Available Balance
Inductive Reasoning, and True or False Conclusions

Inductive reasoning is a logical process that concerns not only science, but also our daily lives. In a nutshell, inductive reasoning is essentially based on two main elements:

1) The certainty of observational data and information.

2) The conclusion. From data in our possession, we draw a general conclusion.

An example of inductive reasoning

Suppose we observe the presence of apple trees in some environmental related context. We will observe the presence of apple trees near a pond, around a lake, and on the banks of many rivers. A careful observation of these data provides evidence (and conclusion) that the apple trees grow in light and moist soils. The data that we have collected cannot be questioned by anyone. Anyone visiting the same places can check the rightness of our observations. Therefore, our conclusion [the apple trees grow best in light and moist soils] is true.

We come now to the logic-formal reasoning. We can say that the observed data (the apple trees) are the Premise of inductive reasoning (the apple trees grow well in X places). From these data, we can prove that our conclusions are absolutely true [the apple trees grow well in light and moist soils] , and they cannot be doubted. However, in inductive reasoning, even if the premises are true, the general conclusions may be false. We’ll look at one classic example many centuries ago suggested by various scientists to demonstrate that some conclusions are false. Stones of different weight and different size were dropped from the top of a tower to see if they fall at different speeds.

During X time a small piece of stone was dropped from the top of a tower.  Then scientists dropped another stone even larger, and they noted that it took exactly the same time X. They therefore concluded that their speeds are equal. In this case the conclusion is true, but with reference only to the stones. In fact, the above-mentioned scientists did not experiment with other items. The result would have been very different if they dropped a feather down from the tower. Here we have a  false conclusion, because there were too few data, and stones were only included in experiment. In this specific case, the premise is true (the stones), and the conclusion false [because they did not experiment with other items]. This means that if the scientists mentioned above would reach real conclusions, they would experience a large amount of information.

That’s why, at the end of inductive reasoning, we must always ensure data accuracy and completeness, and otherwise we may arrive at misleading conclusions, because the data are limited. Therefore, data accuracy and completeness are absolutely indispensable for reaching realistic conclusions. Otherwise appearances can deceive us, with the consequence that we may make wrong decisions.

We have to wait.

We need detailed information before deciding, and the pros and cons must be considered carefully. You can’t ignore any possibility, because one day you might say: “ I didn’t consider the consequences of my actions.” A ruinous decision might further aggravate the problem, and the affair becomes more complicated.

It is also true that sometimes we need quick reactions, but in this case the situation is absolutely different, because we don’t want to know the verity of a hypothesis, but we need only to decide rapidly how to react to an unforeseen and often sudden event.



Rate This Content
The Right to Read a Book. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

It was found that the best temperature for burning books is 451 degrees Fahrenheit. Ray Bradbury imagined a terrible anti-utopia, or negative utopia, placed in a future world. Thus, he imagined that a despotic power had declared war against everything (namely, the books) that encourages individuals to think differently and also expand their consciousness and their own freedom.  The new rulers of the future world exercised a tyrannical power not only forbidding the reading of books, but also imposing the systematic destruction of them by special firefighters. Guy Montag, the novel’s protagonist, was a fireman and Bradbury’s novel is based upon the painful awareness of his alienation and the loss of his own freedom. The rejection of certain methods led Montag to join those who resisted the standardization imposed on people, many of them leaning a book all  by heart, and so awaiting their chance of creating  new space and  freedoms  for themselves.


“It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed […] With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies.  He wanted above all, like the old joke, to shove a marshmallow on a stick in the furnace, while the flapping pigeon-winged books died on the porch and lawn of the house. While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning. Montag grinned the fierce grin of all men singed and driven back by flame. He knew that when he returned to the firehouse, he might wink at himself, a minstrel man, burnt-corked, in the mirror.  Later, going to sleep, he would feel the fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles, in the dark. It never went away, that smile, it never ever went away, as long as he remembered.” ( Bradbury:  33-34).

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 was published in 1953, rapidly gaining extraordinary success, and  it was in fact brought to the screen  by the French Director F. Truffaut in 1966  (Hischak: 65).  The idea of burning books is old, and Bradbury would have found  a number of suggestions in trying  to organize a novel  like Fahrenheit 451. For example, the burning of Alexandria’s main library, the “science” theory which had developed among some ideologues after the French Revolution for which  “if libraries can sufficiently purged […] then their preservation can be justified by using the mas propaganda and as educational institutions for transmitting and supporting their visions,”  to finish with the Nazi book burnings in 1933. (Knuth:  36). Among other things, as Alfred Bester remarked, the protests against  abuse of  power were the central theme of Bradbury’s novels,  “Mr. Bradbury is for the simple life […] [H]e seizes upon a very small point […] the right to talk a walk in the rain, the right to read a book.” (Bester:  80).

