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Ok, I admit that I've failed somewhere before. But anyway welcome. Just a brief intro on what you should expect here:
1. Football. Not gonna post much of that any soon since season is over. :S
2. Anime, Games, etc. Just abt anything conceivable under the Japanese radar barring anything and everything Rule 34. Now that's illegal. Period. -.-;
3. Music. Everything to do with it is listed under the tab.
5. Unacceptable humour: Anything and everything is fair game here. As long as I don't get rounded up by the ISA. -.-'

6.
The Known World=Fantasy world building in process. I: Used to be glossary, now devoted to random rambling; II: Character Concepts; III: Lore.
7. der Wolf=my Fictionpress account under the moniker Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu. A Ranger's Tale is hosted under this page. :)
8. New section now upped. Maybe I should also gun for upping A Ranger's Tale here since I do have this funny feeling that traffic coming to here is way more than whatever I'll get in FP.

Statement of intent: Everything said here is a figment of personal opinion, be it me or anybody commenting. I try to be responsible, but my parents=/=parents of the world.

@Druid of Luhn: Crap. Should have remembered far earlier to give you the credit for your CSS text box code. :(

A/N: But sadly, it seems that your CSS text box code has now been halved efficiency wise. :(

That most important note I should have added: Any images posted in this blog are NOT my own stuff. I got them from Google image search, I don't earn any shit by being a thief and liar. Those responsible for the pictures, rest assured that you all are great artists in your own regards. Sadly, we all know what limited space means in terms of posting.

Latest Note: Changed alignment for my page widgets due to my worry that I can't centre align the thing.

Note on A Ranger's Tale: In case any complaining fella wants to have a legal case with me, let this be known that A Ranger's Tale is rated M by default. I've upped the swearing and somewhat a bit on the dark/gritty factor. You all have been warned, let no little boy and girl enter the forbidden realm.

Latest on ART: A Ranger's Tale now starting to kick back in gear. But I really hate the insanely fluctuating climate here in S'pore.

P.S: Oh, and one more thing. Vid below is yet another ideal OP for A Ranger's Tale.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Genius of Yingchuan (Part 5) 《颍川之鬼才》

Major Footie-note: I believe I did say something about talking random cock on Boro+4-4-2. Now I decided to change my mind because I'm gonna go crazy here. :D
Warning!
There's a couple of vulgar Malay memes being upped on this post. If anyone below the age of 16 wants to proceed, make sure your parents are around behind/beside you.

P.S: Credit goes to a certain Hairul during my part time ITE course in Electrical Engineering for teaching me about the vital word in the 1st meme.

P.S: Credit also goes to a certain Chief Khairul during my 32 SIB days for teaching me that word in the 2nd meme.

Foreword: One of the most significant moments in Cao Cao's life is down to how he won the Battle of Guandu. Now there has been a certain controversy going on with one side of the camp arguing that Guo Jia's Thesis of Ten Victories and Defeats (十胜十败) was the key while the other camp asserted that Xun Yu's Thesis of Four Victories and Defeats (四胜四败) is the actual deal. The latter case based their stance on the original version recorded by Chen Shou whilst the former case believed in their own words due to the relevant annotations from Fuzi (傅子) by Pei Songzhi (裴松之).

Firstly, let's dissect the individual talents within the two. Firstly, Xun Yu as a strategist is far more of a political visionary and an actual reader on any target individual's character. Basically, his foresight in military lies in consolidation rather than punitive measures. Guo Jia on the other hand, is a hands-on person in all things infrastructure and works per proven by how Cao Cao managed to secure final victory over Lu Bu at Xiapi.

But above all, he's a sharp analyser of any target individual's character weakness. If Xun Yu's case is all about understanding the concept of ability, then Guo Jia's analysis hinges heavily the concept of fallacy. It has been said quite so often that Guo Jia is arguably the best analyst during his time, i.e. starting from the twilight of Eastern Han [东汉末年] all the way until reunification under the Jin dynasty [晋朝] (Just don't ask me why the dynasty collapsed so fast. The incumbent Emperor [晋武帝] Sima Yan [司马炎] was a retard who can only reap the fruits of his grandfather [司马懿], uncle [司马师], and his father [司马昭]).

