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There's a Stratagem For That.
December 22, 2010 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Feeling outflanked this holiday season? Perhaps you need to brush up on your stratagems. But how many stratagems do you need?

36 Stratagems? Wikipedia List. Complete English/French Translation w/ Folk Wisdom.

38 Stratagems? Summary list. Complete Essay.

50 Stratagems? Original Latin & Complete Translation w/ Footnotes & Editor's Notes.

Over 800 Stratagems? Complete Translation.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model (33 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
Brilliant. I needed exactly this for a TV project I am working on! Thank you.
posted by unSane at 8:40 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also.
posted by unSane at 8:41 AM on December 22, 2010


I got 99 plans but a stratagem aint one.
posted by The Whelk at 8:43 AM on December 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


Oh man those 38 stratagems make me want to punch people in the face.

2. Use different meanings of your opponent's words to refute his or her argument.

Go fuck yourself, Arthur Schopenhauer. Fuck you with the fire of a thousand suns.
posted by charred husk at 8:45 AM on December 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


charred husk: "8. Make your opponent angry. An angry person is less capable of using judgement or perceiving where his or her advantage lies." *smile*
posted by facetious at 8:47 AM on December 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


That's hot
posted by doobiedoo at 8:47 AM on December 22, 2010


facetious: "charred husk: "8. Make your opponent angry. An angry person is less capable of using judgement or perceiving where his or her advantage lies." *smile"

My favorite part of Miracle on 34th Street is when Kris Kringle whacks the psychologist on the head.
posted by charred husk at 8:50 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


charred husk: Trouble The Water To Catch The Fish.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 8:54 AM on December 22, 2010


The 48 Laws of Power
posted by stbalbach at 8:56 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Go fuck yourself, Arthur Schopenhauer. Fuck you with the fire of a thousand suns.

It's useful, though, in that it can help you articulate what people are doing in an argument that is not actually related. It's a pain in the ass if you view it as a "how to" guide, but looking it over and realizing that these are actually strategies people use can help keep you calm and make it easier to address their points in a reasonable way.

Something I find myself thinking about a lot is the subtle stuff that really undermines people like sighing or eye-rolling and certain types of body language. These are often things where if you point them out you're the one who sounds juvenile or overly sensitive but they are very powerful forms of communication, and anything that makes it easier to act like an adult and validate your point (in a mature and productive way) that someone is arguing not in good faith seems helpful to me.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:56 AM on December 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Pickman's Next Top Model: "charred husk: Trouble The Water To Catch The Fish"

Sorry, what? I was busy listening to Rush Limbaugh.
posted by charred husk at 8:56 AM on December 22, 2010


You only need one stratagem. First, you gotta shriek like a woman and keep sobbing until he turns away in disgust. That's when it's time to kick some back.
posted by ND¢ at 8:58 AM on December 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


I see absolutely nothing about dealing with automatic sneak attack damage. This post is useless.
posted by griphus at 9:03 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh man those 38 stratagems make me want to punch people in the face.

Metatalk callout time?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 9:05 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


My strategem will be to buy rum and drink it until I don't need to.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:09 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


These crop up in the game of go all the time, although they're usually referred to as proverbs.

Here is the master collection. Some of them ("strike at the waist of the keima") won't be terribly edifying, but I think we can all agree not to throw an egg at the wall.
posted by argybarg at 9:15 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Go fuck yourself, Fox news. Fuck you with the fire of a thousand suns. :)

Glenn Beck et al seem to be using some of Schopenhauer's 38.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 9:17 AM on December 22, 2010


Metafilter: For this, an extreme degree of impudence is required.

(see point 15 of 38)
posted by blue_beetle at 9:22 AM on December 22, 2010


Mrs. Pterodactyl: "
It's useful, though, in that it can help you articulate what people are doing in an argument that is not actually related. It's a pain in the ass if you view it as a "how to" guide
"

That's pretty much it. I often listen to the conservative talk shows and grade them against the rules of oratory or Sagan's BS detection kit. It gets very frustrating to see how they're using these rules as weapons and the one way nature of their communication prevents anyone from confronting them about it.
posted by charred husk at 9:28 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Kill with a borrowed knife, Loot a burning house

Ok, but it seems a little excessive for the holidays. Still, I'm always up for a good stratagem, so anyone got a match and some gasoline? Also, a knife?
posted by quin at 9:30 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Fucking yourself with the fire of a thousand suns would hurt like hell.
posted by blucevalo at 9:32 AM on December 22, 2010


Take the opportunity to pilfer a goat

This is the essence of my holiday approach. Fortunately, my family members seem to like getting goats in their stockings every year, and they do not ask too many questions.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:35 AM on December 22, 2010


It's useful, though, in that it can help you articulate what people are doing in an argument that is not actually related.