Bradbury’s career was paradoxical in many respects. He was a Science Fiction fanatic since childhood, but, when he began to write science fiction books, he thought the game was up.  His works were in fact  regularly rejected  by John W. Campbell, Jr., the “steadfast” editor of Astounding Stories of Super Science, founded in January 1930.  By  the late 30s, John W. Campbell, Jr. had replaced F. Orlin Tremain as manager of Street & Smith Publishing Company of New York  (Sadoul: 11), imposing his “dictatorial” policy on the Magazine’s editorial staff.  (Westfahl: 255).  According to John W. Campbell, Jr., Science Fiction has to have a plausible plot, realistic characters and, above all, it must include “scientific facts,” and “greater scientific accuracy.” (Lambourne & Others: 20). John W. Campbell, Jr. rejected  “almost all  books by Bradbury,”  because he  judged them  “too little scientific.” ( Westfahl:  258).  Really, Bradbury was an example of “Soft” Science Fiction’s writer,  where “there is little science.” (Gunn & Candelaria:  21).

After the bad experience with the “unyielding” John W. Campbell, Jr., the “authoritarian” editor  of professional  Science Fiction magazines in New York,  Bradbury did not lose heart, and succeeded at length in placing his stories in other magazines such as Collier’s, which had a large circulation, and despite Campbell’s  dislike, he managed to succeed in the world of Science Fiction, becoming very popular indeed. (Beley:  43).


For Further Reading


Beley, G. 2006. Ray Bradbury: Uncensored! : the Unauthorized Biography. Lincoln: iUniverse.

Bester, A. 1961. “The Perfect Composite Science Fiction Author.” The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Mercury Press.

Bradbury, R. 2003. Fahrenheit 451. A Novel. New York: Simon & Shuster.

Gunn, J. E. and Candelaria, M. 2005. Speculations on Speculation: Theories of Science Fiction. Lanham, Maryland, Toronto, Oxford: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.

Hischak, T.S. 2012. American Literature on Stage and Screen: 525 Works and Their Adaptations. Jefferson, North Carolina and London: McFarland & Company Inc., Publishers.

Knuth, R. 2006. Burning Books and Leveling Libraries: Extremist Violence and Cultural Destruction.  Westport: Praeger Publisher.

Lambourne. R.J. and Others. 1990. Close Encounters? Science and Science Fiction. Bristol and New York: A. Hilgher.

Sadoul, J. 1975. 2000 A.D.: Illustrations from the Golden Age of Science Fiction Pulps.  H. Regnery.

Westfahl, G. 1988. The Mechanics of Wonder: The Creation of the Idea of Science Fiction. Liverpool:  Liverpool University Press.




Rate This Content
Political Dissidence in Russia during the Stalinist Years


Born in Russia in 1918 and died in 2008, Alexander Solzhenitsyn is now considered  one of the most important Russian writers, and  his destiny seems to be  similar to that of Boris Leonidovic Pasternak  [1890-1960].  This article focuses on their life stories.


The word dissidence has its linguistic specificities because is essentially used as a term for political dissidence, which is a typical phenomenon in many  totalitarian regimes. A sensational case of political dissidence was that of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. A fundamental datum of the Soviet Union in the 60s and 70s was typically given by Russian intellectuals, whose criticism focused on the institution of communism.


We have some very significant cases in this sense, like that of Boris Leonidovich Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago which despite received Nobel Prize in 1958 was banned in Russia until around the 90s. Another striking case was that of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich written  in 1962. This novel revealed to the world the Stalinist labor camps, in which Solzhenitsyn himself was imprisoned from 1945 to 1956. Solzhenitsyn had been locked up in a concentration camp because he wrote a letter where he did use disrespectful expressions  towards Stalin, and so he was sentenced to eleven years in a labor camp.


Dissent in Soviet Russia implied serious negative effects on intellectuals. Alexander Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970, but the Russian writer was unable to go to Stockholm to receive this award, because the Soviet authorities forbade him to leave the country. However, the Soviet Government, in order to avoid embarrassing situations, expelled Solzhenitsyn in 1974, accusing him of having participated in anti-Soviet activity. The expulsion from Russia for anti-Soviet activity was not entirely a pipedream. In fact, Solzhenitsyn had published abroad three volumes that collected a massive set of data on lagers and deportations carried out in Russia during the Stalinist years. It is remarkable that Solzhenitsyn did his first press conference just after his expulsion from Russia at Stockholm University in 1974.


Alexander Solzhenitsyn suffered much the same fate as Boris Pasternak, who  was awarded  the Nobel Prize in  literature in 1958 and whose Doctor Zhivago  was strongly  opposed by Soviet Government that had threatened to  expelled  him from the country whether he would like to go to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize. Boris Pasternak’s fate became the typical fate of all political dissidents in Russia in the years of Stalinism.


Pasternak told in his novel that,


“Summer came and went almost unnoticed. The doctor recovered. While planning to go to Moscow he took not one but three temporary jobs. The rapid devaluation of money made it difficult to make ends meet. Every morning he got up at daybreak, left the house, and walked down Merchant Street, past the Giant movie house as far as the former printing shop of the Urals Cossack Army, now renamed the Red Compositor. At the corner of City Street the door of the town hall bore the notice ‘Complaints’. He crossed the square, turned into Buianovka Street, and coming to the hospital went in through the back door to the out-patient department of the Army Hospital, where he worked.”

