Ancient Greek Texts - The Little Sailing

The Little Sailing: Ancient Greek Texts

Ancient Greek Texts

An Electronic Library of Full Texts

The object of these pages is to provide ancient Greek texts available to everyone, "without limits, without strings".
If you are the owner of a similar site or you know of one, please let me know in order to be included in the links.
What you can find here
From these pages you can download or read the texts of many ancient Greek writers. The number of the titles increases gradually.
The texts you can download are compressed and each file contains a full text in MS Word 97 format (the original text only - no translation). A font of Unicode encoding type that supports the "Greek Extended" range is all that you need in order to be able to see the texts.
For further details please look at "Unicode fonts for Polytonic Greek". If you have such a font you can use it in order to read and print the texts.
The texts are added to the site without any predefined order. If a text requires less work to reach an acceptable form then probably it will be uploaded first.
If you find any errors in the texts please inform me in order to correct them. The issue number shows such corrections. Any changes are recorded in the history.
Texts with translation
You can browse some texts side by side with the translation.
How you can download the texts
Just "click" the "download" button for the compressed (zipped) file. When you are asked for a response, select "save to disk". Then you can decompress the file and use your editor to see it (of course you must have installed an appropriate font as described above).
If you are interested in some specific texts you can ask me and I will try to upload them asap (if they are available). You can also send me email and I will inform you of any new uploads.

Issue, date, size Compressed file
Aeschines, Against Timarchus 1.1, 14/5/00, 52kb ais111.zip
Aeschylus, Agamemnon
(ed. G. Murray, Oxford 1955)
Offered by Slaven Skoko - Student Philological Association Zagreb
1.0, 14/6/02, 49kb aeschylus_agamemnon.zip
Aeschylus, Choeforoi
(ed. Herbert Weir Smyth, 1926)
1.0, 20/7/03, 32kb choeforoi_u10.zip
Aeschylus, Eumenides
(ed. Herbert Weir Smyth, 1926)
1.0, 20/7/03, 29kb eumenides_u10.zip
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 1.0, 20/8/00, 36kb promitheus.zip
Aeschylus, Septem contra Thebas
(ed. Herbert Weir Smyth, Cambridge 1926)
1.0, 1/11/01, 31kb EptaEpiThivas01u.zip
Apollodorus (pseudo-), Library A 1.0, 16/9/00, 34kb apolla10.zip
Apollodorus (pseudo-), Library B 1.0, 24/9/00, 39kb apollb10.zip
Apollodorus (pseudo-), Library C 1.0, 21/10/00, 43kb apollc10.zip
Apollodorus (pseudo-), Library Epitome
contributed by Spyros Missiakoulis
1.0, 9/7/04, 57kb apolle10.zip
Aristophanes, Acharnians 1.0, 18/6/00, 41kb dikaip.zip
Aristophanes, Clouds 1.0, 22/4/00, 53kb arist110.zip
Aristophanes, Frogs
[ed. F.W. Hall and W.M. Geldart, Oxford. 1907]
1.0, 4/10/01, 54kb
Aristophanes, Knights
[ed. F.W. Hall and W.M. Geldart, Oxford. 1907]
1.0, 30/3/02, 50kb
Aristophanes, Lysistrata 1.0, 9/6/01, 46kb lysistrata10.zip
Aristophanes, Peace
[ed. F.W. Hall and W.M. Geldart, Oxford. 1907]
1.0, 30/3/02, 46kb peace10.zip
Aristophanes, Wasps
[ed. F.W. Hall and W.M. Geldart, Oxford. 1907]
1.0, 30/3/02, 54kb wasps10.zip
Aristotle, About Poetics 1.0, 1/12/00, 38kB
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, books 1 & 2
[ed. J. Bywater, Aristotle's Ethica Nicomachea. Oxford, 1894]
1.1, 31/12/02, 37kB
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, books 3 & 4
[ed. J. Bywater, Aristotle's Ethica Nicomachea. Oxford, 1894]
1.1, 31/12/02, 44kB nicom34u11.zip
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, books 5-10
contributed by Spyros Misiakoulis
1.0, 06/01/05, 175kB nicom5-10.zip
Aristotle, Parva Naturalia
[ed. W. D. Ross, Oxford 1955]
1.0, 29/11/01, 102kB
Aristotle, Virtues and Vices 1.0, 17/6/00, 8kb
Diogenis Laertii Vitae Philosophorum,
text only (in html)
(ed. H S Long, Oxford 1964)
Epictetus, Enchiridion
(ed. H. Schenkl, Teubner Leipzig 1916)
1.0, 20/7/03, 22kb enchiridion_u10
Epicurus, Epistula Tertia Ad Menoeceum 1.0, 10/4/01, 7kb pros_menoikea.zip
Epicurus, Ratae Sententiae 1.0, 10/4/01, 7kb kyriai_doxai.zip
Euripides, Bacchae
(ed. Gilbert Murray, Oxford. 1913)
1.0, 18/11/01, 43kb bacchae10u.zip
Euripides, Electra
(ed. Gilbert Murray, Oxford. 1913)
1.0, 18/7/02, 38kb euripides_electra.zip
Euripides, Hippolytus
(ed. J. Diggle, Oxford 1984)
Offered by Slaven Skoko - Student Philological Association Zagreb
1.0, 14/6/02, 44kb
Euripides, Iphigeneia in Tauris 1.0, 9/10/00, 49kb
Euripides, Medea 1.0, 18/2/01, 41kb
Herodotus, History 1 1.0, 3/6/01, 123kb herod1u10.zip
Herodotus, History 2 1.1, 3/6/01, 90kb herod2u11.zip
Herodotus, Histories 3-9
(ed. A. D. Godley. Cambridge 1920)
1.1, 20/1/04, 509kb herodotus3-9u11.zip
Hesiod, Opera Et Dies
Thanks to Manuel Delgado Dominguez
1.0, 1/4/00, 33kb
Hesiod, Shield of Heracles 1.0, 21/10/00, 18kb
Hesiod, Theogony
1.0, 1/11/00, 38kb

