Saturday, May 15, 2010

Who Can Explain The Flash Crash?

In a segment entitled "Hoarders" on the Daily Show With Jon Stewart from May 13th, 2010, Jon Stewart describes the Thursday, May 6th, 2010 action in the stock market as a "twenty-minute, thousand-point, still hauntingly unexplained drop in the stock market."

I find his description of the drop being "still hauntingly unexplained" a bit confusing. Indeed, many have sought to explain it, with various theories such as computer glitches, order-pipeline jamming, lack of regulatory oversight, irrational panic and even market fundamentals being trotted out by various persons in the private and public sector alike. So, it's not as if it remains "unexplained" for a lack of people trying to explain it.

No, what's most confusing about Stewart's phraseology is the way it implies that there might be one, proper explanation that can be provided by one, proper, 'official' explainer. And I have a feeling that the person or institution from which Stewart would be most comfortable receiving an explanation would not be a member of the private sector.

It's entirely possible I am blowing this out of proportion and making a big deal out of something that was ultimately just a rhetorical flush that the writers of the Daily Show employed to make the segment more ominous and dramatic. But I think that this particular piece of semantic evidence is consistent enough with the rest of the slant of the Daily Show, and the political views of a significant fraction of the population of the United States as a whole, to be another item signalling a worrying trend.

That trend is the movement toward the psychological, intellectual and emotional-dependency of a large percentage of the population on the government. Until the government can explain a frightening circumstance, provide a reassuring, proverbial 'pat on the back', issue a collective condemnation of a person or group of people and come to the rescue of the benighted, terror-stricken People, all hope is lost. There can be no helping of ourselves, no responsibility for responding to an adverse event on our own.

Further, there can be no truth outside of the government. Until the government describes, categorizes, outlines, confirms and approves, our attempts at understanding are futile and prone to the 'ideological' manipulations of selfish individuals and groups who seek to benefit at our expense.

This is the manifestation of the New Political Logic amongst a people who have been slowly but surely indoctrinated in it, while simultaneously being inured to any alternative thought process or conception of reality.

This is really dangerous stuff. I'm not going to reduce my own credibility and the credibility of what I am saying here by making them claim that concentration camps are right around the corner, but I will say that this is totalitarian-thinking, not freedom-thinking, and once things start going this way they usually don't turn out well for the people involved.

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