Laws, institutions, and republics

Pompey the Great would snap at magistrates who challenged him: “Cease quoting laws to those of us with swords.”

Eventually all pretense of civility was dropped and Rome was engulfed by a series of destructive civil wars that destroyed the republic once and for all.

— The Washington Post, in Perspective | This is how republics end

The dangers of misleading metaphors – War

Consider “war”, another popular trope. Wars on poverty, drugs and terrorism have all failed. Why? Politicians aim to summon one element of the “war” metaphor when they use it: an intense national struggle. But there is another crucial part of war, namely the adversary.

In a real war, they fight back and might win. When your side prevails, the foe might be persuaded to formally surrender on the deck of the battleship Missouri. Drugs or poverty or terrorism don’t do that, leaving the public that had been roused by the talk of “war” frustrated. The metaphor backfires. You don’t need to be Sun Tzu to know that you shouldn’t declare a war that cannot be won.

— The Economist, in ‘The dangers of misleading metaphors

Where walls & whiteboards beat all digital tools

I prefer sketching ideas on the whiteboard because, mentally, I feel like I can “fail” more with a whiteboard than even with a journal. The environment of a whiteboard allows for different creative expression.

—Benjamin Hardy, on Morning Routine

Previously: Walls are good for project management