Hippocrates, De morbo sacro
(ed. E. Littre, Paris 1849)
1.0, 27/10/02, 19kb

Homer, Iliad, books 1-24
(ed. D. B. Monro and T. W. Allen. Oxford, 1920)
[You can download each book in a separate file from here.]
Many thanks to Manuel Delgado Dominguez for providing the first book of the Iliad.
1.0, 1/1/02, 557kb
Homer, Odyssey, books 1-24
Also with translation by Arg. Eftaliotis
[You can download each book in a separate file from here.]
1.0, 3/6/01, 449kb
Isocrates, Busiris, Nicocles, In sophistas, Panathenaicus, Panegyricus, Philippus
contributed by Michalis Solomonides
1.0, 7/1/05, 213kb isokrates.zip
Lucian, A True Story 1.1, 9/6/01, 45kb louk1u11.zip
Lucian Dialogi Deorum
in html format.
(ed. H S Long, Oxford 1964)
Lucian, The Dance (De saltatione) 1.0, 3/6/01, 30kb peri_orxhsews.zip
Lucian, The Dream or Lucian's Career 1.0, 29/9/00, 10kb
Lucian, How to write History 1.0, 31/12/00, 32kb
Lucian, The consonants at law (Trial of sigma) 1.1, 9/6/01, 7kb
Lucian, Slander (About not being too quick to believe a calumny) 1.1, 9/6/01, 15kb louk2u11.zip
Lysias, Hyper Adynatou
(ed. U. Albini, Sansoni, Florence 1955)
An offer of Georgia Galani
1.0, 18/7/02, 14kb lysias_adynatoy.zip
Lysias, Pro Mantitheo
(ed. U. Albini, Sansoni, Florence 1955)
An offer of Georgia Galani
1.0, 18/7/02, 11kb
Various, Lyrica
(Callinus, Tyrtaeus, Mimnermus, Theognis, Archilochus, Simonides, Alcaeus, Sappho, Anacreon etc.)
Offered by Slaven Skoko - Student Philological Association Zagreb
1.0, 14/6/02, 23kb
Menander, Dyscolus
(ed. F.H. Sandbach, Oxford 1972)
Offered by Slaven Skoko - Student Philological Association Zagreb
1.0, 14/6/02, 35kb
Musaeus, Hero et Leander
(ed. H. Färber, Munich 1961)
Offered by Slaven Skoko - Student Philological Association Zagreb
1.0, 14/6/02, 14kb
Pausanias Attica
(ed. F. Spiro. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903)
1.0, 20/7/03, 96kb paus_attica_u10.zip
Pausanias Korinthiaka
(ed. F. Spiro. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903)
1.0, 20/7/03, 85kb paus_korinthiaka_u10.zip
Pindarus, Olympia I & Nemea I
(ed. H. Maehler [post B. Snell], Leipzig 1971)
Offered by Slaven Skoko - Student Philological Association Zagreb
1.0, 14/6/02, 10kb
Plato, Apology
(ed. John Burnet, 1903)
1.0, 2/6/02, 33kB
Plato, Crito
(ed. John Burnet, 1903)
1.0, 2/6/02, 18kB
Plato, Euthyphro
(ed. John Burnet, 1903)
1.0, 2/6/02, 21kB plato_euthypron10u.zip
Plato, Laws
contributed by Spyros Missiakoulis
1.0, 26/9/04, 628kB plato_laws_10.zip
Plato, Phaedo
(ed. John Burnet, 1903)
1.0, 2/6/02, 76kB plato_phaedon10u.zip
Plato, Phaedrus 1.0, 21/11/00, 66kB phaedrus1.zip
Plato, Republic
contributed by Spyros Missiakoulis
1.0, 9/7/04, 543kB Plato_Republic_1.0.zip
Plato, The Seventh Letter
Also with translation by J. Harward
1.0, 14/1/01, 35kB 7th-ltr-u10.zip
