Friday, October 31, 2014

An Interesting Paper on Clandestine Communication in Historic China by Dr. Ralph Sawyer

Those who are interested in historical Chinese warfare, should click here for a paper on “Clandestine Communication in Historic China.”  It was presented last October at the Symposium on Cryptologic History by Dr. Ralph D. Sawyer. 

This paper may be read online or freely downloaded as a PDF file at Journal of Military Strategic Studies.

The Tao of Spycraft

Some aspects of the article could be found in Dr. Sawyer's Spycraft book.

Who is Dr. Ralph D. Sawyer
Ralph D. Sawyer, an independent historical scholar who studied at MIT and Harvard and serves as a consultant to international conglomerates and defense agencies, specializes in Chinese military and intelligence issues. He is Senior Research Fellow with the Warring States Project and a Fellow of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

/* Three Years Later: Thoughts on Dennis Ritchie */

Dennis Ritchie receives 2011 Japan Prize from 
Japan Prize Foundation Chairman Hiroyuki Yoshikawa during May 
19 ceremony at Bell Labs headquarters in Murray Hill, N.J. 
Photo by Victoria Will/AP Images for Japan Prize Foundation

Three years ago, Dennis Ritchie, one of the greatest computer geniuses passed away on this month. Some of us who were C programmers, have always felt much of the current technical state of the information economy was due to his work from developing the C language and Unix operating system.

“Pretty much everything on the web uses those two things: C and UNIX,” Pike tells Wired. “The browsers are written in C. The UNIX kernel — that pretty much the entire Internet runs on — is written in C. Web servers are written in C, and if they’re not, they’re written in Java or C++, which are C derivatives, or Python or Ruby, which are implemented in C. And all of the network hardware running these programs I can  almost guarantee were written in C.    ---

In our bookshelf, there sits many books on various strategies and tactics, Kernighan and Ritchie's C Programming book  and the solution book  still sit on the first middle shelf. 

The Intent of Dennis Ritchie 

Ritchie said he was hoping to make the work of he and his fellow computer scientists easier. “It was an attempt to improve our environment,” Ritchie said. “Fortunately, we improved things in way that turned out to be useful to others.”

Click on this link for more on his perspective.


Dennis Ritchie: The Shoulders Steve Jobs Stood On

  • By Cade Metz

Dennis Ritchie (standing) and Ken Thompson at a PDP-11 in 1972.
 (Photo: Courtesy of Bell Labs)
The tributes to Dennis Ritchie won’t match the river of praise that spilled out over the web after the death of Steve Jobs. But they should.

And then some.

“When Steve Jobs died last week, there was a huge outcry, and that was very moving and justified. But Dennis had a bigger effect, and the public doesn’t even know who he is,” says Rob Pike, the programming legend and current Googler who spent 20 years working across the hall from Ritchie at the famed Bell Labs.

On Wednesday evening, with a post to Google+, Pike announced that Ritchie had died at his home in New Jersey over the weekend after a long illness, and though the response from hardcore techies was immense, the collective eulogy from the web at large doesn’t quite do justice to Ritchie’s sweeping influence on the modern world. Dennis Ritchie is the father of the C programming language, and with fellow Bell Labs researcher Ken Thompson, he used C to build UNIX, the operating system that so much of the world is built on — including the Apple empire overseen by Steve Jobs.

“Pretty much everything on the web uses those two things: C and UNIX,” Pike tells Wired. “The browsers are written in C. The UNIX kernel — that pretty much the entire Internet runs on — is written in C. Web servers are written in C, and if they’re not, they’re written in Java or C++, which are C derivatives, or Python or Ruby, which are implemented in C. And all of the network hardware running these programs I can  almost guarantee were written in C.

“It’s really hard to overstate how much of the modern information economy is built on the work Dennis did.”

Even Windows was once written in C, he adds, and UNIX underpins both Mac OS X, Apple’s desktop operating system, and iOS, which runs the iPhone and the iPad. “Jobs was the king of the visible, and Ritchie is the king of what is largely invisible,” says Martin Rinard, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

“Jobs’ genius is that he builds these products that people really like to use because he has taste and can build things that people really find compelling. Ritchie built things that technologists were able to use to build core infrastructure that people don’t necessarily see much anymore, but they use everyday.”

