Fog of war

Some generals consider only unilateral action, whereas war consists of a continuous interaction of opposites … no strategy ever survives the first engagement with the enemy.

— Carl von Clausewitz

I like Von Clausewitz and his elegant formulations of complex realities, for instance, how a well made plan isn’t likely to fail just because the “fog of war” happens to obscure your vision and you see only chaos, gossip and misinformation. You have to trust that you made a good soufflé, put it in the oven and wait for it to rise. Changing the recipe, checking before time and second-guessing yourself are of no use.

That’s how I see the current situation. I trust that I had read the situation well, that I made all the right moves that were possible for me in the given circumstances, and there’s really no point in bouncing off walls like a ping-pong ball. The situation where you wait for the outcome, and the reality apparently contradicts your assessment and actions is not only not new to me, but I saw it in a movie “The Big Short”, about the 2008 collapse of the real-estate mortgage market and the guy who saw it coming, bet everything on the collapse, and the market kept rising, at which point he thought, “what if the entire market is so inherently broken and controlled, that they can do this indefinitely, or at least long enough for me to run out of money?”

The answer is, of course, that there is only so much you can do. The soufflé is in the oven, and it’s either going to rise, or it’s not. There’s not a damn thing you can do about it at that point, as Benjamin Sisko’s father would say.