Turkey and Tackling the Library

In less than one month I will be publishing Tackle the Library – Indian Independence. This is the third addition to the series, and it will have a new format; the chapters are slightly longer, there are maps (courtesy of my beautiful wife), and there are exciting discussion questions. It has taken me 6 months of reading and writing to publish this installment, and I really hope that you will check it out on Amazon. Indian Independence is a fascinating time in history, and it truly shaped our modern day world – my new book will both inform and entertain. I was surprised this week when a fellow blogger posted about Tackle the Library. His blog is called Vogliodio, and he writes about wisdom, books, and culture. His content is well written and refreshing – his perspectives on philosophy inspire me to continue my own journey of pursuing knowledge. Below I posted the hyperlink to the article and a short excerpt of what he wrote.

Vogliodio – Tackle the Library

“Of the two books I read, one was on a topic I do not know well (the French Revolution) and the other on a topic I have read and studied up on (Plato). This allowed me to judge how successfully the one works as an introduction and how accurately the other one reflects what I know about the subject. In both cases, the works met the mark…”

“More than these two books, I am intrigued by the notion of tackling the library itself and I hope to try it when I am situated more closely to an American local library. Does this method of learning appeal to you? For what topic will you attempt to tackle the library?”

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Again thank you for your continued support of Sapere Aude and please check out Vogliodio. I will be posting excerpts from Tackle the Library – Indian Independence in December. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and make sure you leave no carb untouched. This year I am thankful for my readers, my family, my health, and my soon to be born son – Teddy.  

 

Thank You! – Bring it 2018

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It’s that time of year again. That weird week between Christmas and New Years when people feel a mixed bag of emotions about the holidays – like the Hokey Pokey – “You put your right foot in…You take your right foot out….” I am ready for it all to be over because my stomach cannot handle one more day of “I’ll start after New Years,” and my motivation as a Philosopher is being destroyed by Man vs. Food Marathons.  This is my third year blogging, and I am still enjoying this quirky journey. In 2017, I published my first book on Amazon – Tackle the Library – The French Revolution; this was a milestone in my life, and I hope to finish the next installment on Plato by June of 2018. In respects to reading, I was able to finish 80 books with 40 of those being classics. I feel more well-rounded as a writer and a human being thanks to these stories of past and I highly recommend everyone pick up at least one classic this upcoming year.

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Sapere Aude did just as well as last year with over 1,600 visitors from over a dozen different countries; I am proud of this because SAPERE AUDE is not advertised or riddled with the common entrapments of the internet: sex, food, gossip, news, politics. That is why I always take this time of year to thank my readers because without your support I would probably give up on the pursuit. Seeing people each week learn from my writing is my greatest satisfaction in life. I know life gets hectic, and it is far easier to watch recipe videos on Facebook, but you find the time to read my posts – that is a fantastic compliment. So this coming year I hope that you will stick with me and continue the journey for wisdom. I will be attempting to read the same amount and diversify my writing with a new novel called American Chestnut – due to be finished by 2020. This year, make a goal for yourself to read at least one book a month. Try to challenge yourself and make it a book that will stretch your mind and your soul. If you don’t have time to sit down and read, try audiobooks which can be listened to while driving, doing chores, and exercising. Thank you again for all the help and please share this blog with friends and family who may also appreciate joining in our journey for knowledge.

Sincerely,

Jon

The Diary of a Nobody

“It’s the diary that makes the man.”

-George Grossmith

Did you ever have a diary? I always thought a diary was for wimpy little girls who needed to get their emotions on paper via multi-colored pens. I kept a paper diary only two times in my life. The first time was a dismal attempt at recording my “feelings” after coming home from a mission trip. We were told to read the Bible and write about our sinful teenage misgivings – after writing “I looked at a girl’s butt” for the hundredth time, the diary got thrown out. The second time was when I lived in Honduras for three months. My Mom recommended that I record all the happenings so in the future I could look back at the events with greater detail. That diary was actually a success, most of its contents included missing Christina (my future wife) – and with parallels to my first diary – her well-shaped contours.

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I still thank my Mom today for suggesting the diary in Honduras, and I think it primed me in some ways to create my third diary: SAPERE AUDE. This blog is really just a public journal with an overarching theme of discovering wisdom; it’s kinda like a log for a runner but instead of miles ran, it is the number of books read. Blogging is an incredibly rewarding experience that channels my inner little girl to express myself to people all over the world. Throughout history, people have kept diaries in the hopes that they would be published for public consumption – this was most popular in the 19th century and led to the classic The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith.

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The Diary of a Nobody is the fictitious diary of George Pooter who is a lower-middle class Englishman in the 1880’s. Pooter writes in his diary in part to record important moments, witty jokes, and mishappenings which are regular occurrences. Mr. Pooter personifies the class structure of late 19th century England; the lower classes try to be more like the upper classes, and the upper classes scorn their faux ladder climbing. One attempt at modeling the upper class was writing a diary which many wealthy people kept to later publish – making them quite famous. The problem is that Mr. Pooter is a “nobody” in a family that makes fun of the idea of his diary becoming syndicated; it’s the modern day equivalent of a friend saying they deserve a reality show because of their exciting life – (cue eye roll). 

