The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life
Browsing Truth

the Freedom of Terror and Truth

July22

so…about the nature of truth.

ponder how difficult it is to convey the truth when everybody is speaking a different language.

…tongues, dialects, video, coding, body language, signing…

for example, the word ‘terrorist’ and the word ‘freedom fighter’ can be used to refer to the same people at any given time, or for a considered cause.

The word “hysterical” is another brilliant example of how “rich” the English language is with words that can have multiple meanings and applications.

with everyone speaking differently, truth is almost impossible to agree upon. yet believing in the existence of truth is the only thing that keeps us from devolving into tribal warfare. because without the existence of truth, the person who is most powerful becomes the person who is right.

soon I’ll talk about how God, and a belief structure, works in much the same way.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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analysts can use 2013 as a LENS for 2014

December30

it’s that time of year once again – that hustling, bustling, busy time when almost everybody is thinking about holidays and merriment and family and giving while simultaneously looking forward to what’s coming next.

ponder, if you dare, AAPLAMZNTWTRFBHPQBBYGOOGSBUX.

do you see the relevance; a correlation?

so… here, I’m taking the opportunity to reflect back on the past year, and ponder ten (10) of the coolest things that Apple (of course because they lead the way in some much context) that Apple fans had to be thankful for over the last twelve months.

  • Free OSX Mavericks
  • Auto-Updates
  • Touch ID
  • 128GB
  • iTunes Radio
  • Gone Home
  • Jony Ive’s New Role (Senior Vice President of Design 0 a preamble to him becoming the next CEO)
  • iPad Mini with Retina Display
  • The new Mac Pro
  • HBO Go on Apple TV

NOTE: Apple’s stock always takes a dip after it unveils new products, because – as far as I can tell – investors and analysts value only brand-new industry-changing products and nothing else. but, every time they bemoan “just another” iPhone or iPad update, Apple goes on to post record sales, so I think these knee-jerk market reactions say more about the dubious qualifications for analysts than they do about the validity of Apple’s decisions.

most big news about Apple was about the company’s tax-avoidance techniques and analysts claiming that Apple failed to deliver any new products of note. (thankfully, it still isn’t making phablets, though they’ve been hugely successful for other manufacturers – providing profits are not important).

something to consider…

as Apple approached $700 in the spring and summer of 2012, two things happened:

  • some investors were getting too emotional, irresponsibly egged on by Wall Street analysts such as Brian White, who had a cutesy $1,111 price target, and Gene Munster, who couldn’t stop talking out of his rear with empty Apple TV predictions.
  • bulls discounted the impact of losing Steve Jobs and replacing him with no confidence man Tim Cook. Cook had to prove, one way or another, that he could produce something along the lines of iPod, iPhone or iPad. could he win over Wall Street like Jeff Bezos has at Amazon.com?
  • perhaps most importantly they gave Jonny Ives absolute control over design. this harkens back to the way Steve Jobs wanted and intended the company to innovate.

analysts never appear to learn.

every time Apple announces that its about to unveil something, the supposed experts practically demand that the company introduce another world-changing device like the iPhone or iPad. when that don’t happen they make a claim that the sky is falling (and make sure the stock does), bemoan the loss of Steve Jobs, and seem to enjoy saying “I told ya so” as Apple’s stock plummets. then when Apple launches the product (for example, the iPhone 5C and 5S) , it breaks sales records, sends Apple’s stock back up, and analysts somehow are shocked – even though it ALWAYS happens.

while it’s easy to understand how a stock like AMZN can outperform AAPL, there’s no explaining how posers, free lunchers and companies with very real question marks do it. I’m not saying these names on the chart on the next page will all crash in 2014 (though a couple likely will). but I am saying AAPL will perform alongside them or better if they somehow manage to replicate their 2013 magic (carpet rides).

so… there needs to be, or should be, some kind of requirement for being able to call yourself an analyst.

the outlook wasn’t much better for Intel, not because the company hasn’tcontinued to innovate, but because people don’t need as many of its microprocessors, and the ones they do need are less profitable than ever.

BlackBerry, which investors once thought might be broken into smaller businesses with some latent value, proved to be a near-total loss.

Google killed its much-vaunted 20% time - the policy of allowing engineers to spend a portion of their working time on their own projects – while insisting it hadn’t, leading to a furious (and public) debate among its employees about whether or not the company is still friendly to bottom-up innovation.

and, while Hewlett-Packard has put the disastrous acquisitions and rapid-fire leadership changes of recent years behind it, the best that can be said so far is that it’s gracefully managing its own decline.

while I’m at all of this, I must remind you all that Google and HP “hooked-up” (in any sense of the phrase) and hoisted the the HP Chromebook at you. the idea, or concept, anyway, has merit. however, it literally burned-up in your hands (U.S. recalls Chromebook 11 chargers; Google, HP pulled laptops from shelves last month). somehow I have this odd feeling that is Google’s legacy. that siad, I do hope they end-up pulling-it-off. that sort of collaboration and  innovation is good for all of us.

