[ExI] Life @ Playstation

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Sun Nov 4 11:21:46 UTC 2012

On 4 November 2012 04:07, Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:
> My very wild guess, PS3 is no longer significant for this kind of task.


It would appear that as of yesterday 172244 Windows CPUs deliver 179
Teraflops to the project, 16557 PS3s deliver 985 x86-equivalent
Teraflops, which makes for a couple of orders of magnitude greater
performance for PS3

Morever, the project appear to have still some 2000 PowerPC Macintosh
(!) contributing a couple of Teraflops, even though this client *is*
being phased out.

Even worse, the number of processors involved seems steadily
declining, to a point where in terms of aggregated flops, which at a
time were bordering on the 10 Petaflops, defections are not even
compensated by the increasing processor performance.

This is really disappointing for me, because I have grown quite fond
of the project and the idea behind it, have established a
TranshumanistFoldingTeam, no. 157440 and have become an evangelist for
transhumanists' support to Folding at Home; and the situation above risks
to become a vicious circle, making the initiative, the novelty of
which has expired for a long time, marginal and outfashioned, in spite
of Prof. Pande's delusional videos and presentations about "exaflops
in reach".

My wild guesses on what the reasons may be?
- failure to communicate: you cannot keep people motivated when the
only life sign is one or two rather obscure and/or autoreferential (as
in "Folding at Home simulates a millisecond folding") papers a year in
specialist journals, and you go on for months without updating your
- failure to deliver: the hype has always been not on fundamental
research, but on the development of Alzheimer- or Parkinson-related
drugs, which are of course far away;
- failure to counter the general paranoia about energy (see the
ridiculous stories about electronic devices standby...), where
possible contributors feel more righteous in, and expect to save some
money by, switching off their processors rather than paying the
equivalent of a coffee a week to contribute their processor cycles for
a better future, or at least for a better understanding of fundamental

Stefano Vaj

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list