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Computer Optimization: Your Computer Is Faster Than You Think

2021-04-242023-01-28 finished certainty: highly-likely importance: 6 backlinks

“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”


  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.”↩︎