17 February 2009

Okay, I'm lazy today

I've been running a little ragged the last few days.  I have a few links, some fun stories, and some deep thoughts, for certain.  But for now, enjoy this link from the blog of Timothy Ferriss, the author of The 4-Hour Work Week, which discusses the wisdom of Napoleon.   

(With assistance from Ryan Holiday)

"Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence"--Napoleon Bonaparte

Indeed, Napoleon's campaigns form at least part of the basis of maneuver conflict and strategy.  Take the following quote from Napoleon:

"Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than the ability to decide"

John Boyd has said that in maneuver conflict, the whole idea is to cause such massive confusion, friction, and panic in the minds of one's enemies, and to place them in a situation in which they are not only unable to maneuver themselves, but also choose between one course of action and another--to put them on the horns of a dilemma, so to speak.  Similarly, armies exercising maneuver conflict would want to maximize their opportunities to maneuver, strike, act, and minimize confusion and disarray within their own ranks. 

To steal a concept from biology, then, all armies, much like all organisms, seek to increase their capacity for independent action, while seeking to decrease the ability of their enemies to exercise independent action.  

I guess the same could be said for all of us, too.  Does your job or your lifestyle decrease your capacity for independent action?  How could you arrange your life to accomodate it?

Meditate on this, my young padawans...

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