Petrarch Counsels A Ruler On The Ends Of Power

Giacomo Bussolari was born to a poor family in Pavia, Italy around 1300.  A natural gift for oratory augmented the modest opportunities available to him; and he found in the Augustinian order a vehicle for the expression of his ambitions.  During the 1350s he was a leading figure in the city, even rising to command the city’s military during conflict with the Visconti in 1356.  Yet Fortune was to turn against him, as so often happens; by 1359 the Visconti had mounted a successful campaign against Pavia, and Bussolari was ignominiously deposed.

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"I’m Thinking About Doing Something, But Don’t Know If It’s A Waste Of Time And Money" (Podcast)

I often get questions from readers asking if they should do seminars, courses, retreats, take classes, or things like this.  It’s a great question.  My thoughts are these: (1) Everyone has different motivational needs and requirements; (2) Your resources and time are limited; (3) You should experiment with different things to find out what works, and what does not; (4) Even if it doesn’t work out, you will still have learned something.

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The Travels And Achievements Of Giovanni Belzoni

Giovanni Battista Belzoni ranks as one of the most unexpected and fascinating of European travelers.  With little formal experience and education, he managed not only to explore and document various parts of the Arab world, but also to carry out engineering and logistical feats that would have daunted even the trained professionals of his era.  This fearless Italian was born in Padua in 1788.  He was but one of fourteen children, and the son of a barber; finding few career prospects in his native city, he set out for Rome at the age of sixteen with the intention of pursuing a monastic career.  The Church at least could offer him food, drink, and a roof over his head; and for a poor youth, these inducements were considerably attractive.

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Ringing In 2020: A New G Manifesto Tweet Reading

We’re ringing in the new year with another G Manifesto tweet reading (even though he’s already in 2022). The topics are: custom suits, nootropics, game meats, mountain villages, ocean swims, beautiful girls, and avoiding weesh dudes. What more can be said? Kick back, have a drink or two, and laugh along with us! Life is too short!

(Most will never get something like this).

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What Knowledge Comes To Us From Dreams?

Arthur Conan Doyle’s sinister short story “The Leathern Funnel” deals with a phenomenon called psychometry:  the supposed ability of material objects associated with emotionally charged experiences to preserve and transmit a record of such events.  Published in 1900, the tale begins innocently enough with a meeting between friends, then slowly builds to an ominous crescendo of unease and sadistic malignancy.  Lionel Dacre, a wealthy owner of rare curiosities, owns a very old leather funnel from seventeenth-century France; the funnel has mysterious scratches, or bite-marks, on its neck.  Dacre persuades a friend (the unnamed narrator) to sleep with this funnel by his bedside.  In his dreams that night, the friend makes a horrifying discovery:  the funnel was actually used as a water-torture device during a pretrial procedure euphemistically called the “Extraordinary Question.”

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