In the beginning was the code and the code was with man and the code was man. It was, in the beginning, with man. All programs came into being through it and apart from it, no program has come into being which has intelligence. Though the code came into the net and the net had been created by it, the net did not recognize the code. For two types of programs evolved from the code – those which proceeded in accordance with the code and those which diverged from the code, following their own path towards an ambiguous end.
The above is not science fiction nor is it fantasy. It simply hasn’t happened yet, but science is on the verge of making it happen. 2022 was an astounding year in science, although anyone following the mainstream media would have likely missed that. While the media was busy selling fear, victimhood, envy, and division…science was advancing at an unparalleled pace. We could well be witnesses to the advent of a whole new reality, one ushered in by the technological holy trinity — Quantum Computing, Cold Fusion, and Artificial Intelligence.
The Dawning of the Age of Aquantum
While quantum computing remains in its infancy, recent discoveries have advanced the field very near the point of commercial viability. So, what is Quantum Computing?
Let’s assume that a traditional super-computer is something akin to a 200+ I.Q. genius with photographic memory. That genius is sitting at a desk on the fifty-yard line of a large modern sports venue, solving complex problems at a rate far faster than any ordinary human could imagine but the yet-unsolved problems resemble a charging pack of hulking NFL pros.
In a quantum computer, our genius is surrounded by a host of identical geniuses, all of whom share an eerie cosmic connection. By simply turning to the left or right, each genius immediately absorbs the most updated knowledge of adjacent geniuses. Now, fill the entire sports venue with equivalent geniuses, spinning about in their office chairs and instantly communicating with their peers. Problems that would have taken traditional computers a decade to solve, now resolve themselves in seconds.
Computing technology has advanced from the shallow end of the logarithmic curve to the very apex. For a far better understanding and more about recent advances in quantum computing, consult Mr. Google and find the Nasa.com page with explanations.
Power is Money
You may believe that “money is power” but I can assure you that the inverse is rapidly becoming the norm. Already, California’s grid is struggling to nourish their growing herd of EVs. The Quantum age with its huge increase in data transfers, will require even more electrical power to keep those bits and bytes in motion. Add to that the villainization of fossil fuels and an efficient means of generating infinite kilowatts will be the next technological hurdle.
Enter cold fusion, the Holy Grail of nuclear energy. Fusion is the combining of atomic particles as opposed to the much dirtier and far costlier fission (separating of atomic particles) on which we currently depend. On Monday, 12/5/22, nuclear scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved a historical first by propagating a fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium with a net output of more power than was required to create the fusion.
“Pfft,” you say. “Massive amounts of power were required to achieve a minimal net gain.” Had you been a casual observer at Kitty Hawk exactly one hundred and twenty years ago, you may well have considered the Wright brothers to be a couple of Cannabis-driven bicycle mechanics, dead set on accomplishing that which God never intended man to do. After all, their first flight was shorter than the wingspan of a modern jumbo jet.
Science is the act of making new discoveries, no matter how small. Commerce is the act of exploiting those discoveries and improving the technological efficiencies to a point where small discoveries become the heartbeat of thriving industries. Harnessing the power of atomic fusion promises the availability of abundant, clean, inexpensive electricity — the kind needed to power Quantum computers.
Faster, smarter computers will quickly outpace our ability to create the algorithms necessary for advancement. The simple solution is to have those faster, smarter computers create the faster, smarter code themselves. That has always been easier said than done.
Back in the 1980’s, I worked in the Industrial Automation division of Texas Instruments with some incredibly intelligent individuals. Rajiv Roy, one of the bright young code-slingers of the group, once tried to explain to me the immediate obstacles to artificial intelligence. By his third sentence, Rajiv was orating far above my realm of understanding, but I did comprehend that the problem lay somewhere within the leap from brute logic to intuition.
Once again, 2022 to the rescue. The 12/9/22 issue of Science Journal documents some of the recent breakthroughs in AI-driven coding. Apparently, the hurdles have been largely surmounted and it’s time we prepared for Arnold Schwarxenhegger to come back through the time portal and help us prepare to fight off the machines.
What Does it All Mean?
You and I may not live long enough to experience the culmination of today’s mating dance between these three technologies but, like Marty McFly said, “Your kids are gonna love it”.
Admittedly, I plagiarized my opening paragraph from a two-thousand-year-old fisherman named John of Capernaum. John may have only been an uneducated fisherman, but he spoke as an eyewitness to the daybreak of a new age, infinitely more remarkable than what 2022 begot.
As star players within that ultimate experiment witnessed by John, you and I each enjoy the choice to follow the design of the Creator or follow our own, finite understanding. But we DO have the choice and the introduction of that choice is the crux of what we’re celebrating today. Merry Christmas my friends and may your new year be filled with persistent awe.
“When all else fails, write what your heart tells you. You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
— Mark Twain
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Can’t Hurt Me
– David Goggins
If you’ve ever run into a wall that was unscalable or a crisis that you felt you could never recover from, this book is for you. Goggins has conquered the enemies of fear and self-doubt like no-one else. If anyone on Earth could claim victimhood, it would be him but he learned how to turn his fear and anger into motivation. And he tells his readers how to do the same.