孫子曰：昔之善戰者，先為不可勝，以侍敵之可勝。不可勝在己，可 勝在敵。故善戰者，能為不可勝，不能使敵之必可勝。故曰：勝可知 ，而不可為。
見勝不過眾人之所知，非善之善者也﹔戰勝而天下曰善，非善之善者也。故舉秋毫不為多力，見日月不為明目，聞雷霆不為聰耳。古之所 謂善戰者，勝于易勝者也。故善戰之勝也，無智名，無勇功。故其戰 勝不忒。不忒者，其所措必勝，勝已敗者也。故善戰者，立于不敗之 地，而不失敵之敗也。是故勝兵先勝而後求戰，敗兵先戰而後求勝。
Let's continue ...
Some translation suggested:
The consummate leader cultivates the moral law, and strictly adheres to method and discipline; thus it is in his power to control success. In respect of military method, we have, firstly, Measurement; secondly, Estimation of quantity; thirdly, Calculation; fourthly, Balancing of chances; fifthly, Victory. Measurement owes its existence to Earth; Estimation of quantity to Measurement; Calculation to Estimation of quantity; Balancing of chances to Calculation; and Victory to Balancing of chances. A victorious army opposed to a routed one, is as a pound's weight placed in the scale against a single grain. The onrush of a conquering force is like the bursting of pent-up waters into a chasm a thousand fathoms deep.
Moran: Those who are good at using troops will mend their Dao and protect their laws so that they will be able to conduct a governance that wins out over defeat. 【PEM: The Dao or Way mentioned here is probably the same as that mentioned at the beginning of this book. It is the set of beliefs and aspirations that the ruler has nurtured throughout society. In the world of today this Dao is relevant to laws and to standards of international behavior.】
The components of warfare: The first is called a metric. 【PEM: The character 度 is used to speak of marks inscribed in some artifact such as a bronze measuring rod. So the primary sense would be a linear measure of something.】
The second is called measure. 【PEM: Knowledge about favorable and unfavorable conditions would be obtained by applying some metric to measure some actual situation. While a 度 is a measure of length, a 量 is a measure of volume. There may be some idea of going from abstract characterizations such as length to more concrete characteristics such as the area or the volume of something. Or perhaps the two terms are related in the same general way as distances to travel are related to the volumes of food and water that must be provided for the trip.】
The third is called enumeration (calculation). 【PEM: Planning things out step by step, e.g., how much fodder for the oxen and horses is really required to get from here to there?
【PEM: Knowing what the conditions really are. Using the metrics and real measures to actually determine what is what, and then setting things in some useful order.】
The fourth is called weighing and evaluation. 【PEM: This part is operational and is based on the previous three steps being in place. How are things going at each step? Put the measured conditions of one's troops and the opposition's troops on the balance scale.】
The fifth is called victory. 【PEM: If the above four steps are well handled, one will avoid putting oneself on the offensive when one is not going to be adequately prepared and thereby get defeated.】
Geography (lay of the land, the terrain) produces metrics. 【PEM: It imposes a metric somehow. Maybe Master Sun just means that the distance from my capital to their capital determines how far they must come to attack me, and similar such considerations.】
Metrics produce measures. 【PEM: In addition to being able to make simple measurements of area, volume, weight, etc., one can measure more abstract conditions such as the current effectiveness range of a certain regiment. If one has a metric, a way to measure conditions, then one can form measures of the conditions of one's army, the opposition's army, etc.】
Measure produces enumeration (i.e., calculations). 【PEM: Once the statistics are in, one can do calculations.】
Enumeration produces weighing [one thing against another in the balance]. 【PEM: With the statistics in hand one can do realistic. objective comparisons.】
Weighing (comparisons at each step for each metric) produces victory. 【PEM: The rule is: Do not attack when one is in an inferior position. Attack only when the enemy has already assured his defeat and one knows it. These judgments must be objective. They must be based on empirical evidence and not on wishful thinking.】
Truly, using victorious armies resembles weighing a full measure of gold against 1/24 measure of gold. Using losing armies resembles weighing 1/24th measure of gold against a full measure of gold. 【PEM: This comment validates the notes given above. Master Sun seems to prefer a quantitative superiority, in any battle to be undertaken, of about twenty-four to one.】
The warfare of a victor is like the cutting loose of impounded water over a ravine of a thousand rods depth — the whole thing is thereafter only a matter of the lay of the land. 【PEM: This sentence gives a good example of a 勢 (power configuration.) Having water is not enough. Having impounded water is not, in itself, worth much more. But having impounded water in a location that assures that if released it will deliver irresistible force in a particular direction or against a particular point of opposition gives one a kind of real power in the world. Having introduced the idea here, the next chapter discusses power configurations in detail.】
善用兵者，修道而保法，故能為勝敗之政。: Good general shall implement dignity into the laws (修道以得人心). These laws shall determine the governance's victory or defeat.
