matt martin

this algorithm has an exoskeleton      its brain inhabits a mainframe in a data centre on an industrial estate in new jersey or outside frankfurt      tendrils extend from there to siphon capital from dark pools around the world      the infrastructure reaches underground through fibre-optic cables to other cities      at least in cases where buildings or mountains or the earth’s curvature block more direct signalling      within financial districts trades beam through the air from bank to bank      fortunes are invested in technology to ensure the time lag when buying and selling is close to zero as possible      you follow a strand of this network      tracing it through underwater cabling until you emerge in a mirror-windowed data centre near slough      a prime location for transmitting business between london and north america      different companies hire space here for their servers      the more you pay the closer your server gets to the middle of the floor      there to gain an advantage of nanoseconds over competitors trading from the perimeter      the machines are chilled by nitrogen to maximise conductivity and speed      this coolant is the liquid in the contemporary slough of despond      “the descent whither the scum and filth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run” says john bunyan in the pilgrim’s progress      he advises a spiral path through the world on one’s journey to perfection      what will you do with his wisdom

     •    follow bunyan’s advice
     •    take the straight road to heaven instead