Lesson 19: The inefficiency of warfare.


Today's topic is about something different. Truth has many layers and its opposite, mystery, has even more. There is a balance in motion between those two, as described in the previous topic. The active search for information in the great lake of mystery is what keeps those two in balance. Balance between truth and mystery can only be sustained as long as we keep digging for absolute truth. There is only one important question, what to do with all of the information and mystery we find? One of the biggest mistakes we ever made was to use information to engage in warfare. To support this statement, this topic will be about the inefficiency of warfare.

 Before I go any deeper into the subject, let me explain a few things first. In the past decades, computers made quite an uprising and opened the doors for new experiences for every human capable of owning one. Computers also opened the doors for simulation. Creating an artificial experience which matches a real life situation. This technique has developed so far even a lot of science today is based on computer simulated results. So I guess we can state a computer simulated experience gives people almost the same information as real life experiences. This topic is based on years of experiencing computer simulated warfare. With forces and recourses controlled by human operators as well as artificial intelligence. There is a major difference between engaging a human enemy or an enemy based on artificial intelligence, but that`s not the most important part for now. What is important is the impact warfare has on people, their surroundings and on our development as a species. When we start to talk in terms of efficiency we also must make some priorities for mankind. Survival of the species is a very important one, gathering and guarding wisdom is also an important factor, production of resources and colonizing and shaping environments to make them suitable to sustain human life. I think those are the most important ingredients to ensure mankind will survive for many centuries. Warfare is a threat to all of those priorities, so we could end this topic very fast in stating warfare destroys all the things which are vital to our survival as a species. However, that wasn't the goal of this lesson. There is a deeper layer of truth hidden inside warfare which can be found by taking a look at one of the most famous warriors of all time, Sun Tzu, Chinese general, war philosopher, military strategist and writer of the legendary book The art of war. In his famous book Sun Tzu teaches the most important strategical rules of warfare. To most people strategy isn't very interesting and has a bit of a bad taste as well due to its strong connection to war, but strategy and war are two very different things. Strategy can be described as a combination of calculations based on logics to predict or influence future events. It is a form of teaching that has the potency to create or destroy, an outcome determined by our own free choice. A better question is why does strategy continue to lead to destruction while it can also be used for creation? On it's own it's harmless, like a gun. It only becomes dangerous when a human uses it because we continue to make wrong choices. It's what makes us human. We learn to use things by making the wrong choice, learning from that mistake and making the right choices after. There is always 50% chance we take the right choice the very first time if all the factors influencing our choices would be balanced, but unfortunately they aren't. So where does the story of Sun Tzu fit in? It's very simple; all we need to do is take a look at what he did with strategy at a younger age and what he did with it once he became older and more experienced. In his younger days he was all about war, destruction, killing people and he was very good at it, a real champion of the battlefield. At an older age he lived more distant from society, writing down his experiences to teach people. The difference between killing people and teaching people is a simple paradox, to create or to destroy. So what did Sun Tzu himself learned from thousands of battles and confrontations? He learned he used strategy the wrong way; this can also be supported by some of his famous quotes from The art of war. A few examples:

"The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting", "Who wishes to fight must first count the cost", "The wise warrior avoids the battle".
Those are just a few of his advices which indicate Sun Tzu taught himself violence wasn't the best way to use strategy to make people obey and follow directions. Inspiring teachings are a far better way. In the times he lead forces through war he probably subdued thousands of people, but with the words written in The art of war he inspired millions of people across the world. Lots of military academies still teach his wisdom to future officers and many wars are still fought based on his moves. He couldn't have reached so many people if he used his strategy for the purpose of warfare only. This is the most interesting mistake ever made with strategy. Strategy is the enemy of warfare and strategically warfare is very inefficient. Instead of increasing the number of followers, you destroy any potential future followers. The trauma`s inflicted by war can also destroy all the potential of the persons you subdue, leaving you with nothing but damaged dependent humans as a price for taking the wrong choice. Another proof of the inefficiency of warfare. Humans have been one of the best resources for technological and economical advancement. All civilizations thrive on productiveness of the people that support it. To reach full efficiency within a civilization it is important to keep everyone as potential and productive as possible. There is another area which supports the claim that teachings are a more advanced way to deploy strategy. Throughout the ages countless empires have risen and fallen in two ways, by military expansion and by spreading wisdom. The wisdom which has been spread still remains today, but all the area once conquered by those civilizations now belongs to a different empire. Military expansion fades away through time, but knowledge will not be forgotten. The most important choice in life always comes down to the same paradox. Positive or negative, to create or to destroy, to inspire or to subdue. Go through college or join the army, the choice is yours.