Plato, Symposium 1.1, 8/1/01, 64kB symposium11.zip
Plato, Timaios
(ed. John Burnet, 1903)
1.0, 20/1/04, 88kb
Plutarch, Vitae Parallelae: Agesilaus
contributed by Spyros Misiakoulis
1.0, 3/4/05, 65kb plut_agesilaus.zip
Plutarch, Alcibiades 1.0, 28/5/00, 43kb
Plutarch, Vitae Parallelae: Alexander
contributed by Spyros Misiakoulis
1.0, 3/4/05, 88kb plut_alexander.zip
Plutarch, Aristides 1.0, 29/9/00, 34kb
Plutarch, Vitae Parallelae: Caesar
contributed by Spyros Misiakoulis
1.0, 3/4/05, 73 kB plut_caesar.zip
Plutarch, Vitae Parallelae: Cicero
contributed by Spyros Misiakoulis
1.0, 3/4/05, 57 kB plut_cicero.zip
Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride
(ed. W. Sieveking, Plutarchi moralia, vol. 2.3, Leipzig 1935)
1.0, 18/7/02, 66kB
Plutarch, Vitae Parallelae: Galba
contributed by Spyros Misiakoulis
1.0, 3/4/05, 36 kb plut_galba.zip
Plutarch, Kimon 1.0, 25/11/00, 27kB
Plutarch, Vitae Parallelae: Lysander
contributed by Spyros Misiakoulis
1.0, 3/4/05, 52 kB plut_lysander.zip
Plutarch, Vitae Parallelae: Nicias
contributed by Spyros Misiakoulis
1.0, 3/4/05, 75 kB plut_nicias.zip
Plutarch, Vitae Parallelae: Pericles
contributed by Spyros Misiakoulis
1.0, 3/4/05, 73kB plut_pericles.zip
Plutarch, Vitae Parallelae: Solon
contributed by Spyros Misiakoulis
1.0, 3/4/05, 68 kB plut_solon.zip
Plutarch, Vitae Parallelae: Sulla
contributed by Spyros Misiakoulis
1.0, 3/4/05, 96 kB plut_sulla.zip
Plutarch, Vitae Parallelae: Themistocles
contributed by Spyros Misiakoulis
1.0, 3/4/05, 63 kB plut_themistoles.zip
Plutarch, Theseus 1.0, 29/9/00, 33kb
Sophocles, Ajax
[Ed. Richard Jebb. Cambridge. 1893]
1.0, 4/10/01, 43kb
Sophocles, Antigone
[ed. Sir Richard Jebb, Cambridge. 1891]
1.0, 29/9/01, 33kb
Sophocles, Electra
[ed. Richard Jebb, Cambridge. 1894]
1.0, 30/3/02, 46kb
Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus
[ed. Richard Jebb, Cambridge. 1889]
1.0, 30/3/02, 62kb
Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus
[ed. Richard Jebb. Cambridge. 1887]
1.0, 4/10/01, 48kb
Sophocles, Philoctetes
[ed. Richard Jebb. Cambridge. 1898]
1.0, 30/3/02, 46kb
Sophocles, Trachiniae
[ed. Richard Jebb. Cambridge. 1892]
1.0, 30/3/02, 40kb
Theocritus, Idylls
Also available in HTML format with an introduction to Theocritus work and life (in Greek)
1.1, 26/6/04, 91kb
Theophrastus, Characters
Also available with introduction, translation and index by E. David (in Greek)
1.0, 3/6/01, 30kb
Thucydides, Histories 1, 2 and 3
files converted to Unicode from Internet Ancient History Source Book of Paul Halsall, after permission
1.1, 18/03/03, 213kb thucy1-3u.zip
Thucydides, Histories 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8
(ed H.S. Jones - J.E. Powell, Oxford 1942)
1.0, 27/10/02, 377kb thucydides4-8.zip
Xenophon, Anabasis 1.1, 14/5/00, 197kb
Xenophon, Symposium 1.0, 22/4/00, 36kb


