The Loss Of Confidence, And The Infliction Of Shame (Podcast)

There are two things that can be especially harmful to an individual or to a society:  a loss of confidence, and the acquisition of a consuming sense of shame.  How many people do we know who have been set adrift after losing their sense of purpose, or after acquiring a sense of guilt?  The same crisis can affect nations and societies.  What are these qualities, and why are they so deleterious? We analyze and discuss.

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The Thief Who Stole The Pharaoh’s Money

One of Herodotus’s charms is that he is always willing to share a good tale.  Some of these stories he apparently believes; others strike him as dubious.  Either way, he considers them imporant, and dutifully records their details.  “Those who find such things credible,” he warns us, “must make what use of them they will of the stories of the Egyptians.  My own responsibility, however, as it has been throughout my writing of this entire narrative, is simply to record whatever I may be told by my sources [II.123].”

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Francisco De Orellana’s Epic Navigation Of The Amazon

Francisco de Orellana Bejarano Pizarro y Torres de Altamirano was born in Trujillo, Spain, probably around 1511, although the precise date is uncertain.  He seems to have been a relative of the conqueror of Peru, Francisco Pizarro; and this sanguinary connection, combined with opportunities for glory and wealth, may have provided the impetus for him to emigrate to the New World around 1527.  He joined Pizarro’s army and served his kinsman well in the power struggles that were then rife among the Spaniards; and when the dust settled, he found himself in possession of substantial tracts of land in Ecuador, and an unsatiated ambition.

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The Positivism Of Benjamin Constant

I made an effort today to visit the house and museum of Benjamin Constant in the Santa Teresa neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro.  I had visited it some years ago and thought it would be a good idea to see it again to gain some perspective.  The site was closed for renovations, unfortunately, so I had to content myself with a few photographs of the surrounding area.  These can be found below.

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Selection And Supervision Are Critical In Any Great Enterprise

I have lately been rereading Candace Millard’s excellent River of Doubt, a narrative of Theodore Roosevelt’s ill-fated sojourn through the Amazon in 1914.  As is well known, the expedition was plagued by a lack of adequate food supplies and equipment.   This fact nearly caused the entire project to unravel once it was deep in the Amazon.

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Footprints Leading In, But None Coming Out (Podcast)

A reader is concerned that hanging around with a certain group of friends might get him into problems or trouble.  He is unsure how to deal with the situation, and asks for some guidance on the best course of action.  For some people, this is an easily-handled situation, but for others, it is not.  We relate a relevant fable, and discuss.

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