Beowulf Cluster Runs for President!
Fake News written by on Wednesday, March 29, 2000
CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS -- At a press conference held at MIT today, two unidentified hackers unveiled the world's most powerful Beowulf cluster -- and startled the audience by announcing that the system, named THOR, is running for US President under the GNU Party platform.
Said one of the hackers, "We all know that a large Beowulf cluster is extremely powerful. I would go as far as saying that our 16384-node cluster is more capable than any candidate out there. Note to mention that our computer is unable to tell lies or accept bribes. Our cluster is the best man... er, machine for the job. As the nominee for the GNU Party, THOR supports a Bazaar-style economy, no Internet taxation, strong anti-trust laws, copyright law reform, and an elimination of oppressive anti-geek laws."
Reaction to the news has been mixed. One enthusiastic MIT CompSci professor said, "Al Gore has already failed the Turing Test. Many people have mistaken his monotone voice and bland, formal speeches for computer generated output. If this GNU Party cluster can pass the Turing Test (which I'm sure it will), then Al Gore won't stand a chance against it. I'm not sure about Dubya; it's hard for a computer to fake stupidity like that."
However, quite a few have been quick to point out problems. One Slashdot poster commented, "A 16000-node Beowulf cluster in charge of a nation sounds cool, but couldn't this turn into another HAL?" Somebody else asked, "Why do I get the sinking feeling that this is somehow unconstitutional?" One Anonymous Coward posted, "How on earth are you going to fit a 16384-node Beowulf cluster into the Oval Office? MEEPT!"
People outside of technical fields seem rather skeptical about the whole idea. Said one member of the Moral Majority(tm)®(C), "Why would anybody elect a machine to an office that requires moral integrity and human judgment? This is yet another attempt by radical liberals on the Left Coast to destroy our Conservative ideals! Vote for Bush and true American values!"