I may be wrong, but I think that the Complaints  Office  was always empty. A claim against the Soviet Government explicitly represented only the faster way to the  Gulag.   Boris Leonidovich Pasternak became the first man to run a mile in less than three minutes.




Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago, Wm. Collins Sons and Co., Ltd, London, 1958,  p. 259, Chapter 15.




Rate This Content
A Hypothesis about the Future World Politics Trend

It is true that today the United States have no absolute control over the international scenario, as had happened after the World War II until the demise of the Soviet Union. It is also true that, as has been rightly pointed out by Zygmunt Bauman, we now live in a liquid modern world  where today’s superpowers are more streamlined than in the past by the raise of new powers  like China, India,  Brazil & others (Bauman: 1). Now everything is boiling,  or does not seem to have  secure horizons. However, experience shows that what is liquid turns usually into solid, and that sooner or later (that is to say, over the next ten or twenty years) the international political situation will have much more defined contours.


A first step of the future world politics trend and solidification is the renewed presence of Russia on the international chessboard. President Putin really gives rise to a new scenario, where Russia is accommodated within the center of a new strategic alliance that inevitably one day will collide with that of the United States:


“Russia has regained its role as a major world power and thus showed that it [Russia] is not a negligible party in international affairs, but that it will have to be reckoned with in the future […] Today the […] US influence in Central Asia is associated again with Russia, China and Iran, three different countries, yet forming a real community of interests which represents 1.5 billion people, ” Alain de Benoist  said. Besides, he added that Americans are perfectly aware of the development of this particular scenario. In fact, since the early 1940s they knew and appreciated the geopolitical writings of Nicholas Spykman who pointed out that,  “The United States must recognize once again, and permanently, that the power constellation in Europe and Asia is of everlasting concern to her, both in time of war and in time of peace.” And Adam Garfinkle recently observed that “Spykman’s views were universally known and widely appreciated” in the United States (Francis S. Sempa: XXVIII, XXXII, footnote 69).


In this connection, Alain de Benoist firmly continued: “Who controls Eurasia, controls the world, Brzezinski said. To control  Eurasia, means, first of all, adopting a strategy of encirclement of Russia and China. The encirclement of Russia strategy includes the installation of new military bases in Eastern Europe, the establishment of anti-missiles defense systems in Poland, Czech Republic and Romania, supporting the accession of Ukraine and Georgia to Nato, and pursuing an aggressive policy aiming to dislocate Russia’s influence in key regions around the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus. In terms of energy supply, this strategy leads to the control of Central Asia’s pipelines, Central Asia being transformed into an American protectorate encouraging the development of pipelines in the Caspian to bypass Russia and to reach Turkey, as well as limiting as much as possible the access of Russian tankers to the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits.” (Alain de Benoist).


Russia’s  pragmatic President, Vladimir Putin, is called on to measure himself against Donald Trump, an equally pragmatic man  who (at least it seems to me)  is perhaps more helpful than others in dealing with the issue of a new division of the liquid world in favor of both America and Russia. But really Central Asia will be “transformed into an American protectorate?” I doubt it.  China’s relationship with Russia will be “inevitable, ” Alexandros Petersen & Katinka Barysch  said:


“From an energy perspective, the relationship between Russia and China should be straightforward. Russia is the world’s biggest hydrocarbon producer. China one of the world’s biggest and fastest growing energy market […] A long-term strategic energy relationship between the two looks not only commercially viable but almost inevitable.”


In Alexandros Petersen & Katinka Barysch’s magnificent work, the problems of the triangular relations among China, Russia and United States are posed as follows:


“In the immediate post-Cold War period China took a passive approach to Central Asia, staying on the sidelines of the Russia-American struggle for influence in the region. More recently, however, with economic and energy considerations rising into to the fore and China more self-confident in its foreign policy, this has changed dramatically.” (Barysch & Petersen: 2, 39, 32,  42).


Richard Morningstar, the Obama’s administration special envoy stressed that  “The US position was and still is that Russia should not have a monopoly on pipelines.”. Furthermore, “The Chinese used the global financial crisis to further expand their influence in Central Asia, offering cash-strapped local regimes large scale loans for economic stimulus and energy investments.”


Thus, both Russia and America will divide equally Central Asia among them for making their business, but China will play gooseberry. So, the Russia and the United States need to have a cordial   relationship for effectively opposing the Chinese presence in Central Asia.  But the drama is open to different interpretations and implications.




Banjoist, Alain de. The End of the Present World: The Post-American Century and Beyond Conference. Speech. London, October 12, 2013.

Bauman, Zygmunt. 44 Letters From the Liquid Modern World. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011.

Sempa, Francis P. «The Geopolitical Realism of Nicholas Spykman .» Spykman, Nicholas J. America’s Strategy in World Politics. Brunswick: Transaction Publisher, 2008.

Barysch, Alexandros & Petersen,  Katinka. Russia, China and the geopolitics of energy in Central Asia. London: The Centre for European Reform (CER), 2011.