In fact, I have always suspected some serious foul play coming from the holy orders when Chen Shou was tasked to record the history (Chen Shou was part of the Jin dynasty during Sima Yan's reign and it seems that the fatuous foetus was truly guilty of foul play when it came to Zhao Yun and Fa Zheng's accounts).

Okay, enough of the digressing here. What I'm trying to say this: Guo Jia IS indeed a military genius. You see, he doesn't have Jia Xu (贾诩) or Xun You's meticulous calculating nor should we expect him to be like Cheng Yu (程昱) in terms of deployment. But what he's truly good at is utilising his own hard earned knowledge to accurately predict and preempt. Predicting the enemy's next move is all about predicting the outcome, preemptive strategy is all about using the former as the decision making basis.

And in order to do so, he must truly understand the concept called human fallacy. Every man has his own flaws and one such as Guo Jia can just easily use it to allow a certainty in self-destruction or measures most unexpected. Hence, allow me to touch upon his Thesis of Ten Victories and Defeats. In fact, you can alternately call this the Thesis of Self Destruction.

So why is it that we have a Xun Yu version and a Guo Jia version?

Note: The below portion is wholly from Xun Yu's account.

Firstly, we must understand by that time, Cao Cao had already hijacked the Emperor. The funniest fact? Yuan Shao was advised to do the same, but he hesitated because there were actually a set of clowns arguing against such a political strategy. For Cao Cao's case, he only needed some assurance from Xun Yu and that's it.
Ofc Yuan Shao ain't that amused. No, make that totally NOT amused.
[自太祖之迎天子也,袁绍内怀不服。绍益骄,与太祖书,其辞悖慢。太祖大怒,出入动静变于常,众皆谓以失利于张绣故也。锺繇以问彧,彧曰:“公之聪明,必不追咎往事,殆有他虑。”]
《三国志:荀彧传》

Trans:
[Ever since Taizu welcomed back the Emperor, Yuan Shao had been utterly bitter inside. Shao gradually became arrogant as he sent forth a written letter to Taizu, its very contents full of arrogance and disdain. Taizu was totally infuriated as his temperament soon became unpredictable. Everyone henceforth deduced that it was down to his defeat against Zhang Xiu. Upon Zhong Yao asking Yu, Yu answered: "Given the wisdom of our lord, he will never remember matters bygone. Rather he has his own worries at hand."]
《Record of the Three Kingdoms: Account of Xun Yu》

Analysis: We all know Cao Cao was a prideful bastard, but then again, so were Liu Bei, Sun Jian, Sun Ce, and Sun Quan. Okay, the actual warlords back then were either prideful bastards or useless bastards. Worst come to worst, it would always be both. Yuan Shao, Yuan Shu (袁术), and Gongsun Zan (公孙瓒) are merely just the most (in)famous of gangbangers blacklisted.

In fact, did Yuan Shao even know the coldest, hardest truth behind the defeat? Guys, Zhang Xiu would never have one upped Cao Cao if not for a certain Jia Xu. Intelligent bastard got a criminal track record without the yellow ribbon awarded to him hor.

Before this bloke, he served Guo Si (郭汜) and Li Jue (李傕). Even earlier back then, his boss was that most infamous Dong Zhuo (董卓), aka the Taleban of Luoyang (洛阳之塔利斑).

People tend to say trouble will always attract trouble and Jia Xu was indeed a certified trouble capable of screwing the ISA hundred times over. The sacking of Chang'an recorded in The Romance of the Three Kingdoms was indeed real. However, it's not Guo Si (or is it Li Jue? Dunno, forget orredy) who planned everything. Jia Xu was the instigator. Fullstop.
Long story short, this was the time where Xun Yu recommended Guo Jia to him. While it's not known when Xi Zhicai passed away, it could be very likely that upon Cao Cao's request for an able replacement, Xun Yu had already told him about his Thesis of Four Victories and Four Defeats. If so, then it's very likely that this was the moment where Xun Yu went like:

"Eh, boss. I know that fella mati liao lah. He also my fren, I also feel sad. Tell you what, boss. I got another good lobang, he actually my best lobang buddy lah. You know whatever cock I talking just now? That one my lobang buddy teach me one."

[则见太祖问之,太祖乃以绍书示彧,曰:“今将讨不义,而力不敌,何如?”]

