Alone Time

Week 9

Summary of Assignments:

Read “Solitude and Leadership,” by William Deresiewicz, take notes; consider what it means to be alone with your thoughts and personal challenges associated with thinking for yourself; review for exam two, note specific study strategies


The messages presented by William Deresiewicz in his “Solitude and Leadership” speech were of varying importance and significance. He made notable distinctions about technology, leadership, and innovation, which are especially pertinent for my millennial cohort. The popularity of technology and its influence on young adults is profoundly affecting social interaction and connection. Common communication happens with cell phones or computers and human interaction is scarce. The dwindling of human connection will make it difficult for coming generations rto understand human emotion and vulnerability. I’m afraid at some point, people won’t be invested in friendships or mutual relationships because they won’t understand what a person needs to feel or even how to express those emotions. Deresiewicz notes how genuine communication could help leaders with decision making and self-evaluation, but if the leader doesn’t have the capacity to develop organic relationships, no real introspective leaps will be achieved.

Deresiewicz suggests being “alone with your thoughts” is a form of solitude, specifically mind solitude.

His emphasis on alone time and isolation, are concepts becoming more and more unfamiliar to younger generations. People are always accompanied by some sort handheld device or contraption. These “distractions” as Deresiewicz would call them, have no personal identifier or complex that would allow human complexity to be understood. By nature, humans need interaction to thrive and survive. With children as young as seven years old owning cell phones, there’s only so much educational and intellectual excellence to be acheived. I agree with many of his statements highlighting the peculiarity of being alone, and why the introspective energy is necessary for creativity and independence.

Although Deresiewicz offers great advice about developing inner leadership capabilities, many of his allusions to past leaders are approximate and rather unsubstantial. He references John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine among others as examples of independent thinkers. People who Deresiewicz attributes with the establishing of America. I get easily annoyed with writers and scholars like Deresiewicz who consider implementing genocides and waging wars against other countries as a basis for building America. America’s “founding fathers” were selfish and power-hungry with big guns and bombs. Individuals like that are not the best leaders in my mind, and are not the greatest examples of Deresiewicz’s visionaries who contribute and enhance the world. Visionaries like Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Assata Shakur, and the likes are people who should be considered when looking to inspire a world of courageous thinkers, believers, and achievers.
When I consider thinking for myself, challenges and distractions can arise from anywhere…
homework, iPhone, MacBook, friends, iPad, etc.


In reviewing for the exam, I considered the necessity of solitude. In order to gather my thoughts and identify everything I knew, I had to be alone and think. I decided to web my thoughts in the form of a timeline, and document all notes beginning from the day after Exam One.

October 1:

Socrates’s Apology
- apologia: an account/counter story
- asebeia: impiety
- gadfly to the city of Athens, gift from the gods
- why is Socrates the wisest? — he acknowledges his own ignorance
- Delphic Oracle
Review course goals
Outline emotional challenges of a leader

October 6:

Alcibiades v Socrates
- leadership qualities differ
- Alcibiades:
- eloquent speaker; studied resources; crafted metaphors; people reader; concerned with prosperity, safety, and pride; indicted for impiety; instrumentally and reactively aggressive; always changing; concerned with philoproton; pathological liar; appeals to greed of citizens; careless; impious, etc.
- Socrates:
-
not particularly fond of making eloquent speeches or appearances; motivated by truth; law abiding citizen; not aggressive; maintains integrity; charged with impiety; appeals to logic of citizens; minimalist, etc.

October 8:

History of Socrates trial
- Socrates accused of not believing in state gods, natural philosophy, phusis
- Socrates accused of introducing new gods
- Socrates accused with corrupting the youth, seducing and sexing young men in Athens

Necromancy: corpse seeing (ouija board)

Bibliomancy: book seeing, giving prophecy from holy scripture

October 13:

Meditations…
- translations from Book 1:
- Granddad Verus, thanks for instilling good morals and showing me how to control my temper.
- Dad, I learned a lot from you. You taught me modesty and the importance of upholding a manly character. I always noticed your stubbornness and mild temper. However you were always hard working, helpful, and ready to listen during pressing times. You taught me to be a good leader in pressing times and to be grateful, not arrogant. I respected the way you honored true philosophers and you were generally agreeable, with a knack for facilitating conversations. I loved that you maintained a healthy lifestyle and avoided physicians or other external/unfamiliar applications.
- Mom, you taught me to be pious and beneficent. I appreciate you pushing me to remain abstinent of evil deeds and thoughts. I’ve been brought down, but I’ve gotten back up and you were always there to support me. I enjoy the simple things in life and don’t care for the lavish lifestyle.
- Great Granddad, I never really consider your thought process when you give me advice. But thanks for letting me know the public schools aren’t the hangout spot. You wanted me to make sure I had good teachers and I would only spend money wisely on worthy things.
- Governor, shout out to you for suggesting I lay low on certain topics. I learned from you that not everyone needs to know your move or your opinion. You taught me why it’s important to be Switzerland in many scenarios, and avoid that negative confrontation. Thanks for pushing me to work hard and ignore BS coming from any direction.
- Diognetus, you taught me how to spend my time wisely and to not entertain miracle workers. You kept me on the right track, and taught me to endure free speech and philosophy.
- Rusticus, thanks for improving and disciplining my character. You taught me how to be refined and how to be presentable. Thanks for steering me away from poetry, fine writing, and the likes. I won’t ever look crazy in public, and i’ll try to be forgiving of people and their mistakes. Because of you, I read with intent to deeply analyze or understand and have cultivated my own perspective through these guidelines.
- Apollonius, you taught me to fall back on reason and use that principle as a basis if I were ever in a bind. Thanks for urging me to be myself in any capacity and gracefully accept favors.
- Sextus, you really helped me develop my ideals related to patriarchy, benevolence, natural living, and tolerance. You always lead by example, which is very helpful and you advising my mind as it relates to enjoyable recreational activities.
- Alexander the grammarian, you always taught me to look for the best in people and being able to delegate work loads without being mean and demanding.
- Fronto, you always had back foreal. You gave me some great advice and told me to observe the qualities of a tyrant, including everything from envy to duplicity. You made me aware of people who are called father, but don’t act fatherly.
- Alexander the platonic, you taught me to never confess that I don’t have any free time. You also taught me the importance of accountability, and to charge up my roommates if they are leaving messes and not cleaning up.
- Catalus, you taught me a very important lesson, and that’s to put your friends in place if they try to call you out.
- Severus, thank you for reminding me that family is first and in order to be successful, I must fight for justice, love truth and promote a government that honors equal law and freedom for most subjects. You taught me to be consistent with my philosophies and logic. Also to be generous, charitable, and blunt with my closest friends.
- Maximus, i appreciate your promotion of positive attitudes and self-government. I always respected your transparency, honesty, forgivingness, and humor
- to the gods i am indebted for having a good family, teachers, everything; and never being on the bad side of y’all. thanks for getting me out of my granddad’s concubine… and making sure my children are healthy and living according to nature

October 15:

Marcus Aurelius: 121–180 CE
- Empirical Rome: 161–180 CE
- co-emperor with Lucius Verus
The Meditations
- ta eis heauton: things into himself
- stoic philosophy: concerned with what you can and cannot do — soul is actual, must obey laws of physics — destructive emotions = errors in judgement — way of life — live in accordance with nature

October 20 / 22:

Quotes from Marcus Aurelius
MLK Memorial
Thoughts about Solitude and Leadership
ataraxia: state of “unbotherdness”


“Tips” for Exam Two

Write down everything you know, try to figure out what you don’t know… fill in the gaps. Helpful? Not sure…

Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, The Apologies, Meditations, philosophy, soul, solitude, stoicism, Phaedo
Solitude in Leadership — in relation to Socrates and Marcus Aurelius
Socrates
- dates he lived (470–399)
- truth, piety, corrupting youth, introducing new gods
- leadership style in Phaedo
- daimonion, gadfly
Psychopathic leadership discussions… (i.e. is Socrates psychopathic?)


Timeline of Events:

10/21/2015 — — 6:00PM-9:00 — — 3hrs (Reading Solitude and Leadership, taking notes)

10/22/2015 — — 9:40AM-11:00 — — 1hr, 20 mins (Thursday class)

10/23/2015 — — 9:30AM-12:00PM — — 2hrs, 30 mins (Completing assignments for Tuesday)

10/26/2015 — — 6:30PM-10:00 — — 3hrs, 30 mins (Preparing for Exam Two)

10/27/2015 — — 11:30PM-1:30 AM— — 2hrs (Writing Medium article)

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