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The thing is, I identify with Mr. Pooter with this blog. I know that it is just me rambling about weird subjects, but sometimes I think it may make me famous one day; maybe my post about the War of 1812 will go viral! One can fantasize, but the real motivation for keeping any type of diary is the ability to look back in time. Life is so fascinating that writing consolidates details that may otherwise be forgotten – thankfully I can share those memories with my readers – even if I never surpass the status of a “nobody.”

Thank You for a Wonderful 2016

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These past two weeks have been quite exceptional in the categories of socializing and eating. My wife and I were able to spend time with family and friends while eating sugar on a hourly basis. We both are feeling the post-holiday blues; organizing our myriad of presents and trying to keep our minds off the snugness of our clothing. I have never been a big fan of New Years and last night I fell asleep at 10:30 pm without a tinge of guilt. As I get older I do take the “New Year’s Resolution” more seriously. What better time to set a goal and try to better yourself? My resolution is to eat Paleo for a solid month along with walking on my treadmill everyday during that period. Additionally, I am working on my Seasons With project – an attempt to read 12 books on the French Revolution by the last day of Winter. My suggestion for goals is to make them short, precise, and measurable.

One thing I resoundingly appreciate on this New Year’s Day are all my loyal readers. You keep me writing and give me an audience for my eclectic books and quirky thoughts. This is SAPERE AUDE’s third year and it is still going strong with visitors on a daily basis. I could increase my readership by posting the latest news, celebrity gossip, fashion, and pictures of me in a banana hammock. However, I blog not for the number of readers, but for the quality of the content to both educate and increase wisdom. Below, I listed my stats for the year as a thanks to you and motivation for myself to continue this journey.

2016 Stats

Total Views – 4,079
Total Visitors – 1,799
Likes – 202
Comments – 153
Number of unique countries – 79
Top 3 most popular posts – Abraham Lincoln vs. Donald Trump, The Helpfulness of Habits, A Valentine’s Day to Remember

Thank you again for reading and we hope you enjoy all the upcoming 2017 posts.

-Jon, Christina, and Max

Back to the Original

I tried Bohemian Caveman for 30 days and I just wasn’t feeling it. I’m back to the original name of my blog and I feel good about the switch. I apologize to my readers for all the changes but let’s just say I pulled a Coca-Cola and messed with the recipe. My domain will still be bohemiancaveman.com for a year because I can’t get a refund. SAPERE AUDE is here to stay!

Thanks Again Readers,

Jon

Dare to be Wise

So what is the deal with the title of this blog-Sapere Aude? My connection to this saying is quite personal on several levels. One day in college I decided to look up my last name on Google and see if there was any history concerning Oldham. I was interested in the history because Oldham seemed like a really weird last name which is extremely easy to make fun of. I thought, “who the heck would pick this as a last name?” The search, to my surprise, led me to a legit coat of arms, and a city in England with my last name that still exists. The fact that there is an Oldham, England was pretty sweet and I saw that there was a coat of arms associated with the surname. The animal on the coat of arms is an owl and the latin phrase underneath reads “Sapere Aude.” I soon learned that Oldham was once pronounced less like the deli meat and more like “Owl-duhm.” The prononciation led to the owl on the coat of arms and the “Sapere Ow-de” phrase. The owl is also an animal associated with wisdom so the whole thing is a nice little package of cool for a last name that today is the butt of jokes. What really resonated with me was the translation of Sapere Aude which as you guessed it is-Dare to be Wise. That is freaking sweet because I never associated wisdom with a dare. Daring someone to do something always seems to result in an unwise outcome: “I dare you to go run around the dorm naked,” “I dare you to eat the mold off that bread,” “I dare you to fart in the elevator.” I never heard someone dare me to read a book, think critically about the world, or seek knowledge.

My connection to this phrase reached me not only on a historical level but also on a personal level. My whole life I loved to help people and try to give insight into issues they may be experiencing. I wasn’t a nosey fricker but I just seemed to enjoy having one-on-one conversations from a young age with my Momma and eventually with my friends. I was fascinated by philosophy and many times my friends would say that I was “wise.” In high school I began to question what wisdom truly was. Is wisdom being good at giving advice? Is wisdom being smart? Is wisdom knowing the answers to life? I had no idea and honestly I never felt wise because I was a fat kid for most of my life who watched cartoons and hung out with my parents. In college I still was pondering the question of wisdom when I fell upon my family crest’s motto-Sapere Aude. What the frick! Is that a coincidence that I was interested in wisdom, fairly alone in caring about the topic, and this was my surname’s motto. I didn’t think much more of wisdom until I graduated and regained my desire to learn. I began to ponder what wisdom was and how I could live the motto “Dare to be Wise.” I took the dare and that is why I made my goal of mastering the subjects of history, psychology/sociology, and philosophy. I believe that wisdom is not a simple thing or a one word phrase that you put on a cat poster in your office. I beleive wisdom is a lifestyle and requires a incredibily deep knowledge of our world. Wisdom is also something that you can not just learn from reading a crap ton of books. It takes a combination of research, life experiences, and human interaction to truly be wise. My current infantile view of being wise means that you understand the outcome of a decision without making the decision.  This is abstract but one example would be that I know that a big house will not make me happy even without me having to buy the big house (makes sense I hope). So there you go, my journey and purpose in mastery is taking up the challenge to be wise, fullfilling some weird family duty, and seeking a goal that I think is more rewarding then any other goal I can think of. In the end, if I obtain wisdom I hope to help people live better lives. Period.