Trans:
[Upon entrance asking Taizu, he revealed Shao's letter to Yu, saying: "Why is it that our forces were still defeated despite fighting in the name of righteousness?"]

Analysis: Righteousness is the best excuse to declare war against the other faction. It's not just something George W.Bush is capable of. Politics can be extremely infuriating most of the time, that's why I hate politics.

[彧曰:“古之成败者,诚有其才,虽弱必强,苟非其人,虽强易弱,刘、项之存亡,足以观矣。今与公争天下者,唯袁绍尔。]

Trans:
[Yu answered: "Ever since the olden days, what separates the victor from the vanquished is this: Those who are sincere will gain talents abound, those who are careless will lose their support. The former are those who will be strong despite weak at first, the latter will be easily weakened despite being strong. Is not knowledge behind Liu's survival and the death of Xiang enough? Now the only person fighting with Milord is Yuan Shao.]

Analysis: Liu Bang lost countless battles before he managed to checkmate Xiang Yu via a sudden victory out of nowhere, generally speaking of course. In fact, I can't even be sure on whether Liu Bang ended up winning most of the battles during the War of Chu Han (楚汉之争). But no matter what, Liu Bang managed to reverse the tide due to this very victory. In fact, Xiang Yu could pretty much curbstomp his rival if not for his own carelessness. Or as some might say, Xiang Yu actually let Liu Bang off the hook back during the Banquet of Hongmen (鸿门宴). In fact, Xun Yu didn't have to say anything more on who was likened to Liu Bang and who was Xiang Yu's parallel.

And let's just do a time jump first...
(Note: This is from Guo Jia's account)

[太祖谓嘉曰:“本初拥冀州之众,青、并从之,地广兵强,而数为不逊。吾欲讨之,力不敌,如何?”

对曰:“刘、项之不敌,公所知也。汉祖唯智胜;项羽虽强,终为所禽。]

Trans:
[Taizu asked Jia: "Benchu now has dominated the Ji province with the provinces of Qing and Bing following suit. The territories are vast and the soldiers strong with their numbers many. I intend to war against them, yet my strength is little. How then?"

Jia replied: "The gap between Liu and Xiang, O'Duke you should have understood why. Hanzu only won via his wits; Xiang Yu on the other hand might be strong, yet he was still finally captured.]

Analysis: This particular excerpt was from Pei Songzhi's annotation derived from Fuzi. However given the timing of the sequence, it's actually safe to assume that this was during Cao Cao's audience with Guo Jia written in the original record.

Now interestingly enough, Guo Jia also mentioned the difference between Liu Bang and Xiang Yu. Yet, while Xun Yu's version was all about a polar opposite in character, Guo Jia was far more pragmatic as in he highlighted what truly won the war for Liu Bang. Namely, intelligence over sheer strength.

In fact, Xiang Yu's downfall was due to a case of carelessness in letting Liu Bang off for free while Liu Bang was hundred percent sincere towards his vassals. That was Xun Yu's take.

Guo Jia's take was something far more steeped into actual war, namely Liu Bang's personal ability, the only weapon he could use to survive and conquer. In fact, Chen Shou concluded the meeting with those respective words uttered from both sides:

[先是时,颍川戏志才,筹画士也,太祖甚器之。早卒。太祖与荀彧书曰:“自志才亡后,莫可与计事者。汝、颍固多奇士,谁可以继之?”

彧荐嘉。召见,论天下事。太祖曰:“使孤成大业者,必此人也。”

嘉出,亦喜曰:“真吾主也。”]

Trans:
[At first, there was Xi Zhicai of Yingchuan, a skilled organiser treasured greatly by Taizu. Upon his early demise, Taizu asked Xun Yu: "Ever since Zhicai's death, there are none who can plot together with me. The lands of Ru and Ying are filled with exceptional geniuses, who can inherit such a burden?"

Yu recommended Jia. Upon audience and speaking at length on major affairs, Taizu said thus afterwards: "This is the man who will make my empire come true."

Jia was equally glad as he went off, saying: "Indeed my worthy lord."]

Conclusion: Therefore, it's perfectly logical for Pei Songzhi to include the relevant annotations without any problem.

To be continued...
Next up: Thesis 4 vs 10. Plus a bit of a 4-4-2 Boro as well. Hopefully...