Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: Silicon Britain and the US Election

The Purge: Election Year (2016) is a dystopian American horror film. Image Source: The Verge.

Today's Hallowe'en countdown post concerns the American election. This is a politically neutral blog, so I will not express preferences for parties or candidates, although I have referred to Trump (here and here) and the Clintons (here, here, here and here).

This year, the Hallowe'en countdown practically wrote itself, because the news and this election have been crazy, the headlines stressful and surreal. There is a political action committee (PAC) called 'Americans against Insecure Billionaires with Tiny Hands,' or 'Donald Trump has Tiny Hands,' for short. It actually made the news that the sale of Hallowe'en masks of candidates has predicted the winner of the American election for the past 36 years, and Donald Trump masks are outselling Hillary masks. The Internet reports a viral nationwide pumpkin-carving trend: the Trumpkin.

Images Source: NBC.

Masks and wigs on sale 27 September 2016, at the Chicago Costume store in the Wrightwood Neighbors neighborhood. Image Source: Chicago Tribune.

Today's post deals with another aspect of the election: predicting the future. It concerns people who make money speculating on who will win. It is illegal in the United States to bet on elections, although people find ways around that in the name of research. BritsCanadians and Australians are among the non-Americans betting on the American election. This post considers how much money you can make if you suspend all values and opinions and coldly and correctly assess mechanistic outcomes in a system - and this post further considers whether that assessment can actually create the future, rather than predicting it.

In the case of Brexit, pro-EU George Soros accurately anticipated Brexit's effect on the pound and claimed that the "catastrophic" break-up of the European Union is now "practically irreversible." Elsewhere in London, others were less glum. A young hedge fund manager, James Hanbury, personally made £110 million speculating that Britain would leave the European Union. Hanbury works for Odey Asset Management, headed by Crispin Odey, who bet about £7.5 billion of his firm's funds that a majority of Brits would vote for Brexit. Correctly anticipating the drop in the pound, the firm invested in mining in gold, diamonds, and in post-Brexit firms expected to prosper, particularly those in the tech sector; the firm also bet against economic sectors expected to lose value because of Brexit. Odey reportedly personally made £220 million betting on Brexit. Bloomberg observed that the firm's fund gained 15% on its investments on the 23 June 2016 vote. The correct assessment that Brexit would occur was based on a "private poll." According to The Independent:
"[Odey] is one of the richest men in the UK, with a personal fortune of [over] £900m. In 2014 it was reported Mr Odey built a Romanesque stone temple to house his chickens." 
Brexit commentators in the MSM fixate on class, age, and educational differences between pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit voters; they speak of stresses in the European Union as liberal globalists contend with alt-right or far-right populists. Brexit's critics concluded that the vote was about racism and xenophobia, backward thinking, a retreat to the dark ages, away from a progressive future. Those talking points obscure an underlying trend. While pro-EU supporters argued that Brexit spelt economic cataclysm, the investors who profited from Brexit told a different story. Investors' huge gains involved positive bets on technology; moreover, those betting capabilities were curiously enhanced by that same technology. This result signaled that Brexit was partly about the evolution of the UK economy: Brexit showed that Euro-Britain is morphing into Silicon Britain.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: The Zombie Drug

Gif Source: giphy.

Among the world's scariest drugs, first there was krokodil in Russia, then Devil's Breath in Colombia. Less scary but equally devastating was the epidemic in 2016 of synthetic marijuana, or Spice or K2 in New York City, which has provoked some Youtubers to imagine that these drugs are concocted and released to the general population by the Illuminati. Other conspiracy theorists argue that synthetic drugs are part of evil CIA or Masonic plots to destroy the public. In fact, they are made in labs in China. In 2015 and early 2016, a variant of synthetic bath salts, flakka, swept through South Florida, USA. Bad flakka trips turn people into deranged, rambling zombies. Far-right Christians called it the demon possession drug. In early 2015, when flakka reached Europe, the UKAustralia and Canada, VICE told people to ignore flakka scare reports. However, VICE admitted:
"Nobody buys a substitute when the real thing is available. Now, anyone can get their hands on thousands of substances that otherwise wouldn't have been available and that there is next-to-no info about. New drugs like 'flakka' kill more than the old school ones ever did, but it's all done legally. What a breakthrough for society."
The fear was justified. Scary videos of flakka users flooded social media and reports became desperate as the drug spread to other states.