Quantum Bayesian Networks

February 8, 2013

Lubos Motl on the Road to Damascus

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 9:42 pm

Tales of religious conversion are of widespread interest.

A famous one is the one of Saint Paul the Apostle (5 AD-67 AD), from Tarsus, Turkey. During the first half of his life, Saint Paul was an orthodox Jew who ruthlessly and zealously persecuted those Jews who were Christians, i.e., followers of the teachings of Jesus Christ who believed Jesus to be the Messiah promised to Israel in the Old Testament. (Jesus was already dead and supposedly resurrected by then.) During a trip from Jerusalem to Damascus, Paul fell from his horse and hit his head, whereupon he had a vision of Jesus Christ, enveloped by a great light (of millions of lumens). The light of the vision was so powerful that it left him blind for 3 days, at the end of which he regained his sight thanks to a miracle performed on him by a saint called Ananias of Damascus. After the vision, Saint Paul dedicated the rest of his life to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. He went on to found many chapters of the Christian Fraternity throughout the Mediterranean basin. The 13 epistles of the New Testament are due to him. (An epistle is a book from the New Testament of the Bible in the form of a letter from an Apostle: eg. Saint Paul’s epistle to the Romans.) Saint Paul appears to have been on friendly terms with the first Christian pope, Saint Peter, although there is at least one documented incident when they had a spat (Incident at Antioch)

More recently, Lubos Motl, an orthodox String Theorist committed to persecuting the Smolin/Woit crackpots of the world, fell from his bicycle and hit his head during a trip from Jerusalem Street to Damascus Street in his home town of Pissner, Czechia. The fall blinded Lubos for 3 days, but then a Czech porn star and amateur quantum computerist named Ana restored his sight. In gratitude, Lubos has now decided to spend the rest of his life spreading the sacred word of how quantum computers ain’t all that dumb, since they are just a trivial consequence of string theory. Lubos intends to write at least 130 modern epistles, aka blog posts, about quantum computing and to spread the QC faith throughout the String Theory basin. He has even uttered, though reluctantly, some mildly flattering words about the current QC pope, Scott Aaronson. Lubos and il Papa are in complete agreement in their beliefs that there is nothing in physics that will prevent us from building quantum computers. Despite this agreement, since these are two dogs that love to bark, they still find reasons to have friendly barking matches with each other. Such barking matches can be quite amusing to witness since these are undoubtedly two very smart dogs. Who knows what the QC future holds: maybe The Lubos Quantum Computer, built by Rumanian slave child laborers at the Lubos Plant in Czechia?

The Conversion of St. Paul, by Nicolas-Bernard Lepicie, 1767. Lubos falls off from his bicycle, which resembles a horse

The Conversion of St. Paul, by Nicolas-Bernard Lepicie, 1767. (Lubos falls off from his bicycle, which resembles a horse, by artistic license)

Ananias restoring the sight of Saint Paul, by
Pietro da Cortona, 1631 (St. Ananias can be seen patting Lubos on the head for being a good String Theorist. His daughter Ana can be seen right behind him.)


  1. You almost make him sound like a nice guy.

    Comment by siteadmin — February 8, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

  2. Lubos has MANY bad qualities but some very good ones too. Among the good ones is that he sometimes makes some brilliant physics comments. He can also be hilarious, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.

    Comment by rrtucci — February 8, 2013 @ 11:24 pm

  3. This is too much fun. You have sparked an evil thought in me Robert. Just as Martin Luther published his 95 Theses on the moral turpitude and banal excesses of the Popes and lesser Cardinals I think Physics is in need of a “95 Theses”. I propose that the 95 Theses should concern itself with all of the obviously puzzling features of “theory” not reality. In short, all the things that make you go Hmmmm…. about present Quantum Theory. Too much fun! This is one time that needs a good Caravaggio. What the world needs most is: Quantum Chiaroscuro. A superposition of the Light and Dark to illuminate the way forward for all those desperate Lost Souls who are victims of the Church in these times of religious warfare :-)

    Comment by Kingsley Jones — February 8, 2013 @ 11:40 pm

  4. Ah yes… this is a rich vein. In Religion, matters are simple. You never get anything more complicated than one Pope and one Anti-Pope. To keep them from annihilating each-other they stayed in different locations: Rome and Avignon. Now we have two many Popes to count. Far worse, things have gotten topological. You spin the Pope around twice and he turns into an Anti-Pope. Ditto, if you send him back in time!

    Comment by Kingsley Jones — February 8, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

  5. Hi Kingsley, Physics on small time scales does resemble religious warfare. I think we both agree that in large time scales (100 years?) it has a unique limit.

    Comment by rrtucci — February 8, 2013 @ 11:59 pm

  6. Yep. The noise perturbation has a much higher frequency than the drift. However, the drift is of much bigger amplitude and dominates in the long run. In think we should feel fortunate to live in the times of Peak Comedy. The comedians are nothing if not inventive and it sure does make life interesting! Dante would have had a field day with this bunch.

    Comment by Kingsley Jones — February 9, 2013 @ 5:34 am

  7. I think when Lubos fell off his bike, regaining his sight three days later with Ana’s help, he converted to and became Quantum Illuminati !

    Comment by Lubomir — February 10, 2013 @ 5:14 am

  8. I think it is no coincidence that the Pope resigned a few days after you posted this tale …

    Comment by wolfgang — February 11, 2013 @ 9:58 pm

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