Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The Black Hills, Part IV: Mount Rushmore
I saw (but did not take pictures of) Mount Rushmore in Beijing. I captured Meguode Guofu, though!:
so in our trip to the Black Hills Lady of tdaxp got to see him in South Dakota:
Keep reading for the story of a side-trip to the northern Black Hills, including Mount Rushmore and beautiful Sylvan Lake Lodge
We began our day with a breakfast at Sylvan Lake Lodge. The historical original lodge (which actually was on Sylvan Lake) burned down in 1935, and the rebuilt lodge looks down at the the lake from a medium-sized hill. However, the staff at Sylvan Lake has not been as good at keeping traditional atmospherics as the staff at the State Game Lodge. Though the hotel wings of Sylvan are nicer, these distract from the ambiance. Likewise, the foyer (which for the Game Lodge is quiet and sedate) is crowded and full of visiting artists and other distractions.
Breakfast eaten, it was time to drive to Rushmore. The roads are well designed to give you teasing glimpses of the faces, and there are numerous places to park your car and marvel.
As one approaches the Mountain the view is purposefully obscured by a series of square arches and flags. Every state's flag is there, including those that reference formerly independent countries (California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, and Texas) -- as well as more loyal states, such as South Dakota.
When we finally arrived, we joined others in staring at Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt (the good one), and Lincoln. A theatre in the roman style is below.
Good bye, Mount Rushmore!
The Black Hills, a tdaxp series
1. Crazy Horse
2. Custer State Game Lodge
3. Blue Bell Lodge
4. Mount Rushmore
5. Goofy Custer
6. The Badlands
don't even THINK about dissing Iowa or i will take you down! ;-)
Posted by: Sean | Wednesday, September 20, 2006
lol -- other than that the Iowegians have crossed the flags of Canada and France to create a vexological monstrosity, what's to diss? :-)
Seriously, I taught community college in north-west Iowa for a year, and loved it. A beautiful small community in a beatiful corner of the state.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, September 20, 2006
flags, schmags ;-)
just so we're clear on Iowa's beauty...
Posted by: Sean | Wednesday, September 20, 2006
There are so many ways to describe Iowa... 
... but seriously, I loved it. Note how the sky behind the Chinese George Washington was grey? It was almost always like that, and that's not fog. I appreciate small towns and the country.
(Hmmm... I need to get back to that town sometime this year, yet...)
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I valued your responses to my questions posed to you before in my previous post, regarding sharing of strategy insights. Your discourse and dialogue are refreshingly erudite.
I do disagree with a couple of your points as applied between humans, more mainly due to the suspicion and caution that all human nature has of each other in general.
Here are a couple of examples. I mentioned to you before about the “Entropy Model”:
This is a semi-classified thought process, trademarked and a product. Why does Booz-Allen-Hamilton not completely show what makes it tick, instead of hiding it? Why do they not follow your line of reasoning?
What do you think of this “Model” and what do you think of Booz-Allen-Hamilton?
A second example concerns this company:
Again, why do they not completely follow your line of reasoning?
What do you think of “War, Chaos and Business”?
Now I understand why they do it, as my above questions are likened to the scorpion and frog fable. As scorpions, it is in those 2 companies’ interests to make a buck, have a niche and they are what they are.
But the reason why I am pushing this point, of freely sharing strategy information is something deeper.
For I contend that sharing strategy thinking/reasoning is in fact the strategy, and that one never fully shares the full strategy. With this line of reasoning, there should be some Sun-Tzu, Boyd, Clausewitz or Liddell-Hart line of thought the authors left out.
Also by sharing strategy thinking/reasoning, one tries to shape the thinking/feeling/action of the population in general, which are both the expeditors and objectives of most human organization accomplishments (wealth, power, spirit), in both war and business.
Thoughts/feelings? Also, have you applied your strategy insights to pure emotion?
Posted by: Taylor | Wednesday, September 20, 2006
not usually given to obvious error, i guess this one comes from insufficient familiarity with Iowa. have you visited southeastern Iowa, the country of my youth, with its rolling, green hills? how about northeastern Iowa's Mississippi River bluffs?
normally i am polite enough to let a weblog's author have the last word on a subject, but this may not be one of those times ;-)
Posted by: Sean | Thursday, September 21, 2006
My knowledge of western Iowa is limited to my recent greyhound trip  and a previous Amtrak trip, both to Chicago.
The EBW piece seems like another variation of high-tech net-centric warfare, a la the Israeli-Lebanon War.
I have a very, very high view of Belisarius, and its companion site "Defense and the National Interest"  Chet Richards, who runs both, is a genius. How do you see me and Chet disagreeing?
Emotion and strategy definitely interact, such as in economic game experiments.  I'm not sure what you mean by "pure emotion," though.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Friday, September 22, 2006
>The EBW piece seems like another variation of high-tech net-centric warfare, a la the Israeli-Lebanon War.
Interesting. Can you say more about the use of Entropy in strategy ?
>I have a very, very high view of Belisarius, and its companion site "Defense and the National Interest"  Chet Richards, who runs both, is a genius. How do you see me and Chet disagreeing?<
For myself, I use the word "genius" very sparingly, because I reserve it for individuals who create something never thought of before. Having said that, past "geniuses" have borrowed from others.
>Emotion and strategy definitely interact, such as in economic game experiments.  I'm not sure what you mean by "pure emotion," though.<
In this instance, I mean "instinct". But our concious minds have trouble with this supposition, because logic cannot fathom feeling.
But "instinct" is something I think that goes beyond the use of mere words.
I am a student of both Wittgenstein and Cognitive Psychology at the moment.
Let me put it to you another way. What if I told you, you need to interact with individuals on this site another way beyond text ?
Posted by: Taylor | Friday, September 22, 2006
It seems that the best way to increase entropy would be to super-empower the warriors on the scene, and not attempting to do it by reducing your own entropy. It's easier to destroy than to create, which is why EBO's focus on building up one's own information dominance seems so misplaced.
I definitely agree that instincts -- be they modular processes or fingertips feelings  -- definitely effect how strategy is implemented. Strategies which have a room for them do better than those that don't, and EBO (in generally) don't.
"Let me put it to you another way. What if I told you, you need to interact with individuals on this site another way beyond text ?"
I agree completely. This site is way to text-oriented. I think podcasts and vidcasts are both needed.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Saturday, September 23, 2006
> It seems that the best way to increase entropy would be to super-empower the warriors on the scene, and not attempting to do it by reducing your own entropy. It's easier to destroy than to create, which is why EBO's focus on building up one's own information dominance seems so misplaced.
The problem I have with the “Entropy Model” is that I do not know exactly what it is. The scheme provided was not enough. Also, I do agree it is easier to destroy, but the vacuum of destruction is the void where creation fills in. I get the feeling that this model is more about creating a paradigm for both sides to buy into. I will need more facts regarding it, though the use of Entropy in a strategy model is intriguing.
> I definitely agree that instincts -- be they modular processes or fingertips feelings  -- definitely effect how strategy is implemented. Strategies which have a room for them do better than those that don't, and EBO (in generally) don't.
I believe the Germans call it, Fingerspitzengefühl. This is an area that is the core of an individual in arbitrating a decision. Yet, how can one write text about a changing feeling, without having that text have the ability to be able to change itself? This is a bold step to be sure, but something that is untapped and a vastness to be explored. But not by mere static language. Possibly, either through the use of new words, or words with different sounds or colors or something else. To give depth to the instinct feeling to better corroborate with your fellow soldiers and Generals. Instinctual languages as it were. And that would only be one way.
>"Let me put it to you another way. What if I told you, you need to interact with individuals on this site another way beyond text?" I agree completely. This site is way too text-oriented. I think pod casts and video casts are both needed.
The idea I have does not only involve 2-D vid form in “real time”, but would take more on a different way to communicate with each other by both color and sound and pattern, etc. An example would be to incorporate Flash into both friendly-interaction and competition. The reasoning is that the senses are part of our simulation package that we incorporate the universe, along with higher-level language thinking. To stimulate this, would enable aspects that are untouched, but are themselves a vast reservoir of creativity, potential and unsourced understanding. Think about its potential.
