Oftentimes I’ve been asked what the purpose of this blog is. As if everything in life must have a purpose:pfft, I say! But because an answer is required, what I usually answer is that the purpose of my blog is to slow down my fellow researchers. I mean sheesh, the people in quantum computing are the modern polyglots of science, speaking physics, computer science, and mathematics with ease. And they’re universally a brainy crowd. So what better purpose can this blog serve that to slow these readers down by offering them great opportunities to surf the intertubes and procrastinate.
Along those lines…
go ahead waste your day:
- Via An American Physics Student in England I’m led to Negative numbers foil lottery players. Apparently there was confusion over whether -8 was colder than -6 or not. Now for something more controversial: the lottery is a tax on those who are bad at math. I always found it ironic that lottery proceeds often go to education. Shouldn’t this arbitrage itself away?
- Here is an article on what worries the security officials at federal agencies. Turns out Patricia Titus, the Transportation Security Administration’s CISO, is worried about quantum computers. Now if only the TSA would spread some of those airline baggage screening dollars on quantum computing. I know, I know. A quantum computer which can find a terrorist in quadratically faster time!
- Alan Lightman has a new book out. Lightman is one of my favorite writers. And that’s not just because he is a professor of Physics with and adjunct position in the Humanities at MIT and was a Caltech graduate student (For those of you who do not know, I was an undergrad and postdoc at Caltech, and hold a B.S. in physics and a B.S. in literature from that crazy institution. Yes, those are what we call the “no job majors,” although the B.S. in literature somehow seems….apt.)
- Deregulation of the energy industry has led to higher energy prices than in states where the energy was not deregulated. The best part is where they discuss the in-favor-of-deregulation version of the report where they say that prices “rose only slightly higher” and then bury the actual data in a footnote. I teach my students that if they are going to fudge something in their homework, they should make the fudge at a page break in hopes that the grader, in turning the page will lose their train of thought. Surprisingly when I tell them this I always catch someone doing this and get to have a heyday in red ink saying “I taught you this trick! It doesn’t work on me!”