The bolder and better idea, if one wishes to see if markets can outperform the “rigged” game devised by the feds, is to let investors choose the consumer protections they favor. Why not let exchanges set their own rules and let companies and customers decide if they wish to trade there? One could also let customers decide whether they even need a broker or an exchange. Maybe eBay could do better. Or maybe in a genuine free market, business would gravitate back to the NYSE.
One thing for sure is that if New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and others looking for headlines want to string up high-speed traders, honesty requires them to put the regulators at the front of the rope line.
Aside from all the abuses and unintended consequences, copyright and patents are a great obstacle to creativity and innovation: the creations of all great thinkers, inventors and artists in history would never have been possible in a vacuum and always depend on a context consisting of all the preexisting works and ideas.
There are however people who by their improbable actions not only cause damages to other people but in addition hurt themselves. They are a sort of super-stupid who, in our system of accounting, will appear somewhere in the area S to the left of the Y axis.
They learn that in this world, and in this life, no one invites anyone to anything. They realize that the jobs worth having, the roles worth playing, the places worth leading do not roll out the red carpet for anyone. These places don’t know who you are and they don’t care. There are no rules for success, no trodden paths to the top. Unless your goal in life is to become an upper middle class professional, nothing is guaranteed. Anything worth doing requires risk, misery, repeated failure (of the real kind, not the fake kind your write about in your college application essay), and humiliating self-promotion. You might even run the risk of regretting not having taken the safe path - but you will be alive. So snap out of it. Forget the red carpet. There is but one rule for living your own life, and no one else’s: If you want to attend the party, crash it.
As a species, humans manifest a quality called neoteny, the retention of juvenile characteristics into adulthood. Neoteny has physical ramifications—scarce body hair and a flat face are two examples—but it also has neurological ones. Namely, we have an extraordinary capacity to continue learning throughout life. If neoteny helps to explain our ability to learn, researchers are now figuring out what drives us to take advantage of it. In 2008, a group of scientists set up a novel fMRI study. When a subject’s curiosity was piqued by a question (“What is the only country in the world that has a bill of rights for cows?” for instance), certain regions of the brain lit up. Those areas, known collectively as the basal ganglia, correspond to the brain’s reward centers—the same ones that govern our desire for sex or chocolate or total domination in Call of Duty 4. When people say they have an itch to figure something out, they’re not speaking metaphorically. They’re looking to get high on information. Curiosity, then, is not some romantic quality. It is an adaptive response. Humans may not be the fastest or strongest creatures, but through the blind luck of evolution, we developed the desire and capacity to continually update our understanding of the world. And that has allowed us to master it—or get darn close. Call it the biological basis for being a nerd.