Monday, May 24, 2010

Harvard, ..., II

Moral: Wherein we consider that even the best-and-brightest (big endowments) can get lured into playing the games offered by the sirens of technologically driven business; there are many of these games, but the big chimera (many faceted demon of our own design - Rick, of course) is a huge one. That shell games get out of control, now and then, is a lesson that does not seem to stick (no, the little people suffer and pay, always). No wonder the backbone of the economy breaks under such nonsense.


There is much to look at. However, we will review this paper, at some point: Educational Endowments and the Financial Crisis: Social Costs and Systemic Risks in the Shadow Banking System 2010 (PDF at In the meantime, a few thoughts are collected.

In terms of disclosure, all this will lead to the following: discussions of near zero and its necessity.

The biggest brains are no better than the lowliest worker. That emphasis has gone so heavily into out-housing (use of this does not imply the inability to see the reality of our inter-connected and global world) results, in part, from a seemingly endless set of new exploitees always around the bend.

Too, talents not related to numeracy are essential to the planet's future; yes, techies, innumeracy is not idiocy. How can the numerant (those with numeracy) be allowed to innovate financially without oversight?

The Gulf spill might be a perfect metaphor. We can exploit only so far; at some point, real costs have to be considered. Oh yes, the current state of affairs shows just how easy it is to fall into a debt, and enslave the future, pattern.

Was it Harvard that led us on the path of short-vision'd and, ravage the landscape, business (Cat and mouse)? Well, can it dig back into its roots, those prior to the ingestion of the secularist potion, and develop a coherent non-secular stance that is so sorely needed by the world for a peaceful and productive future?

Suggestion: where is the notion of ethics ever brought into the minds of those who are going to lead the future? Ought not this be more prominent, period by period, throughout the educational experience? Can ethics even be absorbed by one who is reinforced in elitist thinking?

Divine right of the endowed (pun, of course, for best-and-brightest)?

Earlier posts that are related to the theme under development. Not picking on Harvard. BUT, you Crimson guys and gals, you were the first on this side of the pond which, then, brings especial responsibility.
  • Harvard, value and quality I -- from whence will come the multi-faceted minds that we need and the training that will raise the worldview?
  • Gravy train -- that is, will raise above the notion of massive taking?
  • Gray areas -- and, will not try to exploit situations or potential exploitees?
  • Win and lose -- success breed hubris; failure causes whining.
  • Hedge Funds -- they say that money talks or that money has it privileges. Evidently, one of these is to make your own rules.
  • Lessons to be learned -- gosh, the problem? Who's the daddy!
  • Oops and more oops -- stumbling going on everywhere, almost densely.
  • Cars and quality -- wonderful metaphor for the current economic mess.
  • Roles for schools -- more than merely funneling out takers on a massive scale.
  • Swarm proof -- even the brightest are under the laws of nature (more full use than normal).

01/23/2013 -- Things are looking up: Read free or die.

10/16/2011 -- Harvard is 375 this year. That, one might say, will precipitate a closer look, soon.

05/17/2011 -- Hedge funds need some of our attention.

04/20/2011 -- Simple living (see Remarks 04/15/2011 - game theory), as opposed to greediness.

04/12/2011 -- Now, we hear that Harvard wants Bernie to teach ethics to the best and brightest! It is obvious that he ought to be a case study and a specimen of what not to do. That is, analyze him to the core. His motivations would be included. The biggest lesson? How we have dumbed down ourselves in order to make the system, and its artifacts (see comments on hive mentality), work.

04/04/2011 -- Boston U's opinion.

02/24/2011 -- People matter.

01/19/2011 -- For the most, things are dire, not by necessity.

07/02/2010 -- Anyone at Harvard with the sense of justice like Perelman's?

06/01/2010 -- Some young MBAs want to get their reputation, or that of their discipline, out of the crapper. Nice. An oath is one theme.

Modified: 05/08/2014

Friday, May 7, 2010

Out of control

Moral: Wherein we consider that the big chimera has many underlying problems. That is, the shell game gets out of control, now and then. No wonder the backbone of the economy breaks under such nonsense.


Or, as Mean Street says, the computers get to 'making ugly, messy love' while our money hangs in the balance. You see, the computers are driving the economy due to its increasing roles, and there will be side-effects not unlike we will continue to see with cars.

