Showing all posts tagged #clipping:


Heraclitus's Fragments: Ancient Wisdom for a Changing World clipping

Posted on September 9th, 2019

"Many fail to grasp what they have seen, and cannot judge what they have learned, although they tell themselves they know."— Heraclitus*** As with Baltasar Gracián and The Art of Worldly Wisdom, the insights found in Heraclitus‘s Fragments are strikingly modern. The overarching message of his collection is that all things change; all things flow.The body of work attributed to him consists in a collection of incendiary sparks that sch...

Nassim Taleb on the Notion of Alternative Histories clipping

Posted on September 9th, 2019

We see what’s visible and available. Often this is nothing more than randomness and yet we wrap a narrative around it. The trader who is rich must know what he is doing. A good outcome means we made the right decisions, right? Not so quick. If we were wise we would not judge the quality of a decision on its outcome. There are alternative histories worth considering. *** Writing in Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in L...

The Glorious, Almost-Disconnected Boredom of My Walk in Japan clipping

Posted on September 4th, 2019

05.29.2019 07:00 AM The Glorious, Almost-Disconnected Boredom of My Walk in JapanHow I modified my digital tools to reconnect with time on a six-week, 620-mile trip on foot across the country. Looking down over Hirasawa post town, Nagano Prefecture CRAIG MODThe jazz cafe was tiny, with a few polished wood tables, a record collection on display, and two beautiful speakers. The owner, in his 70s, wore a porkpie hat and a sleeve garter....

Jim Mattis: Duty, Democracy and the Threat of Tribalism clipping

Posted on September 2nd, 2019

© Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith/DOD/ALAMY In late November 2016, I was enjoying Thanksgiving break in my hometown on the Columbia River in Washington state when I received an unexpected call from Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Would I meet with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss the job of secretary of defense? I had taken no part in the election campaign and had never met or spoken to Mr. Trump, so to say that I was surprised is ...

Commencement Address, American University in Beirut clipping

Posted on September 1st, 2019

Dear graduating students, This is the first commencement I have ever attended (I did not attend my own graduation). Further, I have to figure out how lecture you on success when I do not feel successful yet –and it is not false modesty. Success as a Fragile Construction For I have a single definition of success: you look in the mirror every evening, and wonder if you disappoint the person you were at 18, right before the age when pe...

Spiral Dynamics clipping

Posted on August 31st, 2019

Spiral Dynamics is a model which explains the evolution of human consciousness. That doesn’t sound too exciting, but since first hearing about it on the Liturgists Podcast, my eyes have been opened to see the world in a brand new way, and not to overstate things, but I think pondering these concepts and their implications has honestly changed my life. What is it?Spiral Dynamics (I’ll abbreviate it as SD) says that human consciousness...

Notes from Peter Thiel’s speech at the National Conservatism conference on July 14, 2019 clipping

Posted on August 31st, 2019

Update: The full video of Peter Thiel’s speech is available here. Please refer to the video for exact quotes. On August 1, Peter Thiel published an op-ed on similar themes in The New York Times. I took notes on my phone, so any mistakes are mine. These notes should be treated as paraphrases and not as direct quotes, since I was not able to write everything down, and I have added context. I did not record audio, since when I asked in...

The Mystery Of Cicero’s Lost Work On Glory clipping

Posted on August 31st, 2019

Of the literary works of classical antiquity, only a fraction have survived to the present day. What fraction this is, we do not know; one estimate places it at one-fourth, but the true figure will never be known. The reader may wonder how it can be that literary masterpieces could have been permitted to fade into obscurity, and then oblivion; but, on further reflection, he will marvel more at the fact that anything at all survived...

Three Underrated Reasons for Berkshire Hathaway's Success clipping

Posted on August 26th, 2019

Berkshire Hathaway is widely regarded as one of the most successful companies in the world. If you look at Warren Buffett’s 49 year track record with Berkshire, it almost looks easy in hindsight. Make no mistake, however, it wasn’t easy and he certainly didn’t do it alone. At this year’s annual meeting Buffett and his longtime business partner, Charlie Munger, revealed "the secret" to their success. But it’s not really a secret and,...

Culture Eats Strategy: Nucor's Ken Iverson on Building a Different Kind of Company clipping

Posted on August 26th, 2019

The problem with most management, leadership, and business books is that many of them harp on the same self-evident points, overconfident in the usefulness of their prescriptions for would-be imitators. They tend to vastly underestimate the role of circumstance, luck, the nature of completion, and the effects of scale, among other things; falling prey to the many delusions described by Phil Rosenzweig in his incredibly important book...

