jerryking + greek   42

What would Plato make of Boris Johnson?
June 22nd 2019 | the Economist | by Bagehot.

Classics (Literae Humaniores) is a wide-ranging degree devoted to the study of the literature, history, philosophy, languages and archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. It is one of the most interdisciplinary of all degrees, and offers the opportunity to study these two foundational ancient civilisations and their reception in modern times. The degree also permits students to take extensive options in modern philosophy......

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Mr Johnson’s failure to get a first continues to annoy him intensely—and to delight many of his rivals. But in truth it doesn’t matter a jot: the world is full of failures who got firsts, and successes who missed out. The really interesting question is not whether Mr Johnson’s results reveal some great intellectual weakness. It is what light the subject of his studies can throw on his qualifications to be prime minister. The classics corpus is full of meditations on the qualities that make for a good leader. And no classical author thought more profoundly about the subject than Plato, the philosopher who was put at the heart of Oxford’s classics syllabus by Balliol’s greatest master, Benjamin Jowett. What would Plato have made of the classicist who appears destined to be Balliol’s fourth prime minister since 1900?.....In “The Republic”, Plato argued that the most important qualities in a statesman were truthfulness and expertise. A good statesman will “never willingly tolerate an untruth”. (“Is it possible to combine in the same character a love of wisdom and a love of falsehood?” one of Plato’s characters asks. “Quite impossible,” comes the reply.) He will spend his life studying everything that he needs to make him a good captain of the ship of state—“the seasons of the year, the sky, the stars, the winds and other professional subjects”. .......By contrast, Plato argued, the surest signs of a bad leader are narcissism and self-indulgence. The poor statesman is an eloquent flatterer, who relies on his ability to entertain the masses with speeches and comic turns, but doesn’t bother to develop a coherent view of the world. Plato was particularly vitriolic about the scions of the upper classes who are offered the opportunity to study philosophy while young but don’t apply themselves, because they think they are so talented that they needn’t earn their place at the top table.......“The Republic” is haunted by the fear that democracies eventually degenerate into tyrannies. Democracy is the most alluring form of government: “the diversity of its characters, like the different colours in a patterned dress, make it look very attractive.” But it is inherently unstable. Citizens are so consumed by pleasure-seeking that they beggar the economy; so hostile to authority that they ignore the advice of experts; and so committed to liberty that they lose any common purpose......As democracies collapse under the pressure of their contradictions, panicked citizens look for salvation in a demagogue. These are men who love power, but cannot control their own desires for “holidays and dinners and parties and girlfriends and so on”. Plato calls them the “most wretched of men because of the disorder raging within them”. Citizens are so consumed by fear that they think these wretches have magical abilities to solve the country’s problems and restore proper order. Demagogues get their start by “taking over a particularly obedient mob”, before seizing control of the country. But the more power they acquire the worse things become, “for the doctor removes the poison and leaves the healthy elements in the body, while the tyrant does the opposite.”

The shadow on the wall
Democracies have proved more durable than Plato imagined. And his cure for the problems of democracy—the rule of philosopher-kings, who are expected to hold their wives and children in common—is eccentric to put it mildly. But he is right that character matters. Politicians can change their advisers or their policies, but character is sticky. He is also right that democracies can suddenly give way to populist authoritarianism...... The best way to prepare for a Johnson premiership is to re-read “The Republic”, hoping Plato is wrong but preparing for the fact that he may be right
Boris_Johnson  character_traits  contradictions  demagoguery  democracies  Greek  humanities  leaders  leadership  liberal_arts  opposing_actions  Oxford  pairs  philosophers  Plato  politicians  Romans  statesmen  truth-telling  United_Kingdom 
july 2019 by jerryking
The winner’s wisdom of Silicon Valley Stoics
MAY 31, 2019 | Financial Times | Janan Ganesh.

An idea that works for an established winner can be utterly ruinous for a mere aspirant.....In common parlance, Stoicism used to mean nothing more specific than a kind of grin-and-bear-it fortitude......The new Stoicism calls for — and here I paraphrase — a virtuous rather than joy-centred life. It often takes the guise of self-denial.............the worst of it is the deception of those who are just starting out in life. Unless “22 Stoic Truth-Bombs From Marcus Aurelius That Will Make You Unf***withable” is pitched at retirees, the internet crawls with bad Stoic advice for the young. The premise is that what answers to the needs of those in the 99th percentile of wealth and power is at all relevant to those trying to break out of, say, the 50th.
advice  cannabis  fads  Greek  Janan_Ganesh  natural_order  new_graduates  relevancy  self_denial  Silicon_Valley  stages_of_life  Stoics  virtues 
june 2019 by jerryking
How to Get Eggplant Right
April 22, 2019 | The New York Times | By Yotam Ottolenghi.
eggplants  Greek  howto  lamb  Moussaka  recipes 
april 2019 by jerryking
Why Is Silicon Valley So Obsessed With the Virtue of Suffering?
March 26, 2019 | The New York Times | By Nellie Bowles.

a new entrepreneurship-focused lobbying firm, the Cicero Institute.
Daily Stoic, a popular blog for the tech-Stoic community.
“Meditations,” by Marcus Aurelius
“A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy,” by William B. Irvine
Ryan Holiday’s life-hacking books on Stoicism.
Search for books by Ada Palmer.

