Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince Treatise : A Philosophy That Is Still Relevant Today

Machiavellianism, introduced in the Niccolo Machiavelli book The Prince, is a term that does not just apply to the Dark Triad subject in applied psychology. Machiavelli’s philosophies in The Prince included the belief that it is okay to use immoral/foul means such as manipulation & showing a disregard for morality in relation to personal gain and self interest. Some people argue that Machiavelli’s acceptance of immoral actions was due to the fact that he lived during a time in Rome when political conflicts and success through criminal actions were common among it’s leaders. However, this time period is not the only era where immoral actions have been common in society. As long as societies have existed, baleful actions have been used throughout history for different reasons…not just among princes vying for power. Unfortunately, it is accepted and a normal/common practice for societies to manipulate and commit evil doings toward others for their own personal gain/self interest in our world. Many people have developed a “that’s just the way it is” perspective on this detrimental behavior because it has been universally prevalent throughout our timeline so far. Therefore, Machiavelli’s philosophies are not just historic political science lessons that reflect the world he knew…but it also can be used to compare what is now, the present. It has gotten to the point where we question & categorize just what is immoral and moral depending on a society/culture’s accepted practices. I may be speaking from a bias point of view because I believe in not perfection, but at least trying our best to be morally upright and emphasizing virtue & genuine goodness. However, no matter what different ethical/moral philosophies exist, Machiavelli’s The Prince should have been a reference for what to avoid, but it now seems as if it is a repeated pattern that does not just apply to old Rome’s royal hierarchies or a personality test. Nevertheless, since the future is not yet written and the present is still unfolding, there is no universal rule that implies history has to keep repeating itself. Yet, even though we are one humanity, we are also individuals who do not share the same mentalities and belief system when it comes to virtue and morality. ..perhaps that is why treatises like The Prince and Machiavellianism seems to have been a relevant philosophy for a very long time.

Underground to Pop Music: The Art of the Evolution of Music

Manipulating the sound of a record while someone spoke on a microphone was not widely accepted less than 40 years ago. Before the musical art form we call Hip Hop and the method we know as rapping was an internationally recognized fixture in popular music culture, it was a underground innovative movement. It is always exciting and refreshing when a new form of musical style (which eventually is often considered a subgenre) has been introduced & created. Whether it was the origins of punk music with bands like The Kinks and The Ramones  or the “college rock radio” era of alternative music with musicians such as R.E.M & The Smiths, they all have one thing in common. Rebellion. They all rebelled against what was popular and mainstream. Yet, often times in history an underground musical art form became a part of the mainstream popular music culture if it was accepted on a massive level. Case in point: Kurt Cobain was not comfortable with Nirvana’s music being a part of pop music culture (In Bloom song speaks about this). However, that is what “Grunge” music became…chart topping hits that was played continuously on heavily viewed channels such as MTV. Nevertheless, it was their decision to  sign with a major record label, and “bandwagoners” naturally came with this. In fact, there is often a repeated pattern in music with this, which will probably always be. There are many factors such as generation, society/cultural events, technology, and demographics that correlate with an underground “alternative” sound being popularized. The problem is when a new musical style/sound starts off as fresh and different… then is transformed into something that has lost its “edge” and individuality due to exploitation in the music industry. The art of “underground”music becoming popular mainstream music has its pros and cons, all how we perceive it. Either way, music has & always will be an ever progressing art with many different colors. Hundreds of years from now what we listen to today, what we call “rebellious”, “alternative” or “innovative” in comparision to a “pop music” sound will be so interesting to compare with what sounds/styles may be introduced in the future. The evolution of all music is inevitable. 

More Than Protesting: Strategic Action, Effective Change

Protests are not always effective when it comes to progression/change. So, what is? To help gradually decrease police brutality, there needs to be reconstruction , change & progress  on the federal, state, and local levels of government. The reason why unfit and bad cops keep getting away with these crimes is because they are protected by policies that are flawed. We cannot keep simply protesting, being out raged on social media, and accepting that this is just how it is. Effective change means not just discussion and protest signs, but it also means strategically planning & taking action. So, let’s contemplate a few effective actions we can do that will help implement change.

1. Educating ourselves on the policies/laws already enacted and policy solutions that needs to be enforced, then demanding action from policy officials at all levels of government. Don’t complain, but then refuse to actually be a part of change. Don’t shoot down my suggestions, then refuse to try or give better solutions.

2. It’s okay to be angry, but create positive change from that anger. Saying “fuck the police” and then ranting on social media is not going to solve anything.

3. I encourage all to learn more at joincampaignzero.org, which goes into detail more specifically on the  problems, solutions, and actions we can take to implement effective change.

All in all, if we live in a place where issues like police brutality and basic human rights violations plague the land, then we all should help implement change and discuss/take actions concerning effective solutions…. Especially for those of us who complain and are angry.

