[Day 622] Is your life parallelism or just mere concurrency?

Today in our parallel computing class, we learned about two concepts that people often confuse for one another: parallelism and concurrency. Concurrency is when you deal with a lot of things at once, while parallelism is doing a lot of things at once.

For example, concurrency is when you switch between doing homework and chatting on Facebook with your friends. From your perspective, you’re making progress in both things and it feels like you’re achieving parallelism – doing both things at once. However, the reality is that you’re merely doing concurrency. You do one thing at the cost of not doing another.

Parallelism would be to have two copies of you, one doing homework and one chatting on Facebook at the exact same time. Which is, of course, not possible. And that’s why multitasking is just a myth.

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[Day 622] Is your life parallelism or just mere concurrency?

3 thoughts on “[Day 622] Is your life parallelism or just mere concurrency?

  1. Thanh Nm says:

    It depends on whether the resources are being shared among the activities.
    I can listen to music while running and that’s parallelism because the resources being used for hearing are independent from the ones for running. There is (almost) no bottle neck between the two activities. We could argue about the brain but I don’t wanna go into neural sciency stuff 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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