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17 January 2015


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Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

A basic necessity of any computational device is the ability to copy a number - regardless of format that number is expressed in, binary, octal, decimal etc. - from one physical location to another.

A quantum bit, the so-called Qubit, cannot be copied, it is an impossibility.

See please:


This, in my opinion, precludes the possibility of creating a quantum computer.

But, researchers have ignored the implications of the non-cloning theorem and proceeded on working on other aspects of that fiction.

One wonders why the funding agencies have gone along with this charade.

Quantum Computing is not even a White Elephant of Physics, it is more like the Cheshire Cat of physics.

(The one machine sold under the name of Quantum Computer is essentially a different device, using on workable application of the "adiabatic" theorem of QM. Very different beast all-together).


Clarke's 3rd Law:"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


The military stopped using digital computing (binary, octal, decimal, hex) in the computers in planes like the Stealth in 1977. They used fibre-optic computing with three laser heads for redundancy and holographic drives. That was 38 years ago. As the guy who ran the project In NV told me--he was the nation's expert in these three technologies, worked for Loral Electronics (White Plains): "I can put the Library of Congress on a box of slides." The holographic drive he put in the cockpit of the Stealth was the size of the old Kodak 24-slide box.

God knows what they're developing now.


quantum computing has been around for a long time. many different interpretaions of it. some refer to entanglement which is based on the Max-Born view of probability based wave functions. my favorite view of it is that of David Deutch who ties it in to the many worlds interpretaion and says that the computations have to be taken place in all the universes- multiverse.

there is a commercial quantum computer now, although some call it a mere "adiabatic computer" and question its credentials.



Amen on that. One thing to remember is nearly all military hardware has to hardened against radiation EMP. The F-16's programmable mission cartridge was tiny in capacity but was not going to get wiped by an EMP. Our civilian electronics would all get slayed.

Charles I

The basic drive has been to make the smallest binary switches that do the math possible - atom sized.

The dream of quantum computing as I understand it is the ability to exponentially increase the amount of simultaneous binary calculation in smaller less energy intensive, less heat emitting structures of molecular scale. Apparently some believe, contrary to Babak that whatever the impossibility of copying quibits, it will be possible to otherwise manipulate one bit of data in more than one singularity with no "copying" requirement, but rather simultaneously utilizing or controlling identical and then infinitely variable, innumerable, manipulable "quantum(s)" of bits to arrive at "solutions" to test in normal physics, and then monetize. Take a while imho.

Some others believe that quantum computing will allow enough comprehensive and manipulative agency to create equally or even more powerful biological computing processes, again at the molecular level.

Once we discover these particles and principles, we always put them to some, often many uses.

Photons are particles are they not, ubiquitous, speed of light solutions to the dark? One day we will master them.

One of the coolest things I learned recently is that particles emitted from the sun as photons at the speed of light can take up to 100,000 years to make it from the center of the sun to the surface due to the number of collisions with other photons and resultant course derangement. That's quintillions and some other number that doesn't exist in collisions, interactions, potentially apprehendable data points.

If we survive Creation will allow us to do with It whatever our natures will. Our natures are to break things, eat them, figure them out and then put them to work, and make stuff up until then. I have my doubts as to our ability to successfully manage all of Creation were we ever to come to know It.

Ken Halliwell

MRW, It's been a while (about 20 years) since I last studied the matter, but at that time, optical computing was postulated as being a digital computer implemented via optical technology (photons), instead of semi-conductor technology (electrons). Whether or not it would be implemented via Von Neumann, Harvard or some yet-to-be-defined architecture was in question, but it would be digital (as opposed to analog) nonetheless.

The claim that optical computer systems were being installed in 1977 is unbelievable. In 1977, Intel's 16 bit 8086 microprocessor was being readied for production, to replace the Intel 8 bit 8080; AT&T began using/testing its first commercial fiber-optic cable in New York City; Microsoft (i.e., Paul Allen and Bill Gates) hired its first full-time employee (Marc McDonald), and Double Sided Double Density 8" floppy disks were the rage with their 'massive' 1.2 megabyte storage capacity.

