Cultural

Strategic Perspective: Food for Thought

Foolish ideas seem logical if they are repeated often enough. Sun Tzu's strategy teaches the use of analogies to support logic. For example, do the arguments about energy policy make sense in terms of food policy? Current food technology does a thousand times more ecological damage than any other human activity including using oil. Farming cuts down trees, plows up the land, depletes limited water resources, spreads dangerous chemicals, and intentionally poisons natural plants and animals. Using ecologically unsound food is destroying the planet.

Independence and Dependence: You and Government

Sun Tzu's methods leverage forces in the environment to your advantage. We must use those forces but we are independent from them because we can choose our responses. Even if the winds are blowing against us, we can go where we want if we know how to tack correctly. During my appearance on a radio show (WSBA, York, PA) this morning, the host, Gary Sutton, pointed out that John McCain missed an teaching opportunity in commenting on Sen. Gramm's "nation of whiners" statement.

Improving Position: How War Makes Us Happier

Sun Tzu teaches the our perceptions must always different from reality. For example, what is your perception of the increasing happiness of people all over the world? If you follow news media, you would think that people are suffering from record levels of unhappiness. However, the opposite is actually true. The best subjective measure of improving positions is not our perceptions of others, but their perception of themselves. When people are asked about their own happiness, the results are surprising.

The Power of Position: Justice Kennedy as America's Most Powerful Man

Science defines nature as a near balance of opposing forces. The interesting stuff occurs as the boundaries. In Sun Tzu's strategy, we called these forces complementary opposites. One way to leverage those forces is to sit at the pivot point between them. However, by leveraging this point to much in one direction, you tip the balance, destroying the power of your position. A good example of this idea is the current position of Justice Kennedy as the pivot point of the Supreme Court.

The Balance of Perspective: Chicken Little Media

One of the main benefits of learning Sun Tzu's system is that it forces you to think about the natural balance of reality. From Sun Tzu's perspective, nothing is good or bad in itself. Every development can be leveraged if you understand it. You can sail into the wind if you know how to tack. For example, the mainstream media has redefined its role in modern society as that of "Chicken Little," constantly running around claiming that the sky is falling.

Advancing Positions: McCain's To-Do List

Once we understand the relative weaknesses of our position, we need to address its weaknesses. In comparing the five dimensions of a position, complete domination in one or two areas is less powerful than a slightly dominant position in three or more areas, and subjective impressions of positions are easier to change that their physical attributes.

Motivation and Reaction: The September 11 World

Sun Tzu's strategy says that you can only predict people's reactions if you understand their primary goals. It also says that you can only know people's true goals by judging their actions rather than their words. People have, or can claim to very different goals from those that truly motivate them. For example, this article by Senator Joe Lieberman discusses the fairly recent reversal in the traditional view of the Democratic Party regarding their view of national defense.

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