"The mind is a compact, multiply connected thought mass with internal connections of the most intimate kind. It grows continuously as new thought masses enter it, and this is the means by which it continues to develop."

Bernhard Riemann On Psychology and Metaphysics ca. 1860

Today's Elites


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tilting at Windmills

Indeed, I believe you are quite right to abjure this delusory modern day jousting at windmills by the environauts. However, the solution to the current deleveraging of the multi-trillion dollar speculative derivatives bubble is neither neo-Keysnianism nor gold bug/Ron Paul phantasmagoria. Both of these mindsets hold that wealth is a material "thing." Either money for the Keynesian monetarist or some quantity of gold for the anti National Bank Jacksonian populists. These are just two sides of the same coin. The crisis we have now to overcome is due to the abandonment of the funding of our physical economy. It has broken down. Trying to save the bubble of speculation is like a doctor trying to save the cancer rather than the patient. We need to put the speculators through chapter 11 bankruptcy and set up a new credit creation mechanism not controlled by Wall Street ala the Federal Reserve. We need credit investments in infrastructure, rail, power grids, waterways, and power production, i.e. nuclear. It doesn't matter if we hoard all the gold in the world in our fallout shelters with our tinfoil hats. Investment in that which progressively improves the standard of living is what we must move into. If we don't then I'm afraid we will live to sorely regret it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fickle Fingers

This is a scream, although I'm exhibiting a longer middle finger for the financial traders.




"Abstract

Prenatal androgens have important organizing effects on brain development and future behavior. The second-to-fourth digit length ratio (2D:4D) has been proposed as a marker of these prenatal androgen effects, a relatively longer fourth finger indicating higher prenatal androgen exposure. 2D:4D has been shown to predict success in highly competitive sports. Yet, little is known about the effects of prenatal androgens on an economically influential class of competitive risk taking—trading in the financial world. Here, we report the findings of a study conducted in the City of London in which we sampled 2D:4D from a group of male traders engaged in what is variously called “noise” or “high-frequency” trading. We found that 2D:4D predicted the traders' long-term profitability as well as the number of years they remained in the business. 2D:4D also predicted the sensitivity of their profitability to increases both in circulating testosterone and in market volatility. Our results suggest that prenatal androgens increase risk preferences and promote more rapid visuomotor scanning and physical reflexes. The success and longevity of traders exposed to high levels of prenatal androgens further suggests that financial markets may select for biological traits rather than rational expectations."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lucrezia Borgia: Epitome of an Historical Lesson

Diane Yvonne Ghirardo has taken a page for the method of historical investigation from Dupin's purloined letter of Poe's fable. Fiction: which is stranger and more real than the flatulent pedantry of empiricism. Ms. Ghirardo, society owes you an undying debt of gratitude (of historic proportions) for your detective work.

While history's dunces compliment one another on their oh so profound erudition like Goya's educated donkeys. Their deviltry having even pulled the wool over Shakespeare's eyes anent republican Machiavelli, they have scoured the sewers of Rome with their poison pens. But Lucrezia has cleared herself by draining the stinking fens and doing what no mere diabolic female was meant to do: the work of Ben Franklin's Mrs Dogood.

Hail to thee - most divine ladies all. Your ethereal irony has thwarted the pestilent lackeys of the creeping Hoggian ilk.

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