Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Last day this week, we turn to Quintus Tullius Cicero, younger brother of the Cicero to which the last two days were devoted, and his Commentariolum Petitionis, dozens of caustically realistic pieces of advice as his famous brother runs for the consulship -- most of them as relevant to office-seeking in our own corrupt plutocratic would-be reprublic as in theirs. Also we are reading Terence's most famous comedy, Eunuchus, a play in which there is a castrated slave, but in which nearly every other character is threatened with servility or castration (or both) as well. Hilarity ensues of a uniquely Roman sort, as when, for example, the "happy ending" involves a woman who was stolen from her family and sold into slavery and then freed only to be married without consultation to the man who raped her that very day. Pomposity is also relentlessly skewered and bilked throughout, which is a compensation. Unfortunately, the weekend will provide little compensation for the week's intensity this time around, because a stack of mid-term papers needs grading and in summer these things have to get done fast.