September 16, 2010
Trading noise

Here's a thought I've been having for a while, inspired by the news that's been trickling out about computer assisted front running, and other disreputable, but common pointless ways of making money on the stock exchange. It's just trading in noise. It's a market that has really lost all interest in the economy. It's safer, because you don't have to worry about the direction the market is taking - but of course it's bad if capital is tied up in this useless stuff instead of in funding growth.
Similarly, newspapers, simply have no interest in informing us about anything. They need attention, they need to make noise. This is becoming more and more apparent with digital news, which is even more about noise, as the only way the digital media knows how to get paid is by making noise. So instead of forming a useful view of what's going on in the world and helping us make sense of that and move on, it's better for the newspaper to amplify our feeling that we're in a state of flux, and there's a useful disagreement to be had. We wouldn't have a pointless debate about evolution in a country like Denmark if noise wasn't attractive to the media. Nobody in their right mind, in 1990, in Denmark, thinks the world is 6000 year old, and dinosaurs are a hoax. But, it's quality noise, so it gets some airplay.

It's an odd thing to look at, when you work in an area - technology - that is just full of new places we can go. It's hard to understand this stale zombiefied view of the world as something that has come to an end, where we only have the entertainment of noise.

Posted by Claus at September 16, 2010 03:47 PM | TrackBack (0)
Comments (post your own)

But - isn't the move to Facebook and Twitter - away from blogs - also just about noise??

Posted by: holger on September 18, 2010 12:39 AM

And by the way: Remember the song "sons of the silent age" by Bowie. According to B himself and Michael Strunge the song is based on the notion that the noise on the outside is increasing - making the silence inside us grow.. Strunge paraphrased Bowie in "Verdenssøn" btw. Check it out.

Posted by: holger on September 18, 2010 12:43 AM
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