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Cobb
LOS ANGELES, CA
Combat Epistemologist
Interests: gaming, bourbon, gadgets, big data, hapkido, game theory, theology, political & analytic philosophy, computer augmented decision support, spycraft, creole cuisine, asian jazz fusion, bbq, electronica, historical fiction, beef cattle, fast cars, and anything that fits into a 19 inch rack.
Recent Activity
I've been thinking of a scenario in which the West calls Muslims by faith to make hard choices. But it seems to me that the choice must be by nation, and that it must be agreements by nation that all are bound. We are to late to stop Russia from owning Syria from this point forwards. And does the US care enough about Libya or Lebanon to stop a Russian settled Syria? Only wars will draw new lines, and it is something no American seems to be considering.
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I do have the T-shirt.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on The Orlando Blip vs The Civil Right at Cobb
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It's awfully strange how difficult it must be for a genuine Islamicist to defend acts of terror on American citizens. They're either straight crazy or are playing a longer game than anyone considers possible. But let us presume that both... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Cobb
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Where in the name of common-sense, are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2016 at Cobb
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What is a community? I think this is a (New York) city dynamic that resonates far less elsewhere. I remember when I moved to Prospect Heights from LA, I was supposed to have an opinion about Crown Heights and that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2016 at Cobb
We actually connected. He's alive and well. I had to remember all that I remember about him because of the profound effect he had on my childhood.
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2016 on TC Remembered at Cobb
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TC was, in my childhood, one of the best friends I ever had. I found him again this morning, 45 years later. He was the first kid and only kid in my neighborhood where I could sleep over. He lived... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2016 at Cobb
Yeah I thought about that word for quite a while after I wrote it. But then I liked the way it suggests that she keeps me off balance and disturbs me, which puts her in a different country than just a pretty smile. Hers is a devastating smile, something to be wary of in the way that in animals a smile is the same as baring of fangs. So I decided to leave it.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2016 on Fifty Five at Cobb
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This is not an essay about Donald Trump. But I can think of no better illustration in one picture that is evocative of the core lesson of this essay than a picture of Trump arguing. Trump arguing is America arguing,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2016 at Cobb
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My grey surprises me. I cut my hair down to the minimum and it changes a few things, but not a lot. I'll be getting a new pair of glasses soon. This is the 55th and it seems like it... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2016 at Cobb
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At some point I may end up making the practical project of figuring out how to map the laws. That is to say let’s call this project ‘Law Map’. Law Map would be a system of identifying every law on... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2016 at Cobb
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Back in 1980, when the world was turning to morning in America, and I first began to understand what inflation was and why I couldn't afford an apartment in Los Angeles, there was a small miracle called MICR. MICR (magnetic... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2016 at Cobb
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Here's a link to the webinar I did last week with VoltDB. Having Volt as part of our architecture has enabled us to think about a whole new class of applications. Right now, I would say that we're at the... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2016 at Cubegeek
So I've got the bug. This happens when I have a little downtime in between gigs. via www.cubegeek.com Yeah I might as well send some traffic over that way. Continue reading
Reblogged May 17, 2016 at Cobb
One of the brilliant things about working closer to the technology as I do at Full360 is that every once in a while you get to see things in a completely different light once you know that you have a... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2016 at Cubegeek
Ward, long time no see. Yes that's definitely my gap tooth uncle. He's the oldest Bowen and quite a man. Funny I thought about him watching the Domo dude.
Toggle Commented May 13, 2016 on Red vs Blue at Cubegeek
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I'm browsing in an attempt to understand my marketing job a little bit better. Look what I found So if you want to know the difference between real clouds and fake clouds, here is a sample. First, sadly, I got... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2016 at Cubegeek
There is a marvelous kind of awareness that emerges in the years beyond ambition and mastery. I am in the midst of that new prime, and it is more than cool and more than lovely to be in my mid... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2016 at Cubegeek
For the first time in memory, I watched the Oscars. What happened to Billy Crystal? I have no understanding of the nuances of celebrity. They all seem to be pallid frail cute cutouts of what's cool now. Nothing seems so... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2016 at Cobb
So I've got the bug. This happens when I have a little downtime in between gigs. So I'm thinking about Fintech and banking and what it would take to build up a new kind of bank from scratch. So here's... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2016 at Cubegeek
(from the archives - June 2003) I have given a lot of thought to the matter of reparations and I'd like to be blunt about my conclusions for the sake of brevity. The answer is that blackfolks will settle for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2016 at Cobb
Well, here's one that I cared a little about and hoped it would go a particular way. Hey it did! I'm not a particular hater of Andrew Jackson, but I am a particular lover of Alexander Hamilton, and that's going... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2016 at Cobb