From B to C
Dennis Ritchie built C because he and Ken Thompson needed a better way to build UNIX. The original UNIX kernel was written in assembly language, but they soon decided they needed a “higher level” language, something that would give them more control over all the data that spanned the OS. Around 1970, they tried building a second version with Fortran, but this didn’t quite cut it, and Ritchie proposed a new language based on a Thompson creation known as B.

Depending on which legend you believe, B was named either for Thompson’s wife Bonnie or BCPL, a language developed at Cambridge in the mid-60s. Whatever the case, B begat C.

B was an interpreted language — meaning it was executed by an intermediate piece of software running atop a CPU — but C was a compiled language. It was translated into machine code, and then directly executed on the CPU. But in those days, C was considered a high-level language. It would give Ritchie and Thompson the flexibility they needed, but at the same time, it would be fast.

That first version of the language wasn’t all that different from C as we know it today — though it was a tad simpler. It offered full data structures and “types” for defining variables, and this is what Richie and Thompson used to build their new UNIX kernel. “They built C to write a program,” says Pike, who would join Bell Labs 10 years later. “And the program they wanted to write was the UNIX kernel.”

Ritchie’s running joke was that C had “the power of assembly language and the convenience of … assembly language.” In other words, he acknowledged that C was a less-than-gorgeous creation that still ran very close to the hardware. Today, it’s considered a low-level language, not high. But Ritchie’s joke didn’t quite do justice to the new language. In offering true data structures, it operated at a level that was just high enough.

“When you’re writing a large program — and that’s what UNIX was — you have to manage the interactions between all sorts of different components: all the users, the file system, the disks, the program execution, and in order to manage that effectively, you need to have a good representation of the information you’re working with. That’s what we call data structures,” Pike says.

“To write a kernel without a data structure and have it be as consist and graceful as UNIX would have been a much, much harder challenge. They needed a way to group all that data together, and they didn’t have that with Fortran.”

At the time, it was an unusual way to write an operating system, and this is what allowed Ritchie and Thompson to eventually imagine porting the OS to other platforms, which they did in the late 70s. “That opened the floodgates for UNIX running everywhere,” Pike says. “It was all made possible by C.”

Apple, Microsoft, and Beyond
At the same time, C forged its own way in the world, moving from Bell Labs to the world’s universities and to Microsoft, the breakout software company of the 1980s. “The development of the C programming language was a huge step forward and was the right middle ground … C struck exactly the right balance, to let you write at a high level and be much more productive, but when you needed to, you could control exactly what happened,” says Bill Dally, chief scientist of NVIDIA and Bell Professor of Engineering at Stanford. “[It] set the tone for the way that programming was done for several decades.”

As Pike points out, the data structures that Richie built into C eventually gave rise to the object-oriented paradigm used by modern languages such as C++ and Java.

The revolution began in 1973, when Ritchie published his research paper on the language, and five years later, he and colleague Brian Kernighan released the definitive C book: The C Programming Language. Kernighan had written the early tutorials for the language, and at some point, he “twisted Dennis’ arm” into writing a book with him.

Pike read the book while still an undergraduate at the University of Toronto, picking it up one afternoon while heading home for a sick day. “That reference manual is a model of clarity and readability compared to latter manuals. It is justifiably a classic,” he says. “I read it while sick in bed, and it made me forget that I was sick.”

Like many university students, Pike had already started using the language. It had spread across college campuses because Bell Labs started giving away the UNIX source code. Among so many other things, the operating system gave rise to the modern open source movement. Pike isn’t overstating it when says the influence of Ritchie’s work can’t be overstated, and though Ritchie received the Turing Award in 1983 and the National Medal of Technology in 1998, he still hasn’t gotten his due.

As Kernighan and Pike describe him, Ritchie was an unusually private person. “I worked across the hall from him for more than 20 years, and yet I feel like a don’t knew him all that well,” Pike says. But this doesn’t quite explain his low profile. Steve Jobs was a private person, but his insistence on privacy only fueled the cult of personality that surrounded him.

Ritchie lived in a very different time and worked in a very different environment than someone like Jobs. It only makes sense that he wouldn’t get his due. But those who matter understand the mark he left. “There’s that line from Newton about standing on the shoulders of giants,” says Kernighan. “We’re all standing on Dennis’ shoulders.”

Additional reporting by Jon Stokes.

