Well for those who may have wondered what happened to the group, they are still around but went from demonstrating in the park to a serious education effort where it is needed..banking.  You can see the announcement here at the Facebook page where hard copy books will be given out.  There’s also the website that tells more about the book at official website. 

You want to read it (and I have to do this myself) here it is embedded below or you can go to the Scribd site to download and read it in a pdf format. 

Occupy Finance by OWS_Alt_Banking

You might also want to visit the blog “mathbabe”…Cathy O’Neil to read some additional comments.  She’s having a great day today (yesterday) as she has some history with Larry Summers from a few years ago being a quant who did his math models…here’s a couple lines from her blog post about the announcement we all heard yesterday. 

“All of a sudden, someone in our group, who had been browsing the web in search for better candidates, suddenly interjects that “Larry Summers has withdrawn from consideration for the Fed job!”

That’s some good f**king karma.

And yes, it’s a pretty awesome moment when exactly what you’re working towards comes true like that, even if it’s only one thing on a very long list.”

If you read here often enough I have pretty much the same views of all of this when it comes to math and models and have used a couple of Cathy’s videos in some of my posts (link below)  and one of her videos is permanently in the footer of this blog along with 3 others that I consider essential information to begin getting a handle on understanding math models and how they work, are flawed and sometimes just lie with risk but of course there are good ones out there too and she still models.  The videos are all intended for the layman up as it’s frustrating when you are presented with something so over your head that you can’t get anything out of it.

Modeling for Inequality With Segmentation, Insurance Industry Uses Backwards Segmentation As Some Models Stand to Threaten Overall Democracy

When the Occupy movement began, nobody in the press could understand it, I did with my interpretation called “The Attack of the Killer Algorithms” which lead me on to write over 50 more posts that happen in everyday life where what goes on behind closed server doors impacts all of us as the algorithms run as designed by the models.  Basically I’m pretty saying the same thing, that in the infancy even many protesters didn’t understand but knew something was wrong and that was enough.  So, great role models I think to take this “not understanding” and learn up and we have two years work of learning up and education here in a book. 

I have more videos, on a page that is also addressed to the layman called “Algo Duping” which is the beginning of what leads to the Attack of the Killer Algorithms as you have to buy in first and again the videos all done by people smarter than me will make you think before you believe every study, all the stats thrown at you before you jump in.  There’s good stuff out there too but it get gray with steroid marketing to tell them apart as well. 

There’s no profit to be made from the book, imageit’s all about education.  I keep reminding all that insurers hire hundreds of quants to start with the one on the street to understand what they do and then it will make more sense to you on how math models are created and used in the health insurance business, as insurers are publicly traded companies with tons of subsidiaries that put dollars to the corporate bottom line. 

I do have to bring this up again and I have used a bit of satire relating this PLOS One study about the fear of math giving humans physical pain but I think the more I read the more I think this was right on the money:)  Heck even programmers when they look at some of the math in code hurt with the complexities out there!  A lot of hurting going on and more so when it hits our wallets. 

“Algo Duping” – PLOS One Journal Publication Explains Why The Fear of Math Plays a Big Role As One Underlying Reason We All Get Duped And Those Who Don’t Fear Math Take All the Money, Gradually, Using “Mathematical Formulas & Algorithms”

I think there’s no doubt along with many of the rest of us that Cathy is having a very happy “Larry Summers” day:)

Also something else along this line is a new book that I thought was interesting and it coincides with an article the Wall Street Journal featured about companies using Algorithms to find their best CEO….well if that is the case then the millions and billions spent on companies like McKinsey and Bain might something to worry about as far as future income, although the preview of the book said some CEOs pay that money just to have “some buddies” to hold their hands and agree with them…I thought that was interesting too..buying buddies?  You know the consultants are pitching math models galore and again with banks and consultants nobody is asking for accountability as Gov can’t or won’t model as I say and ends up behind the 8 ball and is no competition for what’s being done on the other side.  Here’s the book on Amazon.  The book also said that they crank out CEOs that are trained to be bit egotistic too as that’s part of their consulting services to promote invincibility.  Again I have to read the full book soon as well when I finish the Occupy Finance book. 

The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business

To me watching the the PBS documentary “The Untouchables” said it all as 5 minutes listening to DOJ Lanny, words and body language said it all, no confidence as again we were relying on “low tech” solutions for high tech problems, and Glass Steagall fits in there too but with who’s doing the work and what we have on the Hill (84 Senators still use all paper methodologies for their work as one example) where are these high tech solutions going to come from..a good question I think?   One might wonder why is the SEC run by lawyers when they need a technologist at the top surrounded by all the legal help they need?  There too, using pencils and hand calculators as reported this week to file company financials instead of the digital technology that was put in there a few years ago to use.

Anyway in closing the book stands to be a good inspiration to all to get educated and find out what the modeling is all about, you don’t have to turn into a mathematician or a programmer just watch videos and read up as the Occupy group did it…and created a book to help others understand. 

This is a great effort as in the past movies have been successful at getting the public attention but left all without the next route to pursue to get action and this is it, education and understanding how IT infrastructure, math and code impacts all of use today and yes there are methodologies used beyond the comprehension of most of us and our biggest fear, which really came out with the NSA, is data being used out of context against us as well as taking our money, so enough said and time for me to sit down and read a bit and educate myself as well.  

I think the timing of the release of the book couldn’t be better:)  BD 


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