Satoshi had a weakness for playing board games, usually online. He’d met Proxy playing Monopoly, at which she excelled. She was using the handle indigo72, and favoured a Railway Stations – Picadilly strategy, with aggressive slumlord variants. He was no slouch himself at the game, and as you do, they’d got to talking over months of play. They shared an interest in crypto and software, and she’d got involved in the Bitcoin project, mostly around the automated test harnesses. Proxy didn’t refer to voting. It alluded to the fake counterparties set up for testing the manufacture and exchange of coins, but never intended for real transactions between people or companies.
We spent a week in Vienna with not much to show for it. We hit up pawn shops, bankers’ wine bars, cash machines, asylums, churches, whatever we could think of, all over the Viennese suburbs. Ticket machines doled out tickets to me without even a single murderous tentacle. We even spent some time ruling out the dilettantes in the Tempelhofgessellschaft, and established firmly that we were under no threat of Nazi UFOs from Antarctica at this time. We cast bones, we rolled dice, flipped coins, drew from the I Ching; all the portents confirmed Vienna in general was at the centre of something big and horrible, but nothing more specific. Good old fashioned shoe leather parapsychology, uncovering bugger all. I flipped open perhaps my tenth copy of Wiener Zeitung to a random page and did a reading of the coffee grains in my otherwise empty cup. Yep: money, death, and destruction.
Previously, on Economic Psychics: Part I
“Gold is up,” Jen said, as the lift winched screechingly downwards. “You still long on Kafka?”
“Yeah.” It was true, I had a chunk of my retirement savings sunk into a couple of grams worth of Kafka’s papers via an exchange traded fund. I trusted the value of contractually sealed unread pages from a dead Czech existentialist better than lumps of rock.
The mail said “FW: Turtle Mother is selling”, but I knew it was about a whale. Not just any whale, either. Not just some punk kid who’d got herself tied up in Delphic prophecy and pork belly futures, hiding positions away from her boss so long that the whole porcine economy is starting to lean her way, farmers are dressing pigs up as sheep just to get a good price, and she’s desperately scanning the religious news for signs of mass conversion from Islam while imams in Xinjiang pray over wallets and write grumbling sermons about the wrong government conspiracies for half a lunar year.
Abstraction is a concept familiar to programmers, and a term in common use. Abstraction is often discussed as a quality of code, but it can also describe a process of technology changing in a particular way over time. Gilbert Simondon, among others, offers the term concretization to describe a kind of anti-parallel process where technology components become more specific and effective over time, as designs evolve.
That introduction is pretty abstract. Examples can be seen in the changing design of loops.