gravity and the market

Anton Sherwood (
Thu, 20 Mar 1997 20:44:26 -0800

[hi Extropians, this is for another list, I thought you'd enjoy it]

Jeff Lister--
: >: If economic considerations are the *only* consideration, then you
: >: truely do have a beast; it [the market?] will evolve blindly and
: >: inexorably toward its stable niche (and this is the important
: >: part->) independant of the cares or wishes of those working within it.

Anton Sherwood--
: >That's a bit like saying the gravity field of a galaxy as a whole
: >is independent of the gravity fields of its component stars.

Jeff Lister--
: Good point, but i'm not sure the analogy applies.

Here's a better one. Consider a binary star, two stars bound by gravity.
In the plane of their mutual orbit, and rotating with them, J.L.Lagrange
(1772) identified five points where the balance of forces is such that a
small mass can stay put. Three of these points, on the line through the
stars, are unstable: if the satellite is nudged along the line it will
accelerate away from the Lagrange point. But two (L4 and L5), each
forming an equilateral triangle with the stars, are attractors --
virtual masses (though their gravity fields are far from symmetrical).
Satellites can orbit these points. The attractors are informally
called trojan points, because most of the asteroids around the
Sun-Jupiter triangle points happen to be named from the Iliad.
(Trojan companions have also been found for Saturn's big moons.)

You seem to be suggesting that the market obeys not only the wishes of
human buyers/sellers (the true masses) but also fluke phenomena, phantom
bidders, analogous to the trojan points. I thank you for planting that
interesting thought. But because the market is far more complex and
chaotic than a two-body system, I expect the "market trojan points"
to be transitory.

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\*