Playing Poker with Iran

“I’m not bluffing”, President Obama declares publicly to the world to convince Iran to open their nuclear facilities to inspection, forgo the pursuit of nuclear weapons, or “face the consequences.”

Now this declaration might strike us at first as bluster.   Wouldn’t a bluffer always say he wasn’t bluffing?   A compulsive … <Read More>

The Shadow

Poor Mitt Romney.  Seems every time he might get some traction these days, something messes up.  The latest – his appearance at Ford Field in Michigan, a football stadium with 65,000 seats, drew a crowd of 1200 to hear his major address.  It’s a respectable number in itself – but … <Read More>

Taking the Penalty

Game and sport illuminate life. Where the offense seeks to penetrate a sacred space – score a goal, a basket, a touchdown – we playfully replicate sexual and power dynamics of human and political relationships.

“Let the Great Axe Fall” emphasizes a structural defect in some games and life itself.  … <Read More>

Update and more on pressure vs. pain


Continuing the useful distinction between pressure and pain: 

Two recent events illustrate it.  The Israelis and Hamas engage in a prisoner swap — one Israeli soldier for 1000 Palestinian prisoners.  Had Hamas killed the soldier it kidnapped, they would have inflicted more pain.  But by capturing him and keeping … <Read More>

Pressure vs Pain

My just published memoir/essay “Let The Great Axe Fall”  (see link to Kindle below) cites Roger Fisher’s distinction between pressure and pain.  Those who would alter the strategy or policy of an opponent (or an enemy) should focus on maximizing pressure but not necessarily pain.  Fisher, the author of the … <Read More>