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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:

Bank Story

On The Voiceless Sloth

Where is Linda?

Everyone looks for Linda at some point. Linda might be a set of keys, that girl from the bookshop or a switch blade with the worn but reliable handle. Eventually, you have to find Linda, no matter what. Last week I was looking for a literal Linda.

There are many things about working for a huge multi national bank that give you a sense of deep foreboding but the most vomit inducing one would have to be the atmosphere. Everyone acts like they spend their weekends caring for their frail grandparents rather than scouring Redtube and investing in hedge funds. On the surface the atmosphere is one of unrelenting compliance; where people are veritable pious process drones. No one speaks unless absolutely necessary and even when they do, they keep it as concise as possible in their huge effort of efficiency. Most of the time I'm too numb to notice what is happening in other peoples matrix inspired fuel cells, but every now and then I can't hep but enact my own form of morale building corporate sabotage, as it were.

Last week, I needed a book because in the Viper eyes of a bank it's an imperative that everyone understands how prime brokerage works, even if you don't have anything to do with it. Linda has said book. She coverts them, in the Hannibal Lectur sense, trawling the corridors with shawl and chain, handing out text books and selling pink gin. Linda needs to give these books to people to fulfill a pivotal aspect of her important job. I need this book to appear more engaged in my job because there is every chance they will continue to pay me if I insist on showing up. Linda sits on level 2 where one of the militant arms of management sit. I sit on level 1. I need the book and she is up there. I need it from her, she doesn't need it from me. You understand the predicament. I go to level 2.

Because I'm a Gen Y'r I decide I don't need directions. I use IM to ask Linda where she sits and she tells me she has her back to meeting room 2C13. If you work at a bank, this number means something to you, the eccentricities of which you, dear reader, have no interest in. So, I go to level 2 and find said meeting room. There appears to be about twenty people "with their back" to 2C13. People embody the banks culture perfectly on level 2 and no one speaks as if they were channeling Japanese samurai who themselves were fiercely applying the laws of Bushido. The tension rises every minute no one needlessly speaks. This whole situation, rather than giving me an erection simply makes me start to sweat. I really don't want to speak right now but I also don't want to have to come back here with slightly better directions.

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