The Most Important Part of The Creative Process That Everyone Misses: A Draw-Down Period clipping

Posted on August 26th, 2019

There are many phases of the creative process. One is overlooked more than any of the others. Inspiration, research, production, editing (refining), release, promotion. Most of these get their due. I’m talking about the phase that comes between the inspiration and the core act of creation (and sometimes appears again briefly between the time the work is finished and the time it is released). It’s the most nerve-wracking and difficult...

The Art of Drawdown Periods clipping

Posted on August 26th, 2019

Inspiration is important. Your influences matter. But you also need time to process, reflect, and create your own connections before jumping into your next project. Whether that’s a book, startup, or scientific theory, the lesson holds true for artists, entrepreneurs, and scientists, alike. Best-selling author, Ryan Holiday, refers to these as "drawdown periods." In the months leading up to writing a new book, Holiday guards himself...

What peace is and what it is not clipping

Posted on August 26th, 2019

Peace isn't only an idea. It is an idea backed by action. It's an act of prevention. It's an act of creativity. It's an act of perseverance. It's an act of sound strategy executed flawlessly. Most of all, it's an act of benevolence. Thus, peace isn't only calmness. It is active. It is stunning speed. It is unstoppable power. Peace isn't only stopping war and doom. It is lighting the way. It is educating those who are uninformed and...

Roger Ames interview on Sun Tzu translation clipping

Posted on August 26th, 2019

Professor Roger T. Ames was the Director of the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Hawaii for ten years, and has been the Editor ofPhilosophy East and West since 1987. His teaching and research interests focus on comparative philosophy, the philosophy of culture, environmental philosophy, classical Confucianism, and Taoism. He has written many interpretive works on Chinese philosophy and culture, and has over the past d...

Michael Nylan Interview on new Art of War translation clipping

Posted on August 26th, 2019

As we approach Sonshi.com's 20th anniversary on August 12, 2019, there is no better way to celebrate than to highlight a brand new Art of War translation by a woman scholar of the highest order, Michael Nylan. Dr. Nylan is Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her PhD from Princeton University in East Asian Studies. The China Story Journal aptly describes her as one of the foremost historians tod...

Strategy and Force Employment clipping

Posted on July 17th, 2019

Who ever relies on the Tao in governing men doesn’t try to force issues or defeat enemies by force of arms. For every force there is a counterforce. Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself. –Tao Te Ching 30Because the United States so dominates the world militarily, our political leaders face the temptation to use force to solve a widening range of problems. Presidents must relish the option of disciplin...

Genghis John clipping

Posted on July 6th, 2019

Genghis John October 9, 1998 Comment: #199 Reference: "Genghis John," Proceeding of the US Naval Institute, July 1997. Attached.It should now be clear to most readers of this list the Defense Department is not adapting to the changing conditions brought about by the end of the Cold War: We have a modernization plan that can not modernize the force structure, a readiness nose dive, and a corrupt accounting...

Colin Gray on John Boyd and the OODA Loop clipping

Posted on June 28th, 2019

Boyd's Place in Modern StrategyThe Strategic Importance of Boyd and the OODA LoopJust as (Edward) Luttwak's logic of paradox permeates all levels and kinds of conflict, so Boyd's loop can apply to the operational, strategic, and political levels of war, as well as to tactics for aerial dogfights. Boyd's theory claims that the key to success in conflict is to operate inside the opponent's decision cycl...

Lessons from Keith Rabois Essay 4: How to run an Effective Board Meeting and make an Effective Board Deck clipping

Posted on June 27th, 2019

published June 24th, 2019 This week’s essay is on how to prepare for a board meeting, though many of the lessons apply to internal reviews as well. Over the past two years, I’ve attended 100+ board meetings that range from companies that are just a handful of people to companies with over one thousand employees that are preparing to go public. These board meetings vary significantly in quality of discussion and participants, but t...

Lessons from Keith Rabois Essay 3: How to be an Effective Executive clipping

Posted on June 27th, 2019

published February 24th, 2019 This week’s essay is on how to be an effective executive. This is inspired by a talk Keith gives to some of our portfolio companies’ executives. Summary Running yourself Lead, don’t manage: Be proactive rather than reactive. "Lead" your team as opposed to "manage" a situation. Understand your output: Your output is how much your team gets done + how much neighboring teams get done divided by how...

