Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We Were Gonna Change the World, Marty . . .

A follow-up to my previous post mentioning the sneaky prescience of the film “Sneakers.”

Today, someone hijacked the main Associated Press Twitter account, tweeted that two explosions had occurred at the White House, injuring President Barack Obama – sending the US stock markets into a precipitous if brief free-fall. 

Here’s the graph, and more information on the incident, from Ars Technica:

Per Ars, the markets dropped 150 points in the minutes following this single tweet, recovering when the AP – through other Twitter accounts – announced the hack. 

This isn’t a prank, folks. 

Imagine if all of the AP’s Twitter feeds had been hacked, with confirmatory – or at least a lack of denials – coming out of other AP feeds. This seven-minute market blip could have lasted a lot longer, even before other news outlets had determined that the tweet was incorrect. 

Now imagine some social aspect of two or more news organizations were simultaneously hacked, with confirmatory messages coming from multiple news sources. That causes the market blip to last longer. Possibly a lot longer. 

What’s wrong with this country, Marty? Money. You taught me that. Evil defense contractors had it; noble causes did not. Politicians are bought and sold like so much chattel. Our problems multiply. Pollution, crime, drugs, poverty, disease, hunger, despair. We throw gobs of money at them. The problems always get worse. Why is that? Because money’s most powerful ability is to allow bad people to continue doing bad things at the expense of those who don’t have it. 

I agree. Who did you say you were working for? 

Oh, that’s just my day job. Listen, when I was in prison, I learned that everything in this world, including money, operates not on reality –

– But the perception of reality.

Posit: People think a bank might be financially shaky. 

Consequence: People start to withdraw their money. 

Result: Pretty soon, it is financially shaky. 

Conclusion: You can make banks fail. 

Bzzt. Done that. Maybe you’ve read about a few? Thing bigger. 

Stock markets? 


Currency markets? 


Commodities markets? 


Small countries?

I might be able to crash the whole damn system. 

And if you think this kind of power is going to end up giving money to Greenpeace, the United Negro College Fund, Amnesty International and the Democratic Party so those organizations can do good, well, you have rocks in your head, son and daughter, you have rocks in your head, and Crease is going to come along and bust you head.

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