The Prince, A Reflection Of Our World

Hi everyone, it’s been a while!

My absence over the last month has coincided with my directing a war upon many fronts, mostly revolving around my studies and research at the university. The slew of paper work resting by the side of my computer monitor serves as evidence of the ragged battlefield that has become my home over the last few months.

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Studying…it’s a hard fought battle between Expectations…
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and Reality…

But, with the semester coming to an end, I’ve had several windows of opportunity to kind of sit back and take a break from these daily battles. In setting the stage for the statesmanship of the enduring war that has been my PhD degree so far, I found an interesting perspective and a read worth the time in Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince.

Setting aside the  intricacies of 16th century Italian politics that often made me reference Wikipedia (since my purchase of a discounted edition of the book came without supplementary notes), Machiavelli’s realpolitik treatise was quite the enjoyable read.

Unlike the idealism portrayed in Plato’s Republic, Machiavelli’s distinctly non-idealistic guide to the nature of statecraft is obvious within the first few pages of reading. The amoral pragmatism expressed in his perspectives on how a prince should establish and maintain his power make it all the more obvious as to why the author’s name is considered synonymous to the devil, and an adjective for devilish cunning.

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“You’re the devil in disguise…” – pretty much what all religious institutions had to say about Old Nick.

Despite the crude and downright insipid methods that Machiavelli purports for use in the struggle for power, I couldn’t help but be drawn into his work, especially when considering the legacy it has left behind in world history and its persistent influence in the prevailing political climate.

Across the world, politicians continue breaking their promises or rather continue making empty promises; the meaning of politics has become distorted amidst what is a solicitation of power, followed by corruption, and atrocities of various sorts of nature. While it may seem that the democracies of the world have not advertised their affinity to Machiavelli’s teachings, elements of his work are prevalent in the administrative institutions of several nations around the world, and by their many leaders who have taken note of his recommendation to appear benevolent, moral and religious.

“It is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity…” (ch XV)

“A prince ought to take care that he never lets anything slip from his lips that is not replete with the above-named five qualities, that he may appear to him who sees and hears him altogether merciful, faithful, humane, upright, and religious. There is nothing more necessary to appear to have than this last quality…” (ch XVIII)

Machiavelli’s teachings are inherently a reflection of the state of the world, and therein lies the power of its influence. No matter the millenia that may come to pass, the emphasis of Machiavelli’s teachings largely depend on the basic tenets of human nature, especially when confronted by the opportunity for power. In that front, it is not difficult to observe the diverse constructs of power integral to various institutions that serve as the foundations of modern-day society, from education to government.

Nevertheless, Machiavelli’s obtuse perspectives on the employment of power can also serve as a case study for the positive outcomes that could be drawn from the knowledge of its opposite. A black and white perspective on the myriad complexities that dictate the ritualistic facets of human life is far too extreme, and while the idealism most often romanticized by philosophers and religious stalwarts may be a far-cry from reality, Machiavelli’s The Prince by describing one side of the extreme, leaves much for argument on the establishment of a grey middle ground of sorts.

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The Tao of “The Prince” kind of borders between these two extremes.

In that vein, I suggest The Prince for anyone willing to engage and wrack their mind in a work that can essentially be described as a game of chess about human ethics and the corrupting potential of power.

As for myself, having completed my fair share of reading for the semester, I look forward to getting started on the next set of writing projects that have been stewing in the back of my mind for quite a while. As such, I hope to see you all again very soon in my next post where I will provide another short discussion of what writing means to me, both as a blogger and an aspiring author, and what exactly makes my imagination click!

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Flash Discount Sale for my book!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update to let everyone know that I’m running a discounted sale for my recently released book A Little Bit Of Everything. It will now be available for $0.99 on all Amazon outlets (US/UK/CA … etc.) between 9/25/2017 – 9/30/2017.

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Here is the link to get you started: Amazon.Com

For those who have had the chance to read my book, I hope you enjoyed it. For those who have just stumbled onto this news recently or missed my previous updates on the release, here is a summary (detailed in an earlier post) to get you on track.

While the tale to be read is fictional in nature, A Little Bit Of Everything is the spiritual successor to my first work in Our Last Summer: A Personal Memoir. The foundation of the plot is in fact inspired from very real events in my personal life involving an assortment of themes from love, hope, and dreams to personal identity, friendship, and family. An author’s copy of the book now rests in my bookshelf alongside a massive binder consisting of three different drafts of the work through the years.,

One aspect that sets apart A Little Bit of Everything from Our Last Summer: A Personal Memoir involves the illustrations that accompany the story. A picture is worth a thousand words or so they say; I decided to roll with this philosophy in expressing the ideas and emotions of various scenarios through the drawings that span the book’s pages.

