What are your thoughts about these programs/projects? [email protected], [email protected], BOINC, etc.
Also general thread for discussing distributed computing I guess.
For anyone who doesn't even know what this is, The concept is essentially downloading a program that communicates with a server to do computing tasks for a larger network, Essentially becoming a part of a supercomputer, only split up among many computers in many locations instead of in a central location.
Intereste in distributed computing for biomedical research has spiked recently with the COVID-19 pandemic. Both [email protected] and [email protected] have projects dedicated to simulating the viral proteins in order to better understand them. [email protected] reportedly has surpassed the exaflop barrier, with the total system having more computing power than many of the top supercomputers combined.
I have some specific thoughts and questions to start out with. My thoughts on this is that it is a great idea, and have several computers running the software. I don't like to politicize everything, but it seems like a natural extension of a leftist philosophy to contribute to a larger collective computer that is capable of performing research that could benefit all of humanity. But I have heard a more cynical opinion here and there, that it is effectively giving away your own computing power to a organization who you shouldn't necessarily trust. That private companies could use the data to create drugs or treatments of t heir own and never acknowledge the effort put in by volunteer's computers that provided the research they needed, even if the data is public. I don't agree with this opinion and it seems to be a minority one anywhere the topic is brought up, but if there is any place to be critical of tech from a lefty perspective, it is here. I think this line of thought is more a criticism of how science is used, than the science or technology itself.
So what do you think. Good use of collective computing power to perform research, or a porky scam to get us to give up our machine's computing power to crunch numbers for them for free?
[email protected] and [email protected] are proprietary software so those are bad examples. Furthermore whatever findings these software find are given to US corporations and private businesses to make a profit. Who benefits from these profits? Not me or you (unless you own shares in these companies or are a CEO). So I am opposed to it and would rather see a GPL'd [email protected] or something.