Thursday, March 19, 2009

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

This post is inspired by Chris. A "volunteer of the hat" had to refer to the overhead so was using the long pointer and Chris told him/her to speak loudly. I, being a dumb smartass, decided to follow up with "and carry a big stick". Chris corrected me by saying that unlike Teddy, he doesn't want him/her to speak softly. My train of thought was like this:

"Oh yay, he knows where my reference came from"
"Oh crap, I didn't know where my reference came from"


Although I've only recently learnt of this saying and its meaning, I really like what this represents. It is similar to "ace in the hole" and "fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee". This technique is useful, because it allows you to keep your strength hidden until absolutely necessary. It lures your opponent into a false sense of security before you inflict this "trick up your sleeve".

But by doing this you can run into a dilemma; will you waste your good hand, or will you go for the overkill. It always seem like a pity to not use what you've been hiding. For example, "Oh crap, I had a good speech and now I wasted it." It also feels bad if by laying down your aces, you uselessly expended energy. Yesterday I basically did about 90% of the ~100 integral sheets. Today, I realized the majority of it was useless. I think that other than the arcsin 3x and the e^2x question, I could've done all the others without any practice.

To conclude, I would like to remind you to always be aware of your environment. It is pointless if you saved up your aces when you're playing solitaire. A less trivial example of this is a big advertising gimmick. Sure it'll bring a lot of attention, but if you execute this too late, you might run into the problem of no one following your marketing. Also, don't be too sure of your aces when you're playing big 2, cause you have no idea who has the 2s to trump you.

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