George Sibble

A Little Too Much Truth

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First World Problems

The Economist today had a fantastic article entitled “Technology Isn’t Working”. The thesis of the article is that technology is not following through on its promise of job creation and economic growth, instead resulting in stagnation over the last 30-40 years.

I completely agree and believe it is a primary driver for why we are seeing rampant income disparity and record low workforce participation as well as an increasingly dour outlook for the middle class. Let’s look at the sociological as well as economic reasons for this situation.

The historical assumption of economic growth regarding technology is that a new invention, especially those increasing efficiency, will create more jobs than it destroys. Think about the light bulb. It decimated the candlestick industry. But it created a massive industry of its own right. New factories, fresh marketing, and...

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The Greatest Economic Crime

For most people, time does equal money under most circumstances. These people are paid for the effort they put into a problem, not the solution to that problem. Examples are hourly and salaried workers which comprise the vast majority of the workforce.

For the select few, including the one percent, we are compensated differently. We are paid for the solution, not for the effort. If a solution takes a day or a year, we are compensated the same amount. This difference means that time does not equal money, since the compensation is the same but time investment is differential.

Instead, a combination of knowledge and effort equals money. And interestingly, time contributes towards both. Knowledge is acquired through time including that spent outside of that applied directly to the problem at hand.

The effort invested is also interesting because unlike jobs where you are compensated for...

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American Pride and Jealousy

A conversation I had with a friend earlier today reminded me of how frightened I am regarding the future of this once great country.

To summarize, she asked:

“Isn’t it a shame that the CEO of Aetna makes $30,000,000 a year? That’s a sickening amount of money. That’s why premiums are so high. So rich people like him can run around with all of this money.”

When did it become so out of style to earn you and your family great wealth in a country whose economy is predicated upon the urge to earn you and your family great wealth?

Isn’t that the basis of a free market economy? Isn’t that the driving force?

I often turn to comedians for answers to such deep questions. I forget who said it but recently one said that when he was a child, he would walk around his neighborhood with his father. There was a rich man down the block who owned a Rolls Royce....

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Insecure Ecosystems

“A company can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on firewalls, intrusion detection systems and encryption and other security technologies, but if an attacker can call one trusted person within the company, and that person complies, and if the attacker gets in, then all that money spent on technology is essentially wasted.” -Kevin Mitnick


House of Cards is one of my favorite shows because I feel that it is probably the closest approximation to what real Washington politics is actually like. I firmly believe the reality is even more frightening than what is portrayed in the show due to rampant corruption (whether “legal” or not through campaign finance law), which has yet to be portrayed, and the fact that Frank Underwood has absolutely no sense whatsoever regarding the power of information.

Frank seems to act entirely based upon things that he and his...

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1 + 1 = 3

It’s a general rule of thumb in my life that everything can be explained by mathematics once you get to a high enough level of understanding regarding a subject.

My mother once told me a joke which I have found to be eminently true throughout life:

“Biologists think they are chemists. Chemists think they are physicists. Physicists think they are mathematicians. And mathematicians think they are Gods.”

Today, we will be applying math to one of life’s most fun and yet challenging subjects: dating.

Now, it is to be noted that I am a straight male so all of this will be told from a straight male’s perspective, but it is easily applied to any dating philosophy.

I was lying in bed once with a woman I was dating getting ready for sleep when I remembered that I needed to purchase something on Amazon. This was quite an important purchase and, being forgetful as a goldfish, I quickly grabbed my...

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The Crazy Ones

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

-Apple Slogan by Rob Siltanen with participation of Lee Clow


There is an experience unfolding in my backyard that is bringing me closer to humanity than any experience involving humans ever could.

I moved into my new place in Potrero Hill in San Francisco on July 8th. Somewhere around exactly that time, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of at...

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Don’t Read the Manual

I am an audiophile. I absolutely love music and its many nuances. Personally, I believe that the true emotional beauty of music only shines through on lossless quality recordings (or on DSD streams which are recordings at significantly higher sampling rates than standard CDs) played back on very high end equipment. Even my friends who have come over to my home tend to agree. A devastating piece by Sigur Ros or the latest beats from Lady Gaga are simply not given their due on those tinny piece of crap headphones that Apple includes, nor the laughably terrible Beats headphones, which are merely a fashion accessory, or even the basic high end Bowers & Wilkins portables they sell at the Apple Store.

You need to get into brands that you’ve never heard of that cost an insane amount of money to really hear music.

Revel. Questyle. Audeze. Bladelius. Simaudio. Paradigm. Focal. Sonus...

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I Can See

I had to buy some new glasses last week which always leads me to my favorite thought experiment/question that I get to ask myself when it comes time to get a new pair of the miracle that Giordano da Pisa gave us:

How does a blind man pick his sunglasses?

I have no idea. I suppose he asks his friends, but as far as he knows, he’s wearing sausages shaped into antlers on his head.

In any case, how exactly has myopia managed to survive as a fault of human genetics? Let’s ponder this oddity.

First, there is the nature vs. nurture debate. Is myopia caused by something we do during our lives or are we genetically predisposed to the debilitation. As with everything, the answer that science and medicine seem to provide is “we don’t know so it appears to be both”, which might as well not be an answer.

It’s always amazing to see how science might provide more structure than religion,...

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99.998%

WARNING

This post contains some morbid and frightening imagery.

  1. Please do not read if you cannot handle or are unwilling.
  2. Please do not complain if you find it offensive because you were given due warning.

WARNING

“You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control.”

-The Architect, The Matrix

I recently re-watched “The Matrix” and was fascinated that I missed a clear use of a literary tool known as Chekhov’s Gun. That is that when a gun is on the wall in Act One, it will undoubtedly be used later in the play because why else would a gun be on the wall?

The proverbial gun in The Matrix is the EMP, charged and ready when we are first...

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Beacon

The whistle in the distance
The stars twinkling above
Cold air rushing past
Shivers in the night

The whistle again, closer
No hint of light yet the twinkle
Breath the only fog
Warmth against impossible cold

Another twinkle, earth based
Steady as she grows
Fueled by fire and desire
Getting closer by the second

Another whistle, much louder
Piercing the cold air, knife to the soul
The light grows stronger
Hope shimmering against the rails

The sound of power
The sight of steam
The roar of fire
The glimmer of hope

Powerful, she glides
Inspired, she glows
Fueled, she groans
Angry, she roars

Closer she comes
Heart pounding
Engine looming
Fire glowing

Quick breaths into the night
Still as the frigid air
Illuminated bags await
Her warm and cozy cars

Something amiss
Speed incorrect
Trajectory impossible
Arrest improbable

Without hesitation
Past the station
Speeds the train
That carries...

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