Ten Advantages of Cao Cao Over Yuan Shao — Still Wise Today!

In a time of war and competition, do strategies from fictional and non-fictional historic works amount to anything in reality?  I like to think some strategies and tactics in such works do encourage self-reflection and humbleness for the creative mind and out of the box thinking do shine some light on whatever matters that are at hand.  I have always loved Romance of Three Kingdoms story because this work does carry some really cool fictional and non-fictional strategies and tactics.

If you don’t know about Romance of the Three Kingdoms, then you wouldn’t know why it’s a great piece of work!  Basically, this piece of work is rather ancient as it was penned by ancient Chinese authors.  Ancient Chinese authors exaggerated a lot of things in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but these authors had also included a lot of known real historical facts.

I like how the intricate plots and interactions among the characters within Romance of the Three Kingdoms play out.  Especially, the coolness level rises to the max when the advisers among different factions try to best each other by using amazing tactics and strategies, both in the battles and out of the battles.  Liu Bei’s smartest adviser Zhuge Liang is especially cool as this guy is being portraited as one of the smartest if not the smartest advisers on earth at the time, in ancient China.  His reputation proceeded him because he could predict ancient weather patterns and devise winning strategies, both in the battles and out of the battles, for his lord.

Cao Cao got some smart advisers too!  In this blog post, I like to focus on one of Cao Cao’s smart advisers who is known as Gou Jia.  According to Wikipedia, Gou Jia flattered Cao Cao with Cao Cao’s ten advantages over Yuan Shao and Cao Cao was so flattered that he hired Gou Jia to be a Libationer.  To tell the truth, I don’t know what is a Libationer in ancient China, but for sure Cao Cao’s many victories were won through Gou Jia’s well-thought strategies and tactics.

In this blog post, I like to think that Gou Jia’s Cao Cao ten advantages over Yuan Shao are still relevant today.  Let me list these ten advantages.  Actually, let me quote Wikipedia’s Gou Jia article:

“Everyone has heard of the rivalry between Liu Bang and Xiang Yu. Liu Bang won by strategy; Xiang Yu was very powerful but he still lost to Liu Bang. Based on my observations, Yuan Shao has ten disadvantages while you have ten advantages. (Yuan Shao) may have many troops but they are useless.

  1. Yuan Shao is overly concerned with formalities, while you behave naturally. You win him in principle.[Sanguozhi zhu 4]
  2. Yuan Shao attempts to achieve supremacy from an opposing position, while you use the Han Empire’s authority to command respect. You win him in righteousness.[Sanguozhi zhu 5]
  3. The Han dynasty declined due to a lack of discipline and law enforcement. Yuan Shao condones his followers and their ill discipline, so he fails in administration. You uphold discipline sternly and firmly among your followers. You win him in management.[Sanguozhi zhu 6]
  4. Yuan Shao appears to be welcoming and accepting but he is actually jealous and suspicious. He never fully trusts his followers and places faith only in his family members and close relatives. You appear simple on the outside but you are actually very discerning on the inside. You fully trust those you have placed your faith in, and you promote meritocracy. You win him in tolerance.[Sanguozhi zhu 7]
  5. Yuan Shao likes to listen to many ideas but is indecisive and he hesitates before he makes any move. You are decisive and you adapt to changes well. You win him in strategy.[Sanguozhi zhu 8]
  6. Yuan Shao uses his fame to attract people to serve him and boost his name. His followers are mostly people who are able to disguise their flaws through persuasion and glib talk. You are sincere towards your followers and do not recruit them for the purpose of increasing your fame. Many loyal and truly capable people are willing to serve under you. You win him in virtue.[Sanguozhi zhu 9]
  7. When Yuan Shao sees others suffering from hunger and cold, he will express his concern towards them. However, he will not do so if their sufferings are not obvious. This is a form of unwise care and concern. You sometimes neglect less important things but when you handle big situations, you are connected to the masses within the Four Seas and the rewards you give out are far greater than Yuan Shao’s fame. Even though this may not be obvious, your care and concern towards others are complete. You win him in benevolence.[Sanguozhi zhu 10]
  8. Yuan Shao’s followers are often bickering and politicking and they give libelous and troublesome advice. You govern your followers with the right principles, so corruption does not occur under your leadership. You win him in wisdom.[Sanguozhi zhu 11]
  9. Yuan Shao cannot distinguish between right and wrong. You respect someone when you think he has done right and you punish someone when you feel he has done wrong. You win him in culture.[Sanguozhi zhu 12]
  10. Yuan Shao likes to display bravado and is not aware of the crucial elements in war. You overcome an enemy superior in numbers with a smaller force, just like a god of war. The soldiers look up to you, your enemies fear you. You win him in military skill.”[Sanguozhi zhu 13]

Do you think in today world, these advantages that Gou Jia mentioned to Cao Cao are still wise words?  Personally, I do think these words are still wise.  I like the advice #3 (management capability matters), #4 (to employ someone is to believe and trust that someone otherwise it would be counterproductive), #5 (don’t be indecisive), #6 (use capable people in important roles and positions), #7 (be very practical and honest when interact with a faction, whoever and whatever), and the advice #8 (destroy corruptions).  To conclude I say these wise words are still relevant today; these words could still be employed by wise leaders of today world!

