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Computer Optimization: Your Computer Is Faster Than You Think

You can have a second computer once you’ve shown you know how to use the first one.

Paul Barham

A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on.

Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: “You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong.”

Knight turned the machine off and on.

The machine worked.

“Tom Knight and the Lisp Machine”, AI Koans

  1. AI scaling can continue even if semiconductors do not, particularly with self-optimizing stacks; John Carmack notes, apropos of Seymour Cray, that “Hyperscale data centers and even national supercomputers are loosely coupled things today, but if challenges demanded it, there is a world with a zetta[flops] scale, tightly integrated, low latency matrix dissipating a gigawatt in a swimming pool of circulating fluorinert.”↩︎