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Diplomacy Lessons from the Game Diplomacy

There's a board game called Diplomacy. As far as boardgames go, it's one of the best. Was designed by a guy at Harvard in the 1950's, and it's been distributed and played nonstop at a high level ever since, including regular international tournaments.

I won't talk about the game too much - I haven't played it in 10 years, so I don't remember the exact details. The only things two you need to know - first, it's a game set during the start of World War I, with the seven powers of the day vying for control. Second, there is no luck involved. No cards, no dice, no randomness, no chance. Success or failure is all dependent on what other players do and negotiation - no luck, no chance, no randomness. It's a game that's played and won purely in a social way.

This article is because I found this rather amazing piece by Dr. Lewis Pulsipher analyzing how to play Diplomacy well. I learned a lot from it.

I'll let Doc Pulsipher take over now:

Lucifer's Tragedy

There are lessons and profit to be had in Milton's Paradise Lost, but you have to work for them. The language is archaic and it references concepts that are no longer common knowledge.

It's worth it, though. If you have the time, take this excerpt and read it very slowly. The context is that Lucifer, one of the most skilled and most high of the angels, rebels against God. He loses and is cast down into Hell.

He's in Hell, thinking, brooding, trying to figure out what precisely happened, and communicating with his followers who still believe in their cause:

Have you read it slowly? We will analyze and dialog, but far better to come to it before our own discussion.

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