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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Cities of the Future Could Be in Space, And These Won’t Look Like Any Real Estate We Know Today

The concept of real estate is largely depending on how we are glued to earth!  What will it be if in the future we could forgo the glue of earth altogether and build a city in space?  The space elevator is a concept that is in science fiction realm, and today we don’t have anything like this yet.  Nonetheless, this space elevator concept could become true if we got the right materials and plan to make it a reality.  Once humans travel through space easily as if how one would take a bus or a train on earth, then the idea of living in space becomes rather mundane.

We humans always think that we need another planet out there to be a second earth, but what if the cost of building a city in space in a modular fashion in a sense that space elevator concept could expand into a space highway and such — wouldn’t this be more doable and cheaper and time-saving than trying to find a second earth?  So I would imagine that a highway system in space would function similar to space elevator but the system itself would be more expansive.  After all, a space elevator could be a quick fix for a short distance from one point in space to another point in space.  Perhaps, space highway is like a bigger, more durable space elevator, and the spaceships that travel through this space highway system won’t need to use a self-powered propulsion system to traverse quickly from one point in space to another point in space.  Wouldn’t this be fuel efficient?

Of course, we could argue that space highway is kind of stupid if spaceships could just fly freely in space without needing to stick to an asphalt.  Nonetheless, space highway could function as fuel saving mechanism/system and much more.  Spiritually, space highway could function as a system that turns the idea of space city into a real community/city.  Imagine how much more expensive to build a small earth in space, and so it’s not wise to do so.  Instead, each spaceship could act like a car, home, restaurant, and so on.  The space highway then acts as a highway system that connects the necessary points in space to form a loose space city system.  From this highway, a home in space could fly from one point to another without needing to use any fuel unless the home is going to fly off the space highway system.

I think a concept of loose space city system — if it’s a reality — could turn the idea of owning a piece of real estate upside down.  After all, everything would be floating in space and won’t stay put.  Furthermore, even the highway itself could be floating continuously, albeit that it would stay in the same large vicinity in space.  Once people actually live in such a space city, people won’t be able to differentiate a house from a car, a car from a restaurant, and so forth.  After all, humans in space would be in a spaceship most of the time.  So, humans in space would think their spaceship as either a home, a car in a space highway system, a business location, a restaurant to invite other humans to come to dine and so forth.

In summary, I think when people begin to think a city in space in a loose space city system, the real estate concept would be completely different than the one that we use for cities on a planet.  Of course, humans don’t have to stick to only one type of space city.  After all, we could find a second earth and create even more cities from far away in space.  In my opinion, a loose space city system could be the extra real estate for a closeby planet.  For an example, let’s say earth would run out of space and people could create extra space real estate by creating a loose space city system just right outside of earth.

Weaker Dollar, Stronger Yuan May Hurt The United States And Help China In The Long Run!

I’m no expert in economic matters, but I just want to use my own personal logic to make sense of a few things that are currently happening.  People are seeing that the Dollar is weakening as we speak, and the Yuan is growing stronger as we speak.  Some people say weaker Dollar is a good thing because export will become more profitable.  Furthermore, when export becomes profitable, it also drives up the manufacturing sector at home.  That’s the theory for some people, but I feel that it’s way more complicated than this.

Since the United States isn’t a world manufacture hub — China is holding this title — the United States’ exports won’t matter as much unless the United States becomes the world manufacture hub.  Sure, with weaker Dollar, the United States’ exports will become more competitive than before.  The question is, will a little gain in competitiveness in exports spur the manufacturing sector at home?  Meanwhile, weaker Dollar will make the United States’ imports a lot more expensive.

I think the United States currently imports a lot more than exports.  The United States’ import is at $2.25 trillion and the export is at $1.45 trillion for the year of 2016, according to Wikipedia.  If the United States’ exports continue to slack even with the weak Dollar and the imports continue to grow, the United States could face an even stronger trade deficit.  For an example, manufacturer companies in the United States may have to import more expensive materials from the outside to manufacture products at home for selling across the world and at home.  This may not make the products at home cheaper for homegrown consumers.  Furthermore, this will increase the trade deficit in manufacturing sector if not enough products within the United States get to export to balance out the import costs.

Weak Dollar will increase less buying power for the Americans who go abroad for vacation, business, and so forth.  Weak Dollar can make purchases of products from foreign companies through online websites or offline imports more expensive for the American consumers.  For an example, I could be buying a music plugin from an online website which belongs to a French company, and with a weak Dollar, I could be paying more for this software.

I guess good things and bad things do exist even when the Dollar is weak or strong.  Nonetheless, the most interesting question is can the United States fare better when the Dollar is weaker or stronger.  In my opinion, weaker Dollar can help spur export a bit, but if the United States’ exports don’t carry the whole United States’ overall, long-term economy, then the weaker Dollar will be a very bad thing!