The wealthy of Silicon Valley ought to be living their very best lives right now. John Doerr, an early Amazon and Google investor, calls their moment “the greatest legal accumulation of wealth in history.” And yet, the people of Silicon Valley seem determined to make themselves miserable. They sit in painful, silent meditations for weeks on end. They starve for days — on purpose. Cold morning showers are a bragging right. Notoriety is a badge of honor. So the most helpful clues to understanding Silicon Valley today may come from its favorite ancient philosophy: Stoicism. An ancient Greek school of thought, Stoicism argued that the only real treasures in life were inner virtues, like self-mastery and courage. The Stoics offered tactics to endure pain and pleasure without complaint.

* Is this really a thing? - Some executives in SV believe that our pleasing, on-demand life will make them soft. So they attempt to induce pain..... incorporate practices in our lives that “mimic” our ancestors’ environments and their daily challenges....Tim Ferriss wrote on his blog that Stoicism is “an ideal ‘operating system’ for thriving in high-stress environments.”.....there are the founders who may not call themselves Stoics, but who practice some of its tenets (e.g. Jack Dorsey, Twitter's C.E.O., who likes to walk five miles to work each day and meditates in silence 10 days each year.
* Why are they attracted to Stoicism? - Stoicism “a wonderful therapy against grief and the blinders of the rat race.” “So much of Stoicism is about achieving interior tranquillity,”
* Why does it matter? - The Cicero Institute comes at a time of tension in Silicon Valley.
books  courage  discomforts  emotional_mastery  endurance  founders  Greek  high-stress  inner-directed  inner_peace  John_Doerr  joyless  philosophy  Roman  self-deprivation  self-mastery  Silicon_Valley  Stoics  suffering  Tim_Ferris  tough-mindedness  virtues 
march 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | Athens in Pieces: In Aristotle’s Garden - The New York Times
By Simon Critchley
Mr. Critchley is a professor of philosophy and an author. Simon Critchley is a professor of philosophy at the New School for Social Research and the author of several books, including “What We Think About When We Think About Soccer,” and the forthcoming “Tragedy, the Greeks, and Us.” He is the moderator of The Stone.

Feb. 18, 2019
Greek  Simon_Critchley 
february 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | How Plato Foresaw Facebook’s Folly
Nov. 16, 2018 The New York Times | By Bret Stephens, Opinion Columnist

Technology promises to make easy things that, by their intrinsic nature, have to be hard......The story of the wildly exaggerated promises and damaging unintended consequences of technology isn’t exactly a new one. The real marvel is that it constantly seems to surprise us. Why?......Part of the reason is that we tend to forget that technology is only as good as the people who use it. .....It’s also true that Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants have sold themselves not so much as profit-seeking companies but as ideal-pursuing movements.....But the deeper reason that technology so often disappoints and betrays us is that it promises to make easy things that, by their intrinsic nature, have to be hard......Tweeting and trolling are easy. Mastering the arts of conversation and measured debate is hard. Texting is easy. Writing a proper letter is hard. Looking stuff up on Google is easy. Knowing what to search for in the first place is hard. Having a thousand friends on Facebook is easy. Maintaining six or seven close adult friendships over the space of many years is hard. Swiping right on Tinder is easy. Finding love — and staying in it — is hard.

That’s what Socrates (or Thamus) means when he deprecates the written word: It gives us an out. It creates the illusion that we can remain informed, and connected, even as we are spared the burdens of attentiveness, presence of mind and memory. That may seem quaint today. But how many of our personal, professional or national problems might be solved if we desisted from depending on shortcuts?... struck by how desperately Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg sought to massage and finesse — with consultants, lobbyists and technological patches — what amounted to a daunting if simple crisis of trust. As with love and grammar, acquiring and maintaining trust is hard. There are no workarounds.
arduous  Bret_Stephens  Facebook  Greek  op-ed  pretense_of_knowledge  Socrates  technology  unintended_consequences  shortcuts  fallacies_follies  philosophy 
november 2018 by jerryking
'Oldest known extract' of Homer's Odyssey discovered in Greece
Archaeologists in Greece have discovered what they believe to be the oldest known extract of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey.

A team of Greek and German researchers found it on an engraved clay plaque in Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games in the Peloponnese peninsula, the Greek culture ministry said on Tuesday.

It holds 13 verses from the Odyssey’s 14th Rhapsody, where its hero, Odysseus, addresses his lifelong friend Eumaeus. Preliminary estimates date the finding to the Roman era, probably before the 3rd century AD.

The date still needed to be confirmed, but the plaque was still “a great archaeological, epigraphic, literary and historical exhibit”, the ministry said.

The Odyssey, 12,109 lines of poetry attributed to the ancient Greek poet Homer, tells the story of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, who wanders for 10 years trying to get home after the fall of Troy.

The Odyssey is the second major poem attributed to Homer after the Iliad and scholars date its writing to around 675 - 725 BCE. It is widely considered to be among the world’s greatest works of literature
Greek  poems  poetry 
july 2018 by jerryking
Opinion | Robert E. Rubin: Philosophy Prepared Me for a Career in Finance and Government - The New York Times
By Robert E. Rubin

Mr. Rubin was secretary of the Treasury from 1995 to 1999.

April 30, 2018

Raphael Demos. Professor Demos, an authority on Greek philosophy, was Harvard’s Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy and Civil Policy. But to me, when I took a class with him my sophomore year, he was a genial little man with white hair and an exceptional talent for engaging students from the lecture hall stage, using an overturned wastebasket as his lectern. Professor Demos would use Plato and other great philosophers to demonstrate that proving any proposition to be true in the final and ultimate sense was impossible. His approach to critical thinking planted a seed in me that grew during my years at Harvard and throughout my life. The approach appealed to what was probably my natural but latent tendency toward questioning and skepticism.

