Saturday, June 06, 2009

Scientific Leadership

I am just cleaning out a post I prepared for last year but never got posted.

This graphic from the New York Times is of the top 100 Supercomputers installed across the world. It has been quite a long time since I have commented on U.S. technology leadership and the fear mongering that the world is passing us by. A ridiculous perspective that was fueled in part by Tom Friedman's erroneous best-selling propaganda pamphlet titled The World is Flat and reports of quadrillions of engineers and scientists graduating in China and India. This is something else we refuted with the Duke University study that showed such data to be a complete farce. And, with a McKinsey study that concluded most scientists and engineers from India and China weren't properly equipped or trained to compete in a global economy. Something some of my friends still heavily involved in the basic sciences confirm.

This has absolutely nothing to do with India or China or anyone else. But instead it is fear mongering by the mainstream press reminiscent of similar ridiculous notions so popular during the Cold War. The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! The power elite both in the U.S. and the Soviet Union benefited from this favorite game of the state. Did anyone in the mainstream media ever think to question the self-serving forces needed to establish and maintain an external enemy to promulgate substantial military spending?

Not only does the U.S. dominate the global economy with the largest number of supercomputers but most the of the installations across the globe are designed by American firms. And, those that aren't rely substantially on American developed technology. Supercomputing is a barometer of basic research and sciences across a substantially wide array of economic data points including nuclear energy development, various military applications, biosciences, manufacturing, product development, infrastructure development, the study of space, atmospheric research, transportation development, energy research and on and on.

The United States is far from dead. And, in fact as I have said repeatedly, it will lead the world out of this crisis. The only question is when.

Click on the graphic to be taken to the Times for a larger graphic.
posted by TimingLogic at 9:52 AM