SoulMan
Hammurabi   United States
 
 
][. Laying Plans

Sun Tzu Said:

The Art of War is of vital importance to the State.


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:csgostar: The Art of War is of vital importance to the state
:csgostar: It is the matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin.
:csgostar: The Art of War, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.


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These are:
1. The moral law;
2. Heaven;
3. Earth;
4. The commander;
5. Method and discipline.


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- The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.
- Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.
- Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.
- The Commander stands for virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness.
- By Method and discipline are to be understood as the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduation of ranks among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

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:csgostar: These five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.

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Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise:

1. Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the moral law ?
2. Which of the two generals has the most ability ?
3. With whom lie the advantages derived from heaven and earth ?
4. On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?
5. Which army is stronger ?
6. On which side are officers and men more highly trained ?
7. In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?


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:csgostar: By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.
:csgostar: The general that hearkens my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat: let such a one be dismissed!
:csgostar: While heeding the profit of my counsel, avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules.
:csgostar: According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one's plans.
:csgostar: All warfare is based on deception.
:csgostar: Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when we are far away, we must make him believe we are near.
:csgostar: Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign Disorder, and crush him.
:csgostar: Attack him when he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
:csgostar: Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but a few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

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Freedom and the Control of Men [B.F. Skinner's Cumulative Record: A Selection of Papers Third Edition]
The second half of the twentieth century may be remembered for its solution of a
curious problem. Although Western democracy created the conditions responsible for
the rise of modern science, it is now evident that it may never fully profit from that
achievement. The so-called “democratic philosophy” of human behavior to which it
also gave rise is increasingly in conflict with the application of the methods of science
to human affairs. Unless this conflict is somehow resolved, the ultimate goals of
democracy may be long deferred.


1

Just as biographers and critics look for external influences to account for the traits and
achievements of the men they study, so science ultimately explains behavior in terms
of “causes” or conditions which lie beyond the individual himself. As more and more
causal relations are demonstrated, a practical corollary becomes difficult to resist: it
should be possible to produce behavior according to plan simply by arranging the
proper conditions. Now, among the specifications which might reasonably be
submitted to a behavioral technology are these: Let men be happy, informed, skillful,
well behaved, and productive.

This immediate practical implication of a science of behavior has a familiar ring, for
it recalls the doctrine of human perfectibility of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century
humanism. A science of man shares the optimism of that philosophy and supplies
striking support for the working faith that men can build a better world and, through it,
better men. The support comes just in time, for there has been little optimism of late
among those who speak from the traditional point of view. Democracy has become
“realistic,” and it is only with some embarrassment that one admits today to
perfectionistic or utopian thinking.

The earlier temper is worth considering, however. History records many foolish and
unworkable schemes for human betterment, but almost all the great changes in our
culture which we now regard as worthwhile can be traced to perfectionistic
philosophies. Governmental, religious, educational, economic, and social reforms
follow a common pattern. Someone believes that a change in a cultural practice—for
example, in the rules of evidence in a court of law, in the characterization of man’s
relation to God, in the way children are taught to read and write, in permitted rates of
interest, or in minimal housing standards—will improve the condition of men: by promoting justice, permitting men to seek salvation more effectively, increasing the
literacy of a people, checking an inflationary trend, or improving public health and
family relations, respectively. The underlying hypothesis is always the same: that a
different physical or cultural environment will make a different and better man.

The scientific study of behavior not only justifies the general pattern of such
proposals; it promises new and better hypotheses. The earliest cultural practices must
have originated in sheer accidents. Those which strengthened the group survived with
the group in a sort of natural selection. As soon as men began to propose and carry out
changes in practice for the sake of possible consequences, the evolutionary process
must have accelerated. The simple practice of making changes must have had survival
value. A further acceleration is now to be expected. As laws of behavior are more
precisely stated, the changes in the environment required to bring about a given effect
may be more clearly specified. Conditions which have been neglected because their
effects were slight or unlooked for may be shown to be relevant. New conditions may
actually be created, as in the discovery and synthesis of drugs which affect behavior.

This is no time, then, to abandon notions of progress, improvement, or, indeed,
human perfectibility. The simple fact is that man is able, and now as never before, to
lift himself by his own bootstraps. In achieving control of the world of which he is a
part, he may learn at last to control himself.
Freedom and the Control of Men [B.F. Skinner's Cumulative Record: A Selection of Papers Third Edition]
2

Timeworn objections to the planned improvement of cultural practices are already
losing much of their force. Marcus Aurelius was probably right in advising his readers
to be content with a haphazard amelioration of mankind. “Never hope to realize Plato’s
republic,” he sighed, “… for who can change the opinions of men? And without a
change of sentiments what can you make but reluctant slaves and hypocrites?” He was
thinking, no doubt, of contemporary patterns of control based upon punishment or the
threat of punishment which, as he correctly observed, breed only reluctant slaves of
those who submit and hypocrites of those who discover modes of evasion. But we need
not share his pessimism, for the opinions of men can be changed. The techniques of
indoctrination which were being devised by the early Christian Church at the very time
Marcus Aurelius was writing are relevant, as are some of the techniques of
psychotherapy and of advertising and public relations. Other methods suggested by
recent scientific analyses leave little doubt of the matter.

