Describing a multiprocessor computer program, someone recently said, "This algorithm paralyzes really well."

Surely s/he meant to say "... parallelizes ..." --- or did the tongue-twist inadvertently reveal some deep wisdom? So many much-ballyhooed parallel computing systems fail on so many important real-world tasks --- can it be coincidental?

Or has Nature arranged things to literally "paralyze" simpleminded attempts to factor problems into discrete, non-interacting, independent chunks? Is the world literally non-parallelizable in its most crucial aspects?

(see also PolygonPower (19 Jun 1999), GlobalWisdom (22 Jul 1999), TakeTime (27 Oct 1999), FabuloTech (15 May 2001), TripleThink (25 Jul 2002), ...)

TopicScience - TopicProgramming - 2003-03-23

(correlates: MysteryReligion, TakeTime, TimeToRead, ...)