Gregory Aldrete is a professor of history and humanistic studies at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, where he has been teaching since 1995. His emphasis is on rhetoric and oratory, floods in Rome, ancient Greek and Roman history, and daily life in the Roman world. What was life like in ancient Roman times? How did people do things in the ancient Roman Empire? These questions are what fascinates Gregory and keeps him moving forward in his research.
What relevance does ancient history have to us today? We are ever presently walking in the footsteps of those who came before us and until you understand the history of prior civilizations, you cannot fully understand who you are. It is the blunders and the achievements of our ancestors that have built up what we see today. There is not much that can be taken away from talking heads in the news and on Twitter, but much can be learned from the study of history.
How does Gregory describe a military blunder? To be a true blunder, the situation must have been avoidable. It could have or should have turned out a different way, but because of someone’s mistakes it didn’t. One of the biggest failures of leadership, which consequently leads to blunders, is overconfidence. Michael and Greg give examples of catastrophic blunders ranging from the Battle of the Little Big Horn to Napoleon and Hitler.
In this episode of Trend Following Radio:
Overconfidence in leadership
Napoleon’s biggest blunder
Battle of the Little Big Horn
Technology and understanding its potential