The IPO of Facebook shows the manic nature of Wall Street. It also shows the extreme short-termism of so many "investors" who are looking for the next Google, instead of keeping a focus on long-term saving, diversification and controlling investment costs. Unbelievably, there are already lawsuits from disgruntled shareholders who, presumably, feel they were cheated out of a big one day pop in Facebook's stock. After ten days. You can call that what you want, but that is certainly not investing. Facebook stock may very well become a good investment for those investors willing to hold on for the long-term, with long-term meaning years, not days. Ironically, the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, wanted to avoid the short-term mentality of Wall Street, which was one reason why he didn't go public earlier.
It's true that much of Wall Street is hyper-active trading. "High-frequency" trading by major brokerage houses are said to be responsible for over half of an average day's trading, sometimes much more. But we see that individual investors are partially responsible too. Not only are many of them engaged in frequent trading (usually with poor results, but that's a topic for another time), but many individual investors own mutual funds that have very high yearly turnover rates of 100%, 200%, or more. Individual mutual funds, which have long been the primary wealth-building tool for long-term investors, are now held an average of just about three years. Many large institutions, including pension funds and foundations also have a monthly and quarterly mindset, and not one spanning years or decades as is typically their mandate. All these actors contribute to the short-term and high-frequency trading culture that pervades on Wall Street. For those who want to participate in the mania they can certainly do so, but they shouldn't complain when stocks are volatile, as they supposed to be.
For long-term investors, the volatile waters of Wall Street can be navigated. In the ocean, millions of individuals waves are going this way and that, where randomness rules, but with perspective and a long-term focus, it's usually pretty clear which direction the water is moving.