Bruce Sterling on Thu, 13 Jun 2002 04:47:08 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> FW: Biosecurities Asphyxiate Famed Financier

*People sometimes think that I, Bruce Sterling,
 write these futurefeedforward things.  I don't.
 They are written by a guy named Dave.  Dave has
 really got it going on.  Dave should be one
 of the most famous science fiction writers in the world.
 Why that hasn't happened to Dave already, that is beyond me.
 I may have to do something radical.

------ Forwarded Message
From: "futurefeedforward" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 22:03:30 -0600
Subject: (SPAM?) Biosecurities Asphyxiate Famed Financier

April 16, 2023

Biosecurities Asphyxiate Famed Financier

PALO ALTO--Under pressure from the Food & Drug Administration and the
Securities & Exchange Commission, spokespeople for the family of famed
financier Michael Milken confirmed Friday that his death late last month
was likely related to his ingestion of experimental, high-yield
'biosecurities.' "Mike was an innovator, and a risk-taker," recalls
Lillian Oval, director of the Milken Family Foundation.  "Biosecurities
were part of his vision for the future, and, though he believed them to be
safe, he knew that there were risks.  But he was a pioneer, and that's
what a pioneer does."

Biosecurities, developed by Vitomus, LLC, a privately funded consortium of
banks, brokerages, and biotech firms, represent a cutting-edge combination
of financial and biological technologies.  Each of the 'securities' is a
"viable, engineered bio-organism" designed with the behaviors and
qualities of a financial instrument.  "The idea is really quite simple,"
explains Erik Ween, Vitomus' Chief Research Officer.  "We take a simple
single-celled organism, in some cases even a virus, and redesign it so
that it can embody, for example, a convertible debenture, or even just a
share of common stock."

Through the use of advanced techniques for genetically encoding
mathematical and computational algorithms, Vitomus' member engineers have
created bacteria whose growth rate mimics the coupon payments associated
with some bonds, and have engineered special ciliates whose reproductive
cell-division coincides with stock splits.  "The trick isn't really to
define biological behaviors to represent financial behaviors. That's easy
enough," Ween explains.  "The essence of these instruments is really trust
and authentication.  Self-authenticating, encrypted DNA sequences unique
to each organism allow you to identify them and know their legitimacy."

Once ingested, short-term biosecurities typically live in the mouth and
throat, with longer-term notes favoring the blood, lower intestines, and
abdominal tissue.  Transactions between 'carriers' are typically achieved
through close contact or exchange of bodily fluids.

"It's really quite a new paradigm in the financial world," notes Merrill
Lynch VP of Private Banking Barry Vary.  "What I used to achieve through
the touch of a button, I now do with a deep, wet kiss.  There's a new
intimacy to high-value transactions that's really quite refreshing."

Originally designed as a more private, more secure replacement for the
classic 'bearer bond,' biosecurities have gained a foothold among wealthy
traders eager to avoid the scrutiny of conventional markets and exchanges.

Milken, a vocal advocate of the new instruments and a key member of the
Vitomus advisory board, had reportedly converted much of his portfolio to
the new securities, and was actively involved in the creation of synthetic
and hybrid instruments through novel combinations of the organisms.  
"Mike was way ahead of all of us," comments Vitomus' Ween.  "I heard that
he was growing lots of synthetic puts and, as you might expect, was
heavily into the high-yield end of the spectrum."

Though the Milken family has declined to identify specific instruments,
experts speculate that his untimely death was the result of run-away
growth in his high-yield investments.  "The doctors have informed us that
Mike died as the result of a constricting inflammation in the throat
area," reported a family spokesperson. "And we have been lead to
understand that this inflammation was the result of the appearance of
unusually large colonies of unidentified bacteria."

Responding to the family's announcement, Congresswoman Barbie Hi (D-MI),
Chair of the House Committee on Edible and Ingestible Objects, put out an
immediate call for an investigation:  "This is a tragic loss, and it must
not be in vain.  My promise to the American people is that I will not rest
until we know what these things are and what dangers they pose to the
public health."


Recent disruptions in fff service were due to technical difficulties
associated with the relocation of company headquarters from Connecticut to
Washington DC. Apparently temporal networks can easily get out of
alignment when you move the black box around. Never fear. We now return to
our normally intermittent service.


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