Definitions

# Stanislavsky method

or method acting

Influential system of dramatic training developed by the Russian actor, producer, and theoretician Konstantin Stanislavsky. The method was developed over years of trial and error, beginning circa 1898. It requires that an actor use his emotion memory (i.e., his recall of past experiences and emotions) to identify with the character's inner motivation. The technique was developed in reaction to the histrionic acting styles of the 19th century. Noted American practitioners began using the method in the 1920s; they have included Lee Strasberg, Marlon Brando, Dustin Hoffman, and Eli Wallach.

Statistical method for finding a line or curve—the line of best fit—that best represents a correspondence between two measured quantities (e.g., height and weight of a group of college students). When the measurements are plotted as points on a graph and seem to fall near the same line, the least squares method may be used to determine the best-fitting line. The method uses calculus techniques to find the minimum of the sum of the squares of the vertical distances of each data point from the proposed line. More generally, the process is called regression or, when the fitted curve is a line, linear regression.

In logic, the procedure by which an entire science or system of theorems is deduced in accordance with specified rules by logical deduction from certain basic propositions (axioms), which in turn are constructed from a few terms taken as primitive. These terms may be either arbitrarily defined or conceived according to a model in which some intuitive warrant for their truth is felt to exist. The oldest examples of axiomatized systems are Aristotle's syllogistic and Euclidean geometry. Early in the 20th century, Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead attempted to formalize all of mathematics in an axiomatic manner. Scholars have even subjected the empirical sciences to this method, as in J. H. Woodger's The Axiomatic Method in Biology (1937) and Clark Hull's Principles of Behavior (1943).

A tactic is a conceptual action used by a military unit of no larger than a division to implement a specific mission and achieve a specific objective, or to advance toward a specific goal. A tactic is implemented as one or more tasks. These concepts can be defined as a hierarchy:

## Strategy versus Tactics

### Military usage

The terms tactics and strategy are often confused: tactics are the actual means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that lead to tactical execution. The United States Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms defines the tactical level as
...The level of war at which battles and engagements are planned and executed to accomplish military objectives assigned to tactical units or task forces. Activities at this level focus on the ordered arrangement and maneuver of combat elements in relation to each other and to the enemy to achieve combat objectives.

If, for example, the overall goal is to win a war against another country, one strategy might be to undermine the other nation's ability to wage war by preemptively annihilating their military forces. The tactics involved might describe specific actions taken in specific locations, like surprise attacks on military facilities, missile attacks on offensive weapon stockpiles, and the specific techniques involved in accomplishing such objectives.

### Other usages

Referring to non-military uses of the term, in his work The Practice of Everyday Life, French scholar Michel de Certeau suggests strategy and tactics are alike in that they both operate in space and time. However, unlike strategy, which inherently creates its own autonomous space, “a tactic is a calculated action determined by the absence of a proper locus. … The space of a tactic is the space of the other” (ibid., 36-37). A tactic is deployed “on and with a terrain imposed on it and organized by the law of a foreign power.” One who deploys a tactic “must vigilantly make use of the cracks that particular conjunctions open in the surveillance of the proprietary powers. It poaches in them. It creates surprises in them” (ibid. 37). Tactics, then, are isolated actions or events that take advantage of opportunities offered by the gaps within a given strategic system, although the tactician never holds onto these advantages. Tactics cut across a strategic field, exploiting gaps in it to generate novel and inventive outcomes. Tactics are usually used to spoil the running context. Basically the position you and your squad follow.

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