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Amodern 2: Network Archaeology

Nettime - 2 October, 2013 - 21:12
Announcing the launch of Amodern 2: Network Archaeology A special issue guest-edited by cris cheek, Braxton Soderman and Nicole Starosielski http://amodern.net<http://amodern.net/> Amodern 2: Network Archaeology Editorial Nicole Starosielski, Braxton Soderman, cris cheek "Circulating Concepts: Networks and Media Archaeology" an interview with Jussi Parikka, by Braxton Soderman and Nicole Starosielski "Re-engaging the Humanities" an interview with Alan Liu, by Scott Pound "Pentameters toward the Dissoloution of certain Vectoralist Relations" John Cayley "The Information Defense Industry and the Culture of Networks" Adrian Johns "Terms of Reference & Vectoralist Transgressions: Situating Certain Literary Transactions over Networked Services" John Cayley "Last In, First Out: Network Archaeology of/as the Stack" Rory Solomon "On Lists and Networks: An Archaeology of Form" Liam Young "Holding Electronic Networks by the Wrong End" Lisa Gitelman "Infrastructure and Intermediality: Network Archaeology at

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 2 October, 2013 - 03:31
Ei, MP -- 'They' aren't taking our jobs, the job (processes) are being given to them ... eh? No, but when they and the manufacturing processes that 'they' depend on run out of energy sources, they will, definitely, all go away... As feedback mechanisms -- which is what a surveillance system is -- begin to expand within a social system they consume ever more energy that otherwise would go into maintaining the vitality of the system (think: education, research, infrastructure support, etc). In the complexity of the moment -- where social sub-systems are now continually impinging on each other because of population numbers

the secret financial market, p.s.

Nettime - 1 October, 2013 - 12:00
Hello, Armin started to zero in on an aspect of this discussion that has been largely invisible or at least off to the sidelines: "there is a philosophical aspect to that discourse on [h]umans/non-humans that has someting to to with Virilio, Latour and Barad which I would love to elaborate on more now, but unfortunately I have some other work to do today in order to 'earn a living' as the saying goes" The infrastructure, both human and virtual, of brand 'neo-liberalism' has precious few rules and those that do exist for the 1% are different for those in the majority. It is probably hard to grasp this simple reality but not everybody plays by the same rules and for that matter the venues, the economic and institutional edifices, which are at the heart of our daily lives are woven together via a fragile ethos. 'Secret financial markets' have been around for quite some time; long before the advent of high speed trading, hedge funds, credit swaps and other devices designed to maximise and squeeze out w

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 1 October, 2013 - 09:06
Hi Armin-- On Sep 30, 2013, at 9:07 AM, Armin Medosch <armin-1kXtHpul8t0qdlJmJB21zg< at >public.gmane.org> wrote: Right, I wouldn't call this algorithmic trading at all. This is general risk management: "How exposed am I to interest-rate movements, shifts in volatility, big drops in a particular industry or the market as a whole?" etc. There are standard measures for these things, usually called the "Greeks": delta, gamma, vega, rho. The trading involved here can be minimal, depending on how often the desk wants to rebalance their portfolio to neutralize these risks. That could be once or a day or once an hour. But the main work and "intelligence" here is in the systems that compute these risk measures, and the people who decide what measures are meaningful to them. The trading doesn't have to be anything fancy. No algorithms needed, usually. In my experience, the talk about "open source" in finance is exaggerated. All these systems run on Linux boxes, but that's pretty much where it ends. The algorithmic s

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 1 October, 2013 - 04:38
Thx 2 Armin for an elegant summation on the range of eletronic trading sytems and methodologies. A lot of very excellent posts to this thread. To Brian's point on the relative applicability of this financial approach, I think by looking at total volumes across all asset classes, perhaps specfically CME Globex, its quite apparent from that data that the levels are continuing to increase. But still, here the present condition is that transactions conducted on a scale impenetrable to the human gaze and manageable only through highly sophisticated automation. And the scale accounts for a significant percentage of overall global gdp in terms of notional value. It is a fact that movements occur in the single-digit microseconds and capital is accrued proportional to sytem and transport latency. The level of automation is rudimentary at this stage; it is problematic that from a computational perspective, machines don't quite have the neural complexity to rationalize around all deviations and hence their adaptabil

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 30 September, 2013 - 19:37
Doug Rushkoff has spoken of the architecture of Lower Manhattan coming to resemble that of a microprocessor. The gates keep becoming more tightly packed; for every meter you move closer to the Valhalla (old Verizon co-lo facility at 375 Pearl st.), you are one nanosecond closer to perfect insight. Or so they think. On Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 9:07 AM, Armin Medosch <armin-1kXtHpul8t0qdlJmJB21zg< at >public.gmane.org> wrote: <...>

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 30 September, 2013 - 18:16
Felix: HA!! Now you (and the rest of us) will have to *understand* the impact on *us* of our own inventions -- particularly the communications technologies that make up our social environment. This environment is man-made. Our behaviors and attitudes are shaped (not "determined," which is a different sort of causality) by our social environment, which, in turn, is based on how we communicate with each other. Yes, the "machines" have a kind of "agency," which results in an imperative and a collection of prerogatives and claims on us. We all live in a "wind tunnel" that bends and shapes our thoughts and actions and that we cannot avoid unless we deliberately dropout of human society. Few wish for that sort of "autonomy." None of this is beyond "human comprehension" but, obviously, sorting it out isn't easy. As previously discussed on nettime, Castels tried to make this point among sociologists (in the late 90s) but he failed. Fifteen years later, we need to do better, much bett

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 30 September, 2013 - 18:07
On 09/30/2013 01:12 PM, Felix Stalder wrote: silent chuckle ... I wanted to throw in my 2pence already a while ago. Last year I had the opportunity of investigating the matter journalistically, through a series of interviews, and I was lucky to find a couple of insiders who would talk. In principle, it is important to differentiate between different forms of algorithmic trading. There are on one hand, large investment banks and hedge funds who hold large portfolios of different types of stocks and equities; they also need fast computers and fast lines, but just because they need to keep track of lots of different positions and their relations to each other - together with news and lots of other things happening in real time; those are the companies who employ Quants, people with high level mathematical and/or theoretical physics knowledge to design the software and the 'products' traded, but the trading itself is not really high-frequency, the final decisions are still made by humans and there are a num

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 30 September, 2013 - 16:19
On 29/09/13 14:34, Newmedia-YDxpq3io04c< at >public.gmane.org wrote: So if we switch them off, all associated problems go away? Qualitatively different .... than/from what, exactly? Perhaps because it is qualitatively different? m

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 30 September, 2013 - 16:12
OK. It's the machines. You convinced me. Now, what? Felix On 09/29/2013 02:34 PM, Newmedia-YDxpq3io04c< at >public.gmane.org wrote:

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 29 September, 2013 - 17:34
Felix: Who said any of this is "beyond" comprehension? If you choose to not even try to understand something, for your own reasons of *dogma* (such as SCOT), the initial reasons for which have long been forgotten, then what does that tell us about "forms of agency"? It is the "machines" that are *spying* on us -- not humans. It is the "machines" that are taking our jobs -- not humans (now that wage arbitrage is declining). As George Dyson illustrates in his "Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe," something *qualitatively* different has been invented. Why is that so difficult to grasp? Mark Stahlman Brooklyn NY

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 29 September, 2013 - 16:08
On 09/27/2013 12:21 AM, Brian Holmes wrote: This is, precisely, the point. What has happened through financialization is not the rise of machines, or some creation of intelligent forms of agency beyond human comprehension. Such arguments are simply part of the narrative that underpins the creation of a social/economic system that centralizes rewards and decentralizes risk. But other than what has been promised by the hedging wizards, decentralized risk means simply that the risk is carried by everyone, rather than those who create and profit from it. For society, this is an incredibly destructive situation, since incentives the few to generate more risk, while the rest experience lives that are diminished and increasingly chaotic, since there is no telling who gets hit when the risk materialize. Perhaps, this is just the decline of the West, but it seems at last as much a reoganisation within it, that cannot be reduced to changes in the world economy. I'm currently in Athens, which is, in Europe, at the

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 29 September, 2013 - 01:15
Dave, I am with you and Brian on this one, so I hope this doesn't come across as merely scholastic. It is not about same vs different, but about difference-in-sameness or the other way round. There was a rather sterile episode in economic anthropology along these lines known as the formalist-substantivist debate. But it's ancestor was the Methodenstreit (battle over methods) in late the 19th century German-speaking world. The issue was whether the ancient Greek economy was the same as or different from contemporary German capitalism (Schmoller in Berlin vs Menger in Vienna). Max Weber entered the fray saying "We wouldn't be interested in the Greeks unless they were different and we couldn't understand them unless they were in some sense the same". I share your irritation with the same-old people, but we have to place our times in history and that means dialectic. Keith On Saturday, 28 September 2013, David Mandl wrote:

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 28 September, 2013 - 22:28
To restate what Brian wrote, in five times as many words: I think it's easy (and *usually* reasonable) to say, "This thing that's happening now, and the backlash against it, is just like such-and-such a thing that happened 100 years ago, and all that fuss turned out to be very silly." So, whenever someone says, "Everything used to be so wonderful (especially when I was young). The whole world's going down the toilet now!" it's a good idea to point out that people in Chaucer's and Plautus's times were saying the exact same thing. People in the Old Testament got all teary-eyed for the good old days. One contemporary example is the ever-popular "buggy-whip manufacturer," an analogy loved by Libertarian types. "Science matches on! There will always be people clinging to a useless, outdated past. We've seen this again and again. Deal with it--and learn HTML5." Another is GMOs, where some people make the argument that, when you get right down to it, inserting pig genes into a tomato is really not all that diff

Distributed Attention - Response to Margarete Morse

Nettime - 27 September, 2013 - 15:58
Dear Margaret Morse, thank you for your comments on my arguments which I've provided in the interview with Geert. I would like to react on them briefly. In my research on discourses of distraction I found out that, around 1800, distraction was reformulated as distributed attention. At the same time forms of deep attention like absorption were specified as interior distraction. Hence, I would claim, the traditional opposition (as provided first of all by philosophy) between attention and distraction has collapsed. I too was surprised by the way Adorno and Horkheimer was claiming that an excess of distraction attaches art. I believe it implies a dialectical move towards a new quality (according to the proposition that a high quantity can change into a new quality). Adorno and Horkheimer had popular entertainments like film comedies and animated films in mind, when they where thinking on an excess of distraction. Insofar the notion of "intensified distraction" seems less contradictory. I

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 27 September, 2013 - 03:21
Hi Chad - First off, not to worry, I recall good interactions with you and I respect you as well. On 09/26/2013 02:40 PM, Chad Scoville wrote: Hmm, did you think I was getting so emotional? My point was not about the morality of machines trading against each other; instead I was saying that too much is made of high-frequency trading and that it's on the decline since 2011. I just finished studying all that so I have some notions. At the same time, I think that finance of all kinds has taken over control of the monetary system generally since the end of Bretton Woods, severely limiting governments' capacities for social intervention. I also think that finance performs resource allocation in view of benefits calculated for decreasing numbers of people (far less than one percent of the global population) over much shorter time-frames (it's true that unwanted consequences rarely appear in a trading year, much less nanoseconds). Finally, I do think that the claim to manage risk through hedging s

Re: The secret financial market only robots can see

Nettime - 27 September, 2013 - 00:40
As someone intimately involved in this area for some time, and also privy enough to the dialogue in the academic non-practitioner space, in addition to the professional space, I am always amused to the extent with which electronic/hft/algo trading is misinterpreted and in many instances blatantly misunderstood. I know for many participants in this list, this subject is very controversial and hits very close to home - hence out of respect for a civilized discouse on the subject, I think generally before someone quotes 'NANEX' again, we would all do well to remember that overall having a debate about the ethics surrounding degrees of speculation in markets is highy ludic. The same technical parallax we use to communicate via nettime is also the mechanism utilized for deployment of sophistcat ed trading models. Machines being leveraged to generate resources is a legacy of our civilization - and arguing about the ethics of this specific incarnation of capital is reactionary and we need to do better. The conver

Re: Review of Gregory Sholette's "Dark Matter" - corrected

Nettime - 26 September, 2013 - 22:53
snip... Molly -- this resonates with the idea of a bio-system where there is an excess of information -- that is, too much genetic diversity -- such that the need to procreate does not sit so heavily on individual organisms and that 'creative' energy can be expressed in non-essential forms. (Think of the myriad anecdotal ways that procreating changes the (perhaps your!) expression of 'artistic' energy). This situation, the opposite to, for example, needing to breed -- 12 children so that 2 survive to sustain a clan system -- may only arise where/when there is a surfeit of energy available. It is (merely) one expression of energy glut. It will correct itself in time ... fluff of many sorts will dissipate in the entropic decline of the post-hydrocarbon world. jh

Review of Gregory Sholette's "Dark Matter" - correctedversion

Nettime - 25 September, 2013 - 22:20
reposting this text again because i loved this book so much, and the formatting change left too many question marks. thank you for your patience... ----- Dark Matter by Gregory Sholette: Mass Artistic Resistance to the Neo-Liberalization of Everyday Life By Molly Hankwitz Finally, a history of collective precarity from a politicized artist.Author/writer, Gregory Sholette, in the final paragraph of "Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture", at last clarifies the frequently cited metaphor of "zombies" and enormous digital casts, which the likes of Annalee Newitz have been preoccupied with in terms of popular culture and most noticeably, the big budget extravaganza digital films of recent decades. He writes: We go on picking the rags, but every now and again, this other social [non] productivity appears to mobilize its own redundancy, seems to acknowledge that it is indeed just so much surplus---talent, labor, subjectivity, even sheer physical-genetic materiality, and in so doing f

Re: "Internet Freedom" and Post-Snowden Global InternetGovernance

Nettime - 25 September, 2013 - 14:03
hi michael you might find one of bruce schneier's recent guardian pieces interesting: 'The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it back' http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/05/government-betray ed-internet-nsa-spying it resonates with yours in many ways, but from a different starting ipoint .e. internet engineering. fwiw we'll be holding a festival of crypto at goldsmiths college at the end of november which will try to walk the line between discourse & tech; it'll be practical (like a cryptoparty) but also aiming squarely at the wider field of internet freedom. best dan On 24 September 2013 23:37, michael gurstein <gurstein-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w< at >public.gmane.org> wrote: