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"Nature:" the Term "Quantum Supremacy" Is Too Cool for School
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One of the Current Year’s biggest problems is that male scientists down through history keep saying stuff — e.g., “I am become Death, destroyer of Worlds,” which sounds like something out of an Avengers‘ movie, or “Battle-Axe Culture” — that boys find awesome but girls find meh.

A recent example is the term “quantum supremacy.” Wikipedia reports:

In quantum computing, quantum supremacy is the goal of demonstrating that a programmable quantum device can solve a problem that classical computers practically cannot (irrespective of the usefulness of the problem). By comparison, the weaker quantum advantage is the demonstration that a quantum device can solve a problem merely faster than classical computers.

From Nature:

Quantum supremacy using a programmable superconducting processor
Frank Arute, Kunal Arya, […]John M. Martinis
Nature volume 574, pages 505–510 (2019)

Abstract
The promise of quantum computers is that certain computational tasks might be executed exponentially faster on a quantum processor than on a classical processor1. A fundamental challenge is to build a high-fidelity processor capable of running quantum algorithms in an exponentially large computational space. Here we report the use of a processor with programmable superconducting qubits2,3,4,5,6,7 to create quantum states on 53 qubits, corresponding to a computational state-space of dimension 253 (about 1016). Measurements from repeated experiments sample the resulting probability distribution, which we verify using classical simulations. Our Sycamore processor takes about 200 seconds to sample one instance of a quantum circuit a million times—our benchmarks currently indicate that the equivalent task for a state-of-the-art classical supercomputer would take approximately 10,000 years. This dramatic increase in speed compared to all known classical algorithms is an experimental realization of quantum supremacy for this specific computational task, heralding a much-anticipated computing paradigm.

Main
In the early 1980s, Richard Feynman proposed that a quantum computer would be an effective tool with which to solve problems in physics and chemistry, given that it is exponentially costly to simulate large quantum systems with classical computers …

Cool! Quantum supremacy, supercomputers, Feynman … these are all terms that tend to be galvanizing to very bright adolescent males. Not surprisingly, some of them are therefore attracted into careers in physics and computers, which is a Bad Thing, because our highest priority is shoving more females who would be happy in the Life Sciences into working in the Death Sciences.

Hence, also from Nature:

CORRESPONDENCE 10 DECEMBER 2019
Supremacy is for racists — use ‘quantum advantage’
Carmen Palacios-Berraquero, Leonie Mueck & Divya M. Persaud

We take issue with the use of ‘supremacy’ when referring to quantum computers that can out-calculate even the fastest supercomputers (F. Arute et al. Nature 574, 505–510; 2019). We consider it irresponsible to override the historical context of this descriptor, which risks sustaining divisions in race, gender and class. We call for the community to use ‘quantum advantage’ instead.

The community claims that quantum supremacy is a technical term with a specified meaning. However, any technical justification for this descriptor could get swamped as it enters the public arena after the intense media coverage of the past few months.

In our view, ‘supremacy’ has overtones of violence, neocolonialism and racism through its association with ‘white supremacy’. Inherently violent language has crept into other branches of science as well — in human and robotic spaceflight, for example, terms such as ‘conquest’, ‘colonization’ and ‘settlement’ evoke the terra nullius arguments of settler colonialism and must be contextualized against ongoing issues of neocolonialism. …

 
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  1. In our view, ‘supremacy’ has overtones of violence, neocolonialism and racism through its association with ‘white supremacy’. Inherently violent language has crept into other branches of science as well — in human and robotic spaceflight, for example, terms such as ‘conquest’, ‘colonization’ and ‘settlement’ evoke the terra nullius arguments of settler colonialism and must be contextualized against ongoing issues of neocolonialism. …

    Please, you are losing the plot here. What does this have to do with your hair?

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
  2. So long as it is somehow some kind of anonymously, absent-authority, assigned societal priority to force women into a field they clearly do not enjoy, why not exploit what women are known to enjoy? If the government were to contract with the people at Kink dot com, I am certain we would see improvement in mathematical aptitude, attentiveness in class, and papers punished, to say nothing of sign-up interest. It is even likely that applying the same methods in true Title IX style would result in a decline in male test-taking performance for the same time period, creating room for the new burgeoning female physicist generation.
    Published. An improvement in the number of papers published.

    • Replies: @Kronos
    How about “Fifty Shades of Quantum Entanglement?”
  3. I’m confused – where’s the reference to their hair?

  4. If Matt Damon is liquidated as a result of this (BOURNE SUPREMACY, also did a SNL hit on Brett Kavanaugh at the behest of GloboHomo for the crime of, as a teenager in the 80’s, once acting 1/100 as Afflecky as Ben Affleck), I’m agreeable to calling it good.

    • Replies: @Hhsiii
    He was pretty damn good as Kavanaugh, though. I betcha he knew a guy named Squee.

    Not like Baldwin, who while he has done some good SNL skits (canteen boy, Schweddy Balls), sucks at Trump. Poor Darrell Hammond.
  5. Feynman is rolling in his grave. Divya has a degree in Geology.

    Carmen Palacios-Berraquero

    Leonie Mueck

    Divya M. Persaud

    • Replies: @International Jew
    What do you call "gaydar", when the issue is lesbianism? I'm registering high readings on these three...
    , @PiltdownMan
    Somehow, I don't think they'd like quantum dominance, quantum preeminence, quantum primacy, quantum superiority, quantum ascendancy, or quantum dominion either.
    , @Altai
    Feynman would probably be a 'fake feminist' and try to sleep with them if he was born in the 80s/90s. (Or, given his predilection for pederasty, the 40s/50s/60s/70s)
  6. They succeeded in abolishing “master-slave” from computer science. So I guess this is next.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    How about from the auto mechanics world, I.J.? Have there been not enough women to ever crawl under greasy cars to replace clutch slave cylinders or even do brake jobs for this master/slave terminology to come to the forefront? Auto mechanics are getting away with murder!

    For more on some other technical terms that the woke set have not even gotten to yet, see "The Plantation Mentality and Misogyny of the Engineers and Technicians".

    , @Hypnotoad666
    Electricity is extremely heteronormative:

    In electrical and mechanical trades and manufacturing, each half of a pair of mating connectors or fasteners is conventionally assigned the designation male or female. The "female" connector is generally a receptacle that receives and holds the "male" connector. . . . The assignment is a direct analogy with genitalia and sexual intercourse; the part bearing one or more protrusions or which fits inside the other being designated male, in contrast to the part containing the corresponding indentations, or fitting outside the other, being designated female. Extension of the analogy results in the verb to mate being used to describe the process of connecting two corresponding parts together.

    In some cases (notably electrical power connectors), the gender of connectors is selected according to rigid rules, to enforce a sense of one-way directionality (e.g. a flow of power from one device to another). This gender distinction is implemented to enhance safety or ensure proper functionality by preventing unsafe or non-functional configurations from being set up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_of_connectors_and_fasteners
     
  7. @Jim Don Bob
    Feynman is rolling in his grave. Divya has a degree in Geology.

    Carmen Palacios-Berraquero
    https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/1012699421530701825/pg9cAN1R_400x400.jpg

    Leonie Mueck
    https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/co-directory-images/leonie-mueck-488a68100.jpg

    Divya M. Persaud
    https://divyampersaud.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/hn_2019_4-1.jpg

    What do you call “gaydar”, when the issue is lesbianism? I’m registering high readings on these three…

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
    • Replies: @Hhsiii
    Telespathy
  8. Today: “Supremacy” is racist. Use “advantage!”

    Next week: Stormfront brands itself as the world’s premier destination for “white advantage” advocacy.

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
  9. Measurements from repeated experiments sample the resulting probability distribution, which we verify using classical simulations. Our Sycamore processor takes about 200 seconds to sample one instance of a quantum circuit a million times—our benchmarks currently indicate that the equivalent task for a state-of-the-art classical supercomputer would take approximately 10,000 years.

    So, you used a quantum system to “simulate” a quantum system, and that’s supposed to be some kind of breakthrough? This is like saying that you threw a bouncy ball against the wall 100 times and the results accorded better with actual cases of ball bouncing than did the readouts from your ball bouncing software.

    • Replies: @Lot
    That was my reaction too, but lacked your nice analogy.

    If you read the article, they make a slightly convincing defense.

    We already have a generally agreed test for supercomputers: factoring giant numbers.

    I have a feeling quantum computing is never going to have a practical use.
    , @Anon
    Simulating large quantum many-body systems on a classical computer is (often forbiddingly) expensive computationally. The main intended application of hypothetical future quantum computers, is to do such simulations more effectively. That's basically the point of the entire field. If successful, it should have a huge impact in nuclear physics, solid state physics, chemistry, materials, etc.
    , @El Dato
    Of course not.

    Here a classical computer is used to simulate a quantum computer.

    Take a N=5 quantum bit system.

    The former is a digital, symbol-processing machine and uses IEEE 754 floating points and lots of memory to represent 2^5 = 32 state vectors (i.e. complex numbers), one for each of the 00000 ... 11111. The evolution of that system is computed using integration of differential equations, which takes a lot of time & heat & shifting around of charges and you soon run out of resources as N becomes large.

    The latter is basically the quantum equivalent of an analog computer and uses physics directly: it IS system with a superposition of the possible 00000 ... 11111 and it just evolves as Nature intends in a way that's not from Newton's world. Very smooth.

    Anyway, as posted earlier:

    John Preskill, 2019-10: Why I Called It ‘Quantum Supremacy’

    The words “quantum supremacy” — if not the concept — proved to be controversial for two reasons. One is that supremacy, through its association with white supremacy, evokes a repugnant political stance. The other reason is that the word exacerbates the already overhyped reporting on the status of quantum technology. I anticipated the second objection, but failed to foresee the first. In any case, the term caught on, and it has been embraced with particular zeal by the Google AI Quantum team.

    I considered but rejected several other possibilities, deciding that quantum supremacy best captured the point I wanted to convey. One alternative is “quantum advantage,” which is also now widely used. But to me, “advantage” lacks the punch of “supremacy.” In a race, a horse has an advantage if it wins by a nose. In contrast, the speed of a quantum computer vastly exceeds that of classical computers, for certain tasks. At least, that’s true in principle.
     