The study of human behavior also answers the cynical complaint that there is a plain
“cussedness” in man which will always thwart efforts to improve him. We are often
told that men do not want to be changed, even for the better. Try to help them, and they
will outwit you and remain happily wretched. Dostoevsky claimed to see some plan in
it. “Out of sheer ingratitude,” he complained, or possibly boasted, “man will play you a
dirty trick, just to prove that men are still men and not the keys of a piano…. And even
if you could prove that a man is only a piano key, he would still do something out of
sheer perversity—he would create destruction and chaos—just to gain his point…. And
if all this could in turn be analyzed and prevented by predicting that it would occur,
then man would deliberately go mad to prove his point.” This is a conceivable neurotic
reaction to inept control. A few men may have shown it, and many have enjoyed
Dostoevsky’s statement because they tend to show it. But that such perversity is a fundamental reaction of the human organism to controlling conditions is sheer
nonsense.

So is the objection that we have no way of knowing what changes to make even
though we have the necessary techniques. That is one of the great hoaxes of the century
—a sort of booby trap left behind in the retreat before the advancing front of science.
Scientists themselves have unsuspectingly agreed that there are two kinds of useful
prepositions about nature—facts and value judgments—and that science must confine
itself to “what is,” leaving “what ought to be” to others. But with what special sort of
wisdom is the nonscientist endowed? Science is only effective knowing, no matter who
engages in it. Verbal behavior proves upon analysis to be composed of many different
types of utterances, from poetry and exhortation to logic and factual description, but
these are not all equally useful in talking about cultural practices. We may classify
useful propositions according to the degrees of confidence with which they may be
asserted. Sentences about nature range from highly probable “facts” to sheer guesses.
In general, future events are less likely to be correctly described than past. When a
scientist talks about a projected experiment, for example, he must often resort to
statements having only a moderate likelihood of being correct; he calls them
hypotheses.

Designing a new cultural pattern is in many ways like designing an experiment. In
drawing up a new constitution, outlining a new educational program, modifying a
religious doctrine, or setting up a new fiscal policy, many statements must be quite
tentative. We cannot be sure that the practices we specify will have the consequences
we predict, or that the consequences will reward our efforts. This is in the nature of
such proposals. They are not value judgments—they are guesses. To confuse and delay
the improvement of cultural practices by quibbling about the word improve is itself not
a useful practice. Let us agree, to start with, that health is better than illness, wisdom
better than ignorance, love better than hate, and productive energy better than neurotic
sloth.

Another familiar objection is the “political problem.” Though we know what
changes to make and how to make them, we still need to control certain relevant
conditions, but these have long since fallen into the hands of selfish men who are not
going to relinquish them for such purposes. Possibly we shall be permitted to develop
areas which at the moment seem unimportant, but at the first signs of success the strong
men will move in. This, it is said, has happened to Christianity, democracy, and
communism. There will always be men who are fundamentally selfish and evil, and in
the long run innocent goodness cannot have its way. The only evidence here is
historical, and it may be misleading. Because of the way in which physical science
developed, history could until very recently have “proved” that the unleashing of the
energy of the atom was quite unlikely, if not impossible. Similarly, because of the order
in which processes in human behavior have become available for purposes of control,
history may seem to prove that power will probably be appropriated for selfish
purposes. The first techniques to be discovered fell almost always to strong, selfish
men. History led Lord Acton to believe that power corrupts, but he had probably never
encountered absolute power, certainly not in all its forms, and had no way of predicting
its effect.

An optimistic historian could defend a different conclusion. The principle that if
there are not enough men of good will in the world the first step is to create more
seems to be gaining recognition. The Marshall Plan (as originally conceived), Point Four, the offer of atomic materials to power-starved countries—these may or may not
be wholly new in the history of international relations, but they suggest an increasing
awareness of the power of governmental good will. They are proposals to make certain
changes in the environments of men for the sake of consequences which should be
rewarding for all concerned. They do not exemplify a disinterested generosity, but an
interest which is the interest of everyone. We have not yet seen Plato’s philosopher-king, and may not want to, but the gap between real and utopian government is closing.
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Koi Jul 2, 2023 @ 10:49pm 
I forgive you for what you did. I'm glad you grew as a person and i wish you the best in the future.
Koi May 23, 2023 @ 10:41pm 
-Rep After a good game in csgo, i added him because he seemed like a cool guy. We got chatting, over the next couple of months we became good friends. Lots of banter, lots of great CS and most importantly true friendship. I invited him to my house for a csgo lan party. He said he was coming so i was looking forward to meeting him in real life. When he arrived at my house, he pushed me against the wall and started nibbling my ear, i felt his hard ♥♥♥♥ push against my leg. I punched him and then 1 tapped him. Turns out he was gay. Don't trust this guy.
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