Windmill Pulp: 1624, Part V
A single pixel shatters on the early 1990's era monitor leaving behind a splatter of thousands of microscopic dots of colour in and amongst the surrounding pixels. In place of the shattered pixel is nothing, an open window into the world behind. Looking through, the world behind is a dead dream, machinery, a failure to restore the broken appliance. Trouble shooting leads nowhere. There's nothing to do. Throw it out, buy a new one. Joffrey's face twitches, goosebumps grow on his skin. It's getting chilly, he thinks. Even in the tropics. It's all relative. The hammock is losing its charm. Across the grounds, the servant is restoking the coals of the bath tub fire. He knows just what Joffrey wants. But Joffrey is curled into the hammock by the strings of his mind, entwined to the cordage by the cordage of his thoughts. He has to suffer through the hammock until he has suffered out the last bits of his discourse. I cannot lose my train of thought, he thinks. Even when that train is off its course with no passengers. Isn't that the exact point of recorded thought, he thinks, while recording his thoughts in his notebook. The exact point of recorded thought is to serve the thought in all its thoughtlessness so that the act of thinking can be thought. I’m not supposed to be thinking though, I’m supposed to be reflecting on how I got here. I asked myself too deep of a question. But I can’t change course so quickly. Nothing in this world can. There's a thickness to space and a slowness to time. All things gradual. Build up the ammunition. Forge the connections. We will get there. But first, the charts…
In this world of oceanic waves, the crash is naturally the big one, obsolessing all others, and destroying everything in its path. It is the tidal wave. Tidal waves occur several times over the course of a century. The century is the furthest back in market history it makes sense to look, besides for interest's sake, and little anecdotes of actionable information which can be learned from all of market history. The century is the furthest a person can remember back in their family history without vagueness being the predominant descriptor. And it is the same with the markets. Waves simply lose their power over a long enough distance and have no effect by the time they hit the shore. Actionable market data begins for us with the roaring 20’s and the great depression. This is our first big wave. The South Sea Bubble, for example, is only of interest’s sake for us and a great example of bubbles as such and how they behave, even giving us the wonderful anecdote of Isaac Newton selling too early in the pump only to buy back in at a higher price and lose everything in the ensuing crash.
Other waves have crashed through our century along the same path, which is most commonly organised in chartists minds along the logarithmic scale of the S&P 500 historical chart, such as some smaller crashes in the 1970’s, throttling through the 80’s and 90’s into the Dot Com bubble and crash in the year 2000, and the following cuckery of the 2008 recession. From there the wave swelled up with a premature crash in March 2020 fears which was quickly eaten up by rapid money printing and subsidisation, building into a new super wave augmented by this reverse riptide and setting the stage for the big crash whose destruction we are currently living within, or rather you are living in, not me.
This is of course the boomer market, which does not really concern us except for in those times where our own market is so lifeless it is thrown around by their fiscal policy driven whims. For us, the universe began in 2009 with the launch of bitcoin. Since then, four big waves have rocked our world which are easily visible on the bitcoin chart. These waves in their up and down segments are referred to as cycles. The first cycle lasted from bitcoin’s launch through its inevitable accrual value and over speculation to its crash in 2011. The second cycle began in 2012 where it picked up value from among other things Silk Road usage and online gambling. In 2013 the price bubbled out twice, the first in April and the second in December. It crashed all the way into 2015 before the third cycle began. In 2016 and 2017 the pump gained extra fuel from ethereum and its ICO projects which bubbled out at the end of 2017 and crashed down into the very end of 2018. 2019 was a year of hard times, and it seemed we had made it out of the woods until the covid crash took us right back down to the cycle lows in March 2020. From here it became clear we were cucked by the global markets. But the global markets saved us with their need for economic stimulus. And just as we crashed with the globe, we pumped with the globe, gloriously, into the end of 2021. And it's been pain ever since. So much pain I’m still writing an introduction to it in order to express it. In any case, these are the macro time scale waves, the tidal waves, the third world shanty town destroying waves in trader bro apartments in gentrified urban areas waves.
Another layer established, the history of markets. Now onto the next layer, the smaller waves. I said a century was about the longest period of time the market can have relevant consciousness of itself, and seemingly, the crypto market cycle of roughly four years is the perfect length of time for a narrative arc, one novel within an author's bibliography, one film in a series of films. But what about the smaller waves, the ones we actually live and breath and take in the full consciousness of. These are the most relevant waves, given the macros waves are removed from our immediate experience of present reality and require a higher level of consciousness to picture and comprehend.