Don’t Let Negative Energy From Others Change You

We’ve all encountered mean spirited people and those who try to belittle others in some way. However, it is a sign of strength to still be kind and good hearted without letting others liter their negativity inside of us. Many people have become cold hearted and love to claim they have no feelings because of the negativity they have encountered. Well, despite them believing this is a sign of strength in this world…it is not. What is really a sign of strength is when others can throw their negativity your way, but you still triumph because your spirit is full of light. That is truly beautiful and please don’t let anyone take that away from you. Despite whoever is rude, hateful, or ugly towards you…we all have a choice. We can either let these negative people be motivation for us to remain full of light and beauty, or we can let them inspire ugliness within ourselves. The first choice is the best because staying pure feels amazing and being an ugly hearted person means to pollute our spirits. We were all born with beautiful golden hearts, and unfortunately many do not leave this world with the same kind of heart. So, despite whoever  tries to bring you down or make you feel small, please don’t let this break your energy. People need positive energy and spirits that are full of light. It is truly inspirational and has an everlasting mark. This world needs that kind of beauty and if that is you, then what a blessing you are! Thank you.

Nanotechnology: The Pros & Cons

Nanotechnology involves the study of extremely small things, which are conducted at the nano-scale ( 1-100 nanometers). This form of science can be used in other fields such as chemistry, biology, physics, and engineering. With the use of nanotechnology, atoms and molecules can be controlled and manipulated. Of course, although everything on Earth is made up of atoms, they cannot be seen with the naked eye. However, with the ability to see atoms /molecules on the  nano-scale, scientists are finding ways to manipulate tiny particles and create new inventions that seems like stuff of science fiction. Nanotechnology could be used in wound dressings to rapidly stop bleeding in trauma patients, to clean up industrial solvents contaminating water, eliminate excess trash, stop diseases internally, and allow us to create anything lighter, cheaper, stronger, and better. All of this and much more are the benefits of nanotechnology that could be an amazing asset to our future on this planet.

However, just like other forms of advanced technology and powerful inventions that mankind has created, there are also cons that many people should ponder on. For one, nanotechnology in the wrong hands could be detrimental to us because it can be used for mass destruction as well. For one, in the wrong hands nanotechnology could be a weapon to destroy the human body. Nanoparticles would be challenging to locate, and with this form of artificial intelligence means it could be a game changer when it comes to warfare & attacks on the general public. Not to mention, there could be unintended health consequences. For an example, our white blood cells could look at nanotechnology “nanorobots” as ”invaders”, and/or our natural immune systems could be suppressed. There’s also the threat of humans relying and becoming entirely dependent on nanotechnology to survive, which could actually be a very unfortunate outcome for us.

All in all, a lot of the expectations that people have for nanotechnology are just concepts and not our actual reality right now. Yet, in the future it is not hard to imagine the heavy usage of nanotechnology. There should be strict ethical standards and codes to follow internationally for this advanced technology to be governed correctly. The thing is, nanotechnology can be used in many ways to help improve our lives and be an incredible breakthrough in health related issues. Yet, this technology can also be used to cause evil and destruction to the world on new levels and rapid speeds than we’ve ever known before. The choice is ours.

Pesticides Killing Bees: Why All Mankind Should Care

Albert Einstein once said, “If the Bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years to live.” If we take a look at all of the uses we rely on bee colonies for, then this statement could be true. Monsanto is a pesticide that is killing off bees, and these little insects are responsible for so much more than some people care to ponder on. For one, bees are responsible for pollinating 70 of the top 100 crop species, and these foods feed 90 percent of mankind. Without bees, most of the foods we eat would eventually disappear. Humans cannot replace or make up for the work that bees do, which also keeps other lifestock alive as well. If bees continue to be killed off by deadly pesticides, then so will most of the fruit, veggies, grains, and other nutrition we need to live. We tend to take Bees for granted, not realizing that these little tireless workers are blessings that are vital to our lives. The solution is actually simple: ban all deadly pesticides. If pesticides like Monsanto does this to bees, just imagine what they are doing to us. Some may even argue that all pesticides should be banned from our plants, including the so called “harmless” ones. All in all, hopefully it doesn’t take Bees to go extinct for people to finally understand just how valuable they are to mankind.

