Bloggish convergence

Shelby Foote tells us (from his perspective in 1952) that narrative is done wrong in military history. N. Taleb is touring the country denouncing "the Narrative Fallacy." Harry Smeltzer notices a new paper by Kenneth Noe on the problems narrative form causes to history. Mark Grimsley notices the Web availability of a paper he likes, Clausewitz, Nonlinearity and the Unpredictability of War by Alan Beyerchen. (Narratives = linear. War = nonlinear.)

Convergence. Not like lines on the horizon, more like swarming.

As you contemplate your own anti-narrative strategies, enjoy some red meat from Beyerchen's essay (emphasis added):
The overall pattern is clear: war seen as a nonlinear phenomenon - as Clausewitz sees it - is inherently unpredictable by analytical means. Chance and complexity dominate simplicity in the real world. Thus no two wars are ever the same. No war is guaranteed to remain structurally stable. No theory can provide the analytical short-cuts necessary to allow us to skip ahead of the "running" of the actual war. No realistic assumptions offer a way to bypass these uncomfortable truths. Yet these truths have the virtue that they help us identify the blinders we impose on our thinking when we attempt to linearize.