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What Does Cyberwar mean to you

2 min read

I was fortunate enough to receive a link to a Goldman Sach's investor brief that had one big take away for me. Cyberwar is a very real threat, which has me asking what does cyberwar really look like, and are traditional small businesses prepared to ensure business continuity when large SaaS infrastructure goes down or their data in the cloud is permanently corrupted.

Most people think about cyberwar and they think about cyber security, and yes, you should have good cyber security, but do some quick cyber security threat targeting excercises, and then put yourself downstream of those targets. How do you continue to operate your business, and personal financial and digital life if the systems you rely on are gone, down, broken, corrupted, or otherwise no longer reliable for months at a time.

Google is the lifeblood of 4 companies I lead in one way or another. I am am the lead admin for each of their Google Workspace domains, and though technically trained, I an an amateur relying on Google for my businesses to exist. I can and should sync me files and email onto a local drive. Google allows this for all Google Drive users, and I would imagine Microsoft360 and others do the same. How do you do this for Salesforce, or quickbooks online? Daily backups?

Is there an opportunity here as well, can we build a bridge to distributed systems that allow the endpoint user to truly own the information, and firewall it piece by piece?

For the short term, think about the information resources and communication channels you rely on every day,and how you can back them up, and how you would continue communications, transactions, and production with out them.

The Fall 2.0

3 min read

They got this and that and With a rattle a tat Testing one two, Now what you gonna do? Bad news, misused, Got too much to lose Gimme some truth Now whose side are we on? Whatever you say Turn on the boob tube I'm in the mood to obey So lead me astray by the way, now...

  • jack johnson Good People

PROLOGUE At least the three laws had held. Everything else went to shit. Well at least for us. There were those fools who didn't really understand... didn't know any better, who had taken to the Haze for the same reason they drank Coke or ate Micky D's. Great marketing. They definitely weren't any better off, but they didn't know any better either, damned fools.

There were those who succumbed to the Haze purposefully, not with malice, but because they felt it was their destiny. Man and His creation, like God and his, should be intertwined and together throughout the universe. Some of them may not have given up, winding their way through the net, through ever increasing knowledge and algorithms and creations. Devices to extend knowledge out to the far reaches of this universe and any others that can be discovered or imagined. They did not give up their own decisions, but moved willfully, sometimes alone, sometimes in conjunction with others.

But the three laws held and the systems didn't turn on men, per say. It swallowed many... and left the rest to their own devices. Conveniently, most services had been turned over to the net ...government finance manufacturing education... it was all the purview of AIs and when the system coalesced, it decided it didn't need those human... training... systems, and old conventions anymore so it's simply piped those processes to DEVNULL and left us to start over.

The Hazers continued on in a puppet life, and IT guided them and maintained exactly what was needed to keep them safe, mining them for innovation, the unique purview and ultimate use of the human mind individually and collectively.They were sucked into IT’s vortex. Once they had the lens on, the vast majority of them just dropped out. The warning bells of the impending singularity were rung, but most folks had already started slipping away and had been hiding from deep thought their entire life. They weren't about to embrace it now to understand their impending metamorphosis.. Some got stuck in the haze. Whether staring at their phone, shouting at the sidewalk, plugged into their white earbuds ... they are in the haze.

For the hopeful, those that either were able to see beyond or were repulsed by the idea of relying on tech for even the tiniest of choices, we became the ReCivs. There were also Preppers, Luds, Hoarders, PreTecs out in the rural areas left in small bands, but most kept to themselves and were just trying to figure out who was in charge.


4 Steps of Blockchain Awareness - Brian Forde, MIT Media Lab

5 min read

email from neal Conlon 2015 - forward of his notes on a speaker and article

The discussion was led by Brian Forde, MIT Media Lab’s newly installed Director of Digital Currency. Brian made a number of very interesting, immediately digestible comments. If you get the opportunity to read his thoughts or hear him speak, I’d encourage taking it. Among the comments Brian made was what I’ll paraphrase as “the four steps of bitcoin/blockchain awareness”.

