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Good Documentary on Sun Tzu

Way back when the blog was in the 40 to 80 readers per day range, I posted a very short entry called "Sun Tzu says – Make It Look Easy." That entry has been the gift that keeps on giving - I get emails, comments, references from other people interested in The Art of War. I've turned some of the notable comments into their own top level blog posts, like in "Two Good Replies from Readers – on The Equal-Odds Rule and Sun Tzu/Warfare" where I got some absolutely brilliant commentary.

And it doesn't end! People love the book, and that small entry keeps generating discussion. Now, Sami Baqai was kind enough to send me a link to a really excellent documentary on Sun Tzu and analyzing some American military conflicts from that perspective. It covers elements of the Vietnam war including spies, morale, logistics, and choosing the time of battle. It includes the Allies' deception and maneuvers and desperate fighting to land at Normandy, fight out of the hedge rows, and invade Continental Europe to smash the Axis. And it looks at the fall of the Confederacy and the Battle of Gettysburg.

Awesome documentary, really informative, high production quality, made by the history channel. I was going to watch just 5-10 minutes of it to see if I should add it to my "to watch" list yesterday, but it was so good I just watched the whole thing. Highly recommended - thanks for the link Sami.

Here's the first part:

Thinking About How You'll Feel to Survive Impulses

On Tynan

I just finished up a 12 hour workday. I got a lot of stuff done, took only the bare minimum in breaks, etc. All I wanted to do afterwards was watch Elementary, a modern Sherlock Holmes show. Somehow my "no new shows" rule gets bypassed for new shows about Sherlock Holmes, and I've been enjoying this one.

Last week I watched Elementary. I noticed that while I was watching, I was also doing other stuff on my computer-- organizing files, cleaning up email, checking things online. The anticipation of watching the show was extraordinary, but the actual experience didn't measure up. It was enjoyable, relaxing, stimulating, etc, but not as great as I expect it to be.

As I've written about before, I'm one of those people who has pretty poor impulse control. That's why I give myself so many black and white rules that Absolutely Cannot Be Broken. If my impulses see a crack in my resolve, they push through it. Being someone with poor impulse control is a really bad thing, too; the habit is correlated with less success in pretty much every area.

You'll notice, though, that I'm not watching Elementary right now. Instead I'm writing a blog post. For someone as prone to impulse as I am, it's important to rely on tricks while simultaneously buliding up resistance to impulse over the long term.

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