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.]
Given a choice for my next post between:
* The mechanics of utopias and their limits;
* Vignette (such as the above);
* Spiritual and relationship principles (such as the 12 step posts);
* A “What” post (e.g. “What is a church” going over the statistical data reported in the early to mid-80s from the Church’s self inventory on what the Church is, what makes for “success” etc.); and,
* A post on economics explaining the theory of the second best, capture and the relationship between accurate information and free markets (accurate information is vital to free markets and a core duty of a government that has a market economy)
— which would people prefer, which would be of more use to you?
BTW, in case anyone is interested, my dad ended up with the Koreans because he speaks Korean — he learned it when he lived in Korea after WWII but before the Korean war.
He was cross trained in forward fire control, even though he was in the Air Force, when we were in Texas (just after the Bay of Pigs, etc.) because the Air Force wanted to be able to have its own people do the role of those in the army.
So, there he was, in a bunker, two stories below ground, doing MMS work (rebuilding and maintaining air to air missiles and such) when suddenly he found himself out in combat with the Koreans.
He did not tell my mother. He did not tell us until four years later when it came out. All we knew was that after Vietnam he quit hunting and quit shooting, except for once a year (there was a slight pay boost for being able to shoot at the highest rating). The base arms instructor was my brother’s teacher’s quorum instructor and an FBI sniper and started asking questions, which led to my dad spilling the beans.
My mom found out only about 22 years ago, when I found out she was watching China Beach and my dad was having nightmares after every episode. She did not see the relationship, but then, she did not know he had been in combat.
Anyway, that is the back story. The poor mission president never realized that my dad wasn’t just inflicting Book of Mormons on random Korean soldiers in Vietnam, assuming that (a) my dad did not speak Korean, (b) the marines were just being polite, and (c) that if the Koreans weren’t asking for the books themselves, they really did not want them.
Had he only had the Chaplain make the contact, the story would have gone much differently.
It was interesting that years later, when he ran into the cattalion commander in Saudia, they both remembered each other and it was a fond reunion.
“Less is more” can merely be described as getting best value.
Examples: rather than force a contractor to supply a replacement blower under terms of their contract, we let them use one from our stock. This facilitated transitioning the work to the succeeding contractor by avoiding a dispute.
A friend, having 10K to spend, bought a clean 1997 Mercedes with only 70K miles on it. He enjoys reliable and fun transportation w/o car payments.
DI has proven to be great for supplementing my wardrobe.
Attending 3hr block of church my whole life, I would think less could definitely be more. Less announcements and welcomesand more feasting on the word.
Students in a classroom
Make-up and hairspray
When you have more of something you often take advantage of it and don’t appreciate it so much. When you have less money, it goes further, you appreciate it more than when you have loads and take it for granted. Those who don’t have access to education are attentive and appreciate it as a way of self improvement where they otherwise have little opportunity, but those in countries where schooling is mandatory totally take it for granted and don’t give it any value. The concept can really be applied to most models, but in a day to day life situation I suppose it boils down to being grateful for everything we have all the time and not taking any of the privileges we might have for granted.
Thomas Paine explained it quite well:
“that which we obtain to easily, we esteem too lightly; Heaven knows how to put a proper price on its goods.”