Two free Resources every man should use on their quest for knowledge
In our modern age we tend to love new things. We put a high premium on them and as a consequence many older more time tested works and methods of doing things fall to the wayside and are forgotten.
Education is a very good example of this. Before our modern era western students were taught by the Trivium method. This was a method of teaching that produced critical thinking ability and comprised of three subjects grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Once the Trivium was mastered the student would then go to the Quadrivium consisting of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. What is interesting is that this too was thought of as preparatory in order to study philosophy and theology.
Education came down to leaching you how to think, giving you systems with concrete rules to think within, then less bound systems of thought. It’s the crawl, walk, run method that so many people use in teach a single task.
But today the Trivium and Quadrivium are taught in a kind of mash up that doesn’t leave a strong reasoning foundation in most people.
A reason for this is the lack of classics in education. We are never taught the great thinkers from the past. The Greeks are given a day or two in history class, and the Enlightenment thinkers aren’t even mentioned much less the medieval ones.
Aside from the Iliad and Odyssey most of our fictional heritage isn’t studied either. Kids get about a week or two on classical mythology and that’s is. They might read Beowulf, but they won’t even touch Milton. No, to get a good understanding of our Cultural background you’ve got to go to college and get a degree in literature, or philosophy. But even doing that you aren’t too likely to focus on the greats of western history. Instead you’ll focus on the few women and “people of color” who had something to say about our civilizations (mostly negative and critical). But that is a rant for another day.
To get back to the topic at hand.
Recently I’ve been on a quest to better not just my body, but mind as well. I believe the best way to do this is to read the great works of history.
Personally I’ve been reading some of the stoics and Nietzsche recently and regret not taking more philosophy classes while in college. They are interesting, thought provoking, and have broadened the way I think about the world. Nothing in too drastic a way, but in subtle ways.
Unfortunately books are expensive. To actually read and study even a fraction of the great works of the past would cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the years.
With that in mind I found two resources that will save you nearly all of that money. The only downside is they are all digital copies.
Free Amazon Classics: this is a collection of free public domain books that you can download right to your kindle or computer. They have a little over 8,000 books. There are collections of folklore, philosophy, mythology, basically everything you could want. And it’s right on Amazon.
Project Gutenberg: this is another collection of public domain books. But you can download them in multiple different formats. And they have over 46,000 books. Plus affiliates with 100,000. In all honesty I haven’t used this site much yet. Amazon is just a much easier browsing experience and I’ve got a bunch of books waiting to be read. But if you are looking for a specific topic this is the resource you should use.
These two sites have become invaluable to my journey to master my life. I hope you get something out of it, I know I have.