I concluded that you can’t prove anything in absolute terms, from which I extrapolated that all significant decisions are about probabilities. Internalizing the core tenet of Professor Demos’s teaching — weighing risk and analyzing odds and trade-offs — was central to everything I did professionally in the decades ahead in finance and government.......Demos crystallized for me the power of critical thinking: asking questions, recognizing that there are no provable certainties and analyzing the probabilities. And that, coupled with my coffeehouse lessons, was the best preparation one could have — not just for a career but also for life.
Robert_Rubin  Colleges_&_Universities  Harvard  philosophers  philosophy  Plato  Wall_Street  Goldman_Sachs  career_paths  advice  life_skills  probabilities  decision_making  critical_thinking  U.S.Treasury_Department  Greek  tradeoffs 
may 2018 by jerryking
I see history as my root and my illumination
5 August /6 August 2017 | Financial Times | by Kwame Nkrumah Cain.

Sir, I am a bit perplexed at how Henry Mance can assert that history is “rarely instructive” (“ ‘Dunkirk’ shows that the past is not an open book”, July 29). At Stanford University, I was particularly attracted to history because Dionysius of Halicarnassus praised it as “philosophy learnt by example” [ Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, who flourished during the reign of Caesar Augustus.]. Even to this day, such study helps me heed the counsel of the dead and marshal the strength of my own mind.

I see history as a laboratory rich in a hundred thousand experiments in economics, religion, literature, science and government. I see history as my root and my illumination, as the road from whence I came and the only light that can clarify the present and guide me into the future.

As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stated: “He who cannot draw on 3,000 years is living from hand to mouth.” (i.e. my take is that being able to draw on 3,000 yrs. of living is the definition of wisdom).
========================================

Comment:
Gene 4 days ago
History is the great uncontrolled experiment on human behavior. Lessons should be drawn from it with caution (as history shows).
letters_to_the_editor  history  quotes  tools  hand-to-mouth  Greek  lessons_learned  skepticism  experimentation  wisdom  human_behavior  the_counsel_of_the_dead  foresight  Kwame_Nkrumah 
august 2017 by jerryking
Rules for Modern Living From the Ancient Stoics -
May 25, 2017 | WSJ | By Massimo Pigliucci.

Stoicism is practical and humane, and it has plenty to teach us. The philosophy may have been developed around 300 B.C. by Zeno of Cyprus, but it is increasingly relevant today, as evidenced by the popularity of events such as Stoicon, an international conference set to hold its fourth annual gathering in Toronto this October.

The Stoics had centuries to think deeply about how to live, and they developed a potent set of exercises to help us navigate our existence, appreciating the good while handling the bad. These techniques have stood the test of time over two millennia. Here are five of my favorites.

(1) Learn to separate what is and isn’t in your power. This lets you approach everything with equanimity and tranquility of mind. ...Understand and internalize the difference, and you will be happier with your efforts, regardless of the outcome.

(2) Contemplate the broader picture. Looking from time to time at what the Stoics called “the view from above” will help you to put things in perspective and sometimes even let you laugh away troubles that are not worth worrying about. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius made a note of this in his famous personal diary, “The Meditations”: “Altogether the interval is small between birth and death; and consider with how much trouble, and in company with what sort of people and in what a feeble body, this interval is laboriously passed.”

(3) Think in advance about challenges you may face during the day. A prepared mind may make all the difference between success and disaster.

(4) Be mindful of the here and now (i.e. living in the moment). The past is no longer under your control: Let it go. The future will come eventually, but the best way to prepare for it is to act where and when you are most effective—right here, right now.

(5) Before going to bed, write in a personal philosophical diary. This exercise will help you to learn from your experiences—and forgive yourself for your mistakes.

Stoicism was meant to be a practical philosophy. It isn’t about suppressing emotions or stalking through life with a stiff upper lip. It is about adjusting your responses to what happens, enduring what must be endured and enjoying what can be enjoyed.
Stoics  philosophy  Romans  journaling  self-discipline  mindfulness  span_of_control  mybestlife  preparation  beforemath  sense_of_proportion  the_big_picture  anticipating  contextual  forward_looking  foresight  GTD  perspectives  affirmations  beyond_one's_control  chance  living_in_the_moment  Greek  personal_control 
june 2017 by jerryking
Donald Trump Poisons the World
JUNE 2, 2017 | The New York Times | David Brooks.

This week, two of Donald Trump’s top advisers, H. R. McMaster and Gary Cohn, wrote the following passage in The Wall Street Journal: “The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a cleareyed outlook that the world is not a ‘global community’ but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage.”

That sentence is the epitome of the Trump project. It asserts that selfishness is the sole driver of human affairs. It grows out of a worldview that life is a competitive struggle for gain. It implies that cooperative communities are hypocritical covers for the selfish jockeying underneath.

The essay explains why the Trump people are suspicious of any cooperative global arrangement, like NATO and the various trade agreements. It helps explain why Trump pulled out of the Paris global-warming accord. This essay explains why Trump gravitates toward leaders like Vladimir Putin, the Saudi princes and various global strongmen: They share his core worldview that life is nakedly a selfish struggle for money and dominance.

It explains why people in the Trump White House are so savage to one another. Far from being a band of brothers, their world is a vicious arena where staffers compete for advantage......In the essay, McMaster and Cohn make explicit the great act of moral decoupling woven through this presidency. In this worldview, morality has nothing to do with anything. Altruism, trust, cooperation and virtue are unaffordable luxuries in the struggle of all against all. Everything is about self-interest. David Brooks contends that this philosophy is based on an error about human beings and it leads to self-destructive behavior in all cases.

The error is that it misunderstands what drives human action. Yes, people are self-interested but they are also wired to cooperate....Good leaders like Lincoln, Churchill, Roosevelt and Reagan understand the selfish elements that drive human behavior, but they have another foot in the realm of the moral motivations. They seek to inspire faithfulness by showing good character. They try to motivate action by pointing toward great ideals.

Realist leaders like Trump, McMaster and Cohn seek to dismiss this whole moral realm. By behaving with naked selfishness toward others, they poison the common realm and they force others to behave with naked selfishness toward them........By treating the world simply as an arena for competitive advantage, Trump, McMaster and Cohn sever relationships, destroy reciprocity, erode trust and eviscerate the sense of sympathy, friendship and loyalty that all nations need when times get tough.....George Marshall was no idealistic patsy. He understood that America extends its power when it offers a cooperative hand and volunteers for common service toward a great ideal. Realists reverse that formula. They assume strife and so arouse a volley of strife against themselves.
op-ed  climate_change  Donald_Trump  Gary_Cohn  decoupling  human_behavior  worldviews  WSJ  H.R._McMaster  selfishness  U.S.foreign_policy  Greek  morals  realism  George_Marshall  Marshall_Plan  self-interest  autocrats  Thucydides  David_Brooks  transactional_relationships  national_interests  institutions  international_system  values 
june 2017 by jerryking
Marketing in the Moments, to Reach Customers Online - The New York Times
JAN. 17, 2016 | NYT | By ROBERT D. HOF .

MOMENTS are having a moment in advertising. Or at least a micro moment.....It is not just a matter of reaching people at a particular time of day, a capability advertisers have employed for decades. Randy Wootton, chief executive of the ad technology firm Rocket Fuel, which recently announced a “marketing in the moment” approach, refers to ancient Greek concepts of time: chronos, or sequential time, and kairos, a moment of opportunity independent of linear time. The latter, of course, is the one his company claims to employ for marketers.

Another key, said Brian Solis, a principal analyst at Altimeter Group, a market research firm, is that the ads need to be more useful than they are attention-getting. According to a Google survey, 51 percent of smartphone owners have bought from a different company than they intended on the basis of information found online.....However, to build brands, an effort that accounts for the majority of ad spending, companies need more than a moment. And few marketers currently have all the skills needed for moments-based marketing, such as ethnographic studies of their customers and the ability to match customer data to the right context,
intentionality  immediacy  GPS  location_based_services  Greek  LBMA  advertising  instant_gratification  purchase_decisions  brands  branding  marketing  ephemerality  impulse_purchasing  contextual  Ram_Charan  P&G  real-time  Flybits  moments  linearity  seminal_moments  chronological  kairos 
february 2016 by jerryking
Anti-austerity looks less cartoonish by the day - The Globe and Mail
DOUG SAUNDERS
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jan. 31 2015

Greece has overwhelmingly elected a government run by the left-wing, anti-austerity coalition Syriza. New Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tellingly described the country’s bailout program, which directs the devastated Greek economy entirely toward debt repayment at any cost, as “fiscal waterboarding” and said he will demand a writedown of the debt.
Greece  elections  austerity  Doug_Saunders  Greek  stimulus  debt  debt_foregiveness  structural_change 
february 2015 by jerryking
Small words make a big difference: how to ask incisive usability questions for richer results | Loop11
abbreviated “ASK” – which helps me to focus on crafting constructive questions. Here it is:

A. Avoid starting with words like “Are”, “Do”, and “Have”. Questions that start with these type of verbs are a surefire way to nip insights in the bud. It can lead to what’s called a closed question, i.e. something that can literally close a conversation with a “Yes” or “No” answer. While it may be useful to gather this sort of data at times, try instead to open it up. Using open questions, as Changing Minds notes, gives us time to think, reflect, and provide opinions.
S. Start with W. The 5 W’s – i.e. who, what, when, where, and why – are the building blocks for information-gathering. It’s a tool from rhetoric, historically attributed to the Greeks and Romans. Essentially, the 5 W’s help us pull out the particulars. The magic behind them is that none of them can be answered with just a “yes” or “no”, so we’re always going to get a bit more of an expressive answer from subjects.
K. Keep it short. As researchers, we can often let curiosity get the best of us. Excited, we may list out a string of questions, asking more than necessary. By asking more than one question at a time, we ruin the focus of a conversation. We should try to keep our questions short and sweet, so that they may be digested more appropriately.
questions  open-ended  brevity  howto  insights  rhetoric  Romans  Greek  focus  incisiveness  5_W’s  small_moves 
december 2014 by jerryking
Best Books on Making the Most of Later Life - WSJ
By DIANE COLE
Nov. 30, 2014

Classic Thinking
More than 2,000 years have passed since Cicero, the Roman philosopher and statesman, wrote his essay “On Old Age.” Today, his advice to embrace later life sounds refreshingly contemporary in retired classics professor Richard Gerberding’s clever adaptation, “How To Be Old: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Retirement.”

