Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Words from Marcus Aurelius

"Were you to live three thousand years, or even thirty thousand, remember that the sole life which a man can lose is that which he is living at the moment; and furthermore, that he can have no other life except the one he loses…This means that the longest life and the shortest amount to the same thing. For the passing minute is every man's equal possession, but what has once gone by is not ours."

"Your time has a limit set to it. Use it, then, to advance your enlightenment; or it will be gone, and never in your power again."

"Take it that you have died today, and your life's story is ended; and henceforward regard what future time may be given you as an uncovenanted surplus, and live it out in harmony with nature."

Wills on the Church Scandal & Ferguson on History

In an article in TNR, Garry Wills publishes an important assessment of the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

Niall Ferguson speaks about history. A print version of the interview can also be found at that site. In these brief monologues, Ferguson discusses the value of history as a topic of study; his "hero", Dr. Who, and the allure of time travel to Ferguson as a youth; and a discussion of the "six killer apps" that gave the West the predominant place in world history for the last 500 years or so, but which have now been "downloaded" by other parts of the world that now allow them to challenge Western predominance.