Re: [sl4] Is the Global Stockmarket a neural network?

From: Greg Perkins (
Date: Wed Mar 11 2009 - 12:29:11 MDT

Dagon Gmail wrote:
> I would hardly qualify a disorganized mess like current markets as
> having the level of order as a brain.
That's rather hasty...

There seems to be somewhat less activity on the whole in the stock
market than exists in a brain, but to say that it's less ordered is
rather hasty:
- It is built entirely upon the activities of human conscious
entities... these can be modeled as (on average) obeying broad rules of
action, as neurons are
- There are trends that can be traced and characterized throughout the
patterns of activity (of stock trades rather than synaptic interaction),
as again in the brain
- The stock market can be thought of as a control point for the economy
as a whole, with all the inputs and outputs that implies (brain?)

No, it is not the same. It certainly seems somewhat smaller. I would
defend neither its wisdom nor its ability to self-regulate on these grounds.

But it certainly involves feedback mechanisms that work through time,
and therefore it can be characterized as maintaining a layer of
consciousness atop that of the physical universe alone.

I do, of course, question any approach that might trivialize its
structure into that of a straightforward neural network -- I don't think
that's a very accurate representation, and it attempts to fit it too
violently toward the human-brain-model rather than stretching our ideas
of the kinds of systems that can support valuable consciousness.
Specifically, it seems extremely relevant to me that each individual
element of the substrate can access any of the information in the system
at any time. This de-emphasizes the social closeness that might
otherwise parallel the physical arrangement of neurons. It increases
instability of the system as a whole, especially considering the
looseness of rule structures that individuals use relative to neurons.
The consciousness of the stock market is also, perhaps relevantly, using
much less direct mechanisms of control on the 'body' economic at whose
head it ostensibly sits.

To either discount its complexity or its organization is unproductive,
without some justification... It's disorganized in a lot of ways, sure;
so is the brain. I ask you: why is it a fundamentally different kind of

- Greg Perkins

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