Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto reads Shakespeare and Plutarch

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Recently, the inventor of Bitcoin, Dr. Craig Wright, held another philosophy class. The Parallel Lives by Plutarch were discussed with the participants of the course.

The table of contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Social Aspects of History
  3. Biographer, Historian, and Psychologist

Plutarch’s Parallel Lives as an entry to a broader picture

The table of contents, as shown above, is only an overview. Behind these three inconspicuous points is a full hour of university-level lecture by Dr. Wright concerning the Roman Empire, Shakespeare, Plutarch, and more.

Plutarch’s Parallel Lives (full title: Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans) is a series of autobiographies of influential Greek and Roman individuals, grouped in pairs instead of being single considerations. By this, Plutarch allowed for direct comparisons of famous men.

Dr. Wright explained that in history, we look at the actions of the whole society, while in biography, we focus the lens on individuals:

“Biography is different from other aspects of history in that what we are doing is looking at the lives of individuals. So, in analyzing these individuals, what we see is sort of the deep dive into why these people are virtuous. Why they are doing something good, bad, or indifferent.”

He hints that from history alone, we cannot learn about virtues. We see the overall results of individual’s virtues in the outcomes of history, but indirectly and bundled.

What fascinates Dr. Wright about Plutarch is this:

“One of the great things I find in Plutarch is (…) he tries to capture the soul of the individual. This is something I think we lose today.”

Dr. Wright gave some examples of modern individuals that would fit into the concept of Plutarch’s collection. As a starter, Dr. Wright said Plutarch could put Churchill against Stalin today. In discussion with the participants of the philosophy course, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela or Gandhi and Dalai Lama were mentioned as possible Plutarchic pairs of our times.

Source: slide from the philosophy course

Shakespeare, read by Bitcoin inventor Dr. Craig Wright

As we are used to Dr. Wright, he connects the dots. Plutarch is just an entry point for Dr. Wright and his recent philosophy class. The course went on to discuss Shakespeare, who has been inspired by Plutarch’s Parallel Lives. Dr. Wright said:

“Around the time that Shakespeare started writing (…), the translation of Plutarch that came out was quite common. The events and how they were described within many of Shakespeare’s plays directly translate from the work of Plutarch. The distinction is: the character development of Shakespeare is way deeper than anything that Plutarch ever did. Plutarch captured what the psychology was, but Shakespeare made the characters human.”

Dr. Wright went on to explain that what Shakespeare, as an artist, did was take the material from Plutarch and bring it to life—for the recipient to experience it rather than just read it.

Now we have three things in relation to each other: history, biography, and art. Biography details history, history is bundled biographies, and art consumes both to produce it for the living and the soon to live.

Source: slide from the philosophy course

Roman Empire and American founding fathers

Besides discussing Plutarch’s work, Dr. Wright also commented on the Roman Empire, especially how it eventually decayed:

“My population analysis looks at the changing demographics—much like we have in our society—but for Romans, most of the Romans had one child, maybe two. So, the Roman population started declining, but what they did—like many of our European nations now—they brought in people (…). You bring those people in, but you don’t give them the same education, you don’t inculcate them into society. And then you wonder (…) why they eventually get p***ed off and take over,” Dr. Wright said.

Furthermore, Dr. Wright pointed out that even though Caesar came to power, crossed the Rubicon, and basically became a dictator, Rome did not fall apart. That was not the case with Alexander the Great, whose death was the start of a fragmentation of his empire.

A participant in the philosophy class added that Alexander the Great seemed to be more interested in “beating up the next guy” instead of state matters, whereas Caesar had a greater Rome in mind.

Source: slide from the philosophy course

The beautiful part of this open philosophy class is that participants directly interact with Dr. Wright casually.

At the end of this course, Dr. Wright asked his students why the American founding fathers initially created an aristocratic Senate that was not voted for by the people. One of the philosophy class participants suggested that this was to prevent demagogues from influencing the masses.

Dr. Wright said that the founding fathers “feared democracy” because, in democracies, demagogues can make changes to society that have long-term negative impacts.

More philosophy classes by Dr. Craig Wright coming soon

Recently, Dr. Wright published statements of his vision, mission, and values. His philosophy courses show what he researches besides Bitcoin—and you could be part of it.

Message Joel Dalais from the MetaNet ICU or Brendan Lee from Elas for further information on how to join in to the upcoming next episode. The previous 13 episodes—each roughly an hour long – are already uploaded and publicly available on this YouTube playlist.

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