AlgoMantra, b. 2005

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Saturday, October 11, 2008
{Words <> Weather}
Some curious posts have been cropping up regarding how automated computer trading had a major role to play in the ongoing economic catastrophe. I first learnt of it from Paul's excellent post.Today, on Wired - they've explored the connections and comparisons between financial forecast models and climate forecast models. This one comment was hilarious:
....The issue is that economic models aren't based on any underlying physically observed facts. They're based on people's feelings," said Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeler at Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "We're not having a climate crisis because there's a lack of confidence in water vapor."

Further down in the article they quote Emanuel Derman, "a physicist turned financial-engineer", who says something which I found questionable to say the least:
When you put out a weather forecast, the weather doesn't read your forecast and get affected by it.

I think Mr. Derman could have qualified that further.

Words and the weather are interconnected in a very obvious feedback loop, like all things in nature. When you write something, you are physically altering the future, you are physically interacting with the reality around the printed page, around your own body, written words also have a chemical and physical reality estranged from their semantic content; spoken words interact thermodynamically with the atmosphere around us.

The weather may not 'understand' your forecast, but that does not mean it is not affected by it.


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