Experiencing Rome: A Visual Exploration of Antiquity's Greatest Empire [TTC Video]
14 January 2016, 17:10
Course No 3430 | AVI, XviD, 793 kbps, 640x480 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 6.73 GB
Rome was the greatest empire of the ancient world, a colossus that spanned three continents, ruled over millions of people, lasted more than a thousand years, and left as its most enduring legacy the foundation of much of Western culture. Yet, in an empire in which perhaps only one person in ten was literate, how was Rome able to so successfully communicate its civic and cultural values, or project a knowledge of Roman power, to every corner of the realm?
In Experiencing Rome: A Visual Exploration of Antiquity's Greatest Empire, award-winning Professor Steven L. Tuck of Miami University offers a unique way to understand the relationships that connected Rome, its citizens, and its subjects, and to see the visual and experiential ways in which Rome made and kept those relationships clear.
A Unique Opportunity to Explore the Roots of Our Own Culture
In this fascinating course on the visual nature of ancient Rome, Professor Tuck helps you understand the foundations of your own culture that simply cannot be conveyed through standard courses in art, ancient history, architecture, or religion.
By learning how Rome communicated in so many visually symbolic ways, you gain insight into how similar tools are still used today. You are able to hone your ability to see them at work in the visual symbols that are part of government, the military, religion, and just about every aspect of contemporary public or private life.
And if you're planning a trip to Rome or any other location bearing the marks of its empire, these lectures will also help you prepare for your trip, experience it, and get the most benefit for your travel dollar.
Learn How to Read a Message Meant for an Empire
Professor Tuck guides you through all the ways in which Rome set forth its message, showing you how it flawlessly conveyed all that needed to be said through a vast range of visual spectacle, shared cultural experience, and deliberately crafted structure or imagery:
- Extravagant public displays, including triumphal marches, gladiatorial combat, chariot races, animal hunts, executions, and even life-sized re-creations of its naval triumphs in vast flooded arenas
- The architecture of its leading citizens' lavish homes, where design and decor carried a message, from the achievements of a host's lineage to a visitor's position within Rome's civic and social hierarchy
- The design of its imperial forums and other public spaces and even its harbors, which made clear the voyager's return or his entry into the orbit of Roman power and civic obligation
- The unavoidable and deliberate messages in Rome's beautiful statuary, sculptural reliefs, and other visual art
- Rome's emphasis on spectacle and entertainment over political engagement and introspection in the design and use of its theaters
- The extraordinary engineering achievements that not only built roads, bridges, and aqueducts across the vast range of its empire, but imposed on the very forms of nature itself an often brutal—and always self-aware—topography of Roman power
- The role of religion in reinforcing Roman values and even in building Rome itself, with the city's very shape altered by the monuments and temples built to fulfill its citizens' vows to deities
Experience the Significance of Rome in a New Way
Even if you have some familiarity with ancient Rome, you'll likely be surprised at the vividness with which Professor Tuck immerses you in Roman life:
- Elite homes: You learn how the houses of Rome's most powerful families played a significant role in reinforcing social structures and the achievement and stature of the host's family. Deceased family members were represented in a home's public areas by mementos of accomplishments, such as military trophies or the blood-stained armor of defeated foes, and also by imagines of those decedents—images rendered in the form of portrait busts or wax death masks.
- Rome's imperial baths: In a culture in which so many of the institutions that define Rome were off limits to most people, you see how Rome's magnificent public bathing spas were an exception—a chance for every Roman to experience the tangible benefits of empire and wealth. Free of charge and extraordinarily opulent, these grand complexes were used by everyone, from slaves to the emperor himself. Within their lavish walls, favors would be curried and the obligations of the elite met.
- Rome's triumphal arches: The 100 triumphal arches that line the great avenues of Rome—and have inspired similar structures throughout the world—represent perhaps the quintessential form of Roman monument. In the stories told by their carvings, as well as by their very presence, they serve, as Professor Tuck notes, to "literally petrify victory imagery in stone," making ephemeral events permanent in the eyes of both the subsequent processions that march beneath them and the Romans who line the streets to watch.
And, of course, there are our eyes as well, still able to read Rome's messages, even after 2,000 years, as accurately as the Romans and non-Romans alike to whom they were first intended.
A Stunning View of Ancient Rome
Representing the most extensive investment we've ever put into a course, this provocative and lavish learning experience is different from any visual course The Teaching Company has ever presented.
Featuring more than 1,000 visuals—including original art commissioned exclusively for this course—Experiencing Rome draws on computer animations of Roman villas, actual artifacts, and revealing maps, along with breathtaking photography of Rome's statuary, mosaics, sculptural reliefs, buildings, public spaces, and monuments.
