20 Petaflops Coming Soon

31 March 2012

[1 April 02012]
Three years ago, on 1 April 02009, I gave a talk titled 20 Petaflops by 02012. [Yes, I used a 5-digit¬†year.] First quarter of 02012 has ended and as far as I know our computing world has not hit 20 petaflops, but the next TOP500 list doesn’t come out until June. Regardless, I am 99.999% confident that 20 petaflops in 02012 is going to happen primarily because of what IBM announced four months ago.

[25 November 2011]
IBM issued a press release titled IBM Announces Supercomputer to Propel Sciences Forward having the sub-title Blue Gene/Q tackles major challenges of the day, delivers up to 100 petaflops at peak performance.

“When it is fully deployed in 2012 at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the system, named ‘Sequoia’, is expected to achieve 20 petaflops at peak performance, marking it as one of the fastest supercomputers in the world.”

IBM.com::IBM Announces Supercomputer to Propel Sciences Forward

[11 November 2011]
The TOP500.org issued the following press release: Japan’s K Computer Tops 10 Petaflop/s to Stay Atop TOP500 List. Japan’s K computer was benchmarked at 10.51 petaflops.

[1 April 2009]
AzGrid::Talk::20 Petaflops in 02012

Two years earlier I gave a talk sub-titled Computing in the 21st Century. During that talk I stated the following: “The next era of computing is the era of High-Performance (Productivity) Computing (HPC).” In addition, during the talk I indicated that peta-scale computing was scheduled to occur in 02008. TOP500.org posted the following on 18 June 02008: “With the publication of the latest edition of the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers today (Wednesday, June 18), the global high performance computing community has officially entered a new realm–a supercomputer with a peak performance of more than 1 petaflop/s¬†[1.026 petaflops]

[4 April 2007]
AzGrid::Talk::The Next Era of Computing


Infinite Computing Deprecates the Delete Function

26 March 2012

On 26 March 02012 I discovered that Facebook has a Usenet page, so I “Liked” it. My curiosity prompted me to do some Usenet searching and I found a net.music posting that I made almost 30 years ago on 5/8/01982. http://goo.gl/16mNL

Quoting Voltaire: “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”

I’m going to ignore Voltaire and say that I’m 99.999% certain that we have entered into the “era” of “Infinite Computing.” [I put quotes around “era” because to me an era has an endpoint.] To me infinite computing implies infinite storage and infinite storage deprecates the “delete” function. In other words, a bit, once posted, is never deleted. We can click the DELETE key over and over and over, but being certain that our bits have been deleted might be absurd.

About “Infinite Computing”

On 4 April 02007 I gave a talk titled The Next Era of Computing: Computing in the 21st Century. The talk included the following blurb.

The following is my one sentence description of the next era of computing: A grid-based cyber-infrastructure that provides infinite computational power, infinite storage, infinite bandwidth and infinite services (utilities).

The phrase Infinite Computing is used in the book Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think (Copyright 02012 by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler).


Brian David Johnson Chats With will.i.am

25 March 2012

The following are notes from chapter 9 (“The Future of Education: Are We Ready?”) by will.i.am and Brian David Johnson in the The Tomorrow Project Anthology.

will.i.am says he is a “wannabe geek in the geek.” I’m sort of like this, too. Here is something that I posted to Facebook last month… I like being around geeks even though I’m just a pseudo-geek. Sometimes I experience geek envy.

Brian David Johnson (DBJ; an Intel Futurist) wrote that in 02011 “will made a big investment in education. […] Dean Kamen and will teamed up to make an hour-long documentary called i.am FIRST–Science is Rock and Roll.

I added the following quote to GDT::Quotes (my quote collection)…

The planet is full of people who aren’t thinking about the future. Shouldn’t we all prepare? I think we should.

And I think Mr. am is spot on.

I liked the following exchange between BDJ and will.i.am…

will.i.am to BDJ: “You’re a futurist. […] Where are we going?”

BDJ: “For me the question is: Where do we want to go?”

will.i.am: “[…] there are two we’s. There’s the we that are all moving forward and passionate about the future. Then there’s the second we that is staying back and lagging behind.”

will.i.am speaking on the topic of education…

“My cousin is 12 years old now. When she’s 22 is she going to be intelligent because schools are going to change in the near future?”

I think it’s possible the answer to will’s question is no. The education system in the United States needs to be blown up and I don’t see that happening in the near future (i.e. by the end of this decade).

will.i.am continued…

“Someone is going to have to think how to redefine education and mental stimulation to keep kids like her motivated and give her an idea of what she might be competing with.”

Of course “someone” is plural and i.am.hopeful that one of those someones will be will.i.am.


Whole Lotta Sequencin’ Goin’ On

22 March 2012

I am constantly reminded that we’re living in the Age of Genomics and the following is yet another reminder.

On 22 March 02012, San Diego-based Illumina announced that “Macrogen, Inc., a global sequencing services company based in Korea, purchased an additional ten Illumina HiSeq 2000 systems and two MiSeq systems, as well as HiSeq 2500 upgrades.”

The press release contained the following quote by Professor Jeong-Sun Seo, Chairman of Macrogen.

“Our vision is to improve quality of life by enhancing understanding
of the human genome, and to be a global leader in providing genome
sequencing services, towards the ultimate goal of personalized medicine.”

Macrogen also said that they will be able “sequence whole human genomes on one machine in a day” and that being able to do this “critical to providing the turnaround time required for clinical samples.”

These days Jerry Lee Lewis could sing that there’s a whole lotta sequencin’ goin’ on.


“Abundance” Chapter Two Review

18 March 2012

The following notes are from chapter two of “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think” by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler.

Interesting observation…

“Today most poverty-stricken Americans have a television, telephone, electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing. Most Africans do not.