An analogy would be, when Ender was learning about the 3-dimensionality of space by actually fighting in it with his own body, before commanding starships.
With Ender, Card was able to show via an extreme example, the balance between the individual and the group in human interaction and organization. But through his example that I will follow later, there will be 2 major underpinning questions.
First, how could one defeat Ender if he was your enemy?
Two, knowing that this was all created (and not in a vacuum) by Card, what analogy is he driving at, even unknowingly?
Today technologys opportunities meld human action.
Human nature may be the same, but is human interaction? Boyd might say that machines do not fight wars, but he is going against his own life experiences which created his strategies. I say this inherent paradox created his need to fill the vacuum and the vacuum itself.
This was why he was able to formulate the OODA loop, which in itself is an "engine" albeit a mental one. His OODA loop was actually about himself.
Dan, do you think you can post up the OODA loop on-site as an active participatory interface?
Posted by: Taylor | Monday, September 25, 2006
I agree with you that the "Entropy Model" used in the text is too vague.
You're right on "fingerspitzengefühl." I'd only add that fingertip feeling goes fay beyond language. Language is just one module of the brain, and it is often used to try to override the other mental modules whose operation leads to fingertip-feeling and automaticity.
Ender's strategy in the books appear to be very 3GW / Maneuver War oriented. However, he seems susceptible to either 4GW or 5GW influence. Near the end of the book, for example, he gives up believing that he even should be victorious, and he is subject to manipulations throughout.
Card often mentions his interest in religious, political, and military history (Army of the Potomac, Book of Mormon, and Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, for example) . Though Card now often associates in defense circles , I think it's fair to say he wrote Ender's Game primarily based on a careful analysis of history.
How do you imagine OODA-as-interface working? That's an intriguing idea...
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, September 27, 2006
>How do you imagine OODA-as-interface working? That's an intriguing idea...
(Preface: human language is limiting, with words such as “love” and “lie” lacking the emotive moments of place that I blush to think I can fully express myself. Also, for me even though I may contradict myself, time does not exist, it is an illusion created by the mind. But it is a very effective illusion.)
To couple this in with Ender, I will bring up two points.
In the moments when he had "Free Play" on his desk versus the Giant, etc, was when the computer would bring up things for him to explore, etc. This aspect of the story is critical, even more so than anything else. Because even Ender did not understand what the computer was doing, neither did Graff. It was something else.
Card was quite prescient on the impact "computers" would have in the future. And on Ender, Graff et al knew he needed a conscious gateway into his symbolic unconscious.
Now whether or not you agree with this, you have to understand that the point was to marry the idea of a "game" with doing whatever it took to win in the mind of a child with the I.Q. of 200, an E.Q. of 200 but with one perfection/flaw.
He also has a S.Q of 200 which could only be subverted via his own love/hatred of humanity in general, via it being a game that was not "real". He was born with a very, very big heart.
Ender's big lie told to him, was the freedom he needed to win. This freedom can be applied to anyone else. The human mind plays many mental, emotional and spiritual tricks on itself that can be exploited. The question is, can the deceiver deceive themselves or is an outside source required?
Any participatory interface that involves the OODA-loop would need to incorporate the imperfections of human action and interaction as part of the paradox of being. The computer’s limits in binary code would have to be pushed to flesh out human emotions illogical leanings and varieties. It will be hard to diverge away from the effects computer logic will impose on human interaction if using a computer to facilitate that contact. I will speak more of this in a later post.
>how could one defeat Ender if he was your enemy?
Ender’s greatest strength is that he is a cheater. He cheats at anything he does to win. Yet at the same time, this is immoral (well immoral in the sense that he lives in a supposed future civilization based on Judeo-Christian ideology). Again, this paradox opens a door to greatness, yet anything is a weakness/strength.
But how does one beat Ender, especially a cheater who is better than anyone else?
Paradoxically, it is by loving him and telling him the truth. Those are his greatest weaknesses in fighting, in winning.
For the best lie is the truth.
Posted by: Taylor | Wednesday, September 27, 2006