Oscar Hartzell

There are many kinds of tricksters. Some are like P.T Barnum, they try to trick people so that they find them entertaining. But there are confidence men like Oscar Hartzell, who sought to rip people off with their schemes. Hartzell is one of history’s greatest con artists. In the early 20th century, he convinced over […]

The Prince of Humbugs

In 1835, the legendary showman P.T Barnum made his debut. He exhibited what he called “the most astonishing and interesting curiosity in the world,” an elderly black woman names Joice Heth. She was 161 years old. He announced through pamphlets and many forms of advertisements that she was the “most ancient specimen of mortality.” This […]

Nostradamus

If Nostradamus knew the future, why didn’t he warn the French King of the tournament that would kill him in 1559? Instead, he wrote a book, Centuries, in which he made prophecies that included great things for King Henri, while the latter was still alive. This, of course, made the king a great admirer and […]

Appear to be Virtuous (The Prince)  

Machiavelli was suspected of being part of a conspiracy – he was tortured and placed under house arrest. That was when he wrote the Prince. This short book does not try to derive from first principles the nature of the ideal state and the qualities of a good ruler. He draws on the recent history […]

The Elimination of Self

According to Hobbes, human beings live in a state of nature that operates under one rule: eat or be eaten. It is this law that governs all things. There is no justice or fairness, there is merely powerful and weak. There is the will to dominate and the will to submit. And in all people, […]

Faking Insanity

Everything which the enemy least expects will succeed the best. If he relies for security on a chain of mountains that he believes impracticable, and you pass these mountains by roads unknown to him, he is confused to start with, and if you press him he will not have time to recover from his consternation. […]

Stop Lying

I finally said, “Stop Lying to me! Enough lies. Is everything a lie?” And then there was quiet. And then there were more experiences. And then I said, “Ah, but I am also a liar.” And then there was quiet, and some more experiences. And then I thought to myself, “Well, aren’t we all liars […]

The Corrupt Mind

In The Republic, there is a passage that describes what qualities a judge should be endowed with. The conversation takes place with Socrates. Socrates: ‘The best way for a doctor to acquire skill is to have, in addition to his knowledge of medical science, as wide and as an early acquaintance as possible with serious […]

Be Spotless

Be Spotless: the indispensable condition of perfection. Few live without some weak point, either physical or moral, which they pamper because they could easily cure it. The keenness of others often regrets to see a slight defect attaching itself to a whole assembly of elevated qualities, and yet a single cloud can hide the whole […]

How to Build Self Control?

The Power of Silence If you have ever experienced regret after an encounter with someone, where you may have said too much then you understand how easily your emotions can get the better of you. The truth is that no matter how rational you think you are, your emotions are much more powerful. When a […]