Articles about History



bread and water and the voting process

In our currently paralyzed political condition in the United States, we could learn a little from some of the ancient political systems in history. Take the Holy Roman Empire, for example. Now there were some people who knew how to get stuff done. The Holy Roman Empire was an elective monarchy since the 10th century. […]

Thomas Jefferson was an anarchist

Everything today is “there are two sides to every story.” Yet we look at our “established” beliefs and can barely imagine believing anything else. It’s easy to forget that, historically, everything has always had a “second side” to it. The “inalienable rights” of the Declaration of Independence, for example. As recently as 200 years ago, […]

the golden age of mathematical philosophy

The four decades from 1940 to 1980 were the Golden Age of Mathematical Philosophy. During this time, the greatest minds of the century brought together cutting edge theory from engineering, mathematics, and physics to speculate on the nature and meaning of mind, morality, society and metaphysics. Today I want to give tribute to some of […]

Party Politics circa 1000

You hear people talk about how crazy politics “has become”, or how “these days” things are so divisive, or how crazy and dramatic our political personalities are “lately.” Is it really a recent thing? Let’s take a look. The place is Germany, the year is 1065. Politics is controlled by three centers of power: the […]

what Aristotle taught me

The winning team has momentum going into the playoffs. The political candidate is trailing in the polls, but has the momentum. The momentum of the stock market can make people worried or hopeful. Everything we think about in the world, from gambling to politics, is affected by the metaphor of momentum. But the idea of […]

before the pogrom

The 22-year-old King cried, “Kill them! Kill them all!” The Jesuits locked the gates to the city so that nobody could leave, and the Catholic soldiers let loose on the city. The year was 1572. Five thousand Protestants had been in Paris, and fewer than five hundred survived. They were stabbed, clubbed, drowned, thrown from […]

Morality and the Free Market

It is fashionable among free-market capitalists today to use personal choice and responsibility as the only yardsticks by which they measure the soundness of a policy. For example, if you sign up with a bank and get gauged by the fees, it is your responsibility: you signed up of your own free will and you […]

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