    I also recommend Scott Aaronson's excellent intro into this matter (or you can check his lecture notes with the same title):

    https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Computing-since-Democritus-Aaronson/dp/0521199565

    P.S.

    I find that there are only a few co-signatories to the Carmen-Divya-Leonie letter, which you can find through the Nature link. Exactly 13.
  10. Quantum privilege, surely.

    • Agree: Stogumber
    • Replies: @Percy Gryce
    Damn, beat me to it.
  11. • Replies: @Jack D
    I think the problems at Boeing have more to do with green than brown.
  12. Have the Supremes seen about this yet?

    • Replies: @fish

    "The Advantages"……
     
    The right musical group for a time of great mediocrity!
  13. In our view, ‘supremacy’ has overtones of violence, neocolonialism …

    But not plain old colonialism, thank goodness.

    • LOL: bomag
  14. Henceforth, the Supremes will be know as Diana Ross and the Advantages, and the Supreme Court will be the Advantaged Court.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    And the KKK will henceforth be known as a white advantagist organization.
  15. Anyone who uses phrases like “terra nullius arguments” just HAS to be good in the sack!

  16. @J.Ross
    BOEING CRIES CHACHA

    https://nypost.com/2019/12/16/boeing-will-stop-737-production-in-january/

    What can brown do for you?

    I think the problems at Boeing have more to do with green than brown.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    I think "brown" refers to this aspect of the Boeing 737 Max scandal.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-28/boeing-s-737-max-software-outsourced-to-9-an-hour-engineers

  17. @Jim Don Bob
    Feynman is rolling in his grave. Divya has a degree in Geology.

    Carmen Palacios-Berraquero
    https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/1012699421530701825/pg9cAN1R_400x400.jpg

    Leonie Mueck
    https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/co-directory-images/leonie-mueck-488a68100.jpg

    Divya M. Persaud
    https://divyampersaud.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/hn_2019_4-1.jpg

    Somehow, I don’t think they’d like quantum dominance, quantum preeminence, quantum primacy, quantum superiority, quantum ascendancy, or quantum dominion either.

  18. @International Jew
    They succeeded in abolishing "master-slave" from computer science. So I guess this is next.

    How about from the auto mechanics world, I.J.? Have there been not enough women to ever crawl under greasy cars to replace clutch slave cylinders or even do brake jobs for this master/slave terminology to come to the forefront? Auto mechanics are getting away with murder!

    For more on some other technical terms that the woke set have not even gotten to yet, see “The Plantation Mentality and Misogyny of the Engineers and Technicians”.

  19. @Jack D
    I think the problems at Boeing have more to do with green than brown.

    I think “brown” refers to this aspect of the Boeing 737 Max scandal.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-28/boeing-s-737-max-software-outsourced-to-9-an-hour-engineers

    • Replies: @Jack D
    This is a red herring:

    Boeing said the company did not rely on engineers from HCL and Cyient for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System,
     
    Yes they outsourced but not on the system that failed.
    , @Just passing through
    That was just sensationalism, I've heard reports that they didn't actuallt outsource to India but suppose they did, what the procedure would be is that some senior engineer would ask the "blue-collared" coders to desing code with certain specs, the Indians would then code it and it would be sent to Boeing in America for testing. Ultimately who-ever laid out the specs of the code is to blame and not the coders themselves, who just code whatever they are told to code.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/boeing_two_deadly_crashes

    This is a fairly good article explainign things, what I gleamed from it is that Boeing were scared of Airbus having a competitive advantage due to a more efficient engine and so they haphazardly attached the new efficient engine to the new Boeing, this had uninteded consequences for the flight controls during takeoff and so they had to build a new software to remedy these issues, it seems they knew that this software could result in the nose going down without pilot input but they only started telling pilots this AFTER the first plane crashed, it is also suspected that the second crash could have been avoided ha the pilots heeded these warnings, but it is thought that not enough effort went into informing all pilots of the seriousness of this software problem.
    , @Anonymous
    Would you buy a car from a company where most of the engineers and almost all of the plant workers did not drive? I bet engineers who flew themselves would not have put out something like the 737 Max.
  20. We take issue with the use of ‘supremacy’ when referring to quantum computers that can out-calculate even the fastest supercomputers.

    No, what these 3 women really take issue with is that the article was too hard for them to understand. However, they wanted to get a letter in to the journal as something that looks good on their vitas, and getting any real article published was out of the question.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational

    what these 3 women really take issue with is that the article was too hard for them to understand.
     
    Having dealt with this s**t too much and being out of "Agrees" for this 8 hours, I have to post this comment saying that You're Not Wrong!
  21. @Intelligent Dasein

    Measurements from repeated experiments sample the resulting probability distribution, which we verify using classical simulations. Our Sycamore processor takes about 200 seconds to sample one instance of a quantum circuit a million times—our benchmarks currently indicate that the equivalent task for a state-of-the-art classical supercomputer would take approximately 10,000 years.
     
    So, you used a quantum system to "simulate" a quantum system, and that's supposed to be some kind of breakthrough? This is like saying that you threw a bouncy ball against the wall 100 times and the results accorded better with actual cases of ball bouncing than did the readouts from your ball bouncing software.

    That was my reaction too, but lacked your nice analogy.

    If you read the article, they make a slightly convincing defense.

    We already have a generally agreed test for supercomputers: factoring giant numbers.

    I have a feeling quantum computing is never going to have a practical use.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    Cryptography.
  22. @Morton's toes
    Have the Supremes seen about this yet?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PycKSdKG_74

    “The Advantages”……

    The right musical group for a time of great mediocrity!

  23. Anon[204] • Disclaimer says:

    It hasn’t been my impression that supreme/supremacy is primarily associated with colonialism or white supremacy. It’s just a word, “highest in rank, authority, degree, or quality,” “supreme authority or power.” Does anyone have access to the Oxford English Dictionary and its citations to do a check on usage contexts?

    At any rate, it’s just a three paragraph letter to the editor, not a peer-reviewed journal article. If we didn’t already know that Nature is woke, it wouldn’t be clear whether the letter wasn’t printed as a wink-wink joke by the editors, holding the letter writers up to ridicule.

  24. The Quantum Supremacy sounds like a Robert Ludlum / James Bond mashup.

    Sean Carroll – Preposterous Universe
    https://www.preposterousuniverse.com
    Sean Carroll. I’m a theoretical physicist, specializing in quantum mechanics, gravitation, cosmology, statistical mechanics, and foundations of physics, with …

    https://www.wired.com/story/sean-carroll-thinks-we-all-exist-on-multiple-worlds/

    Carroll objects to the mainstream approach to quantum mechanics that’s known formally as the Copenhagen interpretation, and informally as “shut up and calculate.” Instead, he favors a five-decade-old idea known as Many Worlds, first proposed by physicist Hugh Everett. It describes the universe as a changing set of numbers, known as the wave function, that evolves according to a single equation. According to Many Worlds, the universe continually splits into new branches, to produce multiple versions of ourselves. Carroll thinks that, so far, Many Worlds is the simplest possible explanation of quantum mechanics. […]
    What is reality?

    Carroll: The best answer we can give is that reality is a vector in Hilbert space. This is the technical way of saying that reality is described by a single quantum mechanical wave function. […]

    So, let’s talk about Many Worlds. What is it?

    Quantum mechanics says that an electron can be in a superposition of all possible locations. There’s no such thing as the position of an electron. But when you observe the electron, you see it in one location. This is the fundamental mystery of quantum mechanics. Its description when no one is looking is different from what you see.

    Many Worlds says, why don’t we just treat you, the observer, as your own quantum mechanical system? You’re made of quantum mechanical particles also. So what happens when you, the observer, looks for the electron? The electron starts in a superposition of many possible locations. When you look, you evolve into a combined system of you and the electron in a superposition. The superposition consists of the electron being here and you seeing it here, plus the electron being there and you seeing it there, and so on. Hugh Everett’s brilliant move was to say that the different parts of the superposition really exist. It’s just that they’re in separate, non-interacting worlds.

    Say you flip a coin. Heads, you get a million dollars—tails, you die. Many Worlds says that once you flip the coin, both worlds are in existence?

    The worlds branch when you make a quantum measurement, not flip a coin. But to the spirit of your question, yes. When a macroscopic observer becomes entangled with a microscopic quantum system in a superposition, the world branches.

    So because the universe branches, there are different versions of me and you, some of which may be dead. Does this bother you …Really, none of this bothers you?

    Look, we know our observable universe looks the same, on average, many billions of light-years away from here. There’s a cutoff to how far we can see, so it could be infinitely big. If the universe is infinitely big, and it looks the same everywhere, that guarantees that infinite copies of something exactly like you exist out there. […]

    Where are the worlds?

    There’s no such thing as where they are. Certain things don’t have locations. Where is our universe? The universe is not the kind of thing that has a location. Where is brotherhood located? Where is the number five located? The worlds just exist simultaneously as our own.

    In your book you write about how Everett’s PhD adviser watered down his ideas about Many Worlds because they seemed directly at odds with mainstream physics. Have you ever felt ostracized or censored by the rest of the physics community?

    “Ostracized,” “censored”—those are not the right words. Ignored, certainly. I’ve been told, “When you apply for grants, don’t mention you work on the foundations of quantum mechanics.” It’s not seen as serious physics. It’s not something government agencies want to give you money to do.

    […]

    What year was the Jeffrey Epstein invite?

    I don’t remember; it was probably ‘08 or ‘09, if I’m guessing. It was certainly after I moved to Caltech, which was in 2006.

    How come you declined?

    There was a bunch of reasons. The person who arranged for me to be invited was Al Seckel, who was just another sort of disreputable person. The whole thing seemed disreputable from start to finish, so I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. Life is too short. I have other things to do.

    But there is a world in which Carroll took that invite.

    • LOL: bomag
  25. @International Jew
    They succeeded in abolishing "master-slave" from computer science. So I guess this is next.

