Cultural

Suspending the Law of Cause and Effect

In reading this article about the riots in France, I become further convince that we understand less of strategy today because modern society is increasingly disconnected from the simple laws of human nature. People used to learn about strategy from simple human reactions. Their knowledge may not have been organized and codified, but the basic idea of cause and effect within human reactions were well understood. What happened?

Easy Predictions are the Best

Climate is the key factor in strategy where you try to foresee trends. However, the key to good strategy is predicting what is obvious. For example, I can predict with absolute certainty that, if you are still alive, you will be one year older a year from now. Some predictions are only a little less certain. For example, tonight's Oscar show will be one of the lowest rated Oscars ever. Again, not a difficult prediction given that Hollywood has gone completely Hollywood this year, nominating shows that movie-viewers couldn't care less about.

Olympic Torch: Another Islamic Symbol?

Is it just me, or does the Olympic torch in Torino look like a flaming scimitar? It is not so noticable in this picture, but the resemblance is even clearer they way people naturally carry it when running with the "blade" facing forward. I am reminded of the controversy over the Flight 93 memorial crescent. Are designers this out of touch with the real world to notice this stuff or are they consciously sending political messages?

Superbowl: Why Experts Get It Wrong

Having watched the Superbowl coverage all week, I am convinced that the professional sports analysts know nothing about strategy. They universally focus on one aspect of sport: personnel. This makes sense for the media because stories about people play well. However, contests are determined more by strategy, that is, how you use people, rather than who the people are and what they can do. In general, the team that trusts in their people and their people's training alone, rather than strategic analysis and planning on how to react to the strengths and weakenss of their opponnets, will lose.

Strategy, Football, and Turnovers

Most of what everybody knows about strategy comes from watching sports. The hard part, of course, it understanding what is really going on. For example, after the Patriots, lost to the Broncos, every interview I heard talked about how you can't have turnovers and win the game. But in the Seahawk game against the Redskins, the Seahawks turned over the ball at three key points in the game. And, to make it a little worse, the Seahawks also lost their key player, NFC MVP Shaun Alexander, in the first quarter. The result? A Seahawk win, of course.

Dr. King, Amnesia, Myopia, and Progress

While watching "Meet the Press" this morning, where a group of academics discussion the problems of race in America, I was struck far removed the elitist view of race has come from Dr. King's simple vision of racial equality. John McWhorter, a black conservative academic in the tradition of Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams, did a great job of putting all the liberal excuses into prospective. For example, in looking at the illegitimacy rate, now almost 70% among blacks, he pointed out that this began in the late 60s. In the 30s in poor, black Chicago, illegitimacy was 15%, the current rate for American Asians, the best group in America. When it came to every negative trend in crime, drugs, and unemployment, he pointed to the late sixties as the turning point. Dr. King, of course, died in 1968. McWhorter was very diplomatic in not expressing his opinions of what happened; obviously segregation and racism did not start getting worse in the late sixties. He also pointed out reasons why all the traditional excuses--decrease in manufacturing jobs, increase in immigration, etc.--just didn't hold water in light of actual history. The big question is, what went wrong?

Fratricide: Three Ways the Liberal Media Is Destroying the Liberal Courts

As Alito mores toward confirmation on the Supreme Court and the Vermont Judge Cashman moves toward impeachment for giving a 60 day sentence for a child rapist, America’s tolerance for liberal judges seems to have reached its breaking point. However, according to our analysis, conservative opposition has had less to do with this reaching this tipping point than the liberal media.

Why Industies Die

One of the most basic lessons of strategy is that you cannot get a good perspective on your position from the inside. You need to make outside contact. My favorite analogy for elites (and this probably can only affect elites) who become completely disconnected from the outside viewpoints of others is that of a group huddled on an iceberg, drifting away from the mainland, not realizing their little island is melting.

Five Predictions for the New Year Guaranteed to Start Bar Fights

1. New York Times Exposes “Illegal” U.S. Spying On Iranian Nuclear Program: New York Times article exposing US efforts to keep tabs in Iranian nuclear development will question whether such activity is legal under international law. US is accused trampling on the rights of foreign leaders.

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