Archive for the ‘robots’ Category

FLASH CRASH Of Civilization Risked. And Why.

October 9, 2016


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’