FLASH CRASH Of Civilization Risked. And Why.


Are Our Idiotic Leaders Playing With Computer Fire? A Financial “Glitch” Last Week Is Most Telling: 

In the famous Terminator movie, a worldwide automated defense net takes over and launches strategic missiles all over, annihilating much of humanity and nearly all of civilization. Science-fiction? Not at all.

In 1979, the strategic command of the USA saw on its screens a Russian attack by 200 intercontinental missiles, enough to annihilate the USA. There were only minutes to launch a counter-strike. Panic ensued. Bombers were scrambled. The presidential plane took off, without the president. And so on! A smart general found that a training tape had been inserted by mistake. Alleluia! Nuclear Armageddon avoided this time.

The financial system has been riddled with “computer glitches”. Except they are not really glitches, but part of the war hyper rich financiers are waging against We The People.

Here is what happens when computers and plutocrats rule: 

In Minutes, The British Pound, Hence Great Britain, Lost Up To 8% of Its Value, Thanks To Robots In Common

Friday October 7, 2016, The British Pound, Hence Great Britain, Lost Up To 8% of Its Value, In Minutes, Thanks To Robots In Command

The robots we have put in charge do not have to respect Asimov’s First Law Of Robotics, which is that a robot should not hurt a human.

Ok, let’s give more details of this latest example, Friday October 7, 2016, as described by the Wall Street Journal:

Computers Seen as a Culprit in Pound’s Plunge

Unusual intraday move of 6% triggers concerns about automated trading

By Mike Bird and  Saumya Vaishampayan (Updated Oct. 7, 2016 6:44 p.m. ET)

LONDON—For a startling moment on Friday, the British pound crashed. In just three minutes shortly after 7 a.m. Hong Kong time, the pound sank 6% to as low as $1.18, according to Thomson Reuters data. Some electronic platforms recorded scattered trades near $1.15. For the currency markets, where moves are recorded in thousandths of a penny, it seemed that currency traders were all hiding under their desks. The most accepted scenario was that computers, not humans, were the ones that refused to buy. Coming at the most thinly traded moment of the global trading day, the latest “FLASH CRASH” once again showed how algorithmically driven trading programs have rewired the global finance game.

The pound’s gyration Friday was the second largest intraday move from its highest to lowest point in the past nine years, according to FactSet. The biggest move came when sterling swung down by as much as 11% the day after Britain’s June vote to leave the European Union.”

So why do we have hair-trigger systems all around the planet, with malevolent robots in charge?

The basic trick is this: hyper rich individuals, employing armies of physicists, mathematicians and programmers have set-up automatic systems to trade faster than individuals can. That’s called “high frequency” trading. High frequency trading is made possible by NOT taxing the sort of transactions the hyper wealthy are allowed to do. Normal people get taxed, the financially wealthy do not.

Flashback on 10,000 years of civilization: when the hyper wealthy does not get taxed, one has an aristocratic system: that is both the major cause, and major symptom.

Taxing small financial transactions would limit their speed, hence re-establish the notion of causality (that fact comes straight from knowing the fundamental physics which is deeper than the Theory of Relativity).

We are led by cretins. Russia and the USA have produced magnificent examples of complete cretins, put in command to instill deeply flawed strategies. And no, I am not just thinking of Trump, Clinton, Putin, Obama, etc.   

Let me go back on my question earlier, and generalize it a bit: Why do we have hair-trigger systems all around the planet, with malevolence in charge?

At first sight, it is because we are led by cretins, who do not see the danger. That certainly is partly true, but it’s not the whole truth: how could they be that dumb? Indeed, the danger is surely obvious, from the financial markets to nuclear war. Then what? We are led by people who do not mind the danger that they inflict to humanity and civilization, because, meanwhile they satisfy their greed, or will to power. In a way, to help engineer a giant catastrophe is surely a way to satisfy one’s ultimate will to power. As the French King Louis XV used to say:”Apres moi, le deluge” (“After me, the flood”).

An even deeper question is why did it come to this. Societies have moods. Those moods are caused by (imaginary or not) facts, habits, experiences, hopes. In the end, they influence hormones, not just in the masses, but in the individuals. Those hormones, some of them neurohormones, in turn change the logic individuals are capable of. When he was still facing some opposition inside Germany, Adolf Hitler sneered that his opponents did not matter because “we already own the youth”. Hitler knew that he had molded  the minds of German youth by creating an emotional ambiance which had turned into a mass driven hormonal, not just logical, Nazi setup. It was a case of mass procreation of Nazism.