Cicero’s ideas—based on his belief that “the best weapons against old age are your inner qualities, those virtues which you have cultivated at every stage of your lives”—remain intact. But Mr. Gerberding makes them more accessible by replacing Cicero’s references to ancient Greek and Roman statesmen with modern figures like William Fulbright, Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy.

“Someone who doesn’t have much in the way of inner resources will find all stages of life irksome,” Cicero wrote. That’s advice for the ages, whatever your age.
advice  aging  books  Cicero  Greek  inner_strengths  longevity  mybestlife  retirement  Romans  stages_of_life  thinking  timeless  virtues 
december 2014 by jerryking
Tech startups: A Cambrian moment | The Economist
Jan 18th 2014

the world of startups today offers a preview of how large swathes of the economy will be organised tomorrow. The prevailing model will be platforms with small, innovative firms operating on top of them. This pattern is already emerging in such sectors as banking, telecommunications, electricity and even government. As Archimedes, the leading scientist of classical antiquity, once said: “Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth.”....yet another dotcom bubble that is bound to pop. Indeed, the number of pure software startups may have peaked already.... warns Mr Andreessen, who as co-founder of Netscape saw the bubble from close by: “When things popped last time it took ten years to reset the psychology.” And even without another internet bust, more than 90% of startups will crash and burn.

But this time is also different, in an important way.

the basic building blocks for digital services and products—the “technologies of startup production”,...Some of these building blocks are snippets of code that can be copied free from the internet, along with easy-to-learn programming frameworks (such as Ruby on Rails). Others are services for finding developers (eLance, oDesk), sharing code (GitHub) and testing usability (UserTesting.com). Yet others are “application programming interfaces” (APIs), digital plugs that are multiplying rapidly....Startups are best thought of as experiments on top of such platforms, testing what can be automated in business and other walks of life. Some will work out, many will not. Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist, calls this “combinatorial innovation”. In a way, these startups are doing what humans have always done: apply known techniques to new problems. The late Claude Lévi-Strauss, a French anthropologist, described the process as bricolage (tinkering)..... software (which is at the heart of these startups) is eating away at the structures established in the analogue age....this special report will explain how start-ups operate, how they are nurtured in accelerators and other such organisations, how they are financed and how they collaborate with others. It is a story of technological change creating a set of new institutions which governments around the world are increasingly supporting.
anthropologists  Archimedes  bubbles  Cambrian_explosion  dotcom  entrepreneurship  Greek  Hal_Varian  innovation  innovation_policies  Marc_Andreessen  millennials  platforms  software_is_eating_the_world  start_ups  taxonomy  technological_change  urban 
february 2014 by jerryking
globeandmail.com: A builder, literally, of Hollywood North
SUSAN FERRIER MACKAY

Special to The Globe and Mail

January 13, 2014
films  entrepreneur  entertainment  obituaries  Greek 
january 2014 by jerryking
Toronto Greek Restaurant - Christina's on the Danforth
Christina's on the Danforth
492 Danforth Ave. (Logan)
Toronto, ON
M4K 1P5

Tel: 416.463.4418
Toronto  Greek  restaurants 
august 2013 by jerryking
Angeliki Frangou: A Greek shipping magnate who sails into the wind - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 05 2013| The Globe and Mail | ERIC REGULY.

As a teenager, Ms. Frangou would cross the Atlantic on one of her father’s vessels, but needed time to be convinced that a shipping career was for her. She was more interested in mechanical engineering and so studied the subject at New Jersey’s Farleigh Dickinson University, and then completed a master’s degree, also in mechanical engineering. She decided to bolster her career prospects with an MBA from New York University, but never graduated because she took a job as an analyst on the trading floor of Republic National Bank, where she worked from 1987 to 1989.

The bank job changed Ms. Frangou’s life because it exposed her to the world of financial engineering. She worked with credit default insurance, which taught her how to judge risk and how to hedge, as well as the dangers of excessive leverage in a highly cyclical business. Indeed, applying the principles of high finance to the more down-to-earth business of filling cargo holds with soya, wheat and oil products gave her an edge in an industry that has suffered greatly since the financial crash of 2008.

After the Fulvia success, Ms. Frangou went to ship auctions in Brazil to buy and restore orphaned vessels. In 2004, she zeroed in on special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, as a vehicle that could bring her business to the next level. These entities, also known as “blank cheque” companies, traded over the counter in the American market, had no income and were designed to make acquisitions.

Ms. Frangou launched a SPAC with $200-million (U.S.) in investor funds and used the vehicle to buy International Shipping Enterprises, which United States Steel Corp. established in the mid-1950s to transport iron ore from Venezuela to Canada and the United States.

The new company, renamed Navios, became one of the very first dry-bulk shipping companies to list on a stock exchange. Traditionally, Greek shipping magnates had cherished their privacy. “A SPAC can take you public very quickly,” she says. “I totally changed this market, which became a $10-billion business.”
Greek  maritime  Eric_Reguly  shipping  women  entrepreneur  financial_engineering 
july 2013 by jerryking
Mezes Restaurant on the Danforth
456 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, Ont. M4K 1P4
Tel: 416.778.5150
restaurants  Greek  Toronto 
july 2013 by jerryking
China to Seek More Equal Footing With U.S. in Talks
May 28, 2013 | NYTimes.com | By JANE PERLEZ

The relationship between the United States and China stood at a “critical juncture,” ... and it was time to explore “a new type of great power relationship.”...It is a given, Chinese and American analysts say, that Mr. Xi and his advisers are referring to the historical problem of what happens when an established power and a rising power confront each other. The analysts said the Chinese are well aware of the example of the Peloponnesian War that was caused, according to the ancient Greek historian Thucydides, by the fear that a powerful Athens instilled in Sparta.

