Just Who is Jeff Bezos?

Everyone knows about Amazon and its amazing successes. Fewer people know very much about its founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos. Whether you are interested in his company or not, Jeff is a person worth listening to. He just did an interview with Henry Blodget that I found fascinating. The key take away for me is how down to earth this dude is. Almost anti-bombastic, while at the same time retaining an amazing curiosity and willingness to experiment. Check it out!

The Ordeal of Being Bannon

Steve Bannon was just booted from the Trump White House, which of course, raises the question, how a person like Bannon ever got his foot in the front door there in the first place.  It could only have happened with a Trump presidency.

Perhaps the most peculiar aspect of this episode is the argument that Bannon allegedly brought coherence to the Trump campaign – making Trump’s hard right message into a policy platform of sorts. The messaging has been peculiar, and the idea that it is coherent in some way is equally peculiar.

So where did that come from?

Consider that before Trump brought Bannon into his campaign, few had ever heard of Bannon or his web based mouthpiece “Breitbart.com”. Bannon’s involvement in the campaign and then the presidency has changed that. He is now a public figure. But has that refined his message or thinking in any way? Taking a look at Breitbart, you quickly understand that this has not and is not going to happen. Here is one of today’s headlines

Rush Limbaugh: We are on the cusp of a second civil war

Sorry Rush. We are not on the cusp of a second civil war. But Bannon et al have to believe this, which at the end of the day is their mental cage.

Bannon has said that he will now return to Breitbart and “go to war” for the Trump Administration. Yes, that would be the Trump Administration that just gave him the boot. What does this mean? It means that Bannon will continue doing what he has always done — try to stir folks up with a lot of BS. And when they are stirred up and  engage in meaningless, violent gestures? Then Bannon et al can claim that they were merely reporting on anger that was always there. In other words, Bannon will continue in his role as rabble rouser.

Before you begin to think of this as a potential career path, take note of the problem that Bannon and his sort face. The problem is that folks don’t stay riled up forever. At some point, they want to move on. So Bannon is trying to blow up a balloon that has a hole in it.  How long can he keep puffing? My best guess is he will rage on for a few years.  At that point, his zillionaire backer will get bored with him.

What do you think?

Covington Sixth Man of the Year?

Fran Blinebury thinks RoCo may be a candidate for best sixth man of next deason, and the recognition is welcome.

There is just one problem. The odds are that RoCois likely to stay in the atarting line up for next year.  The knock on RoCo is that he is not a creator on offense. True. But next year, the Sixers have Simmons, Fultz and Embiid who are all creators. RoCo and JJ Redick will be needed to spread the floor.  JJ Redick is a proven 3 point threat. RoCo’spercentages were down last year, but I think they will pop back up with less pressure on his game.

And what about Dario? Dario will be the sixth man and lead the second squard. That second squad will include Dario, Holmes, Bayless, and McConnell, with TLC or Stauskas. That is a pretty interesting group.

I am cool with this. Are you?

Edward Allcard’s Reality and Our new Reality

You might not  have heard of Edward Allcard. I had not until I saw a notice of his passing.  He died at 102, which is very old, considering the daredevil type of life that he led. Allcard was a solo sailor, and a passionate one at that. He sailed across oceans and seas without tech or lifeboats, just him in his boat against all odds.

Allcard knew that this was a bit nutty. But he was enthralled by the challenge of outwitting mother nature with a minimum amount of tools. And he did.

We might contrast this with a lifestyle that will likely become mainstream in the near future. Virtual reality will soon enable people to spend considerable time in a synthetic world of their own making.  We might even re reate Allcard’s world and stop action whenever it gets too risky.

Man in nature evolves into man synthesizing nature for his or her own pleasure. Of course, neither paradigm helps man live in harmony with fellow members of his own species. Instead, they both are intensely egocentric. And it may be that this egocentrism will be our Achilles heel in the new century.

What do you think?

 

Back Home in Tartu

I have just returned from my trip to the States! It’s great to be home again!

Not too long ago, August was a time when Americans took a break from the news.   It was a time, for example, when we could laugh at Jimmy Carter fending off a killer rabbit from a row boat. Anyone remember that one? I loved the opportunity to retreat from the buzz and chill out. By way of contrast, this August, we got a threat of nuclear war with North Korea, terror attacks, Charlottesville, and the president riffing on the fine neo-Nazis doing their thing in Ccharlotesville. I need a break from my break!

BTW, I am not ht eonly one. VC Al Wenger wrote this in his “blogging break farewell”

I will be disabling all notifications on my phone and checking email only twice a day. Given all the craziness here in the US and elsewhere in the world, I have been spending too much time on news and I am looking forward to this break to dial things down.

The “checking e mail only twice per day” speaks volumes about where we are these days.

The suprising thing is that the above tsunami of horrendous news bites was not a surprise at all. It is just par for the course these days and Steve Bannon’s departure from the White House is not likely to change this.

So what will change this? Getting beyond Trump will help. While no one knows how the Trumpster’s tenure in the White House will play out, there are signs that the dude is increasingly isolated. I heard on the news the other day that not a single Republican senator was willing to come on “Meet the Press” to defend him after Charlottesville.

But getting beyond Trump will not get us beyond the type of politics that gave us Trump. That is a whole other matter. And it is a matter that will have to be dealt with if American politics is ever to get back to some degree of normalcy.  It boils down to this simple proposition – American conservatism has to free itself from the loony right.  The first step is that the loony tunes calling themselves conservatives have to be drummed out of office.

Will that happen? I will be paying extremely close attention to the next election cycle to see. It may be one of the most important in my life time. And I am hopeful. I get the sense that lots of folks are fed up with the ongoing silliness we get from the right. Will they vote dem? Stay tuned!