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On Brilliance and Consolidation

In any field, brilliant maneuvers are remembered and celebrated. But brilliant maneuvers without consolidation amounts to nothing long-term except the empty glory.

We could look at military commanders for an example. There's been some in history that have shown remarkable amounts of brilliance in pioneering tactics and doing crazy maneuvers. These sorts of things go into the history books, like Hannibal Barca's actions or Napoleon Bonaparte's.

Despite Barca and Bonaparte being remembered for their brilliance, it's worth remembering that neither of them won in the end.

We've talked about over-expansiveness in the past and not trusting your successors/family to keep up with your work, which is a common flaw that afflicts low born creators and leaders. Today, I want to look at something a little bit different - on brilliant actions and consolidating actions.

One time, when Hannibal's troops were pinned down by the Romans and it looked like all would be lost, he came up with a brilliant scheme. He waited until nightfall, and then took all of the oxen in his camp, tied branches and tinder to their horns, and lit them on fire and drove them off.

Modeling Combat Reserves As Liquidity

I study a lot of history, and a moderate amount of finance.

An observation I made some time back -- it seems like most military conflicts post-gunpowder are won or lost far more by logistics and supply than individual combat ability. Gunpowder is what put an end to Parthian/Hunnish/Mongol-type mobile mounted archery warfare. There hasn't been any "we don't need logistics" type of wars since then, assuming both sides has at least some semblance of military discipline, cohesion, and leadership.

Even blitzkreig -- the archetypical fast strike -- doesn't work without lots of gasoline, jeeps, ammunition, and railroads. And if you run out of gas -- literally -- you lose. See: 1941, Operation Barbarossa, Stalingrad and Moscow.

But what if you've got an overwhelming economical and logistical advantage, like the Union had over the Confederacy? Or what Imperial Britain had after Napoleon's defeat over, well, the whole world?

This is where a model looking at liquidity is somewhat interesting.

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