Definitions are way too restrictive and in many cases totally bogus. The authors allocated a couple of pages to providing a “practical definition” of abundance.

“Abundance is about creating a world of possibility […]”

I’ve learned from Hans Rosling that learning about the future is easier if one is a possibilitist. This book assumes almost everything is possible.

A three tiered pyramid is presented. The bottom-level: food, water, shelter (basic survival)“. The middle-level is “devoted to catalysts for further growth like abundant energy, ample educational opportunities, and access to ubiquitous communications and information. The highest tier is freedom and health.

Sad, but true observation.

“Currently a billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and 2.6 billion lack access to basic sanitation.”

The authors wanted readers to be aware of Friedrich Hayek’s catallaxy: the ever-expanding possibility generated by the division of labor.

I have a new found respect for the 1,200 watts two-burner cookstove.

A reasonable near term prediction.

“By 2015, the global market for personalized medicine is projected to reach $452 billion.”

Recall that health is in the highest tier of the pyramid.

Time to put on our possibilitist hat…

An end to most of what ails us by 2035?

It’s possible. In fact, 02035 is sooner than I would have guessed.


“Abundance” Chapter One Review

18 March 2012

I have finished the first two chapters of the book “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think” by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler.

The following are some quotes from Chapter One.

“When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. Yet the threat of scarcity still dominates our worldview.”

I agree. U.S. politicians excel at using scarcity FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) to get elected.

“The high-tech revolution created an entirely new breed of wealthy technophilanthropists who are using their fortunes to solve global abundance-related challenges.”

It’d be fun, fun, fun to be a technophilantropist.

“[…], but it’s the combination of the Internet, microfinance, and wireless communication technology that’s transforming the poorest of the poor into an emerging market force.”

I liked this phrase…

“[…] amplified by exponentially growing technologies […]”

Chapter One ends with the following.

“Imagine a world of nine billion people with clean water, nutritious food, affordable housing, personalized education, top-tier medical care, and nonpolluting, ubiquitous energy.”

The authors of “Abundance” think it’s possible and so do I.


Is It Possible To Halt the Exponential Advancement of Technology?

9 March 2012

“It’s impracticable to halt the exponential advancement of technology.” — Ben Goertzel (01966-) {Director of Research for the Singularity Institute for AI}

Goertzel says that “it’s impractical to halt the exponential advancement of technology” and it’s possible he’s right. But let’s observe Goertzel’s use of the word impracticable instead of the word impossible because it’s possible that the power of sociopolitical factors will deem Goertzel’s impracticable as practical. Pondering the future is fun, but it is complicated by the fact that we’re a planet of seven billion people. It’s possible that this morph of Goertzel’s quote is false: “It’s impossible to halt the exponential advancement of technology.” [Ponder the Luddite riot of 01811-01812.]

Hmm… I have learned that learning about the future is easier if I ignore sociopolitical factors.


Brian David Johnson Wants to Know: How can we change the future?

7 March 2012

Everybody who attended ASU’s Emerge Mashup on 3 March 02012 received a copy Intel’s book The Tomorrow Project Anthology: Conversations About the Future. Chapter One was written by Intel’s Futurist Brian David Johnson and is titled How to Change the Future.

Hmm… Johnson has come up with a great question: How can we change the future?

I liked how Brian David Johnson ended the first paragraph of chapter one.

I have always believed that everyone should be an active participant in the future. If we are all making it and we are all going live in it then why not do something about it individually.

I want to be an active participant in the future. The following was my Facebook status update on Sunday, 4 March 02012…

“I ain’t no ____” has become one of my frequently used phrases. Yesterday, I started a blog posting with “I ain’t no futurist,” but I deleted it because we’re all futurists.


From 01900 to 01968 to 02012 to 02036

5 March 2012

[rough draft]

I had a chance to hear Neal Stephenson speak on 3 March 02012 at ASU’s Emerge Mashup. He took a person from 01900 and transported them to 01968. The changes were beyond belief. He then took a person from 01968 and transported them to 02012. About the only notable change was the proliferation of computers (in both power and number) and the Internet.

I liked Stephenson’s story, but I noted that the difference between 01900 and 01968 was 68 years, while the difference between 01968 and 02012 was only 44 years. How about putting that person from 01968 into the year 02036?

First, here’s my take on a person who is transported 44 years from 01968 to 02012. It looks like everybody is knitting, but they’re communicating by typing with their thumbs and swiping tiny screens with their pointer fingers. People spend a lot of time walking around talking to themselves. Computers are vastly more powerful and vastly cheaper to the point where they’re ubiquitous. They like being sensed, so sensors are becoming ubiquitous. People spend a lot of time using something called the Internet. Planes, trains and automobiles are better, but nothing to write home about. There lots of baseball fields around but you rarely see people playing baseball. And, they still really like our rock’n roll.

Now a person is transported 68 years from 01968 to 02036. What do they “see”?

I only know the following: In 02036, IBM’s Watson is 25 years old (i.e. a young adult). “Big Data” is beyond yotta-bytes and STEMers (Scientists, Technologists, Engineers, Mathematicians) have had approximately 17 years of exascale computing (“infinite computing”) to do their work. It’s seven years after the expiration of Long Bet #1 and it’s possible Ray Kurzweil won (if not, then maybe he would have won if the bet ended five years later in 02034). The Unix clock is still working, but the Y2.038K problem is near (less than two years away).


Happy Future Day 02012

1 March 2012

March 1st is Future Day.

I’d like to see our educational system changed such that for every one minute a students learning about the past, they spend one minute learning about the future. Right now I suspect the past-to-future ratio is 0.01:1, but over the short term it needs to become 1:1 and longer term it needs to become n:1 where n is greater than one.

I hope you have a happy Future Day!