Connection between two different models

By: Ireland (, February 6, 2017 12:17 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
RichardC ( on February 6, 2017 8:36 am wrote:
> etudiant ( on February 4, 2017 2:40 pm wrote:
> From that perspective, it's a little entertaining to consider a thought experiment where
> the content of Ireland's posts was put into a style close to the RWT norm - fewer words,
> shorter posts, a bit more quantitative data (even if bogus), and also with less polite
> I think there is a genuine - though possibly more sociological than
> technical - point lurking in there, about how the increasing use of complicated and fine-grain
> computer-based models, interacting in dynamic and unpredictable ways, may be exposing us
> to new risks (in the same ways that Perreault's "Normal Risks" analyzed for earlier
> complex technologies such as nuclear reactors and airliners).


I'll try to put it into context, and expand on that a slight bit if I may. It's not just restricted to chaps such as myself. It's across a larger spectrum, where it needs to happen, that a lot more folk who end up having 'input' into information technology infrastructure roll-out's, . . . will end up providing 'input', . . which as you explained, does need to be translated properly, into that other language, that the computer scientists and engineers can begin to work with.

Like, the obvious example at a mundane level, of models interacting in dynamic and un-predictable ways is illustrated by this sort of statement.

Don't under-estimate the impulse of young folk nowadays, to throw all of there technology and music in the water, and go swimming with it. Like, look at something like a waterproof Bluetooth 4.x speaker system, and the number of systems that need to work, just in order to facilitate that action of going splash into the water, and going swimming while having music pumping. There are phones, modems, cloud-based music jukeboxes, possibly several Bluetooth clients connected simultaneously to one speaker, and music choices ordered into a shared play list. All kinds of battery technology, and processing at work. And that's only, when this generation of young folk, go swimming and play music, and only have kid's 'pocket money' to spend on the infrastructure, that they're putting together.

I mean, what happens when these kids do start to build something, with a really significant budget behind it? I've no doubt whatsoever, they're going to throw some super-computer into the water, and have that connected up and talking to several high-atmosphere satellites at the same time, and sharing data. That's the way that the next generation are going to look at the world, and that's how they'll approach things like 'super computing'.

They're no preventing that impulse of this generation to use technology, and it's going to happen. As sure, as rain.

On the thing of 'language'.

There is a 'base line' requirement for technical understanding, that is required in order to communicate with any technical community in information technology. It just helps to make that communication process function properly. I never bothered to develop that 'base line' competence in information technology necessary, in order to function as a part of one of these communities. There is a lesson in there however, for a lot of younger generations nowadays, who may have studied all kinds of other disciplines - micro-biology, or physics or heck, even some of the social sciences. There could be an opportunity made, in computer science departments - to give graduates from other disciplines an opportunity, to work towards that 'base line' requirement of knowledge, that is necessary to transact a lot better, in communities - where there is going to be a strong, computer science input into the project. And that's A LOT of projects, nowadays.

The analogy that I always make, is that post- Second World War, the society and it's services, and the mechanics of how the 'state' functioned, did change a lot. It was based, around a lot of build-out of physical infrastructure - hospitals, interstate highway systems, underground commuter rail networks, and on, and on. That is what the generation of the 'baby boomers' were tasked with completion of mainly, the build-out of that social infrastructure in the mid, to late 20th century. The information technology, or computer science aspect of that infrastructure, got tacked on in the late 20th century and early 21st century. Nowadays however, the tipping point, has tipped over towards a greater portion of 'information technology' in the rollout of critical infrastructure - and a lesser, though still significant portion of non-IT, or 'physical' nut's and bolts.

That's the point I'd make, even about this weather forecasting and flood defense systems. How much of it is physical drainage system, how much of it is information systems? Even things like bio-diversity, the radio here had a launch of a publication, to look at the proliferation of different species in the natural habitat. It was a merger of many different databases, studying various species in the wild, and the picture that emerged was that the dominance of one or other species changes, even over a period of a couple of decades. A lot of work is underpinned by information technology, stuff where we wouldn't even think there is a strong digital/electronic/computational element to it.

