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Whatever Happened To Programming?

rebelscience Re:As a writer of crappy code.. (623 comments)

No, it does not work. It sucks. Ask Toyota :-). Look at it this way. If software were any good, our cars would be driving themselves by now. The reason that they don't is that the code gets so complex that it cannot be guaranteed to be 100% reliable. In fact, since the publication of Brooks's No Silver Bullet paper, most people are convinced that there is no hope in finding a solution to the software reliability crisis. Others disagree, of course.

more than 4 years ago
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What Is Time? One Researcher Shares His Exploration

rebelscience Re:It is easy to prove that time does not exist (578 comments)

Of course, I am not convinced, especially since it is nonsense. The truth is, unless time is used as an evolution (change) parameter, change cannot be said to occur in physics. This is true by definition. There is only one change parameter in physics and that is time. In your example, dx assumes that some movement with average velocity v = dx/dt occurred. Deny at your own detriment. See you around.

more than 4 years ago
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What Is Time? One Researcher Shares His Exploration

rebelscience Re:It is easy to prove that time does not exist (578 comments)

Not true. Change in physics is always denoted with time as the denominator. x = d?/dt is the formula that determines the rate of change. dx/dx has nothing to do with change, in this case, a change in position. So you cannot use dx/dx as a counter-argument. Not even wrong.

more than 4 years ago
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What Is Time? One Researcher Shares His Exploration

rebelscience Re:It is easy to prove that time does not exist (578 comments)

Sorry. Velocity in space is not expressed as v = dx/dx but as v = dx/dt. Why the lame strawman? Dishonesty, maybe?

more than 4 years ago
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What Is Time? One Researcher Shares His Exploration

rebelscience It is easy to prove that time does not exist (578 comments)

It’s very easy to prove that time is abstract. Time cannot change because changing time is self-referential. Why? Because velocity in time would have to be expressed as v = dt/dt, which is nonsensical. It’s that simple, folks. But I am tilting at windmills, I know.

The abstract nature of time is the reason that a time dimension is bunk and that nothing can move in spacetime, a revelation that always comes as a surprise to most relativists. But here it is from the mouth of a relativist:

“There is no dynamics within space-time itself: nothing ever moves therein; nothing happens; nothing changes. [...] In particular, one does not think of particles as “moving through” space-time, or as “following along” their world-lines. Rather, particles are just “in” space-time, once and for all, and the world-line represents, all at once the complete life history of the particle.”

From Relativity from A to B by Prof. Robert Geroch, U. of Chicago

By the way, physics is about to enter a revolutionary phase because Aristotle was right about motion.

more than 4 years ago
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Triumph of the Cyborg Composer

rebelscience Same with chess programs (502 comments)

Nothing really new here. There will always be human musicians and music writers. People are still learning to play chess even though chess computers can beat almost every chess player in the world, even grandmasters. This music machine was made possible only because humans showed the way. After all, it was programmed by a human.

more than 4 years ago
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Avoiding a Digital Dark Age

rebelscience Silicon Is the New Stone Tablet (287 comments)

Forget CDs, DVDs, magnetic media, etc. All data should be stored in solid state devices. Google knows.

more than 4 years ago
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The 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors

rebelscience Only One Solution (534 comments)

The solution to the software reliability crisis is to abandon the Turing Computing Model and adopt a deterministic, non-algorithmic, implicitly parallel, synchronous and reactive software model. This model is based on the notion that almost all unforeseen (and unpreventable by syntactic debuggers) bugs are due to erroneous temporal expectations within computer programs. Timing is the critical element of computing that is missing from the Turing Computing Model. And it's not a matter of providing clock objects for use in certain time-dependent applications. Timing is critical at the instruction level because it allows us to determine the invariant temporal signature of a program and sound an alarm whenever a deviation is detected. Software should be such that it should be possible to determine whether any two events (operations) within a program are either concurrent or sequential under various conditions. This sort of temporal determinism will enhance security and reliability by many orders of magnitude if not cure the problem once and for all. If you're serious about finding a solution to the parallel programming crisis that is also a solution to the reliability problem, check out the links below. It's free info. Take it or leave it.

How to Solve the Parallel Programming Crisis
Parallel Computing: The End of the Turing Madness
Why Software Is Bad and What We Can Do to Fix It

The jest of it is that we must reinvent the computer. We are using essentially the same model that Babbage invented more than 150 years ago, the thread concept. It's time to change.

more than 4 years ago
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Are All Bugs Shallow? Questioning Linus's Law

rebelscience Bugs Exist Because We Use the Wrong Software Model (596 comments)

Of course, humans cannot think of everything, but with the right software model and the right tools, we will be able to. For the same reason that we use tools to perform complex calculations flawlessly, calculations that we use to have an extremely hard time doing reliably manually. We don't have the right software model in which to construct rock-solid applications because we are not thinking outside the box. We are addicted to our way of doing things.