What about China?  If the United States enters a trade war against China, China can increase import tariff costs for the products from the United States.  This could hurt the United States’ export market because weaker Dollar would be neutralized by this move from China.  Furthermore, China can also buy up weak Dollar on the cheap to make Yuan stronger if this would serve China’s agenda.  Of course, stronger Yuan for China could make China’s exports look expensive.  Still, from what I’ve heard, China is trying to spur demands at home to create a bigger home consumer market so China won’t be relying on too much from the export market.  If this is the case, then cheap Dollar would be beneficial for China in a big way!

Stronger Yuan would allow Chinese who are going abroad to get more bang for the buck.  Meanwhile, Chinese imports would become cheaper, and so China won’t have to spend so much money to import stuff.  As China’s export market isn’t doing so bad and the imports get cheaper, stronger Yuan allows China to continue to reform her consumption market.  Foreign companies would love to enter China’s bigger homegrown consumption market because China has 1.4 billion headcounts and growing.  As China becomes an ever more important factor for foreign companies due to the size of Chinese population and market, China can begin to dictate tastes, styles, fashions, and so forth worldwide.  Chinese culture will become ever more influential if Chinese market becomes the most important market in the world.

With a weaker Dollar and stronger Yuan, entering a trade war against China might be very bad for the United States!  China can sanction the United States’ companies, entities, and so much more to crash the United States economy.  Of course, a trade war would be bad for China too, because the United States’ imports from China do matter to China a lot.  Nonetheless, as China doesn’t rely on the export market so much, a trade war between the United States and China won’t deter Chinese economic reform plan.  After all, China wants to grow the homegrown consumption market!  While growing a homegrown consumption market to rely less on the export market, China relies on the cheaper import market to balance out the reduction of Chinese exports.  Weaker Dollar and stronger Yuan will allow China to transit from the export market to a service market, also to move to a higher value-added export market — all in all – making this transition in a smoother fashion.

In conclusion, I think China can make the best out of either weaker or stronger Dollar, and the United States — as long as the country stays less competitive — won’t be able to have the upper hand if a trade war occurs between China and the United States.  Meanwhile, China can use stronger Yuan to buy cheap debts from United States’ weak Dollar to prop up China Yuan’s strength.  This, in turn, will actually help China transits from a manufacturing to a service economy.  As the low value-added market goes away in China, China has to accelerate the reform of the manufacturing sector at home so Chinese future export market will be more about high value-added products.  Anyhow, if the United States isn’t going to be able to use the opportunity of a weaker Dollar to reform her economy somehow to make the United States’ economy more competitive against rivals such as China, in the long run other rivals will use the weaker Dollar as the opportunity to make their own economies a lot stronger.

Will The World Be Ruled By One Emperor In The Near Future?

Is it totally insane to think that we will witness another personality which is similar to Genghis Khan, Hitler, and the likes in the future?  What will happen if such a personality once again be in charge of a formidable country in the future?  If you have lived long enough to see enough, then by now you probably think that anything is possible as long it does not go against the laws of physics.  Some of the things that Hollywood came up with actually had already happened or in transition to become reality.  For an example, touch screen and holographic technologies.  Other more fantastic Hollywood imagination might become reality as long these imagination are in the agreement with the laws of physics.  With knowing that anything is possible within the limit of laws of physics, I don’t think it’s insane to think that there will be another Genghis Khan, Hitler, and the likes.

Technology has already shrunk the world by a lot, because people are so easily connected to each other through plethora means of communication and transportation.  Internet and airplane are the two examples of these means.  As it is now, the world is like one big home.  In a big home, an insane family member can cause a lot of troubles for the rest of the family.  Imagine, in a big home with Hitler as a family member, the troubles won’t be small.  Thus, a smaller, connected world, in my opinion, is a big incentive for a formidable country to once again reviving the spirit of go out and conquering, colonizing, and enslaving more subjects (i.e., countries).  With this notion, I think it is not that silly to think there will be a country, somebody that will drive his or her country to conquer the whole world, turning the whole world into one big family.

In China, we had the first emperor.  In Rome, we had the first Caesar.  The Mongol Empire got the Great Khan.  Emperor, Caesar, and the Great Khan are titles for whoever that had conquered and ruled over an empire.  It is within the limit of the laws of physics that one day we may witness a new emperor title for whoever that will conquer and rule over the entire earth.  How are we  going to analyze this fearsome individual?  Will he or she be an empathetic ruler?  Will he or she be a ruthless ruler?  What sorts of state the world will be in when it gets ruled by such a ruler?  Will the minorities be persecuted and executed?  Will there be more genocide under one ruler?  Will such a ruler proclaim that to conquer all so there won’t be another war?  Will such a ruler proclaim that to conquer all is to get rid of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction?

