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Spartans and Soviets

I have been working a lot lately, but also rapidly studying historical eras. It is refreshing to realize that I do not have to do any one thing myself; in fact, is is ineffective. On our staff, I'm the most knowledgeable and effective historian, strategist, recruiter, trainer, marketer, and project manager. I'm also adequate-to-good in dozens of other roles, but I'm dispatching with almost all of them - and now, I'm starting to dispatch with project management (my first professional love) and marketing (my most recent professional love).

We have better legal, financial, sales, administration, management, and creative people than me. That's nice.

My time will be largely spent doing grand strategy, recruiting, training, and studying. I will mix in a little statistics and analysis, but this will be the bulk of my role going forwards. I do not need to laundry, I simply need to find someone competent to do it, and pay them well. There is something like a 1000x gap between successfully defining strategy with all the relevant contingencies, constructing completely workable models in identified big opportunities, and staffing those and training/compensating the staff well - and washing socks. The socks? I will not be doing that, because it would mean less time studying history, identifying opportunities, and finding/training/compensating very good people.

Thought of the day: Sparta and the Soviet Union both excelled at military arts by concentrating immense amounts of their society's total creative, intellectual, and productive output into military. This led them to be fierce warrior societies immediately after their rise, but with a gradual decline as they were out-paced by societies with a smaller military concentration and faster growth.

"Flex" societies that can gear up and gear down on war production can maintain a larger credible military presence with less resource drain. "War concentrated" societies show stronger than flex at first, but must win quickly or be defeated. Time is their enemy. Of course, pacifist societies are quickly conquered if they do not have allies, and thus do not enter the discussion.

The Brazen Two-Faced Building

On Silber Zalman

There is no doubt that Germany, with its rich history, has some of the most beautiful and interesting places of interest. On my visit, I did not want to feel at home per se but rather like an explorer discovering new and interesting things. One such discovery was the Holstentor. Constructed with two different facades, the Holstentor composes of a north and south tower sandwiched between a main building. There is a field side and a city side which depending on the side you enter from, you will get a different impression. The field side shows the lines that separate the building, giving me the distinct impression that the main building is squeezed in between the two north and south cylindrical towers. The city side makes the building look like it is a complete structure; there is no distinct separation. While walking under the open passage that runs directly under the midsection of the building, I couldn’t help but feel like I was crossing over to the other side of history. The building is now a museum and word is it had originally contained a torture chamber but was removed some years ago. I’m glad I didn’t get to see that.

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