We often hear gripes about the cost of gasoline or upper scale foods. And the price of a college education is very high. Most of those items have increased about 10 times in the past 40-50 years. Some items have gotten cheap, though. I won't point to the easy pickings in technology, but this blog points to one cheap, but highly cultured and intellectual good: the classics.
A few weeks ago I reviewed an excellent book that can help one learn ancient Greek [July 14: Learn Ancient Greek, by Peter Jones, costing about $15]. Now I will point out where one can use that knowledge ... cheaply.
The Loeb Classic Library offered by Harvard University Press offers wonderful books containing classic writings and their translations on facing pages. The cost per book? $25 hardcover. Amazingly cheap. I can remember buying textbooks in college in the early 1970s for around the same price. 40 years later and the price of great classic knowledge is not 10x more, but the same !!!
As I write this book, I have a copy of the Loeb Classic Library edition of Aristotle's, Nichomachean Ethics, which is certainly one of the greatest books on political philosophy and social values of human history. For $25 you can read it in English and use the original Greek language to check intriguing passages. What a great bargain !!!
Here's the value analysis: a year at Harvard costs about $50,000 per year. The standard course load is four courses per term for two terms, thus 8 courses per year. [Fyi, Harvard does not do 'credit hours'] The cost thus is $6,250 per course. The cost proved on this blog for a basic course in ancient Greek plus reading material is $40. With the same amount of work by yourself, you can gain $6,250 of knowledge for $40, a return of 156x. What a great investment in your human capital !!!
The cost is about the same as it was 40 years ago: $40 of material and your own human effort - an investment in yourself.
And more: all the classics are available for free on the Internet (copyrights don't exist for them), as are all the great writings done before the 20th century (copyrights have expired). That is a great benefit of modern technology. People should take advantage of these grand bargains.
None. I didn't get very good prices for my buys yesterday as the beefers front-ran me. Grrrr ... Since I had a lot more existing positions than I was buying, all those went up strongly, I suppose should not complain. But I strive for the best, and am annoyed. Too bad one can't get a price equal to the average price of the day. Now that would be a good product for an institution to offer.
Word of the Day
"Prevenient" - adjective [$10] formal
Prevenient means preceding something else.
Sentence: Prevenient buying after reading this blog yesterday gave some hedge funds easy profits and raised the closing prices I paid for my index fund buys. Grrrr.