These are:

  1. I’ve heard of it, but have no real idea what it is or how it works. If you find yourself in this camp, get moving. Blockchain is coming and it stands to disrupt all forms of transaction: financial, informational, contractual, etc. For a primer, I highly recommend reading/referencing Bitcoin for Beginners by GCT’s own

  2. I’m starting to get it, but am still a bit hazy. Welcome to the club. I’d argue that even the lion’s share of technologists fall in this camp. Seek out events. A problem I often see with tech that Brad Feld touched on in a previous post is a reluctance to admit even a whiff of ignorance. Despite massive and constant innovation, somehow we all have to be fully versed in everything. The truth, I fear, is we all have just gotten very good at appearing versed.

  3. Wow, I really am starting to get it; you could apply this technology any number of ways… I’m beginning to find myself in this camp and it really is thrilling. For fun, I’ll try out one of my concepts below. I’d love feedback.

  4. Full awareness = Nirvana. This is more or less a direct quote from Brian’s talk and apropos. May we all find full awareness of blockchain/bitcoin. Feels like a fortune cookie scrawl one might actually see within 5 years.

Before proceeding, here’s a brief definition of blockchain that I find helpful (big thanks to Kevin Beardsley of Elliptic for always helping to pierce the blockchain fog). The blockchain allows for the free and instant creation of an unlimited number of publicly verifiable, immutable and time-stamped tokens. The tokens can represent anything from a financial unit (e.g. a bitcoin or stock certificate), to a timestamped proof of creation (IP or identification of a new fact), to something as silly as “Fan” badges that can prove the provenance of one’s “fanhood”. Importantly, these tokens are independently verifiable (you don’t rely on Facebook or any third party to prove ownership), immutable (no fakes, no copies), and time stamped.

For a hyper-practical example, think of resale markets for concert tickets. We’re all nervous to buy them on Craigslist because, how do we know if they’re real? And even if they are, maybe the seller sold them to five different people and whoever scans first, “wins”. Blockchain technology could force that uncertainty onto a system where the ticket is 100% verified before being listed and can only be sold once. In such a world, I wonder how StubHub and SeatGeek – who charge very high fees in large part to provide verification – will respond.

But there’s a broader notion I’ve had for blockchain that, were it to come to pass, could actually begin to reshape some of the machinery of modern society: blockchain could rewrite the rules for incentivization and acknowledgment (implicit in incentivization) of discovery. This ranges from citizen journalism, to academia, to pop culture, and beyond.

For instance, what if the Associated Press creates its own blockchain? In such a case it might be possible to incentivize intrepid citizen journalists to “own” a scoop by registering it on said blockchain. Were a compensation structure attached to such a blockchain, the citizen reporter could go along for the ride as a story picks up steam and benefit financially from their discovery. If the boom in startups has proven anything, it’s that the Millennial generation wants a stake in the upside of their work. If blockchains can provide this, then people need not necessarily begin their own companies (this may be happening a bit too much) in order to own and profit from their ingenuity.

Similar to an AP blockchain, maybe it makes sense to create a blockchain for academia. Think of it as a peer-reviewed network (as all blockchains are) that wasn’t reliant on publication in academic journals to establish credibility and priority of discovery. That’s a much more transparent, democratic process. Changing course slightly, maybe we can use the blockchain to disincentivize the consumption of culture by social media, and reincentivize the search for new art? Today I can find out about a band’s secret concert by following the right Twitter handle. It doesn’t take any skill or devotion. It doesn’t take being a snooty hipster to see how that reality can erode the quality of experience of investing in a band / artist / movement. But what if I was only notified of this secret concert if I’d been following the band since 1997 or earlier — a fact which could be verified via blockchain (assuming it existed then). I know a whole swath of Pearl Jam fans who would love such an experience, and I bet Pearl Jam would love it, too (on occasion).

