Personal

The Nature of Markets and Strategy

Much of what we write here is play agaist people's preconceptions because people insist on confusing strategy with planning. Planning infers order and control. In situations that require strategy, no real order exists at the beginning of the process though it may appear to exist at its end. In using Warrior's Rules, you never know exactly what course you will end up taking to your goals. Looking back, the course may look as though it was predictable, but that is the illusion of hindsight.

Desire, Denial, and Responsibility

I just saw a television commercial where a group of (supposed) Wal-Mart employees complain about how terrible it is to work at Wal-Mart. They complain about the pay, the hours, and the benefits. When I watched this commercial, my only thought was, “If you people hate working at Wal-Mart so much, why don’t you find another job?” Instead, of taking personal action, they want to advertise their “plight” so that someone else—the consumer, the government, or whoever—will step in and fix Wal-Mart’s employment practices for them.

A Constructive Evaluation of the Value of Destruction

The role of science is to express the rules governing nature as simply as possible. The goal is to simplify the rules of nature enough so that we can use them, but leave them as complicated as we need to get the job done. We only need Newton to build a rocket, but we need Einstein to navigate it precisely. In meeting the goals of science, the enemies are always both a lack of useful clarity (for example, the current condition of string theory) and lack of necessary precision (Newton and Einstein above).

How Christian is the War?

A reader writes the following:
I have been passionate, persistent, and consistent against the war in Iraq...My observations, fact-gathering, and what I believe to be sound discernment, finds the Iraq War unjust, immoral, unethical, and evil. I must also ask you how you reconcile Christ’s teachings with our war on Iraq. I find it very disturbing that so many “Christians” in America were pro-war on Iraq.
Wars are not generally fought for altruistic reasons, but America's wars, in general and including Iraq, always seem very altruistic to me. In general, starting with the Civil War, America has had an incredible tradition of sacrificing its life and treasure for the freedom of others, recognizing that, in the long run, our own freedom depends on the freedom of others. This makes America unique in human history. Since WWI, America's main strategy for defense has been spreading its system of government. As far as reconciling Christ's teachings with the war in Iraq (or any war), there is a simple answer and a more complex one.

Playing Not to Lose

This post at Instapundit points out the foundation of good strategy and ties nicely to my last post about some people thinking that all struggles—especially wars—are useless. The general rule of strategy is that you have to know what your goals are and, in choosing your ground, have to understand whether the rules of the game allow you to meet your goals.

A Memory

It is one of my strongest memories. It was late morning on a hot, muggy day in China. We were flanked on each side by a small platoon of the local military, all carrying guns. Beforehand, we had been told we were required to be in formal business attire because we were going to be put on public display. I could see the sweat running down my wife’s face as we waited in the uncomfortable heat. Eventually, we were escorted out onto a long pier that extended into the harbor. We were again forced to wait while the expected audience assembled.

Individual Success, Totalitarianism, and the Power Curve Formula

In reading this article about the failure of Communism, I am reminded of why totalitarian systems must fail. Totalitarian systems are all based on the hubristic notion that someone, somewhere knows the mind of God, not as a matter of general rules for individual decisions, but as a matter of a specific natural order for the "greater good."

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