Benvenuto Cellini, did a lot of things according to his autobiography. In every endeavor, he claims that he was the best at it ever and was honored by all around him. In this autobiography, Cellini continuously says that to tell the entirety of his accomplishments in an area, “It would take me too long to write” (67). In doing this, Cellini is both claiming that there is more than what he has said and that he is full of experience.
In reading The Book of the Courtier by Baldesar Castiglione, I was struck by the desirable characteristics described, and how these characteristics felt so familiar.
You approach the sphinx outside Thebes. The sphinx asks her riddle but you are not ready for this one, you only studied for the classic sphinx riddle “what walks on four feet in the morning, two feet at noon and three in the evening?”
Instead of blurting out the answer of “Man!” you hold back and replay what she just said in your head. The real question she asked was, “Would you like 100 drachma (ancient Greek currency) today, or 110 drachma in 2 years?”
You aren’t allowed any clarifying questions, all you can do is answer correctly or be eaten.
Weighing all factors, you wonder if investment, inflation, and interest exist in this time period, and you don’t really know. A this time there are a lot of wars and invasions that make a stable financial system difficult to maintain. All these things might exist, but since you don’t know it they do, then you don’t know the numbers of any of them so you can’t do the math.
Realizing that with all these factors, you can’t really compare two different drachma amounts at two different points in time, you decide that the safest answer is the one that she didn’t offer you.
You say “It depends, because you cannot truly compare two amounts at two different times.”
Reading selections from the Decameron by Boccaccio, I was interested in high quantity of the stories that were centered around promiscuity. At that time, sexuality and desire were curbed and monitored. This is why I thought the stories felt out of place, most of them satires on romance that would not have been out of place next to The Millers Tale in Canterbury Tales. The content might make more sense with the context of the Black Death, the first devastating sweep had just passed through when Boccaccio wrote this.
The shorter term economy goes in cycles, rising and falling every few years. In the long term, the economy can have an upward trend or a downward trend.
The factors that cause long term economic growth are broadly in four categories, human capital, capital goods or services, labor, and technology.
I am going to be focusing on human capital because that is where my choices are making a small difference in the long term trend. Human capital is the amount of education, training, and other investment in the individuals knowledge or skills as they are spread across the population. The greater the amount of human capital, the more skilled and proficient the workforce is, leading to higher wage jobs and improvements in other areas.
By choosing to come to college and study instead of entering the workforce directly out of high school, I am increasing the rate of human capital that is in circulation. This tiny thing is the result of a family and a society that encouraged me to decide to go to college and has encouraged or pushed many others to do the same. This societal and familial force shows how education is valued in society and how the expectation of a certain level of education pushes more reluctant people into college.
Day 1, Story 1