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<nettime> Num3ricity
chad scov1lle on Thu, 23 Oct 2008 16:10:31 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Num3ricity


The technopolitical meridian informational realization has transpired. The
collapse of global financial markets in the fall of 2008 marks the apogee.
The transnational capital devaluation, deleveraging of institutional credit
positions, and implosion of banking is cloaked. In actuality, these
occurrences are merely surface phenomena; a transparency to a much more
sinister development. That action is the symbolic redefinition of
traditional capital notation.  We must intuit that the contemporary real is
a numeric interdependency. An amalgamation of data seen and interpreted by
our own cognition, in which we act, rationally and irrationally. How human
agents experience this real from a biological standpoint in terms of
physiological sense is minor compared to the virtureal environs.

This contemporary real, a computational spatiality, functions as a numeric
totality. It is a functionally expanding entropic architecture. It operates
the massively multi-parallel scale of binary engineering relative to
symbolic arithmetic representation by supercollective feudalists.
Controlling numericity, a class of value which never actually exists, does
not exist, but rather, is an abstracted metaphoric expression of storage
capacity, grid networks, and silicon. It is absent of standing armies,
nuclear weaponry, or even capability to penetrate. The final plight of
politics. What we are seeing is the dominance of big numbers.  The screen
of patternistic human behavior reflected across the polytronic mirroring of
lcd vision, becomes a chaotic yet deterministic resultant of numerical
creativity. These numbers, large numbers, very large numbers, very very
large numbers bear no human conceivable analog in terms of real and
rational empirical experience. Competitive feudalist warring enterprises
constitute a machination of numbers, engineering and calculating decimal
places, logarithms and LaPlace transforms. These concepts seemingly
facilitating an exasperated disparity between antiquated human perception
of volume through actual iris and real eyes, and that of computer vision
programs and algorithms.

One imagines and witnesses the emergence of extraordinary quantities of
collateral assets, impenetrable in scale to the human neural fabric.
Scientifically however, such values are bits flashing across an ethernet
connection at the London Stock Exchange, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the
Deutsche Bourse, or the NYSE with no actualized relevance. The
potentialities are what become exhausted and contentiously grappled with.
The drainage of potentiality by contraction of symbolic capital has
everything to do with the violent activity of resignifying value in terms
of collateral debt obligations, LIBOR spreads, and credit default swaps. If
you have these, you are l33t. If you don???t, well then it???s a rap son.

We enter into the volatile and fantastic phantasm of cyclical existential
explosion in which these catastrophic patterns of opportunity are
expediently trailed by drastically accelerated double-inverse downturns and
fiscal contractions. The recent realization observed in double-return
exchange trade funds reflexively demonstrate this phenomena. It will be a
brilliant shining eclipse of modernity, whereas valuation by exorbitant
computationally facilitated power-law enhanced derivative instruments
demonstrate the true departure of cultural progeny as seen in the context
of arithmetic substantiation. An age whereas millions becomes
anachronistically subdued by the beginning of new and novel era. An era
tragically coined and denoted in thousand trillions and thousand million
billions. Failure of anyone to be able to own this language results in a
lack of agency in a new feudal, transpolitical, post-nation state array.

These numbers of representational significance convey little in terms of
anything actually mentally conceivable, let alone fiscal inheritance.
Instead, such diction makes possible the instantaneous catapult of capital
and cache by power-law rated quant trading engines, hence featuring and
catalyzing possible transfers of capability within the counterpoint of
femtoseconds. A praxis of instantaneous execution. Dark pools of liquidity
sanctioned by cryptographically anonymous market partnering. Digital
opulence amassed in neural networks with random lossless contributions to
extralegal terrorism and the demise of the international systems of
interaction. A collapse which manifests a unipolar entity controlling
monetary policy, at last completely removed from the hand of direct
democracy.  What is a thousand billion? What is fifty-five trillion? Is
there any possible physical relationship that can be identified by the
empirical observer inquiring as to the approximate scale to which such
capital assets commanding the mathematical characterization as such intuit?
Whence contemporary society intuits massive scalars of asset transactions
in the order of a hundred thousand billion, the cognitive capability of
electorates and government policy adherents seem to lose the functional
capacity to even slightly envision the numerical depth and relevance of
such symbolic crafting.

