You'll see a theme in history - armies that train for "worst case scenario" eventually kick the hell out of armies they don't. Command and control based armies, that only fight well in formation, tend to do really well until their ranks get broken. Then they get slaughtered.
If you look at George Washington or Napoleon Bonaparte, their forces knew how to fight out of formation. That's why they were able to win important battles against larger, more well-equipped forces. They stirred up a bunch of chaos because their forces were able to handle chaos better than the enemy.
I think if you want to do creative endeavors like writing, painting, whatever - you need to learn to fight out of formation. By that, I mean you need to learn how to do it without having "formal expert tone" or being highly polished. Ideally, you can communicate well without necessarily obeying grammar and punctuation. After all, the point of writing is to communicate - the language is supposed to serve you, you're not supposed to serve it.
It takes a lot longer to get into formation if you're out of it than to just fight slightly wild and crazy. Of course, you should learn discipline and how to fight in formation, and should be able to do well in that role. It might even be your bread and butter. But if you're editing every memo you send, every blog post you write, every rallying talk or speech you give - then you're burning a lot of time.
Yes, fighting in formation produces better results much of the time. But sometimes ranks get broken, and then you're screwed if it's the only way you know. I think it's better to learn to fight out of formation before you ever need to. The quality of out-of-formation output is going to be lower at first than in-formation output. You need to learn how to deal with a chaotic messy environment. It doesn't have to be the only way you do things; in fact, sometimes you ought to use proper grammar and punctuation. But you also should be able to handle not doing it, just throwing things together with commas and dashes, slapping some rough thoughts down, and figuring it'll turn out okay. As long as what you're saying is clear enough, you don't have to bow to formality.
I'd say this is probably true in any discipline that doesn't have life-and-death consequences - there's a highest level, most correct way of doing things. That way produces better results, and is superior if you're in the right frame of mind and environment to do it.
But sometimes you're not in the frame right of mind, or you're in the wrong environment, and you don't have enough time to form up. In that case, much better to just bang something out and run with it. And if you make a habit of learning to fight out of formation, you get better at it, and can do it more and more over time.
I did the audiobook so writing style gets lost a bit. Probably a bit light and unbalanced for a true history. But I loved the way he stuck to the letters and diaries that were his source. Some powerful insights being plugged straight into the thoughts and words of these men.
Spoken like a true hacker.
Just finished 1776. Great book. Very personal view into the world of George Washington and the Continental Army over the course of that great year. I never realized how close our country came to never being born so many times. It really was Washington's perseverance and grit, and the same in the American's he led, that won that year for us.
Bravo to you good sir!
Good questions from a reader -
There are some questions I want to ask you about the shogun era.
Why didn't the generals around Tokugawa Ieyasu aim for more power?
What were their end game?
Among the most widely believed myths about Islam isthe myth of forcible conversion to Islam. Many people have the false notion that Islam is so widespread in the world today simply because of a “holy campaign of terror” carried out by the early Muslims to convert non-Muslims to Islam. While it is true that in many places where Muslim armies went to liberate people or the land, they did carry the sword as that was the weapon used at that time. In many places where there are Muslims now - in Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Eastern Europe, and many parts of Africa - there are no records of any Muslim armies going there. Islam in all these regions replaced so many other well-established religions like Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. The “Sword of Islam” did not convert all the non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries. Ten percent of all Arabs are Christians. In India, where Muslims ruledfor 700 years, they are still a minority. In the U.S.A., Islam is the fastest growing religion and has over six million followers. Islam is an amazing blend of simplicity and rationality: a very simple religion yet very rational at the same time. The unambiguous and uncompromising belief in the Unity,the Greatness, and the Wisdom of the Creator of the universe, is unparalleled among other religions. The moral and intellectual superiority of Islam over all other religions has manifested itself so clearly throughout its history. This accounts for the fact that Islam continues to be the fastest growing religion in the world despite all of the ills of Muslims everywhere.
"Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors. " [The Qurân, Ch: 2 Al-Baqarah, V: 190]