I defend the hypothesis that the two major crises that afflict the computer industry (unreliability and low productivity) are due to our having adopted the Turing Machine as the de facto computing model in the last century. The thread concept (algorithm) is fundamentally flawed and the use of multithreading in multicore processors exacerbates the productivity and reliability problems by at least an order of magnitude. The only way to solve the crisis is to switch to a non-threaded, non-algorithmic, syncrhonous (deterministic), reactive and implicitly parallel model.

The big surprise in all this is that the solution to the crisis is not rocket science. It is based on a simple parallelizing concept that has been in use for decades. We already use it to simulate parallelism in video games, simulations and cellular automata. Use two buffers; while processing buffer A, fill buffer B with all the objects to be processed during next cycle. When buffer A is done, swap buffers and repeat the cycle. Two buffers are used to prevent racing conditions and ensure robust timing. No threads, no fuss and the resulting code is deterministic. We just need to take the concept down to the instruction level within the processor itself and adopt a synchronous reactive software model. It's not rocket science.

Folks, the days of Turing, Babbage and Lady Ada are soon coming to an end. It's time to wake up and abandon the flawed ideas of the baby-boomer generation and forge a new future. The boomers were wildly successful but this is a new age, the age of massive parallelism and super complex programs. The boomers need to retire and pass the baton to a new generation of computists. Sorry but that's the way I see it.

more than 4 years ago
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Are Silicon Valley's Glory Days Over?

rebelscience Don't blame it on outsourcing (335 comments)

Outsourcing was not a problem in the 80s because Silicon Valley could do it cheaper that everybody else in those days. And the reason that they could do it cheaper is because they were riding on the crest of a revolutionary wave that they started. Lately, the has begun to dissipate and SV's superior technology can no longer give it an edge because it doesn't exist anymore. As I wrote elsewhere, SV needs a new revolution because that's what it feeds on. So, what's the next big thing? Massively parallel machines that are cheap and super easy to program. That's what. SV needs to be the first to come out with a solution to the parallel programming crisis and the first to exploit it. Otherwise, they're doomed. Ghost Valley will be their new name, a real bummer.

How to Solve the Parallel Programming Crisis

more than 4 years ago
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Are Silicon Valley's Glory Days Over?

rebelscience No. Silicon Valley Can Be Reborn... (335 comments)

...better and richer than before. Silicon Valley was born from a revolution that was fueled by fast and cheap semiconductors. Revolution is also what sustained the Valley. Now this first computer revolution is winding down (you can't f*ck with Moore's law and walk away to brag about it), Silicon Valley needs to prepare for the next big one. If the next big revolution does not come soon, Silicon Valley will indeed die because that's what it feeds on. So what's the next big thing? Super fast and massively parallel computers that are cheap and super easy to develop applications for. If Silicon Valley can crack this puppy, it will be downhill again for another ten to fiifteen years.

But nobody knows how to make parallel programming easy, you say. Well, that's where you're wrong. The solution has been staring us in the face for years but the baby boomer generation who gave us the first revolution and who still control the industry, don't want to hear it. Too bad. Crash and burn is what Silicon Valley will do if they don't replace the old guard with better and more agile brains.

How to Solve the Parallel Programming Crisis

more than 4 years ago
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The Upside of the NASA Budget

rebelscience I Love NASA (283 comments)

Regardless of all the money they have supposedly wasted, NASA has enriched our lives in more ways than its critics can imagine. The moon and Mars missions were priceless. Those Hubble images alone are worth every penny. And they did it all with one of the most primitive, dangerous and expensive transportation technologies known to mankind, rocket propulsion. And that there is NASA's biggest problem. No other country is going to surpass the US in space exploration because they are all struggling against the same brick wall.

Rest assured that we are not going to colonize the Moon, let alone the solar system and the star systems beyond with a bunch of clunky rockets. Rocket science may look cool but it’s way overrated. Fortunately for space fans, a breakthrough in our understanding of motion is about to change all that.

A new analysis of the causality of motion leads to the conclusion that we are immersed in energy, lots and lots of it. Normal matter moves in an immense, crystal-like lattice of energetic particles without which neither gravity, nor electromagnetism, nor even motion would be possible. Soon we’ll use this knowledge to build vehicles that can move at enormous speeds and negotiate right angle turns without slowing down and without incurring damage due to inertial effects. Floating sky cities impervious to earthquakes, tsunamis and bad weather, New York to Beijing in minutes, Earth to Mars in hours; that’s the future of energy and travel.

Physics: The Problem With Motion

We all love Asimov’s dream of a galactic empire. We want to colonize the entire solar system and many other star systems beyond. Going back to the Moon using our current rocket propulsion technology is not the way to do it. What would be the point of that? Is the moon made of unobtainium? No it's not. What NASA should be doing is spending a boatload of money on developing new and revolutionary space propulsion technologies. Even the space station is a complete waste of time and money from humanity’s point of view, the few who are benefiting from it notwithstanding.

We need a new foundational science of motion and propulsion. The current Newtonian paradigm is just not cutting it. It’s time for you rocket scientists to retire and give new brains with revolutionary ideas a turn at the wheel.

PS. Don't say nobody told you because I just did. :-)

more than 4 years ago

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