We won’t know how insane or vice versa the world will become, because nobody has a prophetic crystal ball.  Nonetheless, I think the scenario in which — I imagine that one day the whole world will be a subject of one ruler — is entirely agreeable with the laws of physics.  It’s not loony to think so far ahead, but it’s rather dull to not do so.  Hollywood is probably already thinking of how to churn out a film that depicts a whole universe is being ruled by one ruthless ruler.  Such a ruler would rape, kill, pillage, molest, and enslave his subjects at the whim of his lunacy.  Such a script will be written by the next young Shakespeare.

Can Role Playing Help Create Jobs?

When it comes to video game, role playing is always an element that has to be considered in developing a video game.  How come?  Whether role playing is essential to the whole video game or not, it does serve a function of allowing a game developer to know what direction that he or she or an entity needs to take in order for a video game to be coherent.  Who could have thought though that role playing in video game is too does serve a purpose in reality.  What I mean by this will be expanded later on within this blog post, but for now let me doodle about the reality.

Within a family, everyone has got a role to play.  Dad and mom work to feed kids, and kids go to school so they can be well rounded so one day they can take over the roles of mom and dad.  The cycle spins on into the end of humanity’s time.  Right?  Well, it has been like this for thousands of years, but thousands of years past had never seen the planet earth that is so overpopulated as now.  Furthermore, technologies of today allow robotics to take over many functionalities that humans once played a central role in producing and servicing products and services.  Can the traditional role playing of the reality be sustainable?

As technologies become more productive, the job market has less needs for some human capitals and as the surplus of human capitals increases each day through lifestyle improvements made possible by advanced technologies and medicines, humanity is now facing the possibility of seeing less available roles for role playing by us humans.  On the top of everything, the world is evermore interconnected to the point that world companies can be shuffled around parts of the world to receive the benefits of having tax breaks and political favors and whatnot, and this will furthermore pushes parts of the world to experience job losses.  With less jobs to go around as modernity’s conditions have it, there will be less roles for role playing to go around!

The question is, what can we do about this?  The traditional thinking is that kids must learn the best of the best of whatever (e.g., get into the best school, get the best outside school experiences, etc…) in order for them to be ready to join the modernity work force.  Without the necessary experiences and backgrounds, we say that these kids will not be well rounded for life.  Nonetheless, we know that the future might not have enough roles for role playing to go around, how on earth by having the best of the best experiences of whatnot can help these kids compete in such environment?  Perhaps, role playing is the key to answer this very question?

I imagine that at such a point in the near future, we might have to settle with how well rounded kids and adults alike taking turn playing the same roles.  Not every teacher can teach the same subject!  Not every teacher can always be a teacher!  Nobody is omnipotence in knowledge and whatnot!  Each and every one of us humans on this planet does serve a purpose, and this purpose is to live as well as we can.  So when each and every one of us can switch roles from time to time accordingly, each and every one of us can learn new experiences.  Furthermore, switching role allows us humans to be able to either partly or fully resolve the unemployment problem, because there will be roles for role playing.

Of course, how do we carry out this role playing idea in reality is totally a different story.  After all, we have owners and workers, right?  Owners are the ones who actually spend their own money to keep their businesses humming.  In the corporation types of business, the owners will be more about shareholders and CEOs, because things are more decentralized.  Nonetheless, what if the true owners of whatever entities decide that except the first among equals, everyone else is a fair game for role playing.  By doing this, you never know a company can get lucky in developing a talent that is so competitive that would blow out one’s mind.  How?  By giving a person a chance of learning new experiences in a new role, one might never know that such a person might find such a role has shaped a person into a more capable person in whatever.  Furthermore, role playing ensures one from hoarding power and does stupid unchecked things that might harm an entity.  Why?  After all, he or she may assume that his or her next role might not be so glamorous, and so it would not be wise for such a person to be power tripping.  Of course, there are a lot of things that might be disadvantages for role playing.  Here I list few disadvantages:

  • Person who switches to new role might not like the experiences and perform poorly.
  • Without a permanent role, a role playing person might take a role less serious, thus such a person might perform lazily.
  • In a powerful role, a person might behave badly since he or she may assume that such a role might never be there for him or her to role playing again.
  • How do a company hire and fire an employee in role playing job market?
  • Do a company fire a person from a role only, or do a person has to be fired from the company entirely?
  • It’s hard for a company to determine the salary or wage for a role player in constant role playing changing environment.  This might make the company’s payroll a lot more complex.
  • Important and powerful roles might have the power to fire and hire.  With great power comes great responsibility, can these roles be safe to have them be switched by various role players?  Perhaps, such a firing and hiring responsibilities should only be in the hand of first among the equals?  This means, first among the equals has to get down and dirty when it comes down to hiring and firing.

