This is the most famous one of the 36th strategy, immortalized in the form of a Chinese idiom: "Of the Thirty-Six Stratagems, fleeing is best." (三十六計，走為上策 - sānshí liù jì, zǒu wèi shàng cè)
This seems to me similar to the SF-principle: "If it don't work - try something different"
What's about the other 35 strategems? How do they fit to SF?
Well, looking in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-Six_Stratagems
or (in German) in http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/36_Strategeme
I become a bit uncomfortable: Nearly all of them sound for me as advices to fool the others using tricks and hiding the real intention. Or is my reaction a consequence of a thinking based on "western" ethics?
I found a "top of the iceberg" for an answer to that question:
Rolf Dobelli, founder of getAbstract wrote in his review on: "The Art of the Advantage: 36 Strategies to Seize the Competitive Edge" by Kaihan Krippendorf:
...this is an excellent introduction to a neglected classic. Its strategies (an ethical minefield if you take them too literally) are not limited to battlefields or businesses. We recommend this book to business strategists, policymakers and those struggling with competition. It is also valuable for anyone working in or facing competition from East Asia, where these strategems are already well known and widely used.
Maybe I have to understand those 36 strategems not as "advices" but as a variety of possibilities how others (and also I) may act to get a better awareness for the traps by cooperating with others?
BUT: is this "SF"? Or is it more "problem focused" to increase my awareness for behaviours like: "Kill with a borrowed knife" (the 3rd strategem: Attack using the strength of another (in a situation where using one's own strength is not favourable). Trick an ally into attacking him, bribe an official to turn traitor, or use the enemy's own strength against him.)
And at the same time I read in http://www.strategeme.com/HSml/36strat.htm
such things which also are referred in a SF-context quite often:
Kaihan Krippendorff splits the stratgems in die this four groups:
YING YANG / POLARITY 1-9
Westerners believe they can pursue good and banish bad, but this assumption runs counter to the Taoist understanding which doesn't judge anything. There is no "good" or "bad" -- they are simply two sides of the same coin.
WU WEI / GO WITH THE GRAIN 10-18
Westerners equate yielding with weakness and overcoming adversity with strength. Taoists view the contrary: They value "going with the grain," which often leads us to the opposite answer to the same question.
WU CHANG / CONTINUOUS CHANGE 19-27
Westerners believe the past determines the present and that change connects static moments. If Westerners assumed instead that the present determines the present, and that change is continuous, as the Taoist perspective suggests, Westerners would choose different courses of action.
SHANG BING WU BING / INDIRECT ACTION 28-36
Westerners prefer to meet an adversary head-on; the Eastern preference for indirect action often seems impractical, deceitful, or indicative of weakness. Embracing indirect action puts powerful new tactics into Western hands.
So, my question to those in this community which are very familiar with "Eastern Thinking" is:
How do you deal with this 36 stretegems - which seems to be very important for Chinese people and maybe for most asian people also - out of a "SF-view"?
For me this is an important question to understand better the connection between SF and "Asian Thinking", because: "Chinese culture possesses the richest and most systematic knowledge of stratagems, It easily functions as the best mirror for the strategic behaviour of all people on earth." (Chio Chien, Former Head of Departement of Antropology, Chinese University of HongKong)