The key quote of the article, "Seven of the world’s top 10 supercomputers use standard chips from A.M.D. and Intel, as do about 90 percent of the 500 fastest machines. “I think this says that supercomputing technology is affordable,” said Margaret Lewis, an A.M.D. director. “We are kind of getting away from this ivory tower.”
Often in political science and social science we talk about as the world globalizes more and more, more and more is democratized, that is more and more individuals are empowered over the group or organization. As incredible computing power is put into the hands of citizens with no formal training in the sciences we begin to see the ascension of citizen scientists.
As with all "democratizations," the authority and control over research by traditional scientists has been challenged. I don't this as a negative thing, being a fan of open sourcing and collaboration. Research is inherently a collaborative and social act.
But I wonder would all research produced by citizen scientists be benign? Research and security issues go hand in hand and with more people conducting research or having the ability to produce research, securing and controlling sensitive research becomes difficult.
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