Re: Introduction

From: Michael Wilson (
Date: Thu Sep 08 2005 - 15:41:59 MDT

Richard Loosemore wrote:
> J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
>> Parallel == Serial == Parallel. It is not special, just complicated, and
>> fairly vanilla large systems design knowledge these days. It is complex,
>> but not *that* complex. I deal with this every day.
> Oh, spare me!! I'm sorry, but this is complete BS. If you deal with
> massively parallel programming every day, and you think it is no harder
> than anything else, then you have never seen it in your life.

I'm with James on this on; Richard is once again showing a tendency
to dramatise. Parallel programming has its own set of problems and
techniques, and programmers often make a hash of things because they
try to implement parallel systems without first becoming familiar with
the relevant tools and pitfalls. But there's nothing particularly
special about designing parallel systems; the problems involved can
be easy or very difficult, depending on what you're trying to build,
but the expertise required to do so is pretty straightforward to
accquire. This is engineering, not blue sky research like AGI. I
have employed and continue to use numerous forms of parallelism in
my software engineering career, and I find the amount of whining in
the industry that 'parallelism is so difficult - oh no we have to
learn something new and actually do algorithm design in advance!'
highly amusing (and I gather most computer hardware engineers share
this amusement). Sure parallelism makes things incrementally more
difficult, but that's trivial compared to the difficulty of the real
challenges in AGI.

 * Michael Wilson

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