New York Times view of Dennis Ritchie's life
October 13, 2011

Dennis Ritchie, Trailblazer in Digital Era, Dies at 70

Dennis M. Ritchie, who helped shape the modern digital era by creating software tools that power things as diverse as search engines like Google and smartphones, was found dead on Wednesday at his home in Berkeley Heights, N.J. He was 70.

Mr. Ritchie, who lived alone, was in frail health in recent years after treatment for prostate cancer and heart disease, said his brother Bill.

In the late 1960s and early ’70s, working at Bell Labs, Mr. Ritchie made a pair of lasting contributions to computer science. He was the principal designer of the C programming language and co-developer of the Unix operating system, working closely with Ken Thompson, his longtime Bell Labs collaborator.

The C programming language, a shorthand of words, numbers and punctuation, is still widely used today, and successors like C++ and Java build on the ideas, rules and grammar that Mr. Ritchie designed. The Unix operating system has similarly had a rich and enduring impact. Its free, open-source variant, Linux, powers many of the world’s data centers, like those at Google and Amazon, and its technology serves as the foundation of operating systems, like Apple’s iOS, in consumer computing devices.

“The tools that Dennis built — and their direct descendants — run pretty much everything today,” said Brian Kernighan, a computer scientist at Princeton University who worked with Mr. Ritchie at Bell Labs.
Those tools were more than inventive bundles of computer code. The C language and Unix reflected a point of view, a different philosophy of computing than what had come before. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, minicomputers were moving into companies and universities — smaller and at a fraction of the price of hulking mainframes.

Minicomputers represented a step in the democratization of computing, and Unix and C were designed to open up computing to more people and collaborative working styles. Mr. Ritchie, Mr. Thompson and their Bell Labs colleagues were making not merely software but, as Mr. Ritchie once put it, “a system around which fellowship can form.”

C was designed for systems programmers who wanted to get the fastest performance from operating systems, compilers and other programs. “C is not a big language — it’s clean, simple, elegant,” Mr. Kernighan said. “It lets you get close to the machine, without getting tied up in the machine.”
Such higher-level languages had earlier been intended mainly to let people without a lot of programming skill write programs that could run on mainframes. Fortran was for scientists and engineers, while Cobol was for business managers.

C, like Unix, was designed mainly to let the growing ranks of professional programmers work more productively. And it steadily gained popularity. With Mr. Kernighan, Mr. Ritchie wrote a classic text, “The C  Programming Language,” also known as “K. & R.” after the authors’ initials, whose two editions, in 1978 and 1988, have sold millions of copies and been translated into 25 languages.

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie was born on Sept. 9, 1941, in Bronxville, N.Y. His father, Alistair, was an engineer at Bell Labs, and his mother, Jean McGee Ritchie, was a homemaker. When he was a child, the family moved to Summit, N.J., where Mr. Ritchie grew up and attended high school. He then went to Harvard, where he majored in applied mathematics.

While a graduate student at Harvard, Mr. Ritchie worked at the computer center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and became more interested in computing than math. He was recruited by the Sandia National Laboratories, which conducted weapons research and testing. “But it was nearly 1968,” Mr. Ritchie recalled in an interview in 2001, “and somehow making A-bombs for the government didn’t seem in tune with the times.”

Mr. Ritchie joined Bell Labs in 1967, and soon began his fruitful collaboration with Mr. Thompson on both Unix and the C programming language. The pair represented the two different strands of the nascent discipline of computer science. Mr. Ritchie came to computing from math, while Mr. Thompson came from electrical engineering.

“We were very complementary,” said Mr. Thompson, who is now an engineer at Google. “Sometimes personalities clash, and sometimes they meld. It was just good with Dennis.”

Besides his brother Bill, of Alexandria, Va., Mr. Ritchie is survived by another brother, John, of Newton, Mass., and a sister, Lynn Ritchie of Hexham, England.

Mr. Ritchie traveled widely and read voraciously, but friends and family members say his main passion was his work. He remained at Bell Labs, working on various research projects, until he retired in 2007.

Colleagues who worked with Mr. Ritchie were struck by his code — meticulous, clean and concise. His writing, according to Mr. Kernighan, was similar. “There was a remarkable precision to his writing,” Mr. Kernighan said, “no extra words, elegant and spare, much like his code.”