That requires a new type of thinking, folks.

Given that the streeters, such as golden sacks, seem to deal with 'truth derivatives' (see cartoon) of their own liking, upon what can we build trust required for a market economy? It seems obvious that ill-begotten gains are the norm as how can large bonuses be so usual without some sort of fiddling?


On another note, where does the money go? That is, when things roll downward. Today, many lost, yet others gained. That's called near-zero, folks.

Some argue that we can move away from near-zero, with upbeat outlooks, and such. Yet, there has to be a certain amount of accounting (and accountability) and auditing that stands up to scrutiny. That we're fiat'd in terms of money (aerated by the FED, in other words) sets the stage for all the bad stuff from the beginning.

Yet, even in the gold years, there were issues, as Big Ben can tell us.

It may be that the only way out of the muck is with computer systems and a proper playing field. Somehow, we need to get insights from improvements in engineering, such as cyber-physical notions, involved.

Smith and Samuelson would probably agree.


06/11/2015 -- Computers? Out of control, in more ways than oneAdam rolls over (again and again and ...).

12/22/2014 -- Nice to see the WSJ article use "sandboxed" in relation to the absence of "predict or control" within the context of computation (in a sense, we are already out of control very much in need of an economic sandbox). The issues raised in the article are central to truth engineering's core focus.

08/23/2013 -- Another example. Jon has it right: high-frequency to blame. Of course, there are several reasons for the market being out of control.

06/11/2013 -- CDOs and tranching, once again.

05/30/2013 -- We're being driven by systems and developers into a type of hell.

03/15/2012 -- Okay, might have used incomputability in discussing quants (see post on Alan M. Turing) but stand by the context, the issues, and the need for resolutions. Wake up, quants (you, too, Ben).

02/11/2012 -- Example of the senselessness of the ca-pital-sino give to us by the best-and-brightest. 

01/13/2012 -- We'll be coherent and thorough as we discuss issues (out of control) related to this theme. 

05/17/2011 -- Golden sacks (leftmost mug of the rogue table), by Rolling Stone and Daily Ticker.

03/22/2011 -- It's spring, and the garble uses gambling metaphors.

11/21/2010 -- Three years ago, it was said: Computational foci raise miraculous need. Still applies.

11/02/2010 -- Over a year later, the message is the same, except some changes have occurred. But Big Ben continues in his ways. Of real note is that the jobless rate is high; out-housing really set up for that. Also, we need to re-look at that learned from the 'vons' guys, Ludwig and Friedrich. See Near Zero.

10/07/2010 -- Several principles need to be explored, such as the ergodic one.

05/25/2010 -- Who will (or can) lead out of the morass?

05/14/2010 -- Oh yes, smartest guys in the economy.

05/14/2010 -- NYT's opinion points toward algorithms which nowadays seem to have a panache that seems to need some scrutiny.

05/13/2010 -- Some of the 'out of control' is intentionally inserted, as that helps some make money. See Time article from 12 years ago in which it is suggested that a lot of 'high' finance is motivated by attempts to circumvent accounting rules. As a reminder, folks, the issue of 'moral hazard' consists of this: playing with other peoples' money (many of which are moms and pops just trying to survive their later years), not handling risk properly (hubris of mathematical prowess), taking off the top (privatization of the profits), expecting bailouts from the general populace (socialization of gain) when things go awry, gloating about being right (again, hubris, but this time it's probably male egotism). It's been said here before: we need people running finance who do not salivate when a buck is passed beneath their nose. Now, that set would not be exclusively female.

05/10/2010 -- Commentary, and cartoon, via USA Today is right on.

05/07/2010 -- Another opinion on the influence of computers in the market.

05/07/2010 -- As said before, politocos seem to be those who salivate at the sight of a buck. I should add that the thought of the buck might cause the glands to activate, too. Especially, it seems, according to this report, that it's worse than I could have imagined. Why expect more from these people? That ethics might come into politics approaches zero in likelihood?

05/07/2010 -- Basically, the whole model stinks and is very unstable. How did we get to where our lives are dependent upon this type of thinking? And, this is how 'capital' ought to be handled? On no. Have to consider that Grasso was right. Like they say, right message, wrong messenger.

Modified: 06/11/2015