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Comment Re:I do not understand why this is a story (Score 1) 740

Not all data follows the same path, did they have a shorter route so their trade arrived on the floor before the announcement arrived (in which case they traded locally illegally). I CANNOT WAIT to read transcripts of lawyers trying to explain, to a lay jury, simultaneity and event sequencing using Einstein-Minkowsky diagrams. See also this most excellent TED talk, How Algorithms Shape Our World explaining why some peoples data paths are better than others.

Comment Re:Wrong analogy (Score 1) 293

A pilot asked me if a helicopter could lift a 4 ton object if it had 4 x two-ton capable cables. 2x4=8 which is double the load weight. Not a bad engineering fudge factor, right? Wrong. The vagueries of the system are such that it is likely that each cable will at times have to carry the entire load, so each rope has to be at least 4 ton capable. Statics are actually dynamics, in the real world.

Comment Too big to Fail? (Score 1) 352

Has Google crossed the threshold where the government(s) need to either break it up or impose extraordinary controls? That is the theory behind trust-busting and the attempts to keep banks from growing too large, because if they fail, they can take the economy with them. Grow too big to fail, and suddenly you can no longer operate as if you are in a free market environment.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 476

This is the best description evah ... of course this is only half the problem. The other is that large investors, ones whose trades would move the market, have to replace their "I'll buy that apple" orders with "I'll buy one 1-millionth of an apple" (repeated 1M times) to foil the fleet footed fekkers.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 476

The purpose of the market is to let firms raise capital for their use. The intermediate trading that occurs between IPO and buy-back is to reduce risk to the investor (who can move money to get out while the getting is good). HFT does not serve those purposes, it is the equivalent of scraping the edge of coins to gather the precious metal, which is why we used to put ridges on the edges of our coins (back when they were not fiat currency). The microtax will serve the same function, protecting the fundamentals.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 476

PROFIT IS THE ONLY THING ... but HFT does not support that, it supports bleeding out value that the system would like to bank, and it changes the dynamics of trading from "is this a good firm to invest in" to "is there a greater fool out there for me to sell to tomorrow (or in 3 seconds)". The first question serves the market system by making viability and good practice part of the business model while the latter simply tries to skim the tops of the bumps in a way that distorts the markets. The politicians who get this are the one who would be pushing back against HFT with every tool they can, including a microtax. The ones who don't, well, don't blame me, I didn't vote for them. And a 0.03% microtax collected hundreds of times a day on a single trader is completely sufficient to change the equation for a computer model that is trying for .02% return on each trade, but won't make traders working on fundamentals even blink, since they are trying for 10% on a long term dividends and growth basis.

Comment Questioning the ground rules (Score 1) 768

I wonder (without posing a scenario) if the problem is that there are two concerns that the 5th plays into. First, while the police cannot beat you into confessions they can exert a lot of pressure just by the ways they ask questions and many have suggested we have overcorrected with things like Miranda etc. Maybe. Second, the real benefit may to accrue to the guilty or innocent person who invokes the 5th, but to the rest of us, who enjoy a certain level of freedom because we can count on the 5th? Just posing questions.

Comment Re: every time i see "Ender's Game" (Score 1) 470

I would suggest we all take an English Lit course, Young Adult Ficiton, which teaches the monomyth as the foundation for all young adult fiction. Real "adult" fiction, on the other hand, seems to me to focus on feelings and internal struggles between ego, id, and all that clap-trap, with lots of emoting and angst, and I find the latter boringly tutorial and often preachy (sort of Pilgrim's Progress on Valium). But without both, what would we read ... user's guides and assembly instructions?

Comment Re:Ender's Game hasn't aged well, for me at least. (Score 1) 470

As a former military analyst (mathematician) with lots of experience using game theory to enlighten fellow analysts, I found aspects of Ender's Game to be superior to many other books, but perhaps that's because I was seeing depth that made the pulp over-cover less annoying. Perhaps. Or maybe I was just a FPS-loving warmonger cretin. Frankly I don't care which you think, my apologies if I offended you, effendi.

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