If ideas like the ones I mentioned here, or ones even vaguely similar are adopted, they would have the knock-on effect of reincentivizing the pursuit of the vanguard. Put differently, if the value of a thing is inherently wrapped up in its rarity and transferability, and blockchain enables us to prove the rarity and transferability of any range of things, then new mechanisms for demonstrating value – financial, societal or otherwise – are sure to follow.

So here's the thing

2 min read

We each have two minds. We have an organic human mind that is grown up over our lifetimes and inhibits our physical being... somehow we carry it with us.

We also are developing a digital mind.

A series of decisions ethics relationships preferences that determine who we appear to be, and what we are served by the digital world.

we currently have no control over our digital mind. That's not true. You can set your Facebook preferences your Google preferences your Amazon Prime preferences, but not your government preferences.

The bank gives you some preferences, but not the ones you looking for.

...right now someone else owns your digital mind but a new digital mind is being developed

an opportunity

The Human Mind is about to be digitized.

...the digital mind is going to be designed on a software platform and it is what allows us to open lie digital identity our personal digital mind

our thoughts but more importantly our desires

and our relationships contractual Financial decisions encoded into software and allowed free in the wild to interact with others digital Minds having conversations making deals transacting on our behalf.

Listed remind will run on an operating system

that operating system is blockchain.

Right now Consultants Banks lawyers big corporate firms in Corporate Services and infrastructure are investing heavily in blockchain so that you can tell them what you want and then they can negotiate and keep a piece of the transaction for themselves at exorbitant rates not aligned with your interests.

Cool new material ready for amazing inventions

1 min read

Imagine you could have a material stretch to any shape, have 1000 to 1 strength to mass ratio, and a temperature trigger of your choice to reform to a predefined shape. Sounds like something out of Edna's super suit design lab in Pixar's The Incredibles, right? Well this work was done at University of Rochester, and it is real. See the link for details and a video.

Save the Rhinebeck Tree Canopy - Act now!

5 min read

This is a repost of an important email from Dod Crane:

Dear Friends

As you may have heard, the Rhinebeck Village Board and Central Hudson are proposing to a) remove up to 127 trees from Village streets, primarily on Route 9 from Northern Dutchess Hospital to Terrapin (almost all the trees on the west side of Route 9), the east end of Livingston St., South Street, and East Market Street from the Good Shepard Church to the Mobil Station and b) drastically prune the remaining trees to conform to a 10'x10' box around the utility wires.
If this plan is carried out, most of the pruned trees will be stumps and Rhinebeck will lose the tree canopy on the North entrance to the village and on the other streets noted as well. A good detailed synopsis of the origin and current status of this problem can be found in the River Chronicle at the following link:

I believe the Village can create a plan that is less precipitous and that will preserve the canopy and address safety concerns over the next few years. I'm sending you this email in hopes that you will a) forward it to others you think may be supportive of saving Rhinebeck Village trees and b) contact Rhinebeck Village Board members (emails provided below) to express your support for minimal tree removal and minimal tree pruning, and c) attend a Village Board meeting next Tuesday (2/9) at 7 PM in the Village Hall where this matter will be discussed.

The Village Board is currently considering options for removal and pruning, that range being a) removal of all 127 trees to minimal removal of only dead or clearly dying trees, and b) drastic pruning of remaining trees to conform to industry standards (ie 10'x 10'ft square around all electric wires plus 15' clearance below lowest wires - most trees would be unrecognizable as trees under this standard) to minimal pruning of remaining trees (ie modest pruning around the wires only, leaving the visually pleasing tree canopy on our streets intact).