I started this debate with my father and I made a specific distinction between the 'farmer' and the 'king'. I think the bourgeois model applies to Americans and theirs is the message to the king, but we fail in our responsibility as kings. In other words, I was trying to make the clear distinction between the appeal of Jesus messages on the Sermon on the Mount across his listeners. What Jesus did not do, so far as I ever learned, was to ask people in the crowd to give a tithe of their loaves and fishes, because that crowd was the meek, as in 'blessed are the meek'. Also, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan was as wealthy as the other two who passed up the desolate stranger. So I am saying explicitly that Christian ethics holds a class-aware standard of behavior. Further I am saying that being a good neighbor and the rules of hospitality of any society are not really up for debate by Christianity. The Church itself does not attempt to substitute its economy for the world's economy, its canon law for the world's law, its sense of justice for the judgment of men. Not in the details, but only in the broad sense. If it were the case then Christianity failed upon the failure of Christendom, and exists no more. But specific to the moral hazard let me take the context of something else I wrote - because what I really want to get at is the credulity of today's 'farmers' in light of the moral posturing of politics in secular society (vis a vis poets, priests and politicians).... read this: Just because Ferguson fails doesn't mean Los Angeles fails. Just because Compton fails doesn't mean Koreatown fails. Just because Compton failed yesterday doesn't mean it fails tomorrow. I have the benefit of seeing Ferguson as an isolated whatever. No matter what extremity is revealed there, it doesn't make me believe that the sky is falling. I can accept without hesitation that it is what it is, because nothing exactly like it is happening elsewhere. So fine. Let it be what it is. I don't pretend to be affected when I'm not. I just see what I see. My preparation is necessary for me because I understand how cheesy the digital world can become and has become in certain areas. It is a kind of cheese that is easily spread and I am particularly loathe of that kind of dishonesty. So I am finding (whilst being honest in the digital realm) alternative ways to express contributions to society, particularly in emergency services. I'm the guy who knows firemen and cops and Boy Scout leaders in his city. I know what they do because I have been trained to do some of their work. I suspect I'll get on with nurses and air traffic controllers next. Quite basically, I am separating myself out of the bullshit job economy. People keep complaining about how hard it is to get 'a job' while so many skills are lacking. These are the jobs and skills that can never be outsourced and never go away. You can call that survivalist training. I ask everybody with a keyboard and an opinion, "Who is your Leviathan". Everybody on the internet thinks they can say something, wish something, vote something into being if their meme is virulent enough. I call bullshit on that. I look at what it actually takes to pull levers, cut steel, lay bricks, stop bad guys, put out fires, pour cement, fly planes, set broken bones, grow crops, tend herds. That's a very different business than retweeting, posting, coding, voting, critiquing cultural productions, socializing concepts, raising awareness, supporting causes. Hard physical skills vs soft verbal skills. Whether or not democratic institutions fail, the former are more important than the latter. I spent the first 50 years of my life feeding myself with the latter, and it's important that I get busy with the former. I'm thrilled. Just thrilled to find so much satisfaction in learningthe hard physical skills, having sufficiently mastered the soft ones. It is the corruption of the soft skills that make democratic institutions fail. Dishonesty. And millions of Americans are just helpless suckers because they have no hard skills and expect the soft ones to have integrity automatically. It's a great deception which is part and parcel of the Digiital era. And most people do not have the mental discipline to work that soft verbal properly. So we have expanded markets into the territory of bullshit. Once upon a time, it took Stan Lee and a couple of his co-workers all of their imagination to come up with Spiderman comics, and that was pure gold. Now in America you have a billion dollars worth of Spiderman multimedia which is mostly bullshit. Once upon a time you had Paley and Friendly at CBS who made one national news channel worth watching. Now you have 1000 channels and bullshitters like Jon Stewart 'informing' the masses. When you build a bullshit dike, a hurricane will make it fail and people will drown. When you build a bullshit network, it too will be compromised. Except that people don't drown. The soft bullshit is sustained, like all the meaningless conversations and viral memes around Ferguson which fund millions of dollars of pop-up ads. When all those ideas fail, people will stop thinking they are pundits and experts. They'll realize they don't have the skill, and they'll try something simpler. They'll realize that they can't express themselves in any meaningful way. Hmm. Maybe they'll burn shit down. I have lived among the effete wordsmiths who cannot function in the physical world. They expect that MLK speeches will turn people's actions, decades after MLK is dead. They cannot deal with violence or physical hard skills - they are poets, priests and politicians. I see millions of common folk helpless to their charms. And those phonies were and probably still are in authority over the democratic institutions of Ferguson. In the moment of violence, when the bullshit words and institutions built on bullshit words crumble, when the wolves come out, every human being looks to the sheepdog. I'm not under any illusion that the bullshit can continue indefinitely. I know human beings too well. I've watched the blogosphere rise and then disintegrate. Compare the comments here to those at the Huffington Post. You already know. I'm not going to be Digital forever. I don't need society to fail, it fails in tiny parts every day. One tiny part is Ferguson. It's just another lesson I'm ready for. Is there, was there, an orthodox Christian response to Ferguson? Were Christians united in their opinion? I doubt it. And yet there were very strong incentives for everyone to have a moral opinion on the matter. Everyone's two cents were collected and aggregated. People took sides and very very few people put actual flowers on actual graves. So what I see is this moral economy in which few opt out, and there is a hazardous cost. There's a man going round taking names, and everybody keeps volunteering their name because they think their are moral stakes to be won.
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You are going to need the kind of systems we build. Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2016 at Cubegeek
So a farmer and and optometrist walk into in a bar. No. In fact a farmer and an optometrist meet on Facebook. And you now have a society where everything is negotiated through third parties. So much so, that people I talk to cannot even imagine that the farmer I've been talking about lives in a community and knows which of his farmhands has a kid with a broken ankle, for whom his wife bakes a cherry pie and takes it by. Urban society is not comprised of neighborhoods, per se, because nobody does much of that neighborly stuff. And that is why they generate demand, out of generic human kindness for these third party organizations to manage morality budgets. Alms and charity are signifiers, they are not simple neighborly acts. They are manufactured community. But most people on the planet don't live in manufactured communities, and I'm skeptical that the bourgeois model, in which you give at the office, is sustainable.
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