    Electricity is extremely heteronormative:

    In electrical and mechanical trades and manufacturing, each half of a pair of mating connectors or fasteners is conventionally assigned the designation male or female. The “female” connector is generally a receptacle that receives and holds the “male” connector. . . . The assignment is a direct analogy with genitalia and sexual intercourse; the part bearing one or more protrusions or which fits inside the other being designated male, in contrast to the part containing the corresponding indentations, or fitting outside the other, being designated female. Extension of the analogy results in the verb to mate being used to describe the process of connecting two corresponding parts together.

    In some cases (notably electrical power connectors), the gender of connectors is selected according to rigid rules, to enforce a sense of one-way directionality (e.g. a flow of power from one device to another). This gender distinction is implemented to enhance safety or ensure proper functionality by preventing unsafe or non-functional configurations from being set up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_of_connectors_and_fasteners

    • LOL: bomag
    • Replies: @donvonburg
    There are genderless connectors and hemaphrodite connectors, two different things.

    An example of a hemaphrodite connector is one with a symmetrical male and female side so they can be flipped around as needed and any connector mates to any other connector of the same specification. You lose polarity that way, so they would be used only where polarity does not matter.

    Genderless connectors like the Planar Crown connector used on RF test equipment preserve polarity, but are not suited to applications where high energy is involved, and are generally found only on equipment designed to be used by trained professionals.

    Planar Crown is a series of Blind mate electrical RF connectors manufactured by API Weinchel. It is fitted for example to the RF input connector of the Tektronix Real Time Spectrum Analyzer RTSA-5000 series. An adapter is required to connect the more common N-type or 3.5 mm connectors. Another application example is the 26.5 GHz Channel 2 input on the Agilent/Keysight model 53152A Microwave Frequency counter.
     
    Often systems use gendered connectors but ignore signal or power flow. In my industry the 1/4" "phone plug" is used in female form on both signal generating (electric guitars, drum machines, keyboards) and signal receiving (guitar amps, stomp boxes) equipment. The cable has a male on either end.

    Worse, thanks to one of Leo Fender's not quite so good decisions, the 1/4" 'phone plug' is used both to connect the signal source to the signal receiver and the power amp output ( which in the case of large high output amplifiers such as are common for bass players, can be at dangerous voltage and current levels) to the speaker cabinets. However, you generally must not use a "guitar cable" to connect an amp head to a speaker nor a "output cable" to connect the guitar to the amp. (If you use an output cable on the guitar side it's just very noisy, since there is no shielding: the other way around can arc over the cable or cause it to get very hot. Overdriven guitar amps driving voice coil speakers produce high voltage spikes way over what most people would believe until they look at it with a scope with a differential input front end.)

    Leo wasn't the first to make a guitar amp, but he was the first to make a dedicated guitar amp as a separate head and a matching speaker cabinet. He should have thought of something different but now it's too late.

    Similarly to Henry Ford, but to a lesser extent, Leo was a guy with some really good ideas and a few that have really not stood the test of time quite so well. No Telecaster came from the factory wired so that you could use both pickups at the same time until Leo was gone from the Fullerton plant: for over ten years everyone had theirs rewired as soon as they got it.
  26. @Achmed E. Newman

    We take issue with the use of ‘supremacy’ when referring to quantum computers that can out-calculate even the fastest supercomputers.
     
    No, what these 3 women really take issue with is that the article was too hard for them to understand. However, they wanted to get a letter in to the journal as something that looks good on their vitas, and getting any real article published was out of the question.

    what these 3 women really take issue with is that the article was too hard for them to understand.

    Having dealt with this s**t too much and being out of “Agrees” for this 8 hours, I have to post this comment saying that You’re Not Wrong!

  27. Anon[101] • Disclaimer says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Measurements from repeated experiments sample the resulting probability distribution, which we verify using classical simulations. Our Sycamore processor takes about 200 seconds to sample one instance of a quantum circuit a million times—our benchmarks currently indicate that the equivalent task for a state-of-the-art classical supercomputer would take approximately 10,000 years.
     
    So, you used a quantum system to "simulate" a quantum system, and that's supposed to be some kind of breakthrough? This is like saying that you threw a bouncy ball against the wall 100 times and the results accorded better with actual cases of ball bouncing than did the readouts from your ball bouncing software.

    Simulating large quantum many-body systems on a classical computer is (often forbiddingly) expensive computationally. The main intended application of hypothetical future quantum computers, is to do such simulations more effectively. That’s basically the point of the entire field. If successful, it should have a huge impact in nuclear physics, solid state physics, chemistry, materials, etc.

  28. @PiltdownMan
    I think "brown" refers to this aspect of the Boeing 737 Max scandal.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-28/boeing-s-737-max-software-outsourced-to-9-an-hour-engineers

    This is a red herring:

    Boeing said the company did not rely on engineers from HCL and Cyient for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System,

    Yes they outsourced but not on the system that failed.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational

    Yes they outsourced but not on the system that failed.
     
    Or maybe they did, but not to HCL or Cyient.

    Regardless, they failed to put painfully obvious cross-checks into the code, such that an erroneous reading from a single non-redundant sensor could and did crash the aircraft.  That's engineering malpractice many times worse than a mere failed footbridge at FIU.
  29. @Abe
    If Matt Damon is liquidated as a result of this (BOURNE SUPREMACY, also did a SNL hit on Brett Kavanaugh at the behest of GloboHomo for the crime of, as a teenager in the 80’s, once acting 1/100 as Afflecky as Ben Affleck), I’m agreeable to calling it good.

    He was pretty damn good as Kavanaugh, though. I betcha he knew a guy named Squee.

    Not like Baldwin, who while he has done some good SNL skits (canteen boy, Schweddy Balls), sucks at Trump. Poor Darrell Hammond.

  30. @International Jew
    What do you call "gaydar", when the issue is lesbianism? I'm registering high readings on these three...

    Telespathy

    • Replies: @Gordo

    Telespathy
     
    Never catch on, too difficult to pronounce.
  31. @Lot
    That was my reaction too, but lacked your nice analogy.

    If you read the article, they make a slightly convincing defense.

    We already have a generally agreed test for supercomputers: factoring giant numbers.

    I have a feeling quantum computing is never going to have a practical use.

    Cryptography.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    RSA public keys are the product of two large primes, but if the key is large enough, finding the primes takes a very very long time.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_problem

    A quantum computer could potentially do this much faster, rendering RSA (and the software which enables e-commerce) effectively useless and killing Amazon, Ebay and maybe internet banking.

    Back to the one-time pad!

    As for "supremacy", half the books I had at school would be considered supremacist today (all of Rider Haggard for example), but not a single one would have used the word.
  32. Of the 3 women, 2 have obviously descended from Colonists, and one appears to be a colonist herself.

  33. Just when you think that they can’t get any loonier….

  34. @kihowi
    Quantum privilege, surely.

    Damn, beat me to it.

  35. With our quantum supremacy supercomputers we shall found space colonies and conquer the Galaxy. Let us spread our seed among the stars!

  36. because our highest priority is shoving more females who would be happy in the Life Sciences into working in the Death Sciences.

    because our highest priority is shoving more females who would be happy in the Life Sciences [not to mention giving life itself] into working in the Death Sciences.

    Does anyone ever consider the way to attract more women and minorities into STEM fields is to pay them more? Nothing overcomes meh like money.

    Until then, it will be white and yellow nerds and H-1bs, all male. Because they have room for the pain.

    • Replies: @donvonburg
    Why in a "free market" would a business want to pay more for a female to do a job than a male (or vice versa) when the result is indistinguishable when correctly performed?

    Positions that are exclusively female are so because they either only they can do them as needed or because a male in that position would be an offense to general propriety, and vice versa. Positions that are mostly one or the other are where there is a revealed preference on the part of the employees themselves. Up until recently, almost no men wanted to be nurses and those that did were either flamboyantly gay or were huge musclemen who were intending to go into the mental health field where their strength and ability to engage in physical altercations with crazed uncooperative mental patients. Now, you have a few "regular guys" going to nursing school and most go into ER nursing or positions like flight nurse (sometimes men with some flying credentials but not a lot of rotary wing time who hope to ease their way into a medevac flying position: usually they work as flight nurses until they have their commercial and instrument helo ratings and a little turbine time and an operator of two-person-crew helos picks them up for a left seat slot. In a helo, the PIC sits on the right and SIC on the left).

    Women, as we have correctly noted, generally prefer biology, nursing, occasionally chemistry and eschew physics or certain kinds of chemistry. If we demand more women go into EE/CS we are saying to them that because we feel like it, you have to select a field you do not prefer over one that you do. Generally, employees, whether male or female, do a better job when they are doing something that they prefer to do. Female EEs tend to quit or go into management because most just really don't love the work enough to put up with the nonsense. Only nerdy males stay in the game.
  37. @Redneck farmer
    Cryptography.

    RSA public keys are the product of two large primes, but if the key is large enough, finding the primes takes a very very long time.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_problem

    A quantum computer could potentially do this much faster, rendering RSA (and the software which enables e-commerce) effectively useless and killing Amazon, Ebay and maybe internet banking.

    Back to the one-time pad!

    As for “supremacy”, half the books I had at school would be considered supremacist today (all of Rider Haggard for example), but not a single one would have used the word.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    > Back to the one-time pad!

    Symmetric key cryptography (where you give the password to the other side by phonje) would still be uncrackable.

    Or you could move from the RSA public key system to another public key system that doesn't involve factorization.

    Have at it!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-quantum_cryptography

    https://i.imgur.com/7MZDvqb.jpg
  38. @Intelligent Dasein

    Measurements from repeated experiments sample the resulting probability distribution, which we verify using classical simulations. Our Sycamore processor takes about 200 seconds to sample one instance of a quantum circuit a million times—our benchmarks currently indicate that the equivalent task for a state-of-the-art classical supercomputer would take approximately 10,000 years.
     
    So, you used a quantum system to "simulate" a quantum system, and that's supposed to be some kind of breakthrough? This is like saying that you threw a bouncy ball against the wall 100 times and the results accorded better with actual cases of ball bouncing than did the readouts from your ball bouncing software.

    Of course not.

    Here a classical computer is used to simulate a quantum computer.

    Take a N=5 quantum bit system.