Obviously, there are a lot of things that might be negative for switching roles in the reality, but there also might be a lot of things that are positives when role playing does perform.  One most noticeable positive I had mentioned earlier is all about there will be enough roles for role playing.  With less job losses and more jobs to go around, more roles to play, the world will see less poverty and foods will be on more tables.  Bring home the bacon will no longer be a problem as more bacons can be brought home by role players.  In my opinion, role playing is a possible solution for a future job market where there are less jobs to be found.  It’s just an idea and I’m not an expert on assessing the big picture of a future job market, and so I do think you read this blog post with a grain of salt.

Thinking Out Loud: Parallel Life… Ideas For Cool Game!

Thinking out loud, I’ve cool ideas for a video game.  Nonetheless, this cool video game might not be for a faint of heart to play or make.  The ideas go like these.

  • This video game should be extremely immersive, therefore the next generation graphics or whatever that is better is a must have.  As the game grows older, the game’s graphics should be improved with time.
  • The game’s starting point replicates real life’s contemporary period, on the specific day, exactly to the letter.  No deviation should take place at all.  For an example, from seconds to hours to days to physics should be as close to real life as possible.  One exception, the human characters within this game should not use real names and details of real fellow human beings in real life (for legality purpose obviously).  Nonetheless, there should be a very effective system of authentication which can prevent the creation of multiple game accounts by the same gamer.  This to prevent a gamer from rejoining the game once his or her in-game character is dead.
  • This game should be an open world as in anything is possible as long real life physics isn’t being contradicted.  Such as gravity should be gravity, and so people cannot just flap their hands as fast as they can and fly.
  • Human gamers can join the game at anytime of the lifespan of the game, but each gamer can only create a game character once.  Once a game character dies, that’s it.  This means a gamer who had his character killed (in-game unnatural death) should not be able to make new character and should not be able to join the game again, ever!  Nonetheless, he or she could always spectate the game progress in general.
  • The game lifespan is as long as real life lifespan.  This means, there won’t be an ending to this game.  The game itself will grow as long as there are new gamers who join and old gamers’ characters that just won’t die.  Imagine a game character with real life 120 year old lifespan, isn’t this cool?
  • In-game negativities should not affect a gamer’s real life.  For an example, a gamer’s idiotic in-game decision which could very well be very immoral should not translate into real life moral values.  This is why in-game characters can be killed, albeit a gamer won’t be able to play the game again but he or she should be fine in real life.  Here is another example, a gamer’s character goes to prison in the game for a very immoral wrongdoing (in-game of course), this should not translate into a prison sentence for a gamer in real life.  In-game prison sentences though, should be just as long as the real life ones.
  • The rewarding system for this game is all about connecting virtual achievements with real life achievements.  This means, within the game, if a gamer achieves something awesome, in real life a gamer would either gain real money or real life offers of important things.  The more a gamer achieves in virtual world the more a gamer achieves in real life.  Obviously, real life rewards for a gamer’s in-game achievements should not be outrageously luxurious, because real life has real limitation… and so a gamer should not expect money rain down on him or her.  Nonetheless, real life rewards for a gamer’s in-game achievements should not be petty to the point that there is no incentive to achieve in-game achievements.  It will be a very delicate balance kind of rewarding system.  Basically, rewarding system which connects in-game achievements and real life ones should not be unethical, outrageously demanded, and morally wrong.
  • The story should start out with a very mundane plot which relies on real life events according to a real life date of a specific day.  Nonetheless, it’s purposely allowing the gamers to play the game out in whatever fashion they want, within the limitations that I had described earlier and farther down this blog post.
  • In-game objects should be very similar to real life objects.  For an example, in-game characters that are taking drugs through needles should be portrait as destructive as real life.
  • Although in-game math, science and physics rely on real life math, science and physics, the game should allow gamers to experience real math, science and physics.  This means that a gamer can innovate fantasy technology (futuristic) which may or may not be achievable in real life.  So deviation from science facts to science fiction can be achievable within the game, as long the starting point isn’t deviate from real life facts.
  • In-game choices should be very consequential to everything.  This means, a gamer’s decision on whatever can affect the other gamers’ characters within game even though such a decision is trivial.  Nonetheless, an in-game real connection (i.e., relying on real science… physics… math… and etc…) should exist in order for a gamer’s in-game decision to materialize in consequential way.
  • In-game natural death should allow a gamer to create a new game character, thus the same gamer can continue to play the game with a new character as his or her original character was rest in peace by natural death.

Basically, these are some cool ideas for a game that I have on the top of my head at the moment.  I might not revisit this post again, therefore I might not add more ideas to this thinking out loud of this sort of game.  Nonetheless, it would be cool if someone can make it happens, right?  Obviously, playing this game might not be super fun, because a gamer might not be able to play the game for a second time if his or her in-game character dies violently and of not a natural death.