Lessons from Keith Rabois Essay 2: How to Interview an Executive clipping

Posted on June 27th, 2019

published February 10th, 2019 This week’s essay is on on how to interview an executive, though it may also be helpful to read when preparing to be interviewed. From day 1, one of the most important jobs of a CEO is to hire incredible talent to your team. Hiring the right executive is one of the most leveraged activities a CEO can perform. Hiring the wrong one can set your company back by several quarters or even lead to a death s...

Lessons From Keith Rabois Essay 1: How to become a Venture Capitalist clipping

Posted on June 27th, 2019

published February 4th, 2019 Over the next few weeks I will be publishing an essay each Monday, covering a variety of different topics that I’ve learned about from working with Keith Rabois. They will focus on investing, management, operations, and hiring. The essays will build upon one another. Venture can be difficult to break into; it’s based on decentralized trust. Partners spend little time together as they’re primarily out ...

Not John Boyd clipping

Posted on June 27th, 2019

Not John Boyd. But a good video, nonetheless. Here’s Prof. Daniel Bonevac giving an introductory lecture on the OODA loop: Professor Bonevac is a member of, and was formerly chair of, the Philosophy Department at the University of Texas. I don’t know when this lecture was given, but the video was posted in April of this year. One of the interesting things about it is that Professor Bonevac is teaching a class on Organizational Ethic...

Col David Hackworth, Bulging Muscles Won't Win the Next War clipping

Posted on June 27th, 2019

Bulging Muscles Won't Win The Next WarBy David Hackworth October 4, 2000 In 1631, General Tilly's imperialist Roman Catholic army was whipped by a significantly smaller force under the command of King Gustavus Adolphus. For more than 200 years, the formations Tilly fielded that day—the Tercios—had dominated the battlefield. But Gustavus had secretly developed a lean, agile army that struck like lightning—employing combined-arms tea...

The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation clipping

Posted on June 27th, 2019

The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth GenerationWilliam S. Lind, Colonel Keith Nightengale (USA), Captain John F. Schmitt (USMC), Colonel Joseph W. Sutton (USA), and Lieutenant Colonel Gary I. Wilson (USMCR) Marine Corps Gazette October 1989, Pages 22-26The peacetime soldier's principal task is to prepare effectively for the next war. In order to do so, he must anticipate what the next war will be like. This is a difficult ...

Warfighting, Brought to You by John Boyd clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

Warfighting Brought to You by . . . By Major Jeffrey L. Cowan, U.S. Air Force . . . several people, but most notably, an unlikely source. The groundwork for the way the U.S. Marine Corps does business was laid by none other than a retired Air Force officer, the irascible John Boyd.Co-Winner, Marine Corps Essay Contest http://www.proceedings.org/Proceedings/Articles01/PROcowan11.htm Republished wi...

Deconstructing Conflict clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

Editor's note: The following paper is an example of what John Boyd called a "snowmobile," a synthesis of ideas from across a variety of domains (interested readers can see see how Boyd develops the notion of "building snowmobiles" in his briefing, Strategic Game of ? and ?, available here on DNI, then scroll down.)Snowmobiles result from analyses combined with trials at a synthesis. Since it is virtually imp...

Marine General: Iraq War Pause clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

Marine General: Iraq War Pause 'Could Not Have Come At Worse Time'Inside The Pentagon Elaine M. Grossman October 2, 2003 [Reprinted by permission of Inside Washington Publishers. This article may not be reproduced or redistributed, in part or in whole, without express permission of the publisher. Copyright 2004, Inside Washington Publishers. For more information and exclusive news, go to: htt...

Marine General: Leading From Iraqi Battlefield clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

Marine General: Leading From Iraqi Battlefield, Informed Key Decisions Elaine M. Grossman, Inside The Pentagon, October 16, 2003, Pg. 1 Reprinted by Permission of Inside Washington Publishers: This article may not be reproduced or redistributed, in part or in whole, without express permission of the publisher. Copyright 2001, Inside Washington Publishers.At a time of increasing reliance ...

Interpersonal Communications and Officer Survival clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

Interpersonal Communications and Officer Survival: How Understanding The Boyd Cycle and Non-Verbal Communication Can Save a Law Enforcement Officer’s Life! Fred T. Leland Jr.* Republished with permission. IntroductionAccording to FBI statistics, over 50,000 law enforcement officers are assaulted each year. One out of every three officers assaulted is injured, and approximately 70 officers make the ultimate sacrifice in the performa...