The human face - Beauty (1 - 6)

A Darwinian theory of beauty - Dennis Dutton

Uploaded on 16 Nov 2010
http://www.ted.com TED collaborates with animator Andrew Park to illustrate Denis Dutton's provocative theory on beauty -- that art, music and other beautiful things, far from being simply "in the eye of the beholder," are a core part of human nature with deep evolutionary origins.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the "Sixth Sense" wearable tech, and "Lost" producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate. Watch a highlight reel of the Top 10 TEDTalks at http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/top10

Ayn Rand - Wikipedia

Ayn Rand - Wikipedia
 Half-length monochrome portrait photo of Ayn Rand, seated, holding a cigarette

Ayn Rand (pron.: /ˈn ˈrænd/;[1] born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum; February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982) was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher,[2] playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism. Born and educated in Russia, Rand moved to the United States in 1926. She worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood and had a play produced on Broadway in 1935–1936. After two early novels that were initially less successful, she achieved fame with her 1943 novel The Fountainhead.

In 1957, she published her best-known work, the novel Atlas Shrugged. Afterward she turned to nonfiction to promote her philosophy, publishing her own magazines and releasing several collections of essays until her death in 1982. Rand advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge and rejected faith and religion. She supported rational and ethical egoism, and rejected ethical altruism. In politics, she condemned the initiation of force as immoral[3] and opposed collectivism and statism as well as anarchism, instead supporting a minarchist limited government and laissez-faire capitalism, which she believed was the only social system that protected individual rights. In art, Rand promoted romantic realism. She was sharply critical of most philosophers and philosophical traditions known to her, except for some Aristotelians and classical liberals.[4]

Rand's fiction was poorly received by many literary critics,[5] and academia generally ignored or rejected her philosophy. The Objectivist movement attempts to spread her ideas, both to the public and in academic settings.[6] She has been a significant influence among libertarians and American conservatives.[7]


Population Explosion -- or Implosion? | Steven W. Mosher - YouTube

Population Explosion -- or Implosion? | Steven W. Mosher

Uploaded on 17 Jun 2010
Lecture presented by Steven W. Mosher at the 21st Annual Meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness held in Phoenix, Arizona; July 2003.

Official website of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness: http://www.ddponline.org

Biography of Steven W. Mosher

Selected writings by Steven W. Mosher:

What is Wrong With the UN Population Fund?