Encouraging Positive Self Esteem Among Ladies

Despite what society says is beautiful or not, it is important that people feel sincerely good about themselves. I wish that more ladies would genuinely accept their beauty, and not put others down while doing so. For an example, someone who sincerely is confident with themselves won’t feel the need to give another woman dirty looks, hate on another, or give out bad energy period. I’m speaking from a female’s perspective, but it is really unfortunate to me that insecure women give out negative energy to each other, and this all boils down to how confident they are with themselves. I’m not arrogant or conceited, but despite how attractive or unattractive I am to someone…that doesn’t affect the way I feel about myself. We should not thrive off of people’s compliments or take their criticism to the heart. That is not healthy, and we will never be satisfied. This means loving our body types, our skin, putting an emphasis on inner beauty & just feeling truly great from the inside. Don’t worry about not being someone’s preference or body type, because out of all the people in this wide world….some  will definitely be attracted to you. It’s  just science & how the way things work naturally. I want people to feel better from within, and not critiquing others so harshly just to make themselves feel better. So what if some people don’t like the way you look or whatever? Love the way you look, still be humble, & don’t ever feel bad for being in love with yourself just because of society’s beauty standards! Women should smile at each other more instead of giving dirty looks. I’d rather compliment another female than to hate on her or speak negative. Uplift each other, have authentic inner beauty, and understand that true beauty is more than skin. Our true self esteem level will always come to surface sooner or later. So, let’s not be intimidated by anyone, be beautiful from within, and encourage this among other ladies. Remember, beauty is not just skin deep and being a positive person is a true indicator of genuine confidence & good self esteem.

Ancient Africa Is More Than Egypt

There is nothing wrong with people being interested in the history and culture of Ancient Egypt. However, it seems as if many people tend to focus more on one part of a continent even though there is so much rich and innovative history in other ancient African civilizations as well. What about the history of Sierra Leone, Morocco, Angola, Ghana, Senegal/Gambia, and others? Many African Americans have ancestry and lineage in West Africa, yet many do not know a lot about the history of these regions. The western civilization has put an emphasis on Ancient Egypt, often times with false & inaccurate images. So, it’s okay to be interested in knowing the truth about Ancient Egypt, but this is not the only area of Africa worth knowing about. Although I feel as though Ancient Africa is a history that every human needs to know, however as a black person, I find it interesting that many other black people do not take an interest in finding out more about the regions where some of their ancestors came from in other parts of Africa. Yet, people have followed trends in wearing Pharoah faces on shirts, and jewelry, exploiting/profiting from Ancient Egyptian culture, but many can’t tell you anything about other aspects of Ancient African society. Of course, I am interested in all areas/regions concerning History, but it is fustrasting to me that there is forgotten about history in Africa that is just as important as Egypt, but many only choose to focus on one area in a continent full of history worth learning about.

Gordon Parks Photography: Some of My Favorites

Gordon Parks is not only one of my favorite photographer- artists, but he is also an icon that has captured some of the most memorable photos for legendary magazines like Life and has directed classics like Shaft. Each and every one of these photographs describes a story, a time, and a place that are all historic in some specific way. Here are some of my favorite Gordon Parks photographs.

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People Who Brag About Being Mean/Cold Hearted:Kindness Is Not Weakness

I live in a generation where a lot of young people in my age group brag or celebrate being mean, cold-hearted, and other negative attributes. The sad thing is, people adopt this attitude (especially the whole ”I don’t care about anything” attitude) because they have been hurt or let down by other people. People like myself, those who actually love being kind/sweet and not cold hearted are sometimes looked at as vulnerable or ”weak”. However, this is not true. For one, although alot of us naturally have many acquaintances, I believe it is best to try to surround yourself with people who want to absorb, contribute to and preserve your kindness and positive energy. I can honestly say that everyone who I surround myself with on a personal level does not try to take advantage of me or inspire me to go astray from what I really am. I like being warm/good hearted, being nice, and just being …Tanzy. Tanzy does not try to belittle others or speak ill of someone just because our vibes don’t get along. Tanzy is not a ”mean girl” or one who brags about having a cold heart/persona. That is just not me nor do I ever want it to be. The moment we realize someone’s vibe/energy doesn’t go well/connect with our own positive one, we should try to distant ourselves. I would rather be looked at as stand-offish, and keeping to myself a lot, if that means making sure I only surround myself with people who appreciate my spirit/energy. The people we hang out with are a reflection of our own energy/vibe. For an example, I don’t care to befriend those who I notice love to speak negative about others and have a jealous/hateful undertone to them. That is not me, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable being around people like that. Despite some of the things that can go wrong in this life, I don’t ever want to be a cold hearted individual who brags about being mean and careless. We need more people in this world who encourage kindness and positivity. How can one call themselves positive if the vibe/energy they throw out into the world does not match what they claim to be? I would rather just be quiet, not communicate with someone, ignore and pray for them instead of trying to speak ill about them or throw negative energy their way. All in all, I believe it is important for us kind/warm hearted people who are not mean to stay this way. Of course, don’t let anyone take advantage of you, but please don’t think it is a form of weakness to remain a kind person. It is actually a very brave thing to be in this world.