A Fool Is Put In His Place

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The following anecdote is related in Ibn Khallikan’s short biographical profile of the philologist and rhetorician Al Said.  His full name was Abu al-Said Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Isa Al-Raba’i.  Verbal abilities are highly prized in cultures with rich literary traditions, and this tale bears testament to this fact.

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Machiavelli’s Three Key Concepts

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If a political scientist were asked who might be the most misunderstood writer of political theory, he would probably have the name of Machiavelli high on his list.  To his name have been ascribed sinister motivations and calculated duplicity; and unscrupulous cherry-picking of his quotes has fashioned him into an ogre in the popular mind.

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A Retreat Can Spur Creative Energy: Machiavelli’s Letter To Francesco Vettori

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Sometimes being away from the fray and the fracases of life can allow us to compose our thoughts and regenerate our spirits.  This has the effect of spurring the creative soul on to higher amplitudes of output.  We forget just how distracting it is for the mind to be bombarded with invasive stimuli; and while periods of withdrawal from the fray should not be permanent, they can, in the right doses, provide just that right proportion of flint and steel to spark great works.

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Two Principles Of Management You May Not Have Considered

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There are a great many principles of management and leadership, and no book has yet been written that encompasses them all.  But it is still good to state—and restate—them when necessary, since new circumstances and conditions are always arising that challenge our adaptive powers.  I wanted to talk about two of these principles, both of which forced themselves into my life recently as a result of some work challenges I had to deal with.

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Video Review Of “On Duties” Translated By Quintus Curtius

Today Mr. Andrew Vittoria released a very detailed and cogent You Tube video review of my On Duties.  Readers seeking an in-depth and reasoned commentary will no doubt find this video useful.  I have embedded the video below.

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Seek It, And It Recedes; Ignore It, And It Comes To You

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The biographer Ibn Khallikan relates the following anecdote about a man named Abu Amir Orwa Ibn Uzaina, a scholar and poet who died around A.D. 736.  Not much is known of his life except that he was a member of the Iraqi tribe of al-Laith.  It illustrates the importance of not chasing things in life too much.  From personal experience I can attest to this principle’s soundness.  When I was younger, there were times when I would try too much to chase things or control events.

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