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Basic Income Is Dead. Long Live Basic Equality!

As earth’s population grows larger and automation gains traction each day, how many job categories and niches would dwindle each time before there would be none left for onlookers?  More people mean more jobs are needed to sustain a vibrant society where equality gap could be lessened instead of widening.  More automation means more people will lose jobs.  These two factors are like pouring gasoline onto the fire.

Unethically, such a society could demand people to have fewer children, but such a society needs a strong authoritarian government.  In the West, most governments are democratic, and so such demand would be outrageous.  Furthermore, such a demand is for a weak society, because the society doesn’t have a solution thus resolving into forcing a reduction of population headcount.

A wiser society would not demand a reduction of population headcount — it got a solution for what’s coming!  What solution?  As of now, there is no clear solution for the two detrimental factors I stated in the first paragraph!  By the way, what is a society?  In my opinion, a society is a group of people that stick together for the benefits of the majority.  The two detrimental factors I described earlier would chip away most benefits of the majority in our modern societies.

Few governments and groups are trying out basic income as a testing case for trying to solve the inequality gap between classes of groups of people in our modern societies.  Nonetheless, small-scale basic income test trials most likely won’t yield any good result.  Furthermore, basic income for large countries like the United States and China would be an insane proposition.  No amount of money would be enough to give out to each person in a large country.

I think basic income is kind of screwy too!  For an example, the more money the government prints to give out the more people will spend thus requiring the money printers to print even more money so the government could have enough doughs to give out to even more people.  Get the gist?  Once the government tightens the belt such as stopping giving out money, the basic income scheme would collapse immediately.  A society that is addicted to basic income could also collapse!

By the way, how inflation would work in a basic income society?  I don’t think I know the answer to this as I’ve seen nothing like it has ever applied to a large country like the United States or China.  We all know that if inflation goes north too much everything would become rather pricey because the supply of money is too large — simply put, too many dollars would chase too few demands.

As job loss number increases and automation gains worldwide prominent, the tipping point would become too real when a society becomes desperate and mad.  Nonetheless, as an advanced society could produce just about anything with little effort using automation, the tipping point once again could occur positively as people would no longer require making a living by working the field, factory, office and so forth.

The question is, in the between the transition from a working society to a leisure society, how many people would have to die and how many revolutions would have to occur before the storm could pass and peace could form?  The basic income could work as a dirty solution till the modern society could completely transform into a leisure society!  The question is, will the governments of the world dare to print an unlimited amount of money before inflation hits and destroys the hope and dream of attaining a transformation of a modern society into a leisure one?

Perhaps, basic income is too draconian and would not work.  Perhaps, providing a fair playing field for the newcomers would work?  What do I mean?  Imagine basic income is not basic income but a one-time thing for the poor and the newborns!  What do I mean again?  Well, basic income is too hard to carry out as it requires the governments of the world to continuously print an unlimited amount of money each year.  Instead of basic income, why not basic equality for the poor and the newborns?

What do I mean by basic equality for the poor and the newborns?  Well, let’s say the government would go about to calculate the right amount of money each person needs to have a fulfilling life as long such a person would not do anything too crazy to destroy the money cache quickly such as using drugs, gamble, and whatnot — then a government would give a one-time basic income to all the poor in his/her own country so to provide a fair level of playing field.  Obviously, the rich won’t need any basic income so the government can save money by not giving any to the rich through basic income channel!

Basic equality would save the prudent government a lot of money and yet his/her society would be able to function in a jobless era.  All the newborns could also receive one-time basic income in a form of a trust fund that the government would create for them.  The trust fund would go out to the parents of the newborns for a while till the newborns become adults.  Once the newborns reach adulthood, the government then could give them basic equality (one-time basic income) according to the inflation rate in their time.

Of course, the hope is that the basic equality would buy time for modern societies to transform into leisure societies across the world.  The idea of basic equality, one-time basic income, is to leave nobody behind yet buy time for the governments of the world to see their societies transform into leisure societies where automation would provide everything everyone needs.  When everybody got everything and more, money would become so irrelevant!  In such a society, money won’t buy anything!  In a leisure society, only the smart, funny, easy going, talented ones could become real assets of the world!

