Looks like China is going to vault past the US in terms of supercomputing.

The Wired article linked above concludes with this:

But the country also needs basic research to develop the networking and software tools that will power these systems.

That isn’t happening fast enough, says Dongarra. “The country’s paralyzed in terms of spending money,” he says. “Right now, we can’t get our act together in terms of the exascale plan.”

“…paralyzed in terms of spending money…” Uh, not really. The US government budget is trillions of dollars. (China, by way of comparison, has a budget of about $2T) There is no lack of spending. Dongarra – a computer scientist – has a lot to gain by lobbying for and receiving supercomputing funds.

I’m not suggesting that we should or shouldn’t spend money on supercomputing. I’m just saying that the US government spends a lot of money. It has to pick and choose what it spends on (supercomputing, food stamps, Obamacare, etc.). There are always tradeoffs. Dongarra isn’t getting a fatty paycheck from the government (actually, he is, on account of that he’s employed by a state university), so he whines. Boo hoo. I have no sympathy for this guy.

-JD Cross