Society

The Quantum Pontiff

Category archives for Society

CERN Physicist Arrested

A physicist at CERN has been arrested for suspicions of ties to Al Qaeda. Don’t worry I already checked www.hasthelhcdestoryedtheearth.com and www.hasthelargehadroncolliderdestroyedtheworldyet.com and both assured me that, so far, Al Qaeda has not managed to generate black holes that would consume the planet.

Nobel Peace Prize

Barack Obama has been awarded an honorary degree from Arizona State University the Nobel Prize in Peace for “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” I recommend a bag of popcorn, a big soda, and a nice recliner to watch the consternation and just plain craziness that will surely follow…

Apple Pie From Scratch

Via physicsandcake, on some days I wish I was as dorky and as elegant as Carl Sagan: Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our…

Netflix Prize Awarded

The Netflix prize for movie rankings has been awarded with the winner being BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos. This is very cool, but since it’s Monday I think we need a good dose of reality. So here is the first comment on the New York Times Bit blog: This sounds like an interesting project, but they ought…

Worldview Manager

Scott Aaronson, Leonid Grinberg, and Louis Wasserman’s “Worldview Manager” is now live at http://projects.csail.mit.edu/worldview/home. It seems that I am not in much conflict over quantum computing So, damnit, I may be wrong, but at least I’m consistent (the hobgoblin of a little mind, mind you.) Via @cgranade and @mattleifer.

In his latest New York Times op-ed column, David Brooks, the conservative liberals can most stomach, attempts to tackle the problem of “what makes a genius”. This is, of course, the kind of reasonable length topic that one can explain in a single newspaper column (it’s the New York Times, you now.) The article begins,…

Medicare Spatial Variation

Over at Healthy Algorithms, the healthy theoretical computer scientist, puts up a very interesting graph about spatial variation in Medicare expenditures in the last six months of life. Paper here. Interesting stuff, but am I the only one who gaffs when reading: “Previous studies have shown that regions with greater overall EOL spending do not…

Sunday Questions

Can quantum computers efficiently compute factorials? BaconCamp? Day Took Er Silicon Valley Jrbs? I wonder how I’d do on a RQ test?

Brains, Brains, Brains, Brains

Like many an arrogant kid before me, when I graduate from high school in my podunk hometown (no, it wasn’t marshy, and I say podunk with all the warm feelings of a idyllic childhood), I was filled with confidence that I was one of the smartest people I knew. Oh, I’d never say it, and…

Part three in my continuing pedantic slow-as-molasses walk through Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. List of posts here: introduction, ch 1, ch 2. SPOILER ALERT: Dude, I can’t talk about the book without giving away what the book is about, so if you don’t want the book’s main ideas to be spoiled,…