Rate This Content
Horapollo and the symbolical Interpretation of Egyptian Hieroglyphics


When around 390 AD the Christians destroyed the Serapeum, the last pagan temple survived at that time, for Egypt was the end of hieroglyphic writing, of which the Egyptian priests were always jealous custodians. The Greeks and the Romans admired the Egyptian civilization, but they had never taken care of her writing. They knew only that there were three different kinds of Egyptian writing, namely, hieroglyphics [from the Greek sacred inscriptions], the hieratic writing , considered wrongly as sacred writings, and the demotic, or popular writing , used for the needs of daily life.


The knowledge of the Greeks and the Romans on Egyptian writing ended up there, also because the writing was essentially considered both a trade by them, and  unworthy of a free man. The only work devoted to Egyptian writing was that of Horapollo, who lived around the 5th century AD.


“At the beginning of the fifth century Horapollo, a scribe of the Egyptian race, and a native of Phaenebithis, attempted to collect and perpetuate in the volume before us,  the then remaining, but fast fading knowledge of the symbols inscribed upon the monuments, which attested the ancient grandeur of his country. This compilation was originally made in the Egyptian language; but a translation of it into Greek by Philip has alone come down to us, and in a condition very far from satisfactory.” (1).


Horapollo was only interested in hieroglyphics that he did not believe a phonetic system of writing, but figurative signs. This mistaken belief remained largely unquestioned until the 19th century. But Horapollo handed down to us his symbolical interpretation of Egyptian hieroglyphics. These are some examples of his studies of this subject:


“To denote Eternity they depict the Sun and Moon because their elements are eternal. But when they would represent Eternity differently, they delineate a Serpent with its tail covered by the rest of its body:  the Egyptians call this Ouraius, which in the Greek language signifies Basilisk (‡). And they place golden figures of it round the Gods. The Egyptians say that Eternity is represented by this animal; because of the three existing species of serpents, the others are mortal, but this alone is immortal; and (¶) because it destroys any other animal by merely breathing upon it even without biting. And hence, inasmuch as it thus appears to have power over life and death, they place it upon the head of the Gods.” (2).


“When they would represent the universe,  they delineate a serpent be speckled with variegated scales devouring its own tail;  by the scales intimating the stars in the universe. The animal is also extremely heavy, as is the earth, and extremely slippery, like the water: moreover, it every year puts off its old age with its skin, as in the universe the annual period effects a corresponding change and renovated. And the making use of its own body for implies, that all things whatsoever that are generated by divine providence in the world undergo a corruption into it again.” (3).


“When they would denote intrepidity, they depict a lion, for he has a great head fiery eyeballs, and a round face, and about it hairs in resemblance of the Sun; and hence it is, that they place lions under the throne of Horus, intimating the connection of the animal with the god.  And the Sun is called Horus from presiding over the Hours.” (4).

It is true, as  some scholars were saying,  that Horapollo noticed “only a few of the symbolical hieroglyphics, and these not always correct,” (5) but we should consider that Horapollo’s symbolical interpretation of  Egyptian Hieroglyphics  had been the only one in our possession before the discovery of the Rosetta Stone by Champollion, when the symbolical interpretations (typical of the Greeks and the Christians) were abandoned and the real meaning of the Egyptian hieroglyphics was discovered.




1)      The Hieroglyphics of Herapollo Nilous, by Alexander Turner Cory, London, William Pickering, MDCCCXL (1840),   pp. VIII-IX.

2)      Ivi, pp. 5-6.

3)      Ivi, pp. 7-8.

4)      Ivi, pp. 38-39.

5)      The Elements of Hieroglyphics and Egyptian Antiquities, by Marquis Spineto, London, Rivington, 1845,  p. 54.





Rate This Content
Albert Einstein, the Facts and Physical Reality

Many people just blindly believe in science, and above all, they believe in the facts, while Einstein’s skepticism about it has remained a cornerstone of his theory. Most people believe that science is a genuine reflection of reality (the facts), while, according to Albert Einstein [1879-1955], the concepts that underlie it are the creation of man.


In Einstein’s thought, science does not provide a picture of reality, but only builds a model of the same reality. However, Einstein’s skepticism about science is only apparent. Actually, he believes that scientific theories remain only an attempt to explain reality, and they are valid only insofar as they tend to improve the explanation of the facts.


In a famous passage of his Autobiographical Notes, first published in 1949, Einstein developed some considerations on the changes produced by the new developments in physics and the way by which he meant the same science.


Indeed, “The system of concepts is a creation of man together with the rules of syntax, which constitute the structure of conceptual systems. All concepts, even those closest to experience, are from the point of view of logic freely chosen posits, just as is the concept of causality,” Einstein said (1)


About the facts, Einstein was very explicit on that point:


“Even scholars of audacious spirit and fine instinct can be obstructed in the interpretation of facts by philosophical prejudices. The prejudice — which has by no means died out in the meantime — consists in the faith that facts by themselves can and should yield scientific knowledge without free conceptual construction. Such a misconception is possible only because one does not easily become aware of the free choice of such concepts, which, through verification and long usage, appear to be immediately connected with the empirical material.”