    The former is a digital, symbol-processing machine and uses IEEE 754 floating points and lots of memory to represent 2^5 = 32 state vectors (i.e. complex numbers), one for each of the 00000 … 11111. The evolution of that system is computed using integration of differential equations, which takes a lot of time & heat & shifting around of charges and you soon run out of resources as N becomes large.

    The latter is basically the quantum equivalent of an analog computer and uses physics directly: it IS system with a superposition of the possible 00000 … 11111 and it just evolves as Nature intends in a way that’s not from Newton’s world. Very smooth.

    Anyway, as posted earlier:

    John Preskill, 2019-10: Why I Called It ‘Quantum Supremacy’

    The words “quantum supremacy” — if not the concept — proved to be controversial for two reasons. One is that supremacy, through its association with white supremacy, evokes a repugnant political stance. The other reason is that the word exacerbates the already overhyped reporting on the status of quantum technology. I anticipated the second objection, but failed to foresee the first. In any case, the term caught on, and it has been embraced with particular zeal by the Google AI Quantum team.

    I considered but rejected several other possibilities, deciding that quantum supremacy best captured the point I wanted to convey. One alternative is “quantum advantage,” which is also now widely used. But to me, “advantage” lacks the punch of “supremacy.” In a race, a horse has an advantage if it wins by a nose. In contrast, the speed of a quantum computer vastly exceeds that of classical computers, for certain tasks. At least, that’s true in principle.

    I also recommend Scott Aaronson’s excellent intro into this matter (or you can check his lecture notes with the same title):

    P.S.

    I find that there are only a few co-signatories to the Carmen-Divya-Leonie letter, which you can find through the Nature link. Exactly 13.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    Hey, if you are comfortable with saying so online, did you use to do QI research?
    , @International Jew
    So a quantum computer is basically a newfangled sort of analog computer? I kinda suspected that...

    And it means that quantum computing isn't particularly useful for doing 99% of the things we use computers for now: storing and retrieving bytes.
  39. @YetAnotherAnon
    RSA public keys are the product of two large primes, but if the key is large enough, finding the primes takes a very very long time.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_problem

    A quantum computer could potentially do this much faster, rendering RSA (and the software which enables e-commerce) effectively useless and killing Amazon, Ebay and maybe internet banking.

    Back to the one-time pad!

    As for "supremacy", half the books I had at school would be considered supremacist today (all of Rider Haggard for example), but not a single one would have used the word.

    > Back to the one-time pad!

    Symmetric key cryptography (where you give the password to the other side by phonje) would still be uncrackable.

    Or you could move from the RSA public key system to another public key system that doesn’t involve factorization.

    Have at it!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-quantum_cryptography

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "Symmetric key cryptography (where you give the password to the other side by phone) would still be uncrackable."

    That's when you ring up the firm using the number on the website, and pay using your card number, expiry date and three digits ;-)

    Good enough for everyday use, not so good if you don't want Five Eyes looking at it.

    I guess (if RSA is any guide - GCHQ knew about it and kept quiet) there's a chance that NSA, GCHQ or the Chinese equivalent have already cracked quantum computing. But I don't pretend to understand how quantum computing works - I thought that when you try to measure anything "the function collapses" aka Schrodinger's cat is no longer both dead and alive.

  40. @J.Ross
    So long as it is somehow some kind of anonymously, absent-authority, assigned societal priority to force women into a field they clearly do not enjoy, why not exploit what women are known to enjoy? If the government were to contract with the people at Kink dot com, I am certain we would see improvement in mathematical aptitude, attentiveness in class, and papers punished, to say nothing of sign-up interest. It is even likely that applying the same methods in true Title IX style would result in a decline in male test-taking performance for the same time period, creating room for the new burgeoning female physicist generation.
    Published. An improvement in the number of papers published.

    How about “Fifty Shades of Quantum Entanglement?”

  41. @Hypnotoad666
    Electricity is extremely heteronormative:

    In electrical and mechanical trades and manufacturing, each half of a pair of mating connectors or fasteners is conventionally assigned the designation male or female. The "female" connector is generally a receptacle that receives and holds the "male" connector. . . . The assignment is a direct analogy with genitalia and sexual intercourse; the part bearing one or more protrusions or which fits inside the other being designated male, in contrast to the part containing the corresponding indentations, or fitting outside the other, being designated female. Extension of the analogy results in the verb to mate being used to describe the process of connecting two corresponding parts together.

    In some cases (notably electrical power connectors), the gender of connectors is selected according to rigid rules, to enforce a sense of one-way directionality (e.g. a flow of power from one device to another). This gender distinction is implemented to enhance safety or ensure proper functionality by preventing unsafe or non-functional configurations from being set up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_of_connectors_and_fasteners
     

    There are genderless connectors and hemaphrodite connectors, two different things.

    An example of a hemaphrodite connector is one with a symmetrical male and female side so they can be flipped around as needed and any connector mates to any other connector of the same specification. You lose polarity that way, so they would be used only where polarity does not matter.

    Genderless connectors like the Planar Crown connector used on RF test equipment preserve polarity, but are not suited to applications where high energy is involved, and are generally found only on equipment designed to be used by trained professionals.

    Planar Crown is a series of Blind mate electrical RF connectors manufactured by API Weinchel. It is fitted for example to the RF input connector of the Tektronix Real Time Spectrum Analyzer RTSA-5000 series. An adapter is required to connect the more common N-type or 3.5 mm connectors. Another application example is the 26.5 GHz Channel 2 input on the Agilent/Keysight model 53152A Microwave Frequency counter.

    Often systems use gendered connectors but ignore signal or power flow. In my industry the 1/4″ “phone plug” is used in female form on both signal generating (electric guitars, drum machines, keyboards) and signal receiving (guitar amps, stomp boxes) equipment. The cable has a male on either end.

    Worse, thanks to one of Leo Fender’s not quite so good decisions, the 1/4″ ‘phone plug’ is used both to connect the signal source to the signal receiver and the power amp output ( which in the case of large high output amplifiers such as are common for bass players, can be at dangerous voltage and current levels) to the speaker cabinets. However, you generally must not use a “guitar cable” to connect an amp head to a speaker nor a “output cable” to connect the guitar to the amp. (If you use an output cable on the guitar side it’s just very noisy, since there is no shielding: the other way around can arc over the cable or cause it to get very hot. Overdriven guitar amps driving voice coil speakers produce high voltage spikes way over what most people would believe until they look at it with a scope with a differential input front end.)

    Leo wasn’t the first to make a guitar amp, but he was the first to make a dedicated guitar amp as a separate head and a matching speaker cabinet. He should have thought of something different but now it’s too late.

    Similarly to Henry Ford, but to a lesser extent, Leo was a guy with some really good ideas and a few that have really not stood the test of time quite so well. No Telecaster came from the factory wired so that you could use both pickups at the same time until Leo was gone from the Fullerton plant: for over ten years everyone had theirs rewired as soon as they got it.

  42. @Reg Cæsar

    because our highest priority is shoving more females who would be happy in the Life Sciences into working in the Death Sciences.
     
    because our highest priority is shoving more females who would be happy in the Life Sciences [not to mention giving life itself] into working in the Death Sciences.

    Does anyone ever consider the way to attract more women and minorities into STEM fields is to pay them more? Nothing overcomes meh like money.

    Until then, it will be white and yellow nerds and H-1bs, all male. Because they have room for the pain.

    Why in a “free market” would a business want to pay more for a female to do a job than a male (or vice versa) when the result is indistinguishable when correctly performed?

    Positions that are exclusively female are so because they either only they can do them as needed or because a male in that position would be an offense to general propriety, and vice versa. Positions that are mostly one or the other are where there is a revealed preference on the part of the employees themselves. Up until recently, almost no men wanted to be nurses and those that did were either flamboyantly gay or were huge musclemen who were intending to go into the mental health field where their strength and ability to engage in physical altercations with crazed uncooperative mental patients. Now, you have a few “regular guys” going to nursing school and most go into ER nursing or positions like flight nurse (sometimes men with some flying credentials but not a lot of rotary wing time who hope to ease their way into a medevac flying position: usually they work as flight nurses until they have their commercial and instrument helo ratings and a little turbine time and an operator of two-person-crew helos picks them up for a left seat slot. In a helo, the PIC sits on the right and SIC on the left).

    Women, as we have correctly noted, generally prefer biology, nursing, occasionally chemistry and eschew physics or certain kinds of chemistry. If we demand more women go into EE/CS we are saying to them that because we feel like it, you have to select a field you do not prefer over one that you do. Generally, employees, whether male or female, do a better job when they are doing something that they prefer to do. Female EEs tend to quit or go into management because most just really don’t love the work enough to put up with the nonsense. Only nerdy males stay in the game.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Why in a “free market” would a business want to pay more for a female to do a job than a male (or vice versa) when the result is indistinguishable when correctly performed?
     
    NO, I mean pay everybody more, across the board. That would make the field more attractive to the less interested. But they're not really interested in attracting the less interested. The whole "women-in-STEM" drive is a fraud.

    At least with employers. Maybe academics and politicians actually believe.

    Women's attraction to employers has always been lower wages, but that only comes about in fields like nursing, caretaking, clerical work, etc, that women more than men are drawn to. Or perhaps sales, or medicine in Russia, where the sexes are more equally distributed.

    Let me rewrite your sentence:

    Why in a “free market” would a business want to pay more for [an American] to do a job than a [Chinaman or Hindoo] when the result is indistinguishable when correctly performed?

    Sound familiar?

    , @Dave Pinsen

    Up until recently, almost no men wanted to be nurses and those that did were either flamboyantly gay or were huge musclemen who were intending to go into the mental health field where their strength and ability to engage in physical altercations with crazed uncooperative mental patients.
     
    Men who help lift, move, or restrain patients (mentally or physically ill) as needed are called orderlies. One reason nursing has become more popular in recent years (aside from the money) is that registered nurses do less scut work and more ordering around orderlies, aides, nursing assistants, etc.
  43. @El Dato
    > Back to the one-time pad!

    Symmetric key cryptography (where you give the password to the other side by phonje) would still be uncrackable.

    Or you could move from the RSA public key system to another public key system that doesn't involve factorization.

    Have at it!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-quantum_cryptography

    https://i.imgur.com/7MZDvqb.jpg

    “Symmetric key cryptography (where you give the password to the other side by phone) would still be uncrackable.”

    That’s when you ring up the firm using the number on the website, and pay using your card number, expiry date and three digits 😉

    Good enough for everyday use, not so good if you don’t want Five Eyes looking at it.

    I guess (if RSA is any guide – GCHQ knew about it and kept quiet) there’s a chance that NSA, GCHQ or the Chinese equivalent have already cracked quantum computing. But I don’t pretend to understand how quantum computing works – I thought that when you try to measure anything “the function collapses” aka Schrodinger’s cat is no longer both dead and alive.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    The "measurement problem" (aka "the collapse of the wavefunction", confusingly known as "observation", which is more like the quantum system wildly copying information about its state into the wider universe until the universe says "right, now I know what you really are inside") stays a problem, but is yielding to good analysis and actual experiments now.

    Philip Ball writes in Quanta Mag:

    Quantum Darwinism, an Idea to Explain Objective Reality, Passes First Tests

    Not that I could go into details, I would need another life for that.

    here’s a chance that NSA, GCHQ or the Chinese equivalent have already cracked quantum computing.
     
    This is unlikely. This stuff is hard and unexplored. If someone did it, word would leak out, hints would be had. It's like a 5th generation fighter, really.

    Here is a nice article, also by Philip Ball, from 2018

    The Era of Quantum Computing Is Here. Outlook: Cloudy: Quantum computers should soon be able to beat classical computers at certain basic tasks. But before they’re truly powerful, researchers have to overcome a number of fundamental roadblocks.
    , @Perplexed
    "But I don’t pretend to understand how quantum computing works – I thought that when you try to measure anything 'the function collapses' aka Schrodinger’s cat is no longer both dead and alive."

    Not a physicist here, just an English major. Schrodinger's cat is either dead or alive but we don't know which so long as the box is closed.
    , @Jack D
    Basically, you are correct - you can never read the quantum states directly the way you can query a memory location on a classical computer and it will tell you if it is a 1 or 0. However there are mathematical tricks that have been developed that let you gather some information from the collapsed quantum heap. Imagine that you are looking at the wreckage of a house after a hurricane - you are not going to see the entire building as it was, but by inspecting the rubble you might get some clues as to what the house was like before it collapsed. Let's say that we know that when a house collapses there's always a roof tile at the top of the heap. Also keep in mind that quantum systems are "entangled" so that if you can discern information about even 1 qubit it might tell you the answer to the whole problem. Lets say that if the roof tile is blue the house had an odd number of rooms in it and if it is red the number of rooms used to be even. Using classical computing, the only way to know whether the number of rooms is odd or even is to go thru the house and count them all but using quantum computing we can just look at the one roof tile at the top of the pile and know - if the house had 1,000 rooms this would save us a lot of work.

    Initially the earliest quantum algorithms (and keep in mind that they had the algorithms before they had the actual hardware, just like Turing developed a "machine" on paper before the hardware to do computation was invented) were only able to derive trivial results - a classical computer would require 2 steps to solve a certain problem and a (hypothetical) quantum computer could do it in 1. But over the years, mathematicians have come up with increasingly sophisticated quantum algorithms that could do useful things like factor large prime #s (which is the basis for modern computer encryption). But so far, the hardware to actually do these things doesn't exist.

  44. I have a friend who doesn’t read the NY Times anymore. Every morning I read it and the Washington Post and try to restrain myself from copying articles to him to show him how crazy the world is getting. Never occurred to me to go to Nature for this sort of thing.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    This was hashed out in a thread a few years back: once-respectable Nature was bought by lefty Germans.
  45. Does this mean that we have to refer to “Diana Ross and the Advantages”?

  46. @YetAnotherAnon
    "Symmetric key cryptography (where you give the password to the other side by phone) would still be uncrackable."

    That's when you ring up the firm using the number on the website, and pay using your card number, expiry date and three digits ;-)

    Good enough for everyday use, not so good if you don't want Five Eyes looking at it.

    I guess (if RSA is any guide - GCHQ knew about it and kept quiet) there's a chance that NSA, GCHQ or the Chinese equivalent have already cracked quantum computing. But I don't pretend to understand how quantum computing works - I thought that when you try to measure anything "the function collapses" aka Schrodinger's cat is no longer both dead and alive.

    The “measurement problem” (aka “the collapse of the wavefunction”, confusingly known as “observation”, which is more like the quantum system wildly copying information about its state into the wider universe until the universe says “right, now I know what you really are inside”) stays a problem, but is yielding to good analysis and actual experiments now.

    Philip Ball writes in Quanta Mag:

    Quantum Darwinism, an Idea to Explain Objective Reality, Passes First Tests

    Not that I could go into details, I would need another life for that.

    here’s a chance that NSA, GCHQ or the Chinese equivalent have already cracked quantum computing.

    This is unlikely. This stuff is hard and unexplored. If someone did it, word would leak out, hints would be had. It’s like a 5th generation fighter, really.

    Here is a nice article, also by Philip Ball, from 2018

    The Era of Quantum Computing Is Here. Outlook: Cloudy: Quantum computers should soon be able to beat classical computers at certain basic tasks. But before they’re truly powerful, researchers have to overcome a number of fundamental roadblocks.

    • Agree: nebulafox
  47. @Jack D
    Henceforth, the Supremes will be know as Diana Ross and the Advantages, and the Supreme Court will be the Advantaged Court.

    And the KKK will henceforth be known as a white advantagist organization.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    In the spirit of The Iron Dream

    Famous pulp fiction writer Adolf Hitler's ("best speech" at SyFyCon '44) latest book:


    MEIN QUANTUM

    "They expected Schrödinger's Cat. They got Schrödinger's Tiger!"

    Bikers!
    Subhumans!
    Atomic Weapons!
    Half-observed women in peril!
    Universalists with weapons of Math Destruction!
    Quantum Collapse of Civilization!!!!

    [Lurid cover image elided]

    ** BANNED by SPLC. **

    US$ 1.50

     

    Disconcertingly, the band Hawkwind has the song "The Iron Dream" on the album Quark, Strangeness and Charm
  48. Carmen Palacios-Berraquero, Leonie Mueck & Divya M. Persaud

    We take issue with the use of ‘supremacy’ when referring to quantum computers that can out-calculate even the fastest supercomputers (F. Arute et al. Nature 574, 505–510; 2019). We consider it irresponsible to override the historical context of this descriptor

    I sometimes wonder if paradoxically, the Starbucks-Americans (And Ms Mueck who is German but of a piece of what are sometimes called ‘Anywheres’ and as a young and single foreigner gravitate to immigriping post-modernism) who grew up with immigrant parents in an America with too few white children to be properly assimilated, don’t get the irony that their outrage is often so idiosyncratically American that it sounds like they forget science is universal and international and that nobody else but an American would even think to get offended by this.If Ms Mueck had never set foot in the US would she ever think to put her name to this?

    It’s actually striking, this used to be the preserve of the second generation. Now FOBs are at it.

  49. @Hypnotoad666
    And the KKK will henceforth be known as a white advantagist organization.

    In the spirit of The Iron Dream

    Famous pulp fiction writer Adolf Hitler’s (“best speech” at SyFyCon ’44) latest book:

    MEIN QUANTUM

    “They expected Schrödinger’s Cat. They got Schrödinger’s Tiger!”

    Bikers!
    Subhumans!
    Atomic Weapons!
    Half-observed women in peril!
    Universalists with weapons of Math Destruction!
    Quantum Collapse of Civilization!!!!

    [Lurid cover image elided]

    ** BANNED by SPLC. **

    US$ 1.50

    Disconcertingly, the band Hawkwind has the song “The Iron Dream” on the album Quark, Strangeness and Charm

  50. @Jim Don Bob
    Feynman is rolling in his grave. Divya has a degree in Geology.

    Carmen Palacios-Berraquero
    https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/1012699421530701825/pg9cAN1R_400x400.jpg

    Leonie Mueck
    https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/co-directory-images/leonie-mueck-488a68100.jpg

    Divya M. Persaud
    https://divyampersaud.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/hn_2019_4-1.jpg

    Feynman would probably be a ‘fake feminist’ and try to sleep with them if he was born in the 80s/90s. (Or, given his predilection for pederasty, the 40s/50s/60s/70s)

  51. Their comments on the evils of space colonisation despite it actually being a Terra-nullus makes me think of the classic ‘Queering Outer Space’ project from one Michael Oman-Reagan.

    https://medium.com/space-anthropology/queering-outer-space-f6f5b5cecda0

    • Replies: @El Dato
    This is a parody account, right?

    > Not a single mention of forced homosexuality in Haldeman's "Forever War"
  52. @Hhsiii
    Telespathy

    Telespathy

    Never catch on, too difficult to pronounce.

    • Replies: @Hhsiii
    Lez Majeste?

    I think it’s just gaydar either way.
  53. @Altai
    Their comments on the evils of space colonisation despite it actually being a Terra-nullus makes me think of the classic 'Queering Outer Space' project from one Michael Oman-Reagan.

    https://medium.com/space-anthropology/queering-outer-space-f6f5b5cecda0

    This is a parody account, right?

    > Not a single mention of forced homosexuality in Haldeman’s “Forever War”

    • Replies: @Altai
    No, he even got Canadian state grant money to do this too. (https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/home-accueil-eng.aspx) I can't decide if it is the ultimate example of true belief or a conscientious going through the motions of critical post-modern critique because he got lost in an anthropology PhD and has no better career paths. (He even has an account on the more upmarket version of patreon, Ko-fi.)

    Here's a link to his main page.
    http://michaelomanreagan.net/
  54. I don’t mind the term, “Quantum Supremacy”, but I find it entirely reasonable to relabel it to avoid political problems.

  55. @El Dato
    Of course not.

    Here a classical computer is used to simulate a quantum computer.

    Take a N=5 quantum bit system.

    The former is a digital, symbol-processing machine and uses IEEE 754 floating points and lots of memory to represent 2^5 = 32 state vectors (i.e. complex numbers), one for each of the 00000 ... 11111. The evolution of that system is computed using integration of differential equations, which takes a lot of time & heat & shifting around of charges and you soon run out of resources as N becomes large.