The Malthusian Delusion and the Origins of Population Control

The Two Sides of the Culture of Death

"Overpopulation" Ideas Have Consequences

McNamara's Folly: Bankrolling Family Planning

USAID Supported Fujimori Sterilization Campaign; Seeks to Cover-Up Involvement

The World Still Feeds Itself

China's One-Child Policy

China and the Culture of Death

UN Population Controllers Support Forced Abortion, Lose US Funding

UNFPA Supports Coercion: Vietnamese are Victims of UNFPA

UNFPA Whitewash: Forced Abortion in China

Related links:

'Abolish the United Nations Population Fund' -- An Interview with Steven W. Mosher

Mosher refutes world overpopulation theory

The Population Controllers and Their War on People

The Population Controllers and Their War on People, Part II

Sanger's Control of Female Fertility

Population Myths

The Bomb that Fizzled

Federal 'Family Planning' Spending: Domestic Population Control

Room for More: Population and the Environment

UN Skirmishes in War on Family

Milosevic and the 'UN Butchers'

Refugees' Rights vs. "Reproductive Rights"

False Premises of Population Control

China's Population Policy

Coercive Pop Control Comes Home

The Deconstruction of Gender

How Mexico Treats Its Poor Women

The Sword of Damocles: Population Control and AIDS Destroy African Families

What Do African Women Want? (hint: not "Reproductive Health Care")

Anti-Life Agenda Forced on Afghan Women

Too Many Brown People? California Abortionists Target Latinos

A Covenant With Death
Global population planners meeting in Cairo revealed why they must be vigorously opposed by God-fearing people worldwide.

Gender Politics in Beijing

Environmental Genocide

DISCLAIMER: Doctors for Disaster Preparedness has given permission under the Creative Commons license that this media presentation can be publicly reposted as long as proper credit is given to DDP and other guidelines are followed. More info at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b...

The World As Hologram - Leonard Susskind

Published on 4 Nov 2011
Leonard Susskind of the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics discusses the indestructability of information and the nature of black holes in a lecture entitled The World As Hologram.

Why the (the political) Right is Right - Rocking Philosophy

Rocking Philosophy: Why the Right is Right

The bombardment of left-wing ideology in my early years had a major effect on the person I used to be. I recall environmentalist hysteria like the greenhouse effect, followed by global warming, and what we now call climate change. There’s historical revisionism about Marxism having nothing to do with regimes like the USSR, or feminist mendacity about women being inherently oppressed. Economic propaganda suggests Roosevelt’s New Deal was a success, or that free markets cannot work.

As a result of this early conditioning I spent the majority of my life believing that leftist ideology was right about basically everything. I believed it to be the embodiment of fairness, justice, virtue, and a better all-round society. I cringe at how I believed feminist agnotology, or how I respected people like Michael Moore. But by the time I hit my 30’s I was independently studying, reading, watching videos and documentaries, looking at websites, and examining the alternative – the other argument - the one that is heavily suppressed by the mainstream.
It took me to a wonderful world of classically liberal philosophy championed by Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, Ludwig Von Mises, and many more. It showed me that a limited government protects the liberty of the individual and wider society. It showed me that government suffers from the knowledge problem, where the state is unable to react to the needs of the public rationally and efficiently, while a free market adapts to the needs of society through consumer demand.
I have learnt that there is credence in social conservatism seeking to protect society from cultural degradation, or that equality is really a buzzword that denies practical reality. In other words, we are all free, but we are not all equally capable. This is what the left does not understand, and this is why Marxian inspired social warfare is so short-sighted and destructive. It fails to conceive that human beings are victims of circumstance, and are only every able to enact equality when there is no threat to survival. But even when people are able to relax their social boundaries they cannot do this without a strong foundation within society, and this must occur within a sustainable framework.
I wouldn’t call myself a social conservative – I am more of a right-wing libertarian. But to even utter the word ‘right’ in our present western culture is often a recipe for automatic criticism. In the US one has to be very careful which state they are in if they are going to be open about political affiliation. In Texas Republicans are dominant, while in California it is the Democrats. In the UK there is basically no right, since leftist parties like Labour and the Liberal Democrats quell the opposition. All that remains is a mere shadow of conservative values, cocooned in a shell of religiosity.
One of the ways that the right has been smeared is an alleged associated with Nazism. First, it always amuses me that people gloss over the fact that Nazism is short for ‘National Socialism’ in German. What’s more the Nazis controlled society through central planning, a socialist philosophy, albeit Nazis did not abolish property rights altogether, like the communists. Social conservatism also has nothing to do with Nazi style mass genocide either, but can be isolationist at its extreme. The confusion regarding Nazi alignment can be solved with the political compass:

