My Top Stories

Steven Gambardella
4 min readFeb 19, 2022

This is a selection of my own subjective picks. Some of them were popular, others not so much. But they are stories that I’m proud of. I compiled this list because my index of stories is just getting longer and longer. This is a good place to start to get a flavour of what I write. I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I loved writing them.

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Montaigne: The Art of Life

Montaigne had Que-sais je? (“What do I know?”) written on a ceiling beam in his study. Say no more about this man’s humility and humanity.

Marcus Aurelius: The View from Above

Our own sense of self-importance is our undoing. To get some perspective on your life, you only need to imagine it from the viewpoint of the stars.

The Prison of Snobbery

Snobbery is fundamentally a belief in a correlation between social or material status and human worth. It’s an affront to human dignity, yet it’s so pervasive it’s considered just a petty sin.

Is the Fetus Human?

Abortion is perhaps the most divisive and difficult issue in the developed world. It’s hard to write about, but I did.

Nietzsche’s Three Steps to a Meaningful life

Pretty much a page of writing (one of the first short chapters of his masterpiece Thus Spoke Zarathustra) encapsulates a great deal of Nietzsche’s thinking and in some ways serves as a three-act story of the philosopher’s own life.

Wittgenstein: Intelligence is Never Artificial

Wittgenstein’s language-centred philosophy bursts the AI bubble. Thinking is not something that happens in the brain — we’re wired into a public network called “language”. While AI can parse information very efficiently, it cannot replicate human thinking. Artificial intelligence is a contradiction in terms.

How Cubism Changed the Way We See the World

Why does art matter? It makes us see differently.

Why Poor People Drive Expensive Cars

What the ubiquity of luxury cars on our streets says about western civilization in the twenty-first century.

D-Day: Into the Great Abyss

An account of D-Day, the largest seaborne invasion in history and the beginning of the end of the Second World War. How it played out then and why it still matters today.

Manet: The Difference Between Nude and Naked

Manet is the father of modern art. His masterpiece, Olympia, drove the wedge between the past and the future.

Toward Stoicism 3.0

Is modern Stoicism a fad, or a popular philosophical renaissance that can reshape western society? It can’t be something between. If the latter, then I set out how it can get to iteration 3.

The Hidden Politics of Roma

The interplay between foreground and background in Roma underscores its politics.

Most Writers Lose Their Readers Because They’re Lacking One Thing

I’ve always struggled with writing. But there’s a simple formula: simplicity.

Marcus Aurelius: The Control Switch

The greatest thing to hope for is not to hope at all.

This Idea Could Make Everything Better

The ancient philosophical idea of “pithanon” helps us navigate life in a nuanced and less temperamental way.

Spinoza: How to be Free

Freedom isn’t getting what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.

The Painting That Shocked the World

Art’s intrinsic power to reframe can change the world. The story of Théodore Géricault’s Raft of Medusa.

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