After Thatcher and Reagan came to power, they imposed the mood that greed and the will to power was the ultimate motivation of human beings. (The Nazis were all about the will to power AND race; except “race’ does not really exist, as the Nazis found out all too soon, and the SS was forced to employ elite soldiers from all over!)

That Thatcher-Reagan-Neoconservatives mindset forsaken by humanity, propagated around the planet: France, Russia, fell to it later, with catastrophic results . That mindset focused on greed as the ultimate motivation is why Obama, a great admirer of Ronald Reagan, setup Obamacare the way he did, articulated by private companies looking for profits.

In other words, the ultimate good motivations of humanity, are supposed to be greed, and the closely related, and more general, will to power. The ultimate motivations are not supposed to be the will to care, or love. (Whereas, in truth, without love and care, there can be no humanity, to start with! Greed and the Will To Power are secondary motivations, sorry, Friedrich Nietzsche).

So here we are with more and more hair-trigger system. What is the interest of hair trigger systems, holding the entire civilization in its cross-hairs, or cross-hair systems making society ever more unjust, with some having all the power? The interest of hair-trigger systems as gods is that it tells everybody, deep down in their bones, at the deepest level of the emotional system, that greed and will to power are the ultimate good: they are worth going back to the Middle Ages, in a flash, with massive inequalities, or even back to the Stone Age (for the few survivors). Hair trigger, total destruction systems do not just celebrate will to power in its ultimate form, extermination. Having everything, from liberty, to equality, to fraternity, and even survival, at the whim of computer glitches is an expression of the will to collective suicide, and mass mayhem.

Some will say, such desire for appalling destruction is surely not an instinct? Quite the opposite. The will to appalling destruction is the ultimate human, all too human, instinct. Let me sketch the explanation. It goes deep in the bowels of evolutionary psychology, in its all too human variant, which no other animal has to that extent.

For millions of years, humanity has ruled the Earth, and increasingly so. The enemy of humanity was humanity itself, too much humanity, way too many humans. (At some point, a bit more than a million years ago, there were 14 humanoid species in East Africa alone.) To re-establish an ecological balance, humanity had to be culled. Now there are thousands of times more humans, so we need industrial means, computer glitches, nuclear war, and massive inequality.

However, understanding this will to collective suicide and mass mayhem logically will unbalance our stealthy collective subconscious, and the pernicious topology of its emotional ways. Something excellent philosophy has always done.

It goes without saying that all too traditional humanism has nothing to say about the preceding. And that is why it has become so irrelevant to what seriously matters, and why ‘progressives’ are so adrift. Humanism is not static. As technology progresses, our humanism has to become ever more subtle and powerful, just as, and because, our technology does so. Ever more power is what has defined ever more humanity, but all that ever increasing power, can only be managed with ever more intelligence.

Patrice Ayme’  

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21 Responses to “FLASH CRASH Of Civilization Risked. And Why.”

  1. Paul Handover Says:

    I clicked ‘Like’ because of the terrible truths that this essay seems to contain. Well terrible truths to this silly old British fart (and I’m not fishing for compliments, by the way)!

    I have used an old Devon expression before to try and make sense of things, although uncertain if it has been used in this place; to try and make sense of a world that increasingly makes no sense.

    Many years ago I was propping up the bar in the local Pub (Public House) in the Devon village where I used to live before meeting my gorgeous Jeannie. That village is Harberton and the Pub is the Church House Inn (see http://www.churchhouseharberton.co.uk/ )

    This old-timer, a local man who had lived in the village most of his life, was standing next to me waiting to be served with his pint. Quite spontaneously he came out with this gem of a view of the modern world (and in the old Devon dialect “queer” means “strange”.)

    This is what he said: “All the world’s a little queer except thee and me, and I ha’ me doubts about thee!”

    This so-called modern world is very much more than a little queer!


  2. Gmax Says:

    Astounding essay, full of terrible truths, never said before, like Paul said.

    You said, many times before, that now was different. It is, but everybody thinks we will be OK, like the Shoah never happened. What happened to imagination?


  3. Alexandros HoMegas Says:


    It’s also your mindset, Russia is the only superpower outside the Judeo-Anglo-American Neocon Empire, the only countries fighting this mindset are Iran, Russia, Syria.


    • Gmax Says:

      Assad is a country? Or do you mean the Islamist State?
      And Russia is a superpower in nukes alone


      • indravaruna Says:

        The Judeo-Anglo Empire is trying to destroy the Syrian Natio-a state but has failed, Russia defeated the Judeo-Imperialists in Syria, so it’s a superpower, Jewmerica is done for good.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The Thatcher-Reagan mindset was just a refreshing of the old exploitative mentality of the “West Country Men” of Sixteenth Century England. Judaism has something to do with it only in the sense that the Bible, interpreted literally (like the literal Qur’an), justified all sorts of holocausts and theft of entire countries.
      “Jews” did not partake in any sense in the setting up of the “American Century” (except arguably with some Westerns whose financing was set-up by the likes of Goldwin-Meyer, etc.) Also one has to define “Jew”. Some prominent “Jews” (Arendt, Wiesel) actually accused Judaism to be part responsible of the Shoah (including detainees in extermination camps, who imposed a “trial” on “God”…)

      Iran, Russia and rump Syria are dictatorships, so brutal they are blotting their own future.


      • indravaruna Says:

        Hey Patrice seems France lost the Poland Caracal helicopter contract to the US even after cancelling the Mistral deal with Russia. Tough luck

        France gains nothing on being the Anglo-American side, Frances is only the butt of the jokes.


      • Kevin Berger Says:

        “Iran, Russia and rump Syria are dictatorships, so brutal they are blotting their own future.”

        And with France having called (sincerely or kabuki-style) for Russia to be investigated for possible war crimes in Syria, I can already see the shitstorm from the “resistance” supporters – kind of amusing from all the usual suspects, who didn’t care much for France before, but actually saddening from all the French “patriots” who spit on France and dream of Putin.
        I just can’t get it; can’t one despise, and rightly so, the “system” or whatever you might want to call our status quo, without indulging in weird projections about the “arc of resistance”? FFS, scratch the surface just a little bit, and Putin, his version of Russia, Syria, Iran, the late K-Daffy, even China… all lionized, all granted quasi- or full-on spiritual redeeming quality. Delusional, no other words, slaves longing for their master to be defeated by an another slavemaster. Just insane; oh, well.


        • indravaruna Says:

          Russia and Iran are democracies, Syria without Assad will be transformed into a hellhole by the Sunni terrorists supported by Israel, Gulf Sheiks and the Anglo Empire.

          France is just the butt of the jokes of NATO and EU (Anglo-American powerbases), Poland is getting US helicopters and shittting on France.


          • Kevin Berger Says:

            Oh, I certainly agree with your last paragraph, the Duchy of Warsaw has quite an “history” of petty-minded betrayals against its 19th-early 20th benefactor France (not to forget its neighbours), no matter how much it loves to portray itself as the plucky lil’ country betrayed by all. Nothing new here, from the earlier F16 to the more recent BPC.
            Which reminds me of what IIUC was the fundamental assessment for the need of a Franco-French nuclear deterrent… Poland might expect to have the UK-US fight for it, after all, that’s why they have been prostituting themselves for… boy!, what a nasty, nasty, Georgia, August 2008 style, surprise will it have, should a war break out!
            Kind of like many Ukrainians on /r/Europe a while ago, full of cum and ready to take on the “bear”, not realising, IMHO, that the USA will support them… to the last of them, but not beyond.

            As far as Syria & co. go, sure, why not, I agree to a large extent – it’s just that the amount of sheer BS that I read on MoA, the saker, even some website that I respect like dedefensa, between making them 10 feet tall, or granting the cynical POS that lead them some kind of mystic aura (recently, a MoA comment with Bassar as “one of the finest men alive”, FFS, you’ve got to be kidding me,…).
            The enemy of my enemy is not my friend, and while in an ideal world, an appeased, stable Russia would (re)join the European concert for the benefit of all Europeans (and the chagrin of many Anglos, hence Ukraine one can guess), I could not give a shit about Iran nor Syria, much less even Lybia. Not that I’d be specifically wishing them ill, old civilisations, craddle of humanity, etc, etc,… true. Still, they could all die tomorrow, no skin off my fore. Not the same humanity, that is all.

            And Re Syria, or at least the syrian regime, in one dark irony, I see the hell it is going through as a direct karmic payback for their involvement in Lebanon, what’s good for the goose, etc. That will learn them.