The horizontal line defines economic stance (communism/collectivism – neo-liberalism/libertarianism), and the vertical line defines social views (authoritarian/fascism – libertarian/anarchism). The Nazis were economically central, and socially fascist. The suggestion of Nazis as far right has been repeatedly used to describe Nazi sympathisers, or those that share similarities, like Anders Breivik. This is not accurate. It’s interesting to note however that nobody ever talks about the far left. In fact that term is never used to describe modern extremists.
This is where we truly begin to see the reason why Nazism has been thrown at the lap of the right, while the destructive nature of communism has been ignored. Since the civil rights movement of the 60’s there has been a radical transformation of the left of the political spectrum in democratic countries. While the political paradigm was once broken down into classical liberalism on one end, and conservatism on the other, there has been a push even further left, to what is now called the ‘New Left’. Through Soviet style ideological subversion this has led to far-left radicals gaining positions of influence in society. In particular this occurred in academia, where Marxian inspired lecturers now promoting their leftist critique.
What didn’t help in averting this were the policies of Joseph McCarthy during the 1950’s. This led to the term McCarthyism to describe those who accuse others of being communist subversives. But we do know from defectors from the USSR that ideological subversion was very much at the forefront of Soviet espionage during the cold war. One such example is Yuri Bezmenov, an ex-KGB defector. But this didn’t prevent paranoia from kicking in, where people were in danger of becoming what they were fighting against, much like the ‘war on terror’ today.

Now that I am free of leftist indoctrination I find myself relishing the classical liberalism at the centre of the enlightenment and industrial revolution. As a result the Austrian School, Rand’s Objectivism, or the Chicago School, among other philosophies of similar vein, now inspire me. I am fascinated by the question of minarchism versus anarcho-capitalism, where like-minded individuals debate the shape of a classically liberal government.
The minarchist desires a minimal state, where the government simply protects the people via police and military, and where courts are also provided for arbitration. Meanwhile the anarcho-capitalist feels that the state is inefficient in every sense, monopolising force by its mere existence. Both ideologies however espouse free markets, property rights, and non-aggression, all fundamental to classical liberalism.
Fiscal conservatism is also a core value of the right, not to be mistaken with social conservatism. While socialists feel that everything should operate via state redistribution, fiscal conservatives understand that this is expensive, inefficient, and leads to a loss of individual liberty. This is precisely why the larger the state becomes, the more national debt increases. The US started out as a minimal government based on pioneering philosophy of individual liberty and unalienable rights, and has turned out to be the largest state in history, with huge national debts of around 16 trillion.
This is one of the reasons why anarcho-capitalists feel that the state cannot exist, since it will inevitably grow over time. I am inclined to believe that the real conundrum is whether it is feasible to make it impossible for the state to grow once it is minimised. Minimal state or no state it truly is a matter of healthy rhetoric among fellow classical liberals, who realise that socialism has led to inherited national debt by the unborn, a nanny state, intrusive government that meddles with every facet of life, and a push towards totalitarianism. The right seeks to prevent this, and this is why the right is right.

Stupidity - BBC Documentary

Uploaded on 3 Apr 2011
This documentary about stupidity tells us the history of the word "moron", the difference between stupid, moron, smart, intelligent, genius and questions the regular practice of classifying peoples intelligence through standardized IQ tests. Of course also Mr. Bush is examined in this report.

A well educated guy who, nevertheless, acts in a completely dumb way -- or at least wants us to believe so.