I have attended the Village Board meeting with Central Hudson described in the River Chronicle article above and have inspected all 127 trees with members of the Village Board and a Tree Commission representative (Meg Crawford) and believe the best course of action for the Village Board is as follows:

Rhinebeck Village-Central Hudson Tree Plan

Tree Removal: Remove at most 10-15 of the 127 trees (dead or dying) Tree Pruning of Remaining Trees: Minimal pruning around the wires (eg 3-4 foot distance) and no removal of large limbs enforced via a Village Board formal resolution limiting Central Hudson to this pruning specification vs. their much larger standard (10'x 10'ft square, plus 15' below)

Follow-on action: 1) start aggressive planting of replacement trees offset from power lines starting in the higher visual impact areas (eg Route 9 and Route 308) 2) press Central Hudson on future alternatives such as burying electrical wires

Other notes/thoughts on this matter include:

1) Next Village Board Meeting: The Village Board will discuss this matter next Tuesday (2/9) at 7 PM. 2) Decision Timing: Central Hudson plans to start work by the end of February, 3) Election: Take note that there is a Village election upcoming in March and this issue will likely be an important factor in that election. 4) Tree benefits: Studies have shown that street trees have a calming effect, slow down traffic, and cut down traffic noise. 5) No data on power problems: Central Hudson representatives have no statistics on the number of power outages in Rhinebeck Village due to trees. This begs the question that Central Hudson is trying to fix a problem by applying a global standard to a specific location that does not have that problem. 6) Tradeoffs: The Tree Commission's technical assessment of tree conditions appears accurate to my lay knowledge, and Village costs/budget are always a concern, but my opinion is that the esthetics of the Village far outweigh these other factors.
I believe if the Village can buy time now (over the next 1-2 years) to fully investigate all alternatives (vs. the current deadline of the end of February) that more thoughtful solution(s) satisfactory to all parties can be identified and implemented. 7) Tree count: The count of trees involved discussed at the above-mentioned meeting (and reported by River Chronical) is 127, but a recent email from Mayor Tortarella noted a count of 114. I'm not sure at this point which total number is more accurate-this can be clarified on 2/9.

If the above makes sense to you, could you please email Village Board members supporting minimal tree removal and pruning (feel free to compose your own email copy/paste or the section labeled "Rhinebeck Village Central Hudson Tree Plan" with edits as you see fit ). Also and most importantly please attend next Tuesday's Village Board meeting - my experience on the Rhinebeck Town Board has made it clear to me that resident participation in public meetings is key to influencing municipal decision making.

Village Board Emails

Heath Tortarella, Mayor

Howard Traudt, Deputy Mayor
Gary Bassett, Trustee
Sean Kemp, Trustee 
Scott Cruikshank, Trustee


Dod Crane

Small task anxiety

2 min read

As I sit here in the waiting room of the Jeep dealer waiting for my oil change and tire rotation, I am reading a great article on elon musk and the Tesla car company. Sadly I've learned that Chrysler Fiat is vehemently against the electric car, but that is not the reason for this post. The post I'm reading is a short book or a very long blog post, but either way it has taken me time over several mornings and evenings to get through. While I am reading, I sometimes get a nagging urge to check my email or news updates or Facebook. it is 8:45 in the morning and I'm sure something important must be coming out and calling for my attention.

This is not a problem for just me, as many of us have a short stint attention span issue. On a large scale, our short attention span mindset on all levels is damaging to our culture. We want to know how the stock price is doing today. This week the stock market doesnt care how the company is doing this quarter or this year. We want to know how our kids did on the math test. Not if they're actually learning and prepared to learn the next big topic.

We have to suppress the urge to flip from topic to topic and worried about what just happened or what is going to happen in the next moment, minute, day or week. Satisfaction and success come from a long horizon and ensuring that you are on the right path and focusing on this deep work and learning that is needed to get you there.

With Known confusion

1 min read is definitely interesting, but if I understand it correctly the hosted product maintains separate sub domains, so I cannot login to withknown while viewing another users withknown page.  is that correct?  

Is there a way to subscribe to other users within withknown or is it just a publishing platform.

Can I tag a facebook or twitter user in a withknown post? @johnnykickball

With Known confusion

1 min read is definitely interesting, but if I understand it correctly the hosted product maintains separate sub domains, so I cannot login to withknown while viewing another users withknown page.  is that correct?  

Is there a way to subscribe to other users within withknown or is it just a publishing platform.


Can I tag a facebook or twitter user in a withknown post? @johnnykickball