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Combat Epistemologist
Interests: literature, bourbon, vintage electronics, 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
Without taking your quibble long into consideration as my mind is elsewhere, I can react by simply saying: The zero-sum wasn't zero-sum so much as it was the effect of a society saying simply "Well that's just not done". IE Relatively speaking nobody funded porn in (mainstream) theater chains, until somebody found a way to pay for porn on the web without the approval of all of the financial channels in Hollywood. Cryptocurrency gives a banking and financial potential to crazy business models and market making. Which is to say I'm sure zero-sum applies to the respect of mainstream financiers, but not to actual capitalist economics.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on The Crypto Future at Cobb
1 reply
The advance and spread of cryptocurrencies requires ‘perfected’ security. It will do for identity what GPS did for location. People in the cryptocurrency economy will always be on the grid, so to speak. They will be absolutely, positively identifiable in... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Cobb
I have many many ideas about how our information world can be improved. I need to be a bit more forward in advancing those ideas. How about this? Civic data backed by reputation management systems can bridge the gap between... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at Cobb
Readers of Cobb know that I had a black nationalist upbringing as a child. As such I was, among other things, participant in the very first celebration of Kwanzaa. Among the family, friends and associates of the day were more... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at Cobb
You overestimate the need for affinity. What you'll find is that either people put their money where their mouth is, or they don't. So it is always useful to follow the money. When it comes to that, the overwhelming majority of people are just working to feed themselves and nothing more. All the hucksters and others unaccountable are not building any political power if they are not collecting money, and all of the black masses are not spending money following any ideological pattern. They may *talk* cultural Marxism; they may *talk* anti-white-supremacy, but they're not *spending* that way. They actually spend more money on Jordans and CDs. That's where the disposable income goes. Not to coherent politics. Again, there is no 'black blockchain'. If there were to be, then you could absolutely identify who is and who is not on it, and very little in American society runs that way. Even for people with top secret clearances. I'm not really concerned with the confusion of the masses. They cannot and will not defy gravity. They'll just be wrong and jump off cliffs. Not my monkeys not my circus. I don't care who thinks they are 'black' or who thinks they are 'white' or what they have to do to fulfill those idiot roles. Racial identity is the dead network. It doesn't require much thought to disconnect from it, but people have bad habits. Boo fucking hoo.
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2017 on Ignoring the Present & PARC at Cobb
1 reply
There is not significant interest in the radical black collective. It exists primarily as a client of the American Left agenda. It has no significant funding that it generates itself nor any deep relations with deep pockets. You could collect the net worth and net influence of Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, T. Coates and Michael Eric Dyson and put it in a pile. That pile would be smaller than Michael Jordan's pile. Black radical consciousness does not energize significant populations to effective action. It certainly exists, like fashion and style, and it certainly changes the behavior of people who hold such values and beliefs, but it is not particularly effective in the American political arena. What I've been saying for years is that if black Americans were actually suffering as deeply as is claimed, then they would be more coherent and bring more gifted and capable people into their leadership. But what few black radicals are prepared to admit is that black America is in fact mostly middle class and the greatest goals of the Civil Rights movement have been achieved. Black Americans have reached MLK's 'mountaintop', and the statue is on the Mall in DC. MLK was not telling black Americans to go into to space. That's where America is now. If there is to be another black radical movement, it will have to be a bourgeois movement. It is not about civic equality any longer. It's about money, aka 'Silver Rights', and black radicals don't have an economic agenda that makes any sense. They are a dying breed of cultural Marxists and they have no influence over today's youth. In fact, they missed out on the entire digital revolution of the past 30 years, having organized around the 'digital divide' trying to rehash the ideas of a prior generation. Black radical politics has no future. They still look back to slavery days for inspiration.
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2017 on Ignoring the Present & PARC at Cobb
1 reply
Ignoring the present is best accomplished by filling one’s day with fulfilling work building something that does not yet exist largely in the public consciousness. Then simply tune out the news. It is a habit of mind that is best... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2017 at Cobb
Q. Do you feel that welfare has made an overall positive or negative impact on poor people in the United States? A. Absolutely negative economically, absolutely positive in terms of hope. I’ll focus on the negative because I think people... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2017 at Cobb
For the record... Bruce Schneier John Mueller Neal Stephenson Clay Shirky Kay Hymowitz Niall Ferguson Clint Bruce Larry J. Kolb Philip E. Tetlock Craig Venter Larry P. Arnn Richard Fernandez Dan Ariely Lawrence Lessig Steven Berlin Johnson Danny Hillis Luigi... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2017 at Cobb
Qatar is in the news this week. I don't know what to think, and I'm not out looking for someone to tell me what to think so that I can sputter and spew with 2 hours of study's worth of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2017 at Cobb
It has been just over 10 years since I learned supply and demand of energy at the global level. Some time later, I had the opportunity to spend several hours at a seminar held on the campus of Caltech at... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2017 at Cobb
(Q) Why was RDBMS invented? I know that RDBMS is all about normalization and relationships. This maintains a strongly connected dataset. Today, I read that originally RDBMS was invented to reduce the footprint of data on disk. Apparently, disk was... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2017 at Cubegeek
Dude. I *make* ammo.
Toggle Commented May 30, 2017 on The Society of the Streets at Cobb
1 reply
If you think the power of politics can change people's lives for the better, it's because you believe the power of money can change people's lives for the better. It just that you don't trust people enough to give them... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2017 at Cobb
I noticed there is a broken link on this page of your site - It is the Stanford website covering living under drones ( The site discussed drone usage in Pakistan but no longer seems to be online. With this in mind, I thought you’d be interested in hearing about one of our pages that could act as a replacement. It is an infographic that analyzes drone strikes during Obama’s administration so it covers events in Pakistan. Here’s the link -
Toggle Commented May 29, 2017 on Drone War 2012 at Cobb
1 reply
Education. Healthcare. Infrastructure. Chances are that if you're a liberal American, you don't really see any practical limits to the amount of money that it's OK to spend on those three areas of the American economy. If you're a Progressive,... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2017 at Cobb
You can bet on it. Maybe that's what I'll do for my summer vacation. My wife has allowed me to be me. She is what we jokingly refer to as a 'large-breasted Midwestern female'. She's perfectly predictable and normal, reliably ornery, mushy and fiercely loyal. She is practical as the day is long. Our wedding bands are made of tungsten. Unbeautiful. Unbreakable. My self-discipline arises from my absolute inability to trust the advice of other people, whom I generally consider to be intellectually and/or ethically compromised. It has become an ingrained skeptical habit. So I trust me. I must. When I think about it, this reminds me of a little story I was told as a child about two kids coming home from school on a snowy day. They looked at their footprints in the snow and as they came to a field they had to cross they made a bet on who could walk the straightest line across the way. One child watched his feet, the other fixed his gaze on a fencepost in the distance. Naturally the kid with his eyes on the prize won the day. I have the same vocal habit as George W. Bush, which is that I speak like a resume, starting sentences with the first person singular verb rather than the word "I". People always seem to be watching their feet, navel gazing, talking about other people. I can't manage to think about myself outside of the pursuit of a goal. I don't have any motivation outside of (shared) goals. Because I'm perfect enough in myself to be invisible to myself. My ego is attached to the universe. It's not about me. It's not about be. It's about do. I am a vessel of spirit. So in all that it's not self-discipline per se. It's difficult for me to project, to build up myself for what I think other people would pay me. I just want to do what I want to do. So I always have difficulty negotiating myself into.. relationships that deliver a surfeit of profit. So these days I often think I should have been a bigger asshole when I was younger and worked in a more conventionally profitable domain. But actually I don't care so much. I tend to have no regrets whatsoever. I know I'm not going to change. I like myself. All I need is money. It's the only thing I can't make for myself, relatively speaking. Anyway. that came out rather spontaneously. I'm thinking of an old smelly pub in the Midlands with warped floorboards and a pint of Tetley. It was an overwhelmingly sad joint. It was too large and empty. That was Birmingham. But there was another in Stratford. Small, claustrophobic. What I didn't understand was that you're supposed to use alcohol to create intimacy - that it wasn't about the place or the beer. It was about using them to look into the eyes of the one next to you. Now i get it. I have enough life and experience to fill in all the conversation. When I was a younger man it was all about looking at the far fencepost.
Toggle Commented May 12, 2017 on Victor at Cobb
1 reply
Victor lived on 30th Street a block and a half from my house. He was, for a short time, my best friend. He was a smart, good looking kid and he was proprietary. He was self-possesed. I learned rather early... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2017 at Cobb
Dave Chappelle has aged well. When I look at him in his new Netflix special, I'm liking him still. Not more, not less, but aside from the fact that he has to keep up with and comment on a broader... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2017 at Cobb
Really good to see you here. I'll check out Ferriss.
Toggle Commented May 12, 2017 on Fads of Stoicisms at Cobb
1 reply
I will and perhaps you will read some of Cobb in retrospective mode. This post is to disambiguate my own journey to Stoicism from that which I just discovered today is the calling card of various hacks and hawkers, namely... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at Cobb
It is to be expected that opinions are sufficient to express one’s self interest. If the aims of American politics were limited to matters of self-interest to the ends of self-determination as conceived of by the Founders, then such opinions... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2017 at Cobb
This won’t take long. I’m still in the mood to rave. I’ve fallen in love with my new secret keeper: Biscuit + KMS. Biscuit is a multi-region HA key-value store for your AWS infrastructure secrets. So I’m really a big... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2017 at Cubegeek
Oh yeah and this:
Toggle Commented Apr 26, 2017 on Scary Flags at Cobb
1 reply
A couple years ago I was watching video of the EuroMaidan in the Kiev. What I was particularly interested in was reconciling my own relatively new mindset as a Sheepdog with the reality on the ground there. If there were... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2017 at Cobb