The Swerve and mob mentality
In one of his videos, Chris mentioned that he read a book called The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt, so I looked up and decided to read it. It was fascinating. It is the story of how a papal secretary in 1417 discovered a copy of Lucretius’ poem called On the Nature of Things originally written several thousand years earlier, a book which completely challenged the Christian orthodoxy of the time and over the centuries influenced the emerging Renaissance thinkers and ultimately people like Thomas Jefferson.
The reason I bring it up here is because it gave quite a taste of the power of a dominant belief system and the terror of a mob defending it. It seems we are repeating history here with the vaxxed vs unvaxxed and I am honestly terrified.
Take for example Hypatia who was the daughter of a mathematician in ancient Alexandria, Egypt, which had for centuries been the site of religious pluralism, with three faiths living together. Wikipedia: “Ancient sources record that Hypatia was widely beloved by pagans and Christians alike and that she established great influence with the political elite in Alexandria.” According to Greenblatt, she was one of Alexandria’s most visible public figures, very unusual for a woman in those days. “She became famous for her attainments in astronomy, music, mathematics, and philosophy and students came from great distances to study the word of Plato and Aristotle under her tutelage.”
In the early fourth century BC, Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire. In 391 a successor started going after paganism big time. Keeping a long story short, Hepatia supported the governor, a moderate Christian, for his opposition to the demands of some that the city’s large Jewish population be expelled. Rumors started to circulate that Hepatia was a witch and a mob grabbed her, stripped her, flayed off her skin with broken pottery and then burned her corpse. Go, mobs!
Jan Hus, a Czech “a priest and religious reformer who had been for some years a thorn in the side of the Church…vehemently attacked the abuses of clerics, condemning their widespread greed, hypocrisy, and sexual immorality. He denounces the selling of indulgences as a racket, a shameless attempt to profit from the fears of the faithful.” He was excommunicated and imprisoned and ultimately burned at the stake in 1415.
We think we are so modern. I think humans are humans. We had the Holocaust less than 80 years ago, and other genocides since then.
Anyway, thanks, Chris for the book recommendation! I very much resonate with Lucretius Epicurean philosophy. As the ship of industrial civilization goes down, it’s nice to know I am in good company of some wise ancient Greeks.
I’d love any other book recommendations anybody may have.
Here are some of the most influential books that I have read.
“A Guide for the Perplexed” by E.F Schumacher
“1984” by George Orwell
“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig
“Parable of the Tribes” by Andrew Bard Schmookler
“Gandhi” by Yogesh Chadha
“Chaos” by James Gleick
“Deliverance” by James Dickey
“The Heart of The Buddha’s Teachings” by Thich Nhat Hahn.
I would add to that “The Crash Course” by Chris Martenson.
If you’d like a diversion from the doom and gloom, I recommend The Book of Joy. It is an interview with the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I found the humility, grace, and wisdom of those two quite inspirational.
Not in any order
-Magicians of the Gods by Graham Hancock
– The sixth extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
– Influence by Robert Cialdini
– The creature from jekyll island by G. Edward Griffin
-Count Down by Shanna H. Swan
-The chrisma myth by Olivia Fox Cabane
-Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatti
-The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris
– The New confessions of an economic hitman by John Perkins
– The like switch by Jack Schaffer
– Redirect by Timothy D. Wilson
– Mans search for meaning by Victor Frankl
Those are a few I have read or listened to more than once
I must second the recommendation of
– Influence by Robert Cialdini
Another that was mentioned by someone on PP some time ago is
– Dissolving Illusions by Suzanne Humphries, MD and Roman Bystrianyk
Truly, all this vaccine lying has been done before: lab leaks, vaccines that do not work and in fact harm people, gaslighting by authorities, ignoring real data, etc.
Thanks, everyone! I have read many but not all of these you have recommended. For sure this mass propaganda has all been done before. I just thought economic collapse would happen before AI and related dystopias like this Big Pharma nightmare became a reality. I was wrong.