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The relationship of investment profit to values

Continuing the discussion from AMA - ask Robin Hood anything:

Excellent question - and actually one that comes up quite often so I’ll do my best to bring together some materials to get the conversation going.

This comes up directly in the following interview

http://robinhoodcoop.org/DEMOCRATIZING_THE_POWER_OF_FINANCE#text

Pekka: Robin Hood also invests in oil, weapons industry, and other companies that traditionally might be considered to be evil.

Akseli: Yes we do.

Pekka: What is the ethics of this?

Akseli: We place our tax to all instruments in which we see financial oligarchy move. It is a shameless ethic, a scandalous ethic, which binds itself directly into politics. It is an ethical order that perhaps goes beyond the Greek and Christian traditions of ethics, a post-ethical ethics and post-political politics that corresponds to our subjectivity and situation.

Robin Hood is not a moralistic organization. It is not an organization of the ‘good’. We make no promises of the ‘good’ around which we would organize. And we are trying to not be an ethical organization either. Production of ethics – of the conditions and environments of our action and thought, of the habits and rules that we follow as if our ‘second nature’ as Aristotle put it – has become an important method to exhaust the potentiality of our action. We are trying to break out of this form of control. Our ethics is about reopening the field of possible.

So Robin Hood ethics is about being able to take action upon oneself and others. Ethical subject is a subject that is capable of taking risks, posing a challenge, introducing conflict and division into community, and of governing oneself and others in a situation of conflict. Our ethics has to do much more with combat and politics, than with being nice and responsible, doing what is accepted, staying in a place assigned to you. The ethics of Robin Hood do not include such aspects. It is an ethics closer to a poetic, as our philosopher friend Juha Varto has beautifully said.

Poetic originates in the idea of being in work, doing something, staying operational, and at the same time aiming at an outcome that is anticipated but not yet known. Poetic is close to poiesis that is in Aristotelean Metaphysics a part of praxis, appearing just after the praxis is divided into theorein and practical interest; in practical interest there is a need to get some tangible outcome, in theorein even a thought or a change of mind is enough.

Poetic stance takes place in active doing, being in operation, not stopping to reflect. It is a warrior’s stance that has no individual or personal or collective message to fight for but a profession of a simple existential pragmatic that gives the meaning to all there is to do. Poetic stance is an ethic-free, moral-free territory where experimentation is the only guiding principle. Anything may be expected from us. There is no criterion for good or bad since there is no solid context whereto such an evaluation could refer.

Today poetic stance belongs to people who are active without a cause and without a need to legitimize their every step in order to be able to take the next one. It includes the idea that steps cannot be separated if one is in the middle of what is happening, just like the motion in Zeno’s paradox, where the arrow is motionless at every separate point of its trajectory and seems to annul the reality of motion and change for any who in believing in communication and the power of meaningful language ends up ridiculed by the sophist. Poetic means being in the middle, it leads towards a change, a region, which is not controlled by, determined space and time. This is where ethics begins. Ethics is a question about the possibility of future.

It also came up in a recent interview (I have started the video at the relevant question)… on ‘there are no financial virgins’

So this hopefully begins to answer some of the questions @Caroline asked. (let me know if not :slight_smile: )

Next for Todd.

The algorithm is a recommendation engine for humans.

http://blog.robinhoodcoop.org/2015/09/23/what-would-robin-hood-do/

It is a patented algorithm developed by ex-fighter pilot and IT wizard
Sakari Virkki who also develops and oversees it for the coop. In
qualitative terms, the parasite listens to the feed of the NYSE,
watching for traders and what they trade. Then it competency ranks
traders, identifying ones that are constantly making money on specific
stocks. When it sees that a consensus is forming among such competent
traders, it follows.

In terms of governance, Sakari responds to these recommendations, overseen by the Board Members, who are selected at the RHC AGM (which happens using Loomio).

That’s enough for now! But jump in and ask more if I have skipped over anything important…