I was reading an opinion piece on the rise of the exascale supercomputer. This is a computer capable of performing more than one billion billion calculations per second; a speed of more than one exaflops … where ‘exa’ means a very large number and ‘flops’ means ‘floating point operations per second.’
The op-ed writer made this point:
“To put that speed in perspective, if you took all the calculations a modern laptop can perform in a single second, and instead did the arithmetic non-stop with pencil and paper at a rate of one calculation per second, it would take roughly 3,932 years to finish.
In a single second, a supercomputer capable of 1 exaflops could do a series of calculations that would take about 31.7 billion years by hand.”
– Kris Rowe, Computional Scientist
Recent articles have said that the age of the exascale supercomputer is dawning. With it there will be unprecedented leaps and bounds in computational analytics, artificial intelligence and everything else. Exascale computing will CHANGE THE WORLD.
I should be excited. At one time it was my job to be excited.
But now all I can think of, is … it will still take two feedings over two days to refresh my sourdough starter and the bread will still take five to seven hours to make. Give or take an hour or so.
In other words, someone else will change the world. Today, I’m going to make bread. With a little bit of luck and a good smear of butter, I may even get to enjoy it too.
Whatever your intentions for 2020, exa- large or small, I wish you well.
Best Wishes and Happy New Year!
Toronto, Canada. January 2020