The Legacy of Dennis Ritchie
From our view, the foundation of the information economy originated from the mind and the effect of Dennis Ritchie and his many colleagues from Bell labs. His contribution of C programming and the Unix operating system is the cornerstone of the current Internet.

Most modern day mobile phones and embedded devices usually contained some lines of C programming code.  

Regardless of your location, whenever the web is accessed and whenever  an embedded device is used,  you should know that Dennis Ritchie have played a macro role in making it operable.

The Importance of Learning a System Language

Whether you are a strategist or not,  C programming emphasizes the practice of viewing and transforming data in its rawest form to an well-developed object that is complete, concise, fast, efficient and tangible.   

Because of the amount of detail management, writing a C program is like building a car from the level of "nuts and bolts".  It does take awhile. However, the operating speed is usually quite fast.

Compass Rule: The time that it takes to build "a car" with this exotic tool is inversely proportionally to the speed of the manufactured car.

To be a C programmer, one needs to be patient and disciplined.  There is no immediate gratification from writing in this language.   But this practice will teach anyone the skill of looking at data from a "ground up" viewpoint while being mindful of the intricates of the system.

Click here  and here for the reasons why you should learn C.  

If the intricacies of C programming language is too challenging for you, try Perl. This language is easy to learn and is quite efficient in terms of system performance.  Perl's cpan library is multi-facet and quite large.  This language is similar to the C language, that it is available for all cyber platforms.

/* Sidenote */
Click on this link if you are interested in viewing an online version of Dennis Richie's classic book on C Programming Language. ... Regardless of its antiquity, this book still sells quite well after so many years. This book is a super text for those who are interested in the fundamentals of functional programming.

/* Comments From The Compass Desk */

Knowing how things work and why it works are some of the keys to being a good strategist regardless of the type of terrain.

Having the skill of  seeing objects, methods and events from a geometric perspective (the top down view,. the ground up view, etc.)  is the holy grail of the strategy business.   It takes many years of sound and solid experience to build this unique skill set. Processing it into a macro model is the real challenge.

At some point, we will discuss about those very fundamentals and how it could be used in the game of staying ahead of the competitive curve.

On the 30th of Oct, lets celebrate Dennis Richie Day.

/* eof */

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Latest IPTV and OTT Trends

It has been awhile that we have posted anything relevant on IPTV.  Since 2009-2010, we saw this trend coming.  

Dawn of Ultrafast Broadband Era
Live Trading News is set to be very important, particularly as service providers look to provide services such as IPTV at 500 to 1000 Mbps. As moves forward, the ...

Parks Associates forecasts 4K future
New research from Parks Associates finds more than 46 million households worldwide will subscribe to a 4K UHD pay-TV service by 2018. Pay-TV providers will ...

Gartner: Dominance of pay-TV masks VoD growth
Advanced Television
It is, and will be, complementary to traditional pay-TV services such as cable TV, satellite TV or IPTV. Yet, consumers will increasingly spend less in additional ...

Growth of Pay TV Subscribers and Channels Propels the Global Pay ...
Newswire Today (press release)
The demand for pay TV video encoders is on the rise, with cable, Internet protocol TV (IPTV) and satellite companies requiring these products to get consumers ...

Global pay TV market to generate USD 268 bln in 2014
Telecompaper (subscription)
The IPTV market share grew over 1 percentage point year-over-year. Competition in the global pay TV market is growing with the rapid evolution of IPTV and ...

Set-top box market hits $4.8 billion 2Q14; market seeing "mixed ...
The report also tracks telco IPTV and cable and satellite video subscribers. Vendors tracked: ADB, Apple, Arris, Changhong, Cisco, Coship, DVN, Echostar, ...

Spain: Multi-play packages lead pay-TV growth
Advanced Television
Most of Spaniards watch TV through DTT, 82.7 per cent, followed by cable and IPTV with 13.2 per cent and satellite with 4.1 per cent. Spaniards spent an ...

Streaming devices proliferate in fiber broadband homes, study says
While Calix, a unified access services provider, developed the whitepaper to discuss options for IPTV providers such as gateways, the plethora of connected ...

Half of Brits ditching TV guide for time-shifted telly
The latest study and statistics from Virgin Media have revealed technology is transforming the way the nation watches television. Data from over 2.3 million ...

