Category Archives: General

A jack of two trades and a master of both

IBM, in recounting its history of arranging high-profile contests between humans and computers, describes the tension surrounding the final chess game between Deep Blue and Gary Kasparov.  One of the machine’s designers “vividly remembers the final game of the six-game … Continue reading

Posted in General | 1 Comment

Ghost Paper Dance!

In a belated revival of the Ghost Pontiff’s “Happy Paper Dance” ritual, I’d like to talk about the recent paper The k-local Pauli Commuting Hamiltonians Problem is in P by my student Jijiang (Johnny) Yan and his former advisor, Dave … Continue reading

Posted in General | 6 Comments

|Democrat> + |Republican> / sqrt(2)?

It has long been known that party politics exhibits quantum effects. (An excerpt, that I’m sure is not retaliation for Sokal’s hoax, is “…we show evidence using the Smith et. al data that a tenet of a classical model that … Continue reading

Posted in General | 4 Comments

More on the NP-hardness of inferring dynamics

The previous post on David Voss’ APS piece quibbled perhaps excessively about the definition of NP, but neglected to mention  the actual subject of the piece, which was Cubitt, Eisert and Wolf’s (CEW) recent paper on the NP-hardness of extracting … Continue reading

Posted in General | 3 Comments

Hardness of NP

In computer science, NP-hard problems are widely believed to be intractable, not because they have been proved so, but on the empirical evidence of no one having found a fast algorithm for any of them in over half a century … Continue reading

Posted in General, Nitpicker's Paradiso, Words | 1 Comment

What increases when a self-organizing system organizes itself? Logical depth to the rescue.

(An earlier version of this post appeared in the latest newsletter of the American Physical Society’s special interest group on Quantum Information.) One of the most grandly pessimistic ideas from the 19th century is that of  “heat death” according to … Continue reading

Posted in Computer Science, General, Mathematics, Physics, Science | 6 Comments

Einstein was right!

And so was Sergio Bertolucci (CERN research director) when he said “I have difficulty to believe it, because nothing in Italy arrives ahead of time.” Apparently the timing error was likely caused by a loose cable (h/t rrtucci). Perhaps it … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Having it both ways

In one of Jorge Luis Borges’ historical fictions, an elderly Averroes, remarking on a misguided opinion of his youth,  says that to be free of an error it is well to have professed it oneself.  Something like this seems to … Continue reading

Posted in General, Quantum | 5 Comments

Aram's rebuttal

Part one of Aram’s rebuttal is now up at Gödels Lost Letter. Go there and check it out!

Posted in General | 1 Comment


Before I did math, I did debate. And now I’ve found a way to reconcile the two! Gil Kalai is a great researcher in theoretical computer science who has written several articles that are skeptical of the possibility of quantum … Continue reading

Posted in General | 5 Comments