looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

Mandelbrot and Quantum Mechanics

So Father Fractal himself, Benoit Mandelbrot, suggests in his latest book that computers should be used to search for patterns in the vagaries of the Stock Exchange:

A well-managed corporation devotes some portion of its research and development budget to basic research, in fields of science that underlie its main business. Isn't understanding the market as important to the economy as understanding solid-state physics is to IBM? If we can map the human genome, why can't we map how a man loses his livelihood? If millions can contribute a few cycles of their PCs to the search for a signal from outer space, why can't they join a coordinated search for patterns in financial markets?

Wouldn't this be a complete waste of time? Assuming you did find a pattern, you couldn't do anything with it, because as soon as you took action based on assumptions derived from the pattern, you'd be changing the system and the pattern would no longer be valid. It's not quite quantum observation effects, but still...

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