Having published the book, I’m both happy, and sad. I’m happy in that I succeeded in bringing to life a story that had resided in my heart for many years; sad in that this wonderful journey has come to an end. Moving onward, I relish in the joy of being able to share my story with all of you!

A Little Bit of Everything is now available through Amazon (Amazon.Com; it’s also available on amazon.ca/.uk/.de/.fr/.es/.it/.jp/.nl/.br/.mx/.in/.au/) as a Kindle e-book. Similarly, the book is also available in paperback format on most of the aforementioned links (a few more days before it will be available on all of them). The paperback format is also distributed through my Createspace E-store (ALBOECreatespace), and will be distributed through online and offline retailers such as Barnes & Noble and to distributors such as Ingram, NACSCORP, Baker & Taylor (which distributes to libraries).

 

A New Adventure…

I was hoping to have this post up last weekend but unfortunately, I couldn’t get down to it. As a good friend of mine would often say,

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On the heels of a cumulative three-year journey of writing and publishing my second book A Little Bit Of Everything, as well as the completion of my Masters degree and transition to my doctoral studies, it was inevitable that at some point I was going to burn out. That is indeed what happened over the last two weeks where I got lost on the path of life, all the while feeling apathetic on just about everything.

Thankfully enough, a refreshing long-weekend trip to the nearby dino-town of Drumheller followed by a boat load of procrastination mixed in with a vicious cycle of apartment shopping, movies, anime, and Age of Empires have got me back on track. All of which leads me back to where I’m right now.

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I’m up for a long haul of work over the next four to five years comprising my doctoral studies. Being one to never look too far ahead into the future, for now, I intend to begin my grand plans on expanding this blog. While I’m still juggling various ideas on how to organize the content that I post on this blog (for example, I intend to scrape the idea of  “Read Along With Me” exclusively in favor of book reviews), as well as setting up an author page, I will begin with going back to my regular routines of posts as usual.

For this week, I would like to lay down the hatchet by completing what has been a long overdue review of Carl Sagan’s Dragons of Eden. This will be followed by a discussion of my experiences with Amazon Kindle, and self-publishing. For those among my readers who aspire to become independent writers in their own stead, I’m hoping to share the resources I have used to find a measure of success in independent publishing.

The posts will be out by this weekend. Meanwhile, I will be continuing to run promotions on A Little Bit Of Everything, while setting the stage for the next triad of writing projects I have planned to develop over the course of my PhD studies. For all my readers who have had a chance to read my book, I really hope you enjoyed it.

I will see you all very soon with my next post!

Bogged Down With Formatting…

It is a necessary step, but formatting is possibly the most irksome part of publishing a book. That’s pretty much where I’ve been in the last two weeks, wading through a murky swamp of page breaks, indentations, paragraph spacings, margins etc. Having completed the illustrations, along with the cover art for my book, I spent an entire week polishing said images to fit the prerequisite conditions for publication.

As of now I’m alighting upon the final few steps before clicking on that beautiful button “Publish” on my screen. I’m hoping to have the book out by next week, and prior to release, I will provide full details on the work (along with promotions), including where it will be available, and how you, my wonderful readers can get your hands on it. Following the publication, I intend to continue promoting the book on the blog, while getting back to the posts I had planned earlier.

I thank everyone for being patient, and I look forward to sharing my work with you very soon!! Have a great weekend!!

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Getting Fired Up!!

Hi everyone, here’s a quick update!

The last few weeks have been intense, and I’ve been quite busy. Having finally completed the proofreading for my second book, I’m now all set to move into the production phase, beginning with some illustrations.

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All art begins with imitation, and as such I have spent the last week pouring over a compendium of images, and ideas I had contemplated for this stage. While progress has been slow (thanks to my perfectionist ideals), I look forward to getting the book out by this fall.

In the meantime,  I also recently finished the three-part series covering various facets on the phenomenon of climate change. The first entry was posted almost a month back on June 25, 2017. Little did I know then that in the days to follow I would successfully secure a research topic for my PhD addressing the very issue I was writing about on my blog. As of now, I have begun my “doctoral” adventures focusing on interdisciplinary research involving “semiconductor mediated artificial photosynthesis…”

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In simple terms, my research will involve studying, and creating technologies to assist in the mitigation of steadily increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, a major global scientific challenge of the 21st century. Carbon capture is an important issue in the context of climate change as well as the looming global energy crisis; my research, will take inspiration from nature, namely the process of natural photosynthesis (the chemical reaction at the basis of life), and mimic the same behavior through electro-mechanical systems of higher efficiency, or “artificial photosynthesis.” If I were to exaggerate slightly, it would be the same as planting artificial trees that are consistently more efficient in helping recycle the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Having spent the last few days reading an assortment of research papers on this topic, and looking like this for the most part of it,

