The Huns Attack – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 26 Part 2

huns attack

The origin of the Huns is obscure.  Gibbon traces it back to early first century when they were known as the Tanjou and lived on the borders of China just north of the Great Wall. This was not a coincidence. The Tanjou were a force to be reckoned with.  They had put together a vast coalition of steppe peoples via diplomacy, war and straight forward intimidation.  They had become powerful enough that they threatened to overthrow the ruling dynasty in China itself.  The first wall built by the Chinese was a specific response to this threat. Continue reading The Huns Attack – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 26 Part 2

The Fry Chronicles

“If a thing can be said in ten words, I may be relied upon to take a hundred to say it. I ought to apologize for that. I ought to prune, pare and extirpate excess growth, but I will not. I like words – strike that, I love words.” – The Fry Chronicles


A celebrity autobiography can be the story of the persons life, with a narrative arc leading to their final success.  Or it can be an exploration of what makes the person tick.  Or it can be an amusing collection of anecdotes about the famous.  Or if you are Stephen Fry with a love of words and seemingly endless stock of clever turns of phrase, you can mix all three.  The result, the Fry Chronicles, is like a big pile of sweets – the sort some people do for Christmas with lots of different treats in a big bowl.  And as it happens, big piles of sweets feature prominently in the early chapters as we hear in huge detail just how addicted the young Fry was to sugar in all its forms and just how much trouble that got him into. Continue reading The Fry Chronicles

Benoit Mandelbrot on Markets

mandelbrot markets
Mandelbrot looks at the fractal nature of markets

The Misbehavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence

Benoit Mandelbrot was one of the great innovators of the twentieth century and will be forever linked with the science he named, fractal geometry.  Fractals pop up all over the place, but one place that they can be found is in economic data.  Could you use this insight to make money? Continue reading Benoit Mandelbrot on Markets