Albert Einstein said:

"Only two things are infinite the universe and stupidity.
and I am not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein- How I See the World - YouTube

Published on 13 Jan 2013
In the summer of 1939 Albert Einstein was on holiday in a small resort town on the tip of Long Island. His peaceful summer, however, was about to be shattered by a visit from an old friend and colleague from his years in Berlin. The visitor was the physicist Leo Szilard. He had come to tell Einstein that he feared the Nazis could soon be in possession of a terrible new weapon and that something had to be done.

Szilard believed that recent scientific breakthroughs meant it was now possible to convert mass into energy. And that this could be used to make a bomb. If this were to happen, it would be a terrible realisation of the law of nature Einstein had discovered some 34 years earlier.

September 1905 was Einstein's 'miracle year'. While working as a patents clerk in the Swiss capital Berne Einstein submitted a three-page supplement to his special theory of relativity, published earlier that year. In those pages he derived the most famous equation of all time; e=mc², energy is equal to mass multiplied by the speed of light squared.

The equation showed that mass and energy were related and that one could, in theory, be transformed into the other. But because the speed of light squared is such a huge number, it meant that even a small amount of mass could potentially be converted into a huge amount of energy. Ever since the discovery of radioactivity in the late 19th century, scientists had realised that the atomic nucleus could contain a large amount of energy. Einstein's revolutionary equation showed them, for the first time, just how much there was.

However, at the time Einstein doubted whether that energy could ever be released. By 1935 he was convinced it would never be practical. At the Winter Session of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Pittsburgh, he is quoted as telling journalists: "The likelihood of transforming matter into energy is something akin to shooting birds in the dark in a country where there are only a few birds."

Archimedes' Secret (BBC Documentary)

This is the story of a book that could have changed the history of the World. To the untrained eye, it is nothing more than a small and unassuming Byzantine prayer book, yet it sold at Christies for over $2m. For faintly visible beneath the prayers on its pages are other, unique, writings - words that have been lost for nearly two thousand years.

The text is the only record of work by one of the world's greatest minds - the ancient Greek, Archimedes - a mathematical genius centuries ahead of his time. Hidden for a millennium in a middle eastern library, it has been written over, broken up, painted on, cut up and re-glued. But in the nick of time scientists have saved the precious, fragile document, and for the first time it is revealing just how revolutionary Archimedes' ideas were. If it had been available to scholars during the Renaissance, we might have reached the Moon over a hundred years ago.

The trail begins in the tenth century, when a scribe made a unique copy of the most important mathematics that Archimedes ever developed. For 200 years the document survived, but the mathematics in it was so complex that no one paid it any attention. So when one day a monk was looking for some new parchment - an expensive commodity at the time - to write a new prayer book, the answer seemed obvious. He used the Archimedes manuscript. He washed the Greek text off the pages, cut them in half, rebound them, and turned the Archimedes manuscript into an everyday prayer book. As he piously wrote out his prayers, he had no idea of the genius he was obliterating.

Several hundred years later, the Renaissance was under way. Scientists were beginning to grapple with new concepts, working out how mathematics could be used to explain the World around them. Little did they know that many of the problems they were just encountering Archimedes had already solved more than a thousand years before. So, tragically, they had to do that research all over again, setting back the development of science and technology immeasurably.

Then in 1906, in Constantinople, the document mysteriously turned up in a monastic library. An opportunistic scholar called Johan Ludwig Heiberg identified the text as Archimedes' writings. Although the Greek text was very faint, Heiberg was able to decipher some of it. What he found astonished him, and made the front page of the New York Times. He revealed that Archimedes' manuscript contained something called 'The Method', which showed not only Archimedes' final proofs, but for the first time revealed the process of how he went about making his discoveries.
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"Social Scientists call it 'Cascade Theory' " - Examining current issues in science and society

Philosophical Investigations - Examining current issues in science and society

Social Scientists call it 'Cascade Theory' - the idea is that information cascades down the side of an 'informational pyramid' - like a waterfall.

How many waterfalls really do cascade down pyramids?

Not many. But that is not the point. It is easier for people, if they do not have either the ability or the interest to find out for themselves, to adopt the views of others. This is without doubt a useful social instinct.

