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# Blog Profile / Shtetl-Optimized

URL : http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/ Academics / Physics 194 0.7 December 19, 2008

## Blog Post Archive

### 23, Me, and the Right to Misinterpret Probabilities

If you’re the sort of person who reads this blog, you may have heard that 23andMe—the company that (until recently) let anyone spit into a capsule, send it away to a DNA lab, and then learn basic information about their ancestry, disease risks, etc.—has suspended much of its service, on orders from the US Food […]

### Twenty Reasons to Believe Oswald Acted Alone

As the world marked the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, I have to confess … no, no, not that I was in on the plot.  I wasn’t even born then, silly.  I have to confess that, in between struggling to make a paper deadline, attending a workshop in Princeton, celebrating Thanksgivukkah, teaching Lily how […]

### Scattershot BosonSampling: A new approach to scalable BosonSampling experiments

[Those impatient for a cool, obvious-in-retrospect new idea about BosonSampling, which I learned from the quantum optics group at Oxford, should scroll to the end of this post.  Those who don't even know what BosonSampling is, let alone Scattershot BosonSampling, should start at the beginning.] BosonSampling is a proposal by me and Alex Arkhipov for […]

### Three things that I should’ve gotten around to years ago

1. I’ve added MathJax support to the comments section!  If you want to insert an inline LaTeX equation, surround it with$$\backslash( \backslash)$$, while if you want to insert a displayed equation, surround it with $$\text{\\ \\}$$.  Thanks very much to Michael Dixon for prodding me to do this and telling me how. 2. […]

### Five announcements

Update (Oct. 3): OK, a sixth announcement.  I just posted a question on CS Theory StackExchange, entitled Overarching reasons why problems are in P or BPP.  If you have suggested additions or improvements to my rough list of “overarching reasons,” please post them over there — thanks! 1. I’m in Oxford right now, for a […]

### The Unitarihedron: The Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Computing

Many readers of this blog probably already saw Natalie Wolchover’s Quanta article “A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics,” which discusses the “amplituhedron”: a mathematical structure that IAS physicist Nima Arkami-Hamed and his collaborators...Show More Summary

### NSA: Possibly breaking US laws, but still bound by laws of computational complexity

Last week, I got an email from a journalist with the following inquiry.  The recent Snowden revelations, which made public for the first time the US government’s “black budget,” contained the following enigmatic line from the Director...Show More Summary

### Firewalls

So, last week I was at the Fuzzorfire workshop at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, devoted to the black hole firewall paradox.  (The workshop is still going on this week, but I needed to get back early.)  For some background: The original paper by Almheiri et al. (from July 2012, so […]

### Twitl-Optimized

Today I experiment with “tweeting”: writing <=140-character announcements, but posting them to my blog.  Like sending lolcat videos by mail Last week at QCrypt in Waterloo: http://2013.qcrypt.net This week at CQIQC in Toronto: http://tinyurl.com/kfexzv6 Back with Lily in between While we debate D-Wave, ID Quantique et al. Show More Summary

### The SuperScott and Morgan Freeman FAQ

Last week I appeared on episode of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, a show on the Science Channel.  (See also here for a post on Morgan Freeman’s Facebook page.)  The episode is called “Did God Create Evolution?”  The first person interviewed is the Intelligent Design advocate Michael Behe.  But not to worry!  After him, […]

### Three announcements

1. As many of you probably know, this week my EECS colleague Hal Abelson released his 180-page report on MIT’s involvement in the Aaron Swartz case.  I read the whole thing, and I recommend it if you have any interest in this case.  My take is that, far from being the “whitewash” that some people […]

### Microsoft: From QDOS to QMA in less than 35 years

This past week I was in Redmond for the Microsoft Faculty Summit, which this year included a special session on quantum computing.  (Bill Gates was also there, I assume as our warmup act.)  I should explain that Microsoft Research now has not one but two quantum computing research groups: there’s Station Q in Santa Barbara, [...]

### The Collision Lower Bound After 12 Years

Streaming video is now available for the talks at the QStart conference, a couple weeks ago at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  If you’re the sort of person who likes watching quantum information talks, then check out the excellent ones by Ray Laflamme, John Martinis, Umesh Vazirani, Thomas Vidick, Jacob Bekenstein, and many others. My own [...]

### The Ghost in the Quantum Turing Machine

I’ve been traveling this past week (in Israel and the French Riviera), heavily distracted by real life from my blogging career.  But by popular request, let me now provide a link to my very first post-tenure publication: The Ghost in the Quantum Turing Machine. Here’s the abstract: In honor of Alan Turing’s hundredth birthday, I [...]

### The tightrope of truth and courtesy

A reader calling him- or herself “A Merry Clown” left a comment on my previous post which was so wise, I decided it had to be promoted to a post of its own. Scientific discourse is the art of juggling decorum, truth and humor. A high-wire feat, attempted under imposing shadows cast by giants and [...]

### D-Wave: Truth finally starts to emerge

Two years ago almost to the day, I announced my retirement as Chief D-Wave Skeptic.  But—as many readers predicted at the time—recent events (and the contents of my inbox!) have given me no choice except to resume my post.  In an all-too-familiar pattern, multiple rounds of D-Wave-related hype have made it all over the world [...]

### Ask Me Anything! Tenure Edition

By popular request, for the next 36 hours—so, from now until ~11PM on Tuesday—I’ll have a long-overdue edition of “Ask Me Anything.”  (For the previous editions, see here, here, here, and here.)  Today’s edition is partly to celebrate my new, tenured “freedom to do whatever the hell I want” (as well as the long-overdue publication of [...]

### The Tenured Toll-Taker

On Friday afternoon—in the middle of a pizza social for my undergrad advisees—I found out that I’ve received tenure at MIT. Am I happy about the news?  Of course!  Yet even on such a joyous occasion, I found myself reflecting on a weird juxtaposition.  I learned about MIT’s tenure decision at the tail end of [...]

### “Closer to Truth”

Two years ago, when I attended the FQXi conference on a ship from Norway to Denmark, I (along with many other conference participants) was interviewed by Robert Lawrence Kuhn, who produces a late-night TV program called “Closer to Truth.”  I’m pleased to announce (hat tip: Sean Carroll) that three videos from my interview are finally [...]

### Quantum Computing Since Democritus now out in the US! 20% discount for Shtetl-Optimized readers

OK, this will be my last blog post hawking Quantum Computing Since Democritus, at least for a while.  But I do have four pieces of exciting news about the book that I want to share. Amazon is finally listing the print version of QCSD as available for shipment in North America, slightly ahead of schedule!  [...]

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