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Survivor: China's Monday Morning Quarterback – Energyby Sun Tzu, as channeled through AJ Mass -- 10/22/2007
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To ensure that your whole host may withstand the brunt of the enemy's attack and remain unshaken – this is effected by maneuvers direct and indirect. That the impact of your army may be like a grindstone dashed against an egg – this is effected by the science of weak points and strong. In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory. Indirect tactics, efficiently applied, are inexhaustible as Heaven and Earth, unending as the flow of rivers and streams; like the sun and moon, they end but to begin anew; like the four seasons, they pass away to return once more. What could be more of an indirect tactic than to take matters of winning into your own hands and thus transform them into losing. For losing the battle does not end the war. In fact, it can, in the right light of day, cause the war to be won.
There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colors (blue, yellow, red, white, and black), yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acrid, salt, sweet, bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted. Perhaps I am merely tone deaf, color blind, and have the palate of a yak, but I do know that there are not more than five members of the new Zhan Hu (Peih-Gee, Jaime, Erik, and the new members – Aaron and the digger of graves).
The onset of troops is like the rush of a torrent which will even roll stones along in its course. The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim. Therefore the good fighter will be terrible in his onset, and prompt in his decision. Without warning, Peih-Gee and Jaime set their plan into motion. They unleashed their energy with mirth and without regard to being revealed. Was this wise?
Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger. Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle, there may be seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all; amid confusion and chaos, your array may be without head or tail, yet it will be proof against defeat. Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline; simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength. Simulated effort can still prove effective for victory when the true course of action is to eject the enemy from your midst.
Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is simply a question of subdivision; concealing courage under a show of timidity presupposes a fund of latent energy; masking strength with weakness is to be effected by tactical dispositions. Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. He sacrifices something, that the enemy may snatch at it.
Here, Fei Long snatched victory and as a result, lost a loyal ally in Aaron. The choice to sacrifice Aaron was wisest because the digger of graves had already announced his resignation. Therefore, he should not be willing to thwart yet another losing effort in battle, and will gracefully depart the fray. Aaron, conversely, would have efforted to change the course of the river, and even in such folly, lives can be lost.
The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does not require too much from individuals. Hence his ability to pick out the right men and utilize combined energy. When he utilizes combined energy, his fighting men become as it were like unto rolling logs or stones. Thus the energy developed by good fighting men is as the momentum of a round stone rolled down a mountain thousands of feet in height.
Peih-Gee and Jaime have gambled on the combined enemy of a reunited Zhan Hu rolling them into the final grouping of warriors. While they seem to have overlooked the possibility that the loyalties of their former comrades, now in enemy hands, may sway, their logic in attempting such an undertaking is most valid and pleases me, the idiotic barbs and scoldings from the questioner-man notwithstanding.
He may not see the universe from above the same way as I. So much on the subject of energy.
Until then, I diminish and remain, Sun-Tzu.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: China articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
When not speaking on behalf of long-dead Chinese philosophers, AJ Mass writes about fantasy sports for ESPN.com. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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