Sunday, February 12, 2006

How stable is the world economy?

I know of at least 2 events that will, if and when they occur, have a dramatic impact on the world economy - which would probably make Sep 11 pale in comparison.

1. Peak Oil: I had thought this was not going to happen for a few decades now, until I watched British Petroleum's Chief Executive suggest on BBC that it would happen by the year 2020.

2. Prime factorization: This, unlike peak oil, could happen any time. All it takes is for someone to come up with an algorithm in P to decompose any number into its prime factors.

Given the drastic effect a prime factorization algorithm would have on the US economy, I wonder if anyone who cracks the problem will be designated a "Math Terrorist". Wouldn't that be cool? :)

2 Value-adds:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prime factorization:

Dont worry R is already working on it.

-Prabhu

February 13, 2006 12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anupadmaja said...

For 2, we either need to find an algorithm in P for use in today's computers or build a quantum computer: http://xxx.lanl.gov/PS_cache/quant-ph/pdf/9508/9508027.pdf

The day that happens would be an interesting day to live. It would mark the day when other currently untouchable problems suddenly become solvable quite naturally/as a side effect. And what possibilities that would open :)

So R, jump out of the couch and get to work!

February 13, 2006 5:11 AM  

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