Well, yes and no. Usually the problem is that you're presenting your arguments to a third party or audience and even if you take the time to explain how the other side is using intellectually dishonest tactics; a) it's more complex than the initial tactic and harder for the audience to follow and b) you're still devoting time to a derail.

In US politics, the neocon media machine has mastered this- if you ignore bullshit points they act as if there's traction, and if you engage bullshit points they've managed to set the terms of debate. (Birthers, Death Panels, "Pro-life", Homosexual Agenda, "Socialism" etc. etc.)

Sane discussion requires understanding, but it's a lot easier to get people to chant mindless talking points and bombastically talk over the opposition as if volume and dominance = correctness. Sadly, since most people have been trained since childhood that authority is correct through the same means, naturally they assume the loudest dickass to yell over everyone is also the correct one.

And yes, it makes me want to go punch faces, because that appears to be the language of the land these days.
posted by yeloson at 9:35 AM on December 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Deck the tree with false blossoms

This is pretty much the totality of holiday decorating. How wise the ancients were!
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:36 AM on December 22, 2010


6th century B.C.!, 5th century B.C.!, Spartans!, Thebans!, Athenians!, Macedonians!, Sicilians!, admirals!, captains!, Greeks!, Carthaginians!, Persians!, barbarians!, Romans!,.........WOMEN!
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 9:37 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


But how many stratagems do you need?

Just one more than my archenemy.
posted by tommasz at 9:39 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Over 800 stategems?

Geez, what a polyaenus.
posted by Herodios at 9:45 AM on December 22, 2010


88 strategems for 44 women?
posted by bonehead at 10:05 AM on December 22, 2010


Are they oblique? Then fuck 'em. I approach problems obliquely OR NOT AT ALL.
posted by penduluum at 10:08 AM on December 22, 2010


You only need one stratagem. First, you gotta shriek like a woman and keep sobbing until he turns away in disgust. That's when it's time to kick some back.

You can go this road if you want, ND¢, but personally, when motherfuckers talk shit?

I punch 'em in the dick.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:15 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Point at the mulberry tree while cursing the locust tree.
posted by doublesix at 10:15 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are they oblique? Then fuck 'em. I approach problems obliquely OR NOT AT ALL.

Yeah, there's nothing for you here if you want to take Tiger Mountain.
posted by LionIndex at 1:02 PM on December 22, 2010


"Oh man those 38 stratagems make me want to punch people in the face.

2. Use different meanings of your opponent's words to refute his or her argument.

Go fuck yourself, Arthur Schopenhauer. Fuck you with the fire of a thousand suns.
"

It's a trap. Be aware of it. When someone uses that on you, it makes you sound petty if you counter it directly..."That's not what I meant!" Be prepared for it. When someone uses that on you, viciously mock them for their stupidity - or, if you need to be suave, chastise them gently for their ignorance. If you need to be diplomatic, apologize that you didn't communicate your point sufficiently - you thought they had some background on the topic, and you didn't realize they weren't prepared.

Where I grew up, family discussions around the dinner table were like knife fights. Baited comments, innuendo, backhanded compliments, verbal traps, puns, the gamut of Machiavellian parlor games. All in good fun, of course. Bringing a guest to the dinner table was always something I relished - you'd get to see what they were really made of. You'd score points with the family for having guests who could keep up, more points if your guest could dish it out too.

My late paternal grandmother was known as the most brilliant in the family. She was a born diplomat - someone who could tell you to go to Hell in such a way that you'd look forward to the trip. I would think about things she had warmly said to me...then years later, go "Hey! That wasn't very nice..."
posted by Xoebe at 3:36 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


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