Many of those photographs were taken by Professor Tuck himself on the numerous study trips he has led to Italy and England. His discussions of the details behind many of the photos add immensely to their impact.
Similarly, his exceptionally well-rounded background in history, classics, classical art, archaeology, and even epigraphy—the study of ancient inscriptions—adds an extra dimension of richness to every discussion.
Combined with a dry sense of humor that balances the sense of gravity that often accompanies explorations of Roman antiquity, his superb teaching skills make him particularly well suited to this subject.
Experiencing Rome: A Visual Exploration of Antiquity's Greatest Empire shows you how very much there still is to discover in a historical legacy you've been experiencing your entire life.
The Economics of Uncertainty [TTC Video]
13 August 2015, 03:44
Course No 5523 | M4V, AVC, 2000 kbps, 640x360 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 11.13 GB
Economies are deeply complex systems. The global marketplace—even national, state and local economies—involve many economic actors behaving in rational and irrational ways, sustaining a dizzying array of interconnected activity. Because of the number of participants involved in this global exchange, the unpredictability of their actions, and the sheer variety of possible actions, some degree of economic uncertainty is inevitable.
In one of the most dramatic displays of economic uncertainty in our times, a wave of toxic loans almost brought down the American financial system in 2008-2009, and with it jobs and savings. Few experts forecast this catastrophe, which stands as a lesson in the power of economic forces to defy our predictions. This event may have been exceptional, but every day we are all at the mercy of economic uncertainty in matters such as these:
- Stock market: Although the stock market has a long-term upward trend, short-term volatility can wipe out a large fraction of an investor’s wealth in a single day.
- Careers: No job is safe from the constant assault of domestic competition, offshoring, innovation, downsizing, government regulation, and other factors.
- Insurance: The types of insurance products have skyrocketed to the point that you could easily spend all of your earnings to cover possible disasters.
- Retirement: Is your retirement secure if you live to be 100? What if you suffer a debilitating chronic disease? How will your nest egg fare if inflation soars?
Uncertainty also plagues us in smaller ways. For example, everyone is familiar with rising prices, but the Internet now makes it possible for online shoppers to be charged more based on their buying history, adding a new level of unpredictability to pricing. And anytime you hire someone for a service—from roofing to dentistry—you face the principal-agent problem, in which the person hired may take unethical advantage of your lack of expertise.
Indeed, these large and small risks are so pervasive that it is all too easy to conclude that nothing can be done. But economic uncertainty is like the weather: you can’t stop storms from happening, but understanding how and why they happen allows you to be prepared. In the same way, economic uncertainty is beyond our control, but we’re in a much better position to respond if we know what’s happening and why.
In 24 practical and empowering half-hour lectures, The Economics of Uncertainty takes the mystery and dread out of uncertainty, giving you the tools to deal with risk in every phase of your life. Your guide is Professor Connel Fullenkamp, an acclaimed economist and award-winning teacher at Duke University, where he is Professor of the Practice and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Duke’s nationally ranked Economics Department.
Deepen Your Knowledge of Economics
Gearing his presentation to novices as well as those with a background in micro- and macro-economics, Professor Fullenkamp shows that the study of uncertainty sheds light on a wide range of phenomena, including:
- financial markets
- business cycles
- inflation and deflation
- free trade
- strategic thinking
- career development
- family financial planning
The course also introduces fundamental ideas in probability, statistics, and game theory that give deep insight into the world of risk and require only high-school level mathematics. In addition, the critical thinking skills you acquire in The Economics of Uncertainty have broad applications beyond economics. For example, the decision tree approach to problem solving, presented in Lecture 7, can come to the rescue whenever you need to find the optimum path to any goal, whether it is selecting your next vacation destination or choosing the best college options for your child.
Enjoy the Expertise of a Personal Advisor
Governments and large financial institutions rely on teams of experts to steer them through the perilous waters of uncertainty. In The Economics of Uncertainty, Professor Fullenkamp serves as your personal advisor, explaining in detail how uncertainty works and providing valuable tips such as these:
- Think critically: Knowing the two types of probability—frequency-based and subjective—helps you judge the claims of people who appeal to probability to convince you to take a particular action.
- Weigh risk vs. benefit: When you have to choose between risky alternatives, start from the least risky choice and decide how much extra risk you can tolerate for a given amount of increased benefit.
- Mix it up: Since you can’t negotiate prices when shopping online, be unpredictable. Don’t always take the first price you’re offered. Put some items in your shopping cart and then log off without buying them.
