The Quantum Pontiff

Poll: Why Are You In It?


  1. #1 Ian Durham
    April 23, 2009

    One problem: I have two reasons and was only allowed to choose one.

  2. #2 John Sidles
    April 23, 2009

    I will second Ian in asking for: (X) in service of other/external goal(s).

    The point is that math and science are (often) regarded as goals in themselves … certainly they are commonly taught that way. Engineers (in contrast) often explicitly embrace external goals; this tradition is much closer to my personal point of view regarding QIS/QIT.

    In my case, these external-to-QIS drivers are: (1) regenerative medical capability, (2) universal access to molecular-scale resources in biology and materials science that is (a) comprehensive and (b) free-as-in-freedom, and (3) the acceleration of global-scale enterprise in service of job creation.

  3. #3 Cesar Rodriguez
    April 23, 2009

    Obligatory Bad Quantum Joke:

    Problem – This poll has no way for me to input a superposition of answers.

  4. #4 matt
    April 24, 2009

    It is nice that “I like quantum theory” is doing well, as is the similar answer about “intellectual merit”. Both of these answers boil down to “I do it because I like it…and I am very lucky to have the opportunity to do something I like!”

  5. #5 John Sidles
    April 24, 2009

    Matt, I agree definitely 100% with your statement “It is nice that … I do it because I like it…and I am very lucky to have the opportunity to do something I like!”

    And yet, I would also agree 100% with the contrasting view “It is unfortunate that few QIS researchers are asking ‘Why am I lucky to have the opportunity to do something I like, when so many others are unlucky?'”

    There was a time when many information theorists asked (and answered) that class of question … Norbert Wiener’s 1950 treatise The Human Use of Human Beings is an example that is still readable today, fifty-nine years after it was written.

    It seems odd (to me) that prepending the word “quantum” to “information science” could ever be regarded as restricting the scope of information science.

    The situation (to me) seems more like prepending the word “algebraic” to “geometry” … the historical result was an immensely expanded scope for both algebra *and* geometry.

  6. #6 Pieter Kok
    April 24, 2009

    Cesar: five lashes with the bull whip!

  7. #7 rob
    April 24, 2009

    Cesar and Pieter: whippin’s too good for him! stick him in a box with a cat!

  8. #8 Anon
    April 29, 2009

    Since QIS doesn’t work as a career, the last option.

  9. #9 Dave Bacon
    April 29, 2009

    anon: ouch, but sadly….

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