Supercomputer variant of Kahan quote

Article: Intel's Near-Threshold Voltage Computing and Applications
By: Robert Myers (rbmyersusa.delete@this.gmail.com), October 19, 2012 7:04 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
forestlaughing (forestlaughing.delete@this.yahoo.com) on October 19, 2012 10:26 am wrote:
> Robert Myers (rbmyersusa.delete@this.gmail.com) on October 18, 2012 1:29 pm
> wrote:
> > I would appreciate it very much if you would stop
> > putting
> words into my mouth. At no point have I ever said what you just
> > "quoted"
> me as saying.
>
> Because that is a rhetorical technique you reserve only for
> yourself????
>
And where did I step on *your* toes?

>
> > For one
> > thing, I feel like I keep having the same
> discussion over and over again. I get
> ...
>

>
> Forgive me if I misinterpret
> things, but is your complaint that real world applications can't achieve the
> same levels of performance as does linpack? Is this just an advertising problem?
> Well, that's not a very new complaint. The whole industry has been frustrated by
> that for decades. Linpack is an artificial number, that is only very loosely
> connected to real performance. Everyone in the industry knows that. Even a
> handful of journalist seem to understand that.
>
Well everyone but an anonymous troll who wants me to dig into a crackpot paper.

> Everyone knows that FFTs
> don't scale across hero-sized supercomputers. These machines are not bought to
> run 16k-core FFTs. They are bought to run other applications. There do exist
> high bandwidth machines, that will run FFTs much better. You can get a IBM's
> largest power-processor SMP box, and that will give dozens of cores with
> thousands of GB/s bandwidth amongst them (or HP superdome, or sun
> M-something-thousand). The press isn't going to call it a supercomputer, but
> they don't call google's datacenter a supercomputer either, even though it is
> super-good at solving a particular problem.
>
I think I already reported this incident, but I'm going to repeat it, because it gets to the core of my concern. At the height of the Deepwater Horizon spill, NCAR got together with one of the FCRC's in New Mexico and did a--I forget what they chose to call it, because even they knew it wasn't a simulation of anything. What they did was to inject a passive dye tracer at 50m depth at the point of the spill and watched what happened to it in a numerical simulation. What happened to the dye in their whatever it was is that it ran all the way up the East Coast. OMG! The article in the Wall Street Journal, which leapt at the gorgeous and alarming graphic, talked about how much the computer had cost, how many hours of development had gone into the development of the code, and how much computer time it had taken. The article failed to mention that sticky, gooey, non-neutrally bouyant oil behaves nothing like dye. Despite the fact that the calculation was total nonsense, one of the "investigators" was later quoted as saying something like, "we realized we had the perfect tool." Perfect tool, my Aunt Fanny. They had to do *something* so it wasn't apparent just how utterly unprepared they were, so they ran a calculation that reproduced the U.S. coastline and mean surface currents faithfully, but otherwise had nothing to do with the physics that mattered. We still don't know what happened to all that oil, but it sure isn't whatever happened in that total waste of taxpayer resources.

I wrote to the WSJ writer and suggested that he might do well to forget people with big computers and talk to someone who knew a bit of oceanography--which he did. The expensive calculation eventually disappeared beneath the waves, and the DoE was muttering things about the Florida loop current to explain why the east coast never got treated to an oil slick.

Whether it's your personal style or not, we are constantly being hit over the head with calculations that are supposed to impress us because of the size and cost of computing resources that went into them. Garbage in. Garbage out. As I said much earlier in this discussion, skip the step at LLNL and just dump the money into the Pacific Ocean. If you didn't have these mega-institutions with their mega-computers, you'd have many more people talking and being listened to, and we wouldn't get so much government-approved nonsense.

I'm constantly being asked to show why I think these machines are a waste of money. I'll turn the question around. Will someone please explain why, when my desktop could have designed the space shuttle, you now need a warehouse full of cabinets to do much less? Your answer appears to be a long line of scientists who are unsurprisingly lined up to get on the fast track to fill the journals with junk--so they can get tenure.

I have plenty more stories where that one came from.