And yet, he remarked that,


“Reflections of this type made it clear to me as long ago as shortly after 1900, i.e., shortly after Planck’s trail-blazing work, that neither mechanics nor thermodynamics could (except in limiting cases) claim exact validity. By and by I despaired of the possibility of discovering the true laws by means of constructive efforts based on known facts. The longer and the more despairingly I tried, the more I came to the conviction that only the discovery of a universal formal principle could lead us to assured results.”


What about the physics? And so Einstein concluded:


“I shall briefly indicate my own thoughts on this point. Physics is an attempt conceptually to grasp reality as it is thought independently of its being observed. In this sense one speaks of physical reality. In pre-quantum physics there was no doubt as to how this was to be understood. In Newton’s theory reality was determined by a material point in space and time; in Maxwell’s theory, by the field in space and time. In quantum mechanics it is not so easily seen. This exposition has fulfilled its purpose if it shows the reader how the efforts of a life hang together and why they have led to expectations of a definite form.” (2).





1)      Albert Einstein, “Autobiographical Notes,” Transl. and Ed. P. A. Schilpp, La Salle, Illinois, Open Court Publishing Company, 1992, p. 11.

2)      A. Einstein, “Notes for an Autobiography”, in The Saturday Review of Literature, November 26, 1949, p. 13, 12.














Rate This Content
From the Mycenaeans to Our Modern Times: Slavery. Forevermore



On March 4, 1858, United States Senator of South Carolina J. H. Hammond delivered a speech focused on the defense of slavery. For the purpose of defending it, he painted white workers of New York as white slaves, who were worse off than negro slaves ever were. Hon. J. H. Hammond found one of the most devastating weapons that could be used against the terrible damage caused on the poor white Northern workers during the industrial revolution in the United States.

White owners treat white factory workers worse than black slaves, he said. So the unemployed workers wander through the streets of New York like ghosts in the frantic search for work. They make life absolutely miserable, and are effectively abandoned. He continued his speech pointing out the terrible dangers that white slaves were preparing to conquer their rights. When white workers will understand the terrible and secret power of the “ballot box,” they will be crowned the overlords of their white masters who now enslave them. Now white slaves gather outside the Senate to demonstrate in support of their job demands, with guns blazing. But one day their white owners will be crushed under the weight of their votes.

Then he also said:

“The Senator from New York said yesterday that the whole world had abolished slavery. Ay, the name but not the thing; all the powers of the earth cannot abolish it. God only can do it […] The difference between us is, he continued, that our slaves are hired for life and well compensated; there is no starvation, no begging, no want of employment among our people, and not too much employment either. Yours are hired by the day, not cared for, and scantily compensated which may be proved in the most painful manner, at any hour, in any street, in any of your large towns. Why, you meet more beggars in one day in any single street of the city of New York, than you would meet in a lifetime in the whole South … Our slaves are black, of another and inferior race. The status in which we have placed them is an elevation. They are elevated from the condition in which God first created them […] they are happy, content, unaspiring, and utterly incapable, from intellectual weakness, ever to give us any trouble by their aspirations […] yours are white, of your own race, you are brothers of one blood. They are your equals in natural endowment of intellect, and they feel galled by their degradation. Our slaves do not vote. We give them no political power. Yours do vote and being the majority, they are the depositaries of all your political power. If they knew the tremendous secret, that the ballot box is stronger than an army with banners, and could combine, where would you be?” (1).

Is everything he said a lie? There is a certain degree of truth in his speech, in connection with both the slavery of working hours, and the birth of social trouble-makers, but I don’t think that Southern slaves were “ of inferior race […] happy, content, unaspiring, and utterly incapable, from intellectual weakness.” Hammond’s speech would seem (to many blacks, at least) both an intricate discussion and a web of deceit, simply because, since time immemorial, no one will want to remain under captivity.

But the debate on slavery is world-old. When Hammond stated that “all the powers of the earth cannot abolish it. God only can do it,” he offered us nothing more than the ancient Greeks had repeated. According to them, “slaves can find safety only in Divine Grace” (2). The ancient Greeks paid attention to slavery, and the Mycenaeans handed down to us the oldest names of the slaves, “do-e-ro” and “do-e-ra.” (3). According to the ancient Greeks, slavery could only be abolished when “automatos bios” (robots) will be invented; so they will release human race from hard work.

But slavery can have different shapes. So “slave,” in a broad sense, can be a man engaged in heavy manual work that the others refuse to do. Therefore, modern-day slaves can be free only when the humans will be “free” from any “physical strain works.” This utopian world has not yet been built. What have we got indeed from “automatos bios?”.

So far we have only had to deal with “technological unemployment,” and other “unliquidated” damages.

As R. A. Wilson said, “Working for wages, the modern equivalent of slavery very accurately called wage slavery by social critics—is in the process of being abolished by just such self-programming machines. In fact, Norbert Wiener, one of the creators of cybernetics, foresaw this as early as 1947 and warned that we would have massive unemployment once the computer revolution really got moving.” (4).