Thinking About Deception clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

Thinking About Deception by Fred Feer 5 August 2004This brief paper discusses the most often asked questions about military deception. What is it?Why do it?How do you measure its impact, or, how do you calculate its contribution to winning?Can you rely on it?What is Deception?The answer to the first question is misleadingly simple. The official definition is: deception — Those measures designed to mislead the enemy b...

Continuing John Boyd's Legacy by Chet Richards clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

October 31, 2005 Beyond Patterns of Conflict? By Chet RichardsAs many readers of this site know, John Boyd was heavily influenced by the ideas of the Austrian-American mathematician Kurt Gödel, particularly, the notion of incompleteness. Although Gödel worked in the rarified realm of foundations of mathematics, the notion that no even moderately complex mathematical system can be complete formed a critical elemen...

The Myth of Grand Strategy clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

Summary: What would a grand strategy for America look like? This critiques our current policies and Barnett’s proposals in terms our limited wisdom and power. It ends with recommendations for design of a modest but functional strategy for America.ContentsIntroductionWhat is grand strategy?Primal StrategiesGrand Strategies are a ChimeraBarnett’s Grand StrategyWhy do Grand Strategies Fail?America’s Need for a Humble Grand StrategyNatur...

Eastern Philosophy Part 1 clipping

Posted on June 24th, 2019

eastern philosophy Hey all - The discussion below was formerly an introduction, but as usual it turned out far too long, so I decided to break it up into two newsletters. + what I learned or rediscovered recently * Eastern philosophy (rating: 4) For most of my life, I dismissed Eastern philosophy as too spiritual, too intangible, too impractical. Western philosophy just seems so much more useful. Equippe...

Eastern Philosophy Part 2 clipping

Posted on June 24th, 2019

eastern philosophy (part 2) Hey all - In a commencement speech made to the graduating students of Kenyon College in 2005, David Foster Wallace opened with the following parable: There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says "Morning boys, how’s the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventual...

Losing the War - by Lee Sandlin clipping

Posted on June 24th, 2019

Losing the War Man is a bubble, and all the world is a storm. --Jeremy Taylor, Holy Dying (1651) My father owned a gorgeous porcelain tiger about half the size of a house cat. He kept it on a shelf in our family den, where for years when I was a kid it roared down at us -- unappeasably furious (or so I always thought) at being trapped up there on its high perch, with no company except some painted beer mugs and a set of purple gla...

Forget Your Purpose, Start with Meaning clipping

Posted on June 13th, 2019

The stories we hear of the successful often make it seem like they were destined for greatness. They identified their purpose from an early age and forged ahead, cutting down distractions in their path. But if you peel back the facade, few encountered sudden revelations. Purpose is hard won. Child prodigies like Mozart or Tiger Woods are the exception. Robert Greene, best-selling author, worked dozens of jobs as a construction worke...

Ergodicity, jail, and time scales clipping

Posted on June 9th, 2019

When statistical things go wrong, it’s often because someone unknowingly assumed ergodicity where that wasn’t ok. This can have dramatic effects in everyday language: I will use the example of incarceration rates. I will then present a visual illustration to discuss the role of time scales. David and Luigi in jailI’ll tell you a secret: when I read a statistical statement I often wonder whether it’s a temporal statement or an ensembl...

Michelin restaurants and fabulous wines: Inside the secret team dinners that have built the Spurs' dynasty clipping

Posted on June 9th, 2019

"POP WANTS TO talk to you." The server is speaking to a man named Jeremy Threat -- and from the tone in his voice, something is clearly amiss. Threat hustles back to the main dining room of Spataro Restaurant & Bar, an Italian restaurant in Sacramento, California, that has been overrun by the San Antonio Spurs. Players, coaches, management, ownership. All are seated along a handful of long, rectangular tables. The room is pin-drop si...

The Real Problem with Killing America's A-10 Warthog clipping

Posted on June 9th, 2019

"To win wars, people come first, ideas second and hardware last."—Colonel John Boyd As lawmakers and senior United States Air Force (USAF) officials debate A-10 divestment and alternate approaches to close air support (CAS) responsibilities, the divestment of the A-10 community, not the aircraft, poses the largest risk to the future of the mission. In Gen. David Goldfein’s nomination testimony, he rightly stated the A-10 community is...