Measuring virtual set-top box success by service velocity & sub growth
Set-top box virtualization should increase service velocity and subscriber reach for pay-TV operators while simultaneously reducing capex and opex, according ...

Italy: mobile broadband drives telecom market growth as manda ...
The segment is also suffering from the near-nonexistence of a triple-play market, given the lack of IPTV offerings and the dominance in pay-TV of DTH player Sky ...

Content is king as telco prepares push into internet television
The Australian
As part of its IPTV refresh, Mr Teoh said TPG would invest in “popular television content”, including movies and possibly big-ticket sports events. The move is an ...

Almost half US households have connected console
46% of US broadband households have a game console connected to the Internet and over one-quarter (28%) use the connected gaming console as their ...

Ixonos: “There hasn't been innovation in TV ads for 50 years”
IP&TV News: How significant do you think the present is to the evolution and advertising and why? Roope Suomalainen: Advertising is globally a huge business: ...

What content shortage? Most top movies ARE available online
The vast majority of the most popular films and television shows are legally available online for US audiences, according to a new study from KPMG.

World Consumer Electronics Market 2014 - 2018 Research Report
PR Newswire UK (press release)
Average annual growth of 6.8% between 2014 and 2018 is forecast for the IPTV STB sector. The TVs market (Televisions) is on the road to UHD and OLED with ...

Set-top viewers to monitor trends
The Australian
The company, which collects data from the 35,000 subscriber households to its FetchTV IPTV product, will rank the programs people are viewing on its set-top ...

Cloud Computing Stocks; Cloud services market is expected to grow ... (press release)
... transformative multi-screen video services through an open, cloud-based, intelligent software platform trusted by cable, IPTV and mobile operators globally.

Study offers 'anatomy of the spoiler'
The rise of OTT has been inevitably accompanied with the rise of the spoiler. Nowadays, people increasingly get into TV series in their own time, and ...

55% of US broadband households subscribe to OTT service
Fifty-five percent of US broadband households subscribe to an OTT video service, opening up new opportunities for cloud solutions, according to Parks ...

Jeff Kagan: Can Cable TV Survive?
Then the large telephone companies jumped in with their IPTV services. This was the first type of service that used the new technology and the Internet to ...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fishing in San Francisco (A Modern Day Version of Jiang Tai Gong)

source: sfgate . com

Mr. George Revel of Lost Coast Outfitters is a smart businessman who loves fishing. He assessed his terrain in terms of the social-economic factors by understanding the social economic demographics. 

Conclusively, he decided to pursue the big fish. 

"He is casting for the big fish.  ... In the urban environment, you see fly fishermen who are doctors, lawyers or in finance,” he said.

Those are his key demographic. They drop by the shop, handle the cool gear and maybe even head up to the roof to try some casts out toward the San Francisco skyline.

And often, once they do all that, Revel has them where he wants them.

They’re hooked. ..."

Click here to read the rest of this interesting article (from on a modern day Jiang Tai Gong .

A Few Notes on Jiang Tai Gong 
The Six Secret Teachings is a favorite book for the serious strategists who wanted to understand the Big Tangible Picture (BTP) of an extreme competitive terrain for over two thousand years. Those who are involved in the modern consulting/ strategy game, could learn something from this classical book. 

The Origin
In the Zhou dynasty of the 11th century BC, an elderly, eccentric advisor known as Jiang Tai Gong wrote a book that outlined a set of principles relating to government and warfare through the reported conversations with Emperor Wen and his successor, Emperor Wu.

Throughout Chinese history, there were many "secret teachings" and "confidential notebooks and essays" in many areas. Labeling these certain items under the category as a secret makes them more desirable as they seem scarce and harder to access. To access these so-called secrets typically requires investment that leads to greater commitment, as the student acts to sustain consistency with their investment.

(There is a long range benefit from learning from this "exclusive" manual. We could tell you. But it is better if you read it.) 

Chapter One: King Wen's Teacher 
The first chapter introduces King Wen and his meeting with his teacher, Jiang Tai Gong who utilizes the analogy of fishing to offer learning points.

He talked about the importance of being a 'True Men of Worth' and that it is the type of person that any wise ruler should be. By speaking in this manner , the Tai Gong immediately suggested that he could be his close adviser. The king immediately understood the value of Jiang Tai Gong's words (and being advised by his scribe), accepted this relationship.

