At around $65 per month, my internet bill is too high. I’ve tried to get it reduced in the past, but Xfinity’s army of customer service agents have outwitted and outmaneuvered me time and again. Admittedly, my tactics have been unsophisticated. My resolve, weak. And while my monthly fee is pricey, it isn’t quite exorbitant enough to warrant drastic action (i.e. cancellation and/or self-immolation), which leaves me with little leverage or will to fight this fight. That is, until I picked up The Art of War.
Few texts have shaped human history as much as this fifth-century BCE military manual. The wisdom contained within its pages is attributed to the brilliant Chinese general Sun Tzu. Though his advice was issued centuries before the invention of gunpowder, modern military minds still swear by The Art of War, and Sun Tzu’s quotes fill the pages of the US Marine Corps combat doctrine, Warfighting. (Lunkheaded weirdos have also embraced and fetishized it, but that shouldn’t diminish the book’s sage teachings.)
Despite this pedigree, The Art of War has never been used against a foe as fierce and terrifying as a basic internet-service provider. Sun Tzu commanded a 30,000-man army at the Battle of Boju to defeat rival Chu forces that were ten times greater in size, but could he help me wiggle out of a one-year contract? It was time to find out.
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