          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            … That will teach them… “Cradle of civilization”, yes… Before Islam. Islam has been an unmitigated disaster, in spite of the preceding disaster, Christianism, which had made books and intellectuals flee to the Zoroastrians (and thus the Muslims, when the latter conquered the former…)


          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            For once I have to agree with you! On the last point, the helos’ contract. This sort of behavior will, and should, break the European UNION. There is no reason why French taxpayers should support US helicopter companies. It’s not like it is the first time it happened. Long ago, while Poland was getting huge French and German subsidies, Poland decided to buy US F16, a plane vastly inferior to the French and Franco-European offerings (respectively Dassault’s Rafale, the world’s best fighter-bomber, and Airbus’ Eurofighter, the second best). So Franco-Germans subsidize US defense companies. That has got to stop.


        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          One may as well investigate war crimes in Syria. There are war crimes. When in doubt, investigate.

          The adulation for nasty regimes (see Indravaruna, and many, not just on this site!) comes from the delusion that Putin resists Western plutocracy (when actually he is both part of it and resisting to part of it: Plutos fighting Plutos is nothing new).
          In truth, Putin uses Western plutocratic methods, that makes his system part of the global Pluto system. (Let alone many of his Plutos have more than a bit of themselves in the West.)
          Not to say that much of what he says is not correct.
          Not to say that the head of TOTAL was not assassinated by US inspired agents. Yeah, right, right in the middle of Moscow, to show the long arm of the Deep Pluto State.


          • Kevin Berger Says:

            (Cf. the corrections above : “cradle” ok, I should set my spelling corrector in English, my bad; done. “That’ll learn them” = voluntary language affectation, an ironical use of improper English meant to mimic low-brow, popular American English, in order to mock the severity or importance of the lesson in question. Not sure if that really is what this means, but this is how I have understood it, and how I use it. “That’ll learn them”, because it couldn’t happen to nicer people, and because, ultimately, I don’t give a damn about Syrians in general.)

            This little personal butthurt out of the way, re Iran and the “arc of resistance”, I’d simply add that there are actual, rather damning circumstantial evidence that the 1979 revolution was at the very least facilitated by the CIA, as part of a “private foreign policy”; from my shabby memory and in no particular order, the shah’ s cancer was hidden to Carter, but known to the CIA, from a mole in the direct entourage, the large payoffs to the shia clergy, cut by Carter, were clandestinely resumed, pre-revolutionary Iran was apparently a free-for all spooks carnival, with all of the recurring “Bush team” names, Khomeiny was called from Iraq I believe to France by US intelligence (French intelligence proposed to have him die of natural causes during his stay there, I believe, a proposal their US counterparts refused), and the rise to power of the clerics in a revolution within a revolution was funded by the “Bush team”, notably through that Australian-based finance org headed by Kissinger, among others.
            FWIW, There’s an US-based Iranian exile, Farah Mansoor, who’s made a convincing case that, not only has the CIA engineered the rise to power of the mullahs, as a proper fascistic/anti-communist replacement to the ailing shah, but that the hostages crisis was engineered by the same (or at least the “deep State” within), to further the revolution within a revolution in Iran, and as a lethal blow against Carter.
            From there, there is the fear of “October surprise”, with the Carter campaign deeply compromised by the same “Bush team”, and the deal with the mullahs – this part being quasi accepted as historical; so, through most of the 80’s, even with Iran “resisting” the USA and Israel, you’ve got all that merry bunch actively conspiring together to sell each other weapons, drugs (through Syria), in some kind of crazy “Reagan sleaze” web that extends to Libya with the Turpil/Wilson team (K-Daffy, the “anti-US leftist revolutionary”), to South America, Nicaragua foremost, Italy,…

