Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wanderers 2008.9.16

:: retro 4D futurism ::
Dr. David DiNucci is giving a talk on parallel computing, which I'll attempt to summarize below.

What I'm thinking about this evening is how tame and lame is the futurism of our day, as expressed by wannabe world leaders. At least the shared dream of freeways with cloverleaf interchanges was bold and well defined, much as people diss it today, want more rail back in the picture.

Today's investors tend to watch helplessly as various 20th century lifestyles prove unsustainable, too expensive. So where're all the new 4D solutions? Not much is offered in the Bucky Works tradition, i.e. North Americans are still turning their backs on their own best heritage.

I was glad to see the RNC moving a baby step from hyping the hydrogen car, a time-buying agenda, to the electric car, with Ford pushing a prototype for 2010. The DNC has much the same rap.

But motorvehicles alone don't constitute a vision of the future. What's missing is imaginative, positive near futurism, the bread and butter of investment banking.

Excerpting from the Wanderers e-list (something I wrote earlier today):
"Capitalism" connotes dirty coal fired Britain in the Charles Dickens era, rich people scrooges, unwashed masses with no health care. Not a bright happy picture. As such, we're keen to stamp it out, let's just do it.

However, back to nomenclature, is a farming community that does everything sensible to keep the scene sustainable, from crop rotation to genetic breeding to best practices and yada yada precluded from calling itself "capitalist" as in using its head? I don't think so.

My problem with Economics is it's all below the surface, is filthy with connotations but with precious few denotations. It's been taken over by advertising, a branch of psychology (psychometrics, like Patrick does). As a discipline, it deserves competition. Enter general systems theory or GST.
David's talk is cleverly animated in Flash and not too technical, uses lengthy extended analogies involving pebbles in a bucket, making waffles. He's teaching about the problem of deadlock, an old problem in parallelism (everyone waiting for everyone else to go first, would be an example).

A lot of these problems are addressed by SQL engines seeking ACID compliance, a model for parallelism Microsoft esearchers might be considering within its Haskell based subculture.

We have an attentive, participatory audience.

Good seeing Aldona, of Lithuanian heritage, and Steve Bergman, sitting to my left. We have a new person as well, with a degree in international business.