The Quantum Pontiff

Leveraging Existing Infrastructure

We’ve seen these demos before, but Johnny Lee’s TED talk still wows:

Not only does it seem that interfaces are undergoing some radical redesigning right now, but also methods to take existing “cheap” products and leverage them into something which would normally cost a lot more, seems to be catching on.


Just yesterday I saw a talk by Shwetak Patel from Georgia Tech which leverages things like existing power lines, plumbing, or HVAC systems to detect activities occurring in a house. What was nice about the work, in my mind, was the fact that it leveraged current infrastructure and thus wasn’t nearly as difficult to install. Soon, we might all have tricked out Bill Gates houses (okay maybe not so big and not so fancy and our homes probably won’t have security guards, BTW.)

On a tangential note, Lee’s push to make more researchers use video a mode of distribution is interesting. Somehow, however, I don’t think me giving a lecture on quantum computing would be downloaded over a million times if I posted it on YouTube!

Comments

  1. #1 Steve
    April 19, 2008

    “Somehow, however, I don’t think me giving a lecture on quantum computing would be downloaded over a million times if I posted it on YouTube!”

    Oh, I think you’re mistaken. It would get crazy hits. The question is: How many people would actually understand it? You’d have replies from Trekkies telling you that you weren’t doing it right because you didn’t have dilithium crystals, and Star Wars nuts telling you that you needed to use the Force, and any number of ‘Quantum Mystics’ providing you with the solution to all of your quantum problems that they channeled from Laeth the DyLarian, a 10M year old entity from the M62 galaxy.

    I think you should GO FOR IT!!!

  2. #2 Art
    April 19, 2008

    … “I don’t think me giving a lecture on quantum computing would be downloaded over a million times if I posted it on YouTube!”

    Perhaps, but given the possible longevity of things on the internet, essentially forever, the numbers might get higher than many would assume.

    A few years ago I posted a step-by-step guide for manually sharpening drill bits on a builders forum. Lots of people have shifted to using fancy machines but knowing how to do it with nothing but a grinder is a useful skill. But certainly not something everyone would want to know.

    I went back and looked up that post and it has been viewed roughly 25,000 times. Evidently so many times that the webmaster made it into a file in their download section. It has been downloaded something like 7000 times. In my book not too shabby for an esoteric trade skill in under two years. By my math that means that in just 286 years it might be downloaded a million times.

    I think you should go ahead and post your lecture. Who known when somebody in the future might gain an interest in quantum computing and find your lecture in a search. If we kill ourselves off who knows. Some alien may excavate the ancient files and there you are, in all your glory, possibly the sole remaining representative of a lost species doing your thing lecturing on a subject you care about.

    Sometimes you just have to dance, put it out there, and let others make what they will of it.