Thoughts about the Earth Simulator, and where it may lead us

After writing the previous entry I looked more closely at the Earth Simulator, and find myself intrigued. Large scale simulation opens up whole new possibilities, rather as the new science of optics did 500 years ago: partly for our knowledge of the physical world, but also understanding of our own behaviour and psychology. As an…

A quarter petaflop

The IBM BlueGene/L supercomputer at the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has reportedly achieved a speed of a quarter of a petaflop (or 280.6 teraflops; the previous record was 135.3 teraflops, achieved by the same machine in March 2005.) For reference: megaflop: 1 million floating-point operations per second. gigaflop: 1 billion floating-point operations per…

Truth will out….

According to press rpeorts, the possibility that the US government has signficant intervention plans to prop up equity markets in a crisis first emerged during a simulation. The so-called plunge protection team was first disclosed during a financial war game held by the Council on Foreign Relations in 2000. Journalists reported that simulation participants displayed…

Storing large amounts of simulation data

According to press reports, Los Alamos and UCSC are forming a partnership to store large amounts of data. One use for this will be to store the data generated by large simulations. The new Institute for Scalable Scientific Data Management (ISSDM) will be directed by Darrell Long, who holds the Kumar Malavalli Endowed Chair in…

Do we sometimes think reality is a simulation?

Just occasionally someone asks a question which opens up a whole new line of thought. Lydia Reeves Timmins has an essay in the August edtion of Presence which argues: “Theres no reason the increasingly common confusion regarding what is “virtual” (i.e., mediated by technology) and “real” (i.e., nonmediated) should operate in only one direction. Confusions…

Thinking is simulation

A 1992 article by Bruce Bridgeman argues that thinking is itself simulation. “The idea of thinking as simulation brings up computer analogies and the present fascination with virtual reality, a human-computer interface that gives the user the impression of actually being in a computer-generated environment. But the brain itself sits in an isolated environment, carefully…

Habbo

References recently on blogs and Yahoo Finance News to Habbo. Its a sort of massively multiplayer game, claiming 4 million unique users per month, who have created 30 million play characters. It seems to be designed entirely to extract money from 13-20 year olds, though it is dignified as social software and claims to be…