The Return of the Slow-Wave Trader

Excerpts from dinnertime conversation with a retired investment banker: Angela Merkel emerges from a meeting with Donald Trump. “Yes,” she says in answer to a reporter’s question, “we had a provocative but productive discussion.” She rolls her eyes. The market soars on hearing the good news. It soars because once again, after a brief hiatus […]

Posted in: AI/robotics, economics by Peter Watts 10 Comments

Mind Hives Remastered

So.  The 2013 Aurora Ballot came out a few days ago. Once again, I hadn’t been paying much attention because I didn’t actually publish anything last year.  Once again, I got a phone call telling me that whatever I talked about at last fall’s SpecFic Colloquium got me onto the ballot anyway, under “Best Fan […]

Not exactly SF, but pretty fucking Orwellian just the same.

I had dinner the other night with a friend of mine, a former investment banker and derivatives jock for the Toronto Dominion Bank. He grew sufficiently wealthy to retire years ago — while still in his thirties — and has since been managing hedge funds for widows and environmentalists to make up for his past life of […]

Posted in: economics, rant by Peter Watts 20 Comments

Quantum Economics

The past couple of weeks have not been pleasant ones.  I have been doing statistics (on the biogeography of waterfowl), and I have been reading about statistics (on the global economic meltdown).  I have been delving broadly, if not deeply:  postmortems in The Atlantic and Wired; an articulate if foamy rant in Rolling Stone; and […]