May 8, 2064
ELIZABETH, NJ–New York Stock Exchange officials today unveiled plans to sacrifice a “flawless, golden calf” on the Exchange’s new, high-fashion trading floor later in the month. “Our aim here at the NYSE is to do everything possible to protect our member firms and listing companies,” explains NYSE spokesperson Will Furggle, “including taking all measures recommended by cutting-edge science. Our theorists tell us that this sacrifice will have an enormous positive impact 10, 20, even 30 years out.”
NYSE researchers prescribed the sacrifice on the basis of an application of the precepts of chaos and complexity theories to the “ecology” of the Exchange. “The NYSE is a dynamic ecosystem,” notes NYSE Chaos Chief Miranda Reapes. “At its heart is a fairly ordered complex system, but at the periphery there are eddies, pools of chaos. These eddies interact, liminally, with the biotic systems they overlap. These interactions don’t mean anything in the short term, but the sensitivity of the system to initial conditions is such that, over time, modulating these interactions can have a significant impact. This sacrifice will be the proverbial butterfly flapping its wings in China.”
Reached in his drawing-room on the Exchange floor, long-time NYSE veteran and J.P. Morgan VP Alfonso Evening responded to news of the sacrifice: “I don’t hold much truck with those chaos people, but, the whole thing does make a kind of sense to me. The Floor is pretty much just ceremonial nowadays anyway. Used to be that we would actually exchange money and securities down here. Now I’m just constantly cinching up this damn BOSS corset and making the rounds with my calling cards.”
Others are more critical of the plans. “This is yet another example of the developed world appropriating without compensation the discoveries of traditional and indigenous peoples around the world,” points out Josephine Pow, Yale Law Professor and founding member of the Free Information League. “We saw it when the big genetics and drug companies stole knowledge of traditional medicines, reverse-engineered them, then turned around and exploited them on the basis of government-protected patents. This is the same story all over again. These “chaos” people have suddenly discovered the value of a number of traditional cultural practices. And then they exploit them with no thought of compensating the people whose knowledge they have stolen.”[p]
The NYSE plans call for the sacrifice to take place at noon on a Friday, and for each of the members of the exchange to imbibe a thimbleful of the calf’s blood. The calf itself, currently stabled on the visitors’ observation deck, is, as recommended by the experts, entirely gold in color, and without blemish. The calf was genetically manufactured by Perdue Meat Sciences to meet the Exchange’s specifications.