Well, with regard to this point, we can say that there is no human freedom outside the utopia. And that’s flat. As for “historical slavery,” whatever Hammond said, one can conclude that slavery is “morally repugnant,” by contrasting the most elementary forms both of social life and of modern societies.

Fine sounding words.

But today’s reality shows that slavery is rampant in the world. L. Bickerstaff remembered how young women, children sold by their families, people enslaved for debt face today serious forms of slavery (5). In short, our modern times take a step forward, two steps back.

We go back to past situations prevailed around the fourth and fifth centuries in Roman Africa, and illustrated by St. Augustine in his letters. At that time and place the “vicinus pauper” [poor neighborhood], owner of a small farm, could put in big trouble by a large landowner thanks to his connivance with Roman public officials, who unleashed against him an unbearable tax burden, forcing him to borrow more and more . St Augustine remembered the cases of “coloni” [settlers] too poor to provide subsistence for the family, so parents were forced to sell their children. We could almost say, given the world situation, that traditional Roman forms persist, with their vices and aberrations “above all.” (6).

I would like to conclude by saying that slavery represents not so much a subject for schoolchildren, but a “huge problem” for all contemporary states.


1) From the “Speech of Hon. J. H. Hammond, of South Carolina, in the Senate,” March. 4, 1858 (“revised by himself”) in “Appendix” to the Congressional Globe. Containing Speeches, Important State Papers, Laws, of the First Session , edited by John C. Rives, City of Washington. Printed at the Office of John C. Rives, 1858. 35th Cong. 1st Sess. Kansas-Lecompton Constitution – Mr. Hammond, Senate, p. 70.
2) L. Bertelli, “Schiavi in utopia”, in “Studi Storici,” ottobre-novembre 1985, n. 4, p. 891.
3) D. Musti, “Introduzione” a “La schiavitù nella Grecia antica”, in “Studi Storici,” cit., p. 841.
4) R. A. Wilson, “The Illuminati Papers,” Oakland, Ronin Publishing. Inc., 1997, p. 146.
5) L. Bickerstaff, “Modern-Day Slavery,” New York, The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2010, pp. 4-10.
6) D. Vera, “Terra e lavoro nell’Africa romana”, in “Studi Storici,” ottobre-dicembre 1988, p. 991.



Rate This Content
A Case Study of Wilderness and Wild Indians in Pennsylvania



The conquest of the Western Frontier was one of the most important moments in American history, but the situation of white penetration into Pennsylvania was more problematic than any other state in America. Pennsylvania reflects, so it seems to me, the paradigm of difficult relations between Indians and settlers in Western Frontier.

The settlers both of all Western countries and Pennsylvania soon had to deal with the natives, who were accustomed to the life of roving hunters, and were free to move into large parts of the territory. White settlers were almost all farm workers, and, therefore, they needed to work on a well-defined land that must be protected from natural events, human intruders and wild animals.

Extreme efforts were required to women and men settled in Western colonies, who both must work very hard, and defend themselves against the “wilderness,” a word whose meaning indicated not only a very large forest areas around the farms, but also the “wild Indians.” The forts, which were widely spread in the territory of Pennsylvania by the French during the wars against the British, were one of the means used by the first settlers to defend themselves and their families from Indian raids. But it’s not so much about the settlement’s defense systems where to focus our attention as on the relationship of farm families with the Indian tribes.

A mixture of reality and legend characterized these relationships.

“Do, therefore, lose no time to get us assistance. The Assembly may learn from this work, what kind, and fine friends the Indians are!, ” Peter Spycke, exclaimed in 1844. According to the testimonies of the time, it’s pretty hard to deny that the Indians were not a serious problem for Frontier settlers. I could fill a dozen books with examples of Indian attacks that resulted in the death for settlers, women, men and children. Between the various testimonies, Peter Spycke appeared to me that he was the most worthy of credit.

“John Anspack and Frederick Reed came to me and told me the miserable circumstances of the people murdered this side the mountain. Yesterday the Indians attacked the Watch, killed and wounded him, at Derrick Sixth, (Dietrich Six) and in that neighborhood, a great many in that night. This morning the people went out to see, and about 10 o’clock came to Thomas Bower’s house, finding a man dead, killed with a gun shot. They soon heard a noise of firing guns; running to that place, saw four Indians setting on children scalping the three of the children are dead; two are still living, though scalped.” (1).

So there was fierce rivalry between people of very different identities. A lot of testimonies denounced the difficult conditions of the settlers and the continuing loss of life due to the incursions of the Indians. Some settlers were then captured, but also here too, as seems to me, there are conflicting testimonies. The basic problem is to determine how white captives were treated by the Indians. The problem is not simple. On the one hand, several survivors and witnesses at the time had suffered traumatic experiences during their periods of captivity, and there is no doubt that their testimony was true and worthy of to be received.

On the other hand, however, we have information suggesting that the Indians were not always willing to exterminate their enemies, but sometimes they attempted the “integration” of the withe captives into the Indian society especially towards women and children. Their effort was sometimes successful, so much so that several captives, even after their release from detention, voluntarily agreed to stay with the Indians who sometimes “adopted” their prisoners of war, several of them also married squaws (2).

Underlying difficulties arose mainly from both the different conception of society and property of land (3). The situation of white penetration into Pennsylvania was more critical than other States. While in other Frontier regions the native Indians sold their lands rapidly to the settlers, the Indian tribes of Pennsylvania were completely different with regard to the definition of property. They were very far from the concept of “absolute ownership” that, on the contrary, was the central concept of the white men (4).

This event is a relevant fact about the cultural differences between settlers and Indians. So many differences and often bitter conflicts were a constant in the relations between the colonists and the Indians. But often the fights between the settlers and the Indians came from linguistic misunderstandings. Settlers soon realized the importance of interpreters in their relationship with the Indians. Bad interpreters had often caused serious damage in relation to Indians, who in turn were equally aware of the importance to not only understand the language of the settlers, but also the absolute need to be understood by them.

However, the primary concern for the Indians was the continuation of their traditional way of life, to be able to hunt, fish and roam their territories as they always had done. For the settlers the primary concern was the extinguishment of any underlying Indian rights to land and the opening up of the area to settler populations and industrial exploitation. Treaties were agreed and signed despite these contradictory objectives, and so negotiations between settlers and native Indians weren’t worthy of trust, because the Indians never broke their habits and means of subsistence relative to hunting and fishing rights (5).

So an astonishing event had occurred. American Indians today are claiming property of the whole territory of the United States. Wilcomb E. Washburn (Director, Office of American Studies, Smithsonian Institution) explained the enigma of the unusual request:

“Few people realize that American Indians comprise the only minority group which possesses a special legal status within the United States. Although they are citizens like everybody else, they are also, by virtue of their tribal affiliations, possessed of special rights. This special status has puzzled and sometimes irritated white Americans. Indeed, so august a body as the Supreme Court of the State of Washington, in ‘Makah Indian Tribe v. Clalla County’ observed:
‘Although the natural dignity of the American Indian as a person and a citizen, his valor as a warrior, and his contributions to this country, military and civil, cannot and ought not be denied, one wonders, as he reads the case law on Indian matters, whether the law has not conferred upon tribal Indians and their descendants what amounts to titles of nobility, with all that entails, in contravention of Article 1, § 9, of the United States Constitution prohibiting such titles. But this is a question beyond our jurisdiction.’
While strong support for this special legal status of the American Indian is not immutable, Indian tribes presently enjoy what can be described as ‘internal sovereignty’ or ‘local autonomy’ in their respective jurisdictions. This paper will attempt to show how this status derives directly from the peculiar historical experiences of Indians and whites in the New World […] The legal relations of the United States with the American Indians reinforces Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s dictum that ‘[t]he life of law has not been logic: it has been experience.’” (6).



1) “History of the Counties of Berks and Lebanon: containing a brief account of the Indians who inhabited this region of country, and the numerous murders by them; notices of the first Swedish, Welsh, French, German, Irish, and English settlers, giving the names of nearly five, thousands of them,” Lancaster, 1844.
2) S. J. Buck & E. Buck, “The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania”, Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, First edition 1939. Third Paperback Printing 1995, p. 36. See also J. H. Bausman, “History of Beaver County, Pennsylvania and its centennial celebration,” New York, The Knickerbocher Press, 1904. Vol. I, p. 117; and J.H. Beers, “Historical and biographical annals of Columbia and Montour counties,” Chicago, J.H. Beers & CO., 1915, p. 9.
3) R. Laubin & G. Laubin, “Indian Dances of North America: Their Importance to Indian Life,” Norman and London, University of Oklaoma Press. First Edition 1977. First Paperback Printing 1989, p. XV.
4) D. W. Miller, “The Forced Removal of American Indians from the Northeast: A History of Territorial Cessions and Relocations, 1620-1854,” Jefferson, North Carolina, and London, McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2011, p. 46.
5) R. Price, “The Spirit of the Alberta Indian Treaties,” The University of Alberta Press, 1999, p. 76.
6) Wilcomb E. Washburn, “The Historical Context of American Indian Legal Problems.” Link: s://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3470&context=lcp.






Rate This Content
Writing a Cover Letter and Why We Hate It

Most schools will at least teach students how to write a basic cover letter and with the ever growing job market it’s a skill that everyone should brush up on. The cover letter is the first glimpse at you that any employer will ever have (unless you have an ‘in’ with them) and it is the hook that gets them to look deeper. From the cover letter employers will go to the resume. Lots of people think their resume should be enough to impress an employer, but by going to extra step with a cover letter you can give them a look at you as a person.

And that’s the pinch. You’re selling yourself in a way with a cover letter and there are so many people who just can’t fathom what their selling points are. A cover letter has to be personalized to the employer you’re trying to impress. This means you need to personalize what skills you want to really push. As both an author and freelance writer I’ve written more than my share of cover letters and I really hated each and every one of them.

So what goes into a cover letter?

First and foremost you need to address it properly. You contact information should be found at the top of the cover letter and followed by the name and contact information of the company you’re sending the cover letter too. This is for handing in or mailing cover letters. If you’re emailing a cover letter this can be somewhat ignored or followed to the letter.

In the first paragraph of your cover letter you should introduce yourself and how you heard about the opening you’re applying for. Give them a feel for who you are and why you were drawn to this job. This is the hook that leads them to the next part: You experience.

The second paragraph should highlight in more detail your experience that qualifies you for the job opening. Here’s where some detailing comes in. If you’re applying for a tech position don’t include time you spent working at an animal shelter. Focus in on what makes you the best fit for the job. This part may be expanded to a third paragraph if you have a lot of experience you need to share.

In conclusion summarize everything that makes you the person they want to hire in just a few sentences. Add why the job excites you or why you’re going for this job. Make sure to reword it and add a little bit of knowledge. It’s nice to let the employer know you know something about them and their company.

Then end it with a sincerely (hopeful employee) and you’re set.


That sounds really easy, but for most of us it’s nerve wracking and nail biting to go through. After writing it you then have to send it and hope they like you more than any of the others applying for the job. So here’s some advice.

Take a deep breath and write your cover letter. Do a draft first if you’re not confident and then go back and read through it once. If you have a friend or family member that you trust to tell you the truth see if they’re read over it once for you. Then sit down and tweak it just once. Finally, take another deep breath and send it.

Best of luck!

Rate This Content
The American Mob and Two Lucky Men: Joe the Boss and Lucky Luciano



Giuseppe Masseria was born in  1887, Sicily, and died in 1931 at New York. He immigrated to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, establishing strong bond of friendship with gangs that controlled the Lower East Side of New York City. He started his career at the beginning of the 1920s in association with other Italian and American bandits, killers and burglars of New York,  like Nick Morello.  After Nick Morello’s death, he formed his own gang, gaining control over all criminal activities in the city in order to amass enormous profits.


Giuseppe Masseria was named friendly Joe, and nicknamed  Joe the Boss or “The man who could dodge bullets”  for the luck of the devil  that assisted him in avoiding bullets. Joe the Boss was without any doubt one of the most important gangsters during the 1930s in New York City. Around the end of the 1920s, he collided with another powerful local Italian gangster, viz. Salvatore Maranzano, for the control of the major rackets of New York, causing a bloody and violent war between the opposite gang factions. Joe the Boss was killed in 1931 by the gang led by Lucky Luciano, which included other well-known gunmen such as Vito Genovese and Albert Anastasia. This time, “the man who could dodge bullets” was out of luck, and he was killed by multiple gunshots in a restaurant at Coney Island.


Michael Karbelnikoff’s  “Mobsters” (1991)


Both Joe Masseria and Lucky Luciano’s stories were succinctly narrated in Michael Karbelnikoff’s  “Mobsters” (1991). “Mobsters” tells the rise of the most famous Italian and American gangsters during the prohibitionist period in New York, and their rapid expansion from a small illegal business to the whole control of the mob dominated by Sicilian and Neapolitan gangs.


Lucky Luciano, Frank Costello, Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel decided that Joe Masseria  must be killed.  They first won his confidence and then killed him in a well-known restaurant at Coney Island. After eating and drinking their fill, they began to play cards. At one point Charles lucky Luciano stole away and went to the bathroom. At that moment, some gunmen (among them, there were probably Bugsy Siegel, Albert Anastasia, and Joe Adonis) came into the restaurant and shot at Joe Masseria, killing him instantly.


From that moment on Lucky Luciano took full control of the territory, becoming the city’s first chief. The film is notable for the spectacular scenes of violence that stir violent emotions in the audience. On the other hand, violence was the most distinguishing feature of the criminal organization led by Lucky Luciano. So “Mobsters” is one of the bloodiest gangster movies in the history of crime films, and it is an adult film because of its violence and bloodshed.


“Mobsters” was also reputed to be one of the most interesting features of the American mob during the 1930s in New York, giving atmosphere of violent actions that reflects accurately a mentality like that of “Lucky” Luciano,  so nicknamed because he was a “lucky man,” because he had been able to survive despite the fact that someone had slit his throat. Then he decided to take his own vengeance, killing all those who attempted against his life. Antony Quinn’s performance was in every particular perfect, playing Joe the Boss with extreme realism.




About the history of Italian gangsters in the United States, see G. T. Harrel, “For Members Only. The Story of the Mob’s Secret Judge,” AuthorHouse, 2009. About “Lucky” Luciano, see Lawrence Block, “Gangsters, Swindlers, Killers, and Thieves: The Lives and Crimes of Fifty American Villains, Oxford University Press, 2004,  pp. 137-141.


Film reviews: Caryn James, “Best Films”, The New York Times Film Reviews, July 26, 1991, p. 138: “The idea behind ‘Mobsters’ is so obvious, so commercial, so foolproof, such fun, that it’s a wonder this film, didn’t turn up sooner. It’s ‘Young: Guns,’ but about organized crime. It’s baby gangsters! Take Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel and Frank Costello, cast hot and hunky voting actors in the story of their rise to power and riches, and you’ve got sex, violence […] The film even reveals how Charlie Luciano came to be nicknamed Lucky.”


Rate This Content