Open the Pod Bay Doors

One of the basic sci-fi dystopian plots came true yesterday, as computer -generated trading apparently took control of the stock market and nearly crashed it. More and more trading is done according to complex programs developed for highly sophisticated computers, which can analyze data and make trades faster than we poor, limited humans can. The problem seems to be that the programs, under the kind of market stresses exhibited yesterday, can build a feedback loop that wildly exaggerates market swings.

Hopeless science fiction fan that I am, the whole thing reminded me of HAL, the insane computer in the iconic film, “2001.” Thus, this cartoon.

7 thoughts on “Open the Pod Bay Doors”

  1. Ed, your brain must be very tired, having run on over-drive for 12 hours. Wonderful idea and cartoon.

  2. We have developed amazing technology in many fields. Does that mean we should? Where are the ethics and morals in it? This (most of it) is technology we do not need and continues to render us weaker physically, mentally, emotionally. Join the neo-Luddite revolution and develop your own talents and abilities. The machines may well rise and take over and render the flawed hu-man creature obsolete, the day the earth stands still.

    1. Let’s not get carried away, Donald. I’m sure not ready to go back to even a hundred years ago. It is technology that is allowing us to view Ed’s work and have thee conversations. Computers, at least not yet, cannot do anything that they aren’t told to do.

      We will likely find out that the HALs turned loose on Thursday did exactly what they were told to do. I thought there were circuit breakers in place. Come to find out, the geniuses at the NYSE allow the DJIA to fall 20% (!!), that’s 2150 points, after 2 pm. I would not doubt one bit that this was a deliberate strategy by “someone”.

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