Sunday, June 11, 2017

Thinking Unorthodox in Strategic Competition

Following is a abridged listing of our favorite books on this topic 

More to come.  ... 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Strategizing Beyond One's Gameboard: The Near Fall of Billy Walters

Updated at 06.09.2015

In the strategy game, we have always been interested in how certain strategists climb the ladder of success.

Billy Walters  
Click here and here on the general profile of Billy Walters. 

To the sideline speculator, it was an act of "easy to over reach." 

This gentleman un-mindfully went with his instinct. As a gambler, he has always lived on being one move ahead. ... Most strategies fail when the amateurs  do not know how to anticipate the counter move by the other side. They usually get lucky against average competition who can't think 1/2 move ahead.

This gambler got "hot and ambitious."  Then he decided to play a different game that required a quite "different"

Click here and here on what lead to his downfall.  

Mr. Walters choice of tactics were questionable at best. 

Professional strategic achievement begins by understanding the strategic configuration of the situation and the tactics that are used by the competitors of the game board.  The choice of tactics establishes the gist of the strategic implementer's mindset.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

An Interesting Translation of Sunzi's Art of War

Source: Original Art of War
(updated at 060617)

This book presents superb clarity in its translation and its commentary.  ... We  cheerfully recommended it to those who are interested in a word by word translation. 

You can secure a copy at your favorite internet book store or your local book shop.

Click here if you are interested in another perspective of Sunzi's essay.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Miscellaneous Notes: A Pragmatic Strategic View For Those Who Are Operating One Move At a Time

For those who live day by day, lacking emotional intelligence and operating on emotional instinct.  Read the following 12 pointers 
  1. We admitted we were powerless over _____ – that our situation had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a something greater than ourselves could restore us to ______ .
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of that power as we understood Him/her/it.
  4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of our situation.
  5. Admitted to ___ , to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of _____.
  6. Were entirely ready to have something remove all these defects in our situation.
  7. Humbly asked for methods to remove our shortcomings
  8. Made a list of persons/situations where we had screwed the pooch, and became willing to amend them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it (and amended the situation).
  11. Sought through reflection to improve our conscious contact with ____ as we understood ___, looking only for knowledge and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had an awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to continue practice these principles in all our affairs.
A Pragmatic Approach for Developing a Strategic Approach 
For each strategic step, there are many tactical means to complete that specific step. There are different levels of success/effectiveness for different people.  What works for one person, might not work for another.

Without tactics (the methods to implement the strategy), the neophytes are retired.  This is the same for tacticians who operate without a framework.

Side Note
Click here for an interesting Harvard Business Review article. The topic is on  the basics of executing a strategy.  

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Basics of an Unorthodox Strategy (3)

Before developing an unorthodox strategy, understand the measures and constraints of one's strategic situation is essential. 

The objective of the unorthodox strategy is to influence the rival through pretext and guile.  

Mastering the fundamental tactical principles and possessing the skill to evaluating the settings and the rival's intent and their strategic state is quite important.   

For more insights on the Big Tangible Picture and a few tactical pointers on how to play "the unorthodox game.", we suggested the reading of the first two chapters of Six Secret Teachings. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Military Introduction to Unorthodox Strategies

If you are looking for an introductory to how unorthodox strategy is applied in military situation, you can try this book.  Click here for a NYT review of this book. 

For the advanced strategic readers, I would suggest Ian F.W. Beckett, Modern Insurgencies and Counter-insurgencies and Robert B Asprey, War in the Shadows, Volume I and Volume II.

My other favorites are: 100 Unorthodox Strategies and Tao of Deception.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Alpha Go: 3 World's Best Player: 0

Source: New Yorker

“Go is to Western chess what philosophy is to double-entry accounting.”     - Trevanian, Shibumi

Click here on the outcome of Google's Alpha Go's three matches against the world's best player. 

Alpha Go's next step is to head toward the state of retirement.

Click here for those who wanted to pursue the career as a professional Go (Weiqi) player.

Those who are interested in studying the games between Alpha Go and itself. Click here. 

Side Note
Regardless of the outcome, Go (Weiqi) is a great game for those who are interesting in developing intuitive strategic and tactical skills by recognizing a myriad of conflicting patterns. 

Learning it through poor translations and ill-conceived opinions of Sunzi essay on strategy is not the way to go.