11,000 rps. I still gasp, when I try to think of it.
We live now in the age of, not revolutions per minute, but of revolutions per second! A little while ago I was casually listening to an explanation of what they were proposing to do at CERN, something very exciting to me, when the voice said “… at 11,000 revolutions per second . . . .” And each revolution, once around, is 17 miles!!!
I tried to grasp onto what that meant. One can’t even visualize that accurately. Anything large enough to be visible to us would be torn apart at that speed. – but we can make those speeds happen . . .
And – Boom!!!
Now, of course, calculations are not made with that figure, 11,000 rps, how often a particle speeds around the cyclotron. They think in terms of equations, not words like “speed” and “charge.” They use relationships between whole equations to describe something that is beyond human experience.
A new issue:
But – we’ve now created another area where we’re pretty sure we can control interactions at a speed that is beyond human experience; and I just a couple hours ago finished a book that dealt with this issue.
Oh, it was pretty exciting fiction, a page turner; but I learned a lot and some day we will all be very much affected by its subject. Let’s see . . . . the name of the book is . . . there it is: “The Fear Index.” (By Robert Harris)
You’d have fun with the plot if you’ve ever traded options. The author uses terms like algorithmic hedge funds; CBOE trades; stops! (ha ha); liquidity; sniping; trading in VIX futures; and the action reaches its climax in the cortex of a CPU farm. Like this:
In the book, the mad genius who invents the super-algorithms realizes he has created something with ” an intelligent mind of its own” which learns, protects itself, and eventually bypasses human input, way beyond the realization of actual AI. How the system discredits its own creator is fascinating. Possible? Plausible.
Plausible because the system has learned the rules of human behavior and uses the consequences of human sin, immorality, and degradation to place a hit on its own creator. (Never go to a doctor or a psychologist who puts your records on a computer connected to the Internet!! Hackers are the least of your fears!)
Well, that ‘s all. Such is the world we live in. I have no lesson or conclusion. Just, we’d better all be aware.
Note for myself: We have the story of Icarus. We have Pandora’s Box. We have the Book of Enoch where we see that (as the Greeks said), “The gods give us the toys with which we destroy ourselves.”
Shiny toys we can’t resist. We have “computers,” now; and we want these machines to compute faster than we can act.
And the gods? Why would they want to give us these machines that can surveil us and control our behavior and create our attitudes and reward and punish us?
Cui bono? Not us.
There are too many of us.
Too many of us even for the gods. Though of superior intellect, they are not infinite in power and knowledge.
I think we’ll find this in the book of Revelation in the Bible, the last half of chapter 13. Someday the gods – or he or it – will gather us all together into One World, and somehow, then, we will all be surveiled and controlled – or eliminated.
The Antichrist can probably control the algorithms better than any human.