Mr. Shi, an occasional adviser to the Chinese government, offered some ideas of what Mr. Xi has in mind.

“He wants the American president to recognize that China is dramatically rising in military and economic ways, and he wants the president to know that he is active in world diplomacy,” Mr. Shi said. “If the American president recognizes all of these things, then Xi can be nicer, nicer in his definition, in a very tense situation.”
China  U.S.foreign_policy  China_rising  Obama  security_&_intelligence  Thucydides  history  Greek  rising_powers  Thucydides_trap  U.S.-China_relations  intelligence_analysts 
may 2013 by jerryking
What Greece Makes, the World Might Take - NYTimes.com
By ADAM DAVIDSON
Published: July 3, 2012

In the last decade or so, companies in the United States, France, Denmark and elsewhere flouted the feta ruling and invested in their own food-science research and manufacturing equipment. They subsequently turned the salty, crumbly cheese into spreadable, grillable, fat-free and shelf-stable forms. In Italy and Spain, small olive-oil producers merged into globally competitive conglomerates and replaced presses with more efficient centrifugal technology. The two countries now provide nearly all the world’s supply. And the Greeks, despite their numerous inherent advantages, remain in the least profitable part of the supply chain, exporting raw materials at slim margins.

Tassos Chronopoulos, owner of Tassos, a Greek food importer based outside Chicago, says that the country’s disorganized agricultural business all but disqualified itself from partaking in the fancy-food craze of the past few decades. Greek growers never banded together to establish uniform quality standards and trade rules.
agribusiness  agriculture  cheese  competitiveness_of_nations  conglomerates  dairy  Denmark  disorganization  disunity  economic_development  farming  food  food_science  foodies  foodservice  France  gourmet  Greece  Greek  innovation  olive-oil  quality  quality_control  rules_of_the_game  standardization  technical_standards  supply_chains  value_chains 
july 2012 by jerryking
All he is saying is give war a chance: Democracy and world peace are really not such great ideas. Just ask author Robert Kaplan
11 Mar 2000| National Post pg B5 |Alexander Rose.

Whatever else journalist Robert D. Kaplan picked up during his sojourn in the Great Back of Beyond, it wasn't universal love, touch-feely harmony and a We-Are-The-World attitude. In this newspaper last weekend, reviewing The Coming Anarchy -- a collection of his recent assays he was in Canada to promote this week — Misha Glenny aptly remarked: "If you want to feel uplifted about the human condition, you should steer clear of Kaplan's work as a general rule." An example; The way to make this world a better place Kaplan casually proposes in his new collection of essays (named after his famous 1994 article in The Atlantic Monthly predicting cultural clashes, tribal and widespread environmental meltdown), is for Congress to reauthorize assassination as a political instrument to grasp that democracy is not suitable for everyone; and that world peace would actually make war likelier.

"I've spent a great deal of my life covering wars," he says. Moreover, "unlike a lot of journalists, I read -- I read a lot, a lot of history, a lot of philosophy.

Look at Livy (the ancient Roman historian)...'Drew him to classical philosophy. ''If you read the ancient Chinese, or Cicero, Machiavelli or Herodotus, these a strain running through them - which is that if you always think about might go wrong, things might start going right and you can avoid tragedy.'' Thus, ''tragedy is avoidable if you always maintain a sense of it.''

The problem, however, is that "the times we live in are so prosperous for us that it's hard to think tragically." And, most alarmingly, "Revolutions and upheavals happen when things are getting better, not worse."

...When Mr. Kaplan speaks of "realists" he is describing the Hobbesian view that man has a rapacious, brutal, selfish nature. On the world stage, this translates as furiously competing sovereign states battling over their respective interests, many of which are intractable. Realists therefore believe eternal and armed vigilance, not highfalutin UN declarations, are the key to ensuring "human security". ...Kaplan believes that there are three strands of "realism" battle for supremacy...."You don't have to believe in global warming, but we're entering a world in which there will be six billion of us and you have to realize that there are now enough of us living in urbanized conditions that we're occupying zones which are climatically and tectonically fragile. "Now, we've got 70% of the Chinese population producing two-thirds of the industrial output living in flood zones. Forget about Mozambique -- that's a sideshow."...So what advice would he give our Department of Foreign Affairs so that Canada could punch above its weight in the world?

Says Kaplan, without skipping a beat: "It's hard for a country of 30 million to have a pivotal impact. So the way to do it is to get behind an idea everyone knows is smart but nobody has the time or the inclination to push."

Is Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy's position on human rights and human security one such "smart idea"? Mr. Kaplan gives it short shrift (actually, no shrift at all). "It's far too flaccid and formless to be taken seriously because all he's really stating is a kind of easy truth. Tough truths, on the other hand, are things like when and where you intervene and under what circumstances.

"So, I would say Canada needs to go on fast forward to a Global Constabulary Force. NATO, with all its problems, worked well in Kosovo and Bosnia. So, we [i.e., Canada] will create an out-of-area military branch of NATO with some non-European members -- such as Japan, Australia, India, Brazil -- to form the core of the GCF." Then "we'll have a wider range of options during the next Rwanda, or next time something happens in a place with no strategic interest to anyone but where there's an overwhelming sense that we should 'do something.' But just talking about human security ... The minute you have something that everyone agrees with you know it's useless."

