"The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion'casually, think about whether you want the politician spending your tax money.
"A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
presented his view on automated self-replication in his Scientific American article 'Self-Reproducing Machines'. He described a simple two dimensional model of this structure which could be activated, multiply, mutate and attack. Shortly after Penrose's article appeared, Frederick G. Stahl
reproduced this model in machine code on an IBM 650.
"A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
"A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
grunt ... Aickia! ... ahhh ... grunt
"A billion days ago no one walked on earth.
[ ... ]
"A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government spends it.
It used to be all the talk on Capital Hill, debate in the Senate & House, speeches from the White House and all the press coverage might roughly equal in words the dollars spent in the time it took to spend them.
Those days are truly gone forever. No amount of verbosity can match the pace of spending. It's not that "talk is getting cheaper" so much as it is those doing the talking are getting more to do it and working far less hours at it. The State of the Union Address seemed to me to be a miracle of brevity, an exceedingly concise summation that set a new standard in balancing the application of vagueness to issues requiring close scrutiny with keen lucidity targeted for issues that haven't a chance of resolution as witnessed by centuries of continuing conflicts. I can only paraphrase the President's statement about 'hindsight not being wisdom in light of the need for timely strategic decision-making' as a response to criticism of the present money-gulping war having been launched upon faulty intelligence.
Sorry, I'm possibly being somewhat
and in the wrong forum for it ...
btw... the self-replicating machine model is thought to have been the first introduction of computer malware
Edited by phawgg, 03 February 2006 - 03:14 PM.