Within this time frame of consciousness, we can narrow down the most important market time frame as the one more or less corresponding with our internal rhythm. I am talking about the one second chart. A second corresponds to one beat of the heart, one walking step, a beat of music. Similarly, a minute more or less corresponds to a spaced out thought, a moment's reflection, drifting off. An hour is about the longest one can lose themselves before becoming cognisant that they have lost themselves, and thus interrupting the time frame.
But there is something so special about the one second. All other time frames require waiting. With the one second we are finally dealing in real-time fluidity, the perfect wave, rippling across the water like a spirit, as if immune to all other waves but subservient to all their structures. The second is the universal resonance. The beating hand of masturbation, sexual penetration and circular rhythm of clitoral stimulation. The golden ratio. When we watch the chart, as I am always doing, even right now, this is the wave we operate under. Watching the orderbook flow. Below one unit of sexual stimulation os simply too fast to keep up with, above is too teasing in slowness. The blinking numbers of the screen can only blink as fast as the breath can punctuate, as fast as the ambient music can conduct its score–underneath, the sub-second resonances, humming away, support us and fill in any gaps we may have missed, the ‘intra-beat’ market data will always be collected by the brain somehow as long as we observe closely enough.
Every second then, a thrust, breath, step, beat–pulse–of magic rushes through us as we watch the candles growing on the chart and the orderbook data flowing down the sides. The candles write their poetry: Morning star, rising UFO, doji midnight. A price flashes in the books, a large out of place number, a market maker spoofing an order. Just for a second.
In many ways the hour is the limit of casual torture. “A whole hour?” I couldn’t manage it. Maybe I could but it would be a strain with the goal of achieving something external to the activity itself. Sex for an hour? Jacking-off for an hour? Running for an hour? I could easily walk through the city for an hour, but it is nice to take a rest on a bench for a moment before continuing. Looking at a chart for an hour will make you want to reassess your priorities, something we should always be doing. There is nothing like staring at the chart to get the fire going under your ass. The hour is perhaps the theoretical limit, the time frame of pushing on and self awareness.
There must be something to the length of a cigarette, it suddenly occurs to me. Can all the seductiveness of cigarettes simply be the result of nicotine addiction, image, glamour and all the stuff a young smoker could go on about that make them so great? Without a doubt time-frame comes into play. The time it takes to smoke one cigarette. The length of a drag. All slow, all casual. An inhalation followed by an exhalation. Several of them, leisurely. In Taxi Driver the young prostitute used the idle burning time of one cigarette as the time limit for having sex with her. “Exceeding 10 whole minutes?” Even that would be torture. No, with the charts, like with everything else, we need to lock ourselves into that natural rhythm.
The candle flashes red and augments its declination, pauses, throbs, pulsates… a pile of sell orders flow through the books, instantly, they display their data, the number of coins and the price in red characters on the cascading table. A frequency can be detected. The red dies off, the sell orders stall, traders get tired of selling, bored. The buyers see an opportunity, but they hesitate. Then, slowly, they trickle in, then very quickly and all at once they smash the green ‘buy’ button on their trading terminals. Buy. The previous candle already closed red (the five minute candle, just because we use a five minute candle does not mean we don't operate under the one second time frame, try this out to observe), a long drooping candle with a short stubby wick on the bottom. The current one takes off thick and green. It presses its feet to the bottom sea floor and pushes off like a diver low on oxygen. It explodes up in a bubble jet of fomo, surfaces, foaming green with joy, buoyant and supported by the temporarily positive price sentiment.
I ascribe an importance to the humour underlying all threads of our living discourse. The humour is without question there. And it is essential to play along with its demands. It is essential as a tactic for survival, to enjoy life. But it is even more essential as a means to cognitive development and completeness of philosophical understanding. Aesthetically, it is also superior to all other approaches–it is without cringe, self-aggrandisement, and at the same time cuts through to all those emotionally human things in a stealthy disguise. But all this is only true if we keep the humour at the appropriate dosage and in the right places.
As far as trader fiction goes, I am being completely serious. As far as telling my story goes, I am being completely serious. As far as chart analysis goes, I am being completely serious. Always. If it ever appears my words are attempting to stitch together an object which, while resembling reality, is actually a negation of the reality it claims to represent, and the effect of this is seems to be humour, you must disregard your mistaken assessment. An object is conceptually fabricated by a stitching process that binds two folds of fabric together. The stitch weaves, up and down, up through the two fabrics, then stitches back down through the two fabrics, making a seam of stitches, one on the top, then one on the bottom, repeated until the object fabrication is complete. On the bottom we have the humourous stitch. On the top we have the serious stitch. They are two opposites, opposing each other and strengthening each other, and inseparable from each other, lest the object should fall apart. There is humour supporting the structure of all things, especially serious things. It would be impossible to tell a story or say an opinion without it somehow being comedy, even for someone who doesn’t really understand how far humour is interwoven into everything, who take themselves too seriously, the humour is there in what they say and do whether they know it or not. But, I have to state that all my aims here are towards a serious project and nothing is gratuitous, even if it seems so at times.