            Ok, I realize this is both rambling and pedantic, and a more than a little pathetic (the burgers-flipping loser who “explains” deep politics through the little he has understood and retained), but my point is there is such a disconnect between the actuality and the… fantasy? Wishful thinking?… I’m not sure. Anyhow, the “anti-empire” people seem to have a vision, say of Iran, that is so idealized, so delusional, that I can’t help but find troubling. Why? K-Daffy as a Christ-like figure? The guy who had the Bulgarian nurses raped by dogs? The Palestinian volunteer doctor, who went with them to help Libyan children, tortured, sodomized, had audio tapes played of what he was told was his family being treated the same way? All this because “perfect” Libya wouldn’t acknowledge it had and has a rampant Aids epidemic? And this is just a recent, very tip of the iceberg kind of “incident” for the late and sadly lamented “colonel”.
            He was not just a tyrant like so many others ‘including “Western” allies), he was not just colossally corrupt and incompetent like so many others (including “Western” allies), but he was part and parcel of the same global system the “anti-Empire” pretend to resist, FFS!
            Same for Syria (where the US located part of his clandestine gulag archipelago, having post 9/11 “rendered” prisoners tortured on their behalf there), same for Iran… FWIW, the “Iran resist” French website, one that I am wary about, but find interesting nonetheless, holds a convincing IMHO thesis that the spent, running-on-fumes mullahs regime desperately fight not only for its survival against reform from within the Iranian civil society, but also with its friennemies the UK and the USA… not only for its continuation as a “revolutionary” kleptocracy, but also and above all to become once again the regional power broker, on behalf of the USA. Basically, against the Sunni, it is a struggle to death (literally, there is explicit genocide in words), but against the “West”, it would be a jockeying to regain a favoured position *within* the “Empire”.
            Evil vs. Evil, not Good vs. Evil. But Putin as a manly saviour, 3 dimensions chess-master, spiritual redeemer is better than an half-Jewish oligarch, possible paedo, reacting the best he can to “Western” provocations, constrained he is by Russian realities (including militaries), his own fascistic fuite en avant, and by his and his entourage’s continued good fortune (with his tacky palaces, his luxury watches, his good, immensely rich kleptocrat, life).
            And there will be war sooner or later for all this? Possibly in Europe proper, cementing a new major victory for the “empire” (by neutering once again its main potential rival, an unified continent)? Damn.

            Anyway, all this ranting crap leads us far from your text’s point; sorry.


  4. ianmillerblog Says:

    You have the answer to the hair-trigger trading – tax it. At least let the rich doing this set of thing fund something useful like healthcare.
    (Yeah, I know, it would probably go to defence, but . . .)


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Taxing high frequency trading and similar conspiracies will moderate them in lowering their frequency. However, it’s not enough: the potential speed of execution should be the same, all over. Actually, for the first time, a financial manipulator was condemned for front-running, a few weeks ago. Progress. But not enough by a factor of a million.


  5. Benign Says:

    Power always corrupts. Overconfidence is bred by excessive power, the belief that the elect will propagate their offspring after the genocide, except evolution has not prepared them for Armageddon. Democracy or revolution are the only countervailing forces. It is unfortunate that Trump is the only one seeking peace with the Russians in the US. The insane war drums beat louder and louder.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes, well, indeed. The situation with Putin is reminiscent of what happened with Kaiser Wilhelm II before WWI. The Kaiser, grandson of queen Victoria and a self-declared greatest lover of Great Britain, got direct encouragement from the White House, USA, to make war against France (this is a very little known fact that I have been pounding on my own drums. So very little known that I am the ONLY one to mention it. I fished it from a number of sources, including directly in “Colonel” House’s memoirs, which are online).

      Now Bush and Obama did not directly encourage Putin. Actually Bush helped block Putin when Putin’s tanks were driving to the Georgian capital. But Obama encouraged Putin by refusing to strike Assad, and replace him with a non-war criminal. So here we are. The tone is getting real bad between Putin and the French Republic. Putin cancelled his trip to France, October 19….


      • Benign Says:

        “But Obama encouraged Putin by refusing to strike Assad, and replace him with a non-war criminal.”

        Tsk tsk. We only replace with another war criminal, in this case ISIS. Open your eyes, lady. IMHO Putin will not invade Europe. He is playing the long game with the Chinese for Eurasian integration.


        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Benign: You are condescending by pretending that I am real stupid. The idea was to replace Assad by one his officers below him, not related to the Assad family, and not obviously involved in heavy war crimes. There are plenty of these. The Assad family is vast, full of plutocrats, many living in Paris and London.
          Claiming it is Assad or the Islamist State is playing Assad’s game: Assad deliberately released all the Jihadists from his prison to help create the islamist State in Syria. To help it some more, Assad bought the Islamist State’s oil, and so forth.
          To repeat Putin’s propaganda does not sound smart.
          I don’t think Putin has a plan. He is just an opportunist, as the head of the strategic command in the USA said. Read in the remarks of Cecil Haney in:

          Putin understands that force rules, though (and that is what Trump has tried to say about Putin). There is a whole sub-current of consciousness in the USA that war would not be a bad thing, because war was never a bad thing for the USA prior, in the long game. Especially if the warf does not look as if it were started by the US. Thus both Russia (extending empire) and the US (friendly to war messes) have interest to pursue the Syrian war, as it keeps the price of oil up, anyway…


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