Tuesday, September 14, 2004

48 Laws of Power

Like so many 'ruthless' works. Such as "What Would Machiavelli Do", and the ever popular "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates", this book appears to err on the side of gratuitous deviant-nature. Real pragmatism has no particular drift to good or evil, the fact that the majority of actions won't abide by a particular moral code is entirely coincidental. These supposed amoral listings are far too enthusiastic in their breaking of moral expectations. It's less efficient.

I would enjoy a truly amoral examination of 'getting what you want', but I suppose people are really more interested in telling stories than mapping methods.

The real book that needs to be written is of course a generalized method for evaluating goals and environment, to use all requirements to meet all goals. Such a book may be beyond any human author, and I could probably make a decent argument that you would need an AI-complete theory of intelligence and goals in order to write it.

But I sift through these for approximates and rules of thumb. Sometimes you get lucky.

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