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I’m hoping to put my brain to good use, and to a certain measure, come up with something awesome during my degree, so that one day I could celebrate like this,

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Beyond all this research business, I still intend to keep up to date with my blog despite my busy schedule. In that vein, my next post will be a book review on Luc Ferry’s,

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I’ve also decided to move along from my extensive summaries on Carl Sagan’s “Dragons of Eden.” Instead, I will provide a rich synopsis of the remainder of the book, while skipping on the gory details. This way I can encourage you, my readers, to read the book itself while not giving away the majority of its contents.

So when all is said and done,  I’m fired up for what’s to come in the next few months.

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The Pensive Reverie will also continually evolve as I intend to implement a few minor, but significant changes in its content organization. Once again, I thank you all for your patience. The next post should be up very soon!

 

 

Passage Of Time…

Gazing out the window, I observe the tempestuous motion of clouds in the sky. The chill of a wet breeze strikes my skin as I swing along with the rhythmic motion of the trees in my neighborhood, dancing to the progressive wind. Relaxing in the comforting solitude of my humble abode, my reflections render a view across time, allowing me to travel back, and revisit the nostalgic memories of the past that led me to my current life.

A journey that began in a small corner of the world, I awakened my dreams at the sight of the luminous lamps of fire that lit up the night sky of my hometown. Contemplating on the questions that beset my curiosity, I stumbled forward, on and on, desperate to seek answers. Soaring upon the wings of my ambitions, I ventured forward into the unknown, finding strength in the arms of three beings without whom I would not be the man I am today (Mom, Dad, Sis, I love you).

Bidding farewell to our last summer, I would pave my own path in life, meeting various personalities along the way, experiences with frequent beginnings, and ends. Reinventing myself over, and over, I eventually discovered my grounds in who I wished to be in the place of another’s heart, completing a journey that brought me full circle to the little bits of everything I found in her, and appreciated in life (Thank you, Leina).

Time waits for no one…and so I wish to fall briefly into the wrenching melancholic, and bittersweet nostalgia of all that has come to be in my life so far. To the friends, and family I have met, and who have supported me along the way I give you my deep-felt thanks. Though we may be distances apart, seeking our own ends in life, our memories together will forever remain in my heart.

Now, as the tides of time push me forward, I find my resolve in the joy of our times together, and remembering those happy days we shared. Embracing the present that is built upon those memories, I find my reason to smile, thankful for all that I have been given in life. Alighting on my 26th birthday, I look toward a new, and grand horizon of adventures to follow. Thus, I’m led forward by the me of tomorrow, who holds my hand, and filled with dreams of the future, but supported all the way, by the me of yesterday, who holds all of our memories together, and follows right along…in what has been my life, or rather a passage of time…

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Cherish the memories of the past, Embrace the present, and happily Anticipate the future…Time may progress inevitably, but it is our choice to make this life, a moment that transcends eternity…

Sorry for the wait…

Hi everyone,

Ideally, I would have had a blog post up by now. Unfortunately, I was taken unawares by a sudden bout of sickness that left me out of action for the last week.

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While it has been a frustrating experience, being bedridden came with its fair share of perks, namely, a lot of reading, and brainstorming (I was physically out of it, but for some reason, my mental faculties were whizzing as usual).

Now that I have recovered to a good measure, I will have the first of a three-part series of posts discussing “Climate Change” online by next weekend. I intend to use this format such that I may be able to cover a wide spectrum of issues, concerning the topic, within the scientific, political, and socio-economic regimes. The goal is to provide for well-deserved communication, and education on a highly controversial subject that is inherently a simple, but significant, circumstance of our interaction with nature.

I will also post a book review on Luc Ferry’s, A Brief History of Thought, which I finished reading recently. Coupled with my efforts to finish my second book, I’m looking forward to a busy week of writing. I intend to move towards pre-production beginning with the necessary illustrations for the book. The goal is to have it published by the end of this summer (at the latest, fingers crossed).

Meanwhile, I shall continue to fight the good fight as I juggle my temporary term of unemployment with my academic endeavors, and my writing. It is quite difficult to keep a regular working schedule, especially when I’m spread thin over various fronts, but hey that is life! As excited as I am now to publish my second book, I can’t wait to get started on the subsequent writing projects I have in store. Similarly, there is a lot to look forward to in the near future, not to mention “evolving” another year  in two weeks’ time. This post was to just inform all of you that I’m still here. Once again, I apologize for the delay!

I will see you all again next weekend!