    The latter is basically the quantum equivalent of an analog computer and uses physics directly: it IS system with a superposition of the possible 00000 ... 11111 and it just evolves as Nature intends in a way that's not from Newton's world. Very smooth.

    Anyway, as posted earlier:

    John Preskill, 2019-10: Why I Called It ‘Quantum Supremacy’

    The words “quantum supremacy” — if not the concept — proved to be controversial for two reasons. One is that supremacy, through its association with white supremacy, evokes a repugnant political stance. The other reason is that the word exacerbates the already overhyped reporting on the status of quantum technology. I anticipated the second objection, but failed to foresee the first. In any case, the term caught on, and it has been embraced with particular zeal by the Google AI Quantum team.

    I considered but rejected several other possibilities, deciding that quantum supremacy best captured the point I wanted to convey. One alternative is “quantum advantage,” which is also now widely used. But to me, “advantage” lacks the punch of “supremacy.” In a race, a horse has an advantage if it wins by a nose. In contrast, the speed of a quantum computer vastly exceeds that of classical computers, for certain tasks. At least, that’s true in principle.
     
    I also recommend Scott Aaronson's excellent intro into this matter (or you can check his lecture notes with the same title):

    https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Computing-since-Democritus-Aaronson/dp/0521199565

    P.S.

    I find that there are only a few co-signatories to the Carmen-Divya-Leonie letter, which you can find through the Nature link. Exactly 13.

    Hey, if you are comfortable with saying so online, did you use to do QI research?

    • Replies: @El Dato
    Unfortunately not. That was just starting to become a thing when I left uni. I'm just an interested amateur in that domain, working very much on the practical side of classical computing (typical question that may occur are "what is this JavaScript horror", "where did this rootkit come from" and "what monkey refuses to use a proper relational database").

    OTOH, I'm drawn to things theoretical (Theory of Computation, Logic Programming and QIP) and not afraid to apply an equation or two, if I can understand it.

    Sadly, my stack of books to read is much larger than my stash of time.
  56. @Jack D
    This is a red herring:

    Boeing said the company did not rely on engineers from HCL and Cyient for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System,
     
    Yes they outsourced but not on the system that failed.

    Yes they outsourced but not on the system that failed.

    Or maybe they did, but not to HCL or Cyient.

    Regardless, they failed to put painfully obvious cross-checks into the code, such that an erroneous reading from a single non-redundant sensor could and did crash the aircraft.  That’s engineering malpractice many times worse than a mere failed footbridge at FIU.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    The article explains that the engineers would write the spec and then the outsourced code monkeys were supposed to write the code and send it back to the engineers. So if spec said "Compare the output of Sensor A and Sensor B and if there is a mismatch send an error message and don't trigger automatic pitch correction" then the code monkeys would have written it that way. But it didn't. Nor did the engineers include a 3rd sensor so the computer could figure out which one of the two primary sensors was giving a false reading. Nor did they update the angle of attack sensor to be electronic and inherently redundant (say with 1,000 microvanes) but rather used a part that looks like something that Thomas Edison could have designed. So regardless of who wrote the actual code, it's the engineer's fault and ultimately his boss's all the way up the line.
  57. Supremacy is a dumbass buzzword. I can’t believe you are defending it. Shows how stupid you are. It’s like defending “awesome,” you tone-deaf uncultivated football hooligans.

    Meanwhile, AI, aided by quantum computing, is going to utterly destroy the world.

    Is this website just one big. patently obvious, diversion?

    Does the pope shit in the woods?

    • Replies: @El Dato
    Did your pill reminder SMS not get through or something?
  58. @YetAnotherAnon
    "Symmetric key cryptography (where you give the password to the other side by phone) would still be uncrackable."

    That's when you ring up the firm using the number on the website, and pay using your card number, expiry date and three digits ;-)

    Good enough for everyday use, not so good if you don't want Five Eyes looking at it.

    I guess (if RSA is any guide - GCHQ knew about it and kept quiet) there's a chance that NSA, GCHQ or the Chinese equivalent have already cracked quantum computing. But I don't pretend to understand how quantum computing works - I thought that when you try to measure anything "the function collapses" aka Schrodinger's cat is no longer both dead and alive.

    “But I don’t pretend to understand how quantum computing works – I thought that when you try to measure anything ‘the function collapses’ aka Schrodinger’s cat is no longer both dead and alive.”

    Not a physicist here, just an English major. Schrodinger’s cat is either dead or alive but we don’t know which so long as the box is closed.

  59. @El Dato
    This is a parody account, right?

    > Not a single mention of forced homosexuality in Haldeman's "Forever War"

    No, he even got Canadian state grant money to do this too. (https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/home-accueil-eng.aspx) I can’t decide if it is the ultimate example of true belief or a conscientious going through the motions of critical post-modern critique because he got lost in an anthropology PhD and has no better career paths. (He even has an account on the more upmarket version of patreon, Ko-fi.)

    Here’s a link to his main page.
    http://michaelomanreagan.net/

  60. @nebulafox
    Hey, if you are comfortable with saying so online, did you use to do QI research?

    Unfortunately not. That was just starting to become a thing when I left uni. I’m just an interested amateur in that domain, working very much on the practical side of classical computing (typical question that may occur are “what is this JavaScript horror”, “where did this rootkit come from” and “what monkey refuses to use a proper relational database”).

    OTOH, I’m drawn to things theoretical (Theory of Computation, Logic Programming and QIP) and not afraid to apply an equation or two, if I can understand it.

    Sadly, my stack of books to read is much larger than my stash of time.

  61. @obwandiyag
    Supremacy is a dumbass buzzword. I can't believe you are defending it. Shows how stupid you are. It's like defending "awesome," you tone-deaf uncultivated football hooligans.

    Meanwhile, AI, aided by quantum computing, is going to utterly destroy the world.

    Is this website just one big. patently obvious, diversion?

    Does the pope shit in the woods?

    Did your pill reminder SMS not get through or something?

  62. @Gordo

    Telespathy
     
    Never catch on, too difficult to pronounce.

    Lez Majeste?

    I think it’s just gaydar either way.

  63. @Mr. Rational

    Yes they outsourced but not on the system that failed.
     
    Or maybe they did, but not to HCL or Cyient.

    Regardless, they failed to put painfully obvious cross-checks into the code, such that an erroneous reading from a single non-redundant sensor could and did crash the aircraft.  That's engineering malpractice many times worse than a mere failed footbridge at FIU.

    The article explains that the engineers would write the spec and then the outsourced code monkeys were supposed to write the code and send it back to the engineers. So if spec said “Compare the output of Sensor A and Sensor B and if there is a mismatch send an error message and don’t trigger automatic pitch correction” then the code monkeys would have written it that way. But it didn’t. Nor did the engineers include a 3rd sensor so the computer could figure out which one of the two primary sensors was giving a false reading. Nor did they update the angle of attack sensor to be electronic and inherently redundant (say with 1,000 microvanes) but rather used a part that looks like something that Thomas Edison could have designed. So regardless of who wrote the actual code, it’s the engineer’s fault and ultimately his boss’s all the way up the line.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational

    The article explains that the engineers would write the spec and then the outsourced code monkeys were supposed to write the code and send it back to the engineers.
     
    Begs the question:  were the engineers also Indians whose grasp of aircraft behavior was limited to getting on one in B'lore and off at Seatac?  I have seen such total blindness at work.  Institutions can and do confer degrees upon people who can regurgitate rote answers but cannot think, and even people who can think can't discover problems if they don't have the depth of knowledge to understand how systems work.  Clueless managers can shut down clueful underlings.  At least one and probably several of those things happened at Boeing.

    While your idea of a sensor with manifold microvanes is clever, I'm doubtful that such could (a) be constructed affordably and (b) have effective fault detection for all its sub-parts.  On the other hand, the simple device known as the "stall warning horn" operates by the airflow over a leading-edge aperture going from positive ram pressure to negative Bernoulli pressure as the angle of attack increases, activating a noise-making reed when the threshold is crossed.  A differential pressure sensor or three would probably be cheaper than a vane plus angle encoder.

    A few very obvious other sensor inputs would have been good for sanity checks.  Airspeed far above stall?  Vertical acceleration not consistent with airspeed and AoA reading?  Obvious bogus reading; set error flag rather than trying to force the nose down.
  64. @donvonburg
    Why in a "free market" would a business want to pay more for a female to do a job than a male (or vice versa) when the result is indistinguishable when correctly performed?

    Positions that are exclusively female are so because they either only they can do them as needed or because a male in that position would be an offense to general propriety, and vice versa. Positions that are mostly one or the other are where there is a revealed preference on the part of the employees themselves. Up until recently, almost no men wanted to be nurses and those that did were either flamboyantly gay or were huge musclemen who were intending to go into the mental health field where their strength and ability to engage in physical altercations with crazed uncooperative mental patients. Now, you have a few "regular guys" going to nursing school and most go into ER nursing or positions like flight nurse (sometimes men with some flying credentials but not a lot of rotary wing time who hope to ease their way into a medevac flying position: usually they work as flight nurses until they have their commercial and instrument helo ratings and a little turbine time and an operator of two-person-crew helos picks them up for a left seat slot. In a helo, the PIC sits on the right and SIC on the left).

    Women, as we have correctly noted, generally prefer biology, nursing, occasionally chemistry and eschew physics or certain kinds of chemistry. If we demand more women go into EE/CS we are saying to them that because we feel like it, you have to select a field you do not prefer over one that you do. Generally, employees, whether male or female, do a better job when they are doing something that they prefer to do. Female EEs tend to quit or go into management because most just really don't love the work enough to put up with the nonsense. Only nerdy males stay in the game.

    Why in a “free market” would a business want to pay more for a female to do a job than a male (or vice versa) when the result is indistinguishable when correctly performed?

    NO, I mean pay everybody more, across the board. That would make the field more attractive to the less interested. But they’re not really interested in attracting the less interested. The whole “women-in-STEM” drive is a fraud.

    At least with employers. Maybe academics and politicians actually believe.

    Women’s attraction to employers has always been lower wages, but that only comes about in fields like nursing, caretaking, clerical work, etc, that women more than men are drawn to. Or perhaps sales, or medicine in Russia, where the sexes are more equally distributed.

