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Flash Boys: Not So Fast: An Insider's Perspective on High-Frequency Trading Paperback – December 10, 2014
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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The author is well aware of the numerous gaffs in Lewis' book and doesn't offer excessively cutting snark or gentle understanding but proffers the matter-of-fact tone one would expect from someone who has so many facts on this their matter of expertise. There is a whiff of condescension that can be simply attributed to the rather ad hominem attack Lewis' book constitutes against HFT and its professionals.
It is artistically written, telling interesting stories about spread network (first chapter is full of suspense), proposing a striking conspiracy theory, and all of a sudden the world is not the same world it used to be - and something cold runs down your spine.
But ... after all this, so what??
I never fully understand examples Lewis laid out in his book and every time I came across an example and stared hard at it word by word trying to make some logic out of it I failed miserably.
And I have to add that I actually work in this industry though more on the technological side but even so I find it hard to understand - full of vague details, self-conflicting claims, random finger-pointing, obvious playing games with numbers...
After reading the book, I actually feel pretty bad because I felt instead of understanding more I now understand less.
In desperation I began to search for books on the relevant topic and it is not any easier.
This is simply a forbidden topic and covered mostly in the fogs.
Until I read this book by Peter.
At this moment I cannot say I accept everything Peter says.
But one thing that makes me comfortable is Peter's approach in setting the stage of his arguments - speak with the facts.
He has listed many references that can be checked and when he refutes Lewis's certain points he is able to give the original source and interested readers can simply move on and validate it themselves.
His examples are much clearer and lined much better with my understandings and I find it much easier to follow, at least logically.
I can give one example highlights that I know 100% for sure that Lewis is either lying intentionally or speak some nonsense he does not understand - the "deleting of bash history to hide the password".
Purely technologically speaking, Peter has done much better homework and speaks much better truth.
I nearly laughed at that and the next minute I blamed myself for how I have missed such obvious absurdity when running through Lewis's book.
I am not saying whatever Peter says is correct, simply reading the readers' comments here I know it is equally controversial for many people.
But I just want to say I like the way he let facts speak for themselves and leverage on facts that is traceable and that can be more easily prove right or wrong.
I am reading on more such books and writings to explore and understand more of HFT but whichever side you are, please let the facts speaks for themselves.
Kovac not only thoroughly addresses the arguments made by Lewis in his book, but he does so in a respectful and professional manner. His book is well researched and written in terms that I could understand (with perhaps only an instance or two where I had to do further research to understand the point he was making.)
Each argument that Kovac makes in response to Lewis’ book is well thought out and explained in great detail. His sources are cited, making it easy to check up on his points. Even if you agreed with Lewis’ book, I recommend that you read this follow up so that you’re able to see both sides of the argument. Whether or not you’ll change your mind is up to you, but you should always be opened minded to hear the other side of the story.
Definitely worth a read to hear the other side of the story.