It is a activity of motive analysis and psychological whodunit - placing
the language representing these sums of assets electronically and
computationally, and illustrating them not with numbers, but charts and
graphs meandering across cartesian planes of axis. Further abstracting the
rational countenance of numercity and applying a phenomena that can be no
more aptly described than being completely cinematic. The cinema of
numericity, the financial ramparts and market speculation, the constant
price/earning ratio analysis, the intraday trading patterns, collating to
proffer the documentary record of elegant collapse, the elegy of return,
the grand trilogy of hypercapitalism made way through ???Fast Money??? and

Numericity is what needs to be defined in light of this discourse, as a
passively totalitarian ethic towards monopolizing capital and power. Those
with command of the rational arithmetic, able to execute the vast
calculation on zillioncal scale, are able to infer the massively parallel
transfer of value. They corner value, and hence manipulate the endgame of
hypercapitalism through asymmetric quantitative economics. War is in the
delocalization of arithmetic symbol towards a macrointernationalization of
currency strategy. A violence subjected by financial conglomerates towards
the people they service. A war of transfer of capital from the public to
the private sphere. A privatization of profits through the socialization of
risk. Those who control the numbers, who possess the acumen and erudition
of capturing the numericity of extraglobal interrelationships, will also be
in a position to dictate the pace with which violence is deployed.

Computational ubiquity and network ambience tends to promulgate the
pervasiveness, activation, and potentiality of increasingly large volumes
of indexical arrays of data. With these bundles and binders of information
literally swooning from their corpuscles of injunction, and careening into
the progeny of interaction, the numerical base 10 system at some point
seems to possibly have the occurrence to be thwarted by a more efficient
means of symbolic representation. These are known as credit default swaps,
collateral debt obligations, and other exotic derivative instruments. The
formal ritual by which the canonization of the new systemic arithmetic
becomes instantiated into the psychology of the collective is bearing
witness to the elegant collapse and ever so dramatic destruction. It is in
these numbers that the new mathematics of financialization is revealed.

We exclamate that the propensity to abstract such voluminous magnitudes of
value, of commodities, of lives, of matter is a violent act in itself. The
culmination of abstraction through fiscal engineering. It is a hermetic
process of psychological coercion ??? appealing to the belief component of
wanting to have faith, of supernatural forecasting ability. But there is
nothing but randomness and chaos with scant determinism available only for
those with the grid capability of terabytic computational faculty. The
masses, capitulated and entranced by the imaginative possibilities which
embrace the extravagantly polytronic media rich textured analytical
videogame like newscasts, fall victim to the larceny of this technical
crime. Civilians act as endpoints, points on a graph, being completely
unfamiliar with the dealings of such incredibly large valued products and
hence becoming intellectually distant from the possibility of controlling
or administering them.  The activity counting is sourced to machines,
whereas previously had been the domain of intelligent agents (brains)
possessing the technology to elucidate a symbol representative of
constituent asset value. Subscribing this to tools abstracts the function,
it???s index, as well as the symbols with which such machinations dutifully
are trusted to represent. With the imminent extrapolation of complexity and
sophistication pertaining to human civilization in concurrence with it???s
continued progression, the production of symbols as representations of
value takes on new significance and arguably, constructs changes
considerably and radically.  It is inefficient to continually rely on
anachronistic imperatives which limit the thinking functionality to domains
of intellect severely disjoined from the nature of empirical reality given
our understanding of the universe as indicated through the scientific
method. Construing our thoughts, our endeavors, aims, means, and attitudes
in terms of linearity, single and double digit products, implicitly limits
our collective wisdom and effectively grounds the imaginary and well of
what is possible towards something of previous epochs. Informationalism
contends not only the disavowal of modernist tools and techniques for
interpreting the real, but also the fundamental root analytical numbering
system which forms the basis for organizing reality into epistemologically
demonstrable quantities.

The inequitably gigantic streams of processed data constantly mined by the
electronic megastructure of contemporaneous civilization proves
pragmatically inconsequential any rational analysis in terms of linearity
and modern symbolic interpretation. Presenting data sets absent of the
temporality proves to be even more of a futility. When compared with
apparent randomness evidenced by excessively fluctuating and far ranging
initial conditions, the creation of algorithmic predication becomes a
student of chaos theory hoping from some element of elegant determinism. It
will be the principal means of attainment to provide for a forecasting
mechanism which does less in terms of singular symbolic interpretation, but
rather, one of trend-variant behaviorialism identifying statistical and
quantitative outcomes of game theory-based scenarios. Every moment, every
instance, every pattern, and every wink is calculated for both it???s
randomness as well as it???s rationality and determinism. Chasing entropy
across the landscape of inquiry, it will be the future.

Whereas every atom is counted, every molecule statistically analyzed, every
reaction postulated, and every space electromagnetically organized, vectors
of arithmetic signification become passive indicators in light of volumes
impossible to visualize by the human neural fabric. We become extinct as
agents of possibility and metadata to a new and migrating reality.

/*Chad Scoville

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