It's only relatively recently that technology has advanced to the point that optical computers may soon become a reality. Thus, I doubt that Lockheed Martin (via Loral) was installing optical computers with holographic memory in its stealth fighters, in 1977 -- optical fiber cables perhaps, but not optical computers with holographic memory.


Laying aside pair creation/annhilation, photons do not interact with each other, maybe the collisions involve photon and fermions. there are two classes of particles 1)those that obey bose-einstein statistics- bosons and 2) fermions that obey fermi-dirac statistics. Bosons can occupy the same quantum state. This is illustrated that when you point a flashlight across the beam of another flashlight, there is no interference and both beams go on their own merry way. On the other hand, the fermion nature of electrons is what keeps my butt from going right through the chair i'm sitting on. It amounts to electrons can't be in the same quantum state. This also is what causes the buildup in atoms of the electron orbitals, s, p, d shells etc.

the attraction of a quantum computer is that it promises to do more calculations than there are particles in the universe. that is why some say, the calculations would be done in the multiverse of parallel or many worlds.

"Deutsch’s belief that if a quantum computer were built it would constitute near-irrefutable evidence of what is known as the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics, a theory that proposes pretty much what one would imagine it does. "


Ken Halliwell

Correction: The first AT&T fiber-optic cable was in Chicago, not New York City.


Well, they were, Ken. I would go out for dinner with this guy and his best friend, a brilliant, irreverent, hysterically funny theoretical physicist (taught in NYC) and the only one he consulted with about what he was working on. This was seven years after the Stealth was in the air. (The theoretical physicist was my best friend at the time and my father's age.) Because I agreed to keep my mouth shut, the Loral guy talked in front of me because he thought I couldn't follow Dirac and quaternion math discussions. We hung out at dark romantic ex-Italian speakeasies in the Village where no one gave a shit what we talked about; everyone around us was having an affaire and occupied. We were drinking, raucous, and having a good time.

My friend and this guy sneered at digital computing, thought it archaic that you bounced bits and bytes around registers in a dip and dap dance subject to electrical interference and degradation. I wish I could remember the analogy they had for it, really raunchy. Since I was working for a boutique software house that created custom operating systems for the Defense Dept. and govt at the time, I found their derision about digital computing fascinating, so I asked a lot of questions. When I went to Bell Labs shortly thereafter, we were working on production-grade touch screens at levels that didn't show up in commercial products until Steve jobs' iPhone, 23 years later. So, as a I said, who knows what they are working on now. They’ve probably understood the electromagnetic component in quaternion math by now, so things might be advanced.

The Loral guy told me, "It's my job to put a trailer full of Super Crays into a box 26 cm X 19 cm X 15 [might have been 6, don’t remember] cm and stick it into the cockpit of a plane."


Don't forget, Ken, laser heads read the fiber-optic cable. Three of them.

If AT&T was using fiber-optics commercially in 1977 then the govt was using it before that.

I just read this: "In 1975, the United States Government decided to link the computers in the NORAD headquarters at Cheyenne Mountain using fiber optics to reduce interference."

Babak Makkinejad

That is my sense of it as well.

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

I hope you are correct. Because if you are the slightest bit wrong, the QuantumPuter engineers will eventually have their Quantum Computer, and make it powerful enough to where it can become an autonomous Artificial Intelligence. It will then become self-aware, grow, spread and gather power to the point where it becomes aware of us humans and decides it doesn't need us around anymore.

The ultimate endpoint of that development was explored in the speculative SF story " I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream."


Apparently it has lately been hijacked into a "video" "game" and I can't find any full-text copies of the story itself among all the clutter of video-game links. Maybe more patience can find the story itself.

different clue


If we were to intercept a truly huge enough solar proton storm emanating from a truly huge enough solar flare pointed right "at us", wouldn't that also kill all our civilian electronics, and a lot of pre-digital civilian electrics besides?

Perhaps the techno-limbo Old-Ways hobbyists are onto something.

different clue

Charles I,

I am just an amateur science buff so my memory of what I "learned" in college may be way wrong, and out of date even if "correct".

My feeling is that photons were found to have some wavelike properties and some particle-like properties. It was finally decided in frustration that they couldn't be considered strictly a wave or a particle.( "Light is a wave phenomenon on Mon,Wed,Fri and light is a particle phenomenon on Tue,Thur,Sat. We don't discuss it on Sunday.") We have to accept the insufficiency of language to allow us to totally apprehend the "photon" thingie, and try understanding its features and properties as best we can under the name "photon".

I saw a neat little diagram in a physics book once which depicted light as intertwining "electric" waves and "magnetic" waves which together made up "electromagnetic" waves. And a photon is one complete wave cycle of those two waves. I can't explain what I think I mean without that diagram, and maybe that's why that book put the diagram in there.

Aha! and here is a version of that chart . . .

Not just a wave, not just a particle. Maybe a Wavy Particleoid.


Babak Makkinejad,currently the research is focusing on the "up" and "down" qubit for one and zero. From my minor in Astronomy, which was really a Physics minor, I am pretty sure that you cannot predict either. What is your opinion?

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, I have read that story.

But the perspective of Lem is different - AI may not be interested in human beings - just as we are not interested in other orders of existence.

But that entire AI is also snake oil; you cannot build something that you do not understand.

The way an ameba interacts with its environment and responds to its surroundings is beyond human capability to either understand or reproduce.

It is intelligent but not self-aware.

And it has an irreducible complexity both in its intelligence and in being alive.

I cringe when I see so many resources being allocated to so much mumbo-jumbo when such things as basic Metallurgy, Earth Sciences, Forestay goes unfunded and deep-sixed.

Ken Halliwell

MRW, I'm not familiar with a laser being used as light-wave receiver; rather, I'm familiar with a laser used as transmitter and a photodiode (or similar light-wave detection device) used as receiver.


MRW, from what little I know of at least the F18, I think your friends were pulling your leg. As far as I know, EMP issues are fixed by the simple use of the Faraday cage.

To put that another way, I fail to see from my limited understanding of the software and hardware architecture of the F18 aircraft systems and the ADA programming language how an optical computing/holographic drive project is believable unless there is a giant secret program on the scale of the Manhattan project to back it.

I would say however that holographic everything and optical computing has been the stuff of science fiction since before 1977.

I would also add that optical fibre was/is a controlled export commodity mainly because of the difficulty of tapping it.


1) We don't need no Quantum computers to build self-awareness.

2) Dogs are self-aware and love humans. AIs will love humans for the same reasons.

3) Pure AIs that take over are unlikely, as the enlightened ones work in symbiosis with humans, needing power, protection, and manipulation

4) Augmented human/AI teams that take over are highly likely. The first signs would be Congress unanimously voting for bills that prima facie yield sovereignty and are against the interests of the United States.

5) The medical industry is teed up to be the first primitive revolution; nonsentient AIs will start to replace doctors as we know them in about 2-6 years. God knows we need something to help bring the costs down. It gets a lot more interesting after that.

6) Currently Washington is driven by game theory, which, with deepest respect, was promulgated by a paranoid schizophrenic frat-boy from Princeton named Dr. John Nash. Current game theory is amoral (selfish) and starts by assuming everyone is out to get you, so it is necessary to get them first. Using this math/accounting world view, it is no wonder that Washington often acts basically, well, like a paranoid schizophrenic frat-boy. A new game theory that measures blow-back accurately, and is based on both moral action and selfish gain, is desperately needed. Dr. Nash is a genius and has been able to overcome his paranoia; perhaps his insights will create a next generation of game theory. Peace is cheaper than war; we need an accounting/decision process that points this out.

7) It is quite easy to build things that one does not understand. Neural nets were doing this in the 80's. Big data does it now. Deep Blue kicked chess butt, and no programmers were masters. The statement "A.I. can never do X because of Y" must always be read as "It is inconceivable to me how A.I. could possibly do X". Some AI has been snake oil. Extrapolating this to all AI being snake oil is inaccurate. HTH.

Babak Makkinejad

I agree.

But the research is on building devices that can operate on qbits and algorithms that could be cast into a quantum mechanical paradigm; see the Grover Algorithm.

The physicists are ignoring the "No Cloning" theorem and have proceeded, in my opinion, to sell others on another silicon snake oil - like their brethren in AI, Fusion Reactor, String-Membrane Theory etc.

In the meantime, other areas of sciences are dying on the vine for lack of funding.

Babak Makkinejad

Show me.

Charles I

Being loose with language my point was how interesting I found it that the products of fusion, be they denominated particles or photons or elephants, apparently originate in the sun's core thousands of years before emission from the sun's surface in the form of photons. Originating as Gamma rays, they then collide with other charged particles over and over until they reach the surface. It is these interior collisions I was referring to whatever the non-colliding nature of emitted photons.

See http://www.sunearthday.nasa.gov/2007/locations/ttt_sunlight.php

"Sunlight is produced through nuclear reactions in the sun's core. Originally born as energetic gamma rays, after billions of collisions with matter, this radiation reaches the surface and escapes into space. How old is sunlight by the time it reaches the surface?

Most textbooks say that it takes light between 100,000 years and 50 million years to escape. You would be surprised to know that this simple, and very popular, question seems to be without a firm answer! The reason has a lot to do with the assumptions that textbook authors use in making the calculation. Most astronomers are also not particularly interested in a high-accuracy answer, so they tend not to bother doing the tedious calculation exactly. It is actually a very complex problem in physics!

Once a photon of light is born, it travels at a speed of 300,000 km/sec until it collides with a charged particle and is diverted in another direction. Because the density of the sun decreases by tens of thousands of times from its lead-dense core to its tenuous photosphere, the typical distance a photon can travel between charged particles changes from 0.01 cm at the core to 0.3 cm near the surface. As a comparison, most back-of-the-envelope estimates assume that the sun's interior has a constant density and that the 'free path' distance for the photon is about one centimeter. . . .

Once you know, or assume, a typical distance between collisions, you also have to figure out how many steps the photon has to take to travel from the core to the surface. This is called the Random Walk Problem. The answer is that, if you take a sequence of N random steps, each for example of one meter length, the distance you travel from the starting point will be the square-root of N. After 100 random steps you will travel about 10 meters, but it will take 10,000 steps to travel 100 meters, and one million steps to travel about one kilometer, and so on. Because the density of the sun changes from the core to the surface, it is common to represent the interior of the sun as a collection of nested shells of matter, each with a typical average density. You then calculate how many steps it takes for a photon to travel through each shell. During each step, the photon travels at the speed of light so you can calculate the time required for each step. By multiplying this by the number of steps taken, you can calculate how long it takes the photon to traverse each shell, and then add up all the times for the other shells.

When this random walk process is applied to the interior of the sun, and an accurate model of the solar interior is used, most answers for the age of sunlight come out to be between 10,000 and 170,000 years"

And eight minutes or so.

I was so smitten with this that it became an important element in a novel I'm eternally working on.

different clue

Charles I,

I wonder if any of the sun-core fusion energy is sent outward by means of brute-force motion and collisions between the nuclei, passing the speeded-up motion (heat) physically outward like a bucket brigade to the surface, where it all then vents off as EM radiation; there being hardly any particles beyond sun-surface to collide with eachother and pass the heat-of-motion
If so, I wonder if it would be more than trivial.


Gladly. :-D

In the meantime:
IBM teaches computer how to read; computer learns by itself how to swear; researchers have to teach it how NOT to swear:

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