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  #16  
Old 03 Mar 10, 22:36
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Originally Posted by Alatriste View Post
Not if you are on this website
Especially since my golf score is more than double my waist size!
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Old 03 Mar 10, 22:40
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Especially since my golf score is more than double my waist size!
Mine were diverging to the point where I gave up the sport. Now I can enjoy fine dining without the guilt. In fact I had a bone-in-ribeye for lunch today!
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  #18  
Old 03 Mar 10, 22:42
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Mine were diverging to the point where I gave up the sport. Now I can enjoy fine dining without the guilt. In fact I had a bone-in-ribeye for lunch today!
Currently both of my numbers are going down. And that is good. But I thought the turn on your point was fun.
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  #19  
Old 03 Mar 10, 23:06
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Anyone have a favorite translator? I'm partial to the works of Cleary and Sawyer.

I have a few favorites. One is from the Cleary translation:

"Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate."

I prefer that to Sawyer's translation, which is as follows:

"Subtle! Subtle! It approaches the formless. Spiritual! Spiritual! It attains the soundless. Thus he can be the enemy's Master of Fate."

Another favorite, from the same chapter, is as follows:
Cleary -

Quote:
Military formation is like water - the form of water is to avoid the high and go to the low, the form of a military force is to avoid the full and attack the empty; the flow of water is determined by the earth, the victory of a military force is determined by the opponent.

So a military force has no constant formation, water has no constant shape: the ability to gain victory by changing and adapting according to the opponent is called genius.
Sawyer translates it as:

Quote:
Now the army's disposition of force (hsing) is like water. Water's configuration (hsing) avoids heights and races downward. The army's disposition of force (hsing) avoids the substantial and strikes the vacuous. Water configures (hsing) 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 (shih), water has no constant shape (hsing). 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.
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  #20  
Old 03 Mar 10, 23:18
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I've read the Clavell (an edited version of Giles) and Griffith translations.

Clavell's was far easier to read, but tailored for the business reader. Griffith actually adapted it better to military doctrine.
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Old 03 Mar 10, 23:30
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...and Griffith translations...actually adapted it better to military doctrine.
BG Samuel B. Griffith, USMC was a remarkable individual. It is a shame his knowledge of Asia was not used more extensively by the politico-military leadership during the Vietnam war.
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  #22  
Old 05 Mar 10, 15:13
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two more for ya

two quotes that hold significance in all major engagements as well as, in my estimations, in the chinese culture.

"All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near."

"It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle."

this strategy combines both

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empty_Fort_Strategy
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  #23  
Old 05 Mar 10, 15:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alatriste View Post


I like the book, but do not like that it has become en vogue with the business yuppies. So there goes the yuppie boss who never really studied warfare, probably never served in the military either, reading Sun Tzu to get that farcical competitive edge. His main objective in life is to rise in the corporate hierarchy to a corner office and to have his waist size and golf score converge to same number. So he reads books from Sun Tzu and Clausewitz and his paparazzi, who praise Fellatio Hornblower, declare the yuppie boss to be an enlightened leader for reading the esoteric. Hushed whispers of awe are rendered by the papparazzi in the hallways within earshot of the boss, "the boss is reading Sun Tzu!"

The yuppie boss gets so inspired the next thing we know he invents credit default swaps. What a warrior!
About ten years ago we were given a bunch of quotes to "help" us with better quality control in a system that was working just fine. Those among us that didn't know who he was didn't understand a word, and those who did found it a good laugh. Still the boss probably got a good bonus out of it.
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  #24  
Old 05 Mar 10, 15:21
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Originally Posted by Rojik View Post
About ten years ago we were given a bunch of quotes to "help" us with better quality control in a system that was working just fine. Those among us that didn't know who he was didn't understand a word, and those who did found it a good laugh. Still the boss probably got a good bonus out of it.
Classic!
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  #25  
Old 12 Mar 10, 05:38
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Originally Posted by Rojik View Post
About ten years ago we were given a bunch of quotes to "help" us with better quality control in a system that was working just fine. Those among us that didn't know who he was didn't understand a word, and those who did found it a good laugh. Still the boss probably got a good bonus out of it.

