Thursday, October 28, 2010

U.S. Yawns At Chinese Supercomputer

China takes another step toward reclaiming the technological lead it lost centuries ago by unveiling the world's fastest supercomputer:

A newly built supercomputer in China appears poised to take the world performance lead, another sign of the country's growing technological prowess that is likely to set off alarms about U.S. competitiveness and national security.

America's dwindling scientific elite, represented by the Oak Ridge Lab expert quoted in the article, is reacting with appropriate concern.  The response from America's political class will tell the world whether our country is fit to remain a world power.  There wasn't any money for supercomputer development in the federal stimulus because the tech industry isn't unionized and doesn't contribute heavily to political campaigns. 

The rest of America simply couldn't care less.  The relative decline in American students' scientific aptitude is well-documented and even accelerating.  This will continue if reactionaries on school boards succeed in replacing evolution with "intelligent design" in textbooks.  The good news is that Uncle Sam put up this cute website to tell anyone in America who's still literate that someone in the government might know something about science and education. 

Americans can't be bothered to study for degrees in computer engineering when there's another reality TV show to watch.  Our leaders can't be bothered to help the industry because they reflect our changed national character.  The Soviet launch of Sputnik 1 shocked the U.S. into massively increasing funding for scientific education and research, which assured that the first human on the Moon would be an American.  We're just not the same country anymore.  At the rate things are going, the first human on Mars will probably not be an American

Nota bene:  Long FXI with covered calls.