The Power of Neg

[Ed. note – “Things Fall Apart (Part 3) – Politics” is the longest note I’ve written, and

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  1. Unsurprisingly, all 23k write-in votes were for Nick Saban. Imagine if he wanted the job…

    Happy Thanksgiving Ben!

  2. Refusing the game is easiest, but it can be very satisfying to take what’s offered as a first step along a narrative of your choice and not the adversary’s. Have your cake and eat it too… When they give you enough rope to hang yourself with, hang them with it instead…
    But that’s coyote behavior (if not thought through far enough) and can get you squashed in the long run. Use with care.

  3. Ben, do you think this simple and very effective two actor negging model works the same way in multi actor set up? What if daughter #2 is competing with Hope for the mustang’s affection? If #2 does not know how to play it wouldn’t she spoil Hope’s gig? What if she knows how to play it but driven by intense sibling jealousy she wants to outsmart her and changes the game. Should Hope adjust her game? What if mustang is partnered with google and knows exactly what is on their minds and stokes the sibling rivalry? What if there are two mustangs?

  4. Avatar for ianfvr ianfvr says:

    Love this note - but isn’t politics so corrupt and dysfunctional, you can tell the wise individuals steer clear of it and influence it from the exterior? Keep it simple and work in the “private sector”? Also, are the good people’s records pristine enough get into politics? You go into politics aren’t you volunteering for brutal, combing scrutiny?

  5. Avatar for Bycote Bycote says:

    pushes glasses up the bridge of his nose

    As much as I hate being THAT GUY… The chess saying is “the best way to refute a Gambit is to ACCEPT it.”

    I’m also the guy whose party trick is kicking your ass at chess while wearing a blindfold (me, not you of course). I love being that guy! :wink:

    Anyway, my comment really takes nothing away from what Ben is saying here. This old saying isn’t gospel in chess and since Emmanuel Lasker every good chess player has recognized the value of what we call “psychology” in choosing your moves. Find two candidate moves that look nearly equally strong? Which one is going to shock your opponent more? Play that move.

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