Friday, August 21, 2015

The Cost of War

A friend of mine turned me onto Demon-Ocracy Info, an incredible site delineating not only the cost of war, a section of which as seen above, but also of other activities whose dollar amounts stagger the imagination. Explore this extraordinary site to learn how, in many instances, we are getting screwed big time, especially in the area of defense spending, the biggest welfare system in the world, keyed to funding the military/industrial/congressional system to the max at the expense of us rubes paying for such largess that, in the words of Orwell, is a way of shattering to pieces... materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable and... too intelligent.

Food for thought ... without question.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


John Boyd, America's iconoclastic version of Sun Tzu, changed modern military strategy forever by incorporating Godel's Incompleteness Theorem, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics into the concept of OODA (Observe/Orient/Decide & Act Loop) a methodology describing how Situational Awareness works, a concept used not only by nearly every military organization in the world but also by businesses and individuals needing to see how reality works at deep level. As per SA, check out how Jason Bourne uses it in a real life situation.

In conclusion, it seems Boyd's amazing concept is like Zen and the Way of Tao in explaining why being in the moment is essential if one is to succeed in the rapidly changing times of the 21st century.

Last but not least, Boyd's masterful essay Destruction & Creation succinctly describes how OODA works in the real world. Not to be missed IMHO. :)

Addendum: The Essence of Winning & Losing pdf explains the OODA Loop diagram in detail.

John R. Boyd

Strip or Retire

The Art of Manliness, a site filled with esoteric and valuable information for guys like yours truly, posted a gem titled, you guessed it, Strip or Retire, a piece discussing why risking something of personal value in undertaking any task is the honorable way to live one's life, something devoutly to be avoided by people who game the system at the expense of others no matter what the cost may be.

As philosopher Nassim Taleb argues in Antifragile: “At no point in history have so many non-risk-takers, that is, those with no personal exposure, exerted so much control.”

Bankers and hedge fund managers make risky investments and trades that contribute to cratering the economy, but avoid punishment while taxpayers pick up the tab.

Corporate CEOs run companies into the ground, but walk away with millions in bonuses.

Journalists write columns that contribute to support for a war or a criminal accusation, but retain their jobs when the claims they made turn out to be false.

Researchers publish “ground-breaking” studies that are later retracted, but do not publicly apologize or admit mistake.

Politicians and media pundits offer analyses and make predictions about current and future events that turn out to be wholly inaccurate, and yet continue to wield power and talk to the cameras night after night.

Read the entire piece as it's filled with interesting factoids that, in indirect fashion, explain why the really important people in the grand scheme of things, take the shot with personal risk as part of the equation in making things happen, no matter what the cost may be.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bullet Time - For Real

Quantum computing, the tech behind the Matrix, is now getting ready to make it's long awaited presence known, thanks to the ability to harness light in ways never thought possible until now.

Now, researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) in Japan, have pulled off the same feat for light in the quantum world by developing an optical chip that can process photons in an infinite number of ways.

It's a major step forward in creating a quantum computer to solve problems such as designing new drugs, superfast database searches, and performing otherwise intractable mathematics that aren't possible for super computers.

The fully reprogrammable chip brings together a multitude of existing quantum experiments and can realise a plethora of future protocols that have not even been conceived yet, marking a new era of research for quantum scientists and engineers at the cutting edge of quantum technologies. The work is published in the journal Science on 14 August.

Bullet Time - In Film

Bullet Time - For Real

Hoisted on one's own petard

Arrogance and entitlement compromise one's intelligence, notions that certainly apply to Hillary 's self inflicted email fiasco, a situation easily avoided if one knows anything about tech and acceptable risk vis a vis top secret data best stored on federal systems AWAY from one's personal residence.

The last batch of Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department included one from Clinton asking to borrow a book called “Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better,” by David Shipley and Will Schwalbe.

Clinton has not said why she requested the book, but it includes some advice that is particularly interesting in light of the controversy over her unconventional email arrangement at the State Department and her decision to delete tens of thousands of emails she deemed to be purely personal.

The copy that ABC downloaded for $9.99 had some interesting revelations.

Take, for example, Chapter Six: “The Email That Can Land You In Jail.” The chapter includes a section entitled “How to Delete Something So It Stays Deleted.”

"Hoisted on one's petard" - Hamlet (III.iv.207) Shakespeare

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Bridge

Road trip taken with my big brother that included a ride over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Enjoy.

Foreign Entanglements

"As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter. "- George Washington

Prescient words, particularly when applied to Israel trying to scuttle the Iran deal by actions contrary to the national interest, something Washington would not have tolerated by any stretch of the imagination nor did Eisenhower when the Suez crisis went down back in the day.

"But this is not Israel's deal. It is our deal, and our decision. And Israel is massively interfering in our internal affairs to scuttle a deal the president believes is in the vital interests of the United States.

When the U.S. and Israel disagree over U.S. policy in the Mideast, who decides for America? Them or us?

Why does Barack Obama take this? Why does John Kerry take this?

One can only imagine what President Eisenhower would have done had he seen Bibi at the rostrum of the U.S. House of Representatives, ripping apart his Middle East policy. Or had Ike learned that an Israeli ambassador was working the halls of Congress to kill an arms deal he and John Foster Dulles had just negotiated.

Lest we forget, Ike told his wartime colleague, Prime Minister Anthony Eden, to get his army out of Suez or he would sink the British pound. Ike then told Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to get his army out of Sinai or face U.S. economic reprisals.

Eden and Ben-Gurion did as they were told.

That was an America respected by friend and foe alike.

When Harry Truman felt that Gen. Douglas MacArthur had been insubordinate in resisting presidential restrictions on his actions in Korea, Truman fired the general and astounded the nation.

Yet this president and John Kerry have been wimpishly seeking for weeks to placate Netanyahu. And Bibi is no Douglas MacArthur.

Time to stop acting like wusses.

The president should declare Dermer persona non grata and send him packing, then tell the Israeli government we will discuss a new arms package when you have a prime minister who understands that no nation interferes in the internal affairs of the United States. None.

That could bring Bibi's government, with its single-vote majority, crashing down. And why not? After all, Bibi was a virtual surrogate for Mitt Romney when Mitt was trying to bring down Obama.

Obama and Kerry are never running again. Deep down, they would surely relish taking Bibi down. And they could do it.

Deal or no deal, it is time America started acting like America again." - Pat Buchanan

Truer words were never spoken.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

The Clown Show - Rev 1

Gotta love it. :) The Donald's totally stellar without question.

Addendum: The best two minutes in the debate courtesy The Donald

Here's the exchange:

Any questions?

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Mighty Monarchs

Monarchs are amazing butterfies whose migration route never ceases to amaze as seen in this video turned onto yours truly by a master gardener who knows more about Monarchs then I will ever know. Additionally, as per my good friend, this magnificent creature is becoming endangered thanks to habitat loss, herbicide use and climate change, conditions we can change if we have the courage to do so.