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No Trader Left Behind at the end of the Age of the Gun


Matt Levine, Bloomberg, High-Speed Traders Still Trading Faster than Low-Speed Traders, here. NY AG’s No Trader Left Behind program. Traders have had a rough time of it since 2007. It’s nice to see someone is looking out for the slower and less adept traders to give them a chance to get back in the game. Trading should be less like the NBA and more like middle school travel-league basketball where all the kids get a chance to play.

I find myself unable to get all that mad at New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s weird quest to ban high-frequency trading. It has a lot of things I dislike — overheated rhetoric, efforts to criminalize things that everyone including regulators thought were fine when they were done, vague unfulfillable promises of level playing fields — but there’s a good point at the core of it. The modern structure of U.S. equity markets is to some extent an accretion of accidental consequences of regulatory and exchange decisions made in simpler times, without complete foresight into how they would play out in today’s faster world. No one is really all that stoked about building lasers to beam index-futures prices between New York and Chicago, not even the guys building the lasers.

Noah Smith, Quartz. Drones will cause an upheaval of society like we haven’t seen in 700 years, here. Keep all the trading infrastructure machines in the Colo for security – so the drones/bots can defend the perimeter. Obvious winning argument. Will need drones to protect the Dyna Pie trucks and balloons. I suppose the balloons are less of a security issue since they will be above the jet stream while in operation and you can land them in the Colo facilities for servicing.

The human race is on the brink of momentous and dire change. It is a change that potentially smashes our institutions and warps our society beyond recognition. It is also a change to which almost no one is paying attention. I’m talking about the coming obsolescence of the gun-wielding human infantryman as a weapon of war. Or to put it another way: the end of the Age of the Gun.

You may not even realize you have been, indeed, living in the Age of the Gun because it’s been centuries since that age began. But imagine yourself back in 1400. In that century (and the 10 centuries before it), the battlefield was ruled not by the infantryman, but by the horse archer—a warrior-nobleman who had spent his whole life training in the ways of war. Imagine that guy’s surprise when he was shot off his horse by a poor no-count farmer armed with a long metal tube and just two weeks’ worth of training. Just a regular guy with a gun.


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