Before you can be with others, first learn to be alone

In 1840, Edgar Allan Poe described the ‘mad energy’ of an ageing man who roved the streets of London from dusk till dawn. His excruciating despair could be temporarily relieved only by immersing himself in a tumultuous throng of city-dwellers. ‘He refuses to be alone,’ Poe wrote. He ‘is the type and the genius of … Continue reading Before you can be with others, first learn to be alone

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Inventing the Enemy

Jog your imagination a little and envisage a sumptuous Swedish winter smörgåsbord replete with mouthwatering choices: a fine assortment of cold and hot foods and desserts, of course. It's an exaggerated analogy, but Umberto Eco's 'Inventing the Enemy' gives you a similar experience. 'Inventing the Enemy' compiles a diverse selection of Umberto Eco's essays and … Continue reading Inventing the Enemy

Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars & Media Populism

Books are different things to different people - just like the movies. On a philosophical level, a good book holds the ability to instill in its readers a sense of purpose and meaning. You won't need critics' judgment; a good book will have you buzzing in the afterglow. Umberto Eco's 'Turning Back the Clock' (2007, … Continue reading Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars & Media Populism

Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's 'Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder' is more than just a book, it's a modern day equivalent of Enchiridion of Epictetus. However, unlike the ancient stoic philosopher who had to count on his pupil Arrian for the compilation of his discourses, Taleb takes it upon himself and authors a highly engaging, thought-provoking, … Continue reading Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder