“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, September 28, 2012

SLSA Liveblog 2: Nicholas Knouf

“The Noises of Finance: HIgh-Frequency Trading and the Inadequacy of Accelerationism,” SLSA (”Nonhuman”), Milwaukee, September 27–29, 2012
Recording of the guy freaking out about the 1000 point drop in the Dow.
Trader's Audio, live coverage of market movements on internet. To enable traders to get a sentiment of the market.
On May 6 2010: infamously known as the Flash Crash. Between 2 and 3pm the NYSE had its largest single day loss and largest single day gain. It would appear that a single large selloff caused a cascade of trading activity by high frequency trading algorithms. The algorithms didn't take into account their impact on the market.
Prices went to computational limits on prices: 1 penny or 100 000 dollars.
Twenty minute period.
Might the shouting contain information not in the trading? Is a question that's been asked...in 2001.
Location of the exchanges have shifted. E.g. data center in NJ in Mahwah. Four times the size of the NSA data center.
Need for speed << location
New fiber optic lines to shave millisecond off travel between NYC and Chicago.
High numbers of bids and asks, rapid cancellation, capture of spreads, positions held for milliseconds or seconds.
Very very low margins.
ADM8 a trading bot that predicts price changes to capture profit.
Flash Crash Sonification: rybn (2011)
Bringing out the crash resonance.
financing stuck in a speculative short term loop
Accelerationism: drawing on D&G and Lyotard. Coined by Benjamin Noys.
Suggestion to speed up capitalism in order for its own internal contradictions to contribute to its downfall.
2010 conference. "Photonic Hypercapital Digitalizes Eschatology."
Brassier: Land replicates neoliberal ideology.
But Knouf's problem has to do with positive feedback. Land assumes continual acceleration. But this requires that the loop remain positive. Not oscillating.
The dynamics we have seen are not just positive feedback loops.
Noise as a virus that prevents simple feedback.
Land's eschatology indexes a desire that doesn't fit reality...

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