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Mike Smith
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I was absolutely riveted by this article. I was reminded of the article when I saw Star Wars; New Hope again. Alright, it's fiction. But it presents an example of a David failing to follow Goliath's rules. When the rebellion tries sneaky, near suicidal raids, it is successful. When it tries stand up fights (like the beginning of Empire) they are soundly beaten. I'm also reminded of the wars America seems to keep fighting. They are drawn to meeting their opponents in open battles, which when the enemy obliges, America will pretty much always win. All things being even, an edge in numbers, training or technology should allow you to win in battle. The US usually has all three. If you're an enemy of the Americans, you have two choices. Either believe your own propaganda and lose (Comical Ali) or recognise your weaknesses and attack the enemy where they are most vulnerable; civilian targets, roadside bombs, political or religious rhetoric. You make mention of the underdog winning using "socially unacceptable" means. I find it amazing that in a David versus Goliath battle, observers are silent on the unacceptable methods of team David, but extremely critical of any failings of the Goliaths. Why is that? Are we as a species naturally drawn to the underdog and willing to forgive their methods because they are the underdog?
Toggle Commented Aug 6, 2010 on Underdogs at gladwell.com
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Aug 5, 2010