I also have to restate, now that I am in the position of making statements, that I do not care about charts or trading very much and I am not even very good at charts or trading, it is merely an addiction. And this is all a massive cope to extract something useful out of my addiction. But, as I remarked above, it is all true and I am serious. What I have described and will described is very serious, is very of that material which composes life in the sense of its serious side, real shit, bad stuff, and any unseriousness in relation to it is only utilised as a means to look past it and get over it, but not disrespect it.
In this light, it is important I establish some atmosphere, shed some light on it. The chart is pure atmosphere. Trading is the inhabiting of an atmosphere. The chart essentially displays the objects and ephemera in an atmosphere that happen to catch the light of the atmosphere. Charts are therefore atmospheric entities. The objects that catch the light in a chart, the ones that reflect the atmospheric light, are of course the candle sticks. Candlesticks also emit a light of their own, making them not only atmospheric entities but also atmospheres unto themselves, however subtle. This is best demonstrated with painting, which is one of the things my chart paintings try to do, through manipulating the refraction of light through thick oil and transparent pigment particles. If you look deeply into one of the chart paintings I used to make back in Amsterdam, it is possible to see, on the better paintings, in the best brush strokes, little traces of the glowing of the candle sticks as if alighted by an inner soul. On a real chart it takes a special interpretation and acknowledgment of the chart's psychological effect to see it, but in painting, where psychological effects can be more easily imposed on reality it is much more clear.
The candlesticks are not the only things that catch a light. The mesh wherein the candles are suspended, gridlines, in one sense arbitrary, since they do not necessarily adhere to round numbers, but it is this arbitrariness that allows the chartist to impose their own lines and indicators upon the chart. This prompts the collective human mind to settle upon their own lines which become the erasure of arbitrariness, and thus Schelling points for human activity. As a drainage ditch is a Schelling point for excess water, the lines are Schelling points for the interminable execution of buy and sell orders, flowing down the books. There also exists various other entities, such as the labels on the x and y axis, and tabulated information in sub-charts which are supplementary to the candlestick chart itself, including the order book, constantly shifting and rearranging itself, and the history of buys and sells, a stream, spitting out units of its flow as the traders make their trades, or are forced into trades through liquidations, stop-losses and the like. However, in talking about the atmosphere we need to take a step backwards. I have mentioned that atmospheric entities catch a light of the atmosphere, which is seemingly different from saying they exist within the light of the atmosphere. I have also mentioned the matrix of the chart, the grid lines, and commented on their level of arbitrariness, which I must now state are beyond arbitrary when compared to the more fundamental matrix of the chart's atmosphere, the pure atmosphere of an atmosphere without objects: This is the matrix of the atmosphere's light.
There are two modes in which the atmospheric light instantiates the chart's reality. The first, as I have alluded to, is in which objects on the chart catch the light’s rays. As if the light shines from an obtuse angle or from an unseen source, but lights up the objects entirely like a theatre production. A light is shed, casually, as a tired woman sheds a robe, but it is an essential shedding, consistent, uninterrupted but by spotty connections or system overloads. The repetitive shedding of the robe, a loop of a beautiful woman shedding her robe before bed, just as the light is shed on the chart, the robe is shed from the body, onto the ground. It is so consistent and essential because we know she could not get to sleep without shedding that robe and releasing the light of her body in the darkness, and the mysterious source of light could not rest without knowing the chart, the child of the universe, was catching ample rays of light.
The second way the atmospheric light instantiates itself into the chart's reality, before I go deeper into the first, is, as I have mentioned, by a manner in which objects on the chart exist within the light of the atmosphere. Here, (and you must bear with my amateur description since it is a mode I am less familiar with) the objects on the chart are best described as those things which interrupt the lights powerful and all encompassing field. A complete field of light. Complete, except for by the measure which the objects negate that completeness in proportion to their own dimensions. By this operation, any light that is internal to the candles or other objects themselves, is almost entirely drowned out by the all pervasive field of light. This means the objects do not appear to glow like they do in the first light mode where objects simply catch a light. The glow is not entirely absent but is very difficult to detect. What is detectable is the potential for the candles to glow, which appears as bottled up energy. The candles seem to be ready to burst with light, even if the light is sealed behind the exterior of the candle. Nevertheless, the objects in this second mode do light up and do reflect atmospheric light. They are not surrounded by pure white light, all erasing and pervasive. But the light is more subtle, electric and artificial than the first mode, which is more organic like the flame from a wax candle.
