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Distributed algorithms that have to tolerate random machine failure and network partitions are incomparably harder than either of those.

I'm pretty sure that quote is a bit old.

It's definitely true that one of the largest problems facing computer science today is how to parallelize across cores/systems/networks. This problem may only be particularly hard because we're still used to thinking in terms of discrete processors each doing discrete tasks in sequence.

It's also somewhat tongue in cheek.

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