This is old (2006) but it collects some fantastic quips about parallel processing:
“If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use: two strong oxen or 1024 chickens?”
“If you were building an anthill, which would you rather use: 1024 ants or a bulldozer?”
“I know how to get four horses to pull a cart, but I don’t know how to make 1024 chickens do it.”
“…losing a few chickens wouldn’t impede progress by all that much, whereas losing one of the oxen would cut the plowing power in half.”
h/t Nikos Georgis
Herding chickens is like herding cats. Good luck with harnessing them to the plow and getting them to pull it.
You cannot build an anthill with a bulldozer- by definition an anthill includes tiny passages and chambers to be used and occupied by ants.
The 1024 chickens had me laugh too. There’s no way our chickens are amenable to any kind of coordinated action.
Perhaps from the chaos of individual chickens a more complex behavior could emerge.
Andy Thomas-Cramer Only if you give the chickens typewriters. 😉
Yeah – but put the chooks on the field area by area and they will clean it, fertilise it and scratch up the soil without compacting the soil
in the late 1980’s your ONLY chance at exceeding a GFlop for reasonable $$$ was with the chickens – however, the analogy is unfair. At the time, the chicken coops were pretty powerful compared to the oxen, and didn’t need perfluorocarbon liquid for cooling. Gotta say, tho – the Cray-2 cooling tower was pretty. Saw one in use at the NSA.
see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MasPar and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinking_Machines_Corporation
side note: briefly worked with Kent Beck (extreme programming) when he was at MasPar – I worked for the company that supplied their Fortran compiler.
Speaking of the NSA, walking in with a buddy, and we stop at security so they can look in our bags. They take a newspaper from my friend, who says, “Must be ’cause of the classified ads, right?”. Strangely, the agent failed to find the comment humorous. 🙂
This flying plow is a feature, not a bug.
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