Japanese scientists have built a super fast robot that beats humans every time at rock-paper-scissors, by “technically cheating” using the ability to see the human’s hand before deciding what to do.

In stock markets it’s called high frequency trading, which improves market efficiency and leads to excellent private allocation of capital decisions and the ability of companies to auto self-destruct.

This robot just needs some PR flacks and academic shills and we’ll call it a fair game.


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2 Responses to Rock-Paper-Scissors

  1. Jay says:

    A friend wants to institute a “no value add” tax on high frequency traders. Something like 90% of profits. He came up with this after seeing a HFT manager brag at conference that his longest holding period in the prior year was sixteen seconds. The trouble, of course, is who gets to decide what is “no value add”? So it would never work. But I kind of like the name of it anyway.

    • tward says:


      I like it. Funny. The NOVAT!

      The serious proposals I’ve seen are simply transaction taxes applied to all trades. Fractions of a cent per share and stuff like that. So non-HF traders incur little cost, but resources are directed away from latency minimization, which is quite arguably not socially beneficial. HFT would dry up with a sufficient tiny tax. Bring back eighths would do it too, but that’s a step backwards.

      I’m sure in practice it is difficult to do because of off-market trading and the risk of HFT activity moving to overseas markets. Then again, if we think HFT is socially detrimental, good riddance.

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