Chinese Philosophy

Claiming an Enemy Position: The McCain Change Message

A basic principle of strategy is that you cannot hope to win a strongly defended position from your opponent. However, this doesn't mean that you cannot win an opponent's position. People too often choose positions that cannot be defended, which is why "aiming" requires choosing positions that can be defended easily. The most dramatic example of this has been the ability of McCain to claim the "change" message from Obama. I was completely wrong a few days ago in criticizing his attempt to do this. Actions speak louder than words.

Confusing Emotion and Gut Insticts

In this recent article, Richard Reeves call Obama a man of thought and McCain a man of emotion, but what he is describing is not emotion on McCain's part but gut instinct. As we discuss on our site in this and related articles on gut instincts, cognitive research shows that in complex, chaotic situations, experts make instant gut decisions based on their unconscious recognition of the situations key factors.


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