Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stross out

When I'm not dreaming of being Slavoj Zizek, I often think I'd quite like to be Charlie Stross, the wild man of science fiction. It's like being the wild man of theory, but with a more sceptical audience. For those tragically unfamiliar with the man's work, here's the onlne version of his singularity novel, Accelerando.

In his spare time he keeps a blog which he populates with dark musings like this one:

Is it reasonable to believe that the past week's instability in the financial markets — Lehman Brothers being sold for the value of their data centers plus 10%, AIG being bailed out (thus saving the US airline industry), the shockwaves taking down one of the UK's biggest banks and panicking the government into bending the rules to permit an otherwise-illegal merger, the Russian stock exchange closing to avoid cratering, and the $455Tn global derivatives market teetering on the edge — was anticipated, but happened too early?

Charlie's dark suspicion: it was expected to arrive in January; a nice welcome mat for the new proprietors, courtesy of the outgoing bustout crew.

I think that may be giving them a touch too much credit (my bet was on them trying to start a war with Iran), but I s'pose you never can tell with that lot.


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