Blog Profile / Shtetl-Optimized


URL :http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/
Filed Under:Academics / Physics
Posts on Regator:252
Posts / Week:0.6
Archived Since:December 19, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Unsong of unsongs

On Wednesday, Scott Alexander finally completed his sprawling serial novel Unsong, after a year and a half of weekly updates—incredibly, in his spare time while also working as a full-term resident in psychiatry, and also regularly updating Slate Star Codex, which I consider to be the world’s best blog.  I was honored to attend a party in Austin (mirroring parties […]

My broken blog

I wanted to let people know I’m well-aware that Shtetl-Optimized has been suffering from the following problems lately: Commenters are presented with the logins (handle, email address, and URL) of random other commenters, rather than with their own default login data.  In particular, this means that email addresses are leaking, and that when you comment, you […]

This Week’s BS

There are two pieces of BosonSampling-related news that people have asked me about this week. First, a group in Shanghai, led by Chaoyang Lu and Jianwei Pan, has reported in Nature Photonics that they can do BosonSampling with a coincidence rate that’s higher than in previous experiments by a factor of several thousand.  This, in particular, lets […]

Thoughts on the murderer outside my building

A reader named Choronzon asks: Any comments on the horrific stabbing at UT Austin yesterday? Were you anywhere near the festivities? Does this modify your position on open carry of firearms by students and faculty? I was in the CS building (the Gates Dell Complex) at the time, which is about a 3-minute walk down […]

If Google achieves superintelligence, time zones will be its Achilles heel

Like a latter-day Prometheus, Google brought a half-century of insights down from Mount Academic CS, and thereby changed life for the better here in our sublunary realm.  You’ve probably had the experience of Google completing a search query...Show More Summary

Daniel Moshe Aaronson

Born Wednesday March 22, 2017, exactly at noon.  19.5 inches, 7 pounds. I learned that Dana had gone into labor—unexpectedly early, at 37 weeks—just as I was waiting to board a redeye flight back to Austin from the It from Qubit complexity workshop at Stanford.  I made it in time for the birth with a few hours […]

Your yearly dose of is-the-universe-a-simulation

Yesterday Ryan Mandelbaum, at Gizmodo, posted a decidedly tongue-in-cheek piece about whether or not the universe is a computer simulation.  (The piece was filed under the category “LOL.”) The immediate impetus for Mandelbaum’s piece...Show More Summary

I will not log in to your website

Two or three times a day, I get an email whose basic structure is as follows: Prof. Aaronson, given your expertise, we’d be incredibly grateful for your feedback on a paper / report / grant proposal about quantum computing.  To access the document in question, all you’ll need to do is create an account on our proprietary DigiScholar […]

Insert D-Wave Post Here

In the two months since I last blogged, the US has continued its descent into madness.  Yet even while so many certainties have proven ephemeral as the morning dew—the US’s autonomy from Russia, the sanity of our nuclear chain of command, the outcome of our Civil War, the constraints on rulers that supposedly set us apart from the […]

First they came for the Iranians

I’m sure there were weeks, in February or March 1933, when the educated, liberal Germans commiserated with each other over the latest outrages of their new Chancellor, but consoled themselves that at least none of it was going to affect them personally. This time, it’s taken just five days, since the hostile takeover of the US by its worst […]

A day to celebrate

Today—January 20, 2017—I have something cheerful, something that I’m celebrating.  It’s Lily’s fourth birthday. Happy birthday Lily! As part of her birthday festivities, and despite her packed schedule, Lily has graciously agreed to field a few questions from readers of this blog.  You can ask about her parents, favorite toys, recent trip to Disney World, etc. […]

My 116-page survey article on P vs. NP: better late than never

For those who just want the survey itself, not the backstory, it’s here. Two years ago, I learned that John Nash—that John Nash—was, together with Michail Rassias, editing a volume about the great open problems in mathematics.  And they wanted me to write the chapter about the P versus NP question—a question that Nash himself had […]

State

Happy New Year, everyone!  I tripped over a well-concealed hole and sprained my ankle while carrying my daughter across the grass at Austin’s New Years festival, so am now ringing in 2017 lying in bed immobilized, which somehow seems appropriate.  At least Lily is fine, and at least being bedridden gives me ample opportunity to […]

“THE TALK”: My quantum computing cartoon with Zach Weinersmith

OK, here’s the big entrée that I promised you yesterday: “THE TALK”: My joint cartoon about quantum computing with Zach Weinersmith of SMBC Comics. Just to whet your appetite: In case you’re wondering how this came about: after our mutual friend Sean Carroll introduced me and Zach for a different reason, the idea of a […]

The teaser

Tomorrow, I’ll have something big to announce here.  So, just to whet your appetites, and to get myself back into the habit of blogging, I figured I’d offer you an appetizer course: some more miscellaneous non-Trump-related news. (1) My former student Leonid Grinberg points me to an astonishing art form, which I somehow hadn’t known about: […]

Quantum computing news (98% Trump-free)

(1) Apparently Microsoft has decided to make a major investment in building topological quantum computers, which will include hiring Charles Marcus and Matthias Troyer among others.  See here for their blog post, and here for the New York Times piece.  In the race to implement QC among the established corporate labs, Microsoft thus joins the Martinis group at […]

A paper trail that’s never checked might as well not exist

Update and Action Item: Just since late this afternoon, the Jill Stein campaign has already raised more than $1 million toward requesting hand recounts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  Their target is $2.5 million.  I just donated what I could; if you agree with this post, then please do the same.  It doesn’t matter at […]

Never, never, never normalize this

It’s become depressingly clear the last few days that even most American liberals don’t understand the magnitude of what’s happened.  Maybe those well-meaning liberals simply have more faith than I do in our nation’s institutions, despite the recent overwhelming evidence to the contrary (if the checks and balances couldn’t stop a Trump presidency, then what can they […]

What is there to say?

I’m ashamed of my country and terrified about the future.  When Bush took power in 2000, I was depressed for weeks, but I didn’t feel like I do now, like a fourth-generation refugee in the United States—like someone who happens to have been born here and will presumably continue to live here, unless and until it starts to […]

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