A lesson from the master himself.
floodplains  Greek  hard_choices  hard_power  hard_questions  hard_truths  history  human_rights  human_security  journalists  middle-powers  Niccolò_Machiavelli  political_theory  punch-above-its-weight  rapaciousness  realism  realpolitik  Robert_Kaplan  Romans  thinking_tragically  the_human_condition  world_stage  worst-case 
july 2012 by jerryking
Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn Has Become the Go-To Guy of Tech - NYTimes.com
November 5, 2011 | NYT | By EVELYN M. RUSLI.

Hearing Mr. Hoffman wax philosophical about technology, it’s easy to understand why so many here seem to view him as something of a yoda. When he talks about “scale” — Internet-speak for having enough people use a network to make the network actually useful — he often invokes Archimedes, the great mathematician and inventor in ancient Greece.

According to lore, Archimedes created a device with a revolving screw-shaped blade to pump water against gravity: the Archimedes screw. Mr. Hoffman urges his followers to find their own levers and devices to encourage people to adopt their technologies. Entrepreneurs, he says, often spend too much time creating products and too little figuring out how to get people to use them....“When you write a scholarly work, it tends to be understood by very few people, and has one publication point over time,” he said. “But when you build a service, you can touch millions, to hundreds of millions of people directly.”...Today, LinkedIn, the professional social network, is a rising giant, a monument to the emergence of the social Web. Founded in 2002, the company has ballooned to more than 1,700 employees. It has more than 135 million registered members across 200 countries. It has turned a profit in six of the last seven quarters. ...In the same way that social media redefined the Internet, he sees another tectonic shift on the horizon.

This one, he believes, will be driven by data. Mr. Hoffman has been investing in companies that are data-driven or starting to work with data in interesting ways. For instance, even though two Greylock investments, Shopkick and Groupon, focus on retailing, both aggregate a huge volume of information on user spending habits. LinkedIn, too, has been trying to leverage the data on its site by, for example, making it more searchable.
Reid_Hoffman  LinkedIn  profile  entrepreneur  Silicon_Valley  data_driven  analytics  data  massive_data_sets  Greylock  scaling  searchable  network_effects  habits  spending  customer_adoption  seismic_shifts  Archimedes  Greek 
november 2011 by jerryking
The Archimedes Palimpsest | Walters Art Museum | Reading Beneath the Lines | By William Triplett - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 12, 2011 | WSJ | By WILLIAM TRIPLETT.

Palimpsests—recycled handwritten books from the Middle Ages—aren't a particularly big deal. "They're around," says Will Noel, curator of manuscripts and rare books at the Walters Art Museum here. "What's rare is finding one that's interesting."

The interesting part is always the original text that the recycler (or palimpsester) tried to erase in order to write a new, different book...."Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes" is a palimpsest that mostly contains recovered writings of the great Greek mathematician, but it also includes two other recovered texts that have caught the attention of a variety of scholars. A good chunk of these writings exist nowhere else, any other copies having been lost or destroyed long ago.

"It really is a small ancient library of unique texts," Mr. Noel says.
Middle_Ages  books  museums  exhibitions  libraries  Archimedes  Greek 
october 2011 by jerryking
Chicken Salad With Skordalia - Video and Recipe - The Minimalist - NYTimes.com
July 15, 2011, 4:36 pm
The Minimalist: Chicken Salad With Skordalia
By MARK BITTMAN
chicken  salads  recipes  Greek  Mark_Bittman 
august 2011 by jerryking
Moussaka: A shared dish
July 31, 2010 | Stabroek News | Cynthia Nelson
recipes  Greek  eggplants  Cynthia_Nelson 
august 2010 by jerryking
Recipe - Greek-Style Fish With Marinated Tomatoes - NYTimes.com
July 1, 2010 | Mark Bittman. Start the tomatoes first, soaking
them in olive oil, vinegar, garlic, jalapeño and oregano. As they
release their juices, turn your attention to the fish. Bass, rockfish
and even trout are good options here — you want a medium-size fish (or
two), preferably local and obviously fresh. If you have good
fishmongers, ask them to clean, butterfly and filet it. If not, just
clean and gut it. Stuff it with lemon slices and thyme, and roast or
grill until crisp.
Greek  recipes  fish  tomatoes  Mark_Bittman 
july 2010 by jerryking
George Lucas Wants More “Greek Philosophers and Cobblers” — World Business Forum — Presented by Shell
George Lucas divides the forms of learning into two parts that
are equally important in shaping how people think and act. The first
part is “the philosophical-intellectual side,” in the
Aristotle/Plato/Socratic mold. The second part is apprenticeship
mold....“Once we got into the Industrial Revolution, those two forms of
learning got swept aside and education became an exercise in pumping as
much information as possible into kids,”... like an assembly line, and
at the end of the assembly line, the students spit back the information
and get a diploma. That doesn’t work.” Through the George Lucas
Educational Foundation, he’s applying his storytelling and technical
prowess to engage students and turn out sharper thinkers who can thrive
in an age of information overload.
storytelling  George_Lucas  Greek  apprenticeships  students  Industrial_Revolution  Socratic  critical_thinking  foundations  philanthropy  philosophers  Plato 
may 2010 by jerryking
Unlearning 101: Study Carneades
July 09, 2008 | unlearning 101 | by Jack Uldrich. " I say that
I’m not entitled to have an opinion on this subject unless I can state
the argument against my position better than the people who support it. I
think only when I’ve reached that state am I qualified to speak.” "
F. Scott Fitzgerald who once said: “The test of a first rate mind is the
ability to hold two diametrically opposed ideas at the same time and
still function.”"
critical_thinking  history  philosophy  skepticism  strategic_thinking  Nassim_Taleb  opposing_actions  books  incompatibilities  Greek  Stoics  dual-consciousness  disagreements  F._Scott_Fitzgerald 
february 2010 by jerryking
Home By Design: It's All Greek To Me
Oct. 2/Nov. 2009 |Home By Design | by Kim A. Fuqua. Spinach and Cheese Pie, Egg & Lemon Soup
recipes  Greek  salads  soups 
january 2010 by jerryking
Cool it. Slow down. Don't buy the rhetoric
November 21, 2009 | globeandmail.com | by AVNER MANDELMAN.
The formal art of convincing others is called rhetoric. The Greek and
Romans used to teach it, as did the Jesuits, British law schools of old
and certain colleges in France. There is a variety of rhetorical styles -
Roman, Greek (which includes oratory), British, French, German - but
all are meant to do one thing: convince you and push you into action.
That topic of this column - a warning against letting yourself be
convinced without checking things yourself--due diligence.
Slow_Movement  rhetoric  logic_&_reasoning  Avner_Mandelman  investment_advice  due_diligence  persuasion  Greek  Romans  self-delusions 
november 2009 by jerryking
"The Hidden River of Knowledge"
May 21, 2007 | New York Times | Commencement address by David Brooks.