The Art of Bait and Lure
Chapter One briefly talks about catching "the big fish." Regardless of the requirement of the big bait and a strong line to catch big fish. It is significant to be committed to this process. 

If you are cautious or offer only simple bait, the big fish will detect your lack of commitment and either ignore you or capitalize on your weakness.

This section includes a direct reminder to the ruler to be kind to his people, pointing out how followership is thus created. The lesson that many of today's leaders still need to learn is that there is a base human nature towards the utilization of punishment and reward others when motivation is needed . It requires more skill to utilize kindness that leads people to truly want to do as you ask.  This enables you to seldomly command the people to do your bidding.

  • A true man of worth is usually ambitious. (Using the fisherman analogy) the fishermen of worth pursued the whales and the sharks while the common fisherman have ordinary and common goals and  he catches only guppies and minnows. 
  • True men are drawn together by common interest in significant affairs.
  • To lure a big fish, one needs a big but attractive bait and a strong fishing line. This may require significant commitment from the ambitious leader. Simple, glittering rewards only attract the small fry.
  • A worthy (or sage)  ruler utilizes many approaches that play to the emotions of his counter parts. He shows humanity, virtue and righteousness by sharing, sparing, relieving and eliminating hardship. This is the manner to create followers.
Side Notes 
Other future posts on Jiang Tai Gong will include brief notes on the gist of each relevant chapter of this classic.  

For more detail on this chapter and the full translation of Six Secret Teachings, read Dr. Ralph D. Sawyer's Six Secret Teachings or Seven Military Classics of Ancient China (1993). 

In the age of instant information and immediate gratification, some people do not know what is tangible anymore.  The truth that originated from the classics, has never changed.  One just have to be mindful of the importance of the components within their terrain and beyond.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Reader Comment on The Competing in the Info. Economy with the "Sunzi's 'Victory Temple' Model" Post

Reader Comments From a Previous Post
the Singularity: Definition taken from a publicly available online dictionary. The State, fact quality or condition of being singular. Synonyms = uniqueness, distinctiveness.

I think the singularity behind the chart might be awareness. Awareness that stems from Assessment in your model. I think that awareness recapitulates several of your blog's main points. Mindfulness, the interconnectedness of things, the Big Tangible Picture, being centered and many more. My understanding of this was gained by reading your site, the Seven Classics and Sawyer's Sun Pin and some unique experiences I've had in my life.

One must be aware of one's emotions and control them. One's response to the opposition must be calculated, controlled and any decision must be acted upon only after careful consideration of potential outcomes. One should also be aware of the weather; weather = heaven? and be mindful of the terrain. I think the 8 classic strategists, however, believe that one should not over-rely upon any supposedly auspicious conditions. I think they believe that one should be aware of any situation in which the opposition failed to do so; additionally I think they also believe the Enlightened strategist should be aware of whether the opposition does not fall into any discord to weather conditions or supposedly ill fated terrain. I think that is why the 8 strategists variously discuss what Man can do in certain situations.

think that awareness relates to Positioning and Influence in that one must have one's intelligence gathering resources out there to gain info on whatever it is you need to know. Only by properly knowing things (gained from Man) and not omens, astrology and so forth can one properly know how to proceed. Think that the Enlightened strategist is one who does and creates something to force the other side to make a move and ideally a poorly decided one at that. think that such a strategist should be creative.

 ...  Think that if one unaware of any particular internal or external condition, the proper response is difficult to find. think that the proper response can be faster than Observe Orient Decide Act if it is habit based.

Enjoy your discussions!

Thoughts From the Compass Desk
Mindful awareness is a part of the macro process that leads to the answer of singularity. Think about that point and you might redefine the definition of singularity

That exotic skill originates from a meta-physical state of self being. We presumed that you and the other readers are able to perform that act with minimum inertia.  It is not that difficult. Some of my associates and I have centered themselves through solitary standing while another associate preferred the act of walking the circle.

Whenever the center state is achieved, you should then carefully study the Victory Temple diagram. After an period of time, you might be able to see the Dao within it.  (There is a process and an unique back story to utilizing this diagram.) 

My associates solved the puzzle of the above diagram in eight minutes. while drinking green tea.  With the given clues, you should be able to do it in six minutes or less. 

