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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
My daughter walked into the room while I was looking up the Young Marquis in response to a Facebook friend's survey of favorite music albums of our teenaged years. Somebody reminded me of Rhino Records. So while she sat, remembering... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Cobb
I grabbed up a modest 7 TB of 7200 RPM Hitachis. I'm thinking about reformating them to btrfs but I think ext4 will suffice for the moment. I can always change; that's the point. It took me a minute to... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Cubegeek
What we need for government transparency and accountability is the ability to focus on systems of data, not just splashy stories. There is no such thing as data journalism, except that a select few people are already doing it. Let's... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Cobb
Ten years ago, I believed in Santa Claus. Well not really, but I did make up a list. 1. A commitment to the destruction of Al Qaeda, a well-thought out strategy for an achievable victory in Iraq in-term and a... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Cobb
#1. Everybody who was afraid of Reagan was wrong, except the Russians. I can remember all of the same accusations of stupidity hurled at Reagan and Bush, but none at Clinton. Look who turned out to be the rapist. Obama... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Cobb
(A dream. A parable) They are all light skinned blacks in America. They hold each other in social contempt. All they care about is power over each other. Two of them are behind the counter at the fast food restaurant.... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Cobb
The other night I burst into the living room and announced to my wife and daughter that I have never weighed as much as I do now, which is 1 pound heavier than I was the heaviest I ever weighed myself, BUT that I was in better shape than I was lo those 7 years ago. I think I'm in better shape, but I'm not sure. What's for sure was that I was happy to unburden that. In fact, I was kind of joyous in it. And in the days since I've written this, it has been easier to do thing, to move up from a bottom. What got me down was December 19th was my late brother's birthday, and I know he would have really enjoyed the new Star Wars movie we all went to see in the same place we saw the prior one, last year around that time. I missed him in a new way, and I was sad for enjoying myself without him. I found that in a lot of conversations I wanted to complain and get people to feel sorry for me, but not really say it out loud. Every time I bumped my head or twisted my ankle or got a bone stuck in my teeth it became a reason to turn conversation into a 'woe is me' story. I was becoming an annoying person in a passive aggressive way. I'm not sure I'm still not. BUT. Getting back to work on schedule has been good. This week has been very good. I have seriously started using my GTD discipline. So I have things to look forward to. Then listening to you guys is a tremendous help too, because then I get either your misdiagnosis, or your empathy. I can deal with those things. But I have John Wayned so much shit, that it's a kind of second nature "It's not about me", and it still isn't. Except for the moment it is, so I can maybe be an example of how to get your head out of a funky rathole. I never wanted to be that old black Joe that eats in the kitchen after everybody else is finished in the dining room. But I am learning how to find the dignity in that. The strength in lowering one's need to be comfortable. But I have to measure that with my own tolerance for misery. It's an interesting place to be. I'll tell you more once I do my taxes.
Toggle Commented Jan 6, 2017 on Chasing Pebbles at Cobb
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This is going to be an update on what it feels like, these days, to be me. Trust me it's weird. First off, it is my natural disposition to say that I'm good. And I am. But then if you... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2017 at Cobb
Eyebrows ask why? The answer is nebulous, but having something to do with a desire to know and do for myself. If I was more of a car guy, this would be the Jaguar XKE I'm slowly building in my... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2016 at Cubegeek
Somebody could equally say, with hindsight 5 years from now, that the biggest mistake being made is de-ISIS-ification. You say the Neocons got it wrong, and everybody admits that the head doofus was Paul Bremer. But I categorize the failure of Debaathification as partly administrative in that the US has *nobody* well-versed in colonialization. That is a strategic deficit which remains to this day. The hardon for Iran is generational. We don't know what it's like to get along with Iranians in rather the same way we don't know how to get along with Turks. If Erdogan's successor starts talking shit the way Khomeni did against the US, we would sustain hostitlity to Turkey as well. Put the right Armenian American celebrity on TV and boom. Even though Turkey was almost halfway into the EU. But what do any of these nations have that the US wants? Nothing really. We want them to behave diplomatically and stay away from the commies. We want them to trade with us and not fund terror networks. We want them to speak English and visit America, and we want their Olympic atheletes to be cute. Then we can treat them the way we treat Argentina, which is to say not much at all.
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I watched it a couple times this century. I can recall that when Leslie Nielsen died in 2010, I went to watch it again.
Toggle Commented Dec 16, 2016 on A Pause to Recognize the Moment in Decline at Cobb
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Good to see you. I used to keep track of things a bit more tightly, which of course was more necessary during the combat. But surely Shiites largely aren't the only ones exporting ideology and conflict. Alawites are notoriously snobby and of course the Wahabis are the most strenuous sect I recall. I've just finished reading Kaplan on geography and he gushes about the great Persian history, literature and language. Even as I was looking to put all three heads in the picture for this essay, it was difficult to show the Supreme Leader scowling angrily. The Ayatollah is indeed a great scholar and it doesn't surprise me that they've outwitted many folks. So I was rather impressed in how Kaplan explained how the Iranians coyly expound their ideology through a deft combination of particular Islamic interpretations, militant force and humanitarian colonialism. This, I think, confounds Americans, not completely but sufficiently to make useful idiots of various partisan groups here. "Iran’s Shiite regime was able for a time to inspire the lumpen Sunni faithful and oppressed throughout the Middle East against their own tired, pharaonic governments, some of which have since fallen. Through its uncompromising message and nimble intelligence services, Iran for a long time ran an unconventional, postmodern empire of substate entities including Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Mahdi movement in southern Iraq. " Kaplan, Robert D. (2012-09-11). The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate (Kindle Locations 4414-4417). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
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The Bush Doctrine, whatever it may have been cannot be considered absent the Powell Doctrine which was the military strategy of Desert Storm. The Powell Doctrine was the reaction to the Vietnam Syndrome. In short, the army we had was... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2016 at Cobb
There's no authoritarianism in America. There is only the aggregated noise of ethical acrimony between the politicized halves of the upper middle class. It doesn't reverberate with the rich and powerful elites of America who are doing just fine, thank... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2016 at Cobb
It occurs to me that AWS is way ahead of this game because they've already figured out how to bill for Lambda. It might be very hard to do this where every microservice charges a different rate and pays a different devteam.