 

 

Could Blockchain Be Used More Appropriately To Facilitate Cashless Society?

Thinking out loud is often done in a haste hints the nature of it.  Thus my thinking out loud in this post isn’t solid, but I like to dabble on here.  One thing people fear about a cashless society is that once the digital numbers are being erased somehow, their worth would be gone without any trace for recovering.  Thus, people are definitely still preferring cash as a mean for emergency backup.  After all, if their digital world is being shut down, they got cash to help them survive daily such as buying foods and whatnot.

Bitcoin is probably going to be an enemy of the banks since banks want to be the middlemen of the transactions.  Bitcoin takes out the middlemen role and allows people to have a direct transaction between the two parties.  In order for the bank to receive commission and gain liquid fund, the bank needs to be able to insert itself into the deal.  Simply put, Bitcoin is against a traditional bank which isn’t accepting Bitcoins!

Banks can accept Bitcoins, but people won’t use banks as of how they would use a traditional bank.  Bitcoin users may want a bank to behave as a trustful Bitcoin exchange to facilitate the Bitcoin transactions in safety manners.  This way any Bitcoin bank can still insert a banking role in a non-traditional way into the deal.  Since Bitcoin will be more transparent — plus demoting a traditional banking role somewhat, I don’t think the banks will be able to create more creative derivative means for creative investments.  I could be wrong since this is thinking out loud session.

Bitcoin is also very similar to a cashless society because it isn’t cash and it’s digital medium.  Taking away Bitcoin, underneath it all is the technology itself which is the blockchain.  The blockchain technology is more important than the clothes it is wearing such as a crypto coin (i.e., Bitcoin).  Why?  I think blockchain technology is good at keeping transactions honest.  This honesty is rather important for cashless society don’t you think?  Nonetheless, current Bitcoin way isn’t helpful for blockchain technology since the implementation is rather crude, allowing people to hack and steal each other Bitcoin without a clear way to trace back to the original owner of the lost Bitcoins.

If I’m not wrong, a will be successful cashless society could use the blockchain technology to keep cashless money honest so the original owner of the money won’t fear the tyranny of a cashless society shutdown event.  By that I mean the only way for a person in such a society to lose wealth is being incriminated with evidence and wealth get confiscated by a court of law.  In such an orderly way the blockchain technology could be used to keep track what money belongs to whom before the exchange takes place and long afterward so a cashless society shutdown event which occurs by any other mean besides the legal ones such as the one I stated just a moment earlier would be a futile effort.

I think people would be able to accept a cashless society when their wealth won’t be suddenly disappeared overnight in a mysterious event.  Of course, people are still going to fear that if they’re innocent and being convicted wrongly; their wealth got confiscated in such a rude event — they could be helpless as they would not be able to survive daily when their digital wealth got shut down in a cashless society.  I think once one accepts a cashless society, one has to accept such possibility as there won’t be any legal cash laying around to act as a legal tender for acquiring daily things.

By writing this blog post, it doesn’t mean I support a cashless society!  I just merely thinking about the possibilities and effects of it all when such a society occurs.  Although China isn’t a purely cashless society, because paper money is still going to be a legal tender within China.  Nonetheless, China is one of those countries that is leading the race in facilitating the use of money through digital devices such as the smartphone.  I think once the money becomes digital numbers, money is indeed facilitating a cashless society.  A cashless society is definitely taking some shapes or forms around the world, and so I’m writing this to amuse myself with both negative and positive possibilities of such a phenomenon.

Can Demonetization Help Boost Living Standard While Erasing Poverty At The Same Time?

Is it possible that in the near future almost everything will be demonetized?  Just recently I’d read a TheVerge headline “GM will make an autonomous car without steering wheel or pedals by 2019” which suggests automation in the auto industry is actually speeding up as we speak.  If this is “gonna” happen, it will be a fun ride for everyone in this industry to figure out how they will adjust to such a change.  Could demonetization come sooner for the auto industry?

Imagine, the cost of owning a car associated with the costs of related industries such as insurance may add up more than just owning a self-driving car.  If this is the case, then a self-driving car can actually help bring down the costs of having to own a car.  It seems if we can automate car driving, why not every other mode of transportation?  Such ambition may drive and demonetize the costs of almost every mode of transportation that will be available in the near future.

I was just recently pulled over by the police for crossing a green light when another car also was trying to cross the intersection.  It was a weird thing for me.  Near the highway, there is a small opening which divides the left turn section that leads out to the main highway.  The light is green, but the traffic got stuck ahead of me.  I stopped at the green light to leave an opening for the other car to drive through, but this car couldn’t or wouldn’t want to drive through.