- Cultivate your career: Companies thrive by having a comparative advantage over their competitors. Do the same in your job by identifying what you do better than most people. Then cultivate that strength.
Learn How to Survive and Thrive
The trick to surviving and thriving in an uncertain economy is to know the sources of risk and how much of a threat they pose. It also helps to have a guide as experienced, eloquent, and engaging as Professor Fullenkamp, who, in his consulting work, has designed and led training courses for bankers and government officials for the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. With The Economics of Uncertainty, it is your turn to experience his fascinating seminars, covering topics such as these:
- Black swans: Popularized by best-selling author and risk analyst Nassim Taleb, a black swan is a rare, baffling event with great impact. Professor Fullenkamp analyzes the 2008 financial crisis in light of this intriguing theory.
- Asymmetric information: Often one party in a transaction has a monopoly on information—for example, in a used car sale. Discover how this problem affects every sector of the economy through adverse selection and moral hazard.
- Compensation: Getting a job done well is often a matter of how the payment is made and what performance incentives are offered. Evaluate the risks and rewards of several approaches to compensation contracts.
- Gambling: Even if you’ve never bought a lottery ticket or set foot in a casino, you gamble every day. Learn how to address economic decisions with a seasoned gambler’s knack for separating good bets from bad.
One of the most important lessons about uncertainty is that it’s built into the world. At times, the economy may seem like it’s careening out of control, but we are simply living through the fluctuating uncertainties that have always been with us. There’s no reason to despair, since uncertainty is a phenomenon that can be understood and managed. “Knowledge is power,” says an old proverb. After taking this invaluable course, you’ll have the essential background to manage your economic life toward a more secure future.
- Man, Nature, and Economic Uncertainty
- Turning Uncertainty into Risk
- Five Ways to Face the Unknown
- Probability: Frequency or Belief?
- How We Misjudge Likelihood and Risk
- The Reward in Risk
- Decision Science Tools
- Gambling Economics
- Game Theory: Reveal or Conceal?
- Adverse Selection: Hiding in Plain Sight
- Moral Hazard: Whom Do You Trust?
- The Principal-Agent Problem: When Mice Play
- Compensation Traps
- Caring, Sharing, and Risk Bearing
- Mayhem! Insurance Protection
- Uncertainty in the Numbers
- The Business Cycle's Wheel of Fortune
- The Danger of Inflation
- Extreme Markets
- Regulation, Innovation, Excess
- Global Trade in Employment
- No Limits to Growth
- Hedging Business and Personal Risks
- Stress Testing Your Finances
Foundations of Economic Prosperity [TTC Video]
13 August 2015, 03:28
Course No 5642 | MP4, MPEG4, 818 kbps, 426x320 | AAC, 96 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 4.81GB
Prosperity has transformed the world. Defined as the ability to afford goods and services beyond basic necessities, prosperity is now a way of life for most residents of developed countries—so commonplace that few people realize what a rare and recent phenomenon it is.
A mere two centuries ago, most people lived at a subsistence level, in or near the edge of poverty, as the overwhelming majority had since prehistoric times. Then the Industrial Revolution began and per capita income shot up. It is still rising today.
But the story of prosperity is far from simple—or complete. Many people in the developed world fear that their children will be less prosperous than they are. Meanwhile, new economic titans such as China and Brazil enjoy year after year of rapid growth and an ever-rising standard of living. Elsewhere in the world, millions are still trapped in poverty, despite the best efforts of organizations such as the World Bank to help lift them out of it.
Fostering and sustaining economic prosperity—whether at the individual, national, or global level—is a multilayered endeavor that reaches far beyond economics into the political and social spheres. The complexity of the phenomenon raises equally complex questions:
- Why is prosperity distributed so unevenly?
- Why isn’t the path to prosperity predictable?
- What, if anything, can be done to lift more people out of poverty?
Foundations of Economic Prosperity gives you an unrivaled overview of one of the most pressing issues of our day, in 24 half-hour lectures taught by Professor Daniel W. Drezner of the prestigious Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Professor Drezner takes you behind the headlines and into the debates to dispel some common myths about prosperity and get at deeper truths.
In this stimulating, wide-ranging course, Professor Drezner shows that achieving prosperity involves more than economics. Psychology, sociology, political science, and history also come into play. By taking this broad view, he leads you to fundamental insights about how the modern world works and a deeper understanding of the functioning of the U.S., European, Chinese, and other major economies, as well as an appreciation for the special problems faced by underdeveloped nations.
