Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Redirection

I'm back. Been a while.

Sorry for the long delay. In large part this was due to a readjustment of my intentions and directions for this blog, and ultimately for a new book. It finally became clear to me that the overall negative message I was carrying had two undesirable effects:

  • "You are toast" is not a message likely to motivate most people to read a lot of material. Positive messages sell better.
  • It leaves me with less to talk about. The one focused negative theme made it difficult to justify talking about the range of topics I want to comment on, which is wider than just multicore. Realistically, I think this was the primary issue that turned me around.

You may have noticed my new blog subtitle, which I modified to reflect the new orientation. I didn't see any reason to change the title, though. Parallel is still perilous, but you'll be in less peril if you understand it, which is where I and this blog come in.

So you'll find a lot less haranguing about how multicore being a collective big wish that everything will still be just fine, and more about lessons learned and discussions of areas where I see broad confusion.

So, that's the intent from now on. You may, however, be interested or amused by a related random dollop of irony that I fetched up against.

Shortly after I decided to make this change, I just happened to catch The Dark Secret of Hendrick Schön on the Science Channel. Overall, the show is about how Schön was an uber-wunderkind of physics, publishing great discoveries at a ferocious rate, until he was fired in disgrace from Bell Labs (1). Saying more about Schön would be a spoiler and isn't particularly relevant to my point here, which is:

The show starts with a fairly long black-and-white segment that moves about a deserted, rundown city filled with ugly old industrial buildings, paper blowing in the streets, and an occasional apparently homeless person pushing a shopping cart stacked high with trash. While this dystopia rolls by, the narration breathlessly prophesies all the horrors that will unfold across all of modern society if one, specific, terrible technical tragedy occurs.

The tragedy?

Moore's Law runs out.



1. I wasn't even aware that Bell Labs still existed. Apparently it does, still doing work in nanotechnology among other areas. This relates to why the show description in the link above goes gaga over Grey Goo. Grey Goo was not his "dark secret."

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