Saturday, February 24, 2007

Selection 9 - The Oresteia by Aeschylus - Updated

I just found out that on Olympia Academy updates to posts are not working correctly for some reason. Either they don't take or they overwrite the entire previous post.

Still working on the Oresteia so far I am very unimpressed. Clytemnestra definately comes off as a harridan while at this point Agamemnon is sort of falsely humble. The killing of the daughter has only been alluded to so far and the affair with Aegisthus hasn't been shown yet.


Jerry Springer meets the Ancient Greeks

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Friday, February 16, 2007

England honoring Adam Smith

Adam Smith, author of "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" is to be honored by appearing on the new 20 pound note according to the Bank of England:

Making the announcement yesterday, Bank of England Governor, Mervyn King, said, “It is such a pleasure to use the occasion of the launch of a new series of notes as an opportunity to recognize Adam Smith’s contribution to the understanding of society and its development. Smith’s insights into human nature, the organization of society, the division of labour and the advantages of specialisation remain at the heart of economics.” The Governor was giving the Adam Smith Lecture at the Adam Smith College, Kirkcaldy, Fife.


Along with the different ‘look’ of the note, the main change is the inclusion of a portrait of Adam Smith on the back of the note, along with the image of a pin-making factory and a summary of Smith’s observations on the benefits of the division of labour, drawn from his major work, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

Money as an economics textbook? Well I guess if you can print an RSS feed on toilet paper you can print Adam Smith quotes on money.

H/T Betsy

(Yes I know the RSStroom reader is a joke, but it's also genius whose time is coming)

Monday, February 05, 2007

How the Scots Invented the Modern World

I have been working on this book for a few months now, mainly reading it on airplanes or when I am working off site and I finally finished it last night. Overall a pretty good book but a little weak at the end.

The first half of this book describes the origins of the Scottish Enlightenment and the conditions which led to the Scottish Diaspora. This is definitely the stronger half of the book. Herman outlines the thinking that led to classics such as "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith, and "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by William Gibbons, as well as the Political though that would surround the American Revolution and and the establishment of the United States.

That legacy can still be seen in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

The second half seems more tenuous. When Herman talks about the effects of the Scots on the policies that affected the formation of the United States, and on the British Empire his work stays strong. (in my opinion at least, but who am I? Maybe in the PHd world it's considered crap.) However, when he begins describing the effect of Scots in the area of industry it seems more rushed, and more stretched at times. Probably with more room he could have made a stronger case but here it seems a little weak.

Again overall a pretty good book.

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