The first SciRate flame war

Maybe it’s not a war, but it is at least a skirmish.
The first shot was fired by a pseudonymous user named gray, who apparently has never scited any papers before and just arrived to bash an author of this paper for using a recommendation engine to… cue the dramatic musicrecommend his own paper!
In an effort to stem this and future carnage, I’m taking to the quantum pontiff bully pulpit. This is probably better suited for the SciRate blog, but Dave didn’t give me the keys to that one.
Since it wasn’t obvious to everyone: SciRate is not a place for trolls to incite flame wars. Use the comments section of this post if you want to do that. (Kidding.) Comments on SciRate should have reasonable scientific merit, such as (at minimum) recommending a paper that was overlooked in the references, or (better) posting questions, clarifications, additional insights, etc. As an example, look at some of the excellent substantive comments left by prolific scirater Matt Hastings, or this discussion.
Nor is SciRate the place for insipid dull self-promotional comments and/or gibberish.
Now to make things fun, let’s have a debate in the comments section about the relative merits of introducing comment moderation on SciRate. Who is for it, who is against it, and what are the pros and cons? And who volunteers to do the moderating?
As for “gray” or any other troll out there: if you want to atone for your sins, my quantum confessional booth is always open.

Announcing the Quantum Information Science Announcement List

Back in the early days of quantum computing, one could almost keep up with the entire field by attending a few select conferences, reading the arXiv, and keeping in contact with a few colleagues.  Quantum information science (quantum computing, quantum information, and all its related brethren) is now a diverse and large field and keeping on top of everything is very difficult.  At the suggestion of Dmitry Maslov (who is currently a NSF Program Director) it seems that it would be very nice to have a general clearing house for announcements to send out to the community.  Thus this new blog.

So how will this work?  Well basically it will work just like any other moderated mailing lists.  You send in your announcement to .  It gets forward to moderator (currently only me, Dave Bacon, but am considering adding more once I get the tools to allow multiple moderators in place).  Then the moderators approve or reject your announcement.  It then gets posted to this blog, and put in the queue for an announcement via email to the mailing list.  This email announcement list will go out once a week, assuming there are announcements to be sent out.  You can subscribe and unsubscribe to the email list via this webpage.

In addition to subscribing via email, you can also follow the postings via rss (here is the feed) and on twitter (@qisannounce).  If anyone would like to include the RSS feed on their own blog they should feel free to do so.

Comments and feedback are, of course, greatly appreciated.

Mobile Pontiff

I’ve just installed the WordPress Mobile Pack Plugin. This should give uses from mobile device a faster, smaller screen adapted version of this blog. I’ll bet one of the two readers of this blog have a smartphone, so please let me know if you have any problems with the mobile theme.

This Blog Has Moved

This is not the blog you are looking for. Or, well as of Nov 5, 2007 it is not the blog you are looking for. That’s right, the Quantum Pontiff is moving. Because change is good, life is short, and bad puns are a good reason for doing things, this blog is moving to The new web address is RSS will appear here.
Oh, I forgot to tell you what the bad pun is. Shame on me. is under the umbrella of Seed Media Group. Thus I can say that in moving the pontiff, “I’m going to Seed.”
So grab your beer and come on over. For now I’m leaving the archives live for the pontiff here as there is still at least one thread are people are still commenting.


I’ve just upgraded my blogging software to the latest version. If you seen anything broken, please let me know.
Update: I’m having major trackback problems. Trackbacks have been disabled.

Comments Broken

Comments are broken. I’m visiting Portland State Today and so probably won’t be able to fix until this evening/tomorrow.
Update: Well it seems the problem is with my comment preview. So I’ve deactivated that and will be trying to get it running later.
Update Update: I think I’ve got it all fixed. Not sure how I corrupted the entire plugin

Comment Preview

I’ve added comment preview. Let’s see if it works.
Update: doh, not working. Will work on this tomorrow.
Update update: it’s working, thanks the kind help of il filosofo!


For those of you who’ve noticed that your comments haven’t appear immediately, this is because of my fight with comment spammers. I accidentally blocked all submissions with “” on them, which blocks gmail, hotmail, etc. It should be fixed now.