Welcome to the Classical Educator Bookshelf
A Place for Curious Bitcoiners

Why the Ideas and Creativity of the
Western Tradition Matters

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you”

Classical Educator Bookshelf is a passion project for me. It stems from my love of reading classic literature, from studying history, and from exploring art in museums since I was a little girl. I want to share the beauty of the West with others and in particular within the Bitcoin community where people are optimistic, curious, and can appreciate the beauty of the Western canon.

I was also inspired to start this website because in recent years, there has been a noticeable trend in both America and Europe—a turning away from the cherished ideas, art, and writings that form the bedrock of Western civilization. In colleges and universities, courses in the humanities are being canceled or revised, with classics and works from Western civilization history often marginalized or excluded altogether. It’s a puzzling shift, considering that these very works have played an instrumental role in shaping not only our societies but indeed the trajectory of human civilization on a global scale.

Yet, there remains a profound impact of Western thought, art, and inquiry. It all begins with the ancient Greeks, who dared to ask the big questions about the nature of the universe. Their inquiries into metaphysics—pondering the essence of existence—and epistemology—examining how we come to know what we know—set the stage for millennia of philosophical exploration. From Socrates and Plato to Aristotle and beyond, Western philosophy has been a beacon of intellectual curiosity, inspiring generations to grapple with the mysteries of existence and the complexities of the human experience.

But the contributions of the West extend far beyond the realm of philosophy. Consider the realm of art, where artists from the ancient Greeks through the Renaissance to the early modern period have captured the essence of beauty through their paintings, sculptures, and music. From the intricate sculptures of Michelangelo to the timeless masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci, Western art has left an indelible mark on the collective consciousness of humanity, serving as a testament to the boundless creativity and ingenuity of the human spirit.

And let’s not forget the invaluable contributions of historians and natural philosophers, who have documented and pushed the boundaries of our understanding of the world and the universe. From Herodotus, the “Father of History,” to Galileo, the father of modern observational astronomy, Western thinkers have been at the forefront of expanding our knowledge and challenging our preconceptions about the natural world.

In essence, the rejection of the great ideas, art, and writings from the Western tradition represents a missed opportunity—a failure to recognize the profound impact that these works have had on shaping our world and our understanding of it. To dismiss them is to ignore the rich tapestry of human achievement and intellectual inquiry that has brought us to where we are today. It is only by embracing and engaging with the treasures of Western civilization that we can fully appreciate the depth and breadth of human potential—and chart a course toward a brighter future for all.

Announcements

Aristotle v. Aurelius

Join me for a discussion on Twitter Spaces! We’ll be discussing Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations. You can read the books free online here: Aristotle: https://gutenberg.org/ebooks/8438 Aurelius: https://gutenberg.org/ebooks/2680

Shells to Satoshi: The Story of Money & The Rise of Bitcoin

A new book on how humans have invented and reinvented money over time and how Bitcoin came to be the first truly sovereign money to ever exist. Written from a historical perspective and drawing on examples from cultures around the world, this book provides a background on money, how it evolved, how it became more and more corrupted, and how Bitcoin is different from everything that came before. The books ends with a short introduction on how Bitcoin works.
May 2024

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Latest Musings

Deanna Heikkinen

Deanna Heikkinen

Deanna Heikkinen is a long-time educator and lover of classic literature, philosophy, and art of the Western tradition. She is a former tenured professor of humanities and an experienced homeschool teacher who first heard about Bitcoin in 2011. Her commitment to a liberty-minded narrative is most evident in her upcoming book, "The Story of Money: From Shells to Satoshi." Deanna is excited to create the Classical Educator Bookshelf as a way to share the greatest works of the Western canon with curious Bitcoiners.

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose: It’s National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry month. so I thought it would be a great time to talk about poetry. Poetry is a type of literature that is often written to evoke a specific emotional response from the reader. This is accomplished through language and the way it is arranged, rhyme, meter or number of beats on a line, and rhythm. Some of the earliest literature was poetry. It was originally written as ways to relay the story of the gods and for religious rites. But over time, the purpose of poetry has evolved. By the time Sappho, the ancient Greek poet from the 6th century BC, was writing, poetry had already changed and was accompanied by music. It was a way to communicate feelings of love and loss. Poetry also varies in length from epics such as Homer’s 15,693 line Iliad to short two line epigrams. I think the reason so many people are put off by poetry is that it can be abstract or confusing. Some even say it is boring or that they do not like it. But these general statements really do not identify the problem they are having. Poetry requires a different type of reading. It is best read aloud, even to yourself. It is not like a novel where you can read it and be done with it after one read. Poetry requires more than that. You need to read it, take it in, work to understand the metaphors or language. Poetry is best read with

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Women in Bitcoin

I’ve been hearing some push back about creating a space for women in Bitcoin. I get this as I too can have an impulse reaction, especially as an educator where the American school system has been overrun by the Marxist oppressor/victim ideology. However, I have have listened to women in these spaces and it they are empowering, not victimizing in any way. And, as opposed to many women specific organizations or spaces, especially on the more left-leaning political spectrum, these spaces are as much about tearing down men than they are beneficial to women. This is definitely NOT the case with the Bitcoin women’s groups or organizations I have participated in. IN fact, they are just the opposite. In addition to supporting women, there is a great deal of support of men as well. Furthermore, these Bitcoin group that focus on what women are doing and how they are navigating their lives are the furthest from claiming that females are victims just because of their chromosomes.  Rather, what I’m seeing is women coming together to celebrate being feminine and feeling empowered to be in this Bitcoin space. Just to be completely transparent, I have very traditional views on men’s roles and women’s roles. Reflecting on this recently, I know that deep down I have always felt this way, but like many other Gen X’ers, I spent much of my life living and buying into the fiat world. This extends to the way men and women interact. I was raised by a single

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Finding Sanctuary: Gardens in Classic Literature

Gardens are great settings for classic literature. From Ovid to Shakespeare to Keats, poets have used the gardens as settings and metaphors in their poetry for over 2,000 years. But gardens are not merely settings, they can become a part of the story as illustrated in two beloved children’s classics, Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Secret Garden. In the realm of classic literature, gardens often take on a life of their own, becoming enchanted realms where the boundaries between reality and fantasy blur. Take, for example, Lewis Carroll’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” where Alice encounters a whimsical garden inhabited by talking flowers and anthropomorphic creatures. Here, the garden serves as a magical backdrop for Alice’s adventures, a place where imagination reigns supreme and the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Similarly, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden” transports readers to the secluded confines of Misselthwaite Manor, where a neglected garden becomes the catalyst for healing and transformation. As young Mary Lennox tends to the garden, she discovers not only the beauty of nature but also the power of hope and renewal. Through the magic of the garden, Mary and her companions find solace, friendship, and a sense of belonging in a world filled with darkness and despair. As we embrace the arrival of spring, with its promise of new beginnings and fresh beginnings, the allure of gardens in literature becomes even more compelling. The vibrant colors, fragrant blooms, and gentle rustle of leaves evoke a sense of life and renewal that

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