Patrice Riemens on Tue, 1 Nov 2011 19:00:59 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> The army of love vs the army of software

The recent post by Geert and Bifo was, as far as I am concerned, so 
apodictic and used such strange words ('Finazism'? - gimme a break...) 
that it did not really invite discussion outside its own terms of 
reference. Fortunately, Geert has rephrased in somewhat more accessible 
language its main argument, viz that hackers should help dismantle the 
fortress of finance. I transquote from an article in the University of 
Amsterdam magazine, where he was asked about purpose and effect of the 
local Occupy WS, together with two other luminaries:

"Borowing from the issue of nuclear armaments, I advocate the 
dismantling of financial software itself. Hackers could help in this. We 
need not to convince bankers to do it. We must stop the damage they do 
to our pensions ourselves." (...)

The idea, however, that hackers, 'the army of software', could, would, 
or would be prepared and willing to mount an assault on the walls of 
Jericho of the global financial fortress is, to use that quirky Dutch 
phrase, "sniffed at by the rats". The electronic financial networks have 
kicked into existence much earlier than the public ones, and have been 
developped separately from what has become known as the Internet, of 
which it is, in its mission critical functions, as well separated and 
shielded as military networks are, if not better. If they were hackable 
at a grand scale, it would have happened already (and spare me the 
argument that it has, already, repeatedly been, but kept under wraps - a 
Big One, we would have known). The financial networks are more likely to 
collapse under their own weight, or trigger operational clusterf&^%$£!, 
which they indeed regularly do.

I think two much more interesting (but less romantic and actionist) line 
of attack would be to prevent the financial sector from luring and 
capturing the best brains in computer science, a.o.t. by way of 
exorbitant remunerations. An another would be to firmly put a cap on the 
sphere of accountancy, which in the last thirty years, has managed to 
invade both minds and processes, not only in finance, but in society at 
large, so that the Cult of Mamon has for all practical purposes been 
replaced by the Cult of the Number, whose beginning and end, as we all 
know, is Zero.

Wishing you a happy cruise towards monetary meltdown,
Cheers, patrizio & Diiiinooos!


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