This English translation of this classic work by Sun Tzu is certainly an excellent one in that in addition to providing the original 13 “Chapters” of the original work it also provides the reader with considerable background that places this work in its proper context. It also provides commentary on specific portions of each chapter by Chinese scholars of Sun Tzu. All in all, the late Samuel B. Griffith has produced one of the more complete and carefully organized versions of, “The Art of War.” Any serious student of this classic work will find Griffith’s work an excellent resource.
The written Chinese language is ideographic not phonetic and consists of thousands of pictographic characters whose meanings often depend on how they are arranged and combined into compounds. Further, Chinese doe not employ Western style punctuation so it takes a good deal of skill and knowledge for a Western to know where to break Chinese texts into sentences and paragraphs. Griffith appears to have done an excellent job in translating the Sun Tzu texts into something understandable by an English reader.
Web 1.0 Mindset Waving Web 2.0 Methods, June 29, 2008
I’ve given this book four stars because if you want to leverage Web 2.0 methods to garner more money for your Web 1.0 “what we think best” programs, then this is the book for you.
In terms of actually creating empowered social networks where the non-profit is a facilitatator, connecting real people with micro-cash to real people with micro-needs, this book is so far back in time as to be next to useless.
Argh! This is the last gasp of the United Way/Red Cross “rip off as many as possible” so we can have our first class tickets and lifestyle and practice trickle down tax-free programs that “we the elite” decide.
There are web sites devoted to micro-connecting and micro-giving, I recommend that individuals avoid giving to any organization that does not offer open books and a complete menu of opportunities to earmark your gift for a specific need from a specific person or household. The animal and child chartities are a bit ahead of the game here, but even this can be disintermediated eventually.
I am reminded of two famous views:
“Criticize by Creating” from Machiavelo, adopted by the Flow Project.
Instead of trying to fix old systems, create new ones that displace them (paraphrase) from Buckminster Fuller.
I must disclose that recently Earth Intelligence Network sent 65 copies of its first book (the last one listed below, also free online) along with a letter of inquiry to the top foundations puporting to be addressing the ten high-level threats to humanity. We received back exactly two serious responses, six postcards blowing us off, and nothing at all from all the others. This has persuaded me that most so-called national foundations are nothing more than tax dodges and golden parachutes for a select few, and it is time we subject them to the same “open books” scrutiny that we plan for corporations and for government at all levels.
Partner with Prahalad, Valuable Distinct Contribution,
December 9, 2005
Stuart L. Hart
Edited to respect new information I did not have before, and thank the person making the comment. Also adding hot links.
The author, who gives full credit to C.K. Prahalad, has been a co-author with Prahalad and they are both credited with this brilliant vision for a new kind of moral capitalism that addresses the needs of the five billion poor.
The math is quite clear. Business had been focused on high profit margins from the top one billion, with disposable incomes on the order of $20K or so. The bottom of the pyramid, five billion people, with disposable incomes on average of no more than $10 a year, represent a four trillion dollar marketplace.
Where business has gone wrong is in being bureaucratic, immoral, corrupt, and focused on outputs for profit rather than listening for solutions that can be profitable (with low profit margins, very high volume, and transformative effect).
I believe that these two individuals could one day win the Nobel Peace Prize for their work, which could literally save the world. As Jonathan Schell tells us in The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People there are not enough guns on the planet to keep these four billion dispossesed from impacting on us negatively. We can help them create indigenous stabilizing wealth in their home countries, or we can die with them as we all suffer the end of cheap oil, the end of free water, and the rise of pandemic disease.
This author is an extraordinary talent, equal to Prahalad. It merits comment that Wharton appears to have displaced Yale as a phenomenal publishing house. For me to find three world-class books on this topic, and for all of them to be from Wharton, is noteworthy.