More Sun Tzu Now (Robert Greene’s 48 LAWS OF POWER)

Thank you, Bacolod cousins, for opening self’s eyes and introducing her to this book, which is full of wise advice for how to survive in a bruising all-get-out battle.  And thank you, too, Adrian Goldsworthy, for showing just how much of Julius Caesar’s success on the battlefield was due to preparation and the remarkable Roman engineering feats that enabled the construction of huge siege towers and ramparts, sometimes in a matter of just days!

Here’s Robert Greene’s Law # 39:

STIR UP WATERS TO CATCH FISH

Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive.  You must always stay calm and objective.  But if you can make your enemies angry while staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage.  Put your enemies off-balance:  Find the chink in their vanity through which rattle them and you hold the strings.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Unending Love

What is going on???

For the second week in a row, Jeremy Lin is on the cover of Sports Illustrated (No, wait —  there was an issue in between the Jeremy Lin covers.  How could self forget?  The Annual Sports Illustrated No-Swimsuit —  er, Swimsuit Issue)

On 20 February, 2012, the SI cover articles were these:

  • Big Ten:  The Best Damn Ball in the Land
  • Tiger, Phil, and the Meaning of Pebble Beach
  • Pablo S. Torres’ Against All Odds:  The Sudden and Spectacular Ascent of Jeremy Lin

In this week’s issue, the cover stories are:

  • Hockey’s Toughest Questions:  After a Devastating Hit, Rethinking the Way the Game Is Played
  • Baylor Rising:  What’s Behind the Bears’ Success
  • Nascar 2012:  A Changing of the Guard
  • Jeremy’s World:  Big Surprise Big Money Big Heart (written by Pablo S. Torre again)

Oh my goodness, how long can this Jeremy Lin Love last?

The first time self watched him on TV, she was distracted by frequent mention of “World Peace,” which turned out to be a player’s actual name.  What is this world coming to?  The husband pointed him out.  Nyeh!  Of course all the Asian American nerds in America would love such an improbable icon of athleticism!  What a fitting rejoinder to the “M. Butterfly Syndrome,” the emasculation of the Asian American male!

“Played for Harvard,” the husband intoned.

What?  Self didn’t even know the Harvard basketball team was considered competitive (That’s because self only has eyes for Stanford basketball — BWAH HA HAAA!).

Self will now pull from the SI 27 February article:  “Now, after two weeks the likes of which sports fans may never see again, reality is so three months ago.”

But tonight, self noticed, Carmelo Anthony was back in the Knicks’ starting line-up, and Lin scored only 17 points.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Pasadena Event: Women in Leadership Panel: “Finding Your Leadership Style”

The Women In Leadership organization of the Drucker School in Claremont Graduate University is sponsoring a panel discussion tomorrow, 23 February (Thursday) in Pasadena on

FINDING YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE

Son’s Jennie is one of the organizers.  If only self had known sooner, she would have postponed her Claremont trip to this Thursday!

Where:  The Armory Center for the Arts, 145 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA  91103

When:  Thursday, 23 February

6:15 – 7 p.m.  Networking, Wine and Appetizers

7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Panel Discussion

Registration Fee:  $15, includes wine and appetizers

Moderator:  Katharina Pick, Clinical Assistant Professor at the Drucker School (Teaching Focus:  Women in Leadership, Organizational Behavior and Theory, and Teams)

Panelists:

  • Kelly Anderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at T3 Motion
  • Cynthia Luna, Executive Coach, Trainer & Consultant at LF Leadership
  • Olga Mizrahi, Author, ChunkofChange.com Blogger, and Principal at ohso! design

For more information, visit drucker.cgu.edu/women

*     *     *     *

In other news:

Quick Fiction, the little magazine of short shorts, is ceasing publication.  Alas!  This economy hits the arts (and little publications) hardest.

They are holding a sale of back issues at $4 each.  Free shipping.

To order, go to the Quick Fiction website.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

More Battles: Priceless Adrian Goldsworthy Sentence(s) of the Day

Perhaps self is in a state of high tension.  Feelings come over her, she knows not why.

One side effect of having so many feelings is that almost everything she reads seems significant.  Fortunately or unfortunately for dear blog readers, the book that is currently triggering all kinds of mental impulses in self (Adrian Goldsworthy’s Caesar:  Life of a Colossus) is very, very long, and is full of dense descriptions of Roman legionaires battling wild barbarian tribes in Britain, Gaul, Spain, etc  and will take forever to finish.  Forever.  It will be next week and self will still be blogging about Roman armies.  So settle down.

Anyhoo, in the section self has just been reading, Julius Caesar’s Roman army has been doing battle against a very wily enemy, the Gallic leader Vercingetorix.  This Gaul was “smarter” than other Gallic leaders:  such was the force of his charisma that he was able to implement a “scorched earth” policy against the Roman invaders —  that is, he convinced his followers to put to the torch some 20 of their own towns, to deprive the Romans of any source of food or material support.  But one town only was exempt, and that was Vercingetorix’s own town of Avaricum.  So of course Caesar laid siege to it.

The ensuing sections, which describe the Roman engineers’ skill in erecting an assault ramp higher than the towers of Avaricum, and all the (futile) attempts of the town’s defenders to set fire to it or otherwise damage it, make for very exciting reading.  In the end, the Romans succeed (of course: the skill of their engineers was unmatched in the ancient world) and a ramp is put in place against the town walls.  It had taken the Roman engineers only 25 days to construct.

The Aftermath, p. 327:

  • Roman generals were always keen to encourage individual boldness . . .  the proconsul promised great prizes to the first men over the wall.
  • Throughout history troops who have stormed a fortified position have been inclined to run amok once inside.  Sieges have always been difficult and dangerous operations, the actual assault even more hazardous, and it was often hard for men who had endured both to switch off once they were inside, especially since in the narrow streets they were no longer under the close gaze of their officers.

To drive home the sheer awfulness of the event, we learn that of Avaricum’s population of about 40,000, only a mere 800 survived, and these were the people who had managed to flee “the town at the first shout.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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