Friday, March 17, 2017

Rape of Nanking

I am listening to Jocko Willink's podcast on the Rape of Nanking (via iTunes). Terrible things occur there, but everyone is so caught up on the Nazi references that they do not think of Imperial Japan. As a right-wing person, I have been called a Nazi many times. I have never been called as bad as the Japanese. Maybe this is due to my white heritage.

Of course, as a young boy, I was always taught that Japanese culture was more enlightened than ours. We watched the martial arts movies, with special attention to portions with an Asian master. Many times, these were said to be Japanese.

It is too bad that history leans towards the cold, mass killings of the Nazis. There were many other situations like this. I think it is because of fighting against Western Civilization.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Goals and targets

I picked up SUCCESS Magazine with the Jocko Willink cover today. I was excited about it. I know there are some errors, that Jocko has worked on fixing. I am looking forward to reading it. 

The primary thing is to stay disciplined. I am waiting on my dissertation, but during the meantime getting a lot of reading done. Reading is the primary way I stay on top of what is happening and generate ideas. 

I am having a little trouble with my prospectus and its approval. This is a subjective struggle, where I pleased the chairman of my committee while not pleasing my methodologist. I have to please the methodologist to get the chair in line. Approval will follow.

The secondary thing is to branch out into my self-quantification. I am counting ounces of water I drink. I am also counting calories right now. I want to start journaling a minimal amount every morning. 

So, if you are having trouble meeting your goals, set little goals that target all the others.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ethics in studies

I plan on going out to recruit for my dissertation study tomorrow. It is difficult.

Here's why? Recruiting can be seen as leading to bias. Especially if I actually meet the people I will by studying. The Institutional Review Board at my university sees that as a bad idea, forcing their answers.

If I meet them, I can recruit them and make them more likely to complete the study. If I don't, I can keep out bias.

They won't answer emails without introduction, so my idea is to try to pass out a flyer to the church secretaries. It would be easier if I had large churches to work with, but I have already recruited the largest in the association I am attempting to study.

I could change my sample and population, but that leads to a change in the prospectus and proposal. Since I already have a third of the sample, I am not giving up at this time on my current subjects.

Ethics is good, but sometimes makes it impossible to run into people.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Genghis Khan

I recently read Jack Weatherford's Genghis Khan and the Quest for God and Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. Weatherford points out Genghis Khan out for his own contribution to religious freedom. Also, his dynasty has a long reach.

First, many Chinese-appearing artifacts are Mongol appropriations of Chinese work. To fit in, Genghis and his followers would have artwork make in Chinese style garb. They would also take names that appeared more Chinese.

Second, Genghis Khan's numbers of vanquished foes were great but likely exaggerated to reflect the times. Many militaries kept greatly exaggerated numbers at the time, but Khan's numbers (even if exaggerations) were larger than others. This may reflect a larger truth.

Third, Genghis Khan appropriated both religious belief, cultural ties, and followers that were great craftsman. One of Khan's generals and closest confidants was a man who had shot one of Genghis Khan's horses through the neck. Khan liked what worked, and gained literature and culture through hiring vanquished men.

These books taught me a great many things about the time and culture of the Mongols.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


I just finished reading Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki.  Great book. The first parts are how to grow your brand. The second (non-divided) part is on technology and how to leverage it to grow a personal or business brand. The last part is like a 48 Laws of Power for nice guys.

This book tells how branding works, and how to use it to become enchanting. I especially loved the checklist that tells how to make ethical decisions towards the back of the book. I have made an effort to engage relevant news articles for my Twitter and will soon do so for my personal Facebook.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Airpower on the wane?

I just read Martin Van Creveld's The Age of Airpower. It is an excellent history of airships, airplanes, and helicopters. It walks one from early manned airpower (from the Wrights) to today just after the Iraq surge. I am not ready to give Van Creveld the applause because he believes airpower is on the wane, partially due to David Petraeus' wishing to leave most airpower at home in insurgencies. I think they still have their purpose, especially planes such as the A10.

I am in Tucson, where the A10 has a mainstay, so that may influence it. I have also heard about the A10 being significant for close air support with the infantry. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn about the history of airpower.

Do you believe airpower is less necessary for waging warfare? Respond in the comments section or tweet me @jtarb1 on Twitter.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Freedman's Strategy: A History

I highly recommend Sir Lawrence Freedman's Strategy: A History. It debates what strategy is, exactly, by moving from game theory, business, and war studies. It does this in a lengthy 630 page treatise, but does not stay away from Foucault and Pareto's contributions. I feel like I knew a lot, as a student of strategy, but the book definitely treats it well. The book also starts with the Iliad and moves forward, so no student of history will be left with dissatisfaction.

It used rudimentary diagrams of the Prisoner's Dilemma and explained the Nash Equilibrium as well as I have understood it. I am not mathematician, of course. Yet, I highly recommend this book.