Time Capsule #37
Stoicism, basic economics, and an Ilkay Gündogan masterclass.
Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
Stoicism is a philosophical school of thought with origins in ancient Greece around the 3rd century BCE. Stoicism was particularly popular throughout the Roman and Greek world, with the majority of its surviving literary corpus written by several prominent figures of the time including Epictetus, Seneca, and the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. I was introduced to Stoicism in university and was drawn to its pursuit of virtue and its emphasis on individual responsibility and living 'in accordance with nature'. Marcus Aurelius' Meditations was my introduction to philosophy and sparked my interest in the use of philosophical study for the development of the inner self.
The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own...
The Stoic philosophy is predicated on four main virtues: courage, temperance, justice and wisdom. To the ideal Stoic, virtue is the only good and is achievable by all who seek it -- virtue embodied in one individual is possible in all individuals. All virtues are practiced in the realm of individual action: that is, what is controlled by external forces is of no concern. What is in one's control -- one's thoughts, actions, behaviours -- is all one should be concerned with. To practice Stoicism, one must strive towards the highest possible good and do what he ought to do in every situation. How others act, unavoidable obstacles and the inevitable mishaps of life are simply uncontrollable external phenomena that should not deter one from striving towards such a goal. The ideal Stoic seeks to live in accordance with nature, to act virtuously in all situations. He fears lust, desire and emotion, and focuses himself simply and wholly on performing well. He is not concerned with tomorrow; tomorrow is not within his control.
To love only what happens, what is destined. No greater harmony.
The practice of Stoicism reduces the complexity of one's actions and places full responsibility on the individual. He alone is held accountable for his actions, and no rational justification for the performance of an evil deed will suffice. However, by placing the burden of responsibility in his own hands, he needn't answer to anyone with regards to the ethical: he alone is the judge, and a true Stoic will hold himself accountable and give credit when deserved, even if popular opinion says otherwise.
📸 Photo of the Week
Health is wealth.
📖 Book of the Week — Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell
Understanding the basic principles and mechanisms that drive our economy, as well as how societies organize and design economies, will help you make better decisions in business and better understand the day-to-day workings of the economic systems of the world, which you actively participate in — whether you like to or not. Thomas Sowell wrote this book on the basics of economics for the average citizen, completely devoid of jargon, charts and hard-to-understand equations.
Big up DL for the Secret Santa gift. I enjoyed this book very much.
💭 Quote of the Week
When I look back on my past and think how much time I wasted on nothing, how much time has been lost in futilities, errors, laziness, incapacity to live; how little I appreciated it, how many times I sinned against my heart and soul — then my heart bleeds. Life is a gift, life is happiness, every minute can be an eternity of happiness.
🔭 Sunday Best
Rockets of the World — comparing the size of space rockets developed over the years, by country of origin and payload capacity. The Saturn V rocket used to send humans to the moon is still one of the most powerful rockets ever created. Crazy to think they executed a moon landing with 60s technology; we can definitely manage Mars.
Gündogan v Chelsea — every touch from his performance vs. Chelsea in 2018, when he completed a record-breaking 167 passes against the reigning champions (at the time). Manchester City would go on to smash a host of records that season, including the most points in a season with 100.
Rules, Truths, Beliefs by Morgan Housel — “You’re not a machine, so don’t expect to always be rational. Aiming to be reasonable is the best anyone can do.”
💡 Food for Thought
Your heart and your stomach will tell you when you are up to no good.
A big thank you to everyone who reads the newsletter, especially those who like and share it with their circle.
Onward and upwards,