The recently publicized matter of security issues with modern computer CPU design is very interesting from a Thomist perspective, and in fact from the viewpoint of any serious Christian philosophical perspective. Now of course, existentially, the most important matter remains ‘is the Gospel true’; however, leaving that aside for the time being consider instead: if the Gospel is true, what are the implications? Surely one implication is that to assume one can accurately predict the future is to be heading for a fall and will have serious security risks.
Modern CPU design is deeply pipelined and in order to get the fastest performance out of this has also adopted speculative execution To quote from WhatIs.com, “Speculation (also known as speculative loading ), is a process implemented in Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing ( EPIC ) processors and their compilers to reduce processor-memory exchanging bottlenecks or latency by putting all the data into memory in advance of an actual load instruction.”
Inherent in this, I think, is an over confidence in our ability to predict the future which is dangerous and it is to be expected that security risks would arise. Further, given the nature of modern cloud IT structures, these security risks will have major financial implications.
Who would have thought that being an IT Manager would lead one back to Saint Thomas Aquinas?