Some portions of the array of clues could be found in this book.

You can learn more about mindfulness by visiting Cook Ding Kitchen

The Clue

So, what is the singularity?  It is the context of the process that operates behind the Greater Dao. 

Understand the order of everything and you will know the theory of everything.

Other Thoughts
Once the comprehension is achieved, you should be able to solve this problem.

Side Note 

Based on our constant experiments, we discovered that our strategic process model of Assess, Position and Influence (API) is one step faster than the late Colonel John Boyd's OODA model.  In some situations, rapidity is the essence to the act of thriving. 

We will explain more on our concept in a future post or in our future book. 

In the field of observation, fortune favored the prepared mind who implements a more efficient operating model. (Knowing the relative factors and technical qualifiers for each complex situation is the key.)

Preparing oneself and having a better operating model is a challenge that most people are facing each and every day. 

Moving and grinding is their normal modus operandi. Grounding and pounding is all that they know. Somehow they succeeded with no mindful regard of what would happen on the long run. These people just "kick the can" forward.

Some aspects of the API model can be found in certain Taiji classics.  You just got to do the research on that matter. 

Good luck!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Best Identity That A Competitive Team Can Have

From SF

Football is complex and increasingly, we know less about what makes a team succeed, because coaches are becoming more paranoid about concealing their game plans. So on a given play, fans and media know percious little about why a play was run and about the defense set up to stop it.
This ignorance makes us want to glum on to ideas like “identity” because that will help us understand what a team is doing. But what does identity mean really?
It has already been written that the 49ers got back their run-dominant identity in order to win a needed game against the previously unbeaten Eagles on Sunday at Levi’s. Yes, Frank Gore bulled his way for 119 yards on 24 carries, and yes, the 49ers controlled the clock for 42 minutes and 17 seconds. But identity?
Only fans and sports writers, and former players turned analysts worry about identity. The 49ers just want to win, and if that means throwing the ball 60 times a game and running the read option, pistol offense out of the no-huddle, that’s what they will do. If it means running the ball with their starting fullback and backup guard playing the role of second tight end, they will do that too.
The 49ers did just that in their 26-21 victory. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t do something completely different next Sunday when the Alex Smith-led Chiefs visit.
“Just because we identify with (being a physical run team), doesn’t mean we can’t do other things, like split 5 wide out. Pretty versatile,” tight end Derek Carrier said.
“I think the mystery of what we do each week is what we try to keep up,” center Daniel Kilgore said. “We don’t want teams to pick up on anything. You never know what you are going to get. If we win, it’s all good. I don’t care what we are doing.”
Left tackle Joe Staley called the offense, “fluid.” He also said the offensive plan in Arizona of playing four and five wide receivers worked well, and it did. However, that fact got obscured by the loss.
“We are all about creating an advantage for what we can do. That’s what I like about this offense,” Staley said.
So if others want to put labels on their offense, or even their overall team philosophy, go ahead. The 49ers, meanwhile, will remain, “fluid.”
- eof

Being fluid is the best identity that a competitor can have.

"Now the army's disposition of force (xing)  is like water. Water's configuration (xing) avoids heights and races downward. The army's disposition of force (hsing) avoids the substantial and strikes the vacuous. Water configures (xing) its flow in accord with the terrain; the army controls its victory in accord with the enemy. Thus the army does not maintain any constant strategic configuration of power (shi), water has no constant shape (xing). One who is able to change and transform in accord with the enemy and wrest victory is termed spiritual. Thus [none of] the five phases constantly dominates; the four seasons do not have constant positions; the sun shines for longer and shorter periods; and the moon wanes and waxes. ..."
- Art of War 6

Q: How does one be fluid?
A: It begins by assessing the Big Tangible Picture of one's self and the configuration of their grand setting in term of the levels and the factors.. After the assessment, the next steps are: positioning and influencing.

To be fluid, focus on being the tide, not the wave.

Side Note
Regardless of what the the Art of War (AoW) cult say, simple rules or easy simplifications have never work in highly extreme and complex setting. Competing in the high reward level of the global economy means that one must know the singularity (or the Big Tangible Picture) of their grand strategic situation and beyond, before ever making a strategic decision..

