Mantra

Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions. The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. [Read More]

Our politics are not based upon reality

The Trump Presidency is often (rightly) portrayed as being divorced from reality. I believe these are the symptoms of his worldview. “Trumpism Projection SumOfUs Final 1” by SumOfUs is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Copy Trump believes that he has been successful in his life because he is genetically superior. He regularly talks about coming from “good genes”. In his eyes, his success is not the result of his starting with millions of dollars, or his willingness to make decisions that hurt other people for his benefit. [Read More]

My Understanding of How People Work

Some of this is based on my understanding of scientific research. Some of this is based on my understanding of various philosophers. Some of this is based upon my personal observations. I’m certain it is flawed. I am also certain that it has been a useful model for me in trying to understand other people. We are a species in the Great Ape family who have developed the ability to understand and internalize an untold number of concepts, and to use them as tools to improve decision making. [Read More]

This is my Answer, please consider it.

Our way of life is clearly unsustainable. Full stop. But that’s daunting, so we ignore it. Painting by Marie We pretend we’re not buying mansions in flood plains right before the ocean rises. It’s a culture of limited liability. You cannot shift liability on a global scale. It doesn’t go away, it merely moves. When the rich make risky bets, enabled by government, home owners pay the cost when it inevitably bursts. [Read More]

Leadership Is Not Power

It appears that I have a different understanding of leadership than a large portion of the country. My former employers spent a lot of money making leadership training available to us. A real leader would let their actions lead. A real leader is willing to put in the effort to learn a much as possible in order to be able to make an informed decision. “Book: The Wisdom of Confucius” by John Drake Flickr is licensed under CC BY-ND 2. [Read More]

A New Path Through Collaboration

Before last year, I was primarily focused in the technology world. “pingui” by roberto noe diaz is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 My primary focus was Linux systems, which had been my platform of choice since the late 1990s. Hand in hand with Linux is the Open Source/Free Software cultures. The Linux Kernel was begun by Linus Torvalds as a college student. His decision to create it as a project distributed for free under the GNU General Public License (GPL) opened the door to it becoming the dominating force in technology. [Read More]

Twitter: A Corporation With Unilateral Control to an Official Channel to the President

Over the last few years, I’ve endeavored to be more politically active. My primary platform is Twitter, since it was Trump’s own platform. I’m able to directly respond to his messages, and directly interact with his supporters. Over time, I’ve built a fair sized following, which is useful for starting discussions on a topic. I’m able to share my concerns about the issues of the day. “1D3_16312” by Indiana Stan is licensed under CC BY-NC 2. [Read More]

To Disassemble Amazon, Cut Here

Over time, Amazon has become a vertical monopoly, like Standard Oil. Vertical Integration is an extremely powerful force for reducing costs, to the point where competing against a company like that becomes harder and harder until the company is either broken up, or someone manages to attack it effectively. “Cut Here à Paris” by Fabio Sola Penna is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Amazon can be viewed in a series of logical layers, which can easily be split into different businesses. [Read More]

Tackling Inequity Through Strategy

Scale brings efficiency. Those efficiencies can allow further growth, or can be used to reduce costs. Or they can be spent on executives. Or be handed to shareholders directly through dividends or indirectly through stock buybacks. Each of these choices can be viewed through a number of lenses. CEOs of publicly traded companies (companies that trade on the stock market) have a legal obligation to protect shareholder value. As humans, we have a responsibility to our communities, but that is a moral judgement, not a law. [Read More]