Gordon Gecko

Americans have dissipated their racial energy in an orgy of stone breaking. In their few years they have broken more stones than did centuries of Egyptians. And they have done their work hysterically, desperately, almost as if they knew that the stones would some day break them. –Nathanael West (1933)

I must say I disagree with Slavoj Žižek’s Lacanianism that sinthomes, the deeper jouis-sens of meaning at the heart of the materiality of the written word, qualitatively differ from mathemes, their mathematical analogs. For mathemes also carry libidinal investment and are also subjectivized not only along historical trajectories long and short but by deeply personal jouissance.

That doesn’t spoil mathematics. It just makes it part of the fabric of human experience, for better and, as the strange video here demonstrates in form and content, for worse.

“The…covariance matrices…are not static,” warns the gecko from his lusty lair. That’s correct. And the bailouts sanctioned Wall Street’s moral hazards as a prime directive around which civilization continues to be organized.

But creepy Gordon here gets it right for the wrong reasons. The formalisms themselves were also entrained into the failures of deregulation. The quants, as the technicists in public health, were maneuvered option by option, grant by grant, into deriving kleptocratic presuppositions after the fact.


One Response to “Gordon Gecko”

  1. Something I leave with my epidemiology and biostatistics MPH students, the ones who matriculated with, perhaps, no desire for the quantitative aspects of the required curriculum, is that very few of us in the Academy would say to our child who was struggling to read “Oh child, if reading is too hard, then don’t bother learning. Being illiterate is acceptable.” Numeracy – with all its joys and bitters – is our birthright. Innumeracy is also unacceptable to me.

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