In 169AD a Roman emporer, inexperienced in war, looked over the death of 20,000 of his army. Marcus Aurelius' military, seriously depleted from previous seiges, suffering severly from illness, and fighting in unfamiliar terrain, looked sure to concede defeat to the northern Germanic tribes.
In the years following that seemingly insurmountable loss, Aurelius would spend hours each night creating a series of personal writings that would serve as a source of guidance and self improvement.
The collection of writings was entitled Meditations - the orginal title "Ta eis heauton" literally translating to "thoughts/writings addressed to himself". Nearly two thousand years later, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is considered one of the greatest works of philosophy, cementing Aurelius' place in a long line of Stoic philosophers.
This site is my own "ta eis heauton". Maybe you will find it useful, much as I find Meditations useful. Publishing an accumulation of my personal knowledge online serves multiple purposes:
- Clarification: There is a concept in software development called refactoring. Refactoring is the process of restructuring the internal software code to make it clearer - it doesn't usually affect the functionality but it helps to create clarity within the code. This blog is a refactoring of my knowledge. It forces me to reorganise my thoughts.
- Improvement: Another popular software development concept is that of Kaizen. Kaizen is a Japanaese term which translates to "improvement". In the software world this it is a continuous process that is applied to every area, from the code to the development practices. This has a "compound" effect, where lots of small changes eventually create amazing results.
- Correction: This is my personal implementation of Cunningham's Law, which states that "the best way to get the right answer on the internet is not to ask a question, it's to post the wrong answer." I make no promises that everything is correct or set in stone. If you can find logical fault in my thoughts, I encourage you to tell me. You can either submit a pull request on Github (if you know how), or you can message me directly.
In case you were wondering, Marcus Aurelius went on to overcome the poor odds he faced by adapting his strategy to suit the Germanic forest in which he fought. Using vexillationes - smaller guerilla type units that increased the mobility of his force - he drove back the invaders and set up fortifications to defend the land from the north.
Where to start
Feel free to explore the sidebar, but be warned that most articles are in draft and constantly changing.
Here are a some of the more completed articles: