October 21 – Change in plans, outlook

change in plans, outlook
gradually, suddenly

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.

“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”

“What brought it on?”

“Friends,” said Mike. “I had a lot of friends. False friends. Then I had creditors, too. Probably had more creditors than anybody in England.”

Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises, New York: Scribner, 1954.

No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy’s main strength” (or “no plan survives contact with the enemy”). Helmuth von Moltke the Elder.

Moltke’s main thesis was that military strategy had to be understood as a system of options since it was only possible to plan the beginning of a military operation. As a result, he considered the main task of military leaders to consist in the extensive preparation of all possible outcomes.

Such planning leads to a zugzwang where all options, all decisions, first gradually, then suddenly and always, unexpectedly, lead to a worse situation than it was at the beginning.

Gosh, why get out of bed?

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