    Let me rewrite your sentence:

    Why in a “free market” would a business want to pay more for [an American] to do a job than a [Chinaman or Hindoo] when the result is indistinguishable when correctly performed?

    Sound familiar?

  65. @donvonburg
    Why in a "free market" would a business want to pay more for a female to do a job than a male (or vice versa) when the result is indistinguishable when correctly performed?

    Positions that are exclusively female are so because they either only they can do them as needed or because a male in that position would be an offense to general propriety, and vice versa. Positions that are mostly one or the other are where there is a revealed preference on the part of the employees themselves. Up until recently, almost no men wanted to be nurses and those that did were either flamboyantly gay or were huge musclemen who were intending to go into the mental health field where their strength and ability to engage in physical altercations with crazed uncooperative mental patients. Now, you have a few "regular guys" going to nursing school and most go into ER nursing or positions like flight nurse (sometimes men with some flying credentials but not a lot of rotary wing time who hope to ease their way into a medevac flying position: usually they work as flight nurses until they have their commercial and instrument helo ratings and a little turbine time and an operator of two-person-crew helos picks them up for a left seat slot. In a helo, the PIC sits on the right and SIC on the left).

    Women, as we have correctly noted, generally prefer biology, nursing, occasionally chemistry and eschew physics or certain kinds of chemistry. If we demand more women go into EE/CS we are saying to them that because we feel like it, you have to select a field you do not prefer over one that you do. Generally, employees, whether male or female, do a better job when they are doing something that they prefer to do. Female EEs tend to quit or go into management because most just really don't love the work enough to put up with the nonsense. Only nerdy males stay in the game.

    Up until recently, almost no men wanted to be nurses and those that did were either flamboyantly gay or were huge musclemen who were intending to go into the mental health field where their strength and ability to engage in physical altercations with crazed uncooperative mental patients.

    Men who help lift, move, or restrain patients (mentally or physically ill) as needed are called orderlies. One reason nursing has become more popular in recent years (aside from the money) is that registered nurses do less scut work and more ordering around orderlies, aides, nursing assistants, etc.

  66. The «community» will make like a protein and fold.

  67. @YetAnotherAnon
    "Symmetric key cryptography (where you give the password to the other side by phone) would still be uncrackable."

    That's when you ring up the firm using the number on the website, and pay using your card number, expiry date and three digits ;-)

    Good enough for everyday use, not so good if you don't want Five Eyes looking at it.

    I guess (if RSA is any guide - GCHQ knew about it and kept quiet) there's a chance that NSA, GCHQ or the Chinese equivalent have already cracked quantum computing. But I don't pretend to understand how quantum computing works - I thought that when you try to measure anything "the function collapses" aka Schrodinger's cat is no longer both dead and alive.

    Basically, you are correct – you can never read the quantum states directly the way you can query a memory location on a classical computer and it will tell you if it is a 1 or 0. However there are mathematical tricks that have been developed that let you gather some information from the collapsed quantum heap. Imagine that you are looking at the wreckage of a house after a hurricane – you are not going to see the entire building as it was, but by inspecting the rubble you might get some clues as to what the house was like before it collapsed. Let’s say that we know that when a house collapses there’s always a roof tile at the top of the heap. Also keep in mind that quantum systems are “entangled” so that if you can discern information about even 1 qubit it might tell you the answer to the whole problem. Lets say that if the roof tile is blue the house had an odd number of rooms in it and if it is red the number of rooms used to be even. Using classical computing, the only way to know whether the number of rooms is odd or even is to go thru the house and count them all but using quantum computing we can just look at the one roof tile at the top of the pile and know – if the house had 1,000 rooms this would save us a lot of work.

    Initially the earliest quantum algorithms (and keep in mind that they had the algorithms before they had the actual hardware, just like Turing developed a “machine” on paper before the hardware to do computation was invented) were only able to derive trivial results – a classical computer would require 2 steps to solve a certain problem and a (hypothetical) quantum computer could do it in 1. But over the years, mathematicians have come up with increasingly sophisticated quantum algorithms that could do useful things like factor large prime #s (which is the basis for modern computer encryption). But so far, the hardware to actually do these things doesn’t exist.

    • Replies: @anon

    But over the years, mathematicians have come up with increasingly sophisticated quantum algorithms that could do useful things like factor large prime #s (which is the basis for modern computer encryption).
     
    Those must be some clever algorithms!...

    https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/prime-number

    A prime number is a whole number greater than 1 whose only factors are 1 and itself.
     
  68. @Tono Bungay
    I have a friend who doesn't read the NY Times anymore. Every morning I read it and the Washington Post and try to restrain myself from copying articles to him to show him how crazy the world is getting. Never occurred to me to go to Nature for this sort of thing.

    This was hashed out in a thread a few years back: once-respectable Nature was bought by lefty Germans.

  69. Bitches just need some severe corporal punishment. Just to get their minds right.

  70. @Jack D
    The article explains that the engineers would write the spec and then the outsourced code monkeys were supposed to write the code and send it back to the engineers. So if spec said "Compare the output of Sensor A and Sensor B and if there is a mismatch send an error message and don't trigger automatic pitch correction" then the code monkeys would have written it that way. But it didn't. Nor did the engineers include a 3rd sensor so the computer could figure out which one of the two primary sensors was giving a false reading. Nor did they update the angle of attack sensor to be electronic and inherently redundant (say with 1,000 microvanes) but rather used a part that looks like something that Thomas Edison could have designed. So regardless of who wrote the actual code, it's the engineer's fault and ultimately his boss's all the way up the line.

    The article explains that the engineers would write the spec and then the outsourced code monkeys were supposed to write the code and send it back to the engineers.

    Begs the question:  were the engineers also Indians whose grasp of aircraft behavior was limited to getting on one in B’lore and off at Seatac?  I have seen such total blindness at work.  Institutions can and do confer degrees upon people who can regurgitate rote answers but cannot think, and even people who can think can’t discover problems if they don’t have the depth of knowledge to understand how systems work.  Clueless managers can shut down clueful underlings.  At least one and probably several of those things happened at Boeing.

    While your idea of a sensor with manifold microvanes is clever, I’m doubtful that such could (a) be constructed affordably and (b) have effective fault detection for all its sub-parts.  On the other hand, the simple device known as the “stall warning horn” operates by the airflow over a leading-edge aperture going from positive ram pressure to negative Bernoulli pressure as the angle of attack increases, activating a noise-making reed when the threshold is crossed.  A differential pressure sensor or three would probably be cheaper than a vane plus angle encoder.

    A few very obvious other sensor inputs would have been good for sanity checks.  Airspeed far above stall?  Vertical acceleration not consistent with airspeed and AoA reading?  Obvious bogus reading; set error flag rather than trying to force the nose down.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Usually if sensors can be miniaturized to chip scale they can be made very inexpensively using chip fab technology.

    Another idea beside microvanes would be some kind of optical sensor or camera that would track the angle of the dust particles streaming past.The way that your $5 optical mouse works is that there's a camera in it and it can tell which way you are moving the mouse by the motion of the image. The little red led is just to light up the camera's field of view. The LED doesn't even have to be in the visible spectrum - you can use an infrared camera and an infrared led.

    If the sensors are the size of nickels and inexpensive you could install a bunch of them and not worry about fault detection - you would just exclude the input of any sensor that disagreed from the rest. If you have 20 clocks in a room and 18 of them say that it's noon and 2 don't it's pretty obvious which ones are wrong and aren't working properly. And this is the kind of thing that airlines love - if you have 18 out of 20 working sensors that's plenty to fly safely and you don't have to send a mechanic to Mogadishu when the plane lands with 1 or 2 bad sensors -you can fix it when you get back to London.

    Your idea of sanity checks based upon information that they already have at hand is a good one. But apparently Boeing in recent years turned into this sort of totalitarian cult where the workers were not supposed to question their bosses - you were either supposed to get with the program (and its unrealistic deadlines) or get out.

  71. @Mr. Rational

    The article explains that the engineers would write the spec and then the outsourced code monkeys were supposed to write the code and send it back to the engineers.
     
    Begs the question:  were the engineers also Indians whose grasp of aircraft behavior was limited to getting on one in B'lore and off at Seatac?  I have seen such total blindness at work.  Institutions can and do confer degrees upon people who can regurgitate rote answers but cannot think, and even people who can think can't discover problems if they don't have the depth of knowledge to understand how systems work.  Clueless managers can shut down clueful underlings.  At least one and probably several of those things happened at Boeing.

    While your idea of a sensor with manifold microvanes is clever, I'm doubtful that such could (a) be constructed affordably and (b) have effective fault detection for all its sub-parts.  On the other hand, the simple device known as the "stall warning horn" operates by the airflow over a leading-edge aperture going from positive ram pressure to negative Bernoulli pressure as the angle of attack increases, activating a noise-making reed when the threshold is crossed.  A differential pressure sensor or three would probably be cheaper than a vane plus angle encoder.

    A few very obvious other sensor inputs would have been good for sanity checks.  Airspeed far above stall?  Vertical acceleration not consistent with airspeed and AoA reading?  Obvious bogus reading; set error flag rather than trying to force the nose down.

    Usually if sensors can be miniaturized to chip scale they can be made very inexpensively using chip fab technology.

    Another idea beside microvanes would be some kind of optical sensor or camera that would track the angle of the dust particles streaming past.The way that your $5 optical mouse works is that there’s a camera in it and it can tell which way you are moving the mouse by the motion of the image. The little red led is just to light up the camera’s field of view. The LED doesn’t even have to be in the visible spectrum – you can use an infrared camera and an infrared led.

    If the sensors are the size of nickels and inexpensive you could install a bunch of them and not worry about fault detection – you would just exclude the input of any sensor that disagreed from the rest. If you have 20 clocks in a room and 18 of them say that it’s noon and 2 don’t it’s pretty obvious which ones are wrong and aren’t working properly. And this is the kind of thing that airlines love – if you have 18 out of 20 working sensors that’s plenty to fly safely and you don’t have to send a mechanic to Mogadishu when the plane lands with 1 or 2 bad sensors -you can fix it when you get back to London.