If you're to take that overall point, of this generation of millennials, and their task at large, to develop and roll out this primary technology infrastructure (on top of, and across the existing physical infrastructure of the last century), . . . then, the primary thing they'll have to worry about, is how to figure out a way for computer science grad's and non-computer science grad's, . . . to have a conversation, that doesn't end up becoming a food fight.

On the airliners history and 'early technology', back in 2009, I had occasion to speak with one Gordon Clarke. He was one of the old generation of pioneers who started computing way back in the 40's and 50's here in the British Isles. His first task, was to replace a room full of human 'computers' (yeah, they're job title was 'computers', they worked using pencils), with an electronic machine. It was for a sugar harvesting company in Ireland. Sugar during the Second World War years, was important during the rationing times etc, because Sugar is necessary in the 'processing' of so many other types of food, and it's preservation etc. They used to finance the production of beat-type sugar in the British Isles, and offer those loans to the farmers. The farmers in turn would deliver a crop to the processing center. The computer was required for calculation of the interest on the loans, the amount of crop produced, and other things (some farmers would 'buy' molasses, a by-product of the sugar process, and that value would get deducted from the cheque payment). So, the calculation for each farmer was different.

The thing is, later that team of programmers moved from the Sugar industry to the new State-owned airline industry in Ireland (where all trans-Atlantic air traffic for all Europe came through Ireland, for decades after the Second World War). It was these guys in Ireland, Clarke and his team of physicists many of them, who figured out there was a 'price' calculation that needed to be done, to figure out what the customer was willing to pay for a plane seat ticket at a given time, on a particular flight. The airliners from all over the globe came to Ireland to view how these group of Irish physicists were working out these calculations using the computer. And it spread from there, back to America and so forth (taking up the story, where Martin Campbell Kelly does, in 'Sonic the Hedgehog' etc). The point is, is that even in the midst of that post- Second World War construction of a lot of hospitals, roads and schools in the British Isles, there was also a very young and rickety computer science industry starting to emerge also.

The point is, I've known the folk in this part of the globe, and the ideas that they tend to experiment with. Often, as in the case of software they're pioneers in doing a lot of things, trying out new ideas. However, as in the case of super-computer projects such as this Cray ARM-based one, there isn't always a large enough demand and market - which is needed to fully grow things from concept, into a full business.
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                              Really that different?none2017/01/26 06:39 AM
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      Still idioticDavid Kanter2017/01/30 08:49 AM
        Still idioticMr. Camel2017/01/30 09:16 PM
        Still idioticjuanrga2017/02/02 09:11 AM
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            Four Things to Consider Ireland2017/01/31 07:58 PM
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                no evidence that it goes on a shipIreland2017/02/02 02:57 PM
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                  A better Ireland..Anon2017/02/01 08:52 PM
                    A better Ireland..slacker2017/02/01 11:32 PM
                    A better Ireland..Ireland2017/02/02 05:06 AM
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                      or a botanon2017/02/02 03:17 PM
                        or a botanonymou52017/02/02 04:46 PM
                        or a botnone2017/02/02 11:45 PM
                          or a botanon2017/02/03 10:30 AM
                        Better bot example: amanfrommars1Doug S2017/02/03 11:44 AM
            Make allowances, the man never sleeps..Anon2017/01/31 09:22 PM
        Mont blanc project and ARM HPC in generaletudiant2017/02/02 09:39 AM
          Mont blanc project and ARM HPC in generalIreland2017/02/02 12:12 PM
            Connection between two different modelsIreland2017/02/02 12:18 PM
              Connection between two different modelsetudiant2017/02/04 03:40 PM
                Connection between two different modelsRichardC2017/02/06 09:36 AM
                  Connection between two different modelsdmcq2017/02/06 11:07 AM
                  Connection between two different modelsIreland2017/02/06 12:17 PM
                    probably not the right forum ...RichardC2017/02/06 01:31 PM
                      probably not the right forum ...Ireland2017/02/06 02:53 PM
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