Mysteries and Myths of Prosperity
Foundations of Economic Prosperity begins with an explanation of basic economic concepts. These are then applied to an increasingly wider sphere, covering prosperity on individual, national, and global scales. Noting that prosperity is surprisingly difficult to understand, Professor Drezner addresses some of the mysteries that surround the subject, including these:
- Why England? The Industrial Revolution started in England, but scholars disagree about why, since other nations were also primed for change. Was England’s position in world politics the key factor? Or its institutions? One theory argues that the distinctive demography of the British gave them a crucial edge.
- Riddle of the two Koreas: Few nations vary so radically in prosperity as North and South Korea. Yet both have the same natural resources, ethnicity, and culture. For the first 25 years of their existence, both countries showed remarkably similar growth patterns. What caused them to diverge so dramatically?
- Easterlin paradox: A controversial finding by economist Richard Easterlin shows that there is no correlation between increasing prosperity and happiness in the developed world. How accurate is this conclusion? Does the effect change with levels of affluence? How much happiness can money buy?
In his quest to uncover the principles that guide the accelerating improvement of material life, Professor Drezner also refutes widely believed myths about prosperity, among them:
- Myth—China is prosperous: China is economically powerful, but the view that it is prosperous is mistaken. By several different standards, China is still a developing country, ranking with nations such as Jamaica, Turkmenistan, and Belarus in per capita income, health, education, and other measures of prosperity.
- Myth—Character is all: While individual behavior matters a great deal, people can’t entirely control their own economic destiny. National and global conditions matter. For example, Steve Jobs could not have built Apple Computer in a country that did not offer educational opportunities and a technology infrastructure.
- Myth—Prosperity is self-sustaining: The idea that once achieved, prosperity is self-sustaining is a misconception. Many factors can derail prosperity, from pandemics to financial crises. Professor Drezner uses Argentina as a case study of a once-prosperous nation that went into a prolonged economic decline.
Successes and Failures
Foundations of Economic Prosperity follows dozens of case histories that illustrate what works and doesn’t work in the drive to increase economic growth. A superb storyteller, Professor Drezner reaches back to examples such as the statue-building culture of Easter Island that prospered centuries ago, until its mammoth public-works effort destroyed the island’s ecosystem—a cautionary tale to all developed societies. In another lesson from the past, Professor Drezner describes the economic policy called mercantilism that trapped European powers in growth-killing trade practices from the 16th to 18th centuries.
You will also learn about the following intriguing examples of prosperity won or lost:
- Financial bubbles: The Dutch tulip mania in 1637 saw the value of a single tulip bulb rise to 45 times Holland’s per capita income. The price soon crashed in a boom/bust scenario that has been replayed many times, for instance in the “dot com” bubble in 1999–2000 and the housing bubble that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
- Globalization: The trend toward an integrated world economy is not a recent phenomenon. The era of globalization that started in the 1850s and ended with World War I brought far more dramatic changes than those seen today—in communication, transportation, productivity growth, and financial innovation.
- Politics versus prosperity: After the breakup of the Soviet Union, many economists predicted a bright economic future for Ukraine—because of its well-educated workforce, heavy industry, and productive farmland. But Ukraine did not do well. The missteps made by its politicians illustrate the enormous power of the state to get things wrong.
Prosperity Tips You Can Use
How can individuals capitalize on long-term trends in the growth and distribution of prosperity? Professor Drezner—whose experience extends beyond academia to include positions with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the RAND Corporation, as well as extensive international travel and consulting—is full of insight on this question. He suggests, for example, that developments since 1980 underscore the increasing importance of human capital over physical capital—the value gained from investing in people over physical assets. Human capital is the product of education in all its forms, from elementary literacy to job training to undergraduate and graduate studies, and it is more important than ever to a person’s economic prospects.
As a start on your own road to greater prosperity, take this step to invest in an unparalleled explanation of the prerequisites to achieve it in the Foundations of Economic Prosperity.
- The Foundations of Economic Prosperity
- Does Economic Prosperity Make You Happy?
- Varieties of Entrepreneurship
- Individual Prosperity—The Developed World
- Individual Prosperity—The Developing World
- Foundations of National Prosperity
- Perils to National Prosperity
- Political Foundations of Prosperity
- Mysteries of the Industrial Revolution
- Sources of Poverty
- Reducing Poverty with Economic Development
- National Prosperity in the Developing World
- National Prosperity in the Developed World
- Can Prosperity Be Lost?
- Inequality and Prosperity
- Globalization and Global Prosperity
- Great Powers and Global Prosperity
- The Washington versus the Beijing Consensus
- Political Challenges to Global Prosperity
- Financial Challenges to Global Prosperity
- Will the Developed World Stagnate?
- Global Prosperity and the Environment
- Ideological Challenges to Global Prosperity
- The Ethics of Global Prosperity