterpiece. It feels like a collection of blog posts and writing style didn’t speak to me. But the idea of voluntarily seeking out rejection to build resilience and crush fear is powerful. Well, as long as you not just read about it, but take action that is!
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2/5
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⁉️Are you your biggest obstacle sometimes?⁉️

Thoughts on: Raising Lions by Joe Newman

Children of today are confident and powerful, This calls for powerful boundaries.
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The phase of Omnipotence (14 months to around 2 years) is when children haven’t yet discovered that others have willpower too. A stage of conflict. .
Today’s children exits this phase less fully than previous generations. The longer a child stay in this phase after the age of 3 the higher the risk of developing behaviors what could be diagnosed as a disorder. Something we in the west likes to threat with chemicals. 💊
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Joes doesn’t think this have to be the case. Instead should coach kids through the omnipotence phase by setting firm boundaries with clear consequences.
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📝 “This is just the way he/she is.” Maybe not. Look at the childs environment. Is there anything that encourages the child’s behavior? How are the adults acting?
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📝 “The accumulation of so many moments when adults has yielded their wishes and desires to the wishes and desires of the child results in an imbalance towards children developing power over connection.”
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📝 Rather small consequence immediately, than big consequences in the future. A 1-min pause now is a better consequence than canceling a cinema visit next week.
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📝 Children need to learn to deal with the frustrations of not getting what they want.
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📝 If your home is a place of unlimited choices, then don’t be surprised if your kid doesn’t like school!
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📝 “Giving children choices about some things is fine. But there should be many things during a child’s day when they don’t have a choice.”
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📝 It’s common to reason too much with toddlers. For toddlers action mean more than words.

💥 IMPLEMENTATION:
I picked up this book because I looked help me with some issues I had with my 4 year old sons behavior; Not listening, hitting and throwing tantrums for not getting what he wanted.
I used the technique from this book— the action-consequences, pauses, and even holding when my son threw real tantrums. It really worked and we have a much calmer home situation now. Most importantly, my son seems more calm, happy and confident. 😀


⭐️ TAKEAWAY:
The parents job is to make sure inappropriate behavior has no reward. Be the coach not the opponent. Most importantly: “Always do what you say, 100 percent of the time”.
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⚖️ VERDICT:
To the point and filled with great examples. A worthy read for parents and teachers who struggle with behavior problems. But be aware: I’m easily impressed, especially when it’s the first time I read something in a new genre. I guess if this book worked in -8 years or so 18 years or so!😂 .
4/5
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⁉️Do you have children?!⁉️
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📷: @nixiegraham

Thoughts on: Stillness is the Key


Holidays keys to stillness has been inspired by the wisest people and the best of literature, and gives prime examples of people who embodies them—and those who fail to do so.
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There is not anything new here. Rather the opposite is true. The sources he draws from are old, even ancient. But the book doesn’t feel dated. Instead it feels timeless and yet very applicable to our modern life.
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⭐️ FIND STILLNESS ⭐️
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📱Limit Your Inputs:
Napoleon was always weeks behind on his mail. He was surprised how many urgent problems had already been resolved ones got to them.
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📖 Read Deeply and Regularly:
Tolstoy: “I cant believe how some people can live without communicating with the wisest people who ever lived on planet earth.”
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💪🏻 Act Bravely:
“High minded thoughts and inner work is one thing, but all that matters is what you do”. The health of our spiritual ideals depends on what we do with our bodies in moments of truth. I need to work on this one…
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👁 Be present:
“Be present. And if you have had trouble with this in the past, That’s ok. That’s the nice thing about the present, it keeps showing up to give you a second chance.”
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🔁 Rituals
“A master has a system, a master turns the ordinary into the sacred. And so must we.”
What’s rituals are sacred to you? What systems keep you on track?
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🌅 Notice Beauty:
there is beauty in..”a floor filled with a kids toys arranged in the chaos of exhausted enjoyment.” This mindset will come in handy on my parents leave. 😂
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🏕 Solitude with Purpose:
Take some time to be alone with important work, or just to study a subject deeply, or ponder? 💥 Action: Booked my next Reflection Week for Sep.
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📦 Get rid of stuff!
Reducing your needs to zero, and you are truly free; and nothing can be taken away from you. (But don’t go full Diogenes!)
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🤤 Beware of Desire:
Desire is like a hydra; satisfy one, and two more grows in its place.
Epicurus: “Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.”
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⚖️ VERDICT:
To be re-read yearly. It snapped me out of the busyness of everyday life and provided perspective to my priorities.
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4/5
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⁉️How do you cultivate stillness in your life?⁉️
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📸 @veraciousreader (Instagram)

For more reviews and book tips check out my reading lists

Thoughts on: Discourse on the Origin of Inequality by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Review of Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Now Rousseau is getting interesting! Imagine yourself a man of intellect, before the Darwinian theory, speculating about man in his naturals state before the burden of civilization was put on his/her shoulders.
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In Rousseau vision, natural man was a carefree and happy loner, peacefully roaming the woods. Picking apples to eat from the trees as he went, slept when tired, and running in to a specimen of the opposite sex- they lay. A existence without a worry and a world of abundance.
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We are so used to the comparison of early mans conditions to chimpanzees that it becomes absolutely fascinating to hear another version of the story.
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📝 Sex, yes please? If men and women met in the forest, they had sex and then walked their separate ways. The women raised the child until it was old enough to take care of itself and he/she went of on their own; another noble savage free to roam alone in peace and fulfillment.
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📝 Inequality comes when man exits his natural state and come together with other people and starts to compare himself to the in terms of skill and possessions.
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🔥 4 ROUSSEAU-OIDS: 🔥
🥖 – Argued for a return to breastfeeding in an era where the activity was outsourced by the well to do. “Breastfeed, and morals will come by themselves” was his message.
🥖 – Emotions rather than deeds! Father of romanticism.
🥖 – The noble savage. Rousseau, like many people during the age of discovery, was fascinated by the native tribes found throughout the world. He also realized what civilization did to these “savages”.
🥖 – He invented the word “bourgeoisie”
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⚖️ VERDICT:
This book is much more interesting than The Social Contract; more entertaining, much less sober, and a certainty more naive!
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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:
I’m more of a Hobbesian view as it stands right now. Rousseau’s Noble Savage with it carefree existence sounds too utopian to me. Life in its natural state described as “nasty, brutish and short” sound more plausible. Maybe I’m just having a bad day? Also, I haven’t read Hobbes (yet!)
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3/5
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⁉️Rousseau or Hobbes?⁉️