In short, things are about to change big time. And one of my messages today is that you know that uncertainty you feel today? It never goes away. The question is, do you know how to make uncertainty your friend?....here's one other thing I've noticed that separates the really great people from the merely famous ones. They talk to dead people.

Merely famous people have pictures of themselves on the wall. Really great people have pictures of dead people on the wall, and on their desks. It's one of the first things I look for when I go into somebody's office...And they talk about these dead people....
The dead were alive to them, and looking over their shoulder....The Greeks used to say we suffer our way to wisdom...Success is not something that we do or that happens to us. Success is something that happens through us....We inherit, starting even before we are born, a great river of knowledge, a great flow from many ages and many sources. The information that comes from millions of years ago, we call brain chemistry. The information that comes from hundreds of thousands of years ago from our hunter and gatherer ancestors we call genes. The information that was handed down thousands of years ago we call religion. The information passed along hundreds of years ago we call culture. The information passed along from decades ago we call family. The information you absorbed over the past few years at Wake Forest we call education....We exist as creatures within this hidden river of knowledge the way a trout exists in a stream or a river. We are formed by the river. It is the medium in which we live and the guide about how to live.

The great people I've seen talking to the dead do so because they want to connect with the highest and most inspiring parts of the river. When people make mistakes, often it is not because they are evil. It's because they don't have an ideal to live up to.

These great people also talk to the dead because they want a voice from outside their selves....the best people I've met don't feel that smart or that special. They have powerful jobs, but they don't feel powerful. They don't feel like architects building these great projects from scratch. They feel instead like river boat captains negotiating the currents around them.

They want to step outside their egotism and understand the river of events. They want to feel how people in the past have negotiated its channels. They want other voices in their heads so they can possess the ultimate power, which is the power of facing unpleasant truths.

Finally, I think they talk to the dead because they want to widen their time horizons....Think hard about who you marry. It's the most important decision you will ever make. Devote yourself to your kids. Nothing else is guaranteed to make you happy. The only thing I'd add is, create a posse of dead people. Create an entourage of heroes. Put their pictures on your wall, and keep them in your mind.

They will remind you of your place in the hidden river of wisdom. They'll serve as models. They'll give you an honest perspective on how you're doing. They'll remind you that your blessings don't come from you but from those who came before you.
advice  affirmations  ancestry  blog  brain_chemistry  career  cognitive_skills  commencement  culture  cultural_transmission  David_Brooks  education  family  genes  Greek  hidden  happiness  heroes  humility  hunter-gatherers  ideas  inspiration  Managing_Your_Career  marriage  perspectives  role_models  sense_of_proportion  speeches  success  suffering  the_counsel_of_the_dead  time_horizons  transcendental  uncertainty  Wake_Forest  wide-framing  wisdom 
november 2009 by jerryking
Book Review: "Thucydides: The Reinvention of History" - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 30, 2009 |Wall Street Journal | PETER STOTHARD. The School of Athens
The difficulty of drawing lessons from an ancient war—of distinguishing facts from what one would like to be facts.BY
rising_powers  book_reviews  Greek  historians  history  Thucydides 
november 2009 by jerryking
Obama’s Man on the Budget - Just 40 and Going Like 60 - NYTimes.com
March 27, 2009 | New York Times| By JODI KANTOR

Profile of OMB director, Peter Orszag, who keeps two books on his desk:
the teachings of Epictetus, a Greek Stoic philosopher who espoused
dispassion and self-discipline, and “The Strenuous Life,” by Theodore
Roosevelt, an ode to pushing oneself as hard as possible.
profile  orszag  books  dispassion  Greek  self-discipline  Stoics  Theodore_Roosevelt  unsentimental 
march 2009 by jerryking
Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies
Listening to Ato on CKLN encouraging students attending
black-focused schools to study "hard" texts, particularly texts that
take students outside of their comfort zone. So he mentioned Greek
literature.
Ato_Quayson  Greek  African_Canadians  Colleges_&_Universities  Afrocentric  schools  high_schools  hard_work 
april 2008 by jerryking

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