There is an old Wall Street chestnut that goes, “It’s not a stock market; it’s a market of stocks.” Fair enough, but we’ll take a different approach today to complete this aphorism: “It is a market of stories.” Yes, it is stories that vie for our attention, define our realities, and spur us to action. Recent academic work on the subject reveals that the right narrative – ideally one with a strong human element – physically changes how we process information and make us more likely to empathize with and ultimately believe the stories we hear. Too fluffy a concept for you? The research we cite was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and when they have an interest in something, rest assured it has a very serious purpose. As for applications in the world of investing, recognizing powerful stories earlier than the pack is pretty much the job description for a nalysts and portfolio managers alike. Just be aware that it is all too easy to fall for one as well.
As We Reported 6 Years Ago: The Pentagon Is Using AI Programs To Predict How People - e.g. Americans - Will React To PropagandaSubmitted by George Washington on 07/10/2014 13:59 -0400
US Military Admits Spending Millions to Study Manipulation of Social Media
Just days after a report published by researchers at Facebook revealed that users of the social media site had been manipulated for science, The Guardian reports that DARPA - the Pentagon-run Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - has in one way or another funded several studies recently that set out to explore that social networking site, as well as users of Twitter, Pinterest, Kickstarter and others. DARPA told the Guardian that the studies it has funded are essential to US defense interests.
— Dmitry Rogozin (@DRogozin) March 17, 2014
As was largely expected, the first retaliation by Obama has arrived, courtesy of a just issued Executive Order by the president, in which he has blocked and frozen "all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person" (i.e. assets) of not only the pre-coup Ukraine president Yanukovich and the Crimean leader Aksyonov, including all Russians that operate in the Russian arms industry, but most notably seven Putin aides. Not Putin himself of course - that would be too "escalatory"...
That unpopular short Apple/long Google pair trade's still paying in spades. In addition, an hour and a half of nerd celebrity Bitcoin and crowdfuning equiy in startups.
Big Dog, Wild Cat, Cheetah... all names one wouldn't associate with Google (if anything perhaps feline-named Apple operating systems). And yet, the company that is best know for its internet prowess and having more data about the search habits and private interests of each and every computer user than the NSA could ever dream of, is ever more aggressively moving into the animal kingdom. The robotic one that is.
So about that whole drone debate in the USA... It seems the feds decided to simply skip over such a quaint notion and deploy them without telling anyone. Back in December of last year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) detailed current drone flights in the U.S. That story was big news at the time, and it was particularly disturbing in light of the fact that Congress has cleared the way for the Federal Aviation Administration to allow 30,000 drones in the nation’s skies by 2020. Well it appears that the whole drone debate was over before it even began, with the FBI having used drones domestically for at least seven years.
Aerospace technology experienced a Golden Age of rapid technological development that leveled off once fundamental technologies had matured. Investment in further advances reached a point of diminishing return: the cost of squeezing out modest gains exceeded the profit potential of the advances. We can expect the same trajectory of change in consumer electronics: it will be ubiquity that creates change, rather than technological leaps in capabilities.
The key dynamic here is once the low-hanging fruit have all been plucked, it becomes much more difficult to achieve high growth rates. That cycle is speeding up, it seems; western nations took 100 years to rapidly industrialize and then slip into failed models of stagnation; Japan took only 40 years to cycle through to stagnation, and now China has picked the low-hanging fruit and reverted to financialization, diminishing returns and rapidly rising debt after a mere 30 years of rapid growth.... there is another dangerous dynamic in any systemic reform: the very attempt to reform an unstable, diminishing-return system often precipitates its collapse. The leadership recognizes the need for systemic reform, but changing anything causes the house of cards to collapse in a heap. This seems to describe the endgame in the USSR, where Gorbachev's relatively modest reforms unraveled the entire empire.
Governments Move to Destroy Online Anonymity ... Google Helps
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is one of the most important organizations we have in America today. While most of the country lays fast asleep to the dangers of the encroaching surveillance state, the EFF is always vigilantly at work on the front lines. In their latest article, they show that military drones are already flying all over these United States and, using information received from a FOIA lawsuit they provide important details on what is flying and where. You may be shocked at some of their conclusions.
Bipartisan Congressional Bill Would Authorize the Use of Propaganda On Americans Living Inside AmericaSubmitted by George Washington on 05/21/2012 13:34 -0400
Because Banning Propaganda “Ties the Hands of America’s Diplomatic Officials, Military, and Others by Inhibiting Our Ability to Effectively Communicate In a Credible Way”
Even Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the mighty People’s Bank of China, is worried....
Why Is Social Media Censoring Criticism of the Government?