[ExI] The NSA's new data center

David Lubkin lubkin at unreasonable.com
Tue Mar 27 19:56:48 UTC 2012

Eugen wrote:

 >> The centralist high-expert-power surveillance approach will always beat
 >> decentralist many-shallow-eyeballs sousveillance approach.
>It turns out that the algorithm families related to deep relationship
>analysis -- the kind of algorithms you use to invade privacy -- are
>very much in the former category. They only parallelize well under
>topological constraints so narrow that even having a giant data center
>is insufficient; you would need to deploy the data models on the
>cluster in carefully designed logical topologies in addition to a
>carefully designed physical topology.
>In this case, "winning" is biased toward whoever has both the biggest
>data centers and the best theoretical computer scientists.

Why do you see this as a sustainable advantage?

That is, won't we reach a point where the capabilities of this NSA
center are within the price range of reasonably sized coalitions of
private individuals? Yes, by then the government agencies would
have even more, but would it make a difference as a practical

There's only so much useful data about people and their interrelations.
It seems to me we move (big and central can analyze in ways
others can't) => (big and central can analyze it faster) => (being big
and central ceases to have an advantage).

-- David.

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list