PREDICTION:

the world gets hip to this line of thinking in 2014. And not merely on a hunch or because it felt like time. Apple will trigger euphoria that, this time, will follow through. Because confidence lost will have been reestablished. so, we are back to me saying Apple hist $1000.

MOVING ON

it starts in January on the Q4 earnings call. I’m not sure if we’ll get any sort of pre-announcement from Apple, but there’s no question in my mind that while Amazon owned the holiday shopping season from an e-commerce standpoint, Apple will have owned it from a consumer electronics perspective.

we still don’t have any better idea of what Tim Cook’s “next big thing” will be than we did when he took over for Steve Jobs. but, we have iPad Air. A game-changing device superior to every other tablet or similar device on the market. don’t understate the importance of this release. if you’re only as good as your last game, Cook and Apple are pretty strong right now.

my eleven year old daughter asked me for an iPad Mini last night. I asked her “why?”. “It’s what we all want next” was her simple response.

if any analyst worth their salt has a kid in the same demographic he would role their college fund into Apple today. Our kids don’t just play HALO (actually mine don’t), they drive the Apple “Halo effect”.

for some reason, iPad Air has flown under the radar of my most observers, cast off a slightly lighter version of its predecessor. not so. it’s the real deal. It’s a game changer. it’s Tim Cook proving that he can take something meaningful from conception to implementation and beyond.

in 2014, he wins widespread confidence and ups the ante as AAPL takes it rightful spot at the head of the pack in tech and on Wall Street.

comparatively… Microsoft lost nearly a billion dollars on the Surface RT tablet, which was to be the device that pole-vaulted the company over Apple’s iPad and the dying PC industry. insiders revealed Microsoft’s ruinous internal culture, fostered under a leader who probably never should have been CEO, leading those same insiders to conclude that the only solution is a breakup of the companyMicrosoft bought Nokia‘s devices business, which would have been an astonishing turn of events a few years ago, but now felt like a lurch into an unsure future in which Microsoft remains an also-ran in mobile devices.

oh… and, the more successful Apple is, the more desperate Microsoft comes across. with people literally still in line at Apple stores for a shot at new iPhones, Microsoft clogged the airwaves with it’s classless apple-bashing ads. you know… the ones that mock Siri and skew the facts (like Google) to make it seem like only an idiot would choose an iPad over their windows 8 tablet? I actually like the look of Metro, but I wouldn’t consider buying from someone who is essentially calling me stupid.

all that said… it will likely pale by comparison in the wake of the scandals you will read about in the next couple of years about Bitcoins and Crowdfunding. the value of bitcoin increased at least 10-fold in 2013, thanks to heavy investment - by the media, which helped talk it up. both initiatives undermine a genuine value system and represent everything that is wrong with an economic ecosystem that is focused on instant gratification and not intrinsic value.

and, of course the media is behind all of this. the media is Satan’s answer to hope and fairness. how ironic, in the face of our very Constitution, that the media falls-back on like the vast and insidious army of hypocrites they actually are.

lifting up[!] 2014.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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What if we could VOTE by Twitter?

December12

yesterday I posted:

no one can say Obama does not lead by example. his Selfie reflects a Dangerous Obsession with External Recognition.

that set-off quite a firestorm of activity for me. I had people emailing, texting and calling me with the opinion that I had formed a negative stance too fast. others opined that I had wittily exposed a sour underbelly of the Obama character train-wreck. but, most lamented the fact that the world had focused its attention on Obama and not the brilliant memorial for Nelson Mandela.

politics, and also religion, are tough topics around friendships. you can tell a neighbor his kid is bad and remain in better form more often than if you disagree about things like political commentary.

I’m going to keep pondering and potentially posting how I feel about all of this. I’m troubled, to be certain.

what if we could cast our vote by Twitter? or, what if our president was held to his post by on-going comments like those we all follow at the butt-end of news articles? does feedback actually matter any longer?

perhaps I was naive, and the media had not quite rotted into the putrid mess is represents today, but I feel pretty good about the Ronald Reagan (Republican) administration. I never cared about his party affiliation. I simply believed he had a sense of himself and what he felt was both right-and-wrong. so, he soldiered through and fought for all of us. that said, can any of you point to a meaningful thing that George W. Bush (Republican) did while in office other then make us all think he pulled the wool over our eyes after 911? Bill Clinton (Democrat) was probably a pretty good president. He was a VERY good foreign policy enforcer. however, we will think first about his infidelity. does this mean karma kicks-in and Hilary Clinton gets a shot at the White House? I’d vote for her, today. And, with Hilary, you get Bill back.

Darren LaPorte took exception to my post. he is a genuinely good man. we exchanged a fair amount of emails over the topic. one excerpt I’ll share with you is this:

“…But looking at your linked in, I used to look forward to reading your insights, but it just seems over the last couple of years, it’s been a lot of Obama bashing. Just an observation. I never put my political views out there.  Of course we are still friends.”

my response, in part:

“Candidly, I feel the quality of my writing has fallen-off dramatically. So, thanks for holding me accountable.

And, to be very transparent, I don’t like bashing my Commander-in-Chief. I am letting my frustration poison my other senses. I’ll not doubt many others feel the same way about my blog as yourself. I’m a much more positive thinker than that. I’ve been lazy.”

so… I just posted the following on Linkedin:

8 Photos You Didn’t See From Obama’s Trip to South Africa - policymic.com

“There was a hell of a lot more that went on besides that selfie.”

Part I: I joined the Obama-razzing party yesterday. I can’t tell you today if that was fair or not. But, my dear and transformed friend Darren LaPorte called me out and is holding me accountable around fairness. So… There has been a great deal of press around the spin of the “selfie” and related stories that unfortunately trumped the Mandela memorial event. I know its common for current and past CE’s to travel, work and hang-out together. I’ve experienced it first-hand at [REDACTED] house.

Part II: Both parties are more aligned than most people realize. However, members of the House and Senate are more concerned about staying in their seats. I’m at a loss as to the best role for our president today. The last one I had real faith in was Bill Clinton, a Democrat. I do think its funny Bush has an Instagram page. And, who could blame anyone, let alone Obama, for seeking a photo-op with Bono. If we could side-step the requirement for citizenship I’d like Bono to be our president for three years. But, I’d buy him as president of the United Nations. That would be genuinely interesting.

at the three year mark we can start commenting via social platforms for a real-time determination that he keeps his post, or not. as we are learning with members of the House and Senate, and the White House, “four-more-years, or even “two-more-years”, can be too long and unproductive. on the other hand, we never had Mandela long enough.

more later.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

 

 

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no one can say Obama does not lead by example. his Selfie reflects a Dangerous Obsession with External Recognition

December11

UPDATE TO POST:

I made a big deal about obsession with external recognition. Ironically I did so using platforms like my blogs, Linkedin and Twitter. So, now I am receiving good-natured ribbing for it. Today I must ask myself, “am I part of the problem, or part of the solution”.

I can’t say what Thomas Jefferson would posit about Barack Obama. Jefferson was one of the architects of our Constitution and the framework of an administrative system that can evolve to suit the needs of our people under almost any circumstance, provided the engineers of change are not motivated by self interest.

…well… that’s wrong isn’t it?  members of the House and Senate appear to be more focused on re-election and maintaining platinum benefits for themselves while US citizens get ground to a pulp is certainly a system option.

no one can say Obama does not lead by example.

so… I suppose being in United States government is tantamount to one big socially networked club evidenced by “selfies” as opposed to selflessness.

such tomfoolery.

however, I am certain Jefferson would have respected Nelson Mandela and valued the opportunities he created for South Africa.

while Mandela sought peace and tolerance with unusual courage, I’m not confident he would have gone out of his way to shake the hand of a man that carries the banner for Communism like Obama did with Raul Castro at the Mandela memorial, or seek a seat change that gave him a more public stage.

to make sense of some of this read on!

Obama’s gestures during Mandela memorial scrutinized - news.yahoo.com”An unexpected handshake. A selfie. A seat change. President Barack Obama’s gestures at Nelson Mandela’s memorial in Johannesburg were widely scrutinized on the world’s stage Tuesday.

http://lnkd.in/db-VUdx: the look on Michelle Obama’s face tells it’s own story. I have a feeling we are going to get a very big back-story once Obama is “off” the Oval Office (I used the word intentionally).all of this comes to light God evidences both his sense of humor and brilliant timing by allowing Obama to demonstrate a measure of self-absorbed immaturity at a time when his confidence ranking in our country is at an all-time low and just as the article below finds itself published:

Our Dangerous Obsession with External Recognition

read the article from the Harvard Review, in it’s entirety, for it’s perspective: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/12/our-dangerous-obsession-with-external-recognition/#! do it!

“Although our fundamental desire to be noticed is not a new phenomenon, our unending use of social media has radically elevated the level of ego in our personal lives. Famed psychologist Jean Twenge recently showed that self-importance personality traits among 37,000 college students rose as quickly as obesity from the 1980s to present. Two Western Illinois University researchers found a high correlation between Narcissistic Personality Inventory scores and Facebook activity. Countless other study sample groups, from pop musicians to Millennials, prove that we are in the middle of a “narcissism epidemic.”

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

 

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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