Spot on!

Like Clauswitz, most people probably never read it. Of those who read it, most probably didn't under it. Of those who understood it, most probably did not know how to apply it.

Of those who read it, understood it, and applied it .... they won wars.

The rest of us just like to quote from it to give the deceptive impression that we know more than we actually do.
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  #26  
Old 12 Mar 10, 21:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnbn75 View Post
“
if you don't like to read there is a chinese movie called "red cliffs" or "romance of the three kingdoms" that depicts the first half of the second volume of the book. the movie takes a number of liberties but its still pretty good. The first hour and half does outline some amazing tactics and strategies that come from the art of war.
I don't think the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel has much to do with the Art of War. It was written in the middle ages, as a Romanticized view of the end of the Han Dynasty based on the Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms...and even less to do with that John Woo "Red Cliff" movie.

I've seen the Red Cliff movie with English subtitles, and I'll say it is the one of the most inaccurate portrayals of the Han Dynasty military I've ever seen. It's very entertaining, but is about as worthless as Gladiator or Braveheart in terms of historical accuracy.

1. They have the typical John Woo/Dynasty Warrior shenanigans with the main characters single handedly killing hundreds of enemies...that works with John Woo gun-fu movies, but not in a historical epic. (otherwise it ends up being silly like 300)

2. Arms and armor are inaccurate. None of the spearmen carried shields? Furthermore, they broke formation immediately and started brawling like barbarians. (just like how Roman legions started barbarian-brawling in the beginning part of Gladiator) The leather helmets some of the soldiers wore are anachronistic I believe? They don't show the use of crossbow soldiers whatsoever, (nor the important alternating crossbow firing line)...when these elements were an absolute crucial part of the Qin-Han military. Nor do they show the effective use of heavy and armored cavalry (ie cavalry with lancers, used to charge the lines as shock-cavalry), which again, was crucial to the time period.

3. Formations and tactics in the movie are entirely fictional and ridiculous...ie. people building giant shield pyramids to scale a wall on top of each other, or when the soldiers assembled in that ridiculous giant circle formation that really would've done nothing, or when they decided to counter cavalry by using some random cowboy lassoing instead of using spears/archers.
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  #27  
Old 15 Mar 10, 18:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intranetusa View Post
I don't think the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel has much to do with the Art of War. It was written in the middle ages, as a Romanticized view of the end of the Han Dynasty based on the Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms...and even less to do with that John Woo "Red Cliff" movie.

I've seen the Red Cliff movie with English subtitles, and I'll say it is the one of the most inaccurate portrayals of the Han Dynasty military I've ever seen. It's very entertaining, but is about as worthless as Gladiator or Braveheart in terms of historical accuracy.

1. They have the typical John Woo/Dynasty Warrior shenanigans with the main characters single handedly killing hundreds of enemies...that works with John Woo gun-fu movies, but not in a historical epic. (otherwise it ends up being silly like 300)

2. Arms and armor are inaccurate. None of the spearmen carried shields? Furthermore, they broke formation immediately and started brawling like barbarians. (just like how Roman legions started barbarian-brawling in the beginning part of Gladiator) The leather helmets some of the soldiers wore are anachronistic I believe? They don't show the use of crossbow soldiers whatsoever, (nor the important alternating crossbow firing line)...when these elements were an absolute crucial part of the Qin-Han military. Nor do they show the effective use of heavy and armored cavalry (ie cavalry with lancers, used to charge the lines as shock-cavalry), which again, was crucial to the time period.

3. Formations and tactics in the movie are entirely fictional and ridiculous...ie. people building giant shield pyramids to scale a wall on top of each other, or when the soldiers assembled in that ridiculous giant circle formation that really would've done nothing, or when they decided to counter cavalry by using some random cowboy lassoing instead of using spears/archers.
my apologies for use of the word "tactics". you are right the tactics horribly inaccurate. as was part of the story line of the movie. in the book kongming and zhou yu only worked with each other because of a common enemy. Zhou you made several attempts to kill kongming in the book. but if you read the book and even in the movie they do apply Sun Tzu's teaching.

i'll admit that both the movie are quite fantastic at times even in the book there were bombards which did no exist during the han. but the book does consider the art of war. I don't know whether or not lou guangzhuo was a taoist which would make a lot of sense.
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  #28  
Old 16 Mar 10, 06:40
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What do you think about this tractate? Which sentense or thought is your favorite?
Pawel, witam Cie, rodaku. Marek tutaj.

