At the annual CMG International Conference in Las Vegas last week, Dr. Neil Gunther was the recipient of the prestigious A.A. Michelson Award; the industry's highest honor for computer performance analysis and capacity planning. As he said in his acceptance speech, it was the fulfillment of a dream he had entertained at his first CMG Conference in 1993.
His presentation (PDF 3.5 MB) was unusual in that, rather than reviewing his own accomplishments, he presented a personal view of the experimental physicist Albert A. Michelson (after whom the award is named), his famous null measurement of the luminiferous aether, and its significance for both physics and computer management today; particularly in the context of the search for the Higgs boson at the LHC. As a theoretical physicist, Gunther holds the view that the Higgs will probably not be observed, many false positives notwithstanding. Like the aether search, it may well end up as the next famous null experiment.
The 'M' in CMG stands for Measurement. The central theme of this presentation expresses Gunther's view that, like Michelson and Einstein, we need both measurement and models together, in order to truly understand what is going on; even if it's wrong. Without a model, how will you know when you're wrong?
The presentation was videotaped by TeamQuest Corporation and will be offered by them as a vidcast.
Update: My book publisher decided to put me on their front page.
Update: Linux Technical Review now has a piece in German.
Update: Serious vid describing possible violations of Lorentz invariance.