My favorite quote from this article, discussing the spontaneous market crash last April:
The trading bots visualized in the stock charts in this story aren’t doing anything that could be construed to help the market. Unknown entities for unknown reasons are sending thousands of orders a second through the electronic stock exchanges with no intent to actually trade. Often, the buy or sell prices that they are offering are so far from the market price that there’s no way they’d ever be part of a trade. The bots sketch out odd patterns with their orders, leaving patterns in the data that are largely invisible to market participants.
These bots are making 56,000 offers a second. It sure looks to me like something not-human is actually happening here, though it could be the result of gross incompetence, I suppose. Or maybe that was a test run.
But it looks to me kinda like an attempt at saying “hello.”
So, you know how Palin keeps talking about how they can’t let another Holocaust happen? It’s not out of respect for the humanity and distinction of the Jewish people. It’s just so we can die in the rapture.
Well, OK, that, and making the relentlessly Left-Wing, Progressive, pro-civilization and Democratic Jewish population of America waver in their support for the best Democratic Presidential candidate in my lifetime.
In August, just eight weeks ago, Governor Sarah Palin sat in her church, the Wasilla Bible Church, and listened to their honored guest, David Brickner, describe how the challenges Jews face in Israel is a result of their having rejected Jesus as their personal lord and savior. The talk was entitled, “The Jerusalem Dilemma.” That’s code for “The Jewish Question“.
If Jews have anything to fear from the upcoming election, it’s not that Barack Obama might be a Muslim (he’s not). It’s not that he’s black (that’s good). It’s that John McCain selected someone who believes that we should be converted en masse by being lied to. If you are, or know, Jews in Ohio, Florida, or any other swing state, make sure they know this. There’s been some ugly racism showing in polls of Jews, and it needs to be made clear which side the bread is buttered on.
Remember: sooner or later, we’re all subject to the iron boot. If you don’t stand up for your neighbors, they won’t be able to stand up for you. Religious fanaticism, political ideologies, and handwringing about what will happen to our children are tools of the powerful to gain more power. They’ll use flags and icons to get us to oil their machinery with our blood.
These words and the ones that followed meant a lot to me. They highlighted the difference between “equal” and “the same” by showing what it meant to conflate them.
Thank you, Mr. Vonnegut, for giving me these words.
THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.
Some things about living still weren’t quite right, though. April, for instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in that clammy month that the H-G men took George and Hazel Bergeron’s fourteen-year-old son, Harrison, away.
[Edit: It’s a little sad, losing RAW and Kurt Vonnegut in such rapid succession. They helped me form a lot of who I am and make up a good bit of my formative thought in my teenage years.]
Robert Anton Wilson just died. It’s sad, despite his wishes. I’ve loved his writing since I was a teenager and had just discovered Illuminatus! and Cosmic Trigger. He was a friend of Timothy Leary, Anton X. LeVey, Philip K. Dick, and lots of others from that crowd.
He’s the source of my skepticism and the reason I find it so beautiful. In the front flap of Shock: there’s a paean to Doubt, the source of learning. That’s a perspective I gained from him. His indulgence in the ridiculous was an exercise to see how much of the ridiculous was true, and how much perceived truth was just a somber mask over absurd reality.
He was a wild experimenter with his own nervous system, taking LSD every day for decades. He was a week short of 75, having survived polio as a child and considering every day to be an opportunity for a new perspective on life.