Why The Olive Press?

The title of my blog takes its name from a passage in Aristotle’s Politics:

The story goes that when they found fault with [Thales] for his poverty, supposing that philosophy is useless, he learned from his astronomy that there would be a large crop of olives. Then, while it was still winter, he obtained a little money and made deposits on all the olive presses in Miletus and in Chios. Since no one bid against him, he rented them cheaply. When the right time came, suddenly many tried to get the presses at once, and he rented them out on whatever terms he wished, and so made a great deal of money. In this way he proved that philosophers can easily be wealthy if they desire, but this is not what they are interested in.

Advertisements