Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Autonomous killer drones? Really???

Sometimes I wonder if anyone in the so-called group “ the powers that be” ever watched The Terminator or Robocop?

Based on what I am reading lately the resounding answer to that question is a big NO!

Or, maybe they HAVE watched the movies and are using them as a blueprint to guide their actions.


Here’s just couple of reasons I believe “the powers that be” are completely ignorant or willfully disregarding the entertainment industry’s commentary and warnings on Robots and Drones:

#1 - A new report states that the Pentagon is working to give their drone fleet autonomous control over who gets killed on the “battlefield”. That means that there will be NO HUMAN controlling what the drone is doing. It will decide who and when to kill all on its own. 

Hmm... Seriously folks... the MAIN theme, the easiest to understand point of both The Terminator and Robocop movies that ANY freaking child who has just learned to talk could immediately comprehend is that NO Machine should be given autonomous control over the lives of humans!

Come ON! We’ve written about this for AGES!

How many OTHER movies and books have been written about this? I, Robot and other Asimov stories tell us SPECIFICALLY that robots (drones) need to have The Three laws written into their basic operating code BEFORE any artificial intelligence is even introduced! Sheez!

But no... the intrepid Pentagon in all its glory of advanced knowledge and intelligence wants to just keep moving on with programming the drones to kill-at-will.

Wow... Just wow, folks.

But wait! There’s more!

#2 - High Frequency Trading in the stock market is a common practice and will one day (soon - if not already) completely destroy the market and the global economy.

Ok, ok, I will not bore you with a bunch of mundane details about the stock market and the economy because you probably would just skim it all anyway and miss all the wonderfully salient points I lay out for you in the hopes that I will soon make some kind of joke about food or bodily noises so that you can laugh and get on with your day.

However... please allow me to give you just a smidgen of background. Ever since the 2008 Global Economic Recession (The GREAT Recession) I have taken it upon myself to learn as much as possible as FAST as possible about the economy, money, trading, etc. and find ways to predict and capitalize on events or at least protect what I have earned over the years from severe market downturns.

And not to put it too lightly, but all of my research has been ENLIGHTENING.

If I were a man bent on Conspiracy Theories I might just believe there are groups of nefarious minded folks out there whose only desire is to make as much money off the world in whatever way possible as fast as possible and DAMN the consequences and DAMN the people who might get hurt.

But... of course as you know I am NOT so conspiratorially minded. Right?

So, just what the hell is High Frequency Trading anyway? The previous link sends you to a Wikipedia page that will give you a brief description of what HFT is.

In a nutshell, the wunderkinds of Wall Street have created programs that monitor active and popular trades (like on Oil or on Apple stocks). When they see a particularly juicy amount of trades or trades that they predict will send a stock price either up or down in a direction they wish to see it go, these HFT programs will PREEMPTIVELY launch a BUTTLOAD of “pre-trades” (trades that may or may not even ever be completed) that thoroughly affect the outcome of final sales and which has the result of driving the SALE price wherever they want it go.

Now THAT sounds totally FAIR, doesn’t it???

Now I bet your idea of the Stock Market is that a bunch of rich dudes and Mom’s and Pop’s with a bit of retirement and maybe a few just-married couples go out and “invest” their money in other businesses “stock” (basically buy a piece of a company) and typically they will leave that money there for a long time so that the company they invest in has a greater value and will perform well overtime and make a big nest egg for them to withdrawal interest off of later on down the road.

And you would think that the MAJORITY of trades on the stock market are just like what I have described above.

Sadly, it is just not that way anymore.

By the year 2010, High Frequency Trading accounted for over 70% of ALL stock market trades!

And, as for HFT involvement acting like the above described trading where they “invest” money and leave it there so a company can grow over time... NOPE!

HFT trades are almost ALWAYS removed by the end of that trading day or before and the HFT investors leave NO NET investment in the companies.

Now, most of you might think SO WHAT? What does this have to do with me?

Well, like the Terminator and Robocop drones above, these HFT investment firms are more and more often writing programs and algorithms for HFT trading and then LEAVING THEM TO RUN ALL BY THEMSELVES!

Yep! Autonomous stock market trading! Look Ma! No hands!!!

Surely nothing can wrong with that, right???

I realize that many of you may not be interested, but if you are, here a few more links to read up on HFT trading:

Now my whole point with the HFT information is to say that, like the autonomous drones being given free rein to kill-at-will by the Pentagon, a completely different set of high speed computers are being given free rein to do whatever-they-will with the stock market which we all know based on all the wonderful bailouts we provided banks (Chase, BofA) and investment companies/insurance companies (Merrill Lynch, AIG) has a direct effect on our continued ability to make and keep our own money.

Whether you dabble in stocks or keep your money in a mattress you will be affected if these yahoos find a way to once again bilk the system and “force” the government (haha, yea they really have to twist their arms) to pony up more bailout money.

Bottom line: The infamous “THEY” are going to allow machines to kill on the “battlefield” AND rob you of your savings all at the same time.

Welcome to the Brave New World.

By the way... I need your help. I read a Sci-Fi short story years ago where a whiz-kid created a Robot that did all his stock trading for him. I think it was by one of the masters (Asimov, Clarke, etc.) but for the life of me I cannot remember who or what and cannot find it anywhere no matter what I Google search on.

If one of you remembers that story PLEASE clue me in!




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