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?⁉️

Thoughts On: The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

Enjoyed parts of it immensely . In the version I read the book was set in context by an introduction about the author and about the times in which the book was written. That was good for someone like me who was not familiar with either the author or Italy in the early 16th century. A guidebook for how to rule and keep you power as a prince, but a lot of the concepts in this book can be applied to modern business and work. The later parts of the book didn’t grab my attention, but I’m still glad I plowed through this classic.

3/5

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Thoughts on: “The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei” by John Stevens

My major feat this summer was to inflate a pool in preparation of a BBQ party (see pic. 2). Due to lack of proper equipment it had to be done manually. It took quite some time and effort on my part to get it ready; But I persisted and felt a little bit of pride afterwards.

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When the guests arrived their reaction was; “That’s crazy! I can’t believe you didn’t use a pump for that!”.

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Now cut to the Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei:

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Instead of being dressed in traditional black Buddhist clothes, they wear white, the color of death. They carry a knife in their belt. This is to take their life if they fail in any element of their practice. Knife for self-disembowelment – belt for hanging.

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These buddhist monks and super athletes reaching for enlightenment in the here and now thought physical movement.

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Their training schedule is crazy. The “1000-Day Marathon”, a big part of their practice, takes 7 years to complete. For the first 5 years they run a marathon a day for 100 days straight. This is repeated 7 times. For the last 2 years the distance is increased to two Marathon distances a day (84km!). They also throw in a 9-day fast into their practice, with continuous meditation, without water and sleep, to keep things interesting.

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⭐️ TAKEAWAY: When we get familiar with feats like these, either through books or elsewhere, our ability to complain about trifles is diminished.

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Our standards and expectations of ourselves and others are so low nowadays… SO LOW.. (at least in Sweden where I live), that learning about stuff like this can, at least temporarily, raise the expectation bar a bit. So that you don’t get too cocky for blowing some air into a pool. Or praise the one that did it. 😀😎

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And yes! It’s a great book! The writing is so-so but the content is truly fascinating!

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5/5

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