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Comment Re:Don't (Score 1) 146

The real problem you have been facing in (at least) 90% of the you've been on is that you've allowed yourself to be contained in your developer bubble (and marketeers in their marketing bubble, managers in their management bubble).

Why don't you take responsibility for everything in your project (company/world) and inspire your peers to do the same? Labels like "developer", "manager", "marketeer" are useless. Aren't we all on the same team, sharing the same vision and working towards the same goal?

Comment Re:Remember the hole in the ozone layer? (Score 2) 639

1. Mathematics is finite sequences of symbols and rules to translate 1 into the other
2. The rules were inspired by what we see around us and how we experience our world, but they are the result of human observations and human thought
3. Mathematics is famously incomplete:
4. Mathematics has not (yet) been proven to be consistent, and may never:
5. If we ever find an inconsistency, it will render the whole of mathematics null and void:

Comment Re:Remember the hole in the ozone layer? (Score 5, Insightful) 639

You have a misconception of what science is. None of the facts you mention result from measurements that you did yourself. Rather you heard it from others, and you trust them. If you did measure them yourself, you would have to rely on the correctness of someone else's measurement device. If you made your own measurement devices, you'd rely on someone else's established theory of the phenomena you're measuring. And so on...

In the end, nothing in science is beyond doubt. Science does not deal in truth. What does science deal in? Well, there's a whole scientific discipline to answer this question:

Comment Re:Not ignoring the story is a good start! (Score 5, Interesting) 384

Additionally, offering such a weak*) excuse for sitting on this story (apparently) for a week actually rings all my alarm bells. Please slashdot editors, explicitly deny (or confirm) there has been any kind of pressure influencing your treatment of this topic.

*) Weak to react to it cynically, dismissively, the editor just had a busy weekend, and how dare the readers ever even imagine there might be some sort of hesitation on your part for not publishing this article promptly. After all, it's only a very grave accusation to a service run by the same company for the same audience.

Comment Re:Technology as a totem (Score 1) 730

You mean, you would have been able to come up with google's optimization (which one would that be exactly?) or with any classic algorithm, without understanding the problem? I think you're merely benefiting from other people's understanding of these problems.

My DNA came from a billion year run on a gigantic parallel processing farm (you know, all organisms on the earth ever). I'm still puzzling on how to interpret this run's output however. I don't even know what problem needed to be solved in the first place.

Comment Technology as a totem (Score 1) 730

To think that because the tax system is so complicated, a more simpler solution must exist without any by-effects seems to be inspired by a religious belief in technology as a solution to anything we can't figure out by ourselves. This belief is the product of not really understanding then nature of technology: to be able to solve a problem, one needs to understand it first.

Let's apply the same principle to exchange rates (let's use a computer to determine the exchange rates between currencies, those computers are so smart), democracy itself (no more need for arguments or elections), the distribution of rewards, making consumptive choices... I haven't read anything by David Brin, but I would expect him to specialize in fantasies about dystopian societies where a skynet-like system controls the fate of humanity.

Comment Re:An attempt at an explanation (Score 1) 124

To be more exact, there is no easy formula of the hypergeometric kind, which is a formula "involving binomial coefficients, factorials, rational functions, and power functions" according to It would thus theoretically still be possible that an easy formula exists, but it must involve constructions more exotic than that.

Comment An attempt at an explanation (Score 2) 124

When pricing options the bionomial way, one creates a sort of decision tree for movements the underlying value makes. (scroll down on to see such a tree).

This paper seems to prove that there is no easy formula short cut for the tree: if one wants to know the answer, one really needs to build the entire tree.

Comment Re:Obvious Missing - GOLD (Score 1) 868

How about the tools to obtain those necessities? How about the tools to create these aforementioned tools? How about some entertainment in between your valiant efforts to obtain the necessities and create the tools?

The point you seem to be making is that "things on paper" like contracts and securities only have value insofar they are credibly enforced. This has no bearing however on the notion that gold has no intrinsic value, whereas, say, an apple production plant has.

Comment Re:Time for a deep breath (Score 1) 178

It's not about decisions but about information (did I tell you I'm a mathematician working in the industry?)

Marginal information has a marginal influence on human decision making, and thus its providers should be allowed to charge a marginal fee for it. The point you should be making is that this fee is too large, not that it is there in the first place.

BTW, perhaps you should provide more information regarding the exact mechanism of your delay mechanism. I do not see how it is going to prevent arbitrage at all: is all trade information delayed? then all arbitrage will take place at a delay, with similar profits.

Market participants will also invest in acquiring superior information as long as this process is profitable. There are other ways to acquire price information than from the exchange (for instance by collecting information from a sample of the traders themselves, at a charge). Non-arbitrageurs will not invest the resources to beat your delay, whereas arbitrageurs will. Therefore I expect the extra hurdle for the retrieval of information to benefit the arbitrageur.

Comment Time for a deep breath (Score 1) 178

First of all, you're not talking about HFT really, but about arbitrage: making use of inefficiencies in the dissemination of information in a market. Arbitrage is as old as trading itself and now that trading happens with fast computers, the same goes for arbitrage. If some knowledge becomes available in some place, it will quickly spread over the entire market. In this process, the arbitrageur plays an important role: the parties that profit from trading are the parties that actually spread the information: if you buy/sell an instrument because it's under/over priced, you actually help to in/decrease its price. The fact that arbitrage rakes up big profits only means that the trading system is efficient. You should thus work to make it more efficient instead of killing the arbitrageur.

The solutions you propose are exactly symptom killers:
1. Adding a delay means you're withholding information from the markets. With less information, market participants make decisions that are less informed and thus poorer.
2. Adding a tax has actually the same result: if you raise a tax, you're actually putting a threshold on the level of information that can be disseminated with a profit. This will in effect mean that new information will only be sent once it reaches a certain level of impact and the tax thus functions as a delay for this information.

Why don't you propose a more open economy, where information is easier to get by and cheaper. This will automatically result in better prices (one of the important functions of financial markets: knowing what something is comparatively worth) and it will reduce the profits of the arbitrageurs.

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