This week I published a new blog post on how to approach the path of career development. The idea of building a personal monopoly is particularly useful to young people like me, who are leaving the bubble of the educational system and entering the real world, however, the principles are valuable to all. Given the amount of time and energy we spend working, approaching career-building in an intentional manner will help move you to a rewarding lifestyle in alignment with your dreams.
I - Pre-History
The Underground City of Derinkuyu: This ancient city in modern-day Turkey is believed to have been initially built in the 8th-7th centuries BCE by an Indo-European people called the Phrygians. Going to a depth of 250 feet and having a capacity of over 20,000 people, the complex was ventilated and contained many amenities such as wine cellars, chapels, and stables. Derinkuyu was used over the centuries as a refuge from ongoing wars and prosecution, particularly during the Arab-Byzantine wars of the Middle Ages. The tunnels were rediscovered in the early 1960s by a Turkish man whose basement walls were connected to the tunnel network.
II - Classical
The Helots: were a Greek people that were subjugated by the Spartan citizens. The helots were used for both agricultural and domestic purposes, tilling the lands of their Spartan masters and often accompanying them on campaigns. Due to being vastly outnumbered by the Helots, the Spartans lived in perpetual fear of Helot revolts and therefore actively repressed the population. Helots were regularly mistreated and killed, and every fall the Spartans would declare war on the helots so the Crypteia, a sort of secret police institution consisting of young Spartan men, could kill helots without fear of repercussions.
III - Middle Ages
The Black Plague: was a bubonic plague that devastated Europe, parts of Northern African, and the Near East between 1346 and 1353. Estimated to have killed over 75 million people and around half of the European population, the disease was characterized by fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, and the formation of buboes, swellings of the lymph nodes occurring in the thighs, neck, groin and armpits, which would often turn black and rupture. The aftermath of the Black Plague contributed to many social and political changes, including the end of feudalism and the increased position of the working-class people. The word quarantine originates from this period, as European cities instituted 40-day isolation periods — from the Italian word for 40, quarantino — for new arrivals coming from plague-infected regions.
IV - Early Modern
Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662): was a French mathematician and philosopher whose contributions to the fields of probability, fluid mechanics, and philosophy of religion have had enduring effects on Western civilization. I particularly resonate with his idea of Pascal’s wager, a philosophical argument that proposes an explanation for believing in God: either God exists or God does not exist — you can live your life, or wager, either for or against one answer. To wager for God even if he does not exist only results in potential finite, worldly losses. But to wager against God if he exists risks infinite losses, with far-reaching consequences beyond the worldly experience of Earth.
V - Modern
The Boer War: was fought between the British Empire vs. the Boers, the descendants of the Dutch-speaking colonists of South Africa. Tensions between the two boiled over after the discovery of gold and diamonds in the region, resulting in the outbreak of war in 1899. The Boers, adopting a guerrilla warfare approach due to the numerical superiority of the British, found early success but were eventually annexed by September 1900. Refusing to surrender, the British resorted to increasingly harmful tactics, such as scorched earth policies, to subdue their adversaries. In addition, concentration camps established by the British resulted in the death of thousands to disease and starvation. A surrender by Boer leadership in May of 1902 would result in the integration of Boer colonies into the British Empire.
Photo of the Week 📸
Between Tom Johnson, the champion of England, and Issac Perrins of Birmingham. Johnson reportedly won after 62 rounds.
Book of the Week 📖 — Atomic Habits by James Clear
This book teaches you the underlying mechanisms behind habit formation and how to harness the power of habit to develop new skills and routines. Habits can work both for you or against you — the same principles apply to drug addiction and a daily morning meditation practice. The key to building any habit, and ridding yourself of bad habits, is to understand that repeated actions over a long period of time reduce the friction between impulse and action.
At the atomic level, any major strides towards a particular goal are reduced to the level of daily actions that, if repeated often and consistently, will produce great results with compounding interest.
80% of success in life is just showing up.
~ Woody Allen
Quote of the Week 💭
What I really lack is to be clear in my mind what I am to do, not what I am to know, except in so far as a certain understanding must precede every action. The thing is to understand myself, to see what God really wishes me to do; the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.
~ Søren Kierkegaard