Computer Locks and Threads

For this post, an area of threads is discussed. On January the first of 2015, Davidlohr Bueso released a paper called Scalability Techniques for Practical Synchronization Primitives dealing with locks. According to Bueso, locks are a method of concurrent execution of more than one thread. The importance of these locks is that they provide security and accuracy for the context of execution through excluding mutually. Furthermore, the efficiency and accuracy of locks are dependent on hardware architecture. Bueso continued by explaining that the Linux kernel utilizes pointers with locks, an attribute of the C programming language that others such as Java and Visual Basic do not contain. The reasons for this are that the computer is aware of when to stop spinning, and as a debugging tool it allows for deadlock detection. As Bueso mentioned, previous strategies as old as 1975 conceptualized lock ownership within databases. This is useful for deciding for or against reentrant locks that usually utilize a counter field. There are multiple lock paths including Fastpath, Midpath, and Slowpath. All of these can block, the aforementioned primitives require a sleeping context for safety. These locks can be a determining factor in performance. Along with the previously mentioned information, there is a resource cost of utilizing a certain lock that is determined by the size and latency. Essentially, structure size determines CPU cache and memory resource allocation. This becomes increasingly relevant as a structure is utilized with increasing frequency. Fairness is determined by the strictness of semantics. Bueso concluded by explaining the cost of not optimizing with having initiative as greatly important.

While reading this, I thought of the Biblical Scriptures. The Bible has much to say about fairness and the cost of not caring for the resources that our blessed Father in heaven has given us. The Bible says, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (NIV, Gen 2:15). The blessing of God is for man, male and female, to properly care for God’s creation. This can be interpreted as the bestowing of a responsibility and a privilege. This has helped me understand more about how computer hardware is directly affected by software. Particularly, strictness of semantics determines the prevention or allowing of resource starvation. In my personal experience, software applications starving other parts of a user experience from correct use can be burdensome, and efficiency of thread use may prevent that.

Bibliography

BUESO, D. (2015). Scalability Techniques for Practical Synchronization Primitives. Communications Of The ACM, 58(1), 66-74. doi:10.1145/2687882

 

Excessive Autonomy or Excessive Control in the Digital Age

While reading through Egypt’s national mobile phone ethics code, I noticed some aspects that I think are pernicious. Particularly, the rules number one and fifteen. From ITP.net, “1. The mobile phone technology is considered one of the greatest technologies that emerged in the last few years to serve humanity, so do not ever use it to annoy or tease others” (Sutton 2009) and “Don’t respond to text messages or calls you receive from unknown numbers or sources because most probably they aim to swindle on you” (Sutton 2009). The idea that something as subjective as annoyance could be put an ethics code is potentially paralyzing because the annoyed are not homogeneous. Further, the idea that someone probably has nefarious plans for another because they are calling from an unknown number is self-defeating because it encourages paranoia.

When utilizing a mobile device, I consider its purpose. Today, mobile devices such as smartphones, tablet, and laptops are designed for human requirements. I wonder what those requirements are at the meta level. Jean-Paul Sartre shared his thoughts. Sartre thinking was, “Lived narratives comprise a succession of events and the responses one makes to them, and they are the basis of our identities” (Gillett, 2009, pg. 337). I think that the framework or narrative of the mind of the Messiah should be the basis of a Christian identity.

As Paul said to the Corinthians, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (NIV, 2 Cor 10:5). I think that this is an argument for internal thoughts more than external confrontation because the mind is what Christ sought for humanity rather than our bodies. I think that people should care about why they are utilized so that ideas like Egypt’s aforementioned code, frankly, do not propagate. When seeking safety, people are sometimes willing to give up freedom because the deluge of discomforting information overwhelms. However, I think that excessive control is as unacceptable as Sartrean identities without a true moral standard as God is.

Bibliography

Gillett, G. (2009). Intention, autonomy, and brain events. Bioethics, 23(6), 330-339 10p. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8519.2009.01726.x. Pg. 337.

Sutton, M. (2009, October 31). Egypt introduces mobile phone ethics code – – ITP.net. Retrieved March 30, 2016, from http://www.itp.net/578306-egypt-introduces-mobile-phone-ethics-code/?tab=article