Sunday, 29 October 2017

black tuesday

Thanks to our faithful chronicler, the good Doctor Caligari, that among other things, this date marks the anniversary of the US stock market crash in 1929 that had ripples across the globe and made possible the unthinkable, a second act to the Great War—the war to end them all. Speculation in the exchanges had been promoted to all and sundry and participation and was nearly universal as was leverage and exposure against a heady backdrop of utopian peerage that made hold-outs and outliers appear irresponsible and social misfits and ensured brokerage a sure bet—until all of a sudden it wasn’t and desperate efforts to reverse the sell-off failed. For those subsequent times when the bottom has threatened to fall out of world economies, safety protocols have been put in place but I wonder what sort of tolerance and strain come into play amongst all this automation and inscrutable programming. As I reflect on this question, it is also the day in Western Europe that in the small hours of Sunday morning an hour is stolen from us. And while we’d potentially be facing the sore tasking of resetting several dozen antique clocks, the reality is that all the vital systems are automated and though the change was a noticeable annoyance, there wasn’t anything that absolutely needed changing. Beyond a biannual reminder to check one’s smoke-detectors (the two in my apartment will silently summon service personnel to change their batteries, if need be), I wonder what else synchronicity is robbing us of and how this degree of mechanization has removed the human element from our economic model and other things.