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— by tester tester
Why don't we learn from history?  
B. H. Liddell Hart (1895-1970)

  "Observing the working of committees of many kinds, I have long come to
realize the crucial importance of lunchtime. Two hours or more may have
been spent in deliberate discussion and careful weighing of a problem, but
the last quarter of an hour often counts for more than all the rest. At
12:45pm there may be no prospect of an agreed solution, yet around about
1pm important decisions may be reached with little argument—because the
attention of the members has turned to watching the hands of their watches.
Those moving hands can have a remarkable effect in accelerating the
movements of minds—to the point of a snap decision. The more influential
members of any committee are the most likely to have important lunch
engagements, and the more important the committee the more likely is this
A shrewd committeeman often develops a technique based on this time
calculation. He will defer his own intervention in the discussion until
lunchtime is near, when the majority of the others are more inclined to
accept any proposal that sounds good enough to enable them to keep
their lunch engagement. Sometimes he will wait long enough to ensure that
formidable opponents have to trickle away before a vote is taken. It was
Napoleon who said that an army marches on its stomach. From my
observation, I should be inclined to coin a supplementary proverb—that
“history marches on the stomachs of statesmen.”
That observation applies in more than the time sense. The Japanese locate
the seat of courage in the stomach; and such a view is supported by ample
evidence from military history of the way that the fighting spirit of troops
depends on, and varies with, the state of their stomachs. The source of the
passions has also been located in that quarter. All that expresses the extent to
which mind and morale depend on the physical, in the normal run of men.
And from all that the historian is led to realize how greatly the causation of
events on which the fate of nations depends is ruled not by balanced
judgement but by momentary currents of feeling, as well as by personal
considerations of a low kind."