Complexity in One Computer

Joe Armstrong, of erlang fame, presented _The Mess We're In_ at Strange Loop 2014. Thirteen minutes in he begins some computation to compare the complexity in a single laptop computer with some astronomically large numbers from physics "because [he] used to be a physicist": youtube 13:03

Joe Armstrong, complexity calculations from _The Mess We're In_ at Strange Loop 2014. source

This is combinatorial explosion.

Log scale image of growth rates that exceed linear. source
Copyright 2018 Eric Dobbs. Licensed CC BY-SA 4.0

Armstrong goes on in his talk to discuss fault tolerance, distributed systems, and concurrency, as one might expect from one of the co-creators of erlang. See history of erlang at wikipedia

For our story, we'll let Peter Alvaro pick up the chapter about distributed systems.