Tag: Albert Nock

The Weekly Eudemon

A round-up of good reading from the week

Looking to live slow? You like Stoic wisdom? Think the vaccine is working? Those are a few of the topics touched on this week. (Excerpts to follow in the Traditional TDE Blog over the next couple of days. “M” denotes “Medium.com” and, therefore, you may need a subscription to read.)

I have signed up for this: The Live Slow Challenge. For a few years, I’ve been preaching the importance of slow living, with no autobiographical empirical evidence whatsoever. I, in other words, have been a hypocrite, albeit unintentionally. We’ll see if this challenge gets me into the non-groove.

The may who has made Stoicism into a cottage industry, Ryan Holiday, offers 100 Very Short Rules for a Better Life. I don’t think Ryan is even 35 years old yet, so I question his level of wisdom, but I feel like I know less and less every day, so maybe wisdom declines with the years. Okay, I don’t really believe that, but regardless, Christ was only 33 when he died, and he had some pretty good things to say (I know: he had an advantage). Ryan also relies heavily on a thorough reading regimen. Acquaintance with great minds is a great substitute for gained wisdom. (M)

Ryan Holiday also suggests three books to help you understand what’s going on right now. Disclosure: I haven’t read any of them and have only even heard of one of them: The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry; Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin; Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954–63 by Taylor Branch. (M)

(I gotta be honest, I envy Ryan Holiday. The guy has fashioned a comfortable living for himself … Read the rest

“Dorothy Parker was a Brilliant Slut” and Other Sundries to Fascinate Your Friends at the Bar

The godfather of modern libertarianism, Albert Nock, was in his prime during Prohibition. Needless to say, he railed against it, noting once that it’s absurd to regulate something that, in nature, flows as freely as water.

He’s right, of course. And the fact that it flows as freely as water has made it a form of recreation and escape for nearly 10,000 years. (Okay, we don’t know for sure why the Chinese in the Yellow River Valley (where 9,000-year-old pottery (with alcohol residue) was found) were drinking alcohol, but they weren’t Neanderthals, so presumably, there was a large measure of recreation involved.)

It’s no surprise that there’s a ton of interesting and fun alcohol trivia.

I’m working on a definitive list of such, but for now, I offer this handful:

1.            Go Extreme

Are you tired of the beer snobs? I know I am. I realize I probably have an unsophisticated palate, but when I read beer aficionados talk about “hints” of malt from the Euphrates Valley, I roll my eyes.

But if you want to try to understand a little of what they’re talking about, you should taste and contrast beers from the two extremes: double boch (extreme malt) and bitter ales (very hoppy).

2.            Government Created the Great London Gin Craze

The Great London Gin Craze was a pretty scary things: kids getting soused, women selling themselves for a gin and tonic with lemon spritzer (okay, I embellish).

It resulted from government interference. William of Orange and his allies in Parliament wanted to punish the French for, among other things, their ongoing support of deposed King James, so they banned the importation of French brandy. Parliament pushed through the Distillation Act of 1690 to promote the interests of powerful landowners. Parliament then increased the tax on … Read the rest