Amazing, troubling, and scary what "trading" is today and where it will be in the future. The implications might make you think twice before plopping down a huge chunk of fiat to "invest" in a publicly-held company.
Algo's on Wall Street (video)
I've got a nice background in software development and high performance computing and it seems some of the major HFTs are still recruiting quite heavily. I'm sure its a great job since its right up my alley, but there is always that question about my satisfaction in it. Call it morality if you'd like, because it'd be "immoral" to work at the HFT firms while they quote stuff, scalp, and in simple terms: steal from everyone else. I'd rather be unemployed...
It's increasingly clear that humanity will one day, once and forever, become an outmoded relic of the natural world. We are already in competition with the algos, only they have enormous competitive and evolutionary advantages that we, in our present form, cannot counter. The speed at which it is happening is astonishing. The powers of distributed computing and neural networks already dwarf those of the solitary human brain. When finally we animate these process, it is game over. We'll have one choice--assimilate or be left behind. To my organic mind, the future looks very scary.
Actually there was an article on ZeroHedge recently about the feds cracking down on algos and forcing them to reveal their sensitive code. So, hopefully, in the near future humans will once again be trading with humans on the 'markets'. We can dream, anyway.