I’m almost ready to say that when it comes to achieving a goal — especially an ambitious one — I believe your outcome isn’t so much determined by what you do, but who you do it with. Outcomes, like math problems, are determined by a factorization of known quantities. Math is never magic. There is an inescapable fatalism in it. Embrace it, because you cannot outwit it or outrun it. Make the absolute most of every piece you’ve got on the board, and remember what every good chess player knows: pawns win games. Spend no time mourning the weakness of your fellow cast. Improve it whenever you can, but if you make an enemy, never let it be by accident. After all, in real life pawns don’t wear pawn costumes and queens wear no crowns.
So rather than just telling you that you should watch “The Wire” because it’s a work of art, let me let D’Angelo – nephew of “the kingpin” and much loved family member, kicked back down to learn a few lessons and pay some penance – make his own chess analogy, while exhibiting what makes “The Wire” so uniquely, deliciously, and inexhaustibly brilliant.
With Mom, you had to pay proper attention. Almost superhuman attention. But she understood that Wisdom doesn’t go on sale. There’s no bargain basement priced Wisdom. If you want Wisdom, you must pay Wisdom’s price. And you pay by paying attention.
Who are my allies and who are my enemies? LBJ was my introduction to the algebraic equation of influence. For LBJ everything was a pissing contest. He took up space – all of it – with pure brute force. But once I realized that identifying a viper in the grass wasn’t a moral failing, LBJ was a good starting point in my attempt to develop a philosophy for choosing teams.
“My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.”
—Secretary of Defense James Mattis
Then came the wave: MATTIS RESIGNS
Hit hard, and good things will happen. That is all.
I have always believed that JFK could never have passed any significant Civil Rights legislation. LBJ was, perhaps, the only human in American politics at that time who could have. Despite all the backroom trading and arm-twisting, he managed to pass The Civil Rights Act and The Voting Rights Act. He was impure, but effective.
“…In fact, obscure fucking science is my foxhole.”
So, as a non-Russia hating, radical, subversive hacker whose formal education was in Chemistry, speaks the wrong languages, thinks Israel commits war crimes and that America does as well, is embedded in the center of the proving grounds of the Military Industrial Complex and whose entire life was spent under the tutelage of a father that essentially made the Surveillance State possible, I just want to say, for the record: I am not a spy.