Clean Coder Blog 737 Max 8 clipping

Posted on June 9th, 2019

18 May 2019 The software within the two doomed 737 Max 8 aircraft physically wrested control away from the pilots and plunged those aircraft into the Earth at speeds approaching Mach 1, killing everyone aboard.As a pilot, and a software engineer, I have dug pretty deeply into this issue. I’ve read many of the reports, and have read or listened to the opinions and commentary offered by others. Nothing I have read or heard contrad...

Zen and the Art of Business Books clipping

Posted on March 24th, 2019

This is Tokyo, circa 1832. The print is "Nihonbashi no hakuu" by the Ukiyo-e master Andō Hiroshige. Many years ago, my wife found a copy in a consignment store in Atlanta. I don’t remember what she paid for it, but she assures me that framing it cost many times the purchase price. Since we’ve been here in South Carolina, we’ve had it reframed to show off the stamps and writing around the borders. Intro to Chapter 6, Surprise and An...

How To Be Successful by Sam Altman clipping

Posted on March 3rd, 2019

How To Be Successful I’ve observed thousands of founders and thought a lot about what it takes to make a huge amount of money or to create something important. Usually, people start off wanting the former and end up wanting the latter.Here are 13 thoughts about how to achieve such outlier success. Everything here is easier to do once you’ve already reached a baseline degree of success (through privilege or effort) and ...

Could Epicurus save us? clipping

Posted on February 18th, 2019

Could Epicurus save us? A philosophy of pleasure could cure our modern ills. Rome During the Decadence, Thomas Couture, 1847. Epicureanism for a long time had a reputation as a philosophy that encouraged reckless and immoral hedonism. Epicurus was a hedonist, but encouraged the pursuit of a natural state of pleasure that comes when we free ourselves of desire. His philosophy was very popular throughout the Roman Empire. (Image source...

Chuang Tzu: The Cook and Mastery clipping

Posted on January 15th, 2019

I have found an interesting discussion on the Cook by Chuang Tzu on Wikipedia http://www.philosophy.hku.hk/ch/zhuang.htm It does begin to get at what mastery begins. Cook Ting was slicing up an oxen for Lord Wenhui. At every push of his hand, every angle of his shoulder, every step with his feet, every bend of his kneezip! zoop! he slithered the knife along with a zing, and all was in perfect rhythm, as though he were dancing to Mulb...

Is it agility or adaptability? clipping

Posted on December 21st, 2018

I tend to think of "agility" as adaptability with a time dimension, that is, the ability to adapt more rapidly to new situations than can competitors or opponents. That may not, however, be the only or even a very good way to think about these concepts. Here’s an alternative view:AQ is hot right now – but is it the Adaptability Quotient or the Agility Quotient?Kristopher Floyd Founder and CEO, TeamMate AINovember 13, 2018 Originally...

How to Think Like Hercule Poirot clipping

Posted on June 4th, 2018

Notes: Trust your right-brained pattern-spotting. Be a skeptical, data-driven empiricist. Add a moral compass. Tie it all together with storytelling. Be aware of, and exploit, the flawed doctrines of others. Do not be concerned about the morality of this: doctrinal flaws provide the moral justification for their own exploitation August 31, 2009 By Venkatesh Rao Last fall, I spent a long weekend in the Outer Banks region, a few hour...

A Short Tutorial on the Moral Essence of Grand Strategy, September 11, 2003 clipping

Posted on May 22nd, 2018

A Short Tutorial on the Moral Essence of Grand Strategy September 11, 2003 Comment: #491 Discussion Threads - Comment #s: 490 and referenced comments. Attached References: [Ref.1] Richard Bernstein, "Foreign Views Of U.S. Darken Since Sept. 11," New York Times, September 11, 2003, Pg. 1 On the second anniversary of 9/11, the world-wide outpouring sympathy a...

What was Boyd Thinking? clipping

Posted on May 21st, 2018

What was Boyd thinking and when did he think it?In his own words:For the interested, a careful examination will reveal that the increasingly abstract discussion surfaces a process of reaching across many perspectives; pulling each and every one apart (analysis), all the while intuitively looking for those parts of the disassembled perspectives which naturally interconnect with one another to form a higher-order, more general elaborat...

Thingness and Thereness clipping

Posted on May 1st, 2018

For months now, I’ve been thinking about a whole mess of related ideas with the aid of a Penrose triangle visualization of three key, interconnected loci that frame a sort of canvas on which life scripts (whether canned or improvised) play out. The three vertices are home, public and frontier. This is the simplest version of the visualization:Between home and public you find subcultures of being and identity, defined by the question,...