Sunday, October 17, 2010

Whittle Boils It Down, Part 2

Shivering a bit in my hoodie. I'm going to miss this deck-blogging thing; sipping Jameson, a little Chopin over Pandora, and only the stars for proof-readers. Winter makes me feel like a night watchman for Nature.

I'm braving the chill, though, to bring you the anticipated 2nd in the series by commentator Bill Whittle on the core tenets of Tea Party-style Conservatism. As with the first part, Whittle makes the case with simplicity, humility, humor, and an easy aplomb which eschews any but the barest whiff of demagoguery. It is two for two in the area of dispelling the noxious fog of disinformation and spin which has so stubbornly attached itself (or rather willfully been attached) to the Tea Parties, and the beliefs of their supporters.

In addition to his characteristically clear elucidation of political principles, Whittle hits on themes of complexity and distributed, evolutionary processing which are near and dear to my heart.Whittle does indeed channel Hayek here (as pointed out by Ed over at Hot Air) on the prohibitive information barrier between Central Planning and the indescribably complex topology of something like even a relatively simple economy...let alone that of the US.

However, one need not take recourse in such dusty volumes to find the sense in this vid's point about the preferability of distributed, federalist, free-market decision-making over Central Planning. Mr.Hengist recently turned me on to Orbit At Home, which I plan to set into motion on  my home machine tomorrow.  Like SETI At Home, and a host of other distributed computing projects, Orbit uses the power of large numbers of processors, working snippets of a problem in massively parallel fashion to converge on solutions with a nimbleness and horsepower which leaves even the most powerful centralized supercomputer in the dust. In the case of Orbit, the task is the computation of the orbits (get it?)  of large numbers of potentially Earth-impacting Solar System objects.

The US economy is obviously even more complex a problem than the dance of celestial billiard balls. More bodies in motion. In just over two weeks, the American end users will have some deep thinking to do about how they want to use their clock cycles.

No comments: