Book Review: The Art of War by Sun Tzu ~ by Ransom

“The indirect approach is as fundamental to the realm of politics as to the realm of sex.” - B. H. Liddell Hart, StrategyThe Art of War by Sun Tzu is old, well-known, and significant.  It has survived two millennia, guided successful military action for that time, and is recognized as serious work by men who kill.According to his Infogalactic entry Sun Tzu “was a Chinese general, military strategist, writer and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China.” Traditional Chinese historians believe that he lived from 544 to 496 BC.Sun Tzu's historicity is not certain.  If he was not a real person he was at least based on real & accomplished figures of that approximate era.  I recommend reading the Infogalactic entry on Sun Tzu for a brief treatment of the different positions and an introduction to the world that, literally or figuratively, created him.Sun Tzu's surviving work, The Art of War, is a high-level strategic guide to conducting war.  Taken metap…

50 Red Flags - Part 1 Not apologizing

This is the start of a new series from a list that I stole (off the internet, so it is legal). I want to discuss some things we need to look out for when vetting a girlfriend (or boyfriend) to consider for a long term relationship.1. They never apologize for bad bad behavior.You know the situation. Someone takes a dump on your new collectable Elvis lunchbox you were planning to show off at work. You know precisely who did it, so you go and confront her, and she starts off by saying it wasn't her. You press her on the issue, and she says, "Well, it is your fault. If you haven't been taking so long in the bathroom, I could have used it". You tell her that there is the kitchen sink, and she starts hamstering off some other lame excuse. "There were dishes in there, and it was YOUR job to fill the dishwasher (which is odd, because she stays home during the day, and they were her dishes from a late night snack)......She continues on and on, deflecting and redirecting …

WB Archives 20200203 The Adonis Belt

The Adonis BeltWelcome to phase two gentleman. From the feedback I’ve received by those hitting the morning workout, looks like everything is going great. Remember, this is an upper lower split. You are doing upper body and lower body twice a week each with a cardio day between. One of the upper and lower days, you will notice, is fewer reps. Keep in mind that fewer reps will mean more weight. We want to hit that RPE. Tomorrow’s article will be about RPE and rep ranges, so stay tuned.Today we are going to talk about the Adonis Belt. The Adonis belt, often called the V lines, the Apollo belt, Hercule’s girdles and several other things is one of the most sought after and difficult to attain physique elements for bodybuilders. The reason it is so difficult to attain is simply this: it is not a muscle that we can just isolate and grow.So what is the Adonis belt. Well, to start with, they are ligaments, not muscles. The Adonis belt is that thick band of connective tissue that runs through …

Fallacies and Cognitive Biases: Confirmation Bias ~ by Ransom

This article is part of an ongoing series that began with Fallacies and Cognitive Biases.

The above picture is a detail from "50 Cognitive Biases to be aware of so you can be the very best version of you" "We tend to find and remember information that confirms our perceptions."
This cognitive bias saves energy.  Juggling many competing models of the world takes effort and slows down our thinking.  Besides, no more than one of them can be right.
Humans perceive in patterns.  Patterns are easier to remember than discrete data points.  Things that don't fit patterns are less likely to be noticed at all.
There are an unlimited number of explanations for nearly everything.  When new information is discovered that already fits into our mental model why invent a multitude of alternate explanations?  The potential lost time alone is prohibitive.
There is a lot of data out there.  Contradictory data may actually be a special case or just misperceived.
Our perceptions are gener…

Changing Habits Big and Small (repost) ~ by Ransom

this article was originally posted on the AKC site and is being reposted as a follow-up to yesterday's article about taking back control after this year's wallopsYou are a bundle of habits. They come in many sizes. Some you are aware of, many you are not. They are behaviors that survived long enough to become ingrained and are therefore on some level successful – but probably not optimal (though they may have been when you developed them).Habits – good habits – are beneficial because they solidify successful behaviors while leaving your conscious mind free to work on more novel problems.Your habits are reinforced by one another and the environment in which you life and move. An action prompts another action which sets the stage for another. Habits form a stream of actions that sweep you along rather smoothly. After all, when the transition from one action to another is jarring it is soon replaced with something easier.You are a bundle of habits, and sometimes you want to chang…

Take a Break ~ by Ransom

The year 2020 only gets weirder.It's not enough to have a giant killer death disease with the unique ability to politicize everything and everyone to literal death.  No; we have an election, communist riots, and now a tussle over the Supreme Court that turns the dial up a few more notches.Combined with technology that allows us to stay connected to the 1,440 minute-a-day "news" cycle it is more than easy to get locked into a grinding cycle of fruitless emotional exhaustion.Maybe you could use a conscious reminder to go and do something disconnected for yourself.  If so, this is it.The shut-downs have disrupted the patterns we have constructed.  By accident or intent our lives before worked well enough for us to at least get by.  A splintery two-by-four got thrown through all of that so now we have to intentionally construct a replacement.As Jack Spirko says, "If you don't design your life, don't worry -- someone else will design it for you."Perhaps you …

Hot or Cold

Those of us who are Christian are probably familiar with this scripture. Basically. the Lord is telling us that if we do religion half-assed, we are lukewarm, and the Lord won't take us. It got me thinking, this has many other applications. Namely about our marriages. We are all familiar with the half-assed efforts some of us, or all of us from time to time put into our marriage. We come home, sit on the couch to watch sportsball, tell the kids to go play in their rooms, maybe your wife pops a store bought frozen lasagna in the oven, and you eat off paper plates so the clean up is easy. We may let our bodies go, etc.It is like we are stuck in this circular nightmare portrayed in Robin William's "The Best of Times".
The question is, where is the flame, the interest and vitality in life? We cannot be just going through the motions and expect to find real joy. Going through the motions may be easier, but is it really? Boring men get cheate…