兵法﹕一曰度，: The components of warfare: First is length.
二曰量， Second is measure.
三曰數， Third is count.
四曰稱， Fourth is weigh.
五曰勝。 Fifth is victory.
地生度， Land gives length.
度生量， Length gives measure.
量生數， Measure gives count.
數生稱， Count gives weigh.
稱生勝。 Weigh gives victory.
故勝兵若以鎰稱銖，敗兵若以銖稱鎰。 Therefore, winning army resembles weighing a full measure of gold against 1/24 measure of gold. Losing armies resembles weighing 1/24th measure of gold against a full measure of gold.
勝者之戰，若決積水於千仞之谿者，形也。 The warfare of a victor is conducted like cutting loose a dam of water over a ravine of a thousand rods depth — lay of the land.
This is the meat part of the chapter. Everything else are more airy-fairy.
In business, SunTzu said that good dignified laws should be implemented into the business organization. The business market shall provide the dimensions (length) of the business focus. These dimensions are measured and counted as factors. Each factor is weighed against each other to evaluate the chance to victory. A winning evaluation is a strength study of 24 : 1, overwhelming strong.
I feel that SunTzu is getting more and more kiasu and kiasi. Unless he evaluated the chance of absolute 24 is to 1, he would not attack. Any chance of losing a battle, I would presume he would not fight. Such conservation. It was the same advice of not borrowing from the banks by my dad long time ago. I didn't realise that as age catches up, the old guy will get more and more risk adverse. Very interest indeed.
韩信 (Han Xin) didn't even bother to save his boss until he grew numerically and technically way stronger than Xiang Yu. Only then Han Xin would supply the army to conduct a joint-attack on Xiang Yu. A Han 600,000 troopers against Xiang Yu's 150,000 crack troopers. This was done using a 10-face ambush. Han Xin won convincingly.
My dad didn't explain his reason for not-borrowing from the banks many years ago. I didn't take note of this advice until years later. Borrowing from banks was so easy and quick way to business possibilities. But, as business grew, these bank borrowings became heavier and heavier on my neck. I couldn't even move a single step until I got ride of these fucking loans. Looking back, if I had not borrowed my business would have grown much much slower in the beginning, but would fly way past my current achievement. Borrowing from banks is like getting 諸侯 to lend army troopers for war. Han Xin never trusted the support of 諸侯, he grew the army on his own, never once trusted support from any 諸侯. When the going gets tough, 諸侯 would withdraw their troops from engaging, leaving the general venerable to failures. I was like that. When the going gets tough, all loans were recalled, leaving me stark naked to face my enemies, exposing my absolute weaknesses. Luckily I survived. Unfortunately, such lesson was learned the hard way.
So, it is 欲速则不达. I have learned this very valuable lesson.
For those of you still on borrowings, be very careful. Your strength is no match to the bank's recall of loans. Once recalled, you can almost assume a very negative status. Not only you can't start from square 0 or 1, you start from square negative 20, i.e., you need to first repay your failures, save again your starting daily expenses, before allowing to restart like any 21yo kiddo with zero dollar. This is the grim reality of life's failure. It is never a free lunch. You have to pay with your life.