The traffic ahead suddenly moved forward and so I’d decide to either hold up the rest of the traffic behind me while the light is green so this one car could go through eventually or just move forward so the traffic from behind me could flow forward.  Unfortunately, this car seemed to be doing nothing as the traffic behind me on the right kept on moving forward as the light is green.  So I decided to move forward onto the main highway in my left-turn lane so I wouldn’t hold back the traffic behind me.  Unfortunately, a police car behind me pulled me over for doing I thought what would be best.  In the end, I told him I didn’t know what to do in such a scenario, and so the police just gave me a verbal warning.

I was lucky to not get a huge traffic ticket bill for the incident.  While driving back home I revisited the GM self-driving car announcement for 2019 in my head, and from within I knew I couldn’t wait for this whole self-driving car to become a reality.  Basically, I think the self-driving car could help clear me in such situation immediately.  Imagine the reaction of the police when they pull you over because your self-driving car got no steering wheel.

If they write a ticket, would it be billed to GM or to the insurance company?  Will GM provide insurance for the self-driving car or you have to buy one even though you won’t be driving the car yourself?  One thing for sure though, when the self-driving car makes mistakes, you know for sure you aren’t responsible for the mistakes.  In my earlier scenario, I guess the police wouldn’t even care to give out a verbal warning if the self-driving car was making the decision right?  Or the police can just write a citation to GM so GM would tweak their self-driving car software better, right?

As the video above suggests that demonetization for almost everything might become the reality of the future as more things are going to be evermore abundant as long we know how to generate energy near zero cost and whatnot.  The efficiency of renewable energy is going to be a very important factor in helping a futuristic demonetization society.

Furthermore, if demonetization isn’t in a future deck of cards, then we may see a lot of troubles ahead.  How come?  Imagine more automation can only be sped up as we speak because of competition from China and other countries that got a lot of demands for keeping their industries stay competitive.  The chain reaction of speeding up automation from abroad may greatly speed up automation at home.  The widespread of automation will speed up in taking out the human element in the workforce as time rolls on.  As more humans lose jobs to AI robots and other AI machines, I think demonetization will help us somewhat solve the problem of poverty as joblessness may become a widespread problem in the future.

Catch Me If You Can, The Real One.

I don’t think I’d ever finished watching the movie “Catch Me If You Can,” because for some strange reasons I never got to finish it.  Now, I don’t even remember the exact reasons.  Anyhow, I watched enough of the movie that I think I remembered many parts of the movie.  At the very least I know the movie is about a very gifted young man who could pretend to be just about anybody so he could become them and financially take advantage of his new persona.  This also reminds me of “The Pretender” TV show, and this was and still probably is a great show too — strangely I couldn’t finish the whole show either.

I find it’s pretty intriguing that someone could just become somebody else without any fear and self-doubt.  The awesome thing about “Catch Me If You Can” movie is that it’s based on a real-life person who is still alive and doing very well.  In fact, if you have already watched the movie and interested in the real-life person that gives life to the main movie character, you definitely want to check out the YouTube video below to see his Google Talk.  I think you will find that he is still rather very interesting!

Will Alibaba’s Car Vending Machine Make You A Happier Car Buyer? Will Car Salesmen Lose Job To A Car Vending Machine?

I remembered how stressful buying a car was for me.  Ten years ago, a car salesman even insulted me for not accepting his deal, and he told me why even bothered to try to buy the car I want in the first place.  He said I properly fit better with cheaper cars, but I told him I wanted a better deal for the car I was trying to buy.  Anyway, the moral of the story was whether you’re right or wrong on wanting to buy a car you want, dealing with a car salesman can sometimes be very stressful for a car buyer.

That car salesman even suggested I should trade in my old car for the newer one, and when I was done with the calculation according to his deal I noticed that the dealership was trying to swallow my old car without crediting much back into the newer car I wanted to buy.  Basically, I sold the old car by placing an online classified car ad and bought the new car through the dealership without doing a trade-in deal.  The moral of the story continues, it’s rare for you to be lucky to not have to deal with a dealership and car salesmen that would not want to eat you up alive when you’re trying to buy a car.

Anyway, I like any idea of buying a car without the insults and stress, and so I think I wouldn’t mind buying a car through a giant vending machine like the one that is being suggested in the video right after the break.

Although Alibaba’s giant car vending machine idea seems to be futuristic, but I think it’s just a smarter way of repackaging readily available ideas into a smoother car buying operation.  If I understand the video correctly, after you collect your car from the giant vending machine you get to test drive it for couple days.  Once you commit to buying the car you could just then pop online and finish up the payment process.  This way, you cut out the middlemen like some sleazy car salesmen, and your whole car purchasing process might be smoother and more enjoyable.