When my dad was in Vietnam, he ended up doing forward fire control for the ROK forces, working with the dragon and tiger battalions.

The chaplain had surveyed the reading material available for his men and found that all they had was some military manuals and some pornography.  He asked my dad if my dad could get him some religious literature and my dad started scrounging up Book of Mormons.  After he had gotten about six, the missionary department told him that he wasn’t going to get any more, and to quit wasting their time asking for more books.  That kind of derailed the chaplain’s idea of giving each man a Book of Mormon (a version, coincidentally, that had been translated by a former Korean marine who had served in those units years before).

Obviously my dad had failed to communicate clearly to the mission president he was writing just what he wanted and why, or they would have let my dad have more books. But, the result of having so few books is that Col. Chu, the chaplain started assigning men to take turns reading the Book of Mormon and giving him reports on it, and then would check the books out to the next set of men. By having fewer books, they valued them more.

Can you think of another situation where less was more?

[And yes, I’ve written the economics post, about the theory of the second best, information and markets, capture and more capture — I’ll inflict that on people later.]