I own the Art of War as an audio book on my iPod, with an extensive commentary.

The Art of War seems to be a basic, simplistic look at warfare. HOWEVER, it must be pointed out that in contemporary China ANY books on military strategy were kept under lock & key in royal libraries. They were considered top secret because in the hands of the wrong person, they could be of assistance to a challenger threatening the Emperor.

Only the Emperor and selected members of his advisory retinue ever had access to books dealing with military strategy. If you were part of the immediate family of the Emperor, you were risking your life by searching out literature dealing with military strategy.

Therefore, a treatise such as the Art of War, as primitive as it was, was exceptionally valuable in the 5th century B.C. simply because it was outside the reach of the average student. It was something with a "TOP SECRET" stamp on the cover.
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  #29  
Old 21 Mar 10, 16:01
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Originally Posted by MonsterZero View Post
Pawel, witam Cie, rodaku. Marek tutaj.

I own the Art of War as an audio book on my iPod, with an extensive commentary.

The Art of War seems to be a basic, simplistic look at warfare. HOWEVER, it must be pointed out that in contemporary China ANY books on military strategy were kept under lock & key in royal libraries. They were considered top secret because in the hands of the wrong person, they could be of assistance to a challenger threatening the Emperor.

Only the Emperor and selected members of his advisory retinue ever had access to books dealing with military strategy. If you were part of the immediate family of the Emperor, you were risking your life by searching out literature dealing with military strategy.

Therefore, a treatise such as the Art of War, as primitive as it was, was exceptionally valuable in the 5th century B.C. simply because it was outside the reach of the average student. It was something with a "TOP SECRET" stamp on the cover.
Furthermore, there are full versions of the Art of War and there are "fortune cookie" versions that contain nothing but the silly one-liners.

Overall, it's a book mostly on war strategy, and not much on tactics.

As for simplicity, I'm sure most people during Sun Tzu or Alexander's time period didn't know that charging your cavalry into a line of pointy sticks wasn't the best idea. :P
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  #30  
Old 26 Mar 10, 00:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intranetusa View Post
I don't think the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel has much to do with the Art of War. It was written in the middle ages, as a Romanticized view of the end of the Han Dynasty based on the Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms...and even less to do with that John Woo "Red Cliff" movie.

I've seen the Red Cliff movie with English subtitles, and I'll say it is the one of the most inaccurate portrayals of the Han Dynasty military I've ever seen. It's very entertaining, but is about as worthless as Gladiator or Braveheart in terms of historical accuracy.

1. They have the typical John Woo/Dynasty Warrior shenanigans with the main characters single handedly killing hundreds of enemies...that works with John Woo gun-fu movies, but not in a historical epic. (otherwise it ends up being silly like 300)

2. Arms and armor are inaccurate. None of the spearmen carried shields? Furthermore, they broke formation immediately and started brawling like barbarians. (just like how Roman legions started barbarian-brawling in the beginning part of Gladiator) The leather helmets some of the soldiers wore are anachronistic I believe? They don't show the use of crossbow soldiers whatsoever, (nor the important alternating crossbow firing line)...when these elements were an absolute crucial part of the Qin-Han military. Nor do they show the effective use of heavy and armored cavalry (ie cavalry with lancers, used to charge the lines as shock-cavalry), which again, was crucial to the time period.

3. Formations and tactics in the movie are entirely fictional and ridiculous...ie. people building giant shield pyramids to scale a wall on top of each other, or when the soldiers assembled in that ridiculous giant circle formation that really would've done nothing, or when they decided to counter cavalry by using some random cowboy lassoing instead of using spears/archers.

Yes, disappointing, that. A little research and historical accuracy would've gone a long way towards making it educational as well as entertaining.
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