Robert.
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TopicPosted ByDate
New article: Intel's Near-Threshold ComputingDavid Kanter09/18/12 12:26 PM
  Higher SRAM voltage and shared L1Paul A. Clayton09/18/12 02:38 PM
    Higher SRAM voltage and shared L1David Kanter09/18/12 05:20 PM
      Higher SRAM voltage and shared L1Eric09/20/12 10:44 AM
        Higher SRAM voltage and shared L1David Kanter09/20/12 12:24 PM
      Yes, that kind of asynchronousPaul A. Clayton09/20/12 02:53 PM
    Higher SRAM voltage and shared L1somebody09/19/12 09:27 AM
      So micro-turboboost is doubly impracticalPaul A. Clayton09/20/12 02:53 PM
  Big littleDoug S09/18/12 03:04 PM
    Big littleDavid Kanter09/18/12 04:05 PM
    Big littleRicardo B09/19/12 04:06 AM
  New article: Intel's Near-Threshold Computingdefderdar09/18/12 09:39 PM
    New article: Intel's Near-Threshold Computingtarlinian09/19/12 08:32 AM
      New article: Intel's Near-Threshold ComputingDavid Kanter09/19/12 10:44 AM
  New article: Intel's Near-Threshold ComputingMark Christiansen09/19/12 11:31 AM
    New article: Intel's Near-Threshold ComputingChris Brodersen09/19/12 12:54 PM
  New article: Intel's Near-Threshold ComputingEric09/20/12 10:47 AM
  Latency and HPC WorkloadsRobert Myers10/03/12 10:52 AM
    Latency and HPC Workloadsanon10/03/12 06:50 PM
      Latency and HPC WorkloadsRobert Myers10/04/12 10:24 AM
        Latency and HPC WorkloadsSHK10/08/12 05:42 AM
          Latency and HPC WorkloadsMichael S10/08/12 01:59 PM
            Latency and HPC WorkloadsSHK10/08/12 02:42 PM
              Latency and HPC WorkloadsMichael S10/08/12 05:12 PM
                Latency and HPC Workloadsforestlaughing10/15/12 08:41 AM
                  The original context was Micron RLDRAM (NT)Michael S10/15/12 08:55 AM
                    The original context was Micron RLDRAMforestlaughing10/15/12 10:21 AM
              Latency and HPC Workloads - Why not SRAM?Kevin G10/09/12 09:48 AM
                Latency and HPC Workloads - Why not SRAM?Michael S10/09/12 10:33 AM
                  Latency and HPC Workloads - Why not SRAM?SHK10/09/12 12:55 PM
                    Why not SRAM? - CapacityRohit10/09/12 09:13 PM
                  Latency and HPC Workloads - Why not SRAM?Kevin G10/09/12 03:04 PM
                    Latency and HPC Workloads - Why not SRAM?Michael S10/09/12 04:52 PM
                      Latency and HPC Workloads - Why not SRAM?Robert Myers10/10/12 10:11 AM
                        Latency and HPC Workloads - Why not SRAM?forestlaughing10/15/12 08:02 AM
                          Latency and HPC Workloads - Why not SRAM?Robert Myers10/15/12 09:04 AM
                            Latency and HPC Workloads - Why not SRAM?forestlaughing10/16/12 09:13 AM
                          Latency and HPC Workloads - Why not SRAM?SHK10/16/12 08:12 AM
                    Latency and HPC Workloads - Why not SRAM?slacker10/11/12 01:35 PM
                      SRAM leakageDavid Kanter10/11/12 03:00 PM
          Latency and HPC Workloadsforestlaughing10/15/12 08:57 AM
            Latency and HPC WorkloadsRobert Myers10/16/12 07:28 AM
              Latency and HPC WorkloadsMichael S10/16/12 07:35 AM
              Latency and HPC Workloadsanon10/16/12 08:17 AM
                Latency and HPC WorkloadsRobert Myers10/16/12 09:56 AM
                  Supercomputer variant of Kahan quotePaul A. Clayton10/16/12 11:09 AM
                    Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteanon10/17/12 01:17 AM
                      Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteRobert Myers10/17/12 04:34 AM
                        Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteanon10/17/12 05:12 AM
                          Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteRobert Myers10/17/12 02:38 PM
                            Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteanon10/17/12 05:24 PM
                              Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteRobert Myers10/17/12 05:45 PM
                                Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteanon10/17/12 05:58 PM
                                Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteanon10/17/12 05:58 PM
                                  Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteRobert Myers10/17/12 07:14 PM
                                    Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteanon10/17/12 08:36 PM
                                      Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteRobert Myers10/18/12 09:47 AM
                                        Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteanon10/19/12 02:34 AM
                                          Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteanon10/19/12 04:47 AM
                                          Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteRobert Myers10/19/12 03:14 PM
                        Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteMichael S10/17/12 06:56 PM
                          Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteanon10/17/12 09:02 PM
                            Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteRobert Myers10/18/12 01:29 PM
                              Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteanon10/19/12 02:27 AM
                                Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteRobert Myers10/19/12 07:24 AM
                                  Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteanon10/19/12 08:00 AM
                                    Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteRobert Myers10/19/12 09:28 AM
                                      Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteanon10/19/12 10:27 AM
                              Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteforestlaughing10/19/12 10:26 AM
                                Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteRobert Myers10/19/12 07:04 PM
                                  Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteEmil Briggs10/20/12 04:52 AM
                                    Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteRobert Myers10/20/12 07:51 AM
                                      Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteEmil Briggs10/20/12 08:33 AM
                                        Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteEmil Briggs10/20/12 08:34 AM
                                          Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteRobert Myers10/20/12 09:35 AM
                                            Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteEmil Briggs10/20/12 10:04 AM
                                              Supercomputer variant of Kahan quoteRobert Myers10/20/12 11:23 AM
                  Latency and HPC Workloadsanon10/16/12 06:48 PM
                    Latency and HPC Workloadsforestlaughing10/19/12 11:43 AM
              Latency and HPC Workloadsforestlaughing10/19/12 09:38 AM
                Latency and HPC WorkloadsRobert Myers10/19/12 11:40 AM
                Potential false economics in researchPaul A. Clayton10/19/12 12:54 PM
                  Potential false economics in researchVincent Diepeveen10/20/12 08:59 AM
                  Potential false economics in researchforestlaughing10/23/12 10:56 AM
                    Potential false economics in researchRobert Myers10/23/12 07:16 PM
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