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Monday, February 9th, 2009, 03:14 AM
Quantity or Quality: A Runic Quandary?

One of the dilemmas facing us is the question of quality over quality. There is no pat answer to that question. Some situations are best settled by overwhelming numbers and others by higher quality. If we try to handle it in Runic terms it gets more interesting.

Fe is the Rune of the herd and of numbers and quantity. The only quality the Rune addresses is the quality of greater numbers. On the opposite end of the equation is the Ase Rune, which speaks not of numbers, but of quality. There is nothing about the Rune that speaks of quantity. The Rune deals with the concept of “good,” be it good food, good work, or a good item. In cases of more good, it is not an amount of good but a higher quality of good. For instance if we say “This cheese is good but that cheese is much better,” we are speaking of a degree of quality rather than an amount of good.

The Hagal and Tyr Runes address quality and quality in another way. They are like two ways of hitting a target. Hagal is like taking a handful of rocks and throwing them in the direction of the target. The amount of rocks assures that at least two or three might hit the target. Tyr is very much the spearman who deliberately aims at his target Tyr throws one thing and counts on its greater accuracy. In our example, the key element is accuracy. Tyr expresses a greater degree of accuracy, while Hagal throws a lot of stuff in a more indiscriminate manner. We can also use the example of advertising campaigns. Hagal spreads hundreds of leaflets in hopes that a dozen or so might reach the right customer. Tyr researches its potential customers and sends a direct mailing to those who are most likely to buy. Hagal uses numbers to offset randomness, while Tyr is a Rune that eliminates the random factor through planning and tactics.

Military history buffs might appreciate this one. German weapons and troops on the Eastern Front were of a much higher quality than their Soviet adversaries. The Russians had weight of numbers. The Germans could not make enough of their quality things to keep up with the overwhelming numbers of low quality Russian things. Ironically, it was the opposite on another front. Rommel was outnumbered and outgunned by the British in North Afrika. It was the quality of Rommel’s tactical expertise that offset the quantitative advantage of the British. Ironically, the defeat of Rommel came through the efforts of a man who combined an improved quality of leadership with the numerical advantages.

Quality or quantity? The wisdom is in discerning what each situation requires. There will be times when more is requires, and others when a better quality is the necessary element. You can use the Runes to help get a clearer picture of the situation, and thereby make a good decision.