All entries for Thursday 03 July 2008

July 03, 2008

Without practice

Why practice makes perfect?

“Without constant practice, the officers will be nervous and undecided when mustering for battle; without constant practice, the general will be wavering and irresolute when the crisis is at hand.”

Translation of the Art of War


An old view on 'Planning'

He taught that strategy was not planning in the sense of working through a to-do list, but rather that it requires quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions. Planning works in a controlled but competitive environment, and competing plans collide, creating situations that no one planned for.

I feel I agree with this view of strategy and planning more than with the view of planning as a “to do list” that usually stresses me out. I like planning and having two (or more?) possible routes of action. That is good planning and it allows for consideration of the things that can happen.

The Art of war summary


There is no free lunch

Follow-up to The World Is Flat from Ross' Blog

One of the few things I remember from a dreaded Macroeconomics class in a university module is that “there is no free lunch”, I think he meant that is there is always a cost involved in doing things.

I wouldn’t like to think that he meant that all situations are win-lose, but that there is a cost that sometimes can’t be explained straightaway or is hidden (I am sure that others may be able to come with better explanations and definitions, but I feel mine is good enough).

I remembered that there is no free lunch while I was reading this review of the book “the World id flat” when the reviewer is giving a definition of “flattening”

The ‘flattening’ the author is referring to is the recent removal or destruction of barriers that have kept diverse parties from completely and easily interacting or exchanging information with one another.

Although I found that this definition explains well what is meant by the author, I wonder whether other words could be used rather than these as the use of words like “removal” and “destruction” worry me as in economics it is known that “there is no free lunch”, as these things are not going to happen for free.

I feel also that this shows a negative perspective, I think the term “flattener” that Friedman uses is much more positive and it focuses on the consequences of the “change”. e.g. ipods. However if some changes are making the world flatter, there should be positive and negative consequences. From what I read in the review Friedman only focuses on the positive.

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