Introducing SCS Speaker Mark Burgess
What I like about Mark Burgess is his ability to look at practical IT problems and identify deep rooted theoretical challenges. These issues quickly leave technology behind and amount to sociological and even philosophical dimensions. After all, the purpose of computing is not numbers but insight and Mark is only too aware of it.
Take the scaling of trust for example. Modularity is our credo and we apply the divide and conquer methodology for problem solving when ever we write code. Yet Mark argues this has unexpected consequences. We have written the modules and we trust their functionality. But how will the large scale system behave if we put all the modules together? Can we anticipate any unexpected behaviour and can we really trust the behemoth of millions of lines of code executed on a tiny IoT sensor?
You probably know the saying: “If you have a single clock, you know what time it is. But take two clocks and you are no longer sure”. And the same is true for sensors. A single sensor may return true and false, the basic building blocks of our logic. But scale the number of sensors into a cloud of sensors and you get uncertainty. This forces you to apply aggregation of information to shape the data into knowledge and this results in a complexity that we can not easily escape: Scaling true and false is hard and very often we lost the trust in the data along the way.
This problems strikes at the heart of the modern IT world. It is therefore a big joy to welcome Mark Burgess as a speaker for Swiss Cyber Storm 2018. We need people like him to show us the way in this vast and complex world that we are building.
Mark is a professor emeritus from the University of Oslo in Norway. He is most famous for his work on Promise Theory and CFEngine. CFEngine is the parent of Puppet, Ansible, Chef and all the other tools we use to deploy our modern systems. He is the author of many books and very interesting essays. I have quite a few Mark Burgess quotes that I attach as signature to my emails from time to time. Mark is also a very good speaker so I really appreciate him hearing our call (I admit, the call was rather loud and repeated over time).
Please join us and secure your ticket for Swiss Cyber Storm.