    Your idea of sanity checks based upon information that they already have at hand is a good one. But apparently Boeing in recent years turned into this sort of totalitarian cult where the workers were not supposed to question their bosses – you were either supposed to get with the program (and its unrealistic deadlines) or get out.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  72. anon[106] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    Basically, you are correct - you can never read the quantum states directly the way you can query a memory location on a classical computer and it will tell you if it is a 1 or 0. However there are mathematical tricks that have been developed that let you gather some information from the collapsed quantum heap. Imagine that you are looking at the wreckage of a house after a hurricane - you are not going to see the entire building as it was, but by inspecting the rubble you might get some clues as to what the house was like before it collapsed. Let's say that we know that when a house collapses there's always a roof tile at the top of the heap. Also keep in mind that quantum systems are "entangled" so that if you can discern information about even 1 qubit it might tell you the answer to the whole problem. Lets say that if the roof tile is blue the house had an odd number of rooms in it and if it is red the number of rooms used to be even. Using classical computing, the only way to know whether the number of rooms is odd or even is to go thru the house and count them all but using quantum computing we can just look at the one roof tile at the top of the pile and know - if the house had 1,000 rooms this would save us a lot of work.

    Initially the earliest quantum algorithms (and keep in mind that they had the algorithms before they had the actual hardware, just like Turing developed a "machine" on paper before the hardware to do computation was invented) were only able to derive trivial results - a classical computer would require 2 steps to solve a certain problem and a (hypothetical) quantum computer could do it in 1. But over the years, mathematicians have come up with increasingly sophisticated quantum algorithms that could do useful things like factor large prime #s (which is the basis for modern computer encryption). But so far, the hardware to actually do these things doesn't exist.

    But over the years, mathematicians have come up with increasingly sophisticated quantum algorithms that could do useful things like factor large prime #s (which is the basis for modern computer encryption).

    Those must be some clever algorithms!…

    https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/prime-number

    A prime number is a whole number greater than 1 whose only factors are 1 and itself.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Ok, large SEMI-prime #s - a very large # that is the product of 2 large prime #s. Are you happy now?

    For some reason, this process is called "Prime Factorization":

    https://learncryptography.com/mathematics/prime-factorization
  73. @PiltdownMan
    I think "brown" refers to this aspect of the Boeing 737 Max scandal.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-28/boeing-s-737-max-software-outsourced-to-9-an-hour-engineers

    That was just sensationalism, I’ve heard reports that they didn’t actuallt outsource to India but suppose they did, what the procedure would be is that some senior engineer would ask the “blue-collared” coders to desing code with certain specs, the Indians would then code it and it would be sent to Boeing in America for testing. Ultimately who-ever laid out the specs of the code is to blame and not the coders themselves, who just code whatever they are told to code.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/boeing_two_deadly_crashes

    This is a fairly good article explainign things, what I gleamed from it is that Boeing were scared of Airbus having a competitive advantage due to a more efficient engine and so they haphazardly attached the new efficient engine to the new Boeing, this had uninteded consequences for the flight controls during takeoff and so they had to build a new software to remedy these issues, it seems they knew that this software could result in the nose going down without pilot input but they only started telling pilots this AFTER the first plane crashed, it is also suspected that the second crash could have been avoided ha the pilots heeded these warnings, but it is thought that not enough effort went into informing all pilots of the seriousness of this software problem.

    • Agree: Jack D
  74. @El Dato
    Of course not.

    Here a classical computer is used to simulate a quantum computer.

    Take a N=5 quantum bit system.

    The former is a digital, symbol-processing machine and uses IEEE 754 floating points and lots of memory to represent 2^5 = 32 state vectors (i.e. complex numbers), one for each of the 00000 ... 11111. The evolution of that system is computed using integration of differential equations, which takes a lot of time & heat & shifting around of charges and you soon run out of resources as N becomes large.

    The latter is basically the quantum equivalent of an analog computer and uses physics directly: it IS system with a superposition of the possible 00000 ... 11111 and it just evolves as Nature intends in a way that's not from Newton's world. Very smooth.

    Anyway, as posted earlier:

    John Preskill, 2019-10: Why I Called It ‘Quantum Supremacy’

    The words “quantum supremacy” — if not the concept — proved to be controversial for two reasons. One is that supremacy, through its association with white supremacy, evokes a repugnant political stance. The other reason is that the word exacerbates the already overhyped reporting on the status of quantum technology. I anticipated the second objection, but failed to foresee the first. In any case, the term caught on, and it has been embraced with particular zeal by the Google AI Quantum team.

    I considered but rejected several other possibilities, deciding that quantum supremacy best captured the point I wanted to convey. One alternative is “quantum advantage,” which is also now widely used. But to me, “advantage” lacks the punch of “supremacy.” In a race, a horse has an advantage if it wins by a nose. In contrast, the speed of a quantum computer vastly exceeds that of classical computers, for certain tasks. At least, that’s true in principle.
     
    I also recommend Scott Aaronson's excellent intro into this matter (or you can check his lecture notes with the same title):

    https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Computing-since-Democritus-Aaronson/dp/0521199565

    P.S.

    I find that there are only a few co-signatories to the Carmen-Divya-Leonie letter, which you can find through the Nature link. Exactly 13.

    So a quantum computer is basically a newfangled sort of analog computer? I kinda suspected that…

    And it means that quantum computing isn’t particularly useful for doing 99% of the things we use computers for now: storing and retrieving bytes.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    The advantage of quantum computers (if we can ever get them to work) is that by nature they are capable of solving certain very difficult problems in exponentially fewer steps than classical computers. You are right that they are not general purpose computers that can solve any arbitrary problem (at least not yet). The very first digital computers were also configured in hardware to solve specific problems such as artillery tables. If you wanted them to do something else you had to physically rewire them.

    First among these is prime factorization. Modern cryptography is based on the fact that its very easy to multiply 2 large prime numbers with each other but it's much harder to recover what those two numbers were. Basically the only way a classical computer can figure this out is to test all of the possibilities one by one. If I make the number big enough it would take even the fastest computer years and years or even many lifetimes to find the factors. But a quantum computer, using something called Shor's Algorithm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shor%27s_algorithm could (hypothetically) solve this problem in a usable amount of time and in doing so would "break the internet".

    Now keep in mind that the hardware to actually RUN Shor's Algorithm is in its infancy. A few years ago they were able to build a quantum computer that could factor the number 15 (5 and 3 - duh) and this was a major breakthru at the time, but it showed that a quantum computer could actually be built that produced useful results. After several more years, they were able to factor the number 21 (whopee!). But this is how science proceeds - from the Wright Flyer to the Stealth Bomber.

    In the recent "supremacy" kerfuffle, the quantum computer that Google built didn't do prime factors. Instead it executed a different algorithm that generated random numbers. Random numbers are also very useful in computer operations and classical computers suck at producing them - a sequence of truly random numbers exhibits no pattern but computer generated random numbers tend to have patterns embedded in them. Google used its quantum computer to generate a random number in 200 seconds using a method which would have taken much longer to produce in a classical computer (there is some controversy as to how long - Google claimed it would have taken 10,000 years but IBM later said they could do it on one of their conventional supercomputers in only 2.5 days). Still, 200 seconds is a lot less than 2.5 days.
  75. @anon

    But over the years, mathematicians have come up with increasingly sophisticated quantum algorithms that could do useful things like factor large prime #s (which is the basis for modern computer encryption).
     
    Those must be some clever algorithms!...

    https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/prime-number

    A prime number is a whole number greater than 1 whose only factors are 1 and itself.
     

    Ok, large SEMI-prime #s – a very large # that is the product of 2 large prime #s. Are you happy now?

    For some reason, this process is called “Prime Factorization”:

    https://learncryptography.com/mathematics/prime-factorization

  76. @International Jew
    So a quantum computer is basically a newfangled sort of analog computer? I kinda suspected that...

    And it means that quantum computing isn't particularly useful for doing 99% of the things we use computers for now: storing and retrieving bytes.

    The advantage of quantum computers (if we can ever get them to work) is that by nature they are capable of solving certain very difficult problems in exponentially fewer steps than classical computers. You are right that they are not general purpose computers that can solve any arbitrary problem (at least not yet). The very first digital computers were also configured in hardware to solve specific problems such as artillery tables. If you wanted them to do something else you had to physically rewire them.

    First among these is prime factorization. Modern cryptography is based on the fact that its very easy to multiply 2 large prime numbers with each other but it’s much harder to recover what those two numbers were. Basically the only way a classical computer can figure this out is to test all of the possibilities one by one. If I make the number big enough it would take even the fastest computer years and years or even many lifetimes to find the factors. But a quantum computer, using something called Shor’s Algorithm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shor%27s_algorithm could (hypothetically) solve this problem in a usable amount of time and in doing so would “break the internet”.

    Now keep in mind that the hardware to actually RUN Shor’s Algorithm is in its infancy. A few years ago they were able to build a quantum computer that could factor the number 15 (5 and 3 – duh) and this was a major breakthru at the time, but it showed that a quantum computer could actually be built that produced useful results. After several more years, they were able to factor the number 21 (whopee!). But this is how science proceeds – from the Wright Flyer to the Stealth Bomber.

    In the recent “supremacy” kerfuffle, the quantum computer that Google built didn’t do prime factors. Instead it executed a different algorithm that generated random numbers. Random numbers are also very useful in computer operations and classical computers suck at producing them – a sequence of truly random numbers exhibits no pattern but computer generated random numbers tend to have patterns embedded in them. Google used its quantum computer to generate a random number in 200 seconds using a method which would have taken much longer to produce in a classical computer (there is some controversy as to how long – Google claimed it would have taken 10,000 years but IBM later said they could do it on one of their conventional supercomputers in only 2.5 days). Still, 200 seconds is a lot less than 2.5 days.

  77. @PiltdownMan
    I think "brown" refers to this aspect of the Boeing 737 Max scandal.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-28/boeing-s-737-max-software-outsourced-to-9-an-hour-engineers

    Would you buy a car from a company where most of the engineers and almost all of the plant workers did not drive? I bet engineers who flew themselves would not have put out something like the 737 Max.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational

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