Fwiw, the AoW cult's magic formula of pseudo inspiration does not always work.  Life goes on. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Review on The John Batchelor Radio Show on WABC (Part 2)

updated on 10.09.2014 

The John Batchelor Show is the most intelligent and informative show on the radio wave.  (Some people have considered the radio to be obsolete.) I have been listening to it for many years.  The attraction is its extensiveness view on political news, and international matters.

His analysis of current events (national and international) is quite sober and intelligent.   ...  What I have always liked about Mr. Batchelor is that he doesn't overwhelm the audience with his own personal politics, unlike most right wing radio, there is substance in his show. 

The discussions on international affairs better than anyone else in the "news talk" business because of his frequently interviews with the foreign correspondents from the many international cities (i.e., London, Cairo,
Damascus, Tel Aviv, etc.) and an array of subject matter experts (sme). 

Listening to the reporting from the scene of the crime is always interesting regardless of the interviewees and the experts political leanings.   ... Differing the facts from the opinions requires some deep listening proficiency and profound strategic assessment skills.  (I presumed that you can perform that feat in a cyber moment while drinking a 20 oz of green tea.) 

Beside international affairs,  Batchelor's also touches on a diversity of national matters (i.e, economics, energy, automobiles, space programs, etc.)
... He also follows the feats of certain politicians from California, NY, Texas, and other relevant states. 

The Compass View 
There is no shouting, no screaming and no "demonization" of the other side of the political realm in this show. It is very unusual in today's political climate, which is probably why the mindless masses categorized him under the caption of boring.  ... Although I don't always agree with him, but his points are quite thought-out 

Paraphrasing what someone said previously, Batchelor's reminds me of an orchestra conductor directing his ever-talented quartet. He does a superb job in coordinating the flow and ebb of an interview during the real time of the interview. 

Interestingly I preferred his approach of refusing calls from the listeners. It filters out the "emotional debris" from the non-informative, political-leaning novices. Therefore, the information flow from the show to the listeners is smooth and concise.  

The Schema   
The show usually follows the template of focused on macro national matters and earth-shaking international affairs with great depth for the first three hours.

In the fourth hr, Batchelor usually interviews an author who has written a specific historical topic or a scientific subject matter that many intelligent people would find intriguing and educational.   

Some of these interviews are occasionally replayed on his Sunday show. You can download his show through Apple itunes and his web site

Miscellaneous Notes  
Unlike most tv and radio talk show hosts,  Batchelor's and his producer do their homework on the various topics and his array of interesting guests. He usually asks smart questions and superb follow-up questions.   ...  His daily habit of reading one book per day enhances his questioning acumen by 10 fold.   .. 

The entertainment value is in the quality of his show. His bumper music does a good job in presenting the theme that invokes the theater of the mind.  

Comments From the Compass Desk 
I believed that his show is the most "connected" radio show in terms of defining what are the significant matters and how it might impact the future of our global economy. 

This info-tainment-based radio show might not appeal to everyone. It usually requires someone who is moderately informed, reasonably well-read and open-minded.

If you wanted a sober insight from an ultra class professional,  I highly recommend the John Batchelor radio show.  

Side Notes 
Click here for part one of this topic and click here for an insightful 2011 interview on Mr. Batchelor from .

# # #

Friday, October 3, 2014

The John Batchelor Show on WABC: An Intelligent and Informative Radio Show for the Smart Strategists and News Addicts:

(updated 10.05.2014)

Anyone who is interested in the current slew of global news and foreign policy, should listen to The John Batchelor Show . It encompasses four hours of infotainment that brings to listeners breaking news with a carefully cultivated team of sources and correspondents around the world.

Batchelor does a 7-day-a-week radio show from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. (est) on WABC and is well-versed in national and international affairs

John Batchelor is a novelist and a host of a national radio news show that is located in New York City, who does his homework in knowing the next set of news stories and his many guests.

The Show 
The first three hours focuses on macro national matters and earth-shaking international affairs with great depth.

The fourth hr of the show is usually focuses on a book that depicts a specific historical or a scientific topic that many intelligent people would find intriguing.   We will elaborate more in our next post.

Click here for part 2.

Side Notes
Reading the WSJ and NYT while listening to this show is one of my favorite practices.  I occasionally see how certain news stories are connected to my current reading items..

If you are a radio fan, visit the C. Crane company. We have never received a freebie from them or anyone else. We are just a big fan of their specialized radios and their assortment of electronic products.