As it has been put, Cascade theory reconciles 'herd behaviour' with rational-choice because it is often rational for an individual to rely on information passed on to them by others........


In the words of Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays (1891-1995, whose rather mundane sounding day-job was as a theatre promoter) human wants and desires are "the steam that make the social machine work
" (Propaganda, 1928).

Properly handled, the pressure of public opinion can be controlled as if "actuated by the pressure of a button". The herd, he noted, like to follow the example of a trusted authority figure.
ailing that, it relies upon "clichés, pat words or images which stood for a whole group of ideas or experiences".

Unfortunately it is less rational to follow wrong information, and that is what can often happen. We find people cascading uselessly, like so many wildebeest fleeing a non-existent lion, in so many everyday ways. A lot of economic activity and business behaviour, including management fads, the adoption of new technologies and innovations, not to mention the vexed issues of health and safety regulation, reflect exactly this tendency of the herd to follow poor information.

Some people say that what is needed in response is to encourage a range of views to be heard, even when they are annoying to the 'majority'. Like, for instance, one should allow people to 'deny' global warming. Or let teachers in schools and universities decide what they are going to teach. But more people say, on the contrary, that what is needed is stricter control of information to stop 'wrong views' being spread. It is that view that is cascading down the pyramid now.|

One of the best examples of 'cascade theory' is that of the entirely false consensus that built up in the 1970s around the danger of 'fatty foods'. In fact, this consensus still exists - but has never had any medical or scientific basis.
The theory can be traced back in this case to a single researcher called Ancel Keys, who published a paper saying that Americans were suffering from 'an epidemic' of heart disease because their diet was more fatty than their bodies were accustomed to after thousands of years of natural evolution.
In 1953, Keys added additional evidence from a comparative study of US, Japan and four other countries. Country by country, this showed that a high fat diet coincided with high rates of heart disease.
Unfortunately, for this theory, it turned out that such prehistoric ‘traditional diets’ were not especially 'low fat' after all - indeed, even the imaginary hunter-gatherers of yore, if they relied on eating their prey, would have had more fat in their diet than most people do today. As Science magazine pointed out, in the most relevant period of a hundred years before the supposed 'epidemic' of heart disease, Americans were actually consuming large amounts of fatty meat, so the epidemic followed a reduction in the amount of dietary fat Americans consumed – and not an increase.
The human brain is designed to see patterns in raw data - even when they may not really exist.

Keys' country-by-country comparison had also been skewed – for as critics at the time pointed out, many countries did not fit the theory, (the obvious cases being France and Italy, with their oily, fatty cuisines) but Keys simply excluded them. The American Heart Association, considered to be the voice of experts in this case, even issued a report in 1957 stating plainly that the fats-cause-heart-disease claims did not "stand up to critical examination". Even the case for there being any such epidemic was dubious too - the obvious cause of higher rates of heart disease was that (like the Soldiers in the First World War in their tin hats, see Investigation 85) - people were living longer. Long enough to develop heart disease. But it was too late, the cascade had started.

Three years later, the Association issued a new statement, reversing its view. The Association had no new evidence but had, rather, some new members writing the report, in the form of Keys himself and one of his friends. The new report made the cover of Time Magazine, and was picked up by non-specialists at the US Department of Agriculture who then asked a supporter of the theory too draw up 'health guidelines' for them. Soon, scarcely a doctor (if a few specialised researchers still protested) could be found prepared to speak out against such an overwhelming 'consensus'. And all this was good enough for the highest medical officer in the United States - the Surgeon General - in 1988 to issue a doom-laden warning about fat in foods zealously claiming that ice cream was a health-menace on a par with tobacco smoking. 

It was really a pretty silly theory, and certainly not one based on good evidence. In fact, in recent years, large scale studies in which comparable groups have been put on controlled diets (low-fat and high fat) a correlation has at last been found. It turns out that the low-fat diet seems to be unhealthy! But no one is quite sure why. 

So the next time someone says that 'all the experts agree' - even if they are philosophers, Nobel Prize winners, or even TV personalities - don't be so sure that that proves anything at all.