Toggle Commented Dec 9, 2016 on The Functional Revolution at Cubegeek
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A couple weeks ago, something profound occurred to me about enterprise software. I realized that when it is priced by server or by processor, that it's a ripoff. When it is priced by data usage, it's a bargain. You are... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2016 at Cubegeek
COINTELPRO It's probably the most famous classified operation of the US Security agencies known to man. At the moment the details are hazy to me, though known to be sinister and sneaky. Of course that's what intelligence services do. So... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2016 at Cubegeek Tolja
Toggle Commented Dec 6, 2016 on Headcounts at Cubegeek
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"An honest public servant can't become rich in politics." - Harry Truman So I asked a rhetorical question several years ago about the perfect President. The matter surrounded the perfection of intellectual and social attractiveness of a candidacy as contrasted... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2016 at Cobb
Sheila Bair is my guidepost, along with Zingales through all of the subprime mess. Bair correctly notes that banking has become outsized in the economy as a percentage of revenue of GDP. I think that's about to change, depending upon... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2016 at Cobb
The Boohab was performance art. Boohab's Factotum is a phrase I haven't spoken in at least 10 years. The Old School was definitely me and something I wrestled with a lot. The Core Values are still the same, but I don't feel the need to evangelize. If Obama had turned out to be a different President, I might have given politics a second chance. Now I tend to look at American politics like I look at hiphop. To quote Lauren Hill, "I used to love him, now I don't". There is an aspect of Cobb that was always written as a work in progress for a peek at my own thinking's evolution. Now I think I do that a bit better. I don't follow currents so much as I look at the implications of worldviews in conflict. If this Stoic perspective works out, then I can jump meta and do worldviews in conflict directly. For now I'm doing it from the perspective of a traveler who has had to put on different suits of armor over time. Yes I am perfecting that armor, but I still lament all the changes I have had to go through just to keep a smile on my face. Over the past five years, the Peasant Theory and the Martial Education have helped me understand more of the infrastructure of the world and what doesn't change at the heart of things. And yet I find myself amazed at the extent to which American opinion is so very fluid and contingent. I'm not sure I know exactly what to do with that.
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This will be the first time I am trying to articulate something I find to be deeply profound. Thus, future selves, try to understand the spirit in which it is given. The provocation is probably first with the Moldbug Reactionaries,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2016 at Cobb
I believe there are many tens of thousands of us who have come to this sort of recognition and have begun down a road of antifragility. It is my intent to establish networks of trust among us and that these networks will provide a new backbone of communicating for the purposes of friendship & society, news & education, commerce & entrepreneurial collaboration. A new Pony Express. I don't expect to be alone or prepping for some total calamity. Niall Ferguson's documentation of the Rothschilds in Europe helped me to understand that smart money will see bad times ahead and panic will not be necessary. This is just a matter of crafting umbrellas to weather the storm.
Toggle Commented Nov 21, 2016 on Books for the American Man at Cobb
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The Conservative Brotherhood lasted a good 4 or 5 years I guess. I started my blog 'Cobb' in '02 having retired from another project called Vision Circle. Vision Circle was my last attempt at advancing a Progressive anti-racist black partisan... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2016 at Cobb
Glad I can help. The interesting thing about stoicism is that I kind of stumbled onto it because I was halfway there in my attitude and outlook anyway. It was more of something that I now gave a name to but sort of already knew. When i was going to meetups, the guys there pointed me to Epictetus and I realized that it was their personalities that made it as boring as you think it would be. Then I listened to a podcast or two on Seneca and that was it. I got it. But here's the thing. I have been aiming towards a martial education for myself for the past 4 or 5 years. So I went to the citizens police academy, the community emergency response training and I got into the FBI citizens academy. I basically asked myself serious questions about the zombie apocalypse. What degree of deprivation could I face? So I was asking about a fascist America 8 years ago. That's part of what got me understanding the futility that voters are feeling right now. And it makes perfect sense once you start thinking about what one would do to prepare for war, on how obviously helpless most people would feel if their slogans and tweets and votes didn't change the world. Duh. How about you learn how the electric grid works? Now the sillies want to abolish the electoral college. Day late. Dollar short. Lack of preparation. Too much wishful thinking for positive change. The solution for me is stoicism. Knowing with reasonable certainty what can go wrong. Also the other half of this is risk management. So really the best books I could possibly recommend are by Nassim Taleb. It helps you to look at and understand the downside of every situation. What matters is that you do that ahead of time.
Toggle Commented Nov 12, 2016 on Books for the American Man at Cobb
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