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:
Check it out, enjoy it, and I welcome your comments here. Even if it's a few days later, remember that I check all my comments and reply to most, so feel free to let me know what you're thinking and keep the good discussion rolling. Seriously, check this video out if you like strategy or warfare at all - some amazing really insights, very high production quality, enjoyable and fast paced on the narration, smart and entertaining expert commentary. Very good stuff.
A few of my friends - three friends, to be exact - mentioned to me that I write a heck of a lot on here and they're impressed. I have convinced the ultra-smart Sami Baqai to start blogging, and he just got the holy-shit-this-is-hard-I'm-overwhelmed feeling. Ah, yes, I have been there Sami. Perhaps I can share some thoughts.
First and foremost, I am a huge devotee of the Equal-Odds Rule. As far as I know, I'm the only person talking about it outside of academia. This Amazon review covers it pretty well:
The equal-odds rule says that the average publication of any particular scientist does not have any statistically different chance of having more of an impact than any other scientist's average publication. In other words, those scientists who create publications with the most impact, also create publications with the least impact, and when great publications that make a huge impact are created, it is just a result of "trying" enough times. This is an indication that chance plays a larger role in scientific creativity than previously theorized.
So I read that, and I'm like - whoa. You know Neo in the Matrix? Whoa.
If you want to make excellent stuff, you need to make a lot of stuff.
A few weeks ago, I was in Atlanta, GA at a Barnes and Nobles in Little Five Points when I came across a book of paintings called World War Robot by Ashley Wood and TP Louise.
Mind you, I've never really been into war-themed art, but the inclusion of robots really grabbed my attention. I love the robot designs in Transformers, but the work in World War Robot is stark, haunting, gritty, and to me, grippingly beautiful.
These paintings by Ashley Wood follow a narrative of a war in which opposing sides use robot warfare to their fullest advantage. At the epicenter of this gargantuan battle is a company that is supplying all of the best robot technology to both sides.
These images are realism and surrealism blended together to create an imaginative and visionary body of work.