This inorganic light reflection within the all pervasive field, is best demonstrated by the simple exercise of holding a chart in this light mode close up to your eyes and looking as far into the white background as possible. Therein you will see the scattered and chopped up bits of light, partially emitted by the candles/objects themselves and partially reflected through like precious red ruby and green emerald stones, nearly obliterated by the all-pervasive field. Although I wanted to hold out for longer for the purpose of providing a more metaphysical analysis of the chart, rather than a technical description, and introducing too much technical terminology, and aligning you with a more technical mode of thinking about charts, since I have just mentioned the white light of the screen, I might as well explicitly declare that the second mode of light (all-pervasive) refers to the one the user interface designates as light mode, and the first mode of light (catch a light) is the ones designated as dark mode, or night mode.
Given our new perspective, that we are now thinking about charts in terms of having either a white or a black background, as far as the screen is able to truly display the colours black and white accurately, I want to take this opportunity to offer an even different perspective, beyond black and white, and even beyond catching a light or existing within the light: the perspective I am referring to is one to do with overlay of colour, colour applied as a filter, filters of colour layered over each other. Colour can of course be overlaid in a variety of manners and with a variety of materials or (im)materials, for example a layer of coloured paint, or a layer of coloured light.
It can be said that all the colours mixed together makes black, it can also be said that all the colours mixed together makes white. This happened in two different ways. When transparent coats of paint of opposing colour are layered over each other, the result is blackness or something approaching blackness, say the layering of a transparent red and a transparent green that are opposite each other in the colour wheel. However if the same shades of red and green were emitted in the form of light from a projector, the two opposing lights would cancel each other out and make white. So in the painterly mode (night mode) light operates by refraction. In the artificial mode (light mode) light operates by decimation. The point is there are two light modes, dark and light, you are free to choose either. They are essentially the same but functionally, constructively and operationally different. They have an entirely different aesthetic, which can be clearly seen in the way I paint my charts.
I am a chart scribe. I am no philosopher, let alone a metaphysician, but I do feel a philosophy of the chart is lacking, so I have fiddled around with some starting ground. I have my bias towards night mode. Perhaps it's easier on my eyes. Perhaps I like the flirtation with a doomer or emo aesthetic, a paranoid basement dweller aesthetic. In both modes we see perfection. At least the perfection of the chart. In both modes the candles and objects are lit up by the atmosphere in some way. The light is in service to them. This is natural as the chart is designed to display their essential information. But further, when one looks into the chart, focusing on the candles, drifting off, zoning out, zoning in, one becomes either lost in the endless reflection and refraction of light breaking off into infinity and always grounded in the comfort of the candle standing tall and dependable, as in the painterly mode, or one looks into the light and sees the absolute destruction of light, as in the artificial mode, where the entire atmosphere is scattered with nearly imperceptible fragments of light, shards of light, smaller than single pixels, somehow coming together to form the white. But then in the midst of all that destruction of the light, the candles, perched in a wavering line, against all odds are the conquerors of that light. In both cases we see the absolute depth of living in an atmosphere, they are the only things that can really be shining examples of our living atmosphere, they are our only guides in this atmosphere. In both cases we achieve exactly what the eye wants to achieve, exactly what the artist wants to achieve, exactly what technology wants to achieve and exactly what light wants us to achieve.
There remains much more to say about this and many gaps to fill in. But in the interests of momentum we must continue onwards and allow these gaps to be filled in with other substances from other angles.
The light mode of the atmosphere over the Batavian mountain turned to nightmode, auto-switching gradually as the sun set. The orange glow of the bathtub cauldron embers became perceptible. They called in the energy of the night. The rising steam, the forest trees, the sanctuary of the tub. Joffrey knew where he had to be, for it was only in that tub where he could truly philosophise the trade, analyse the chart, and confront the true depths of night mode. The silhouette of the house stood out against the starry sky, and there was no visible light or movement inside. The only silhouette that mattered now was the rim of the tub and his wash cloth. He could not see the shattered light composing the fibres but as he scrubbed himself he felt he could detect their finely grit abrasiveness, cleansing his skin as he whooshed it through the water like a limpid jellyfish glowing in the depths.